Jed's First Christmas

12.27.2010
Our Christmas Tree!
I had a lot of fun one night with the lights and my camera.

I tried making all the lights heart-shaped, but this is the result I got.  I'll have to try it again, but I kinda like this.

Playing under the Christmas tree
Nope.  He's not crawling just yet.

This was Jed’s first Christmas! I was so excited on Christmas Eve, I could hardly contain myself. I was jumping up and down! I’m a parent now and I get to play Santa. Christmas is magical again! Plus, I couldn’t wait for Bron to open the presents I so carefully wrapped this year to keep him guessing.

I felt Bron tossing and turning around 5:00AM. He couldn’t sleep either; he was excited too! Awesome.

Christmas Eve we each opened a present and read the story of the birth of Christ in Luke II.  Then Jed and Daddy wrestled.  Slobber kisses!

We were all spoiled this Christmas with so many great gifts; Jed especially with loads of imaginative books and toys. I had a lot of fun seeing what Jed got from family; it was a surprise for me too!  Plus, Bron was home all day long.  It was wonderful.

The mess Christmas Morning!
Jed had just as much fun playing with the paper and bows as he did his new toys and books.

Bron got a new cowboy hat.  It's brown. 
Doesn't he look like a stud?

Jed got a pair of cowboy boots too!
And they're still too big.  hehe

The Boot Lineup
Jed wore his boots to church the next day, but by the time I got him all ready for church, he was ready for a nap.  Typical.  There was no way I was going to get a decent picture.

Santa brought Jed a rocking horse! And it’s just the right size. It whinnies and gallops and moves its head, muzzle, and tail. It’s high tech one-of-a-kind and Jed loves it! Every time we come near it, he looks for it and wants to play. That’s a good feeling. It makes me happy to know that this special gift makes Jed happy!




Yup.  Jed's first Christmas.  I'd say it was a success.

Bron always has a trick or two up his sleeve. He led me to believe that this Christmas was going to be “extremely practical” this year. But he always comes through to pamper me. He bought me a 50mm F1.8 lens!!! It’s the crème de la crème. The pictures are spectacular. They’re beautiful! The colors! Wow. I didn’t realize what I was missing. This lens is amazing! I had a ton of fun tinkering with my camera all day. Hopefully my pictures will improve more and more!

We started a tradition of a warm yummy breakfast. This year it was Belgian waffles topped with fruit and whipped cream. After breakfast, we all took a long nap and then spent the afternoon talking with family over the phone. We really missed them! Dinner included a juicy ham and a berry pie for dessert. Scrumptious. I love food, but especially rich Christmas food!

Making pie in my new apron with my new kitchen gadgets!

The little snow man is chuck FULL of CHOCOLATE!

 Jed is a fan of cheese and crackers

Jed turned 8 months old on Christmas Day. We sure are glad to have him as a part of our little family. He brings us so much joy. We both take pleasure in watching Jed grow and develop and love playing and laughing with him. Merry Christmas, Little Guy! We love you and can’t wait to see you light up on many more Christmases to come! Thanks for making this one so special.

Jed's First Christmas Ornament

12.23.2010
One of the things about becoming a mother that I always looked forward to was getting my child's first Christmas ornament.  I spent too much money, but think I found the perfect ornament: it's cute, it's sturdy, and it's personalized with Jed's name.  I hope it lasts a very long time cuz I love it!

Parties and Life Lately

12.21.2010
My Handsome Cowboy and Me

Jed and I began last week with a nasty flu/cold bug. If there’s anything worse than being sick, it’s being sick and trying to be a mother at the same time. Bron came to the rescue on Monday afternoon though—just after finishing his LAST final for his Master’s Degree!—and allowed me to soak in the tub while he entertained Jed for an hour. Well, we survived the week. And even though Jed is still up to his eyeballs in snot, we are feeling much better.

*****

Friday evening was the night of the Miner Institute Christmas Party! We left Jed with one of my young women with whom I feel very comfortable and enjoyed an evening out together. I got to wear a dress for the first time since Jed was born! (You see, dresses generally don’t allow a woman to nurse very discreetly.) I felt like a million bucks!

We started the night socializing at the free bar. When I asked for a Shirley Temple, the bartender laughed; I don’t think he was expecting that kind of order. haha It's all about those cherries!  Then we sat down to eat with our friends.

Looking around, I noticed that the folks associated with Miner range from college aged to the retired and elderly, and their skill sets from competent maintenance men and farm hands to people with specialized Doctorate and Post-Doctorate degrees. It’s quite a community! But everyone is friendly. I think I will miss this someday.

After our meal, tickets were drawn for a silent auction. The anticipation of winning something you don’t need is actually a lot of fun. Following the auction, the lights were dimmed and the music came on. We spent the rest of the evening dancing to corny songs like the Macarena and the Electric Slide. Bron even spun me around a few times during some good country songs. We really enjoyed ourselves!

Anna won a cheesecake!

The tickets...

   
Lovebirds: Shaun and Natasha
Chris and Jessie.  She's due next month.  They are going to be great parents.  I remember feeling a lot like that just last year!

A smile from Roxanne

*****

Saturday night we hosted a little get-together at our home after Jed had gone to bed. Jed has no idea what he misses when he’s asleep! Anna was kind enough to share her cheesecake she won the night before. It was so rich and delicious! We stayed up late just eating, chatting, and playing games. It was fun!

*****

Sunday was the day of the Christmas program at church. I was asked to sing a duet! I have never sung a solo in church before in my life (or any public place) for a few reasons: nerves and the fact that my voice really isn’t that great. About the only thing I have going for me is that I can carry a tune. But we pulled it off. And that feels good because—keep in mind—this sister wears a hearing aid in one ear. Enough said! I also played my violin. I chose a piece that I learned with my mother when I was just five or six years old. As I was playing, I thought of her and how much I miss playing with her this time of year! Christmas music carries with it so many memories!

*****

Finally, last but not least, Monday December 20th was Bron’s 27th Birthday!!! And there are NO pictures because Bron wouldn’t let me take any. But there was a warm breakfast followed by singing and a present because I just couldn’t wait! That night we enjoyed peanut butter brownies and milk together. I’d say it was a pretty good day overall. I love you, Honey! I am so happy to have you in my life. You deserve a little celebrating for who you are and what you do!

And what's a blog post without a picture of Jed?

It was just a matter of time.  Jed scooted, rolled, and manipulated his way to the tree.  If I were a baby, I don't think I could resist either.  He likes the bows on the presents.  I can't wait until Christmas!

Jed Claps for Himself

12.11.2010
While Bron is studying for finals, Jed is studying his pincer grip. We all cheer when he actually gets something into his mouth because more often than not, it gets lost along the way. Boy, I love this kid! 

Time for Me?

12.08.2010
One of my biggest fears about becoming a stay-at-home mother was that I would be bored out of my mind, especially during the nasty winter months. Perhaps I’ve become accustomed to the slower pace of home life. Maybe it’s the busy Holiday season. But suddenly Jed woke up and grew into a big baby who is quickly growing into a little boy and I am not bored at all!

I suppose there are two types of boredom. One stems from monotonous repetitiveness coupled with the mental energy it takes to communicate with small children. The other arises from a lack of things to do. I’m still relatively new to the first; I’m talking about the latter.

I’m up before the sun to exercise about the same time Jed is revving up his energy and smiles for the day. Then it’s nursing and changing and breakfast, a book, a nap, a shower, a chore, some play time, and time to eat again, and the pattern repeats itself with errands and Young Women’s thrown in. I’ve also begun babysitting a handsome brown eyed two year old a few days a week. It takes a lot of energy to keep a toddler and a baby occupied!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had my evenings to myself to do whatever I wanted. In college I dated, did fun and crazy things, and occasionally did homework. I taught violin lessons, did a little housework, scrapbooked, and vegged in front of the television in my pre-Jed life. Now, however, my days are often cut short because of work with the calves. The other evenings I find myself playing catch-up on the chores that multiply like a plague: dishes, folding laundry, and sweeping the floor so that Jed doesn’t have to digest something ultra funky. And it’s really the only time Bron and I can spend some quality time together. We need to talk; it keeps us close.

What I really need is sleep. I don’t get enough and it is my fault.

Where does the time go? When do I actually get to sit down and do something that I would enjoy doing without interruption? I would love to get the scrapbooks up to date. I would love to play my violin without someone whining to tell me he’s bored. I would love to get lost in a good book. I would love to do a lot of things. Just me. Alone. I miss that ME time!

I know I shouldn’t complain and should quit being such a drama queen. My life is good; my problems are boring and trivial. I just miss those selfish days now that they’re gone forever. I’m writing about it because I just want someone to know who understands. Or am I the only one who feels this way?

Perhaps this is the badge of a mother: to go like the energizer bunny, suck it up, and give life all she’s got! It’s exhausting. I wish I was Wonder Woman. She could do it all!

And to think I want more children someday! I must be insane. Or really happy despite it all.

I think this transition to motherhood is going to make me much, much cooler in the end.

That Christmas Spirit

12.06.2010
Jed helped me wrap presents.  He got to eat the scraps.

Our home has that special Christmas feeling! There are presents underneath the tree and I am sooo excited! Funny thing is, only one of them is for me.  I went shopping one afternoon last week and had a blast! I stopped at the Tractor Supply and just couldn’t resist buying Jed something BIG I am busting at the seams to give him. (It makes Bron grin like a kid too.) Then I checked off all the things on my list for Bron this year. Best part is, I have Bron completely stumped; he has no idea what he is getting for Christmas. I am so sneaky! Hehe

It’s just one reason I LOVE this time of year!

Our Thanksgiving Weekend

12.02.2010
Note: This post is for journaling purposes. So you don’t need to read it unless you really want to.

We are spending the Holidays here at home in New York this year. We miss family most around this time of year, but I’m actually happy about staying at home with my boys. Jed is experiencing his first of everything! It’s so much fun.

Jed helping me get a head start on the pies Wednesday night 

For Thanksgiving dinner this year, we invited some friends from work to celebrate with us. I made the whole shebang all at once for the first time: turkey, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, crescent rolls, a fruit pie, and a pumpkin pie (from scratch!). I have overcome my fear of yeast. A few of my crescent rolls may have looked liked armadillos, but they all turned out warm and perfect. However, I made the gravy from a packet and stuffing from a box. Ya gotta give a girl a break. Good is good enough. I figured there wasn’t any point in stressing myself out over something that was supposed to be enjoyable. Anyways, I was by myself most of the day with a baby who slept a TOTAL of 45 minutes.

Yes, that’s right, Jed doesn’t sleep much during the day. He never really has. He takes a half hour nap in the morning and another nap in the afternoon that lasts anywhere from a half hour to an hour. If I’m really, really lucky Jed will sleep a solid two hours, but that’s the exception. I guess Jed just doesn’t need that much sleep! He does not take after his mommy in that respect at all. I should count my blessings though; he sleeps a solid 12 hours at night and insists on being put to bed somewhere between 6:00 and 7:00PM. This also means he’s an early riser, but he’s content to sit and play and watch me exercise, so I can’t complain.

Jed is excited for FOOD!

Thanksgiving dinner turned out great! Everything was miraculously warm at the same time. We just had Roxanne, Natasha, and her boyfriend, Shawn, for company. The conversation was great! We girls pigged out on the fruit pie. It was sooo delicious! To top it off, Natasha washed ALL my dishes. Thank you, Natasha! I was getting a headache just thinking about it. It was a really enjoyable evening. Plus, having all the leftovers rocked.

Thanksgiving!
Natasha didn't want to get any berry juice on her shirt.  haha

On Black Friday, all three of us ventured out to do some shopping in the afternoon. We were able to get all the things on our gift list. Such a good feeling.

Bron acts tough, but he is secretly a marshmallow when it comes to his boy (and me).  We went shopping with one toy in mind for Jed.  As we were looking, Bron saw a version of a toy that we both had a kids. 

"Does Jed have one of these?" he asked.
"No," I replied
"Really, are you sure?"
"Yup.  I'm sure he doesn't have one in his toy box."
"Well, this is a good one.  He's gotta have it."

And so we left the store with two toys.  It's going to be so hard not to spoil Jed for Christmas!

Saturday, Jed and I went to a baby shower and then Bron and I went on an actual DATE that night. Jed never even knew we left him. We put Jed to bed around 6:00PM just before Anna came over to babysit. I suppose we could have just left Jed completely alone, but that would have been irresponsible. So Anna baked a pie and watched a movie at our house while Bron and I went with a couple of friends from church to watch a Plattsburgh State Hockey game. Apparently, the Cardinals rank first in their division in the nation. It was an intense game. Three points were made in the last period and the Cardinals won! Afterwards, Bron took me to Applebee’s for some appetizers and dessert. It felt so relaxing not to have to juggle a tiny human being and to be out with my hubby—just the two of us. If we weren’t so dirt poor, we’d go out more often! A night out was just what I’d been craving. In fact, I’d dreamt about it. It was a NEED.  And it was a great night.

Oh yeah.  I have to mention that Jed threw up everything in his stomach all over Bron and his clean shirt just fifteen minutes before we were supposed to leave on our date.  Bron and I looked at each other like, "Where do we start?  What do we do now?"  Luckily, Jed felt much better after that; he nursed and slept like a rock.