Gra and Pepere

Zeek and Gra were talking about the beach when he reminded her, “one time a considerable wave came”.

"I have a speak-up-anator in my head. ARE YOU HUNGRY JAYMEE!!!?"

I don't know how she does it. Plays with him endlessly in whatever he wants. His bossing and gloating are not spared from even her. And still she just plays and plays and plays. It has to be because she doesn't see him as much, because we are living apart. I know I can't play like that. :)

We are having a wonderful visit. As always. Scrabble games, coffee, cheeses, cookies, "play play", lego building, football games...
It always feels good to have them here. There's something stabling and grounding about having my Mom with me. It's a good reality check for me when she comes. I wish I could feel that way all the time. Like no matter what happens it's going to be okay. Today, and in the long run. That I am okay.

I love that it still doesn't feel like Christmas is over and done, yet. I'm not sure what of it continues, but I always feel like packing up the decorations and moving on the day after. In this house the windows look like huge live pictures of winter woods (one of my favorite things after rainy day woods, morning woods, and foggy summer woods). It feels SO beautiful and wintery wonderful, like a good hot cocoa or woolen mittens.

So we'll stay this way awhile longer. Maybe we can buy some more presents and open them. :)
Or at least keep the cookies, stews, chilis, sledding and sparkles coming.

However, I AM SO OVER CHRISTMAS MUSIC THIS YEAR. That I can live without. ;)



Christmas happened, and I want to remember:

I was right in the middle of something personal, private and pitiful called my LIFE. Just on the edge of myself beginning to wonder if God was holding me so I would be okay or drop kicking me so i would GET okay when i looked out to the woods and saw ONLY this heart through my tear-filled eyes. BRIGHT and standing out at me. And instantly i knew exactly where I was.

Family Christmas Eve (23rd)
Prep went smoothly.
Our house was perfect and ready by about the very last minute.
Zeek looked adorable in his suit.
Greg gave everything first and got himself ready last (as always).
Becky, Jeff, Kim, Mark, Michael, Courtney, and Morgan were all here on time.
Ron, Sue, Natalie, and Andrew were very late.
Andrew loved his Cracker/Honkey place card.
The Robinsons toured the house. A lot.
Ron loved it so much he called me about it the next day.
He told me things that I will never forget.
Kim was good.
Michael and Zeek were wonderful.
Mom was a little distracted and sad (about her mom).
Dad knew it.
Gifts were calm, finally.
Ron gravitated to "the chair" and stayed there.
He read to Zeek, talked to Zeek, played with Zeek, crawled in the box with Zeek, and told me how very very much he loves him and thinks he's the neatest guy. He said, "I just love his spirit."
We're missing Natalie grow up. She's "teen" and valley, and adorable. and when?
Too much food.
Lots of goodness.
Went well enough.

Christmas Eve Day (24th)
Great relaxing morning.
I told Greg about being late and taking a couple of questionable tests among the latest "no".
A little hope and excitement reignited.
I napped.
I started.
We struggled.
I drove. Dealt.
Returned and made nice.
My parents came.
We ate and laughed and opened gifts.
Everyone went to bed.
I made a dino costume out of boxes for Zeek alone in the basement.
I looked at our tree with gifts and dino for the morning.
Reflected a little.

Christmas Morning (25th)
Zeek watched cartoons for about an hour.
i gave him some juice and breakfast in our bed while i showered.
My parents got up, too.
We all met in the living room for Zeek's gift opening.
He was sweet. "I have wanted this my whole life!" about everything, again.
pooping cat
daddy car xbox game
cookie cereal
daddy car race track
serious "dump trunk"
He played.
We ate.
We played.
All was good.
We went to Becky and Jeff's.
Opened gifts there.
Hung out.
Came home.
Scrabble that night.
Me, Mom, Rick.
I won by 98pts.

Good stuff.
The end.


Christmas Time

When we were little we couldn't WAIT for Christmas. And it never came fast enough.
Now, I can't believe it is all going to beginning in just five days!!!

And it's a good thing, because I need all five days to clean this palace after what I've put it through in decorating, wrapping, arts, crafts, playing and baking over the past three weeks! :)
It is a mess.

On Monday, Jen is coming over in the afternoon to have mama's night with me. I can't wait!
On Tuesday, I will clean like a psycho and Zeek will go to playschool in the afternoon for some reprieve from the insanity and chemical stench in his home.
On Wednesday, I will prepare the house for the big LeBreck Family "Christmas Eve" Gathering!! :)
On Thursday, my Mom and Rick fly in and I will hopefully have found a good fun Church to take them to for that night.
My brother should arrive that day as well! :)
Then, real Christmas Eve, then Day, and the weekend together.

It's crazy quickly approaching. And I'm crazy excited!!!


cutout cookies

Well, the list is down to about four things. And it's been a really fun week so far. Zeek has done a great job with his schoolwork each day. We have enjoyed Christmas music and stories (mostly of Zeek's telling). He got to squirt shaving cream all over the patio window in the kitchen and play in it. We played outside for a couple of hours on a warmer day. And he did some fun Christmas art including making our name tag art for our gifts. He chose a tree with ornaments, and I shrunk and printed it to make about 20. They are adorable.

I did have to call him in at playschool both of his days this week. :( He's been running a low grade fever, more off than on, complaining of a head ache and sore throat, coughing, and almost lost his voice yesterday!!! It sounds worse than it's been. It's nothing that could stopped him.
But he does have a doctor's appointment this morning to have his ears checked out. Just to be sure.

Among the festive Christmas activities has been the cutout cookies, of course. And I think I'm the one whose done the MOST eating of them since! :)

Zeek was so good at helping make them. Mixing, measuring, cracking eggs... he was disapointed when I had to do the rolling because the dough was a mess to work with! But a messy dough did not a bad cookie make. They are still delicious! :)

Merry Merry Christmas Cookies. 



Christmas goodness

There are so many fun Christmasy things going on in the new house. Now that I'm almost finished I have the time I've been hoping on...and it's turning up to feel like boredom. Of course. :)

I'm going to put in some photos of our winter wonderland decorating to remember:

New Colors

Zeek's Tree Trimming

Homemade (cheep girl) Trees

Blizzard Alison
(Pretty much the first snow of the year brought about 14 inches!!!)

the angel

The Bird

Silver Branch Boughs

Over the Kitchen Sink

Unplanned but too good to pass up

The Planned and Very Intentional, BH&G Inspired, Branch Tree in a Vase

The Hand Painted Deer

The New Tree
(finally finished)

The Wreath As We Found It
(this was in the attic above the garage when we moved in.
when i asked if you would sit by it for me to take a photo of how big it was you said, "with pleasure".)

After and Hanging
(i squeezed you so tight and cried when i saw this hanging for the first time.
we are so blessed and it just gets better and better.)

My First Decorated Wreaths

The Mantel

The Easy Way Out
(gift wrap)


Zeek said:

"I want to eat something perfishous" (yes, he got the makin'-up-words gene from his Mama)

"These pants are quite falling off my body."

"I found something mysterious, and I know how it happened."

just sitting at the table, eating his breakfast:
"I can’t wait to see souls...human souls. I can’t wait to see Nemo again. And his soul."

me: I just want to eat you up!
zeek: don’t eat me. I have blood in my body. And I’ll rain it on you if you eat me!

"Yum this is quite fantastic."

"I wish we had a machine that threw out chocolate at your face so you could gulp it."

Greg shaved his long goatie this morning and Zeeks said,
"Now when santa sees him he will say that he has no beard, having no beard, that is to say, beardless."

On Saturday, December 12th, 2009 you were punched in the face for the first time. :( Our neighbor boy did it. He has a sensory disorder and he has some issues with the way he chooses to express himself. You wanted a foosball from him. He didn't want you to have it. 
You're reaction was so sad and funny all at once. You came to me crying and yelling,
"he PUNCHED me in the FACE! I have NEVER been punched in the FACE! Who punches someone in the face? Now my face HURTS! I want to PUNCH him in the FACE. I want his face to hurt, too!"

It honestly reminded me a little too much of how you reacted when Nemo bit you. You're such a verbal processor, and I'm glad that it appalls you when you have been hurt. Poor thing. I think I was 19 the first time I was punched in the FACE. :( 

You've always been a little ahead of the game.  


good ol' saturday

Today was such a normal day. Just the kind of day you hear about regular people having. It was nice. I wonder if that happens more often when Jaymee is here. It seems so. And if so, that it is falling right in line with my theory that I'm a "two kid Mom".

Anyway, Greg and I had a healthy disagreement this morning and then he agreed to go out for awhile and do something for himself. :)

I made Natalie's Christmas gift (a framed jewelry holder thing like mine) while the kids watched Lady and the Tramp with popcorn (after french toast and bananas for breakfast).

Then Greg came home with some beautiful flowers for me. The first flowers I've ever gotten from Greg that I actually loved. They really did make me feel better. In general. He said he was sorry (though I was just as wrong as him this morning) and we laughed and carried on. He also bought himself a cute little peevy practice amp. for the house.

He played that and shortly after he began Teri, the neighbor lady came over. She invited us to come sledding with her two boys at her place. They have an awesome hill. We sled and visited. I photographed their family for their Christmas card.

Then we all went into their home for the kids to continue playing and the Mamas to talk. The kids had hot cocoa and banana bread. Oh, and some of the sugar cutout cookies we brought over for them. :)

The kids went off to play and Zeek and Jay returned about 20 minutes later, crying. Henry, their youngest son (who has a sensory disorder and some social issues we are all aware of) had punched them both! Jay in the back of the neck and Zeek right square in the nose! :(

Zeek was hilarious. He was SO mad that he was yelling through his tears, "I don't like that kid anymore! I never want to play with him again! He punched me right in the face! who punches someone in the face? i have never been punched in the face! my face HURTS! and now i want to punch him in the face so HIS face hurts TOO!"

So we held in our laughter at his hysterics and dealt with the issue. It was fine. We all apologized and forgave and moved on. Home that is. Where we all ate some hearty meaty spaghetti and cold milk. Then Zeek and Jay went out to play in the snow hills made by the plow guy. I went out and enclosed the screened porch in heavy plastic.

We all came in together after dark, the kids played games and had a night snack. Then I bored them to sleep reading BabyZeek.com, and I am off to do another art project and watch Julie Julia. Or whatever it's called. Greg has a guy flick for himself that he's going to watch in the theater.

Good, fun, usual day. :)
Thank You God.


too much

i need to relive two years ago. living in the house where i always wanted something else. the time when i enjoyed every single moment i had with my then two year old. watching his every move in amazement. happily juggling the schedule of two, with Jay during the weekdays...

i need to remember those days when i believed that financial freedom and security would make life SO much better. and that living in more space, in the country just outside of town, with our own places to explore in our own big backyard would cause us to enjoy ourselves so much more...

i can't help but recognize how much time i had when things were simpler because they had to be. or how much we LOVED the few times we left in the jeep to go exploring someplace bigger (wild life sanctuary, baird creek, pamperin park).

i can't help but note that it's no wonder we felt like life was making such a huge transition when we moved here. the money. the amazing inside space. the extra outdoor space. outside of the city...

and then there were the visitors.
the amount of company alone changed everything.
and certainly for the better, then.

today, i am in over my head. the holiday is approaching and the gift planning, making, buying, preparing (having been the biggest pain to me in the past) is the most enjoyable part of it all.

my list is 18 serious things long: well here. so that next year i can look back and be SURE not to do this again...

* paint living room art
* create art for kitchen
* purge house
* close up and clean screened room
* make three wreaths
* decorate mantel
* make pizza gifts
* finish Christmas shopping
* package, wrap and send out gifts
* make Natalie's gift
* make Morgan's gift
* finish hallway art
* make Zeek's box castle
* paint and ready kid's table
* clean out boxes in garage
* clean crazy craft room
* move out of kitchen, clean EVERYTHING and move back in
* hang Christmas cards

and yes, the majority of these are FUN. but not when i've already decorated with lights in the yard, the tree and themed woods stick trees and ornaments, hand made five cone trees, purchased all the table settings for Christmas Eve, and done almost all of the Christmas shopping!

When does it stop?!

I'm afraid that this has a lot to do with hosting Christmas Eve. Which I'm SO happy to do. but some of it is just having so much more space (you know, that which would make everything easier?), and of course the money to afford so much (you know, that which would make everything better?).

I feel like my plans are going to leave zeek in the dust, and i will never have his four year old Christmas again.

and i was going to say that i would vow not to let this happen "next year". but now that i've gotten it all out, i'm going to vow not to let it happen this year.

I'm changing my schedule.

*enjoy painting my little dream Christmas art on the huge canvas i bought for it
*let Zeek make the frame art for the kitchen
*purge the house even harder than i was going to (because this is going to help us all SO very much)
*bake cookies with Zeek
*close up that screen room and make it cute so Zeek and i can play on it.
*bring snow into the screen room and play in it with Zeek
*complete the one big wreath and screw the other two. no one will ever know!
*take a morning to go pick out new library books with Zeek instead of pre ordering then online, and hit Dairy Queen on the way home together.
*simplify the mantel plan and just stick it up there already!
*make popcorn and watch lady and the tramp with Zeek while i make the pizza gifts
*Christmas shopping is FUN
*so is packaging, wrapping, and sending gifts
*let Zeek play with a whole can of shaving cream at the kitchen table while i make natalie's gift
*BUY Morgan something
*screw the hallway art
*make a box castle for Zeek on the bridge while he's sleeping on christmas eve WITH my Mom!!! she'll rock at it, and what great memories we will have. :)
* let Zeek paint the kid's table while I prep the top stuff
*screw the boxes in the garage. they aren't going anywhere.
*clean the craft room (because i have to)
*get over my freaky cleaning standard and give the kitchen a lick and promise
*hang up the beautiful Christmas cards with care.

I feel so much better.