17 January 2012

Mint M&M's and a White Christmas

Okay, so this blogging thing does not come easily to me. This is quite obvious by the fact that the last time I wrote was in October. Oops. What can I say? Being a full time working mom is time-consuming stuff! Couple that with the fact that I lost any and all inspiration to write towards the end of last year...(a bit of a problem being that I'm a journalist and all...) and, well, no posts!

But! It's a new year and I'm a a new blogger! I'm feeling all inspired to become a good, regular blogger again. No, not again. I never was a good, regular blogger. But I'm determined to become one. And speaking of ONE...

Our little handsome prince turned one year old just a couple weeks ago. How crazy is that? I can't wrap my brain around the fact that he is already a year old. But at the same time I can't believe he has ONLY been around for a year...I can't remember my life without his little face...

But, I think I'll save his birthday party deets for the next post and focus instead on a few other firsts our little one experienced over the last month...

His first overseas trip! My sister, her husband and my niece live what feels like a million miles away (and it may as well be) in Vermont, USA. So, thanks to two very generous gifts of air tickets (from my daddy and my grandad), DH and I were able to take our little boy overseas to meet his three-month-old cousin and to have his first (white!) Christmas.

We travelled with my dad and my little sister (I say little, but she is 22 years old!) and, can I just say that travelling for over 30 hours for anyone is difficult, but travelling for 30 hours with an almost 1-year-old? Brave? Insane? Ludicris? Probably all of the above! But, luckily for us, we just happened to have the most well-behaved little traveller on our team and despite being uncomfortable, tired and in and out of time zones every few hours, our little trooper handled it so unbelievabley well. While he slept for most of the time on many of the long-haul flights, there were long periods of awake-time both going there and coming home and our time was spend crawling and cruising up and down the aisles, smiling at every passenger, chatting to the air hostesses at the back of the plane who would then give us snacks, palying with toys and being passed between mommy, daddy, aunty and grandpa. On our last long-haul flight, after travelling for over 30 hours on our way home another passenger who had been sitting a few rows away came up to me and said "What a good little baby you have - if I hadn't seen him I wouldn't have even known there was a baby on this flight." I beamed with pride.

Hanging out in the giant teapot at Amsterdam airport

The holiday itself was lovely with one of the biggest highlights for me being meeting my beautiful baby niece. She is absolutely precious. And, as much as my big boy really is 'all-boy', little Miss Z is 'all girl'. She's petite and pretty with big beautiful eyes and a smile that never seems to go away. My sister is an amazing mommy and I felt nothing but proud of her mothering skills the entire time I was there. Even now my heart fills with pride...our mom would have been so absolutely and insanely crazy about her two grandbabies.

Petite princess and handsome prince
We spent long winter days inside, eating LOADS of junk food (filling up on all the 'good stuff' we don't get back home like Oreos, Ben and Jerry's, Cinnamon Rolls, Biscuits and gravy, Grits...Mint M&M's (!!!)...the list goes on and on...), and having really good quality family time. We did lots of road trips around Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire (even getting caught in a 7-hour snow storm traffic jam on the highway) and both babies handled the long-haul car trips and freeeeeeeezing weather so well.

 Seriously though, I have never felt cold like that before in my life. Having lived in Scotland in the middle of Winter back in the days when I was a backpacking bum, I thought "ah, winter overseas? Cold, snow? I can handle it." What. Ever. This was a cold unlike any I had ever experienced and it must be said that being in that kind of cold with a baby is waaaaay different from being on your own with a backpack! But it was all part of the experience and really, the snow was so beautiful.

A Winter wonderland

We had a picture perfect white Christmas in Maine, with a roaring fire and real Christmas tree that reached the roof. Our little bug opened his first Christmas presents and, as expected, was more interested in the boxes and wrapping paper! We ate, drank and were merry and just so glad to be together on our babies first Christmases.

Opening pressies

Nathan's actual first birthday was spent at my sister's house in Vermont. Although his dad, grandfather and aunty had all come down with a terrible tummy bug (one that myself, my brother-in-law and my little bug had a few days before) we still managed to sing happy birthday and blow out his candle on the special birthday cake that his aunty baked specially for him. The night before his birthday I cried. My little baby is now a little toddler. I cried sad, happy tears.

Mommy's big boy

New Years was a quiet one - it had to be with two little babies. We managed a yummy dinner out and then came home and saw the New Year in on the carpet in the middle of my sister's lounge, listening to music and sipping margerita's and Bud Light.

Before we went out for dinner on NYE my sisters, my dad and I went outside and let off two sky laterns into the night sky.

They were for you mom. It was our second Christmas and we are now into our second year without you. I thought about you so many times on this trip. You would have loved every minute of it. Except the cold maybe! We missed you so much. I miss you so much every day. As I watched the laterns go off I made a decision to try and let you go a little more this year. I want to really live again and really be happy again and try not to cry as much. I know you are with me every single step of this journey and I know that being happy doesn't mean I don't miss you. It means that I am living for you. Laughing the way you would have and giving my little boy a million hugs and kisses every day - the way you would have.

We miss you

So, as we make our way into the new year there is so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to. Hopefully I will be able to keep to my resolution of documenting more of the amazing moments life brings me here...

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