We've had a very full Winter so far from attending various happy & busy Christmas events to battling unfortunate flu bugs. Autumn got to attend two Santa Claus parades this year, visit Santa at a Christmas party as well as at the mall for photos and we also hit up her first live performance, Dora the Explorer, and will be seeing Sesame Street Live tomorrow. On top of all of that, we spent three days including Christmas in Michigan at Auntie Rebecca and Uncle Brian's beautiful old house in the country. The kiddos cleaned up!! Lots of lovely gifts, good grub and fun people. It was also very special for us to be a part of Madeline's first Christmas and lovely to see Squish in action with a baby. She was so good with her little cousin! She struggled only slightly with understanding that certain favourite toys actually belong to Maddy and the obvious sharing issues that every two and a half year old battles. Overall, I'd say she did a stellar job of sharing for a little person her age. If only we lived closer (I know. I say that every time we visit our far-away family members!!) so that the kiddos could practice these essential life skills more often together. We missed Cole, Mel and Stafford and Kristi and Jeff but Grandma K made the trip out and we were thrilled for Autumn and Maddy to get some holiday QT in with their grandmother. We are feeling particularly lucky to have spent the holidays together since we nearly had to cancel our trip when Autumn came down with a pretty severe flu bug about a week before our departure which had us in the ER at our local hospital for an entire night. Then Toronto got hit with a massive ice storm which still has many of our neighbours living without power. Lucky for us, Autumn recovered from her bug and the roads cleared just in the nick of time and we hit the road on the 23rd of December. All was well until Christmas eve when I started to feel ill and things just went from bad to worse with a bad cough that I thought might put me into early labour. As you know, we are a well-versed family when it comes to preemie care, however Teddy nor I have any interest in going there again if it can be avoided. Teddy dropped me off at St. Joseph's last night and I spent most of the night hooked up to monitors to make sure that our little nugget wasn't in any sort of distress as a result of mama's virus. Turns out we're all good. Mama just needs lots of rest and Tylenol and a big fat prescription for a cough suppressant. I'm feeling slightly more normal today except that Squish has developed another fever so her Daddy just took her back to the Dr. to get checked out. I guess this is how it works when sickness ends up in close quarters with multiple people. So our goal right now is to keep Teddy healthy. We need him well so that he can continue to take care of us. hehehe
We celebrated Christmas early with my parents, Auntie Em and Steve. Autumn is pretty much the luckiest kid on Earth (or Erff, as she would call it...). Autumn received a play kitchen complete with every kind of food imaginable and various other books and games and cute little outfits. I took Autumn to visit my grandfather earlier in the week and it was hard to wrap my head around the fact that our family holiday dinners will likely not include him anymore. Big tears around that. That man has always lived for a good meal with his family. My Nana also opted out of attending Christmas dinner this year. Things are changing as we all grow older and understanding that it's all a part of life is significantly more easily said than done. That being said, we dearly missed Tampa this Christmas. These last 11 months have been full of first experiences without him. It makes me smile that Autumn still regularly asks about him. It's bittersweet, really. I think it's comforting that he's still fresh in her memory. She will often say things like, "Tampa loves books." and will frequently ask her Grandma where he is when they have Skype chats. We miss him all the time.
I guess I can sign off on that note and leave you with a few Christmas photos. Love to you all this holiday season and all the best for 2014.
|Autumn reading to Madeline|
|She is such an incredibly happy little girl.|
|Dr. Kellogg testing out her new vet suit from Auntie Melissa!|
|Giving Garcon a check-up.|
|Daddy and Autumn missing Melissa, Stafford and Cole.|
|Mind blown that Alfie Elf showed up in Michigan!|
|New train set from Santa!|
|Reading her first note from Santa Claus.|
|Madeline's first stocking.|
|Her attention span was actually quite impressive. hehehe ;)|
|Modeling her new scarf from Grandma <3|
|Autumn also modeling some of Grandma's knits.|
|Autumn received some beautiful hand-made items from her Auntie as well|