Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So much to be thankful for

Saturday we had our Thanksgiving family dinner, at my parent's place. A friend of Neil's came too, and the 6 of us had a great time eating and visiting and being thankful. Mom outdid herself yet again, and the food was wonderful. But the highlight, for me, was Maddy. She was funny and happy and sweet and a little running machine. She was so perfectly Maddy!

It's hard for me, sometimes, to believe that Maddy is my daughter. And the pessimist in me keeps waiting for something to go wrong... She's healthy and happy and growing well (so very very well). As an aside, I popped her on my parent's scale. 31 pounds. At 20 months. Within a few months (just after she turns 2?) we'll have to switch her carseat, it's only good until 40 pounds. I truly believed it would last until she was at LEAST 3. More like 4. Kiddo is a grower. But I keep wondering how I could be so blessed to be Maddy's mom. I feel like the luckiest woman alive to get to have the honour of raising her.

Sunday Neil, my mom, Maddy and I went to Prairie Gardens, near Bon Accord, for an outing. The place is about 1 hour away, so we wanted to be out and on the road by 2 (since the place closes at 5). Maddy went down at 1145am for her nap, we expected her up at 1pm. 130 LATEST. And at 140pm we were all waiting for her to rouse. In the end, we went in and woke her. There is a reason we don't wake Maddy from a nap. She is NOT A HAPPY GIRL when woken up. She whined much of the way there (although we were on the road at 3pm!). She was fussy there. And the pumpkin cannon? That sound made her VERY unhappy. But the corn gun (which shoots ears of corn at a board). Well, that wooshing noise was HORRIBLE to her little ears and many tears ensued. We thought we'd distract her by taking her on the "train" (a tractor with sides like a train that pulled carts that kind of looked like train cars) through the fields. And she straddled my lap the entire way, head buried in my chest, crying and whimpering much of the ride. Crying into the cheap blue mardi gras beads we were wearing as a sign of having paid admission, which streaked her teary and snotty face a light blue... She did finally calm and was looking around, saying hi to the trees, when we stopped at the pumpkin cannon. And WHUMP of the cannon meant tears again. We got her in the stores and looking at "PUMKEEN!" and she calmed enough to smile again. Baba bought Maddy her very own pumpkin. A little green and orange gourd, which Maddy insisted on biting chunks out of... but she was very proud of carrying it around. And the rest of the afternoon was wonderful! Even the cannon and gun were tolerated after a little snack of cookies and chips and fudge.

These kinds of afternoons are what I want Maddy to remember about her childhood. There will be school and tests and chores and punishments. But when she thinks back to her early years, I want her to think of outings and fun and spending time as a family more than the not so fun stuff. My mom speaks of her regrets of my childhood, what she didn't do these things as much with me. She was concerned about being perfect (perfect house, perfect cooking and canning and baking, and caring for her parents and in-laws in the perfect way) that she didn't spend as much time just playing with me. And I am perfectly comfortable being a bit of a slob, with a weed filled garden, and bought cookies and only one kind of home-made jam...

However a new interest, which is Pintrest, has given me so many wonderful crafts and decor ideas for Maddy! I think this year she's a little young (and I am a little late) but next year we may just have a Halloween party because, seriously, some of the ideas are just SO awesome I can't help but want to do them all! But Christmas is the next focus - this is the year that we start to really establish traditions for our little family. I think there will be singing, since Maddy loves music. And good food, because there is ALWAYS food with us. But... advent calendars? Decor ideas? Do we have Maddy help put up the tree? Do we do it one night and surprise her?

Does anyone have any favorite Christmas traditions that they want to tell about? Any ideas on what we can do to make Christmas a time of magic and love and family for Maddy (not just about gifts)? Share-zees anyone?

(pics to come soon!)


  1. Hey hey hey!!

    Our favourite Christmas tradition is to celebrate Feliz Navidad style. So it's all Mexico, all the way. It's a tradition Hubby and I started when we spent our first Christmas as a married couple in Mexico, and we've stuck with it. Complete with the food for the day: lazy "Mexican" omlettes for brekkie and fish tacos for dinner. This year, I'm going to find a jazzy Spanish Feliz Navidad CD and make it even better! It's fun to put our own stamp on it. :o)

    By the way... we're in the market for a car seat (yes, E is still in her infant car seat. Yessssssssssss... I know!). If you've got a Britax, we might be interested in purchasing it off of you. Let me know!!

  2. We have a non-kiddo specific tradition you might be able to adapt; we pick up trinkets or key chains or other small things whenever we are on a trip and make them into ornaments... When Xmas comes around, it's nice to revisit our memories as we trim the tree. Maybe "making" some ornaments each year (even if it's just her drawing scribbles on a paper cutout snowflake or something would be a nice thing you could pull out each year & add as she grows?

    Oh, and a new tradition we started last year which is definitely a winner is a posh breakfast of great bagels, cream cheese & smoked salmon, fancy cheese plate & fruit on Xmas morning after opening presents. It's a highly civilized way to enjoy the wrapping paper strewn living room prior to starting work on the turkey :)