Saturday, December 30, 2006

North Carolina: Our Second Home

North Carolina: Our Second Home
Seriously if I could stand to be away from my family I would head back down to NC. I'm still amazed at how it's possible to meet people and become so close that you're willing to call them family, not to mention ride the roller coaster of the lives of each family member.
We arrived early on Wednesday after Christmas, after the fore mentioned flight. B and I were greeted by Nancy and quickly (minus the tidbit of a detour) were escorted to the house to see AJ and Otis. Their new house is amazing...they deserve every inch of it and boy the kitchen surpasses all the previous plans for the 4 Oaks house!
AJ and B quickly hit it off as if they had never been apart. The two of them played along side of each other, like most two year old's do, and left a large trail of toys and small destruction no matter where they went. We went to a couple of parks, were the kids burned off energy for their naps so their mom's could enjoy a little "friendship tea" and "20Q" on the back to that wonderful fire! A vacation it was!!
B and I also got to spend time with Nancy's mom, she's such a hoot and always makes me giggle. And as usual my dear friend Nancy has been out making new friends, so we spent one child free evening at the "Gaybors" house (that is her gay neighbor's) house. Side note: This is a term of endearment and Nick and Jon are aware of their precious fact they wear it proudly and return the joy through great toys and attention to AJ. By the way I think I won that round of Texas Hold um.....just for the record! We also made a special stop to the front of the neighborhood to see my previous principal. It was nice to see him and his presence opened up some serious reminising on the part of Nancy and I. What was that custodians name? You know the one with the glasses? Sorry I digress.
Much to the children's delight we went to the "Meadow Lights" where we rode a "train" around to see all the lights. Followed by a fantastic merry-go-round of which caused a meltdown at the horses might say that my child started acting like a horses end, but that might be cruel!
Seriously the kids were great, the company was better, the hospitality and "living" arrangements were past the par of a true southern bell, and how could I conclude this post without mentioning the "Friendship Tea", Choclate Eclair, Ranch Crackers, and Reedy Creek!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Traveling Two

Things to consider when taking a
wonderful two year old boy
on an air plane:
1. Does the child have an ear infection that will cause him to have random acts of violence?
2. Is your hair pulled tightly back into a ponytail so this sweet little boy does not decide to become a beautician and sweep all strands over your eyes and into your mouth only to distract you from his next "evil" plan?
3. Have you been in bicep and tricep training in order to place the tightest bear hug ever around his small torso as the little (yet strong) boy thrashes in his attempt to escape your reach only to run up and down the ever so roomy aisle of the puddle jumper?
4. Did you tie the new white (yes lace up) shoes tight enough so that they do not become launching missiles onto the other passengers innocent forehead?
And finally
5. Can you carry the check on bag (with diapers, toys, and necessary id), the child, a folded up jogging stroller, and your own body up a flight of stairs down the hall and around the bend to the baggage claim only to add more to your list?

If so....YOU GO GIRL!!!!
Thank heaven for compassionate friends and family who realized that my weary look was well earned and my grateful sigh at the view of their presence was filled with much gratitude!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006: Round Two

A new tradition has begun. For the past two years I've made breakfast and Nana and Papa (recently called "Bob") come over to enjoy the food and fellowship. This year B opened the presents that Santa brought. A big tent! What a treat! Big Lego's in a red fire did he know? By the way Mom loves to pick up those dag-blasted Lego's...what was she thinking!? An enjoyable morning followed by a much needed nap and then we head to Dayton. Granny Great has an unbelievable feast of Chicken Rolls, Ribs, rolls, sweet potatoes, double baked potatoes....pies......mmmmmm the memory is wonderful! It's hard to contain your mouth watering and not eating yourself silly.
Santa stopped by and gave us chocolate bars from the elves. B nearly knocked out all adults in the way to get in front of the man in red and proclaim "HO HO" "HO HO"....he really did admire the generous saint nick with wonder. Next year will be great.
A good night was had by all and the "Screw Santa" exchange between the family left me with a glittery gold pair of boxers (I'm sure the next man in my life will appreciate them!) and snowman floor mat. A good year...but the best is Granny fighting Megan for the Cone Dustbuster which she now swears by and all the cheap wooden frames filled with "OH so lovely pictures of Granny" in the past. Boy do these pictures irritate her....hope they show up again next year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

What Blessings!

Do you find that this season brings about more focus on how lucky we are? I spent this last week of work selling "junk" (body soap, picture frames, candles, etc.) from the team of teachers homes to our students. My sixth graders were so grateful and excited to have an opportunity to buy something "special" for their family members, even if the items were rejects from someones home. Mean while the school was collecting coats (total 110) for the needy, and money to take 25 needy students Christmas shopping with a $100 budget. Then as the buzz of excitement ticked by as dismissal time approached we received an email that one of our students home had burned down. He is one of 4 children, two of which are very ill; the 3 year old being on dialysis. This family just lost everything, the roof over their head, their clothes, furniture, medicines, and medical equipment. It makes walking into your house to find that the strand of lights at the top of the Christmas Tree has burned out so minimal and nearly a silly thought. Although donating items to those that are less fortunate makes one feel appreciative for what they do have, I wish everyone was able to have the basic necessities of life....especially children!

Here's to loving your family and appreciating what wonderful blessings you've been granted! Here's to spending time with those that you love and painting beautiful memories and experiences on the blank canvas we call children!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Round One

Yesterday was round one for Christmas 2006. Our immediate family choose to have our celebration early because Nana and Megan have to work on Christmas day this year. We enjoyed planning the unique menu (grilled burgers for Christmas dinner, who would have thought?) and I enjoyed moving around furniture for the event.

B had a cheesy grin all morning, until he remember that his back teeth were coming in and it actually was uncomfortable. The day was filled with quick openings of packages and a heartfelt "Wow" or "Oooooooooo" towards the package box and then the little guy asked for more. It really is true that I could have just wrapped empty boxes and he would have been just as happy! He opened a Clifford sweater from Megan and Ben and knew exactly who that Big Red Dog was. Lindsey (Unc's girlfriend) gave him the Hokey Pokey Elmo...and of coarse MY SON is shaking it all about! The car ramp and a soft "bigger than B" Elmo doll were hits as well. You can tell by the pictures that he was very intent on investigating his new toys and we all enjoyed sharing in his excitement.
The most touching gift was given to my by "B", Grandpa did the shopping. It was a book about awesome mothers, you know one of those cute quote books with the pictures of baby animals with their moms. It's one of those gifts that I'll cherish and enjoy reading right before I reach the brink on wanting to pull my hair out...LOL. Megan gave me a great gift as well. She gave me a three wheeled stroller, one of those big numbers that allow you to run/walk at a much faster pace. I'm looking forward to using it to fly to NC next week, but more importantly to help B and I put exercising back into our daily routine
A new addition to our family is Tater, pictured below. Ben finally resigned to giving Megan her much desired dog. It was a big Christmas surprise, and after a couple days of keeping the secret and suffering the wrath of Megan I know Ben will never be a sneaky man. Bless all three of their hearts!
The start to our Christmas only made me excited for more. I look forward to posting more about our events. I hope you and yours are off to a great holiday start.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Buzz

Well our family Christmas is tomorrow, only a week and a day early...but whose counting? The family, Nana, Papa, Megan, Kelen, Ben, Lindsey, and B and I will be sharing the day together. We're busy setting the table, wrapping gifts, and running to the grocery for all those forgotten incidentals. Nana and Megan took B downtown today to see the Train display. He left in glee, squealing "Choo-choo! Choo-choo!" and "Frain" (his version of the worlds common word of train). I now have a few hours to finish up and get ready for bad I'll probably only fit in eating and taking a much needed nap! Oh how priorities of alone time change with the arrival of a child.

I've had at least three conversations debating on whether or not B should receive his gifts tomorrow or if I should split them up and save some for Christmas morning when we're alone. As my mind was wandering both my mom and sister reminded me that my concern was based more on my idea of Christmas than B's....he'll just be thrilled no matter what and has no idea what the date is or really what "Santa" even does. I'll pass along my final wisdom filled decisions after I figure out what I'll decide to do!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Best Laid Plans

Well I took today off in hopes of getting all the essentials done while B was at daycare. Boy was that a "dream". He wasn't at daycare for more than an hour until she called to have him picked up for an emergency. The little guy did pretty well, he went with me to pick up pictures, go grocery shopping, and even helped me cook....I use that term lightly. He actually licked the chocolate off of the spatula but isn't that how most chefs start their careers?

I've noticed some of his new favorite tricks today as well. He's all about walking around in just his care that it's merely twenty degrees. He's beginning to be bossy too, don't know where he get that. He says "HEY....HEY....sit down" or "HEY....HEY....get up" "I want UP!" "MILK" and "SNACK" is his favorite. If only I could eat as many snacks and not gain a pound like him! He also begs to be outside and loves to roll on the ground, mud or not! I could have used the day alone and if it was anyone else I might be annoyed but he's such a joy...and makes me laugh and smile more than anyone else!

Monday, December 11, 2006

My First Time

We're gearing up for the Holiday's. B is calling Santa, "HoHo", the standing joke is "Don't call your mom a "Ho". He has no clue but just laughs along with the rest of us. His personality just oozes out of his pores, he laughs and goes just like his mom...and crashes at night just like her too. He's obsessed with the lights of the season and is quick to call everything a "flashlight". I must say his favorite part of the season so far is that he's had time to hang out with Unc (Uncle Kelen). They seem to be best buds....B cries with pure sadness when Unc leaves him (again just like his mom).

We're starting to form our family traditions. Decorations up Thanksgiving Night, trip to the Festival of Lights at the Zoo, Sitting on Santa's lap (escorted by Aunt Megan), and a trip with Megan downtown to see the trains.

I'm still amazed at how much of the season's energy surges into B's body. I love the excitement he brings and am fighting off the personal exhaustion so as to enjoy every moment! May all of your days be enjoyable and memorable.