Thursday, November 20, 2008

Santa's on his way...

As I was strolling through the Co-op this morning I was overcome by a feeling of festiveness. Grocery stores in November tend to do that to me. I resisted the urge to toss a bucket of red and green jelly beans in my basket, instead I swung by the hardware store and stocked up on multi-colour outdoor replacement lights. I'm very excited! This will be our 4th Christmas in this house and this year, we're not going to have any burnt out lights on the house! Our excuse for our shoddy, half-lit Christmas lights display has always been that we don't have a ladder to change the lights that were on the house when we moved in. This year we have a ladder, so it is my goal to look a little less Charlie Brown this year.

We've taken the armchair approach to Christmas shopping this year, and I have to say, so far I am truly enjoying the experience. We shopped http://www.toysrus.ca/ and are currently shopping now at http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/ . Can't beat the line-ups, and shipping and handling is cheaper than the gas it would cost to get to the mall. Yup, this might be the most organized shopping season yet for me. I even called the Toys 'R Us in Kamloops to see if they had two items that aren't available online and my sister-in-law picked them up for us and is sending them to PG with her sister. We're pretty much down to gifts for our siblings and stocking stuffers.

So, with a little help from my sister-in-law, Santa will be delivering this to my boys this year! Isn't it cool???

And our little girl will be getting one of these...



We've had fun googling puppets and have found a few that might just be great to have. Chapters has a neat selection of Sesame Street puppets. I think Gingerbread Toys has some animal ones. The theatre comes with 2, so we'll wait and see what's included before Santa makes any more decisions. There's also a neat website http://www.thepuppetstore.com/ that has a huge selection of hand puppets (and marionettes, but not for my youngsters, thank you) that are pretty clever. They have everything from dragons to Bible characters. Can you picture a Mary Magdalene puppet show? Anyway, we're sticking with the non-denominational puppets for this year ;) and I'm looking forward to many years of impromptu puppet shows in our living room. I know Alex, and soon enough, his trusty sidekick, Connor, won't disappoint!

Now, who's going to ship Christmas baking to our door?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bullying...

My 4 year old is being bullied. I feel like crying. He has a "friend" (when you're 4 the mailman is your friend, you pretty much don't discriminate) who throws his weight around. I don't let Alex play with this friend unless I can supervise him. I encourage them to play in our yard. Alex hasn't played with this friend in a few months and the other day he heard him out in the yard and begged to be able to go play. I gave in. I want to get along with the people we live next door to, and I get tired of saying "no" all the time, so I said he could go out and play as long as I could see him. I threw my son to the wolves.

Deep down, I knew something would happen. It always does. How many second chances does one kid need? I left the door open and I checked on Alex every 5 minutes. I could hear them out in the yard playing together. Then, suddenly, Alex was at the front door, in tears, covered in mud from head to toes. It took two baths to get all the dirt out of his hair. He'd been pushed in the mud and despite his saying no, had dirt and worms put in his hair by his "friend" while his other "friend" - the little sister who I do approve of Alex playing with, kicked him in the ribs.

It's a very powerless feeling to know that you set someone up for abuse. I remember feeling the same way when someone jumped my brother years ago, while I was left in charge when my parents were out of town. The same emotions, the heartbreak, the guilt and the second guessing. If only I'd been there, I could have prevented this.

If I had been outside with Alex, instead of inside with the other two, perhaps he would have been safe. Perhaps not. Right under my nose this "friend" destroys our property, throws rocks at my kids, scares the crap out of Connor, and hurts Alex. He's very good at what he does and is very quick. I've seen him abusing his little sister and his dog. Never when his parents are watching, of course.

I'm an idiot. I want my children to be able to play kick the can in the backyard with all the neighbourhood kids, the way we used to do. I want them to be able to go next door, knock, and say "Can my friend come out and play?" I'd like to turn off the tv all summer while my children get dirty and suntanned the way children are supposed to. Idealic? Maybe. Maybe there is nothing to do except sever all ties complete and become the unfriendly neighbours. I'm at a loss.

I told the parents today what happened and why my children are not allowed to play with their's. Nothing will come of it, but at least I went to bat for my son. Apparently Alex is the only victim of this particular bully. I find that hard to swallow. Does my son have a "kick me" sign on his back? Does Alex invite this kind of behaviour? I don't think so! We all want to think the best of our children and, to that extent, are probably in denial about one or more of their personality quirks. But I'm not worried about the kind of man Alex is growing in to... I am worried about the other boy.

Sometimes parenting sucks!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yummy...

I can hardly believe that my little girl was 6 months old on Tuesday. She's no longer a newborn, and to celebrate we introduced her to "solids" (or gruel, if you prefer). She enjoyed her cereal immensely and I think she just might be a natural!!! The boys were fascinated and cheered her on. Cory fed her... no more excuses for not leaving her at home with him for short stints. Well, I also asked him to do the inaugural feeding because, I take better photos! ;) Mush, anyone?

"MORE!"


Two proud big brothers... well, one big one and one rather short one.

S, exciting times around here. And today Connor offered her a cracker. Umm... let's not rush things too much, guys...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our Halloween!

Trick or Treat! My children had a blast this Halloween. Our friends drove here from PG to join us for lunch. While our babies napped, the older kids decorated Spider cupcakes. We had a really nice time with them (Tanya, thanks for sorting all of Kirstin's baby clothes for me) as we don't get together nearly often enough now that we don't live in the same town.Our jack o' lanterns. After days of deliberation, here's what we came up with. One I copied, one I created. Alex wanted a "Daddy"... so I did my best. I can draw, but I sure as heck am no carver!My boys, waiting patiently for me to finish bundling up their sister so we can go trick or treating!
And, my bundled up Cinderella... the warm fuzzy snowsuit underneath has bunny ears, so really, two costumes in one! :)
Connor's first ever trick or treat! Our neighbours always get a kick out of our kids.
Alex decided against wearing his spiderman costume because he really, really didn't want to wear the mask. So he picked out a costume from two years ago. It was a lot longer on him when he was 2! :)
My grumpy frog prince.
Blinded by the flash, I think... Kirstin just rode happily around in the stroller. She'll probably be walking next year, so maybe I'll let her visit a house or two.

And that's it... happy Halloween... and now... Alex is counting down to Christmas already. I told him he had to at least wait until after Remembrance Day to start the countdown.