The daycare kids helped me unload the Christmas decorations this year, and they fully participated in decorating the tree. While I was trying to wrap lights around the tree, they (at least the older boys who were not napping at the time) were trying to decorate the tree with chains of gold beads. It made my task much more difficult, and finally, quite humorous. They proceeded to hang the ornaments; three, even four to a single branch. Our final tree looked....well...let's just say it had true character!
We had fun making a few Christmas decorations this year, one of them being Christmas tree ornaments. These were the same ornaments we made last year: Popsicle stick stars decorated with gems. They are so fun! Even Oscar made an ornament. This is not an easy task for a 2-year-old, and takes great fine motor skill.
B.'s mother bought us a gingerbread house, which the kids and I had great fun decorating. And for the following week we enjoyed breaking it apart for well-deserved treats (read: after eating nutritious meals followed by fruit!).
On Oscar's last day at the daycare before the holidays, we had a birthday celebration for him. He's now 2 years old! He started at the daycare when he was just a baby: 8 months. My, how he has grown! I hadn't had time to decorate the night before, so Oscar helped me quickly get some streamers and balloons up while the big boys were at school. Thomas and Leila provided the "ooo's" and "ahhh's". Oscar especially loved running up and down the hall with the streamers.
When Thomas and Leila went for their morning naps, Oscar and I made chocolate chip cookies. He seemed to know what he was doing, and his mother later informed me that they do a lot of baking at home, so he's quite the veteran.
Just before we went to pick the older boys up from school, I set the table, party-style, so it would be ready when we got back for lunch. Oscar promptly climbed up onto a booster seat and patiently waited for the festivities to begin. He was just so quiet and serene. He knew this was for him, and he seemed thankful, even flattered. Fortunately he was easily encouraged to hop down from the table, and into the wagon.
Soon enough we were back for lunch. After lunch, we all sang happy birthday to Oscar and helped him blow out his candle. It was a very special time and he just seemed so happy that this was his day. The kids, Daniella and I, in turn, were happy to celebrate this little munchkin!
Thomas was the youngest to enjoy a cupcake. He apparently really liked the happy birthday song and kept repeating from his highchair, "Happy....happy...happy!" Indeed. Who wouldn't be happy with a cupcake in hand?
I received special permission from A. to post the photo below on the blog. Though intangible, A. had given what would truly be considered a gift to Oscar. He spent time with him reading Oscar's favourite daycare book: Get to Work Trucks. It was so precious a moment. When I gushed over the photo and showed it to A., he gave his approval for this photo, and only this photo, to be posted of him online.
After naps, the older kids helped Oscar open his gift from us. It was a big blue tow truck, in all its glory. We showed him how to tow other vehicles, like the tractor he is hooking up in the photo below. He was so engrossed in his new towing enterprise that when the other kids begged for a turn with this truck I thought he was going to see red. I was pleasantly surprised that he agreed to give all his friends a short turn. But soon he and the truck were reunited. The other kids begged for more turns but it was an unequivocal "No" from me. To separate boy and truck any longer would have been cruel.
Oscar pronounces Leila's name as "Lala". I have fully adopted this as her nickname, thanks to him. I just love it. He is very protective of her. One funny incident occurred when Leila was playing with her ring-stacking toy. Thomas, sitting not too far from her, had taken a few of these rings to play with, himself. Leila loves Thomas and was happy to share. But all of a sudden, I hear Oscar running down the hall towards us, exclaiming in a deep, stern voice, "LALA! LALA!" He dutifully, and with an air of great purpose, retrieved the rings from Thomas and delivered them back to Leila. This seemed to calm him. Still, just to be sure, he looked at Thomas and once more repeated in an authoritative tone, "Lala. Lala." I could not stop laughing.
Here are a couple of photos of him helping the little princess with her drink, when she was the only one left at the dining room table after dinner. This is why I love posting pictures. These moments are often too sweet for words.
And here is Oscar in his usual state of perpetual motion. Happy birthday little dude. You're awesome!
We were so lucky this season to get a special visit from our long departed (to the U.K.), yet not forgotten, daycare kids, Lucas and Maya! We had a play date with the former group of five: Noah, Aidas, B., Lucas and Maya. We had pizza for lunch, and lots of goodies as well. Poor Maya came down with a fever during the visit, and thus obviously could not fully enjoy herself. All of us parents thoroughly enjoyed catching up. I sincerely hope we can do this again next year if and when Lucas and Maya are in town. We still love you, kiddos, and you are always welcome here!