Wow, can you believe that it's almost a week into 2007 already? It seems like it was just yesterday that Christmas was a week away.
The holidays went very well in spite of Mary being quite ill. On the Friday before we left (Dec 22nd?) Mary woke up with a wild rash all over her wee body. I called capital health and spoke to a nurse there who told me it was likely Roseola and not too worry, but by time Ian got home from work I had gotten myself pretty worked up, and we took Mary to a Medicentre. Luckily we got there just ahead of a big rush. We waited for a while, and Mary played happily in the kids area. When we saw the Doctor he said that it was likely a virus that was reaching the end of its life, and that these sorts of rashes were pretty common in children with hyper-sensitive immune systems. He then went on to say that clearly Mary was one of these children as evidenced by her constant raging eczema. I asked him if we ought to put off our 8 hour drive to Regina, and he laughted, pointed at Mary who was at this point howling so loudly we had to yell to be heard, and told me that if we were brave and crazy enough to lock ourselves in a car with a crabby 2 year old for 8 hours, he wasn't going to say no.
So, then next morning we piled into the car and drove to Regina. The roads were great, a little busy but clear of snow and ice. Mary was incredibly well behaved, she complained a bit, but for the most part it was a nice drive. When we got to Regina we settled in quickly, Mary had her own room for the first time there, and she was pretty thrilled to discover that the door didn't latch. That was fun for us. Every night we would fight to get her to go to bed and stay in her room, usually she would give up around 10:30 or 11.
Christmas day went well, Mary got a tonne of gifts, there was more for her under the tree than for the rest of us put together. She got lots of nice clothes and a few toys, though she was far more interested in handing out the gifts to everyone else than opening them. Christmas dinner was fantastic as expected, I've never tasted turkey and stuffing as good as my fathers.
The rest of the visit was nice, if a little tense. There was some tension in the step-family due to some decisions that were being made by the eldest daughter. I think we left at the right time because the feeling in the house was pretty miserable the night before we left. Lots of fighting and yelling and sulking and grumbling. The oldest girl wants to move back to Regina (she's been living just north of Edmonton for a few months) and her mother thinks it is a very bad idea. So do I to be honest, but I know my opinion doesn't matter much. Anyways, Ian pointed out to me that it must be hard for the girl, as Dad and Michael are working so hard to convince Ian and I to move back to Saskatchewan, and they are working equally hard to convince the girl to stay far far away. I imagine that it must make her feel pretty unwanted, even if that's not exactly the case.
We were glad to get home after another fabulous drive. The roads weren't quite as good on the way home, we were trying to outrun a winter storm which dumped a tonne of snow and sleet on Regina, so the first couple of hours were kind of scary, but the rest of the drive was nice, and Mary was so busy with her new toys that she was mostly silent.
Marys birthday was New Years Eve, and to celebrate we invited some of our friends and a couple of children to Chuck E Cheese's. Mary had an absolute blast, and after three hours we had to drag her kicking and screaming to the car. We didn't do quite so well for toys this time, at Christmas she only got one toy that required batteries and makes any noise, for her birthday she got both a dancing Dora doll, and a dancing Pablo from the Backyardigans. Mary is so terrified of both of them that the sight of the bloody things send her into hysterics and we had to hide them in the closet so she can function. We'll try again in a few months, but I suspect we may end up giving them away. People don't believe us when we say that toys like that scare her, or maybe they don't understand how deeply they frighten her, but I wish they'd listen and get her nice wooden toys or blocks or books.
Oh, hey! The best news of all is that Ian and I got ourselves a fantastic Christmas present this year (and next year, and probably the next one after that....oh, and don't forget birthdays, this counts for the next several birthdays too). A new computer! It's lovely and wonderful and makes me very happy. It's a brand spanking new, incredibly expensive IMac, but it is worth it. We bought it from a good friend, and he brought it over last night and spent several hours installing extra software and games and music and movies for us. I'm still learning my way around it, but so far it's incredibly user friendly, and so shiney and pretty on our desk!
Phew. I think that's it for now. Sorry I haven't posted sooner, having a 2 year old in the house is far more exhausting than I had imagined it could ever be. Mary must have read a manual, she's suddenly lept head first into the "terrible two's!"