Archive for December, 2009

I still can’t believe how much our lives have changed in the past year.  The Lord continues to bless us and provide for us each and every day, and we are continually amazed at the wonders he expresses all around us.

The Mommy and the Boy, December 31, 2009

It may look like the living room floor, but to this little boy it is a farm with plenty of tractors and animals

They are only little once - I still can't believe he has changed this much in a year. The boy - late December 2008.

For the boy, this year he went from staying close to 11 or 12 hours a day at daycare, to being watched temporarily by a very loving friend with her three girls, to being watched at home with his nanny, back to the close friend who watched him after the nanny, then to mommy being home 100%.  This morning I was trying to tell him, that just this time last year, mommy wasn’t home very much and how blessed I am to be with him every moment of every day.

For me, I’ve shifted from marketing plans, job tickets, client meetings, business trips, and constant worry.

My days are filled with fixing breakfast, getting excited with the boy when the trash truck comes, playing tractors, playing hide and seek, cleaning, and tons of love, not to mention many thankful prayers.

I used to get this pain in the back of my left shoulder blade.  It never left, and I started not to even notice it.  Now I know something is stressful to me, or concerning, when I notice the pain in my left shoulder blade (now a rare occurrence).

I’m learning to cook, I knitted 3 scarves for Christmas, and I worry when the grout on my kitchen floor looks dirty.

I still get exhausted but it is a totally different feeling.  I’m not worried about how to provide my Medicare client with new members with a very limited budget to cover 7 states, but whether I’ll get three rooms dusted, and the Christmas decorations down.

I think things have changed for my husband too.  No longer does he have to come home and help wash bottles, or worry about ironing a shirt for work the next day.  We don’t have to stress who is going to pick up the boy, or get home first because we’re both working late.  If a repair or delivery person is coming to the house we don’t have to call our neighbors to let them in because I’m here.

It’s the little things that make life different, and boy is it!

I used to think being self sufficient was the way to go.  Now I’m forging new friendships with my neighbors and stronger relationships with existing friends, and realizing it is okay to rely on people once in a while, and it is okay to pick up the phone and call someone to ask advice or a simple question.

Wherever you are in your life, I hope you can come to realize in 2010 that friendships are important, children are only little once, miracles happen every day thanks to our Lord and that a clean kitchen floor can make you feel like the whole house is clean even when it looks like a tornado hit!

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Packing up to head to Mimi's and Papaw's

Christmas has come and gone, and with it a path of paper, boxes, and gifts strewn throughout the house.

4 Christmases, one active one year old who has many toys, and the usual housework that floods the kitchen and family room have left us a bit worn out, but also show us just how blessed we are.

It was so great to spend time with our families, exchanging hugs and gifts, and lots of love.

Hard to believe that less than a week ago

Chef Boy cooking dinner in the microwave

we were wrapping presents, packing up and preparing for a visit from Santa.

Many have visited the blog in the past couple of days looking for some Christmas pictures, so here are a few.

The news has been talking about the end of a decade.  So hard to believe the first 10 years of 2000 have come and gone and how life has changed in those 10 years.  (Especially by our adding a little one).

Try not to make too many resolutions over the next couple of days.  Maybe use the last couple of days of 2009 to finish up your resolutions from this year before jumping into some new ones.

Most of our pictures Christmas morning were of the boy's backside as he ran on to the next thing!

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"I'm just trying to figure out what I should get into next. Hope Santa isn't watching..."

The look the boy is giving in this picture is pure mischief, as has been his behavior the past couple of days.  WILD is the word.

Fortunately we’ve been able to get outside a ton the last couple of days.  Today we won’t be so lucky with a nice forecast of rain, and while it is only 10:19am, he has been into EVERYTHING.

He hasn’t gotten the concept down just yet, that Santa is watching.  When he went down for a nap a few minutes ago, I took a huge sigh of relief at just a few minutes to take a deep breath.

This has been a relatively stress free Christmas season if there is such a thing for us.  This morning we woke up to a beautiful sunrise of deep pinks and oranges that you don’t normally see in winter, let alone Christmas Eve.  We’ve only a few things left to wrap, and I’ve still got one present to finish.

This time last year, I was so frazzled, we didn’t even make it home for Christmas with my family.   That should have been the pure indicator that we needed to look to plan out our lives differently.  Thankfully God was watching, and new when the right time was to help us make the decision for me to stay home with the boy.

While we don’t have a white Christmas, the roads should be safe enough for us to get home to see everyone with the exception of some rain.

I can’t believe it is Christmas Eve, and to shift gears a little bit, as a mother, I can only imagine what was going through Mary’s head as she prepared to give birth to the Christ child.  No nesting for her, unless you count making a place in the hay to lay down.

The Bible doesn’t discuss Jesus’ childhood a ton, but I just have so much trouble imagining him climbing up on every rock and piece of furniture he saw, or getting into every ceramic pot (instead of cabinet), that he wasn’t supposed to be in.

I pray that your Christmas season is full of love and laughter, and that despite the rush, and the bustle that you can take a minute and read the Christmas story.  Take a minute to think about the characters and be empathetic as you imagine what may have been going through their minds.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

P.S.:  In case you’re wondering what to fix for Christmas morning breakfast, here’s what will be served at our house:

Breakfast Burritos

1 lb sausage

6 or more eggs

cheddar cheese

tortilla shells

Toppings as you like

Brown the sausage.  Beat the eggs and make into scrambled eggs.  Combine with the sausage.  Then, let everyone make their own breakfast burrito with the warmed tortilla shells, I like to top mine with sour cream and cheese.  My husband goes with cheese and no sour cream, but tons of hot sauce.

Talk about fast, and you don’t have to miss any of the family time, because you’re stuck in the kitchen.


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Didn't think a bottle of hand soap could cause such a tantrum!

Our son loves to wash his hands.  It probably comes partially from being my son as I’ve been extremely paranoid about all germs this fall.

I pause to note, that as a baby, the boy’s favorite book was about a rainbow fish named Bob, and then he had a favorite stuffed animal that was also a rainbow fish which we named Bob.

A few weeks ago at the grocery store, I was purchasing hand soap and let him pick the one he wanted.  He selected the clear soap with the fish on the bottle.

Which takes us to tonight.  After his bath, he saw a bottle of clear hand soap next to the bathroom sink.  While this wasn’t the one with the fish on it, he went into extreme hysterics when we wouldn’t let him have it to play with.

And he proceeded to throw a fit, until I got him the brand new bottle of hand soap with the fish on the bottle.

For the past 15 minutes, he has sat on the couch with us, mesmerized with the soap with the fish.

Guess we can take back all of his Christmas gifts and get him a year’s supply of the clear hand soap with the fish on the bottle!

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Stores are hustling and bustling, even at 9am on a Monday morning.  Shelves are getting emptier at retailers around the area, and some are still trying to figure out what the perfect gift is for a loved one.

It’s the week when we pull out the Christmas traditions that one holds dear, and when we celebrate the birth of our dear savior Jesus Christ.

For me, Christmas week means the movie “White Christmas.”  I’ve already watched it 3 times, but will watch it again, and maybe even more than that.

There’s just something about that movie!  I think it’s the costumes, the dancing and the wish for a white Christmas.  Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen, Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby – AMAZING!

When I was little a white Christmas was so exciting.  Now, I just worry, will we make it to visit family, will my husband be able to spend the day with us.

It looks like this year we’ll get rain, which is good for the practical side of my mind, but a white Christmas just is transforming to the holiday.  It makes it feel like CHRISTMAS!

Whether your week of Christmas is white or full of green grass, don’t forget to take time out for your favorite holiday traditions, and make some time for yourself, even if it’s to take a couple of hours to watch an old favorite holiday movie.

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Christmas 1977

Yesterday, I asked a neighbor if her kids were ready for Christmas, and she shared a good point.  When we were growing up she said, Christmas didn’t begin before Thanksgiving.  The hype came just weeks before Christmas and the anticipation was wonderful.  Now, Christmas begins so early, that as parents, it is difficult to keep their excitement for a holiday that seems so far away.

Take a few minutes to remember Christmas as you were growing up.  Do you remember a favorite Christmas gift?  Do you remember a favorite Christmas decoration?  Did your family have a Christmas tradition?  What are some of your new Christmas traditions?

I asked my husband last night what his favorite Christmas gift was growing up.  He’s still thinking on it but I’ll try to share it as he decides.

Growing up, myself and my two brothers, would each put our stockings on a different chair or the couch.  This is where Santa would put our presents.

I usually would try to pick a chair instead of the couch, this way it would look like I had even more than my brothers:)

One year though, I put mine on the couch.  I can still remember where the couch was sitting in our living room in Illinois.  On the couch were a pair of pink and purple Cabbage Patch Kid moon snow boots amidst my other gifts.  These have got to be my most memorable Christmas gift!

When you walked in the snow, they even left little cabbage heads in the footprints.  I can also remember a chocolate advent calendar I think my mom bought through some school fundraiser, and how exciting it was to open each day.

In Champaign, Illinois, there was one particular street that was amazing with Christmas lights – I think it was called Candy Cane lane.  Now we try to make it to Hardinsburg, KY and their park filled with Christmas lights.

We always went to the Christmas Eve service at our Church, and one year it went especially late.  I had always been told that Santa wouldn’t come unless you were in your bed asleep, so I was in hysterics when one of the elders at church told me they heard Santa’s sleigh bells very close by.  I just knew he wasn’t going to stop at our house since I wasn’t in bed.

Keep these memories in your heart and bring that childlike wonderment to your holiday, and to that of your friends and family.  Slow down just enough to remember and share those memories with your friends and family!

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"You're really going to let me play outside in December?"

Yesterday was a beautiful day, from the moment we woke up until, well, until dinner time.  I’ll make the day sound nice with the exception of how exhausted I was from dinner time on, while the boy continued to run circles around me.

We got up early and played and read lots of books, then we drove up to a local farm – Huber’s Orchard.  The boy was SO good.  He only tore down one of their Christmas decorations.  He was even good as we ran to the grocery for a quick trip – and to our favorite meat store – Preferred Meats in Sellersburg.

"C'mon mom - I'll race you to the slide!"

When we got home, he took a nice long nap (I got a pot of white chili on-post a comment if you want the recipe-and scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom floors), and then once up, we ate lunch, and headed outside to play.  We played outside from 1:30-4p.  We got to play with neighbor kids, and enjoy the sunshine.  It was so hard to believe it was early December, with temps in the 60’s.

I had to take a picture myself to capture his enjoyment at being outside and enjoying the nice weather once again and once again, I found myself realizing how blessed I am to be home with him sharing nice days like this one.

So hard to believe that just one week ago exactly we were playing in the snow!  That’s the Ohio River Valley for you!

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When I quit work to stay home with him, my first goal was to potty train the boy.  Needless to say, this still has not occurred. Although he was young, I had read all kinds of things online about how to potty train kids before 18 months, and a cousin of mine had done it with all of her kids, so I thought – how hard could this be?

My last week of work, on one of my lunch hours, I even went out and bought a potty seat so we could start right away.  I read up on just what to do, and it didn’t seem all that hard.

Yes - our child has a potty seat on his head (he got a bath shortly thereafter)

The joke has been completely on me.  The boy loves the potty seat as you can see from the picture, but sitting on it – not so much.

Yes, this is our child with a potty seat on his head.  What can I say…we’re no closer to being potty trained today than we were in August.  Oh well, I guess. That’s the less type A personality in me coming out. No longer am I as stressed about deadlines. He’ll figure it out eventually.

For now I’m much more concerned with the germs originating from the potty seat on his head!

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This is one phrase if you told me I’d be saying out loud even 2 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you!  And yet, those exact words made their way out of my mouth today.

I was getting dinner ready to put in the oven this afternoon.  The boy loves to help in the kitchen, and he had a whisk, and so did I.  He even had his own bowl in which to whisk.

He was pretty quiet for a couple of minutes, which any parent knows is typically not a good sign.

It was then that I turned around and noticed a tuft of cat fur near the living room.  At that exact moment, I saw the cat speed through, with a 16 month old little boy chasing her as fast as he could go with the whisk extended.

Sophie pauses a moment while she wonders, just where is that kid...

Our poor cat.  She turned 10 years old this year.  For the first 9 years of her life she led such a life of leisure and enjoyment.  She had both of us and a whole house to herself.

Now her days are spent running through the house trying to get away from a small child who loves her SO MUCH.  While there are some moments I think she might actually like the adventure (those moments when she comes around and shouldn’t or goes into his room while he’s sleeping to torment him), her life has definitely changed, and so has mine.

Never did I think I’d have to say aloud “Please stop whisking the cat!

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This morning we awoke to our first snowfall. Not too significant but enough to warrant a couple of school delays, and a light dusting on the grass and deck.

"I look like a navy blue marshmallow man, and this stuff is wet and cold - can we go in yet?"

My first thought was, I can’t wait to show the boy the snow. As soon as he was awake and the sun was up enough for him to see I carried him to the back door so he could see it. I don’t know if he quite knew what it was or not, but he seemed interested.  I just felt my heart warm as I thought, I am so blessed to be here with him this morning as he sees the snow as last year he was too young to realize what was going on.

We ate breakfast, then played for a while then I decided, before this stuff melts later today, I have to take him out to feel the snow crunch underneath his feet.  I think it took like 10 minutes for me to get his mittens on – he’s not a big fan.

"Okay, maybe it's not so bad out here, but I wish I didn't have to wear these puffy pants and coat!"

There is nothing like remembering when you were a kid, and making snow angels, and feeling the snow crunch.  Having grown up in Northern Indiana, we had quite a few significant snow and ice storms, and lots of fun!

I can still remember one snow when I wasn’t very old and we lived in Illinois.  My dad’s friend Jim had a backhoe loader and when we had a big snow fall he pushed all of the snow from the street into a HUGE pile on our street corner.  We had a huge snow cave.

We also were known for having “Snowed In Parties” when I was pretty small.  We lived in town, still in Illinois, then (only until I was about 8 years old), but when we would have a major snow, my parents and all of their friends would get together and have a big time.

My brother Derrick and I also had some pretty good snow forts and tunnels in our time.  Once we moved to the country, we moved to an area of the U.S. that is known for its wind.  Snow + Wind = Big Snow Drifts.

Now we live in a suburban area again, in an area with quite a few homes.  The snow drifts aren’t near as big, or the snowfalls as frequent, but I still love to hear snow crunch underneath my feet.

Here’s some ideas for you for today or your next snowfall.  The boy and I will be making our own snowflakes this afternoon.  Maybe you want to host your own “Snowed in street party.”  Maybe you want to make snowball cookies, or maybe you just want to go outside, lay in the snow and make your own adult sized snow angel, even if it’s just on your lunch hour at work (Who cares if people look at you like you’re crazy)!

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