Thursday, December 29, 2011

No white Christmas two years in a row, but I'm definitely not complaining

Christmas was absolutely wonderful this year. Audrey was obviously more aware of what was going on, which made it even better. She was still overwhelmed, though, especially at Mom's, where she had a pile of presents that was higher than her head. Not to mention two hyperactive cousins:)

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Something tells me that Katie likes the Hello Kitty boots we gave her.

On Christmas Eve, we spent the day with just the three of us. We went to the candlelight service at our church, which was beautiful. However, they didn't have childcare, and our preacher did a full-length sermon, which I didn't expect. As we left, David said, "Thank God for childcare" and I had to agree! She was squirming all over the place, except when there was music. She fell and busted her lip during the service, but she didn't make a sound. Nada. She was bleeding, and I asked David to get some toilet paper for the blood. So, I have to give her major props for that.

When the church was filled with nothing but candlelight and music, I felt an incredible peace settle over me. I'm so glad we went. We took these after the service.

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Christmas Day was at my mom's. Thankfully, we did it later in the day, so Audrey could have a full-length nap. I know she would have melted down if she hadn't gotten one. She got so many presents that I can't even remember them all, but she especially loved a Mickey Mouse ride-on train (from my brother and family) that makes all kinds of music and loud noise. Hey, I can take the noise if it makes her happy. Most of the time.

We spent the day after Christmas with David's parents, and Audrey got tons of gifts there, too. She got a dollhouse with lots of accessories, and I love that it doesn't have batteries. I like that she'll have to use her imagination to play with it. Although, I have to say, David and I are having fun with it, too.

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I got lots of great things, too, but...wait for it...David's parents gave me a Keurig coffee maker! Wow. I was totally shocked. I've been going back and forth about wanting one, especially with the cost of K cups. But David gave me a filter where I could also use regular coffee, which I didn't even know was possible. Absolutely awesome, and I love it! Now I need suggestions as to the tastiest K cups. Hint, hint.

I got David a helicopter that's controlled by an iPad or iPod Touch. I thought he'd like it, but I had no idea how MUCH he'd like it. That calls for an entirely different post, since this one's getting lengthy already.

A merry, merry Christmas, for sure.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Surprise, surprise!

I've gotten some amazing gifts in the last couple of weeks. For my birthday, I got a Nook Color! It's great, and I can't wait to read some of the children's books to Audrey. They really "come alive" with the pictures. Of course, I'm enjoying it myself, too;) When I have pain in my hands, it's hard to manage holding up a book to read in bed, especially a hardback, so the Nook is perfect.

I also received 30 tulips from David (have I written about that?) and a beautiful sterling silver necklace with Audrey's name and birthstone. I'll post a pic of that later, after my resident photographer takes a good picture of it. It's surprisingly hard to take a good picture of jewelry.

And I can't believe I'm even typing this, but I got a bracelet from Tiffany. It still hasn't sunk in, really. I have an aunt and uncle who live in Santa Fe, and they always send us generous gifts. However, I was not expecting something like that. They usually send me some beautiful jewelry, but this was amazing!

All the gifts for our family came in one box, and David unpacked it. I was in the other room, and I thought I saw a glimpse of that signature blue box. But I didn't believe it. Then David said he couldn't wait for me to open my gift, so I became cautiously optimistic.

As a mother should, I stifled my curiosity and focused on Audrey's gifts, even taking the time to read her card aloud. She loves cards, by the way, and this one had music, so it was a hit. Audrey got a beautiful tree ornament from New Mexico and a Barnes & Noble gift card. Awesome.

Then David brought in the blue box. With amazing self-control, I actually read and admired my card before opening it. But when I opened the box, I freaked out. Look how beautiful it is!

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You can't really tell from the picture, but the pendant (I'm not sure what you call it) says Tiffany, New York, Fifth Avenue over and over. I'm not embarrassed to say that I performed an impromptu "I just got a bracelet from Tiffany" dance. I'm only thankful that no one caught it on video.

They also sent me a B&N gift card, which was really above and beyond after the bracelet. When I called my aunt yesterday to thank her, she said, "That's what aunties and uncles are for. We figured every girl deserves a piece of jewelry from Tiffany."

I couldn't have said it better myself:)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rare occurrence

On Sunday night, we got together with my mom's side of the family for Christmas. We haven't done that in at least 3 years, which is crazy since we used to do something for Christmas and Easter every year.

If my grandparents were alive, they'd be upset at how little we see each other, but it's really hard with everyone's schedule. Both my cousins work crazy hours (Sonya's a retail manager and Russell works at BMW, which is open 24/7).

I was glad Mom and Aunt Barbara didn't do the whole Christmas dinner spread, because that's a lot of cooking, and I know Mom will be doing it on Christmas Day anyway. They had barbecue, since it was easy, and Mom made pot roast for me since I can't have pork. Which is fine with me, by the way. After Dr. Petan told me about all the parasites in pork and chicken...well, let's just say I'm not sad that I can't eat those particular foods.

It was fun, although things got a little tense when my cousin Russell brought gifts for all the kids. We had determined beforehand that we weren't doing that, since we only decided last Wednesday night that we were getting together. That didn't leave a lot of time for shopping, obviously. I was relieved, though, because I have trouble coming up with gift ideas for their birthdays, much less Christmas! Not to mention the money issue, of course. So my cousin Sonya got really annoyed, but there was no scene, thank goodness. We're klassy like that:)

Russell said, "I know I'm going to piss off the adults tonight, since I brought presents when we agreed not to." I told him I wasn't mad. It was a win-win situation. Audrey got two new dresses and leggings and I didn't have to buy anything. Is that awful of me?

The kids had a great time.

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And ever since I put a bow on Audrey's head as I was opening a birthday gift, she does it herself now, very enthusiastically, I might add.

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Fun times for all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy birthday to me!

My birthday was this week, and it was actually pretty great. I was feeling a little better after being on an antibiotic for a sinus infection. Oh, I don't think I've mentioned that, have I? Yeah, I was absolutely miserable. And I still don't feel well.

Back to my birthday, though. Audrey was perfectly behaved, couldn't have been better. I even led her in a chorus of "Happy birthday to Mommy" a few times. I got a few cards and lots of Facebook birthday wishes. Then around 3:45, some boxes were delivered to the house. We get boxes all the time, so I didn't think anything of it when I saw three.

But I was surprised when I saw that one of the boxes had 1-800-FLOWERS on it. David and I have talked about how impractical flowers are, especially on our budget. I forgot all about that, though, as I opened the tulips, my favorite flower. 30 of them!

David's parents came by that afternoon, and they gave me a Nook Color. Wow! It was on my Christmas list, but I really didn't expect that for my birthday. I haven't used it yet, but I can't wait.

Fast forward to a few days later, and my tulips have suffered an untimely death. David chewed someone out at 1-800-FLOWERS, and a fresh batch was delivered today. We'll see how those do.

My family is coming over this afternoon to celebrate my birthday, and I'm not looking forward to it, because my ex-SIL will be here, and I feel like our house just isn't big enough for the two of us. Because she just makes me sick.

The important thing, though, is that I had a good birthday. I forgot to mention that David took me out to eat and gave me a beautiful necklace, too. Not to mention that I have him home now for the next two weeks. And that's all that matters.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

I have no words

My brother, Owen, and my ex-SIL, Candy, are trying to reconcile. They've tried this before. It failed miserably.

I...well, I don't know what to think. I know the world doesn't revolve around me, but this comes at a most inconvenient time. My 40th birthday is rapidly approaching and, amazingly, I don't feel depressed about it.

Owen's birthday is this week, so we're celebrating on Saturday. Mom warned me Candy might be there. This took me a few days to accept (okay, to be honest, I haven't really accepted it yet). Then I told Mom that I didn't want her at my birthday celebration, which we're doing the weekend after Owen's.

Although I'm trying to rise above my pettiness, I think I have the right to request that she not be there. I haven't seen her since the last time they tried to reconcile. She treats my nieces like crap. Katie recently told me she's scared of her. So, for her to be there on my birthday would make me absolutely uncomfortable. Not to mention David, who is extremely protective of me and doesn't have a lot of love to spare for Candy.

This birthday is a milestone for me. We're not having an elaborate party, just the family. I do not want my 40th birthday to be uncomfortable, especially when Candy may not be around even 40 days from now.

I'm trying to forgive, because I'm a Christian, and I know that's required of me. But I can't get past this. I understand that she'd be at Owen's birthday and :shudder: Christmas.

You wouldn't think she'd have the nerve to push Owen into pressuring me about this, though. But you'd be wrong. I found out, after Audrey's party, that Owen asked Mom if she could come to it, and he was angry when she said no.

So here's my dilemma. If my brother asks me if she can come to mine, what do I do? Tell him I've decided not to celebrate this year? Lie and say I'm going to Bora Bora? If we had the money, I wouldn't be opposed to dropping everything and going there, if it meant I could avoid her.

The real answer is...I'll have to allow it. Otherwise, there will be hard feelings. If I say I don't want to celebrate, my nieces (not to mention my mom) will not understand. Candy will then tell my nieces that I decided not to celebrate because I didn't want to invite her. No, she's not above that.

God help me. And if you made it through this post, God bless you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

She's two!

I was really bummed when Audrey was diagnosed with an ear infection a few days before her birthday. But I was determined to make the most of it, and we kept the Kleenex box within easy reach:)

I think she had a great time. I'm glad we got this pic of the three of us before the party started, since it was utter chaos afterward.

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We had a Minnie Mouse theme, since Audrey's fairly obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

We had about 16 people there, which was a good number. The party was at David's parents' house, since we can't accommodate many people at ours. Even though Audrey was drugged up with Benadryl, Tylenol, and Amoxicillin, she was a trooper. She did have somewhat of a glazed look on her face during the party, but things started coming alive at the end of opening gifts. She had to warm up to that, since I don't think she likes being the center of attention. Much like her mommy:)

Gracie bought her a bear hat (or as Audrey calls it, "bear bear") and some mittens, all with her own money. She's such a generous child.

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And this year, David made cupcakes. Last year's ladybug cake was ridiculously expensive, so we decided to shake things up. Audrey had a special one with a Minnie Mouse candle. She doesn't get sweets very often, but she's a big fan of cupcakes (again, like her mommy).

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David took off work for her actual birthday, and when he asked her what she'd like to do, she said, "Cupcake". Smart girl.

She got so much stuff, including the Little People zoo, which has to be assembled. The box didn't say "Some assembly required"; it said "ADULT assembly required". And I did it, since David was swamped with work that day. Now, before fibro, I actually put a desk together. But the zoo took me an hour. It's hard to read instructions while a toddler is trying to "help", so I finally turned on Mickey Mouse for her.

All in all, I think she had a good birthday. She's still sick, and guess what? So am I. Again. I feel like wiping this whole place down with Lysol.

And I have a two-year-old. How did that happen?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Vintage birthday

Last year, when Audrey's 1st birthday party rolled around, I was depressed. Darned seasonal affective disorder. I got all excited about planning it around October, but by the time it came, I was not enthused. It was still a great party, though.

I wasn't even blogging then, which I love to do. I think it was 3-4 months that I went without blogging. But all that has changed now (more on that later).

Audrey's 2nd birthday party was Saturday. Before I share those pics, I've decided to share some vintage pics from last year, since I didn't post any then. We had a ladybug theme, by the way.

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And one of my favorites.

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