Friday, December 31, 2010

Just so I hit 115...

In 2009 I blogged 114 times. In 2010 I blogged, 114 times. Just to keep it interesting and to meet one of last year's resolutions, here is my 115th post of 2010!

As a parent of small children New Year's isn't quite the party it used to be. The last three years we have kept it low key...very low key. I am not even sure I've seen the ball drop for the last two. In my younger days though there were some great parties attended, some super fond memories created and one fantastic night that resulted in pneumonia!

Here are some of my favorite New Years memories:

1. As a young kid, staying up with my cousins Mike and Jess, watching the ball drop and then banging pots and pans on the front porch at midnight(Grandma Mary would have been proud!)

2. Our bowling New Years. If you have never bowled in the New Year it is a ton of fun...I hope to try this one again in a few years when the boys are ready

3. The movies/dinner New Year. This is actually a classic from my early teen years. One of my all time favorite New Years was when my sis, my parents and I headed out to see "War of the Roses" in the theater, and then went to a fancy dinner afterwards. I can still remember my sister and I dressed up and brought our new purses from my Aunt Marge which we filled with makeup. We had such a great time...maybe thats why I celebrated my wedding reception in the same location many years later!

4. The dress to the nines hockey game/party Wayne and I attended one of the 1st years we were dating. It was so much fun, drinking and dancing the night away with friends.

There are so many more, but one of my favorite things is that no matter where we are, who we are with, or what we are doing, I call my family near New Year's and wish them a Happy one! I hope my boys always think to call me someday in this magical time when one year ends and another begins seemlessly. I also hope I am fortunate enough to kiss my husband Happy New Year for the next 50 years or so! I can't wait to see what awaits in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day Recap Part II...

Breakfast was fabulous. My brother and SIL went all out and all of our tummies appreciated it. These two best buddies chilled on the sofa:
While these two worked their tails off in the kitchen:
The results were adored by this little man:And this man: (And everyone else in attendance!

Even the littlest member of our family, my adorable niece Emma, sat down for her morning fruit on her first Christmas in the family:After we were all done stuffing our faces, we sat down to open up some gifts. My parents gave us bags full of gifts, the little ones and big ones alike, the kids were spoiled some more, and thoughtful gifts were given. Here are some pics of that scene:

No the Hulk Hands were not for Wayne, but he likes to play with them as much as Z!

Love this picture of Z searching through his stocking...oh I mean garbage bag full of stuff!

And this gift is a mini-replica of the actual blueprint present that is coming framed later, that my brother and Cheryl got made for my parents to hang in their new lake house. So thoughtful!

After a quick nap at home, we were off to Grandma Alice's to party with the other half of the family. Zach was just as excited to see his cousins Jason and Grant as he was to learn he was about to be spoiled with more gifts from his generous Grandma and aunts and uncles! We enjoyed a delicious dinner, where Matt was the happiest, sitting next to his oldest cousin Jay:

We also opened another slew of gifts including a new baby grand piano from Grandma :

After our 2nd party of the day we were off to Grandma and Papa's annual Christmas party. It was a rousing success, with over 70 guests in attendance. Matt went to sleep upstairs by 7:30, but Zach partied hard, playing games like hide and seek with his crazy Uncle Nick and cousins, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd! So here are some pics of that event:

It was a wonderful holiday, and I for one can't wait till next year to do it all again!

Christmas Day Recap Part I...

There were over 250 pictures from Christmas this year. I don't know if that is because I took so many, or because at one point I gave my Mom, the original paparazzi, my camera for awhile. I can say that out of those 250, only 88 made it through the editing phase, mostly because they were blurred. Most of those blurs are my children moving way too fast for my camera speed. I swear soon, I will need to talk strictly video if I want to document anything which is bad since I have never edited or worked with the video on my 3 yr old camcorder! Add that to a list of goals I have in the new year.

So here is our holiday in review:

Christmas morning. Zach came to the top of the stairs, looked down at the presents under the tree and exclaimed, "He came!" After that he rushed downstairs and took it in for a second. He immediately located that special gift he had asked Santa for, drums, and started playing. It was actually really cute. Here is my little drummer boy:

And his adoring fans:
Gifts were unwrapped with lightning speed. Mostly by Zach, but every now and again, Matt did get to open a few presents:

The boys both loved their new ride, and everyday since, they climb in and play the radio and dance. Maybe one day soon I won't have a power wheel in my family room, then again, its getting use, so what's the harm?

Our first baby was spoiled too of course, and he happily knawed on his candy cane bone most of the morning:

Zach played with his toys and Matt's toys:

While Matt mastered the art of riding his Kawasaki from Grandma and Papa and appluading his efforts:

He also enjoyed a new ride on that Santa brought him:

After the gift coma wore off, Zach decided we should check on the cookies and carrots we had left out. Sure enough they were mostly gone...nibbled carrots left behind by three of Santa's reindeers, and that kind Santa had even left a note of thanks:

After a few hours at home, we wer off to breakfast at Uncle Nick's and Aunt CC's gorgeous home. I let the boys stay in their jammies, since it was still Christmas morning afterall.

(Continued in Part II)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Near misses...

I know I still need to post about Christmas, and I promise it is coming this year. The last few days both hubby and I were a bit under the weather, but thankfully, the boys have been fine.

Fine. Ok. Maybe Matt hasn't been quite fine. A few days ago he pulled my new demilune table my Mom and Dad got me for Christmas down on him. Thank goodness he was ok. Talk about scary. That table won't be seeing my foyer till after some drywall issues have been sorted, and I can mount it into my wall. Such a shame too, since I love it, its perfect...just not perfect for a energetic toddler who loves to explore everything! Thank the Lord my baby was ok. Near miss.

Today. Matt loves doors. LOVES DOORS! I have safety locks on nearly all of them in my 1st floor, and still he is fascinated. When I took Z to the potty earlier today, Matt followed. In his zest for privacy, Zach closed the door. Usually when this happens I hear a sigh of protest from the toddler on the other side. Today I heard a cry of pain. Sheer pain. I opened the door to see Matt screaming, and I immediately looked to his hands. His ring finger had definitely been closed in the door, it was squeshed and purple. PANIC. I hurried off the phone with my sister(Oh, yeah I forgot to mention that) as I was sweeping Matt up into my arms. I was terrified that his finger was torn, broken, maimed. The poor boy was in agony, and I was scattered. Thankfully, Wayne was home, so he rushed in to see what had happened, we got some ice on the finger, realized that it was probably broken and started to game plan.

My Mom came over. Z went in for a nap. Matt was held and soothed. Calls were made. 1st to the doctor, then to my go to doctor, my couisin in law Joe. We rushed to meet up with Joe at one of his offices and x rays were taken. The cries I heard made me cry in the waiting room. It was horrid. Matt was so upset by the whole process, and I was rattled.

We got the great news that Matt's finger was not broken. That it was sprained. I sighed a breathe of relief and felt humbled by the near miss again.

Tonight my baby is asleep in his bed, with all ten fingers and toes, he isn't broken, he is a bit bruised, and I can't help but feel blessed. There have been far too many near misses for my liking this week. I will take it as a sign to be more vigilant, more aware, more in the moment, rather than cleaning up toys, or trying to juggle three tasks. I remain grateful tonight that I was lucky. Lucky it was a near miss.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A look back at Christmas Eve...

We had such a wonderful holiday. Sometimes when you travel from place to place you can feel rushed and spastic, but this year it all went really smoothly. All in all we had five events(on Christmas Eve and Christmas day combined), and each one was such a pleasure! Because I am pretty sure writing about both in one post would be image overload, I will break our Christmas up into a few posts.

On Christmas Eve we visited with Great Grandma Helen and Grandpa Bob. The boys loved seeing each other, and Great Grandma was really happy to have her grandkids and great grandkids around. Here are a few photos of the boys playing and one of the only pics I have of Matt opening a present...the rest of the holiday, Zach took charge and opened all the gifts he could get his hands on:

When we got home Grandma and Papa came over with Uncle Nick and Aunt Cheryl and we enjoyed some more food, more presents and more attention for Z. (Matt was already in bed dreaming of sugar plums!):

By 8:30 it was time to put out cookies and milk for Santa and water and carrots for the reindeer. Zach picked out the spot, Wayne wrote a little note, and the boys were pleased with their result:

By 9 p.m. it was lights out for Zach. He was so excited about the reindeer coming and eating the carrots and he went to bed telling me he heard their hoofs on the roof. So sweet:

Sometime before morning, Santa arrived and filled the stocking with goodies:

He also left a very generous amount of presents under the tree:

And then it was Christmas morning...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Traditions...

I think what I love best about Christmas is the memories. Its the warmth of Christmas' of the past, the excitement of the present Christmas, and the hope for the future ones that touch the season.

Like all families we have traditions. Just the fact that I can say that brings a smile to my face. How lucky am I that I have parents, siblings, a spouse, and children that uphold those traditions, my traditions, our traditions.

Here are some of our traditions:

1. Every year as children my parents would take the time to drive us past houses(Usually on Christmas Eve) to see Christmas lights. We would listen to Christmas carols on the radio and talk and laugh. This is a tradition I continue with the boys and probably will for as long as I can get them in the car to go!

2. My mother(and father) always gives me new pajamas on X-mas Eve. ALWAYS(I love it!)! I also always got a new stuffed animal that night too, but a few years ago, my mother and I agreed that aspect probably needed to end. (This is a tradition, I carry on in my house. Tomorrow, Zach and Matt will both be getting new pj's and a stuffed animal)

3. When I lived at home, my Mom and I would make cut outs together. She would let me roll the dough, cut the cookies, and then we would decorate. Although we don't do this together every year anymore, I still make cut outs and now I have two little helpers of my own!

4. Santa always got a plate of cookies and milk. The reindeers always got some carrots and a bowl of water. Come Christmas morning, those cookies would be eaten, and those carrots would be nibbled. This year, Zach will put those snacks out, and for as long as I can cloak the holiday in magic, a plate of cookies and carrots will be eaten come morning!

5. We used to attend Church on Christmas eve. Midnight mass...such a beautiful experience. Looking back I cherished the peacefulness of that night, and the unity it created. I am sure at the time I wasn't as appreciative as I should have been, but my Mom and Dad always strived to remind us the gift wasn't what we would find under the tree the next morning, but the love that was given to make it possible for everlasting life. This is one tradition, I haven't managed to work in just yet. First my boys are usually in bed well before midnight, and I am not sure Wayne or I can stay up that late anymore either. One day though I'd like to get back there, because it truly is the meaning of the holiday.

6. For the last 20 years my parents have a BIG party on Christmas day. Both sides of my extended family converge, and we eat, drink, laugh and cherish what we are blessed to have all around us...Family and love. We've seen so many babies come through those doors, and sadly we've lost some key players in the last few years. I know one day those parties will end, but those memories...oh the memories...never.

Just like:

Christmas morning when my brother wouldn't get out of bed, or would hoard his gifts till the end, my sister and I badgering him to get up so we could open our gifts(teen years). So funny now.

Waking up to my Mom downstairs in her robe and slippers(Christmas music softly playing) and that cherished first glimpse of the presents, pristine, under the tree.

My Dad, barely awake, probably from putting gizmo's together all evening, lying on the couch, slippers on, smiling.

My Mom passing out the gifts, her eyes twinkling as she saw her hard work come together.

My sister and I savoring our stockings, trying to keep up with each other, so we could share in each others excitement.(Stockings...also a tradition)

The dogs, getting their own treats be it Fluff, Bear, Wolfie, or now Lennie, and them taking off to eat or hide their new toy or bone.

Sleeping in the same bed with my brother and sister as a kid, all of us falling asleep talking about Santa and our hopes for what the morning will hold.

Wayne and I talking for the last week about this first "real" Christmas of Zach's. His reaction that morning, and our excitement for him to believe.

Putting up the tree, savoring the ornaments, where they came from, the stories they hold. Lisa and I used to do this as kids, Wayne and I do this now as adults.

My brother and I playing our newest video game together Christmas morning.

My Dad shaking all of his presents and telling you what was inside them before he's even opened them.

Wayne giving me my gifts early because he is just too excited to wait.

Zach asking me every night before he goes to sleep to tell him about Santa and his sleigh.

Matt's eyes as he looks at the lights on the tree, and tried to Houdini his way to touch the ornaments.(I can't wait till next year when he can share Z's wonder)

My joy, at feeling so loved, in childhood, in adulthood, and the sheer pleasure I have of knowing I am fortunate enough to give my sons aspects of the childhood I not only dreamed, but was blessed to live.

To all of you readers, enjoy your traditions whatever they may be. The beauty of the season is that the sweetest memory may just be seconds aways. Have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A must share for mommies...a message from Santa

Thanks to my sister in law Lisa and my mother-in- law Alice, I was able to get a message to Zach directly from Santa. Watching his little face this morning and again this evening as Santa talked to him was priceless. It was so sweet because I think he thought Santa could hear him. When Santa said, You're two, he said ah ha and then he proceeded to tell Santa how he was leaving carrots for his reindeer this Christmas. I really loved when he saw the special toy he's been hoping for, a drum set, and the excitement in his eyes, and I truly can't wait to get a new message next year. Here is the link to see Zach's video and the website is

Zach's video message:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Prep and Landing...

You wouldn't know it from reading my blog, but we have been very busy preparing for Santa's arrival. We have bundled ourselves up to check the snow consistency:

Braved the elements to shovel areas that need clearing(according to Zach):
Marked the landing area with snow angels:Made sure sleighs can make their way through the snow:
And made sure we were ready to defend Santa(or ourselves) with snowballs if need be:
Inside, we have rolled out the cookie dough:

Cut out the cookies(or watched):

We have checked the pantry to make sure we are prepared:

And found the pantry was a great play area for some:

We have ordered new toy shelves in preparation for the new toys:

(I know from looking at this room...the last thing these boys need is more toys, but I have it on pretty good authority that they are getting everything they asked for, including a new drum set...oh the joy!)

And we have attended many great events and parties to get us in the holiday spirit.(This will be a separate post)

So it is no wonder that Zach asks me everyday with a look of excitement in his eyes..."Mommy is Santa coming tonight?"

I cannot tell you how relived I am that I only have a few days left till landing...till I finally get to say "YES!"