Friday, December 23, 2011

Never a dull moment

So the morning started out like any other; kids waking, milk being poured and cartoons being turned on.  Then the excitement began to build when the kids learned of church friends coming over to play.  Pj’s came off, clothes went on and my shower began.  Once we were all dressed and my kids resumed their play I decided to tidy up.  So I turned from the bathroom to start my chores.
Turning my back and warning the kids to “chill out” while fighting over a toy was not my best decision as a mother.  Next I knew I had a four year old screaming for mommy and a two year old looking quite smug.  When I ran to see what was the matter Sam screamed to me through tears and hyper ventilating cries that Mary had bit his arm.  This takes place 10 minutes prior to our guest’s arrival, I prayed this wasn’t a bad sign.
After the first set of two kids showed up I put on a pot of coffee for us mommy’s and sat down to some adult conversation all the while talking over kids playing in toy heaven.  As us two mommies waited for the coming arrival of two more tots we continued to talk about Christmas preparations, travels and baking needs.   
Not only were my mommies happy to see other adult faces and voices but the kids were having an absolute blast! Pulling out this toy and Sam showing off that toy, the fun was non-stop.  About two hours went by when the littlest of the group started to get tired and fussy and the time started to show we had to shove off for our afternoon outing.  
As the mommies departed with their little ones I had forgotten to package up some cookies for them so I asked them to hold on while I ran to get the cookies.  I heard the kids outside running and playing while my kids looked on from the front door.  Then all got quite and screams started to emit from the front yard.  Sam said “Are you ok?” then the next thing I knew a mommy came running up the stars with her two and half year old daughter full of blood.  She had tripped and fell on our cement front step and hit head first. 
Between sobs and screams from the little girl my son started to cry and say “I don’t like this!” Sam was very afraid for his little friend. So, with too much blood which was nonstop and it being in the front of her head, her mommy prompted me to call 9-1-1.  Luckily we live 1 block from the fire station and they were at my house in a matter of minutes.
As the sirens grew closer my son, who LOVES fire trucks, started to cry and sob again as my daughter stood watching doing her best impression of a siren.  I started to chuckle because of my sons sobbing.  I was confused, I figured he would get a big kick out of the fire truck coming to our house but instead it scared him.  He said he was scared because his little friend was hurt; he likes to see them drive by, not stop at our house!  The firemen gave her a once over and decided she didn’t have a concussion, gave her mommy instructions to watch her pupils, make sure she doesn’t become lethargic or start vomiting and she would be just fine; she may have a nice size bruise and a headache. After the firemen drove off I realized they didn’t get her a band aide like they said they would, so I went inside and fetched one and placed it gently on her head.  After the commotion settled the mommies strapped their kids in their seats and headed off for their homes.
I went inside, got coats and shoes on and we headed out the door as well to play Santa to daddy’s co-workers.  I had hand dipped strawberries in dark and white chocolate and made the girls some bracelets.  Upon our arrival to the bank where daddy works, Sam spotted a Target and shouted with excitement that he wanted to go in.  I had to get diapers so I shrugged and said “Sure, why not.” 
Once inside Target, Sam was overjoyed at the $1 Spot selections and wanted me to purchase just about everything! After about 15 minutes of “No’s” he finally gave up and decided to walk towards the baby section.  Of course you know it’s Christmas time and there can’t be an aisle without a toy in it right? Same goes for the diaper section.  Sam spotted this Spiderman shaving kit for kids.  It had shaving foam, a fake razor, a badger brush and a comb.  He immediately thought of the scene in “Home Alone” where Kevin McCallister is singing “White Christmas” into his comb in the mirror.  He begged and begged and begged for it.  I was giggling and figured it’s only $3.49 what the heck, it will be entertainment for both of us!
Once home and Mary was napping the shaving shenanigans began.  He had to have a mirror, check! A step stool, check! A towel around his waist, check! He was ready to begin his shaving and grooming! I of course got pictures and video of him singing “White Christmas”.  He starts out with “Doot doot, dootie dootie do” and then finishes off with “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree!”  He had a blast and I had several laughs.
So, even when a scary situation arises, my son can always be counted on to bring comic relief.  And of course a big glass of red wine once kiddos are asleep helps as well!

God Bless

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Visit with Santa 2011

It’s that time of year again where Santa has come to town to hear all the little boys and girls requests, not matter how large or small.  He parks his reindeer, grabs his bag of yummy goodies and maybe even takes a gulp of hot cocoa before sitting down in his oversized red velvet chair to greet hundreds of wide eyed children.  Unfortunately some of the wide eyes are eyes of fear and tears and no one was a more perfect example then our little Mary Tuesday when it was her turn to see Santa.

Yep, you guessed it, Mary was TERRIFIED of Santa!  The terror came quickly and most unexpectedly.  She was just waiting patiently in her Pooh Bear umbrella stroller with her big brother by her side, she even waved to Santa at one point; then it was her turn and she just lost it.  I went to unbuckle her from her stroller and I hear “No, No, NO, NO, NOOOOO!” Sam on the other hand had practically ran to sit on Santa’s lap while Mary was left behind leaping into daddy’s arms full of sobs and dread.  She wouldn’t even take her head of daddy’s shoulder to even look at Santa.  So daddy strapped her back in her stroller and away they went.  As daddy strolled away, giggling at his daughter’s dread, Sam just sat up on Santa’s lap rambling off his requests.  High priority on the toy list this year is a remote control car. 
Now, we’ve seen Santa two times prior to this visit in hopes of dispelling any sort of apprehensions the kids may have,  get familiar with Santa so that we wouldn’t have tears on the day we dressed up and took the official Santa picture.  Can we say BACKFIRE!? Well each time Sam saw Santa he always a bit shy, putting his fingers in his mouth and talking almost inaudibly all the while wrapped up in excitement to tell Santa his toy list. 
As a side note; the first time Sam saw Santa he said he wanted a remote control car but then the two following requests got weird, I think out of nervousness.  He mentioned he wanted a dancey guy (which I knew was this dancing elf he saw at Home Depot) and a horse.  A horse!?!?! Really? A horse?!?!?! Second time we met Santa he opened with wanting a remote control car and the rest was too faint to hear due to other kids nearby.  Third time, this past Tuesday, he said again he wanted a remote control car, 5 cars and 2 ramps? Aaaah, the idea’s that run through a 4 year olds mind.  I even found an app on my phone that “calls Santa” directly and you can leave a message for him and he mentioned the 5 cars and 2 ramps.  We’ll see if Grandpa can whip something up.
So we left the mall with a picture of Sam smiling on Santa’s lap, a sobbing toddler girl and two disheartened parents.  But we figured maybe she was just tired and we’d try again when Grandma and Grandpa came the next day. 
So when grandma and grandpa arrived yesterday we left for the mall immediately to get there right at 10am.  Well everyone must have had that thought as the line was about 50 people long.  So to keep things (or I should say kids) under control, grandma and grandpa walked them around the mall a few laps.  After about 20 minutes in line we were next.  I had grandma and grandpa stand over to the side of the Santa exhibit and when it was time for the kids to sit with Santa we did a “Mary handoff”.  Before Mary knew what was going on the handoff was made, I immediately felt arms squeeze my next and screeches of fear emit from my babe’s mouth.  Once we reached Santa’s lap I placed her in his arms and the wiggling to be free began.  I coaxed her into sitting still and Santa helped with his friendly “Hello” and Sam even chimed in with an “It’s ok Mary, Santa loves us”.  After about 3-4 minutes, she calmed down, relaxed and even smiled long enough to get a good photo!
So after two days, many tears and a few screams of sheer terror we had achieved success! Its times like these I’m thankful I started up my blog once again.  These are the memories we tend to forget and that I’ll children will love to hear once they’re older. 

Merry Christmas and God Bless

P.S. Here’s our successful Santa picture!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Old Posts below

About two years ago I started blogging here on Blogger, but ran into some issues with retrieving it so I decided to start again. But before I just dive right into the craziness of The Crandell Life, I thought I would post some of the old blogs starting with the first, ending with a new one and a few funny, cute and frustrating blogs in between! I am going to post them again in chronological order. (scroll to the bottom and read up) From this post on they will all be current.

To recap quickly..........
My son Sam is now 4, my daughter Mary will be 2 next month already! WOW! Samuel is in preschool at Gahanna Christian 2 mornings a week and loves it! He just did his first Christmas program and did so well! Mary is still my little angel even with 2 approaching, she is one smart cookie and is also absolutely beautiful! (Yes I'm slightly bias!)  Sam's behavior has been less then stellar but we are getting there. 

George and I have joined New Life church here in Gahanna and also were baptized this year the weekend after Thanksgiving. George's mom from Texas was able to be in attendance along with my parents.  I have also joined 3 different women's bible studies during the week to keep us and my mind occupied.
Christmas is only 6 days away and it's been hard to keep the kids away from the presents as their excitement level is high! It will be a Christmas full of memories I am sure! More to come in the next few days!

God Bless!

Santa's Arrival! (November 20, 2010)

Santa’s Arrival 2010!

As we all know every year Christmas comes earlier and earlier.  This year I either just now noticed or it’s always been this way but the department stores like Kohl’s and Sears had there Christmas decorations up the week of Halloween!  I always, always remember Santa arriving to the malls on the day after Thanksgiving or “Black Friday” but this year (and maybe last year who knows, I don’t remember) Santa arrived to our local mall, Easton, the week BEFORE Thanksgiving and Sam, Mary and myself went to Easton to watch his arrival in a horse drawn sleigh. 

Prior to our departure from our home to Easton I took on a few “projects” in the house while the kids slept and before I knew it, it was 3pm and the shower beckoned.  Mary was waking up from her longest nap to date and I had to wake Sam up to get them both ready to go.  I had to stop and drop a package off at FedEx and I was going to treat Sam to a hot dog and french fries.  Trying to get two mobile kids ready by a specific time can be difficult so I had a time frame set in my mind to strive for, at that time was 4pm, we left at 4:30pm, not bad right?! Just before we left I asked Sam what presents he wanted to ask Santa for and he said, most enthusiastically, that he wanted a racecar!  He also told me that he wanted Mary to have a dolly princess.  When I told him to go and get his coat from his closet got overly excited to see his skeleton Halloween costume and begged to put it on, and I quote “I have to wear my skeleton costume so I can tell Santa, RAWRRRR!!!!”  

I dropped my package off then headed to Steak and Shake for a bite to eat and then head to the mall for the “perfect” parking spot as I knew it would be difficult to get out of there without a strategic exit plan.  We arrived at Easton about 4:50 and that must have been the exact time we needed to arrive as I found the ideal parking spot!  We ate our meals in the car and then, what I refer to as the “unloading process”, began.  Stroller, check; Mary in back of stroller, check; Sam and his fries in front of stroller, check; Mommy bag with phone, camera, wallet, and baby essentials, check.   

Once we were strolling away we turned the corner and there was the massive Easton Christmas tree just waiting to be lit, men dressed in jester costumes juggling and the sweet sounds of Christmas music. (I love Christmas music.)  As most of you mommies know pushing a double stroller is always a bit difficult so navigating in such a crowd as the one at Easton wasn’t easy.  We had to go in and get gloves for Sam because all he has are some hand-me-downs that were intended for Mary and those gloves are purple. I first went to Gap Kids to scope out their gloves and not only struck out, because I wasn’t paying $12.50 for something I knew he was going to lose, but because Gap is NOT stroller friendly and couldn’t not wait to get away from the impolite and oblivious public. 

Here is where I will go on my “I’m pushing a stroller people look out” rant.  How many of us mommies have experience rude, inconsiderate, selfish people when it comes to people of the shopping mall attendees?  I would answer that question that we all have and last night was no exception.  First of all when pushing a double tandem stroller with a 30lb child in the front is like trying to drive a bus, there is no turn radius!  Second of all since it is like driving a bus it’s not like I can weave in and out of shoppers like I’m on skate board or roller skates, so therefore MOVE!  Not only are the people inconsiderate in their unwillingness to move but the stores have managed to make themselves stroller unfriendly.  Trying to steer around the unstrategicly placed display racks and tables full of sweaters is almost impossible, and then factor in those obliviously selfish people standing near and next to those displays.  

So after a 15 minute ordeal of steering, standing in line and get back out of the store I finally got Sam a pair of gloves.  Not just any gloves but black ones with pretty pink bows and a jewel in the middle.  Surprise!, I couldn’t find a little boys glove anywhere that wasn’t $13.  I got the pink bows off and the gloves on his fingers and we continued on our way to the nights events. 

We finally steered our way to the area where Santa, the parade and the lighting of the Christmas tree were take place.  As we took our positions on the curb by Barnes and Noble the jester dressed jugglers started their entertaining routine which involved juggling on a balance ball, unicycle and bringing in a volunteers from the crowd; Sam loved it!  As you can imagine it was a very cold night, for the kids, so keeping them bundled is a chore at times especially Mary who won’t keep anything on her head.  I had to keep returning their hoods to their heads all night.  After Mary drank her bottle she began to fuss, she was tired, and the parade hadn’t even started yet.  In order to keep her happy I opted to hold her instead of strolling her for fear we’d loose our place on the curb for Sam to see everything. 

Remember when I mentioned the inconsiderate shopping mall walking crowd?  Well, apparently they are also the inconsiderate “I’m sitting right in front of your son” crowd too.  As soon as the parade started two people sat down right in front of Sam and he turned to me and said with the saddest little voice “Mommy, I can’t see”.  So I said as loud as I could trying not to sound rude, “Awe honey you can’t see?”  As soon as I said that the MOTHER that sat in front of my child said “Oh I can move”. Gee, thanks!  

The parade started about 6:05 and my camera of course wasn’t working right.  For some reason the flash is going off but the pictures are still dark, so I hardly got any of the parade and none of the tree lighting because the battery died, of course.  I wish I could have captured the look on my sons face when the oversized balloons of gingerbread cookies, a nutcracker, snowflakes and Rudolph all came around the corner.  He was so overjoyed that I got a little teary eyed just watching his pure child joy that we all had when we were kids.  My heart was so warmed by his excitement that it made a moment like that all worth being a mommy.   

After the parade and the arrival of Santa on his sleigh commenced the lighting of the grand Christmas tree ceremony began.  Santa and Mrs. Claus did the honors and not only did the tree light up but ALL of Easton came to life.  It was gorgeous! Next thing I knew fireworks were going off and Sam’s face lit up brighter then Easton village.  Mary couldn’t stop swiveling here head to make sure she got to soak in everything she was seeing.  This is Mary’s first Christmas and with her being an older infant I am sure she will enjoy everything she experiences.  I was so proud to be a mommy at that moment that the tears sprang bag to my eyes.   

After what seemed like the longest, yet joyful, 45 minutes ever, I finally put Mary down in her stroller seat and headed back to our van.  The “unloading process” began and once the kids were strapped in their seats, we were homeward bound to see daddy and tell him about all the fun stuff we saw.  Once home and Sam’s candy cane stained fingers had hugged daddy, bath time stared and Sam’s sugar high reached its highest level.  Mary was so tired by the time we got home that she was in bed by 7:45 and after Sam’s sugar crash he was in bed by 8:30; the perfect end to a perfect day.  And to think I wasn’t going to take the kids because of the cold night air, glad I listened to my heart and took them. 

In the past week there has been some very unhappy and gruesome news being reported from the community where my parents live and being with my family tonight made me love and appreciate them more then I probably ever had.  Make sure to always love and cherish your family, friends and children; especially during such a magical season as Christmas.

Thanks for reading

Zoo Day! (September 29, 2010)

Zoo Day!

So with having such wonderful weather today and a zoo membership about to be useless for the year, the kids and I headed for the Columbus Zoo.  At first glance out the window today it didn’t look as if the day was going to be this gorgeous! So I wrangled up my kids, got them to the breakfast table, spoon fed them both, packed a bag of diapers and snacks and headed out the door about 10:30am

The whole ride on I-270 West consisted of Sam’s excitement for the endless trucks he’d seen and asking “We go to da zoo?” about 80 times as Mary slept the time away.  Once we exited the expressway to finish our last leg of the 20 min journey the demands of what animals to see first started.  Of course the #1 animal of choice was the polar bears then the alligators, monkeys and the elephants.  Those four animals are a must see every visit.

Once I found a parking spot the unloading ritual begins. Anyone who’s a mommy or was a mommy of little ones knows where I’m going with this. First thing to unload is the ever obvious parent trademark, the double tandem stroller.  Luckily this stroller is super easy to open, but unluckily quite a chore to push, especially up hill.  Second step of the unloading process, the kids.  Sam was first, in the front then Mary, in the back.  Third and finale step, at least for this mommy, is getting the little pouch attached to the stroller handles ready; phone, camera, wallet, glasses and zoo membership card.  This third step makes life much easier to have these items ready at a moments notice to avoid stopping the stroller to dig through the “mommy pack” under the stroller all the while missing that perfect “Kodak moment” or an important phone call. 

Of course Sam, the whole time I was going through the unloading ritual kept demanding “I wanna go!”  So with the 3 steps to unloading finished, the brakes came off the stroller and away we went.  Sam was overjoyed to see the entrance, while Mary was completely oblivious to the fact we were at some place that has animals for show just smiled and bounced in her luxurious stroller seat.  

First question from mommy to son; “What do you want to see first?”  Sam shouted “ALLIGATORS!” So with out further a due the alligators were our first stop.  From there we just followed the path around and saw flamingos, fish, manatees, penguins, and gorillas all before lunch. 

Lunch as many of you may know from past entries is usually the toughest meal of the day, especially when Sam’s mind is over stimulated by fun and excitement.  Well he must have been hungry because he said he wanted a hot dog without me asking what he wanted to eat AND he ate the entire hot dog along with apple sauce and french fries.  Mary’s lunch was a little less tasty, well for mother and son that is.  She stuck to her banana flavored puffs and an always beloved bottle. 

After lunch tiredness was setting in for both kids and mommy.  So I suggested that we go see the elephants and the polar bears and then head home.  For mommy this was a long trek pushing the stroller from the food court to the polar bears and knew that I would be exhausted and so would Sam.  Without protest off to the elephants we went, then to the polar bears.  By the time we go to the polar bears Sam started to get unhinged with tiredness that the hitting, screaming and being 3 had started, so instead of looking at more animals I opted to take him to see the inside of the van.

Remember the unloading ritual? Well do that in reverse with two diaper changes in the back before loading the massive stroller.  Once in the van the a/c roared to life even though the temp outside was only 77 degrees.  I knew Sam was tired and I prayed that he wouldn’t fall asleep in the car on the way home.  Despite the fact there were horrific screeches coming Mary’s lips and my talking on the phone to my mom he fell asleep.  “Shoot!”  This was the last thing I wanted because for some strange reason when he falls asleep in the car, even for 10 minutes, he thinks that’s his nap and refuses to go back to bed once home.  So the nap time struggle began around 2pm and finally was resolved by 3:30pm with him falling fast asleep! THANK GOD!  But of course mommy didn’t get her rest as hoped because as soon as Sam settled, Mary stirred in her crib! “Shoot!” 

Soon the day will end and I must say it was a great day with a few fits from the kids and maybe one from mommy.  I still have dinner to cook and baths to give but I know that my kids will have had a great day and mommy, albeit exhausted, will have more mommy memories in her memory bank.

Thanks for reading

Wow! (September 9, 2010)

Wow! It’s been awhile! 

So I noticed that the last time I had a blog entry was June 3rd! Well as you can imagine a lot has happened since June.  Busy doesn’t even scratch the surface.  My jewelry business had a fine summer at the Gahanna Farmers Market, my son, Sam, turned 3 and my daughter, Mary, is now 8 months old and growing way too fast.  I will give you the best recap I can. You can be sure that I will have forgot to mention something such as a funny Sam story or some cute thing Mary did but here’s the gist of the last 3 fast paced, busy months! 

Sam as I’ve mentioned is 3 and full of energy and willfulness.  I’ve heard from several mommies that age 3 is worse then age 2.  I thought to myself “There’s no way 3 could be any worse then year 2”.  Well I was seriously wrong! Don’t get me wrong I love my son, he is so bright and he is our little comedian; but my goodness his strong willed nature and I have been butting heads and I have a headache.  When Dr. James Dobson wrote his book “The Strong Willed Child” he was writing about my child for sure.  I have yet to read this particular book because I am currently reading another of his books, “Dare to Discipline”.  His willfulness has even made meal time a not so wonderful time of day.

Sam has always been difficult when it comes to meal time.  He’s never been a good eater, going back to when we introduced table foods to him at 9 months he’s done nothing but pick and push his food around.  And now it seems that ever since I have been spoon feeding Mary her baby food Sam has regressed and will no longer feed himself.  So now I have three mouths to spoon feed three meals a day; Sam’s, Mary’s and mine.  I was starting to get worried that he may not be growing properly.  So one bit of good news I received during his 3 year check up was that he is in the 75% height and weight, which is average.  Phew! But his pediatrician wasn’t too thrilled with his regression back to needing to be spoon fed and his constant unwillingness to eat, anything, so she made an appointment for him with a food psychologist at Columbus Children’s Hospital.  Yes, you read that right, a food psychologist, as in “mental”, as in “behavioral”, or as in “your problems stem from your parents”; because let’s face it most psychotherapists always want to blame the parents for behavioral issues.  Why not? I am the sole person who takes care of him, yes he has a father but I stay home with him day in and day out, I’m the one that has fed him his 3 meals plus snacks everyday since he was born.  We are still waiting on the food psychologist’s phone call to make an appointment; you’ll be sure I’ll keep you posted on what goes down with that visit!  

As for Mary well she’s our 8 month old little angel.  Don’t get me wrong, she can be a little devil at times too.  She has a scream/screech on her that could wake the dead and pierce your ears.  (and no, I’m not exaggerating about that)  I was even told by the child care staff at the YMCA that she “runs that place”; that every time she screams or screeches the whole place stops and looks at her.  She’s a girl; she needs her attention, right? Oh and don’t take anything away from her, oh your ears will bleed from the shrieks that emit from her mouth.  I do have to brag a bit that she has been a very wonderful baby.  She’s well mannered, doesn’t fuss much and has been hitting her milestones right on time if not early.  She just turned 8 months on September 18th and since then she has learned to get up on her knees in attempts to crawl, which right now is army style, she can get to sitting position by herself, gives kisses, wave, holds her own bottle and can just about pull herself up to standing on her own two little feet. 

Sam and Mary together are getting so cute that the video camera is always on stand-by.  Just the other day Mary crawled into Sam’s room while I was cooking dinner and she stayed in there for almost an hour with out so much as a whimper.  She usually has at least one or two fits because Sam has hit her, pushed her over, rolled over her or taken something from her.  But this time none of that happened and they were playing so well together that I stood in the doorway of Sam’s room and just watch silently until Sam spotted me and took my hand and made me sit down with them and play.  Those are the moments that tug at a mom’s heartstrings and make me realize why I stay home with my kids.   

My kids are both very independent little creatures that also love mommy and daddy’s attention along with our hugs and kisses; I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Even though sometimes Sam’s independence can be a bit hard to handle, he is my funny little fireball.  Mary’s personality has been started to get defined lately and it’s so much fun watching her explore the new world around her.  She is a curious little angel that is sweet; show’s off her cuteness and loves to bounce the day away.  And to answer everyone’s latest question; No! We are not having any more children.   

Thanks for reading

The Binky Project (June 3, 2010)

The Binky Project 

The binky; it can be both a blessing and a curse.  When your little one is first born you struggle with the decision (or at least I did) to breast feed or bottle feed.  I tried breast feeding with my son but it didn’t go so well so I decided it would be best to offer the bottle.  He did very well so we stuck with the bottle; for then next 19 months! 

Sam started right out of the gate with a binky.  Since he had reflux; that at the time we were unaware of, he was eating non-stop along with crying! So with the crying and the constant eating the “4 S’s” came into play a lot! Swaddle, Swing, SSSHHH and sooth; and soothing was what worked best.  Not only was the binky used to sooth but it was also used to stretch out his feedings.  After the reflux was gone and he was doing well with having long stretches between feedings the binky was really only used to put him to sleep.  We thought we were so lucky to have a baby that only wanted the binky for night nights.  Well that all changed around the time he turned 18 mos. 

As I mentioned before Sam did much better with the bottle then the breast; too well in fact.  We were told by Sam’s pediatrician that he needed to be off the bottle by 15 months.  So after his 1 year check up we decided to start introducing the sippy cup; Sam wasn’t having any of it. He pitched fits and being new parents all we wanted to do was keep baby happy so the bottle was given quickly back.  When it came time for Sam’s 18 month appointment the pediatrician warned us that if we don’t get him off the bottle his teeth are subject to rotting.  Well that did it for me so we gave him another month and then like a smoker quitting cold turkey the bottle was gone. 

Taking the bottle away cold turkey from a 19 month old proved to be difficult; a week of difficult.  We tried all the different tack ticks prior to going cold turkey.  We tried watering down the milk in the bottle which he was kind of confused with but he drank it.  Strike one.  We tried only giving a bottle only at night before bed and sippy cups all day. He fooled us; he wouldn’t drink his milk all day until his night time bottle which was not good because he still needed 24 oz of milk a day.  Strike two.  So I said I’m not striking out on this and I made him go cold turkey! It took a whole week but he finally decided to drink his milk, warm, from the sippy cup and not the bottle and has never looked back since.  He is now almost 3 and still has to have his milk warmed in the microwave.  After “The Binky Project” and potty training has their successes the milk is going cold, for good! 

So we broke him of the bottle, phew! Well he’s not a stupid kid so he said in his little mind “I’ll show them!” He picked up the binky to replace his bottle.  We were compliant at first.  We just kept saying “He can have it since he just gave up the bottle” Or “It’s a way to help wean him off the bottle”.  Well the joke was on us!  

It has been 15 months since his last bottle but only 15 hours since his last binky.  I finally said “That’s it! You’re almost 3 years old the binky has to go!” When thinking about how to get rid of the binky I said to myself “Its cold turkey just like the bottle”.  I had made a trip to my favorite store to get a few items and thought to myself I need to give him a prize for giving up something so dear to heart.  I knew he would give up his binky for any kind of car, truck or train.  I steered my cart down the isle with all the trucks and found a remote controlled Jeep.  Perfect! 

I got home late that night so I didn’t want to introduce such a fun toy AND take the binky away so close to bedtime.  The next day every time he asked for his binky I gave it to him with a warning “today is the last day for your binky so enjoy it”.  When daddy got home at 6pm we scooped him up, took him in the garage where the garbage cans sit waiting to go to the curb and let him hold his binky as we showed him the Jeep.  We said either the binky or the Jeep.  He didn’t even hesitate, he wanted the Jeep.  We told him that he had to toss the binky in the trash to get the Jeep.  He chucked the binky in the trash like a hot potato and grab the Jeep right out of my hands.  With Sam only being 2 ½ we figured he didn’t quite get the gravity of his present decision so we kept explaining that the binky was gone for good.  He didn’t seem to care at all; he had himself a remote controlled Jeep and about 2 hours to play with it.    

I started getting a little concerned that a meltdown may take place closer to bedtime so I went into a stash of stuffed animals hanging in Mary’s room and picked out a really fun bear I bought years ago that had dread locks and a knit cap.  “Rasta Bear” as I had dubbed him was now Sam’s night time bear to take the place of his binky or at least I hoped.   

Very near Sam’s bed time our area experienced a tornado warning so we had to keep Sam up past his bedtime until the storm had passed; he was getting tired and the playing with his hair bit started.  To my surprise he never asked for his binky, just played with his hair and watched the storm.  After the storm was over he wanted to watch T.V. in mommy’s room so up the stairs we went and climbed into bed to watch “Wonder Pets”.  After his program had concluded the T.V. went off and Rasta bear in hand we headed down the hall to his room.  Once in bed the routine of reading his favorite books started and never once a peep about his binky.  I was beyond surprised he never asked for it.   

It was 9:30 and all was quite in the house with both kids down for the night.  Around 10:00pm my husband decided he had had enough of the day and escaped up to our room for his “night nights”.  I stayed in the basement watching the last of a program I had DVR’d when I heard Sam on the monitor asking for daddy.  We quickly learned our lesson that when daddy’s name is being called after bedtime hours that mommy goes in and checks the problem; otherwise a toddler meltdown occurs when daddy leaves the room.  So I headed up to see what the problem was; he hadn’t gone #2 all day so I figured that was the issue. An hour after he was put to bed I walked back in his room to find him upset and wanting to watch more T.V. in mommy’s room.  I had to tell him no as he crawled in my lap and hugged me; clearly missing his binky, but he never mentioned it.  After tucking him again I left the room to return to my show.  He asked for daddy for the next half hour until he finally fell asleep.  It was evident that he missed his binky and having a hard time sleeping with out it. I felt bad, but not bad enough to give it back. 

Sam woke at 6:45 this morning and the first words out of his mouth then and since has been “Where my binky go?” with lots of whining behind that question. We reminded him that he chose his Jeep over the binky and that the binky was now in the trash.  So far it’s been a rough morning as I figured it would be a rough week like when we took him off the bottle cold turkey.  I have now dubbed this week and quite possibly the days after “The Binky Project”. 

“The Binky Project” will most likely be updated as the struggle happens.  If any of you mommies out there would like to share your stories of a binky loss please leave your comments as I, along with other mommies may need your suggestions and funny stories to help us through this tough time.  I say this as if we just lost a family member but to a 2 ½ year old it may feel as if a death has occurred.   

Thanks for reading

A recap (May 11, 2010)

A quick recap 

So I’ve been a bit preoccupied these last 3 months but I am going to try my hardest to keep up on my blogging.  I really do this blog for therapeutic reasons but I also do it because I know that there are friends and family out there that get a good laugh out of my life! 

So as I stated in my last blog we are now the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl born January 18, 2010.  Mary weighed 7lbs 3oz and she has been such a blessing.  The past 3 months have been hectic to say the least.  With Sam still waking on some nights at 3 or 5 am and George working it makes for long days with a newborn and a toddler.  I have to admit I thought I had to be Wonder Woman.  I felt like I had something to prove, not to anyone really but myself and of course when I couldn’t get simple tasks done and my husband was coming home to a messy house and lack of dinner some nights, I felt like a failure.  I kept thinking “I’m home ALL day so I need to take care of the two kids, clean, do laundry, cook and pick everything up and not complain I’m tired.”  Finally my husband said “Just take care of our kids, the house can wait”.  PHEW! That made me feel so much better that I started to relax and enjoy my new baby. 

With new babies most of you know there comes the feeling of “Am I do everything right?” I know I had a baby once before but it’s amazing what you forget after 2 ½ years! One thing I did not forget however were the symptoms of reflux.  I picked up on the fact that little Mary was having the same issues with reflux as Sam did at his age.  And because of this knowledge I caught it way quicker this time around then with Sam.  3 weeks after her homecoming we were back in the doctor’s office getting a prescription for Zantac.  After about a week of the miracle that is Zantac had worn off, I wondered what else there was to do.  I called her pediatrician again and explained that it didn’t seem as if the Zantac was lasting through the day so she bumped her off the Zantac and upgraded it to Prevacid.  Prevacid is a lot stronger then Zantac and it seemed to be the magic ticket. 

After getting the reflux under control a new issue arose.  She was showing signs of reflux again when I noticed the entire inside of her mouth and tongue was white.  I again called the doctor’s office and this time I just made an appointment.  As soon as her doctor saw her mouth she said “It’s thrush”.  I was confused because I thought babies contracted that on the way out of the birth canal and Mary was 2 ½ months old by then.  But the doctor said that thrush can come on at any time, especially after the babies can figure out how to put objects in there mouth.  So yet another prescription was wrote for our little baby, this time an antibiotic to get rid of the abundance of bacteria growing in her mouth.  With in 24 hours the difference was unbelievable! Not only did it start clearing up right away, she was back to eating her bottle like a champ.  

So with all the attention on Mary, Sam started to pull the “two year old jealous act”.  I knew it would come I just prayed that it wouldn’t.  But oddly enough he wasn’t so upset when I had Mary he was upset when daddy had Mary.  He just had to sit with daddy when he held Mary and he acted out in such ways that you would have thought an imposter come in and replaced my fun loving son with this hellion.  He would just push our buttons until we would have to put him in the corner or put him in his room and not to mention the hellacious temper tantrums! Sam has been a handful, two handfuls; to say the least he’s been difficult, but all in all he’s still a very loving funny boy! 

So not only has dealing with a toddler and a newborn been exasperating but my husband decided enough was enough at work and quit.  I was shocked at his sudden announcement but for once in my life I wasn’t worried.  I knew that all would be ok because he had so many people out there willing to help, that he found a job within a week.  Thankfully he was on vacation that week and didn’t have to return to his old job that he so loved at one time but now despised.  So with his swift decision he found himself on a 3 week vacation between jobs. 

Having George home for 3 weeks was both a blessing and curse.  He helped out tremendously around the house.  He didn’t always do things the way I did which made it difficult for me to relax because I have a routine when he’s not here but I appreciated any help that I got.  For Sam it was a little slice of heaven for this daddy’s boy.  Come to think of it I’m not sure if George being home is better or worse for Sam because at the most extreme Sam would cry when daddy left his side to just go to the bathroom.  So you can imagine my fear of George’s return to work on Sam would be.  I have to admit I was rather shocked when daddy left for work yesterday and Sam didn’t have a toddler meltdown.  He simply said “Bye daddy, lul (love) you” and he went about his toddler business.  It wasn’t until about 5:30 when he started to whine for daddy; the length of the day away from daddy apparently started to be too much.  Thankfully daddy was home 30 minutes later and all was right in toddler world. 

The past three months have brought a boat load of new challenges but also an endless supply of happiness. We started back to church, Sam is starting to get over the jealousy and my husband is happier in his new job.  I know there is more to share from the past three months but I just wanted to give a recap and going forward you can keep your eye out for more of my hectic, funny, crazy, busy, stay-at-home mom life! These past three months have been such a blessing and I look forward to sharing more in the future days, months and weeks!  

Thanks for reading

Our New Addition (March 2010)

Our New Addition….Mary 

I had been waiting and waiting for the day our little Miss Mary would came into the world, and on January 18, 2010 the wait was finally over.   

I had been having Braxton-hicks contractions since about my 25th week.  They got stronger and more frequent the closer to the due date.  On January 6th I thought we were going to make a trip to the hospital, which by the way was the first heavy snow of the season!  Contractions were happening every 5 minutes but never got stronger and I eventually fell asleep and a trip to the hospital was not necessary.  Another 1 ½ would go by with out another hospital scare.   

The morning of January 18th I woke up at about 6:50 and was having a contraction; nothing too surprising because I had been having them as I mentioned.  About 7:30 the contractions just flat out hurt!  I called the docs and told them what was going on and they said, go to the hospital.  I was thankful that my friend was off work due to it being Martin Luther King Day so her and her son came to watch Sam. With her arrival and the hospital bags packed, off we went! 

I entered the hospital at 9:30am and Mary Jo Anne entered our lives at 1:58pm weighing 7lbs and 3oz!  Now I will spare you the gory details of labor and delivery but she was the easiest baby to deliver and recovery time was not at all bad.   

So after the hour and half of recovery in the delivery room, Mary, my husband George and me all were being prepared to head to the maternity ward and to my room.  I was thankful to be leaving the delivery room because Mary was not happy.  She was just screaming crying and I still was waiting for the epidural to wear off so George paced the floors with her.  The nurse checked her vitals for the last time before they transported us and reported that she had a fever of 101, so no wonder she was crying.  I had also thought that she may just be hungry because I hadn’t eaten much before her arrival, which means she too hadn’t eaten much.  I was getting a bit nervous about the fever, but they didn’t seem too concerned so I just laid back and tried to relax.  When they checked Mary’s vitals they had to unwrap her from the two warm blankets to do so, so when they said she had the fever they let her cool off and ‘wha-la’ fever was gone.  George said that the room was very warm and that the TWO blankets they had her wrapped in had come out of a warmer, so no wonder she had a fever…..she was HOT! 

Once up in our room the nurses put her under a warmer again and bathed her and fed her and checked on me several times.  As soon as she had finished her first meal, her screaming and crying had ceased.  After all of commotion was over we all relaxed and gazed at our beautiful new baby girl!  Later that night we got our first visitor.  George had gone home to check on our son Sam and my mother in law.  Once everything was settled at home he returned for a few hours before heading home again to catch some Z’s.   

Tuesday the rituals of checking vitals and doctors stopping in had begun.  Breakfast arrived and didn’t get touched.  Then George arrived with Tim Horton’s and all was right in the world.  We again had visitors; my mother in law then my friend Crystal.  Later that night after George had done errands and checked on our Son again he returned back to the hospital for a few hours before bed.  

George was with us maybe a half an hour when he remembered that he had to call his mom to give her some instructions on night time with Sam.  While on the phone his mom, Peggy, had informed us that Sam had gotten sick all over the kitchen floor, which no doubt freaked him out as he has not gotten sick since he was an infant.  While on the phone with Peggy, Sam had gotten sick again.  With this happening at home George had to cut our night short and head back.  Once there Sam got sick with every sip of water or Pedia-lite given to him.  Of course I was just a mess not able to be home with my little guy being so sick. I think my postpartum baby blues had shown up in full force that evening, not to mention I was on some strong pain medication because I broke down on the phone with George and when I was talking to my own mother.  Of course they said that he’d be fine and there was nothing I could do at home anyway and to try and relax and get some rest.  Yeah! Easier said then done, but I did eventually stop crying, sent Mary to the nursery for the night and fell asleep.

Wednesday morning I was ready to bust out of the hospital to get home.  Not only to just get home but to see my little buddy!  When George came to the hospital to pick us up he said that Sam finally kept down some water and some Pedia-lite but was really tired as he had been up until about midnight.  My parents and mother in law where at home waiting for our arrival along with Sam.  I was surprised to walk in the door to see Sam running around the basement with smiles on his face, it was a welcome surprise!  But there was an unwelcome surprise waiting for me upon my return home.  Sam was apparently mad at me.  I was so excited to see him that I went to give him a hug and he turned away from me and said “No!” Now I know he’s only 2 ½ and doesn’t understand what in the world is going on but when we got up stairs he ran to his room and slammed the door.  I thought he was just being silly (because that’s how he was acting when I walked in the door) so when I opened the door the last thing I expected was for him to push me out of his room and tell me to “Stay out!, Stay out!”  He definitely was upset and all I could do was give him time and space.  He finally started to come around later that night and was just about back to normal on Thursday morning. 

So when waking up on Thursday morning I was excited that our family was finally back together after a long three days apart, well that excitement went out the window fast!  George came down an announced that he didn’t feel well and that his stomach was a wreck.  I just couldn’t believe it!  He proceeded to get sick a few times that day and his mom and I quarantined him to our room, we didn’t need the new baby getting sick.  His sickness lasted all day and all night but he still told me to get him up around 6am on Friday so that I could go to sleep and he’d take over caring for Mary.  I had to wake him up at 5am because I too was starting to feel terrible.  He graciously got up and put on a pot of coffee and took over.  I woke up around 8am to Sam laughing and screaming in the basement.  I also woke up to a slight fever, aches and an over all icky feeling.  So I too was banished to our bedroom for the day.  By night fall I thought I was getting better when WHAM, my stomach started to do flips and I thought that I too was going to get sick. Luckily I did not.  I called my mom to tell her the news that the flu had ran through out house and she proceeded to inform me that she too was sick!  I am just thankful that George’s mom was with us and she herself did not get sick because we really needed her extra hands. 

Just when you thought having a baby was enough to go through, the flu ran rampant through our home.  Luckily it was only a 24 hour bug and had left our house by Saturday so that we could have our guests stop by to meet our new little addition. 

Thanks for reading

Watch your own kid! (March 3, 2010)

Watch your own kid! 

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged or kept up w/my Facebook page but I have undoubtedly been a bit busy.  With Christmas, the New Year and a new baby, things have been a bit hectic.  I will update my blog with all the good news of our newest addition in the next few days.  As for today’s blog, I thought that this subject that I am going to address needed top priority.   

Since we are in the throws of winter and outdoor activity has pretty much ceased to exist for most toddlers in the colder states, going to an indoor play ground to burn off toddler energy is usually at the top of a mommies “to do” list.  I know that these places are usually crawling with germs but that’s why they’ve invented hand sanitizer.  I also know that the indoor playgrounds this time of year are generally filled to the brim with wild, crazy kids, but what’s a mommy to do?  

When walking into the Polaris Mall and seeing the playground, my son got ecstatic!  When I saw the playground, ecstatic was not my first felt emotion.  I saw that the playground was exceptionally busy, which I knew it would be, but since we had purposely made the trek to the mall for my son to play, play is what he would do.  

My mom had graciously joined us on this outing to the mall and between her and I, Sam was showing us the entire playground.  While out on the playground with Sam I started to observe the parents and their unruly children that were wild in front of me.  I guess I should restate that I observed the lack of parenting going on at the playground. 

First observation was a very young girl, barely one year old, struggling to her feet and trying to crawl up the slide the wrong way, while much bigger, older children were not even paying attention to the small child at the end of the slide and continued to trample over her.  I stopped my son from coming down the slide while I gently removed her from the bottom of the slide.  I had to do this several times until she decided to crawl away.  (This is how young this child was, she could walk but crawling was easier for her)  Taking notice of how young she was I started scanning the playground for a watchful mother, I never did find one. 

Once I felt that Sam was safe and having fun I rejoined my mother who was watching my daughter in her infant carrier.  While I was sitting there talking to my mom and watching Sam out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the same little girl heading for the exit of the playground that led out to the mall.  I jumped up and ran half way across the playground to stop her.  As I ran out to get her I noticed 5 or 6 mothers and fathers right by the exit just sitting on their rears texting on their phones or checking the internet, not even noticing this little girl escaping to the mall.  I took her by her hand and led her back into the playground as I tried to find her mother or father.  I asked 3 or 4 mothers if they had seen an adult with this child, every one of them looked at me as if they were deer caught in headlights.  As I stood there with this child I looked over at my mom who had a look of disbelief on her face at the fact this girl had not been scooped up by a parent.  I walked with this child looking for any sign of a parent for probably 3-5 minutes until a very large lady came over and took her daughter back all the while shaking her head and laughing at her friend as she sat back down and reported to her friend, with chuckles, that her little girl was just about to wonder out to the mall.  No thank you from this lady what-so-ever!  Not that I would have let Sam out of my sight for even a minute, but if I were in that situation and a stranger had him by the hand I would have thanked that stranger for keeping my son inside the playground as apposed to letting him escape.  During the time it took to find her mommy I was happy that my mom had come along as was watching Sam from her seat next to my daughter Mary. 

After the little girl was “safely” back with her mommy, Sam and I went on playing on the slide until he started to get out of control and unruly like the other kids around him.  Once I saw his behavior starting to change I scooped him up off the slide, put his socks back on and escorted him to the stroller where my mom put his shoes back on. After I hooked Mary’s infant carrier back in place on the stroller I reached down to the storage basket underneath to get my keys.  As I was grabbing my keys I saw over my shoulder a crying little girl about Sam’s age; she too was outside the play area and crying for her daddy. 

Since there were only about 5 daddies in the whole play area I figured finding her daddy wouldn’t be too difficult.  I asked her if she knew what her daddy looked like, she said yes.  I told her take my hand and show me who her daddy was as we walked around the circle.  The first two daddies said no, she’s not mine with very heavy hearts.  The third gentleman I approached was a bit older and I asked if he was her grandpa by chance.  He heard me asking this to the little girl and shook his head no and said to me “You must be the child retriever today” I said to him “Someone has to be”.  Finally the fourth guy I came to I didn’t even have to ask if he was her daddy because she leaped into his lap put her crying head on his shoulder and shrieked “DADDY!”  He just said “Hey doll, what’s wrong?”  I told him that she was out wondering in the mall looking for him.  He then said “O my goodness, I didn’t even know, thank you!”  At this time I was so frustrated with the lack of parenting I had just witnessed all I could do was smile and leave.

Once I had rejoined my mom at the stroller and we started to walk away from the playground of hell, we started not just discussing but complaining about what horrible parents there were in that play area.  Not only did I just rescue two children from being lost but God forbid kidnapped!  Both of those parents are lucky, very lucky that their kids weren’t just snatched away and gone for good.  It’s frightening to think how trusting those children were with a stranger.

I don’t know when it started that parents just stopped parenting.  Have people just started having kids to have kids because that’s the thing to do?  If you don’t want to parent then don’t have kids.  I am thankful my mother was there to help look after my two kids while I looked after someone else’s kids otherwise those kids could have been lost because God knows the other mommies and daddies sitting by the exit of the play area showed no willingness to help, they just continued to text and search the internet while their kids ran wild and crazy and unsupervised.  I am thankful that my son didn’t get hit, trampled or jumped on while having fun in the play area.

So to those of you, who are on the receiving end of my rant, please remember that you are parents and your children need discipline and attention while around other children.  A mall play area is not a daycare; there are not trained adults there to supervise your children.  If you are likeminded as me and can’t stand the non-parenting going on then you feel my pain!  I only wish that I had the words at the time to express my concern to these parents who let their children wander off by themselves but as some of you know you don’t think of the good things to say until it’s too late.   

Thanks for reading

Christmas 2009 (December 27, 2009)

Christmas 2009 

Christmas this year I knew was going to be a ton of fun since Sam is just about 2 ½ and his understanding of how to tear into gifts was realized on his birthday! But with the understanding of ripping into gifts also comes the misunderstanding that you can’t climb the tree and slash gifts open the second they are placed under the tree. 

The Saturday after Thanksgiving was a bright, slightly cool day and was a perfect day to load up the family in the van to venture out to find and cut down the Crandell family Christmas tree.  Every year we head out to Black Forest Pines on US 62 outside of Johnstown to cut down our tree.  I didn’t know how this years hike out into the forest would be with me being 7 ½ months pregnant but I wasn’t going to stop tradition.  Once we arrived we strapped Sam into his little Radio Flyer wagon and headed out on our mission.  We got to were the scotch pines grew and luckily found the perfect tree right away.  George now being the pro at cutting down trees it only took a minute and wha-la!, the tree was down and on the sled and we were heading back to the barn to shake the tree, pay and get it home to decorate! 

In years past our dog, Boomer didn’t quite understand why a huge tree was in the middle of our living room.  But this year he just laid down and watched us decorate, he didn’t even try to get under the tree to drink the water or sleep on the tree skirt.  Sam on the other hand didn’t understand that the pretty Christmas bulbs were not baseballs and you can’t take them off the tree and throw them.  It was a good week because he finally stopped showing interest in the tree and finally gave up and went back to playing with his toys. 

Second obstacle of the Christmas season with Sam was to not touch the presents.  I wrapped all the gifts one day while he was napping so when he woke up to see new things under the tree my curious toddler of course had to investigate.  One gift in particular was a bit big so I put it in a big bag and only wrapped the top of the gift because it stuck out of the bag.  I was in the kitchen preparing the sugar cookies to be rolled out when I heard tearing of wrapping paper.  I walked out in the living room to see Sam smiling and wringing his hands as if he was saying “I really want to see what’s in there”.  After a few “No’s” he stopped trying to rip the paper but started to “accidentally” drop his toys in the bag.  He would come in the kitchen, grab my hand, drag me out to the living room and point at the bag and say “mommy get it, mommy get it” and I would see that he dropped some toy in the bag.  Again, about after a week of this he stopped and left the presents alone.   

This same day of Sam trying to get into the bag was the same day I thought of making sugar cookies.  I figured it would be a nice distraction for Sam to stay away from the gifts and Christmas ornaments and fun for him to decorate the cookies.  The first batch of cookies I made was so bad that I couldn’t even roll them out they were so tacky.  Being pregnant I get tired super fast and said to myself I’m not trying to make them again so I called George to pick up a package of Betty Crocker sugar cookies that all I had to do was add butter and an egg!  Sam and I remade the cookies the next day and he had a blast helping make the cookies and decorate them.  I was a very proud mommy that day as did something that made my son smile and enjoy!   

Later that day I had errands to run so I packed Sam up and off we went.  We were gone a couple hours and upon our arrival home Sam needed a nap.  I took Sam upstairs, read his book and headed down to let the dog outside.  I flopped on the couch to rest my legs and watch a movie.  About an hour went by and I was hungry so I headed to the kitchen to make myself a sandwich and when I entered the kitchen I found myself stepping on tiny bits of stuff.  I look down and it was a ton of sprinkles from our Christmas cookies.  I thought “how weird, I know I swept after making these cookies” only to look up and see that there was a piece of wax paper on the floor, empty.  It downed on me why the dog didn’t follow me up the stairs like he usually does, HE ATE THE COOKIES!!!!!  He put his grubby paws up on our portable dishwasher, snagged the wax paper with his teeth and/or paws and pulled the cookies down on the floor and had himself a feast!  The dog was lucky on two accounts, a.) The tot was sleeping so I couldn’t yell at him and, b.) I don’t own a gun!  He even ate Sam’s “special” cookie that he himself told me how to decorate very specifically.  After I calmed down I counted the cookies and we were left with only 9.  So that meant Boomer approximately ate about 10 cookies. I decided that making sugar cookies this year was not in my cards and I never made any more.     

The rest of the weeks leading up to Christmas were going swimmingly.  All my Christmas shopping got done in two trips; wrapping done in a day and a happy healthy family was excited for Christmas.  Sam even got overjoyed at looking at the neighborhood Christmas lights that George and I would took him around to see all the pretty lights.  (It’s going to be hard to explain to him after Christmas why the lights are gone). 

Everything was great until Sam got sick with croup and a cold a week before Christmas and of course mommy caught the cold.  Christmas was spent opening gifts and blowing noses but all in all Christmas was a true success! Sam got a ton of new toys and had 3 different Christmas’; one with us, one with Grandma and Grandpa and one with Grams from Texas.  He is very lucky boy!  Despite the colds we all had a lovely Christmas with all our family and our travels to and from all of the Christmas celebrations were easy.  

Next year will be even more exciting as we will have another toddler around our tree opening gifts and sharing in the Christmas holiday fun.  Let’s just hope that there are no colds and the dog doesn’t eat the cookies! 

Thanks for Reading