Wednesday, December 19, 2012

But Mommy....

Classic J Moment

Miss Cheryl & I have been working on J and his interest in the boy in the mirror.

This morning the conversation went like this:

Me:  J pay attention & focus on getting dressed or I am taking the mirror doors off your closet - then everyone will see your clothes.

J:  But why mommy?

Me:  So you cannot talk to that boy in the mirror.

J:  But Mommy, I love that boy in the mirror.  He's me.

and yes, that would be another reason why I love this boy so much.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My little blossom

I've been quiet, enjoying my spectacular little boy... I am so thankful for every day I get to share with him.

I mourn for those who are waking up to bury and mourn their lost little ones.  My prayers are with those in Connecticut.

With those thoughts, I am sharing a picture of our blooming Christmas Cactus.  J picked this out for me at Meijer and said "I HAD to have it."

There is so much hope in these blooms & I'm pulling that close to me now...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It's such a small world - seeing friends

It is always expected to run into people you know, when you are say - in their community or at least state.

When you travel 19 hours away, however, you really don't expect it as much.

However, J & I were delighted to learn - friends of Mommy's had also decided to visit Marco for Thanksgiving.

Mommy & Mr. E met when we were just out of college.  My parents had moved to the Detroit area, and I had just returned from college in North Carolina.  I knew no one, and I was working in Downtown Detroit at the RenCen, with people generally older than me.

I was soooo lonely.

Thankfully, my parents had decided to get a boat that summer.  Our dock ended up being right by this super nice couple who had a son my age, and a younger daughter.  The son had a cousin the same age.  As boys do, they were always out having some kind of fun.  Mr. E's dad saw I desperately needed a life line - I'm pretty sure this is how it went anyway... Instructed his son to take pity on me & include me in their outings. 

So started a friendship that would last the test of time & distance.

And now, we know generations.

Mr. E, who I rarely communicate with now - as I have built a relationship with his wonderful wife, saw my Facebook update on having arrived in Marco the night before - texted me to confirm I was in fact in Marco.

They were also on the Island. 

I was delighted to get some in person catchup time with his wife, expecting their third addition, E and watching their adorable daughter.

But what warmed my heart the most was watching how their son, a year older than J, and Jacob instantly bonded.  They connected and played like long lost friends.  By the end of the day, J was asking - can we play together again?  When Mommy, when?

And so begins the second generation of friends. 

I didn't think to grab many pictures, as I was too busy talking, but here are a couple from our visit with them...
 Petting the exotic animals brought to visit the kiddos at the hotel...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Marco - Nov 2012 Pics

J was so fascinated by the beach this trip.  He started asking about his visit to the beach prior to our even leaving.  He knew exactly which bucket set he wanted to take, and there was no talking him out of it.
 Nor was there any fear of the Gulf.  A whopping 68 degrees was warm enough for this little fish...
 Although, he left cleanup for grandpa.  That's what they are for, right?
 I love how you see J's Spartan S so clearly here... He was very certain that would be his hat to have in Florida, because it matches grandpa's.

Spiderman throwing webs.
 The weather was not as warm as I would have liked, but we made the most of it, enjoying the wonderful city park - where J could have played for hours with all they have to do there...

HUGE tree house structures, lots and lots of swings, basketball courts, shuffle and botchy (sp?) board courts.  Grass to run around in...  They had tether ball courts.  Even in doors, they had video games, air hockey and a pool table.

J had a blast burning energy here prior to hanging out with grandpa, so mommy & grandma could go shopping at Patchington & Marco Island Clothing Co.  Two of her favorite island stores. 
With the beach condo for sale, we spent most of our time in the rented two bedroom.  J definitely liked having the room to move.  Mommy like the pool was warmer, but I will admit, I missed waking up to the sound of the Gulf and the view.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 - Marco Style

I met Mr. M in January 2001.  We were engaged by August.  It took us until May 2003 to be married, but we pretty much were acting married by the time we spent our first Thanksgiving as an engaged couple. 

Meaning, with one exception, I believe we have spent every single Thanksgiving and Christmas with Mr. M's family.  My parents have joined a few, but they were joining Mr. Ms family.  The last Christmas before we married, I did spend with my parents, and we realized we really didn't like spending holidays apart... So we haven't.

With Mr. M's work schedule, that has left us pretty much stuck at home.  Since my family is all in Michigan, and now Florida for my Snow Birds, they lost out on seeing us and we them.

Since having Jacob, this dynamic has bothered me a lot.  I know my in laws adore Jacob & love having him at their holidays, but that prevents J from learning my traditions.  Having a sausage stuffed turkey at Thanksgiving, or ham at Christmas.  Matt's mom is a great cook, but that doesn't mean my side isn't.  Sometimes that is a hard concept for Mr. M, who thinks the only right meal on Christmas is Italian, and to me - that is an every day meal & takes away from the specialness of the Holiday.  Then again, I grew up eating spectacular appetizers all day, so the ham was an after thought to be enjoyed for days after Christmas.  Bacon wrapped water chestnuts, cheese balls, home-made toffee and fudge, poppers and potato skins for the shell fish allergic member of the house, lobster tail & crab dip for the not allergic... We would have smoked fish - smoked in our smoker in the garage.  We would have a fire roaring and laughter would fill the air.

Due to how spread out my family is, the possibility of J ever experiencing what I did in my family is pretty slim, which is why I have been pretty lax about it not pushing the envelope.

Plus, let's be honest - if Mr. M said 'Sorry about your luck, but I have a week off - so I'm taking J & heading to the beach for a week over a major holiday' I would probably lose my mind.

This all said, when I was talking my mother-in-law this summer about future holidays with her future in-laws, it allowed me to express some of the discontent I was feeling.  She understood, and in a sense gave me her blessing.

Then this past summer, my mom had some health scares - and it really crystallized things for me.

Thankfully Matt understood.  He gave me his blessing for driving to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my parents. 

It was funny, my parents and his parents had a huge issue with the fact I wanted to drive - but everyone was very supportive of WHY I wanted to be in Marco.

In fact, I do believe this will become our bi-annual trip.  I might look at having Dec 26th be our off year trip, but we are not there yet.  :)

This year J and I spent Thanksgiving enjoying turkey (an entire turkey leg for the growing boy), sausage stuffing (not J), pineapple from the farmer's market, and squash transported from a neighbor's farm in Michigan.  It was just the 4 of us, as my brother spends every holiday with his own in-laws. 

These were not the traditions of my past, but mixing pieces of my past with setting new traditions for our future was exactly what I wanted and needed this holiday season.

Tomorrow - I'll post pictures...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Soccer 2012

We are loving this soccer season.  It is so amazing to me how much J has matured with team sports over the past year.  He still isn't the best sport about not getting the ball, but he is starting to realize that getting in there & hustling give him a better opportunity & more fun than pouting on the side.

I do think his random after school care days have helped though, as the older kids play with him.  Either Mr. M or I will pick him up, and he will just go on and on and on about the Big Tyler and Colton (5th graders).   He knows them from the reading buddy activities, but when they give him the time of day in the gym after school - J things he has just scored the brass ring.

Another huge help, I planned the YMCA team with two fellow FRA mom's.  While the rest of the team is random draw, at least J has two friends he knows - so he can focus on playing rather than trying to connect with them, especially since one of the FRA kid's dad is coach.  HUGE THANK YOU to Mr. Vasquez for taking this on, as it has been a great season.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our weekend with Beary!

Jacob has been anxious awaiting Mr. Beary Bear's visit to our home.  He had all kinds of plans.

Unfortunately, mommy had no forewarning of Beary's visit - so instead of J's fun filled weekend trip to the City - we spent the weekend running errands.

We started Saturday off by visiting the Dr. for our annual flu shot.  J decided at this point, his goal was to teach Beary to be brave and thankful.  I ended up adding later, Jacob also did a great job teaching Beary patience

Mommy, J and Beary all received our flu shots.  Some shed more tears than others.  

Then we all went and voted early.  2.5 hours later.  Sigh.

Then we attended J's first soccer game of the year.  It went very well.

This was all followed by dinner with daddy and off to bed.  During our prayers, J made sure to tell Beary how we have to stop and thank God for all the gifts he gives us each day - like the sun and the moon and Mommy & Jacob days and family Sunday's.  I loved listening to J teach Beary about being thankful.

Sunday, we spent the day chilling out.  Chaucer - J's normal sleep buddy had to learn sharing, as Beary got prime snuggles for the night.  And Beary was the one J read stories to...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Halloween - 2012

Happy Halloween!

I scheduled the day off this year & volunteered at J's school for the holiday party.  What a blast!  Must repeat every year, I do believe.
 Striking the pose to throw his web...
 You've been webbed!
Sigh!  Finally a nice one... :)

It had been so warm, and with Jon & Kim's wedding the weekend before, we ended up carving our pumpkins very last minute.  I was so proud at how he dove in this year with complete disregard to the ick factor.

And the annual picture of J with Miss Skye!  We didn't t-o-t with her beyond the first few houses, as J figured out the score of moving quickly.  Thankfully, most of said loot is still in the bag on the counter... My office will be receiving a donation shortly for our candy stash. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Uncle Jon & Aunt Kim's Wedding - Ring Bearer

Jacob was delighted & honored to be one of two ring bearers at his Uncle Jon's wedding.  The fellow ring bearer & the flower girl were Kim's niece & nephew.

While I have no pictures of the stunning bride & groom, I do have several of Monkey...

Last minute size check before cutting off the tags..
 In our hotel room before heading over...
 Posing before the ceremony.

and last but not least... His new emergency jacket...
Daddy did pickup the day before Fall break.  It was warm, much like today.  Daddy saw J leave with his jacket on, because it had been 40'ish in the early morning.  When he picked him up, Mr. M inquired on J wearing his jacket, to which J responded "no Daddy, it's hot."

Let's not think ahead to the 30 & snow we encountered up in Wisconsin... Sigh...  Thankfully, Mommy made a quick trip to the Lighthouse Mall & lucked into a warm inexpensive down jacket one size up for the growing boy. 

He's delighted... :)