Tuesday, December 29, 2009

3 years

3 years ago I spent New Years Eve preparing for Julia's arrival. This year is a little different, I'll be preparing for her to turn 3, a departure from the baby years. Not the Big 4 yet. That is the year that with Hayley and Ace I searched for but could not find the visible signs of their babyhood. 3 is a bit easier, Julia still has her diaper bottom (at night, at least) and her munchkin voice and her need for me more often than not. But still, 3 is not a baby anymore.
So instead of timing contractions and packing and repacking my hospital bag, I'll be wrapping big girl presents and putting up decorations. She doesn't want a big party, she would rather go to the 99 with us. Big parties can be overwhelming for her and all that attention focused on her is not her idea of a good time. We lucked out this year and her friend from school is having a party on the same day as Julia's birthday so we get to go to a party but not have to be the "Official" Birthday Girl. She also gets to go to the toy store and pick out her own presents. She got so many surprises for Christmas that we are fresh out of ideas and thought she may have fun choosing her own special gift. And then the next week she will get a party with Grandma and Grandpa which is, well, grand.
Oh my Sweet Julia. Our second daughter, our peaceful princess. She is the one that Andy sees the most of his personality in and the one I spend the most time trying to figure out. She is our quiet introvert and me, being so NOT an introvert, am so intrigued by what makes her tick. She doesn't like to be alone and she will not be ignored but she doesn't like it when all the attention is on her. She has a lot to say and she loves to laugh and giggle, you never know when she may break out of her shell for a few minutes of pure silliness. When we are out and about, you won't hear a peep out of her because she is too busy taking every moment in and watching people. She likes seeing new places but is happiest in her house (or Grandma and Grandpa's). She does have a few other favorite places, Dunkin Donuts, the 99, Trader Joes, School.
I could write a billion pages on the wonders of Julia but most of you know her and have seen those wonders in her smile, heard them in her laugh, caught a glimpse of them in her smiling brown eyes. She is our Sweet JuJu bean. She's been with us for almost 1092 days. Every one of them a miracle.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Memories 2009

Julia repeatedly getting confused and thinking it was her birthday (which is exactly one week from tomorrow). Grandma was cooking a cake and Julia thought it was her birthday cake. The presents were "Burfday pwesents" and she was going to be 3 on Christmas morning.

Ace trying and failing to keep his cool on Christmas Eve. Andy appeased him with a small rocket toy while they shopped for stocking stuffers and Grandpa had to threaten that if he didn't stop his shenanigans he wouldn't get to open any presents. Finally, he got to open a present. It was pajamas. He was not happy. But he is a man of manners so after a few minutes he thanked Grandma for the most super awesome pajamas. He spent a good portion of the night making sure that Santa knew he already had pajamas and would not need anymore, just toys.

Hayley and I playing checkers and she kept calling me "Mom" (she has never called me anything but Mama or Mommy but her cool Uncle Stan was nearby). I pretended not to know who she was talking to until she got so annoyed she would finally say "Mommy!" She also beat me at checkers.

Lucy trying to steal her cousin new fluffy purple high heels when no one was looking.

Lucy eating 3 big plates of Christmas dinner.

Lucy running towards the staircase any chance she got, just so someone would chase her and pick her up so she could laugh and laugh and snuggle.

Ace picked out my Christmas gift. It is a fluffy hot pink robe with lips and polka dots and a hood. I love it and laugh everytime I wear it.

My niece trying to keep Lucy away from her legos. When we told her Lucy was not bothering the legos and not to scold her, N. said "But I can see her getting attracted to them!"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Holiday Challenge to You

Every day from now until Christmas, answer your home, work, and cell phone with the following greeting:

"Hi! I'm Buddy the Elf. What's your favorite color?"*

If it does not brighten you Christmas season, nothing will.

*Line shamelessly stolen from Will Ferrell's stellar performance in Elf


I've been wanting to write and keep sitting down to update and then stall out when it comes to starting a paragraph. There is so much going on and so much excitement that I feel a little drunk on Christmas spirit (not eggnog, really) and it's hard to follow through with an update.
We are spending the afternoon cleaning and packing and getting geared up to celebrate an early Christmas tonight. We will let the kids open some presents and have a quiet family meal before we head down South on Monday for a big family Christmas with my side of the family. We are also awaiting a powerful winter storm that may throw all of our plans out the window. I'm just breathing deeply and trying not to stress. I'm fairly powerless over a blizzard so my freaking out is not going to make any difference, I'll just enjoy watching the snow fall and not borrow worry from Monday. I'm just praying to make it to NC by Thursday.
My favorite niece that is 3 was here last week and we had such a great time with her. I love her so much, being around her constantly makes me laugh. My sister and I took the 3 oldest kids to see The Nutcracker last weekend and in the middle of a dance N. stage whispered to my sister "Boys should NOT wear white tights!" They were surprisingly well behaved through the 2+ hour performance, the only disruption was during a performance by a scantily clad dancer when Ace yelled at me "I need the binoculars, NOW!"
We also saw Santa at the fire station and, although she still did not want to sit on his lap, Julia did not insist on leaving the minute Santa arrived. Maybe he's growing on her. She still doesn't get what all the fuss over his is about and if you ask her what she wants him to bring her she answers with a firm "NOTHING!" She would just like him to take his sleigh and keep right on going, thank you very much.
I love Christmas and I hope I'm keeping it simple enough that the kids are having time to just soak it all up. We try to have some quiet time every night when we sit by our little tree (we just put up a little one since Grandma has the big one) and read stories and listen to music. I kept the shopping to a minimum and we only got 3 gifts for each child, one big one and two smaller ones (because as my pastor said, "If 3 is good enough for Jesus...") The kids are spending way more time talking about our trip and seeing family than what Santa is bringing so I know that the big gift this year is the time we'll have with our favorite people. And if the blizzard hits and we are stranded in Cape Cod, maybe Santa will stop by and offer us a ride on his sleigh. Maybe then he would win Julia's heart!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Lucy loves games. She dreams of the day she will be included in all the games she sees her older brother and sisters play. The other night we all played Junior Monopoly and she was in her exersaucer (which she is really outgrowing but we set aside specifically for these times) with cookies to keep her entertained. She got agitated after a while and the game was ending anyway so I let her get out and join us on the floor. She immediately picked up the oversized die we were using and rolled it just as she had seen us do and then started moving a piece around the game board and "counting" the spaces. She kept looking at me as if she was saying "See, I know what to do!"
Now Julia and Lucy are playing Hide and Seek. Lucy will go into a room and Julia will come running out and hide in the exact same spot every time. A second later Lucy will come out of the room and look in the exact same (wrong) spot and then just stand there, wondering what the next step is. Luckily she doesn't have to wonder for long because Julia lasts about 5 seconds before she jumps from behind the couch and yells "Surprise!" They laugh and squeal as if it really is a huge surprise. When they switch places Julia counts in the room and Lucy runs out here, then runs right into the room where Julia is counting and screams her closest imitation of "Surprise!" and they squeal and laugh some more.
I love watching my daughters be sisters. They take such good care of each other but they also delight in each other, I hope they always do.