that was then, this is now

last year

this year
picture with santa

i think santa maybe looks a little older, must be all that whiskey.

and ummm why does cohen's hair look so red this year, must be the reflection from those flashy velvet curtains santa has encasing his lair.

merry christmas and a happy new year

hopefully this finds everyone relaxed and past the hustle bustle of all that christmas spirit. i managed to stay away from it all this year. instead we opted for a small roast beef dinner with cohen's two grandma's and us and a humble pile of gifts under our perfect as ever tree (although i do wish it were real and that i could say i went into the bushes one blustery night and cut it down myself like someone i know can).

leading up to christmas we partook in our fair share of christmas activities though. there was a christmas potluck with my co-workers that cohen and i attended, cohen playing the piano and dancing for everyone's amusement. then there was a pancake breakfast at the community centre, complete with santa and a community choir. cohen didn't completely understand santa, but he was very much interested in the choir and danced in front as they sang international christmas carols. to call it breakfast was a stretch but it was fun none the less and cohen seemed to have a great time. we tried to get a picture with cohen on santa's lap but cohen jumped down before i had time to focus! we also managed to take in the bright nights train in stanley park which we all found magical. we went last year but cohen was too young then to really appreciate it, this year his eyes lit up and he clapped with excitement, it was great and will for sure be one of our christmas traditions. lastly we took silvija to vandusen gardens for their festival of lights. we had never been before and didn't know what to expect. many people recommended it so perhaps my expectations were high, but we were all disappointed. there were far too many people there on narrow pathways and once through the gates you were left to your own devices to chart a course around the gardens, often finding yourself at a dead end. i wouldn't go back.

christmas eve was our annual fondue dinner (oil and chocolate) with just silvija and us three in attendance, it was deelish. we also set up cohen's christmas gift on christmas eve to save us the hassle on christmas day. i say we, but i really mean marko, i mean setting up train sets is the dad's job...isn't it? we weren't sure what he would make of the gift and i was perhaps more than a little against it, but in the end it was a hit and he has been playing with it ever since. instead of throwing things around or chewing on them he is starting to understand that cars drive on roads and make vrooom sounds and trains go on tracks, it is great!

i did quite well this year considering and managed to hand make almost all of the gifts i gave. it was a relief to not have to visit a mall, the closest i got to retail was a visit to kidsbooks where i spent 2 hours and $100 on gifts for cohen and others (thanks to everyone for their suggestions on books). i have to say though that i think that 2 hours may have been the best hours i spent that week. cohen was showered with a ton of new books this year, not just from me but from many of our friends as well, thank you to everyone who gifted us with their childhood favourite, it means a lot to us.

i know that many of our family read this from time to time and by now they know that we didn't send out a christmas card this year. our apologies, it just never seemed to come together. i did manage to make a card though, well cohen did i suppose. it was our first foray into finger painting and i think it turned out quite festive. so although it is being said a little bit late, i hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and that this next year is even better than the last!

merry christmas

for many more christmas photos go here. i also put our annual family slideshow online, i will warn you that the file is quite large and the slideshow itself is 12 minutes so it is not for the weak of heart or those violently opposed to sentimentality, but if you think you might enjoy it then please help yourself here


where one door closes...

i meant to get to this last friday but i was asleep before 9, a true sign that i am pregnant (and perhaps getting a little old). then there was saturday, but it was snowing and there was fun to be had so that didn't work either. monday i went to a concert with catriona, and last night was nicole's 30th birthday dinner...yummm! all this to say, excuse me for the delay.

what i would have said last friday is that it was cohen's last day with his nanny and dante, the little boy he shared the nanny with. don't worry we didn't quit because things were bad (although they were a little, but more in a minute), we quit because we didn't need it anymore. you see, marko has to take some vacation time before the end of the year and silvja (aka baka, or my mother in law) will be here on december 23rd, so with grandma still taking two days a week and marko taking on the role of stay at home dad, we seem to have it covered. no doubt baka's days will happily be spent tending to cohen's every need and spoiling him like any baka is prone to do. she is here until the end of february and then i am on maternity. maternity, wow! it is coming up so quick. i can't wait to get back to spending my days with cohen and the little monkey to be.

it was a tough day, knowing it would be the last. sure there had been some issues, often being sent home in a dirty diaper that had been left on way too long causing the occasional rash, and the insistent on snacks at 4:30 even after i stated i didn't want it (he never would eat a proper dinner after), but cohen loved amy and always had big smiles when saw her in the morning. plus, there is dante the seemingly perfect friend for cohen. we don't have a playmate replacement at our house, over here cohen just has us. still, now he has unlimited cuddles and one on one attention, late breakfasts with dad and soon to be long walks with baka, and that ain't bad either.

we have decided that it would be nice to keep in touch, so every second wednesday we plan on meeting up at the open gym at the mt. pleasant community centre. we went last week for the first time, it was great fun, if not extremely chaotic. the boys seems to really like it.

here are some pictures of dante and cohen both at dante's home and at the community centre. it was quite the challenge to get one with the two of them together!


that is amy on your left in this picture, she hates having her photo taken so i don't have any better!

in other news, i have been very crafty lately. there has been much sewing and decoration creating and soap making. hopefully i will get to an update here with what i have been doing and some pictures (but not too many as much of what i am doing is for gifts, gifts for some of you!) soon.

in the meantime i am looking for suggestions. what are a few of your favourite children's books? i know there are many of you that read this from time to time and never comment, so now is your chance, let your voice be heard!