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December 29, 2007

Day 629: I love you, Christmas... now beat it

Christmas_2Christmas is exhausting. Don't get me wrong, I love it. I love it. But still, it's kind of nice to know it's over for another year.

Maddie had a huge Christmas this year. Last year was of course officially her first Christmas, but I think this is the one that really counts. I can barely even believe it, but this time last year she wasn't even crawling. She was just sitting. And more often than not bawling her eyes out. And now here she is running around, climbing, yelling, laughing, and even kind-of-almost-just-about talking. It's mind-blowing.

This year she was quite the little socialite. She did her fair share of party hopping, and had plenty of opportunity to show off her varied holiday wardrobe. Her favourite item was a pair of black stretch ribbed velour pants complete with ruffled hem. Good on her for being able to pull them off - stretch velour makes my butt look huge. And clearly they were killer pants, because it was in those pants that she got her first kiss from a boy at a friend's Christmas party. I downplayed it to Fernando of course, but the truth is he was a little cutie pie and she didn't seem to mind in the least.

Christmas morning was a treat, she ran from one gift to the next, tearing off the wrapping paper in miniscule pieces. The whole thing took ages, but she really did seem to enjoy every minute of it. One by one she shouted "WOW!" over strollers, movies, babies, cars, bunnies (plush, not real - thank god), dump trucks, and a talking and singing backpack that is driving me out of my mind. My house now looks like Dora came for a visit and vomited her perky little exploring self all over it. Maddie, of course, loves it all. And we can't forget The Wiggles. My mom, who apparently takes great joy in my Wiggles-induced misery, got us yet another dvd. I think we've watched it 47 times so far. (Oh, and thanks, Melissa, for your offer to loan your Wiggles library in response to last week's post. So generous of you. But I think I'll pass!)

And in the end her grandpa and uncle sang her a song that was written in her honour. When it was over she poked her head around the corner and asked, "More?" From a 21-month-old, that is high praise indeed.

December 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 24, 2007

Day 624: I hate The Wiggles (gasp!)

Dec_snow_15One day until Christmas. A perfect time for Mads to get sick, don't you think? The poor girl is all stuffy and puffy and generally miserable. She doesn't know what she wants, just that whatever it is - sleep? food? juice? Extra Strength Advil gelcaps? - she's not quite getting it.

I hope that she's feeling better by tomorrow. I've invested way too much into this Christmas, despite knowing that I should never, ever get my hopes up about these things. When I get my hopes up, things tend to go wrong. I should go into them thinking, "Well, we'll see how it goes. If she panics/cries/hates her gifts/pitches a fit - no big deal, all kids do." Instead I've got the toys wrapped, the outfit chosen (hers, not mine. I tend to stay away from anything that involves fuschia and satin), and of course the camera charged and ready to capture each special and wondrous moment. I have secret visions of her opening her Ms. Potato Head, look lovingly into the camcorder, and say, "Oh Mother, it's perfect. As are you."

The thing is, she really does seem to love Christmas already. Santa has a lot to do with that, of course, seeing as she's developed a bit of a crush on the old guy. She also loves the decorations, the tree, the lights. And The Wiggles. The Wiggles are hands down her favourite part about Christmas. I had managed to keep her a safe distance from the god-awful Wiggles to this point, but made the tragic mistake of renting their "Santa's Rockin'!" dvd last weekend. We've watched it multiple times daily, and my eyes are bleeding from the assault. Just a warning to Captain Feathersword: If I see you in the street, you'd better turn and run. I don't know what it is about these guys, they just irritate me to no end. She wakes up in the morning, rubs her little eyes, points out the bedroom door and says, "Iggo? Iggo!" And keeps on saying it until we put it in. If you have a kid around Maddie's name, you know who The Wiggles are and can possibly feel my pain. If you don't, well, thank your lucky stars and do everything you can to keep it that way.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I truly hope you have a very merry one. For those who don't - well then, have a great couple of days! All the best to you all and to your kids and families in the new year. See you then!

December 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 20, 2007

Day 620: Hallelujah!

Happy day, happy day!

After 174 days spent in darkness, disaster, rubble, and general chaos, the renovations are officially OVER! Well, not officially. Officially we're still missing a second coat of paint, a few doorknobs, a windowsill or two,  a fireplace mantle and various other odds and ends. But the kitchen and bathroom are in working order with all the luxuries of electricity and running water, so that is good enough for me.

Kitchen5_2While Fernando and I are near ecstatic to finally have our home back, it doesn't compare to the relief Maddie must feel. The poor girl has spent the last six months picking her way through dirt, dust and debris along with the rest of us. For me, it was irritating. For her, it was torture. She's not even 2 but already she's showing some pretty clear signs of OCD. Everything always has to be just so. Her cup in its proper holder, her jacket on the hook, her blanket in her crib. The cupboards closed, toilet lid down, door shut. All day long we hear a chorus of "Uh oh! Uh oh!" as she runs about the house pointing out everything that is out of place with a look of horror and disappointment. I feel like I'm constantly being scolded by a kid who barely reaches my kneecaps.   

She's such a little trooper, though. A lot of kids would have I'm sure been climbing the table saw that took up permanent residence in our living room and chewing on exposed wiring, but not Maddie. She was like the site inspector, pointing out dripping cans of paint, spotting spare screws lying about, and sweeping up piles of sawdust with her trusty Little Tikes broom.

In lieu of the usual picture of Mads today I'm posting a picture of my brand spankin new kitchen (the kid's cute and all, but I do have my priorities). Do you love it? I love it!

(Only 5 sleeps till Christmas, ack! So much left to do...) 

December 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 18, 2007


There's a new post below, but first I wanted to say welcome to the new site! I love it. The old one was so dull and sad looking, so I asked my friend Katherine to make me a new one and because she is wonderful she agreed. So here it is!

For now I'll just be moving the blog here, but in the very near future I hope to have a forum up and running so that everyone can share their motherhood tips, troubles and stories (both horror stories and happy ones!) Kind of meeting of the mommy minds (what's left of them), only we don't have to worry about packing up the diaper bag or finding a sitter.

Being part of this vast community of moms has at times literally saved my sanity. So my big hope is that this new site will become a part of that for all of us!

Let me know what you all think!

Carolyn xo

December 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Day 618: Recovering

Cookie4_2Well, it was an eventful weekend. I think I'm still recovering.

The turkey dinner went over relatively well, despite the fact that I when I went to stuff the bird before putting it in the oven I discovered that the thing was still frozen on the inside. But in the end it got cooked and tasted not too bad. I'm not going to pretend it was the best turkey I've ever had, because it wasn't. But nobody got sick and I didn't find any soggy napkins full of discarded turkey hidden in planters at the end of the evening, so that's good enough for me. In terms of culinary goals, I tend to aim low.

The party, though, ended up being overshadowed by another event this weekend: Maddie fell down the basement stairs. All 13 of them. Onto a concrete floor. It happened just before Fernando and I got home from work, so Mads was still with grandma. Needless to say a written warning has been placed in her employee file. Apparently she handled the whole ordeal like a champ - all it took to stop the tears was a quick trip outside to see our giant, inflatable rooftop Santa. "Danta? Sniff, sniff. Danta! Hi! Danta!" She seems not at all traumatized by the tumble, unlike the rest of us. I just keep picturing her poor little body bouncing from one step to the next. Ugh, I can't bear to think about it.

Of course I spent the next couple of days watching her every movement and wondering: Did her hand just jerk? Why is her head cocked like that? Is she always that pale? Because I seem to enjoy inflicting mental anguish upon myself, I made the mistake of Googling "toddler fall stairs signs" and came up with a myriad of horror stories about kids suffering heart failure and head injuries. Damn that Google! Will I never learn? At one point I told her to tidy up her alphabet flashcards - which she prefers to use as chew toys rather than educational tools of course - and she couldn't seem to get them back into their little box. Panic ensued as I was immediately sure it was a sign that she'd lost all fine motor skills. I ran to the kitchen and came back with a handful of quarters and her piggy bank and made her drop the coins into the slot one by one. Thankfully she passed the test with flying colors. I guess she just needed the incentive of cold, hard cash.

Thank goodness, or whoever else is out there, she already seems to have made a full recovery. Me, on the other hand, I'll probably need a few years to get over it.

December 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 13, 2007

Day 613: One tiny word, one giant pain in the...

I know what you’re thinking, I do. I spent months worrying and whining about the fact that Maddie was stubbornly refusing to talk and now that she finally is starting to say a bit more I complain about that too! What can I say? You just can’t win with me sometimes. Just ask my husband, he’ll tell you.

December1_4So yes, it’s true that she’s progressed leaps and bounds in terms of language development in the past month or so. I still wouldn’t say that we’ve hit the mythical language “explosion,” but I think we could safely call it a spurt. Of course many of her words come from her primary educator – Dora the Explorer. Dora is Maddie’s new best friend and I have to say I couldn’t be happier about the relationship. She’s comes from a good family (I met them in the Christmas dvd, and they really seem like salt of the earth people), she’s relatively well-behaved but for a few misadventures along the way, and she’s bilingual to boot. Not only is she a-dora-ble (ha!) but she’s really done wonders with Maddie’s vocabulary, teaching her essentials like “map,” “backpack,” and of course “Boots,” her trusty primate sidekick. There is one word, though, that I could do without. One word that little Dora is fond of that Mads fell in love with immediately: NO!

No! No! No! All day long, that is all we hear. It is delivered with various inflections and intonations, at different volumes. Sometimes it’s dragged out, “Noooooo!” and sometimes it comes at us in rapid succession, like gunfire: “No no no no no!” Even the treasured nap time doesn’t protect us from the onslaught, as she now sits in her crib saying “NO! No Mommy! No! Nooo!” until she eventually wears herself out and falls asleep.

Santa even noticed it during our trip to the mall the other weekend as I was trying to cajole her onto his lap and was being met with a steady stream of No’s. “No, no, Dear,” he told me, apparently feeling the need to correct my parenting techniques. Since when does that service come with the $5 donation? “We don’t ask, we tell,” he said. Then he called Maddie over: “Okay Madeline, we’re going to sit and take a nice picture with Santa now. Ho, ho, ho!” She stared at him, said “NO!,” turned around and left. I admit I laughed. Nice try, Santa.

December 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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"Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." ~Jerry Seinfeld.

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