Season’s Greetings from Dave, Dee, Cassandra… and Samantha!
Can you believe 2017 is drawing to a close already? Life seems like it goes so much faster when you’re having fun, and boy was this year ever fun!
Growing our Family!
Being parents has been an incredibly rewarding experience…so why not do it all over again, but this time, with what must be the world’s best toddler (note: yes, we are biased)! We told our families by giving out a photo of Cassandra announcing her promotion to big sister, effective August 2017.
Dee greatly enjoying the experience once again of being pregnant, though she felt wonderful, it was a high risk pregnancy with hypertension complications. Dee spent her 3rd trimester on forced relaxation time off work, which was a bit of a shock to her workaholic system but was a blessing in many ways as she could spend time at home with Cassandra. It was then she discovered Netflix; and has been watching quite a lot more television since.
Ultimately, everything went well and we were blessed with a beautiful healthy daughter on August 14, 2017 – Samantha Elizabeth Bo Yan Smith. Weighing 6lbs 11oz and 52cm tall, she was a tall slim baby! Now just over 3 months old at the time of this letter she’s already outgrowing her 3 month clothing and weighs approximately 13 pounds, so she has gotten deliciously chubby fairly quickly. A mother once said to us: “there are good eaters and good sleepers, you can’t have both,” we seem to be blessed with good eaters. Samantha is a very good baby though with a sunny disposition and easy smile for all.
We are truly thankful for everyone who has prayed for us and our health and well being, visited us, and showered Samantha (and her big sister Cassandra) with gifts.
Us Smiths like to keep it interesting – so while all this was happening with growing our family, we bought a house! We have been eyeing this nicer neighbourhood in Brampton for some time, considering our little semi wasn’t well suited for a larger family and the area wasn’t best for kids (but sure was great for our time as DINKs!). House hunting was hard, as most houses were going into bidding wars and we were keen on a few selected streets only.
As luck would have it, one day when Cassandra refused to nap we were driving around our ideal streets to live on, and saw a sign for house for sale! The seller hadn’t put the listing on the usual public forums and it was a private sale. After a few visits and negotiations (which really was uncommon in this sellers’ market that was quite crazy in February!), and the help of our good friend, and real estate agent extraordinaire, Ryan Green, we got it!
This then led to renovations galore when we took possession in May as the house did need quite a bit of updating (we purchased from original owners who bought in 1963). Dave worked incredibly hard balancing work, family and renovations as he gutted and built a whole new kitchen essentially himself and oversaw floor refinishing and bathroom redo and other projects. We would like to thank Dad/Papa, Ryan Green and Marco De La Cruz who came out various times to help expedite the renovations and move in. Dee was more than little frustrated to be forced to rest when there was demolition work to be done of course, and, loads of packing to be done.
We moved in on August 7th – yes, a mere week before Samantha’s arrival! We would like to thank our family for helping us move into, clean up, and set up our new home.
The new house is in a lovely old neighbourhood with mature trees and we are very close to the elementary school for the girls and we back onto a park path that leads to some fun equipment and splashpad not to far away. It’s a 4 bedroom, and has a feature we missed very much: a garage! Of course, we are already dreaming of potential future renovations, but are going to concentrate for now on finishing touches to what’s been done. Cassandra was happy to move into her big girl bed and room in the new house, which nicely freed up all the nursery items for Samantha.
Feel free to visit us of course!
On Family Life
Cassandra has continued to amaze her parents and has taken to being a big sister very well. She is eager to share her toys, helps with changing the baby’s diapers and fetches things for mom and dad as needed (fresh diapers, burp clothes, new sleepers, phones left out of reach….).
She’s still very much enjoying her music classes and sings endlessly (sometimes when she’s SUPPOSED to be napping….), and she has progressed several swimming levels this year which has been amazing to watch. We are currently working on writing letters and learning to read and basic arithmetic at home.
We took her to Santa’s Village up in cottage country this year which was a great experience – she loved the train very much!
At the time of writing this letter, she is nearly 3 (will be so on December 12) and is absolutely obsessed with Elsa from the Frozen movie…despite not ever seeing the movie and only the music video and having Frozen books in the house! She can be heard singing Let it Go! and declaring she is Elsa regularly. She also enjoys playing dress up (usually as a princess!), and building her train tracks and running her trains. Often, the trains will become derailed or run into objects and need rescue by the Paw Patrol.
Recently, she had decided that one day she is going to be a reader in Church and might sing in the choir too!
Dee continues to have a rewarding career in consulting, though this year was challenging. With Hay Group’s acquisition by Korn Ferry, Dee had to move offices (though is still in downtown Toronto), and get used to the new corporate culture. While there were some challenging times, Dee continues to do well, and was promoted to Principal Consultant this year. She was also selected to be a speaker at the National Human Resources Professional Association conference. Dave continues to do contract work for RONA/Lowe’s but is more often doing the much harder job of daddy & home renovator/maintainer.
We continue to try to enjoy our local community by shopping at the Farmer’s market on Saturdays during the summer and fall, and have been attending more local events now that we have a toddler to enjoy them with. We haven’t really traveled much being so busy this year!
On November 25th we had a celebratory 100 day banquet for Samantha and were pleased to celebrate with many of our friends and family.
So in conclusion: it has been year of expanding our family and moving into our home, enjoying family time, and time has gone by in a flash! We don’t sleep much but we are very happy (and mostly healthy) and hope you all are too! Hope you have enjoyed our newsletter!