Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas... and the aftermath

'Twas the night before Christmas...
...stockings were hung on the mantel with care

Kids were dispatched to bed...

Mission Ho Ho Ho complete...

We waited and waited for Girl-chick and Tater to wake up (!) - it was 0830 before stirrings commenced and then the shredding began!

And today, this is what the back of the house looks like.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Season's Greetings!

Hello visitor!

You've come to this blog either because I have sent you a URL (99% of you) or you've somehow stumbled on it via somewhere else (1% of you). This is the Dawson family blog. In the last year, I have tried to capture moments in the days of our children - they are growing up too fast and I will never have this time back. I cannot say I have been entirely successful because I do it as time and energy permits but I figure a mere snippet could still give friends and family from far away a brief glimpse. No names are mentioned specifically in this blog but if you know us, you know whom we are referring to!
The 99% of you will already know that we have had a very busy year. We have just moved into our new house; it's been about a month and everything is mostly put away but things are still chaos! I have no earthly clue where anything non-essential is. Christmas cards are filed under "non-essential" despite what some people may think. I did get Da Man to go to Costco and buy me a huge roll of stamps though. Perhaps next year. We also didn't get a chance to get any nice Christmas pictures of the kiddos to send out (none that I would print in perpetuity). We do have a random selection of pics we would still like to share with you.
This year has been a good year to us.
Health-wise, we had a rocky start to 2009 with Girl-chick and Tater at CHEO with asthma and RSV.

We did manage to get the Tater out in time to attend her own christening!

Girl-chick's asthma is mostly under control with a strict regimen of Singulair, Ventolin and Flovent. She's had a flare-up or two but nothing too dramatic. In August, Tater had an ear infection which led to a nasty yeast diaper rash which led to said rash spreading all down her legs and then movin' on up. Our ped said (and I quote): "If this was a test in school and I had to guess, I would probably guess chicken pox".

Developmentally, Girl-chick has been moving at warp speed! From the initial random scratchings on pieces of paper, she can now trace, write letters and draw recognizable objects. Of course, just to be contrary, yesterday she told me that the (I swear) funny bear-like creature she was drawing was actually a kitty. O-Kay... Of course, this is the child who introduces herself to people as "Serafina the Princess Kitty" (yes, it's an obsession and I do nothing to discourage it). Tater learned to walk (Thank you to my True Blood watching mother's helper - you know who you are!!) around 10 or 11 months. By her birthday she was steadier on her feet than her sister had ever been at that age. She also had more teeth! Today, she runs around to catch up to her idol, wrassles with the best of 'em, and climbs her highchair! She has a decent working vocabulary of 15 or 25 words and is on the verge of a language explosion.

Da Man is doing well. He continues to be an on-loan Government schmoe. I think he enjoys it. I certainly have enjoyed him being around more. I applaud single parents everywhere who choose to go it alone. Me, I would have been the epicenter of a murder-suicide if Da Man had to go away for an extended period of time. The girls are not hard to manage solo for small periods of time but days at a time would stress the psyche. Da Man has decided to take up shooting as a hobby among other healthy changes to his lifestyle he has been making. I am very proud of him because he has quit smoking, given up on soda and started eating more veggies in this year!

I went back to work full-time after my maternity leave was over. I had been busy prior to that, exploring alternative forms of income-generation. Nothing concrete but now I know that I have an extra skillset that I can rely upon should the unexpected happen. Sewing gives me great pleasure especially when I can see on the faces of the recipients the appreciation for what I have made. I have been granted permission to carve out a sewing studio for myself in the new house and I am quite excited. Initial forays into selling dresses, skirts, etc have been promising. I do have an Etsy shop set up but there is nothing in it yet. For now, I am still relying on word-of-mouth and I just enjoy making gifts. I am also hoarding beautiful fabric for that "special project"...

That is as brief of an update as I can provide to you all. For all our friends and family from far away and even nearby, we wish you all the very best for the upcoming new year. We hope that 2009 has been good to you all and we hope that 2010 is a significant improvement!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Almost settled in...

Since the move two weeks ago we have mostly settled in. There's still lots of things in boxes and vacuum bags but we have the essentials (except for Da Man's hat... that's gone walkies). The kids' bedrooms are mostly squared away - three to five Rubbermaid tubs teetering by the side of the bed as a night stand. Tater got another new dresser yesterday - we stopped by IKEA on the way home from a cancelled swim class to pick up another pine dresser. It's cheap, solid wood and unfinished - I LIKE it! For now, things are getting bunged in. Once the basement is done and the garage can be tidied and the driveway paved and sod laid down, I'll take the dressers out and paint them and decorate. Perhaps by then we will have a better idea of what the Tater would like in terms of decoration because right now it is a melange of bugs and flowers and random miscellany. Girl-chick remains firm on a princess room and so far we have been able to appease her somewhat with a small purple princess mirror (dollar store, received as a prize at a birthday party two years ago)and a princess bed (cheap, lurid pink IKEA sheers draped over the head and foot of her bed and meeting in a giant rosette on the ceiling in the middle. Once the Christmas break comes around, I have a small mural with kittens and butterflies planned. As much as she is adamant on the whole princess thing, I remain steadfast on limiting the influx of the typical Disney icons. Strangely enough, while she has run the gamut of princesses (she has a "Sleeping Beauty" haircut and likes it tied up in "Jasmine" style, she really loves Ariel), Girl-chick more often than not is a CAT. She meows and mewls with the best of 'em. She introduces herself as Serafina, the princess cat. Perhaps the kitten mural can have a small crown thrown in.
I am quite excited about the upcoming Christmas break. Mum-in-law flies in on Wednesday which means we will have another set of willing adult hands to entertain the children and other necessary chores 'round the house. Tater is still in a needy phase, leading me to think that perhaps selling all those wonderful slings was a tad bit premature. I am either going to whip another one up tonight or learn to do things with only one hand. Christmas gifts are most probably all done with the exception of minor gifts. The plan is to wrap tonight and survey all that I have and fill in gaps as needed.
Poor little Tater is teething. She's a bucket of drool - if the front of her shirt is soaking, sopping wet then her sleeves are from playing in the toilet!. Yup, my little Tater has discovered the joys of swishing her hands in water which isn't so bad in and of itself. It's just that the only bodies of water that happen to be most convenient are the ones found in the toilets! Blick. Yuck. Bleh. To make things worse, her hands and fingers are the worst parts of her body in terms of her eczema. Her poor little fingers are always red and swollen and shiny-plasticky. I'm sure dipping them in bowls of standing water (and who knows what else (cos big sis does not always remember to flush)) is not helping. I've taken to rubbing in Penaten into her hands at bedtime. Da Man started doing it to his hands because of what the tin said and he says it has been working so at night, on top of greasing her up, we also do her fingers in Penaten. Never hurts to try.