Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone

I know I say this over and over... but I really do wish I had more time to update my blog more often. Ah well. It is what it is. At least I'm here now, right? (You know you're excited that I'm here right now writing this. You love me. Admit it.)

And so. Here we are. It's my Christmas Eve 2010 blog post.

Anna, Andrew and I are ready for the festivities to begin. We've wrapped our presents, visited Santa 3 times, baked cookies, listened to Christmas carols. We've done it all. Now it's just time for family visits and, of course, lots of food.

While Christmas has never been about the presents for me (honestly - I'm not just saying that), I'll admit that I used to get excited about the whole gift thing. I used to go a bit overboard and buy lots of things for everyone, excited to see how they would react when they opened them. I used to get all giddy about the huge mound of wrapped gifts under the tree, curious about what I was getting that year.

But something is different for me this year. Something has changed. Something good.

I'm still excited about Christmas. I'm still happy to give gifts. But Christmas is about so much more than presents this year. It's traditions. And memories. It's love. And happiness. Family. Health. (It's also cookies.)

I can probably attribute a lot of my new found feeling about Christmas to Anna. But I've got to give credit to Andrew and my family, too. (Thanks, guys. I love you.)

Anyway. So it's now time. It's Christmas Eve. The holiday season will be winding to a close soon. And what will I remember most about the year of Anna's first Christmas? Probably that I'm happier than ever and I'm filled with love.

And I wish all of that to you as well this season.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Whiskers on kittens, brown paper packages...

The tree is up. The stockings are hung. Presents are bought (but not wrapped for fear of the little buttertart opening them all up before Christmas morn.) The carols have been playing for weeks now.

Sigh. It's my favourite time of year.

As I was driving around in silence while Anna napped in the back seat today, my mind began wandering and I began thinking about Christmases past.

When I was a little kid, my brother and I freaking loved Christmas. (Okay, what kid doesn't??) I loved everything about the season - and not just the toys. (Honest.) I loved things like decorating the tree, eating Mom's raisin cookies, baking together, getting Dad to help me buy the perfect gift for Mom. I loved that we caught Christmas mornings on video camera so we could watch them over and over again each year.

I loved the big family get togethers. And turkey sandwiches on boxing day. I loved the year I got a Young MC tape. I loved how excited my parents would be. How happy we all were.

Christmas, as cheesy and schmaltzy as I sound, is (and still is at 31 years old) a magical time of year for me. A time of year to stop sweating the small stuff and to just... believe.

Believe in good will. Believe in helping those less fortunate. Believe in making happy memories that will last a lifetime for your kids. Believe in being sillier and happier and more fun than you tend to be all year.

What I've learned over the years is that when you forget the things like the fact that your job is stressful, or you don't have a lot of money, or you haven't slept for 10 months (ahem... Anna) or that you're not done your shopping and it's Christmas eve... and you start to believe in all that the season is meant to be... (and I mean really, truly believe in all the hokey stuff)...

Well, that's when the magic really begins. That's when the memories are made. That's when true happiness exists.

And, really... what could be better than being unbelievably and overwhelmingly happy for a month?

Wishing you a happy, magical, cheesy and - best of all - silly holiday season.

~Hez, Andrew and Anna

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sweetness and light

Today I stopped doing the dishes, mid-dish, so I could sit down and write about Anna. (Okay, so maybe I just wasn't into the dishes this morning.) Anyhow.

When Anna's grown-up, I really want her to know about all the little things about her life when she was little.

I know I've been all "sweetness and light" when it comes to documenting Anna so far. But it's time for grown-up future Anna to know about the other stuff. The stuff that has made Mama's head sprout multiple new grey hairs and has caused Mama to develop an unhealthy coffee-and-latte addiction.

Stuff that is making Mama grow old quickly:

1. Anna. You don't seem to have any desire whatsoever to sleep through the night. You teased me a little bit when you were about 4 months old. But now you're 10 months old and you still wake at least once to nurse, you take quite a bit of time to go down for a nap or to bed, and when you're sick you wake up pretty much every hour at night. Needless to say, Mom is exhausted.

2. While you're cute and happy about 99% of the time, you have developed some mean tantrums already. You're only 10 months old, for pete's sake! However, if Dad or I take something away from you that you want (a spoon, a cloth, my cell phone), you freak right out and cry and scream until we find a way to distract you. I thought this type of behaviour wasn't going to develop until you were about 13.

3. Sometimes you'll take a bottle with a bit of formula. Sometimes you won't. Sometimes you're happy in the car. Sometimes you're extremely angry. Sometimes you want me to pick you up. And then you immediately want back down again. I'm trying my hardest... but you've got to help me out a little bit, kid.

That's about it. Honestly. And really, the sleep thing is the only thing that's making me feel a bit tired. The other two points were just so that I'd actually have some bulk to this blog post (I could have left them off the list).

Basically... I just want you to sleep. Please sleep, Anna.

Otherwise, you really are sweetness and light.