Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our first Christmas

The week before Christmas was a busy one. Maddie and I spent a lot of time finishing up the shopping and cleaning up the house. On Saturday we headed to Ikea as a family to buy the bookcases for the front room - they ended up being a bit larger than we expected, so instead of piling the boxes into our car, we opted for the $69 delivery service - they arrive this Saturday - woo hoo!

After Ikea, we headed down to Rob & Vone's to wish them a very merry and drop off some xmas baking ... after a few hours visiting w/ the Emmy's, we headed back home with just enough time to get dressed, get Maddie changed and head over to Greg & Liz's for an early holiday dinner. Liz had her family visiting, an Greg's mom was there - so it was a full house. Maddie was passed around to many welcome sets of arms (here she is with Liz's dad - he was nice enough to hold her while I ate dinner!) and continued her streak of acting like a superstar - I'm hoping this streak never ends, it's always nice to have a non-crying baby when out visiting!

Here's a pic of Maddie with Mommy - taken before I changed her into her sleeper - how cute is that dress and the tights with the red shoes painted on?

Sunday was a very busy day as I went out to do some last minute shopping while Seth watched Maddie. Then after a quick dinner we spent the evening cleaning the house up to be ready for his parents who were arriving the next day to spend Christmas with us.

Poor Seth had to work a half day on Monday (Christmas Eve) and didn't get home until around 4 that afternoon. His parents arrived around noon - which was just before I was about to head out with Maddie to the butcher to pick up the roast (yes, we were blasphemous and had a roast beef for Christmas dinner, not turkey - shocker!). So Shorty and I headed out to the butcher and Grandma Vallier got some alone time with Maddie. Once we got back, I spent the rest of the afternoon getting the appetizers ready for the small get together we were hosting that evening - Greg and Liz were coming over with Greg's brother and sister-in-law, and his mom. Grandma V had brought a tonne of frozen appetizers as well, so it was a good spread. Everyone arrived around 7:30pm and we all enjoyed some "Christmas Cheer" and the munchies and chit-chatted until they left around 11pm or so.

Christmas morning came around 8:30 - Maddie's regular wake-up time and we got her up, changed and fed her as quickly as possible to try and give her the presents that Santa brought in her stocking before she fell asleep again (she likes to sleep in the mornings - A LOT!). Here's a pic of Maddie with her stocking - ignore the bedhead on the two of us! We managed to keep her interested in everything that Santa brought before she drifted off to sleep, which allowed us to open our stockings and have some morning coffee before she was back up. We unloaded the tree and then Seth went to make breakfast while I went to have a bath. After a late breakfast (brunch?) we all sat down to watch a movie and relax a bit. I put the roast beef in around 3-ish and got the potatoes and other sides ready to go.

After only a couple of hours, my first 'classic' roast was done to perfection - medium rare, just like a prime rib roast should be! Along with, we had whipped potatoes (thanks Debbie!), roasted asparagus spears with lemon, steamed green + yellow beans then sautéed with olive oil and slivered almonds, and last but not least, yorkshire puddings. I think for my first official Christmas Dinner, I did a pretty good job. Even got a Christmas pudding for dessert, in keeping with the apparent British theme to dinner - too bad that was kind of gross. Oh well, next year I will actually make one - didn't realize you needed to start it a month in advance.

Boxing Day was spent as many Boxing Days in Canada are I think - watching movies and the Juniors hockey. Grandma and Grandpa V left around 7pm and we gave Maddie a bath and then went to bed shortly thereafter - Seth had to work the next day, and to be honest we were all pretty tired.

So that's our first Christmas in a nutshell - it was enjoyable to finally be able to host a Christmas, and of course unforgettable with Maddie - even if she won't remember it, we always will!


Edited to add: Here's Maddie's pic of her with Santa - meant to scan this in a while ago - pretty cute for a 10 week old - she looks like she likes him - I'm sure she won't be so cheerful next year!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A weekend of firsts

After such a busy week, Maddie and I had a lazy day on Friday - not accomplishing much of anything. Although I did get to go out with an old colleague of mine for a few drinks while Seth took care of her in the evening. I was only gone for 3 hours, and it felt like days - I know I'm going to have to get better about leaving her with other people, but for some reason I feel so guilty every time I leave the house without her. Of course, I came home and both Daddy and Maddie were asleep in the bedroom - clearly they really don't need me as much as I think they do - haha! But it was good that she wasn't too hard on him that evening - he did her bathtime on his own and gave her a bottle before getting her down to sleep - doesn't sound like much, but a big improvement from just a week ago, when she would have cried almost the entire time.

Saturday morning Maddie and I were up early to go out shopping with Liz - we hit the Pickering Town Centre and some other shops - got a tonne of Xmas shopping done and may have even picked up a few things for myself (oops). Came home and played with Maddie upstairs while Seth was napping - we were doing tummy time and she rolled over for the very first time on her own (from tummy to back). She hasn't done it since - but I'm sure she will again - she's holding her head up so high now on her tummy, that's all she needed to get the momentum of getting over - it's a small thing, but I'm so proud of our growing little girl!

So, after Seth got up from his nap, we each got ready for the Christmas Party we were attending. It was in the city, and the weather forecast was calling for a big winter storm, but as it wasn't snowing when it was time to leave, we decided to chance it and head into the city. The roads started to get sloppy as we got into Toronto, but the snow really hadn't started falling all that much - all in all, we got lucky and were able to enjoy a few hours at the party before heading home. It was nice to see some friends we hadn't seen in a long while and I enjoyed a few glasses of vino (Seth insisted on driving - I'm not that selfish!) ... Once again Maddie was a superstar and totally behaved and acted chill all night. Here she is hanging out with Daddy at the party - her shirt says "Angel with an attitude" - and you gotta love the mini-Adidas shoes! PS - yes, that's Mommy's wine glass in the bottom left corner of the pic!

Since we got home kinda late last night, we had a bit of a family lie-in this morning - Maddie sharing the bed with us - I think we slept in until like 11am. She woke up in a super good mood (as she always is with Daddy on Sunday mornings) - giving out smiles and she even gave Seth a few giggles - another first for her. Two in one weekend! She hasn't really laughed for me yet, but that's okay that she shared that one with her Daddy. :)

And when we finally did get out of bed and look outside, we realized it was a total winter wonderland! The snow that started last night must have continued to fall - and it's still snowing fairly hard now - I think we have about 1-2 feet of snow out there. I just took a long leisurly bath, and came down downstairs to find Daddy and Maddie napping on the couch - here she is all curled up on him - love how she sticks out her bum when she sleeps!

Going to wait until she wakes up and then taking her outside in her snowsuit to get a pic of her with her first "snowfall".

Edited - we did get her all bundled up to take her outside for 1 minute to get some pics - it was blowing snow everywhere and Seth was worried that it was too cold for her so shooed us back inside while he shoveled the driveway - but here's the couple of pics that he took of me and my little bundled up boo before he made me take her back inside...


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Xmas baking and shopping

The rest of last week went by in a bit of a blur. Wednesday we made a trip to Markville Mall to exchange Maddie's xmas dress at the Children's Place - they didn't have her size in the plaid one so we exchanged for an adorable little red dress w/ a white bow - she looks quite cute in it. We popped into Baby Gap and picked up white leotards with little red shoes painted on them - instead of wearing actual shoes. Doesn't sound that good - but honestly, I can't believe these weren't invented before.

Thursday we were back in the city - I had a doctor's appointment and then we met Rob for lunch. It was Maddie's first real restaurant meal - she was so well-behaved (as usual - honestly, she's so easy to take anywhere, I'm spoiled) - and we got all sorts of compliments from the older women at the tables next to us - how beautiful she was (of course!) and how she's so sweet (again, natch). Since we were at the Eaton Centre, we did a bit more xmas shopping there before we left - didn't get much except some cute stocking hangers from Pottery Barn - to go on our fireplace mantel.

Friday night our friends Greg and Liz came over for some socializing and drinks - didn't stay that late, but long enough to make some plans to head to the States in January to take advantage of the strong Cdn dollar and do some after xmas sale shopping at the outlets. Should be fun...

Saturday morning we were up super early to head into the city to meet my friend Tracy at the Umbra factory sale. The lineup was incredibly long - even at 9am - but luckily she had gotten there earlier and was saving us a place in line. She also gave us the CD of photos she had taken the weekend before - which were absolutely amazing. She was also sweet enough to bring Maddie a gift - the "Night Before Christmas" book - and told us how a friend of hers had a family tradition of reading that every Christmas Eve. It will be interesting to see what kind of traditions we start (and keep) now that Maddie's here...

So after buying a tonne of frames and photo albums (only $10 each!!!) at the sale, Seth and I drove Tracy home and headed back to Brooklin as my mom was scheduled to be there by 1pm. Once she arrived that afternoon we visited with her and then we all took a nap before getting ready to go out for dinner for Mom's birthday. We ended up going down to Jack Astor's - which was good food, but incredibly loud for us (god that statement makes me feel so old!). Here's a pic of Maddie in her cute H&M dress she wore for Gram's birthday dinner.

This week, Mom and I have done the Christmas baking - although even with two of us, it was still difficult to be productive with Maddie around. But we managed to make 4 types of cookies, 2 types of fudge, chocolates, turtles and 2 types of balls over the past four days - so I guess we did alright.

Today we went to the Pickering Town Centre to do some Christmas shopping and to get Maddie's picture taken with Santa. As always, she was a super-star while we were out and the pic w/ Santa is adorable.

This weekend we have a Christmas party to attend on Saturday night and hopefully will finish up our shopping on Sunday. That's the plan anyway...


Monday, December 3, 2007

Model behaviour

The end of last week was busy for us. On Thursday Auntie Liz came over to visit with us girls while Seth went out with Greg to watch the football game. We went to the nearby Thai place to pick up dinner, chatted for a bit while Maddie gave Auntie Liz all sorts of cuddles - to the point of falling asleep - until bathtime that is.

We spent Friday evening cleaning up and preparing for the weekend - my friend Tracy was coming over Saturday morning to take some pics of Maddie. The "photoshoot" went really well - no big surprise what everyone's Christmas gift is going to be this year! Here's a sample of some of the shots she took - they look so good, I'm really happy with the results. We're getting the full CD of all the shots next weekend, so I'll try to get them uploaded to Flickr soon.

Saturday night we were invited to Rob & Vone's for dinner - along with 2 other couples - it was a blast and was my first 'official' night out with drinks involved. I ended up having 5 beers (don't worry, Maddie had some bottles, I wasn't feeding her alc-milk) and definitely was paying for it the next morning. After 10 months of tee-tolling, that many drinks can really hit you hard - especially when you have 7 week old waking up every 2 hours in her cradle beside your bed.

But regardless of the hangover - it was a blast to be out and 'social' again. And Maddie was so well-behaved (again! always such a star when we go anywhere, I love it!) - she got all sorts of compliments.

Sunday morning came early though, with Grandma and Grandpa Vallier arriving at 10am for their visit. They were nice enough to bring the Christmas tree and decorations that my mom gave to us (she's downgrading her tree this year, so we get the big tree - saves us buying it - woo hoo!) ... so I spent the afternoon decorating the tree while Seth and his dad shovelled the driveway (lots of snow overnight) and put up the outside lights (and Grandma held Maddie - she liked her job!). I would say that we are officially ready for Christmas now - well, decorated for it already anyways. I can't believe that I haven't got any of my shopping done yet - it's not like me to leave it so late - that is my mission for this week, to get some of it done finally.

Today was Maddie's 8 week doctor's appointment, which included her first immunization shots. She weighed in at 10 lbs 1/2 oz (which seems down from last week's weight - but that was at a different doc's office on a manual scale - so I'm going to chalk that weight up to an anomaly - different scales probably are a bit different) - she also grew some more in length - she's now 58 centimeters long (almost 23 inches). That wasn't a shocker as she's grown out of so many sleepers already.

She took her shots like a champ - a little bit of crying, but calmed down pretty quickly as soon as they were over. We left the doctor's office to do a bit of shopping and she was great in Ikea, but when I got to the mall she started to get a little whiny. I thought maybe she was hungry, but she didn't want food - she just cried and cried and cried. I guess it was a delayed reaction to the shots - the doctor warned me she might be a bit grumpy for the rest of the day - she didn't say that she would be inconsolable for almost an hour. I finally got her chilled out a bit and hunted down Shoppers Drug Mart to get some baby Motrin - that seemed to do the trick, she's still a bit whiny, but definitely not in pain anymore. Poor thing.

So the plan for the rest of the week is to get some Christmas shopping done, get her picture with Santa (after finding a Christmas dress - Grandma Vallier got her one, but it's too big and so we just have to hunt down the right size to make an exchange before we go see Santa). This weekend Grandma Thompson is coming to visit for a few days so we can get our Christmas baking done - that's pretty much the plan for the coming weekend and next week...

I'll leave you with a pic of Maddie with Grandma Vallier in front of our Christmas tree...