Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Getting Ready for Christmas

Christmas is in the air at our you can see, we made a trip to the post office yesterday, to mail our letter to Santa. When we got back, we set up our new advent calendar, and got out a few decorations. I'm thinking that after we get back from town today, we'll be digging out some more, as Camden got pretty excited about the whole thing. We'll put up our tree this coming Sunday.

Thanksgiving was really nice - - we spent it at Steve's brother's house. Kasey cooked a lovely meal, and her mom and stepfather were there, as well as her brother. We had a great time! This past Sunday, we took the boys to "Breakfast with Santa", which is part of the Festival of Trees in Boise. I'm hoping this is something we might be able to do each year from now on.

Griffin continues to grow like a weed. I'm anxious for his 2-month appointment next week so I can get all of his official "stats". He smiles non-stop now, and even laughed for the first time yesterday. He's not doing so well in the sleep department - - I think he kept Steve and I up for the better part of the night last night, which is why I am sitting here blogging at 5:00 a.m. Hopefully the boy will catch on soon, and start sleeping with some regularity.

Camden thought it might be fun to put Griffin in his doll stroller yesterday. I'm not sure Griffin agrees

Camden, at "Breakfast with Santa"

Friday, November 24, 2006

Fate and Long Lost Friends

Fate is defined by Wikipedia as, "destiny, an inevitable course of events". Last weekend, my mother and father stopped by a craft fair that was being held at Mt. Ararat, my old high school. I suspect it was held in the dining commons or the gymnasium - - either is quite large and it was surely packed to the rafters with people. As my parents passed by a random vendor, my mother overheard a woman say, "If you see Heather Smith, let me know." (you all know my real maiden name, but I'm not a fan of making last names public on the internet). Well, my mother paused for a minute, thinking she must have been hearing things. Then, the woman repeated it, not once, but two more times. Thinking this was all a little too weird, my mother asked this woman who she was talking about. Sure enough, she was talking about me. As it turns out, the woman behind the craft table was the mother of an old college friend of mine, Jen, who I lost touch with, right before Steve and I were married. What are the odds? Keep in mind, this woman does not live in the town my parents live in, and participates in many craft fairs throughout the state.

Now, a little background on Jen. Back in 1990, as a freshman entering the University of Maine, Jen and I were "assigned" to be roommates. Earlier that year I had attended freshman orientation and had met a great girl from Cape Cod over that weekend. We'd decided to be roommates, and notified whoever we were supposed to notify to make that happen. Well, there was some sort of glitch and so, on paper, I was paired up with this "Jennifer" from Greene, Maine. If memory serves, I believe I wrote her a letter and said, "Sorry, I already have a roommate." As luck would have it, she ended up living across the hall from me. Just the other day I nearly fell out of my chair, when I realized that "freshman year" was 16 years ago. Yikes. Anyway, I'm not sure that I could adequately describe Jen here on my blog. Wicked sense of humor. Smart. Crazy (and I mean the good kind of crazy). Adventuresome (is that a word?). Gosh, that girl made me laugh. I have a great piece of videotape of Jen, giving me a tour of her dorm room, and then belting out Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues". Maybe I ought to dig that out today and watch it. Anyway, to me, Jen has always been one of those people who I've held close to my heart, even though we've lost touch from time to time. There is just something about her that has always set her apart from others in my mind. The last time we saw each other was back in 2000, when I was lucky enough to meet her husband and new daughter. We had lunch at Brian Boru in Portland, Maine. Now, Jen has 3 kids, I have two. She lives in California, so I guess you could say we are practically neighbors.

Fast forward to this week. I was involved in an unfortunate incident at the beginning of the week that, on the surface, didn't bother me so much. However, after thinking about it a little too much, this incident caused me to question my self worth a little, and for that matter, humanity in general. I've spent the past few days feeling pretty depressed about the whole thing, and not really knowing what to think. WhenI got up this morning, I snuck downstairs to check my email like I always do, whenever both boys are occupied or asleep at the same time, and I have a few moments to myself. There, in my inbox, was an email from Jen. For some reason, after I read her kind words, it put everything that had happened earlier this week into perspective for me. That may sound a little dramatic, but to me, it all makes perfect sense. Some things deserve to have energy put into them, and some do not. Thanks Jen, you really helped me out this week, and you don't even know it. I'm always saying, "everything happens for a reason" and I can see this morning how true that is.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Latest Photos

Try as I might, it is very hard to capture "new baby" smiles with a digital camera! Griffin is smiling a lot now when I talk to him.
The boys, hanging out in Mummy and Daddy's room
A rare moment a few days ago when Camden took a nap. He stopped napping over 10 months ago. Yes, it just so happened that Griffin was asleep at the same time, and yes, I was in such a state of shock that I didn't even know what to do with myself
Camden was pretty excited to be giving Griffin a bottle

Griffin has been known to sneak into bed with Camden from time to time. I believe Camden was reading him a book about trucks in this shot...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Lysol, Pepto, and All Kinds of Fun

It has been a little over a week since I last posted...had errands to run earlier in the week, which usually ends up being an all-day affair, since we live quite a way "out of town". On Wednesday night, Steve started feeling queasy, and by Thursday morning the poor guy was down for the count. He spent the day in bed, hidden away in the guest room down stairs, while I frantically washed my hands repeatedly until they cracked and bled (literally), and doused my house with Lysol. Nobody likes to be sick, but I feel like I live in fear of getting sick (must get a grip on that) with some sort of gastro illness, because I wonder what the heck I would do! I know people do it every day, but I'd rather not go through that experience. At this point, it is hard enough caring for Camden and Griffin at the same time, much less, if I were ill. Steve felt a lot better this morning, and ended up heading into the office mid-morning. So far, the rest of us seem fine - - lets hope it stays that way.

In other news, Griffin seems to be growing like a weed. According to my bathroom scales, he is a little over 11 pounds now. He doesn't have his two-month check-up until December 6th, when he'll be closer to 2.5 months old, so I have to wait a bit longer to get all of his official "stats". He loves to smile, and he has started cooing over the past couple of weeks, too. I was laying in bed last night, thinking about how fast this is all speeding by already. There are so many little things about babies that I totally forgot about...little things that I just love so much. In the picture below, Griffin is doing one of my favorites - - for some reason he likes to hang on to the neck of my shirt when I hold him. I love that. Other things I love and will soon miss - - the smell of the top of a new baby's head -- warm and sweet. I also love how Griffin chirps like a little bird when he eats, or how when we get up in the middle of the night, I can see him smiling at me in the dark. I love the jerky movements of his arms and legs right now. He's just figuring out how they work and sometimes it seems like he'll propel himself off the ground with all that movement. New babies are so much work, but there are so many little details that are so priceless.

Camden continues to adjust to his role as big brother. We are finally beginning to be able to find time during the day for quality time for just the two of us, which is great.

How is everyone doing, preparing for Christmas? I really need to hurry up and get organized. I'm trying to accomplish a lot of it on-line, as I know I won't have much of an opportunity to actually get out and shop. I'm getting excited to put up the Christmas decorations...probably will do that the first weekend in December.

Over the past few days, I've begun transforming the downstairs family room. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a "before" picture. The walls are all wood paneling, the lighting is poor, and one large wall was covered with some sort of wall paper that was a forest scene, no joke. It was so dark down here. I primed and painted the paneling white, and started hanging up pictures, but I still have half the room to do. Painting fake wood paneling is no small task, let me tell you. I'll post some pictures soon.

Must think about making lunch for Camden and getting on with the day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things I Find Myself Saying...

First, let me dedicate this post, with great love, respect, and admiration, to my wonderful mother, Roberta:

Lately, I keep finding myself saying things that my mother use to say, throughout my formative years. Back then, her words (as she can probably confirm) fell mostly on deaf ears. Not only that, but I'm sure my brother and I found it somewhat annoying at the time. Here is just a sampling of things that either come out of my mouth, or that I SCREAM INSIDE MY HEAD, on a daily basis:

  • "Watch your mouth!!!" I find myself saying this to Camden a lot now - - he has been showing quite a sassy side to his personality, since his little brother came along.
  • "Rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher!" Okay, this one is obviously directed at Steve, since Camden isn't quite loading the dishwasher yet.
  • "Clear your plates!" Camden is getting better at this one. I guess I should have put this one before dishwasher comment, since many times the plates, glasses, etc., seem to have a hard time even making it to the kitchen counter. I mean, do I look like a waitress? Seriously.
  • "Put your clothes in the hamper!" Again, Camden is getting better at this one, but I'm constantly finding teeny tiny undies, socks, etc. in weird places.
  • "Quit horsing around! Calm DOWN!!" I might as well scrap this one all together. I'm outnumbered by boys. Who am I kidding.
  • "Did you HEAR what I JUST said?!!??" I'm guessing this has something to do with being three years old. I can say to Camden, "Please, Dearest, do not poke your infant brother in the head with your dinner fork," to which Camden will reply, "Okay, sorry...", only to resume said poking two seconds later. ???!!??

Oh my. I believe it is time for a cafe mocha vodka valium latte.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Freedom Salute

On Saturday, the boys and I went to the armory with Steve for an award ceremony for his company. In the picture to the right, Steve is presenting three of his soldiers with Army Commendation medals, which they earned while in Iraq. Another part of the ceremony was the Freedom Salute, which is one of the largest recognition programs in Army National Guard history. The Freedom Salute acknowledges Army Guard Soldiers and those who supported them during the President's call to duty for Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. The campaign began in December 2003 and has thus far recognized over 100,000 soldiers, family members, friends, and employers for their service and support. Each soldier is presented with an American flag in a wooden display case. The ceremony was really nice, and the Commanding General of the Idaho National Guard (Major General Lafrenz) spoke with each family and thanked them for their sacrifices, which I thought was particularly nice.

Here's Camden at the whiteboard in Steve's office

Trying out Steve's beret

Griffin, almost 6 weeks old

Time to feed Griffin and head off to bed. One more week of Army school for Steve, and then hopefully, life will begin to return to normal for all of us.

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