Sunday, October 31, 2010

Snow in October?

Ugh...wonderful for Olivia, but for the rest of us? I guess the kids can make spooky snowmen for Halloween. :0P

We woke up to a couple of centimetres of snow. Olivia's first snow fall. We didn't take her to play in the snow when we came home 8 months ago in February. She was too little. But now..she can walk and experiment with the snow.

We put on her snowsuit that I bought back in February. Size 18 months. It's a little snug...sigh. Now that she's walking/running like crazy she needs something with more room to move around in. Did she love the snow? Well...she didn't hate putting on the snowsuit..that's a bonus. We didn't make a snowman yet...there's still time for that. She was just enjoying touching the cold snow and watching her freezing hands turn red. Forgot to mention...she hates wearing mittens. I am told I am not the only one.

Halloween Weekend in Ottawa

What an exciting time for Miss Olivia. In the midst of trying to find daycare providers and going for interviews, we still managed to find ways to get into the Halloween spirit. Most people who know Martin and I, know that we "dislike" Halloween. For the last 10 years or so, we managed to turn off the lights of the house and go for a nice dinner. Risking our house getting egged because we refused to celebrate. :0P

As a primary teacher, I dreaded the Halloween week because the kids were sooo wired and excited that they couldn't focus. Their attentions were on what they were wearing and what goodies the might get. There I was dressed up as a pumpkin every year, reading Halloween stories, crafts, treats for the kids, carving pumpkins, and the riot act speech on bringing only healthy snacks to school. sigh. Sadly the last couple of years, I've managed to only decorate the classroom on Halloween day. Forget about the week leading up to it! Now here I am, with an 17 month old daughter who will be "celebrating" her first Halloween tradition. What do I do?

Well..heck...why do they make such adorable costumes for infants. They are just too cute. Olivia had 2 costumes thankfully because the chicken costume that Audrey wore when she was little...Olivia was terrified of it. I don't know what it is about the costume. It's warm, it's fuzzy, and it's sooo adorable. But everytime I come near her with it, she runs the other way. I even try singing the "La Poule" song from Annie Broccoli that she loves and she still runs away. Sooo we are left with the ladybuy costume that is size 18 months and doesn't fit her. Ugh. Although she is adorable in doesn't fit her well but at least I can persuade her to put it on. :0)

"Halloween Party" - Saturday

So yes...we caved. How could we not? The big thing was we hosted a "Halloween " dinner on top of that. We invited some friends with their kids over and paraded them around the house, taking non-stop pictures of them until they melted down in their outfits because of overheating. Costumes nowadays are fantastic. Perfect for our cold nights. Warm, thick, and cozy. What ever happened to those plastic masks and plastic costumes we had back then!

The evening was lovely. Chaotic but great. No tantrums, no fighting, just laughing and eating. Yes...Ms. Ortiz (who was wearing her pumpkin shirt) even brought out some Halloween crafts for the 3 year olds to do. While the kids ate junk, the adults enjoyed a yummy fondue dinner by my husband. It was a perfect set up because we could take a few bites then get up and check on the kids, and then come back and eat so more. It wasn't a traditional sit-down meal so it worked for us busy families. Yummy. There's nothing like cheese, bread, and wine on a cold fall night. On top of that, we had Halloween cake and cupcakes for the kids and adults after. The kids were so cute in their outfits and they were happy in them. I guess that's the bottom line. Olivia enjoyed all the kids in the house. The great part was the clean up...with fondue it was pretty easy. The toys were all over the place, but at least it was contained in one room. Would we do it again next year? Sure!


I didn't do a pumpkin this year (although we did go to the pumpkin patch). The outside of the house looked plain and ordinary...nothing Halloween about it. Plus...around dinner time we took off and we to Jack Astor's with the neighbour. :0) We were kind of hoping that we would miss the crowd. But as we were driving back from the restaurant, we still saw plenty of "kids" in the street. I say this with quotation marks because they were huge. These were the kids who would come back and egg your house or mess up your lawn because they didn't get their treat. So glad we came back for them. HAHAHHAHA.

We took Olivia out of the car and decided to let her walk to the neighbours. She didn't know what to do but she was happy just walking up and down people's driveways. I stayed back with my neighbour and opened up a bottle of wine and ate some left over cake while Martin took her around. :0)

He came back laughing and said Olivia had a great time! She loved it! Go figure. Apparently she would go up to the house and take the treats from the people. She even managed to use her manners and say "thank you!". I'm sure if it was earlier and it wasn't minus 1 degree out, Papa would made her walk more. hahahha. When they got back we relaxed while the kids watched TV. Fah thought it would be cute to put the "princess" costume on Olivia. I'm thinking Olivia is not the princess type. I don't foresee any frilly dresses and tiaras in the near future. :0) Cute...but

All in all it was an exhausting day, but we managed to get 2 much needed naps in. Olivia didn't mind her ladybug costume. She got some treats for us to eat. I made the big "kids" happy with treats. I know the next coming years we'll have to play it bigger, but for now...this is enough. I'm sure there will be more Halloween activities in the future.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our First Thanksgiving Weekend

For the last 5 years for Thanksgiving I would do this craft in the my class. We would read a story about what Thanksgiving meant, make a turkey craft, maybe some vegetable soup, and then a "I am thankful necklace". The kids would have to make a list of things that they would be thankful for and put it on a paper feather and tie it along a string to make a necklace. It was always amusing to see kids put down "my Nintendo DS, my Xbox, my dolls" along with "mom, dad, sister, brother etc". I always had to steer the kids away from the materialistic things they were thankful for and really look at what was important in their lives and most importantly...why they were important. This weekend was all about family and friends.

We drove up Friday night and had our usual dinner st East Side's in Kingston. Olivia went down for her bedtime in the car which was great for us because there was still 2 hours till we hit Brampton. Although everyone was up waiting for her arrival, she didn't get to see anyone when we got there because we just we straight upstairs to the bedroom to put her down.

Olivia woke up at 7:30 with Papa, because Mama thought there was no room for her in the bed so she slept with Tita Melissa on the futon in the other room. She busily got up and went straight to our room and woke us up. Then after fighting the exhaustion, I took her to see Lola and Lolo in their room. She wasn't quite sure where she was and there was this lady who was coming at her in the dark. hahahhaah. When she went downstairs she quickly remembered Lola's house and went straight to the goldfish in the den. It was amazing that she remembered! After breakfast we got changed and asked the family to watch Olivia while Maman and Papa went on a lunch date. YAY!

Papa had big plans for lunch. He wanted to go downtown...but I swayed him to just stay in the Mississauga area. So we went to SPRINGROLLS and had the best lunch ever. We came home and Olivia and Papa went down for a nap. After the nap, we went to visit Zoey and Xan. Her 2 cousins that love her lots. Martin and Suny were able to catch up and we had a lovely dinner.

The next day, we planned an outing with Bella and Jake. The plans were for the kids to go apple picking. But as it turned out, the apples were all gone at the orchard and we were left with pumpkin picking. Olivia had a blast in the pumpkin patch, while Bella and Jake were totally amused by the farm animals. We tried for some photo ops but the kids were so busy playing with their small pumpkins that we couldn't get them together to sit. hahahhaha. After the pumpkin patch, we went for lunch and then the parents wanted a little treat so we brought them to Chapters to play for a bit so we could have a coffee. hahahahha. It was a beautiful day and I loved spending it with my best friend and her kids. Needless to say, Olivia went down for a great nap in the afternoon.

We had a nice dinner Sunday night with our family with all the usual food - turkey, ham, potatoes, corn, pancit, and rice. It was our tradition and my parents slaved away all day to prepare this wonderful meal. Here I am at 11pm at night, full and sleepy. I wanted to take this moment and reflect on things I am thankful for and why.

My husband - my soulmate - who knows everything about me and still loves me for it. He's my very best friend in the world whom I love so much to put into words. My parents - who are the rock that raised me to who I am now. Every success I've had in my life I owe to their strength, love, and support. My sister - my confidant, my best friend - who has been through all my ups and downs - always supportive, always loving and understanding. My "in-law" family - who are such wonderful people I can't believe how lucky I am to have them in my life. Their kindness, passion, support, and love shows how strong the family is. My daughter - my little miracle - my joy and happiness. To all the family members, friends, and people who have touched our lives - thank you.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm Running For...

Today marked the kick-off run for Breast Cancer Awareness. Thousands of women, men, children walked the 5k to show solidarity and hope that one day there will be cure for breast cancer. Sadly, we are all affected by someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and it's scary. Now, I have a family of my own and a daughter who I hope will never have to face that reality. Praying that a cure will be found sooner than later.

I usually do the walk with my co-workers and friends, but the couple of years people got busy, were out of town, or something just came up. This year was special. I got to walk it with my daughter and mother-in-law. Pretty in pink. It was amazing to see, just in Ottawa a sea of people with flags, balloons, boas, and clappers all running for a cause. Everytime I do this run/walk, I read other people's bibs - for a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend. The one I read today that got me was "I run for those who can't".

Today 3 generations walking for a cause. Yes, eventually Olivia managed to get out of the stroller to walk the last 100 meters with everyone. I think this will be something that as a family we will do every year. Today...I ran for my family and their future.