Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Everybody Loves Christmas Time

My wonderful husband wrote a fun and catchy holiday song back in 2002.  He has had a few "fans" of the song for a few years now (friends and family with copies of the CD) but this year as a special holiday project he has put it up on iTunes for all to hear.  I am so happy for him.

As many of you know, we lost S's sister this past year after a four year battle with breast cancer.  In honor of her and her love for the holiday season, all proceeds of the song for this year will go to the Make a Wish Foundation in her name.  Krista was a dream maker and so S thought it was fitting to raise money to make dreams come true for children who need hope.

So please go to iTunes and check out the song (that's me on the cover, the one in the red dress).  It costs only 99cents and it is really fun and catchy.  Z listens to it about 30 times a day and I am still not sick of it ;)  We would love it if you could spread the word (we have a FB fan page called "Everybody Loves Christmas Time"), we are trying to raise as much money for Make A Wish as we can. 

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fall Pictures

Here are some photos from our fall.  I can't believe that Thanksgiving is almost upon us and that winter will be here soon :)

Z at the pumpkin patch :)
 Z "raking" leaves

 big family trip to the apple orchard

Lil' C's first time apple picking
 Columbus day Weekend at the lake
Z playing baseball with my godson O 

 Z's glow in the dark cast (before signatures)

 Lil C checking out the top of the pumpkin :)

 checking out the finished jack-o-lantern

 Lil' C all dressed up in her cow costume at TRU because we couldn't go to any 
Halloween parties due to her cold :(

 Our Spookly the Square Pumpkin Window

Our Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving Window 
All turkeys were made from tracing Z's feet or hands.  
We even have a cast turkey (it looks like a potato) :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Z isms....

Kids say the darndest things and I want to take a few minutes to record some of Z's most recent comments :)

First let me record Lil C's:

"Daaaawwwddy,  Daaaaawwwwddy, Daaaaawwwwddy"  she says this all day everyday
"Mamma!!!!!!!!!!!"  she says this when she is screaming and upset
"Chi Chi" she says this when she sees my dad.
"sh ba da la ma na ra da ra da da ra"  this is her daily babble

Z isms

"Z would you like a grilled cheese?  Lil C and and I are enjoying one."
"No thank you mommy.......do they have a boy cheese sandwich?"

While listening to "All I want for Christmas" by Maria Carey Zachary looked at me very puzzled and said, "Mommy, who is this lady and why does she want me for Christmas?"

While driving home in the carpool the other day, Z turned to his friend Abbey and said, "That's a crack house over there.  Yup a crack house.  See the crack house!"  My friend Kacie was trying not to laugh in the front and wondered what Z and I talk about on our rides too and from school when he then said, "and there is a stone house, and there is a white house....."  :)

Z was playing with my dad and was pretending to be a dinosaur looking for spiders.  He would catch pretend spiders for my dad and say, "here is a red one, it smells like apples".  Then he gave my dad a blue one and my dad asked him what the blue one smelled like and Z said "Uranus! (Your Anus)"   My dad decided not to eat that one :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lil' C turned One Last Month...E I E I O :)

I am so embarrassed by the fact that I have yet to mention the fact that my sweet Lil' C turned ONE last month.  The eve before her birthday I was singing to her at bedtime and I burst into tears.  Where had the year gone?  How could my little baby girl actually be a walking, babbling toddler???  Not knowing if she is the last child for us or not got me very emotional.  I hugged her tightly and sobbed into her little downy head.

We celebrated her birthday with a big family party down on the "farm".  Our home was transformed into a farm, complete with a stuffed petting zoo!  Real petting zoos cost too much and smell so I constructed a stuffed one out of an octogon baby gate, my friends Fur Real Horse Butterscotch (it is the size of a real pony, moves and makes noise) and a bunch of other farm stuffed animals that we borrowed or already had.  It was so much fun for the kids and Lil' C and Z LOVED it!!!

My mom created this wonderful veggie platter....isn't it amazing??  The base is gingerbread and then she made a garden complete with shredded wheat hay bales, gummy worms and a paper scarecrow :)  For a menu we made "fence post french" toast sticks", "chicken little" nuggets with dipping sauces, "chicken feed" (candy corn), "stick in the mud" mini muffins, "farm house" flatbreads and "cowboy chili with kiddie coral corn bread".  For games we had pin the hat on the turkey, a paper pumpkin scavenger hunt and I printed a farm for each child to color with paper farm animals to color for their farm :)  We even had an adult game of farm trivia questions :)  For favors, I had farm animal beanie babies that I got at AC Moore with gigham ribbon tied around their necks.  The party was a lot of fun for me to put together (Z helped once again), I pulled off a lot within a very strict budget and I think everyone had a really good time.

Lil' C did great with all of the attention (she is my little social butterfly) and Z enjoyed opening her gifts for her.  Two big birthday parties for Z and C back to back was a lot for me to organize but I so enjoy planning children's birthday parties.  Z is already planning out is 5 year old party and I have to admit that ideas are already going through my head about Lil C's 2nd birthday :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A New Day

On this gloomy Monday morning, I have decided to hit the pause button and reflect upon the chaotic morning that just occurred.  S was busy and distracted trying to get out the door for work, Z was up an hour early, extremely whiny and chatty and unable to go to school because of the chance of rain (he can't get his cast wet and thus is not allowed to go if it might be damp...silly school!!!) and Lil C (who has been getting up almost 2 hours earlier than normal) would not stop crying....this was all too much for this sleep deprived momma!  It was not one of my finer mornings.....this I can admit.

Now that it is over and C is down for her nap and Z is taking a 30 minute TV break....I can catch my breath and start anew.  I know that my children and husband feed off of my mood and energy (as I do theirs) and it is important to go into the rest of the day with an upbeat and positive attitude.  It would be easy to fall into the sadness that so badly wants to consume me....my aunt passed away a week ago and the fact that she is gone is just starting to sink in.  The holidays are coming and I am trying so hard to stay upbeat for Z's sake but my heart is just not in it.  We have decided to "skip" Christmas on S's side of the family....it is just too painful with the loss of his sister....but Z and Lil' C need to have a holiday just like every other.  They need S and I too put aside our feelings of sadness and enjoy the countdown to Thanksgiving and then Christmas (oh and Z getting his cast off which is in ONE week!!!). 

So it is now that I will make the choice to pick my head up, forget the crazy morning that just occured and move ahead and celebrate all of the wonderful in my life.  I am healthy, blessed with two little cherubs to love, have a very helpful and supportive husband and a loving family who are always there when I need them.  Who could ask for anything more??

I hope that this is the last gloomy post for awhile.....Unfortunately all of the light stuff has been landing on my Facebook Page (yes I signed back up) and this has been an outlet for my true feelings.  I promise to share the lighter stuff very soon!!

Happy Monday!

These are my sister in-laws beautiful Dahlia's

You can't help but smile (cry with happy tears) over this video :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remembering the Important things this Holiday

I love the fall (I know I have said this a million times)....I love everything about it; the crisp weather, the food, the wardrobe, catching leaves with my kids, time at the lake, the holidays....EVERYTHING.  My favorite part about fall is prepping for Christmas.  I am an early bird (always have been) and I like everything to be done for Christmas by Thanksgiving day.  I like my cards to be addressed and written, my gifts all bought, the wrapping paper ready and the decor out of the attic.  I do not like to shop during December (it stresses me out) and I would rather enjoy the season instead of stressing out like everyone else does.  I still do find the holidays to be a bit crazy no matter how much prep I do but at least the bulk of the stuff is done before the turkey is served.

This year there has been a big hole in my heart as I go through my usual preparations.  An important part of the holidays is missing and that is my sister in-law Kiki.  She was a fellow Christmas Elf and right about now we would be exchanging emails about the holiday hullabalo.  We would discuss the plan for gift giving, the accommodations, food etc.  After our emails she would send out an email to the entire family letting them know what was going to happen for Christmakah (did I mention we celebrate with our Jewish friends???) 

A few weeks ago I tried to dig out those old emails (I have everything she has sent me since 2005) but I couldn't see the screen through my tears.  I miss her so much and am really struggling to plan this holiday without her.  S and I have talked a lot about the holidays and  want to make them special for our children but our main focus is on family...not gifts.  We are blessed with so much and we want to focus on love and togetherness rather than useless presents and debt.  I have chopped our holiday budget in half and we have agreed to not exchange presents on S's side of the family but hope to hole up together and reflect upon the crazy year and just be together.  There is that thought in the back of my head that we are not honoring Kiki by not having a big, traditional holiday celebration.  I just think that it will be too much for all of us and that it is important to get back to basics and scale back at least for this year.  I miss you Kiki......

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Praying Tonight

When I think of you Tante, your bright smile and cackle laugh immediately come into my head.  You have the most amazing sense of humor and are such a beautiful person both inside and out.  I so love and appreciate your honesty and bluntness.  You are not afraid to let us know if you no longer want to chat on the phone ("I have nothing left to say to you"), if we are not looking our best ("that hairstyle does not suit your face") or if we are doing something you do not approve of  :)  However you are so good about calling to check in, you are the first to tell us how beautiful we are and always let us know when we make you proud.   I know your life has not always been easy and you have had your share of hardships but through it all you have remained one of the most loving and giving people I know.

Tante, I am so proud to be your grand niece and want you to know that you have always been more like a grandmother to me than an aunt.  LB, K and I have been so blessed to have you as a third grandmother in our lives and love you so very much.  Thanks for all of the memories.....the card games, staying with us for the week mom and dad were away when we were kids, the numerous family dinners and holidays, the crazy party you took me to when I was little, serving us the disgusting powdered milk and peanut butter out of a tub at the Far Pastures House, all of our chats and of course all of the memories at the lake.  Thank you so much  for bringing the lake into our lives.  Your absence has been felt the past few years at the lake and we promise to honor you there for the rest of our days. 

I know that if you leave this world, Uncle Howie will be waiting for you with open arms.  It has been a long time since you have been with him and I am sure it will be wonderful to be reunited.  Noni, Pops and so many others are also there waitiing.....and I know it is selfish to want to keep you here for our sakes but we are just not ready to say good-bye.  I know we are very far away right now but please know that we are with you always and praying so hard for you right now.  I love you my beautiful Tante-O!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Special Night of Voting

S got home a little before 7 tonight so that I could go and vote.  I was super tired but I had promised Z that I would take him so we bundled up and headed to the polls.  Z has been so into the election this year.  Since the first signs appeared over the summer he has been full of questions.  I have spent the last few months explaining the election process and he has soaked in every word.  He heavily campaigned for his favorite candidates and would shout their name every time he saw one of their signs :)  His favorite candidate was O, who was running for state representative, and if you asked him why he liked him so much he would tell you because he had a fun name to say and cool orange signs :)

As we drove into the high school parking lot, a feeling of electricity came over me.  The place was all lit up and a buzz with activity.  There were voters, campaigners, tables with information about the different town organizations....it was exciting.  I carried Z through the line of signs and his favorite candidate O was there and said "Hello" to him.  When I later told him who had said hello, you would have thought Buddy from the Dinosaur Train had said hello to Z, he was so thrilled!   I put him down in the lobby and he hobbled with me (yes he has a fractured tibia...more on that later) to the voting table.  He told the people our last name and they handed him the ballot.  We walked into the booth and we immediately voted for his guy O.  He then tried to convince me to vote for the rest of his ticket but unfortunately we don't always agree politically :)  It was then off to the ballot machine where he slid our ballot in.

"Did O win mommy?  Will he run our state now?" he asked.  I told him that we would have to wait until the morning to find out.  On the way out I let him touch one of O's signs :)  He asked if he could take one home and I explained that he might need them if he ever ran for office again.  Then Z told me that he was going to make signs so that he could run our state.  I suggested he start with campaigning for best son of the house :)

The whole way home we talked about the election and about how all the votes now needed to be counted.  I then told him that the signs would soon go away.  This idea may thrill many but Z was devestated.  I told him that in the spring, more signs would pop up again and then in two years we would have a really big election for president.  This seemed to cheer him up a bit.

I LOVE voting....it is one of my favorite things to do.  It always makes me feel proud to be an American and happy to have a say (however small).  Tonight was by far the most special voting night I have ever had,  Thanks Z for making such a wonderful memory for me.