Thursday, December 28, 2006

A New Box!

For those of you who have been reading Nick's blog, I'm happy to report that Darcy is feeling much better. And so am I now that I had a full night's sleep last night.

Grandmaman and Papa arrived last night and Darcy has been thrilled to see them, especially Papa (much to Grandmaman's chagrin). For Darcy there has never been anyone in the world to equal Papa. Sorry Grandpa, if you're reading this!

After supper last night we opened our Christmas presents. Darcy was opening a present from one of her uncles, which was nicely wrapped. She ripped off the paper to reveal a Gap box and she exlaimed, "Wow! A new box!" She was so excited with the box that she didn't know what to do with herself when we opened it and found a little jogging suit inside. She loved all of her gifts and is watching a new Dora the Explorer (Dora the 'Plorer) DVD as I write this.

This morning I was brushing Darcy's teeth and she looked at me and said "You're a great Mom!". That's funny because only 30 seconds before she had been stomping her feet and saying "I don't need to brush my teeth."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Birthday!

A quick happy birthday to my husband, Nick. He is 32 years old today.

As usual he gets to spend his birthday driving to see family for Christmas. This year however, he added something new to the mix by working from midnight to 8:00 first. He's sleeping now and we'll be hitting the road as soon as he gets up.

Doesn't that sound like a great way to celebrate your birthday? We'll be having birthday apple pie tonight at my mom's, so he'll be happy with that.

Happy birthday! I love you.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Quiz

I don't know about you, but this is my last day of work before Christmas, and it's only a half day. We're getting ready for a different Christmas this year. We'll have a short visit to Cambridge, but no time in Montreal this year. That's going to be weird. I can't defend my Pit championship this year. We will have a visit from Grandmaman and Papa though, so we're looking forward to that.

There's not a lot to write about today, so here's a little Christmas quiz. It was sent to me in an email but I figured I'd post it here. You can answer the questions as a comment if you like, or just bask in the glow of my answers.

Merry Christmas!

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He wraps them, of course!
3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white? Our new pre-lit tree has the option of having either white or coloured lights, or a combination of the two. It also has a remote control! Sweet. Nothing on the house.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No
5. When do you put your decorations up? early to mid-December
6. What is your favourite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? stuffing
7. Favourite Holiday memory as a child? We had this great tradition with my Mom's side of the family that one of the parents would drive around to everyone else's houses with the gifts for each family. My mom is one of 8 kids and they all used to buy gifts for each others' kids. So after church on Christmas eve we'd have a steady stream of company bringing presents over and eating cookies. It was so much fun. Our dad never got home until 2:00 in the morning or later. One year he had to go to one uncle's house in the morning because he had stayed too late at another house at night.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I honestly have no recollection of this so it couldn't have been all that shattering for me.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No, we never did that. Now it's my husband's birthday so Christmas is more about him.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Sentimental and fun ornaments. (Have I mentioned that Darcy now says "I love 'Carlett O'Hara". I'm so proud.)
11. Snow - Love it or Dread it? Love to look at it, hate driving in it.
12. Can you ice skate? Not terribly well.
13. Do you remember your favourite gift? My Cabbage Patch Doll, Fayme Eldora.
14. What's the best part of the Holidays for you? Spending time with family and friends, I love the Christmas Eve church service, and I love good food.
15. What is your favourite Holiday Dessert? Pumpkin pie, although I have a new recipe this year for a toffee cheesecake that I'm eager to try.
16. What is your favourite holiday tradition? Watching "A Christmas Carol"
17. What tops your tree? Angel
18. Which do you prefer, giving or Receiving? Who is really going to answer "receiving" to this question? You'd sound really selfish, even though it may be true. I like giving gifts but I don't like all the shopping that leads up to it.
19. What is your favourite Christmas Song? This Christmas it is "Away in a Manger" as sung by Darcy. It can bring a tear to my eye every time. I also like "White Christmas" as sung by the Drifters.
20. Candy Canes - yucky or yummy? Yummy!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Santa Claus

I don't remember ever being afraid of Santa Claus. Maybe I just saw him as a free ticket to cool stuff so I didn't want to risk my chance at cool toys by being afraid. I didn't really know that kids were afraid of Santa until one Christmas when I was a teenager and I had a job as Santa's helper at a mall in Cambridge.

Parents were insistent that they get a picture of their child on Santa's lap, no matter what the child thought of it. I couldn't believe the number of kids who just went paralyzed with fear when they got near him. The screams I heard that Christmas surprised me.

Every year the day care that runs out of our church brings in someone to play Santa. It's usually a guy from the congregation who has quite a way with children. Yet every year there are some who just freeze when they walk into the room.

I love being in there when the toddler room children come in for a visit. There are generally two groups in this age group (18 - 30 months): those who love Santa and those who are petrified. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. When they came in this morning, I was crouching down at the back of the room. One little girl, who I have never met before, came right over to me and sat down on my knee. She wanted to get as far away from Santa as she could. I tried to get her to relax a little bit and she even got so far as laughing when some of her friends went and sat on Santa's knee. But when they called her name to go and sit on Santa's knee she freaked. One of the teachers picked her up and carried her to Santa and she managed to sit there long enough to get her book and get out of there. The teacher put her back with the rest of the class but she got right up and came back to my knee to sit. I guess I look a lot more comforting than Santa!

We didn't even bother to take Darcy to see Santa last year. She had been terrified of her Halloween costume so we didn't see the point of forcing the issue with Santa. I gave it a try this year and she walked right up to him and jumped on his knee. We hadn't really explained to her about asking Santa for presents, so when he asked her what she wanted, she said "a snowman". He tried to talk her up to a doll, but she seemed pretty content with the snowman idea. However, I don't think that even Santa will be able to deliver a snowman this year in Ontario.

Now whenever we walk past Santa in the mall she wants to go back and see him again. I think it's because he gave her a candy cane ("Momma, it burns my mouth!) and a colouring book (she loves that).

I'm sure next year she'll have a lengthy list prepared for him. We'll enjoy this year while we can!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

So Cold!

I am constantly being teased because I am always cold. People tend to blame it on the lack of "meat on my bones". I blame it on everywhere just being cold.

We have an old house. We're not sure exactly how old, but I'd say it was built around the 1920's or 30's. I'm not sure what I'm basing that on though. It's old and it's cold. The main floor is reasonable, but both the family room in the basement and the bedrooms upstairs are really cold.

Last night Nick was trying to convince me that I wasn't wearing enough layers. Aparently two long-sleeved shirts aren't enough. He was convinced the house was 70 degrees, I disagreed. (Sorry, we're so Americanized here in Windsor that we tell the temperature in Farenheit.) Maybe around the thermostat it was 70 degrees but not anywhere else. He has a desk clock on his dresser that also serves as a thermometer so we checked it out to settle the matter. It was 65 degrees in our bedroom. That's 18 degrees Celsius. That's too cold for inside.

We then went into Darcy's room to check on her before bed. She was lying horizontally in her bed. When Nick went to straighten her out he noticed that her pillow was wet. Her hair had been dry when we went to bed, so we knew that wasn't the issue. We looked at the pillow and there was a big circle of sweat covering it. Her hair was all wet. The poor little thing! She's only got a top sheet and a comforter on her bed and fairly thin pyjamas. I don't know what to do with this kid.

Nick then said our house is clearly too warm at night. That certainly can't be it.

Is it normal for a kid to sweat that much in the middle of December?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Attention Door-to-Door Solicitors

If I was writing a training manual for solicitor's, this would be on page one.

If you are walking down a dark street at night in the winter and you see a woman struggling to get her toddler daughter, shopping bags, a diaper bag, her purse, and various little items like toys and cups out of her car and into her house, this is not a good time to approach that woman to buy a security system for her home.

Unless of course that system would keep solicitors away...

And if you are foolish enough to approach the above-mentioned frazzled woman and she says it's not a good time to talk, it's probably a good idea to walk away. If you insist on continuing to talk to her and she says she doesn't want to give you her phone number, don't ask again. For some reason, many people are hesitant about giving out their phone numbers to strangers on the street, no matter what kind of ID badge you're wearing. We all know that anyone can make up a fake ID badge on their home printer.

If you've truly persevered to this point and continue talking to the woman as she's walking up the steps to her house, don't start asking her personal questions about her daughter (however beautiful and charming said daughter might be). Creepiness doesn't sell.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I'm having trouble leaving comments on some blogger blogs who have switched to the beta version. Is anyone else having trouble?

I'm trying to post my version of the events Nick talks about on his blog, but it won't let me. I think he's blocked me to keep the truth from coming out!

So here's the truth.

I misspoke. I did say those words, but that's not at all what I meant to say. All I was trying to say is that something like "I Know This Much is True" would be more interesting for him than P & P. Then he started laughing and wouldn't let me correct myself. He even wrote down the quote while we were eating lunch so he wouldn't forget it.

All I'm trying to do is convince my husband that it's good to read a book once in a while. I know he's not going to appreciate the brilliance of P & P, so I was just trying to find something he'd like.

I have no need to defend my love of Pride & Prejudice!

What's On Your Tree?

There are a lot of good things about being married to me, but I think Nick's favourite thing is that I come with a collection of Scarlett O'Hara Christmas tree ornaments. I'm not even sure how many of them I have, but there are several. I've got all her different costumes from the movie. I love them. They're starting to duplicate her dresses now, so I've stopped buying them, but I've got a pretty good collection.

Nick hates them. I can't imagine why. Of course I'm not a big fan of the three identical Montreal Expos ornaments he has either. Or Princess Leia or the Ewoks. I think we're pretty even.

Our tree doesn't have a theme or anything like that. It's just a bizarre mix of different ornaments. Before we got married my tree was entirely Disney. I still have a lot of those ornaments, but they're not the only thing on the tree anymore. It was good this year though when Darcy was helping me decorate the tree to have some plush Mickey and Minnie ornaments for her to play with. They're also on the bottom of the tree, in case she feels the urge to play with the tree or take ornaments off. No wire hooks and nothing breakable on the bottom section.

Also in the past few years we've added some "Baby's First Christmas" type of ornaments and this year we added Darcy's first homemade ornament. It's a little reindeer made out of popsicle sticks. Very cute. I tried taking a picture of it, but it didn't work. I'll try again. I'm sure we'll be adding more of her creations each year.

Any other interesting tree decorations out there?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Just Like Mommy

It always makes me laugh when I see my own traits coming out in my daughter. Some good, some bad, some just funny.

Over the past few weeks we've discovered that Darcy likes to sing along with the music playing in the car. Whether it's her Elmo music or now Christmas music, she learns the words quickly and sings along constantly. Also, if I've stopped singing I often get the command from the backseat "Sing, Mommy!"

However, she's not limiting herself to the car either. We were listening to Christmas music recently at lunch time. All three of us were sitting at the table with the music playing while we were eating. Andy Williams was singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and each time he sang that line, Darcy sang along with him. I don't know if she's heard that song a lot or if she just picked up on the repetitive nature of it that time. Regardless, she seems to think this is the most wonderful time of the year.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Even More

My daughter really cracks me up. She just keeps coming up with these funny little conversations. For example, this is what took place last night at dinner...

D: I'm ready for something dessert
S: Darcy, you're having an ice cream cone. That's your dessert.
D: I want something more dessert!
N: What about a baby orange? (that's what she calls clementines)
D: Daddy, that's not dessert, that's for eating!

So Nick started eating his clementines on his own. As soon as she saw that she said "Hey! What about me?"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

More Darcy-isms

I had some funny conversations with Darcy this morning that I thought I'd share here...

As I sat down to eat my cereal this morning she started up this conversation,

D: Mommy, what do you want from Christmas?
S: I don't know honey, what do you want?
D: Nothing, sweetie.

Somehow, I'm not convinced she meant that. Especially because when I tried to recreate the conversation for Nick later, her reponse had changed to "Dora the Plorer".

As she was lying down in my bed while I was getting dressed,

D: Mommy, I like yourself.
S: You like myself?
D: Yes, I sure do!

Well, I appreciate that.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Perfect December Night

It's lightly snowing outside, we're just starting to get a little bit of accumulation on the ground. It was enough to make driving pretty treacherous here in Windsor. The first real snowfall of the year is always pretty dreadful regardless of how much accumulates. Everyone forgets what to do and there are always lots of accidents.

I was supposed to go speak to our Beaver group tonight, but because of the snow, they cancelled the meeting. I was so glad! Nick is on the afternoon shift this week (4-12) so it meant that I was going to have to really make a fast supper and rush Darcy and I out the door again to get there on time. She was really excited about the snow and I had promised her that when it snowed we'd make snow angels.

I'm not sure where it came from, but she's had this fascination with snow angels over the last week or so. She's been making them wherever she goes, whether it's in the bathtub, in bed, or on the filthy floor of the shoestore. So I told her that when it snowed we'd go and make snow angels for real. When I picked her up tonight and she saw the snow her first response was, "Now we'll make snow angels." I didn't know my meeting was cancelled then, so I told her we didn't have time (and felt a knife cutting through my heart while I said it). We got home, got our coats and boots off and I got the message that our meeting was cancelled. So, before it got too dark we got her into her snowsuit and out we went. What a blast! She loved it and now our whole front yard is covered in snow angels.

Then after supper we made cookies. At first I was going to be super-brave and make ginger bread men (well not totally brave, it was bought Pillsbury dough), but it was getting late. The package had instructions for making ginger snaps as well, so we went with that. I made the dough into little balls and Darcy was in charge of coating them with sugar.

Things went swimmingly until she decided she wanted to start eating the dough. Where does this innate childhood fascination with eating cookie dough come from? And what happened to the promise I made to myself as a child that when I had kids I would let them eat as much cookie dough as they wanted?

As I dropped the balls into her little bowl of sugar for her to coat them she kept ripping off pieces of the balls and sneaking them into her mouth. Then when I wasn't getting the balls into the bowl fast enough she'd just take pinches of sugar and throw that in her mouth too. It was only an hour before bedtime so I had to take care of that fast!

So we made our snow angels and some delicious cookies. What a perfect way to spend a December night!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Who is this kid?

If you saw Nick's blog the other day, you saw the first picture of Darcy's black eye. Here is she is, three days later, still with a pretty good shiner. Poor little thing. But you've got to love that Elmo shirt! She sure does.

Tonight at supper I had to use a sentence that I didn't think I would ever have to use in my role as a parent.

"Darcy, stop eating your peas and eat some chicken nuggets, please."

I kid you not. We were having a fun Saturday night supper of chicken nuggets and fries, so I threw the peas in for some health benefit. She ate some fries right away and then started eating the peas. And eating the peas and eating the peas. Did I mention she eats them one at a time? Anyway, her chicken was just sitting there getting cold, so I had to try to get her to eat the chicken before it was completely cold and inedible.

Sometimes I just can't figure this kid out!

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's That Time of Year

This sort of thing makes me terribly sad. I'm always amazed at the generosity of people through the Christmas season, but then I'm struck even more when the complete opposite happens. The other night over $5,000 of toys were stolen from the Salvation Army here in Windsor. These are toys that would be given to children whose parents can't afford to buy them gifts this Christmas. Fortunately, there are still a large number of toys remaining and some local businesses are already stepping up to the plate to make up for what was lost.

Of course, this isn't the only place where this has happened either. When I went online to try to find out more about our theft, I googled the words "Salvation Army toys stolen" and found a whole list of similar happenings across North America. How sad.

There have also been reports of people giving money at the door to people who claim to be collecting for various charities but in fact, they are not. I've done this in the past. Someone came to my door claiming to be collecting money for an organization that helps teens addicted to drugs. So I gave him some money, with the promise of a tax receipt and a golf shirt coming in the mail. Of course I never got those things. I didn't tell Nick about it for about two years.

I'm just afraid that these sorts of things will cause people to stop giving. Please, if you are able to give, find a charity that you trust and give in a way that helps you to know your money is going to the right place and being used in the right way.