Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

After a pretty rough week here in CT, I'm ready for some holiday fun...ready for Christmas to work like a a salve on this open wound. 
 
We're ready for some family, food and fun.
 
My kids have been all hopped up on sugar and Hunter is eagerly anticipating the jolly, fat man in the velvet red suit to visit our home.  My shopping is pretty much DONEzo, minus some things I don't need to worry about until AFTER Christmas.
 
My baking is close to being completed (still need to do a Chocolate Chip Oreo Cheesecake...oh and probably some Candy Cane Fudge) with my kitchen overflowing in Peanut Butter Blossoms, Russian Tea Cake's, Spritz christmas trees and choclate (and sprinke!) dipped pretzel rods.
 
 Most of the gifts are wrapped (minus some Leap Frog stuff for the kids that i need to sync up to the computer and set up, first... and one gift for Big D that will be arriving from Amazon tomorrow, Christmas Eve!) so I won't have much last minute stuff to do!
 
I just remembered there ARE a couple of odds and ends I wanted to get before Christmas, so as soon as Daryl comes home from shopping for me, I'll run out to grab those. I have to get the kids their Christmas Eve jammies, a tradition I started from the first one WITH kids. ;-)
 
So now...I'm off to clean my mess of a house. The Christmas tree is pretty dead and dropping needles like CRAZY (second year in a row this has happened) and I'm sick of getting them stuck in my feet and rear end when I sit on the floor! If i don't pop back in before hand, FROM MY FAMILY TO YOURS...
 

 
...MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

So much heartache today...

I am numb. So incredibly numb.

For those of you living under a rock, there was a horrible school massacre today.  A mass shooting in an elementary school. AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

Today started out like any other day. It was sunny and briskly cold. A beautiful Friday.

I was doing some Christmas shopping at Walmart with the kiddos and all flustered by Hunter's tantrum over me not letting him get a matchbox car. I hustled them out to the car, buckled car seat buckles, settled into my seat and started driving. My cell rang and it was Daryl, asking me if I had heard about the school shooting in Sandy Hook.

"Wait...what? A school shooting?"

"Yes. At SHAYNE'S SCHOOL!"

Shayne is Daryl's 9 year old cousin. It didn't immediately sink in and when it did, I was instantly in tears, practically shouting out "Is SHAYNE OK?!?!" just as Daryl was saying "Shayne is fine."

Even after the relief at that set in, I couldn't hold back the tears.

And now, the aftermath. This coward killed 26 people, 20 of which are children. CHILDREN. 

I have been in a daze all afternoon, crying sporadically and trying to hide it from my kids.  I poured like half a cup of coffee all over my face and down my shirt, somehow. 

20 babies, between the ages of 5-10, who will not get to celebrate this Christmas, or grow up, marry, have kids of their own some day. Gone, in the blink of an eye. 

I can't tell you how many times I touched my kids this afternoon. Hugging them, kissing them. smoothing their cheeks. 

Tomorrow we are going over Shayne's house (we already had plans to do this, Daryl is going to be cleaning his aunt and uncle's boiler) and Daryl called tonight, just to be sure they didn't want to cancel. They don't. I plan on squeezing Shayne so hard so will barely be able to breathe. And hopefully watching her play with my kids. I have no idea what she witnessed/heard/felt today but I can only imagine the inner scars.

And as a Mom, I can't stop thinking of the mothers and fathers who won't be tucking their babies in safely into their bed tonight. It breaks my heart. And makes me feel almost guilty that I WILL get to tuck my kids in, kiss their warm cheeks and smooth back the hair on their foreheads.

Kids are so intuitive.  Hunter came over to me earlier this evening and gently rubbed my arm. He looked up at me with sweet brown eyes and softly said, "I love you, Mama." His little hand slid into mine.  I wrapped my fingers around his and squeezed.

"I love you too, baby."

***

Goodnight, sweet children.

Monday, November 26, 2012

What a great weekend. WIsh they could all be like this!

My Thanksgiving weekend in (a LOT) of pictures (and hardly any words, becuz I don't have time! Fulfilling orders for my etsy shop!)...

My little sous chef helping me make stuffing, cutting with his toddler knife.


Initally, a certain little man did NOT like the googly eyes on the turkey shirt Mommy made!

My little turkeys.


Goofing off with Daddy!







Look, Sissy! It's the Charlie Brown Christmas tree!

LOVE.

Dork.







Yes, there are two strands of lights out on my tree. And yes I bought two boxes of new lights to put on the tree (over the dead ones) and STILL haven't even taken them out of the boxes.

Such a great weekend. Family, food, fun. Good times!
P.S. HUNTER IS NOW POTTY TRAINED!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What happened to Thanksgiving???

Can I vent?

No this isn't about world peace or ending hunger or any other super serious topic.

I want to complain about the fact that the retail world stops advertising anything really Thanksgiving-ish RIGHT AFTER HALLOWEEN ENDS!!!

GRRRR!! This burns me up!

I can only shop for one holiday at a time. I like to add a couple of new things to my decor each year (maybe throw away something that's really old and 'eh' from previous years). And I saw some cute Thanksgiving decorations before Halloween. Granted, Halloween had like THREE aisles at Michael's where Thanksgiving took up one aisle's end cap.

ANYWAY, I figured I had plenty of time to get any Thanksgiving/Fall-ish decor after Halloween.

Um, NO. I hit the stores and suddenly it's CHRISTMAS!!  Now, I'm all for settting up your Christmas decor as early as you want...I'm one of those people that needs PLENTY of time to enjoy my pretties! (we get our fresh Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.)

But, what happened to Thanksgiving? I know it's not a money-maker, it's probably only a "big" deal to the grocery stores selling the turkeys and stuffing, etc.  But seriously? To SKIP it all together?

I LOVE Thanksgiving. Always have. Always will.  For as long as I've lived on my own (not with my parents), I'd wake up and turn on the tv to get ready to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'd pop some cinnamon buns in the oven, brew some coffee and then gather all the ingredients I needed to start prepping my turkey.  I've been cooking turkey on Thanksgiving since the first year I moved out on my own, at about 22 ish years old.  I have many fun memories...especially the two years in a row I cooked my turkey upside down (my Dad pointed it out to me when they arrived at my house) resulting in THE most delicious, moist turkey ever...and the first few years when I'd call my parents practically in tears cuz I "Just can't stick my hand in THERE to get the guts!! I can't DO it, Dad!" ha ha ha!

A turkey from years past, pre-kids.
 
And while watching the parade, I'd slather down and stuff my turkey, eat a yummy gooey breakfast, catch bits of the parade and just generally feel GOOD.

Thanksgiving is a day I always feel...THANKFUL.  Even more so once i met Daryl and could share my tradition with him. And now with the kiddos! This year I think Hunter is finally big enough to watch and enjoy the parade on tv with me, and I'm excited for that.
Here is Avery last year, for her first Thanksgiving!

So...what I'm trying to say is, WHY do the stores feel it necessary to rush us past this warm and family-oriented holiday and straight into Christmas?

Oh, that's right. To make MONEY.  Ugh. Annoying.

I will NOT be shopping for early-Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving. I will be home with my familiy of four, warm and cozy in our home as the smell of delicious turkey wafts through the air and happy memories of Thanksgivings past fill my head.  We will eat mashed potatoes, and broccoli cheese casserole, and homemade pumpkin pie and I will teach my 3 year old son what it is to BE thankful and happy, this time of year and ALL year round.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

I've been enjoying the first snow of the season, today.

Off from work, working at my new craft space (and being SUPER productive for the Itty Bitty Bow Boutique), all of us in our jammies all day long... and even Big D deciding to take the day off with us,after coming back from hunting this morning! 

Chinese food for lunch, endless cups of coffee, and pumpkin pie bars for an early afternoon snack.

Watching the snow fall softly onto the placid lake waters...beautiful!

In addition to getting some hair bows finished, I also made a Christmas tie applique shirt for Hunter...
Don't mind the wet spot on the bottom...his sister wrote on the shirt with pen when I wasn't paying attention.



...and my first tutu for little Miss Avery!
Avery loved her Mommy-made tutu so much that she refused to take it off while I tried to convinve her it was time to put her jammie pants back on.
THAT was a battle!
 
Man, I couldn't love these two little pumpkins ANY more than I do. Some days I know I complain and bitch and moan and look like a crazy woman with hair sticking up from trying to pull it from my head (ok, slight exxageration)--but then there are days like today, even with the minor meltdowns cuz one kid didn't one to share and the other was biting, I still am feeling so thankful for it all!
 
The good, the bad. Every moment of it.
 
Life is so short.
 
So many people dying, losing their homes, getting divorced, broke...I just want to remember that and be happy for what i have.
 
 
THANKS for listening to my rambling. I was going to talk about other stuff tonight but it was like purging the thoughts in my brain through my typing fingers here...it happens sometime!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Holy De-ja-vu, Batman.

I'm having a serious sense of de-ja-vu.

Last year in August 2011, a hurricane was on the way, eventually down-grading to Tropical Storm Irene but still packing a wallop! 

It was a MISERABLE storm. I remember huddling in the living room with the kiddos (Daryl was on ambulance calls) as the wind whistled and shrieked, trees shook all over us and the normally placid lake turned into a wavy, churning mass of waves...it looked like the ocean!

This picture does it NO justice. It looked worse at times!

Lots of damage, trees down, flooding and.... no power for at least a week!   There were generators selling out everywhere, nowhere to get gas, and LOTS of  candles and battery powered lamps in use.

We had over $200 worth of food in our fridge go to complete and utter waste. Had to scoop water out of the lake to fill up the tank on our toilet so we could go to the bathroom. We sparingly used toilet paper becuz our grinder pump had no electricity to pump the waste out to the main sewage line.

And worst of all? Our close friends (and their three children) lost their house and 3 dogs and 1 of their 2 cats to a horrible house fire (caused by a candle left going while they slept) that literally they escaped from with singed hair and some smoke inhalation. 

I still cry when I think of all they lost. The loss of their home was an incredible blow but the lives of their 3 dogs and 1 cat is something that can never be replaced. They were some of THE sweetest fur-babies I've known.


And then in October, as people still cleaned up the mess from Irene...the forecasters started predicting...a NOR'EASTER.

BEFORE HALLOWEEN.

Um, a horrible snow storm in October? Before Halloween even has hit? Craziness!

And this storm was bad with a capital "B".
Most of the leaves were still on the trees so the extra added weight of the snow and leaves caused tree limbs and branches down EVERYWHERE. Business and house roofs collapsed from the weight of the snow. It was chilly and of course, you guessed it, we had NO POWER.


Yup, almost all of the state had no power for a MINIMUM of a week. Another shitty week of missed work, mess to clean up, and all over the news...people getting injured or DYING from improper use of a generator!

And I also called this the year of the Non-Halloween.

Halloween was a complete and total BUST. With no power, and tree limbs and power lines still down all over the roads, it was a dangerous mess out there. In no way, shape or a form was it safe for kids to go trick-or-treating.

And yes, it may be pathetic, but I cried.  I remember siting in the semi-dusk, bored out of my mind and depressed that this was Avery's 1st Halloween and Hunter's third Halloween...the one where he actually knew how to say "Twick or Tweat" and was super excited about wearing his Woody costume.  Thankfully, he was still young enough though to not quite understand that Halloween was a certain DAY, and both kids fell asleep on the couch that night, in the cool darkness, by 6:45pm. 

It was NOT a fun Halloween (although I was happy we had no serious damage to contend with. Some  shingles blew off the roof, lots of limbs down, one of which fell on our truck but didn't damage it, thankfully.) but we were all safe!  We had a little Halloween costume dress-up the next day where I took the kids pictures!



So, this year was supposed to be our do-over. Now Avery is the one who can say "Twick or tweat!" and Hunter picked out his own Halloween costume (originally a skeleton, but it was too small so when we went to return it--and saw no more skeletons in his size--he chose a fireman instead).  And Mommy is ready with a witch hat, spider ring and web earrings.

And what's going on? Why,  Hurricane Sandy is on her way, of course!

I've already resigned myself to the fact that there will be no Halloween this year. We are stocked up on batteries for our flashlights, candles, wood and paper for our wood stove (if needed...it hasn't really been THAT cold yet), bottled water...and a generator!

We bought a generator this summer when we purchased our camper. So that will be useful in keeping the fridge going, some lights, my KEURIG (VERY important!) and maybe the TV to watch some movies for the kids. Last year, Hunter didn't understand and kept asking to watch Mickey. I felt so bad that I couldn't get him his morning daily dose of Mickey for a WEEK!

And last night we went to a local town's trick or treat! It was on Main Street, and local businesses participated so it was fun for the kids to get their costumes on, get some candy and fun for Mommy to get some pictures!
My grumpy little fireman had just fallen about 20 min. before this picture, bloody-ing up and loosening his bottom front tooth so he was NOT cooperative for pictures!
Even Mommy got in on the Halloween fun!

Getting ready to get our TRICK or TREAT on!

 




I loved the pics of Hunter (on the right) and his little buddy Anthony, strutting around in their firemen gear!



What? Did somebody say free donuts at Dunkin??
So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this storm is waaaaaaaaaaaay less damaging and (strong!) than predicted (although I'm not holding my breath). I'm also praying for the houses all on the coast! NO flooding!

And of course, can we puh-leeze have Halloween this year? ;-)

Stay safe, everyone!