Friday, December 28, 2007

Santa Brought Me Some Sanity

Despite my earlier concerns, it has been a wonderful Christmas and beyond. Not having to get the kids set for school everyday has helped the relaxation factor immensely. Having my husband home from work since December 21 has been positively delightful. Those two things alone seem to have been enough to overcome those pesky hormones. But add those things to the family fun we’ve been having for the past week and you could honestly call my mood “blissful”. We have had lovely celebrations with both family and friends, we have been staying up late and sleeping in (kids included!) and we have been taking almost nothing seriously. It’s been incredible.

In case you want to share in the fun, my husband put together a slide show of the family’s Christmas Eve celebration for his brother stationed in Iraq . We intended to capture a bit of the party for him since he couldn't be with us. It’s about 6 minutes long, so that may determine your desire to watch.

We also took pictures of Christmas Day spent at our house and at my parents. We were fortunate to have my grandma, my aunt and my two-year-old cousin from out of town to party with us. It was great fun. Click on our beautiful Christmas tree for that set.

Grandma and Grandpa’s gift for their 19 grandchildren was a private party at “Pump It Up”. The kids (and their parents) had a blast running, bouncing and sliding around for two hours yesterday. I’m afraid it was so much fun that they’ll have to do it again next year! It was very much appreciated, though, as was the all-you-can-eat pizza afterwards. Thanks for an awesome evening, Grandma and Grandpa!

With all the holiday merriment it has been difficult to keep up with what day it is. I can hardly believe it’s the weekend already. We still have a few more fun things left to do before Dad has to go back to work on January 2, not to mention more relaxation and family fun to be had. I hope that you enjoyed your Christmas and that you will have a very happy new year as well.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hormonal Holiday

I have been a little bit “bah-humbug” lately. I am trying to blame my current emotional state on the stress of the season, but as my husband points out, the happenings this year are nothing more than the usual holiday hubbub. I should be able to handle it. I am getting a little tired of blaming the pregnancy hormones for every wacky mood swing I experience, but I really don’t know why else I would be feeling this way. What is supposed to be The Most Wonderful Time of the Year has been much more like a Blue Christmas.

One thing that I know for sure is giving me some anxiety (and some heartburn) is the imminent occurence of holiday eating. Don’t get me wrong…I love indulging in the tastes of the season. In fact, my family makes a list of all the delectable (i.e. unhealthy) foods we MUST have during the holidays and we make sure we eat them ALL. My real problem with indulging this year is that I am really trying hard not to gain too much weight with this pregnancy. With my last pregnancy I gained enough weight for two expectant mothers. I gained it everywhere – not just where the baby was. I vowed that I would NOT do that again this time. I know how easy it is to pack on the holiday pounds when I’m not pregnant; but it will be even more difficult to get rid of come New Year’s resolution time because I have to worry about the health of the baby. It also doesn’t help that I have to step on the scale at the doctor’s office a lot more often than I am used to. At my last doctor’s visit I was told that my weight gain was right on target. That, of course, was before Christmas. Since then I have been asked several times by well-meaning souls whether or not I was carrying twins. That makes a woman pregnant with one child feel great, let me tell ya.

I can’t believe these holiday blahs could all be related to irresistible food and it's resulting weight gain though. For about a week now I’ve been snapping at my kids (and husband), I’ve been complaining about anything and everything to anyone who will listen, and I’ve even avoided talking to people just in case I couldn’t bring myself to be civil for five minutes. You'll have to trust me, despite what you might have heard, that’s really not like me. And as much as I don’t like the excuse, I think I have to blame at least some of the lack of holiday cheer on those hormones. The little things are more powerful than I ever imagined.

Thankfully, I see some peace on the horizon. Today was the kids’ last day of school before the holiday break. School is actually a big stressor for me. There are so many things to do and to remember and I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it right. So I get two full weeks off from all of that. Today is also my husband’s last day of work until January 2. Life is just so much better when we are both home together. No matter how hormonal I get, he can help balance me out, or at least apologize to the kids for me when I bite their heads off for not picking up their dirty socks. I already feel that Christmas spirit drawing near.

In case I don’t get a chance to write again before the big day, I want to wish you all a very happy, hormone-free holiday. I also want to share a photo and a video with you. These are a couple of things that can really get me into a good, Christmas-y mood. The photo is the one we included with our Christmas cards this year. It shows the kids laughing and having a ball in front of our Christmas tree. How can that not bring a smile to my face? The video makes me laugh and dance and sing. I hope you enjoy it too.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Successful Weekend

We sure did a lot this weekend; more than I would have liked actually. On both Friday and Saturday nights I sang in the Christmas Concert at my church (the second night was in the midst of a snowstorm!). I have received numerous positive, even glowing, comments about the concert. It was fun, and I am so glad to have been involved with the production, but for the most part, I am just glad that it’s over. Thanks to all that came to listen. And many thanks to Julie and Maria for watching the kiddos so my husband could come to the concert.

I am so close to finishing my Christmas shopping that I can smell it…and it smells sah-weet! There are only 2 things left that I need to find and my mission will be complete. However, then begins the tedious task of wrapping all that loot. That’s another mission altogether. I am also nearing the home stretch with the Christmas cards. Most of my errands on Saturday revolved around those darn cards. I needed another box because I miscalculated the number I needed, I needed stamps to mail them all, and I picked up photos of the kids to stick inside. Now they really just need to be “assembled”, and should hopefully be on their way today or tomorrow.

The kids enjoyed spending lots of time in the snow this weekend. We got about 8 inches dumped on us on Saturday and they LOVED it. Here are some pictures of the fun. Thanks to Aunt Terri for having the kids over for sledding, and thanks to Uncle Steve for taking them!

When the kids returned from their snowy adventures, we got three kinds of cookies made. We still have a couple more types we’d like to make, but I’d say three is great progress. I kept out one of each variety for every member of the family, but the rest went promptly into the freezer to try to keep us from eating them before Christmas. We’ll have to see if that tactic really works or not.

One more week of school / work before our big Christmas break. The kids get two full weeks home from school and Dad is taking 11 days off from work. There’s been big talk about the things that we’ll accomplish during the break, but my guess is that it will just be a relaxing, fun time together. Either way, we plan to enjoy it. Have a great Monday!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Welcome, Cousin Olivia!

We are so happy to announce the arrival of our beautiful new niece / cousin, Olivia Audrey. She made a grand entrance into the world, weighing in at 8 lb, 4 oz. and measuring 21.5 inches long. We enjoyed visiting her and her proud parents a couple of days after she was born, even though we were quite a crowd to have in that quiet wing of the hospital.

I was happy that they had such a nice, big room; especially since I will be delivering at the same hospital in about four months. The kids were all excited about meeting little Olivia. Miss M jumped at the first opportunity to hold her. Banana pointed out her eyes, nose and feet. C.B. was mildly interested, but would rather have been playing ball. Big D’s surprised reaction to her diminutive size was most entertaining. Welcome, Cousin Olivia – we are so glad you’re here!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Still Here

I just read that November 19 was the date of my last entry. I have to admit that I am slightly ashamed about that. I must also admit to a lack of inspiration lately. Either I am searching for something truly deep and meaningful to write about, or I am just preoccupied and weary. You decide.

I can tell you that I will be very wrapped up in rehearsals for the upcoming Christmas Concert at my church. There are so many on my calendar that I hope I have a voice left when it comes time for the actual performance. I am also trying desperately to get rid of a cold that I have had for about five days now. Surely that will have an effect on the quality of my voice as well. I am thinking hot tea with honey and lemon will be a frequent beverage selection for the next week or so.

I am scheduled for my 20-week ultrasound tomorrow. We have decided to wait and be surprised about the sex of the baby. This really seemed to bother the staff at my OB’s office when I confirmed that at my last visit. I found their response a little puzzling, because why should they care whether or not I want to know if I’m having a boy or a girl? Most of the people I have told, however, are very supportive of the whole surprise thing. There are so few surprises left in life anymore. It’s kind of fun to wait and see.

I can’t promise another entry anytime soon. Things are only going to get more harried and hectic as we get closer to the holidays. I will at least try to post an ultrasound picture or two and (hopefully soon) a birth announcement for my newest niece or nephew due December 8.