Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Last year was the one year that I kept my New Year's Resolution. It was to lose the baby weight leftover from Boogs and Bug and to hopefully become pregnant with number three.  Since I'm due in February, I think it's a pretty good indicator that I met my goals.

As I look to the next year here are my new goals (not necessarily in this order):
#1 Lose the baby weight from Baby #3 before he is one.
#2 Better Budgeting
#3 Be kind in my words. Be encouraging and uplifting in my interaction with others.
#4  Work on my writing and start submitting articles for consideration.

In the past,  I would set up a goal and it would probably fall to the wayside before the end of the month. Last year was the first time I kept my goal in sight. Probably because I was utterly frustrated with my weight (I'm a self-proclaimed big girl) and as much as I wanted another baby, I wanted to be at a healthy weight first so that I would have an easier pregnancy.

Last year I had one goal. This year it looks like I have at least four. I will work on each one. Hopefully I will remember to look back at this post in a year and see how I've done.

What are your goals for this year?  Will you keep your resolutions? Do you make resolutions? If you are looking at some ways to meet your goals, check out the following post from Life Your Way:

No matter what your goals, I wish you peace and happiness in 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

34 Week Update

I'm 34 weeks along.  I saw the doctor on Monday and everything looks and sounds good. I'm still having contractions now and again and she wants me to continue taking the medication that stops them.  However, at 35 weeks (that's next week!) she said that they won't try to stop the contractions and I can have the baby.  I keep saying that I am under no delusion that this baby will arrive early after he's tried so hard to get out into the world. I'm sure that my due date will come and pass and he'll stay right where he is.

However....I am a teensy bit worried that he'll decide to make his appearance at 35 weeks. The only reason why I'm worried is that Hubby is leaving for a business trip for a few days next week.  Hubby is really anxious that I'll go into labor without him. He keeps telling me I'll have to rest next week while he's gone. He seems to have forgotten that he'll be gone next week and I'll be pulling double duty. I'll do my best since I certainly don't want to go into labor without him.

I've got the childcare part covered. I've got a few friends and family that will be available at different times in the day or night that can take care of the kids. However, I don't have a backup labor coach. Anybody up for the gig if Hubby is gone? I'm kidding...sort of......

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why Christmas is my Favorite Holiday by Boogie

Last Sunday, my family went to my parents' church.  My brother was in town and my dad was playing the drums with the worship team. Hubby and I thought it would be nice to attend a church service with them and it has been years since all of us have attended a church service together.

On the way home from church Boogie proclaimed that Christmas is his favorite holiday. Hubby and I looked at each other and smirked thinking it was because of all the presents. Of course we asked why Christmas was his favorite holiday. Here was his response:

Well you're supposed to make God #1. If God is #1 then the day He was born is very important. Jesus was born on Christmas day so it's the most important holiday. That's why Christmas is my favorite holiday.

Hubby and I were blown away by his eloquent response. Well said, Boogie. Well said.

Our Greatest Need
If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Saviour.
-Roy Lessin

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Blessings

So much has happened in the last week and most of them in the form of Christmas blessings. It's hard to say where to begin, but I'll give it my best shot.

First off, this year has been great. I got all of the shopping done at least two weeks before Christmas and all of the presents wrapped before Christmas Eve. This is amazing, since every year I'm up until midnight the on the 23rd wrapping gifts and preparing them for our huge family get together on Christmas Eve at my SIL's house for Hubby's side of the family and then I'm up until midnight on Christmas Eve finishing the wrapping for our kids and my side of the family. This year the bourbon balls were made well ahead of time and I  made enough to give away this year.  All of these are great accomplishments and made for a more stress free preparation time for Christmas.

Christmas Blessings:

  • On Wednesday I texted my brother (who lives in another state) to confirm his address. He called me back and told me he was coming home for Christmas this year. The first time in over 3 years. It was a surprise for my mom and was a complete surprise for me, too. That was awesome!  I was really excited to see him and I knew my kids would love to see him, too.
  • Since we moved into the neighborhood a few years ago I've been making cookies for all of the neighbors. It's my way of getting to know them better and a way for the kids to share the Christmas spirit.  This year (again on Wednesday) the neighbor across the way brought over cookies and our next door neighbors gave us cookies. That's really nice!
  • Again on Wednesday, Hubby started his Christmas vacation early and came home after a half day of work. He was able to see Boogie perform in his monthly preschool sing and then later in his Christmas play. Boogs was bouncing off the walls that Daddy was there to see all of his performances.
  • Another Wednesday blessing, on the way home from Boogie's performances, I realized I had not taken any meat to defrost for dinner and I was racking my brain for what I was going to serve my family on our usual whirlwind Wednesday. Fortunately, Hubby was taking them to their dance class to give me a break, but I still needed to make dinner. I came home to find a phone message waiting for us and it was another family from our Church who called to ask if they could bring dinner over that night.  Dinner solved!  She very graciously prepared a yummy, family friendly dinner. She happens to live just down the street from where the kids were taking their dance lessons. So in between lessons, Hubby picked up the food. When he brought it home it was still warm, smelled delicious, and we scarfed it down happily.  We are so grateful for their generosity. It couldn't have come on a better day.
  • Thursday we went out to dinner with my side of the family and saw my brother. We haven't seen him since May and to see him two times in one year is pretty fantabulous. It's usually several years between visits.  
  • We had a fabulous Christmas Eve with family. I love that my sister-in-law has taken over hosting Christmas Eve at her house. In the past Hubby's great-aunt used to host a similar open house. When she passed away several years ago, my SIL took up the tradition. It's a great time and the kids love getting dressed up and seeing their cousins.
  • We attended Christmas Eve Mass with family. My other SIL is the children's choir director for her parish.  We go to her parish every Christmas Eve to listen to our nieces and nephews sing.  Of course we always arrive a little late and it's hard to find seats.  This year we sat with the children's choir as there was a little bit of room for us.  Boogie desperately wanted to sing with them and was disappointed that he couldn't. However, when they sang, "Go Tell it On the Mountain" on stage, he stood up in his seat and very clearly, loudly and full of confidence sang it with them complete with hand motions.  It was so sweet and the parishioners that could hear him nudged each other and smiled. His innocence and his passion was so wonderful to see. It was the favorite part of my night.
  • Christmas Morning, when Boogie was asked who brought him presents he said, "Mommy, Daddy, and Buggy."  We asked who else (Meaning Santa) and he said, "No one else."  So it looks like we've done our job and he knows that Jesus is the reason for the season. While he still believes in the concept of Santa Clause, it's as if he knows that Santa is an accessory and a part of Christmas, but not Christmas itself.  I'm okay with that.
  • Christmas Day, again time with my side of the family, made that much better with my brother's presence. A bonus was getting to Skype with our Filipino relatives who are still in the Philippines. We were able to meet them and talk to them. We've all seen pictures, but I was two the last time I saw anyone.  My mom was able to talk to her side of the family. We also came home to find a tin of Christmas treats on our porch left by a friend. Thanks L.!
  • Day after Christmas, going to my parents church and watching my dad play the drums with the worship team. And then having dinner one last time with my brother before he headed back home the next day.
The was a pretty wonderful for Christmas. I was reminded of the goodwill of others. Gifts of food and treats. The love of family. This year I was able to fully celebrate with both sides of our family. I was worried about my brother spending Christmas alone, although I know he has many friends who would have taken him in. But this was wonderful and perfect.  

I enjoyed watching Christmas unfold through the eyes of my children. I am grateful that God sent his only Son to come down from heaven to be His gift for us. I pray that we all carry the Christmas spirit of love and goodwill to others throughout the year and not just at Christmas.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heard Around the House

Conversations take place around the house. Sometimes I am part of them, sometimes they are between the kids. This is what has been said in the last week:

Boogie to Me:
B:  Mommy, you'll have to come to my wedding.
M: Of course, are you inviting me?
B: Yes, and you'll have to bring a gift.
M: What would you like?
B (very seriously):  A "chee-vee." I want my own "chee-vee" (t.v.)
M: Who are you marrying?
B: I can't tell you, it's a secret.
M: Do I know who the lucky little girl is?
B: Yes, she is my best friend and her name begins with J.
(He's referring to his best friend of 4 1/2 years. That would be so sweet :))

Me to Boogie and Buggy to Boogie:
M: Boogs let's go.
Boogie whining
M:  Boogs, stop being ridiculous
B: I'm not being ree-dic-u-wuss
Buggy (in a sing-song taunting voice): Yes, you are being ree-dic-u-wuss (I think she may have sashayed as she walked away from him).

Boogie to Buggy:
Boogie: Buggy, you'll be a mommy soon (said as she is playing with her baby doll).  Well not soon. A long time from now. Definitely before you're 21.

Hubby to Me:
Thank you, Honey, for doing all you've done to get ready for Christmas. If it weren't for you, we'd just have a tree, decorations, and lights.

I look forward to what I'll hear when everyone is home next week :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mommy, I've Got You

I'm 33 weeks pregnant (the doctor finally moved up my due date and it looks like I should go around Feb. 7th.)  I'm hormonal and emotional. I'm given to bouts of weepiness, but fortunately, not for long periods of time.  And I'm exhausted. Despite all of this, I feel pretty good. I'm excited, jubilant, and filled with anticipation.

But as far as pregnancy goes, something can be said and the tears will come. It's really nothing more than exhaustion and the emotional stress that comes with it because I am so tired. But sometimes I just need a few minutes by myself to cry.  Get it out and then I'm fine. But having a husband and two children, I have very little time to myself.

This past weekend, I just needed to let it out. I went upstairs to let the tears flow and my sweet Baby Bug followed me.  I try not to cry in front of the kids...I don't want them to worry and really it's nothing more than sheer exhaustion.  But Bugs followed me, hugged my belly, patted my arm, and made soothing shushing noises. Then she said, "It's okay Mommy. I've got you. I've got you, Mommy. All better now?"

How could I not be all better after her sweet comfort?  The phrase "I've got you, I've got you" is one she has heard from me a number of times. When she is tired and needs comfort, when she's hurt herself, or feels an injustice has been made unto her by her brother, she turns to me. I hold her tight, I shush in her ears, and I say, "It's okay, Baby. I've got you. I've got you. Mommy's got you. I won't let go." She calms down and revels in my love for her.

It's nice to know that it's comforting to her and that she thinks it will be comforting to me when she turns to do it for me.  It looks like we've got each other. My kids make me one lucky and blessed Mama.  I love you, Sweet Bug!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Family Fun Weekend

The weekend started on Friday with Family Fun Night at our Church. We had a pizza dinner, watched my favorite children's Christmas movie, The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, and did a community service project making ornaments and gifts.  These days I'm lucky to still be awake by 8pm (thank you 3rd trimester slump) but I thought this would be a fun thing to do. So as soon as Hubby made it home from work we were out the door. It was a fun evening and the kids enjoyed climbing all over Daddy. I think for a good portion of the movie Bug sat on her father's belly while he lied on the floor.

Boogie reading a book given to him by his Godmother.
Saturday was our monthly church cleaning. I haven't made it since September when I was put on modified bed rest. While I'm no longer on restriction, Hubby doesn't want me going until after I give birth. He's been taking the kids once a month to clean the Church with our cleaning group.  The kids are learning to serve the community and God. They're getting quite good at cleaning, too. I think Boogie has been given his own Boogie sized swiffer to use around the Church :)  After Hubby and the kids came home, we ran out to a toy store (completely forgetting it was Super Saturday and everybody and their mom was out) so the kids could get a gift for each other.  I think this does it for our gift buying for the season.  Fortunately the trip was a quick one with another trip to the library. We came home to prepare for Boogie's Godmother and my good friend A. to join us for dinner.

I'm so glad that A. and her family have moved back into the area. It's nice to call her and say, "Hey do you want to come over for dinner?" and if one weekend doesn't work, another surely will.  We exchanged gifts early this year as she will be heading to visit her in-laws over Christmas.  It was so nice to see her since it's been almost two months (has it really been that long?) since we saw her last.  Boogie loved spending a little extra time with his Godmother.

The Discombobulated Mommy with Bug waiting for her chance to perform.
Sunday ended with the kids' holiday dance recital. I was unsure as to how it would go and if Buggy would actually get on stage to perform.  The kids looked darling and yes, they both performed.  Buggy danced in two numbers and Boogie in three.  There was a lot of hard work put into setting up for the dance recital and we are grateful to childrens' dance teacher for pulling off a fun performance for the kids.  Hubby's favorite part might have been when Buggy was performing for the "Dreidel" song. The little girls were given small dreidel's and every time Buggy was able to make her dreidel spin she would jump up, clap her hands, and say "I did it!" in the middle of her performance. Of course I missed all of that because I was trying to video the performance and I figured it was a part of the dance. It wasn't, but no less cute!

I'm grateful both sets of grandparents were able to make it to the performance. Hubby's parents stayed for dinner and we were able to sit down and spend some extra time with them. Not always easy, because we are usually at a larger family gathering and we don't get a lot of one-on-one time with Hubby's parents.  It was a nice end to a fun and busy weekend.

Buggy watching the recital.

Boogie performing. He's the one not in the pink leotard :)

Performing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" Boogie is busy trying to get his tie to "sing." It played music when you push a  button.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tutu Cute!

I've been having fun making my little tutus for friends and family.  I sent one to the kids' cousin and when I called to wish her a happy birthday her father told me that she loved it and wanted to wear it right away.  That made me grin. I love when my friends and family like the gifts that I made for them. I enjoy making them and it's so nice when it's well received.

I decided to try to make another version of the tutu I had made for our little cousin. This one is a present for a friend's little girl. As you can see, Bug is my model once again. This is her in mid-jump. Unfortunately, her little puppy is in the way and you can't see the embellishments I've put around the waist.

The kids are getting a kick out of seeing all the ribbon, jewels, and flowers I am using for these projects. They love being my models throughout the various stages. Though at this point I think it's getting harder for Bug to be the model. When she found out that this one wasn't for her either she kept asking, "Where mine? Where mine?"  I might have to make the rest when she is sleeping.  I realize that I have less than a week to complete all the ones I want to do, but I think I'll be able to do it. In reality, I think I'm (amazingly!) done with all my Christmas shopping. I just need to wrap the gifts and stick them under the tree. The ones I have to make will take some time, but I'm enjoying every moment of it. At this point I can't sit still in front of the tv without having some craft project in my hand whether it's crocheting, making tutus, creating calendars, or whatever else I have in mind to do.

I pray that this last week of Advent is a peaceful one for all of you.  Merry Christmas.

A close-up view of the tutu. See the flowers around the waistband?

a little blurry, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like.

Here is the original one I made. Still cute. I like having variety.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mother and Son

Yesterday Boogie overheard me having a conversation with a friend about babies and my expectations.  He heard me say to my friend something to the effect of, "I'm not saying it's going to be easy. I remember how hard it was when Boogie was born. How I had a tough time. But Bug was easier and I think I'll be fine with the third."

After I hung up he looked at me and asked, "Why was it so hard? Was I a hard baby? Why did you think it was tough after I was born?"

I honestly told him that he was my first baby, I wasn't sure what I was doing and I wasn't sure I was doing a good job. I wanted to do be a good mommy to him and I was brand new at it.

He looked at my soberly and said, "Well you never have to worry. You are a good mommy. We never have to worry about us."

Me: "Us?"

He grinned: "Yeah, us. We're good together. Everyday remember that you are a good mommy."

Music to my ears.  Thanks, Boogie Man. I try.

Snow Day

Yesterday it snowed. When I was working I used to make sure I brought home all the papers that needed to be graded and materials I needed to lesson plan. I would spend snowy days grading, planning, and playing catch up, even though I had a ton to do around the house. When there was a 2-hour delay I would still go to work on time to enjoy the quiet of the building and get more done.

After having Boogie, my priorities changed and I felt that it was time to enjoy a snow day with my little man and I appreciated having him. But I worried about the things that were undone at work. Now I think snow days are meant to relax, enjoy the ones you're with, have a mug of hot chocolate, and maybe play in the snow.  I wish I did a lot more of that when I was working.

Maybe I'm not so different as I was in my early days of my career. I use snow days as a reason to stay in, but I'm usually baking, Christmas shopping online, writing out Christmas cards, or doing some sort of Christmas catch-up.  But I enjoy doing those things so it's not that bad.

Yesterday I attempted to take Boogie to his afternoon preschool and chickened out after I saw an accident on the road.  I ended up turning around and heading back home.  The roads were bad, everyone was going 20mph, and it was still snowing. It would still be snowing when I picked him up 2 1/2 hours later so I decided to bag it and head home.  Boogs was a little disappointed, but he got over it pretty quickly. He played in the snow for a little bit and enjoyed that.  I decided to finish sending out my Christmas cards. The kids listened to a book on CD and played with each other. It was a really nice afternoon. One of the benefits of having more than one kid is that the kids will play with each other. As I addressed envelopes I kept an eye on the kids and watched them play (gently) with our ceramic nativity set and talk about Jesus' birth and the wise men, build tunnels using couch cushions and pillows, build with blocks, look at books, and entertain each other.  Even though I wasn't an active participant in their games, I was happy to be an observer into their little world.

It was a good snow day. While I'm not done addressing my Christmas cards and I still have a few projects I'd like to finish, I enjoyed the day watching my kids play together and thinking about how a third child will only add to the blessings we already have.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Crafty Projects

I was inspired by Buggy's ballet lessons and made a little tutu for one of her cousins for her birthday. I used Bugs as my model and had her try it on at different stages of my tutu making. She kept saying, "oooooh, pretty. For me?"  She understood when I said it was for one of her cousins, but she asked if I would make one for her. I'm pretty she'll find one under the Christmas tree this year.

This isn't a great picture, but I think it gets the idea across. I hope her cousin likes it and I'll be making a few more for Christmas this year for various friends and family. Bug kept shaking her hips whens she modeled it for me.

If you've been keeping up, you know that I've been crocheting baby blankets like it's going out of style. However, I took a break and attempted my first full-length afghan for an "adopt-a-nun" for Christmas gift giving. One of Hubby's co-workers decided to do this for a local convent. She also included an article that gave some information about the order.  The average age in the order is mid-70s, the nuns give away most of what they have to those who need it in the community, live on the donations of others, and somehow make it year after year.  I thought this was a neat idea and wish I can be there to hand out the gifts, but the kids are in a dance recital on Sunday and we won't be able to make it...maybe.

So of course because I always think that I can do more than is probably reasonable in any given amount of time I made an afghan. I finished last night after giving myself a goal of how much I needed to complete each night before going to bed. (I started to panic on Sunday that it wasn't going to get done in time!)   Here is the finished product. The color is autumn red and much prettier in person.  I'm pretty happy with the end product and sad to see it leave my hands so quickly after finishing. But Hubby has already washed and dried it and it is currently wrapped and at this point probably given to his coworker.  I hope Sister Charlotte likes it and I hope it keeps her warm in our currently frigid temps.

I've got a few more projects to do and I'm already itching to complete some more. If you stop by any time in the near future you'll probably find me crocheting, making tutus, making bourbon balls, or baking more Christmas cookies.  Which means I'll be knee deep in yarn, ribbon embellishments, and baking products.  In January it will be more about getting ready for baby...making freezer meals and making him his own blanket.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Musings on Baby #3

I am 31 weeks along and the countdown is definitely on now that I am on to single digits until my due date.  I can't believe how quickly the time has flown.  I'm also busy with the kids, Advent, Christmas, and in the back of my mind are thoughts of moving the current two children into the same room, adding a splash of blue onto the walls of the nursery, washing Boogie's baby clothes that I held onto in case we had another boy, and making freezer meals so that I don't have to cook after the baby is born.

Despite all that, I am ready. Not ready, like I'm done being pregnant. But ready in, yeah, let's do this!

Hubby and I have talked about it and neither of us are stressed, anxious, or worried about when the baby arrives.  Maybe it's that we've done this twice before. Maybe I've realized that life just goes on and this time you cart around a baby. Or maybe we're just too busy with Advent and Christmas and we don't have time to devote to being anxious or stressed.

One of my friends told me she thinks I have pregnancy and post-partum amnesia.  That may be it, but I really don't think so. I remember having Boogs and the stress of trying to figure it all out and not doing a very good job.  I struggled, cried, and doubted my abilities.  I was also working full-time and trying  to still be Superwoman at work and then don the same cape for home.  With Buggy the whole experience was different. I realized my shortcomings and realized they weren't that bad and I also realized that only so much can get done in a 24-hour day and that the world didn't come crashing to an end when things didn't get done.  I reveled in new (again) mommyhood and most importantly I wasn't working outside the home.

I'm still not working outside of the house. And while I know there will be late nights, exhaustion, sleep-deprivation...I'm not worried. I'm not saying that it will be perfect, but I think it some ways it will be easier.  Boogie is pretty independent and can be a big help. I think Buggy will love being Mama's helper (though I'm not discounting any of the jealousy she may feel after having me all to herself when Boogie's at school and then having to share me with a constantly nursing baby).  Plus she can do things on her own and that will make it easier.

But overall I feel pretty good. I got this.  I haven't gotten a chance to poll my friends with more than 2 kids. I realize that it will no longer be man-to-man and it will be all about zone...but did you find it was easier when you had a third...or did it still throw you for a loop because it was no longer man-to-man?  I'm curious to your thoughts on this.  Don't worry about freaking me out if it was harder...I'd still like to hear.  Regardless, I feel good and I'm looking forward to meeting our new little man...but not quite yet. He still needs to cook for another 9 weeks. I'm looking forward to holding another sweet baby.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Great Ideas

The other day, we got a new refrigerator.  It was desperately needed as we still had the original from when our house was built over 20 years ago. Since moving in three years ago the original refrigerator has slowly stopped working...the lightbulb burnt out and we never replaced it, the handle kept falling off, I had to kick the bottom of the fridge to make sure that it closed all the way, it froze the food in the back, the ice maker stopped working, and the layout was horrible and I could never find anything. And within the last few months it started to make this horrible moaning, whining noise like it was giving it all it could to stay on.  After a few weeks of research we were able to find a more energy efficient refrigerator, with a better layout that was also on sale. We are very happy campers.

I was at a doctor's appointment when the refrigerator came. I came home to a brand new appliance and to the box it came in sprawled in our living room. I was totally okay with this, because do you know how many hours my kids will be occupied by a single box?  They spent all day playing with it.

But here is what I missed while I was gone--Boogie's great idea that Hubby fortunately heard from a different room:

Boogie: Hey, Buggy. Let's take the box to the top of the stairs and slide down!
Buggy:  Okay! (very enthusiastically)
(Hubby comes around the corner to find the kids trying to lug the ginormous box up the stairs to try their grand sliding adventure).

Fortunately he stopped them and made them a mini slide using the step down from the foyer into the living room which suited them just fine and meant there were no accidents.  But leave it up to my son to try the next great adventure and for my daughter (his faithful and adoring sidekick) to follow his lead. Never a dull moment :)

Trying to Keep Up

I got a pretty good start on Christmas. I ordered the cards shortly after Thanksgiving and began sending them out, but something happened to distract me and I still have a pile to send out. I got a pretty good start on buying Christmas gifts, but as you know, it can't all be done in a day and I still have a few more things to buy.  I started an afghan for our "adopt-a-nun" for Christmas. I began it shortly before Thanksgiving, but it's a big blanket and I've been working on it almost everyday.  My goal is get it done by Wednesday night so that Hubby can take it to the person organizing the gift giving by Thursday so she will definitely have it for the weekend...but things happened and I haven't been able to keep up and I calculated it will take me at least two hours/day until Wednesday night to finish if I'm lucky. All the cookies are baked--check! But I keep looking at my list and realize that I still have quite a bit to accomplish.  In the meantime I've taken a break from making baby blankets and I don't think I'll be able to make as many as I had originally planned to give away.  Baby is coming soon and I'm running out of time.

Even though I started by keeping ahead of the game, I'm still feeling that I'm slowly falling behind. Fortunately not as behind in years past. But still not where I want to be.  I have to remember that Christmas is about spending time with family and friends. It's not about the gifts I give, but letting those close to me know that I love them and that they are appreciated. But I also have to remember to let them know all year long and not just as Christmas.

Part of the stress is trying to get Boogie's room ready to have Buggy in it.  Hubby has been working hard and he has taken down a shelf, done one round of spackle on the wall, and has taken off the border. The next step will be painting, and then eventually moving Buggy's stuff to Boogie's room.  It will get done, it always does, but it's kind of a crazy time of year to try to make big changes and big moves, but really, when is it a good time?  But it will get done.

The kids have been helping keep things in perspective. They talk about advent. They delight in the decorations, the lights, and tree.  They talk about presents to give and people to see.  Boogs has asked to see catalogs and last night when we talked about the possibility of not getting everything he has asked for, he said, "I know. I just like to look. I know that I won't get everything." He said it so sweetly that I think he was sincere in knowing that he wouldn't get everything he's asked for from Santa.

Buggy is happy to be playing with her big brother. Everyday they play a little bit longer together and I'm starting to see a friendship develop and that has been really nice.  She loves to snuggle with me and tell me constantly, "Mama, I love you so much!"

Life is good. I've been learning to look at my list, re-priortize everyday, and take a deep breath. It's been helpful to keep things in perspective and to still enjoy advent and Christmas.  I've also looked at my list and realize that Hubby has his own list and no fair trying to give him some of my things to do so I'm moving along as best as I can.  I'm taking it easy.  The doctor has put me on meds to stop my contractions. It's still to early, I'm only 31 weeks.  But the meds make me feel terrible and I'm allowed to stop taking them when the contractions stop. After taking them all weekend, I'm ready to be off of them for good (and I hope that's the case) and just sit. Makes it harder to get things done, but this is more important.

All else is well. I'm taking things one day at a time. The hugs and kisses and the "I love you so much" I'm getting everyday give me the fuel I need to keep going, to keep up, and to keep the stress at bay.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Giddy

My son is officially Christmas Giddy. He would tell you that he is "Advent Giddy" because it's not Christmas yet.  A week ago we got our Christmas tree.  On Friday night, after the kids were asleep, Hubby put up the lights on the tree and pulled out the ornaments and decorations.  When Boogie woke up on Saturday he saw that things were ready to roll. He was soooooo excited. I think he danced and pranced for a long time around that tree.  But Saturday was a busy day starting with going to a make-up dance class and Hubby spending the day with his Godson (our nephew) to celebrate his Godson's birthday. It was me solo with the kids so we went to dance class and ran a bunch of errands.

When we got home, I was wiped out.  I put Bugs down for a nap and I sat on the couch and put my feet up. But this would not do for my Boogs. He so desperately wanted to put up ornaments. So I gave him a bag of ornaments and he set about putting them on the tree while I watched and rested from the couch. He was thrilled to be doing it and kept asking me if I thought the tree looked beautiful.  When he was done with the ornaments, he moved on to the stockings. He could barely contain his excitement.  When Hubby came home from his afternoon outing, Boogie couldn't wait to show him what was done. After dinner all of us finished putting up the ornaments together.

The next day was frigid, but Hubby decided to put up the outside lights.  Boogie couldn't wait to do that either.  I don't think there was a whole lot he could do, but just being outside with Daddy was enough for him. When they were finished, Boogie asked for lights up in his room and Hubby complied. Boogs is sooooooo happy.

Since putting up the tree, decorations, and lights, I thought we would hear more about Christmas gifts, but Boogie hasn't really talked about them. Instead he is talking about advent, he asks questions about the advent wreath, he likes putting up our charms on our advent calendar, and he walks around the house in a Santa hat telling me about St. Nicholas (We told him the story about St. Nicholas last week).  When people wish us a Merry Christmas, he stubbornly tells them it's advent and says, "Happy Advent" instead. He's right, it isn't Christmas, yet.  But it will be soon.

I love that Boogie is excited about the preparation for Christmas. I like that he's asking questions about advent and focusing on getting ready for Jesus' birthday. It's been fun and I love the look of pure joy on his face when he turns on the Christmas lights around the house. It's his favorite time of the year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Solo Playdate

Boogie was invited for a play date on Tuesday.  The mom who invited Boogie was very sweet and offered to give me a morning off. She invited Boogs to come over in the morning, she would feed him lunch, and then take him and her boys to school. I offered to pick up her boys from school at the end of the day and drop them off.  The boys are identical twins that are in Boogie's class. They are very nice kids and they seem to like Boogie a lot. They get a long really well and I'm glad that Boogs has his own friends.

This was very weird for me to drop off Boogie for a play date. This was his first invited solo play date.  I knew the mom, from picking up and dropping off our kids at school and chatting while we wait for the kids, and we did one play date together at the park.   But other than that, she's still fairly new to me. I definitely like her and she seems really nice.  Usually when I do a play date its with a really good friend of mine, usually someone I've known for years, and the mom usually sticks around because it's a play date for me, too.  I get to catch up with a good friend while our kids run around and have fun.  I should also add that most of my friends live anywhere from 30 min to 1 1/2 hours away so it's kind of silly to drop off the kids and then not stick around, whether I'm going to the play date or if I'm hosting.

So on Tuesday, I got the kids ready and I dropped off Boogie for a play date. I was a little he going to be polite? Will he play nicely?  Will use the bathroom? Will he eat the food provided and be nice about it?  How will he do without me to remind him of all these things?  While I was mulling over these things on the drive, Boogie was excited to be seeing his best friends from school. When I parked the car in the driveway, he undid his seatbelt, opened the door, blew me a kiss, and said, "Bye, Mama!" He jumped out before I could even get out of my seat.  He had no qualms about going solo for the play date. I still walked him to the house, made final arrangements with the other mom for pickup, and left him. It took all of 30 seconds. It was so weird!!!!

I ended up running errands and getting a ton of things done with Buggy.  I was so grateful for the extra time and I figured since I was already up and out early in the morning, I would just get my errands done before putting Buggy down for a nap.  I checked my phone periodically for a phone call, but none came.  I finally relaxed when I knew that the boys were in school and the other mommy would have a break.  When I dropped off the twins, the other mother said they would love to have Boogie over again. He was polite, well-mannered, and played well with her boys.  Wow! That was really nice to hear.

I offered to have her boys over in the next few weeks. I always think it's easier to have other kids over because they occupy my kids. My kids are happy, having fun, and exhausted by the end of the day.

This little solo play date has shown me that Boogie and I are both growing up....I think we'll be just fine.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Miss Independent

Buggy is now sleeping in a big girl bed. For the most part, it's worked out really well. She can't get out of her room to escape because she can't quite reach the doorknob, but she doesn't really want to because she loves her new bed. She also has enough toys and books to keep her occupied.

However, with the new configuration of her bedroom I have found that she can reach the light switch in her room.  She can turn the lights on and off all on her own.  Miss independent is now turning on the lights and playing in her room by herself when she should be sleeping. On Saturday, after a busy day running errands, I was resting on the couch while Boogie was decorating the Christmas tree.  Hubby, who had been out with his Godson, came home to find Boogie happily decorating, me resting (but awake), and Buggy happily "reading" in bed with the lights on.  He heard noises from her room, checked on her and found one of our cats sitting on the changing table patiently waiting for someone to let her out, and Buggy reading.  He came down with our daughter and said, "I assume you didn't leave the lights on in her room when you put her down for a nap?"  No, I didn't. She never slept and was busy playing by herself.

Last night Hubby put the kids to bed. When I went up at about 8:30pm the lights were out in both kids' rooms.  Boogie got up a few times to use the bathroom.  After watching the Amazing Race, I headed downstairs to do a few more things while Hubby watched football. As I walked by Buggy's room, I noticed the light on. She again had turned on the light and I found her in bed reading a book. When I walked in, I got a, "Hi Mommy."  Miss Independent strikes again.

She doesn't see anything amiss and is happy to greet us when we walk in to retrieve her.  Oh, I don't know what I'm going to do with her.  She is way more independent that Boogie was at this age...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dance Classes

Last night was dance class. I have to say that I am happy that I've put both kids in dance classes. Buggy isn't old enough for preschool yet and giving her this opportunity to be with other little girls and to do her own thing has been wonderful.  Now that she has her own dance bag she is excited to carry her shoes into class. Her teacher laughs and says that Bug and her classmates are like little old women with their bags. They really are and it's really cute!

Boogie really likes it, too. He found out last night he will not be in the end of year recital.  I told him that he will stop dance classes at the end of March because then he'll be in t-ball and possibly soccer.  He looked at me and said, "When does t-ball end, and when is the recital?" I tell ya, that kid is too smart. He was trying to figure out if he could re-enroll for dance so he could be in the recital.
But we've already decided, "no." One activity at a time. Especially if we might enroll him in Summer swim team for 2011.

Both kids will participate in the December holiday recital. I caught a glimpse of my daughter's dance number for her recital. It is too cute and I can't wait to see the whole thing in a few weeks.  I haven't seen Boogie's yet, but I know that he will be just as wonderful.

You can tell that the kids are into dancing. Anytime there is music both kids have started dancing in the middle of the floor. Bug has even started throwing in some of her moves from dance class. I think this is a good outlet for them and I'm happy they are doing it.  As far as Boogie being in the only boy in the class, I don't think he's noticed. I've heard a few comments from parents and sibling in the lobby while I wait for him, but I think if it doesn't bother him, then it doesn't bother me.  He has fun and loves what he's doing. But he cracks me up because he's already determined an activity schedule for himself:  Winter--dance, Spring--t-ball, Summer--swim, Fall--soccer.  I just go with it and if we can afford it, then he can do it.  I love that he wants to be well-rounded and wants to try different things.

I'll try to post videos of the kids dancing. I just love it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Before kids, Advent and Christmas were so hurried for Hubby and me. We both worked full-time and sometimes we would get the tree up and decorated just days before Christmas. I felt like it was just pure chaos and it wasn't that enjoyable for me.

Over the years we've learned to slow down. Again I attribute this to being able to stay home with the kiddos. Last year during the first big snow fall I was able to bake cookies all day. While Hubby shoveled snow, Boogie played in it, and our sweet Bug was still taking two naps and she slept most of the day. I made a ton of cookies last year.  This year for the first time ever I actually have my Christmas cards ordered and in hand. The Christmas letter is also written. I've sent out the first batch on Monday and I'm looking for time in our busy schedule to finish addressing and stamping the rest.  Next year, I'll create a database and all I'll have to do is print out address labels (I hope!). I've already set out one of our Nativity scenes and once Hubby can get the others out of storage I'll put up the rest. On Friday we'll go out to cut down our Christmas tree. Again, the earliest we'll have ever done it!

I'm really learning to love and appreciate Advent. It is a time of preparation. It's a time for us to get ready for Christmas. I love the anticipation and how the kids talk about celebrating Jesus' birthday.  While the kids are aware of Santa, and Boogie is more aware of him because of commercials and the information bestowed upon him by his preschool classmates, the big guy in the red suit isn't why we celebrate Christmas.

While Christmas is usually chaotic for us with parties to attend, gifts to buy, family to see, cards to send out, cookies to be baked, and decorations to be hung, for some reason this year I'm at peace. I'm making a lot of my gifts this year and I don't feel the need to run out to the stores except to get supplies (baking or crafting). I also have the internet at my fingertips to buy things that I think of and now I'm getting better at looking for deals so I'm not running around town trying to find the best one.  I feel like I'm getting a better handle on the time that I do have and getting more done around the house and the errands and chores to be done.  I also have good friends to chat with and celebrate with for various reasons and even in our busy schedules we are able to find time to catch up.

My favorite part of celebrating the Christmas season is celebrating with family.  Every year we go to my SIL's house for her annual Christmas Eve Open House. Hubby's great-aunt used to do this every year when she was alive. She would host with good food and people would stop in and catch up. L. has kept up the tradition and all of the family arrives, including our extended relatives. Hubby's parents have 18 grandchildren and all of the kids do a cousin gift exchange. I love that my kids draw names and are excited to shop for the cousin they picked. The adults have started a fun white elephant gift exchange. The whole afternoon is filled with fun, laughter, yummy food, and great company.  Afterwards Hubby and I go to the early Christmas Eve Mass where we get to see most of the nieces and nephews sing in the children's choir. We go home, put the kids to bed and finish wrapping presents. And for me, no gift wrapping is complete without watching "A Christmas Story." I could probably quote the movie line by line by now. Then Hubby and I snuggle up and watch Bing Crosby in "White Christmas" and head to bed.

I think Advent might be my favorite part as we prepare for Christmas.  I'm learning to appreciate the anticipation and the preparation. I love sharing this time with my kids and I love the insight they bring when talk about the Christmas story (Mary and Joseph, not Ralphie and his family).  Tonight I'll bring our advent calendar and the kids will begin to hang each of the pieces up every night. I can't wait!