Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tis' the season...blah, blah, blah...yadda, yadda, yadda, and all that stuff...

I must admit, if you couldn't tell by the title, that I have been a bit of a Grinch this year. More than a bit, more like A LOT. The month started out cheery, even with my pneumonia, I was in good spirits and happy for the holiday season. I was really excited to decorate our tree this year, I even got out every last Christmas decoration I could, putting those up as well. I made ready all of the holiday movies and music, and I even had fun doing my shopping this year. But the week of Christmas, my mood changed. I don't know if it was the stress of wrapping, cooking, cleaning, or taking care of three very sick kids the week before(I swear my house still smells like throw up, even though we shampooed the carpets multiple times,) but I was ready to throw in the towel before the big day had even arrived. And on Christmas day itself, I was worse than Ebenezer Scrooge. Even now I am still a bit ba-hum-buggy. I know I am certainly not the only one that suffers from the stress of the holidays, but I have worked out a plan for next year that will hopefully help keep my spirits up for the whole of December. I am boycotting Christmas! Now before you get too mad at me, hear me out. My plan, is to remove myself from all things stressful--no family parties, no mother or in-law Christmas, no wrapping, no cooking, no cleaning, no secret Santas with siblings--just me, my handsome hubby, and the kids on a Christmas get-a-away. I want to do the Polar Express next year for Christmas Eve and spend the night in a hotel! We will have Santa bring the kids one gift each, our gift to them being the train ride and hotel stay. What do think? I think it sounds wonderful!, The only tricky part will be carefully hiding the gifts in the car on the way up. Oh, and Matthew's family, we are still doing gifts for our respective parents next year, so count us in on the next big family present :) Matthew is all for it, and since the Christmas Eve ride fills up really fast, I will be booking our reservations in January, and breathing easy for the next 11 months! But in the meantime, here are some highlights from the family parties and Christmas day activities.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

ipod photos

All of these photos were taken with Matthew's new ipod. I didn't even realize it could take pictures! It's much handier to have around than the camera, and the quality of most of them is not bad at all! This is Matthew's fourth ipod. The first one he got was a bonus gift from the web company he worked for his last semester of college. When we moved here to Tucson and he started at Raytheon, it, and all of Matthew's CD's were stolen out of the rental car we had. Pretty lame. So, for some holiday, his birthday or our anniversary or something, I got him a new one. Then, about a year later, they came out with the ipod touch. Since we claim poverty when it comes to cell phones and cell phone plans (we have pre-paid) there was no way he was getting the iphone he wanted. So, for Valentines day, I got him yet another ipod. It was the last one I was EVER going to buy. Even after the ipod glass was smashed at work in the group cubby all lab employees have to use (they are not allowed to take any phones or electronic devices with them in the lab for security reasons,) I was still not going to buy a new one. The glass was cracked, yes, but it was still usable and we would learn to deal with it! Then, however, I somehow managed to wash the ipod with a load of Matthew's clothes...yikes. In my defense, though, it's always been Matthew's responsibility to empty his pockets out before throwing his cloths in the hamper. I do have six people to wash for, and I don't have time to look through every article of clothing. That being said, I felt horrible!!! And although Matthew is not a crier, he came pretty darn close that day. Knowing me very well, and seeing that my wheels were turning, Matthew made me pinky swear promise (the most binding of all promises in our marriage) that I wouldn't buy him another ipod for Christmas. I agreed, and we locked pinkies. I then got on the computer and bought another ipod. And on some random day in the beginning of November, I gave it to him--his very un-Christmas present. Engraved on the back is Last One, I Promise!

On a side note--one of my favorite pictures has got to be Emma on the slide, with crazy hair, and some random kid standing next to her. I laughed so hard when I saw those pictures. The kid next to her looks like a deer in headlights!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's official...

I haven't felt well for a long time now--long before I was even pregnant with Olivia. At the time I chocked it up to having three kids and lots to do, and then associated all my symptoms with my pregnancy. But, over the last few months, I have had a serious of illnesses that go away only to come back or get worse. My mom told me to go to the doctor and get some tests done. I did. It turns out I have both Lupus and Crones disease. I've had a long list of tests done, including of all things, a syphilis test! It happens to test for certain antibodies that are associated with Lupus, but it was embarrassing, nonetheless :) There is no cure for either of these diseases, but there are lots of treatments and protocols. Mostly preventive care to help boost my immune system. I thought I would be more upset when I got my results back, but really, I am relieved. For so long I thought there was something wrong with me, with my emotional and/or spiritual make up that I couldn't just suck it up and get on with things. I looked at everyone else and wondered why I couldn't find the energy to do this, or that. It's nice to finally have some answers and some solutions. I will have good stretches of health, and some not so good, but knowing why makes things a lot easier!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

5 and 2

In the last few days BOTH of my sweet boys had birthdays! Aidan turned 5 (I can't believe I have a 5 year old...where has the time gone?) and Parker turned 2. We had a low key family party this past Sunday, on Aidan's actual birthday, with cake, presents, and visits from the grandparents. Here Parker is opening one of his presents. He got a musical book and puzzles this year.

Aidan got much needed winter jammies from both Grammy-Ann and Grammy Sally.

And from Mom and Dad, Aidan received a "pirate's bounty." For the last few months Aidan has been asking for a treasure box and pirate stuff. I looked on line, and everything that was pre-maid was over priced for the quality. So, Matthew and I decided to make something ourselves. And by ourselves, I mean I bought everything and Matthew did the making :) We purchased both the large and small boxes and decals at Micheal's and with my 50% off coupon it all came to under $10. I got GREAT deals on line after Halloween and was able to score the hat, sword, gold, hook, eye patch, telescope, compass, and bags for under $10 as well--added bonus, free shipping! We already had the stain and paint in our garage.

My super talented husband made the maps himself using scrapbook paper ($0.25 a piece.) I know I am biased because I love him, but I think they turned out AWESOME! Total price for Aidan's pirate present $19.78!

And, last but not least, Mom with the birthday boys. Aidan, is of course, making a classic Matthew Carpenter face for the camera. It's amazing the things that are genetic :)

Happy belated birthday boys, you've been the best blessings in my life!!!