Friday, December 28, 2012

The Christmas Weekend

The Christmas weekend of 2012 was filled with events. Working for a hotel chain means that I can get a small discount here and there, so off we went to stay at one the hotels that I work for. Jack loved everything about staying the night there. He didn't want to leave the next morning and wanted to stay there at least for a week. The boys even slept in til 8 am! Even Charlie. He never does that. I was happy that such a miracle happened.

We were happy to bring Mr. Elf ( yes, that is the name we gave him) along. I am sure he appreciated the lush digs himself. Lucky elf.

Charlie very much liked watching the buses go by and waved to the cars. 

Plus we made a stop to Do-Rite Donuts! My dream come true. Jack happily ate the chocolate, and now I regret eating it. Since now I know how extremely delicious it is and how close to my work it is.

We made a stop to the Hancock center to watch the trains go by. Trains. A sure fire way to keep your 5 and 1 year old still for a good 15 -20 minutes. Dinner afterwards was at Mity Nice Grill inside the Water Tower mall. I felt it was a little secret that I knew to take my family there, since the whole world goes to the Cheesecake Factory to eat. No line no wait at Mity Nice. Plus Brian had what was a very tasty chicken pot pie there.

Our next stop was to look at the tree by the Tribune building.It was at this point that Jack was feeling it. Feeling the tiredness that is.

Mama and Papa - happy to take a photo with their son. Jack - done for the night.

Onto the next morning where we went to the madness that is Winter Wonderland at Navy Pier. A day before Christmas? On a Sunday? You bet it was packed. 

Look at this crazy photo that Brian took of Jack in the bounce house. Looks like a superimposed photo. But look at that happy face. 

He was content to just look at the ice skaters around the ice. He didn't feel like giving it a try this year.

And here is how we ended our day at Navy Pier. With the two boys taking a ride around in the train. 

The Christmas of 2012

In the words of my husband " I know you kids have been good this year, but I didn't know you were that good." 

This is an indication as to how many presents the kids got. The presents were aplenty, but it was and always is really nice to see my parents and Brian's parents have a day when they are enjoying their time with their grand-kids the most. Christmas is the easiest holiday to celebrate with the families. The 24th is the day that we spend with my family, the 25th with my in- laws. I am proud to say also that I didn't go too crazy with eating like a nut this holiday season around. I did have two helpings of the deliciousness that you see below, and perhaps 2 1/2 mimosas, but hey, it's Christmas.

This lovely dinner that you see above is courtesy of my mom's cooking. Why is that no one can ever cook like your mom? My mom is a master in the kitchen. Her rice? Phenonmenal. Onion and tomato salad with lemon? Awesome. Let's not forget my husband as he made two turkeys for Christmas. We happily ate one and happily had the other as leftovers.

There is no one more deserving to have two grandsons than my dad. After living for almost 35 + years with daughters and a niece, along came the boys. We needed some boys to add to the family mix. Plus I think that my dad secretly needed someone to rough house around, which he happily does with the boys. 

A kiss for vovosito while my mom looks at the grandchildren calender we made for them. A simple gift that left them extremely happy.

And then came December 25th. Madness with presents. Over excitement over every present. And that was just the parents and grandparents. At one point, I couldn't see the floor. There was so much wrapping and presents everywhere. Charlie didn't really get the idea that you had to rip the paper to get to the present. He didn't even go nuts over ripping paper. He did like the idea of seeing a big present on the floor and sitting on top of it. That was his big joke for the holiday. Every time he sat on a gift, he would go " shda da!!" and would look at me and smile. That was his way of saying " ahaa! look at me!!"

I am sure that Max the dog at this point was saying " what the???"

 The kids get very festive in their holiday hats. A tradition that I hope it can continue way into their 30's.

Christmas is not Christmas until you get something Pixar-ish!! Can you believe this whole time that we have never had Toy Story 2? Well now we do! Thanks Santa!

 And to all a good night. Christmas is the one day where I can stay in my Pj's til 1 pm and just lay around and do absolutely nothing. Perfect.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Grandparents

This was right before Charlie was going to bed on his first birthday. Goodnights are always hard to say when you have a cute one year old sitting on your table.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Elf On The Shelf

We received an Elf on the Shelf as a gift. I originally wasn't going to buy into this new hype. Well, it's new to me since I just learned really last week what this elf business is all about. After learning what it is about , now I know why parents were so eager to get it. This is one sure way to get your kids to eat their veggies, stop whining, play nicely, start world peace all because some elf was reporting the day's activities to Santa. 


It's a funny idea but I wasn't going to get it. And then we got it as a gift. And Jack's first words were "Noooooooo" and ran out of the room. What could he have heard about this elf that made him react this way? I thought he probably was freaked out by its face. The elf has a cute face but really, why the sneaky smile? 
I coaxed Jack into liking it, and just explaining that it would be a fun game to try to see where the elf ends up every day. Is he in the toy box? Reading a book? Making breakfast? Doing our laundry? I am seeing a lot of parents come up with creative ways to display their elf. Now I have to think of some way to do this? If it were up to me, he would just stay on the shelf the whole time. Why would he move around? Wouldn't that be sort of creepy for a kid? A moving doll? Hello Poltergeist fans!! Remember that clown scene? 

I had to use the "elf is watching you" bit to Jack two times on Sunday. For what , I do not remember now. But by the second " uh oh, the elf is watching you", that was when Jack caught on. This is not some sweet little elf. This is a tattletale. This is someone who is telling Santa every. little.bit. of information about what you do and what you did. Basically this is Big Brother, little tyke style. Jack was done with this elf on the shelf and said, I don't want him. Take him back to the store. 

I am going to spin this elf story around. From now on, he is not someone who is reporting all news,good or bad, to Santa. I am going to say that this elf is someone that will be helping around the house during the holidays. Putting up the tree, decorating, baking, whatever. Maybe I am taking this elf thing too seriously and sucking all the fun out of it.

Eh. Who knows. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Walker

Yes, as in my one year old is walking.

As in here comes the bumps and bruises. Charlie got a good one the other day when he escaped from us for a quick 5 seconds, went up the stairs , tried to go back down but fell instead.

Don't worry, it was just one step he wobbled off of, not a whole flight of stairs. He still ended up getting a good bruise on his forehead, only for it to go away in a day.

The resilience of kids is amazing.

I have been waiting for this day to come. Where he would enjoy walking more than me holding him. Now when I come home, he actually lets me eat dinner! I can actually sit down, eat at least 1/2 of my meal before he starts coming to me and wanting to sit on my lap.
Phew, it feels good to sit and eat. I know this isn't a new concept . People have been sitting and eating since the dawn of time. But it has been awhile where I would come home and I would be pulled in one direction to either nurse Charlie and just hold him for a bit.
Charlie, always wanting to be by my side. I think the manner in which Charlie doesn't let me eat dinner and just wanting me to hold him, that was Charlie's way of saying , thanks for coming home Mama, now hold me forever because I want you to."
Ok, but let me eat some chicken first. Then I will hold you forever.

The Christmas Photo

Well, we got it. That quintessential Christmas photo of one child crying hysterically just because that mean parent decided to place him on Santa's lap. Thank you Jack for looking so beautiful in this photo.Thank you Charlie for crying in this photo. You gave your father and I the biggest smile that day.

Please know that as soon as I took Charlie off of Santa's lap, he immediately stopped crying and went into his usual babbles of " daseeshshshs, ssssssshshshshsish."

Jack told Santa he wanted an Angry Birds game and a remote control Thomas.

The 1st Birthday

Oh Charlie, I am so sorry that I didn't dedicate this huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY blog post to you.
For your brother, I have this tradition of showing photos of his actual birthday time year by year. But you were born at midnight. Do I just take a photo of you sleeping? And the room is pitch dark. Do I just showcase a dark room every year on November 14 at 12:15 am? And even if I wanted to do a birthday photo of you, it's now too late because I never took one.! I am a bad mother.

I blame busy schedules; trying to put you down for a nap on time or else the whole world ends, and trying to feed your older brother since he is in this I will eat two bites and I'm done phase.

I just wanted to say that you really upped my game as a working mama. Running home from work took on a whole new meaning with you on board. Not only do I have two beautiful sons to come home to at 6 pm, but that is also the time where you have a mini breakdown of sorts. The only cure for your breakdown is Mama's milk, which if it is not given to you at least by 6:15 pm, watch out!
That is what I mean by running home from work. I literally have to get home as fast as I can so the breakdown doesn't begin.

And can you believe that I am still nursing you? Congratulations to us!! Here I thought all the time that you would have weaned yourself off by the time you are one. I am also happy to have stuck with it for so long. I got bit by you, what. three or four times? Big whoop.I am happy to still nurse you. I wish all mamas felt the same and didn't have a rush to wean their babies so soon. It's a bond and a special moment that you share with your babies. Why take that away so soon?

I am amazed of how your relationship with your brother is growing. The instant smile that you have on your face whenever he talks. The way you just throw your body unto his in your playful manner. Sometimes your brother doesn't see it that way. Don't take it too personal. Your giggles whenever he tickles you. Your little personality that comes out whenever I change your diaper or put on your PJ. You always seem to say " A ha haa" to me and I feel that you are going to become one wonderful sneaky kid.

Thank you for becoming our second son, for wanting us to strive to be the best parents two boys will ever know.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Christmas Playlist

Jack is definitely Brian's son.

Every time we get in the car now, Jack asks for Frosty the Snowman to be played on the radio. The Beach Boys version. Followed by The Man with all the Toys.

Anyone who knows Brian knows that he loves the Beach Boys Christmas album.

Brian is a proud dad for sure that his son is going in the right path in terms of music.

The 1am, 3am, 4am Wakeup Calls

Charlie is still doing this thing where he wakes up at least three times in the middle of the night.
I am sure that he is not waking up because he is hungry, yet I nurse him back to sleep because at that time, that is the quickest thing I can do to get him to sleep again.
I was ok with saying to myself " It doesn't matter that he wakes up so long as he falls back asleep 10 minutes later." Now it is just frustrating since he will wake up at least three times and cry til he is picked up. Then I lay down with him and while he is being nursed to sleep, I am keeping myself awake just so he doesn't roll off the bed. No need for traumatics at 2 am. Meanwhile , Jack will occasionally wake us up in the middle of the night. At that point , I just wake up my husband. I want to drag him in my middle of the night misery.
Charlie had a good three night stretch last week where he slept the whole night. Or was that two weeks ago? Oh who knows. There has been days where I wake up and say Yeah! It's Saturday! only to remember it is Tuesday. This nighttime routine has made me a very confused person. Please forgive me if you ever talk to me and I just stare at you with my mouth open. It's not that you're boring, I am probably sleeping with my eyes open.

I am tired. Today was the breaking point. Charlie woke up for the 3rd time at 4:30 and I angrily kicked off the sheets as I was getting out of bed to yet again pick him up. I said " I haven't slept all night!! I am so tired of this!!!"
Just as I said the word "this", Charlie sweetly said  "Mama?". As in, why are you upset Mama?
Then I told him sweetly  " Charlie, I haven't slept all night. This is ridiculous."

I can't do this anymore. I want to remember to just keep him in his crib and let him cry it out in the middle of the night, in hopes that he just gets used to the fact that he is not going to be nursed anymore at 2 am. But come 2am, all thoughts vanish and I just want to do what is easy at that moment. Nursing him has been wonderful, and nothing is more wonderful than nursing him and watching him as he falls asleep. But I think I am at the end of the nursing stage. It pains me to say this, but I think now is the time to wean him off.
This is going to be hard and going to be painful. Anyone know of any good beauty products that I can use to make it seem like I am awake and alive? I am really going to need that in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Chalkboard Art

A 60 degree day called for some work of art in the backyard.

Jack's portrait of our family.

The 1st Birthday

I took the day off and we went to the Museum of Science and Industry, Fitting that they have an exhibit right now called The Charlie Brown exhibit. The birthday gods were upon us that day.
The first thing I heard that morning was Charlie's little usual morning whimper. The "hmpph, hmmpfh, get me out of this crib" whimper. I whispered Happy Birthday and he instinctively went right for the nursing pose.
I was just happy to relax in bed at 6:20 am, nursing my one year old and watching the news without having to think about the mad dash for work.
We arrived at the museum around 12:30 and it seemed that all the school field trips were leaving that day. The whole museum at that point was completely empty and we had it all to ourselves. Imagine having the best museum all to yourself, where you didn't have to stand in line to push the buttons and gadgets in exhibits. Plus we had the Charlie Brown exhibit all to ourselves.It was a perfect space to let the boys run around in and not worry about bumping into people.
We ended the day with a Skype session with my sister. I am thankful for the health and goodness that these boys have given us. I am thankful that as much running around that Brian and I have done this year, it was a testament to our dedication to each other to be the best spouses we can be to each other as well as being the best parents we can be to our children. It still blows my mind that we have two kids.
This was Charlie's face as he ate his birthday cake, but let's go back to the beginning. 

First nap as a one year old.

This is pretty much my view when I look below. One kid asking me to hold him, one kid running around. 

The museum was set for their Christmas around the world trees. We were one day away from the grand opening of it.

The museum was decked out in Charlie Brown madness. I loved it.

Charlie and Charlie!!!!!!

Jack was in train heaven. Lucky him he has many trains to see at that place.

Three awesome guys.

I tried to take a photo of almost every detail of the exhibit.

Couldn't get enough of the Charlie and Charlie pics.

Sweet little photo as you walked in.

Jack familiarizing himself with the characters.

Can you take a picture with me and Charlie?  - Jack

They had this screen where you can paint with a touch of a wand. 

Two boys playing Schroeder's piano.

I tried to get as much Charlieness as I could.

Inside Snoopy's house

Jack as Snoopy

This was Jack pretending to be Snoopy and talking to Charlie Brown in "woof".