Fourth of July 2012

Max got up with the sun for his first holiday and was soon followed by big brother Jack.  After a quick breakfast and letting Daddy sleep in for a little while longer, we got the boys dressed in their red, white and blue outfits and off we went for a walk before it became ungodly hot.

We ended up stopping at our friend’s house for a quick hello which turned into spending the majority of the day with them.  It was very nice to relax, let the kids play, talk for a while and soak up the air conditioning instead of spending the time out in the hot and humid air.

Our friends were heading to a party and we decided to get the kids home and off to bed at a decent hour as Jack is terrified of the sound that fireworks make and to alleviate the crying and late bedtime, if he would just go to sleep, we wouldn’t have the hysteria when the fireworks started.  Our plan didn’t work out, but at least we tried.  😉

Jack and Max enjoyed a few sparklers before bed, and that was the extent of our day.  Not very exciting, but that was the best part.  Just a day to enjoy and take it easy.  Exactly what the doctor ordered!

The patriotic boys

Jack loves his baby brother!

Jack in his red, white and blue

Max in his red, white and blue

 

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend 2012

We tried to keep this weekend as low key as possible and were pretty successful, I might add.  However, the central air in my Mom’s house went on Friday (it was 90 degrees + each day with tons of humidity) and I was ready to jump off a cliff.  Everyone that we knew with a pool was either away or hadn’t opened their pool yet.  But we survived.  Barely.

It’s funny how quickly you are thankful for the little things in life when you no longer have them.

We spent much of the weekend playing in the backyard, working on the yard, remembering the fallen soldiers, and we went and put flowers on my father’s grave.  Not much, but just enough to make the most out of a long, relaxing weekend.

Monday morning, we went and watched our local Memorial Day parade and cheered on our Veterans.

A special thank you goes out to my Dad (Air Force), my father-in-law (Marines) and brother-in-law (Marines) for their service.  Without your selflessness, we would not have what we have- including (fixed) central air.  Thank you!

Waiting for the parade to start

So excited!

In between picking up candy

Watching the parade with Daddy

St. Patrick’s Day 2012

St. Patrick’s Day Parade weekend is the holiest of holy days for my family.  It all began with my mother who would dress us head to toe in green, kilts, Irish sweaters and blinking pins and send us on our way to walk the parade route with our father, who was a Friendly Son of St. Patrick.  This year has been exceptionally hard because I did not get the usual phone call early in the morning, which usually went something like this, “Top of the morning to you, Molly.”  To which I would reply, “And the rest of the day to yourself, Mom.”

My Mom always had a knack for making it an even bigger holiday than it really is; shamrock shakes, green bagels, green beer (for her) and ensuring that we knew every word to every Irish song that the band would play in the bar after the parade.

This year, Chris, who is also a Friendly Son of St. Patrick, proudly marched the parade route with Jack in his stroller.  He beamed with pride and so did I to see my son partake in the wonderful tradition that I was able to experience as a child myself.

We enjoyed the after-party and as usual, it was nice to catch up with friends and watch Jack marvel in the provate bagpiper and drum band performance in our party room.

So proud of my Irish lads!

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

 

Chris and Jack marching ❤

 

Irish lads marching

 

My sweet little lad

 

Chris, me, my sister Lisa and Jack after the parade

 

Watching the rest of the parade

 

Bagpipers!!!!

 

Always my Valentine

Years ago, when I was in Kindergarten, I made my mother a clay heart necklace that I painted red and covered in buttons, tissue paper pieces and beads. Each Valentine’s Day, without fail, my Mom wore the necklace with pride and although I was already much older, she cherished the trinket that I had made for her so long ago. She had always told my sisters and I how we were always her Valentine’s and how that would never change.

Each year, we received a beautiful card and usually a gift from my Mom.

This year? My Mom is still my Valentine. And although I don’t need to peruse the cards at Hallmark or sit Jack down to paint a picture for her, I’m sure that she knows that she is still on my mind and on my heart.

After Jack was born, he began getting the attention on St. Valentine’s Day moreso than my sisters and I were. He would get the gifts, cards and oodles of kisses from my mother. We know that she is still with us and celebrating along with us as well. We all just wish that she was here with us in person to share in the love that we are celebrating today.

Here is a photo of my little Valentine today:

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Christmas 2011

How can someone not love Christmastime?  The lights, the family get-togethers, Christmas trees, colorful wrapping paper, mass that brings tears to your eyes while singing Silent Night in a candlelit church, and the magic.  The magic is what makes me love Christmas most of all.  Every child has an extra bit of sparkle and amazement in their eyes when they see lights, Santa or anything else holiday related.  It makes my heart swell the day that the calendar turns to December.

As with the majority of families, mine carries its traditions while always welcoming new ones.

Last year, we welcomed the Elf on the Shelf tradition when we welcomed Max the Elf to our family.  We enjoy playing our Barbra Streisand Christmas CD and many other quirky traditions.  We also have a fire, roast marshmallows, and just enjoy spending time with each other.

Another new tradition this year with Jack was breakfast with Santa.  Although, Jack would only go near Mrs. Claus and wanted nothing to do with Santa.

This year was special because we still have my Mom with us.  Jack absolutely adores her and hangs on every word that she says.

This was also the first year that Jack baked cookies with us, although Mommy took over icing and decorating them while he napped.

Baking cookies with Mommy

He got many wonderful Cars toys from Santa and relatives and we spent all of Christmas day in our pajamas!  It was wonderful!

Jack opening presents

Now, with having this week off between Christmas and New Year’s, I plan on getting multiple projects completed, including bringing out my entire maternity wardrobe.  (Yes, it’s time)  I have over 5,000 Pampers Gifts to Grow points, so I plan on redeeming some and getting photos printed of Jack, decluttering the house and putting away the Christmas decorations.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

The family on Christmas Eve

14 Weeks and Counting

Two posts in just a few weeks is a proud accomplishment right now.

Work is borderline insane this month with traveling, year end activities, Christmas in general and everything in between.  Unfortunately, it has been a rough couple of weeks as many of my coworkers, including myself, wait to hear whether or not we will have a job in a few weeks.  Praying that I get to keep my job (because I love it) and because if I do lose my job, no one is going to hire a pregnant woman who would need maternity leave in a few short months.  I just keep praying to be one of the lucky few.

Some wonderful things have happened in the past few weeks as well!  Jack is officially 2!  (It is even weird to type it, let alone say it!)  He had a wonderful little birthday party and I will try and post about it this weekend or next week.  😉

I am also really starting to feel better regarding this pregnancy.  There are definitely still times when eating broth is a chore, but it is slowly getting better than it was.  Chris, Jack and the rest of my family and coworkers are absolutely convinced that I am having a girl.  I guess that we will see in a few short weeks.  (Yes, we talked about it and decided to find out this time)

So, to try and track this pregnancy, here are some questions that I am going to try and answer as frequently as I can:

How far along? 14 weeks, 5 days
Maternity clothes? Yes.  It is amazing how much faster I am showing the second time around.
Stretch marks? Not this time around, thus far
Sleep: I can no longer sleep on my belly, which is hard because I am a belly sleeper!  Getting up 1-2 times a night to use the facilities.
Best moment this week: When I realized that at this exact time next year, I will have a 3 year old AND a 6 month old!
Miss Anything? I would kill for a Coca Cola or a beer.
Movement: Not really, but waiting for quickening.
Food cravings: Ice cream (although it makes me sick), Coca Cola, salad from Olive Garden, watermelon
Anything making you queasy or sick: Pizza, chicken, ice cream
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Gender: We will find out on January 31
Labor Signs: None
Belly Button in or out? In. We still have a ways before that happens
Wedding rings on or off? On.  I wore them the entire time with Jack too.  And since I lost the 17.5lbs so far, my rings are really loose!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Moody, which is terrible.  I was the total opposite with Jack.  Trying to be better, but no luck so far.
Looking forward to: Christmas with my family, having the week off next week from work and relaxing for a while!

Memorial Day Weekend

We all had a blast this weekend!  Aunt Colleen came home with her friend Lizzie and we just kept busy from the minute that they arrived.  Following a day of swimming in the baby pool, playing on the sand and water table, and running around the back yard, Jack fell asleep that night almost instantaneously.  He was wiped out!

Hanging out with Daddy

Saturday was another busy day with errands, hot weather, and remembrance.  Chris and I put Jack down for a nap and took a trip to my father’s grave to plant some flowers and do some weeding.  Upon arriving there, I was a little upset to see that there was no flag placed on my father’s grave or on my Uncle Bob’s grave for their service in the military.  I started to get angry.  How could they just forget to put something on the grave?  They both fought for our country and served proudly and there is no flag to indicate that?

I located the groundskeeper who was returning the backhoe from a freshly dug grave and inquired about why there were no flags place on the grave.  He explained that the grave markers, the metal flag stands which used to be on the grave, were not there and the servicemen only place a flag for each marker.  “One hundred and twenty five of the metal grave markers were recently stolen from the cemetery and the military is the only group that can replace them.  I asked for two individual flags to place in the ground instead.  He obliged and Chris and I proudly put the flags in the ground at their final resting places.  They should be honored, grave marker or no grave marker.  Hopefully the military personnel will see the flags and replace the markers that were stolen from the cemetery.

We woke up Sunday morning and went to mass.  After mass, it was already beastly hot outside.  (Around 90)  So, Colleen, Lizzie and I all jumped in the car and headed to Target for a larger pool for the backyard and other fun outside items.  Chris and I took this large rectangular pool and filled it up with air at the local convenience mart and drove home with the pool being held onto the roof of the Venza.  Totally redneck, but we laughed the whole time and got some interesting stares from many neighbors.  🙂  Needless to say, even though the water was FREEZING, we still enjoyed cooling off and soaking up some rays while enjoying burgers, hot dogs and other cookout-style foods.  At night, Grammy offered to babysit so we could all go out together, so once Jack was asleep, we headed to see the Memorial Day fireworks at the casino.

Jared, Colleen and Jack

The new pool

Love

Crawling through the tube

Grammy was having a good day

This was the first time that I have ever seen fireworks set to music, and needless to say, it was interesting.  We  were a little surprised with several of the music choices, but all in all, it was a great time.  A beer or two later, following some sightings of people in prom-style dresses (It’s a freaking CASINO people!), we all headed home.

We all went to the Memorial Day parade on Monday morning to honor those who have served and given their lives for this country.  Jack loved all of the trucks, especially the fire trucks, and was glad to see all of the children as well.  Aunt Colleen and Aunt Lizzie did their auntie duties by chasing down the candy that was being thrown by the people in the parade and filled a few bags of tootsie rolls and peppermints for later.  No children were harmed in the chasing of the candy, although they were the oldest two collecting the candy.  😉

Watching the parade with Big Leen

Watching the trucks

I need one of these

Fire trucks!!

Following the parade, we were invited to a cookout and to have a swim in a friend’s pool around the corner.  Jack loved the water and was thrilled to be able to splash around with Mommy and Daddy.  When we tried to put him in his float though, that is when the tears started.  Big fat tears.  Maybe the Mommy and Me swim class spoiled him into thinking that each time he is in the pool, he will be held and not in the float.

We left for nap time and I just started packing and prepping everyone for Tuesday.  My first day at work, even though I am spending it flying to Chicago, and Jack’s first day at his new school.  (Jack’s first day at school will be in a future post)

We remembered those who have fought for us.

Swimming Play Date

On Friday, our friends Carolyn and Elle came over with the Bridge Girls for a little iced tea, girl talk and to see two of the cutest babies splash and play in the baby pool!

Jack had quite the hard-to-get presence about him and even though Elle was mainly interested in splashing and playing with him in the pool, Jack was having a blast getting in and out of the pool.  Constantly.

I would say the most of Jack’s time was spent getting in and out of the pool instead of swimming.

And without further ado…

Jack kept getting in and out of the pool

Splash!

Bringing the beach ball in

In again

And out again...

Blowing kisses to the Bridge girls. What a ham!