Thursday, December 31, 2009

The end is near...

Today was the perfect end to the year for me.

Gillian slept in which meant I slept in which is always a great way to start the day. I hadn't made plans for today other than I had hoped to recycle because it was a couple weeks over due. Gillian watched a couple of shows and ate her Cheerios while I got everything ready to head out to recycle. I love that Gillian gets excited to recycle like we are going to some super special place and she talks to strangers there like they are "safe" because they recycle. Kid logic cracks me up.
After recycling I had planned a surprise for Craig...yeah sounds sweet right? Not so much. Craig had wanted to go to the dump due to the extra holiday trash but something every day this week had kept him from there. So Gillian and I went home and loaded the car with trash and headed to the place that isn't "safe for little girls" and "creepy" according to my daughter. I hadn't been in a long time and I don't plan to go again anytime soon...sorry Craig. Once that was complete, I knew Craig would be happy that it was done and I was happy it was gone. No better way to start the New Year than with a house with no trash in it.

This theme sounded so good, I took it to another level. I cleaned the house and caught up all the laundry. I'm determined to start this year off right.

Once the house was done it was off to my parents for a New Year's Even dinner. Nice and low key which is what I needed going into the New Year. Tonight it was just me and my little lady having a slumber party. Craig is working a double to pay back having Christmas Eve off. The night would be perfect if he was here but it is as close to perfect that it can get at this point.

As the end of 2009 is coming in less than 2 hours I can't believe how fast this year has flown by...Gillian went from a toddler to a little lady this year. She is growing so fast, I wish I could pause her just for a little while to enjoy her youthful spirit a bit longer. Craig and I recently celebrated 8 years together and have been in our home for 6 years now. Time just keeps going and going.

As I look at 2010, I have a lot of hope in this year. I'm hoping to find closure to my pregnancy from 4 years ago that still haunts me. I'm hoping to live a more relaxed and carefree lifestyle. Enjoy life instead of just going going going....

Happy New Year everyone!
(the final pictures of 2009)

Gillian loves cutting yarn.

No denying she was cutting the yarn.

Grammie, Gillian and Grampie

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I don't think Christmas can be appreciated without a child. I loved Christmas as a child which I think is normal for most children and as I got older, it just became another holiday. Then I became a parent and Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning. I love shopping for Gillian's gifts, I love decorating the house for/with Gillian and I love to see her face Christmas morning. To me that is priceless.

Christmas is an extremely hectic day...which is probably an understatement. Extremely overwhelming I think describes it pretty good. We celebrate 3 Christmases. One at our house with our family, one with my family and one with Craig's family. For me this is overwhelming so you can imagine what it is like for a 3 year old. So I have vowed this is the last year we are doing this...haven't figured out my plan yet but we are not doing more than one Christmas on Christmas day next year. Gillian had a good day, she melted down at the end of the day but so did I so it really wasn't a big deal or something that I didn't anticipate. It is nice to see everyone but the holiday really needs to be relaxed quite a bit so that it is enjoyed.
Christmas at our house
Gillian in her tent.
Gillian and her dinosaurs
Gillian opening a gift
Gillian and the tree after Santa came

Christmas at my parents

My Dad

Erica and Tom

My Mom, Gillian and Zandra

My brother Sean, his GF Andrea and E

Zandra, Gillian and E

My parents and Gillian

Christmas at Craig's parents


Christmas Tree

Gillian opening her stocking with Grammie

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

We were lucky this year that Criag had swapped so that he could be home on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I know it won't always be this way. The morning was low key, Craig slept since he finished working at 7am and I worked from home. Gillian played through out the morning. The afternoon was just as low key except Craig and I played with Gillian. In the evening we went to my parents for Christmas Eve dinner. It was nice and relaxed and quiet.
Daddy and Gillian
Grammie and Gillian

Tom and Erica

We got home in time to get Gillian ready for bed and to calm her down for her excitment for Santa coming to town.

Cookies for Santa

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Advent Calendar

When I was a child I loved having an advent calendar for the month of December. My Mom would always try to get us one when they were available but some years they were no where to be found.

Now a days they have advent calendars that you buy and you fill the daily treasures. I think these are fabulous (and this was the 1st year that I told my Mom not to bother doing one for My Mom does one for Gillian and one for my neice E. Gillian thinks it is fabulous as well. She calls it "my day" and everyday after dinner she asks to pick her day. Some days it is M&Ms, some a peanut butter cup, some hersey kisses and if the day is empty that means a present. I have told Gillian that the calendar is a count down to Christmas and the day before Christmas is the last day....I don't really think she understands this but we will have to wait and see. Until then, we will keep enjoying her days:)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday night dinner

My older brother had the family over for a dinner on Sunday night. It was nice to go over and spend time with the family. Not rushed, is always nice. My sister-in-law made chicken pot pie and Gillian and I had made brownies for dessert. Gillian was wound up either from sugar or the excitement that Christmas is coming. She was talking to everyone, my brothers included. She will normally warm up to the woman but not the men. Tonight it didn't matter.
Baby Zandra

My Mom, my brother Sean, Baby Zandra and Gillian

My Mom, my brother Sean and baby Zandra

My Mom and baby Zandra

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Madness

Today was hectic again. Gillian woke up and wanted to get up at 7am. I laid in bed with her trying to sleep until at 7:40am, it was no longer possible. She was ready to start her day and had tons of energy. So we got up headed downstairs. She had breakfast and watched some shows so I could wake up. Once I was able to function, we made brownies for dinner at my brother's house.

Once brownies were done, Craig was up so we headed to go get some random groceries that were needed or forgotten this past week. By the time that we got home from shopping, my Dad was coming back over to work on the home project.

I also had a surprise that I had to work on which I will show later but can't give up the surprise prior to the holiday:)

Tonight we went to my brother's for family dinner (which was fabulous!). Gillian was super friendly...totally not like her. She is always well behaved but she doesn't normally go near Uncle Tom (or any strangers or most men that aren't strangers) let alone have full conversations, give out hugs and kisses! She is definitely starting to come out of her shell.
I took these pics prior to shopping, I knew she would love this hat when I saw it online.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Exhausting Saturday

It started as a normal Saturday of dance class. Felt bad after we got to dance class and realized that we never got a gift for the instructor. Memo to self that next year we need a gift. Gillian got into class and there were no tears (this makes it a great day!). She did a great job in class and at the end of class the instructor gave the parents a nice gift. WE all got invited in to the studio to watch our child dance. Didn't bring the camera because the pictures through the glass don't come out so had to rely on the camera phone in a barely lit studio (she shuts off all the lights except the Christmas tree and lights around the studio) so wasn't expecting good pics. I was extremely annoyed that I didn't pack the camera because I had thought about it this morning however talked myself out of it. She did wonderful! I didn't know if she would get up with all the parents watching but she did. The crowd loved when Gillian was done her dance, she ran over and hugged the instructor. I fought back the proud:)

Then we headed home. Pooh was headed to the groomers and my Dad was coming over to help me put the 2nd coat of paint in the kitchen and entry way. Seriously this project is never ending. Now I know why I wait 3 years in between projects that I'm part of because I just lose patients after a while. I just want it done with and I never feel like it is going to end. While we worked on this, Craig and Gillian decorated the living room for a dance party. This means balloons everywhere, especially the ceiling. By the time we finished painting, Craig had to go to work and Pooh's grooming session was close to being done.

Gillian and I headed into town to hit the bank and pick up Pooh. She was very concerned that someone was going to take Pooh. I kept reassuring that Pooh was safe at the groomers. Prior to going to get Pooh, Gillian and I strolled around the pet store to look for a gift for Pooh from Gillian. Craig and I explained to her that Santa does not forget animals at Christmas time so Gillian really wanted to get something for Pooh. She settled on a turquoise stuffed dog which I think although cute, Pooh will enjoy tearing it apart.

I thought it was cute that when they brought Pooh out, she has bows on her ears. Craig will hate it but Gillian and I were thrilled. Gillian was disgusted with me because I put Pooh in the trunk of my CRV. She felt Pooh should be sitting in the backseat with her and I explained to her that there was not enough room for Pooh there, Gillian still felt it was unfair.

By the time we got home, Gillian was past out and she slept till 6pm.

When she finally woke up, I made her dinner and then it was time for a bath. Gillian learned today that getting out of the bath tub when it was in single digits outside is not fun. She got wrapped up in her towel and didn't want to get out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Getting ready for Santa

The family went to get their hair done tonight. Need to get beautified for Santa coming to town:) This pic made me chuckle. Gillian is becoming such a big girl and warming up to people much quicker....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Today we took Gillian to the dentist for her 2nd apt ever. We didn't have high hopes. I was late which is normal for me so when I got here Craig was already sitting in the chair with Gillian. Everyone was laughing and having fun. Renee the hygienist is truly amazing. She made the apt so fun that Gillian is definitely looking forward to going back. She polished her teeth to make them sparkle like a princess. Gillian got to play with Mr. Thirsty (the vacuum) and Renee is like Dora the explorer and explores Gillian's teeth. Renee had Gillian so excited about what was going on. The visit couldn't have gone better! It truly made my day. Although my visit didn't go half as well, having Gillian's apt go so well made that more bearable.
Gillian's teeth getting polished to sparkle like a princess.
Gillian having her teeth flossed
Gillian and Mr. Thirsty

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gingerbread House

We are getting into the Christmas spirit or atleast trying. Our entry way and kitchen are normally decorated but do to a renovation, there are no decorations. Just our living room, Gillian's room and outside are decorated. I saw a gingerbread kit at the store and thought it would be something fun to do. Craig, Gillian and I had a blast putting this together.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Trimming the Tree with Candy Canes

This is the 1st year in the 6 years that we have lived here that candy canes were bought and are going on the tree. I'm not quite sure what we will do with them after the holidays but they add to our tree in the mean time.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Emotionally Traumatic

So a friend of mine is in college and she has a class project where she has to interview someone about a traumatic emotional experience that could be happy or sad. She asked me to be her guinea pig which I didn’t mind. I know she asked because most people know about my situation with Gillian although I don’t discuss it as much with people that weren’t around during that time in my life, it does come out. So I accepted and immediately became extremely nervous about talking about it but somehow felt special that she asked.

So I knew all day at some point she was going to interview me and I was nervous like I was looking for a job. The interview went good. She asked what I wanted to talk about it which of course I said my experience with Gillian and she asked why and I of course said it has had a huge impact. We discussed the background, what exactly happened. We discussed how the situation effected my life, my relationship, how it impacted my parents, in-laws and siblings. Basically it was a therapy session in 20 minutes with no crying….bonus for me! I know she got the information she needed which was my emotional reaction to the questions and I actually gained some insight which I hadn’t expected.

First, I now realize that when I talk about my situation with Gillian from finding out I was pregnant until she was out of the hospital and even discussing speech and PT I look away. I can’t look at the person I’m talking to because I become choked up and start tearing up so it is much easier to look away.

Second, was that I really have been through a lot. I guess because it was a part of my life and I got through that I didn’t really look at the big picture. Obviously I realize the situation wasn’t normal but it amazes me to see the facial expressions when I tell the story or share parts of the story. Most people’s reaction is stunned and most responses are, “How did you do it?” Usually, I reply, “I don’t know.” Because I don’t really have an answer, I did the best I could with a terrible situation. It’s the aftermath that is ripping me up. All the what ifs and whys that constantly keep my mind going all the time. But I’m determined to get through this too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

8 Years...

It was 8 years ago today that we decided to try out the whole relationship idea. We had become pretty inseparable for 3 months constantly denying anything was going on which at the time there really wasn't. We both were opposed to the idea of a relationship with anyone. Funny how that works, the thing we were both running from, we ran into together. I guess when we got married it was kind of expected that we would no longer celebrate the date that we decided to give it a try and see if a relationship would work but I think this day is important. This is when our life together started. Our wedding was when we legally said our life will be together forever which is also an important day. I love my husband today as much as I did on December 10, 2001...okay, maybe a bit more. I wrote in my journal that Christmas in 2001 that one day I hoped to marry Craig and spend the rest of my life with him. Some Christmas wishes do come true. Happy Anniversary Craig!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Party

Today we went to a holiday party at Grampie Miner's work. We went last year and it was very cramped and in a small space. This year it was held in a different location which had more room to accommodate the number of people that come out for the party. Gillian is very excited for Christmas this year so I had told her that Santa would be there for her to speak to about her requests for Christmas. Although she was excited at home for this, I knew she would not be brave enough to go near him on her own.

So we arrived and it was set up really nice and had plenty of room. They had coloring and a basket that all the kids could choose a little toy from until Santa arrived. Gillian choice a blue Jeep because she is very into cars right now and she prefers red or blue because that is what Mommy and Daddy's car colors are. So we sat down and waited because Gillian didn't want to color with all the other kids and as soon as he was there she couldn't take her eyes off him. So they called the 0-2 year olds 1st then the 3-6 year olds so we got up there quick and were 5th in line. Instantly Gillian did not want to go so Craig took her up so Grammie Miner and I could take pictures. She did smile but didn't' really speak to Santa. Overall it was fun and I know Gillian enjoyed herself. I love things like this....gets us in the spirit of the holidays.
Grammie Miner and Gillian

Daddy, Gillian & Santa

Gillian opening her present.