Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Traditions, a new year, and our holiday memories

It is amazing to me how fast time goes by and it is now the beginning of January. I have so much blogging to catch up on, stories to share as well as photos. The middle of November up until now the time got away from me and we were doing so much and going from one activity to the other. This is the first year that it really did not seem like Christmas to me as well as some of our normal holiday traditions did not occur and new ones took over.

In our family it is tradition that we put up our Christmas tree as a family the weekend after Thanksgiving. I actually spent Thanksgiving alone this year due to be sick with the flu. I did stop over at my mom’s house where everyone was for maybe an hour but did not last long and it was also apparent that everyone was afraid to catch my illness. So I returned home to a quiet home and my laptop. This year Jeff put up the Christmas tree alone. The kids were in bed and I was either sick or too busy with Ebay to try to help. It was so nice that he put the tree up and hung the lights on the tree as well as doing some decorating to the mantle and our house. The next day the kids were very excited to add ornaments to the tree and they did not want help as the placed the majority of the ornaments on the bottom of the tree as this was as high as they could reach. They wanted no help and putting the ornaments higher or spreading them out was not an option. Our tree remained this way and it was a reminder whenever I looked at it to the day that the kids decorated it. All on their own.

I sold on eBay from September through December. I still have a few auctions going and may continue into February. I am proud to say that I made more than last year(which was my goal) and it is always a relief when I know that Christmas is paid for and we are now not in debt from buying our loved ones gifts. I sold more than I ever have and I was busier than I ever imagined I would be from buying, listing, packing, shipping, and returning. Jeff helped in making trips to the Post office or the UPS drop off location. For that I was grateful. On a few occasions when I had many things to ship he even helped me with packaging items for shipping.

Jeff continued to be a major rock for our family to allow me computer time or time out buying especially in the evenings when I could go alone without kids. It is always hard to sell “hot” toys and take 2 kids into stores like Toys R Us or Target and not have them want everything I am buying. He was also busy with working and transitioning his clients to someone new and getting information for the new territory he will be working in. I am very blessed to have a husband that is so helpful at home and with the kids. I can’t stress upon how busy eBay selling really is, especially with the volume of items I was selling. Laundry often goes to a last priority as does making dinner.

Joey and Gabrielle enjoyed the school parties, holiday parties, and the excitement as we waited for Santa to come. We did a new tradition in our family. We bought an Advent book as well as an Advent Lego set that was a welcomed event in the evenings before bed. The book has a story for every night leading up to Christmas. It was a fun book and had some messages that I hope the kids will remember.
For anyone that knows Gabrielle you would know that she is ALWAYS either singing or talking. She also enjoys dancing and dressing up. She was very excited to sing in her first (of many we think) Christmas concerts. She did an amazing job. At the age of three she knew every word and hand movements to all the songs taught to her at school. She and Joey were placed next to each other during the concert. Joey would sing the song if it was one that he liked. Gabby on the other hand sang every note to every song. I was so proud of both of them, but also very excited for Gabby. Being the younger sibling she has often sat through these before watching Joey. Now that it was her time up on stage she was definitely a star of the show.

As much as I wish that we were baking cookies and doing craft projects as we got closer to Christmas there was really no time. We did take the kids on a Sunday to the Disney on ice show. I love to watch the kid’s expressions when their favorite people Mickey, Lightning McQueen, or Tinker bell are right in their reach. We had fun and memories were made.

Christmas Eve this year was different in that we did not go to church. This is the first time in many years that I did not go to church on Christmas Eve. Felt a bit weird and out of the norm. We were blessed in a different way this year. This year Jeff’s Dad (Pops or Papa John) and his girlfriend (Dee) came and spent the night at our home. It was nice to have them and let them experience Christmas with us. I sure hope he enjoyed it and enjoyed experiencing watching his grandkids experience what Santa left behind. Maybe this flooded him with memories of his own kids in Christmas past. We loved having the time with Pops. I am hoping maybe he will make this a new tradition with us and I would love to throw church back into the mix.

The day after Christmas we did again something that is new and not tradition, in years past we just hung out at home and had family time. This year we met up with our friends that live in Chicago. We met them at Kalahari a water park that is in Sandusky, Ohio. We spent our time swimming, playing games, video games, hanging out laughing and talking. We also all got experience Hanukkah. Ever night the Botvinnik (Alex, Bianca, Nicky, and Sammy) family lit the menorah and celebrated Hanukkah. Every night also we had to remind Gabrielle that she is not to blow out the candles that were placed in the menorah. Although we as families practice different religions and celebrate in different ways there is a respect there for both methods and is never a topic of discussion or feeling like one way is right and the other is wrong. I have nothing but love for the Botvinnik family.

As the year closed I did reflect on some of the changes and events that occurred in 2008. We are no longer a family that is weighted down by bottles, diapers, wipes, Sippy cups, and entertainment toys for babies/toddlers. We no longer have a member of our family in a diaper or crib. We all now sit on the potty and have a big comfy bed to sleep in. This is sad in some ways to me that there will be no more babies, but in other ways the freedom we have now is exciting at the same time. We will be welcoming a new baby in May (my brother and sister –in-laws first child) I am more than thrilled to be an aunt again and look forward to getting some baby fixes and then returning that said baby and going home to a night of uninterrupted sleep. We don’t know the sex of this baby and it looks like it will be a surprise to even the expecting parent’s but with that being said I have reoccurring dreams that it is a girl… Sorry guys!
We also have now entered a time with both kids in school. This of course lingers in my mind that my stay at home time is coming to an end and it is time for a real job again. Not that being a stay at home mom is not a real job, because any of us that do it know that it is a very hard demanding job that never ends and has many challenges at the same time it is also a very important job that has many rewards not only for the parent but for the child/children too. Family time and vacations are now going to be revolving soon around a kindergartner. In the fall of 2009 my first born will be experiencing real school as well as learning how to read and learn in a way that he has never been challenged before.
2009 also brings the realization that almost 5 years now have passed since giving birth to our stillborn daughters Samantha and Sydney. It is amazing how fast 5 years have flown by and how memories and images seem to stay so fresh while other images and memories seem to feel like they never happened. I am just in awe when I say or think the words 5 years! For almost 5 years now 2 very important and loved babies who share my DNA have remained a very close part of who I am. Not that I feel like I should forget or not feel that way, but they remain a constant and as I know I have moved on in some ways I think I need to reflect in other ways how I have been unable to live and be happy. Hard to talk about but I am hoping that in 2009 I am able to work on some own questions that I have been letting surface and how I can move on and be a happier person and a better person as well.

I am hoping that in 2009 I can work on answering questions like “what do I want”, “what makes me happy” as well as making time for me and allowing myself to be a priority. In that there are things that I need to work on. Exercise, diet, losing the baby fat, as well as two habits that I need to break. I am also hoping to work on becoming healthier spiritually as well as physically and mentally. I also have some motivation for weight loss in that I will be the matron of honor in my cousin’s wedding in July.

Some memories of 2008:
*Going to Sanibel with the Botvinnik family in March
*Hawaii alone with Jeff in May
*Watching the kids grow
*Gabrielle starting preschool
*Joey’s success in soccer and t-ball

I have many photos that need to be down sized and then uploaded which I will work on soon. Hoping all of you have a happy healthy 2009 and I look forward to getting back into blogging.


Jocasta said...

Hey babe,

Missed you and glad you are back!


Jaime said...

Also missed you. Hope things continue to go well for you and your family.

angie said...

So nice to see you back. Congrats on the ebay selling!

This part is So ME:
"As the year closed I did reflect on some of the changes and events that occurred in 2008. We are no longer a family that is weighted down by bottles, diapers, wipes, Sippy cups, and entertainment toys for babies/toddlers. We no longer have a member of our family in a diaper or crib. We all now sit on the potty and have a big comfy bed to sleep in."

Good luck with your great goals for 2009~!

Brittany said...

OMG you are back! And I missed it! Time to catch up with your posts again! Glad you are back though!

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