Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Christmas is my favorite holiday, but I wish that someone would invent another holiday just for tired people who are wiped out from the Big Day. Actually, I wish there could be some wacky new law that MAKES tired moms lay down on the sofa while someone else swoops in to clean up the mess, organize the toys, put away the Christmas dishes and take down the tree and decorations. Around here, the next day was just "Tuesday". Not nearly as restful.

Don't get me wrong -- it was a wonderful holiday, but sheesh -- I'm beat.

Mitchell was like a rubber ball bouncing around the house the ENTIRE day on Christmas Eve. He was so excited, he just couldn't stand it. Bless his heart, he wasn't trying to be naughty or not listen, he just could not control himself. To get him dressed was like trying to nail jello to a tree. He was on full throttle, jumping, squirming, giggling, you name it -- he was doing it.

We always have a big Christmas Eve dinner at my parents' house and this year was no exception. 20 adults and 6 kids. Chaos.

Santa always makes a visit at the end of the night and it's so fun to watch the kids and their reactions. I was hopeful that maybe this year Mitchell might be brave enough to give him a hug, but I guess the plus side to that not happening is that he didn't end up getting close enough to figure out that it was my father in law. (Bought another year on that front.) Georgia sat on Santa's lap and just stared with wide-eyed wonder. She didn't cry at all -- just stared. The second Santa walked in, Mitchell hit the floor like you're supposed to do if there's a gunman in the room. He hid behind my legs and said "I just want to LOOK at him." (This is code for PLEASE don't make me go near him, but I really do like him.)

Santa always knows JUST who will be at dinner and has a gift for each one of them and calls them up by name. My cousin's kids had the routine down pat -- listen for your name, turn around and pose for the paparrazi. My nephew did the same thing. Mitchell snuck up there, reached out on his tippy toes to get the present and ran off as soon as he could. As I already said, Georgia just stared and stared.

Our tradition is that the kids get to open one gift on Christmas Eve and it's always Christmas pj's. (This is one I carried over from my own childhood.) We put the kiddos in their jammies and headed off for 11 pm church service. This has *never* been a problem, as Mitchell always just sleeps through it or cuddles up on us and lays down quietly. seems that Miss G has new plans for our family on Christmas Eve...and they won't include the 11pm service.

They were both sacked out when we arrived to the church at 10:30. We got them out, went inside and found a seat in the back on the aisle. Mitchell curled up on Chris and went right back to sleep. Georgia? No, no, no. Georgia might miss something if she did that. If you are holding her, no matter HOW tired she is, she refuses to close her eyes or put her head down. She has to stand up, look around, and check it all out. She just fussed and squirmed, and squirmed and fussed some more. Finally at 10:55 we decided not to ruin the service for everyone else and packed it in for the night. Bummer -- that was Chris' and my favorite thing to do. Oh well -- we'll get there again eventually, but it might have to be a mid-day Christmas service or an early afternoon one for the next few years from now on.

When we got home, Mitchell was too sleepy to help put out cookies, milk and celery with me so I did it for him. He snuggled into his bed and went right to sleep. I was exhausted and told Chris I'd rather just get up early instead of staying up late. He said that was fine and only asked if I'd get him some water when I went downstairs to get something. As I was downstairs, I started looking around at all of the stuff I needed to do before breakfast and that was all I needed to get a second wind. I went upstairs with the water and to tell Chris that I changed my mind but he was already asleep, so I headed back down.

It ended up being kind of nice -- a little quiet time for myself to reflect on the blessings of the season. I got a lot done but I enjoyed the time alone with my thoughts more than anything. I have so very, very much to be thankful for and I took some time to say some prayers for people in my life (and even some I don't know) whose holidays I know were not quite as merry.

In the morning, I got up at 7 (I was going to get up at 6 but couldn't drag myself out of bed) and got Mitchell all set up with his Cars movie in our room. I shut the gate and told him he needed to stay up there till we told him he could come down. Chris came down with me and soon Georgia did, too. We got the food going, the table set, etc. Both of our parents came along with my grandma and we had a wonderful morning together.

When it was finally time for the kids to come down and check out the goodies that Santa had left, I think that Mitchell was a little overwhelmed. He was very reserved, quiet, and shy. He didn't dive in like we all thought he would -- I don't know if he was extra tired or if he was sort of taken aback by a roomful of grandparents and cameras. Either way, he definitely warmed up and soon became immersed in all the glory that Christmas morning is when you are a 4 year old boy. Package after package brought all of his wishes and dreams come true. It was a fun thing to watch, but almost as fun for Chris and I were watching the faces of all of the grandparents -- I'm not sure who was happier. His favorite gifts included all of the "Cars" die cast characters (Ramon, Flo, Red, Stanley, Lightning, Mater) but most of all "The King" . We'd been hearing about "The King" for weeks, so it was so much fun to see him light up. He also got a big Fast Talking Lightning McQueen, and a remote control train. The list goes on and on, of course. Sigh.

As for Georgia, she was happy shuffling between the bows, ribbons, paper and all of Mitchell's stuff. She loved her Sesame Street Purse from Mommy and Daddy and tried to kiss Elmo through the packaging. I think her favorite gift of the day was the Night Glow Pooh from my parents. Mitchell loves playing it for her and she would just smile, laugh, and smother Pooh with hugs and kisses. It really is cute, so I can't blame her there.

Anyway -- after all of our guests left, we were left to start cleaning up the mess (HA!!), put the kids down for a nap/rest, and get ready for dinner at my in-laws. We headed over there and had a WONDERFUL evening with them. It was kind of funny -- last year, we went dressed casually and my BIL/SIL were dressed up so we decided we needed to dress up this year. We arrived and my SIL was in her pajamas, using our casual dress from last year as her reasoning. We agreed that next year, none of us would go above casual...HOORAY!! Dinner was delicious, the company was so enjoyable and the kids had a ball. At one point we caught Mitchell and his cousin Madison (a year younger almost to the day) double fisting Papa's peppermint bark behind the kitchen counter. Too funny! His most prized gift of this party was by far Cranky the Crane and Georgia enjoyed getting a Glow Worm.

When we got home, we got the car unloaded, the kids in their jammies, and into bed. Then Chris and I did our own gift exchange. We plugged in our little Charlie Brown tree -- it's a little 2 feet (that's being generous) tree that I got at a craft fair years and years ago. We sit by it every year for our gift exchange and I think it's one of our more romantic traditions, personally. We each have a drink and take turns opening presents. It worked out this year that we each had exactly the same number...usually I open more than he does. After we were done opening gifts, we sat and read the year in review book together. My husband started this tradition when we were dating and I adore it. In 2001, it was my last Christmas gift from him -- a 30 page review of the year together. In the end he said that he hoped we could take turns giving the book to each other and that it would become a lasting history for our children. It's just so neat and every year you end up laughing, crying and saying "Oh YEAH...I'd forgotten about that!" I only made it through February so far, but he'll get the rest by New Year's.

Anyway -- after that, we headed upstairs with aspirations for some continuing romance but before you know it, we were both asleep. Oh well -- we'll make up for that later!

Last night we concluded the Christmas chaos with dinner at my parents' house to exchange gifts with my brother's family. All four of our kids are around the same age, with Mitchell being the oldest so you can imagine that it was neither quiet nor dull around there. It was fun to watch the kids play together and open their gifts...the highlight of THIS opening party was a Thomas watch and some VERY cute clothes for Georgia.

I'm about ready to fall over from being so tired, but I should count my blessings. I realize how lucky I am to have so many places to go, gifts to give, gifts to open, meals to prepare and eat, and most importantly, people to love and love me back.

It was a wonderful Christmas...and I didn't even mention this, but it was even a White Christmas, too!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Let it snow...

And snow, and snow, and snow...

You know what is craziest about this big ol' blizzard that turned our entire city upside down this week? I didn't really even know it was supposed to snow until the night it started happening. Yes, I am just *that* in tune with the latest happenings.

G had about 2 (and I'm not exaggerating) diapers left and barely any baby food so we went to the grocery store the day before, but it had absolutely NOTHING to do with me being prepared. Just good timing for once. Then my hubby had to stop for some stuff on the way home the night before the big snow dump and I had him grab some more things because I realized that it might be a pain to get out the next day.

Here's the thing...I watch the news and they say 5-10 inches. That might sound like a lot to some of you warm weather people, but to this CO native it's like "Ehhhh...the next day sorta sucks but other than that, no biggie." Well, THEN I see a newscast where they are comparing the snow that's supposed to come with March 2003 and I thought "Oh, wow."

I totally remember that...M was 3 months old and I was so scared that my hubby wouldn't make it home from work. His employer didn't let them go until 4pm that day so by the time he got home, the snow was insane. He got stuck on the street about 3 houses down.

Know what's funny? He got to leave 3 hours earlier this time, but got stuck in the EXACT same spot in a different car. I went out to shovel the driveway and street (again) so he'd have a shot at getting the car in the garage and as I made my first line down his side of the driveway I looked up and saw a car sitting in the middle of the street. It was SO covered with snow that it took me a few minutes to figure out that it was hubby's! After about an hour, the neighbor, most importantly her snowblower, Chris, our shovel, and M's little shovel had him in the garage. (Might I add -- M's shovel kicks some butt!!)

We had a really fun family day yesterday and the snow was like a little boy's dream come true. Mitchell had SO much fun digging and rolling and climbing and running in the snow. I can't imagine how it must have looked from way down there -- looked like a lot of snow to me and I was taller than it!

I think tomorrow we'll help him build a snow tunnel in the backyard during G's afternoon nap. I remember in the blizzard of '82 (OMG -- how old do I sound there??) my dad helped us build a snow tunnel in the backyard and it was the COOLEST thing ever! Even cooler than my Strawberry Shortcake sleepsack. Or my OP shorts. Or my red Nike tennies with the plaid hologram swoosh. Or my moon boots. Or my gymnastics day outfit that I'd wear to school -- my leotard with cableknit tights, a polyester mini skirt, clogs and a terry cloth headband. Or my powder blue eye shadow.

(Sorry -- I love all that 80's crap.)

Hopefully M will think the tunnel is cool like that!! Okay -- off to wrap presents, which is what I should REALLY be doing right now.

Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Yuck. And Beyond...

So, I spent 18 hours between Saturday night (midnight) and Sunday evening (6pm) being REALLY sick. Both ends sick.

Nasty. Disgusting. And STINKY.

I am SOOOO thankful that this joyous little adventure was all mine -- the only thing worse is when you have to take care of others who are doing the both ends thing while doing it yourself, so I'd like to stop and say another round of thanks to The Big Guy for not unleashing that upon the house. My angel of a hubby stayed home and took care of the kids, both of whom decided to be complete saints all day long.

I just drank a cup of chicken and rice soup -- it's noon and it was the first thing I could bring myself to eat. Half a piece of bread for breakfast -- does that count? Thankfully it seems to be fine, I'm just a little gunshy because of yesterday.

Oh well, I feel pretty much back to normal, I just don't want to push things. Nothing like a day of complete misery to make you realize just how thankful you should be for your daily health.

I'm thankful, believe me, I'm thankful.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Birthday update and other holiday happenings...

You'd think I'd have been blogging every day lately, I've had lots to write about, just lacking in the motivation department. I've even signed in a few days, stared at this blank box and then said "Nahhhh. Nope, not today."

So, my "little" boy is now 4. He turned 4 last weekend and we celebrated for three days straight. I don't know why but I *really* had a hard time with this one. Maybe it's because "4" is the last age that sounds little to me. Turning 5 means one thing -- school aged, and not preschool. How in the WORLD is he so close??? Now I'm thankful that he gets an extra year before kindergarten -- not only do I think *he* needs it, but I know that even more importantly, Mommy needs it!! Anyway - -it was like he was moving out or something, I was a little emotional about it all weekend...just feel like time is going too quickly. You know it will, if you are a parent you know that is the annoying mantra that every other parent of older children CONSTANTLY tells you...well, hey -- I might join the legion of annoying preachers myself because it's really true. His favorite story to hear is the story about when he was born...I almost couldn't do it on his birthday without tears.

Okay, so moving on-- birthdays and running -- when do they go from the best things in the world to things you dread? He was in HOG heaven for three days! He and his buddy (from our lamaze class) had a joint birthday party and a local museum that has lots of cars and trains. It was PERFECT!! We had this big room that had the exact amount of tables we needed already set up when we walked in, tables already set up for food, etc. There was plenty of room for the kids to run around and believe me, they did. For over an hour straight. The only real bummer of the day was that someone walked off with the big Lightning McQueen from the cake. Let me tell you how sad M was about that. I think his buddy A was, too. We were going to call Sam's and see if they'd give us an extra since it was a joint party, but now we'd need two more. I just can't believe someone would do that. Anyway -- hopefully it was an accident, but I'll tell ya, if I was a parent and found out that my kid made it home with that, I'd be calling the birthday kid's mom and 'fessin' up. That's a pretty big offense in the 4 year old world.

That night we went to the parade of lights. Beautiful and fun but REALLY cold. We got to sit in my hubby's office and watch though so it wasn't horrible.

The next day we had a pizza/cake party at my parents' house since we didn't invite any of my grandparents to the big party. (They're all near or actually are 85 and it snowed like crazy for his party -- does every year, actually -- so we didn't think they needed to be wandering around in it.)

The NEXT day -- yep, I was wiped out by then -- he got to do a cupcake thing at preschool for snack. I sent hats and napkins for the kids and had ordered some Cars toothpick things and cupcake liners so he was ALL excited about that.

So, that was the birthday extravaganza around here. Delayed our getting Christmas decorations out, but that's happening tomorrow. We were gonna do it today, but tomorrow is fine. We're just hanging out today.

M also had his program at school on Thursday night. Last year he FREAKED out and wouldn't sing at all, just stood there with his fingers in his mouth at the Christmas program. For the spring program, he freaked even more and when he saw me in the aisle, he refused to go up there.

I was cautiously optimistic about this one. He loves to sing and much like his momma, LOVES Christmas music. We have it on all the time right now and he sings along with me -- I love it! Anyway -- he knew all of his lines, all of the songs, and all of the little hand motions. He was so excited about his program, but I couldn't be sure if he really would do it or just get up there and freak out again. My gut said it would be okay, but I didn't want to be disappointed, because I have to say, that's a pretty intimidating thing to be so little and up there in front of a whole CROWD of people that are snapping photos and shooting videos like the paparrazi. Lots of pressure, especially if that sort of "performance" is not in your comfort zone to begin with.

Well, we got there and hurdle one was overcome...he went into his room with no problem. Happily shed his coat (no hat -- couldn't risk the hat hair) and started doing some puzzles with his buddies. He looked so handsome...he had on a cute button down shirt and a "tight" just like Daddy. He also had on some cute navy cargo cords and his "Handy Manny" shoes -- aka, penny loafers. (Don't ask me about the HM thing -- he wears boots, but M swears they are his HM shoes. He loves to wear them -- puts them on with sweats and everything. My brother had a pair of cowboy boots like that -- I guess we're doing the loafers version.)

I never post pics here, but I just have to share this one. This was right before I left to go get my seat. Doesn't he look adorable and excited???

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I get settled into my seat in the 2nd row that the awesome grandparents had scored...too bad it was on the wrong side...his class was on the other side of the aisle, but that's okay. The music started playing and my hubby and I looked at each other like "here we go". They started walking in and here came my little buddy...holding onto each of his ears like they were going to fall off. Hee hee. But dang it -- he got up there and wasn't crying or anything -- he was actually smiling, just holding onto his ears for dear life. (He's had a thing with his ears since he was tiny - -they're his little comfort thing -- some kids suck their thumb, our little man just plays with his ears. Again, don't ask me where that came from.)

My hubby leaned over and said "Rrrrriiiibbbbbiiiittttt." I started cracking up. We call him "Michigan J. Frog" because if you remember that cartoon from when we were's the construction worker that finds the singing frog who only sings when no one else is around. He even rents out this whole theater to do this singing/dancing frog show, but when he opens the frog's box all he says is "Rrrriiiiibbbbbiiiiitttt". So, my hubby does that when M is being all nutty and we know no one would ever believe what a ham he is because he gets so shy around other people.

So, about halfway into the first song, M decides he feels comfy enough to let go of the ears. We all were so happy because we knew we were home free at that point. It just made me so happy to see my little guy up there looking so cute and doing such a great job. And the best part? You could just see him beaming and having so much fun! I am getting teary just typing this. My hubby thought I was a total nerd and sap when I looked at him with tears in my eyes and said "He's doing it!!" but I just couldn't help it. It was such a special feeling in my heart.

My very, very favorite part was the first time he spotted us, and more specifically, me. He was already smiling, but when he saw my hubby's dad, his eyes opened a little wider, his smile, got a little bigger and he instantly scanned down the row till he saw me. We locked eyes and I smiled so big and waved at him...he started giggling his famous little (heeeheeeheee -- I could just hear it) M giggle and waved at me with a look of pride and pure joy.

In addition to the image of him burning rubber down the greenbelt path ahead of us on his tricycle pretending to be Dale Jarrett, I will also have that image of him giggling and waving to me forever imprinted on my Mommy's heart. (Yes, I'm now full on crying in case you were wondering. I'm a blubbering fool.)

He also provided a little comic relief for us a few times. His buddy who is our neighbor is in a different class and on a different day, so they NEVER see each other at school anymore and this was neat for them to be up there together. She was right in front of us and when she finally saw M, she just HAD to get his attention. Unfortunately, this moment happened exactly when her class was saying their speaking part. Her whole class is reciting their memorized lines and she's totally leaning forward, bent over and wildly waving her arms whispering "Miiiitttccchhheeelll". He was in la-la land but finally saw her and starts waving just as wildly. OMG -- I was laughing so hard.

The other funny thing he did was during "We Wish You A Merry Christmas". They did this thing with their arms that looked like what you might do if you're a grouchy grandpa --- ball up your fist and swing it in front of you to say "Oh, rats." Anyway--this little arm swing was only supposed to happen on "wish". Well, our little spazmobile decided to adopt it throughout the song and exaggerate his movements on top of that. He almost gave the poor little girl next to him a bloody nose about 4 times. We just watched my mom's videos of the program last night and her camera is shaking like crazy because she was cracking up. I looked at Chris and said "Well, I guess we had nothing to worry about."

So -- I go from not blogging for 2 weeks to a post that will take you 2 hours to read. Nice.