Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year from the Red House!

If only a couple hours ago you asked me about my favourite New Year’s Eve, it would most definitely have been ringing in 2005.  I was madly in love and was hanging out in Halifax with my boyfriend (now my  husband) as his band played the Forum and drinking more than my fair share of their rider.  I really didn’t think it could get any better. 

That is, until I rang in 2014.  Yep, I know, it’s only just past 8pm on December 31st and I have already celebrated but, let me tell you, it was the best celebration yet.

I came home from work tonight and told the kids that the three of us were having a party, (hubby is working the late shift tonight).  Once I explained what New Year’s Eve was, their little planning wheels started turning at high-speed.  The first thing my son did?  He made a list.  I worry that he may be just a little too much like his mama, but how cute is this list anyway?
We got started on making the decorations right away .  What’s a New Year’s Eve celebration without fireworks?  With some black construction paper, a little glue and a ton of glitter, we made our own.  Had I realized the glue would get drippy (and why wouldn’t it?!), I would have let our fireworks dry a little before I hung them up.  I just explained that the drips were the fireworks launching into the sky and the kids were happy with that.
The party started at 6pm and, in accordance with our list, we had candles, music, games, food, and toys (hats,and noise makers).  I talked the kids into swapping the movie watching with a dance party and they were all over it.  We played musical chairs, had a magic show and danced our little hearts out in true Red House style.
We counted down to 2014 at 7pm.  We made lots of noise, we kissed and hugged and then made our way upstairs for the coziest tuck-in of the year.  I thanked them for making 2013 one of my best year’s ever and off they went into Dreamland.  If tonight is any indication of what’s to come, 2014 is going to be another amazing year for our little family.
Thanks for reading and all the best in 2014!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another One on Sexist Toys

Is Boxing Day too early for me to complain about my daughter’s Christmas gift?  My 4-year old asked Santa to bring her Baby Alive this year.  I knew it would be an annoying toy, what with the peeing, pooping and obnoxious phrases like “Oops, I made a stinky!” (I mean, really.  Seriously?), but my beef with this doll goes much deeper than a simple irritation.

Let me just preface this by saying I’m not some kind of nut that doesn’t let her kids play with whatever toys they want or that forces them to play with opposite gendered toys just to make a point.  A couple weeks ago, my best friend sent me this message: 
As I explained in my reply, I don’t freak out when someone buys my daughter a princess toy or my son an Avengers book.  I do the same thing.  It’s what they’re into and I buy them things that I know they would like.  My problem is with “girls only” and “boys only” toys, and when toy companies and parents teach kids that they’re too good for certain toys, (even more loathsome are the parents that suggest their kids are too good for certain colours).  It’s offensive and is not a fair message to be using while we raise the next generation.
Okay, now back to Baby Alive…

You have the option to have her speak in either English or French, which is great.  What you don’t have is the option to have her talk to her mommy or daddy.  Nope, the only option there is mommy because really, only little girls will want to play with a baby doll, right?  Ugh.
My son has played with Baby Alive since she was unwrapped yesterday morning just as much as he has played with his new Ninja Turtles.  Lucky for us, the gift was given to his sister so she’s the mommy and he is taking his role of Baby Alive’s uncle very seriously.  We don’t need to explain to him why she only calls out for mommy, but what if that was the gift he had asked Santa for?  Why is Hasbro assuming that little boys are not playing with this product?  Is the message that girls have the natural role of nurturer while boys do not?  It’s ridiculous and it grates on my nerves every time the silly doll starts to speak.  We’re a long way from the 1950’s.  The dads of today are raising their kids just as much as the moms and, while our kids are hopefully learning by example, they should also be encouraged to role-play this as well.  I'm really hoping Baby Alive makes her way to the back of the closet soon.
End rant.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry and Bright

For a lot of people, the best part of the holidays is Christmas Eve.  It really is pretty amazing, with the last minute preparations, festive visits, and the excitement of what’s to come.  Christmas morning is really great too, especially when you’re lucky enough to live with a couple of super excited kids.  Both are wonderful parts of the holidays.  My favourite part though is tonight.  The end of the day on Christmas once everything has settled down.  The kids are fast asleep in new jammies and I have tucked myself into my bed with new sheets from my mom, a new book from my husband and the tea I found in my stocking (thanks, Santa!). 
The big day has come to an end for another year.  It’s now time to relax, reflect on how thankful I am, and really enjoy the holiday with my family.  Happy holidays to one and all.  May all of your days be merry.  xo

Saturday, December 7, 2013

These are a Few (Ten) of My Favourite Things (Christmas Songs)

This post is a list of my favourite CHRISTMAS songs, and not because I’m one of those people highly offended if someone doesn’t celebrate the same holiday that I do.  This time of year is definitely the holiday season, and there are many different people celebrating many different things and some, nothing at all.  These songs are specifically about Christmas, though.  December 25th.  The most wonderful time of the year.  And so, here it is, my list of favourite Christmas songs:

10. Bruce Springsteen – Merry Christmas Baby
 9. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas is You

  8. Kenny & Dolly – A Christmas to Remember

 7. Stevie Wonder – Someday at Christmas
 6. Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

 5. Band Aid – Do They Know it's Christmas

 4. Wham! – Last Christmas

 3. Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

 2. U2 – It’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

 1. The Pogues – Fairytale of New York

Whatever it is you’re celebrating this holiday season, may it be full of love, happiness and great music.  xo