Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-bye 2009....

One year ago we rang in 2009 at my sister's Bachelorette party.  It was a great start to her three night winter wedding weekend.  The wedding was held at a beautiful hotel in Northern New England and every detail was carefully attended to. The weekend was wonderful but filled with emotion. As we celebrated her marriage to her high school sweetheart, my grandmother was losing her 4 month battle after a severe stroke. 

K got married on January 3rd and my Noni passed away three days later.  It was a relief to see her go as she had suffered so much but we still didn't know what life would be like without her in it.  She was one of my favorite people in the world and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her or miss her terribly.

At Noni's funeral, the priest told the 5 grandchildren to make a wish when he lifted the host into the air.  Ten and a half months later my wish came baby girl was born.  I kept telling everyone that if I had a girl, it would be my Noni's baby.  She would have wanted me to have a girl and sure enough, she made it happen.  Because of this Little C's middle name is Evelyn, after my Noni (S's mom and grandmother are also named Evelyn :)).

Despite my Noni's passing, 2009 proved to be a very good year.  We have had too many blessings to count but our two little cherubs are at the top our list.  They make us smile each and every day and S and I can't imagine life without them.  Another one of our many blessings is our wonderful support network of family and friends.  And we are truly grateful that everyone remained relatively healthy in 2009 and that we were able to spend the holidays with most of the special people in our lives, including S's three remaining grandparents who are 88, 90 and 90!!!

As we go into the New Year, my resolution is to find balance in my life.  I hope to find more time for myself (to work out and lose this baby weight), live in the moment with my children (give them my undivided attention) and work on decluttering my life.   I hope that 2010 brings happiness and that any challenges that arise will be met with strength and courage. 

I wish you all a very Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Our Christmas was just wonderful.  With a dash of magic, a large heap of family and friends and just a pinch of was a very merry Christmas!  As all of you know, my present came early this year, October 22nd to be exact.  I loved having my new baby girl by my side this holiday, even if we did miss a lot of the action because of nursing :)  Not only was it our first Christmas as a family of four but it was our first time having Christmas morning at was such a special time.

Z has enjoyed the holidays so much this year.  If you ask him what season it is he will respond with, "The Holiday Season." The child has been walking around since the middle of November singing Christmas carols, quoting holiday movies (Rudolph is his favorite) and pointing out great holiday decorations (he is his momma's child).  He helped write his first letter to Santa this year, spoke to the big guy on the Polar Express and did such a good job picking out toys for Toys for Tots. 

Christmas morning was such a treat for S and I.  Z had to be woken up (I am sure that is the last year that will happen) and was timid coming down the stairs.  His face lit up as he saw the stockings filled above the fireplace and then his eyes quickly darted to the tree.  There he saw many of the things on his list (thankfully his list was short) and walked over to check them out (Santa does not wrap in our house).  He then checked out C's things and started talking a mile a minute about all of the things that Santa had left behind.  He kept telling us that the elves made all of the was precious.

After three days of travel.....a night at my mom's, a night at home and then a night at S's parents house.....we were exhausted.  This week has been all about getting back on a schedule, eating normal foods and bringing Z down from his holiday high and preparing him for what is to happen next, the taking down of the decorations.  To prevent him from slipping into a deep dark depression, I have been doing it very slowly :)  By New Years Day I hope to be finished. 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

G and Z searching for the Christmas pickle at my mom's

The dog in the middle of the Christmas Eve Morning Chaos at my mom's :)

All partied out on Christmas Eve :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Crazy Week

I am sorry to say that I missed a whole week in the blog world.  My babies needed me and so I was unable to write one-handed posts and didn't even have a chance to read and respond to my favorite blogs!  I am sorry that I will not be able to catch up but I do hope to check in on all of you before Christmas :)  This post is going to have to be quick....I am already getting a hand cramp :)

After a few days back on her original medicine...our Lil C was back to her happy self, though you can't tell from this picture :) We were so relieved and will never again mess with medication that is working to save money!!!!

Z enjoyed a trip on the Polar Express with his grandparents, cousin, aunt and uncle.  They had a great time and Z was so excited that he got to talk to the big guy :)  He told him that he wanted a talking Lightning McQueen, a mailbox and a wee little bunny for his sister.  Thankfully Santa had time to order a wee little bunny on Amazon, how could he not when Z asked for something for his new baby sister!!! :)

Z and daddy made this fun gingerbread train.

Z had another rough week at school :(  He was okay when I dropped him off but at snack time started crying and cried for a very long time.  By the time I got there his eyes were so red and puffy and he clung to me for dear life.  This is becoming a pattern and he has so much anxiety around school. We are thinking he may be too young and with all the changes this fall he might need a break for a bit.  We will talk to his teachers next week about all of it.  We don't want him to not like school.

Just in case I don't get a chance to post again this week....
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
Enjoy your family, friends, the food and all of the magic that this special time of year brings :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mommy Made A Mistake

Last week I called the doctor and asked them to change Lil' C's reflux prescription from the $50 Pepcid to the much cheaper $15 generic version of Zantac.....BIG MISTAKE!  That $35 dollars of savings cost us so much this weekend :(  My poor little baby reverted back to square one and spent the weekend gagging, crying while eating, spitting up (and swallowing it again) and not sleeping because she was so miserable.  It was rough for all and S and I being so sleep deprived could not figure out why this was happening.  We blamed my diet....was it the few chix wings that we ate from the local pizza shop and/or the garlic in my dinner???  It turns out there is soy in those little chewy peppermint candy's with the Christmas trees in the middle...was it the few of those that I ate??  Never did it occur to us that it was the change in medication.

Then in the middle of the night last night, as I was rocking the baby to sleep, I remembered that we had just switched her medicine.  The first thing I did this morning was search the internet for people who had made a similar switch in medication.  What I found was a few moms who had regretted their decision to try to save money and they had similar experiences.  I immediately got on the phone with my pediatrician, talked it over with them and now she is back on the Pepcid.  My hope is that it will work very quickly and peace will be restored to the Raising Z home :)   I guess the moral of the story is...."if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just for The Joy--Baby Joy

A house with a brand new baby can best be described as "Chaotic".  It does not matter if this is your first baby or 5th......trying to assimilate an infant into a house that once had some sort of routine is pure chaos :)  The helpless little love that you just brought home relies on everyone in the home to help them to grow and thrive.  For those moms who are breastfeeding, most of the infant care falls on us and thus we are on 24/7.  These little babies need food, comfort, love, sleep, clean clothes, numerous diaper changes and round the clock attention.  The members of the house (except for baby) exist with very little sleep and try to get through the day as best as they can.  The first 6 weeks are a blur and even though you try to appreciate every moment, they are over before you know it.

At about that 6 week mark, if not before, it feels like you will never sleep again.  You are so tired and feel as though there is nothing left to give.  Tears are often shed as you wonder how you will go on.........and then it happens........this little baby who has needed so much from you bestows the greatest gift.......they smile for the first time!

This is what happened to me last Friday.....I was so tired both physically and emotionally.  Z was very angry with me for not being able to play and even madder with the baby for taking up my time.  The baby was screaming because she was over tired and my back was about to break from walking her around the house.  We were 4 hours away from S coming home and my mom was at the was a very tough moment.  I finally got Z in front of the electric babysitter (desperate times call for desperate measures) and I stripped C down to see if that would stop her tears.  Thankfully it worked and she began to calm down!  I watched her as she glanced up at her mobile and then she looked over at me and her face brightened with a very big smile.  My heart melted, this was the most perfect gift at the most perfect moment!  It was as if my sweet little baby was thanking me for all that I had done for her over the last 6 weeks :)  Here she was expressing her love for me in the only way that she could, I will never forget that moment!  It brought me so much joy and was the only Christmas gift I need this year :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WW--Snow Day


Z is dreading the rain....he is afraid that Christmas is going to melt away :(

I didn't get a picture of the mini snowman that he made.  He was so proud of it but our plow guy just buried it......he cried.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas MEME

Courtney over at One Loopy Life tagged me for this Christmas MEME.  I LOVE Christmas so I am excited to participate, thanks Courtney!!!!  This is part of Heather's Top Ten Christmas Blog.  I am tagging Beth, Nicolasa, Lee-Ann, Poolside and Annie.

1.  Have you started your Christmas Shopping?
    I am actually done and have been since December 4th.  I tried so hard to be done by Thanksgiving but my husband's family added 4 more people to our Christmas!  I did most of my shopping this year online...easy to do with a newborn.

2.  Tell me about one of your special Traditions.
Every year on Christmas Eve Eve (Dec. 23rd) my family gets together at my mom's house for Chinese Take Out and a viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation :)  We then sleep over (it's getting crowded now) and wake up to have our family Christmas and breakfast on Christmas Eve.  My sisters and I still fight to be the first to find the Christmas Pickle!!!

3.  When do you put up your Tree?
The day after Thanksgiving :)  We have a fake tree due to my allergies so there is no problem putting it up then. 

4.  Are you a Black Friday Shopper?
Absolutely not....I am a Black Friday Decorator.  I spend the entire day decorating my house for the Holidays :) 

5.  Do you Travel at Christmas or Stay home?
This year we are doing a little of both.  We are at my mom's Christmas eve eve, our house to sleep on Christmas Eve so that Santa can come here and then down to my husband's family on Christmas morning. It makes me tired just typing it all....eventually I want to just stay home on Christmas day and play and relax :)

6.  What is your funniest Christmas memory??
As I mentioned before, my sisters and I fight over finding the Christmas Pickle on Christmas Eve morning.  For years my baby sister K would always finds it first....she then got the extra gift.  This drove me nuts!!!!  Finally my year came and I actually found the pickle!  I was so excited, I threw my arms up in the air to celebrate and the glass ornament slipped from my hands, fell on the brick fireplace and shattered!  It was pretty ironic that after years of wanting to win, the first time I actually found it, I broke it! was pretty funny!

7.  What is your favorite Christmas Movie??
A Very Brady Christmas!!!!!  I can't find my VHS (I think my family hid it) and it is not on DVD....what am I going to do????

8.  Do you do your own Christmas baking?  What is your favorite treat??
I do make sugar and gingerbread cookies.  My favorite treat are my MIL's Italian cookies...Yum!!!

9. Fake or Real Tree?
Fake, I am allergic!

10.  What day does the actual panic set in to get it all done?
Two weeks before Thanksgiving!

11.  Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?
Only if I am wrapping for my dad.

12.  What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?
The Christmas Eve Party at my mom's is a huge competition.  There are two teams of our family and friends and we compete in 3 events.  Over the years we have competed in games of mini golf, jenga, Beirut (w/water), Holiday Jeopardy, card toss, Don't forget the lyrics and so many more!!!  The winning team wins scratch tix.

13.  What Christmas craft do you like best??
Decorating the gingerbread house :)

14.  Christmas music??
All of it!!!  My favorite albums are Jimmy Buffett, Charlie Brown and the muppets.

15.) When do you plan to finish all your shopping?
I'm done.  I hope to wrap it all this weekend.

Just simply copy and paste the questions into your blog, and then answer them.

When you post your blog, please spread some Christmas cheer, and leave a link back to Heather's Top Ten Christmas Blog, and the blog that you were tagged by.

I enjoyed this meme!! If you play along, leave me a comment and let me know so I can check out your responses!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday MEMe--5 Laps :)

Five Laps I'd Rather Sit on Than Santa's

 Mommybrain's and Supah have come up with this great prompt for this weeks Monday MEme.  I am not much of a lap sitter so here is my very RANDOM list....

1.   Buddy the Elf

 I LOVE Buddy and know that if he were real, we would be very good friends :)  We both love Christmas, candy corns and syrup!

2.  The Apple Store Guy when he gives me my new free LAPtop :)

 I know this is a stretch but I would love a new computer!!! 

3.  The LAP of Luxury

This was S's idea :)  It is a very good lap to sit on!!!!

4.  My Daddy---I am a Daddy's Girl

No my Daddy did not run for President of the Country but he was president of his Rotary Club :)  People Say he looks a lot like John Kerry :)

5.  My Sweet Husband, Papa Bear

He has my most favorite lap to sit on and now a days I have to compete with Z and C for my space on his coveted lap :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Z's Life of Crime

"Shoplifter Attempts to Steal Light Up Toy in Target"

This is what the headlines would read if anyone other than me (and now all of you) knew what was going on in the Christmas section of Target the other day.  Z found this light up toy and was absolutely mesmerized by it.  He carried it around with him, as I found the last few goodies to send in my Aunt's holiday package.  He asked me over and over to bring it home and I told him "no".  When I was finished, I asked him to put it back because we had to go and check out.  I turned around to grab his hand and shuffle him along when I saw him trying very hard to shove the toy in his pocket!!!!

I stopped there in the middle of the store, got down on his level and calmly asked him for the toy.  I put it back on the shelf and asked him what he was doing with the toy.  "I want that toy Momma."  When I asked him what I had told him to do with the toy, he looked down at the ground in shame.  He finally said, "put it back".  I then asked him if he knew what the word steal meant (heavy lesson for a three year old) and he said "no".  I explained that it was against the rules to take things from stores unless you pay the store for them.  I told him that when rules like this are broken it is a very big deal.  We then spent the rest of the shopping trip talking about how important it was to not break the rules and when we got to the cashier, I explained that I was paying for all of our items.

There was no trip to the chicken store for young Z and he was very upset.  I explained that he hadn't listened to me and so we would have lunch at home.  I then called daddy and told him what had happened so that Z could hear every word of our conversation.  I know this is quite the lesson for a three year old and this is just the beginning of our teaching.  I was not upset that he attempted to steal the toy (he has no idea what stealing is) but I was upset that he did not listen to me when I asked him to put it back and disobeyed me by putting it in his pocket.  S and I plan to role play with him and have him more involved in the paying part of our shopping experiences.  This is only the beginning of the heavy stuff that I know we will have to deal with in the years to come!!!!  Yikes ;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Park the Elf Arrived Today!!!

The Raising Z household is filled with excitement because Park the Elf arrived today.  This is his second holiday season with us and we are thrilled that he decided to visit us once again.  For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about...check out the Elf Magic Website

I first heard about this site from Connie at The Young and the Relentless.  After reading her entry about the elves at her house, I immediately went to get an elf of our own.  A few days later, Park arrived and we had a blast toting him all over the place.  He went on the Polar Express, came on an overnight to Portland Maine with us, went to see Christmas lights, baked cookies and so much more.  He often left small little gifts for Z in his sack and on Christmas Eve, when he had to go back to the North Pole to help Santa, he left him a larger gift as a thank you for being such a good host :)  It was so much fun.

This year we have decided to change things up a bit.  Rather than have Park come to live with us and join us in all of our daily adventures, he will just be popping in at night to check things out (he is much too busy this year and Santa desperately needs him at the North Pole during the day).  Z will never actually see Park this season but every morning (except for Preschool mornings) Park will leave a photo of himself doing something in the house, a letter for Z and C and some small gift for the day.  S feels by doing it this way, Park will be more magical and mysterious ;)  I spent the weekend getting all the pictures and letters ready to go.

Last year I bought the gifts, this year I wanted to save money so I got creative :)  Today he left Z and C their Nativity Set.  Park has lots of exciting things to leave this season like... their holiday trains, cookie cutters to make cookies, a holiday potty chart (we have really fallen off the wagon on that), the Polar Express book and a bell from Santa's sleigh, Candy canes, our stockings (with a new one for C), money to go out and buy toys for Toys for Tots and so much more.  Each time he visits he will leave something unique and special.....and on Christmas Eve, he will leave them a slightly larger gift once again.

I have included a few of the pictures that Park will leave behind.....he is one wild and crazy elf :)

Park hanging from the lights, going potty and riding Z's trike

Park making cookies (he ate them all though), driving Mom's car and hanging with the Grinch!