Christmas 2008 come and gone…

All that anticipation and *POOF*, it’s all over already!

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Christmas Holidays are more than half over and this is pretty much the only time I’ve touched a computer! Ahhh, it’s been nice.

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We’ve had a great Holiday so far – lots of family and friends and really good food. Despite beautiful fluffy snow falling half the time, we’ve managed to see just about everyone. These few days now we are bunkering down getting all our chores and “spring” cleaning done (gotta make room for all those new toys!) before New Years Eve festivities and then Hubby going back to work.

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Hopefully I’ll get to catch up on my sleep, too… Ahhhh. That’d be nice.

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Say Whaaat?

What does one say when they don’t really have much to say?

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Maybe one talks about the weather… It was <nice><rainy><holy-crap-cold> outside today.

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Maybe one talks about how their kids are doing… They’re <great><crazy><stinky>.

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Maybe one talks about sports… I got nothin’.

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Maybe one talks about their job… I <love><dislike><have a complicated relationship with> my work.

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Maybe one just shuts themselves up and sits back to look at some random pics in complete silence but for the CD of French music playing in the background while enjoying a nice, hot cup of tea…

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On the Fifth day of Christmas Holidays…

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Christmas is a long holiday in our house – especially if we include the “nights before Christmas” full of recitals, baking parties, last days of playgroup, adventures in the snow. This year we count 15 days of non-stop “days of Christmas” with festivities, dinners, crafts, brunches, gift-openings, shopping (Boxing Day, here we come!), friends, family and time with each other before Hubby goes back to work.

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Because Christmas Day itself is crazy between many houses (we have 3-5 stops on Christmas Day alone), none of which are ours, I love that we have created other traditions that do center around our home. Annually we hold a Christmas Eve open house with some friends and family (and some Ma Jongg!) and the girls and I cook up a bunch of fancy appetizers and a turkey to munch on. New Years Eve I make the fanciest meal of the year with souffles, sauces, and courses for Hubby and I. We always start the day with breakfast down at Granville Island (LOVE those Pear/Brown sugar crepes!), then we pick up all our dinner supplies. This year we even have some guests!

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Every year we open our “family” gifts between us over a few days before Christmas, hoping to remember them separately from the chaos of Christmas day’s mass giving. And the past few years we have enjoyed the craziness of Boxing Day with our teenage daughters and all their gift cards. I’m planning next year to incorporate more focus on the birth of Christ through some new traditions.

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Today, on our Fifth day of Christmas Holidays, as we start to see the skies finally clear from snow, we look forward to a relaxing day at home. There is simply too much snow to drive anywhere, so it’s either a taxi, grab a bus or just stay nice and warm inside. Ahhhhh! Sometimes celebrating also means just being together.

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Hope everyone is enjoying their days of Christmas!
Happy Holidays!

Oooohh, that laughter…

Our eldest, B… *sigh*. She’s applying to colleges, big league volleyball teams, taking driver exams and soon to apply for an actual JOB.
Where did it go? Wasn’t it just a few months ago she was just this little punk 8 yr old with long, messy hair and nothing but sweats and ratty old running shoes for fashion?

dsc_5975(OHMYGOSH – seriously – I looked so much younger without the bags and wrinkles under my eyes!! What DID happen to all those years?!?!)

She’s always been the quieter, more serious of the bunch, much like her brother, Boo. Concentrated. Even when she plays sports, she’s even, steady, but very much present and ready to spring into action when needed. And only when needed ;-). (Her and I are lazy bugs at heart).

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Although the odd quick smile comes often enough, true from-the-gut laughter is her real charm. You can just feel her letting go of the “serious” side and moving into her “freer” mind. I smile, inside and out, every time I hear her laugh.

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Now, most often around here, when she’s laughing it’s at one of her silly brothers (Tt was taking these shots and making B and her friends laugh)…

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(even mid-summer, after pre-trip fake’n’bakes and a trip to HOT sunny Italy, I’m still white as a ghost! GEEZ! oh, ya, this is about B…)

Or her equally silly daddy…

img_0524(ok – REALLY bad shot, but this is B laughing at her Daddy trying to sing to RockBand – it was hilarious and I loved her laugh)

But, regardless. It just warms my heart and I hope she still finds time to just sit and laugh after she officially begins to take on the responsibilities of “adulthood” in a few more months. *sigh*.

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dscn27981(AHHhahaha – I could post this one a million times – they were all just laughing so hard!)

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

I do love the snow! From the warmth of my nice comfy Restoration Hardware couch (I LOVE my couch)…

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I keep staying up ’til all hours just to watch it come down. I love the silence, the peace, the slowness.

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The snow has already covered all our tracks from a few days ago.

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It’s actually quite difficult to take a good photo of the snow falling… Or I’m just not very good with this camera yet. Ya, that’s probably it.

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Well, let’s just hope the roads are cleared (both of snow and bad drivers) before I have to pick up the girls from school!

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Enjoy the fluffy whiteness of winter!!

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And then there was FISH.

Many a pet has been, for better or for worse, in my care over the years.

I don’t recall having pets when I was growing up, but I’m told we had a dog and a cat at some point. Then again, I can barely recall 2 weeks ago, so we’ll make a real effort here. I have an incredible urge to bring home a new family pet this Christmas…

Since I’ve been “off on my own”, there was Frank, the cat. He was being given away as a kitten, so I scooped him up. He lived, amazingly, 16 or so years, considering how many fights he got into with other cats, racoons, what have you. I sure loved Frank the cat. When I was living on my own I could always tell by his ears if house or outside noises were “good” noises or “bad” noises. Hubby wants to get another cat – since Frank “left us” we’ve started finding mouse poops around the carport…

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Then there was Leo, the rabbit. (No, not after great Renaissance leader DaVinci, but after Leondardo-the-hottie-Di-Caprio by my 6th grade SS class at the time). I found him on the street and when I called SPCA they said they’d just put him to sleep as they get so many domestic rabbits, so OF COURSE (and much to Frank’s dismay) I had to keep him! He was THE most adorable dwarf rabbit. He would jump up and down, lick my feet when I was sitting, run figure-8’s around me every time I came home, and beg at the refrigerator like a puppy. Besides the rabbit poop and smell, he was a perfect pet.

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Right after Hubby and I got married, we bought ‘A’ a hamster for Cmas. Cute, cuddly. We think that Frank ate him. So, we quickly got a replacement before too many tears could be shed. But, while we were away on holidays and the tenants were caring for him, he “disappeared” (maybe Frank eventually died from hamster indigestion??) and so being caring tenants as they were, they quickly bought a new one and slipped him into the cage. The only problem was that it wasn’t a “him”… A week later we had 6 (well, originally 7, but let’s not get into what mommy hamsters do with runt baby hamsters…) squishy little baby hamsters. The whole lot of them went straight back to the pet store a week later.

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When Tt was just barely on his way into the world, we bought a GORGEOUS black lab named Jack (again, MUCH to Frank’s dismay). He was puppy through and through. Even full grown, he still thought he was a little lap dog. He was (IS!) beautiful with long, thin legs and a skinny frame, so different from other labs and even from the brothers and sisters we met. BUT, when we had Boo, we realized we couldn’t take care of him (what? you need to walk AGAIN!? can’t you see I weigh a billion pounds and can barely walk!?) and gave him away to friends who are LOVING him very much. While we don’t miss the tufts of doggie fur or the doggie smell, we sure miss his perky ears and energy.

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Just before we had Boo, for Tt’s second birthday, we bought some cheap ($1.50) feeder fish – the small goldfish you buy to feed to other fish – and a tank. He loved fish, and aquariums etc, so we thought he’d enjoy to watch them all float about. He didn’t much care at all, and ever since (this is THREE YEARS AGO) I’ve solely enjoyed said fish. We started with 3 feeders, and over the years have added snails, algea eater guys (we call them wobegones), other goldfish and only one – the strongest and the fittest of the original 3 – has survived. He has one snail to keep him company, otherwise he just follows across the tank every time we walk by. I’d buy him a new friend, but then I’d be going another 3 years and, well…

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I’m sure we’ll end up with a new cat AND a new dog as the boys get older. Although we know one or two people with allergies, they are rarely here. But for now it’s just a $1.50 goldfish named Sushi who lives on. And on. And on.

Nothing like the First Snow!

Tt likes to be inside. For the most part we prefer to be inside LOOKING at the first snow from our warm couch. Perhaps with a hot cup of cocoa… Ahhh… Boo, on the other hand, loves the great outdoors. But, a good dose of white powder can ALMOST get even me outside, and Saturday evening we got just that. (And, no, I didn’t go out…) (I said ALMOST…).

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It was quite a role reversal for the boys when Tt happily smacked on his boots and ski pants and went out to play after a good night of solid snowing.

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Boo preferred to remain on the edges… That white stuff is scary, man! WHY is the ground fluffy and white?!

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He stood here for quite some time.

But, Tt and Hubby looked like they were having sooo much fun…

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He finally (and hesitantly) ventured out – good boy!

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