Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Is Over?!?!

Anyone else shocked by this?!?

I swear that yesterday it was Thanksgiving and somehow time warped and now it's 2 days past Christmas!

The boys declared this to be the best Christmas yet. Pretty spectacular words for a mom to hear. Especially a mom that had knee surgery 2 weeks prior. A mom who still cannot drive. A mom who gave her husband a 2 page list of things to purchase on Christmas Eve! Joe gets the win for best husband/father ever!!

Traditions are important for both Joe & I. Last year we took the boys on the our first annual NYC Christmas trip. We decided this trip would occur on the first Friday of each December. Ehh.....except for year #2. Tough to walk around NYC with a fully torn ACL & MCL.

Then on December 9th I had surgery. It made it beyond difficult to finish any shopping or to do any of the fun extra things that I wanted to do. The boys didn't notice the lack of holiday spirit. And next year we'll be right back into the full swing of things! It's amazing how difficult we mom's are on ourselves!!!!

Having this injury taught me that the best Christmas isn't one that is determined by the number of presents under the tree. It isn't determined by all the extra Christmas related activities that you do. But it is determined by the number of times you tell your kids you love them, by the number of hugs you give, by the number of times you watch Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer while cuddling on the couch.

And this is what I will remember most about this Christmas!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Date Night

I had such a wonderful night. The kind of night that can make a girl giddy. Tonight was date night with my two favorite boys, Aidan & Connor.

Joe had plans with some co-workers. It included him attending a Lia Sophia party. Oh the money I would have paid to see my husband at a jewelry party!

The boys & I went to the mall. It's been a long time since I've been to the mall on Friday night! We played some games at the arcade. Aidan beat me at air hockey. And then Connor beat me at air hockey. The boys turned in their tickets and collected their prizes. Then we went to Target to pick out a birthday present for Neeeee-Oooooo (as Connor affectionately calls him!)

We headed over to Friendly's for dinner after. We were seated next to a group of 4 older women. Ages 72 +. They never stopped laughing. Not even for a minute. It made me smile. A lot!!! I know that someday myself, Merrie, Sharon, and Kelly will be those women. It makes my heart happy to have friends like them! It makes my heart smile to know that 40 years from now we'll still laugh at the same jokes.

Each lady hugged me goodbye and told me how lucky I am to have such wonderful children. I couldn't agree more.

I love date nights with my boys!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Favorite time of the year!

When I started this blog I had every intent on updating it frequently. I had not expected to tear both my ACL and MCL. I wish I could say I tore these ligaments by jumping over fire while climbing some bad ass mountain. But it's a work related injury. An injury I never expected and still makes me fume with anger! But I'm trying not to let myself get so angry over the things I have no control.

So with a torn ACL and MCL I'm really limited in what I can do. This is where my anger really kicks in! Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. Decorating, apple picking, baking, pumpkin picking, long walks in the woods, jumping in leaves, trick or treating, hay rides, the list goes on and on. This year there have been no long walks, no jumping in leaves, no hay rides. I have to be grateful for the things I can do and know that next year I'll enjoy these activities so much more!!

Joe, the boys, and I had a busy weekend. Or as busy as my knee would allow. We were able to go apple picking. I couldn't do much of it, but fully enjoyed what I could do. We also picked out our pumpkins. It's still too soon to carve them but we gave them fun masks in the meantime. I would highly recommend trying this to anyone. It was super easy, super inexpensive, and the pumpkins are super cute.

Yup- I just used the word "super" 3 times in that sentence. I promise that I won't ever do that again....(unless I find another super idea......ha ha ha!!! )

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yellow Winton Flyer

The boys and I had a busy weekend. It started off on Friday when we went school shopping and out to dinner with some wonderful friends. We went to this great little British place in Bennington VT. One of our closest friends is from Wales. She introduced us to mushy peas, HP sauce, chocolate buttons, and Chip Butty.

Yes I was hesitant to taste but everything was delicious. Aidan is a particular fan of the Chip Butty. French fries on a buttered roll. It's a 7 year old's dinner dream!!!

Saturday we set off to Tanglewood with some more fabulous friends for movie night with John Williams and the Boston Pops. I had been looking forward to this performance all summer. I worked at Tanglewood while I was in college and it's one of my favorite places in the Berkshires. We had a wonderful night. The sky was clear and the stars were shining bright. Thankfully the people sitting in front of us had a huge candelabra. It made finding our spot, after trips to the bathroom, a lot less difficult!!

Morgan Freeman was the guest speaker. I could listen to his voice all day. Especially with the Boston Pops accompanying it.

Mr. Freeman began telling a story. A story that I now realize is from a book, The Rievers, by William Faulkner. The story, which I will not tell as well, talks of a boy living in Mississippi in the early 1900's. His grandfather buys a beautiful yellow car. This car is the desire of the people living in the small town. The grandfather entrusts the young boy to watch his car and make sure it is safe. The boy is filled with temptation and ends up taking the car for a drive. This car is a yellow Winton Flyer.

I cried while I listened to the story. I cried because I was happy and because I was sad. I cried because my grandfather is Winton. I cried because Joe knew and quietly told our kids the story of the car and my grandfather.

My Papa was named after this obscure car. His father was friends with the man who designed and made the Winton. Connor is named after his great-grandfather. His full name is Connor Winton. I can only hope that tradition will carry on and Connor will give a future child the name Winton.

Listening to Morgan Freeman brought me great joy. I'm a skeptic at a lot of things but especially thinking that loved ones in heaven watch over us. In my extended family I am the minority. I have aunts that see butterflies and think it's the presence of my Papa. Other relatives see pennies lying on the ground and immediately think they are pennies from heaven. But in that moment I knew that my grandfather continues to be with us.

I suppose I will never look at pennies on the ground or butterflies quite the same way. But I feel a great reassurance in knowing that my Papa has "met" his great-grandsons!

Tanglewood at dusk

Me and my wonderful boys!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Little Blue & Little Yellow

Connor's favorite color is yellow. When we go to the library to pick out books, we try to find books that are yellow. Our new favorite author is Leo Lionni. When I saw he wrote a book titled, "Little Blue And Little Yellow" I knew we had to read it. It was an awesome read!! The kids loved it!!! And it taught Connor that we can mix colors to make new ones.

We sat outside this afternoon mixing together blue paint and yellow paint. The proof is all over Connor's hands, arms, and legs. Yellow & blue does make green!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Danielle and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I love reading this book to my kids. I love it even more when it's about Alexander's day. Not about my own day.

The day started off at 4am when Connor wet his bed. We've been trying to have him make it through the night without a diaper. He's good for a 3 day streak and day 4 is always a failure. You would think I would learn to put a mattress pad under his sheet. But I haven't learned yet. So at 4am I was scrubbing the mattress, praying that it doesn't smell like urine.

I was pretty restless after that. I attempted to go back to bed but sharing a bed with Connor and Joe does not make for a pleasant sleep environment.

I decided to make the kids french toast for breakfast. They like it when I cut them into long strips and they can dip those into the syrup. Just as I was pouring the syrup into individual bowls the phone rang. The caller ID showed that the call was coming from the Town Of Cheshire. Interesting since I don't know anyone that lives in Cheshire. It was Joe calling from the police station letting me know my car was being towed. Apparently I never re-registered my car.

I won't go on about the rest of the terrible, horrible, bad things that happened. I'll move forward to the positive parts of the day.

The boys wanted to go to the library for a drum performance. They were both hopeful that they would have the chance to play the drums. The performer was awesome!! He did a great job keeping the kids attention and making everyone feel good. And sure enough we were able to practice our talents at drumming on a ngoma drum. I loved watching the expression on the faces of Aidan & Connor and seeing how excited they were as they tapped away. It made the rest of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day seem not so bad.

Well until Aidan told me that he wants to take drum lessons......

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rainy Days & Mondays

Don't they always get you down? They do for me. Today was especially tough being both a Monday and a rainy day! Although I hate to complain. We've had a fantastic summer so far. The weather has been wonderful!! We've been fortunate enough to spend lots of time swimming at my in-law's house and playing at a lot of parks!

But as Karen Carpenter bellowed "hanging around with nothing to do but frown, rainy days & Monday's always get me down."

I thrive on having lots of things to do. I enjoy being busy. I especially love when I am planning things. Planning parties, vacations, recipes, activities for the kids, arts & crafts. I love to come up with ideas and plan out how I am going to carry them through. Seeing the finished product makes me feel great!!

I work part time for a non profit agency. Over the weekend we had a bake sale and car wash to raise money for the kids we work for.

Now if there is one thing I do really well it is bake! I love mixing flour and spices while the mixer is blending together the sugars and butter. The smells in the kitchen while the cupcakes are rising brings a smile to my face. I play loud music and dance around the kitchen while I'm baking. I can vividly envision my imaginary bakery, Danielle's Delights. Warm gold tones and purples cover the walls. Throughout the bakery there is the faint smell of cinnamon and nutmeg.

But I digress.

I had offered to make some baked goods for the bake sale. My mind was turning with all the new recipes I had planned on making. Along with a few of the older, well loved, ones. When it came down to it, my mind planned faster then I actually had time for. I was working Wednesday through Saturday. This left very little time for the actual baking. I ended up making one favorite and one new recipe. The new recipe may now be the favorite.

So on this rainy Monday, with no baking left to do, I tried my best to keep the boys entertained. We visited Grandma Pat, went to the library, and did some grocery shopping. But in my mind, I'm thinking ahead to the holidays, with lots of delicious ideas dancing in my head.

The "old" favorite. Cookies & Cream Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

The "new" favorite. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. (FYI- there were none of these remaining at the end of the bake sale! So yummy!!!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Interview With Aidan & Connor

When Aidan was 4 I asked him these questions. I had gotten this idea from another person's blog. The answers made me laugh out loud and I thought it was a great idea!! It definitely did not disappoint!! Kids have some pretty funny things to say! Connor is close to turning 4 and I thought it would be great to have his answers to the same set of questions.

An Interview With Aidan (From Jan. 9, 2008)
An Interview With Connor (From Aug. 14, 2011)

1. What is something mom always says?
A: I love you
C: Go to your room

2. What makes mom happy?
A: ME- (with big smile!)
C: when I give her a hug and kiss

3. What makes mom sad?
A: When I break something
C: When she had to play at work

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
A: when she does the windshield wipers jokes
C: when she talks in a funny voice

5. What was your mom like as a child?
A: had long hair
C: she liked to play in sand

6. How old is your mom?
A: I don't know- 15?
C: puts up 4 fingers- changes his mind and puts up 5 fingers

7. How tall is your mom?
A: (makes me stand against wall) 22
C: really high

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
A: to make stuff like jewlery stuff.
C: run around with me

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
A: gets sad a little bit
C: she tries to find me

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
A: for church meetings
C: dancing

11. What is your mom really good at?
A: playing sports
C: playing tag

12.. What is your mom not very good at?
A: driving
C: playing Red Rover

13. What does your mom do for her job?
A: paper stuff and she clips stuff and she works with the crazy kids
C: her job is to get the mail

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
A: lasagna and mushrooms
C: peanut butter and jelly

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
A: when she wins cool stuff like Red Sox tickets.
C: when she gives me hugs and kisses

16. If your mom were on TV, who would she be?
A: Mickey Mouse
C: Danielle

17. What do you and your mom do together?
A: play together
C: play inside and at the park

18. How are you and your mom the same?
A: because we're both white and hairy
C: both like to get hugs and kisses

19. How are you and your mom different?
A: we have different color eyes
C: I don't know

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
A: because we cuddle together
C: because she gives me lots of hugs and kisses

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
A: to the mall
C: work

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Doggie Doctor

Our dog, Rayo, has his yearly veterinarian visit today. I can't help but think back to the first time I brought Rayo to the vet, by myself, with 2 small children. Connor was close to 10 months and Aidan was 4. We had recently moved back to Pittsfield and I was still in my 'super mom' phase, convinced I could do anything and everything!

When I leave the house with the kids to complete specific tasks, I talk to them about what we are doing and the behavior I expect from them while we are out. Aidan and I spoke about bringing Rayo to the doctor and how I needed him to be an especially good boy. It would be no easy task taking Rayo to the vet with a 10 month old. Rayo is very scared of baby carriages and will not walk near one. This meant I had to carry Connor while holding onto Rayo's leash. At this point Connor was way too heavy to carry in his car seat!!!

As I have mentioned before Aidan is a very inquisitive child. This trip was no different when it came to his questions. He was very curious to know what types of animals the vet cared for. I explained to him that vets take care of all animals and we would probably see lots of dogs and cats. Aidan was worried about horses being there, but I assured him that vets would go to the barn to see any large animals.

Our visit was fairly uneventful. As Rayo typically does, he peed on the floor. But he handled his shots well and was more then ready to go when the appointment had finished.

As I wrote out the check, I heard whimpering from behind me followed by outraged yelling and tears. I turned around to see Aidan having a complete temper tantrum. I knelt down to ask him what was going on. Unfortunately it took awhile for me to understand Aidan between the tears and the yelling and that only added to his frustrations. Finally he very clearly and very loudly yelled " I AM NOT LEAVING. I HAVE NOT SEEN ANY MONKEYS YET!!!!"

Thankfully the receptionist was very helpful and brought Rayo out to the car for me while I carried a confused Connor and a very very angry Aidan. As I buckled him into the car seat I made a mental note, the vet does not take care of all animals. The vet only takes care of dogs and cats.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Camp Mornings

I have a wonderful husband. One of the few really good guys. He's hard working, handsome, smart, funny, kind, but he's also a man. Therefore he's a little bit slow. He can't help that though, he's a man.

This morning Joe told me to stay in bed while he got Aidan ready for camp. This made me a tad bit nervous. Joe does a lot of things really well, but one of them is not getting the kids ready and out the door.

With my eyes closed, I explained to Joe what the run down of the morning is.

"Aidan needs his bathing suit and towel packed. The towel's are in the dryer. For his lunch I make a sandwich, give him a bag of chips, and some fruit. Oh and don't forget to put sunscreen on him."

I knew this was too many steps. I knew it was a matter of time before the questions started.

Joe left the room closing the door softly behind him. I took a deep breath and cuddled up to the blankets around me. I began envisioning myself on a secluded beach......


"Sorry to bother you honey but Aidan has 2 lunch bags, which one do you use? And do you pack any fruit for him?"

Deep breath in, "I use the Star Wars bag, but Aidan can tell you which one he wants. And yes- I let him chose which fruit he wants."

The door (and my eyes) close. I'm back on the beach listening to the..........

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK .....door opens....

"Mommy- Daddy doesn't know how to make my lunch. And who is going to make me breakfast?"

I assure Aidan that Daddy has things under control. Although I find myself doubting these very words. I hear Joe yell that Aidan's waffle is ready and the door once again closes. Forget about envisioning the beach though. I can hear that Connor is awake and calling for me.

The door quietly opens and I hear a little voice whisper, "Mommy, are you awake?" I roll over and see Connor standing next to the bed.

"YUP!! MOMMY'S AWAKE. DADDY, IT'S OK. SHE'S AWAKE." And onto the bed Connor hops. "Mommy, why are you still sleeping? Aidan has to go to camp."

I'm doing my best not to get upset. I remind myself that nothing is better then morning cuddles from my 'Boo.' But really?!?! On the morning that I am told to sleep in.

Just as Connor leaves the bedroom, Aidan enters it. "Mommy- look what I did with my waffle!! I ate around the sides so that it formed into a letter 'A'."

"Wow Aidan that is incredible. That is just awesome."

I hear lots of giggles accompanied by "ok- go back to sleep mommy."

HA HA! Yeah right!! But I give it one more try and just as I start to doze off........"DANIELLE- I KNOW YOU SAID I HAVE TO PUT SUNSCREEN ON AIDAN BUT WHERE DID YOU PUT IT????"

I love my mornings to sleep in!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

One Of Those Days......

Despite this blog being titled "Stay At Home Mom" I am anything but... Not only do I watch a 2 year old, but I also work several nights a week at a residential program. Working with kids between the ages of 6-18 provides me with a much needed break from my two sweet boys. Nothing gives you a better dose of reality then working with kids who steal, fight, use drugs, cut, force themselves to throw up, spit on you, kick you, swear at you, pee on you ......... should I stop yet??

I've been working a lot lately. A lot for someone who claims to stay at home! Tonight will be my 6th shift in a row. Needless to say I miss my husband!! He comes home from work just in time for me to leave.

Last night I worked until midnight. I came home from work unable to fall asleep until somewhere around 2am. I woke up at 7am to get Aidan off to camp. At 8am I discovered that my Mr. Coffee coffee maker no longer makes coffee. Then I spent the rest of the day running errands with Connor. One of those errands just happened to be bathing suit shopping. *Insert evil music here*

Nothing is more depressing then trying on bathing suits. Sometimes you can find pants or a shirt that looks really cute on you and hides flaws. I'm convinced you will never find that in a bathing suit. Or at least I realized this when I tried on a blue one piece and Connor looked at me (with a large smile) and said "Mommy- you look just like a blueberry."

I've never taken off an object of clothing so fast before!!!

After purchasing a pink polka dot bathing suit, which I almost immediately returned when I witnessed a 70 year old lady without any teeth buying the same one, I set off to the grocery store.

Grocery shopping with a 3 year old is an adventure in itself. "MOMMY- I want grapes." "MOMMY- I want CANDY." "MOMMY- I DON'T WANT TO SIT IN THE CARRIAGE!" "MOMMY- I WANT!! I WANT!! I WANT!!!"

For this very reason I grocery shop at stores that have a beer & wine section!!

Today was a good grocery shopping trip. We only had one meltdown when Connor reminded me (at the end of our shopping trip) of something I had said previously.

"Mommy- you said that we could get the race car carriage next time we went shopping AND THIS IS NEXT TIME."

.......So I bought him a candy bar instead.

I drove my husband's car today, which I'm not used to driving. I noticed that I had left the car windows down and the doors unlocked. That's not like me, but it was a long day with no coffee. I started putting bags into the trunk while watching Connor devour the candy bar! After everything was loaded, I went to put Connor in his car seat. But the car seat was missing. At this point I'm so mad!! Who on earth would steal a car seat?!?! How am I supposed to get Connor home?!? How in the world are we going to afford a new car seat?!?! Can I return all the unneeded groceries I just purchased for a car seat instead?!

I glance ahead of me where I happen to notice a purple & white tassel hanging from the mirror with golden numbers that say "2011."

Joe didn't go to PHS and he certainly didn't graduate in 2011.

As quick as I possibly can, I unload all the groceries from the stranger's trunk. The whole time I'm loudly praying, "Please don't come out of the grocery store." "Oh God please don't let this person come out from the grocery store."

Forget heading to Walmart for a new coffee pot. I'm heading directly home to crack into the bottle of wine!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Protecting Your Children

Everywhere you go lately, you hear opinions on the Casey Anthony trial. While waiting in line at the grocery store, you see her face plastered all over every magazine People are upset that justice wasn't served, that Casey Anthony won't spend a lifetime behind bars, that she won't get the death penalty That she is going to walk away from this horrible nightmare and continue on with her selfish lifestyle. But what you hear most of all is the sadness in the voices of everyone, the sadness for Caylee.

I really had to distance myself from this case. I didn't watch it on tv. I didn't follow it in the newspapers. I knew the basics behind the story. A beautiful little girl was missing and her mom told lie after lie after lie about the whereabouts of Caylee. For 31 days she allowed her daughter to be missing and never had the decency to be honest about it. To me, all those lies, meant that she was guilty for something. First and foremost she guilty of not protecting her daughter. Whether she was responsible or not for the death, she didn't do anything to protect that little girl!

When Aidan started kindergarten he took the bus to school. I'll never forget the summer before he started. Aidan's excitement when the letter came that told us what bus he would be on and what time he would be picked up. Each day that passed my fear grew and grew. I can remember that September morning as though it was yesterday. Standing in front of our house when the yellow bus pulled up. Hugging Aidan as tight as I could. Taking pictures of him walking the steps onto the bus. It took a lot of convincing from Joe, for me not to follow the bus to the school. As the days passed my trust grew and grew that Aidan (and I) would survive the bus ride.

I wasn't prepared for the day when the bus would pull away from our house and 5 minutes later I would hear multiple sirens.

It was a snowy morning and school probably should have been canceled. After Aidan got onto the bus I walked into the kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee. Joe was making himself breakfast while listening to the scanner. We started hearing sirens and I began feeling nervous. Then a voice came over the scanner that there was a motor vehicle accident involving a bus with children on it. My heart sank. I immediately started crying. The sirens were much too close and Aidan had just left moments earlier.

We ran out the door and headed in the direction of the sirens. As we rounded the corner, Aidan's bus drove past us, the driver waving to us as we ran trying not to slip on the snowy ground. Joe and I looked at each other so thankful that Aidan was ok. We discovered later that the other bus involved in the accident was just a small fender bender and everyone was ok.

Several weeks later, I received an automated call from Aidan's school telling me that he was absent from school and would need a note when he returned. Knowing it was a mistake I called the school to find out what happened. The school's receptionist told me that Aidan was not at school. I immediately felt as though I couldn't breathe.

"But he went on the bus this morning" I explained.

She sensed the urgency and fear and my voice and put me on hold while she went to the classroom. A feeling of guilt overwhelmed me. I had slept in that morning. Joe had gotten Aidan ready for school and on the bus. I didn't even hug him goodbye. I could feel my throat tighten as I realized that I didn't know what clothes he was wearing. The receptionist came back on the phone and explained to me that he was accidentally marked absent. After I hung up the phone I started crying. All that fear came out and I cried for close to 10 mins. In the days that followed, anytime I told the story to a friend, I could feel my throat tighten and the tears spring to my eyes.

I guess the point behind all my rambling is that a mom doesn't allow bad things to happen to their child. A mom reacts and protects and above all a mom loves.

Aidan sat next to me as Casey Anthony heard her verdict being read. I tried not to give Aidan too much information about the case. However, Aidan is an inquisitive child and loves to listen to adult conversations. Aidan already knew a lot about the case from being surrounded by adults over the weekend. When the not guilty verdict came in, Aidan looked at me ready with questions.

"Mommy, I don't understand. What happened to the little girl?"

If only all questions had an answer. If only we really knew what happened to that little girl.

"I don't know Aidan", I said. "All we know is that she is in heaven and she is an angel and I'll bet that she is trying to protect other kids."

Aidan nodded, "I bet that's a hard job."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Connor's Story

I promised myself that I would write the birth story of Connor following the birth. Now it's 4 months later and I still haven't recorded anything. So I struggle to remember all the unimportant details that are so important to me.

When I opted for a repeat c-section the hospital sent me my itinerary. I was due to check into labor and delivery at 8am on Wednesday, October 17th. A couple days prior to "the day" I was contacted and told to check in at 10am. So much better since we were traveling into Boston! I could actually have one last morning to sleep in! What a joke that was! I didn't sleep at all the night before!

Joe and I arrived at BI on the 17th. We were probably a little late, as that is customary for us! Now is when the confusion set in. I gave my name, Danielle Mack. Now because I am a bit of a procrastinator I waited until after I was pregnant to change my name from Powers to Mack. The nurses were waiting for Danielle Powers and had no clue who Danielle Mack was! Finally after waiting for 45 minutes Joe straightened out the confusion and I was able to walk through the locked doors to have our baby!

Our nurse was absolutely fantastic! Her name is one of those things that I would love to remember, but I have no clue!! She was just the sweetest person! Very attentive to my every need and since Joe is a bit of an attention hound, she was particularly attentive to his needs also!

I didn't have to wait long before the O.R. was ready for us. I was able to walk into the room and was shocked at how cold it was!! I definitely don't remember that from having Aidan! It made me really sad for how shocked poor Connor would be when exiting the womb! There was also a radio playing. Now please know that I paid so much attention to this radio. I swore that I would remember what songs played- especially when they announced to me that the baby was here. I remember nothing of that except for it was on 106.7. I'm guessing that we listened to Christina Aguillara and Kelly Clarkson, but I can't be sure!

The epidural went really well. I was especially nervous about this because with Aidan it was horrible!!!! Lucky for me it was painless this time around! Joe got to come into the room following the epidural. It was great to see him! Unfortunately (and true to his word) he didn't last very long! Joe has a pretty weak stomach when it comes to this stuff. Just thinking about what they were doing behind the white sheet proved to be too much and Joe had to leave the room. He tells me that he had some OJ and coaching from the nurses. I think he loved all the attention he got! Although I'm certain he would have preferred to be with me!

The fabulous nurse and fabulous anesthesiologist kept me well informed on what was going on behind that white sheet! They kept me calm and laughing. Finally it was time for Connor to arrive. Joe was sent for. There was probably about a 10 minute wait from that time that Joe came back into the room before Connor made his entrance into the world. Finally at 1:33pm Connor was born. The look on Joe's face was of complete joy! He was given permission from fabulous nurse to go over to the warming table and take pictures. He was so cute after trying to show me the pictures he had taken. But he couldn't stop shaking. I couldn't see anything, although I pretended that I had. Fabulous anesthesiologist told me that I had a 10 pound baby! I was amazed (and pretty excited at the immediate weight loss potential from a 10+ pound baby!!!) How on earth did someone so large fit inside of me?!?!? Then the true weight was revealed. 8 lbs. 9 ozs. The c-section before mine produced a 10 lb. baby!!!!

When Joe and fabulous nurse brought Connor over to me, I was amazed. Such a beautiful baby! It never fails to amaze me that Joe and I can make something so wonderful, so amazing, so breath-taking! This was the 2nd time we perfected the baby making area of our life!

The doctor began to stitch me up while I admired my new baby! Joe was holding our new baby and he and I were both so content and so in love!! It was taking a really long time to finish up the surgery. The doctor announced to us that they "only had one more layer to get through." Joe turned a shade of pale that I had never seen before. He immediately beckoned for fabulous nurse and handed Connor over. He attempted to sit back down and stay with me for the remainder of things. However, things didn't work out in his favor. I graciously excused him from the O.R. to make the all important phone calls. Joe did a good job at that!

I will never forget the doctor and fabulous nurse wheeling me from O.R. into recovery. They laid Connor along side of me. I was terrified at first. So worried that I would break him or that he would roll off the rolling bed and onto the linoleum floor. But we made it into the recovery cubicle and immediately called Grandma's cell phone. Poor Grandma was a nervous wreck! She expected Connor to be born close to the 10 o'clock hour. But I explained the last name mix-up. We had an amusing chuckle over that and she was so happy to hear that I was ok and that she had a beautiful, an amazingly beautiful, grandson!

I couldn't get enough of Connor. I just wanted to stare at him and memorize every part of his face and head and neck and chest. But the time came when fabulous nurse had to take him to the nursery for his official evaluation. She confirmed all my thoughts when she took him though.

"What a beautiful, absolutely perfect, baby boy."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

My husband and I are firm believers in tradition. On holidays we feel it is important to carry on our favorite traditions. The ones that we grew up with and to add some of our own. This year was tough. July arrived before we had even realized that June was over and we didn't adequately plan for the holiday. As far as new traditions go, we spent the day before the 4th with some wonderful friends. They started their annual 4th of July cook-out last year. This year's cook out was complete with lots of great food, conversations, horseshoes, and fireworks. This year the firework show they put on was amazing and all the kids were wowed!!

Because of our lack in planning the day, we didn't spend time with Joe's family at the 4th of July parade. Instead I found myself getting up early to stake out our place along the parade route. I think I did ok for a beginner. Following the parade I took a much needed nap before we headed over to Aunt Rose's. 4th of July cook-out's at Aunt Rose's are a tradition that I have looked forward to since I was a baby. In fact it's such a loved tradition, that the year Aunt Rose's grand-daughter was born on July 3rd, she drove back 2.5 hours to make sure the party continued!! We decided to try something new this year though. So we went to see Pittsfield's pro baseball team play. It proved to be slightly frustrating and I'm not entirely sure that we would go again. But we wanted to kids to have fabulous memories of this 4th of July.

Last night Aidan laid in bed with me before falling asleep. He recalled the day and how much fun he had. As he sleepily talked to me about his fear of large crowds breaking into fights, he asked me what the scariest moment of my life had been. I easily answered that question. The moment I was in labor and the doctor's rushed me in for a c-section due to your heart rate dropping.

Aidan laughed and asked, "was I ok?"

"Better then Ok, I answered, you were perfect!"

"Ok Mommy", Aidan asked, "when were you the saddest?"

I explained to him how sad I was when my Papa died.

Aidan looked at me in a very understanding and loving way.

"I have a question for you now, I said. What is your happiest memory?"

Aidan closed his eyes for a moment. I had initially thought he fell asleep until he opened them and I realized he was deep in thought. He began to answer the question and then paused for a moment.

"Well, he started off saying, I have too many happy memories to pick just one." I smiled a content smile and hugged him tight. "Me too Aidan, me too."

It always amazes me how much you can learn from a child. How much they can help you become a better person. And I realized in that moment last night that no matter the amount of planning that goes into making something a perfect day, kids just want to be loved. They want to be surrounded by the people that love them most and make them feel happy. Those are the days that will make up their happiest memories. Well that and ice cream and fireworks!!