Tuesday, January 25, 2011

let it snow

December 26: The day after Christmas was just a continuation of the holiday season. We were over at my mother-in-law's bright and early for a gift exchange with the cousins. Al and Michelle, as well as Dottie, Mike, Carli and Olivia were all there. Tyler and Carli cracked me up with their DS play. I actually heard the phrase "want to go in the bedroom and text?" uttered. Who knew you could text via DS, or more importantly, that my 6 year old knew how to do so! Jason had a ball (literally) with the ball pit from Mom and John. And Olivia is just too cute for words! Unfortunately our visit was cut short by the arrival of the snow.

Meanwhile my parents decided to retreat to AC for two days with comp rooms. Leaving me alone for 2 days with 2 kids, a puppy who won't pee outside, during a state of emergency with lots of snow. Not all bad though. I didn't mind one bit.

Anyway, after our brief gathering, Jason and I head home so he could nap and Al and Michelle brought Ty home shortly thereafter as a state of emergency was issued, banning all unnecessary travel. The rest of the day was spent playing with Christmas toys while the snow continued to fall.

December 27: This was Al's last day in New Jersey, so he eventually came over to spend some time with the boys. He brought Riviera pizza so the boys enjoyed that. They had some playtime inside while I shovelled outside, until my brother came over to rescue me with a snow blower. While Jason later napped Al and Michelle took Ty sledding for a bit before everyone said their goodbyes until next time. Ty was quite sad.

Our house in the snow.

December 28: I got to spend some time with the boys out in the snow (the first time for Jason this season). I wasn't sure how he'd do, and he was definitely leery, but he was able to enjoy himself a little. He even tried to sled down the tiny little hill in our yard with Ty. Ty enjoyed it all, but Jason most enjoyed sucking on icicles. Go figure.

Christmas 2010

Our mad Christmas rush began on the 22nd. My dad brilliantly decided to take on the project of painting the eating area, dining room, bathroom, and hallway in preparation for our big extended family Christmas gathering on the 23rd. So, yes, about 24 hours in advance. Luckily my brother Jim showed up to help out, which allowed me to go out to do some last minute Christmas shopping that night.

The 23rd arrived and I was thankful that Ty at least had a half day of school so that I could get a little done around the house with just Jason. Somehow we managed to get almost everything done before our company started arriving around 3pm. We made my entire extended family on my mom's side there. My grandparents and each of my uncles and their families. I think there ended up being 28 of us in total, missing only my brother Chris and my cousin Andrew's girlfriend Jordan. A pretty big group in a small space, but everything went very well. There were plenty of toys in the boys bedrooms to occupy all of the little ones. And of course there were all the new presents they received as well. Great food, great company, and a great time. Getting together with all of them always makes me feel like a kid again.

On Christmas Eve morning we made plans to meet up with the boys daddy, who had arrived from NC the night prior. It was sorta of an uncertain trip, but he ended up making it which made Tyler very happy. Al and his girlfriend (yes, that's what I said) met us at Al's mom and stepdad's house. It was the first time the boys had seen him since August when we met briefly as we drove through NC. Tyler was elated and Jason adjusted a ton better than i expected. Eventually I felt semi-comfortable enough to pull myself away and give them "alone" time together. It may have been the hardest thing I ever did.

I did fill up the time wrapping presents, so I did appreciate that. I was only home about 1.5 hours before I returned to pick up Jason so he could come home for a nap (we had big plans that night). Tyler got to stay and have play time with daddy.

While Jason napped Bella relaxed during her first Christmas Eve.

That night we went to Jim & Cara's for her traditional Christmas Eve feast. Her kids, my grandparents, as well as Cara's dad and sister and some friends were there. We had a nice time, but it didn't' seem right without Tyler there. He did show up a couple hours later but sadly he arrived upset. It took a while for him to regroup. My poor baby. This is all so tough on him. Luckily Cara's kids are great and really gave him the understanding he needed. The ice cream bribe didn't hurt either!

After the party we did all the important stuff...got on Christmas pajamas, put out milk and cookies for Santa, and even read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The end of my Christmas Eve was a mad rush. Wrapping presents. And assembly. My poor dad spent at least an hour trying to assemble this adorable radio flyer tricycle for Jason, only to discover that that thing won't fit him until he's at least 3, despite the reviews stating otherwise. My poor little peanut. So back up into storage that went. I guess it was all for the best because Jason's gifts were all large in size (especially the easel) while Ty's were small but expensive (Nintendo DS being the main one). After my parents went to bed I set things up under the tree and then gave up at mini kitchen setup (that might be a snow day present down the road). I even ate half a cookie and dumped the rest of the evidence. And hid the Elf on a Shelf until next year.

Christmas morning came early for us with Tyler awaking just before 6:30, but it certainly could have been worse. I didn't want to wake Jason, so Tyler got a chance to open his presents by himself. The major hits were the famous Mickey comforter (with a bonus reverse side design), Nintendo DS, and Magnetix. Eventually Jason woke up and got right into present opening, with a little help of Ty. He probably most liked his viewfinder, Dora & Boots stuffed animals, and easel. And as if there weren't presents enough, they both still had gifts from my parents too!

After the excitment of present opening had passed then my grandparents as well as Jim, Cara, and Aidan, came over for brunch.

After a very rushed brunch we made it over to Al's moms, unfortunately before the rest of them managed to arrive after all that rushing. Grrr. Anyway, the boys had tons of fun opening presents from Mom & John as well as Al & Michelle. The major hit was the inflatable ball pit for Jason and a science experiment kit for Tyler. I stayed there until it was Jason's naptime, when i then brought him home for a brief nap. Tyler stayed there to play.

Later that evening Al and Michelle took Ty to Aunt Kathy's while I brought Jason there myself. I'm not going to lie, it was a little uncomfortable, but his family was great and we managed to have a nice time. The boys had a blast with yummy food, family, and of course presents. You would have never thought a child could get so excited by receiving a child-sized snuggie. LOL. And the boys LOVED their Toy Story pajamas. Photos courtesy of Uncle Mike.

After I got the boys to bed I was able to head over to Beth and Erich's for a Christmas party, which unfortunately had been down-sized due to the upcoming snow arrival. Still had a nice time though. I really had needed to get out a bit!

Early December 2010 (yep, almost 2 months ago)

So, as you can see, I've once again fallen dreadfully behind on my blog. So this installment (1-2 months late) will be based simply on photos I have, old facebook posts, and a tiny bit of my ever-deteriorating memory.

I could probably sum up the month with the following words: school, car, karate, homework, bedtime routines, illness, puking, sleep-deprivation, holiday preparation, Christmas trees, Jason's therapies, Christmas shopping (mostly online), gym, crafts, temper tantrums, and stress. However, for some unknown reason, I'll give more detail.

Jason started of December, much like he spent most of November. Sick. He went on a nap strike, ran a fever, caused us to miss therapy sessions, and sadly required us to cancel our trip to Storybook Land that we had scheduled with Melinda. I was really looking forward to that, but it was really cold too so it wouldn't have been great for any of us to have been out in that weather.

December 2: Squirrels found a roll of ribbon stuff leftover from bike decorating for the memorial day parade and they decided to decorate our porch. Quite a site.

I attempted to take photos of the boys for Xmas cards and/or our 2011 photo calendar. Neither of those projects EVER happened, so that gives you an idea of how well December went.

Our "Elf on a Shelf" arrived. I had been toying with the idea of getting this since last year, but wasn't sure if Ty were too old for the concept. I was wrong. As my mom said, he bought it "hook, line, and sinker". He was totally fascinated by the idea of this elf that would visit the north pole each night, report on his behavior, and then hide somewhere else in the house to be found in the morning. Even Jason learned to have fun searching for "eff" (elf), which Tyler had named "buddy" (creatively from the character buddy in the movie "Elf")

We briefly (due to sick child) celebrated Jim's 30th birthday.

Jason's bizarre behavior continued that night (or should I say the next morning) when he woke up at 12:15 and was completely inconsolable. Eventually I just brought him out to the living room to let him watch TV. Where he sat, untouched, ALL NIGHT long. We were both completely without sleep until he eventually crashed on the couch after 9am. He wouldn't let me move him, cover him, or even touch him. The ENTIRE night. That was fun.

Tyler learned to tie his shoes. Quite proud of himself.

December 4: While Tyler was at Carli's birthday party at Chickies and Pete's in Philly, my mom and I took Jason to Ironstone Village to meet Santa. As you can see, he wasn't thrilled. Except for the candy cane. Good stuff.

That night we got our second shot at Santa when we went to our town's tree lighting. They read Twas the Night Before Christmas, sang carols, and ate cookies and hot chocolate before we went outside to light up the tree and watch Santa arrive via firetruck. Tyler did okay with Santa this year. As you might have imagined, Jason still wasn't thrilled.

December 6: We worked on the adorable gingerbread house that Mindy gave the boys. Loved this kit. So much easier than some of the others. Boys loved it too.

Illnesses continued. For both boys. With puke for Jason. The fun never ends.

December 10: Tyler hosted his first sleepover. His little friend Alex from the neighborhood came over after karate. They ate junk food, did a craft, played some toys, but mostly played Wii. Luckily we had borrowed some new games from the library, including "Just Dance Kids", which was a total hit. I was totally amused watching the three boys (Jason included) shaking their little butts in front of the TV. Priceless. They didn't get to bed until after midnight but were very well behaved. For the record, Jason didn't go to bed that night until 10:30, yet felt the need to wake up at 5:20. Yawn.

December 12: Some sort of boyscout pack meeting. Ty got some sort of award. I should remember these things better than I do. I do know Santa came and delivered their pinewood derby car kits. And jason was attached to my lap in fear because Santa was there. But overcame his fear to inch closer to santa to obtain a candy cane. Food is a good motivator, huh?

That night we let the boys stay up late to decorate the tree. Tyler was as excited as expected, but I wasn't sure how Jason would react. Well he loved it and tried really hard to decorate it. Not so successful, but he tries.

And early that next morning I was up with a puking Tyler (first time since infancy). Another missed day of first grade. He was not happy at all.

Jason's behavior continued to become even more unusual. He decided that any overhead light hurt his eyes and required sunglasses for all diaper changes. He also found car rides in the dark to be unacceptable, and turning the corner while in the car ellicted a "whoa" fear response. Excellent.

Somewhere in the midst of this I had to deal with the upcoming Xmas holiday. Tyler announced, only 9 days before Christmas that the ONLY thing he wanted was a Mickey Mouse bedding set. To match his green carpet. Thank god for Amazon.

As Jason's behavior got more unusual, the meltdowns started. Oooh, the meltdowns were horrendous. Practically took over my life. His therapists pretty much told us to stop bringing him places, focus on his diet and sleeping schedule, and give him time to adapt.

I did fit in some time for one night out with a new friend. I needed that.

And then there was more puking. That, coupled with the meltdowns, nearly put me over the edge. Jason is lucky he's cute. But I love him anyway. And so does his Uncle Jimmy.