Sunday, December 30, 2007

Nathan's First Christmas

Hello all! I hope your holidays were as great as ours. We had a wonderful Christmas. My child was totally spoiled rotten. He was so cute in his little blue corduroy suit on Christmas Eve. I don't have any pictures of it, though. Forgot to get them from the Grandmas.

Christmas morning was so great. Exhausting, but great. As usual, I was up til after 3am trying to get everything ready for the big day. Just as I was about to go to bed, Mr. Nathan decided to wake up to play. Usually if he wakes during the night we just give him a bottle and he goes right back to sleep. Evidently he knew it was Christmas. He woke up bright-eyed and ready to play. He wanted nothing to do with his bottle and he was not having any part of going back to sleep. He was up until 5:30! Then we had to get up at 8:30 so we could have our presents and get to my mom's in time for breakfast. So needless to say, we were like zombies.

Nathan did really great opening his gifts, but we had a little trouble getting him to put down the toy he just opened long enough to open another. He looked so cute in his little Christmas pjs, and he had the most sober look on his face while he unwrapped his gifts. This present thing is serious business!

You wouldn't believe the amount of stuff Nathan got. I thought he'd be opening all day!!

I got the cutest little package from Nathan. (I have a feeling Daddy helped.) It was all wrinkled and crumpled and it said, "To Mama From Nathan." Inside were the most adorable ornaments. One of them was a Boyd's Bear one that said, "I <3 Mom."

We had such a busy holiday! We went to Bryan's parents and then church on Christmas Eve, then we had Christmas morning at home, then breakfast at Mom's, lunch at Bryan's cousin's, and another dinner at my aunt's house. We all came home worn out. Nathan was spoiled, Bryan was spoiled (He got a PSP), and I was spoiled. I got nearly everything on my list. All in all, I have to say it was a fantastic holiday. and thanks to this little giftie that Santa brought to Mommy, I'm all ready for New Years!!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday too, and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Blast From Our Holiday Past

After seeing Kim's Blog I just had to post a video featuring ToyBoy. I used to rush home from school everyday in December to watch a local program called "Santa's Toy Shop." They're showing the old episodes this year, so we've been recording them for Nathan. He's really fascinated by ToyBoy. Watch and see how cute he is here, and see the best Santa-laugh ever. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Little Holiday Meme

Here's a little holiday activity I got from Kim's blog.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
I like egg nog IN my hot chocolate! Or Bailey's. Yum!

2. Letter to Santa?
I don't usually write one. I guess I'll be helping Nathan write one next year.

3. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
He wraps them of course. In his own special paper.

4. Colored lights on your tree/house or white?
Colored lights on my balcony, and white on the tree.

5. Do you hang mistletoe?

6. When do you put your decorations up?
Whenever I get around to cleaning the house enough to decorate. Usually not long after Thanksgiving.

7. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Aunt Geri's cheese ball!!

8. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
My dad's a fireman, and his 24 hour shift usually ended at 7am on Christmas day. We'd sleep in Mom's bed on Christmas Eve and no matter how early we woke up, we couldn't leave the room until Dad got home. That time we spent waiting was painful yet sweet anticipation. My little sis and I would spend the early morning giggling and bothering Mom for just a little peak.

9. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I really don't remember.

10. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Never as a kid, even though we used to beg and plead. Now we do sometimes, depending on the easiest way to fit in time with all of the parts of our families.

11. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
It's a tiny prelit 3ft. tree, that fits my collection of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer ornaments perfectly. Oh, and a crocheted angel tree topper.

12. Can you ice skate?
Never tried.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Too many to choose a favorite. There was a year with a Barbie Mansion. A leather jacket I didn't think I was going to get. A puppy! (Love ya, Aggie!)

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Well now it's making sure Nathan has a fantabulous wonderful holiday, and getting to spend time with all of the family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Ginger Snaps! Though they haven't been the same since Grandpa doesn't make them anymore.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
The candlelight service at our church on Christmas Eve.

17. What tops your tree?
A crocheted angel.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
Giving. I love to pick out and give gifts I know someone will love. Though I do of course love to get pretty things. :)

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Any by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, or Nat King Cole

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Yummy! Especially in hot chocolate!

I'm not sure if any bloggers read my blog other than my sis and sis-in-law, but anybody who does is welcome to copy, paste, and play along.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Baby, it's cold outside! We've been hit with a nasty ice storm. We had thunder and rain all evening yesterday, and all night too. Then it dropped below freezing and poof! Everything has a nice protective ice coating. I took a few photos outside the apartment this afternoon. (You can click the images to see them full sized.)

This is the huge tree right in front of our balcony.

And this is the same tree giving the neighbor's car a nice big hug. It's hard to tell in this photo, but every leaf and every branch is encased in about a half inch of solid ice. The branches are so weighed down that they surrounded the neighbor's car and then froze to it.

Tree Popsicle. Yummy!

This broken tree stands in the yard next door, and it was rude enough to litter that branch right in the middle of our driveway.

These are some more broken trees next door. This is minor compared to the huge branches lying all over town. I saw pictures on the local news website of trees that were split straight down the middle and laid over like a banana peel.

We were very lucky to not lose power. (Knock on wood!) I was one of very few that showed up for work today. A lot of my co-workers live out of town or have kids whose schools were closed. It didn't really matter, though, because business was pretty slow today anyway. It's supposed to be even colder tonight. I'm dreading tomorrow just a little.

On another subject, I found out last night that my Mommy-Ears have grown in. I have always been a very heavy sleeper. When I was a kid, my dad always worried because he could set off the smoke detector right outside our rooms, and my sister and I would sleep right through it. I even fell out of the top bunk bed once and my dad picked me up and put me back in it and I never even knew it happened. Last night--or should I say insanely early this morning--I was awakened by the softest little "thump, thump." I sat up in bead instantly, and looked over toward the cradle only to see Nathan crawling right toward me. He's finally figured out how to climb out of the cradle. I knew it was coming. We're just going to have to set up the crib. I knew he was getting way too big for that little cradle, but I was hoping we'd be moved before we had to set up the crib. I remember when he was so tiny you could've fit six of him in that cradle. Wow, how the time does pass!

He's getting so big. He's walking more and more. It's still usually a flurry of quick little listing steps. It's like he says, "I gotta go fast or I won't make it!" He's also figured out how to climb up into Daddy's chair. I was so proud of him. He pushed a box of wipies in front of the chair and climbed right in. My adorable little couch potato!

That's all for now. Here's hoping work is closed tomorrow, and I can stay home and show Nathan the finer points of couch-potatoey-goodness!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Titles are too hard to come up with

Hello out there! Things have been a little crazy around here. And by crazy, I mean stressful. And by stressful, I mean Bryan never shows stress so I have to do it for both of us and I go totally nuts. The store where Bryan works was sold and changed hands this last weekend. He went in to work as usual on Monday, and was told everyone had the day off so they could switch over the computer system. He went in to work Tuesday and was told, "Oh didn't someone tell you? You don't work here anymore." No notice, no severence, three weeks before Christmas. Nice, huh? Needless to say, I panicked. Especially because he was paid Saturday like usual, and they pay for everything right up to payday, so he didn't even have another check coming to him. I was completely freaking out. I called Mom immediately of course. Because that's what I do. She tried to calm me down and spoke rationally, which I soooo needed.

I was also so angry I could spit nails. How dare they do this to us? Don't they know we have a little boy's first Christmas coming up? If Bryan had quit, they'd have expected notice. Where was our notice? I wanted to take out a full page ad in the paper telling people not to shop there. I wanted to march up and down the sidewalk in front of the store with signs. I wanted to throw eggs, spread nails behind all their tires, etc. etc. I kept dreaming up all of these awful things I wanted to do. Nothing that caused bodily harm. I'm not psychotic. I was just p*ssed off!!

The next couple of days, I was so stressed I'm surprised my stomach didn't eat it's way out of my body. Mom put us on the prayer chain at church, and I know every one of our friends and family were praying for us too. I was praying like a madwoman every chance I got. Then Thursday, Bryan was offered his job back. I wanted him to tell them where to stick it, but I also wanted him to have a job. I was so torn, and I knew it had to be his decision anyway. Besides, he was kind of stuck, because once they offered the job back to him, he was no longer able to draw unemployment. Then I was mad that he was going back. He said he was still going to look for another job but at least this way he'd have one in the meantime. I was afraid that wouldn't happen, because it's way easier to stay at a crappy job, than find a new good job. As someone who worked a job I despised for almost seven years, I knew that better than anyone.

Then yesterday I thought of something that made me feel a little better about the whole situation. I had been praying for an answer. This is what I got. It's not what I was looking for, but He doesn't dial wrong numbers. This must be what is right for us. At least for right now. I have to be confident that what needs to happen will happen, and we don't always get exactly what we think we want, all wrapped up in a pretty bow. But somehow, it always seems to come out okay. So I've tried my darnedest to stop stressing and just see what happens. Most of the time that works, and when I start to freak out, I just remind myself that He doesn't dial wrong numbers.

So enough of all that. How can I be anything but blissfully happy, when I have this at home every night??

Oh, and for every woman who has, or ever has had, a husband, boyfriend, father, or brother, you will enjoy this little gem.

Goodbye for now!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Nathan Taught HimsELF to Dance

You simply must check out this link. It was the hilarious highlight of my day!!

Merry Christmas From the Ackleys

Nathan learned to clap today!! It's so cute. He's clapped once or twice before, but it was always kind of an accident. Today he figured it out. He was clapping up a storm and giggling like crazy. He'd clap four or five times and then look up at us like, "Did you see what I just did???" Then he clapped along with Jack's Big Music Show while he ate his cereal. Then, because he just wants to make my heart explode with mommy-pride, he started dancing! He was clapping and swaying back and forth while The Schwartzman Quartet sang about Jack the Bugle Bunny. I was so happy because I've been hoping and hoping for him to dance. It's so cute when little ones sway and twist to the music. Sure, his rhythm is a little off and his technique is rather rudimentary, but I think with a little work and his very own set of leg warmers, he'll be ready for the next cycle of "So You Think You Can Dance!"

I've been busy scrapping this weekend, so I'll post a few here. You can click the images for a full size view, and there's a link in the sidebar to my whole gallery so you can see what else I've done.

Well, that's all for today. I have to get Nathan ready for his "American Bandstand" audition. "Less lip, Monroe. More sweat!" I know, I know, only old people will get the Fame reference.

Saturday, December 1, 2007