Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Traditions

When we expanded our family and welcomed Miss Kinley Grace into our lives, we held tight to one major rule:  We would always be home for Christmas.  We both live a decent distance from our families.  Mine is about 3 ish hours south and his is about 5 ish hours south.  We are lessening our travel as the months go by, which is good.  But we almost always are on the road for holidays.  We are the ones to travel.  Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving.... and Christmas.  But our rule of being home for Christmas is number one.  We will travel to celebrate before the holiday or after, but Kinley wakes up on Christmas morning in her own house.  Not too much to ask, no?

Last year wasn't too bad.  She was super young, didn't care too much about the gifts.  We opened presents and then traveled to my parents house around lunch time.  This year, it will be different.  My in-laws are going on a cruise, so we won't celebrate with them until after the new year.  My family is celebrating the Sunday before.  This is the first time (since Kinley) that we have no where to be on Christmas day.

At first, I was a little sad.  But then I realized what a golden opportunity I had before us.  We can start our traditions this year.  What do we want Christmas day to be like for Kinley?  What traditions do we want to carry on year after year?  What do we remember from our childhood that just made the day "Christmas!" 

So with that, we started to discuss making a big Christmas dinner.  Yes, it's just the three of us, and well, what's the point....but the point is that it is our family.  We deserve just as much a celebration--even if there are only three of us.  I still get kind of teary thinking of not being with our families on Christmas day, but I want to be home.  That trumps all.

We have hopes that someday the families will travel up here to spend the holidays with us (at least some of the holidays) but until then...Christmas will be ours.  And spending it in a car is not how we want to spend the day.

What we're thinking, so far, is visiting a new church for midnight mass (why not break it in on the busiest night of the year!), a special cinnamon roll breakfast after opening presents, watching a Christmas movie together, preparing a nice meal (ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, green beans, deviled eggs.....you get the idea) and then.....  we're not sure what.  That's where the blog community comes in.  Help me plan a day to remember....

What is the timeline of your Christmas day?  Do you have a special breakfast?  Do you prepare a big meal?  What dish is special for Christmas day?  Do you watch special movies?  I'm open for ideas and suggestions!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Have Faith

I pulled out the sweater that is the closest to green that I own...it's totally a "teacher sweater" but I don't care.  Yesterday afternoon, I went in to school to work on my plans for the week.  It's something that I've done almost every weekend since late August.  I actually enjoy the solitude of a silent school building.  But yesterday, I needed Richie to come with me.  I needed the extra strength of someone there with me.
He walked me in and get me situated in my classroom.  My classroom is the first room on the left past the office.  He had me step out of my classroom to see how much of me or my door could be seen from the office, just in case.  We discussed the lock down plan that my school has in place and how I could make it safer for my students.  After some time, we agreed that I was okay for him to go and run an errand.  So he left, and I stayed in that solitude.
I couldn't work.  I stared out the tiny rectangular glass window in my classroom door.  I stared as if I were waiting and watching.  I heard noises that normally wouldn't make me think twice.  I texted Richie to tell him that I couldn't do it.  I couldn't be alone there.
This is a room where I have spent countless hours.  I have spent many nights, weekends, holidays.  This is a room full of life and color and love.  But that day, it was empty.
As I got ready for work today, I couldn't help but think of the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary that started their Friday in much the same way.  Thinking of their plans for the day.  Seeing the students that you call your own.  Making plans for the holiday...asking yourself if you got everything that was on your list.  They didn't see this coming.  None of us did.
We teach.  We aren't soldiers.  We have hearts and love for the students that walk into our classroom and trust us with their precious minds.  We aren't programmed to handle the stress and fear that comes with the job nowadays. 
Our school is holding an emergency meeting today, to discuss how things will be changed and affected since Sandy Hook.  I was happy to have my family to hold close this weekend in the fall of this tragedy.  But today, I can't help but look forward to seeing my other 27 children that I hold dear to my heart as well.  Children whom I would go to the ends of the earth to protect.  I want to be there to allow their sense of security and safety to rebuild.  To rebuild my own sense of security and safety. 
Right now, it's shattered.  Being home alone while Kage is silently sleeping (in my bed) makes me fear the unknown.  What happened to the United States?  The people are not supposed to live with this fear.  The fear that one of our own will turn on us. A silent face in the crowd.
My husband kissed me an extra time this morning, and hugged me before he left.  He's afraid too.  I'm not sure how long it will take to feel secure again, but I look forward to a day where I don't fear going out and taking my baby with me.  I look forward to a world that I can have faith in again.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims.  So close to Christmas, their loved ones were taken away.  The Christmas tree will be a reminder of this tragic loss.  The gifts have been purchased, their beds lay empty.  Their rooms still have the crumpled PJs on the floor from the night before.  Their favorite cereal is in the pantry.  Their toys still on the floor.  I couldn't handle it.  I'm sure they haven't slept--haven't eaten--haven't breathed a breath without regret for what they wish they could have or would have said if they had only known.
Today I'm wearing my green and white to honor those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary, my thoughts are with you.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A story in pictures

She swears that Lucy did it.  Clever dog.

Thanks for the reminder...but I didn't need one.

For those of you following along at home...
Yes, that says 3 weeks late.  I am so beyond frustrated.  And tired of sex.  We are trying to catch the ovulation but it's just seeming a bit impossible.  I mean, it's been weeks of "it could be any day now!"  And well, we're still waiting and trying.  Yeah.

And ovulation tests don't work for me.  I tried them one cycle in the past and had over 2 weeks of positive results and still no period. 

And I think that someone with a mean sense of humor sent me this from Enfamil.  Not that I've ever used formula, or would consider it, but still.  Not funny, Enfamil.  Thanks for the reminder that I'm *not* pregnant.  Anyone need Emfamil checks?  They sent me those too. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bitter Baby

There is nothing like a good old pity party to bring you back to your blog.  I'm just going to cut to the chase here....someone got pregnant and it wasn't me.  Story of my life, or so it seems in this self pity state.  Let me preface this by saying that I know how blessed we are to already have one.  A wonderful, beautiful, healthy little girl (who is three now, by the way).  I don't take that for granted (and I hate when people say that they take something for granite.) for one second.  Neither of us do.  And yes, I was all "one is enough" or "we are satisfied as a family of three" for a very long time.  That, has now, changed. 

I want another baby so bad. 

Kinley wants another baby, so bad.

She wants a "brudder."

We've been "trying" for a few months now.  But after the first couple, we realized that we weren't really trying but more hoping. 

I mean, we've never prevented, but we weren't really trying either.  Without getting all TMI on you, lets just say that we didn't do things as often as someone would if they were in fact "trying."

So on a whim, I got this text from the hubs that says, "I think we need to actively start trying again."

Ummm, wha huh?

I responded to him that we were, actively trying.

It was him that reminded me that we in fact, weren't.  And he was right.

So here we are back on the band wagon and on month cycle two.  If only I had regular cycles.  No joke, my cycles range from 96-ish days to 35-ish days.  Yeah.  How am I supposed to work with that?
I have the app that is supposed to help us know when those special days are...but according to the app, I was fertile three weeks ago--and I'm now fertile again for the next cycle.  Ugh.  So frustrating.

According to this app, I am 18 days late.  Normally, that would have every woman running for the "Family Planning" aisle at the closest Walgreens. 

For us, it's causes zero concern. 

And that makes me mad. 

I want the excitement of the "what if!?" and I want to anticipation of OMG, I'm late!  But nope, no cause for concern.  I have the log of all of my cycles and my cycle this time last year, was 96 days long.  So yeah.

I have zero symptoms of being pregnant, and zero symptoms of starting a period any time soon.  I have so had it.

I recently celebrated my 34th birthday, and Kinley just had her third birthday.  Our window of opportunity is closing, quickly.  We truly don't want a huge gap in our children's ages.  And I don't want to face the health risks of an ahem older pregnancy.

So back to my pity party....another blogger just announced her pregnancy.  Baby #2.  They decided four months ago that it was time to expand their family.  Boom, bang.  Done.

Must be nice.

I am bitter.  Allow me to be bitter.  I'll get over it sooner than later.

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