days before christmas...

laugh at me, i don't care, i'm merely sharing the following with you because it amuses me.  today is december 23.  chloe has been taking 2-3 steps daily for the past week or so and while bumming around at my mom's house today with my sister, chloe took somewhere around a dozen steps!  she walked right across a clear path in the living room while we were lying around playing with the kids.  this is amazing.  not the fact that OMG MY BABY IS WALKING I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WOULD HAPPEN! but more because my sister -hailing from sunny california - has been there now to witness BOTH kids walking their first big walks!

moses walked a full 15 steps on his 1st birthday, May 23 in my sister's home in cali, and chloe did her first marathon today, December 23 at my mom's home.

i wonder, had we not broken my water last year on December 20th if chloe would have been born December 23rd and walked on her 1st birthday as well.  it will forever remain a MYSTERY!  so funny how the number 23 was my favourite number for a very long time...

what a treat for my sister whom we rarely get a chance to see!

Mariah Carey Merry Christmas FOREVER
eff you Bublé
eff you Bieber

christmas is coming.  i love it and i hate it.  i love christmas carols.  blazing and listening to the christmas music channel one the kids are snoozing is so fantastic.  moses has learned Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, i would say about 86%.  chloe dances to them 100%.  i've been trying to tame his terrible two tantrums by telling him that Santa is watching and will withhold gifts which has only been partially successful.  i'll take partial to zero!  he loves gingerbread men.  he has expanded his Christmas show specials to include the classic Rudolph and Frosty.  it's so amazing to be able to share the same childhood memories and favourites with him and see how equally enchanted he is, especially since the animation is totally old school compared to the digitally animated shows he watches.  i keep wondering what it must be like to have your brain switch between two entirely different styles...

christmas eve is tomorrow.  throughout the years my mom and her siblings take turns hosting christmas.  my Lola used to host it when she had the energy.  it looks like us aging cousins are going to have to start picking up the slack!

(ugh i can smell bag of diapers...)

we have a rather large family and even more with the kids and cousins getting hitched.  there is just over 20 of us.  a few have left us unfortunately due to sad circumstances.  25 relatives just for my mom's side.  not including my dad's side.  not including kev's family and his extended family.  at least with keg's extended we only do gifts with his dad's side and that is a secret santa @ $25.  we have just begun doing secret santa within kev's immediate family (with some flex room since two of the inlaws also have december birthdays).    we have done secret santa among the cousin's on my mom's side for the past 3 years now.

that is a lot of boring info for you to read...  the point is what we all know to be true and that is how christmas is so entirely consumer based.  i love giving gifts.  i can't give gifts right now.  i don't want that to be an issue.  people seem obligated to buy one another gifts and if they don't, they are considered a scrooge.  trust me, if this were pre-children days, i'd still be dropping cash on everyone!  some people get it and others don't.  others encourage the whole "it's the thought that counts" and to just get something small and not costly.  well, what is there to buy someone that is THOUGHTFUL and $10?  and what do people NEED that is thoughtful and $10?  unless you are a kid or a teenager, you already know what you like and need more than most of your family and prefer to get it yourself.  this of course, leads to the phenomenon of GIFT CARDS that you can now find SO conveniently at your grocery store.  there are kiosks stacked with every gift card you can find for almost every establishment, saving you even MORE time.

sadly, this is what my christmas has come to.  everyone's wish list seems to be a gift card list rather than an items list.  in the end we are all exchanging money and for me, i would rather keep $50 for groceries rather than have a $50 gift card to spend at my favourite clothing store.  ok, i wouldn't RATHER, but i SHOULD be putting that money towards other things.  sigh.

on top of this, there is always so much drama with this part of my family and it makes me really sad to know all the dirt that is swept under the rug is going to stay there for a long time.  i know that no family is perfect, that each clan has their problems and faults and i wish so much that everyone could just KNOW how everyone feels and why and be able to say "hey, i'm not perfect either, let's just try to make the best of the fact that we are blood".  i guess, what i am asking for this christmas is not peace on earth, but peace in my family.  i know i can't expect everyone else to jump in, but i know i am guilty as anyone and if i do my best, that's one point up from where we are.

this guy is so rad, i love that moses like him

in more positive news, i wrapped the kids' gifts last night in my usual worst-wrapper-in-the-universe fashion.  even kevin looked at my finished gifts in utter disbelief with messy large clumps of folded paper and uneven pieces of tape holding ripped areas together...  what a disaster.  whatever, it was so exciting to sneak the hidden bag of toys from my closet for the first time :)  we had to go cheap this year, i think we only spent $15 - a bath buddy care bear and a miniature my little pony for chloe, and Shu Todoroki - one of the race cars from Cars2.  kevin bought a few more other racecars off Amazon last months...

kevin is currently working on a super bombass tricycle for Andie.  he fabricated a banana seat from sheet metal and upholstered it with and fixed it to the give-away tricycle find.  he did all the body work and just finished spraying it a crazy Joker's Jacket Purple with white and gold pin striping.  he also fabricated one of the parent handles to the back that integrates the "sissy bar" usually found on the backs of banana seat bikes AS WELL as a design element that seconds as the letter "A" for Andie....

who is this man that i married?  ohhhh i forgot...


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