Archive for the 'Holidays' Category

Go green or go home

Hope you all had a very green St. Patrick’s Day.  Eirinn did.  A girl whose name means “Ireland” has no business not having a green St. Pats.


And, of course, by “green”, I do not only mean the colour of her shirts, socks, and hair elastics.  I also mean that she was a raving, moody lunatic.  As though she had been binging on Guiness all.  day.  And she did not nap.  And she got sent to bed half an hour early. 

But she sure can take a cute picture.  Just don’t believe the smile.  The smile lies.

Easter for a Toddler

What are you doing for Easter with your toddlers?  Or, what did you do for Easter when you had toddlers?  Or, what would you suggest someone with a toddler do?  And of course I’m referring the whole Easter Bunny gift giving aspect, not the religious/non-religious part.  I don’t get into that kind of talk over here in Tornado Alley. 

I think Eirinn would really enjoy an Easter egg hunt.  She lawbs playing hide and seek, which is like an Easter egg hunt only hunting for humans.  That sounded more Wes Craven than I wanted it to, but you know what I meant.  And, if she ran things around here (which she almost does), she would be allowed to consume mass quantities of chocolate bunnies, run laps around the house while screaming like a lunatic (preferably clothes-free), slam head first into a sugar low, morphing her into a crazed, tantrum-throwing Mega Beast. 

Buuuuut…that does NOT sound like how I would like our Easter Sunday to go.  I’m picturing her dressed in her finest Sunday dress (note to self: buy Eirinn a Sunday dress), delicately tiptoeing around the garden (note to self: melt snow and plant a garden), finding sweet little decorated Easter Eggs that lead her to a chocolate covered salad (note to self: wake up and meet your daughter for the very first time).  Apparently my minds eye is in desperate need of a reality check.

What I think will happen, and what I’ve purchased thus far, is I will fill those little plastic eggs from the Dollarama with M&M’s, Skittles, and Gummy Bears, in reasonable toddler-sized portions (about 10 candies in each).  This way she can get what she wants (chocolate, preservatives, chemicals…sugar high!) and I can portion control her by telling her she can eat One Whole Egg at a time!!!  And promptly hide the rest.

I don’t think I would be neglecting her or depriving her of her Earthly Toddler Rights if I don’t buy her anything else (stuffed animals that would be ignored, giant chocolate bunnies that would transform her into a sweet [tasting] monster, clothes that she would unabashedly tell me she “no yikes”), especially since her birthday will have only been two weeks earlier and lasted a whole three (3!) weekends long.  Because that’s a lot of presents.

So, tell me.  What do your Easter festivities consist of?

Someone come and dig us out

Our Christmas was fantabulous.  How was yours?  We did all of our visiting and eating and present-exchanging.  We all had recovered from our colds and were in good spirits throughout the holidays.  All four of us got ridiculously spoiled everywhere we went.  And therein lies the one and only eensie, teensie, weensie issue.  It’s miniscule.  Very, very small.

The fact that we can barely breathe over here through the toys.  Our house is stuffed air-tight. 

Next year there will be a limit to how much everyone is allowed to buy Eirinn.  Two toys each.  They can buy as much clothing and as many books as they want (because who am I to say she can’t be well dressed and well read?), but two toys ONLY.  And if they just have to buy more than that, go for it, but it’s staying at their house.

Of course, they only have the best of intentions.  She is, in fact, the only grandchild/niece on either side, so who else are they going to spoil?  And it’s not the spoiling, per se, that I’m against.  Not at all.  It’s the clutter.  The mounds upon mounds of brightly coloured plastic that has now turned itself into our main floor decorating scheme.  There are princess kitchens and Dora tents and magnetic easels and Magnedoodles and giants blocks and T-ball sets everywhere.  Everywhere.

Eirinn loves it.  Everything she got is her new favourite toy.  She thinks we should do this Christmas thing every day.

And, I must admit, if I had a niece or nephew, there’s no doubt I would be spoiling the crap out of her or him.  And this spoiling would also take the form of brightly coloured plastic. 

Merry Christmas from Tornado Alley!

We have an eventful three days ahead of us.  With all of our family living within walking distance, we are required by Familial Law to visit each and every one of them at least twice.  In the next three days.  Which is wonderful (honestly).  Our schedule for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day looks like this:

Christmas Eve

8:30 – 12 – I work (Boo.  Hiss.)

12:30 – Lunch at home with the Tornado and Anonymous Husband.

1 – 3:30 (fingers crossed) – The Tornado should be nestled all snug in her bed, while visions of Diego dance in her head.  Otherwise known as nap time.

4:00 (or earlier, if those crossed fingers don’t do what they’re meant to) – 7:30 – Christmas Eve with my side of the family at Casa Del Parents, during which time we will engorge ourselves on deep fried cheese sticks, chicken wings, shrimp rings (excluding those who will remain Anonymous and shellfish-free), and literally every other finger food you can think of.  Oooo…and my favourite Christmas savoury – bacon wrapped water chestnuts.  We’ll also do our gift exchange (yay, presents!).

Christmas Day

7:30 (again, fingers crossed) – 9:30ish – We’ll do our very first annual Tornado Alley Christmas morning (last year we were living with the Anonymous grandparents, waiting for our new house to be built).  We’ll open stockings and presents (!), have a light breakfast and get ready for the rest of the hectic day.

9:30ish – 1ish (toddler attitude-dependant) – This year we’re with AH’s family in the morning.  We’ll eat a traditional Irish fried breakfast (bacon, sausage, fried eggs, potato bread, black and white pudding, and clotted arteries in a pear tree) and our gift exchange with them (more presents!).

1:30 – 3:30ish – Naptime

4ish – 7:30 – Christmas dinner back with my family.  I can’t even express to you how excited I am for dinner.  I am literally vibrating right now at the thought of my mom’s stuffing and of gravy sandwiches.  Never heard of them?  Hmm…that’s weird.  Take a dinner roll, poke your finger almost all the way through, pour gravy in hole, consume.  And just try not to repeat.  I dare you.

Boxing Day

Oh, sometime in the afternoon – Christmas dinner with AH’s family.  This one I’m excited for because of dessert.  And second dessert.  And sometimes even third dessert.  Why bother with first course?

If I don’t come out of these next three days at least 15 pounds heavier, I’ve done something wrong.

And that will be us until the 28th, when Carly, Lucy and Eric come to visit and what else?  Exchange presents*!

So, from us here in Tornado Alley, have a very merry Christmas.  If that’s what you’re into.  If not, have a great few days anyway.

* Just for the record, I happen to be one of those people who quite honestly enjoys giving presents much, much more than receiving.  It’s my favourite.

** Also, just for the record.  Just because I like giving more than receiving doesn’t mean you have to take the presents back that you got for me.  Let’s not get crazy now.

Blanket, soother, towel, diaper. Bliss.

We’re not even going to talk about Saturday. 

Sunday, Anonymous Husband and I got a HUGE chunk of Christmas shopping done.  I’m so proud and relieved.  The stores weren’t quite at the insane, claustrophobia-panic-inducing craziness yet, but they were getting there.  But we were quick, stuck to a list, got a little creative when necessary, and popped off at least 10 of the 30 humans and animals we buy for.  There’s still a lot left, but a third done by the last week of November is pretty darn good for a procrastinator and a non-shopper.

While we were out punishing our Mastercard, Eirinn was at Anonymous Grandma and Papa’s house.  Eirinn doesn’t often nap there; it’s just too much fun and excitement and she wouldn’t want to miss one second.  Not for lack of trying by Grandma, Eirinn just won’t give in.  So she went without a nap yesterday.  And, surprisingly, she wasn’t too bad without it.  We could tell she was tired, but she was coping reasonably well.

In the bath when we got home, she had passed the ‘coping reasonably well’ stage and was ready for bed.  She wanted her blanket in the bath with her, which, obviously, was not possible.

“A-lankie…Mommy?  I crying.”  Which she was.

And she continued to cry big, fat, sad, tired toddler tears until I got her out and dried off.  Laying on the ground with her blanket, soother (which is for big girls when they go to bed, and she was on her way so she was allowed to have it), still wrapped in the towel, and her diaper, everything was ok.

“I have A-lankie, I have sooder, I have towal, I have diapie.  I happy.”

Sometimes she can be the sweetest little thing ever.  And other times…we’re not even going to talk about Saturday.

Halloween, Eirinn style

Halloween 2007 for Eirinn was kind of…non-existent.  She’s just too little to understand.  She doesn’t eat candy, so what possible motivation would she have to dress up in a hot, scary costume, walk to strangers houses, follow instructions, just to be given candy that a) she doesn’t like and b) mommy would steal anyway? 

We tried, though.  We tried everything.  She got crammed into her costume several times and only once did her face look like this:


All other attempts, her face was more contorted like you would see on a man being cattle prodded in the eye.  Painful and angry.  My mom and sister even tried fancying up her face with a Tigger nose and whiskers, but it was still a no-go.  A very, very firm no-go.  The costume fits up to 36 months, so we’ll try this whole thing again next year.

While Halloween 2007 was not so much Tigger-fied, she did mildly tolerate a raincoat with a duck head for a hood.  So, out of desperation to get at least one actual picture that was authentic and not Eirinn Photoshopped into a random Halloween scene, the plan was changed and she went out as a Duck.  Or a Girl Who Thinks It’s Raining Outside because the raincoat had a very important accessory – red dinosaur rubber boots, which are not very Duck-like.  Or maybe she was dressed up as Abbey because that’s who the coat belongs to and the novelty of the coat to Eirinn was that it was Abbey’s.  As in, ‘Tee hee, I’m stealing Abbey’s coat and Bugba let me!’  So perhaps her costume was Raincoat Thief.  You decide.


It didn’t really matter what she was dressed as because she only went to Anonymous Bubba and Papa’s house.  We figured the neighbours might look at this girl dressed in a regular old raincoat and think that it’s just a candy grab for mommy and daddy.  Which it would have been. 

Anonymous Husband took her to his parents’ house while I handed out candy to the neighbourhood kidlets and here is a list of things that made Eirinn cry while they were gone:

  1. I wasn’t with her.  She’s a little bit of a Mama’s Girl lately, which rocks, but it made her cry that I wasn’t going, too.

  2. She helped hand out some of the candy while there to kids who wear scary masks.  Scary masks are scary.

  3. She bonked her head on the car door as she was getting out.  Legitimate reason to cry.  I’ll give her this one.

Halloween is not going to be her favourite holiday.


As a side note, this is our first year in our new house, so we didn’t really know what to expect for trick-or-treater traffic.  We bought enough candy for about 80 kids, including special fishy crackers for the little ones which were given the Eirinn Seal of Approval.  25 kids.  That’s all we got!  And you know what that means.  Anonymous Husband and I get to split about 35 kids worth of candy and Eirinn gets 20 packs of Ritz Scuba snacks!  Awesome. 

Halloween Candy Rule #1 – Buy only candy you’d eat.  However, buy some you love and some you don’t mind parting with.

Halloween Candy Rule #2 – Buy way too much.  Calculate how many kids you think you’ll get and multiply that number by at least 3.  Four if you got the candy on sale.

Halloween Candy Rule #3 – Only hand out candy from 6pm to 8pm, NO EXCEPTIONS.  Not even if there’s a two year old with their chubby little unicorn finger on the doorbell.  Sorry, Chubs.  Shop’s closed.

Friday Five – Pictures from before (also, One Day Late 2)

It’s been one of those days weeks and I’m not feeling all that funny/creative/nice.  So instead of totally abandoning my legions of loyal readers, I thought I’d cop-out post some of my favourite pictures from before I started blogging my life away.  In the spirit of being fair, I will give you my top 6 for being a day late (again…) on the Friday Five.

1.   eirinn-009.jpg

This was Eirinn at Easter, 2006.  She was 5 weeks old.  She looks either bored with this whole Easter deal or ready to order another round.  She was going through one of her ‘eat every hour and a half and watch mommy go insane’ phases, so she’s probably ordering another round.

2.  eirinn-011.jpg

Is this not the cutest little bunny picture ever?  Miffy’s got nothing on her.  She was just over 2 months old there.  Which means we were lucky to get a picture where she isn’t screaming.  She screamed a lot.  A.  LOT.  But looking back at pictures like this makes me forget about that just for a little while.

3.  eirinn-013.jpg

You’ll see this picture in my banner.  It’s a classic.  She was screaming before and after I took it because of that bonnet.  It was so ridiculous, it was both adorable and almost child abuse to put it on her.  But I made her wear it.  Often.  The look of terror is because of the red light on the camera.  Scaaaaa-ry.

4.  eirinn_070.jpg

Never has there been a t-shirt more suited to one person than this one as it relates to Eirinn. 

5.  picture-004.jpg

Remember the part in Peter Pan when his shadow is misbehaving and it has to be sewn back onto his foot?  It’s right at the beginning.  This picture reminds me of that.  It looks like she’d been chasing her shadow around the room and finally did a flying tackle and has it clenched in her little hands.  If only someone would be kind enough to put the stupid camera down and pin it back onto her.  Plus it’s one of the first pictures where you can see some peach-fuzz hair.  Poor girl was bald for way too long.

And the bonus number 6. 

Eirinn actually participated in Halloween last year.  We went to a local pumpkin patch with our Babyville group and it was the best thing ever seeing all the little babies in their costumes sitting amongst the pumpkins.  Eirinn, surprisingly, was the only one dressed up as an actual pumpkin.  She also looks unamused.

I’m sad looking at this picture because I don’t think she’s going to let me put a costume on her this year.  I tried forcing it on her again today, but it just turned into a wrestling match with a lot of crying and yelling.  I tried making it sound fun to wear it.  I tried wearing the hat myself.  I tried sneaking it on her.  Nothing seems to be working and I’m giving up hope of getting an adorable Halloween, Year 2 picture.  Maybe I’ll just Photoshop her head onto a picture of the costume and be done with it.  Less stress, no mess.

Tornado Eirinn

The life and times, trials and tribulations, crimes and punishments, lessons learned and scores settled by my daughter, Eirinn, AKA The Tornado.

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When I Wrote

May 2020


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