Sunday, December 26, 2010

A moment I will not allow myself to forget.

Last night, on Christmas night, I tucked BBZ into bed as per usual, read him a few books, got up to turn down the light and crawled back into bed to cuddle until he fell asleep.

He was a bit restless since he took a 30 minute nap on the way home from N's parents house, but the excitement of the day wore him out enough to be ready for his regular bedtime.

We snuggled up and he kept talking about what his daddy's name is, and what his grandparent's names are and doing anything he could htink of besides go to sleep.  He then turned to me and asked me what my name is.  I said softly, yet seriously,

"Sweetie, it's time to stop talking now.  It's bedtime, you must go to sleep."

And in the quietest, most precious child whisper I have ever heard he replied...

"It's ok, mommy, I know your name is Anna"

And he kissed me goodnight.  My heart has never felt so full.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

Just remembering years past...


2010 (added on 1/1/11)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Twas the night before the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Because when I opened the door to our pantry last Sunday and discovered 2 chewed bags of brown rice and more mouse poop than I had ever seen, I send N to the hardware store for mouse traps and caught the little bastard that first night!  Luckily he got the "kill and contain" ones so I didn't have to actually see the dead mouse.  Poor little guy.  But he shouldn't have been pooping in my pantry!  That's nasty.  I would have shared my brown rice with him if he hadn't pooped all over the place.  Eww, just eww.

This situation has added to my anxiety that has been leading to my decision to hire someone to clean our home.  My house is unclean.  Not just because there are mice running around (okay there WAS one, but you know what I mean).  The shower is also caked with soap scum, there is pet hair everywhere, and I can't seem to find time to clean the toilet in our bedroom.  I, with N's blessing (and with him almost begging) agreed to try it out.  That was 3 weeks ago and I haven't made one call yet.  I have a friend who owns a cleaning company and a woman who might very well be interested in doing it, but my pride is killing me!  With the promotion I got, we can afford this little luxury, especially because my rule of never taking work home might have to budge a little until I get some things under control.  So I just need to call.  It's not that hard.  I'm going to do it.  But maybe I should wait until after Christmas?  I should have time to clean a little on my vacation.  And in continues...

I have decided to take BBZ on a boot camp potty training adventure over the next 10 days.  Well, 8 actually because I need to be at home to do my little experiment, not out and about celebrating Christmas.  So Sunday it begins.  I plan to just let him run around without a diaper and see what happens.  Some plan, huh?  Part of me wouldn't mind if he stayed in diapers forever.  I mean, now I have complete control over when we deal with his bathroom activities.  I don't have to step out of a long line to take him potty.  Or worry about where every single bathroom is in a given location.  I get to diaper his bottom with cute and colorful cloth and I'm not quite sure that I am ready for this.  As for him...I really don't think he's ready.  But we're going for it anyway!

Christmas time makes me so happy.  I love the decorations and the family stuff and the anticipation of what BBZ's eyes will look like when he sees the toys on Christmas morning.  I can't wait!  I can't deny that I am also a little curious about some of those boxes that have my name on them :) Most of my excitement really is about how he is going to enjoy this day.  I can't wait!

The only thing I don't like about holidays is that I can't spend them with my immediate family.  My mom, dad, sister and nephew are way up in the far north for Christmas and I miss them terribly.  This year we plan to skype so they can watch some of the BBZ action.  I always feel like I've just seen them when we skype, so it will be as close to having them here as we can get!

Last weekend we went to the science center and had a blast! BBZ is a little young for some of the things there, but he still found things to keep him entertained. We happily ran into our old neighbors and friends, which was a wonderful surprise! Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure...

His hair is getting so long!  I tried cutting it again tonight.  I swore I would leave the barber-business to the barber from the last haircut forward, but I got impatient and cheap and gave it a good old fashion try.  It's not......terrible, but it's not the best haircut in the world either.  We might have to make a quick stop for a Christmas Eve haircut in the morning.  Lesson learned, okay!?!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Some catchin' up

Even though I don't start my new job until January, I am already in my new office and inadvertently started to get things going on my new position, while still juggling my old one.  My new job is going to be great.  It is also going to be full of challenges and very hard decisions.  But that is just a part of it, I suppose.

N's maternal grandfather died on Thursday.  He would have been 94 (tomorrow I think) and had been doing well, but had a fall that resulted in a broken hip that required surgery.  They were concerned that he wouldn't make it out of surgery, and while he did make it out, he died shortly after.  I am so happy that we got a chance to visit with him at Thanksgiving.  N is making the trip up north for the services and BBZ and I are hanging back.  It was a hard decision not to go, but with the dog, the weather, and the overall traveling with a toddler, it seemed best for he, his sister and her husband to head up on their own.  At least they can just take one car this way.

Yesterday, my uncle (the husband of my father's youngest sister) died.  He was an amazing man, and as I think of him and send my aunt and cousins positive thoughts, my mind is flooded with fond memories of the man my father describes as a man who celebrated life and living, which is certainly the way I always saw him.  He lived on the east coast with the rest of my father's family, so we only saw him once a year or so, along with some trips he made to our home town while driving his truck across the country.  He will certainly be missed.

BBZ might just be officially done with naps.  I fought way too long with him yesterday and today he never did end up napping.  He's not crabby other than when he is fighting us about napping, so I guess it isn't really worth the fight.  I guess we'll see what happens over the long break, but for now we are on a napping hiatus.

Another bittersweet ending is our nursing relationship.  Besides a desperate attempt be me yesterday to get him to sleep, he has not nursed since 12/9, which coincidentally was my and N's anniversary!  He has asked a couple of times, but overall it has been very natural and very easy!  Six months ago I never would have imagined him weaning.  While the whole process was over a pretty long period of time, his recent change from being so dependent on nursing to falling asleep almost on his own has been a huge surprise.  We certainly still have sleeping troubles as he STILL wakes up a lot at night.  Hopefully that won't last too much longer.

We were on our way to school last week and out of no where BBZ says to me "I wanna a baby sister!"  I said "really?  You know that means you would have to share everything with her.  Even mommy and daddy, there would be two people who call us mommy and daddy."  He sat for a moment, eating his apple and contemplating this, and a few moments later he says..."I'll share my apple with my sister."  I'm not sure if he meant he would share his apple as opposed to sharing us, but whatever it meant, it was so cute!  I told his teachers about this and apparently 2-3 of his classmates recently had siblings, so they figure he got the sister talk from them.  While we definitely want another child, we're going to wait just a little while longer.

Only four days of work this week and we're off for a whole week!  Christmas is right around the corner and I can't wait to watch BBZ on Christmas morning.  This is such a fun time because he gets the whole present thing, but he doesn't try to open anything.  He will walk around the tree and point to the presents while saying "this is a firetwuck, an ambience, a powice car" while pointing to the gifts.  He's wrong about every single one!  Except for a fire station from my mom, which he points to and calls it every time!  It will be fun to see what he thinks when he sees he is right!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" ~ Lotsa People

I've heard that quote so many times, and I honestly don't know who said it.  It does seem quite appropriate for this post because something amazing happened to me this week...

...I got a promotion!

As of January 3rd, I will be the Director of Independent Living Programs.  This is a job that I have silently wanted for a very long time.  So perhaps patience should be included in that quote up above.  I haven't necessarily been unhappy at my job as of late, but I have, however, been antsy.  Ready for a change.  I actually had been toying with the idea of pursuing a counseling opportunity outside of my agency when the woman who previously held this position put in her 2-weeks notice.  I applied for the job, interviewed, and got it!  Hooray!!!

My agency closes during the week between Christmas and New Year's so after the break I will return to that position and start the position then.  What a great way to start the new year!  What is so exciting about this position is that I can see myself in this role for a very, very long time.  This is a position that I dreamt of having one day, and very soon I will!  It is a huge job that at moments makes me incredibly intimidated, but I know I am prepared for it and definitely welcome the challenge.  I have been offered many congratulations and support from people both in and out of the agency, and I am so grateful!  My mind is full of things I can't wait to do and systems I can't wait to implement.  It is truly a very exciting time!

In other news, N and I took the day off tomorrow to do some Christmas shopping!  We plan to do some toy shopping for BBZ and also hope to finish some family shopping that still needs to be done.  We talked about throwing a movie in the mix, but I don't think we'll have time.  BBZ almost had to stay home as well because of a case of whooping cough at his school last week.  He had cold symptoms that ended up being a sinus infection, so we have to do all kinds of things to prove to his school that he doesn't have whooping cough.  He doesn't have it, so because of that I don't mind doing whatever they need us to do to prove that.  I'm glad he gets to go to school at least...there's no way we would be able to toy shop with him around!

It snowed here last night!  We only got about 3 inches, but anyone who lives in this part of the Midwest knows that even a dusting around here sends everyone up in a tailspin.  The town was still hopping though!  We ran a few errands and it was as busy as usual, and the roads were terrible!  There's another reason I'm glad I don't have to drive to work tomorrow...I don't have to deal with crazy rush-hour drivers!  The best thing about this snow is that we finally got to see our back yard with snow and I must say, it looks like a winter wonderland!  I took some pics just for memory's sake...

Did you notice all of the gifts under the tree???  There are a lot more than were there a few days ago!  My parents sent the packages with all of our Christmas presents.  I now know exactly how to handle packages coming to our home, but last week...not so much.  You see, BBZ loves getting packages in the mail.  Who doesn't, right?  So getting packages at Christmas time, which involve being unable to open them when they are sitting on our front porch, is something I wasn't prepared for.  So when we got home from school and work one day last week, we we met with a huge package addressed to BBZ himself.  After some coercion, I opened the first box and saw a big red bag with "Love Meme and Papa" written in it.  I couldn't stop there, so I called and asked Meme's permission to open it.  She reluctantly approved.  In it was this...

He immediately put it on and marched around the house.  It is awesome!  So, he has one less present to open on Christmas morning, and I now have a totally fool-proof way to avoid the package drama.  Grab it and run to the back room, close the door after dropping the box, and proceed to offer any bit of distraction imaginable.  So far, so good.

Have a great week everyone!

The Tree Farm

A few years back after many years of artificial trees, N and I began a tradition of buying a real Christmas tree on our anniversary, which is December 9th.  Last year and the year before we went to a tree lot and chose our own, well this year, we did something completely different!

Our friend's parents own some land about 90 minutes form our house, so we took a drive to see how one of the trees that they planted nearly 10 years ago would look in our house!  Our friend is quite the concept for BBZ...he's a painter and painted many of the room is our house the week before this, and he makes wine AND he grows Christmas trees!  BBZ was very impressed :)

We set out early, and I was surprised that BBZ took a little snooze on our way there...

It was a good thing though, because he refused his afternoon nap.
Here he is on the tractor!  We tried to get him to ride on it, but he preferred to walk, or actually for me to carry him up the hill.

There are some of the grapevines, with the tree farm behind them.

He was eyeing that little one...

But this one was just perfect!  N is sizing it up.

BBZ was too.

Getting ready to yell...TIM-BER!!!

Down it came!  Those tractors were great to carry the trees back to our cars.

90 miles down the highway...and it made it!

Many of the light from last year were burned out, so N went out into the world and tried to find more.  This obviously delayed our ability to decorate the tree, so we decorated the gingerbread house instead!

I put the roof on upside down, but BBZ's cousin managed to make it look great anyway!

N couldn't find the same large bulbs as we had, but the little round ones look pretty good.  He improvised!  We put many of the ornaments up and BBZ loved it!

And of course, a fire truck had to be involved!

The finished tree!  We have since bought a star for the top that light up, but the one in this picture is our old one.  I couldn't believe how hard it was to find a tree topper!  The one we have os still not the right kind, so my eyes will be open for one during the after Christmas sales. 

The house is so Christmasy and fun and smells so nice! I love this time of year!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A quick note about weaning

I actually can't believe that I am getting ready to write this post.  I am slowly but surely watching my and BBZ's nursing relationship come to an end.  Weaning is something that I knew was inevitable, but couldn't honestly wrap my mind around, but now here we are.

Last week we spent the Thanksgiving holiday in the far north with my parents, sister and nephew.  BBZ's sleep situation has pretty much sucked since he switched into a big boy bed, but we hesitated to do any sleep interventions until after our trip because we knew he would likely wake throughout the night and I had no intentions of letting him cry at my parent's house.  But one night at their house, I went up to his room and read a few books to him while sitting in his bed.  He snuggled in with me and asked me to stay in bed with him for a while.  Before I knew it, he was asleep...and didn't ask to nurse for the first time in his life.

I was so happy for him!  I knew this wasn't the absolute end of nursing for him, but it was certainly a big step.  He went back to nursing at night since then, but not to sleep.  I basically got a quick lesson that my old trick was no longer going to work.  I started trying a few new tactics and tonight was the second successful night without nursing at all.  I am so proud of him!  This whole experience of extended nursing has been an adventure for me full of ups and downs and doubt and confidence and has been one of my favorite things about becoming a mom.  BBZ is confident, independent, is able to empathize, is happy, caring and full of love and kisses and emotion that he loves to display.  I am confident that meeting his needs as an infant and young child has helped him develop a strong sense of who he is as a person and who I am as his mama.  I am completely comfortable with this change and excited about helping him develop other sleep strategies...if only we could get him to STAY asleep!

N has taken over BBZ's overnight soothing for me, which has been working so well.  I am a softy and am quick to pull him into bed with us, but he goes back to sleep with minimal effort from N, so I would really prefer that approach.  We'll see if it keeps working!

I have lots of exciting things going on right now, but blogging about them would be a bit premature.  I'll post some of the Thanksgiving pics soon and also talk about an incredible experience I shared with a woman from another country.  I have lots to blog about, but not so much time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I am thankful for having so much to be thankful for.

Things like...

Making it to the far north before the storm that brought 11.5 inches of snow.

Being in a place that has 11.5 inches of snow!!!

Leaving the far north after the next 6 inches falls.

Spending the holiday with immediate family.

Snowy mornings with perfectly untouched white snow.

A little boy bundled in the warmest coat he owns.

A very well deserved promotion for my husband.

Exciting prospects around every corner.

Putting BBZ to bed and not nursing him for the first time in his life...besides when he was sick and refused.

A pretty dog with a fresh new haircut.

The smell of spices that fill a kitchen as my mom cooks a pumpkin pie.

Chilly cold cheeks after an hour of play in the snow.

My dad, who makes the best Thanksgiving feast imaginable.

Temperatures outside that support the food that's overflowing our refrigerator into the garage.

Finding grass fed beef at a super low cost.

A warm fire.

Piles of snow in a parking lot as high as the buildings.

A trip to the mall with my mama for a little shopping.

A blog by my sister that shows that her mind at ease.

Tantrums, too-short pants, "my do it by myself"s, and other signs that my son is growing more and more independent.

My friends.

My health.

My happiness.

My family.

I am thankful for having so much to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Paintin' on a Saturday.

I woke up early this morning and met my friend Laura at a local mall.  BBZ, who is usually a terrible shopping partner, did pretty great today.  He was pretty good about getting back in the stroller after exploring a little and although he fought me about leaving the book store and the train table, he did great.  He doesn't seem to be feeling well and neither am I, so he took a nice long nap when we got home.  We were trying to find something easy, yet fun to do inside on a chilly, fall Saturday.

Luckily, N photographed the whole thing.

What did you do today?