Friday, December 28, 2012

An Unexpected Christmas Gift

What seemed at first like simply a toy turned into so much more.
Cedric's aunt bought him a playskool walker.
When I set it up {with no cursing, thank you very much} I had no idea that this would be the real gift.

Those, folks, were Cedric's first {assisted} steps.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Aftermath

I could describe today in two words.
Thankful and Recovery.

We always feel very lucky but never more than at Christmas.
There was, of course, so much generosity.
We spent hours today going through all of the gifts.

Christmas giftsChristmas gifts
baby uggs

What I am thankful for more than anything though is the time spent with family and friends.
I know, it's cliché but nothing makes me happier than having 14 people share a dinner at our house.
I love setting the table.
I love the meal planning.
I'm even {learning to} love the meal prep.
Oh, and I LOVE getting the kids dressed up.

This year was a little tricky since Jeff was it out of commission.
He was sicker than a dog and in bed for the better part of the day.
He's usually the turkey/gravy guy but I managed to flub my way through.
Thank goodness for parents to help with the cooking and carving.
The meal turned out great and the company was unbeatable.

Now for the recovery.
Jeff slept for about 14 hours and is feeling much better.
I've been cleaning and organizing but the house is still not fully recovered.
I actually like to leave it set up for a little while.

Christmas passes too quick so anything to hang on for a bit right?
The kids are having a blast with their loot and are doing a little recovering of their own.
Suffice it to say there have been no sleep protests today.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

About this Christmas so far that is.
As always it's just snuck right up on me.
I seem to always sit down on Christmas Eve and try to will time to slow down.
I just need to savour that time when everything is bought and wrapped but it's not yet over.
Here's a quick reflection of what I haven't had a chance to share.

1. Love my Christmas chachkie collection.
2. Huge trees with lights to the top {this one is from Candy Cane Lane}.
3. Legislature grounds {yes, even with the dome covered}.
4. Homemade gifts from great friends.
5. Santa letter writing.
6. Ornaments that I made long ago and are still hanging on my parents' tree.
7.  Chocolate fondu on Christmas Eve.
8. Sugar cookies {and Fiona baking help}.
9. Baby drowning in ribbon.
10.  New ornaments.
11.  Old ornaments hanging in the window.
12. Rummage sale doilies as a snowflake centrepiece.
13. Winter wonderland.
14. Santa!  
15. Loving the tree.
16. City Hall ceiling snowflakes.
17. Fiona putting the star on top of the tree.
{And my ability to fight every urge to "fix" it, let go and enjoy how perfectly imperfect it is.}

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Fire is So Delightful

Back in the days when Jeff and I had money to burn {literally} we had this little beauty installed.
Soapstone Fireplace
Our 100 year old house had an empty shell that at one time housed a gas fireplace.
It would have been much easier and cleaner to get another gas unit installed.
Jeff would have none of that.
Fire-starting is one of his true loves.

Unfortunately this year, buying wood has gone on the back burner {pun intended}.
Every night when the temperature would drop below -10C Jeff would sigh "it would be so nice to have a fire."
But wood is expensive you know and we're kinda burning the candle at both ends {last one}.
Well, Christmas came early and yesterday Jeff's parents had this dropped off.
After an hour of ever so carefully piling chucking the wood on the porch, Jeff came in for his reward.
He got the fire roaring and we spent the rest of the night huddled close to it.
The weather was frightful and we had no place to go.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Santa Success

Fiona has finally made peace with the big man.
We had an intense conversation in the car on the way to Bonnie Doon Mall.
"Santa a nice man Mommy, not a mad guy."
"All the girls and boys get presents from Santa."
"Santa lika the trantoline {trampoline} at matchsticks {gymnastics} Mommy."

Apparently Santa is a gymnast?
I'm not sure where that last thought came from but I was ecstatic that she seemed to like the idea of seeing Santa so didn't question it.

I needed to stall a bit to make sure Daddy was there for the big event so we explored Santa-land.
{Daddy made it 5 minutes before Santa clocked out due to shop delays.}
Fiona was distracted by all the decorations but did eventually realize that Santa was sitting at the middle of it all.
She was just a little excited.
 Finally we lined up all the while trying to shield Fiona from the lady ahead of us who kept asking her if she was going to cry.
I mean, I know she was just having some fun but this is nothing to joke about.
The first year we were able to get the picture quick enough but check out year 2.
That was a full meltdown folks.

This year's picture is much different both in attitude and number.
Cedric was very content on Santa's knee and Fiona was happy to chat with him.
When asked what she would like she replied "presents".
Low maintenance, I love it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Crafting: TP Reindeer

I got this idea from this TP Roll Owl that has been all over Pinterest.
{I chose one of the many links but can't guarantee it's the original.}
Just a Christmas-y twist on this cute idea.

We started by folding the top of the roll over a piece of pipe cleaner {about 1/2 of a piece}.
If you put a dab of glue on top it prevents the antlers from popping out.
We cut the other half of the pipe cleaner into 2 smaller pieces.
Then we used those 2 pieces to make the antler branches.
We glued 2 eyes and 2 pom poms on for the nose.
We then put a bow and eyelashes on one to make it a girl.
I am fully aware that females would not have antlers but this is a toddler craft ok?
**Correction: See Diana's comment.**
That's it.
Fiona thinks they're pretty cute.
 Speaking of pretty cute, Fiona brought this home from school.
I have been dreading looking forward to the day we have school crafts on our tree.
Now it feels complete.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Still Haven't Cried

I don't even want to say the event.
It's like I can't let my mind go there.
The problem is that it's unavoidable.
Everyone's talking or writing about it and I turn away each time.
Because of this I have an underlying feeling of guilt.
I don't want to ignore those little lives, they deserve to be recognized.
I want to cry for them but I just can't.

This has happened before and I know it happens to others.
Many times, when something awful happens, I will try to put myself in that very situation.
I want to know that I would react in the best possible way.
That I would be able to protect my children.
It's like a mental fire drill to ease my mind.
Every time though, my mind stops me before I reach the worst case scenario.
I can only describe it as a subconscious safety mechanism.

I'm sure that's what is happening to me now.
It's just not time to shut off the safety.

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's a Christmas Miracle

Well, at least as close as it gets at the shop this year.
Ok, I may be using the word a little loosely.

Remember over 7 months ago, in my very first post, when I wrote about this Charger?
It belongs to Brian, who is lovingly known at the shop as "The Old Man".
I told you how it was sitting in pieces in the shop and guess what?
It has been ever since.
I'm still not sure what possessed Brian to disfigure fix it.
Regardless, there it was, collecting dust.

Well, the appearance hasn't much improved.
I mean, does this even qualify as a car?
But check this out.
'72 Charger

It's on the frame rack!
I know it's not much to look at, if you're looking at it from the same perspective as me.
If you know something about cars, especially fixing them, this may get you going.
  Either way, this is progress folks.

**I'll keep you updated on the Charger Project as it unfolds.**

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Green Toddler Outerwear

Sometimes it pains me to pack away Fiona's outgrown clothes.
There are always a couple of outfits or pieces that are so sweet on her I can barely stand to see them go.
This sweater was one of those things for me.
It's really not that special but there was just something about the colour and detail that appealed to me.
So, I decided to give this sweater another life.
It has been reincarnated as Fiona's newest hat and mitts.

Here's how we did it.
This process involved a lot of toddler involvement so the pics took a backseat.
When the toddler doesn't feel like being involved it takes some estimating.
{If you know me well you already know I'm the master of estimating, at least I think I am.}

1. Measure.
Put the end of the sleeve over the toddler hand and see how far up their fingers go.
Cut about an inch above this point {please remove before cutting}.
Turn these pieces inside out, lay their hands on top and mark where their thumb would be.
{I used pins but a fabric pencil or chalk would be safer if you have a fidgeter.}
Yes, those are Halloween tattoos, no we didn't make these at Halloween.
Fiona found them in her sticker box and insisted they would be great.

Cut those pieces into mitten shapes.

Turn the body of the shirt inside out.
Put the hem over their head and see how tall it needs to be to cover their ears.
Once I had 2 hands I actually marked the shape of her head {more or less}.
I also marked how much it would need to be taken in to stay on her head.
{This picture shows the shirt on right side out. I actually did turn it inside out after but this little miss was done posing.}
Always a ham.

2. Sew.
Around the edge of the mittens {keep them inside out}, I tried to only leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
For the hat, sew on the markings then cut the seam allowance after.
This way you have some room to play if you need to adjust the shape or size.
I tried Fiona's on a couple of times before I cut the rest off.

I wanted to keep the whole bow from the shirt so that's why it ended up not perfectly shaped.
I was still so happy with the result and she loves them.
"Mommy makes a spesho hats for Fiona."


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