Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Six Months of Sweetness

Eliza is six months old today!

It has been a whirlwind of a six months, and I cannot believe my baby is halfway through her first year. Eliza is such a bundle of sweetness in our lives. I have had a couple "high-maintenance" babies, and Eliza is anything but. She is so mellow. She rarely cries, so when she does, we all sort of freak out! She is such an easy-going girl and goes along with whatever we have planned for our day. All babies are a blessing, but I admit I am glad to have a baby who is low-key at this phase in our life.

All the children are as infatuated with her as the day she was born. The boys fight over who gets to push Eliza's stroller up the hill when we pick Clare up from school. Simon and Clare ask first thing in the morning to sit and hold her. Jamie's favorite job is to put Eliza into her pajamas at bedtime (he even changes her diaper, if it's not dirty!). And Violet exclaims "Hello, baby!" when she sees Eliza.

It does not matter how many kids you have - it is always thrilling to watch them grow and achieve their milestones. Eliza is working very hard on sitting up for longer periods of time (I still hold out hope that she'll be sitting at Christmas), and I am eager to watch her over the next six months as she learns new skills.

Happy six-month birthday, Eliza Marie!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Looking Up

Things are slowly getting back to normal in our house. Our kitchen is 100% functional again. There are some minor details we need the contractor to take care of (such as my kitchen sprayer hose only comes out about a foot), but I will not complain. I WILL NOT COMPLAIN! After being upside-down and inside-out for nine weeks, I WILL NOT COMPLAIN! Our basement playroom is almost there. I am still looking forward to the day when there are no more people in my house making messes, though! Hopefully in the next few days everything will get wrapped up, I will be able to unpack the boxes from my kitchen cabinets, and the contractors will move their tools and garbage out of the garage. (The contractors have been using my garage bay to store everything. For weeks it held our Corian countertop, side cabinets, and other items. I was using Shawn's bay for our van, but after last week's incident, I determined all would be better if I just parked the rental van in the driveway. It's a little tricky getting in and out of Shawn's bay with the van because of the curve of our retaining wall. However, after scraping ice off my parked-in-the-driveway car this morning and having to bundle everyone up just to walk to the car to drop Jamie off at school, I pushed - because it was all too big to lift - everything from my bay of the garage to Shawn's. I mean everything - bags of garbage, garbage cans, boxes, air scrubber, table saw, snowblower, humongous box holding our old dishwasher, everything. I was desperate! After one winter of having a garage, I am spoiled by it now.)

My van is still in the shop, and it hasn't even been started on yet. The big ice storm at Halloween put such a backlog on all the repair shops (at least this is the story they gave me!) that it will probably be another couple of weeks before we get our van back. This is irritating and inconvenient (our family of seven doesn't quite fit the greatest in our rental van, and I hope we don't have to make any of our Christmas trips in it), but this is a time where I feel like I have to swallow the pill I've been given without complaining because it was me who put us in this position.

Our house is decorated for Christmas - the tree is up, lights twinkling in and out, and we set up our New England village throughout the first floor. It is such a peaceful time at the end of the day to sit in the darkened living room and enjoy the beauty of the Christmas lights. It is one of my favorite things about the Advent season. Our shopping is done, so our evenings and weekends can be spent enjoying Christmas concerts, school parties, Jamie's futsal games (form of indoor soccer), our Advent wreath, outdoor Nativity walk, cookie swaps, Williams syndrome Christmas party, Make-A-Wish Christmas party (where the photo was taken - they had a fun photo booth Clare and I tried out), Clare's ballet recital, drinking eggnog, and driving around looking at lights.

And I finally met a kindred spirit at Clare's school! I have felt so much like I was on-the-sidelines for the year-plus Clare has been at her school. Never quite fitting in with the other parents because the path I walk with my child is so different from theirs. However, when you're standing around after school watching your children play on the school playground with an AED (which is another story for another day!) at your feet, you're bound to draw someone's attention. Which I did, and I am so glad for it!