Monday, December 27, 2010

How I Burnt Christmas Breakfast

I guess Santa thought I was a good girl this year because I was blessed with a wonderful Christmas.  After several hints for a new camera, Mr. Clause gave me the perfect entry level D-SLR; The Nikon D3100. 

This was a big surprise because I told him not to worry about me for Christmas and to take care of everyone else.  We had a ton of family members that we wanted to get gifts for to show our appreciation for them touching our lives in more ways than one.  However, Mr. loves to surprise me and for the last two weeks he had me convinced that I would be getting a stocking stuffer for Christmas and then we would do something really big for Valentine's day.  He worked on Christmas Eve and arrived home at about 6 a.m. Christmas morning. As soon as I heard him walk through the door I jumped out of bed so that we could unwrap our presents.  Finally, after shaking my present all week I was able to open it up and see what was in the box. It was a memory card wrapped in a huge box which is why there was so much shaking going on inside there.  I was pleased with that gift because I knew it was a hint for something bigger.  We laid down for a few and about an hour later Mr. gave me another wrapped present.  One that was not under the tree and one that I did not get to shake all week.  I opened the gift like a big kid and it was a Nikon Digital Starter Kit which consisted of  D-SLR Camera System Case, Nikon School Instructional DVD, cleaning kit, & Tripod.    No longer able to sleep because he has me wondering if her got the camera already or not, I decided to make breakfast.  While making breakfast Mr came behind me with another present. This one is somewhat heavy, no shaking this present so I quickly opened it and WOW... to my surprise there it was my Nikon D3100. I was so enthralled with my new toy, admiring the lenses (as if I knew what the heck I was looking at)  that I completely forgot about breakfast... that is until we said "is something burning?"  I really wish I had taken a picture of those burnt pancakes but I had way to much excitement going on to even think about that. Yeah.. so breakfast was burnt but I was so ecstatic about the camera to care and Mr was filled with pride and joy by seeing me so giddy that he didn't care either. That man never ceases to amaze me and he always knows how to make me feel special.  He I really lucked up when he I met me him.  
I love my new camera, and have already registered for classes so that I can become more familiar with SLR's and their full capabilities. I wanted a new camera to enhance my blogging experience and to capture the true beauty in my photos that are posted. However, after receiving such a wonderful camera from Mr. this just might be a new hobby of mine. I took a few point and shoot shots to publish with this post. I can't wait until I take the classes and become more familiar with all of the functionalities of the camera.

Yep our little Faith Gift was under the Tree!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas....

To me, Christmas is the most magical time of year. I was raised by my grandmother and she always insured that my brother and I had a wonderful Christmas. She created traditions for me that I intend to pass onto my children. One that always makes me smile is decorating for the holidays. We were always the best lit house on the block. Every year she would change the colors of the lights and ornaments and it was always a two color combination because multicolor lights were a huge NO NO for grandma.    We would decorate the outside bushes and the porch shortly after Thanksgiving and our house lit up the entire block.  So if we did red then as soon as you turned the corner on our block you saw our tall tree in front of my house glowing red! The Christmas tree was a big deal in our house, it was always purchased a few days before Christmas and of course we always had a real tree. We would decorate the tree on Christmas Eve.  My grandma would reluctantly allow my brother and I to place the ornaments on the tree, however she completely micro managed the project as she told us where to place every single ornament. This time of year is when  my grandma stays on my mind. Every best lit house on a block that I pass, or simply  me trying to recreate the magic that she gave me in my own home brings back those wonderful memories and a few tears along with it. I cherish all of those moments that we had and can still hear her managing me decorate my own tree.  Mr. always ask why does it take a week to decorate our tree but he doesn't understand the strategic detailing that goes into placing each bulb on that tree.   When I see the lights, the ornaments and hear the Christmas music it brings me to that frame of reference...those memories as a child.

Since being on my own I've always adopted that tradition and had a Christmas tree in my home, although unlike my grandma, I've opted for an artificial tree at least until we have kids then maybe I will consider getting a real tree.  This year I decided to go with purple and silver and ended up putting slight touches of gold in there also.  Mr calls my tree the Prince Purple Rain tree because of the purple ornaments.  This was our first Christmas in our new apartment and I really loved decorating it for the holidays. In our complex many people put up decorations a little late for me. So for a while our home really stood out.  But as the lights in other homes went up my competitive streak came out and I was in a competition with my neighbors only they didn't know it.  Michael's became my second home over the past few weeks.  I loved the fact that you can print off those 40% or 50% off coupons so I did most of my holiday decor shopping there.  Every time I saw a neighbors home who gave mine a run for the money, off to Michael's I went.  It was a fun little hobby for me and I really enjoyed it.  Our home turned out wonderful and I was finally finished adding lights a few days ago. What really brings me joy is at night when I am driving home and I can look up from the expressway near my home and see my lights.  Well I added some of my pics, and my camera really doesn't do them any justice. This is the last time you will hear me complain about my images because Mr got me a Nikon D3100 for Christmas this year.  What a wonderful hubby I have.

The sassy wife ornament

The Sassy Hat
The Ballerina

Cinnamon sticks that I coated with purple glitter. They give the house a warm and festive aroma

Turtle Dove

Touches of holiday cheer around the house
Wreath I made with purple hydrangeas

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and I pray that  your heart is filled with lots of love, joy and blessings during this holiday season..... 

Chat with you next year...

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Trial Run (Adventures of King Sunshine) Pt. 2

King Sunshine discovered some garland that I had under the tree.
By Saturday we were able to figure out King Sunshine’s communicating signals and anticipate his needs creating a happy environment for all parties involved. For instance, when he rubbed his eyes I knew all he needed was a bottle, his blanket and sleep would soon follow. If he started to whine then he was hungry and if he let out a full fledged cry then his gums were bothering him (poor baby) . Being able to stay a step ahead of him was the game plan for the day. At 7:30 pm we gave him his bath, a bottle, his medicine, read him a bed time story and down he went. He woke up once that night and I simply cuddled him and put him back to sleep.

He was such a good baby and I had a wonderful experience with him, although, I must admit by Sunday I was happy about sending him home!! Yes, I had his bag packed and at the door. When Mr said he was ready to leave, King Sunshine was bundled up and ready to go in a matter of seconds. I waved "bye bye" to him all the way down the hall and let out a long sigh of relief once they were on the elevator and out of site. I  took one glance around my house and it looked like a tornado came through it, I was sleep deprived and the weekend flew by. I cleaned the house and moved the furniture back to normal, grabbed a blanket, laid on the couch and literally passed out for 6 hours! When I woke up something didn't feel right, the house was clean and everything was back in place but…it just seemed too quite!  My "Ah haa" moment arrived as I discovered what the problem was...I missed King Sunshine.  I missed his smiling face, his innocent presence, his slobber, those glances of curiosity, his bath time when he would splash me, and his constant banging (he loved banging on things). The Mr. and I look forward to more weekends with the little King but of course once I recover from this one!!!

My thoughts...
The dirty diapers, the snotty nose, the slobber, the crying, the spit up, the lack of sleep and the immediate loss of autonomy was really an eye opener for me. I've read mounds of parenting books and did tons of research but none of those books could ever prepare me for that weekend.  I have a new found respect for parents! I knew parenting was not an easy task however, you really do not know the full extent of what you are getting yourself into until you experience it.  I've come to the realization that motherhood is a sorority with an initiation unlike no other.  I only had a mere glimpse of what being a part of that sorority would be like and let’s just say I salute you and even after this weekend, I would be honored to join!  I’m not sure if you can ever be prepared for something like this, however I do know that it will  completely change my existence  on this earth.autonomyimmediate

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Trial Run (Adventures of King Sunshine) Pt. 1

King Sunshine
This past weekend Mr. decided to have our 8 month old nephew (King Sunshine) over to capture what it would be like to have a baby in our home, the trial run as Mr. called it.  Of course I was thrilled because King Sunshine is such a happy and pleasant baby.  Once he confirmed with King Sunshine's mother that he indeed would spend the weekend with us, almost instantaneously mounds of armature questions began to fill my brain.
What type of food does he eat? Do I boil his bottles?  Can he sleep in the bed with us? Will he be home sick and cry the whole weekend? Will he knock down my Christmas tree? Should I move my coffee table? We are supposed to have a snow storm...will we be snowed in with King Sunshine? Will we get any sleep this weekend?
Now I've been around quite a few babies growing up, however I've never had a direct hand in taking care of them.  So it led me to question myself in caring for this little being for the next two days. Well all of those questions became obsolete when he arrived at our home. Although it took me a few hours to warm up to him, once I did my innate nurturing abilities came forth and I was able to sense when he was hungry, needed a diaper change or just wanted some attention.  

Friday I had to venture to Target to pick up some formula for him. His mother told us that he needed Enfamil Lipil, OK... no problem... right? Only when I got to Target they had Enfamil Lipil (Colic), Enfamil Lipil (Premature), Enfamil Lipil (Nighttime), Enfamil Lipil (Upset Stomach) -Ummmmm can I just  get some milk for the baby please!!  Finally, after finding the formula with no subheading I headed toward  the toy section.  I found a cute bright red toy that emulated car and animal sounds and I figured it would keep his attention.   Now off to find a book .... I love Dr. Seuss and was immediately drawn to Green Eggs and Ham (my favorite) and The Cat and the Hat, but once I opened them I realized these books were too advanced for an eight month old.  So I continued to peruse the book section until I found ....

How Big is So Big...Soooo Big!  Read this book to him about 4 times while he looked at me with a questioning look as I exaggerated every word and motion. 
 I found all of my goodies to make our home a little more baby friendly.  Once I go to the check out the sales associate said "That will be $65". Which prompted a blank stare from me... "For what" Formula $26, Nursery Water $5, baby food $6, toy $15, and book $10 +tax?  Note to self "Breast Feed". After the shock of how much formula cost I made my purchase and headed home to await our little visitor. 

The first night... 
King Sunshine arrived at my house at about 8:30 Friday night and was asleep from the car ride.  However as soon as I picked him up to remove his outerwear those bright eyes opened up.  At first he was looking at us like ummmm..who are you but once he got comfortable there was no stopping him. I was so excited about the new toy I got him so I ripped it out the package (with Mr's help and him telling me to calm down), wiped it off and gave it to him. While he was busy banging on the toy we moved the ottomans and coffee table out of the Kings way so that he can roam freely. He explored our home, stared at the Christmas tree then eventually worked up enough nerve to crawl towards it. I gave him the Noooo sound and he looked at me, smiled and began crawling back to me. Our 1200 square foot apartment seemed to shrink by the minute with him there.

Over to the Tree he goes!!
By this time it's getting late and time for bed but someone looked wide awake!  I read to him, dimmed the lights and finally read the instructions on the formula can so that I can make his bottle.  Once we gave him his bottle he was fast asleep... or so we thought.  He literally woke up 15 minutes later and was wide awake almost as if he just had one of those power naps.  The Mr. and I looked at each other with an unspoken glance of "What did we get ourselves into"!  By now I'm really tired and the King just would not go to sleep, he was laughing and talking and soon crying.  We fed him, changed his diaper, read to him and played with him so.... Why are you crying??  The King quickly let us know that from Friday to Sunday this is his Kingdom and  he will be running things around here!!  At about 2 am I was taking an aspirin to relieve me of the headache I had from lack of sleep and crying baby syndrome.   Thankfully 30 minutes after that my headache dissipated and the King  was asleep.  Oh he looked so cute and peaceful ...sleeping!!!  He slept in the middle of Mr and I and neither one of us ever really went to sleep.  Any sound or movement and both of us were looking at the King, we would stare until his chest moved letting us know that he was breathing and then we would drift back into that light sleep. I lied completely still and never really moved for fear of  rolling on him and my arms kept getting pins and needles because of the way I was laying.  Shake it off were my thoughts because my comfort didn't exist this weekend.  All that mattered was the King, his comfort level and his well being. 
This was a really cool toy! Made all kinds of sounds and really kept his attention for more than 15 minutes at a time
The next morning....
At about 8 am the King woke us up with a congested cough. I hated the way it sounded and so did Mr, so we called King Sunshine's mother to see what type of cold medicine she gives him and thankfully she had some packed in his bag. We gave him the medicine and 20 minutes later that nasty cough was gone. Now I'm looking at this baby and wondering what do we do next.  I took him into the living room while Mr slept.  Already the Mr and I were establishing a routine with him.  He would sleep during the day while I kept King Sunshine and I would sleep at night while he had the night shift with the King.

To be continued...

I've learned so much this weekend, more than any book or online research could ever teach me.  In an attempt to keep this post short I decided to split it into a 2 part post.  The second part I will share the rest of the weekend as well as my thoughts on babies and motherhood.  All I can say is that this was truly a trial run and I am so grateful that I experienced it.