Monthly Archives: December 2007

Christmas 2007

Christmas 2007 - 67We had a wonderful Christmas at home today. It started at about 7:45 in the morning when Matthew got Cynthia and I out of bed. Samantha slept for about another hour so we had a chance to go downstairs and open some presents. Matthew was very excited and very happy with his gifts.

Santa brought him a pirate ship playset which he is enjoying very much. It has wheels on the bottom so it can roll around on the ground. But it also comes with a keel and will float in the water. I bet it is in the bath with him next time. It has a pile of little pieces like swords and mice and chickens and more so you can create lots of imaginary scenarios on the pirate ship.

Matthew also got “Hop on Pop” and “Fox in Socks”, two Dr. Seuss books for his leappad. He has these books already and loves them but these ones are for his leappad. That means, he can point to the page and have it read to him, or better yet, he can read the page and point to words he doesn’t know for some help. He likes his leappad and hopefully these books will encourage him to practice reading some more.

He also got a Lego set from Grandma and Poppa called “Mars Mission”. I think I mentioned in my message about Matthew’s birthday how he is fascinated with Mars. In fact, he really loves to hear about the rovers, Spirit and Opportunity which are exploring Mars right now. This kit has a rover like explorer vehicle and he was very excited to see it. Later that day, I built it for him and he has played with it a bunch already.

Soon after opening these gifts, Samantha woke up. So, we took a break and fed her and then opened some of her gifts. We opened some lovely sweaters for Matthew and Samantha from Grandma Kay. Zaida Steve is hoping to take Matthew skiing soon and the sweater will come in handy then. As expected, Samantha was pretty ambivalent about everything going on around her, but she was her usual good natured self and put up with the extra noise and excitement.

After opening our gifts, we had some french toast for breakfast. Then, we were able to call Grandma and Poppa through Skype and wish them a Merry Christmas. We told them how excited Matthew was about the Mars Lego set. It was great to get a chance to talk to each other on Christmas. We even were able to use the video camera for a while so they could see us. The link wasn’t the best but it worked.

The rest of the afternoon involved much assembling of toys and trying this and that. Later, Jumping Jack Grandma and Aunt Ali came. Some more gifts were exchanged and I got the turkey into the oven. I checked it at 4:30 and it was done! About an hour earlier than I expected. I think the convection oven fools me every year. So, I rushed to cook the potatoes and carrots and prepare everything else for dinner. But, it all came together just fine and I think that was the best turkey I have ever cooked, if I must say so myself. Letting it sit on the counter covered for 30 minutes while I worked on other things probably helped after all.

We topped the evening off with watching “Meet The Robinson’s” before Jumping Jack Grandma and Alison had to leave. It was a wonderful Christmas and will be a memorable one as it was Samantha’s first. Merry Christmas to everyone.

Samantha in December

This month, instead of pictures of Samantha, we have a video. The video clip shows her latest pass time (first pass time?). When she is in the right mood, she has started to babble to us. She looks us in the eyes and babbles for several minutes. Cynthia captured this clip of her a few days ago and is a good example of what she will do. We can’t remember much from when Matthew was that age, but we don’t remember him doing this, or perhaps not to this degree.

Of course, Matthew was ahead of her on rolling over. Samantha had her four month check up and the only thing on the list she wasn’t doing was rolling over. Although our memory is fuzzy, we are sure Matthew was doing that on time. But it isn’t much of a concern and certainly Samantha will be rolling over soon enough. She is holding her head up very well and is very steady. And at her last measurement during her check up, she had reached 11 pounds, 11 ounces.

Even better, she is starting to sleep though the night. Several times now, she will have her last feeding around 7:00 or 8:00 and then not wake up for another feeding until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning which is pretty good. I think she made it to 5:00 once. I suppose this is her Christmas present to us, which we will take gladly.

But best of all, she is just as good natured as ever. Only rarely does she cry out and usually when she does it is because she is scared. When she is hungry, she smacks her lips and gives us other signals but doesn’t cry much at all. She is all smiles and she giggled the other day when I was changing her. Cynthia thinks I tickled her a bit. Not sure what it was but it was a funny sound.

It is nearly Christmas as I write this and I hope to get some pictures of events around the house here tomorrow. Until then, Merry Christmas to everyone.

Christmas Party at School

P1060611.JPGMatthew had a Christmas party at school last week. Family was invited to watch as they put on a show with songs and other activities. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go because I was at work but Cynthia and Samantha went. In the pictures, you can see the special Christmas outfit Samantha wore to the party. Matthew and his class performed many songs in English and French.

Cynthia specifically mentioned that she was very proud of how much of the French songs Matthew was singing. She said he seemed to say nearly all of the words in the songs well. As the pictures show, they also decorated a Christmas tree. Actually, it was one of the students dressed as a tree. Although I wasn’t there, I have heard Matthew singing many of the songs at home this past week as we put up the tree and other things for Christmas. I will write about Christmas at the Rand household soon.

Matthew’s 5th Birthday

P1060136.JPGMatthew’s 5th birthday was just over a week ago. On his actual birthday, we had a quiet night at home, opening some gifts and eating cupcakes. Cynthia’s family from Montreal gave him a cool pirate Play Mobile set. He enjoys it quite a bit but it wasn’t the most fun for me to put together. Grandma Heather and Poppa gave him a workbook for Matthew to practice his letters and a cool car which follows a track you draw with a marker. Both gifts are excellent for helping Matthew with his penmanship and he really enjoys drawing tracks.

Then, on Saturday was Matthew’s party. It was at A Gym Tale which is a great place for kids to play. The theme was superheros because Matthew has recently become fascinated by Superman and Batman. There was a rope for swinging, a trampoline to bounce on, a ball pit, lots of cushion-y obstacles to clime and more. The staff kept them running and having fun for quite a while, gathering the red balls from the ball pit. After that, they all had cupcakes and then it was time to open the presents. A bit more playing and then the party was over. Matthew had a great time and I think his guests did too. The party at A Gym Tale was a great idea and when it was over, we went back home and didn’t have any cleanup to do which was nice.

The other gift that Matthew got was Mars. This summer, Matthew became very interested in space and the planets, specifically Mars. I downloaded some software to track the stars and the planets. We used it to see Jupiter in August. It was very bright in the SW at the time. But Matthew wanted to see his favourite planet, Mars. I used the program to look ahead and found that Mars would be bright in the eastern sky at sundown right around his birthday. Sure enough, we went out one clear night a couple of days before his birthday and there it was just above the trees to the east. It was very bright and did seem to have a tiny reddish tinge to it. Matthew was very excited to see Mars finally, as was I. I have always been interested in the planets but hadn’t seen them until I started looking for them for Matthew. Now he wants to see Saturn. Perhaps next year, we will get him a telescope for his birthday if he is still interested.

Santa Comes to Town (or Work)

Santa 2007 - 4Last weekend was the Alcatel-Lucent Christmas party. The highlight of the day was seeing Santa Claus as the pictures show. Samantha wasn’t scared of him at all. By next year, she probably will be and we will have a picture of her screaming on Santa’s knee, just like the one we have of Matthew from a couple of years ago. This year, Matthew was very excited to see Santa.

He had sent Santa a letter and wanted to talk to him in person and tell him what he wanted for Christmas. Cynthia and I aren’t sure what he said but he talked softly and slowly with Santa for quite a while. Shortly after that day, Matthew received a response from Santa in the mail. He is very excited about Christmas this year.

While waiting in the line to see Santa, Matthew opened his gift. It was an Ice Age II board game. Matthew loves mammoths and really likes the Ice Age movies. We have played it a bunch of times and I am sure we will be playing it more through the holidays.

After seeing Santa, we went to watch the magic show. The sound system was too loud for Samantha, so she and Cynthia went elsewhere. Matthew and I watched the show for a while and it was pretty good. But, we arrived early to get in line for Santa and had enough for one day. So, just before the final acts of the magic show, we found the rest of our family and called it a day. Soon enough, it will be Christmas and Matthew will see if his messages to Santa were heard…