Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Give a little.

It's a good time of year... A time of year to kick back, relax, and reflect on the year's moments.

And during these little moments of reflection, I came upon confession #31: While preparing a Christmas morning surprise for Jacob (more of this later), I had to ask Philip where we kept the iron as I have not used it since we moved into this house (15 months ago).

Ok, I feel better now that I got that off of my chest. I will say that for not using an iron in fifteen months, I was quite handy with it today.

Christmas day will of course bring more goodies for this one.... this little one that now thinks that every wrapped present is his to unwrap. You can imagine how this went when we loaded up the presents under our tree this evening. "Mine?" he continued to ask as he stuffed his little paws into the goods. Not all for you, little one, we explained.

And then we set off continuing to teach our little man an important message... we give to others.

And when that lesson was good and over and Jacob realized he wasn't prying into the presents (which had to be re-taped... and so I apologize in advance if your present looks slightly mangled)... we geared up for a game of baseball.

I continue to be amazed at this twenty-two month old's determination.

Not only does he really focus on hitting the ball, but he also gets crazy upset if the ball doesn't taking a huge flying leap into the air.

And thankfully when assessing this problem, I was able to look through this footage and diagnose the problem: Little man is closing his eyes right when he makes contact.

Eh, he's still just a little lad....

And finally, Christmas Eve was upon us.

And twenty-three steps and three-and-a-half hours later later, Mimi and Poppa's present to Jacob was finally constructed.

Welcome, Jacob's new kitchen. My little sister said that between the cleaning supplies, vacuum, and kitchen, Jacob's becoming quite the housewife. Just like his momma, I suppose (there was loads of sarcasm in that statement if you didn't quite get the joke).

And when bottle time (yes, bottle time) had arrived, we snuggled up to read one of Jacob's newest, most favorite books. And the best thing about this present Jacob received from some dear friends in Wisconsin was that it came the main character as a stuffed animal. And this is pretty much my view every evening now.

The only dilemma we have with this story is this page:

Apparently, you don't "boot" balls, you "kick" balls, and you don't "knee" balls, you "thigh" balls... so every time this phrase surfaces in the book, we both get a little dissertation on the right way to do these moves.

Dad, are you kidding me?

Yes, it's a good time of year... a time to stay in because it's too stinkin' cold to head out (although some sledding may be in store for us tomorrow)... a time to cuddle up with the little ones we love... and a time to snuggle up with my husband and watch It's a Wonderful Life...

[Ok, I'm just kidding on the last part... but how picture perfect would that be? Actually, Philip asked me earlier today if I wanted to watch that movie this evening and I burst out laughing until I realized he was completely serious... and then I felt bad and told him if he really wanted to watch it, I would. Because that's what really good wives do on Christmas Eve. But no, we're off to snuggle and watch some crazy action flick instead. Almost picture perfect.]

... oh, it's a wonderful time to think about how ridiculously lucky I am to have all that I do.

Merry Christmas to you!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Life right now.

Oh, happy days. A trip down memory lane....

I remember back when I was a wee little one, we would create those poster board "About Me" projects to share in our classes and there was a question on this board that stated, "When I grow up, I want to be...." And sure, I went through phases of wanting to be a pediatrician and a famous journalist, but regardless of what else I might be thinking, I always included "a mom." I just knew. I knew that above everything else I would do in my life, a mom is what I was supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, I have the best job in the world doing this and meeting the sweetest, most amazing families and new little peanuts, but a momma I will forever be.

And taking on this role means I get to really be a whole lot of other things too....

For example, I'm also a cleaner and am so proud of my little assistant with his very own vacuum just like momma.

Thank you, Lindsay & Jonny, for one of his most favorite presents.

I'm a doctor. Well, not by the true medical standards. But I know how to diagnose a sick little baby and when to allow a binky in the mouth even if it's not quite sleepy time.

... with an extra dose of blankies.

[And side note... love this thank you note from our friends up in Wisconsin... We are so glad that the little ones are enjoying their gifts!!!]

I'm a cook... actually, I can't lie. I'm learning to be a cook. I'm a baker and Welcome Winter Project #361: Create your own Jolly Cookie Jars to give as gifts.

And because the little one's mouth was just watering at the sight of an entire bowl of brown sugar, little man was given some brown sugar with a touch of oatmeal to keep calm.

And just so I don't scare those of you, sweet friends, that are receiving this tasty treat... Jacob was not quite as hands-on with the actual end product. Instead, he did just what his momma did and spooned flour from one bowl to the next. You see, I'm also a teacher... day in and day out, always teaching my little one.

The mess? Oh, you can't quite possibly care about the mess on projects like this.

And then, in true twenty-two month fashion, "Eat?" he asked. Ok, little one, if you would like.

A little pasty? Live and learn. It's the only way to be.

I'm a photographer, of course.... because how could I not want to forever remember moments as good as this?

Ta-daaaaaaa!! A perfectly sweet (and easy to make) holiday gift. And no, I didn't craft this idea on my own; I'll thank my friends at Williams-Sonoma for that.

Yes, so many roles to take on every day. I found my own path to being a journalist, I suppose. I can't think of a better way to document all of our little moments than in this little story. And the best part of our story?

It's just the beginning, my friends.

I'm a momma. And there's nothing else I'd rather be doing with my life right now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Whole Batch of Celebrations...

I have this little problem falling asleep. I think it is because most days, this is my first time I have actually sat still and had time to think and do absolutely nothing and my mind just races and dreams up new ideas... and last night, I had scripted this entirely perfect batch of words in my head and knowing that they wouldn't last long, I had planned on popping out of bed before anyone else had stirred, tiptoeing downstairs to my computer and compiling this beautiful story about holiday magic...

And then real life interrupted my dream world, Philip placed a very awake Jacob in bed with me at seven o'clock this morning, kissed me good-bye, and no such moments ever occurred. And in between the laps and laps running around the house scoring home runs, creating jolly cookie jars, and grocery runs.... it was all soon forgotten.

But the memories... the photographs.... they will always be there.

A late Hanukah celebration at my parent's house.... a celebration in which we thought the two grandchildren would receive a few presents and instead, they continued to receive present after present until there was no space left on the floor. Really, Susan? my dad had jokingly asked as they continued to make their way in front of the boys.

Oh, yes. Really. They're only little once.

A playgroup Hanukah celebration was a very special treat. I'm continually astounded at the way these little ones interact with each other. And by interact with each other in this setting, I mean by the way they sit and eat everything off each other's plates... You'd think I was starving Jacob if you saw the way he finished what was first given to him, grabbed his empty plate, and attacked the first momma that came near him saying "more."

But who am I kidding? It's because playgroup celebrations equate to unlimited goodies... and Jacob loves his goodies.

I'm not kidding... he really enjoys sweet things. And it got me thinking that maybe I should allow him a few more sweet things at home. Because I don't want to have the kid that is totally deprived from sweets at home and so he steals bags of ho ho's from his friend's house and devours them in his bed at night.

Eh, the heck with it, there could be worse things in life... I'll still take that kid.

And then? Then we placed ten presents in the middle of the room and told the littles to go at it and choose one.

And my little one was one of the only ones that didn't really dive in. And I wondered what was going on in that little head of his.... whether it was too much commotion or if he was just being polite and waiting his turn... and eventually another momma had to just hand him one. And the most fantastic part of his goods? The bow, of course.

It's a great batch of mommas, this little playgroup. And if we had a holiday card, I think this is the best moment we could give...

And finally, the beginnings of our Christmas celebrations....

Silver and sparkly was the theme this year.... thanks to some gorgeous ornaments (and a personalized stocking for Jacob) I ordered last minute from my friends at pottery barn.

I used to think it was this tricky thing... combining the religions and traditions of Philip and me.

I struggled with the idea of having a Christmas tree in our house and a stocking for Jacob.... and without getting too deep into the true religious differences, I came to this conclusion....

Bottom line, we agree on one very powerful thing: We both want to raise honest children with good morals... we believe in family and something above and we both hold tight to the notion that everything happens for a reason.

And while other things may surface over the next years, while we may struggle answering some tough questions, it seems okay to just be comfortable with the celebrations of both of our families and both of our traditions.

And with that all being said, Welcome Back, my very first ornament that Philip gave to me when we were first dating during the holidays. And while I thought it was kind of an odd gift to give the Jewish girl, I know now that Philip was just thinking that one day, this ornament would be hanging on our Christmas tree, celebrating our holidays together.

And when the tree was all decorated, a sweet treat with our most precious little boy followed.

Hello, hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies.

Mmmm, was all he kept saying.

It's funny to me the things these little ones do... like dipping gingberbread cookies into their hot chocolate.. of course, a tasty combination, but where in the world did he learn to do that?

Yes, it's a good time of year.

A time to stay in pj's until noon because it is so darn cold outside.

A time to sip up the sweet things.

A time for family and for traditions.

Happy Holidays to you.

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