Saturday, December 31, 2005

its all about hockey

I can barely skate and as a Canadian that's a little embarassing. I can ski though, so I'm not all that off the Northern track. Hubby on the other hand, was a hockey player and referree for years. When big sis was 3-4 yo she started skating lessons and that's when I started. First, with women's skates and I kept tripping over those picks so hubby got me guys skates and I managed much better but the skates kill my feet.

So its the twins turn to start skating lessons in the new year. They went a few times last year, dd doing much better than ds. Hubby got them new skates about a month ago and they've been wearing them indoors, walking on carpet, working on their balance. Poor hubby has been working for weeks now trying to set up this outdoor rink in our backyard so that they could practice there before the actual lessons start, but with the weather as of late, its been a long unsuccessful endeavour. So, a few days ago, we finally brought them to an indoor rink and after a few minutes of hesitation, they literally took off. Of course, I didn't go on the ice with them cause I can barely stand myself and didn't want them holding onto me. So I stayed on the sides, encouraging them, taking pictures and telling them "next time!" when they'd ask me when I'd go skating!! Gotta get myself some decent skates.

And to continue this whole skating theme, hubby got the family as a Christmas present this HUGE air hockey table, which is a total blast, and 5 tickets to an NHL game. talk about electrifying excitement in this household!! We finally attended this NHL hockey game tonight...the first one for the twins! It was so priceless...the look on their faces when entering the building, when seeing the hockey players, cheering and booing along with the crowd, they were so cute wearing their hockey sweaters and holding a stuffed version of the team mascot which they are still holding asleep in their beds. All the way home they were both talking about how when they'll be 5 yo they are both going to be hockey players :)

Gotta love hockey, it certainly helps make the long Canadian winters more bearable.

Friday, December 30, 2005

lazy days of christmas

After the frantic pace of the last few weeks, the lazy days of Christmas came as a well deserved respite. Christmas Eve and Christmas day were strictly stay at home days. Before kids, we would rush back to our hometown and go from family to family. Since then, I LOVE to stay home with OUR little family and work on OUR own traditions and spend time with each other. I like to cook the turkey and all the trimmings on Christmas Eve, listening to all our Xmas CDs, feasting mid-afternoon, playing board games, getting things set up for Santa Claus. This year included the addition of stockings as per the demand of the kids, not a tradition hubby nor I had growing up. On Xmas day, we laze about in our jammies, eat leftovers, slowly open gifts and enjoy them and each other all day long.

On the 26th we packed ourselves up and went to our hometown for another 3 lazy days at the inlaws. Its a small family and there's not much to do there but eat, open gifts, read, play with the kids. Kind of a mini-holiday for me as there's no laundry, cleaning, cooking for a few days.

One of the best part was coming back in time for me to attend a get-together with some very special friends, a group of moms close to my heart. A little wine and lots of chatting reenergized my batteries!

Today, we had some great neighbours over for breakfast as they are leaving for a work contract up north for 6 months. The kids played amazingly well together leaving us lots of time to chat and for once, with no time constraints.

Another week of this lazy life, no routines, no rushing around, time to talk to each other and plan things for the year to come.

Love these lazy days of Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

may the festivities begin

After weeks of practicing, all the Xmas pageants and plays and such are over with.

The kids have finished school and have come home with the last of all their Xmas crafts.

Hubby survived another pre-Xmas rush and is eager to be home with his family.

All the gifts are bought and wrapped and a few have already been distributed to neighbours and friends.

The kids have meticulously attended to their advent calendar.

The turkey and all the trimmings have been bought. The beast in going in the oven tomorrow.

The tree we picked in the forest and that we hauled home looks resplendent in the family room and covered with tons of the kids ornaments.

We have a huge array of Xmas cards from friends and family and all their warm wishes.

So, here we go. We are all set. Tonight we are going to our first family gathering. And I will sit back and enjoy it all.

May the peace and joy of Christmas last the whole new year through.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

school and ski tracks

So last night we had parent-teacher interview with big sis' teacher. The latter wanted the child present which was a first and it actually went really well. She pretty much described her as we know her: lots of potential, eager to learn, happy, helpful, but lacks attention to detail and focus and loves to talk in class :) She had a pretty good report card and has shown herself capable a lot more this year to take control of her work with much less help and supervision from us. We are, obviously, very proud of her.

Now being in 6th grade, its the big move next year to high school. Years past we had toyed with the idea of sending her to a private school once she reached high school but kind of discarded that idea as she's with a really good group of girls in her grade. So we assumed she would go to the local high school. But she blew us away during this interview by telling us all, in a very mature way, that she's been thinking about it and the only real reason she was going to the local high school was to be with her friends and that maybe it wasn't necessarily the best for her in the long run. So she's considering another high school, much further away. As it turns out, many high schools have "specialized" programs so the one she's considering is more geared to the arts, whereas others will be stronger for sports, etc. All the while I'm thinking "isn't it too early to already think about what she'll be doing later on in life?" Seems like just yesterday we were working on her ABC's!

Guess we have some work cut out for us in the new year as we'll be choosing which high school big sis will go to as well as which elementary school the twins will go to. And these decisions can be so agonizing for parents, trying to figure out what's best for everyone. So many parents I know fret so much about this, I know I'm not alone, but knowing me I know I'll be analyzing every option and making lists of pros and cons.

So its like the kids'cross-country ski tracks around our place: which way will they go?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

year long christmas spirit

I LOVE U2. Not in a teenager-paste-my walls-with-their-pics way, but in an adult appreciative kind of way. They are after all my age. I love their music (it always brings me to a happy place), I love how they've been friends since high school, I love the meaning of their messages and I love Bono, his charisma, how he's still married to his high school sweetheart (kind of like me) and how despite being a rich rock star he decides to not just live lavishly but to try to make a difference in the world.

About a month ago, I had the immense good fortune of going to see them live. Hubby surprised me with general admission tickets the day of. Talk about sheer excitement, getting ready, driving there, going in and holding hands like some crazed teenagers on a date. I sang my heart out and jumped up and down, pounding fists in the air. I didn't care what people thought of a forty-something acting like an 18 year old. I had a blast. Truly a total magical evening, best show I've ever been to. It was made even more special knowing that some good friends of mine ;) were also there experiencing it all.

All that to say I was quite excited when I saw that Bono along with Mr and Mrs Bill Gates were nominated people of the year by TIME magazine in recognition for their humanitarian work.

So Bono not only surrounds us with great music, he also spreads the Christmas spirit of giving and helping and loving year round. Definitely noteworthy.

Monday, December 19, 2005

sahm duties

So when I was a working mom, I missed a lot of big sis' events at school like recitals and such. Of course, I was bogged down by an immense sense of mother's guilt.

Now that I'm a sahm it seems like I'm overcompensating for all that guilt: I'm volunteering for everything! And at this time of year, I think I may have gone overboard. Big sis is in elementary school, the twins in another preschool, they all attend a language school on Saturdays and Sunday School too. So that's four schools of commitees, outings, projects, events, etc. And throw in there extracurricular activities with their associated duties and that makes for a busy mom! But I figure that's my job now, getting involved in their lives as much as I can. So here I am utilizing my two university degrees to make a Christmas tree pinata amongst other things. But ya know what? I had SO much fun making that pinata and am quite proud of it and if someone told me two decades ago that that's what I'd be doing with my life, I would have sent them to the looney bin!

Gotta go make a pasta salad for a school potluck :)

a week before christmas

The week-end before Xmas came and went and the magic of the season surrounded us. It started off with a huge snow dump on Friday which left a Currier and Ives look around here. We went to see Santa at the Mall, had our annual family pic taken with him and the kids told him what they wanted with just a little coaxing. We then went out for supper, a special treat, to celebrate big sis' great report card. Kids had a small Xmas party to go to Saturday morning and I fought the crowds and did the last of my Xmas shopping. The afternoon was spent outdoors frolicking in all that snow, cross-country skiing around the house, in for hot chocolate. Then it was movie night...with a Xmas theme of course. Sunday morning we worked on setting up our skating rink, finished the pinata for the preschool's Xmas party, more skiing and snow frolics and then off to the kids' Xmas show for their language school. We had been practicing a poem and song with the little ones for weeks and were so worried they would freeze on stage but boy did they surprise us! They did awesome. Their first time on stage, with a microphone, in front of hundreds of spectators. Big sis was part of the choir and sang throughout. Then back home for supper and an evening of Xmas crafts. Being four, the little ones are in such awe of this whole Xmas thing its pure magic watching them. They are constantly singing Xmas songs. What are we going to occupy them with after this holiday?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

christmas cards

I have a special book I take out every Xmas...its my Xmas card list. I've had it since our first year together as a married couple, 20 years next year, yikes!

The list has grown over the years, some names have come and gone. It always saddens me to remove a name but after a couple of years of sending a card and not getting a response, one gets discouraged. And aren't they just the people who decide all of a sudden to send you one when you haven't sent them one?

As much work as it is, its a holiday ritual I look forward to. When I finally sit down to write them, I put on some Xmas music to set the mood, have a warm cup of tea close by and I sit down with my list and address book and I start thinking. Its an introspection on the people that are important in my life and sending them a card is a way of saying I'm thinking of you and I'm thankful to know you. There are people I have sent cards to for years yet haven't seen them forever or even talked to it seems. Yet we are still in each other's thoughts and thinking of those people brings me to a warm fuzzy place. Like my high school friend who has 3 teenagers and I've seen once in the last 20 years. Or this lady from my university years I worked with and haven't seen since. Or some relatives in Europe. Then there are the people we see everyday, neighbors, parents of kids' friends and such.

Plus it's so much fun to get these cards in the mail as opposed to the usual boring array of flyers and bills. A decade ago I thought I was so innovative sending a picture card and now nearly everyone seems to do it. But they are so fun. One gets to see how the kids have changed.

Even though everything is e-mailed and such, I'm glad to see that the old fashioned post office is still used at this time of year. A lovely tradition to keep.

And as for "politically correct" well, I'm a Christian so everyone gets wished a Merry Christmas and happy Holidays, the receiver can do what they want with that. Off to admire my Christams tree, NOT my holiday tree

Friday, December 16, 2005

it'll be a white christmas

Well, this was our driveway yesterday, you could still see some of it, barely made it out today. Wonder whatever happened to our snowremoval guy? Did he take the money and run?

Waiting for hubby to get back home, brought truck to garage to fix busted window...that will be a story for another day, and went to see two cardiologists today, yet another story.

Gotta hop in the shower so we can go for our annual trek to the mall for the infamous Santa picture. The twins will not go unless mom and dad and big sis go too!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

here we go....

Not sure where this will bring me, I feel like when I was a teenager with my brand new journal and all those empty pages and wondering how on earth I will fill them all.

I like the term "historian for the family" so that's what I'll do along with all my impresions along the way and all the anecdotes from my life and all the stuff I just need to say.

Being in the Christmas season and all, I figured this would be a present for myself.

Wish me luck