Our boys getting ready for bedtime. Baths. Teeth brushing. Jammies. And story time. (and the occasional tantrum because someone does not like bedtime and he can very well verbalize it). These are the precious jammies my mom, Grammy, made for the boys. They are so cute and so cuddly. Imagine the softest, sweetest flannel ever cuddled up against the softest, sweetest boys ever. I love these jammies. I love these boys.
Ah, Christmas '07...what can I say?! The day came and went in a blink of an eye. But it truly was a wondrous and exciting day. It began as any day in our house does - around 6:15 AM. Jackson sneaked into our room filled with excitement. He crawled into bed and asked if Santa had come yet. I told him I thought I heard him on the roof in the middle of the night making a lot of rukus. But that we had to wait for Holden to wake up before we went downstairs. Jackson, amazingly, waited for a full 15 additional minutes until we heard Holden's morning squawk. We finally all got up and tip toed down the hall. There, sitting in the living room, was a full set up and operating electric train set. Jackson could hardly believe his eyes. He peered down at it from the loft upstairs but made his way downstairs to get a closer look. He was in complete awe. He squealed a "thank you!!!" to Santa and plopped down on the living room floor to play with his train. He pretty much stayed in this exact position for the next 12 hours, taking only brief breaks to open his other presents, eat donuts, and take the occasional much needed potty breaks. Holden was mesmerized by the snack crackers in his stocking.
The rest of the day we opened presents, played with our new toys, ate good food, talked with long distance family and watched the snow falling outside. I made a traditional Christmas meal of turkey and stuffing, except that since it was just the 4 of us (and by 4 of us I mean just Shawn and I) I made a simple turkey breast and (gasp!) stove top stuffing (with apologies to my mother for not making Granny's original and amazing stuffing recipe). We had cheesecake for dessert - yum! The boys were worn out by 6:30PM when they both passed out asleep in their beds, visions of train stations dancing in their heads. Shawn and I cracked open the Vouvray and watched "Love Actually." I was asleep by 9:45. It was a perfect day.
Jackson, checking out the new train Santa left. Notice that it is still dark outside the window.
Jackson's cheeky grin, Christmas eve, before we set out for Mexican food.
Daddy and Holden reading on Christmas eve.
Jackson's cool new train bank for Aunt Kimi and Uncle Bob
Holden eating snack crackers from his stocking
Jackson inspecting the goodies in his stocking
Must. Play. Trains
Holden and Daddy checking out his new bowling set
Must. Continue. Playing. Trains.
Oh boy! More presents!
Me and my boys
Cool new books and matching handmade jammies from Grammy!!!!
It has been a few days since our last snow fall but at last we finally bought a sled (thanks BJ!). We got to try it out today and it was awesome! Jackson and I first headed over to the park across the street to try out the mini-hill. We had a blast soaring down that hill together. He kept saying "again! again!" the minute the sled came to a halt. Note to self: When letting your 3.5 year old go down a hill by himself, make sure you know how far it will actually go. He sledded right down the hill and into the street!! Gave me a heart attack; and that was the end of that!
Later in the afternoon Shawn built up a berm of snow in our front yard. The neighbors joined us in trying out our slalom. Mostly Shawn and Tyler tried to create the perfect hill. I think Tyler was going to draw up the engineering model of it on his Mac tonight and get back to us on perfecting the curvature of the run for tomorrow. No matter what though, Jackson J. and Jackson G. (and mommy) had a great time on that sled. Afterwards, Shawn and I traded off napping just to be able to keep up with the boys the rest of the evening. Both Jackson and Holden were asleep by 7PM tonight! Since Santa comes tomorrow we are hoping for some well rested kids...yeah right. They'll both be up at their usual 6:30AM tomorrow, ready to play! Aw well, at least we have our rock'n sled run to look forward to!
Jackson G. and Tyler preparing to ride
Jackson J's turn on the run
Lisa and Allison braving the cold Again Daddy! Again!
Remember the other day when I mentioned not being able to pee in peace since becoming a SAHM (stay at home mom)? Well, here's proof that I don't even get a private potty break during my day. This is my son, watching me and himself while I am *trying* to take a much needed and much deserved (but definitely not private) potty break...
(by the way, he's not tall, he's just standing on Jackson's stool)
We visited Santa today - our first time ever actually sitting in the big guy's lap! Holden wanted nothing to do with it. But Jackson did so with a mix of moxy and awe. He was so brave! He asked Santa for a race car, a monster truck and a big train. Shocker. We'll see if he delivers!!
Last night Shawn and I got into one of those deep discussions about life that can take up an evening. It started off talking about our future and ended talking about my present. My present being my life as a stay at home mother. The minute I found out I was pregnant with Jackson I knew going back to work was going to be hard. I wanted so badly to be home to raise my children. But it just wasn't something we could manage at that time. So I went back to work when he was 4 months of age and cried and whined about it for 7 long months. Finally we of course made our decision to move to Colorado. I got my dream of becoming a stay at home mom, and I kissed my marketing career good-bye. .
Except somewhere in the last few years I think I've lost my way a bit. As Shawn I talked through the evening I realized I'm just worn out being home with my two boys every day. I'm not unhappy, I just found I wasn't feeling the urgency and passion I used to feel being home. As I dragged myself up the stairs and into bed, exhausted as usual, I lie there thinking about everything, and what it means to be a full time mom. And what I want from this experience. Because I know how fortunate I am to be able to be home. And I know that this is a real job. It's not all fun and games. It is hard work - even if sometimes the outside world doesn't see it that way. No one touts a stay at home mom on the Fortune 500 (ah, because we don't make a salary!) But it is exhausting being "on" 24/7, 365. I mean, when I was working at least I got to pee in peace! But what I realize is that I've sort of lost my way a bit. I sort of lost the passion I had when I first started this journey. I want to feel that way again. So I made the decision last night, lying there in bed, to rededicate myself to my job. My job as a mother. All the good. All the bad. I want to be there for my children during these years - to be really present in their lives. Because before I know it they are going to be out of my home and off into their own world, doing their own thing, without much of a backwards glance.
I woke up this morning feeling pretty renewed. And that was at 6AM when Holden let out his first cry. I made coffee. I snuggled my baby. I bantered with my husband. I made homemade pancakes. I tickled and hugged my first born. All before 7:30AM. The day progressed swimmingly from there. I committed to playing cars and trucks -- even though, I admit, at times it bores me to tears to play cars and trucks over and over and over again. But it was actually fun and we had a good time. I did a craft with Jackson while Holden snoozed. Then I took the boys to lunch at Chiptole and we had a great time on our date. We stopped in at Michael's to look at their Santa villages - Jackson loves them. We also picked up a Gingerbread house to assemble. On the way home, on a whim, we stopped at a park we'd never been to and the boys played on the swings. The day was perfect. As Holden enjoyed a long afternoon nap, Jackson and I put together the Gingerbread house and decorated it. It was a blast. We talked and laughed and both enjoyed each other's company. And the whining and fussing seemed minimized as well. I did a few loads of laundry in between activities and of course cleaned and did dishes and all the other mundane household chores -- but they seemed less bothersome for some reason. We finished off the evening by reading books to the boys snuggled up in Jackson's room. It was, all in all, an incredibly fulfilling day. I felt renewed and rededicated to my job. And I was reminded, over and over again today on the smiling faces of my boys, why I wanted to be a stay at home mom in the first place.