Saturday, December 25, 2010

12.25.2010 -- Christmas

I'm sitting here alone in a very quiet house. I can hear the refrigerator. Lucy just squeaked in her sleep. Other than that, all of the noise comes from me, but I'm being very quiet. Not like yesterday.

Yesterday, I woke up convinced that our house smelled like dog. No offense to our sweet dog, Zoey or to other dogs out there, or to individuals who love the smell of dogs, but it wasn't really what I was going for, so I broke out the vacuum while the rest of the house was asleep and sucked up all the dog hair I could before I went to do some squats and jumping pull-ups. (That sounds funny, but it's true.) When I got home, I had time to give Zoey a good shower before I cleaned up some more. Brian asked me seriously yesterday, "Val, are you nesting?" Funny. (And as to the answer, only time will tell!)

So I'm trying to be nice this morning, allowing everyone else to sleep; and I get to wait. How long? Twenty minutes? Two hours? More than likely, I will be waiting closer to two hours for the rest of the family to rouse. Gabe was up with a stuffy nose, but after a tantrum (7.5 out of 10 for intensity), is back to sleep snuggled in with his Daddy. I haven't blogged for a while, so here I am!

Last night, Lucy realized that she hadn't sent off a letter to Santa, so we composed one on the computer. Here's the list that came out last night (it has changed some since she started answering peoples' requests to know what she wants from Santa):

Cheerleading, soccer clothes , and a beauty salon for her doll, Julie
Fuzzy socks *
Locket necklace (with her mom and dad inside)
A red and black ladybug PillowPet *
Fake snow for her doll to play in
A doll angel
Pretend roses
Footie PJs (three pair, please) *
A beautiful Christmas dress with glitter on it *
A smelly candle
A picture of Santa and Mrs. Claus

In addition to this, Lucy has requested:
A pretend gun, a pair of fuzzy socks with racecars on them, a big play pot and a pretend plant to water--on behalf of Gabe.

For Brian, Lucy asked for two (real) small shovels, red and black.

For her mother? Lucy asked for a "comfy place for her to sleep, like a bed."

This brings me to my sleeping situation. Pretty early on in this pregnancy, I asked Brian to bring the love sac upstairs so I could sleep there. It was the perfect place for me to sleep and get relief from my only real complaint about pregnancy: heartburn. About a month ago, the love sac was a little hard for me to crawl out of, so I tried sleeping in bed, but found that it was difficult to roll over because I sort of stuck in the memory foam. I ended up on the couch. I also occasionally end up in bed with Lucy, because I am aware of (or think I am) how fast she is growing up and I've regarded those hours as a few stolen moments of fast-disappearing snuggle time.

So for Christmas, my (o-so-sweet) daughter has requested a place for me to sleep. Bless her heart. It has been working out better for me to sleep in my own bed, and with Lucy's request to Santa in mind, I actually slept in my own bed last night. Yay!


After the house is asleep.

I need to fill in the blanks, but let me just say that today has been phenomenal. So good. So nice. So magical. Christmas is for children, and we have two of them!

Lucy got almost nothing on her "list," but was thrilled anyway. Just like on her birthday and at Christmas last year, she was incredibly excited about everything and declared that many of the gifts were "just what she always wanted." *She got fuzzy socks, a unicorn PillowPet from GrandmaJudy, one pair of footie PJs (not Christmas themed), and some very fancy dresses (for dress-up).

As the main shopper, I feel like I got it right with the amount of gifts for the kids, and that all of what they received will be fun and good for them.

Gabe was very happy and obviously liked his tool kit, Duplo Legos, scooter and Mickey Mouse pjs a lot.

Brian spoiled me, which is normal around here. (Sounds so trite to say he "spoils me." Maybe instead, I should say that he got me way more than I needed or asked for, but that I really love what he gave me...and it wasn't just gifts--enough bragging, already!) We were fortunate to be surrounded by people we love, which made the day that much better. It was, as has been said before, and certainly by better people: a day for the record books.

(I woke up first today and now am going to bed last. I guess I just don't want to let this day go.)


Non sequitur about birthdates: A few weeks ago and even a few days ago, I was pretty down on the idea of having a Christmas baby. HOWEVER, today, I have found myself sincerely thinking that it would be a lot of fun. The difference is that I know a family who has twins who were born on Christmas and they celebrate a half birthday (in June). That's what I would want to do. All kinds of solutions to all kinds of "problems."

Monday, December 6, 2010

12.06.2010 -- Mickey Mouse

Gabe has developed a thing for Mickey Mouse. I got him a retro t-shirt with a bunch of Disney character heads on it, and he calls it his "mimouse" shirt. He has the tiniest lisp which is HEARTMELTING. When I help him put this shirt on, I can't help but think that there is the slightest resemblance between Gabe and the mouse.

(As long as I'm making a point of comparing, I may as well point out that it's this more modern version of Mickey Mouse with eyebrows that makes me think of Gabe.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

12.02.2010 -- In Review

I've recently wrapped up a big project: scrapbooks. I do it digitally (good t-shirt), so it's a little different, but it took a lot of time. This gave me an opportunity to review our lives from when Lucy was a toddler on. (I had a little catching up to do.)

Like moving, I think this kind of review is something that is so beneficial that everyone should do it every few years. When we have moved in the past, we have gotten rid of a lot of dead weight, much of what we didn't need or use any more ended up at DI (Goodwill) or recycled. That's what I mean by the benefit. When else do regular people have the desire or dedication to sift through the inevitable accumulation of extra stuff that is collected when they put down roots? (Pregnancy, maybe. I'm gearing up for another little purge of my own here in the next few days.)

Well, in reviewing and trying to give a sense of order to the past few years of our family life, I have gotten a renewed sense of optimism, funnily enough. Right now, I am managing to do more than put on shoes to exercise, but putting on my shoes still leaves me short of breath. It has done me good to see pictures that show that things get back to normal after pregnancy, or at least that they can.

Another thing that stood out for me after reviewing thousands of pictures is how many pictures we have that I love and how many of these show our two children being sweet and loving toward each other. They are kind to each other every day, but there is also conflict. While I don't take pictures of them in conflict, there is still enough proof of their loving relationship that it makes me think that it will continue. They are 5 and 2--how's that for extrapolation? Yes, I may be stretching it, but it still leaves me with that impression.

We are sick this week. It started at Gabe's birthday party. He had a lot of fun, but did seem a little cranky. When the dust settled on Sunday, we took his temperature and found him fevered. It's been on and off fevers and general malaise all week. We went to the doctor yesterday for a pre-scheduled well-check visit where the doctor said he was fine, but/and he is down again today.

I was reading a little yesterday before going to bed and I came across Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk, Of Things That Matter Most. In the talk he points out the wisdom and importance of slowing down, especially when our lives face "turbulence." Combined with a podcast I listened to recently about a method to establish bonds between troubled adopted children and their adoptive parents--I want to say attachment parenting, but that may not be right...

Anyway, with the combination of these two bits of informational input, it occurred to me that when our children or other loved ones are laid low by illness or something else, it really is an opportunity for us to serve them more closely and re-forge the bonds that hold us together. I've always maintained that being sick serves us in making us grateful for our health, but now I'm thinking that the appreciation for health is very small change compared to the challenging opportunity we have to really serve our loved ones and re-establish those important connections that hold us together.

Now, I'm going to go hold my sick (baby) boy, who is two years old.