Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Worst Day

Yesterday was the worst day.

I can now tell you that I know what it must feel like for a drug addict to begin rehab.  I am currently in the process of going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.

You all know that we just had the most amazing Christmas ever with my family. I mean, Christmas just in and of itself is my favourite holiday of the year.  And experiencing Christmas with two young children in the house discovering the magic for themselves makes it even better.  But this year was like the butter cream frosting on a red velvet cake because not only was it an awesome Christmas with our kids, but I got to see all of my family enjoying Christmas with our kids as well.  All of us, together... it was priceless.

It was the highest of highs.

And then the very next day, we made the drive back to the airport in Vancouver for my mom, my dad, and my sister to all return home to South Carolina.  Reagan and I were both crying before we even left our house.  The entire drive to Vancouver, Reagan continued to whine off and on, and she would make up excuses that we needed to turn around and go back home like, "Oh no!  Pops left his computer at our house.   We need to go back."  Or, "Momsey, I think you left your toothbrush upstairs, we need to go back."  Or "Auntie Anna, you left your necklace in my room.  We need to go back."  All she wanted was for ALL of us to just go back home!

It only got worse once we were at the airport.  Reagan started crying pretty much as soon as we got out of the car.  She settled down once we were inside the airport, but when it quickly became time to say our goodbyes, her waterworks returned in full force.  So did mine.

As we were walking back through the airport, (just Ryan, Myers, Reagan and I by this point) Reagan began crying very loudly, kicking and practically screaming that she wanted Momsey.  For almost half an hour she just sobbed, "I want my Momsey.  I need my Pops.  I miss Auntie Anna."  She continued to be a mess the entire drive back home.

Once we got home, we were all pretty pathetic.  Even Ryan said the house felt too quiet and too empty.  We spent most of the afternoon fighting back the sniffles.  It really was a depressing sight.

It was the lowest of lows.  

Today is a little better than yesterday, but not by much.  I think it is only because we have an appointment with the immigration lawyer in just two more days to find out more about what we need to do so that we no longer have to experience these awful goodbyes...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Just Like Pops

You may recall a post that I did about my Daddy for Fathers Day a few years ago.

I make it pretty clear within that post as to exactly how I feel about my Daddy. Based on that, you would be able to quickly assume that I was pretty happy to see my son trying to be just like his Pops early this morning.

Pops was at the computer, checking on the status of their upcoming flight back home to South Carolina, and eating his standard breakfast of peanut butter crackers.  Myers decided that he needed to do the same thing...

What makes this picture even better is that I have one of Reagan, almost the same age as Myers is now, in the exact same spot doing the same thing!

Yes, it warms my heart when I see my kids trying to be just like Pops!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This has been the best Christmas EVER!  It has been so much fun having all of my family here with us, and I am sure that I am going to be a big blubbering mess this time tomorrow after they have all gone back home to South Carolina. But for now, I am still loving having everyone here together, all under one roof, to celebrate my favourite holiday of the year!

This year was no different in many ways, as our family has a few traditions that we make sure always happen.

Reagan and Ryan are a team when it comes to putting the toppers on our two Christmas trees...

Reagan and Ryan are also a team when it comes to making the gingerbread house.  The did a spectacular job again this year, as Reagan tried very hard not to eat all of the decorations...

I must also give credit to the most amazing gingerbread house that I have ever seen.  Reagan's boyfriend's family goes ALL OUT when it comes to their fabulous creations.  I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo below, but their gingerbread house is literally about twenty times the size of ours and it weighs a ton!

It's just wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Santa!  A family about 10 minutes from our home decorates their entire front acre of land with millions of Christmas lights. In the center of the grand display is a giant blue fairy-tale type castle where the most magnificent Santa sits on his giant throne to welcome the kids. This Santa is FABULOUS.  Each and every child that enters his kingdom is made to feel as if he has been waiting to see them for the entire year that has passed since the last Christmas.  This year was no different.  Reagan was ready to climb up into his lap to tell him her biggest wish... a pink Barbie camper.  Myers, on the other hand, was a little unsure about the big man in the red suit!

Reagan also makes sure that everyone, meaning Santa and his reindeer, all get fed on Christmas Eve.  She and I bake cookies for Santa, and then we whip up a batch of reindeer food.  This year, we made a big enough batch of reindeer food that Reagan was able to share it with our neighbours, her cousins, and of course her boyfriend's family.  Those reindeer were well fed this year for sure!  Our mixture of food is made up of goji berry oatmeal, glitter, and sequins.  The oatmeal is obviously for the reindeer to eat while Santa is in our house, and the glitter and sequins help them to easily find us!  Myers even joined in on the fun of sprinkling the reindeer food all over our front yard this year.

A new tradition was started for us this year.  At least I hope it will become a tradition because both of my children were thrilled that it happened.  I guess it will all depend on Nokee, as he was the one that allowed it to begin with...

Yesterday morning, when the kids came downstairs to find Nokee, they discovered that he was sitting inside of Reagan's stocking, and he once again had a little note.

Dear Reagan and Myers, 
I am so excited for today!  SANTA comes tonight!  And guess what?  Santa has agreed that I can ride back to the North Pole with him in his sleigh, so that means that I will not need my Christmas magic to get back home tonight.  Please, please, please will you and Myers give me a great big hug tonight before you go to bed?  I won’t get to see you again until I come back to your house next year, so I definitely want to be able to give you a proper goodbye.  Don’t worry, you won’t hurt me by hugging me.  Like I said, Santa has promised that he will take care of me!  
I have had so much fun the past few weeks hiding in different places in your house each morning.   And I have loved every minute of every day, watching you two play together.  It is very obvious that you both love each other very much.  That makes me and Santa both very happy! 
I will miss you until next Christmas, but I will be back again next holiday season.  
Don’t forget my hug when you get ready for bed!  And be sure to get to bed on time tonight for Santa! 
I love you both! 
Nokee, Your Elf

All Reagan could talk about all day long on Christmas Eve was how she was going to get to touch Nokee and give him a hug before she went to bed.  She was VERY VERY VERY VERY excited!  The moment was truly priceless and absolutely precious when she and Myers told Nokee their goodbyes for this year.

Reagan (obviously not Myers yet) has not begun to question the magic of Christmas, and I hope that time doesn't come for many more years.  In order to help keep the magic alive for my kids for as long as possible, I decided to get a little sneaky with Santa this year.  I needed picture proof to show them that he does exist!  With a little help from Capture The Magic,  I was able to do just that. Here is picture proof that Santa was here, in our living room, delivering all of our Christmas goodies.  GOTCHA SANTA!

It was so much fun to watch the kids opening their gifts this morning.  Reagan was thrilled to get her requested Barbie camper, as well as a whole bunch of Barbie accessories to go with it.

And Myers was way more interested in opening presents this year compared to him sleeping through Christmas morning last year!  He was most excited about his big ride-on/push-along Caterpillar dump truck.

Because of the fact that we open presents one by one, each person taking a turn and then enjoying watching everyone else have a turn as well, Christmas morning stretched into Christmas afternoon for us this year even though we were up before 7:00.  But we prefer to do it this way instead of everyone tearing into all their gifts all at once and then no one has a clue of what happened!  So after our marathon morning, we were all ready for the delicious brunch that I had prepared... a breakfast casserole with eggs, sausage and bacon, a pecan swirled coffee cake, a casserole of breakfast potatoes that my sweet friend Stephanie gave us, and lots of tropical fruit.  We were all fuelled up for an afternoon of playing with our new toys!

It seems crazy that we needed to eat that much food for brunch when you consider that we had just each consumed what felt like double our body weight the night before when I made Christmas dinner for all of us and the rest of Ryan's family too.  Deep fried turkey, cranberry stuffing, party potatoes, squash casserole, green bean casserole, Crock Pot macaroni and cheese, devilled eggs, corn, biscuits, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie... all made from scratch!  It added up to be close to a $450 feast for 15 that was over faster than you can say Merry Christmas!  

The last present that we opened this morning was actually my favourite present of all.  The big Santa bag was labeled as "Open Last", and when I opened it up we realized that it was stuffed with one present for each of us. Auntie Anna, Pops, Momsey, Reagan, Myers, Ryan and I all simultaneously opened up our gifts to find matching pyjamas for the entire family!  Reagan and I have been wearing matching pyjamas for years now, so that must be how Santa knew that we would get a big kick out of the whole family being able to do so as well.  The girls will all soon be going to bed tonight wearing our pink dog tired pjs while the boys are sporting their pirate attire.  TOO CUTE!

We finished off the evening with one last tradition... our family portrait!

It's been a whirlwind couple of days, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. Like I said at the very beginning of this post, it was the best Christmas ever!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Auntie Anna Is Here

Our house is now full, and we are ready for Christmas...  Auntie Anna is here!

My sister's flight got in late last night after Myers was already in bed, so he and Ryan didn't make the trip to the airport to pick her up.  Pops, Momsey, Reagan and I were all anxiously awaiting her arrival, and Reagan was VERY happy to see her Auntie Anna again!

Anna lived with us as our nanny for just over a year, and this is her first visit back to Canada after moving back home to South Carolina a couple of months before Myers was born.  She was up bright and early this morning, ready to get some cuddles and snuggles from Myers as soon as he came out of his crib.

This will only be a short visit for Anna, as she and my parents are all flying home together the day after Christmas.  We won't have time for any princess parties, camping, or parades like Anna is used to doing when she is with us.  But it just wouldn't have been the same if she wasn't here for Christmas with the rest of us.

Welcome back Anna!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nokee - Our Elf On The Shelf

You may have heard about the book and the tradition of The Elf on The Shelf.   You may have even seen the adorable television show about the elf named Chippey that aired this Christmas, An Elf's Story, that is based on the book.  If not, you can watch the trailer here...

But just in case you still aren't sure exactly what purpose these little elves serve, let me tell you!

The Elf on the Shelf is how Santa knows who to put on the Naughty list and the Nice list.  Every family that receives an elf has to name him or her in order for the elf to receive its Christmas magic and to become a part of the family's Christmas each and every year.

Thanks to my parents, we have our very own little Elf on the Shelf in our family... NOKEE!  Reagan named him the first year that he came to be with us back in 2009, and he has truly become a part of our family since then.

Nokee is an excellent listener, and an even better observer.  He is Santa's eyes and ears in our home!  We can not touch Nokee or else he will lose his magic, but he always listens and delivers messages to Santa.  He pays attention to everything that happens during the day, both the good and the bad, and he then reports back to Santa each night by using his magical Christmas powers to fly back to the North Pole.  He flies back to our house each morning before we wake up, and he loves to play hide-and-seek by landing in a different spot every day.  For the past two years, Reagan has loved to wake up during the holiday season to run downstairs and find Nokee!

Needless to say, we were very happy this year when we came downstairs a couple of weeks ago to discover that Nokee was once again in our home, and that he was up to his usual mischief!  He was perched on a candlestick, holding an itty bitty tee tiny little note that almost required a magnifying glass to read, addressed to both Reagan and Myers...
Dear Reagan and Myers,
I am so happy to FINALLY come back to visit with you from the North Pole.  Santa and Mrs. Claus and all of us elves have been busy all year getting ready for Christmas.  We have also been keeping an eye on the two of you!
Reagan, you are such a busy little girl this year.  You are in Kindergarten!  Santa is very impressed that you are starting to read.  WOW!  I know that Mrs. Dreyer and Mrs. Paulson both love you very much and that they are very happy that you are in their class.  Oh yes, I know who your teachers are!  I also know all about Coach Diana, Coach Katie, Miss Suzanne, Mrs. Rusch, and Miss Danielle.  I get tired just thinking about all of the fun activities that you do everyday.  You are one lucky girl! 
And you are an AWESOME big sister!  
Myers, you are a very lucky little boy to have Reagan as your sister.  I can’t believe how much you have grown over the past year!  When I arrived at your house last year, you were just an itty bitty little baby!   Now you are almost walking and talking and eating anything that you see!  
Reagan, don’t worry, Santa and I have made special notes to make sure that we only bring toys for Myers that will be safe for him to play with… we don’t want him choking on any small pieces since he puts everything into his mouth!  But we need you to give us some good ideas of toys that you think that Myers might like.  And we need to know what presents you are hoping for this year, too! 
I’m happy to be back in your house to visit with you again this year.  Just remember the rules… 
1 – No touching!  You don’t want me to lose my Christmas magic!
2 – Tell me your wishes!  Even though I can’t talk back to you, I can tell Santa!
3 – Be on your best behavior!  I’m ALWAYS watching!
Happy Holidays Reagan and Myers!  We’re going to have so much fun this year, I just know it! 
Nokee, Your Elf
Since that morning, Nokee has been keeping us on our toes.  He's landed in a few of his usual spots... on top of either of our Christmas trees, on the fireplace mantle, or hanging from a light fixture.  But he has also had a few surprises for us this year.  

One morning we found him inside our refrigerator with another small note explaining that he thinks our house is too hot and that the refrigerator reminds him of the North Pole.

The morning that Pops and Momsey arrived, we couldn't find him in the house anywhere... he was waiting in the car to ride to the airport with us!  He had heard Reagan counting down the sleeps, so he decided to hitch a ride so that he could see them immediately upon their arrival!

We came downstairs one morning to find him sitting quite proudly beside Reagan's lunch box with yet another little note explaining that he had decided to help out around the house, so he had gone ahead and packed Reagan's lunch box for me.  He must have been a bit confused though, because her lunch box was filled with a bag of uncooked rice, a can of tuna, a sleeve of Starbucks Via coffee, 2 large garlic bulbs, over a dozen peanut butter dog biscuits, a bag of Aveeno Oatmeal baby wash, and close to twenty Hershey kisses.  Needless to say, I had to repack her lunch... Thanks anyway Nokee!

But this morning, we discovered his trickiest move yet.  I had made a loaf of bread in my Breville Breadmaker last night (OMG I love that thing!), and had left a small bowl of unused flour sitting on the counter.  Nokee must have knocked over the bowl of flour when he landed, because it was spread across my stovetop when we came downstairs.  But that wasn't the best part of it... Nokee had made a snow angel in the flour!

He is one silly elf, and we can't wait to see what else he has in store for us this year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This One's For The Boys

Since the girls got to spend Sunday afternoon in Vancouver at The Nutcracker Ballet, it seemed only fair for the boys (minus Myers) to spend Monday evening in Vancouver at the Canuck game!  Ryan's boss offered up a pair of tickets, and Ryan gladly accepted them and invited my dad to join him.

This was the second time that Ryan has taken my dad to see the Canucks play.  They had awesome seats the first time that my dad went to a game back in 2010, but nothing like the seats that they had last night... they were directly behind the Minnesota Wild bench!  Were it not for the glass partition, my dad could have reached out and rubbed the bald head of the Minnesota coach... that's just how close they were to all the action.

Thank you again, Tim, for spoiling the boys!  They had a FANTASTIC time and are still talking about it today!

Monday, December 19, 2011

13 Month Update

Myers has been one busy little dude this past month.  Since turning one, he has
  • become a US CITIZEN!
  • started walking.
  • figured out how to take his diaper off by himself.
  • had two more teeth to come in, giving him a total of 10 pearly whites.
  • started clapping his hands.
  • started holding up one finger as if to say, "I'm one!"
  • given us a scare with a 104.1 fever.
  • turned into a very jealous little boy if anyone else tries to cuddle with Mommy.
  • started facing forward in his car seat.
  • fed himself yogurt with a spoon.
  • learned how to say Momsey and will give a good growl when asked to say Pops.
  • started getting into ALL kinds of mischief, including climbing into my Tupperware drawer!
He's a 13 month old cutie pie!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Goh Nutcracker Ballet in Vancouver

Today was a VERY fun day for the ladies in our house!

We were excited to get all dressed up and to drive to downtown Vancouver to experience The Nutcracker performed by the Goh Ballet Academy at The Centre.  I had been planning to take Reagan to this event, and was super excited when I found out that my parents would be arriving in time for Momsey to join us as well.

We said goodbye to the men of the house, and made the drive to Vancouver with much anticipation.  We have been reading the book The Nutcracker for the past couple of weeks, so Reagan was fully aware of the story behind the ballet.  Once we arrived at The Centre, we quickly found our seats in the front row of the balcony level and waited for the performance to begin.

We were simply spellbound watching the dancers as the story came to life on stage.  Reagan sat completely still the entire 90 minutes, eyes glued to the stage, mesmerized by what she was seeing.  As we were getting ready to leave at the end of the show, she told me that her hands were sore from clapping too much!

We were lucky enough to be able to let Reagan meet one of the ballerinas as we were leaving.  Needless to say, all Reagan was able to talk about the rest of the day was how she is going to be a prima ballerina one day herself!

It really was an amazing afternoon!  If you ever get the opportunity, you should make plans to experience it for yourself.  If not, then you can always just watch this brief video montage from the 2009 performances!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The First School Dance

No, I don't mean a dancing performance that takes place at Reagan's school.

I mean a DANCE.  Like, an after-school dance.  Like, boys and girls, all dressed up at night time, going to THE dance!

Hello...  She is five years old and she is going to her first dance!  Lord, help me!

Reagan was so excited that she asked me to start doing her hair as soon as she got home from school today.  She was dressed and ready to go before the sun went down!

And once 6:30 arrived, she was standing at the front door, telling us to hurry up so that she wouldn't be late.  Since Pops and Momsey are here, we were able to leave Myers at home with them without any worries!

The dance was being held in the school gymnasium as a fundraiser by our PAC (Parent Advisory Council) committee to help raise money for the replacement of the current playground equipment.  Families of the students were asked to attend as chaperones and to enjoy the dance themselves as the event occurred after school hours (6:30-8:30).  Santa Clause was on hand to listen to the kid's wish lists and for photos, and there were tons of concessions, raffles, and door prizes.

Reagan and one of her classmates had their picture taken with Santa, and while the girls looked adorable, Santa looked a bit creepy in my opinion!

I have to say, I was very impressed with the organization of this fundraiser.  The kids all had an amazing time, and the adults had a lot of fun as well.  I think the highlight of the evening for Reagan was when she danced with her school Principal.  I'll admit, that was a highlight for me too... it is very encouraging to see the Principal of a school eagerly interacting with all of the children at an event like this!

We came home as soon as the dance was over to put twinkle toes to bed so that she could get a good night's sleep before her last day of school before Christmas break tomorrow.  

Something tells me the teachers are going to have their hands full tomorrow... overly tired kids that are overly excited for Christmas break!  Whew... glad it's them and not me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pops & Momsey Are Back!

We've been counting down the sleeps for weeks, and the big day finally arrived...  Pops and Momsey are back!

We picked them up from the airport yesterday, and I am not sure who was the most excited out of our whole bunch.  As is tradition for Reagan, she ran down the hallway to greet them after they had gone through customs.

But this time, she had a partner.  

He may have moved much slower than Reagan, but Myers WALKED down the hallway with the same gigantic smile on his face as his sister had on hers.  Pops and Momsey were very impressed to see their grandson walking to greet them, and they immediately scooped up both Myers and Reagan for tons of hugs and kisses and cuddles and snuggles.

Of course, I didn't have my camera with me.  And I didn't think fast enough to use the video camera on my iPhone.  UGH!  

Reagan chatted Momsey's ear off during the car ride back home, and Myers and Pops grunted at each other like only they can do!  Once we were home and Pops and Momsey had unpacked, it was time to play...  I didn't think I was ever going to get the kids to go to bed with all of the excitement in the house, but somehow it happened.

Momsey walked with us in the bitter cold this morning to take Reagan to school, and Reagan was very proud to take her inside the classroom to show off all of her artwork and projects.  Pops stayed home where it was warm and toasty!

We're happy to have them here visiting with us for the next 2 weeks, and we've got tons of fun things lined up to do while they are here.

Stay tuned for all the details!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The KPod Christmas Performance

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis (Hi Mom!) will probably remember that Reagan's school is divided into learning pods.  Today, the KPod (comprised of the two kindergarten classes at her school) put on their second performance of the year... the Christmas Concert!

Ryan and I knew most of the songs that the kids performed for us today, as Reagan has been practicing them NON STOP for the past couple of weeks! Even though we somewhat knew what to expect, we were still very surprised at just how much these little kids have learned in the past month or so.

The boys and girls were all dressed in their Christmas best, and they were excited to perform for all of the families this morning, and then again for the entire school this afternoon.  After taking their places on the rafters, they began the show by singing "The Teddy Bear Twist" with their favourite stuffed animals. You can watch a portion of the song below!  If you double click on the video, it will take you to my YouTube page where you can then click to watch it in full screen.

Next, it was time for the "ABC's of Christmas" and "Rock Around The Christmas Tree".  Reagan is holding up the letter "R" for the ABC's of Christmas" picture, and she is front and center during "Rock Around the Christmas Tree".

The kids then moved down off of the risers to take their places on the floor with a partner to do the Cha-Cha-Cha.  

When the performance was over, all of the parents took advantage of the moment and took tons of pictures of our adorable children.  Reagan was happy to pose with a few of her BFFs!

It truly was a spectacular performance, and we were all completely impressed!  I asked Reagan to tell me about her experience on the big stage, and this was what she said,
"I loved it because not just all the families but also the whole school got to see it.  We had been working very hard for our kindergarten performance today.  It was exciting because it was the second time that we had performed in the gym, and it was fun to show everyone what we can do now.  I felt really excited and I think all the parents felt really happy to see all the stuff that we had learned!"
I couldn't have said it any better myself!  Looks like I've got a future blogger on my hands! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Myers is WALKING!

You read the title correctly... Myers is finally walking on his own!

He accidentally took 4 steps on Saturday.  I say accidentally because he did it before he realized he was doing it.  Once he had taken those 4 little steps, he stopped, looked around at us all, and then quickly sat down.  It was almost as if he was flat refusing to walk if we were going to be watching!

We've been working on it since then, and today he took 12 steps, three times in a row.

Looks like it is time to start baby proofing the house for a walking toddler!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Knopp Family Christmas Card

I never blogged about it, but my husband surprised me with the most amazing gift for Christmas last year... a new camera.  And not just any camera, but the Canon 60D that I had been drooling over for months and months!

For the past year, I have been working on taking better pictures with my new pride and joy.  Today, I put myself to the test.

I draped the opening between our living room and dining room with a cream coloured king sized sheet, and I draped another sheet across the floor of our dining room.  I then used over a hundred of our outdoor icicle lights to hang behind the draped sheet.  I had just created the backdrop for our Christmas cards!

I made a phone call to Newlands, where 90% of my bridal business is conducted, and asked if I could borrow a few of their Christmas props for an hour or so.  They gladly said yes!

So, I was ready to take some stunning pictures of my kids...  I just had to get them to cooperate with me!  Easier said than done when one wants to be a camera diva and the other wants to just crawl around with the camera.

After almost an hour of off-and-on shooting, we were done.  Here's a few of the shots that we decided NOT to use...

And here's the three pictures that our friends and family will be viewing on our Christmas card this year...

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Roseola Scare

Myers has been teething this week, so I didn't get too worked up when he started with a low grade fever.  But when his temperature suddenly spiked to 104.1, I decided it was time to head quickly to our Doctor.  The weird thing was, the fever was his only symptom.  He really didn't even seem to be overly cranky or anything.  Our family physician did a FULL work up on Myers, and the only answer that we could come up with was possibly Roseola.

This was a new one for me, the non-Doctor Doctor Mommy!  Dr. Wong explained it to me in detail and told me what to be on the lookout for in the coming days.  We came home from the doctor's office, I put Myers down for a nap, and then I hopped online to do as much research on this illness as I could so that I would no longer feel ignorant to this disease.


The first thing that I read said that roseola is sometimes referred to as "baby measles" because of the rash that will develop post-fever.  Myers had just had his MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine 10 days ago, so I googled MMR.  I began to get worried when I read that rubella is also known as epidemic roseola.  So I began to dig even more, and I googled "roseola after immunizations" since I had now linked roseola to both measles and rubella.

Oh good grief!

Now I was coming upon websites that were suggesting that children who develop roseola after receiving the MMR vaccine can possibly be prone to developing autism from immunizations as well.  It was at this point that I shut down my computer and got back on the phone with our family doctor.

He put my mind at ease, but I still decided to reach out to a family friend from home that is a dermatopathologist.  He further assured me that I was suffering from Overactive Mommy Brain, and that I truly had nothing to worry about.


As it turns out, I was able to prove to myself that I had nothing to worry about... Myers never got the rash when his fever subsided!  It appears that he simply had a 24 hour, unexplainable fever.

Maybe it was just teething after all?  And maybe I need to remember that I am not really a doctor!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

From our family to yours... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

My One Year Old Kindergartener

Myers is an official member of Reagan's Kindergarten class!

Well, he was.

At least, if you were to ask him (and if he were to be able to verbally answer you) that is what he would have you to believe.

I have been volunteering as the Mommy Helper in Reagan's class once a week for the past several weeks, and this day of the week has most definitely become Myers's favourite day!  He has loved going to school with his big sissy, and he has loved being able to interact with all of her friends.  Unfortunately, all of his interacting has caused a bit of a disturbance more than once in class, so today was probably the last time that I will be able to take him with me.  

While I fully understand that it is more important for the REAL kindergarten kids to get an education, I have to admit that I am disappointed that I won't be able to help out in class anymore.  That is, unless I can arrange for alternate child care for Myers on whatever particular day I want to be in the classroom. And I do have a couple of options before the end of the school year for that to be able to happen, so my fun is not completely over!

The first few times that I helped out in class, Myers sat quietly in his stroller at the back of the classroom and rarely made a peep.  But as he has gotten older, he has become more vocal.  And more mobile.  And he is now very comfortable in the kindergarten classroom, so he doesn't want to be confined to his stroller.  

He wants to PLAY!

Today, he was simply too cute for words.  As Mrs. Dreyer was asking the kids to say silently in their minds the sound that the letter A makes, Myers suddenly blurts out in a very loud voice, "ah, ah, ah!"  Now of course, he was not responding directly to Mrs. Dreyer's question.  But he did give the correct answer!  It just happened to be a rare coincidence that one of the few clear sounds he can make happened to be the answer to her question, and that he was "chatting" with his sounds at just the right time as well. We all had a good laugh!

As I've mentioned before, even though is not walking yet, Myers can pull himself up on just about anything and he can stand on his own.  So, at snack time today, Myers promptly crawled over to one of the tables, pulled himself up to standing beside the table, and began to pick snacks out of the kids lunch boxes.  

Later in the day, as the kids all went to the front of the classroom for carpet time, Myers decided that he would join right in.  He crawled up to the front of the class, plopped himself between two of the older boys, and sat criss-cross-applesauce just like everyone else.  It was cute, and all the kids thought so.  But this, of course, caused less attention to be focused on the task at hand than should have been.  But it was not as much of a distraction as when he started trying to dance around during music class!

So as you can tell, Mr. Myers is just too full of mischief to be able to roam free in the classroom anymore, and he is too full of mischief to happily sit in his stroller.  

I guess he'll just have to wait until he is five years old like all the other kids to become a true kindergartener!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Newlands Festival of Trees

As my business, The Bride's Assistant, has grown over the past few years, I have expanded my services from beyond being a Wedding Coordinator to also include Special Event Planning.  It is in that capacity that I was asked to manage the Newland's Festival of Trees to benefit the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation this year.  

Over the past several weeks, I have been in contact with over 300 businesses in the Langley area in an effort to get new participation for this charitable event.  The purpose of the event is to help raise money for the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, and to provided businesses with a fun and festive way to promote their business during the Christmas rush.  

Live Christmas trees were purchased by making a $200 tax-deductible donation to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.  Tonight, all of the participating business were invited to Newlands Golf and Country Club for a Decorating Reception.  The pre-purchased trees had been placed throughout the entryways of Newlands so that the teams of tree trimmers could immediately begin decorating upon their arrival this evening.  In all of my previous correspondence with each of the participating businesses, I had encouraged them to use their corporate colours or themes for their decor... for example a landscaping company could decorate their tree with miniature lawnmowers, rakes, gardening gloves, etc.  The teams truly outdid themselves in this effort, as the trees all looked amazing upon completion.   The festive event was a super fun, team-building experience for the participating companies, and it was a great way to kick off the holiday season.  Newlands was transformed into a Christmas forest!

Once the job of decorating was complete, it was time for the companies to vote for the tree of their choice in the following categories...  Best Corporate Tree, Most Enchanting Tree, Best Creative Use of Material, and Best Decorating Team Spirit. The only rule was that you couldn't vote for yourself!

The party was then moved into the grand Conservatory Ballroom for a social reception, complete with complimentary hors d'oeuvres, holiday treats, wine, and other refreshments.  I had invited the performance team from Langley Gymnastics to provide us with breathtaking, high flying entertainment, and the girls didn't disappoint!   The over 200 people in attendance were also charmed by the 60 members of the Langley First Capital Barber Shop Chorus, as they swooned us all with a selection of Christmas carols.  

We wrapped up the evening with the announcement of the winners in each of the categories, and on behalf of Newlands, I presented the winners with an array of prizes.  The biggest prize of all was the envelope that I presented to The Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation with $3950.39 of donations inside!  

I was very proud of the special helper that I had in attendance as well.  Reagan was happy to join me as my assistant, and as always, I was excited to have her with me at one of my events!

The Festival of Trees will continue until December 24th, and the thousands of guests that come to Newlands during the holiday season will be able to enjoy the Christmas forest.  Everyone is invited to cast their vote from now until December 24th for the tree that will be selected as the winner of the title of "Master Trimmer."  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What the Hell? Reagan Has A HOLE IN HER HEAD!

Reagan came home from gymnastics last night, complaining of a headache. 

It was not all that unusual, as this used to always be the first thing that she would say when she walked in the door.  It took a few weeks for me to figure it out, but her headaches were actually coming from having her hair pulled back into a tight ponytail all day at school, and then all afternoon at gymnastics.  Hello, even I would get a headache if my hair was pulled back for 11 hours!  The headaches disappeared once I started letting her wear her hair down to school on gymnastics days to alleviate the tension!

So when she walked in the door last night after Ryan had picked her up from gymnastics, I was a little surprised to hear her complaint.  She pushed her dinner around her plate more than she actually ate it, and we finally gave up the battle of trying to get her to eat and told her she could go get ready for bed.  I went upstairs with her, and was helping her to take her ponytail down once she had her pyjamas on.  It was at this moment that my heart jumped into my throat.

In as calm of a voice as possible, I said, "Reagan, we haven't done a lice check in awhile.  Mommy's going to look at your hair for a few minutes, okay?" This was fine by her, as she loves for me to play with her hair.  (There was an incident of lice with a child in her Kindergarten class earlier in the school year, so Reagan is used to paranoid Mommy making sure that the little critters haven't jump onto her head next.  Hence, the ponytail at school everyday...) While she was lying on her bed, I called down to Ryan for him to please come upstairs and to bring my cell phone (camera) with him.

Again, trying to remain calm so that Reagan didn't start to freak out, I parted her hair to take a closer look at what I had already discovered.  This was what was causing me to nearly faint and debate on if I needed to make a trip to the hospital.

Ryan took a look and mouthed, "What the hell is that?" to me.  I just shook my head in confusion and began to ask a million questions of Reagan...
Did you fall at gymnastics?
Did you hit your head?
Does your head hurt?
Did your coach look at your head at any point tonight?
All Reagan could say was that she was running and that she bonked heads with another little girl on the team.  I knew that I needed to be able to see exactly what I was dealing with, as the dried blood surely was making it look worse than it really was.  At least that was what I was hoping for!

I convinced Reagan that even though she was tired and that it was now already past her bedtime, we needed to have a spa night downstairs!  I fixed a pile of comfy towels on our counter top, and had her lay her head back into the sink as if she were at the salon.  All the while, I was talking in a froo-froo fancy voice, making her think that were having so much fun at this elegant salon.  But on the inside, I was seething mad!  How could something like this have happened and no one at the gym realized it or told Ryan about it when he picked her up?

Once I had washed her hair and removed all of the caked-on blood, we discovered that it was actually only a small puncture mark instead of a large gash in her head.

But still, how in the world did this happen?  I asked Reagan the same series of questions, but I still had no answer that provided an explanation as to the hole in her head.  We let her go to sleep, and I began to phone a few of the other Mommy's on the team to see if anyone had any clues.

No luck.

This morning, I called the gymnastics centre the moment that the office opened.  I explained what we had discovered last night, and asked if they could please give me the phone number of the Mom of the little girl that Reagan bonked heads with.  For privacy reasons, they wouldn't give the number to me directly.  But they phoned that Mom, and gave her my number at my request, and within half an hour she was phoning me.

The conversation went something like this.
Me:  Sorry to worry you, but did Isabella come home from gymnastics last night complaining of a headache?  I think she and Reagan bonked heads at some point. 
Other Mom:  She didn't have a headache, but she kept saying that her mouth hurt and that her tooth was loose.   
Me (as the light bulb comes on in my head):  Ummm, I think Isabella's tooth may have gone into Reagan's head last night when they collided. Reagan came home with a hole in her head that is exactly the size of a five year old's tooth.  And she was bleeding pretty good from it.  It doesn't surprise me at all that Isabella's tooth is now loose!
Well, at least I now had an answer.  

I am still pretty upset that no one at the gym realized that it had happened.  I plan to talk to Reagan's coaches about it and to show them the pictures I took last night when we are at the gym again on Thursday.  Both Reagan and Isabella are fine now, but I feel like the coaches need to know that it happened, and that they missed it.

I'm just VERY glad that it turned out to be only a minor accident!