Jan 1-7: Sick mama, sick #5…Kids going back to school and futile attempts at getting their bodies to sleep before 11pm again.
Jan 10: Lunch and movie with my mom, my aunts, my female cousins, and Ever-Patient and Q who eventually moved to sit at a separate table due to the surplus of estrogen and the never-ending dress/shoe combination conversation. I immediately noticed how some daughters sat voluntarily right next to their moms sharing their meals while others tried (but couldn’t) sit at other ends of the table from their mothers especially the mother who decided to order a scotch with her Thai meal at 11 in the morning. My loving and oh so ever-patient husband then hung around so I could feed the baby right before I could see a movie with the ladies and then he took Q by himself for the first time to run some errands.
Jan 15: I went to watch my friends play in their indoor soccer game where almost exactly a year ago I had been playing. I cheered enthusiastically and with much envy. For me, the best part about playing with these girls for the last 6 years (though I’ve had to take breaks every other year) is the camaraderie and kid-free conversations before, during, and after the games. They’ve seen my kids grow on the sidelines, have kept me in the loop during pregnancy, and they give me a reason to get back in shape for summer.
Jan 16: Bon voyage Lola!! My grandmother (my dad’s mother), we’ll call her Elizabeth Taylor, who will be 88 this year, has left for the Philippines for 6 months. She travels alone and anyone who has ever had a conversation with her knows that she credits her exquisite health to blueberries, apple cider vinegar, and of course, ginger. She changes her outfits at least 3 times a day and insists upon walking in a kitten heel or platform even if she is just at home. She also loves her plants more than her own children. My kids call her Lola Philippines and if that country had a pageant for senior citizens, she’d hands down take the crown.
Jan 20: Yoga with #4. I signed up for a free toddler/mom yoga class that is held once a month in a small downtown studio. She really needed some alone time with me so I thought this would be perfect for us. I thought it would be more of a singing and playing type class but in the end I was seriously sweating, cringing ever time I heard a crack doing downward dog. #4’s favourite parts were lying right on top of me during the meditation portion at the end of the class and going for hot chocolate after. She now tells everyone she meets, “I do yoga.”
Jan 21: #3 had her first playdate. She could hardly sleep the night before and woke up at an obscene hour, excited over her little friend coming over to play. She waited by the window singing repeatedly, “Oh where oh where could she be? Could that be her? Oh where oh where could she be?” #3’s friend and her little sister came to play which meant that #4 had a playmate as well. This could be one of the most successful playdates I’ve ever seen. Their mother and I also get along and they were having so much fun that I let #3 skip school in the afternoon. When the girls left 5 hours later, #3 turns to me and laments, “Mom, that was quick.”
Jan 22-23: My first time pumping breast milk for #5 in anticipation of going to a crop (scrapbooking event) in the evening located 45 minutes away. I finally leave the house and once I get to the crop, I just want to hang out with my friends and lie my head down on the table due to sheer exhaustion. Instead, I push through and actually end up creating something. It was maybe the most productive 2 hours I’ve had in a long time. The next day I am back at the crop for the day with #5 strapped to me in this and again, I am productive and create some layouts, have inspiring conversations, and leave fulfilled. Ever-Patient is about 2 hours away with #1 at another volleyball tournament and the other girls are with their cousin and grandfather seeing a movie. During the crop my mom calls me and says, “We’re right around the corner from your house, do you want to go for lunch?” I tell her the whereabouts of my family across the province and she says, “So, no dim sum I guess?”
Jan 24: Surprise birthday lunch for Ever-Patient. Two days before his actual birthday we went out for lunch, just the two of us. This was my birthday present for him (really, this is all he wanted!). We were seated right by the kitchen and tried to talk over the noise of clanging pots and pans and the wait staff belting requests to the line cooks. Almost immediately, Ever-Patient requests to be moved because come on people, just once, could we not have to try to yell to try to be heard among a crowd of people? So we sat in front of each other in a quieter part of the restaurant in silence for a few minutes. I look deep into his eyes and say, “Man, you look tired.” And he says back romantically, “You do too.” And then there’s the most comfortable silence for the next 10 minutes. The best part? We sat and had coffee watching the NFL playoffs at the bar in…you guessed it…silence.
Jan 26: Happy Birthday Ever-Patient! We celebrated his birthday at #1’s volleyball practice as she played an exhibition game against a boys team from our neighbourhood. One of the team’s uber-supportive parents bought Coach Ever-Patient a birthday cake and all the girls (our own and his team) serenaded him with “happy birthday to you.” (A quick apology for all of you who had to endure his lewd comments on Facebook on his birthday that prompted grotesque images to be imagined by many family members.)
Jan 29: Bon Voyage to my aunt! She too has gone to the Philippines for a vacay. We celebrated and said our farewells like most families – ingested some alcoholic beverages and exhibited some drunken type behaviour at a local family restaurant.
Jan 30: We closed the month out with a bang at a Family Dance Party at the Guvernment – a night club that was turned into what I can only be described as a night club that allowed children to dance under a disco ball.
Cover charge: $12 Adults $10 Kids
A Bag of Over-priced “All Natural” Chips: $5
Specialty Drinks for the kiddies which included a twist on the perennial favourite “Shirley Temple”: $2.50
Watching #3 get her groove on a top a platform in the middle of a dance floor as if it were her second home: Priceless
#4 and #3 on top of the platform doing their thing to "Kiss" by Prince.
#4 collecting snowballs in the champagne room.
Our aerial view of the dance off: Yeti vs Mountie
#3 letting loose on the stage beside the DJ.
The girls and cousin J lounging it up after some serious dance floor action.
Dinner at a friend’s house (the playdate of all playdates’ house) capped off the evening but #3 could not stop moving to the music that apparently could not stop playing in her head.