Little Miss Cub turned 5 months old on Boxing Day! (Translation for Americans: December 26th.) We spent almost the entire fifth month of her life at my parents’ place in my hometown of Surrey, BC. Okay, if you know that area of British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, it’s technically South Surrey. I moved away from home in 2008, but I’m back taking advantage of my parents’ hospitality at least twice a year. Luckily, they haven’t moved into a one-bedroom condo in their retirement. I was a bit nervous about flying solo with two kids (Papa Wolf joined us later), but the flight from Calgary to Vancouver is a sneeze compared the the cross-country haul Cub and I used to make together from Montreal.
Cub was psyched about watching the seat-back television, even without any sound. (He broke our headphones while I was getting Little Miss settled.) He was so excited for his pretzels snack, and by the time the flight attendants arrived at our seats in the middle of the plane, we were already beginning our descent! Little Miss nursed and snoozed, and got extra snuggles from the lovely lady sitting next to us. When we landed at YVR, Cub ran into my brother’s arms. Sweetest thing ever! I love that, thanks to Facetime, my family members are not strangers to my children. We got all settled at my parents’ place, taking over my brother’s old bedroom and the guestroom, which are linked by an ensuite bathroom.
I promise you that our bedroom looked like this for all of five minutes. My poor Mama: with her children out of the house, she gets to live in tidy perfection… until I bring her her grandchildren and all their stuff. Oh- plus I turned her dining room into my home office.
Have I mentioned how much my parents rock? My Dad might be retired and my Mom only works once a week, but they still have a life. They put it totally on hold for a month to spend time with their grandkids and give me a bit of a break.
My extended family is a huge and tight-knit group. My Mom has three sisters, each with two kids, plus there are great-grandparents and spouses. There were many family dinners in Little Miss’s fifth month! We even celebrated my Nana’s 93rd birthday! (And Cub spat all over her cake!)
Needless to say, our get-togethers are crowded, and well supplied with good food and a healthy amount of booze. Cub had so much fun playing with my cousins (the youngest of whom is 8 years old, and Cub’s idol) that every day following a gathering, he’d say: “I’m so sad because there’s no party and all my friends are gone!” It made me happy that he enjoys my family, but sad that he doesn’t get to see them every week like I did growing up (my Mom’s family had weekly dinners all through my childhood and now they get together at least monthly).
Cub’s favourite person is likely my brother. He and his wife spent every weekend at my parents’ house while we were visiting so they could get extra niece and nephew visits in!
As for Little Miss, she seems to have grown exponentially over the course of our visit. The sleepers I packed didn’t fit by the time we flew home! She is, nonetheless, the smallest baby our family has ever seen at this age, so her daintiness garners extra squees of delight from her doting great aunties. She’s not rolling over yet, but rolls to her side. She can spin herself around in the Exersaucer and hop in the Jolly Jumper. She is giggling and babbling a lot, and my Dad is convinced she’s the happiest, most bright-eyed baby he’s ever seen. (Clearly he has forgotten about ME.) She’s also discovered her thumb, which is something Cub never did. My husband was a devoted thumb sucker, so I’ll call this genetics! (Interesting tidbit: this Exersaucer is 16 years old, first used by my now 17-year-old cousin!)This Christmas was the first one where Cub really understood what was going on. He had a Playmobil Fire Fighter advent calendar, and it was a real lesson in patience opening just one teeny piece of a bigger play set each day until Christmas Eve.
On Christmas morning, he opened his stocking to find Cheesy Dibbles (if your kids are fans of the Madagascar Penguins, you know what those are) and a Sticky Hand. Santa had a hard time finding the blue sticky hand, but it was worth it to hear him exclaim: “It’s just what I wanted!” Note that he hasn’t touched it since we got home from BC… so, good thing it only cost $2!The most awesome part of Christmas Day may have been my Christmas nap. Thank you, Santa!
Christmas dinner is a big deal in our family. We get mildly dressed up and make even more food and dessert than usual. Gong Gong cuts the ham!There’s the staging of the family photo, which is requiring more and more space, and the madness of present-opening, made more fun now that there are little kids in the family again. (My 13-year-old cousin had her “Christmas isn’t so magical anymore” epiphany this year.) By the end of the night, Cub was pretty wiped out. Timing was not ideal for our own family portrait. Little Miss Cub got to meet her three Great Grandparents this Christmas, and we have photos for her to treasure for always!
Here she is with my Popo (her Buk Po):
(Isn’t her Christmas dress adorable? My Mommy made it!)