December 2014
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Reindeer Games

Last week was the holiday concert at Lilian’s daycare. This is the third holiday concert they’ve hosted since she started going there, but the first one that I actually attended. They tend to hold their special events on Fridays (when my Dad is watching her). Plus, you know, she wasn’t exactly talking for the last two. I love that daycare does so many nifty things for the kids, but I just couldn’t justify leaving work early to watch my kid not sing.

This time around? I knew they’d been practicing hard (they give us a daily sheet saying what they did that day, and the past few weeks have heavily featured practice sessions). Plus, her teachers seemed genuinely disappointed that she wasn’t going to be at daycare for the concert. So, I told them we’d come at the end of the day so she could participate and I could watch.

Her teacher warned me that it was very likely to end with the kids all in tears, but I assured her that my little ham was going to be fine (her last classroom picture features a lot of teary little faces and my kid mugging for the camera). Spoiler alert!  Nailed it .

I dopped Lilian off with her teachers, and then made my way over to the gym. I found a spot in the back, because it didn’t seem like there were a ton of parents in attendance. Rookie mistake! Yeah… now I know that everyone rushes in at the last minute (our kids are all in daycare, after all, one can only assume that everyone was coming straight from work). There was a big crush of people at the front, and everyone was using their phones and iPads to record the concert. I couldn’t see all that well, and I had absolutely no chance of getting any pictures.

(Or any video.)

Which is really too bad… because Lilian was (and I know this sounds like your typical parent-OMG-my-speshul-snowflake, but really she was) hilarious . The kids all walked in, dressed up in red/brown/green, wearing little reindeer antlers and with lipstick-painted red noses. They started singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. One little girl saw her mom, freaked out, and started crying. And then they were pretty much all crying. Which is usually how it goes. But not Lilian! She was bouncing up and down, singing her head off, and bopping her head back and forth.

(I have no idea where she gets it.)

(Ok, I’m pretty sure I know where she gets it.)

They just sang the one song (adorable and short, the best kind of holiday concert) and then everyone rushed up to hug their kids. And take a million pictures. Because everyone always has to take a million pictures.

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All of the kids got a little book wrapped up with their name on it. And the parents all got a little present wrapped up with our kid’s name on it (spoiler alert! it was a candy dish that she helped them paint). I think she might actually have been more excited about the present for me. “Dis to Mama! Dis mama’s !”

They also had “Santa” there for all of the kids to meet. I don’t have any pictures of this, but I assure you that it looked an awful lot like that time I tried to introduce her to the Easter Bunny. The only difference is that her hair is longer and I’ve lost maybe five pounds.

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It was great to meet some of the other parents. I know a few of them, especially the ones who’ve been going there as long as we have. But, we’re all on different schedules, so there were a lot of parents there that I’ve never seen before. It was also wonderful to see how much fun the kids have at daycare, and how Lilian’s teachers really love the kids and enjoy working with them. We pretty much lucked into the center… they were fairly new when we started, so they still had plenty of openings. I think they actually have a waiting list now. I know I can’t imagine sending her anywhere else.

Next time they have a holiday concert, I will plan on attending. And getting there early enough to find a seat in the front!

Little Gretzky

I’m not entirely sure where she got it from, but Lilian freaking loves hockey. I used to love hockey (sadly, I don’t have much free time for it these days), and I love skating. (Ok, maybe I know where she gets it from). We thought we’d see if Lilian might like to try skating.

I bought her a pair of skates ahead of time (everything I read online indicated that you want to get the right skates for them if you want to make it easier for them to learn). Sunday morning we got up early, and told her we were going skating. She was so excited, she almost didn’t want to eat her breakfast.

Pretty promising, right?

Yeah, not so much.

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This is what happens when a little monkey wants to make absolutely sure that her skates will not touch the ice. It kinda looks like Pepper is dancing an elaborate tango with Lilian. But what she’s actually doing is holding LJ up as she tucks her knees into her chest and yells “nooooooooo!!!!”

I think they were both a little unsure about this whole business.

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I can tell you this: if you’re going to take your kid skating for the first time, I highly recommend that you bring a couple of Canadians along for support. Not only are they genetically predisposed to love rink time, they will happily indulge your child when she says she wants to skate, but won’t actually touch the ice.

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I’m fairly steady on a pair of skates, but there is no way I could carry Lilian around the ice like Pepper did.

I was convinced that Lilian hated the whole experience, but she spent the rest of the day telling everyone in hearing range that she went ice skating and that it was really fun. I guess Pepper gives good rides? And she enjoyed hanging out with her “aunt” and “uncle?”

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(It probably didn’t hurt that we took her out for hot chocolate afterwards.)

I’m glad we didn’t push too hard, because Lilian is already talking about how she wants to go skating again next weekend. Maybe next time she’ll deign to put a toe down…

Grateful

This year, I am thankful for a husband who will go along with my crazy schemes .

(For those of you who are wondering, we got all of the lower cabinet doors back on, and about half of the lower hardware. The upper cabinets are still all open-faced. Nobody mentioned it. And, believe you me, my mother-in-law would have said something if she’d noticed.)

I am also thankful that said husband will wake up on Thanksgiving morning and install that new chandelier we bought a few weeks ago, and then iron the tablecloth and set the table. All without any prompting from me. And all while making less of a mess than I do when putting together a sandwich.

(He does leave his tools everywhere, but I am teaching the toddler to clean up after him.)

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(The new chandelier has both LEDs and real candles. It’s pretty much my favorite thing ever.)

I’m grateful for this little turkey, who just keeps getting sweeter and more fun.

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We watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade together while Kristian was playing with electrical wiring. It’s not really my jam, but I enjoyed seen how much LJ enjoyed it. She wasn’t super into the floats (she hasn’t seen enough TV to know who most of the characters are), but she loved the dancing. At one point, she asked me to find her “ballet shoes,” so that she could dance along. We couldn’t find her shoes, so I tied on the tutu that I made for her a while back and let her twirl around the living room.

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I’m grateful that we were able to share a lovely meal with my in-laws, and then cut loose when my family came over to watch football.

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(Photo courtesy of my little shutter-bug, who would burst mode my iPhone completely full if I let her.)

I’m grateful that my Dad and Step-Mom let us tag along with them on a “big adventure” down to the Hartford area so that we could visit with my grandmother and then attend a party at some family friends’ house. Not only did LJ and I have a blast, it also gave my poor-put-upon husband a day to have some peace and quiet.

(Pro-tip: if you are nervous about going somewhere with a two-year-old, tell them you’re going on an “adventure.” She spent the entire trip down shouting “we go aaaaah-ben-turrrrrrr” and smiling. And she was as happy as clam.)

I don’t think I’m grateful that my kid looks at her own picture like this, but it sure is hilarious:

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I sure as hell am grateful that Lilian get’s to spend time with not one, but two great-grandmothers. She loves her GG so much. We were about 15 minutes away when I told LJ where we were going, and she started clapping her hands and yelling “yayyyyyy!!!!”

I am grateful that my sister Allison moved back to the correct coast, so that we can do things like go to the same party and hang out.

I am grateful for family friends who will read the same book three times in a row, so I can put my feet up for a few minutes.

I am grateful for a daughter who will pass out the cookies that we made together to anyone within arms’ reach, offering up a big smile and an “I maaaade dis!”

I am grateful for a daughter who wants to be in the band.

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I am grateful that we can get home late from our big adventure and count on my husband letting me sleep in the next day.

I am grateful that I have so much to be grateful for these days.

The Worst Laid Plans…

It is a testament to my husband’s good nature that I can say something like “hey, let’s paint the kitchen cabinets” the weekend before Thanksgiving and he will actually go along with it.

(In my defense, we had a friend volunteer to babysit for us, and you have to take advantage of these situations.)

Shopping with Daddy + nap time + (free! OMG free!) babysitting = 12 hours of prep and painting.

Which is how we ended up with this:

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(I just might have a tea hoarding problem).

I figured, we’re going to all this trouble, we should probably clean out the cabinets, bleach the insides, paint the insides…. At that point, you might as well reorganize the whole kitchen. I mean, it just makes sense .

Also, you can’t just paint the cabinets, you have to take the doors and all the hardware off. And the people who painted the cabinets last time did a supremely shitty job, so we had to scrape and sand off all of the drips and brush marks. And did I mention that they neglected to follow step one?

Because the hinges all kinda look like this:

I attempted to soak the hinges in mineral spirits, but all that did was make them really stinky and flammable. Which made my husband kinda mad, because he did kinda sorta warn me that might happen.

But, hey, the cabinets looked like this:

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(It’s a little embarrassing just how long we lived with those paint sample patches).

And then they looked like this:

And now they look like this:

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Progress right?

More importantly, the dining room looks like this:

 

Ok, so it’s still full of doors. But it’s not full of rooibos, and that’s what I call progress .s

(Kristian says I’m never allowed to buy rooibos. Ever. Again).

(He kinda has a point there).

Even if we don’t get the doors back on in time, I’m pretty sure we can give everyone enough prosecco on thursday that they won’t notice. Better hosting through booze, that’s what I say.

Tea for Two

I slept funny on my leg Saturday night. When I woke up on Sunday, I was in all kinds of pain. It kinda put a dent on my plans to go for a run and then my favorite yoga class. But, it worked out pretty well in the end, because a certain little someone wanted to have a tea party.

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Everybody got their fill of tea, and then we pretended we were in music class and sang the hello song. Lilian got out her little ukelele and pretended to be the teacher.

I’ve been doing a lot of work on the house lately (if stress-cleaning is wrong, I don’t ever want to be right). I had some big plans for Sunday (I may or may not be planning to re-paint our kitchen cabinets), but it was kinda nice to throw them out the window and just hang with my cutie.