Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wow, has this been a crazy December! It's hard to believe Christmas really is here already. Hopefully I didn't forget anything too important. There's still a lot to be done around the house, but of course the boys could care less, what with a tree and presents to explore, plus all this never ending snow in the Northeast.

Here's hoping your holidays are warm, overflowing with love and good company, and that you might enjoy making many new wonderful, joy-filled memories that are sure to last a lifetime-or longer. My love to you and yours!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What It's All About

We were amongst those who lost power Thursday night due to the ice storm. I stayed home with Tom & Gabe all day Friday, and it was rather cold by dinner time. We contemplated waiting it out at home but learned it would likely be days before our electricity was restored, so we called my sister in Connecticut and loaded up the van.

It was good to see her and the kids, and we were of course so thankful to her and her family for helping us out. Sadly, we don't get to see each other often, and when we do it's always crazy (good-crazy but crazy nonetheless). I remember when we were growing up and made each other promise we would always be together on Christmas Eve, no matter what, and no matter how old we grew, we would always continue with all of our old traditions, one of which involved her reading The Polar Express to me before we went to bed. Now, of course, we live in different states, have to work around each other's individual schedules, both have families of our own, as do my other sister and brother, and we all equally want to spend our time together and, I think, all know that, but getting us all in the same place even once per year is no guarantee. That's what you'll get, though, with a family of four kids who all loved growing up as part of a big family; we all quickly found ourselves starting big families of our own. (Mine is the smallest.) I love that we all have kids, and that when we are able to sync our schedules, however short the time may be, our kids are all close enough in age that they enjoy playing with one another. Can you imagine what family get-togethers will be like in fifteen years or so?

Of course, Christmas is the best time to try and reconnect. I won't get to see my brother this time around (it seems a different one of us has to miss the Christmas party every year; I couldn't go last year and my sister, the year before), and I'll miss him, but I'll be thinking of him and his family of eight in their old Vermont country farm house, keeping warm from the wood stove and enjoying the company of all those little feet, not withstanding the teeny tiny ones belonging to Baby Isaac! (I do so keep such a romantic picture in my mind of how they live!)

My father is one of seven children, and the Christmas party is really for them, or at least that was how it started. Now my sisters, my brother, and I have fourteen kids plus one on the way (not mine!) and a couple of cousins have started families too, plus my youngest aunt has little ones that are younger than Tommy, so the kids are certainly the life of the party. It is such a blessing to see so many happy, healthy, beautiful children sharing the excitement of the season and one another's company. How, again, we are blessed!

As we were driving back to New York yesterday I was thinking about all the many ways my life has been blessed, by those around me, a special and memorable childhood, and all the natural wonders I've been given the chance to see. The treetops yesterday were all glass for miles around. Even the individual blades of grass were encased in ice, and everything was sparkling white under a beautiful blue sky. When the sun shone through the ice it was simply amazing, and the sunset that followed was indescribable.

Now of course it's back to the grindstone. We were originally told we wouldn't get power restored until Wednesday night around 8 PM, but it came back on last night, and I'm home today, trying to play catch up after our unscheduled weekend away. This year I'm feeling the typical holiday crunch, struggling to get everything done in time for the big day, and I keep having to remind myself that all that really doesn't matter. In my heart it's all for the right reasons, but I still don't want to get pulled into that mind-set to which so many others seem to be chained. I still want Christmas to be about Christ. And I want to celebrate Jesus' birth. With my Family.

So on that note, I'm appreciating a moment now. I've done some shopping and cleaning today, and I'm about to switch on some holiday music and putz through the afternoon, wrapping, dreaming, and ENJOYING every moment. And maybe tonight we'll put the tree up, but if we don't, I won't be upset, because that just isn't what matters!

Happy Advent... Here's to... remembering the reason for the season!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tae Kwon Do

I was really upset to have to miss Tommy's first belt test today. Accordingly, I was very appreciative of Brian for taking some photos even though he had Gabe to watch while he was there.

I hope to attend the ceremony next week.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Shouldn't I Be Sleeping?

Somebody is way behind on her holiday knitting, though there are a couple of things in the works. Of course, I can't share details, but I can't help but give just one little sneak peek.

My life is still cruising in the fast lane, crashing through one adventure, only to be chased by yet another.

There is a much greater chance that we may actually get the house now, though we still don't know for sure and are playing a great big waiting game right now. As time goes on we become more and more anxious. All we are waiting on now is the seller's bank. If they approve the short sale within any reasonable amount of time, we will finally reschedule our closing date and start making plans to have the whole house re-wired, then seal and paint all the walls, and move in!

On a much more somber note, Thomas had another visit to the ear specialist on Monday, and it did not go well. The doctor said that, based on what he saw, there is at least a 90% chance that Thomas does in fact have a cholesteatoma, and he sent Thomas for another CT today. Our previous few visits had been so promising too. Hopefully we will get the results of the CT soon, and they won't be as bad as the first. We're fully expecting to have to schedule another surgery ASAP, but maybe if we expect the worst... Murphy's Law will kick in... Right?

Thomas has been pretty good about it so far, anyway. Here he is, rowing his "boat."

(Somehow laundry baskets, wooden spoons, and blankets always beat out actual toys.)

He has his first belt test in a couple of days. I know he really wants it, so I'm hopeful for him. I'm a little disappointed that I won't be able to attend though. Work, work, work!

Oh, and here's Gabe taking his turn in the boat:

I so wish I could spend my days at home with them both.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Happy Hello from Gabe

Hi Guys! I can't wait to see everyone at the Christmas party. Until then I'll be smiling, cruising, sticking out my tongue, and making silly sounds by rubbing my hand over my mouth and saying "Ah." See you soon!

Happy Thanksgiving (Weekend)

So another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas seems to be approaching rather quickly. My dad and Ida came to our place for the holiday dinner, and Brian cooked a wonderful feast. The turkey was delicious, and we thoroughly enjoyed the visit. I was particularly impressed with Ida's apple pie, not only because it was tasty (it was), but because of her creativity with the crust:

(While it could be a "T" for "Thanksgiving" it was really for "Thomas," who certainly appreciated it.)

Today we switched from DSL to RoadRunner and digital cable. We'll be switching to cell phones only, starting next week, too. I finally have my mom's old laptop set up for wireless Internet, which is great, as I'm sitting in a nice big cozy living room chair right now.

We had to make a trip out this morning for some computer accessories in order to set up a home network (don't ask), so Brian and Thomas dropped Gabe and I off at Target for some Black Friday shopping while they went to Best Buy. I only grabbed a few things for Thomas, but they were seasonal, and I was afraid if I waited, they wouldn't be available when I go shopping in two weeks. I did manage to sneak in some festive wintry towels and washcloths too. So cute!

It was nice to spend a little down time at home after, though we had to go back out for the kids' Christmas portraits in the afternoon. We always go to JCPenney because they have been wonderful in the past, but I must say I was pretty disappointed this time. The photographer really didn't give the kids the time of day they deserved, in order to make sure they were both smiling. It seemed way too rushed. That's what we usually love about the place; they don't let you leave until they get that perfect shot. There were only a few photos taken, and I thought only one was worth considering, so that one will go on this year's cards. They also didn't ask us what background we wanted, and when I wanted to try a different background after the first, they didn't have anything remotely close to what I wanted, and that was really just a simple blue (they used to have a HUGE selection). I don't know what happened. The service was just such a downer after so many previously spectacular and memorable visits. I suppose it doesn't help that I prefer to be behind the camera. I just want to use the studio for their backgrounds and lights. Oh well. The one picture is pretty cute, so it's no big deal. Hopefully next time will be better. (We joined the portrait club in the summer; otherwise I would reconsider switching to a different studio.)

Nevertheless, the cards should still be pretty nice. Many of you will see them soon!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tom & Gabe

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Two local radio stations started playing Christmas music around the clock last week, and we have been listening. It makes good background music for holiday knitting; I've been playing knit catch-up all week and managed to complete three pairs of socks and two mini sweater ornaments rather quickly.

I had Tuesday off, so Thomas and I went to Michaels, and I let him pick out some yarn for his first socks-made-by-Mommy. He was so excited; it was really cute. I figured by the time the socks were done the excitement would have worn off, but he was actually really happy to wear them and didn't want to take them off. I told him we have to wash them, and he asked if he could wear them again as soon as they were done.

We went to the store for him late yesterday afternoon because of all that reading he has been doing, and we let him pick out any chapter book. He picked out a four-pack of Magic Tree House books, and we were really glad we didn't buy just one as he had read two of them by 11:00 this morning. We quickly realized we really need to start making regular trips to the library! (Hmmm, maybe I could pick up a knitting book or two as well... )

Monday, November 10, 2008

You Know You're a Mom When

...Your lunch consists of a Lean Cuisine and a packet of Transformers fruit snacks.

...You look down at 11 AM and realize that you've been working all morning with a big splotch of oatmeal right in the middle of your shirt (today).

...You can't dig your chapstick out of your purse without at least 6 stickers flying out.

...You take a cheerio shower every morning.

...You can't get a song called "Grape Jelly Cure" out of your head and repeatedly catch yourself almost singing out loud, "You take a windshield wiper from a rusty old car, five scoops of jelly from the grape jelly jar, four long whiskers from a polk-a-dotted cat, and you stir them all together withe a baseball bat" at work (today).

...You miss your third blogiversary completely, but it's okay because you know you had much better things to do...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Halloween, Part II

Thomas makes such a handsome Robin Hood, doesn't he?
Gabe makes a pretty cute monkey too.

I'm so overwhelmed with love.

Friday, October 31, 2008

She knits! (Gasp!)

At long last, yes, I do still enjoy knitting and actually carved out a couple of hours to make a cabled sock for Gabe this week. Don't fret; its match is also in the works. Sadly, while the sock itself looks pretty cute, I made it a little longer than I should have, and I somehow managed to make the toe look horrendous. I might just make the next one right and then make a third to match and discard this one. We'll see. (And yes, I had to get this in today, right under the wire for Socktoberfest! Yes, I know, I'm a big, big dork.)

Halloween 2008

The nice thing about having Halloween on a Friday is that the fun isn't over yet. We should have more festive photos to share after tomorrow.

Happy Halloween!