Out with the old, but first I have to write about it! I can't believe it's officially 2015 already...

It’s officially 2015.  New Year’s Day.  When I was tucking Andrew into bed last night (New Year’s Eve, or in our household better known as Andrew’s Birthday) (technically still tonight since it's not that much past midnight as I write this) he asked me why it was such a big deal that a new year was starting.  It’s true, it’s definitely a continuation of the past and present, and it’s not like we’re going to see any immediate changes when all is said and done.  But I did my best to explain to him that there IS something that feels fresh and new about a new year starting, and that people often see it as an opportunity for positive change in their lives, and it can feel like somewhat of a new beginning.  He shrugged, rolled over, and tried to go to sleep (made difficult by the fact that I kept giving him kisses and cuddles and telling him stories about what he was like the day he was born...I can’t get over the fact that my BABY BOY is now 6 years old.  That’s going to take a while to sink in!)

It has been a whirlwind of a holiday since I last wrote.  I’ve started several journals about Christmas and onward but never had the chance to finish anything, so this might be a bit of an end of year jumbled mess, but so be it.  Tis the season for chaos!

Here is what I wrote on Boxing Day:

Christmas has come and gone already.  It’s crazy how quickly it whizzes by after all that lead up to the big day!

Christmas Eve was fairly uneventful at our house, although Andrew was buzzing with so much excitement knowing Santa would soon be here!  We watched about half of Home Alone while we ate dinner, then got the girls to bed and James, Andrew and I played Qwirkle, which Andrew got as an early birthday present from my aunt and uncle.  It was a fun game and I can see us really getting into it, but Andrew was clearly getting overtired/overexcited for Santa, so we had to end things early to get him to bed.  James and I watched a few shows, then he went to bed and Santa worked her, uh, I mean his magic =)

I went to bed but couldn’t fall asleep for the longest time.  The last time I looked at the clock it was almost 2:30 in the morning.  At about quarter to five, Margaret got up (James got her back to bed) and then Andrew started coming in repeatedly to see if it was time to get up.  I never did fall back asleep, so I was basically running on about 2 hours sleep for Christmas day.  Even though I wanted more sleep, I did find it kind of funny when Andrew came in at 5:30 and I heard him whisper to James, ‘Daddy, I’m here because there’s something wrong, the time on my clock is moving too sloooow!’  LOL  I was THE WORST for getting up early on Christmas morning and wanting to get the show on the road as early as possible when I was a kid.  Santa started leaving my stocking by my bedroom door for that reason, and then I was content for the rest of the night but my parents could get some sleep.  We’ll try that most likely next year with Andrew, but I don’t think the girls will be old enough next year for that so we’ll see how it goes.

We got up a few minutes before 6am.  Andrew and Margaret were bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Emily was still sound asleep!  So we went downstairs and when Andrew saw everything he started rolling around on the floor with excitement!  The two of them opened their stockings and then Emily got up and they helped her open hers.  She is much more calm and was happy to get one thing and just enjoy that for a while, whereas the other two bounce from one thing to the next (Andrew being the worst for that of the two, although that’s partly his age!)  Margaret kept trying to open any and every present, and when I said it wasn’t hers and to give it back, she would throw it across the room.  Luckily we didn’t get anything breakable!!

Yes it was a total gong show and possibly it’s everything that’s wrong with the world (consumerism), but the kids had a blast, and they were really good over all, all considered, if you ask me.  We don’t do a free for all with gift opening, we all take turns opening gifts, and for the most part it worked out well.  I don’t think I actually opened any of my own gifts because the kids were eager to help!  James got me a crockpot (which I had on my Wish List), the girls got me a gift card to Sears (I love shopping there), Andrew made me a collage of pictures on the computer and printed it and put it in a frame for me, and I got lots of great stocking stuff.  James-Santa is AWESOME at doing my stocking, I always love what he puts in there!  I got lots of bath stuff, some candles and some cute candle holders, chocolate, great stuff.  I got James a shirt from an etsy shop that says I LOVE it when MY WIFE lets me go cycling.  I love it because from a distance it just looks like it says I LOVE MY WIFE, and it’s also hilarious because it’s true he rarely can just ‘go cycling’ without it working for me, too!  He did point out the tongue in cheek aspect of it but he does like!!  I also got him a martini shaker and a bunch of alcohol and a little martini recipe book, and Andrew gave him a new wallet and the girls gave him another of the Goodnight, Darth Vader series (I think he may have all of them now).  

I can’t even list all that the kids got right now, but suffice it to say they got a lot of stuff, but no duplicates and everything they got will be useful.  My plan is to rotate the toys - I have no idea when I’ll get the chance but my plan is to weed through everything they have, be more firm about parting with a certain amount of stuff, and then organize what they have and keep things on rotation so everything isn’t scattered all over the place as it has seemed to be lately.  They got lots of stuff, including some really cute clothes, the girls got personalized Minnie Mouse fleece blankets and Andrew got a personalized Mickey one, Andrew got a fold away chair for in the living room which is actually really comfortable for adults, too, he got lots of Lego kits and some Plants Vs Zombies kits, lots of building sets in general, lots of books.  The girls got some dolls - Rapunzel and Lalaloopsy, little Ikea doll beds (that we set up beside their beds for their ‘babies’ to sleep next to their beds - it’s so cute, and they love tucking their dolls in!)  They also got a doll house (that James had a lot of fun setting up, believe it or not...I didn’t believe it but thought it was the cutest thing ever!)...I have an actual list of everything they got so we can do up thank you’s for everyone, but that’s where I’ll leave it for now!

(Back to writing present time…)

Christmas Day was good, VERY tiring for James and me, naturally, but the chaos of it all was enjoyable for the most part!  The kids had so much fun opening the gifts, and the girls got into the groove of it pretty quickly with Andrew as their guide!  Around 10am my parents came over and we spent a few hours with them.  About part way through their visit the girls had to go for their nap, which luckily they were good about it - they were no doubt exhausted after so much happening in the morning!  My parents loved their gifts, and we all loved our gifts from them.  I got several pairs of new jammies, a new robe (that is the comfiest robe I’ve ever worn!), an infinity scarf, earrings, socks, bath stuff, etc.  

I put out a spread of nibblies for our breakfast/lunch and we grazed on that while my parents were here.  They left in the early afternoon, and I feel like much of the rest of the afternoon is a blur at this point.  I think James fell asleep on the living room floor for part of the visit...and when he woke up I desperately needed a break, so I tried to lay down for a while but between outside noise and some stressful stuff bothering (that I’ll explain a bit later), I wasn’t able to fall asleep even though I don’t think I could have felt any more tired!  I had some drinks (tis the season, right?!) and got the kids all dressed up in their Christmas outfits.  James and I justified that we were staying in our pajamas all day, including for Christmas dinner, because they were the new ones my parents gave us on Xmas Eve!  It was kind of nice not bothering to get all dressed up - it felt like more than enough effort to get all the kids ready!

James’ mom arrived a little after 4pm and...everything went fine, but it’s hard to say that it actually WAS fine (see explanation below).  Despite the insanity of it all, I felt things went really well...all considered.  Dinner was yummy.  James made a mean tofurkey!  We actually loved it so much that he cooked up the second one we’d got the very next night!  The kids did OK with their dinner, (they are also loving their tofurkey, I must say) and we ‘just’ had some chocolates for dessert, which I was glad we hadn’t bothered to get a ‘proper’ dessert item because we were all so full from such a big dinner.

The girls went to bed at their usual time (about 7:30), the mil left and Andrew went to bed just after 8. Then James was in bed by about 8:30pm!  It was a bit disappointing that we basically had no time together just the two of us the whole day, but I completely understood why he wanted to go to bed so early that night.  It had been a whirlwind of a day, with so little sleep for either of us the night before.  I tidied up some of the kids toys under the tree and called it a night.  (I didn’t go to bed early though...I really HAVE to start going to bed earlier moving forward…)

On the 27th I don’t really remember what we did...On the 28th James’ dad came over from Victoria for the day and we celebrated Christmas but also his birthday, since it was the day before (although we forgot to actually bring out the cake we’d got for him...epic fail, oops!)  On the 29th I had a spa appointment downtown that I was FINALLY using the gift certificate for that I’d got for my last birthday in FEBRUARY!  My parents looked after the kids so James could go with me, so we went for a little stroll around the convention center before my appointment, and afterwards we went out for a late lunch together.  My pedicure was SO relaxing, I got a paraffin treatment that left my feet feeling so soft, and the person doing the pedicure did my hands too, no charge, because she knew how big a deal it was for me to be out at the spa and she wanted to give me something extra!  I’d gone to her the last time I’d been at that spa (in late 2012 maybe?!  Crazy long ago) and was so happy I had her again.

It was really nice for James and I to have some time out together like that and to feel relaxed.  It still didn’t feel long enough, but I don’t think it could unless we had a few days just us.  But we did enjoy the hours we had, and hopefully it won’t be so long before we can have that again.

Here’s what I wrote on December 30th:

Tomorrow is Andrew’s birthday (known to everyone else as New Year’s Eve!)  I can’t believe my ‘baby’ boy is turning SIX YEARS OLD.  I know I feel each year like it’s ridiculous how old he’s getting, but seriously, six?!  I still think of him as that chubby newborn with his face all scrunched in and adorable.  I still think of him as my little baby boy, who I carried around everywhere and who wanted endless cuddles.  I’m lucky, he still loves to cuddle.  But he’s huge now, and barely fits on my lap!  He’s not a baby anymore, or even that little of a boy.  Crazy how time has a way of flying by like that.  

Today I’ve had some time to myself, a rarity that I can’t take for granted.  James took the kids to his moms’ house for a few hours (she and I are on the outs again...she called before 8am Xmas day to say we weren’t being inclusive of her for Christmas and threw out all these accusations, when she was our only guest for latter part of the day, and the Xmas plan had been set for pretty much the whole year...and we’d just seen her on Xmas Eve and everything seemed perfectly fine...so once again I feel blind-sided by her doing that to us, and at 8 in the morning Xmas day is completely uncalled for...but of course somehow things get turned around on me...so needless to say we are back to square one again, and currently not speaking.  I really don’t know where it came from!  I’m still a bit in shock from it, and sad that it has put a big cloud of stress over the holidays ever since, which sucks given how infrequently James gets time off, and it’s a big slap in the face having to do a repeat of last year when it’s completely uncalled for...but I will stop there on that topic).  My parents are on their way over but I had a couple of hours just to myself.  I put our Christmas tree away last night, so I got the living room set up a little bit differently and changed our bedroom around a little bit, too, which is stuff I enjoy doing.  I also got Andrew’s birthday presents wrapped, wrote in his card, and relaxed a little bit.  I’m really not good at relaxing.  But the quiet has been nice these past few hours!

(Back to current time...confused yet?!):

Since we’d already had Andrew’s birthday party on the 20th, today was able to be much more low-key, which was so nice.  After all the exhaustion of Christmas and the days following filled with visits, it’s nice to have less pressure put onto his birthday.  I took Andrew to White Spot for brunch around 11am, when the girls napped so James could have a bit of quiet time.  Andrew had some strawberry waffles and I had the classic veggie burger.  It was a nice time, just the two of us.  It’s kind of our go-to place when we go to a restaurant together.  I wish I’d brought a game for us to play, but we did the activities in the little colouring book they gave him, and otherwise just chatted.  Oh, and he had his very first Shirley Temple drink and loved it!  From there we went and picked up his birthday cake, which was very small but super cute!  It was a little dinosaur cake, it’s apparently meant to feed only 4 but we managed to feed 6 with leftovers (small pieces, but enough!)  It ended up being the perfect little cake, and Andrew was pleased as punch with the design.

James was kind enough to offer me some nap time, so I had a little bit of sleep in the afternoon, probably only 20 minutes by the time I actually fell asleep, but it helped me out so much.  When I got up I got a few things tidied up and the kids dressed for my parents coming over.  I put the girls in their new cream coloured dresses that they got for Christmas from my bro and sil.  They are OVER THE TOP adorable, basically like little wedding dresses for toddlers is how I’d describe them.  Way too cute!   My parents arrived at 4:30 and I’m going to say it wasn’t 10 minutes later that Margaret’s dress was COVERED IN BLOOD.

Yes, you read that right!  It was like a crime scene in here.  So crazy.  Andrew and Margaret were roughhousing a bit, in a playful way but then Margaret did something Andrew didn’t like and he pushed her...not hard, but enough that she fell back, which would have warranted a time out BUT wouldn’t have caused any damage had she not been standing right by the fireplace.  She was, unfortunately, and she hit the back of her head on the brick that lays in front of the fireplace.  She started crying right away (although she surprisingly didn’t cry very much) and I went and scooped her up and then suddenly my mom is freaking out and I said, ‘What, is she bleeding?!’ and then I could feel blood dripping all down MY cheek and chin and it was dripping onto my arm, and when I got her into the kitchen (away from our new carpets LOL which thank goodness didn’t even get one drop on them!!) I could see that there was A LOT of blood all over her brand new dress!  James, my dad and I assessed the cut and luckily it was very small and seemed to be stopping bleeding quite quickly on its own, so I gave her a tub in the kitchen sink just to wash the blood out of her hair since there was a lot in there and then I put a small bandaid on the cut.  About an hour later we had to take it off because it was soaked through, and we put some Hydrogen Peroxide on it and a new bandaid, and there have been no issues with it bleeding since, thank gawd.  She was acting normal and not like she’d got a concussion or anything, so fingers crossed that was the worst of it.

It was pretty upsetting, not quite how we’d planned the evening!  Andrew was in a time out for a while, but I did tell him that I knew he hadn’t meant for that to happen and I could tell he felt bad about it.  We’re hoping this will help remind him to be careful with his sisters and not lash out at them if they do something he doesn’t like.  He’s really good with his sisters for the most part, but there are times when I wonder why he reacts the way he does, because he wouldn’t treat anyone else that way, so why does he do that with them.  Luckily they all played well together for the rest of the night, AND I washed the dress immediately with lots of Shout, on a cold water wash, and I was amazed that ALL the blood came out, so the dress is actually still wearable!  I was so sure it was going to be ruined.  Andrew, the little ghoul that he is, said, ‘Well, at least if it’s ruined she will already have her Halloween costume!’  He actually came up with the idea that she could go as the Bride of Frankenstein for Halloween!  LOL

We ordered Thai food for Andrew’s birthday supper, since he loves Thai and so do the rest of us.  It was delish as always, as was the cake.  Andrew opened his gifts bit by bit throughout the day, and was so patient about waiting to open more until my parents were here, and then having to wait again while James went to pick up the food (which took a lot longer than expected).  He got a great assortment of things - clothes, books, a safe, a kit for building electronics, an Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader doll, more Lego, money, and money for his RESP.  I also got him a necklace that has a real scorpion in it!  Right up his alley.  I read him The Giving Tree as his bed time story, which was also from me, and while it seemed like a simple story it also kind of brought a tear to my eye by the end.

It was a good birthday for Andrew, and a nice way to bring in the new year (aside from all the blood!)  James and I had a bit of time together before he went to bed before midnight, and I’ve obviously stayed up to do some writing.  I am perfectly happy to be at home cozy on the couch while so many people are out partying.  I’m looking forward to getting some sleep, and truly starting the new year in the morning!


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