Friday, December 7, 2007

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Because I'm procrastinating on cleaning my living room, dining room, and kitchen – the last of the house that needs to be cleaned before tomorrow's big first birthday bash – I thought I'd blog again.

Brendan has been super cute and super funny of late and because I haven't blogged in something like a week, I've missed out on sharing it all.

So, Wednesday night we decorated our tree. It was the best tree decorating occasion ever. For a variety of reasons.

Last year, in the throes of having a two-week old baby and freaking out over not having any decorations up, I conceded that perhaps an artificial tree would be tolerable. Scott ran out and bought a beautiful pre-lit tree at Michael's and on the 23rd of December, we decorated it.

This year, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that we had it and get it up early and enjoy the full season. I put it up last Saturday, but because we've been so busy, we didn't get around to the actual decorating until Wednesday. Brendan was so excited he put almost every decoration on by himself. Thus, there is a huge concentration of decorations on the bottom half, especially on one quarter of the tree, but it was just so cute that I didn't have the heart to move them out too much. I did move the breakable ones so they wouldn't be accessible to Beckett's curious fingers.

The entire time he was decorating, Brendan was singing and humming to himself and he kept saying over and over again, to no one in particular,
This is going to be the best Christmas ever!
When he was done decorating the tree, Brendan decided he wanted to play with my Nativity set or as he likes to call the Baby Jesus set.

He set took all the pieces from their box and set it up on the coffee table first, then moved it to the floor. He knew what all the pieces were and named them all as he set them up and he figured out that the angel hung over the creche. He deduced this because she had a little hook on her back and there was a tiny nail on the front of the creche. We were impressed.

He was playing with the nativity and telling us that Mary, Jophus, and Baby Jesus are his favorite characters in the Nativity story. Then, all of a sudden, very excitedly he said,
I hope this story has a happy ending!

Scott and I just looked at each other, trying not to laugh and then we both said,
Uh...Not so much. Nope, not really a happy ending for Jesus.
But when Brendan questioned us, we backtracked and said everything works out fine for jesus, Mary, and Joseph, which he accepted. We weren't really ready to get into the Easter story while celebrating Advent.

Life is a Carnival

I have so much to do, I really shouldn't be sitting here blogging. Yet, I can't pull myself up and out of this chair. It's freezing cold out; Beckett's still sleeping; I'm a little drowsy; the Christmas tree is lit and I have a steaming cup of coffee. I think I'll just sit here a bit longer.

It's been a long week. We're having Beckett's first birthday party tomorrow. Scott's parents, his brothers and their families, a few friends from the neighborhood, some cake. Good times. But I've been stressing all week, cleaning like a maniac. Putting away baby clothes that have been outgrown. Crying and feeling melancholy at how quickly the time has gone by. Decorating the house for Christmas. Yesterday I got up at 6 a.m. and literally did not stop moving until Scott got home last night, which was some time after 8:00 p.m. I am worn out. And as tired and stressed out as I am, things are harder for Scott.

He has deadlines at work. For weeks, I haven't seen him before 8 p.m. at night, unless we have something else going on and he can break away early. I've been keeping Brendan up so Scott can spend some time with him before he goes to bed, otherwise, Scott would never see him. Beckett usually is asleep by the time Scott gets home, so I made a point last night of keeping him up. By the time we're done with dinner and everyone's in bed, I feel like a zombie and feel terrible that I'm not better company.

But, I know that this is just the phase of life we're in right now. I think every family has their own version of this and my job right now is to simply figure out how to make things less stressful for all of us.

Getting my house organized is one way and what I'm working on. When Scott comes home, I want him to feel like he's come home to a place of comfort and sanctuary. Some place low stress.

I'm also thinking of ways I can reduce my own stress. Thanks to A., I've realized I don't have to cook a new meal every night. We can eat leftovers once in a while. Duh!

Anyway, I'm working on it. Life is good. Tiring. But good.


My baby is one-year old! I can't believe it. In the blink of an eye, this last year has vanished. Where did it go? I feel like I barely had time to catch my breath.

Beckett has been everything you could hope a baby would be. So sweet. So beautiful. An excellent sleeper. I just love him so much. So much. And he has given so much to our family. I love seeing the way Brendan is with him. I love the way Beckett looks at his brother and laughs at everything he does. I love seeing how sweet and confident Scott is with him.

Having a second child does wonders for your confidence as a parent, I think. I second-guess myself so much less now.

I've been wondering if Beckett's calm and easy-going disposition has more to do with who he is or with the fact that we know what we're doing now and aren't terrified of breaking the baby.

When I found out I was pregnant with Beckett, it was a surprise. We hadn't started trying. But I'm so happy we never had the chance to try. I can't imagine having any other baby. This one is perfect and I can't imagine my life without him now.

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

If All Men Are Truly Brothers

It's not often I find an opportunity to use my blog for actual good in the world, but today I see a chance to do so. A friend of a friend just sent this e-mail. She and her husband just found out their son, who is two, has signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The teacher mentioned in the e-mail works with their son. If you are local to the Atlanta area and can help or know someone who can help, please contact me via the e-mail link on my profile and I will put you in touch with Tamela, the girl who is coordinating all of this. Thanks!

Please see the following email regarding Paul's Mother's Day Out teacher in need. If you know of anyone who is able to donate a washing machine, car mechanic time or a car, or anything else, please let me know. Feel free to forward this email to anyone you think may be able to help. Thank you.
Hope you are all well.

We recently learned of a special need that made us want to reach out to all of you. Our MDO teacher, has a unique situation: as a widowed mother of two children, she works two jobs to support her family. She personally has no medical insurance and has an old car that is need of some major repairs. We know that she always puts her children first, which means that she sacrifices when it comes to herself. For example, she recently received a gift card to Wal-Mart and used that to buy a Thanksgiving turkey for her kids. A couple of weeks ago, she took her children to a roller-skating party and ended up in the emergency room with a concussion. Because she does not have health insurance, she is now faced with this medical bill. And just yesterday, her washing machine stopped working.

As you can see, her circumstances are weighing heavily on our hearts. In the short time that we’ve known her, she seems to be a very selfless person and yet always has a smile on her face no matter what hardships she may be going through. If you know of anyone who could donate a washing machine, mechanic time for car repairs or even a reliable car, please contact us immediately. Your gift is greatly appreciated. We are also in the process of contacting local charities for assistance with her rent, utilities and medical expenses.

If you know of additional people that may be able to help our friend in need, please forward this email on to them. We are trying to impact the life of someone who is near and dear to us this holiday season.