Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas!

Of all my 27 Christmas's I've experienced, I think this might have been my favorite. Christmas was a little different this year-we were snowed in. It turned out to be really nice and relaxing to not have to rush around from place to place.
Something about snow falling just feels Christmas-like. I felt like I was looking at a Norman Rockwell picture. It started blowing in on Christmas Eve, so I was a little bummed that we missed our church candlelight service and looking at lights, but we still enjoyed our evening. We had a real Christmas dinner of turkey, homemade macaroni and cheese and green bean casserole-comfort food for a cold night. Afterwards, we made Jesus a birthday cake and sang him "Happy Birthday." My boys really enjoyed this and I think this will be our new Christmas Eve tradition. We left Santa and Rudolph some cake instead of cookies...Santa said he really enjoyed it. Besides, I bet he gets tired of cookies!

He even left a note for the boys!

My in-laws got me a waffle maker for Christmas, so we used it Christmas day to make our breakfast. We had monkey bread, and waffles topped with Nutella, fresh strawberries and raspberries and whipped cream!

As you can see, Jon was excited.

A view of the snow. I couldn't get a good picture because I couldn't get out!

The before.

The after.

This is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love the food, the weather, the time with my family. I love that my husband is home a lot during this month. I love the magical looks on my children's faces at the thought of Santa coming. I love the crazy busyness and preparation, the music, and decoration. I think every year I go through a little depression when it's all over. I don't like Mondays and I don't like the month of January for the same have to start all over. But I heard something at church the other day that made me think. The 'joy' is not over. The gift is always here...the baby, Jesus Christ, is our gift throughout the year. It doesn't come once in a particular month. It isn't for a season. It's everyday. The joy is a gift everyday.
So, my New Year's resolution isn't to workout more and eat healthier, although I really do need to do these things. My resolution this year is to live with the same joy and excitement that I carry during the Christmas season. To watch the light and excitement in my children's eyes and not be worried about the laundry. To enjoy when my husband is home and let him know he's missed when he's not. To put other's needs above my own. Hopefully this January you and your family will remember also that the gift of Christmas is 12 months a year. Happy 2010!

Happy Birthday Cole

Two years ago, God blessed me with a precious treasure in the birth of Cole. He was born December 8Th, 2007 at 5:24pm. He weighed 6lbs and 13oz and this is how I learned that dynamite comes in small packages. He has forever rocked my world and changed my life. He forces patience out of me, he makes me laugh, he makes me tired...he makes me a better person. I am forever in awe of the fact that God had enough confidence in me to think I was worthy of raising this child. Maybe he was trying to show me that "all things are possible with God!" He has drawn me closer to God...many times out of sheer exhaustion, panic, and desperation. But also because when I look at him, I'm speechless of the beauty of his handiwork and I think to myself how much more he loves me. This seems impossible.
Cole, thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for the joy you bring. Thank you for your snotty kisses and nose-bashing hugs. I read this quote one time and I've used it a lot of times. I don't know the author, but it says "Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were one minute old, I would give my life for you." This is how my love is for you and always will be.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Makes Me Want to Puke

Cole came home from church Wednesday night not feeling well. His teachers said he threw up a little in class but he also ate about 213 goldfish crackers, so that didn't mean a lot. Sometimes he stuffs his face too fast to chew and gets choked-that's what I thought happened. He woke up around midnight that night vomiting and could not stop. Finally he and I fell asleep on the bathroom floor around 5:30am.
I know when my babies are sick-I can always tell by their eyes. After a little 12 hour virus he seemed to be feeling better. A couple days later his little eyes were still puffy and he was catching up on lost sleep, but he had regained his appetite and his orneriness.
Saturday night we decided to go have dinner, look at Christmas lights, and have a little hot chocolate break. Cole is dancing at Starbucks eating spoonfuls of whipped cream and getting lots of attention. On the way home he got really upset about something. The crying begins.
Cole's will is strong...really strong. I'm trying to figure out how to control this. I've heard that you have to break their will without breaking their spirit. This is a battle for me. I don't even know where to begin sometimes, but I know I have to get this under control or it could cause major problems down the road. So...he wants something he can't have, the crying ensues and he pukes. Not just a little puke...the most vomit I have ever seen come out of a 28 pound body.
Lately, every time Cole cries, he throws up. I don't know if this is a battle of wills with him, if he just get so worked up, or if Jon is paying for his childhood. Briefly...Jon's a puker. He gets weak in the knees about smells. I've watched this man change diapers with a gas mask on. When we first got married, we made a deal-if I cleaned the poop messes then he would clean the puke messes. Well, for 6 1/2 years, he's let me down except for one time I was pregnant and Sampson got sick in the house.
Cole has started and he can't stop. It flies in the front seat and hits me in the hair, Jackson is freaking out and begins his one million questions, Jon looks like he's going to lose it. Luckily, today, I was a well-prepared mom. I had trash bags in my car, and a load of wipes. I did a pretty good job of cleaning up. But, it wasn't enough. We pull in the driveway, it starts again. Jon bolts out of the car and throws up...twice. I get Cole out of the carseat, and he's throwing up all over me as we walk in the door. I finally get him calmed down enough to stick him in the tub and get myself in the shower. I ask Jon if he can please pull the cover off the carseat to wash. He comes in and tells me, he tried his best, but he got frustrated with all the straps, and he pulled out his pocket knife and cut it to get it off. "I will gladly pay $35 for a new carseat," he says. "It was getting all over my fingers." I just looked at him and thought, "Are you kidding me?" This man couldn't do my job for half a day.
There is a reason women outlive men. Simply...we're stronger. We love our babies so much that we let them puke on us because they want to be held and they don't feel good. We suffer through nights with two hours of sleep to be up at 7am and do it all over again. We do the the jobs of 5 people. We...were built for endurance.
Through all of this, I just have to laugh. Or at least force myself to. I know someday I will laugh about these moments. Someday I will probably wish dealing with bodily fluids was as hard as it gets. Someday...I will miss this season of my life. But not today.
Meanwhile-20 minutes after the episode, Cole is running circles in the living room. He grabbed Jack around the waist and wrestled him to the floor, and says "Mean mean." He's back to the normal Colie!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Just a Box!

Why is when kids have all the toys in the world, they'd rather play with a box? Seriously, I've spent thousands of dollars in toys, paints, glitter, books, movies, etc., only for Jackson to say, "I'm bored."
I had a candle party a couple weeks ago and when my delivery came, I emptied the box and left it on the living room floor. The boys discovered it and it quickly became the greatest thing they've ever seen. Jackson got out pencils and markers coloring headlights on it. Cole got into it and would let Jack push him off the couch onto the floor like a slide. They fought over, they watched TV in it. When they would wake up, they would race each other to the living room to see who could get it first! I's just a box! It seemed to open up a whole new world of imagination to them-it was incredible! So, this got me thinking. Christmas is around the corner, so I think I'll just save my money and get them a really BIG box, a wooden spoon, and a bucket of dirt and see where that takes them!

"Bick-bit woof woof"

Cole has a new job he likes to do everyday. It has become his new daily chore...something that is just his alone and it makes him feel like important. Everyday he randomly asks me, "moe-mmy, bick-bit woof woof." This means he wants to give Sampson a dog biscuit. He really has come to enjoy his little job and so has Sampson being that I mostly ignore him 99% of the time...poor Sam. This is really sad even though I'm laughing as I type this, but sadly, he's just about the last thing on my mind. He just lays around and sleeps anyway, so it's easy to pass over him, but when the hears the "bick-bit" container, he comes a runnin!

Gingerbread Train

A little Christmas tradition...

Last year we started a new tradition of building a gingerbread train. Most people do houses and yet here at the Elliott home, anything having to do with trains, is considered a great time for our kids. Both my boys have an obsession with trains. I must say, I love it. I think a train symbolizes true boyish character. I have really enjoyed certain things about Christmas I always thought I'd hate. I love homemade gingerbread houses...or trains. I love the the little hand painted ornaments hanging my tree Jackson made when he was two. I love old-fashioned ribbon candy, and would love to have some sitting out in a candy dish if I could ever find any. I'm beginning to really love tradition. I told Jon that I want to start a collection of water globes...surprising as this is, I just really love the idea of my kids unwrapping all these collectibles that they've remembered through the years. It may take me awhile to accumulate these things, but I'm really enjoying making memories with my kids during this special holiday season. Jackson asked me today..."Mom, do you know the story of Luke, chapter 1?" In all truthfulness, I really didn't. I mean, I knew the story, but I didn't know it was in Luke chapter 1. But, he started to tell me about an angel coming to Mary and telling her not to be afraid, but that she was going to have a baby. Isn't it amazing what children know?....out of the mouths of babes. May you and your family enjoy tradition this year as I am, and may you and your children remember the real reason for the season.