Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You Light Up My Life

Every year the Easter Seals sets up a huge light display at Lighthouse Point.  It's called "The Fantasy of Lights" (I kept calling it "Festival of Lights" until I remembered that's Chanukah).

Nate and I went two years ago with our friends and their two little ones... Oliver was technically there, but from my belly I doubt he had a good view.  So this year we were excited to bring our little big boy to see the lights.

This was a really neat thing to do.  Totally appropriate for his age and cooperation level this holiday season.  Remember, I keep having these big plans for him to get into the Christmas spirit, but the truth is he's too young to really get it.

We got dinner at Panera, Oliver's favorite, then made the ride over.  He loved seeing the lights and decorations on the houses and kept "Oooohing" at them all, so Nate and I just knew he would get a kick out of what he was about to see!

Look at his face!  Look at those eyes!  Christmas magic or what?  I'd say he was pretty impressed with all the lights.  And I had a blast watching him take it all in.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baby Mine

My baby Owen-

You are growing MUCH too fast.  The weeks are just flying by and I am amazed every time I look at you and you seem so different than just the day before.

You are a very easy going little one and I thank you for that.  I would also like to apologize on behalf of your brother.  He just loves you so much he can't help himself but hover over you and wake you with kisses and exclamations of "Babyyyy!"

Thank you for your smiles, and your coos, and your little fingers that open and close on my hand or my collar (sometimes my hair).

Not sure why this is upside down.

Somehow you've already grown so much that the bassinet barely contains you.  I asked your thoughts and you agree that Daddy should be kicked to the couch so you can take the bed. 

My little Owen, I am so in love with you.  I'm not even sure what to say here- I have too much love and not enough words!

At 2 months old, you love getting a bath, you love the view from your changing table, you laugh at the toy bar on your bouncy chair, and you ejoy spending time on your playmat swatting at your toys and looking in the mirror.  Tummy time is not your favorite, but already you are so strong and can hold your head up to look around, so that it is becoming more tolerable for you.

  I love that when I talk to you you smile. 

You are starting to watch Oliver and I've caught you flashing a smile or two in his direction.  I can't wait for the two of you to play together... but don't rush it little baby... you are already growing way too fast.

You weighed 13 pounds at your doctor' appointment, and that made me so happy.  I love your heavy, healthy little body- your rolly legs and chunky arms- and I adore every one of your chins!  I am so relieved that you are thriving so well.  With my own breastfeeding concerns left over from my experience with Oliver, and with all the spitting up you do (seriously...not fun), I was worried about you getting enough nourishment.  And you certaintly are.  AND you seem to have slowed down with the spitting up so I'm even happier.

You sleep well for me, my handsome boy.  Thank you, (it's my own fault I don't get enough sleep).

You look just like your Aunt!  I remember thinking Oliver looked like here when he was your age, but HOLY COW! You really do!  You have lighter hair, skin and eyes than Oliver, which makes you an even closer image of her.

Just for fun- here are a couple pictures of me and your aunt... it's like looking at you and Oliver!

Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart

Here is a little Christmas Flashback for you... Oliver's First Christmas

FYI- I'm crying right now, how can so much change in one year?  How can one year pass so fast?  How can I love someone so much?  Most importantly- how can I stop him from growing up and leaving me?!?!?!?!? MY BABY!!!!!!!

Whew...sorry.... dramatic moment passed.

Here we are at my mom's Christmas Eve. 

I felt so happy to be able to keep up this tradition. We went down to NJ that morning, and left that night to be back in CT for Christmas morning in our own house. And we are doing it again this year. I just don't have the heart to alter our Christmas eve tradition. I feel guilty changing things. My Aunts, Uncles and cousins all gather at my moms for dinner laughs and presents. And it's wonderful. I felt bad thinking we would stop traveling down for that once we have kids...like I was ruining everyone else's Christmas. But the truth is everyone is more than understanding that traveling is getting harder for us, and they are all willing to end this tradition. BUT I'M NOT! I just can't give it up. There is something about Christmas that turns me into a child and the thought of gathering and seeing WAY TOO MANY gifts fill my mom's living room excites me. And being goofy with my family just feels so wonderful. I am so thankful Nate knows how much this tradition means to me and is willing to keep making the drive as long as possible. Afterall, it's not even 2 hours.

Nate and his brothers had cardboard Santa Clauses with their names on them to separate the gifts on Christmas morning. My sister and I had shoes. Before going up to bed we would put our Christmas shoes (later slippers) under the tree. In the morning the gifts by my shoes were mine, and the ones by hers were hers. Easy. And in the middle was usually a big gift for us to share.

Putting Oliver's Christmas shoes under the tree was monumental for me. I snapped a cell phone picture and sent it to my mom and of course she cried. I NEED to remember to get shoes for Owen (I don't bother with shoes for a baby... but for this I'm going to have to)!

I could have stood back and looked at Oliver's Santa set-up forever!  I was so overcome with joy to see the abundance!  And I was so very thankful that 1) he was given so much by my family and 2) he is too young to realize that Santa was leaving him presents he had opened the night before!

Having a huge mountain of presents was important to me (even for his first Christmas) because that's what I remember about my Christmas.  I am so glad we decided to go down to NJ for the holiday because we just couldn't have pulled off Christmas without the help and generosity of family.

As a kid my Christmas morning was AMAZING.  So many gifts!  We were really spoiled...so much so that my main argument (and I argued it for a VERY long time) for the existance of Santa was "My parents CANNOT afford all that!"

My mom made Christmas happen... and she made it happen hard!  I was in middle school when I finally said "Mom, are you Santa?"  But I probably knew a few years before that and was just in denial.  I still am actually.

I still, as an adult, believe in Santa.  The magic of the season is so real to me... and I still hold onto this last bit of hope that one day I will wake up a mountain of gifts.  It happens in the movies right?!  (although I have an issue with movies where Santa is real and the adults in the movie don't believe...e.g. Tim Allen's Santa Clause... because the logic is flawed.  In this world Santa EXISTS so don't the adults realize they aren't the ones doing the gifting?  What is there not to believe in? oh Hollywood....get it right!)

I can't believe last year we were celebrating Oliver's first Christmas, and this year it's Owen's first Christmas.

It's going to be such a different "first Christmas", Oliver was 10.5 months old and able to participate in the holiday.  Owen's participation at 2.5 months will be far less, but my little little baby is growing so fast!  When I hold him he is pushing himself from myself and looking all over the place...enjoying all the holiday lights and decorations maybe? I like to think so.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Catch-up

Haven't posted in a while...been so busy trying to stay awake I just haven't made it on here.  So, hello blog...I've missed you. 

We crashed a holiday parade and tree lighting in Madison, CT a little while ago.  Seriously, it was such a small parade we drove about 30min for that we felt kind of silly, and I totally felt like we were intruding on something private and intimate...like everyone was looking at us and wondering what the heck we were doing in their town.  Whatevs.  That's just how we roll.

Like I said...parade was suuuuper small, but it was Oliver's first parade (scratch that... he did see a parade when we went to Sesame Place for halloween in 2010 but he was like, 9 months or something so it doesn't count as a memorable experience for him).  Anyway.  He seemed to enjoy it.  There were dogs, drums, tractors, and Santa Claus... his current faves.

There were hayrides being given after the parade.  He wasn't so sure about getting on so we let him stay back and watch it drive off, planning to get him onto the next ride.  The whole time it was gone he was making his "trrrrrrrrrrrrr" noise that he makes for basically any type of vehicle, and he was excited to catch a glimpse of it.  Next ride...Nate gets on with him, I am being helped on with Owen in his snap-n-go, and Oliver is trying to jump off the back into my arms.  Ok, maybe next year.  We really should have expected that based on the previous day's Touch-a-Truck experience.

We had lots of time to kill between events that day, and no opportunity for Oliver to nap, so by the time the tree lighting was getting underway we had a very antsy and borderline cranky toddler on our hands.  He was probably a little too young to care much for this event.  He wanted in and out of Nate's arms and wasn't really entertained with standing around and singing Christmas songs he doesn't even know.  He did pretty good though, considering (I'm learning to lower my expectations to his level....I was turning into the "This is fun dammit so have fun" kind of mom this holiday, so I had to put myself in check).

FINALLY.....the Big Guy arrived on a firetruck (thankfully! because sleighs just don't excite Oliver like a good firetruck does!)  When it was being announced that Santa was on his way to help light the tree Oliver started calling for him in his own high pitch language that only Nate, myself and his Nana understand: "Eayayaaaa?" Translation: "where are you?" 

And when Santa was getting down from the truck Oliver smiled and waved and it hit me that he is beginning to recognize this big red icon (it's only being crammed down his throat everywhere we go), and I was hit by a wave of emotion and Christmas spirit...so happy to be able to experience Christmas Magic through the eyes of my little boy.

He was pretty impressed by the tree lighting up and the size of it.  It turned out to be a very nice family day...and I didn't even have to force everyone to enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Touch and go (photo overload!)

On Saturday we had planned to go to our town's Silverbell festival (Santa, hayrides, tree lighting, caroling, "merrymaking", etc), when we learned from a mom in our music class that morning that there was a Touch-a-Truck event going on.  Oliver has turned into a total boy and is in love with trucks and buses and police cars, and firetrucks, and motorcycles... you know... things boys get a kick out of.  So we decided we were adding this to our very full weekend.  And the weather...perfect!

Oliver dropped our donation to the toy drive into the wonderfully full bins and we were off- exploring the trucks he loves to point out on the roads up close.  I felt pretty bad with our little offering, but it was a last minute decision to go and we didn't want to be empty handed so I grabbed what I had bought as a start to my Christmas shopping for all the little babies we know.

Looks like he was all over them right? Wrong.  While we are convinced he did have a wonderful time there, he was actually not happy at all about actually going up into any of the vehicles.  Running up to them and walking around them was enough for him.  I think he wanted to want to go up, but he went all jelly-bones when Nate would lift him up into the seats and insist on coming down.

So, besides trucks, you know what else Oliver loves? Dogs. There was a K9 unit demonstration.  Nate has wanted a German Shepard for a while...now he REALLY wants one.

And how bad do I wish this firetruck had a Christmas wreath on it?! Oh that would have made a gorgeous holiday picture for the card! Still heart-melt-able pictures, wreath or no wreath.

Owen was there too, he just didn't know it.

Wordful Wednesday
Linking up at Parenting By Dummies

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff Like bingle balls, and whofoo fluff
Trim up the town with goowho gums and bizilbix and wums

Our day started with How the Grinch Stole Christmas and ended with putting lights on the tree.  Oliver was totally into it.  It was pretty adorable, I must say.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Pictures

I have really enjoyed taking my own pictures of the boys instead of doing studio sittings... reason 1- we aren't in a position to spend money on that, and reason 2- I like being creative and pretending I can take good pictures.  Well it was easy when Oliver was a wee li'l babe... got a little difficult when he started rolling and crawling... got REALLY difficult when he could walk... and now that he's a little lunatic jumping around, it's just about impossible to sit him in a small space for a picture.

So here is what I got out of my Christmas "photo shoot" of the boys...not at all what I hoped for!

I was so angry!  Nate was trying to be my voice of reason "He's nearly 2...you're not going to get him to sit still...he's doing very well for hardly napping today"

Yeah yeah yeah.  But I wanted to get a picture that makes everyone tear up at the beauty of my two little ones this holiday season... so I was pretty bummed that my vision and the realities of having a toddler were (once again) out of sync.

At least I have Owen who is too little to ruin my photography aspirations.

I didn't get what I wanted but I did manage to get some passable photos for a Christmas card.  I can't wait for them to get here and to send them out!

Here is a sneak peek...