Saturday, December 15, 2012

No Words to Speak

UPDATE - I wrote this post yesterday right after I found out about Newtown. I wasn't going to share it, but changed my mind.  This blog is to document our lives and I think the effect of this tragedy on me is a big enough event to document.

My heart is broken and I know this sounds selfish because my life will go on as normal while the lives of those affected will be changed forever. If I'm this broken about this, I cannot imagine how much more broken those personally affected must be.  It must be how I feel plus infinity.

I don’t even know what to write but I need to write something.  It’s my therapy. What kind of sickness would possess a person to get up this morning and decide to go into an elementary school and start shooting innocent children?  What kind of madness is that? 

How can we protect our children against this random craziness? We could be doing everything right and still lose them.  I pray every night that my children are protected.  It’s all I can do to feel like I have some sort of control. I’m not even making sense right now because praying for God’s protection is actually giving up control but nothing really makes sense today.  This morning I was writing about my Christmas decorations and now that seems so trivial, so petty, so pointless.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. Psalm 138:7

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas House Tour - Christmas Decorations

I think I am done with my Christmas decorating this year.  We will be in California for Christmas so I was a little light, but I think that even if we were going to be here and having a curious 1 year-old would limit how I decorate.

Today, I'm linking up with Kelly at Kelly's Korner for her Christmas House Tour and From Mrs to Mama's Showing Off Christams Decor. Can't wait to see how others have decorated for Christmas!

I’m pretty proud of myself for having a mini tree for each of my boys. They each got their own little theme.  Michael’s tree is decorated with soccer ball ornaments because he’s so passionate about soccer.  Matthew’s tree is decorated with basketball and gingerbread man ornaments.  Basketball because he’s professed his love for the sport although he’s never really played. Gingerbread men because he loved the suggestion that his personality is like a gingerbread cookie – sweet, but has a little kick to it.  Mark’s is decorated with snowman ornaments because he’s so jolly and chubby.

In addition to the 3 mini-trees, I have a 4-foot tree for displaying hand-made ornaments. 

Then we have our Christmas tree we put out by our window.  This year, I strung silver ribbons around and added poinsettia blooms to fill it in a little more.  I think it turned out lovely.  I was really close to using the deco mesh but was too intimidated.  Maybe next year.

This is my favorite ornament.  There were four, but this is the only one left after our tree fell a few years ago.  We lost some really nice ornaments. 

Here’s what the tree looks like all lit up. And I just noticed there's a little stowaway in this picture...

This is our mantel.  I’m not completely happy with this, but it’ll do for this year.  I think the mirror is too small for the space – but M will have a cow if I ask him to change is out again since he just hung it up a couple of months ago.  It’s all about timing….

Dining room and back console table

Here’s a wreath I made myself.  I think it looks pretty good.

This is what’s in a little corner of on our kitchen counter.  

I love the little Santa Claus.  I saw several him at Homegoods and passed on him the first time.  Then I couldn’t stop thinking about how cute he would be in our kitchen so I went back a week later to see if I can find him.  He was the only one left! Tip – if you see something you love at Homegoods, BUY it. You can always return it if you change your mind. And no, Homegoods is not sponsoring my blog.

This is what our front door looks like. The poinsettias have kind of died because we had a freeze here.  I thought that poinsettias loved the cold so I left them out.  Apparently, I don’t know poinsettias.

And because my boys are the biggest reasons to celebrate, here they are in full glory.  Love my munchkins!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

13 Month (Close Enough)

This is a couple of weeks late, but the pictures are close to 12/3.  At least I’ve got that down.  I figured I get a little bit of break because I’m back at work.

What are you up to now that you are a full 13-month old? Lots of stuff.  You are like a sponge.  You are doing a couple of signing – more and eat.  You are running and climbing all over.  You can now get off the sofa on your own.  You are not talking yet and you have not really said anything new since last month, but I know you understand what we are saying to you. You do a lot of pointing to get us to do what you want.

You are having a tough month so far because of your teething.  You added 2 more bottom teeth and I just know that a couple of molars are coming in.  You have been so cranky and clingy lately.  I think a lot of it has to do with me going back to work too. 

You are sleeping better.  You take a bottle before bed at around 9pm and will sleep until about 12:30am to 1am.  Then you will go back to sleep until about 4-5am. BUT just last night, you only had that bottle before you went to sleep.  We may be making progress!

You still love to hear me sing.  You love the “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and “Heads, Shoulder, Knees and Toes.” Last night Sarah told me that you know where your eyes and your nose were, but when Michael tried to get you to show me, you just pointed to your head.  Hmmm…

And you are a dancing machine! Anytime music comes on, you bounce up and down and pump your arms up and down. Daddy gets a huge kick out of that. and he's jealous that you have more rhythm than him. Haha. You are mesmerized every time "Gagnam Style" comes on. It's so funny!

I think one of the funniest things that you do right now is whenever you get hurt anywhere on your body, you point to your head.  If you fall down and hurt your knee, you will point to your head if I ask you where your booboo is. Hilarious.

You are drinking exclusively whole milk now.  We weaned you off the formula and we are saving a bunch of money.  Haha. You are eating table food but still snack on the Gerber finger food snacks (sweet potato stars).  You love my roasted chicken, but no fish.  You will eat pork and steak sometimes, but I think your favorite this week are roast beef and turkey I get from Market Street.  No veggies, but you love fruits (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, tangerines, pomegranates, and bananas).  We haven’t fed you a fruit that you didn't like.

Since we haven’t gone to the doctor, I’m not really sure of your stats.  You probably gained less than a pound from last month and you haven’t really grown that much so let’s just a assume that you are about the same size and weight. 

Even though this post isn't as detailed as the previous one, just know that I love you so much and get a big kick out of your antics.  Oh, I almost forgot to let you know that you are a total tantrum thrower.  You roll around on the floor, walk around throwing your head back and crying and carrying on.  If you don’t believe me, I have it on tape (or memory disc or whatever we have now). Love you with all my heart!

December 1

 December 5

December 6

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Camera

This is a really silly little post just to remind myself to be more of an optimist.  This is a story about how our camera found its way home with help from kind-hearted Dragons. 

A couple of weeks ago, we all went to see the Dragon football team play at the Birdville Stadium.  We decided to bring our nice, expensive camera with the zoom so we can capture this game to remember. 
We had a great time.  We brought a pizza with us and tailgated in the parking lot.  The stadium was packed, but we were fortunate enough to find seats behind the Belle and Band section.  Best of all, the Dragons won in a close game and we left the stadium happy thinking about going to the next round of the playoffs.

The next day, I had this sinking feeling and realized that we may have left the camera under the bleacher.  I quick check in our car confirmed my feeling.  I was so upset, not only did I lose the camera, but also the pictures that I never downloaded. 

I called the Birdville School District hoping that someone had picked it up and turned it in to the lost and found, but was told that there was no camera. I pretty much convince myself that the camera was a goner and was really bummed.

Then, on Tuesday I got a phone call on my cell from Mrs. Meacham, a Kindergartner teacher at the boys’ school.  She asked if I was at the game on Saturday and I said yes.  She asked if I was missing something and my heart skipped a beat.  She had my camera!

Apparently, after we left, her neighbor saw the camera and picked it up.  They went through the pictures and recognized Ms. Neathery in one of the pictures.  They took the camera and showed Ms. Neathery and she recognized Michael in one of the other pictures. And that’s how my camera found its way home

 It’s such a great story that I had to write about it to remember how fortunate we are to be part of the Dragon family.  I am so proud to be able to say that we live in Southlake and to be part of this wonderful community.

M and the boys at the game WITH the camera.

No Camera...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Random Stuff That Happened

Ugh.  Where to start?  It’s been a long time and I am so far behind on posting that it seems impossible to catch up.  And the worst part is, it’s not even because I don’t have time.  It’s because of writer’s block.  I’ve finally realized that to get rid of writer’s block is just to write – even if it’s about nothing at all.

I’ll try not to make this too rambling, but it’s hard since so much time has passed and there have been so many things to tell.

We were so excited to have my parents come visit for a little over a week to celebrate Thanksgiving with us.  The kids had so much fun with them.  We went to see the ICE! Exhibit at the Gaylord Texan.  The ICE! Exhibit was OK, but I was very impressed on how beautifully decorated the Gaylord Texan is.  Thousands of sparkling lights dangling from the glass ceiling, huge 30-foot Christmas tree, hundreds of bright red poinsettias were just a few things we saw walking around.

At the ICE! Exhibit- Merry Madagascar.  They keep it at a toasty 9 degrees.

The kids also went to see Rise of the Guardians with their Poh-Poh and Gong-Gong and loved it. They were spoiled rotten, of course, and I am OK with that. 

The boys also got to meet their little cousin Dylan for the first time and they fell in love with him this Thanksgiving.  Matty and Michael were such good big brothers and big cousins to Mark and Dylan and that makes me so proud. I have so much to be thankful for, but I am most thankful for family who loves and support us. I am thankful for my boys who are just so perfect and I couldn’t ask for better.  I am so thankful for M who lets me do whatever I want and loves me even when I’m at my worst.  Thankful that I can celebrate my favorite time of the year with them all.

Over the Thanksgiving break, Michael had a soccer tournament and made it all the way to the quarterfinals, but lost in the semifinals.  What’s memorable about this tournament was that he was heartbroken about the loss.  I have never seen him so upset about losing and since then, I’ve noticed that he’s got this passion for winning.  He wants to win and has been playing super aggressive.  Last indoor game he played, he got 3 goals.  I wasn’t there, but M said he played one of his best games ever.  
My little mark turned 13 months last week and I haven’t been able to post his stats yet, but I have to say that he has been so very cranky. But with good reason – he got 2 more teeth last week and I see that he may be getting molars in soon.  Poor baby.  He’s had the hardest time with teething. And to top it off, he’s having to deal with a big change – Mommy going back to work.  He’s been very clingy and freaks out every time I walk out of the room. This is the hardest part about going back to work.

On Saturday, we received a letter from the district telling us that they want Matthew to be in the Gifted and Talented Education because he scored really high on some tests the district gave him in October.  We are so proud of him!  The only thing I don’t understand is that Michael’s scores were higher but he didn’t qualify.  I’ve got it on my list to call the coordinator to see why that is.

On Saturday, we also went to see the Dragon football team play at SMU. It was such an exciting game.  It was too bad that we lost the game due to poor coaching and one-sided refereeing.  The boys did a great job and played their hearts out, but there were too many obstacles to overcome. Michael took the loss pretty hard. I told him, at the end of the day, as long as the boys played as well as they can, it’s all good. There’s always another game to win.