Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24, 2011 ~ Christmas Eve

We have a full schedule today, so I am posting early.

There's a favorite Christmas song of mine, Mary's Boy Child, by Boney M. It's a Caribbean song if you've never heard it, although it's really popular on the radio in our town. It's a happy song about the whole Christmas story, but this part always gets me:

"So then they found a little nook
in a stable all forlorn,
And in a manager
cold and dark
Mary's little boy was born."

It doesn't really matter what you believe about Jesus. Historians know he lived. And on this day (although I know the actual date may have been different, but his is the day we celebrate) Mary went into labor.

I had a baby boy not so long ago. In a hospital. Surrounded by light, medical professionals, medicine. It's tough enough to have a baby in modern times with modern methods.

I can't imagine what it must have been like for a 14-year-old girl, scared, without help, in a stinking, dirty animal shelter. No nurses, no doctors, no light. Just pigs and cows and a donkey for company. No bed, just straw on the ground. How hard it must have been, how scary. Poor Joseph, there but probably without knowledge of how to help her.

So today, the day before we celebrate Jesus, let's think of his parents and their struggles to get their little baby here. Theirs was a tough road.

December 23, 2011 ~ iBaby ~ ABCs to Vivaldi

I picked up Billy a little early from daycare today, since work closed early. He didn't want to leave. He was having way to much fun with the toys at daycare. So we visited a little with his teachers while he finished playing with the toys there.

They told me that he loves to sing and dance. Sing? Sing??? Now, I've seen Billy dance. It's a combination of a twist, wiggle and sway totally off-beat. He loves music and will start dancing to let me know that he wants me to play music for him. Sure, I know he loves to dance. But sing? Wait a minute... he's hardly talking.

Apparently, he can sing the ABCs. Daddy and I tried to get him to sing the ABCs for us at home tonight. We tried over and over, off-key, to hear him sing. Nope, shut up like a clam. Hmm... hoax? We'll see.

He was fussy today so I gave him my ipod. He's pretty savvy with the ipod. He played Vivaldi over and over. He accidentally pulled up top 40 dance hit and rocked a little bit to it, but then found Vivaldi again and really started swaying and giggling. We listened to Vivaldi all night.

First Christmas cookie.

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 22, 2011 ~ Always Send Yogurt

Yesterday, unlike most days, I did not send yogurt to daycare. He takes five containers of food with him every day, plus a sippy of water and another of milk. And yes, he usually consumes everything.

Yogurt is a very easy food to prepare. I take it out of the fridge and stick it in the daycare bag. Voila! Everything else takes time to prepare. But yogurt, well, yogurt is a working mom's friend.

But yesterday I had enough leftovers that I did not need to send the yogurt. So, I didn't.

My picky eater was not a fan of the menu change. I sent 6 containers of food just to give him an extra option. He ate only two of them and rejected the rest. What did he eat? Bananas and mac-n-cheese. Rejects? Hamburger, fries, peas and roasted potatoes.

So, he was hungry. Very hungry. Hungry baby=cranky baby. We've been asked to therefore, always send yogurt.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21, 2011 ~ Of Monkeys and Billys

If you read my blog on a regular basis, then you already know that I worked until 6am this morning (on my day off yesterday!). So I apologize for being very sleepy while writing this post.

We're shooting a commercial with a monkey. Literal, not figurative. The chimp is a teenager named Chandler, about the same size as Billy. That chimp has been keeping me from my son.

I got a little bit of sleep before my alarm clock woke me up. When you're a mom your alarm clock doesn't come with an off switch. Nope. My alarm clock requires a diaper change, breakfast, and continues to scream louder and louder until he gets it.

I decided to let him play a bit before daycare today, just to get some Mommy time. He chased Buddy around with animal crackers and poked at the tree ornaments. Mommy drank her coffee while Billy chased the dog around.

This evening Daddy took Billy Christmas shopping for a snow suit with gloves and boots. He loves to be outside, so we need to be prepared for the weather. I have been to all of the department stores around me, including the baby stores, and nobody had snow suits for toddlers. Daddy ended up at an outdoor shop, on of his favorites, and came back with a lovely (albeit very expensive) snow suit set.

Uncle Alex also came over this evening. His college has closed down for the holidays and he needs a place to stay until his car is fixed. So, Uncle Alex will be living with us until his car is fixed, or until Grandpop picks him up to take him home (which is not nearby).

Billy was super excited about Uncle Alex's laptop. I tried to get him to play with his own laptop (thanks G!), but having played with the real thing, he shoved his little red one right back in my face. Nope, the real thing is the cool thing. Somehow, I don't think Santa will be bringing my little one an actual laptop for Christmas. SO, when Uncle Alex leaves, he'll have to survive with his little baby laptop.

He was all wound up and stayed up past bedtime to play with Uncle Alex. However, Mommy insisted on bed. And now Mommy insists on going to bed herself.

December 20, 2011 ~ Billy's Holiday Card to You!

December 20, 2011 ~ Postponed

Today's post will be coming shortly. It's 6am and I am just getting off work and have to be back in the office at 9am. I will post later in the day after I get some sleep.

My apologies!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 19, 2011 ~ Looking Forward, Looking Back

Running around in the month of December it's easy to lose track of time. There's decorating, shopping for presents, planning get-togethers. And in my personal life there's been shoot after shoot, a sick little one, and prepping for Santa's first big visit to our house (2nd trip, but last year Billy didn't notice).

Having a little one around seems to be a contributing factor to time slipping away. It seems like yesterday that he couldn't crawl. I feel like projects I did months ago at work were only a week or two ago. And the same goes with seeing friends- having seen them months ago seems like it was very recent.

And so, rushing around with Billy today to prep for Christmas, I completely lost sight of what today is. Or rather, tomorrow.

For thirty years of my life, December 19 has been a planning day. A planning day for mourning. Most people see the December 21 as the darkest day of the year. In Grandma's family, it's December 20.

34 years ago, at a Baltimore Colts game, my grandmother looked over at my grandfather and said, "Bill, I feel funny." She collapsed and never woke up. Two days later, December 20, she died.

Every year since the family has gathered to mourn her premature passing. There were phone calls back and forth about the Mass, who was going, who needed rides. For our family it was a Holy Day of Obligation. And I realized, rushing around with my little one, that there has been none of that this year. Grandma hasn't even mentioned it to me. Maybe it's just me, consumed by all things baby, maybe the family is drifting away from the tradition.

It's a time-honored tradition, this moving on. We are moving on. There is another generation in the family. So many things to look forward to that we forget to look back. We don't forget the people, but we move away from the grief to celebrate the new lives around us.

As I'm writing this it's already December 20. So, with a gracious nod to an inspiring woman, I move on to prepping for the Big Guy's arrival and the joy it will bring to Billy.

Great Grandma (DMF) 1916-1977

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 18, 2011 ~ Billy Made Santa Cry!

Today was the momentous day. We went to see the Big Man In Red.

Now, I've been prepping Billy for a week for this trip to see Santa. I've been telling him all about the presents. I bought him a copy of The Night Before Christmas and have been reading it to him. We even checked out his stocking, hung by the chimney with care.

We waited until after his nap to take him to see the Big Man, hoping to catch him in the best mood. Unfortunately, he's not sleeping well with this nasty cough (neither is Mommy!) and has been crabby all day. When we got there a big line stretched down the mall and we had to wait. Daddy took Billy into a toy store while Mommy waited in the long line.

Just before us a cute baby girl sat on Santa's lap. She wasn't so sure, but finally the photographer and Santa got her to giggle and what a photo op. The next kid was maybe six or seven, an old pro at snapping the photo with a big smile to get to the important part- making sure Santa knew what he wanted. Then it was Billy's turn.

I tucked in his shirt and carried him over to Santa. So far, so good. We had a nice little chat with Santa about procedure, since he's used to the young ones having difficulties. Then I turned Billy over to jolly old St. Nick.

But as it turns out, jolly old St. Nick isn't so jolly. Nope, he's downright scary.

All that crying made Santa cry too!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 17, 2011 ~ Shoot Day Gets a Billy Break

I had to work again today, despite it being the weekend. I got Billy up and fed him breakfast just like on a normal workday. Only, I left him with Daddy looking at the tree.

Right after our lunch break (which for you normal people is actually closer to dinner) I left the shoot and came home to visit with my favorite boys. I only had an hour and it went quick. Billy showed off his new words from Daddy "stop!" and "no! no!" These words are for the dog bowl, oven, stove and heater. Hopefully, I gets the meanings of the words.

When I got home he had been asleep for a long time. But, his coughing woke him up. It's a remnant of that crappy, evil disease and he will have it through Christmas. It's a terrible, racking cough. Both Daddy and I have it too. I went in to give him his binky, which normally settles him, but he was sitting up and stood up when he saw me.

I picked him up and he pointed back at his crib. I gave him his binky, but he pointed to his crib again. He wanted his Pooh Bear, but in the darkness couldn't distinguish it from his other animals in the crib. As soon as I handed it to him he nestled up against my shoulder. Then I rocked him back to sleep.

He'll need it. Tomorrow is a big day. He gets to meet the Big Man in Red.