A Sunbeam to Warm you, A Moonbeam to Charm You, A Sheltering Angel, That Nothing May Harm You

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Decorating our Christmas Tree

Today was the last day of our long Thanksgiving week end so started to spread our Christmas spirit around the house.

After the horror that was the real tree last year (extremely sharp needles that feel off every time you touched the tree) we decided to pull out our artificial tree and keep it nice and simple. Right away Johnny was excited. He has been watching Christmas movies and books for a week and has really jumped head first into the holiday spirit.

Our matching stockings that Mommy stitched herself. Lily has a special cupcake stocking for her first Christmas, next year she will have a matching stocking as well.

From the moment we put the tree up all Johnny wanted to do was decorate it! It was driving him crazy! He LOVES this train from Frosty the Snowman which has all the characters and he has been reenacting the movies. He brought us the magician from the Frosty movie trying to pull the hat off, he said he wanted to "see the rabbit."

So after two days of pretending to decorate the tree everyone was naped and happy and dressed up so we could officially decorate the tree!

The hidden Christmas snake is a tradition that Papa started, in order to frighten innocent people not expecting to find a snake in a Christmas tree...the snake was the first thing Johnny wanted to get on the tree!

Lily putting up the family ornament from last year, where she was the tiny teddy in Mommy teddy's tummy.

Johnny got frustrated quickly with the ornaments that used loops to go onto the tree, his little fingers couldn't finagle the loops, so he started hanging the candy canes.

Lily liked them too (yes the wrapper is still on)

But Johnny wasn't sure Lily would hang the candy canes the way they should be hung.

It is strange to see our family cat, Monkey, out and about, so the fact that he wanted to be involved with this family Christmas event was very sweet.

Johnny organised and moved around the candy canes a lot, even if they ALL ended up on the same branch, it was perfect.

Monkey kept coming back and I guess Lily has never really seen him becuase she just went crazy, giggling and kicking and reaching for the kitty.
Monkey really didn't care who was petting him and Lily was excited that he was still.

PERFECT Johnny decorations.

Our prefect Christmas Tree!

The last few years I have really been lacking my Christmas Spirit, especially last year when I was nauseous and pregnant the entire time. This year Johnny has been filling me with me the excitement that I remember having as a child, but now it is my turn to make the season for my children. Johnny has been asking about Santa and is excited to go see him and ask him for "big dinosaurs, little dinosaurs and baby dinosaurs." However we can't convince Johnny to tell Santa he has been good, he keeps telling us that he has been bad.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Go Buckeyes Go! Beat Michigan!

I don't follow sports as much as I would like, but today is the OSU Michigan game! So Lily thought we would show a little Ohio Pride.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A First and A Third Thanksgiving

We have so much to me Thankful for.....

most of all TWO, beautiful, healthy, smart, wonderful, sweet, lovable and loving children.

Lily celebrated her first Thanksgiving in a special tutu mommy made

Mommy made that tutu to match the turkey bow.

As always she was a hit, Grams just loves her littlest Cupcake.

As a special treat Great Grandma Joyce and Great Grandpap Steve came down from Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. Grandma Joyce has been sick so had not meet Lily yet.

Great Grandpap Steve LOVES all the kids and will hold them and love them as long as he can, Lily just loves everyone. Both of her Great Grandparents kept saying how she is the happiest baby they have ever seen.

We are lucky enough to avoid the stress of Thanksgiving by going to a buffet (NO cooking for us) with ALL of our family, this year there was 20 of us! As we got ready to head to the restaurant Johnny was readying books to his cousin Sammi.

Shawn loves this picture of little Samantha becuase he calls her a "bruiser." (She is Johnny's kindred spirit, a rough and tumble little girl!) But seeing the bruiser all dressed up really hits Shawn funny and makes him giggle, I just think she is adorable!

Lily just loves everyone, here a visit from Wyatt was making her giggle. I can't say how wounderful is was to have all the SIX grand kids together and have all of our family in one house, talking and sitting together, this is what the holidays are about.

One of our traditions is to take advantage of this long week end and set up the Christmas tree and decorations (yes it is almost Christmas)

I am so excited this year becuase Johnny really gets it! He was VERY excited to help Grams and Pops decorate their Christmas tree.

Before we got to the restaurant Johnny was running non stop with one cousin or the other, having so many "friends" around really makes him happy! But this excitement made it hard for him to sit down and eat his special meal.

This picture really got me because he looks ridiculous in that bib! But he is only two, reasonable he could still need a bib, but Johnny looks like a man child here.

That is the same bib he wore for his first Thanksgiving TWO years ago...it says "Gobble till you Wobble."

Lily is not yet 6 months old, so she started her dinner in her carrier, like a normal baby. But we learned quickly that that was not going to fly.

The big girl wanted to see everything and be apart of the event, so she got into a restaurant high chair for the first time!

Mommy made special organic sweet potato baby mush for her have for her First Thanksgiving meal, but it gave her a tummy ache and diarrhea when we started it the day before. So Lily's meal was a rice cracker and plain rice cereal....she LOVED it!

Lily also loved the extra attention she got, Great Grandpap Steve just can't say no to holding a great grand baby.
Neither can Papa.

Little Wyatt ate two full plates of dinner and then finished up Johnny's. He didn't stop until we started to get worried he was going to get a tummy ache and had to cut him off! He ate straight for the entire 2 hours we where there! Everything from cod, to turkey to dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.

Mommy has been on a low carb diet for a month now, I have lost enough weight to not blow my diet off for the holidays, but not enough to put it out to the public. So Mommy had a lot of turkey, beef tips (very yummy), and salad. I am proud to say I made it through the day regretting no extra carbs!

I also have no pictures of Ella since she was at the other table, but her and her Mommy had made conversation starter cards and she kept asking questions that we could all answer together, it was a great idea and I loved listening to stories about everyone's childhood and favorite things.

Here we are! One happy family. Even though neither kid is looking at the camera I still love this picture because everyone is smiling and happy and obviously having a great day with family.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stitches Before Age three

Around 7 pm this evening Johnny was playing with Mommy and Daddy and avoiding going to bed. He tripped in the living room and fell chin first onto the living room table. I had never considered our table dangerous, in fact I always took pride in the softly rounded edges. When Johnny stood up from his spill, screaming at the top of his lungs, there was blood pouring out of his mouth. Daddy picked him up immediately and rushed him to the bathroom to get the first aid kit. Johnny had bit through his bottom lip...again. He calmed down after a few minutes and we where able to get the bleeding to stop.

But we weren't sure if this was as slight of a cut as the last time, so Mommy took Johnny to Patient First expecting to be home in an hour. Patient First is not my first choice, since they are not equipped to take children and when we went there for Johnny's burn, literally everything they told us and had us do turned out to be wrong. But I didn't think this would be a big deal and this new Patient First was so close. We where taken back quickly and Johnny was in a good mood telling everyone about the table and his chin and lip. But when the P.A. came to see him she said nothing to me, but turned around and asked some one in if they want to help her "stitch up a kid." Then employees began to gather around Johnny (preparing to hold him down) and I saw a needle of Novocain. No one talked to me about anything. This is not just some "kid," this is my TODDLER! My very young child who had never been had stitches before. I asked why they wanted to stitch him up since the last time he had this mouth wound they didn't want to stitch it since it heals so fast. She said it would get infected if they didn't stitch up the inside and they would do the outside as a second thought, but I was welcome to take him to the hospital if I was concerned. So I did and I vow that Patient First is no place for any issues involving a child! They just don't know how to deal with it.

I stopped by my parents house and picked up Papa since I didn't want to be alone if they did have to give Johnny stitches and we headed for Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. Though the waiting room was very full we where taken right back. There was an entire ward for pediatric with special nurses and doctors who only work with kids. From there everything was so quick and smooth. We where there less then two hours and Johnny had his own room where he could watch Shrek and wait in peace and quite. The doctor did decide that he had bit through and through and that they needed to stitch the outside to help keep infection away and help it heal easily. She talked to us a lot and gave us the option of using the glue, but didn't recommend it. She was very clear with the procedure and preparing Johnny for it, saying she only stitches up children and has lots of experience toddlers between 1 and 3 years of age. The doctor (whom comforted me just by having an MD next her name on her badge) was sweet, calming and informative, promising no more then two stitches done very quickly.

Johnny was given some Oxycodine (since we knew he handled that well) and some numbing gel on the cut and left to let those settle in for 30 minutes. They came right in at the end of the 30 minutes, and explained each step before they started and as they went along. They wrapped Johnny up in a sheet, they swaddled him, and I hugged across his middle with Papa behind me in clear view of Johnny. The doctor cleaned out the wound and then created a "sterile field" around it with special towels, that is what upset him. He did not flinch when the needle went in, but he knew something was going on and kept asking for everyone to get off of him. He handled it all very well in my opinion and I will always be proud.

He was given some restrictions, soft food, no citrus, no sucking sippy cups or straws, no showers, and basically keeping him calm so that the wound on the inside of his mouth has a chance to close up. Wounds on the inside of the mouth tend to heal fast on their own, however they are also at a higher risk of infection, our mouths are dirty. So he is on some antibiotics and we will be cleaning out his mouth with some mouth wash on a q-tip as well as keeping antibacterial ointment on his stitches. He should get his stitches out on Wednesday!

I don't like the new trend Johnny has created. Every three months or so he gets injured, twice now trips to the ER and once to the burn unit. I know he is a boy, a high energy, rough and tumble, strong boy...but I feel like that is no excuse to keep getting seriously injured like this. Even this incident I don't think that the playing before hand was abnormal or crazy, he just fell, like he and many other kids have fallen, just this time with his chin first and his mouth open. I am scared at this young age getting stitches and what that means for our future. I didn't get my first stitches till I was 17 years old! Shawn has other stories of a crazy boy two year old covered in blood, like father like son? Is this normal? It was hard to hold back my own tears as I held Johnny and watched the needle close up his wound, I can't imagine if it was any worse...and each time he gets injured I will say that and each time it is a little worse then the time before. I am scared.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bless This Child

Last week end we welcomed Lily Jean into the Catholic Church and the Christian community, at Saint Patrick's Church i n Havre de Grace Maryland.
It was a fun filled week end full of happiness, family and endless blessings.

Lily's Great Aunt Cookie came up from Ohio for the week end to be Lily's Godmother. She was so taken aback when we asked her that I knew she was perfect to guide and protect Lily in her spiritual journey. It was wonderful to see my Aunt again, though I never feel like I get enough time with her.

Saturday we had a wonderful fall party at a park and pavilion less then a mile from our house. The weather made the day feel more like spring then late fall. We had Maryland crabs, chickens, potato soup and mac and cheese. It was wonderful for our family and friends to get together and swoon over Lily while showing their support for Lily's Christening. Here is a friend from Shawn's office, Vicky, she is a sweet lady who just loves both of the kids.

Natalie showed everyone how to crack open the crabs and what was yummy to eat, though Aunt Cookie decided it was just too much work for such little meat...I agree.

Ella has it easy, her Mommy does the work and she eats the spoils.

Mommy made white cupcakes, in white papers with white icing and white sugar sprinkles, pure like my Lily.

I don't have a lot of pictures from the party since my "photographer" (my good friend Leslie) had a soccer party to go to and my batteries died. But take it from me it was a great party! So much fun! Johnny ran and ran for 3 hours straight and passed out on Daddy around 5:30 that evening, minutes after we got home, that shows you what a great party it was.

Sunday after the noon mass we all gathering in the front of the church for baptism. Aunt Cookie would have held Lily for days! And isn't that dress beautiful? Lily's Godmother picked it out herself, and it was perfect!

That is my happy girl!

There we all are! Sometimes I just can't take my eyes off of her.

And Grams and Pops with the Lily blessing.

Our family, standing where Shawn and I stood 5 years ago promising to spend our lives together and love forever. Lily was baptized in the same church and by the same priest (Father O'Brian) that married Shawn and I.

Something was missing from our week end. Chuckles, Aunt Chel, Wyatt and Piper couldn't make it up from Ohio. We thought about them a lot. Especially during this picture of Grams and Pops with the local grand kids. I feel like this picture shows each grand kid's personality. Can you guess?
Again I just can't take my eyes off of Lily and it is obvious that her Daddy is smitten too.
"From the fullness of grace we have received one blessing after another" - John 1:16

I just love this picture, more often then not I think of Natalie as more of a sister then blood could prove.

I loved standing there with Shawn and Lily's Godmother as we listened to Father O'Brian explain what baptism meant for Lily and her family. We made a commitment for her and a promise in her name.

My pure and sweet Lily being cleansed of anything that could tant her.

I like to think that Aunt Cookie was falling in love with Lily girl.

Listening some more. I adore Father O'Brian, he made this all very relaxed and yet very spiritual.

Blessing for my blessing.

Thank you to everyone to was involved with our week end. Thank you for sharing in our lives and and in the lives of our children. Lily received some beautiful gifts that will always show her how happy her friends and family where to welcome her into this spiritual family. I hope everyone knows how much we appreciate the support and friendship and how blessed we feel everyday.