Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas and Catch Up

Do you ever have those days where you feel like a horrible mother? That is, if you are a mother to begin with? Friday was one of those days for me. My sister and her family were coming to town for the weekend and we were all going to have dinner at my parents' house and I had volunteered to cook up a turkey. First thing Friday morning I spent a chunk of time cleaning the turkey, making the stuffing, stuffing the bird, seasoning it and just getting it ready to be cooked. Gabe was tolerant for a little while, but not very long. He was stuck up in his playpen screaming at me for the last 15 minutes of my stuffing and seasoning. I felt bad for this neglect and spent the rest of the morning playing on my hands and knees and doing whatever I could to make him happy. I took him upstairs with me to our guestroom/office/greenhouse while I watered my plants, which he loves to be a part of. Our dog Cash followed us up there too. When I was done watering I told Gabe and Cash to start heading downstairs and I was walking with them until I remembered that I had left the door to my plant room open and Cash would just love to eat some of my orchids, I'm sure. I turned around to close the door and just as I shut it I looked back at Gabe. He was at the top of the stairs, backwards, squatting down to start crawling down the stairs, but when Cash, who was standing next to him, heard the door click he jumped around to see what was going on and knocked Gabe down the stairs. I ran down the hall as I watched Gabe bounce down two of the 7 stairs and land on the bottom. I slipped as I was going down the stairs and slid all the way down myself, however, I'm not a baby and I didn't do any flips in the air. Gabe was fine, just really, really scared and I can't tell you what relief I felt when I heard him cry at the bottom. I'm a worst-case scenario thinker on a good day, so how much more so when my baby falls down a flight of stairs?? Nothing was broken and he stopped crying fairly soon (I was another story) and he went down for his nap shortly after. At about this time I realized I was feeling a bit sore... I hadn't stopped to think about the damage that I might have done to myself. I had a hot bath while Gabe slept and then assessed the damage: a bruise the size of my palm on my butt. Serves me right if you ask me. When Gabe woke up he had a bruise on the front of this forehead and on the side of his head, but they were mostly carpet burns. He's a little iffy about stairs now and so am I to tell the truth.
Anyway, we're all alright now. I know it's been some time since I posted anything on here. We had a loss in the family - my Grandpa passed away - and so most of last week I was actually in Calgary with the family. We're all doing well though and it was good seeing all of the family together too.
On a happy note, Gabe just successfully used his training potty for the first time today! He's been letting us know in advance when he's going to go for quite some time now but he was always really confused about what to do on the potty. Now that he's actually gone in it I think things will move along a bit quicker now.
When I was in Calgary visiting with family one of my dad's cousins informed us that they were going to be taking part in the Heritage Park Once Upon a Christmas festivities. For those of you who are unaware, Heritage Park is a historically preserved tourist attraction in the middle of Calgary and around Christmas time every year they have fantastic attractions including horse drawn carriage rides, gingerbread man decorating and a bunch of really unique shops. Well this cousin and her husband are avid model train collectors. I mean, whole levels of their home have been devoted to having these model tracks set up. They're part of a model train club in Calgary and have a display set up at Heritage Park every weekend from November 20th - Dec 19th. So Matt and I thought it would be fun to take Gabe there and my sister and her family are coming as are some of our cousins and their little boy who is quite the train fan! It's going to be awesome! Not to mention tickets are only $7 for adults and a ton of places are giving away 50% off coupons. I'm also really excited to see the Old fashioned bakery and they might have real live reindeer there too! I think it'll be just the thing to get into the holiday spirit! Not that I need much help with that... today I ordered one of Matt's Christmas presents from the Sears catalogue and a few presents for Gabe online too! I still don't know what I want my Christmas present from Matt to be. I was going to ask for the cello rental but when I found out it was only $40 a month I figured I could do that with my own spending money. I was also going to ask for some stuff for our house like new dishes but Matt would prefer buying me something fun. In a way, I'm kind of excited that I don't have anything I really, really want. That means I can ask for something strictly fun or uselessly pretty without feeling like it's a waste of a wish! For example, one store in town puts out a flyer every Christmas of the most gorgeous Christmas decorations - foot tall figurines hand crafted and inlaid with gold, or crystal pieces of loveable disney characters... I remember every Christmas growing up it was such an exciting time when my mom brought out the decorations that only came out for December and were so unique and so special: a Santa figurine on a turn top that was bending over trying to get his boot on, an 18 inch Frosty the Snowman candle that we never burned, a curvy, leaf-shaped, crystal candy dish strictly for Christmas candy and little bears peaking out of gift bags that we put up on the piano - a different bear for each of us kids. I want so bad to have special decorations like that that my kids look forward to and remember fondly. As it stands, decorating our house is wonderfully fun but that would make it more personal and significant in my opinion.
This year I have yet to decide if we will have one or two Christmas trees. I made a joke to a friend who has been storing stuff in our basement that I have more Christmas decorations than he has possessions, but it wasn't really a joke. I really do. Every year I alternate the color of the Christmas tree: red and gold, blue and silver, red and white, purple and blue, etc. and the color of the tree dictates the colors for the rest of the room. However, I believe this year is time again for a red variation upstairs and while that means that my red and gold stockings can stay upstairs this year instead of being sent downstairs, some of my nicest decorations are of the blue and silver variety and it's hard not using some of my decorations at least once a year. So, last year Matt and I agreed to take my grandparents' fake Christmas tree with the intent of setting it up in our basement. We didn't get around to it last year but if we decide to put it up this year that would solve a lot of issues for me. And honestly, yes it is more work, but who mind work when it's as fun as decorating? I could even have a decorating party! Invite over my sister-in-laws, make eggnog ice cream and homemade cider, listen to Kenny Rogers and Nat King Cole Christmas cds and decorate to our hearts' content! Doesn't that sound wonderful!
I'm about to get an early dose of Christmas spirit tomorrow. On Tuesdays, as you know, I go to the church and make lattes for the staff. Well tomorrow is their all-day staff Christmas party. At 4:30 they're coming back to the church to sing some carols and I'm going to have the latte bar open for them then, along with some special drinks we don't usually serve. I'm particularly excited to make Caramel Apple Spices for them!
Well, this has been a rather lengthy catch-up and my house is a mess considering how busy I've been lately. I'd best be responsible and clean. Maybe while listening to Christmas music?

Mrs. Vander Leek ;)

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