This year, we attended the Alcatel-Lucent Christmas party as we normally do. Matthew and Samantha sat on Santa’s lap and passed along their wishes for Christmas Day. Samantha got her face painted to look like a cat and really enjoyed the magic show. Matthew is getting a bit old for this event but he was fairly patient.
A few days later, we got our tree. Joey didn’t know what to make of it and spent a fair bit of time under it, batting at the lower branches and ornaments within reach.
On Christmas Day, Matthew and Samantha found that Santa had come. He left some wireless headphones for Matthew. I guess Santa was as worried as I was that Matthew would eventually walk away from an iPad which he was tethered to with his old wired headphones. Samantha got an iPhone 5 which she will be using as an iPod Touch (i.e. no cell service). Again, Santa seems to think the same way as I do that a used iPhone 5 is a better deal than a new iPod Touch today.
Samantha also got an American Girl doll and some accessories which she was very excited about. Matthew got a fair bit of Lego for Christmas also. You can see a picture of Matthew working on assembling one of his new Lego sets while Joey sits on his shelf wondering what is going on.
After Christmas, we are headed to London and Toronto to visit my brother and his family and Cynthia’s dad. We will be back home in time to ring in the New Year and before you know it, we will need to be back to work/school.
The weekend before Christmas, we had Natalie, Louie and their kids over for a Christmas/Hannuka dinner. I was roasting a turkey, the kids were playing the basement and the adults were relaxing in the living room. Suddenly, all the kids came running up the stairs saying that water was pouring out of the ceiling.
We all went downstairs and a section of the basement ceiling was definitely wet. It wasn’t clear where the water was coming from though. The water wasn’t pouring from the ceiling any more so whatever the kids say was probably a pool of water which suddenly found a path out and emptied. But water was definitely collecting in the ceiling.
Figuring that all the drywall would have to be replaced anyway, I started to cut away pieces to try to find the leak. Eventually, I found a copper elbow which seemed a likely candidate. Sure enough, it was wet. With it exposed and a bucket under it, we could hear a slow drip. This is the second time we have had a bad elbow in the plumbing in the basement. The first time, I had to remove and replace about a one foot square section of drywall. This one is much worse and the cleanup job will take longer. The leak has since been repaired but we still have a hole in the ceiling. It will eventually need attention.
The excitement kept me from checking the turkey but everything ended up working out OK. Shortly after that, we served dinner without any more hitches. However, Natalie did pull a knife on Louie for some reason just before dessert.
Matthew turned 12 and he celebrated multiple times. He had two different sleep over parties. One with his “outside school” friends and one with friends from school. At both, they watched The Lord Of The Rings movies one after the other until late in the night. You can see Matthew with his cake and the candles which read 1100, which is 12 in binary. Binary candles have become a “thing” in the Rand household since Cynthia’s birthday party last year when I did her age in 1’s and 0’s.
On his actual birthday, we went to Boston Pizza as a family which is Matthew’s favourite restaurant. For dessert, he ordered a “panookie” which is a huge cookie in a pan with ice cream and whipped cream.
Next year, Matthew officially becomes a teenager.