There has been a serious lack of crafting around here this month! I ran out of my making mojo at the end of November, realising that for the first time in a long time, I needed a really good break from making. I think this came on the heels of some other life changes that were offered to us at the same time, including a job opportunity that I eventually decided not to pursue. It forced us to re-evaluate some of the goals we had set out for ourselves after having children and we realised that many of those things are still very much true for us, including me being home with the kids while they are so young (and probably for quite a number of years to come). Working weekends, for those families who have done it, is not easy and in fact, it means there is very little family time, but the trade-off is that I’m home with the kids Monday to Friday and that time is valuable just in an of itself.
The break from crafting meant that I could spend some time doing some other things with the kids and we enjoyed a number of afternoons baking, making and playing. I have to admit, we were all sick most of December so I did spend a number of days at the beginning of the month in bed. Thank goodness my mom was able to help us out because there was no way I could cope with sick kids and being sick myself. As we started to feel better, we started to do more things and enjoyed some really great snow days (although Norah seems to be built like me and really feels the cold. We had to invest in some much warmer things for her and will continue to have to as she gets older!). Unseasonably, we had quite a few inches of snow here this month. It hasn’t gone yet, either, and even though it’s warming up, creating a lot of slush, it is forecasted to get cold again. Snow for Christmas Day might be a reality this year! We shall see.
Because it’s been quite cold, and there’s been a lot of snow, we haven’t been outside as much as we normally would. There’s been quite a few movie and popcorn afternoons, more than I would normally allow but it seems to be a time of the year to so just that: Slow down and enjoy the time at home. The time outside has been of mostly exploring and seeing the ice on the Fraser River, just down the street from us a couple of kilometers. We walk there weekly with friends, and had a good time looking at the river, wondering what spring would bring in terms of flooding and water levels.
And of course, there were many train-watching mornings as the trains sailed by and the kids drank hot chocolate.
There were some afternoons when we really needed to get out and we headed to Strong Start in our neighbourhood to get out and enjoy other company. Norah was still on the mend the last time we went and she sat in the rocking chair most of the time, talking to me about the things in the room she was looking at. It was quite lovely as it was so quiet.
I mentioned we had done a lot of baking. James seems to have developed an egg sensitivity so they recommend taking the kids off eggs for 9-12 weeks and then re-introducing them to see if the reaction is improved. Generally once the antigens are out of the system, the body doesn’t react the same way again. The problem with this time of year, though, is that eggs are in everything! We’ve been severely restricting his egg intake but it’s crept in a few places. At least we’ve found some good egg replacement ideas (2T water, 1t oil, 2t baking powder for most baking recipes) and we’ve been able to make lots of cookies. We’ve definitely noticed an improvement in his skin since taking them out but he’s had a couple of things this week with eggs and, lo and behold, the rash is back. After next week, we will be quite strict and see if we can get rid of eggs completely for a while to see if we can stop the reaction.
Lastly, James’ last day of school last week was really fun. They held a little concert of the kids singing and then we made gingerbread houses. My dad came with us and we had a wonderful afternoon. James made quite a busy house, with lots of candy, while Norah decorated a gingerbread man with my dad helping her.
All in all, it was a wonderful month. We visited with friends, went to a few Christmas parties that were a lot of fun and spent lots of time at home. I worked quite a bit on the weekends and unfortunately, this time of year is always quite busy for us in the ICU but it was good to see friends and visit on our coffee breaks.
I hope this season finds you and yours warm, loved and surrounded by warmth. Have a wonderful holiday season,