2011-12-07

December Daily: 7th

I washed dishes today.

I attempted to scrub the kitchen sink today.

Yes, these are my first baby steps at getting back to my *pre-injury* home routines. Slow and steady.

I got injured in May. This is December. Six and a half months is a long time. Our home was not maintained properly during this time. We focused more on our day-to-day needs rather than the big picture. It didn’t get super horrible but I am definitely not proud of it right now.

Today, I begin the reclamation project – the final phase of recovery.

After lunch, I’ll wash dishes again. I might even scrub the dining table.

One foot in front of the other. Every little bit helps.

We decorated the Christmas Tree last night while listening to the “Seasonal Sounds” music channel on the cable (Music Choice – I think?). They played some great tunes which helped get us in the spirit.

December Daily: 6th

I took only one photo today. The sign outside the door of my orthopedic surgeon’s office as I was leaving for the *VERY LAST TIME*! I will be eleven weeks post-op tomorrow.

Exciting news, Dr. H. discharged me from his care and recommended no more physical therapy, continue exercises at home, gradually increase my lift and carry weight on my own. If it hurts, stop, rest, try again – if it still hurts, do not try again for a couple of days, etc. Common sense. Listen closely to my body. Start resuming the life I was leading *before* the accident.

Basically, I’m free to start living my life again.

Rotator cuff injury – mostly behind me.

Now to start the work of toning ALL of the muscles in my body. It’s amazing how soft and baggy everything gets when you’re parked for several months.

More great news – my cousin and her husband will be having their hearing to finalize their adoption of two siblings next week also!! So excited for Christa and her family, cannot wait to hug and kiss on my two newest cousins!

Need to take the bad with the good – we will be saying our final good-byes to our dear friend, Ken, on Friday morning.

2011-12-06

December Daily: 5th

I did not take a single picture today. No real opportunity to. I spent most of the day in the car driving from one errand to another. I was so focused on my goals and what I wanted to accomplish I wasn’t looking for a photo opp.

While “Katie” and Benjamin were at preschool I took a shower, got dressed, and planned out my errands. When they got home I fed them their lunch. PB&J… always.

We got in the van and off we went!

First stop, Gramma Patty’s house to drop off a big tray of brownies to help satisfy the sweet tooth of any of her house guests. I also needed to find out the funeral arrangements as soon as possible.

Next stop, cancelled. Plan change. Proceed with next errand.

Headed to my parents’ home. I needed to raid my mother’s closet. I did not have a stitch of clothing in my closest appropriate for a winter funeral. Borrow skirt from mom. Check.

Visit with Mom and Dad for a while because I can! Didn’t think to get the camera out.

Arrive home in time to get Mary Ann and Nicholas off of the bus, load them into the van, and on the road again. This time just a short local jaunt to the bowling alley to pick up Christopher at the end of bowling practice. Next week, possibly some photos from a bowling match – however, Christopher doesn’t bowl in competition until sometime in January. Maybe a creative shot of the shoe rental or ball racks? It’s good to plan ahead, right?

Arrive home.

Starving. Realize I have not eaten anything all day. YIKES!

Grilled Cheese for dinner. Not in the mood for anything more elaborate.

Homework time.

Get ready for bed.

Good night!

2011-12-05

December Daily: December 4th

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Just one photo of the Advent Wreath at our church as we go into our second week of preparing for the Lord’s birth. We attended Mass at 8am as we usually do. After that, nothing about this day was ordinary.

We came home following the kids’ religious education classes and began preparing the Christmas Tree for decorating. We did not get very far before Patrick and I needed to get ready for a Christmas Party.

Patrick and I attended our first social event with the bicycling club we joined this past summer. We met a lot of great new people. I met some ladies that ride at a similar pace, so I will be trying to ride with them frequently when the Spring Cycling season starts.

Following the party, Patrick and I opted to head into the city to get some birthday shopping done for Nicholas. I cannot believe my “Middle Man” is turning 6 years old already! We are going to celebrate quietly at home on Saturday with grandparents, cake, and ice cream.

While we were shopping we got some horrible news. A very dear friend of the family passed away suddenly. His wife was at church, Patty is the sweetest grandmother-type lady you could ever meet. She and her husband, Ken, adopted our family about 8 years ago. Most of their children and grandchildren live out of state, so we became their kids and our kids became their grandchildren. We asked Gramma Pat where Grampa Ken was. “He’s under-the-weather.” “Oh, please tell him we missed him and we hope he feels better soon.” Patty arrived home to find Ken had died while she was at church.

We finished our shopping and rushed right over to their home.

“Who is going to harass me? Who is going to put their arm around me in church? What am I going to do now?,” Patty wondered aloud while we were hugging her tight. We offered to sit with her during Mass from now on so she wouldn’t be alone.

We’re all in shock.

My kids are struggling with this loss. If you are a praying person, please pray for the repose of Ken’s soul, ask for the necessary graces from our Lord for Patty and her family and for everyone Ken knew as they go through the difficult process of grieving. Thank you.

I am going to do my best to keep up with my December Daily… just a warning, for this week, it might be a bit low key and a lot of funeral, funeral home, and etc. talk. I promise, no morbid photos.

2011-12-03

December Daily: December 3rd

What an amazing day! We had so much fun!

P1040679We started with Breakfast With Santa in a nearby town. The food was delicious. The volunteer staff extremely friendly. Santa was great! He had the children sign their names in his Nice Book. That’s Benjamin putting his marks in Santa’s book – that was after we peeled him away from the food. That little boy can eat! I even got a couple of pictures of Christopher (now 16 years old) with Santa! Not sure how many more times I will be able to convince him to pose with the big man in red.

After breakfast we journeyed into the city to run a couple of errands. Then we hit the road for the next surprise in my Christmas Prep Fun List!

P1040691I decided we should go to the zoo! Yeah, I thought it might be a little crazy at first because after all, who in their right mind goes to the zoo when there is snow on the ground?!?

Well, we went and we nearly had the whole place all to ourselves. The decorations were basic but very nicely done. I talked with a 20+ year staff member and she said they are trying to make the holidays at the zoo bigger and better every year.

P1040705Santa must have followed us to the zoo, because he was the Special Guest Carousel Operator! The kids had a blast and rode the carousel three times. Santa even posed with each child after they picked out their ride. That’s Nicholas on the rabbit.

After pictures with Santa we went to the Animal Stars building. This is where the Animal Ambassadors live. Animal Ambassadors travel to visit schools and do programs. One of the trainers was handling their newest addition – a blue tongued skink. SO COOL!

Christopher talked with the handler for a while and a few of the other zoo staffers. He thinks he might like to get a Leopard Gecko as a pet. Mom & Dad on the other hand aren’t too sure about anything cold blooded with scales.

After the zoo we were all starving, so we ventured to Frankenmuth and found a cute restaurant north of town called DaVinci’s. Great pizza and breadsticks!

Following dinner we decided to brave the crowds and visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. I think it must be one of the world’s largest Christmas stores. That place is a mother’s panic attack waiting to happen!! So much stuff that is FRA-GEE-LAY!

Left there, came home… and now… we crash!

Today was a great day! So glad I had the opportunity to create these memories with my children!

2011-12-02

December Daily: 2

I have completely goofed up my calendar this week! Thank Goodness It’s FRIDAY!

Plotting a couple of family outings for tomorrow with the whole crew. This is going to be the December to Remember! (I think I just named my album.) We’ll see if the plans come together or not.

I’m about to make myself a second hot cocoa with peppermint mocha creamer for today. Yep, I think these are going to be habit forming and addictive. So yummy!

IMG_1417The Wonder Twins love playing in the snow while they wait for their bus to pick them up for preschool! Not sure what the fascination is with the snow shovel, but they fight over it constantly. One of these days, maybe they will learn to use it properly and my driveway will actually get shoveled properly. With my shoulder still mostly out of commission, it is going to be long winter where shoveling snow is concerned.

I’m desperately trying to find the holiday spirit. Really. I don’t know where it went. Usually the day after Thanksgiving I am ready to bust out the Christmas music and decorations and get the party started. Not so much this year.

IMG_1422I did make an attempt to start the process of decorating for this year. The wreaths are on the front door. French style door means two wreaths. Since they are identical I only photographed one. That photo might actually end up looking really awesome if I can find the right actions in Photoshop. LOL *sigh* That would imply that I’m actually going to process photos and do some scrapbooking. Maybe. Later.

2011-12-01

December Daily

If you are anyone who has been a member of the scrapbooking or digital scrapbooking community for very long, I’m certain you have heard of Ali Edwards and her December Daily project. Typically, you make an album ahead of time and work your way through it filling it one or two pages per day for the entire month.

Well, since my December is going to be so blooming busy because of the best most wonderful news we received yesterday… I’ll be keeping track of my Daily’s here on my blog and scrapping them when I have time or when I’m inspired to do so. My goal at this time is just to get the month documented.

December 2011 is going to be a life changing month for our family!

Almost smack middle in the month (on the 12th) we get to go to court to have the adoption of our little girl, “Katie”, finalized! She will officially be a member of our family with our name! We are so excited!

So today, I called our church to set the wheels in motion for her baptism. I overlooked one critical detail – Godparents. *sigh* Patrick and I will need to figure it out by the end of the week.

Our church hall is not available the weekend we are looking at. *sigh* again. I called another potential location for the party, waiting for them to call me back with availability and pricing.

I called our favorite local catering company. Waiting for a call back from them. Might need to use their hall if I don’t here back from the other place.

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My favorite beverage for the month of December only to be enjoyed after I have consumed enough water. Hot cocoa with Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha creamer (and a few mini marshmallows). Yummy!

I plan to enjoy this regularly through the month.

Isn’t that mug gorgeous. It was handmade by someone my husband met in his work travels. It is truly one of a kind. Each and every mug this couple makes, while similar, are absolutely unique. It’s just the perfect size – not too big and not too small!

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To begin getting into the holiday spirit, I painted my nails and “Katie’s” with an old glittery polish I found while digging through my polish collection looking for my “winter colors.” “Katie” is so excited to have some sparkles on her nails!

Mary Ann will get her sparkles when she gets home from school.

We’ll be having leftover Lentil & Beef tacos for dinner tonight. So happy to be eating something other than chicken or cheese burgers!

The holiday shopping is mostly finished. That’s a first for the 1st of December. We’re usually scrambling right up until Christmas Eve. Now we just need to tackle Birthday Shopping – Nicholas will be six on the 10th. Mary Ann will be nine on the 21st. PHEW!

I’m absolutely certain this will the best December EVER!