Thursday, December 25, 2008

A very Merry Christmas

Despite the fact that Mason woke up at 5:30am crying for daddy, our morning was good.  Mason could have cared less about the presents though, until Grandma, Pop-pop and aunt Jenni showed up.  I had made us french toast and waffles for breakfast and watched "A Christmas Story" till everyone showed up.  Then it was present time.  Mason was ripping open presents everywhere. His favorite was the "Mac" truck from the movie "Cars" he got from Grandma and Pop-pop.  He played with that all day and then had to sleep with it when put to bed. 

I got a few good ones.  My two favorites are the old fashioned popcorn maker Fred got me, and that will go into the bar once it is done.  The other is the smart shopper grocery list maker my sister got me.  You talk into it and it stores your grocery list items and errand items then you can print it out and it categorizes it for you.  So totally awesome.  Can't wait to try it out.  
I got Fred an electric razor, he'd been wanting one, and a rotating picture frame.  He'd been begging me for some pictures that he could have at the office for years.  I finally got around to it.  Yes I am a procrastinator.  But he loved it.  

Then we had a nice dinner/lunch of Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and Mason had Mac n Cheese.  All courtesy of Boston Market.  Beats having to cook a big meal any day.  Then while Mason took a nap we played Imaginiff and Apples to Apples.  We all had a good day and it was great to spend it with family.  Now I am exhausted and looking at the mess that looms before me and begging to be cleaned.  Maybe I'll wait till tomorrow to do it.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve and Cookies

It has always been a tradition since I was a child to make christmas cookies on Christmas Eve. Since I got older we haven't kept up that tradition too well but since Mason is now two years old we couldn't pass up the opportunity to introduce him to the tradition.  Especially since he loves to help at any chance he gets. 

Mason was so cute wanting to do it all himself.  He kept pushing my hands away and saying "Mason do it, Mason do it."  Then came the icing and decorating.  Of course a two year old would make a mess as expected.  His favorite colors to use were blue and yellow and he loved the red hot dots the best.  I even got a video of him decorating. 
He is so freaking adorable.  I wouldn't have traded in this experience for the world.  It was happy, fun cookie making.  Can't wait till tomorrow morning!!!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baby Bump

16 weeks 3 days and counting.......

That means I have approximately 164 days left till we meet the newest member of our family.  I say approximately because I will be having a scheduled c-section, which means the baby will be born before the estimated due date of June 5th 2009.  I just scheduled my 20 week sonogram appointment for January 13th at 9:15am.  I am so excited.  That is only three weeks away!!!  If they can tell, we will definitely be finding out if this little one is a boy or a girl.  Most are speculating that it's a girl (seeing as I've been so sick this time and carrying lower so far).  I try not to speculate, that way I won't get my hopes up either way.  I just want to make sure the baby is healthy, but would be happy with either.  I figure, a boy I already know how to handle and have all the clothes.  A girl, though, would be nice so I'd have one of each.  My next prenatal checkup is on the 12th of January and I believe this is when the date of the c-section will be set. My dr. said that 20 weeks is the earliest they can set the date so hopefully all the information we are waiting for will be made known in three weeks.  

I did this photo shoot myself.  Tripod's are so wonderful.  I thought being close to the holidays that it would be nice to have the tree in the background.    It's all starting to come together now and feel more real.  I'm looking forward to what the next 5 months will bring, the good and the bad, and reminding myself that I always turn out to be stronger than I think and can handle more than I ever imagined.  What a new adventure this baby will be.  

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!!!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Photos with Santa

Ever since I was about my sons age (and I'm sure even before that) my father has been dressing up as Santa and talking with children about their wants for Christmas presents while getting their picture taken. He even used to be a mall Santa. I started taking pictures of my dad as Santa when I was in high school, at a craft fair benefiting my school's marching band. These days he mostly just does Santa at church. When Mason was born we starting getting photos of him with "Santa". My dad would either come to our house or we would go to my parents. He would put on the suit, I'd get my tripod and camera all set up and do a photo shoot. This is where my major in photography actually gets some use. Since my dad had his stroke it's harder for him to play Santa but he still gets dressed up for Mason. We have to help my dad get dressed, while someone else distracts Mason (I still want him to believe in Santa). It was harder this year to keep the mystery but I think we pulled it off. I was sure Mason would know it was pop-pop but he kept calling him Santa and telling him he wanted a "big orange truck" for Christmas. I think we got some good shots this year. We've done this since Mason was a month old and will continue until my dad is no longer able to do it. That will be a sad day. I can't imagine when I will have to suck it up and stand in that horribly long line to pay for ridiculously overpriced photos of a mediocre Santa at the mall. For now I take advantage of the fact that we have one in the comforts of home and all for the bargain price of free!

Progression over the years:

Mason@1month Mason@1 year Mason@2 years

Oh, how they grow up so fast. I can't believe my baby boy is now a little man. Christmas morning won't be here soon enough. (4 days and counting)

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just for thought and a little vent

So this is something that has been bothering me for quite sometime and I just can't keep quiet about it any longer.  For those of you out there with kids you will probably know what I am talking about.  This is a typical day:  
I need to run some errands so I back the diaper bag with the essentials, bundle up the kid and myself, get us all situated and buckled into the van and head out to the store.  Whether it be Target, Wegmans, Giant or the Mall there is no discrimination when it comes to rude and dangerous drivers.  As I pull into the parking lot of whichever store I have decided is a necessity that particular day, I happen to have parked next to a vacant spot on the passenger side.   I turn of the engine, unlock the doors and get out heading to the passenger side to retrieve my son. As I am standing there, door open, unbuckling my son from his car seat I hear another car pulling up.  I am very well aware that the spot next to m, where I am standing, is empty for someone to be able to park.  I figure, however, that the person trying to be park will see me standing there getting my kid out of the car and be smart enough to know to wait until I am finished to park their car.  Apparently I am the only one to think this way.  How it plays out is that the car starts to pull in, sees me standing there, stops at first and then proceeds to park anyway.  WHILE I AM STANDING THERE!!!  It is clear as day that I am trying to get a child out of the car and I can't believe that people think it is o.k. to just pull into the spot while not only a person is standing there and could get hit by them but that a child could be jumping out at any moment and get hit as well.   How self absorbed and just freaking stupid do you have to be to not know that you stop and wait for the person to be finished before you pull into the damn spot!!!! And it's not like this has only happened once.  It's happened every time I've been in the situation which has been like 5 or 6 times just in the last few months.  I mean not only is that rude, but it's dangerous.  I don't know if this has anything to do with it but I guess I should mention that it has only happened since I have been driving the mini van.  Do they somehow think that because my car door slides open as opposed to the wide open door invading the next parking space of most cars that they can park without waiting and it be perfectly fine?  They could have seriously hurt me and my son, just because they are impatient.  What, you can't wait for like two minutes until I get my son out of the car and get out of the way?   These are not decent people and it just really upsets me.  So I had to blog about it.  Mostly because it just happened again the other day.  

Doesn't anyone else think this is just unacceptable?  Or am I on the soap box alone?

To make my mood gloomier, Fred's grandmother passed away this weekend.  It's his mother's mom and we all knew she had a heart condition and would probably die soon but it still is a sad time.  What makes things worse, I think, was that she just turned 90 in August and we were all supposed to go visit then for a birthday celebration.   The only thing was that she said she didn't want a celebration.  So we postponed our trip and thought it would be nice if we planned one around Christmas time.  Our flight leaves for Oregon on the 5th of January.    The last time Marie, Fred's grandma, saw Mason he was only 7 months old.  It was supposed to be a big celebration trip and all of us getting together after a long time.  I guess her heart couldn't wait that long.  I think Fred's mom might have some sort of memorial while we are visiting, but it would have been nice to see her one last time and to have said goodbye.  
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

A night out with adults

Last night was a much needed night out with just adults.  It has been too long, months I think, since I went out without my son in tow for more than just a quick trip to the store or nail salon (which is another thing I don't get to do very often). We were supposed to bring a dish to "show of our culinary skills" as the evite requested.  Being a holiday party I tried to figure out what would be easy and still say "holiday."  I decided on deviled eggs.  Mostly because they are my favorite!  In fact when family gets together they have to make it a point to remind me to leave some for others (same with mashed potatoes).  One year my sister brought an extra plate just for me.  It was very funny and very thoughtful.  Anyway, back to my culinary skills of making deviled eggs.  I found a recipe that my sister had sent me years ago, it seemed simple enough so I went with it.  Little did I know that when it came to the part of peeling the shells off the eggs, it didn't go as easy as it said on paper, or how I imagined in my mind.  I totally butchered the first one, and though I got better and ended up with maybe 6 out of 12 that were "perfect", the mixing the yolk part was much easier.  Sprinkled on the paprika and voila!  My eggs were done.  Then my husband asked if I tasted them to see if they were any good.  You mean I gotta try it first?  There was some egg yolk left over so I closed my eyes and took a bite.  Not bad, for my first time making them in like 8 years.  Here were the results.  
  and they must have been good because by the time we left the party only two were left (and I only ate three of them myself).  Yay!  I know they don't look like the most prestigious culinary delight but one of my things I want to do (before I die), to further my skills as a stay at home mother, I want to take cooking classes.  Luckily I just found out that they will be opening a cooking school at the local mall next year.  But for now, knowing that my eggs were  enough of a success that they were pretty much gone will suffice.  

Now it's time to head to my parents house and watch my beloved Redskins hopefully get their first win after two devastating losses.  And to pick up my adorably precious son who spent the night at Grandma's so we could have a nice evening out alone.  Gotta love having family so close.  

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Card Time!

So once again it is that time of year when we spend so much time trying to find or make the right card to send to all our family and friends.  As well as pondering which members of our family and which friends are lucky enough to get such a piece of work.  Today I can proudly say that I have finished and sent out our Christmas Greeting this year.  Yay!!  Below is what I created this year.  
I went simple this year, unlike past years. I decided to do my own version of the highly popular photo cards.  I created this in photoshop elements using Ali Edwards Holiday Word Art brushes, Katie Pertiet flourishes and wonderland paper, and Magic sparkle photo frames by Anna Aspnes. It was surprisingly easy, as this was my first time really working with digital scrapbook elements.  I had the photos printed at Costco (cause they were the cheapest,  .39 for a 5x7).  I'm glad to have this step of the holiday season over with.  One more check on my list of many things to do.  
Another check off on my list is present shopping.  Yes, it is finally done.  I thought I would never finish.  You can't imagine how difficult it is to shop for people on a budget.  But I did it. Phew!  Now it's time to prepare for family christmas.  

My family has a tradition every year.  We used to do this tradition on Christmas when I was younger.  We all would have Christmas at our houses then meet up, usually at either my grandma's or my aunt's house, and celebrate with my mom's family.  The Seaman clan.  Now that all the cousins (that would be me) are adults, with our spouses family added to the mix, we had to change this tradition slightly.  Now we all meet up the weekend before christmas.  So no pressure to be at a million places in one day.  We also do it as a pot luck so not just one person has to prepare all the food.  Now the Briggs home has been added to the mix and this will be our third year hosting, but it is the first time in our new house.  Being the hostess though is a lot of pressure in that you have to plan the meal (ie: tell everyone what to bring) and make sure your house is in tip top shape (ie: clean like a mad woman the day before).  But it will be nice to not have to travel this year and have everyone see our new digs.  So now I have one week to get this place looking like it wasn't taken over by my toddler.  Wish me luck!!

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Tell me the truth....

Sometimes when I say "oh, I'm fine", I want someone to look me in the eyes and say, "tell the truth."

I came upon this quote the other day and it really got me thinking.  Why is it that we always put on a "brave face" and tell everyone that we are fine when clearly we are not?  Is it that old saying of never air your dirty laundry in public?  Or is it that society has taught us that we should always appear perfect and together when in company?  Personally I think, why can't I talk to my friends about how I am feeling?  Why do I have to pretend that I have it all together all the time?  Why can't I fall apart in public and it be ok?  I mean if we can't tell our friends our innermost feelings who can we tell them to?  Our therapist?  Friends are free and you don't always need an appointment.  I thought the whole idea of friendship, true friendship, was that you could tell them your deep dark secrets and vice versa.  What is the point of having friends if you can't be authentic around them?  This comes from me, a person who has grown up in an emotional family, and always wants to talk about everything.  I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and usually can't hide my true feelings from anyone.  I don't understand keeping your feelings to yourself.  It tears me apart when I have no one to talk to when I am feeling horrible.  When I say talk to, I don't mean that I am looking for someone to solve my problems.  I am looking for a shoulder to cry on, for an ear to just listen to me fully and someone who will acknowledge that how I am feeling is normal and O.K.   I guess maybe I am looking for acceptance to be a complete basket case, an emotional roller coaster wreck.  It seems to me that from listening and talking to other girlfriends of mine that I am not the only who needs to break down every once in a while and be assured that I am still loved in spite of it.  I just had a conversation the other day with an old friend about how I have been handling life since I got pregnant for the second time.  Life was great for the first few weeks until I got sick, really sick.   Now that I am on some meds I am not so sick anymore but still don't feel as elated with pregnancy as I did with my first.  When I said those words out loud it sounded horrible.  How could I admit, much less have the gaul to actually feel this way, that I wasn't 100% happy and joyful of the fact that I was creating life inside my belly?  Do I get the worst mother of the year award or what?  But to my surprise I didn't get that response from my friend.  She told me that it is totally o.k to not be as excited this time around.  That how I was feeling was normal.  Normal. The word I felt never described anything about me.  Really?  You mean it's o.k. to wonder if I made the worst mistake of my life by getting pregnant again?  YES!  When you have one kid already (mine just turned two) you have a lot of responsibilities to that child. I am a stay at home mom, so my job is to raise my son.  It's a full time, 24/7, 365 days a year job.  I also have to make sure the house is clean, the laundry is done, the dishes are put away, the grocery's have been bought, and the bills have been paid.  The list goes on.  It's not a shock that I am not enjoying it this time around because my situation is different.  I am not the only person I am responsible for anymore.  I can't just take a nap when I want because I am so exhausted, or eat when I want because I have to feed my son first.  I'm not taking care of myself as well as I could the first time.  And I'm tied down a little more so I have restrictions.  If friends invite me out, I have to find a babysitter.  My relationship with my husband has changed.  I am not seen as just his wife anymore.  I am the mother of his child.  My role has changed.  I went from earning a living outside the home, to staying at home and raising the baby, no income.  We don't get to out much anymore.  We don't get to just be "us."  He's busy earning the money and I am busy raising our son.  We have grown apart with these differences and long for the days of old.  These things take their toll and it is totally understandable that I am questioning and doubting and upset.   I had been secretly crying these past few weeks because I felt that my marriage was failing, that I was failing as a mother to my son, and failing as a friend to all those I haven't kept in touch with or rejected an invite from.  Trying to explain to my parents, my husband, myself what I was feeling and going through; and all it took was one casual conversation with an old friend to bring me out of the darkness.  I had been grasping at anything, desperate to make it all end.  After that conversation I felt as if a weight had lifted, that I had been released from prison.  I was not the only one who felt desperate and alone.  It was a relief and a comfort.  So now I ask the question again.  Why do we not confess our doubts and fears, our mistakes and embarrassments, our flaws and faults?  Wouldn't we all feel better knowing that there are more people out there in the world just like us?  Feeling the same things?  Don't we all want to be reassured that we are not alone?  It seems silly to me to hold things in, to pretend to be and act like someone you are not; to falsify your self, your true feelings for fear that you will be persecuted for being the one who spoke up.  But what if you actually spoke up and were not persecuted but praised for it.   We need to learn not to live with such fear.  We are all the same if we just take the time to open our eyes and be honest, to look each other in the eyes and demand the truth; good or bad.  To live fearlessly.  

Since that conversation I can smile.  My mom took Mason for the day yesterday so Fred and I decided to not work on the house or just sit around.  We went to the movies.  For the first time in a very very long time (months I think) we spent the day together.  It wasn't perfect, but it was a start.   The movie we saw was Four Christmases with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaugh.  Totally hilarious.  I recommend seeing it. We went to Benihana for dinner afterwards.  Never been there before and have been dying to try it.  We are huge fans of japanese steak houses.  Our favorite is Kobe's in Leesburg.  We used to eat there almost every week before Mason was born.  I have to say though that I was disappointed in Benihana.  The prices were way too high (we didn't have any alcohol or extras) and the food was average.  The fried rice was very good, but I personally enjoyed the food and entertainment much better at Kobe's.  Fred agreed.  Guess we'll be heading into Leesburg next time we want japanese steak house.   

Well it's about time for the munchkin to wake up from his nap so I better end this now.  Remember, LIVE FEARLESSLY!!!  You just might improve your life and someone else's.  
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Here we go!

So this is it. My first real blog. I've done a few blogging things on myspace over the last year but since everyone has seemed to jump ship to facebook (including me) I haven't had time to go back there and continue. I'd thought about starting my own blog for sometime now, but just not sure I'm totally in the know how to do it properly. *reminder: buy the "Blogging for Dummies" book I saw at the bookstore a year ago. Pray that it is still there. But I starting to embrace my imperfection (which is really hard for me to do. Just ask my husband he claims I am a perfectionist, and I've been starting to believe him). So I need to swallow the fear and just go for it! Lord please give me the strength. I want, no I need, to be able to do this...

So I guess now is where I say a little about myself and my family. We are the Briggs Family. We are imperfect (but then as I look around I think what family is perfect). But I love my family, even when they hurt me. But that's what love does sometimes. We tend to say things to our loved ones/family that we wouldn't say to strangers or mild acquaintances. I still haven't quite figured out why. Maybe it's because we know they will forgive us, or because we feel we can be brutally honest because we love them so much. Either way I know that I cannot make it without my family. My mother, father, sister, husband and son. They are my rock, my inspiration, my everything. This is so sappy....blah, blah, blah. Moving on.
This is our family as of August 2008. Since then we have discovered that our family will be growing. I can't wait to meet the new addition. This time around I don't care if it's a boy or a girl. I just want the baby to be healthy. In the meantime I've been continuing my duties as stay at home mom to Mason while Fred has been working hard to finish all the renovations we've been doing to our new home in time for the Holidays. This year, since we just moved, we are hosting "Family Christmas" with my extended family in the Virginia area. This means a lot of people will be in our house, seeing it for the first time, and it's only a few weeks until the 20th.
Why are the holidays always so stressful. Shouldn't this be the time that we can just sit back and relax and enjoy life? Which reminds me. I desperately need to do my Christmas shopping. *silently screaming* So I should probably get off the computer and start making a list.

Well it's a good start. Hopefully I'll be able to post something everyday (wow that's ambitious) if not every week. So for now, Good Night!
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