Weeks 41-50

*WEEK 41   WEEK 42    WEEK 43     WEEK 44     WEEK 45     WEEK 46     WEEK 47     WEEK 48     WEEK 49    WEEK 50

WEEK 41: October 8, 2013 – October 14, 2013 - CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING

We had a fantastic thanksgiving weekend planned. Brad’s family had decided to do their dinner up at the cottage on Sunday, so our plan was to drive up early Saturday morning, enjoy an afternoon at a pumpkin patch before resting up for Sunday’s dinner (and eventually coming home for another big dinner at my parents’ place on Monday). Things didn’t quite work out as planned unfortunately.

Alex came home from preschool on Friday night with a bit of a fever, that ended up lasting well into the weekend. Instead of a pumpkin patch we spent our Saturday afternoon curled up on the coach reading books and playing with her dolls.  By Saturday evening her fever was quite a bit better and we decided to make the trip up to the cottage that night. Luckily, by the time we arrived she was in much better spirits and couldn’t wait to run around on the lawn with “P”, who was also up for the big family dinner.

Despite the bumpy start to the weekend, Thanksgiving dinner at the cottage turned out to be lots of fun.  The atmosphere was great with all the surrounding trees changing colours, the cottage was nice and cozy and the food was delicious.

By the time we were on our way to my parents’ place for Monday’s Thanksgiving meal Alexandra was pretty much back to her usual self, so we had another fun afternoon stuffing our faces with turkey. Let’s hope this fantastic fall weather holds out for a few more weekends so we can finally make it out to a pumpkin patch for some fall pictures.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


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WEEK 42: October 15, 2013 – October 21, 2013 - PICK A HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN

If I’m being perfectly honest I can acknowledge that we’re not the best holiday planners. We often colour our Easter eggs the day before Easter, put up our Christmas tree the weekend before the big day and pretty much never buy a pumpkin until the very last minute. This year, since Alexandra has been old enough to get excited about upcoming events we’ve tried really hard to get better at this. I’m proud to say that this past weekend we made good strides in that direction with our trip to Whittmore’s farm to pick out our Halloween pumpkin…almost 2 weeks before Halloween- unbelievable!

Pumpkin photos at Whittmore’s have become a bit of a tradition for us. We’ve taken Alex every year since she was born and have some amazing shots of her with the fall colours as a background. This year the goal again was to take some more great photos, but also to get her excited about picking the pumpkin that we’ll turn into a jack-o-lantern in time for Halloween.

We hyped up the search when we got to the farm, telling Alex that only she could decide what the best pumpkin for our house would be. It was super cute seeing her take her task seriously, walking through the patch and every so often pointing to one and asking”this one??”. We eventually picked one that seemed mostly round and had a flat-ish bottom (so it won’t fall over later when we put a candle in it next week) and also grabbed a “baby” pumpkin that Alex could keep inside the house.

Our pumpkin ended up weighing a whopping 21 lbs (not sure if that’s actually heavy for the average pumpkin, but it seemed like it!) and we all left the farm happy that our mission for the day had been accomplished.

This coming week we decorate for Halloween…a whole week before the actual day, imagine that ;)

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WEEK 43: October 22, 2013 – October 28, 2013 - DECORATE FOR HALLOWEEN

This weekend, as promised, we decorated for Halloween! I had seen a cool photo on Pinterest a few weeks back of a door dressed up like Frankenstein and had thought that might be neat to do on our door too. In preparation I grabbed some streamers as well as some glow-in-the-dark spider stickers and a funky looking bat.

Alex had a good time with the decorations and was really keen on getting all of the spider stickers on the glass part of the door (“not on the white part mommy, please”- everything is “please” right now, which is kinda nice); she also changed the position of our trusty tin scarecrow, who we’ve had since we first moved into our house, a few times before he was positioned to her liking.

The overall result was cute and makes me smile every time I see the front door-you can definitely tell that a kid lives at our place :)  Now the next item of business will be to get Alex to actually put on her costume come Thursday. We’ve asked her a few times to try it on, but so far she’s refused- she may end up trick or treating as a “toddler” instead of Little Red Riding Hood as planned!  Here’s hoping we can get her to put on her apron and cape, they’re both too cute to go unworn.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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WEEK 44: October 29, 2013 – November 4, 2013 - CARVE A PUMPKIN AND DRESS UP FOR HALLOWEEN

This past week was Halloween of course and we celebrated in traditional fashion- by carving our pumpkin and dressing up. We had carved a few pumpkins last year and Alex was really into it, sticking her little hands in and pulling out fistfuls of seeds, so I thought this year since she’s a little more aware she’d be all over it. As it turned out, not-so-much. She was intrigued watching Brad do it, but didn’t really want to stick her hand in herself. This isn’t like her right now as she’s keen on doing everything by herself these days. She did love the bright face all lit up when we were done- but not with all the lights off, “mommy, turn on the light PLEASE- it’s too dark!”.

The other highlight of the week was getting her to put her costume on. We’d been trying for weeks to get a sneak peek (and take some photos ahead of the Halloween night rush), but she was completely uninterested. I think something about the cape (she was sporting a Little Red Riding Hood look this year), didn’t catch her eye.

I’m embarrassed to admit that it was only after a chocolate bribe that she first put the whole get-up on. And later in the day, every request to put it on again prompted the question, “Alex eat chocolate after?”. Needless to say she had a few too many baby kit-kats before the day was done! In the end it was worth it as we got some great photos and gave her a fun (albeit short) introduction into the whole trick-or-treating tradition.

Check out the pics of our carving session as well as our little “red” below…

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WEEK 45: November 5, 2013 – November 11, 2013 - TRY HOT CHOCOLATE

This weekend, after putting it off for weeks, we finally took Alexandra for a much needed haircut. Her hair grows so fast that haircut time often sneaks up on us. After being a trooper at the salon (and collecting a handful of lollipops from Brad’s godfather Jim), she was a happy, well-groomed little lady.

The cool nip in the air and the Starbucks across the street from the salon made us decide that we’d give Miss. Alex her first taste of hot chocolate this week. Alex has a HUGE sweet tooth, much like her mom- you put anything sweet in front of her and she loves it, so we knew it’d be a hit. Starbucks also offered her hot chocolate in kiddie size and kiddie temperature which was fantastic.

As predicted she loved every drop of her new drink, but unfortunately her first hot chocolate experience was cut somewhat short; she spilled 1/2 of her cup on the floor while trying to drink it “all by myself”. Most of it landed under our table and a bit went on daddy’s pants before we decided to head home.

A fun weekend, despite it being totally low-key. That’s it for this week…and happy Remembrance Day to everyone in Canada today.

(By the way, can you believe that there are only 7 weeks left in the year- crazy how time flies!).

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WEEK 46: November 12, 2013 – November 18, 2013 - SCRAMBLE FOR PINATA GOODIES & GO TO A BABY SHOWER 

This weekend was another busy one in our household. We started off the weekend with a birthday party (the first of 5 in the next 5 weeks!). Liam, my good friend Haruko’s son, just turned 6 and he celebrated with an awesome minion-themed party. Alex was a bit shy at first, especially since the other kids were mostly older, but she relaxed when the treats came out and when we started to do some of the fun activities. We had our first experience with rainbow looming at the party and tried to make a melty bead key chain (I say tried because I didn’t iron our finished product long enough and it came apart!) before the pinata was brought out. This was actually Alex’s first time watching the madness that follows the bursting of a pinata so it was fun to see her puzzled face as the kids dove into the pile of goodies. I helped her grab a few toys that were appropriate for her age and she seemed really happy to put them in her loot bag.

Our busy weekend continued on Sunday at a baby shower for Alexandra’s aunt Jenny who is having a baby in January- Alex’s first official baby shower in fact. The little miss had a BALL running around the hall, chasing after the balloons and watching what the older girls were doing. It was a little less fun for me chasing her in high heels, but seeing her have so much fun was worth the sore feet. Her afternoon was rounded off with a visit to the shower sweet table where she scored a cupcake- a nice way to end any afternoon if you ask me.

Now looking forward to next weekend when we will embark on the 3-day potty training challenge, wish us luck!

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WEEK 47: November 19, 2013 – November 25, 2013 - START POTTY TRAINING

Potty training is something we’ve been thinking about for awhile. Our doctor had suggested most kids are ready after the age of two and so we hadn’t pushed before Alexandra’s second birthday, but since May it’s come up again and again as one of those things we should really start doing. We decided that this past weekend would be our “potty” weekend where we would really start to make the transition away from diapers.

Brad has a friend at work with a daughter just a few months older than Alex and had suggested a book that really helped her little girl. This book advocates early training (the author suggested starting before the age of two) and also that once training has started you NEVER go back to diapers, not even throughout the night.  With this method it seems that a lot of children get the basics within 3 days- so we decided to buckle down for the weekend, take a day off of work and try to get this thing done!

Our potty weekend started with a “potty party” on Saturday morning. Our families came over for a short breakfast, all bearing gifts of underwear (everyone generously got into the spirit of things!). We made a big deal of Alex throwing away her diapers (we actually had her put everything we had left in the garbage can) and started her first full day without diapers.

As expected we saw little success on Saturday, often missing the potty by only a few steps. But by Sunday we had a good string of successes under our belts, with Alex telling us she needed to go “pee” and us making it to the bathroom in time to use the potty.  We even continued our training into the night. We put her to bed diaper-free but put some lining underneath her sheet to catch any accidents. We discovered that she had to go about once a night around midnight and are planning to try to wake her up for that in the next few days to try to avoid a night-time diaper.  Monday, the trend continued with many successful trips to the potty for #1, but unfortunately we haven’t had any success with #2 just yet- this might cause a bit of a kink in our no diaper plans for daycare tomorrow.

Overall it’s been a good experience so far. The sense of accomplishment that we have felt when Alex has used the potty has been pretty intense considering it’s her success and not ours! I guess that’s parenting though, when your child succeeds so do you :) I’ll report back next week and let you know how Alex does with her “potty-ing” at daycare…fingers crossed that our good streaks continue.

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WEEK 48: November 26, 2013 – December 2, 2013 - START OUR ADVENT CALENDAR 

Already on week 48 of the year, where has the time gone?! This week was another busy one for us. During the week we hit the annual Firefighter’s toy drive at the Shops at Don Mills- we had a really good time at this event last year and it supports such a good cause that we decided to go back. We brought some toys and had Alexandra put them in the donation bags provided by the firefighters; while at the event we tried to explain why everyone was out there and why there were so many toys- I’m not sure how much of the concept actually hit home, but she seemed to enjoy giving the toys away! :)

The weekend we spent celebrating some important birthdays.  Our sweet Peyton (aka “P”) turned two on Saturday and we enjoyed a fun-filled, Maple-leaf themed birthday party that afternoon. We all had a great time and didn’t leave the party until after 9pm, late night partying for the toddler set!

November, being a busy birthday month in our family, we ended up missing out on another birthday party on Saturday, since it was at the same time as P’s. Alex’s cousins Ethan and Eliana celebrated together (their birthdays are just days apart!) that same afternoon- it would have been great to see that side of the family too, hopefully next year we can make both!!

The final birthday of the weekend was my mom’s on Sunday. We celebrated with a big lunch at my parents’ house followed by some awesome birthday cake. I won’t tell you what birthday it was for her (she’d kill me!), but I think she’d agree that it was one of the best ones yet :)

Sunday also marked the first day of opening items from our advent calendar. I got the idea for this style of calendar from Pinterest and have been collecting items for it for a few weeks now. There are 24 bags, all full of small things that Alex really enjoys, items like stickers and playdough and colouring books. I also included some ornaments for when we get our tree (hopefully sometime this week, fingers crossed!). We hung the bags up on a makeshift clothes line along our front window- partly for decoration and partly so that Alex can’t get to all the bags at once!! The 1st bag (which included a toy camera) was a hit; we’ll see if the calendar succeeds in building some holiday excitement for the little lady.

Hope everyone had a great weekend too! Only 4 more weeks left this year, crazy stuff!

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WEEK 49: December 3, 2013 – December 9, 2013 - DECORATE FOR CHRISTMAS 

This weekend we did one of my favourite things, we got the house ready for Christmas! I have to admit, I’m one of those people who loves everything about the holidays;  from the baking, to the family get-togethers and even the endless shopping, I love it all- and putting up the tree always feels like the official start of the holidays.

We decided to pick out our tree on Saturday night, after a fun birthday party for Alexandra’s friend Emma in the afternoon. Now I have always envisioned getting a tree from an actual tree farm where they cut it down fresh, but with the cold weather on Saturday and our lingering coughs and colds we settled for the local Lowe’s again this year.

We got down to the business of decorating on Sunday afternoon, first putting lights on the tree and then carefully putting on all of our ornaments. Alex loved the whole decorating process, she played with the tinsel and was especially attached to the golden apple ornaments. Being a two year old though, after every branch at her eye level was covered she lost interest a bit and started putting her dolls to bed while Brad and I finished the top of the tree.

One thing that really struck me as we put up our ornaments was a photo of the three of us from two years ago. Brad and I look more or less the same (at least I hope we do!), but the difference in Alex was staggering. You forget just how much they’ve grown when you see them day in and day out. Great memories :)

Have a good week everyone!

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WEEK 50: December 10, 2013 – December 16, 2013 - GO TO A CHRISTMAS DANCE 

This weekend we took Alexandra to our village’s Christmas dance. Since we were kids it’s been tradition that immigrants from our little town throw a party, complete with band, to celebrate the holiday season. When we were young these parties were pretty big affairs and were always a lot of fun; they were a place to dress up in your Christmas best and catch up with cousins you hadn’t seen in awhile. This event also has a special place in my heart because it’s where Brad and I exchanged phone numbers and planned our first date.

With the amount of snow we got on Saturday it wasn’t surprising that this year’s party had very few people come out to celebrate. We made it since we didn’t have far to drive, but many of my cousins who had planned to come didn’t make the trip out.

The lack of guests didn’t damper Alex’s spirit though. She loved the live band and was very proud to show off her new blazer to everyone. We spent most of the night watching her and Peyton run around on the dance floor- not the worst way to spend an evening. :)

Now onto last minute shopping ahead of Christmas next week- can’t wait!

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