Christmas 2012

So, I sent out a bunch of Christmas cards … probably still have a lot to send still, but I realized that our blog address is on the card and the last entry I had up was, uh … well, not really a fun, Christmas post. Or even informational about our family. So I am going to remedy that right now and give a run down on us this Christmas season.

Ray – is beautiful. He has insane hair – he rubbed off the sides, so they’re nice and short, but the top of his head is full and luscious and so he basically has a Mohawk. He sleeps through the night for 12 solid hours and has been doing that since he was about 2 months old. By the way, he’s 6 months old. He smiles a lot and likes pears but not carrots. He definitely has favorites – and I’m it. He loves mommy more than anyone … probably because I’m the one with the food, but I’ll take it! He rolls over and over, whips his head around everywhere and likes to face out while he’s being held. He seems very interested in the world around him. He reminds me of Noah when he was a baby. Ray loves his Ergo Baby carrier and grabs at anything near him. He has also become attached to toys in his hands …. or anything in his hands and if you try to take it away, he cries. These are all good signs of development … at least that’s what the books say. He looks at people and smiles. He has an awesome smile. Very big and wide, we call it his “muppet smile”.

Liam – is beautiful. He’s 4 and a half years old. He has a sensitive soul and that is good and bad. He is our snuggler, our little love and our crier. When he’s happy he is wonderful, when he’s sad, he makes everyone around him pay. He LOVES his preschool. He’s always telling us about “Mrs. Yess-wer and Mrs. W-uh-g” (Mrs. Yessler and Mrs. Lerg) and the fun things they do. His favorite thing to do at preschool is go into the gym and do “gw-oh-s mo-tuh” (gross motor). He has a best friend in preschool too – his name is “Woo-cus” (Lucas). Liam loves Star Wars, specifically Captain Rex (he is a clone guy). And Legos. Oh man, Legos. Liam loves to play outside and pretend. He is always having some little conversation while we’re in the car or at the lunch table and sometimes I try to respond or jump in on his conversation and he stops me and says, “mommy, I wasn’t talking to you”. He has a rich imagination. His favorite sandwich is peanut butter. He LOVES his older brother Noah. He wants to do everything that Noah does and several times a day, usually starting at 10 am, he starts asking me, “when are we going to pick up Noah” (from school). Noah goes to a full day of school because he is in first grade and doesn’t get out until 4 pm …. Liam loves to play with Noah, so some days are very long days of asking “when are we going to pick up Noah?” Liam is a love.

Noah – is beautiful. He’s 7 years old. He is my mover and shaker, always has been and I think always will be – this is good and bad. He is a productive little soul, but man, I don’t think he ever stops moving and that can be dangerous – for himself and anyone within 6 feet of his flailing legs, arms and spinning body. I find myself saying things like, “enough kissing, stop that” or “walk like a normal person please” or “hold still, I can’t talk to you while you’re walking in circles!”. He is what my sister describes as “unreasonably happy”. He is positive and happy and it is not uncommon to see him leap through the air and kick up his heels in joy and excitement. He has many talents. He was listing them off to me the other day – he likes to draw, run really fast, do math and eat salad. He is also a spiritual little soul. Just last week he told me, “huh! I just had my second time feeling Jesus help me!” He receives answers to his prayers and loves his Sunday school class. He started piano lessons (at his request) this year and does very well. His first recital is on Thursday and we can’t wait.

Francesca – is an insane mommy with three kids. I am 32 years old. Three kids has really kicked my bum. Not gonna lie. I may have reached my limit. But they are such beautiful little souls, they make me smile everyday, for different reasons. I can’t imagine my life without any one of them now. My greatest feat this year was carrying, having and keeping alive little Ray. He takes up a majority of my time and energies. I also work with the 10 and 11 year old girls at church and we do activity days on Wednesday nights and I love that. Crafts and treats … right up my alley :) Also, this year Daniel and I celebrated our ten year anniversary – can you believe it? Seems weird to have been married that long, because he is still an exciting mystery to me! That Daniel Cakes :) To celebrate, we went to Cancun in April, while I was 7 months pregnant before life got crazy with a little baby. It was amazing. So relaxing, so beautiful, so much fun to have Daniel to myself. It was a dream. We refer to it often when we’re stressed out, “remember Cancun? ahhhhhh, yes. Cancun”. I feel about ready to take another Cancun trip.

Daniel – is beautiful. He’s 33 years old. He continues to work at Ford and likes what he does and he is good at it too. This year I think  the two highlights were Cancun in April with me and his week long backpacking trip to the Upper Peninsula, Isle Royale, MI with his brothers. They affectionately refer to these manly trips as “brothers gone wild”. It’s super cute. They started the trip gathering at our house and doing “pack check”. That was my favorite part. Watching the brothers interact. Eric making comments about how lightweight or how NOT lightweight everything was. Ian singing during the whole thing. Daniel and Jonathan making executive decisions quietly in the corner. The whole scene was magnificent.

This year we felt so blessed. We got to see the Damiano family at Thanksgiving and we got to see the Forsyths in August and we get to again at Christmas. We are rich in loving family and friends. We are blessed to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. To understand the meaning of Christ coming to earth and what opportunity that gives us to spend eternity with our families. We are happy. Our boys are happy and good. We are well. We hope that this continues and that this next year brings more of the same. Merry Christmas.


It’s 10:45 am and I’m trying to decide whether I should shower or eat breakfast before I have to wake up Ray early from his nap, get back in the car and pick up Liam from preshool. What have I done wrong in my life that I’m trying to choose between eating and showering at this late hour in the morning? let’s see …. I think this is how the morning went ….

7:35 am – woke up to a crying Baby Ray and I had started my period.

7:45 am – nursed Ray

8:08 am – put Ray in the bouncer and forced the boys to stop playing legos and get ready for school ….. much yelling and sadness later …

8:55 am – drop off Noah to school, one minute late.

9 am – get stamps and drop off Christmas cards in the mailbox on the way to take Liam to pre school.

9:20 am – drop off Liam at pre school.

9:30 am – go pick up Midol and tampons at CVS

9:45 am – at home, Nurse Ray and go potty.

10:15 am – address and stamp about 30 Christmas cards … still not finished. Change the sheets on Ray’s bedding because he barfed on them while I addressed.

10:45 am – decision making time about food or shower.

Yeah, that’s what led up to this. I don’t think it could’ve gone any differently. What should I have cut out and done instead? Now it’s 11:15 am and I need to wake up Ray and go get Liam. Shower will have to be after lunch because Liam will be ready to eat when we get home and Ray will be upset … maybe I’ll feed Ray again … or try to put him back to sleep?? I dunno. And so the day marches on.

just waiting

So, Ray got up at 4:30 am and then again at 7:30 am and desperately needs a nap but he can’t get himself to fall asleep. I just put him down again, it’s 10 am, but I already tried at 9 am and that was unsuccessful…. so I am basically waiting. He’s crying right now but I have about 10 minutes to kill waiting to see if this nap “takes”. If it doesn’t, it’s back to the drawing board – and such is my life.

I have noticed a few things lately that I want to document:

– it seems as though Ray was one too many people to add to our prayers. Now, when Noah and Liam ask Heavenly Father to bless our family members, they get all confused and it goes something like this, “Please bless Daddy and Noah and mommy and … Ray …. and Noah … and Liam and daddy …. (long pause) …. and thank you for …” and the prayer continues. But 5 people to bless just pushed the memory capacity over its limit and so several people get blessed twice and some not at all. It’s funny.

– Liam says “candy cans” instead of “candy canes”. It’s adorable. I’ve corrected him several times, but it doesn’t seem to matter. oh well. Not going to try too hard to correct that one. It’s cute.

– two nights ago I added something different to our dinner table. I had hosted bookclub the night before so I had special food in the house. So I put together a plate of sliced pears with brie on top and drizzled it with some good balsamic vinegar. I put it on the table and Noah looked at it and said in a straight tone, “well, THAT’s really something”.

Things are not bad around here … dare I say “good”? This Christmas season is shaping up nicely. Last year I hated it. Super busy – I was in charge of the ward Christmas party, I was 3 months pregnant, and there seemed to be no time for the stuff that really matters. This year feels better and we’ve done some good things. I’ll blog about that later … new Christmas traditions, but right now, my ten minutes is almost up and Ray has just hit a new level of desperate in his voice. I want to whine a bit.

I know I should be super grateful, but this morning I wasn’t. I don’t really feel relaxed much these days and I miss quiet. I woke up at 4:30 to Ray crying and then at 7:30 am I woke up to Noah coughing. So now everyone is home from school and I get to care for hyperactive sick kids. It sounds like an oxymoron right? Hyperactive and sick? Well, with Noah, it’s not. They go hand in hand. He rarely slows down. Ray is screaming, Noah is coughing, Liam hasn’t done his chores and I should be getting after him to do it, dishes need to be done, I haven’t worked out in a month, I need to shower ….. and all I want to do is go to my bed and take a midmorning nap. Quietly. Which wouldn’t be able to happen in THIS house …. so I’d have to transport my bed to an alternate universe somewhere, where I don’t have sick kids or responsibilities or a fat tire around my middle.

And I think, “Am I really going to miss this stage of life?” Why do older adults always tell me I’m going to miss this? I kind of hate that. Am I really going to miss nursing? That is something I have never found to be wonderful. Not bonding, not calming, not comfortable ….. nursing Ray is very similar to what nursing Noah was like: they have this way of gnawing at me like I’ve seen dogs gnaw at their chew toys. They both do this thing where they latch on hard with their gums, pull back with their heads and punch their little fists into my breast to really stretch me to my fullest. With that kind of action, it’s no wonder I have stretch marks and my boobs hang near my waist. seriously. And I’ve never been able to fall asleep while nursing them, it’s painful, partly because of the stretching thing they do and partly because they nurse pretty fast. Done in about 5 to 10 minutes, then we switch sides, so no real relaxing, long, warm, bonding nursing time – it’s always fast, furious and painful. Will I miss that? Will I miss sickness that HAS to run it’s course through everyone in the house at separate times so that sickness is in your house for at least a solid month? Will I miss that? Or how about the constant companionship of dishes and laundry needing to be done. A real and constant threat that we won’t have dishes to eat off of or underwear and pants to wear everyday? Miss that??

OK, done whining. Now I’m going to try and bury this post in a bunch of positive and happy ones so as not to be a downer…. but seriously. Sometimes it would be soooooo nice to wake up to a completely silent house…. and not in a eerie and frightening way, like everyone must be dead kind of way, but in an “oh look, it seems as though my children are just healthfully sleeping until 10 am today” kind of way. Is that even possible? I wish. Well, Ray stopped screaming. Blogging works! I would’ve gone and gotten him had it not been for something to distract me and allow me to whine!! Ha!