Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas/New Year in the Laurentians

Every year we make the trek to the Laurentians, specifically Ste. Sauveur or Ste Adele.  It's always an exciting time for us, and now that we have the kids it is even more fun because the cousins get to play with each other. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the cousins play with each other. They rarely get a chance during the year, as Nico and Melo live in Moncton, and Audrey and Matty leave in Ste Adele. But always manage the 3 hour drive and the New Brunswick clan make the 14 hour to grandmaman and grandpapa's house, just so we could all be together.  This was a big Christmas of "firsts".

 Obviously, it was Clara's first Christmas in Quebec. We managed the road trip really well. She slept for all of it!  Woohoo!  Papa started to make big plans about the next road trip, but I told him that we just got lucky. hahahhaa.  We packed up and left early Saturday morning, leaving Lola, Lolo, and Tita Melissa still in Ottawa.  We left right after breakfast with our fully packed car. First stop was Starbucks for the journey.  The kids were fully equipped with books, toys, and the new DVD player they got for Christmas. We turned it on, and "The Sound of Music" played in the background while Clara slept. It's hard to believe the this time last year, we were excited about William's first Christmas with the family. And here we are, with Clara #3. Just an unbelievable blessing.

We got to the Laurentians by noon and had to drop off our LOAD first at grandmaman's house. Then we headed to Marc's place for lunch.  It was a yummy "fire pit" bbq with hamburgers. It was delicious. 
Clara got to meet her other cousins for the first time. And...William got to open a birthday gift (it just never ends hahaha).

It was time to catch up and relax from our road trip.  After lunch, the kids got to play a bit then it was time to head back to grandmaman's house for a quick nap. 

That night was our "Savard Christmas". This meant traditional Savard holiday meal = turkey, ragout, toutiere, mashed potatoes. YUM!  And..the ever growing "opening of presents".  It was going to be a long night.  The nap was much needed...for everyone. 

We were still napping as the family starting to arrive.  We even had to wake up poor Olivia from her slumber.  We quickly got changed and went downstairs and the festivities began.  First we started with champagne to kick off the night, and then the ancy kids wanted to go down and start opening up the gifts. 

William I think was the most excited. This year he finally gets the opening of gifts. Unfortunately, every present there was supposedly belongs to him.  The word "Open? Mine?" started. Sigh. It was a bit hard for him to contain himself. ahhahahha. Olivia was just excited to see Melo open her gift from us.  She kept going into the bag to find her gift.  As usual, the kids got spoiled rotten from toys to gifts. Martin and I looked at each other and sighed because it would be another loaded up trip back home.  

After opening the gifts, we went upstairs to have a wonderful Christmas meal.  I know the kids didn't eat much as they were either too excited about playing with their gifts OR ate too much appetizers.  The quickly left the table and went to the basement to start playing. This allowed all the adults to enjoy their meal in some peace.  The night proved to be very relaxing and everyone was worn out from all the excitement. The kids were easy to put down (in their new pjs).  Tomorrow would be another busy day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

All is Calm, All is Bright

Well... it's December 25th at 9:30pm, and the kiddies are all down.  It's been a whirlwind of a week and it's hard to believe that Christmas is over.  I wasn't sure if it would be good holiday considering that we were ALL sick about week ago, with bad colds and the flu bug.  Thankfully, with much rest and TLC we got better and were able to enjoy the Christmas holiday.

We started the Christmas celebrations on Friday (21st) with a big snow day. This was Christmas concert day and we were afraid that with the snowstorm (30cm) things would be cancelled.  With no email or phone call from the school, we hauled the kids out to the school and dropped them off. Clara stayed home with Lola. We didn't want to haul her out in the storm. We parked ourselves at the Starbucks and waited for the concert to start. It was a great morning, just hanging out and decompressing before the chaos of Christmas hit.

Surprisingly, the concert was almost in full attendance. It was funny knowing that this time last year, William was home just over a week when we went to see Olivia in her Christmas concert. The concert last year did not go really well. ahhahah. Poor Olivia had just gotten back from Korea and was overwhelmed with the changes. This year, she was a rock star!  Confidently, she sang with her CASA class, singing her Christmas songs in french. William did a great job too. He was more starstruck though.  But thankfully, no tantrums on stage and had the biggest smile ever.

After the concert we took the kids to the mall to see Santa.  We were counting on the mall being very quiet.  It was somewhat quiet, well at least the line to see Santa was.  Olivia bravely went to see Santa and told him that she wanted a Barbie for Christmas. William on the other hand, had the screaming tantrum like every other kid. ahhahahah. Oh well, there is always next year.  Then we had lunch and went to Build a Bear to get Clara a special Christmas gift. Like Olivia and William, we created a special bear as a keepsake for her first Christmas. We built the bear with love and recorded our voices.  Now all 3 kids have a special bear that they got for their first Christmas.

The next day, Tita Melissa and Lolo arrived bringing more gifts and Christmas cheer.  The kids were starting to get excited.  We did some last minute shopping since we had some help at home and that made a huge difference.  The 24th was going to be busy day.

Christmas Eve proved to be super exciting. Not only was it Clara's first Christmas, but it both Olivia and William was starting to really understand the big day. Well...more Olivia than William. We brought the kids out early for last minute grocery and errands and then put them down for a good afternoon nap.  We decided to go to 4:00 mass with the kids. As we arrived, it was standing room only and we forced to stand in the back of the hall. It turned out great because the kids had room to love around instead of being confined to pew with no space.  I loaded up Olivia's backpack with snacks and crafts, and that lasted the hour mass.  As soon as the priest said his Christmas blessing, we came back home and got ready for dinner.

After dinner, the kids were ready to tear into the presents. ahhahah. By the end, the family room looked like there was a toy store explosion, with toys and wrapping paper everyone. They didn't know which toy to play with first.  It was very overwhelming for the kids AND adults. :0P  We decided not to open up all the gifts and wait till tomorrrow for the others, especially Santa's gift.  We eventually got the kids down by 9pm.  When the kids were down, Papa (aka Santa's elf) got busy assembling Christmas gifts in the basement, and I got William's birthday gifts ready. We decided to save William's gifts from this birthday party for the actual birthday date. So, I hauled up the gifts to his room while he was sleeping so he could open them up first thing in the morning. I thought it was a good idea, except that I think he woke up aroudn 3am and saw the presents and couldn't go back to sleep. Sigh.  Sure enough, you could hear Sir William singing away at 7am. Sigh. We knew it was going to be an interesting day.

Chirstmas day also William's 2nd birthday. We woke up and went to greet William in his room. He was up and ready to go. We started opening up presents in his room and he was in heaven. Finally some boy toys he could play with. Then we went downstairs for breakfast and to see what Santa brought. Oliva was estactic to get the Barbie she had asked for, and William...welll, the hockey net seemed like a good gift. Maybe next year, Santa will know what he really wants. :0)

We let the kids open up the last remaining gifts and stocking stuffers. They were in heaven. Sugar and new toys were a tricky combination. hahahaha. But it was a lazy morning, and the kids had time to play with their new toys while the adults relaxed.  Later that afternoon, grandmaman and grandpapa came over bringing more gifts!  It just never ends!

We had a lovely lunch and blew out William's brithday cake (which sadly was the red velvet Christmas log we had the night before). The good thing was, William loved the cake AND he had a special Elmo candle on it. The day finally came to an end with all 3 kiddies exhausted.  It was a wonderful Christmas.

Every year, I feel blessed to have my family and friends around me.  Christmas time has always been special to me and will always be my favourite holiday. But it means so much to me now than ever. With 3 beautiful children to celebrate with, I count my blessings that I am fortunate to have them in my life. One year ago, we had 2 children, and with God's miracle baby Clara came. Yes, with 3 small children, it was pretty chaotic and super tiring. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Christmas in the Savard house will always be the most wonderful time of the year.

William's 2nd Birthday

I thought I would do a separate entry for our big boy. It really isn't fair to share the same day as the biggest commercial holiday of the year, but we tried to make it extra special for him.  "Tried" is the key word.

William woke up to a room full of birthday presents.  Also I created a special "advent" like wall hanger that had 9 pockets that were filled with little gifts for him on his special day. We got the feeling that he saw these gifts in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep.  We could hear him singing at 3am. Sigh. Hmm...maybe it was Santa. :0P

When he woke up, we all went into his room to wish him first a "happy birthday". Then let him loose to open up his many birthday gifts.  It was pretty exciting for him because it was his day. All these gifts belonged to him and not his sister. ahhahaha.  He pretty tore up the wrapping paper and asked to open every toy he got.  We let him open up some small toys and played in his room for bit, then went downstairs for breakfast (ugh..and more gifts).

Dear William didn't last long in the morning. The excitement of Christmas and his birthday was too much for him so he took a morning nap to rest up.  He woke up just in time to see grandmaman and grandpapa. They came down for his birthday and a late Christmas lunch.  It was a lovely afternoon with just the family.  It's hard to believe this monkey is already 2. Even more unbelievable is knowing he just came home little over a year ago. He's changed so much and has touched our lives forever.