The miracle of Christmas may just be that we made it through December. Between our big cardiology visit, Lily’s birthday, a giant ice storm that made our power go away, Christmas and New Years, I’m honestly just a little happy that we are into January and a fresh start at a fresh year.
Don’t take that last paragraph as complaining, because the truth is, I love December. Everything about December and Christmas just make me happy and light hearted. Each night, as I walked the dog around our neighbourhood, with more lights going up every single night and The Nutcracker Suite playing in my ear, I ended up coming home feeling happier and more joyous then when I had left. I know that, “Christmas spirit”, sounds incredibly cliche, but I really do believe that it’s cliche for a reason – because you feel it, it’s true and all of the movies and television specials and commercials are trying to package it when you really can’t, it really does just dig a little hole inside of you. At least it does for me.
Lily’s birthday was a great success. As I had mentioned in a previous post, we are always overwhelmed with how generous our people are to Lily on her birthday and while we love all of the gifts she normally gets, we asked people this year to consider bringing a toy to donate instead. In the end, I think we ended up with more gifts than if people had just been bringing something for Lily, and that’s why we are just so lucky with the people we know – they just go above and beyond every single time. Sadly, Lily’s party this year seemed to coincide with the arrival of the great sickness of 2013 and our party numbers dwindled down to just a small handful by the day of. And, as it always goes, this was the year that we had planned something thinking that the kids we know would all be old enough to really enjoy it. We hired a company, Pawsitively Pets, to come in and run an animal birthday party show and with them they brought a small zoo’s worth of creatures to play with: we had a bunny, a ferret, a hedgehog, a corn snake, a tortoise, and Jess’s favourite – a sugar glider. They actually bring about 10 animals and while you can request which ones you would like, what actually shows up that day is a surprise, which was nice. It actually worked out very well in the end, as the circle slowly got bigger as the adults traded places with the kids and we all got to enjoy some hands-on play time.
It turns out that neither Jess or myself are great at being prepared for a natural disaster. The night before the ice storm, we took a couple of small precautions: we plugged Lily’s pump in early in case the power went out, we made sure our phones were charged, I found the flashlight (not the batteries – just the flashlight!), but we didn’t look at how much food we had in the house that didn’t require an oven or microwave, if we had any cash on us incase we couldn’t use an ATM, if the flashlight had batteries. So, when we woke up the next morning and realized that we may be in for more than just a few hours, we started to get a little worried. Luckily, our lovely friends, the Randall’s, took pity on us and opened their doors, for the second year in a row (last year our furnace died on boxing day!), and welcomed us into their home! We had a great night with them, watching movies and just relaxing, before decided to start our Christmas holiday’s a couple of days early. Jess’ dad lives outside of Toronto and still had power. Since we had planning on going there anyways on Christmas eve, I called my boss and moved some vacation days around and we just made our way there instead. It meant a little more running around, getting our last minute shopping done somewhere else, but it also meant having a baby-sitter for Lily while we did that running around so it worked out wonderfully. It was also just nice to spend a couple of extra days up there, enjoying the quiet and getting spoiled by Jess’ dad who took extra good care of us. I was more than a little sad to pack up on Boxing Day to head for home – even if we did have power to greet us!
And now we’re here, into the 2014, a year that will hopefully bring some changes to our family….at the very least, a finished basement to be ready for any family additions that would like to come our way. While both Jess and I are ready to give ourselves over to Children’s Aid and ask them to build our family, this time of just the 3 of us is also incredibly wonderful and we try not to loose sight of that. Lily has truly blossomed in the last few months – she’s interacting with us, and with her toys, in ways that we haven’t seen before and her baby noises are quickly becoming a thing of the past as she sits and has very in-depth conversations with her new Hug Me Elmo (thanks Grandpa!). For the first time, when you put her next to her cousins, she looks like a little girl and not the youngest baby of the bunch. We can only hope that 2014 just keeps rocking out the milestones the way that 2013 did!