Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Traditions.....

Dean and I have been talking about what Christmas traditions we want Zane to have. We always put up all our decorations up the day after Thanksgiving. And then ofcourse you have going to look at Christmas lights. The one that we both had was getting to open one gift on Christmas Eve.  It was also tradition in our house to watch the Grinch on Christmas Eve night. You also have the whole making cookies for Santa. My question to everyone is what Christmas traditions do you have??   Here are some Christmas traditions that I've ran across... 

Remember the Animals...  
Legend has it that on Christmas Eve, all animals are granted the ability to speak until daybreak. While the following tradition doesn't guarantee you a verbal thank-you from the neighborhood wildlife, it's a nice way to treat your animal friends when food is scarce. 

You don't need to be elaborate--putting out birdseed or peanut-butter sandwiches for the squirrels will suffice. But for a truly lovely twist, you can take a cue from the Waterman family of St. Charles, Missouri. Inspired by Eve Bunting's book Night Tree, the Watermans get together each year with friends and family and trek into the woods to decorate a tree for the animals. The evening begins at home, with the preparation of appropriate goodies: pinecones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed, popcorn and cranberry garlands, orange and apple slices suspended from pipe cleaners. Once the feast is complete, the assembled throng bundles up and heads out into the night. Tree-decking is followed by sharing hot chocolate, holiday cookies and Christmas carols

Create a Photo Ornament...

For most families, ornaments are more than decorations; they're memories in miniature. Especially the homemade creations, whose cockeyed charm so perfectly captures the creativity of your child at a particular moment in time.

This year, why not take the idea a step further and let your kids put a little bit of themselves into the decorations--literally. Each child gets to choose a photo of himself or herself to incorporate into an ornament, which can be as simple as a Popsicle-stick frame or as sophisticated as a decoupaged Styrofoam ball. The only requirement is that the finished product reflect the personality of its maker (and include the year in which it was made). Your kids will have fun comparing their faces over the years, and you'll love seeing your tree transformed into a virtual family album.

Surprise a Public Servant...

It may shock your kids to learn that not everyone gets to take time off around the holidays. Firefighters, police officers and many other public servants give up their holidays to make sure that ours are safe and happy. The Kelner family of Muskegon, Michigan, decided to give back something to all these good-hearted folks, so for the past several years they've gathered holiday cookies and other treats to bring to the local fire station on Christmas Eve. The first year, they were surprised to find only one firefighter on duty; he was so thrilled to see them, he invited them in to share the feast. For the Kelners, that one small act of generosity turned out to be the highlight of the Christmas season.

If your family would like to play Surprise Santa, start by contacting someone in local government (town hall is usually a good place to begin) to find out where to go. But make sure your visit stays a secret--the element of stealth adds a little extra zip to your act of holiday charity.

Cure the Postholiday Blues...

If my daughter ran the world, it would be illegal to take button stockingdown the Christmas tree before summer. And while I sometimes greet the end of the holidays with relief, I can't help feeling a little sad when that last ornament is packed away. So, I was thrilled when a friend shared her family's method for banishing the postholiday blues.

Every year, usually on January 6 (the Feast of the Epiphany and the end of the traditional 12 days of Christmas), her family has a quiet supper before taking down the tree. Beside each plate is a small package holding a single button, which has been chosen for its significance to the recipient: a flower button for a gardener, an anchor for a sailing fan and so on. Each person sews the new button on his or her stocking before packing it away until next year. My friend marvels that her kids are as excited to unwrap their buttons as they are to tear through the packages on Christmas.

FAMILYFUN TIP: For unusual buttons, try thrift shops or specialty suppliers, as well as

Giving to Others... 

Christmas is ultimately about giving. This is a great time to give to others, especially those who might otherwise go without.

There are many ways to sponsor a needy family for Christmas. Most churches know of families in need of help. Make arrangements to anonymously provide a family with groceries and appropriate presents through the church.

Many organizations collect gifts to distribute. Whether it is Project Angel Tree or Toys for Tots, you will know your gift is going to a child in need during the Christmas season.

Thank a Soldier...  

My youngest son came up with a great idea for a Thanksgiving tradition. He knew our neighbor's middle son was in the military and once the U.S. became involved in Iraq, he realized everything that our soldiers do for us. My son's suggestion was that each person at our Thanksgiving celebration write a thank you letter to someone in the military. I thought it was a fantastic idea, so I tracked down addresses for some of our local servicemen. And for the last five years or so, each person at our Thanksgiving celebration is given a pen and paper to write a letter during the evening. It's a special and thoughtful tradition that makes us realize how important our troops are and takes the time to let them know what they mean to us.

Elf Night...  

Every year, for as long as I can remember, my three daughters celebrate"elf night"! 
When they were very small, I told them that the first Friday in December was "Elf Night". That was the night that they had to leave their final letters to Santa, and the elf would come by when they were sleeping and take the letters and give them to Santa. 
The "elf" always took the letters and left something small for each of the girls---a candy cane, a coloring book and crayons, or a storybook. It was my way of finding out for sure just what each of them really wanted, plus it added a little bit of excitement for them while waiting for Christmas to get here.

Christmas Auction...

Instead of getting gifts for each other, all of the adults in my family participate in our Christmas Auction. 

Each person brings a few small gifts or handmade items. We lay all of the items out and number them. 
Everyone gets the same amount of "Santa Bucks" - usually 20 or 30 depending on how many items there are to bid on. 
We take about 30 minutes to check out all of the items and write down what we want to bid on each one. When everyone has their bids ready, my mom "auctions" off each item. 
It is so much fun to see what item will be "hot" every year. We usually have a mystery gift 
(wrapped) to bid on. Some years it is a gift certificate and some years it is a gag gift. 
Christmas wouldn't be the same without the auction!

another option....Each family member brings a gift bag with an item. Our limit is $1 per bag (think Dollar Tree). We bid blindly on each bag which must be opened when won. Sometimes it suits the person, but a lot more fun when it doesn't suit them at all. Some trading goes on afterwards for sure.

Ok... so let's hear it.... what are your Christmas traditions?!?!?!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have so much to be thankful for this year. First, I'm so grateful for Zane and that he is here to spent Thanksgiving with us... that he is healthy... he's a great baby.... and so much more.  Dean and I are in a better situation than at this time last year.  We've got a rough year and a half behind us and are starting fresh with so much less stress.  Our marriage is in a great spot as well.  We are so grateful for the family and friends that we have. All of our service men and women... without them what freedom would we have?  And the list goes on and on. 

So usually for Thanksgiving we head down south in the morning to my Aunt Frances' for my side of the family and then back to Jacksonville to Dean's Aunt Deanna's for Dean's side of the family.  Sadly the tradition at my aunts house ended last year.  So this year we're heading just to Jacksonville for Thanksgiving.  Here is a quick slide of Zane's first Thanksgiving  :)

On the way home we stopped by my cousin's house for a SURPRISE! visit and seen them as well as my Aunt Pat and Uncle JC that live in Colorado who were down for a visit.  I don't get to see my aunt and uncle to very often seeing that they live so far away so this was a special visit, especially since we had Zane.  And of course I didn't bring in my camera for any pics!!!  Got to work on that.... I am suppose to be a photographer!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A quick update on our new life.....

Things have def seemed to get crazy around our house in the past week.  I can't believe that a week ago we were in the hospital meeting our little man for the first time.  We're starting to get set into a routine.  I am finding out just how much I adore Dean.  He is the best husband and daddy ever.  

Zane... what can I say, he's perfect!  He most def is Dean's baby... there is no denying that, he's Dean's personal little mini me. The first few nights home he pretty much slept through the night... we'd feed him at 9:30, wake him up at 12:30 and then he would sleep till 5 and go back to sleep till about 10. We WERE in heaven!  The last few nights that hasn't been the case... it's either Dean or I that's up all night.  Last night was mine so it looks like Dean will be the one falling in his Thanksgiving dinner tom :)   Ummm, he's holding his head up pretty good, he's been doing that since he was born.  The minute he got here they were holding him and he picked his head up and starting looking around like  "what's going on?"  I think it's from him trying to be nosey while I was pregnant and sticking his head out of my belly. He's actually already scooting around on his belly too!  I can't believe that!

Dean..... Dean has been nothing but great... I'm so blessed to have a husband who is loving.  He has done all the house work... laundry... dishes.. vaccuming... mopping.... EVERYTHING!  He's changed every diaper up until a couple of days ago.  He loves Zane oh so much.... and he is SO protective... I call it parinoid but he calls is protective.... which ultametialy is really great, I know I have nothing to worry about.

Me... I'm doing pretty good. I'm def starting to feel a lot better.  The first few days were def the hardest with the pain.  But all in all it was worth it all because I have the best son.  Breastfeeding didn't go so well so I'm pumping, although he's getting formual as well.  I've def still have some mood swings... although they all seem to be crying spells.  Dean can same something, and it be nothing wrong with what he says, and I can take it completely the wrong way and cry for about 30 minutes over it... it's completely ridiculous!!!  I think that's about it for me.

Stories from this week:

We went to the doctor on Mon for Zane's first doctor's appt... he's up 3 oz since us leaving the hospital on Friday.  lol, we had quite the experience while we were there too!  We got in the room and the nurse came in, told us to strip him down to his diaper so that she could weigh him... no biggie.... well as I handed him to her he decided to dirty his diaper... the nurse just laughed and said "no big deal", she cleaned him up weighed him and handed him back and told us that we could go ahead and put his diaper back on and the doctor would be in shortly.  Well, I got his diaper on him, handed him to Dean and he decided he wasn't done just yet.  So... we waited till he was done put him back on the table and changed him... just as we're starting to get the diaper on he decides to pee all over us!  Needless to say all Dean and I could do was laugh!  We got him all cleaned up just before the doctor came in.... it was too funny though!

Heather and Kaylee Grace came over to visit with Zane yesterday and how does Zane repay them??  He leaks through his diaper and pees on Heather!  lol, then to top it off he decided to smile about it! 

Today we decided to go into town to have Zane's 1 week pictures done. Well before going to have them done we had to go to VW to get the tag situated on my dad's car.  Well we had a poopy diaper.  Dean decided that it was mine to change... so... I starting changing him and he starting pooping more!  I waited till he was done... started again and so did he!  Dean and I just laughed!  I told Dean "I guess he making up for lost time"

I'm sure that I missing plenty of stuff.... I guess that's what I get for not trying to blog a little during the week!   But for now I need to get off here and get ready for Thanksgiving tom!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Welcome my little man.... Zane Christian

Sorry I'm a little late on  posting about the arrival of our son...... here it goes....

Birth Announcements from

November 18, 2008:

This evening we went to eat with Brittany and Micheal at their house.  Brittany cooked us a wonderful dinner.... chicken n' dumplins, mac n' cheese, chicken n' rice and then some cherry cheese cake for dessert.  It def help loosen the stress of the following day and helped us concentrate on family and friends.  It was most def nice to let some else take care of dinner.  After eating we hung around and talked and just hung out watching some tv... and Brittany was nice enough to paint my nails so that they didn't look horrible in the pics the following day  :)  After hanging out we decided it was time to go home and finish some last minute things around the house before heading to bed.

November 19, 2008:

We woke up bright and early at 3am to the sound of our alarm.... both oh so tired still from no sleep and decided to sleep an addition 30 minutes  :)  So at 3:30am Dean and I decided that it was time to roll out of bed to start our great journey.  I called Brittany to make sure she was up since she would be following us to the hospital and got into the shower while Dean gathered some of our last minute items.  We then said our goodbyes to Bailey and left the house at 3:50 am.  

We arrived at the hospital at 5am and was told that only one person could come back with me until I was fully admitted, so Brittany had to wait in the waiting room while they got me ready  :(  So we get back to the pre-op room and ofcourse I get to put on one of the lovely gowns that they give you.  They put the monitor on Zane and did the normal blood pressure check and all.  The nurse then came in and started prepping me for surgery.  The first thing ofcourse was the IV which I have been anticipating for weeks now.... for those of  you who don't know, I completely freak at the thought of getting stuck.  The IV stick didn't go well at all.  I had a nurse in the room talking with me from the get go and she was getting ready to stick me when another nurse pops in and said that she would take over from there... so after getting comfortable with one nurse I had to just prepare for this other nurse to stick me, which is seriously a big deal for me.  I handled it well... let her stick me without saying a word....  and well... she didn't get it... she said that she got it through the skin but couldn't get it into the vain.  After contiplating and playing for what seemed like an eternity the other nurse decided to give it a try... she tried twice and as she was getting ready to pull out the needle I gave in and told her the she would have to take it out, give me a minute and try again.  So after a few minutes the nurse that I wasn't so fond of decided to try a vain in the other arm that she was sure she would have no problems with.  Ok.. I said... I mean what could I really do say No!  So she stuck me and got it only to pull out the needle and catch the side on my vain and blow it!  Uhhh!  By this time I was getting frustrated... and Dean, knowing that some how I was managing to keep my cool, was getting ready to tell them that they needed to get someone in that knew what they were doing when they said that they were calling the anestesiaologist to come in and stick me.  Thank God... I really don't think that I could take much more of the sticking and playing.  So the anestediaologist gets in the room, numbs my arm and sticks me.. no problems... IV is in!  He then walks me through the procedure of the spinal tap.  Ok... freaked me out a little... but was ok with everything. Then at a quarter till they went to the waiting room to let everyone in to see me... lol, and then Dad comes in the room.... and no one else, lol, they all got hungry and decided to go grab a quick breakfast because apparently someone told them that it was too close to my c-section time for them to be able to go back.  So we visited with dad for a few minutes,  then my wonderful doctor comes in, runs me through everything one more time... Dean gets in his scrubs.... and they wheel me into the OR to get started.  

We get in there and I started to cry... this was such a huge point in my life... I was about to meet my son for the very first time!!!  So they get me on to the operation table.... I get hunched over and they numb my back for the spinal.  No biggy.... then they stick me and hit a nerve... nothing but pain runs down my right side... I start crying even more!  Then they told me that they would have to stick me again... ok... what can I say....  so they stick again... and the same thing... pain down my right side..... they stick again.... pain down my left side... my this time I was totally freaking out!  One more time they stick me and it's game on!!  I felt warm... they laid me down on the table and by the time my head got down they had to lift my feet because they were totally numb!  Weirest thing that I have ever felt.  At that point they sent someone out to get Dean. Mean while they are continuing to get everything ready... the blue sheet goes in front of my face... they cover my belly... all except what they need.... ect..... Dean walks in the room gives me a kiss and says... Are you ok?  I was sick to my stomach at that point so I ofcourse said no... he's in the middle of a sentence and we hear the doctor say well those are some cute cheeks! They tried turning him once they made their incision so that he would come out head first but would you believe that he still wouldn't turn!  So then the doctor asked... Dad are you ready to see your son?  Dean peaked over and there he was Mr Zane Christian!  All I heard was him start to cry which of course made my water works start to.  This was what I had been waiting months to hear!!  Dean then sits back beside me and says... He's perfect! with the biggest grin on his face. Then asked, Are you doing ok?? I couldn't even speak... all I could do was nod. One of the nurses brought him around for me to see but the angle I got was nothing but a little butt, lol!  They asked Dean if he wanted to come over and see him and cut the cord... I was surprised he didn't just jump and go... he looked at me and asked again how I was doing and if I cared if he went over there.... of course I didn't care... this was his son.... so he went and cut the cord... watched him get weighed... and once they got him wiped off they handed him over to Dean for him to show him to me.  I could do nothing but cry when I seen that sweet little face!!  I couldn't believe he was finally here!

So once I had seen him for a minute or so they left for the waiting room to show everyone who was there.  While everyone was meeting Zane I was being finished up and moved back to my room.  I wasn't in there too long before Dean walked in with Zane.  :)  I just couldn't wait to hold him!!!  It is surely the most wonderful experience in my life.  We got to visit with him for a little while with just us and then they called everyone else in the room to meet and visit with him as well.  After about an hour in the recovery room they moved me to my post delivery room... at that point it was just me, Dean, Brittany and Zane.  So we all hung out admirring our new arrival for hours before Brittany left that afternoon and we had more visitors come in.

I have to say that this day was full of things that I feared but ended with the one thing that I've always wanted and I wouldn't change it for the world.  Not that I didn't know, but I found out just how wonderful of a husband I do have.... and I love him so much more!  I finally got to meet the baby that I have always dreamed of having and I have the best set of family and friends that anyone could possibly ask for.  Thank you everyone who came to visit us, called or sent us messages. We love you all and can wait for everyone to meet our little man!

Here are some pics from the 19th....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

D-Day = 7 days, 12 hours... and counting!

Welcome to our new blog to welcome our little man into the world.  I have currently been blogging about my pregnancy on but figured with a new chapter starting in our life that I would start a new blog too. I can't believe that we'll finally be meeting our bundle of joy in a matter of just a week! I'll be continueing to blog on my pregnancy blog until the arrival of our little man, so stay tuned!