This week I officially turned 8 years old! And Mommy & I went to Toronto to use my gift cards to get another American Girl doll. Ivy has a sister named Saige!
The week started on a somber note. When we were together with our family last Saturday for Emelia’s birthday, Mom let us know that our uncle Reid who was in a losing battle with his health had taken a turn for the worst and they felt it was only a matter of time before he was no longer with us.
Well, that came a lot sooner than we expected when we awoke Monday to the news that Reid had passed away early in the morning Monday. Uncle Reid had progressively deteriorating health over the last few years and while we had time to prepare for this outcome it still surprised us and seemed a lot more sudden than we expected. He was a fantastically gregarious man that infected every one he met with his smile and laughter. We will miss him dearly but know that ultimately he is in a much better place.
Monday this week was Emelia’s actual passage into her eighth year. And contrary to the craziness of three different parties on Saturday we did last week, we kept to a very quiet just the three of us evening. After I wrapped up my work day, I came home and we took Emelia out for dinner at the restaurant of her choice. And of course after it being such a hit on Saturday, she chose to go back to The Palasad for some more chances to win prizes in their games room and to bowl a few frames against her Mommy & Daddy. We bowled, ate, and then Emelia took some turns on the games for prizes. Of course Emelia came home with more of the plastic crap, content with haul. It was a good, family evening.
But the best part of night was coming home to a FaceTime date with Aunt Charlie, Uncle Todd and of course Emelia’s cousin Marshall. Uncle Todd and his prop Marshall had Emelia giggling in fits of belly laughter. She relished the distance between our households immediately erased in favour of face to face conversation.
The rest of the week was a bit of a blur of work broken up with a day off work and then Friday off work so that I could go to Reid’s funeral in Wallaceburg. The drive down was more than a bit dodgy in spots with snowing, blowing and icy patches on the highway, but the Pilot and her snow tires got Matthew, Shawn and I to and from the funeral without incident.
I was scheduled to work all weekend and it might have been a blur of just that if it hadn’t been for the help and generosity of a friend of ours able to get us tickets for a long sold out Bahamas show at The Aeolian Hall. The show was announced several months ago and very surprisingly so for London sold out in weeks, before we ever had the chance to get tickets. Thankfully a friend in the band was able to set aside guest spots for us so that we could still go to the show.
After Danielle and Emelia’s whirlwind trip down to Toronto on Saturday – that I am sure she will tell you about – they came to pick me up from work and over to meet Mom & Dad for dinner before leaving Emelia with them for the show. And boy howdy what a show! I really was looking forward to seeing Bahamas, but the opening act The Weather Station I was equally – if not more – excited to see as I have really loved her music for some time. Both acts, in the wonderfully warm acoustics of the hall, delivered a show that even though it’s only the first month of the year, I will put forward as the show of 2015. It was simply a stunning night of music. And we were able to hug and thank our friend with a bottle of red for the tickets and the memorable night of music.
Today was right back to work for me and the regular Sunday routine for Danielle & Emelia. This month, albeit a short one, is a challenging schedule for me as I am working every weekend. It won’t help the stir crazies that Danielle & Emelia are getting from being cooped up, but before we know it, we’ll be in March thinking about the plan to get Wolfie out of winter storage and ready for the 2015 camping season.
And that’s just about the warmest thought I can have as the snow piles up outside for another morning of shovelling tomorrow. For now it’s time to go find a place on the couch alongside Danielle and enjoy the last bit of this Sunday before the new week arrives.
This week was a real mix bag of emotions. We woke with joy to smiles of our now 8 year old girl, she was delighted that we had decorated her room with balloons to make the day extra special. She was so excited to go to school to bring the birthday treat that she and I had made the night before. But our hearts became heavy within a few minutes of waking when we checked our emails and received the notice from Aunt Bonnie of Uncle Reid’s passing.
The last few years had seen a decline in his health, it was heartbreaking to see a man who was once so healthy, independent and full of life decline in front of your eyes. Our hearts were heavy hearing of his passing and quickly turned to Aunt Bonnie and her loss of her partner for 34 years. Reid treated me like family from the moment I met him and I will miss him and his winning smile.
As John had said we decided after the madness of the weekend before we would make Emelia’s actual birthday pretty low key. We had a fun dinner, bowling and game night at The Palasad. She had a great time and so did her Mommy and Daddy.
The rest of the week was more of the same old same old. We had her rock climbing on Tuesday, hip-hop on Wednesday and I even got in a few really strong workouts. It helped but did not cure the insane cabin fever that has set in, in a big way this week. The daycare kids are feeling the cabin fever as well, they are all hyper and just bursting to be able to run and play outside. The weather was not cooperating with that and we did manage a bit of outside time but with the snow and cold it makes it hard for three 2 year olds and two 1 year olds to really get their crazies out.
Stepping back a couple steps, Emelia has been working really hard on her chores and taking on new chores so she can earn her allowance, she also for her birthday received gift cards, cash and between all that and a bit of help from John and I she had enough to buy her Ivy a best friend. She wanted a second American Girl doll so that Ivy could have a special friend. Emelia has always played better with things in pairs so we knew that she would want a friend for her new doll. And man when she is focused she is focused! (it’s a mystery where she gets that from) So with all the gifts from her birthday she had enough saved.
So we were off to order the doll she chose from the local Indigo store. Problem was the doll she wants is sold out with no real idea when it will be restocked and ordering from the states was really pricy after shipping, duty, exchange and all the other ‘fees’ that were added on. So we came home with a sad faced little girl who was so proud she had enough to pay for the doll all on her own. I went back on the Indigo site and saw that the Toronto American Girl store had the doll she wanted in stock.
After a bit of back and forth and checking and rechecking the weather I had decided that the solution to Emelia’s wishes AND more importantly my insane cabin fever was a whirlwind trip to Toronto. After triple checking the weather I told Emelia about our plans and also squared away plans with my sister so we could see her and Todd and Marshall as well.
We dropped John off at work ahead of 8 and after a quick stop and gassing up the truck we were off. And man we made great time. We did not hit one bit of traffic, the roads were clear and in record time we were at the Indigo store. Emelia was in heaven. After MUCH debate she made 100% sure she wanted the ‘Saige’ doll (her favourite former doll of the year from 2013 that is no longer sold named Saige – red headed little girl). So with Saige and Ivy in hand she spent the next hour wandering around the store finding an outfit for Saige and even sent Ivy to the doll salon to get her hair done.
Once she was sure she proudly went to the cashier with me and paid for the doll all on her own (with a bit of extra help from mommy and daddy). She could not wait to tell daddy all about it so we texted him a quick video while she and I ate lunch.
The next stop on our visit was a trip to my sister’s place so we could see her and her family. Although the visit was only about 2 hours it was incredible. Emelia got to meet Todd’s dad and she just loved him. ‘Grandpa’ Jim sat there and listened intently to everything American Girl. He made her feel so special and she just lit up. I got in my baby snuggles with my perfect and beautiful nephew. I cannot get over how much he has grown in the 3 short weeks since we saw him last. I hate that we are not closer and I cannot see him more often but I will slip in to see him and snuggle with him as much as I can.
Emelia had one more fun thing she got to do, Todd took Emelia for a bit and they hit up the toy store. Todd needed to do some shopping and Emelia loves to spend as much time with her uncle as possible. So off they went and it gave Charlie and I a rare quite visit. We got a great chance to really catch up and just enjoy time together. I just love how close we are now.
Regrettably before I knew it we had to say our good-byes and rush back to London. The timing could not have been more perfect, I pulled into Masonville right at 5:00 just as John was due to be done for the day. All in all it was a perfect day.
To top off the day we met Helen and Doug for dinner and Emelia went off to their place for the night with her new dolls in tow and John and I went out for an adult night out.
And what a perfect end of the day, a night with one of our favourite bands. Once again Bahamas blew us away, and the night was just what this stir crazy mama needed.
That’s it for me, the week was wonderful, sad and reflective and all about the circle of life.