Christmas Shopping in Photos

I’m sad there aren’t more pictures to share today. I thought I took way more but I obviously did more running around than photographing the sweeties. We took more mental pictures, I guess. But here the few I have to offer, anyway.

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This is the part of the day when we took Laela’s mitts off in the van and she promptly pulled off her toque. And then she worked on learning how to put it on herself for the rest of the drive. This was her very first attempt, and truthfully, probably the closest she ever got. But she was sure adorable trying!

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This is the part of the day when Laela napped for roughly ten minutes. The kids were total champs, being nap-free. They were pleasant and friendly and Dekker was so much braver than usual! I’m sure Laela’s cat nap helped a little ๐Ÿ˜‰

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NEW YORK FRIES!! French fries make both of our kids very happy. Growing up, my family would go Christmas shopping as a group, and we’d always get big orders of New York Fries, dump them out on a napkin-lined tray, and have that as our lunch. Every single Christmas. We haven’t specifically made it our goal to carry that through, but with the way these kids love fries, it only makes sense right now. We shared the largest order of fries, got some cheese to dip in (Dekker opted for ketchup though) and ended the lunch with Booster Juice.

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Laela participated in her own way. She was terribly cute, eating fries and doing tricks.

Sadly, thats all I have for photos!!! I can’t believe it, because I could have sworn that I took way more, but obviously the day is just nice and fresh in my mind still, and thats good too. I’d take pictures of everything we picked up but most it, I can’t. BUT here are the super cool mugs I was telling you guys about!

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I know, they were on Facebook and Instagram already, but I love them! I love that the travel mugs topper is gold, and they’re both so detailed and cute. Win!

Lastly, I’ll quickly recap today. Brady and I pretty much had tidied up from our big shop all last night, so this morning we had a yummy eggs and toast breakfast, and spent the day doing a bit of laundry, dishes, and not a whole lot else. Over nap time, we watched a bit of The Office on our laptop that FINALLY has a working disc drive, which was actually really nice to finally have back! The kids woke up and played Pants for a while before we went in and retrieved them. (The kids, and the pants.)

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How Laela got her pants off, I do not know.

Perogies for dinner, and kids in bed on time. Brady and I did a bit more work on my homemade Christmas gift for family, and now we’re putting some info together for his talks that he’ll be giving in an upcoming career day. Yes, I know, he’s kind of a big deal out here.

Christmas Shopping 2014

Today was waaay better than I could have expected! Like I really had pessimistically expected the worst. Crying kids in the van, Brady angry at the traffic, not finding anything we came for, things like that. But instead, it was a huge success!
Unfortunately, I can’t upload the beautiful pictures I have of the kids from today, but thankfully, that is because Brady is currently setting up our new MacBook!!! That’ll have to be tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ worth the wait though, I promise.
After we got the kid dressed and fed, we headed straight for our preferred Apple retailer. We got great parking, and were met with a surprisingly empty store. Someone came to greet us right away, and I have to say, he was probably the best salesman I’ve ever been served by. And not because he sold me a ton of stuff, but he listened to what we wanted, didn’t try to up sell us at all, answered all of our questions, and didn’t push us to get any added warranties or anything. He just trusted us that we knew what we wanted, and we did. The entire transaction took maybe ten minutes, and the van was still warm when we got back. Best of all, the kids waited patiently and didn’t get upset when the attention was put on them. We celebrated and bought Dekker a bagel.
I can’t divulge full details on the day, since the main focus of the trip was presents, but we had a lot of success in a few different places. Besides Christmas gifts, I got some makeup and a new coral maternity sweater. I also finally got a maternity hoodie, as well as the elusive white tank top I’ve been searching for. We got a nice big set of cutlery, which we’ve been needing for a while, and it was probably the best set I’ve ever seen. Not necessarily the best quality in the world, but it came with eight of everything: forks, salad forks, tablespoons, teaspoons, eight extra teaspoons, bitty spoons, and then butter knives that actually have a bit of an edge rathe than just being smooth. I’m so pleased, considering we use way more spoons than anything else and they tend to go missing fastest.
Also unrelated to gifts, we got a wonderful snow shovel that will likely last us a solid twenty years ๐Ÿ™‚ I got Brady and I some new mugs from Starbucks as well, just because it feels fancy and it’s fun getting new things. We got three mower boxes of the unbelievably biscotti I told you guys about from costco, and a really pretty wreath to hang on our door. I’ve always wanted a wreath.
I’m sure I’m missing a ton of stuff here, but I am totally thrilled to have juuust about everything taken care of for Christmas knowing we still have $600 of our savings left over! That will cover my gifts for Brady and his for me, and then probably a few other things, such as travel expenses and stuff like that.
Amongst all of the shopping, our kids were absolute rockstars!!! Granted, we fed them treats all day, but especially Dekker KNEW it was an important day. He didn’t have one meltdown, or even a need for an attitude adjustment. He had so much fun in all the busyness. He smiled at strangers, and wanted to run and hop, to a point where I had to chase him down and remind him to stay close. But right afterwards, I decided to just run with him instead. It was awesome. He and Laela loved each other, and shared and were friendly. If and when we had to say no to things, no fight was put up. Everything was fun today.
And PARKING!!! We got rockstar parking everywhere we went, no word of a lie! In the one mall, the underground parkade was marked with a sign saying it closed, and full to capacity. We drove around the upper parking lot for a while, but within a few minutes, someone came and opened the bottom one up! We got in line, knowing they would only let in so many vehicles, and we were so thankful to be one of them! We didn’t have to bring coats in or anything! A few less things to haul around ๐Ÿ™‚
After all of the shopping and treats and activity, we met my parents at a nearby Wendy’s for supper. Dekker was so excited, he barely ate. He just wanted to run circles, literally. Luckily, it wasn’t full at all, and my mom happily obliged and ran with him. No wonder he hit it hard on the drive home, hahaha! Slept the whole way!!
Sooo many wonderful things worked out today. Guess what guys! I don’t feel wildly overwhelmed!!! I feel organized and super excited to get our tree up, with gifts wrapped underneath it. I’m excited to get some baking in. I’m excited to remember that I’m pregnant, and celebrate that a bit more than I’ve been doing recently. I’m excited to take the kids out for walks in the sled.
I’m excited for Christmas!!!
But first, tea and biscotti in the tub.

Yay for Bedtime!!!

The kids slept until 9:15 this morning, which was completely awesome! I, however, woke up shortly before that in tears thanks to some unbelievably vivid dreams based around being rejected. Rejection dreams are just the worst. Luckily, they weren’t about people who are important to me now, like my husband or best friends, but more so reliving parts of my life where I was brutally rejected, or new made up experiences where people who actually were good to me years ago rejected me. It was a really painful dream, and took a lot out of me.
I’m incredibly thankful for kids who run to me when I enter their room, or just jump up and down in anticipation of being lifted up by me. It sure helped this morning.
Sadly, today wasn’t a great day. I know I’m in for years and years of my kids a scrapping and being at each other, but today was long, as they were both temperamental towards one another. It was a challenge. But we got in good cuddles where we could and cried a bit when we couldn’t. I anticipated their nap time.
When they did go down, I again whined a bit inwardly about not having my laptop and the convenience that came with it. However, I channeled my energy into making some calls, so I know where I can purchase the laptop were looking for. Tomorrow! We’re adding “buy new laptop” to our list of things to do tomorrow, on Christmas shopping day!!! Can’t wait for that actually ๐Ÿ™‚ I know it will be a zoo but I’m really looking forward to getting a ton of stuff done, and having a family day. Feels like it’s been a while.
When the kids woke up, we opted for an easy mac and cheese supper. Unfortunately, Dekker screamed uncontrollably for a solid twenty minutes from his room while we ate. He was put in for a time out before supper was served and just refused to quit. It took a bit but he eventually made it to the table and enjoyed his favourite meal. Laela loves it too, and always eats way more than we expect her to.
Thanks to Dekker’s insane meltdown, they’re wasn’t much time left between supper and bedtime. We went downstairs and had some good cuddles before we cleaned up toys and headed upstairs. It wasn’t the happiest bedtime we’ve ever had but it also wasn’t the worst. I think Deks knows how finished we all were.
Now that the littles are down, Brady is shovelling the driveway so we can actually get out of it in the morning. I have psycho-planned our day, so if we can’t get out of our driveway, were hitch hiking!!!

American Thanksgiving vs Black Friday vs Cyber Monday

While us Canadians have already celebrated thanksgiving back on October, it’s good to be thankful everyday! Today I was thankful for hot chocolate with egg nog in it, jammies, and when both kids want to sit on my lap without getting angry at the other. That makes for a sweet morning for sure!
Dekker always brings his dishes to the kitchen after he’s done eating. He’s done it for months but probably every other day, he puts up a bit of a fuss about it. He’ll still do it, he just wants us to know he doesn’t like it. This morning, he didn’t whine. He made his trips back and forth from the table to the sink, but in the middle of a trip, he spotted a toy under the table that he was excited about. He excitedly grabbed it and brought it over to show me. “Mommy? I found a baseball!” Always having to be the bearer of bad news, I told him that a great find, and that once he was done taking his dishes to the kitchen, he should play with it. He regarded me quizzically for a second before slowly backing up and replacing the baseball to its spot under the table. Then he finished up his trips and raced for it, happy as a clam. I was very thankful for that!!!
After yesterday’s post, our laptop died. As in died died, probably never to be used again. So my usual routine of putting my feet up and watching some YouTube and doing computer stuff once the kids were in bed was sort of shot. So instead, I listed for this weekend. The man who Brady was going to do a private job for during the Saturdays leading up to Christmas recently called Brady up and said he felt badly about the timeline they had discussed and said he’d be just as happy with January. Brady jumped at his offer, which I was also thrilled about, and we can officially Christmas shop!
On the craziest day to Christmas shop. Probably one of the busiest weekends. But I’ll take it! So I got all good and organized and have our whole trip planned out. It’s a bit more specific and neurotic seeming than I would like, but we don’t have a lot of time, and I’m thankful for any time at all!
Not only with Saturday be Christmas shopping day, but it will also be potentially the day we buy a new laptop, and hypothetically a new infant car seat. Only if it’s on sale tho. I feel pretty frivolous wanting a new car seat since ours doesn’t expire for another year or two, and would definitely last us another baby, but our car seat SUCKS. It’s sooo hard to buckle a kid in there, the straps are brutal to adjust constantly, and I swear it weighs a hundred pounds. We just want a nicer one. Is that selfish?
So lots and lots of planning went into the afternoon while the kids slept. Brady and I made soup and grilled cheese for supper, which was actually perfect. The kids ate a ton. Dekker had two full sandwiches. Which is way more than we bargained for, leaving me with only one! But hey, snacks in the bath make everything better. The kids are down now, and Brady and I have done some “maintenance” on a homemade gift I’m making for my brother in law. I have to fuss with it every night, and Brady helps it go so much faster. I’d tell you guys what it is but he can’t know, so maybe in the new year.
Ok, enough for today. I do not like trying to type this out on the iPad, tho I’m thankful we have it! But it’s making my shoulders hurt because of the weird way I’m sitting. Merp.
Happy thanksgiving, all! Don’t forget to be thankful at least twice a year ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mama, just missed your face…

I was going for a Bohemian Rhapsody type of title there, in case you didn’t figure it out… because it didn’t actually make sense.

My mom came over today! We haven’t spent a day together at my house for a good few weeks, and it was sooo nice! I’ve discovered that I’m a bit of a show-and-tell type of person, and I was super excited to show her all the mad progress we have made around this place. She humored me all over the house, and ooed and awed over my furnace room, pantry, and closet. It actually felt pretty awesome to have it confirmed that in fact our house does look pretty awesome and “together” right now. Yay!

We had egg salad and apples for lunch before putting the kids down. Dekker was pretty sad to go down but it worked out, and my mom and I hung out in the basement and caught up on life. She is a busy lady, and has been going and going, so it was good to be comfy and relaxed together.

When the kids got up and Brady got home, we made an unbelievably yummy supper, if I do say so myself! Basa fish fillets, rice, and a broccoli salad with all the yummies in it. I honestly could have finished my meal, and then done it all over again. Not because I was hungry, but because it was delicious and I was sad it was over.

We played a bit of toys and spent a bit more time with the kids, but it was soon bedtime. Both kids were pretty ticked, but they recovered and went to bed relatively happy. Of course, they stayed awake talking forever, but that seems to be how they like to rock their evenings. While they did that, Brady, my mom, and I got some hot drinks and biscotti and brought it downstairs so we could visit just a little bit more before my mom had to get on the road. I don’t know if I’ve marvelled about it on here yet, but guys, salted caramel biscotti from Costco. Its unreasonably delicious. Salted top, chocolate bottom, and ribbons of caramel throughout. Go buy some. Tomorrow.

Moms on her way home now, and Brady and I are getting into our usual evening routine of running a bath, Brady making his lunch, and me blogging. (Did you guys know I write a blog?!?!) I’m pretty sure I’m too full for a snack tonight though. Well ok, I could probably be talked into one…

Patting Myself On The Back

I’m not sure everyone will agree that I deserve an attaboy but I’m taking one!

When I went to get the kids up this morning, I noticed that Dekker’s hands were sticky. Oily, maybe. I pointed it out to him and asked what it was. “Dekker not member.” That tends to be his answer when he figures he’s in trouble. He wasn’t at all, but this was new. I knew he had gotten into some kind of product. In their change table, there is a cupboard that holds all kinds of bum creams, medications, and random products. It may sound unsafe, but not only is everything important sealed off with a childproof lid, but Dekker is not a mischievous kid and I’ve never had to worry about him messing around with stuff like that. Upon checking the cupboard, I found a pump bottle of lotion. We’ve been using it on Laela’s tummy and neck recently, since her poor skin has really been suffering from the winter dryness. Dekker always wants to help, so I figured he had helped himself to a pump. I noticed some grease spots on his shirt, and even some on Laela’s shirt, so it all added up. Not a big deal at all. The lotion was usually up a little higher, but Dekker probably cleaned it up after its last use and we didn’t notice it go into the cupboard. At least it was just lotion, right?

I changed Laela’s diaper and set her free while I got Dekker lined up for his. I was chatting with Dekker when I heard Laela splashing. In a puddle. On their floor. There was a solid puddle of something that was not lotion on their floor. As I scanned the rest of the floor, I saw greasy little footprints all over the floor. I’m sure they’re in the carpet as well. I asked Dekker if he knew what was on the floor. “Oh, water” he replied. I looked up at his water cup, but it was definitely out of his reach. I asked where the water came from, and he told me “The bottle.” Huh. So I asked if he could show me which bottle, and he immediately “didn’t remember” which I didn’t buy for a second.

Here’s my attaboy. Or I guess my attagirl? As you guys know, Dekker has tried my patience and my general ability to exist in a home with him the last few weeks. We have more bad days than good right now, and this was not a smooth start. However, I urged him calmly to show me the bottle that had the mysterious water in it. He finally went into the cupboard and pulled out an ancient bottle that once contained a vitamin D liquid that is meant for newborns to take while they are nursing. As many of you know, I nursed Dekker for a very short period of time and didn’t nurse Laela, so that bottle was a solid three years old. Why its still in our home, I have no idea. But it was almost empty, and was covered in a sticky substance. In that second, I decided not to freak on him. I do that so much these days, and really, it is my job as his parent to keep him out of arms reach of things like medications, or just things I really don’t want him to have! So I gave him a big hug for answering my question and telling me where he had gotten the water, I moved it up higher, and finished up diapers. Not ONCE did I show any of the frustration that was boiling up, or the fatigue I was already feeling towards the situation.

After getting the kids settled with their breakfasts, I went back to their room and soaked up as much of the mess as I could. Then I sprayed the crap out of the floor with vinegar, and wiped and wiped. I can safely say it looks quite a bit better, but its still sticky under my feet. Not much, but a bit. However, I assessed the situation and decided that the longer I spent on it, the more angry I would potentially become, so I have left it for the time being. I’ll likely do another round of vinegar, or maybe blue dawn and hot water when they wake up, but for now, I was finished in there. Next, I threw every product/medication into a box, and scoured the house for every other baby product I could find. The worst they could do now in there is spread out the diapers. Be my guest, guys.

After breakfast, I brought the box downstairs with me and sorted through it. I actually found it interesting to look through everything! Kind of like the time I dug through my recycling stuff, it took me back and reminded me of where we’d been in the last couple of years. I found an amazing amount of diaper creams that we had bought and tried for the YEAR that Dekker suffered from a rash. I found a handful of half-used bottles of saline for the many colds the kids had before we discovered the nose sucker thing. I found unopened boxes of medications that will last us for quite some time, I think! I found whats left from Dekkers last box of patches. I think I need to keep a couple to go in his baby book, but I’m hoping to give the rest to friends of ours who still have kids in patches. Our time may come again, but for now, I want them out of my house and into the hands/onto the faces of those who can use them. Patches are surprisingly expensive, if you didn’t know. A box of 50 is about $45 if you want the ones that don’t tear your kids skin straight off of their face, and we used two every day. It adds up fast. Anyway, we found that box, as well as the tiny little eye dropper and ointment tube of the antibiotics we had to put in Dekkers eyes after his surgery. That choked me up a bit. Yet I couldn’t throw them out. We’re at about ten months post-op and still looking good, from what I can see. We’ve come a long way.

I enjoyed the task of digging through all the kids stuff, actually. I liked seeing back, and also purging a bit. I chucked out all the diaper creams that we tried/started, since Dekker’s yeast was so bad and if I ever double dipped my finger, there could be remnants in there. But I have a couple of unopened ones if anyones in need! And I also feel good being able to look back at my morning and see that I do, in fact, have the ability to not completely lose it. Instead, I’ll do the more loving parental thing and instead remove the possibility that this could happen again. A good move, I’d say.

Ok, no more bragging myself up. Time to put my feet up and eat a Christmas orange or two. If you haven’t jumped on that bandwagon yet, Costco is the place to be! Haven’t had a sour one yet, two boxes in!

When I Should Be Productive But Am Not Instead

I woke up feeling like I really should be productive today, but for the first time in a while, both kids were happy and in great spirits, and I wanted to be around that more than I wanted to leave it to do work. So we had breakfast together and chatted about the weekend and all the time spent with Grandma and Grandpa. Then we made our way downstairs and played basketball and cars. Laela has learned in the last day or two how to climb onto the couch, which is both exciting and a bit nerve wracking. I saw her climb up and celebrated her accomplishment. It was even better than she climbed off of the couch the correct way without any falls so far. It got to the nerve wracking part when I found her sitting on the side table. Its definitely not a sturdy table, and its taller than the armrest of the couch. No good. But still exciting that she’s learning to climb ๐Ÿ™‚

Now that the kids are in bed for their nap, I’m trying to get a bit more Christmas stuff organized and planned. I’ve checked on the many things I’ve ordered and nothing has arrived or made any visible progress today, so I continue to sit and wait impatiently. I don’t want to whine, especially because I am thrilled to have the busyness that is my kids, but it makes it so hard to go out and get a bunch of stuff done! I have everything written out and organized, and what my list basically consists of going to maybe 10-15 places, each for one thing. So even if I packed the kids up and we came into the city for a big day of shopping, I doubt I’d even get half of the list done, since I’d spend more time dragging the kids in and out of the van and stores than I would in each place, and I can only do so much of that. However, I have many things to schedule in the next few weeks, so likely I’ll just hit one or two places each time. Sometime before Christmas, I still have to get Laela her shots, get my bloodwork and glucose test done, get my legs waxed, and I HAVE to go to chiro soon! I have a prenatal appointment and Brady’s career fair thing to think about as well. We were also hoping to book one of those fun 3D ultrasounds before Christmas, since we’ve done one for the other two kids around 28 weeks (I’m 26 weeks as of yesterday) and we were also hoping to go out for a “company Christmas party” this year ๐Ÿ™‚ Basically, a date night that we can write off, haha! But thats a lot of things to fit into the next three weeks! Luckily, I know I I have lots of people who are eager to help. I just have to actually book things and get organized. Seems ominous though, doesn’t it? Maybe its just me.

Weirdly, writing it all out like a rant made me feel a bit better. Now I will lay around a bit and rest my achy right leg that refuses to quit!

Back Under Our Roof

Those of you who talk to me regularly know how ready I feel to move on from this house, but there is something that is still very comforting about being under our own, familiar roof. Staying the night at my parents was very warm and comfortable as well, and if this wasn’t home, that is a close second. But its good to be back, out of the van and off the icy highway. Its good to be home.

My mom and I lead music this morning at church, and from what I hear, people really enjoyed it. I find that the one handicap of being at the piano. Its hard to see out into the crowd. But thats probably good for the ego too, so I’m not complaining! After church, we had a really delicious lunch with my parents before hitting the road. Brady and I took the kids into the city really quickly just for a couple of things. Brady is having issue with a knee so he hit up Walmart for a brace. Dekker can NOT be kept in the van and out of Walmart so they went together. Laela napped in the van with me. Our next stop was London Drugs, where I picked up a nice full length mirror for myself, and one for my bestie, Jessica. Not sure when I’ll see her next, but she knows whats coming to her! I have to say, the staff at London Drugs right now is unbelievably good!! Someone sought me out and asked what I was looking for, went into the back, and actually brought me the boxes on a cart with a guy to help me bring them to my vehicle. It was efficient and I didn’t have to wander and get frustrated first! Win! Two salted caramel mochas later, we were on the road.

I was totally blessed this evening when Brady fed the kids and played with them until bedtime, while I sat in bed and got some SOLID online Christmas shopping done. I really don’t have many chances to shop in person left this season, and while I still need to find some of that, I got a nice chunk of my shopping taken care of this evening, and that lightens the load a lot!! Its all en route to my parents house.ย Just a handful of things left to find time to pick up. But I’m feeling incredibly successful!

Also, I feel hungry. Time to find supper, and it has to be one that can be eaten in the bathtub. Is that strange? Ya, it probably is, but I’m over that. I’m hungry!!

Is everyone else done Christmas shopping? Am I the only one behind?!?!?!

Venturing Out

Brady, the kids, and I braved the crazy weather this morning and went to my parents for the day. The boys worked their butts off to chop a HUGE pile of wood up and transfer it from my parents yard into their wood shed. Mom and I played with the babies, made the food, and practiced the music we’re going to lead in church tomorrow. It was a really nice, relaxed afternoon, for us anyway. The boys worked hard and earned their delicious supper of mashed potatoes, sausage, and cooked carrots. It was so yummy to eat more of our garden harvest today!!

As weather will have it, we are officially stranded here for the evening. Good thing we planned ahead and packed some emergency stuff! Also a good thing, Dekker is thrilled to be having a sleepover at grandmas house. We’re all settling in for the evening, so this will be a short post, as we’ll be spending some time with the rents. It should be really nice, since I feel like we haven’t spent quality time with them forever!

G’night, all!

Socksยฉ

Socks Game Rules

Price: $1-$5
Ages: 6 months +
Average Time: 1-15 minutes
Players: 2+

Objective: To win the game of Socks, one team must outlast the other by holding interest longer. The only additional way to end a game of Socks is to misplace the props, therefore making the game impossible to play.

Contents: The game should include as many previously enjoyed socks as possible. (See additional versions)

Instructions: There are at least two teams. The Prisoners, and the Free Agents. Similarly to the game of “Catch,” players must throw and return socks amongst themselves as loudly as possible. Be sure to keep socks in places where they can be retrieved to continue aforementioned throwing and returning. Socks is a fairly structure-free game, however. Turns are not necessarily taken. Best played first thing in the morning.

True Objective: The teams true goal isย to watch their mommy struggle to find the socks in all the hard-to-reach spots underneath Team Prisoner.

**Other available customer approved versions include Blankets, and Pants.