Because it is my excuse for a lack of blog entry today — ok more like what I would LIKE to be doing but anyway… tomorrow I will be much more motivated – PROMISE!!!
Archive | December 2009
First off, MERRY CHRISTMAS! and for those who celebrate – Blessed Solstice.
Now… after alerting all 3 sets of parents to our big news I can FINALLY post what I have been alluding to in previous entries here! As of about two weeks ago we have confirmed (by home pregnancy test) that we are indeed pregnant! This is not something we decided easily… adding another little one to our not so little family is a big decision and not to be taken lightly with our added possibility of twins. So after much discussion and soul searching we decided to keep up our 2 yr span between the babies and go for it.
When we got married the number of babies was a hot topic and we actually agreed on 5, so this looks like the last pregnancy for the Reinsch-Johnsons (though I am a firm believer in NEVER saying for absolute – that ALWAYS blows up in our faces) so we are planning to enjoy this event to the fullest… there will be NO advance knowledge of the gender and hopefully a little photo shoot before baby arrives some time early August. We have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the 6th of January to confirm and make the necessary plans for an early ultra sound and referral to our favourite OBGYN office. Sadly with the holidays and weather we could not get in sooner – the only other two dates fell first thing in the morning (not a good idea since the dr is back in the town my mom lives in over an hour away) or the day we are seeing the Davey family off back to California AND (he)Chris is going in for ankle surgery and needs Ken to help him get back home. So the 6th it is!
Of course this being pregnancy #4 we are not so worried and thankfully, so far, I have not thrown up! SO FAR.
Our parents took the news basically well, I think my dad is a little worried about me as per usual but mom – well I gave her the below card (designed by Karyn) and she waffled between tears, hugs and screaming… so I think she is excited!
Thankfully I managed to save A LOT of clothes for both genders while still donating and gifting lots to friends and family so that is rather taken care of as is things like the car-seat, high chair, baby bath… what I do NOT have is a bassinet… and diapers. I am sure there are a few “luxury” items I would love to have for this baby but that will depend on finances. We have done without them before we can do so now! Though I DO need to hunt down a place to purchase maternity clothes on the cheap. Some of what I have is rather worse for wear now and I have NEVER been pregnant and large over the summer!
Anyway… back to the past couple days…
Christmas Eve was a little rushed in the morning getting the family packed up and out the door to go visit first their Aunty Christine (also Gavin’s Godmommy) and her 6 month old puppy Bella. (who was an instant hit with the whole family and NOT a barker!).
Presents were exchanged and the kids spoiled! The twins each got their very own remote control call (which of course had the parallel drawn to the red remote control car that their Cousin Jimmie got from his mommy and daddy). This was promptly used to terrorize everyone – luckily Bella is quick on her feet!
Emanuel got a Lightning McQueen car that when you shake it enough it talks and then goes for a bit of a drive forward. Emanuel has spent much of the following days shaking that car and letting it go while cheering along! Trinity got a baby doll with her very own toy kitty that Bella thought should be shared! This dolly is the perfect size for the doll bed she then received on Christmas Day.
After a nice long visit we packed back up leaving Christine time to get her dog calmed down and get herself ready for the close shift at Shoppers. This had us on our way to Grandma’s house – a destination of choice for our 4! Funny how it is Mike’s truck, Mike’s bike but GRANDMA’S house. We got over there in time to find the hidden key (in a place only Ken remembers), get settled and play a bit before dressing the crew for Christmas Eve service at our old church.
Take special note of the Beatle we had in the grey shirt… looking spiffy after a bang trim he reminds me of the old black and white footage of the Beatles when they first came to the US. Oh and the pretty Christmas dress – last year’s choice it FINALLY fits properly THIS year! Grandma and Mike made it back just in time for Grandma to join us after dropping James and his family at the bus station – they had to go to another city to do so as the Red Arrow only goes from select places but had the best price.
We made it through 40 min of the service – basically up to the sermon including the kids’ time where all 3 boys drug Grandma to the front to enjoy story time. By the time the sermon started the boys were hungry and Trinity getting fussy so we headed back to the house for dinner. Oh and our traditional Christmas family pictures.
Dinner was not nearly as expansive as the previous at mom’s – we had a nice selection from M&M Meats courtesy of a gift card she received as a gift. Oh and the kids had floats! Blueberry ice cream (they were out of home-made vanilla) and grape pop. The kids were in heaven and I even had myself a dish of home-made raspberry ice cream! YUM!
Of course we had to stay well into the evening with the boys playing with their new cars in the basement and Trinity, Mike and Harley playing up in the living room.
We actually left around 9:30 with 4 very sleepy kids in tow. Once we got home we put the Santa key in the mailbox (thank you BJ!) and then banana cookies and CHOCOLATE milk was put out for Santa (note the exhausted almost 4 yr old attempting NOT to cry at this point).
With out VERY late night and lack of naps for the little ones Christmas Day actually started at a REASONABLE time! Ken let me sleep in until the bacon was done leaving me the task of making pancakes for everyone (not from scratch this time – box mix). Soon after everyone was fed and of course the kids dressed in their new Christmas pjs the fun truly started!
I did try to keep some semblance of control over the present opening. All 4 kids get a present each and if you open to fast, well then you just have to wait. And of course there was the bow saving for next year and the bags (REUSE). Even with my staying completely in budget Santa, friends and family made this a rather plentiful Christmas for which I am VERY thankful. The only thing we DIDN’T get in time was the booster seats for the twins. It was actually the main gift they were asking for! So we told them those would come in a few days.
The biggest present of course was the table and chairs I saved up for! Talk about perfect size and as Ken pointed out, room for a 5th chair! So of course that was where they HAD TO have supper.
As per tradition we had Uncle Ted over for supper and while Ken and I got the bits and bobs together he and the boys created a “gingerbread house”… fun was had and THAT was the point but I don’t think we would win any sort of competition. Poor Uncle Ted was trying to hold it together with tiny fingers poking the sides and roof to assist the “fixing”.
Dinner was turkey with the fixings… we all ate well over our limit I think. The kids got special “fizzy pop” in the form of those tiny cans you can buy at the grocery store. Desert was chocolate covered wafers and Christmas candies, not that we had much room for any desert! Late bedtime for the kids and an even later one for the adults as well past when I turned in (at almost 2am) Ken and Ted played PS3 until they most likely could not see straight!
Boxing Day is definitely NOT a shopping day for this family. The kids spent their time buzzing around all the new toys… of course Emanuel and Trinity had to try out Trinity’s new bath-toys… and Zander and Gavin Gavin’s new car-wash! I have buzzed through two of my 3 new books sadly (there ARE two more in the series but I am debating the funds available and how they should be used) but have also finished the beading and beard and moustache on my Santa ornament. Ken is going to clip it free and maybe just maybe it will make it onto the tree before we take it down.
I have started a new project actually today in my idle moments… this is one of my Advent gifts… a little kit that I figure would be a perfect gift for my dad and stepmom to add to their new kitchen. The kit actually is to make a pincushion but I figure I could finish it as a tiny wall hanging.
Poor Ken had his usual gift luck and was unable to get any of my gifts in time for Christmas. BUT I was spoiled by my Advent partner and my friend Michaella in the UK (as pictured below – that is my absolute FAVOURITE fragrance from the Body Shop!!!).
I of course had no such problem with Ken. Thankfully he absolutely LOVED his Domo all dressed up as a package. The Toblerone (white chocolate!) lasted the day and the pj pants were put on immediately! With him also loving his Timmies card I think that my choices were a success! $40.00 well spent!
And in going with my “use now” philosophy the bath supplies I was given this year by my mom have already been put into use. This is a philosophy I am working hard to impart into my children. There is such a push to “save things for a rainy day” to keep them for “special occasions” and after a while things just gather dust. So we aren’t putting up our books for later, or keeping treats for that perfect day, instead we are living in the now and enjoying our gifts and it is such a wonderful feeling to use those things you have been holding onto.
A final note about Christmas – our cards ARE going out… but late! So watch your postbox for what would now be considered NEW YEAR greetings! Oh and I am a few short so there is the need to make more… tomorrow of course! Now to clean the house, find places for the new toys and attempt to get the family back to “normal”… yikes.
Pre-Christmas Extended Version
Well, we finally have an “at home day” after almost 3 full days at my mom’s and before that our Friends Christmas party… so lots to catch up on!
Let’s see, Saturday was our party for our local friends and family (Cousin David) – Pot-luck style. What a spread – everything from meatballs (by Ken), to potatoes au grautin (Cousin David) to rice made Chinese style (Ada) and gingerbread and short bread cookies (Chris and Chris). Add to that a ton more from everyone else and no one went hungry!
The guest list was quite extensive:
Chris and Chris, Alan and Xinny with Alexander and Isabella, Nathan and Ada, Fydo (without Kristen, she was at a family gathering), Sean, Ted, Cousin David and Karyn. Add to that our 6 and we had a lovely full and joyful house. We also received phonecalls from ALL our parents – Ken’s called to check about the Christmas money they sent (it is much more economic to send money for us to shop FOR them then post packages for the kids), my mom to check on our travel plans the next day to her house and my Dad to respond to our week of good news and discuss his money sending plans. I am hoping I waylaid any fears and concerns he has about our decisions, future and present. I know *I* am excited about what 2010 has in store for us!
A Christmas party of course leads to Christmas PRESENTS! Alan and Xinny gave Zander and Emanuel tops that have a little hand held device to make htem spin – LED lights and music and all! And Gavin got this dusk that goes on a stick and when you show it off it flies! Trinity got lovely handmade (in China) slippers to grow into! Nathan and Ada gave the boys a set of the Trio blocks which caused MUCH jubilation (thank goodness because in my economizing I had a 5.00 gift certificate for the same brand and got Gavin’s big gift for a steal in the same series). This in turn meant WE gave our gifts to our friends – ornaments for those who have trees, made mainly by the kids, we gushed over and the cross stitches – well it seemed that EVERYONE enjoyed theirs. Alan even got a snicker out of his Christmas ball themed joke stitch.
The only error was on Sean’s Plumber’s Creed but I plan on correcting that in the new year as soon as Ken can alter the design. And Cousin David got an IOU on his Zombie Dragon. We got two rather personal and memorable gifts – from Chris and Chris – cinema tickets that include popcorn and drinks AND 6 FREE babysitting coupons for 6 evenings! What a gift – of course they will come to OUR house.
Speaking of (he)Chris – unlike the projected 3 month wait for his ankle surgery WCB gave him, he has his date – January 4! So Ken is in the wings waiting to bring him home in relative comfort since their car will not make moving in a cast even remotely easy AND there will be assistance needed getting him into his apartment and off his feet for that necessary complete month! We are so excited for him as this surgery is long in coming and should make his life MUCH better!! I hope he is prepared for the get well soon drawings and gifts the boys are going to want to make!
The other absolutely personalized gift was from Karyn – she had to leave after the present opening to go to a librarian Christmas party and forgot about her gifts so I opened hers when she came back to spend the night and put the kids’ under the tree. It is a calendar and beyond lovely. I wish you could see each and every page in detail. I may make an album on the family gallery just to show it off! But of course I can’t resist showing a few pages here!
The party kept on going until well past sundown with some of the guys sticking around to try out the new game Fydo and Kristen got us. I have yet to try it but the guys all really enjoyed it.
Sunday was supposed to start with us going to church for the boys’ in class Christmas party but the entire family slept in and set us back on our preparing to head for our extended stay at mom’s. So we opted instead to spend our morning visiting with Karyn before she headed home to prepare for her trip to Saskatchewan. Even with the sleeping in we managed to make it out the door before too late. With a couple quick stops in the city in our way out and some careful driving we made rather good time. Luckily the weather worked on OUR side with sunshine and not too much wind. Of course I made a quick run into Shoppers to see Christine and cement our Christmas Eve plans with her as she was off to her mom’s for the portion of the week we were in town.
Oh and if you are interested in the cakes Karyn has with her… here is the recipe!
With half a day at mom’s to play the boys were already in heaven. Of course there was also the traditional kids trimming of the tree… Definitely a bottom heavy theme but they had a blast showing us each and every ornament they placed!
Monday morning mom and Mike headed off to collect my brother and his family a little over 3 hours away. They got a bit of a late start as Mike was called into work to deal with some snow removal at the college. After picking up James and his family they were to stop and pick up a trailer Mike had purchased and hour from there. Sounds simple right???
Well two hours or so later my Uncle Wayne shows up with a box of presents AND a box of educational things. The boys took full advantage of having a doting Great Uncle around and played 3D snakes and ladders, barrel of monkeys (Gavin is a pro!) and 3 and 4 letter flashcards…
Not too long after Uncle Wayne got there we got a call from mom letting us know the roads were crappy and it was going to be slow going. So we settled in for a movie – the Barbie Nutcracker and then Uncle Wayne and I went on to tackle the dinner itself. Mom had prepared the turkey and left it in the oven for us to turn on at noon and check on periodically but that left mashed potatoes, peas and carrots and gravy to tackle. After trial and error we managed a rather credible dinner including mom’s home-made cranberry sauce (that the boys actually liked!) and home-made pickles (which we had to cut Emanuel off before he consumed the jar!). Don’t forget mom’s special dip with the seafood sauce. Mmm we were one full group!
So even before Mom and her crowd made it back my Aunty Lorraine, Uncle Ken, their daughter Veronika and her fiancée Adam made it over gifts in hand! This led to so much excitement with the boys that we had to head to the basement and open them RIGHT NOW! Gavin got a Buzz Lightyear, Zander a Woody (both from Toy Story) and Emanuel Handy Manny (off of a show they had coincidentally seen on tv with Daddy the day before). Trinity got the kitty off of the Barbie movie the Three Musketeers which interacts with the cd it came with and the movie (she also got the movie). Talk about happy kids!!
After that excitement in came Uncle James, Aunty Holly and Cousin Jimmie which led to real pandemonium with gifts and play and visiting. There was literally a whirl wind of tearing open paper to the point where I am a little hazy as to who gave who what!
I got a couple of memorable gifts myself – the first – the angel from my childhood for the top of the tree – the ORIGINAL handmade Christmas angel my mom made when James and I were little. I have wanted her for YEARS! This of course led to waterworks.
The other is much more humorous. I think I have mentioned my brother and his wife Holly’s webcomic well there is this one strip that is rather memorable. (Keep in mind their site contains adult humour!) Can you guess what I got? That’s right a Slap Chop WITH the Grady AND the special cutting board! Ken is in heaven!
Oh and besides my news, which I will share as soon as I can, the big gift of the year was once again from Mike to mom – a SCOOTER! One that is relatively motorcycle like. It was one BIG box and the boys had a blast helping open it!
And of course the next day Mike, Ken and James had to drag it back up the stairs! What a work out!
A late evening went even later as we stayed up to visit with James and Holly. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to catch up and compare notes. We really do not get the chance often enough in my mind!
The following day was relatively quiet… there was a basement to clean and children to nap (desperately) and of course play time for the cousins. Including a trip outside in their new gloves and hats from Grandma. I am so glad the boys and Trinity got some time with Jimmie. It makes me wish we lived closer to their city so that we could have these sort of gatherings more often.
We headed back to the city pretty late in the day yesterday, timing it with the Ikea meatball special so that we could have a special dinner and then pick up the two or three presents for Trinity from her Nana and Baba. The “meatball store” is always a special treat and this time we let them eat in the kids’ area where there is a video (usually it is much more busy). Of course after that it was home to bed… not without complaints but we managed.
Today we had to rush out to a couple stores – one specifically to spend the Chapters gift certificate I got from my brother and his family (of course using my 20% discount due to our membership with HLSA). I got 3 books in a new series to try out over the rest of Christmas! Ken is running BACK out tonight to post the package we fought tooth and nail to recover AND to pick up the booster seats Nana and Baba are giving the twins for Christmas (we found lovely ones for under 50.00!!). My goal is to NOT be shopping on the 24th – thank goodness for the 24 hr Walmart and Superstore over Christmas.
Santa was super kind to us after a difficult 2009… we are set for Christmas dinner and the week following and have tried to imprint on the boys how grateful we are. Next year is going to be our opportunity to give back to be sure. But this year it is turkey dinner and as a super special treat – a gingerbread house kit! The kids are to put it together Christmas Day!
So all in all 4 days of fun and excitement. The boys are a little over whelmed by all of it but I am looking forward to a nice and quiet Christmas Day… just the family… and Ted. Now if I could just get the house completely sorted TONIGHT I would be one happy camper!
Oh and don’t forget the 5 days of Advent!