Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2016- What I Need To Work On

I'm not usually one for resolutions but I have found that for some time I have neglected myself. Maybe it was when I became comfortable in our marriage? Maybe it was becoming a mom? Maybe it was a little postpartum guilt? I don't know what it happened but I did and I have been suffering because of it. My body is not one I recognize. My skin looks old and worn out. My usual extroverted self has really been replaced with complacency. I dread the thought of going out, even to work everyday and being social, ugh, I sometimes can't stand the thought of it. I would much rather stay at home.

I find so many factors have contributed to the change in me. I truly believe the main reason I have changed is anxiety. For as long as I can remember I have had some form of anxiety. I can remember being a little girl and worrying about everything! I recall worrying so much I would make myself sick to my stomach. I believe my anxiety took a back seat in my teen, college and young adult years. It has since come back with a vengeance. When I found out I was pregnant a friend told me "Be prepared to worry about everything for the rest of your life." I didn't know at the time how much truth would be behind that statement. Since Jack was born and we received his diagnosis my anxiety has hit an all time high. I worry all the time about his health. I worry about germs. I worry about germs so much I truly think that is why I try and shy away social situations. I have gone against my anxiety and taken Jack to play places and group story time. I don't want to be a bad mom. I don't want him to miss fun things but I have to admit I am so uncomfortable when we are there. My anxiety is at an all time high and although Jack is having fun but inside I'm suffering thinking every kid he is playing with or anything he touches could potentially get him sick. Right before Christmas I took him to a birthday party, which we don't usually do during cold and flu season. A few days later he came down with the croup. Parts of me was devastated. I felt like I made a poor choice as a mom and we ended up in the hospital. I find myself explaining to people why we don't go places often. I feel judged just as much. People don't seem to understand and that causes more stress induced anxiety. As crazy as it sounds even my husband doesn't seem to understand me. My anxiety has negatively impacted my married life, relationship with friends and being the best mom I can be.

This year I need to make a pact with myself to start taking much better care of myself. I have found that you really can not pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first. I have to vow to take better care of myself. It seems strange but first off I need to drink more water. My head races so much I often forget to drink during the day. Doesn't that sound ridiculous? I have my coffee some days and when I get home at night I realize I haven't had anything else to drink! It's a simple fix. I have to commit to it. It's a simple even more basic need. I'd like to add eating atlas 3 meals a day  (I always skip breakfast) and drink more tea, especially green and chamomile. I'm sure my skin will look better and my head and stomach may not feel as terrible as it usually does. I'll also try and remember grounding techniques when I find myself stressed. Grounding techniques are a coping strategy used to connect you with the present. I have been trying to meditate, listing 5 positives in my life, looking outside, paying attention to my movements and some more listed here. Grounding is a hoilistic approach to stress management. I can not tell you how many people have suggested drugs to me. I am just not at that stage of my life where medication is an option. I would like to have more children in the near future and the thought of putting medication in my body is just not for me so finding other options are key. I've recently started getting more involved with essential oils. Do they work? I have no idea. Do they give me piece of mind? Yes so I'll stick with them for now. Exercise! Yeah, I hate it but I didn't always. I loved Zumba class and I was so fit while doing it. I'm actually afraid to get back into it because I've been away so long. Try and sleep more. We don't sleep well in our house. Jack still wakes up a few times a night so this one is really hard for us. I have let him sleep over my parents and in laws house some nights just to catch up on some rest. I also need to have more FUN! I have tons of fun with Jack but I need regular fun. Things that I used to find fun. I used to love going out shopping and buying myself  a little something. I used to love getting my hair cut and colored. Getting my nails done, date nights and having dinner with the girls. I never do any of these any more but I should. Give up a little control. This is nearly impossible for me. It's probably one of my worst traits. If I allow myself to give up control when it comes to Jack and his health I have to think of the consequences of that. Could he get sick? Yes. Has he been sick before and recovered quickly? Yes. Have his doctors informed me to stay away from everyone and everything? No. Do kids with cystic fibrosis have fun? Participate in activities? YES! I have to keep telling myself these things. Baby steps, I keep telling myself baby steps.

Does anyone else suffer from anxiety that negatively impacts their daily life?
What are some tips and tricks you use to help yourself get through it?
Does anyone else have a child with some special health needs? How do you cope?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Jack- 2 Years Old

Can you believe that this itty bitty turned 2 last week?!?!

Me either!

 This little boy has brought me more love and happiness than I could have ever imagined! I never knew love until he came into my life. Jack surprises me everyday with the things he says and the things he does.


Jack is doing AMAZING considering he has had a rough few months. I feel like he has had a cold since September. Right before Christmas we ended up in the hospital after a bout of the croup. Yikes! It was pretty scary but he recovered quickly! 

Jack just doesn't sleep. He has slept through the night in his own bed twice this entire year! Jack has transitioned into a queen size bed. We thought that would help but no such luck. We are often up at 3am every night. Sometimes its 1am and 3am. 


It's such a beautiful dirty blonde color.  

A gray blue!

Jack is wearing 18-24 month clothes. The 18 month pants are getting short but the 24 months are too big. We have to dart themes they don't fall down. He is growing quicker than he was last year. This time last year he was still in 6-9 month clothes

He is so incredibly happy and friendly. He loves his cousins and his buddy Michael. He has made friends at his weekly story time and his swim lessons. He  has lots of friends in the neighborhood people and dogs too. He knows all the dogs names. 

- JACK IS 2!
- He is talking up a storm. I can't believe all the words he knows. He knows his "Please, Thank You and You're Welcome"
- He repeats everything too. 

- He can throw a tantrum like no one else. I like to call him a toddler tornado! 

- Jack is potty training. 
-He will be getting new medication for his CF starting this month! It is life changing. Wish us luck!



-Thomas the Tank Engine and any trains

-He is a water boy. He loves his baths.
- Listening to music and dancing.
-Family- He loves his grandmas and grandpas. 
- To eat. He is a great eater. He loves salmon, chicken, and broccoli. 

Laying down for diaper changes
Car rides
Being told no
Going to bed

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Our Christmas Traditions

It's Christmas Eve here in NJ. It's already 67 degrees and we are only getting warmer today. It is by far the weirdest holiday weather I can remember. I am NOT complaining. It may be weird but it makes for great memories and that what Christmas is all about.

Growing up my mom was always so great about incorporating Christmas traditions into our holiday. Now that we have Jack I have been trying to do the same. Over the years many of the traditions were planned but most of them just sort of happened.

Holiday Lights- When we were kids we would drive all over New York City for the houses with the best lights. It was always one of my most favorite things to do. Now that we are older and living in NJ we drive around to find the best lights. I always treat myself and my husband to hot coco. Last year Jack slept through it. I'm hoping that in the years to come he will enjoy it even more.

Christmas Crafts- Each year before having Jack my husband (begrudgingly) and I would make something crafty for Christmas. I'm sure he is thrilled that I make Jack do it now too. In years past we have made ornaments, stockings, and wreaths.

New Pajamas-  Each Christmas Eve we are allowed to open just one gift and they were always a pair of new pajamas so we could all look super fresh for Christmas morning pictures.

Feast of the Seven Fish- This is an Italian tradition that my mom had taken over from her mother in law. My mom cooks up an amazing feast each Christmas Eve. We enjoy fried calamari, mussels marinara, stuffed flounder, spaghetti with clam sauce, clams, crab cakes and smeltz. It is my most favorite meal of the entire year.

 Christmas Movies- All of December we watch tons of Christmas movies. We have our favorites and more but always seem to find new ones to love on. I have watched Home Alone about 10 times already this year!

Angel Tree- My mom always made it a point for us to donate during the holiday season. Each year our family would either sponsor a family or purchase gifts to give children a great holiday. My mom always wanted us to know how lucky we were. We have continued this tradition with our family too. This year we worked along with the Boys and Girls Club and purchased a bunch of toys for 8-10 year olds. We bought craft projects, scrap book stuff, Frozen playsets, and Barbies.

T'was the Night Before Christmas- It wouldn't be Christmas with out all of us reading it before
bedtime! It is the most perfect way to end Christmas eve but we usually don't end there. We finish it off with wine and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Making Reindeer Food- We started this one just last year and it was so much fun. We actually did it at work too and the kids loved it.

Skyland's Light Show- This year will be a first for us and we loved it. I'm so glad we are going to make it a tradition. I can't wait to pack us in the car for the 1 mile light display. Apparently they are over 2 million lights. They also have a Christmas Village where Jack met Santa and made his own Santa hat.

What are some of your family's Christmas Traditions?

Merriest of Christmas wishes to you and your families!

Favorite Christmas Tunes

Each year I find myself posting about our favorite Christmas movies whether they be major motion picture or the silly ones you find on Lifetime, ABC Family and of course Hallmark. I realized after all these years blogging I have never shared some of my favorite Christmas tunes. 

  1. I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Bing Crosby 
  2. Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire by Nat King Cole
  3. Winter Wonderland by Johnny Mathis 
  4. Last Christmas by Wham!
  5. Where Are You Christmas  by Faith Hill 
  6. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
  7. Silver Bells by Anne Murray
  8. Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney
  9. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
  10. Baby, It's Cold Outside by Dean Martin
  11. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee
  12. A New York City Christmas by Rob Thomas
  13. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmass by Frank Sinatra
  14. Winter Wonderland by James Taylor
  15. Joy to the World by Pentatonic
  16. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by 
  17. Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives
  18. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 
  19. Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer 
  20. Deck The Halls by Bing Crosby
  21. Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid
  22. Oh Holy Night by Celine Dion
  23. Happy Holiday by Mel Torme
  24. Frosty The Snowman by Jimmy Durante
  25. We Wish You A Merry Christmas by Bing Crosby
  26. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Bing Crosby
  27. Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and David Bowie
  28. Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt
  29. Happy Christmas by John Lennon
  30. Angels We Have Heard On High  by Josh Groban

I hope you find yourselves humming these tunes today and tomorrow as your surrounded by all of those you love!

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs? 
Do you prefer the classics or the new versions? 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Toddler's Christmas Wish List

My little toddler already has so many toys which he rarely plays with so this Christmas we are going really easy.  Last year for Christmas we went nuts and it was ridiculous. I still have toys from last year that he hasn't even touched and a bunch of toys he got that he barely even looks at. Jack loves playing ball and occasionally he plays with cars or trucks. Our big gift for Jack this year are swim lessons. They are on the pricey side so they are going to be a big part of Jack's Christmas gift and his birthday gift too. Sidebar- He finally didn't SCREAM his way through his last class. It only took 5 scream sessions. Having a birthday 2 weeks after Christmas is tough. It's tough for the kids when they get a bit older and its really tough on the wallets of parents too!I haven't even begun to think about a birthday party. While I procrastinate here are some of the things on Jack's wish list.

While you're browsing could you do me a favor and say a happy thought or prayer or whatever you do. Jack got nasty viral thing going on. He had croup last week which landed us at the hospital. I just he's all better as soon as possible especially for Christmas.

Here are just a few things on Jack's Christmas wish list.

Toddler Christmas

What are some of the things on your little one's wish list?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Oh Hey HOLIDAY Friday

The holiday season is my most favorite time of year and not because of all the holiday hoopla. I could care less about the sales and the crowded malls. I just love being surrounded by the wonder of the season. I'm so glad we got almost all of our holiday fun in the last several weeks. Jack came down with the croup the other night and we ended up at the hospital with him yesterday. We have strict orders for lots of rest the next several days!
Here are my holiday favorites.

1) Hallmark Movies- I am a big time sucker for the Hallmark Channel this time of year. I've always enjoyed them but when I was pregnant I remember getting up every morning at 4am. When I would get up I would always put on Hallmark and watch one. It's a reminder of those quiet mornings with my baby. I'd talk to my tummy while watching. Life has changed so much since those quiet mornings. 

2) Gift Giving- I am a shopaholic so Christmas time is always so fun for me. I always shop early to avoid the holiday crowds. This year we have decided a kids only Christmas for my side of the family in addition to my parents and grandma. None of the adults want for anything, especially me! It's so much more fun buying for babies anyway. This year I get to shop for my niece and our soon to arrive cousin's son. Shopping will be  was so much fun! I did the bulk of it on Amazon last weekend.

3) Sharing Christmas With Our Son- Jack will be turning 2 just a few weeks after Christmas. I am really looking forward to crafting with him, visiting Santa (Did that already. It was not good), Santa breakfasts, holiday light shows, Christmas carols and all the other holiday traditions we share and will continue to share as he grows.

4) Home for the Holidays- Before purchasing our home I lived in the most adorable town in upstate NY. Warwick New York is one of those towns you see in those Hallmark movies (actually several movies have been filmed in Warwick.) Historic Downtown is awesome during the holiday season. Each Sunday the town has free horse and carriage rides through the town. The shops all serve hot coco, hot cider and cookies. The Warwick Chorale walks through the town singing Christmas Carols. It is like something out of a movie. If you are ever in the Hudson Valley I highly suggest making a stop in Warwick NY. You won't regret it.



5) Decorating- I'm stressing out like crazy about decorating this year. We just got measured to rip up all of our floors and get new hardwood. However, I am stressed about getting them done asap and if not I'm seriously thinking of waiting until after Christmas. I religiously start decorating the morning after Thanksgiving. So if the contractor can't get to us before then we are waiting till January. Is that ridiculous?

What are your favorites?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Holly Jolly Weekend

 We jam packed as much Christmas into 3 days as we possibly could this last weekend. We have been laying low these last several weekend. Between feeling down and out Jack and I both getting really sick and just getting a tooth pulled (me) I just haven't felt much in the Christmas spirit. I really wanted to change that so this weekend we were as holly and jolly as anyone could imagine!

We have seen the most glorious, record breaking weather in New Jersey. It has been 60 degrees for the last 3 days. It's been magical. I could live with out the cold and the snow forever! I swear I should live not more north than the Carolinas!

Friday night after work we packed into the car and went to see a local light, drive through light show. It was fantastic. I sat with Jack in the back seat and he couldn't take his eyes off the lights. I heard lots of "Trees, Lights, Snowman, Santa" It was so great. He clapped his hands and smiled as bright as he could! After the drive through show they hosted an indoor winter wonderland filled with fake falling snow, Santa, crafts and a s'mores station. Jack had a blast! He didn't like Santa as you can tell from the picture below but he loved the manger scene.

At the craft station Jack got to decorate a Santa hat.
More like mommy did it and he demanded food because he was sitting at a table. 

This was his reaction when we told him he couldn't dance with the dance school! 

On Saturday we celebrated the birthday of our close friend's son. After the party and the hours drive home from PA we decided to take advantage of the 60 degree night and take a family walk, with out coats! I think this was my favorite part of the entire weekend. It was just the 3 of us. It was calm and quiet. We talked and admired our neighbor's Christmas lights. We topped off the night with some red wine and A Gift Wrapped Christmas. Thank you Lifetime Christmas movies!

On Sunday we had another glorious weather day. We decided to try a little something different. Jack has not really enjoyed the usual Christmas Santa events. They seem to scare him. I thought visiting a live animal nativity would be something right up his alley. We went to an adorable farm called Farmstead Estate where they had the most adorable animals to feed and pet. Jack was totally in his element. He, WE, all had such a great time. We topped off our weekend with another 60+ degree family walk.
He must dance! Where ever there is music he dances away! 

Our new friends the pigmy goats

Hannah and Domino the sweetest lamas I have ever met! 

Feeding our new friends. 

Pepper the chinchilla 

I'm in love! 

All and all this was one of the most perfect family weekends we have shared in a long time.

Have you done any fun Christmas activities?

Does your toddler hate Santa as much as Jack seems to?