Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Change Is Gonna Come...

I know I've been absent. A lot.

I know I've been whining. A lot.

I know I've been on the sad side of moody. Understandably, as far as I'm concerned.

But I'm here to tell you - and putting it in writing so it will force me to make it true - a change, my friends, is gonna come.

I'm going to be silent here until the New Year. (Truth be told - I am happy to kick 2011 out of my life) But by next week, expect some change from me. Hopefully my bruises will be gone. But I don't mean that kind of change. Hopefully I'll have a new look on my blog. But I really don't mean that either. I am planning, by Monday, to be BACK. Back to myself. Back to writing daily. Back to making corny jokes. Back with a capital BACK. Question is - are you ready? *wink*

Curious about what's been going on in our house? Well...

There's been a little of this...

A little bit of that...

And so much to make this Mommy grateful and happy for her beautiful children.

Our new helper, Miss Sara, has been working out great. She graduated from Penn State (on Brian's birthday!) and will soon be going to West Chester University for her Masters. Clearly she's unmotivated, this one. The boys just love her. Since she started, Brian has been consistently napping for close to 2 (sometimes more!) hours a day from all their fun!

And she's great with Gavin - who can be hard to wrangle for even one minute of playtime.

She's really a sweet girl. It's been nice, too, that Ed has been home all this week so she can get to know both of us at the same time. (And see how goofy we are together!)

Gavin will be back in therapy by Monday after a week off for the holidays. He's becoming more independent lately and has definite opinions that he's not afraid to express!! But he's also super sweet. Look at what he did just the other day - donning raccoon eyes to make me feel less alone.

Isn't the resemblance uncanny???

Brian is communicating more and more. He will officially start school on Monday, January 9th and is so excited. I chatted with his teacher and she is all ready for him. He originally was starting on the 2nd, but I wanted to wait until after his cardiology appointment which is this coming week. His teacher, Miss Laura, also made my LIFE by telling me that I can walk him to the classroom the first day and take pictures. (I was seriously losing sleep over this - not being able to document his first day of school. The other option was to take his picture in the parking lot!)

As for us - Ed and I just embarked on our second IVF cycle. It's such a long process. I need to be on a birth control pill (just like last time) until January 19. Then, on January 20th I go back in for blood work and ultrasound. That's when I start my injections to stimulate ovulation. We're looking at the beginning of February for egg retrieval. Thankfully all of this will take place in the New Year. I'm convinced that 2012 is the "Year of the Leong." Mark my words.

Hope all of you have a wonderful, fun and safe New Year weekend!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day at the Leong House...

This year's Christmas was the best (and the worst) by far. Let's not even talk about why it was the worst for me and my family...we all know. I was happy to have our sadness completely overshadowed by the twinkle in Brian's eye on Christmas morning. His excitement for Santa and the entire magical Christmas experience totally "made" our day.

After waking up the boys, we whisked them into our bedroom for a fun breakfast picnic in "Mommy and Daddy's room." Our way of ensuring that everyone had breakfast before it would be impossible to accomplish. They got a kick out of eating in their little chairs in front of a Christmas show on our TV!

Why did I do this? Well, I knew that the first thing that Gavin would want to do was eat. He'd fuss for his food for sure. But the first thing that Brian would want to do would be presents! I can't blame him. And it would be hard to tear him away from that to eat. I wanted them to both experience Santa's presents together - so this was my solution. We won't get away with this for too much longer - but it worked this year! My only regret was absentmindedly dressing them in clothes (like a normal day) instead of leaving them in their cute Christmas pajamas. Oh well...can't win Mother of the Year every day.

It was after our breakfast picnic that I sprung the photo of Santa in our house on the boys. Check it out...

Brian knew that was our tree and definitely studied the photo...intrigued by all the "things" that he'd never seen before. We decided to make our way downstairs to investigate. He was so adorable...

After we let them loose, one surprising thing happened - and one not so surprising thing.

Brian loved opening presents. But with each one he opened, that was all he wanted! We had to encourage him to keep opening. This shouldn't have been surprising as it's totally age-appropriate for him to act that way. I think I was just projecting MY excitement for him to see everything!!

The not so surprising thing was Gavin's reaction Christmas morning. His "showpiece" present was the GIANT snow globe - something I thought he'd flip over. But we weren't surprised when Gavin kept crawling away - over the mountain of toys - to get to the playroom. His "tried and true" toys that we've had for years are all he wants. (When will I learn to re-wrap them every year??? *wink*)

Among (too) many things, the boys got some new puzzles...

Brian got binoculars that also serve as a View Master...

Gavin got some new musical books and it took all my strength to keep him in my lap for this quick photo before he was OFF....

Daddy picked out a cool police car with motion and lights...

And Gavin got a cool "Cement Mixer" that serves several functions. He can spin the barrel to "mix" the cement (which are the balls inside that have bells in them) - Gavin loves to spin things. And he can also reach into the barrel to pull out those balls - which is something he's starting to enjoy. YAY! A gift he liked!! (For at least the 4.7 minutes he sat there with Ed)

Brian moved into the den where our stockings were hung and wanted to check his out. He got a cool Christmas microphone which he held up to his mouth and said "Merry Christmas!" in his own "Mommy can understand" language!

He also got a couple helicopters...

And when he realized there was not much else...

...he quickly turned his sights on Gavin's stocking.

One cool thing that Brian got for his room is something called "Moon in My Room." Brian LOVES the moon and we often look for it outside before he goes to bed. This is a mini replica of a real moon that he can have on his wall and I can make it to match the phase of the moon outside each night. I hung it in his room tonight, proving that Mommy does indeed 'hang the moon' for him. (And everyone says, "awwwwwwww....") Here we are checking it out in the dark hallway Christmas morning...

We also put together his very first "big boy puzzle"...

...and he also got some new iPad apps which I highly recommend.

His favorites, by far, are the first three. The book is exceptional - read by three little British children with incredible animation.

It took a while for him to notice with all the excitement, but finally Brian spied his Elf on the Shelf, "Scout", on his final day with us. He was sitting in the wreath that hangs right across from the Christmas tree! He was watching us open all of our presents!!

One of Brian's favorite Christmas presents was the Playskool Bounce Back Racer. Oh.Em.Gee. This was the funniest, happiest part of my morning. (One of them) You HAVE to see this - especially if you're feeling sad...

If you're wondering why you don't see my face in any of the photos - it's because I was still (and am still) badly bruised. There was no way that makeup - or photo shop - would cover it up. What can you do! Keep reading for news of today's plastic surgery visit...

Speaking of people who never needed (and never will need) plastic surgery - my beautiful mother. I went to pick up my Mom in the early afternoon after she spent the morning with my sister and her kids. She came back here to see all of Gavin and Brian's presents and they had a ball with her. She did a puzzle with Brian - learned how to make robots on his iPad - and saw Gavin with his giant snow globe.

Today I finally got to visit the Plastic Surgeon. Basically - he told me to wait it out. The "whatever it is" that's lodged inside my head is not causing me any harm, in his estimation. I tried to impress upon him that I'm sure that martians inserted a tracking device inside my head and I'm now spying on politicians (which could get very juicy!!) - but he didn't agree with me. He did say he could make an incision and go fishing for whatever is lodged in my skull - but that would just leave a scar. Glamorous stay at home Moms, such as myself, can't have scars. I politely declined. As for the headaches - and the weird numb feelings - he said that the light fixture hit me so hard that it likely hit a nerve that surrounds my eye. That feeling should subside with time. And the swelling that is right where the light fixture cut my head open? That will go down - and when it does, if I notice a foreign body sticking out then...I can call him. I mentioned that the timing of this "injury" was interesting - and he acted sympathetic. I said, "No- you don't understand! I've been looking for some way to disguise my dark circles for a long time - this was PERFECT!" He laughed and told me that I was 'quite the optimist.'

As a public service to all of my friends who have nursed babies and have ever wondered how much a simple "breast lift" would cost...I asked him on YOUR behalf, of course. $7,500. Start your sweet talking now... and let me know how that goes.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Christmas Eve...

I'm back after a short Christmas break! There's so much to tell and so many photos to share that I thought I'd break it up into a few journal entries. So's Christmas Eve all over again!!

We started the afternoon at Granny's house. Growing up, my Mom always made a big fuss over Christmas Eve. That was the one night that the five of us would eat in the dining room and she would even bring out her Waterford crystal and her good china! We were expected to dress up - and we all went to midnight mass together. My sister, Bean, and I decided to try to re-create the old Christmas Eve. Although we'll never be able to do "Mom's Christmas Eve" justice, I think we all knew it was just the thought that mattered.

Brian got into the prep work and helped his cousins roll out the crescent rolls. I taught him everything he knows in the kitchen if anyone is wondering. (Hey - it's my blog. I can say...and believe...what I want.)

We all had a nice dinner together before Ed and I brought the boys home to get ready for Santa Claus. We were so happy to spend Christmas Eve with my Mom. And we all had Pop on our mind, for sure.

We got home and put the boys in their Christmas pajamas and immediately set out their letters to Santa to leave with his cookies and milk (and carrots for the reindeer too, of course!) Gavin was first and all I could think was - what a difference a year makes. Last year he had to be strapped to the chair so he didn't fall right off!!

Brian was so excited about everything. The cookies, the letter, the reindeer food, the anticipation. He was bouncing everywhere and hard to wrangle for a photo!! But his "blurry photos" are going to serve as a great memory. I'll never forget - ever - the magical expressions in his wide eyes this Christmas. Ever.

We settled into Brian's bed to read...for the last time until NEXT Christmas...the Elf on the Shelf. Gavin and Brian's elf, which we named "Scout", would be flying home to the North Pole on Christmas Day. He stays to watch the boys enjoy Santa's toys - and then goes back for a year of preparation for next Christmas. The boys can't wait to see Scout again next year.

After finishing the book, you won't believe what happened. We were about to give goodnight kisses when all of a sudden we heard BELLS! Right outside Brian's window!!!! We knew it had to be SANTA CLAUS!!! It was just luck that I had my video camera going - and although I was so excited I kept covering the microphone on the camera and going in and out of focus - I was so happy to capture this moment!! (It was also hard to keep from crying. This was totally something my Dad would have done.)

Brian's reaction was priceless. Here's the follow up interview...

The boys instinctively put their head on the pillows when I told them that Santa couldn't leave the toys until they were asleep.

And when I told them to close their eyes - this is what they did:

I would have loved to have left Gavin in Brian's bed for a sleepover, but they both got a great night's sleep in their own beds.

What happened next you won't believe. I saw Santa. I'm not kidding. I was busy baking cookies. Okay, I wasn't. But that sounds so "home-makey," doesn't it? Anyway, I was wasting time on Facebook (that's more like it) when I heard some Ho, Ho, Ho-ing. I went to investigate, and this is what I found.

He was so incredibly generous with the boys' presents! I'm not trying to brag, but Santa told me that my boys have been very, very good this year.

Tune in tomorrow to hear about our breakfast picnic, a giggle fest and the biggest snow globe you've ever seen. Trust me, it will be worth the wait.

Friday, December 23, 2011

From Our House To Yours... xoxo

This was our Christmas card this year and I love it. I don't mean that in a bragging way. Trust me. I love it because there is a slight (albeit HUGE) homage to my Dad on the back. And I love it because I know how hard it was to get those photos. It was our very first professional family photo shoot. With a real, professional photographer who, it turns out, is also a magician. I thought that Brian would be the wild card - but, as it turns out, Gavin was the one who melted down in the 3rd minute. Full out sobs. The more time we took to calm Gavin meant more time for Brian to lose interest. Our real Christmas miracle (because my plastic surgery appointment has been postponed until Tuesday...big SIGH) is that our photographer got any good shots at all - we were not an easy shoot for her. But the sign of a true pro is getting good shots from difficult children. (And getting a sad and tired Mommy to look not as tired as usual and not so terribly sad). If you live in the Philadelphia area, please - please - check out J Rosser Photography and please tell my good friend, Julie, that I sent you.

If I could, I would have sent our Christmas card - with my heartfelt wishes for you to have a happy holiday of your choice - to each and every one of you. I would have wished you a happy new year, too.

And I would have included a thank you. For everyone who supported me during Gavin's pregnancy and his birth. For everyone who started getting to know us through my CaringBridge when Gavin was so critically ill as an infant. For those of you who sent me well wishes after my many miscarriages. For the hundreds of you that reached out to me after we lost our daughter, Darcy Claire. For all of you who joined us here on this blog. For the new readers that are just figuring out our story. I tell people all the time that I'm never sure why people read my CaringBridge...or why they currently read this blog. I don't mean that as a way to fish for compliments...I really don't understand. But for some reason, you are drawn to our story. Maybe you think you're gaining something from reading about our trials, our tribulations...and most importantly, our victories and celebrations. But trust me when I tell you - it is ME that benefits from you coming every day to read what I type. Your support...your encouragement...your presence...your all has meant so much to me. To us.
Every year at Christmas, I thank God for the gift of all of you. Some of you might *think* I've helped you...but I can assure you that it has been all of you that have helped me (and my family) get through our hardest times. Whether you have commented a thousand times - once - or none. Doesn't matter. I'm just so grateful.

From the Leong family to all of you and your families...we wish you a very Merry Christmas. A Happy Holiday. A healthy 2012. And please, in honor of my beloved father, please...always remember to "Keep the Faith."

I will be back after Christmas with stories and photos of the boys and all that Santa brought them. They sure have been I better clear a LOT of space under our tree.

In the meantime, here are some shots from our photographer to share!! Gavin and Brian look especially handsome...

And to all a good night.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...