A Christmas movie on a Friday night :)
Monday, January 9, 2012
Saturday, January 7, 2012
This is another post that is very hard for me to make. On this day we spent a good amount of time taking our family Christmas card photo. It took A LOT of tries, but we eventually got one we were pleased with. Pretty cute photo, right?
Well, we went out of our way to show my pregnant belly in this photo and then our card said how excited we were to be welcoming our new baby girl just in time for Christmas.
We did not send out our Christmas cards. I haven’t looked at this picture since Mara died, and seeing it now, knowing that in this picture she was alive, healthy and tumbling all around inside me like she did everyday, it hurts more than I can begin to explain. Just like all the pictures I have seen of myself pregnant since we lost Mara, that seems like a different person, in a different lifetime. That smiling family had no idea about the tragedy was going to occur, and there is no going back to the way life was before she died. We are forever changed, and no matter how much time passes or how many happy moments we are able to enjoy as we adjust to our “new normal,” we will always miss her, and miss the feelings of anticipation and happiness we felt on this day, and every day before December 17th.
Tonight was Aaron’s Christmas concert. He has gotten better at these each year. His first year he cried and didn’t want to get up on the stage, and did NOT sing a dang word. His second show, he went up on the stage happily, mouthed a few lyrics and looked around. This time, he was excited and sang every word…and did all the dance moves! Aaron is the only kid in a white shirt…although I would like it to be known that the instructions were a solid red, white or green shirt. Santa also made a visit, and Aaron got close-ish, but wouldn’t sit with him.
Oh my, wish I had my real camera for this one! We went to Eric’s EIGHTH (!!!!) birthday party today, and it was an Angry Birds party. Of course, his Grammy made him an AWESOME cake. There are pieces from an Angry Birds game that she used for some of the decorations, and all the birds and pigs are cake balls! SO SO cute!
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
We had a quick visit from Uncle Bro last night into this morning. Aaron sure loves his Uncle Bro. One more Christmas that needed doing…set up for the Polar Express. Uncle Bro was happy to work on this with Aaron, and he made a really cool track that even went unto the dining room and under the table! Unfortunately, once that was all done, there weren’t any batteries for the train, and Aaron was really bummed that he couldn’t try it out right away.
Today we made a little trip to the hospital because of a concern about my blood pressure. Last night, probably due to my cough and sinus infection, I had some blurry/moving spots in my vision and saw some funky colors. I put myself right to bed, and this morning at school I went into the clinic to have my blood pressure taken. It wasn’t what you would call “high blood pressure” but it was elevated compared to what I have been having at my doctor appointments each month. So I rested for an hour, had it taken again, and it was even higher. When I called L & D at Ft. Belvoir they said we should just come in to get checked out, so we skedaddled over to do that. Everyone there was great, I was put on monitors, and our little lady was moving around like crazy, like she has been the whole time, and once my blood pressure was stable for about two hours we went home. The thought was that it was related to me being sick, but I was also have mild contractions that I couldn’t feel the whole time, and the doctor said that could have also caused my blood pressure to be elevated. Here I am, being calm.
I don’t have a picture for today, but now that December has ended I can say that once December started, my pregnancy comfort switch was flipped to OFF! I felt huge, I couldn’t sleep, everything hurt, you know how it is. I came home every day from school and needed to just put up my feet and rest, and to top it all off, I had a horrible cough and developed a sinus infection. Can you imagine how hard it is to keep from peeing on yourself when you are 8 months pregnant with a hacking cough? *impossible*
Monday, January 2, 2012
This is truly a family treasure. The night of 11/27 I watched a birth video with Aaron. He was upset to learn that he will not be allowed in the room during baby sister’s delivery and he doesn’t want to miss anything. I thought that maybe I could show him about how baby sister will come out and explain that the delivery room can be crowded and busy, and that after she comes out and is all cleaned up, then he would be able to come visit. He is such a smart, curious guy, and although I didn’t show him anything especially disturbing, it was the whole delivery, and he did ask a lot of questions :) He was really into it, loved to learn about it, and when the video was over he asked Chris, “Daddy, are you going to help Mommy hold her leg and brush her hair back?” It was such a sweet thing to share with him and I hope that learning more about the process helps him feel more at ease. Knowledge is power.
The next day at school, Aaron drew this picture. Adorable, and yet graphic as only a child can express.
In the middle is a bed, with me on it, and baby sister next to me, see how she is little? My legs are up (wow, Aaron, great detail, and there is some blood on the bed.) The other brown person is “Daddy, helping Mommy and holding a leg” and the green person on the other side of the bed is “the doctor with his doctor hat on.” Finally, at the foot of the bed, is a very happy Aaron. “I can be there because baby sister is already out.”
It breaks my heart to think of this picture now. I still have it, and I will always keep it, but I haven’t thought about it in a couple of weeks and even though it is really hard, I have to remember how it warmed our hearts when he described this picture when we picked him up from school that day. That story will always be special even though Mara is not with us today. Another one of the many dimensions of our horrible loss is the excitement Aaron felt for his baby sister’s arrival and all the ways he expressed that. Everything about this is hard and sad.
Aaron’s most favorite Christmas decoration :) the Bumble Chase from CVS. Best 14.99 I ever spent at CVS. I posted a picture of him staring at it intently about this time last year (actually, it was ALSO November 27 of 2010!!!) when he got to take it out, and here he is with it again. Wouldn’t it be cool if I took a picture of him with this every year?
And here is the completed North Pole Village! We finally got it done today, me and my elf helpers.
There is Elfland on the far upper left raised area. It is the neighborhood where the elves actually live and patronize their little elf businesses.
Here on the upper right raised platform is the North Pole Woods, where elves gather timber, do woodworking, and care for the reindeer.
Awesome isn’t it :)
Here are two pictures Aaron drew at school. I love how he is making more detailed family pictures, and I love how he is showing my pregnant self as different than everyone else’s bodies. He also is including baby sister in a lot of his pictures and it just tugs the heck out of my heartstrings.
Here is one of me, Chris and Aaron. Can you tell which one is me?
Here is an artistic family portrait with Aaron in the middle of course, and his tiny baby sister right above him. Ashley is the one with the wacky hair on the bottom left corner, then Chris next to her. The top row left to right is me, baby sister and Courtney. What a sweet little man drawing the whole family.
It’s Thanksgiving Day! We are keeping it small and quiet this year because (as I have mentioned) I am hugely pregnant. Courtney is with us, but Ash is in Alabama, so we got a small turkey, eliminated some side dishes, and just kept it pretty casz.
Here is the rutabega master masher at work…
Our smaller turkey, which tasted awesome but could have used 30 fewer minutes in the oven.
To commemorate hitting 36 weeks pregnant, a pretty important milestone, I asked my hubby to come out back in the brisk fall day and take some photos of me. I love how they turned out, and I think he did a GREAT job. We will treasure these photos.
Today is the last day of no-shave record keeping. The contest isn’t actually lasting the entire month (although some purists found that unacceptable and kept it going), it’s only lasting until Thanksgiving break, so here is the last set of hairy pictures! Not sure why they are holding a football…probably just to be goofy.
Here’s some close-ups.
Mike, a “purist” who refused to trim or even get a haircut, and he kept it going all the way through DECEMBER!
Fisher, who grows facial hair like this every year for hunting season anyway…
Jojo and Chris
Racek (who actually had a three day head start, if you can believe it…)
And the winner of the EHS No-Shave November contest…
Greg Hinton, team teacher extraordinaire! (he’s trying to look stern…not really believable!)
Here are the slightly disturbing photos of Chris’ shaving progress…
Shave stage 1 (aka the Caleb)
Shave stage 2 (aka 80’s guy…I could NOT stomach this look past having to take a picture)
Shave stage 3 (aka what a relief, there’s my man!)
Here’s some village set-up pictures!! Due to being in the giant stage of pregnancy, I vowed that this year I was going to do only a partial village set-up. There are two side neighborhoods to the North Pole, the North Pole Woods on the right hand side, and Elfland on the left hand side. Originally I proclaimed that I would leave one or both of those off, but then Aaron just got so into helping me that I wanted to do the whole dang thing. Also, Chris’ new set-up gave me so much more usable surface area AND made it so much more physically comfortable to access the back areas of the village without straining myself. Of course, as is typical of my weekends these days, I did too much and ended up with awful back and sciatic pain, but…what are you gonna do.
When it was time for a break, we had dinner and then made some dessert. I found these Smores crescent rools online and was dying to try them out of my obsessive love of Smores. They did NOT turn out very well, largely because I tried to stuff too much stuff into them. Alas. At least we had fun. We will need to try again.