I just wanted to let you know that we are more than ready for your arrival.
Every piece of your laundry is washed and put away. Every article of clothing, burp rag, bib, and blanket is soft, clean, and smelling the perfect yummy scent of Dreft detergent.
The house is very clean, even down to the carpets, which we had professionally deep-cleaned. You could come out crawling and we would be ready for you. : )
Infant diapers are well stocked and ready to enwrap your cute little bum!
The fridge and pantry are well stocked, and we even have some wonderful friends who are just waiting to bring mommy, daddy, and ben delicious meals once you arrive.
Your hospital bag is packed to the brim and ready with everything you need to get through your first couple of days of life. Mommy's bag is partially packed, but can be fully ready in a matter of moments I promise.
And just in case all of this doesn't convince you to make your appearance, I want you to know that you are making mommy quite uncomfortable. That's right, I have resorted to guilt to get you moving. You are causing me a great deal of pain at night: major leg cramps and intense heart-burn, not to mention the constant urination, are not adding up to a good night's rest. Luckily big brother is letting me nap daily whilst watching a movie next to me in bed on the laptop with his ear phones on. And speaking of big brother, he REALLY wants you to come. I have to tell you that you even made him cry on Monday. He was so convinced you were coming that he told his teachers at preschool that I was at the hospital having you. And when I showed up to pick him up, not only were they surprised to see me, but your brother met me with tears in his eyes, because I suppose he expected for you to be in my arms. As he cried he exclaimed repeatedly, "I want baby. I want baby." Mommy's doctor told us on Thursday some disappointing news that you were more than likely not coming very soon (no dilation, no nothing). I guess Ben understood the news as he very sadly announced to me later that day that "I just want to be a big brother. But I guess baby Jackson isn't coming yet!"
So please my sweet baby, do big brother and mommy a real solid and please come soon! We just cannot wait to meet you!
After church we quickly headed home so James could change and then went to my Aunt Sue and Uncle Dave's in Pleasanton for a quick visit. Unfortunately we didn't get to be there long, but I did manage to get a picture of Ben and his (I mean my) crazy, cute little cousins.
Then to Sausalito we went to spend the rest of the day at Tom and Auntie's place. It's always a fun time there because Tom's family adds a lot more people and a lot more fun (plus two cute lithe guys- Connor and Rex- who keep Ben thoroughly entertained the whole night). It was nice that this year all of our present exchanging was done beforehand between the two families, so no presents were opened on the day of, just good company and good food. I totally grabbed up the last twice baked potato and didn't even feel bad about it. So yummy. : )
Thanks to Alisa we now have a two-year running tradition of playing awesome Minute-to-Win It games. Hilarious. She added to the fun this year by only announcing the name of the game before we chose a person from each team to compete; not knowing what the game actually entailed beforehand. I waited for a game to sound completely non-physical before volunteering myself to compete. I can't remember the name of the game I played, but I knew it had to do with puzzles and I was right. I had to reconstruct a cut up cereal box and totally kicked butt.
Overall it was such a great Christmas. Perfect combination between running around visiting family and relaxing at home with just my little family. I don't feel like I did my absolute best this year to teach Ben the true meaning of Christmas- I had plans to have us volunteer at a food bank or something similar, and have him shop for and donate a toy to a child in need- but I know he knows why we celebrate the day. And that is the birth of our Savior.
A miracle occurred on Christmas night . . . Ben stayed in his bed, drum roll please, ALL NIGHT LONG! That's a big deal around here. And this is how I got him to do it. I told him that Santa would not know that he lived here if he wasn't in his bed when he came and checked on him. I told him that Santa doesn't check parents rooms, so if he sees no kids sleeping in their beds, he assumes they are not home. And that did the trick my friends. Just wish I could some how figure out how to make that work all year long. I wish I could have seen his face when he first woke up and walked into the living room and saw what Santa left him. Instead I saw his cute little face just moments later at my bedside exclaiming,
"I can't believe it. Santa came!"
me: "what did he bring you?"
Ben: "an art easel."
me: "did he bring you a Buzz Lightyear like you asked?"
Ben: "let me go look." And off he ran.
Ben: "he did! he did! And he ate all of my cookies!"
me: "did he drink the milk."
Ben: "let me go look." And off he ran.
Ben: "he did! he did!"
Then he waited for mommy and daddy to get up and we all went and checked out what Santa brought. James and I both were treated to shoes from Santa: I got some amazingly comfortable Ugg boots, and James got a number Jordan of course for his collection. We helped Ben get down both his and Jackson's stockings and he enjoyed the little treasures they held; especially the Build A Bear gift certificates for both him and baby brother (for Ben to make baby brother his first stuffed animal).
We slowly opened up the rest of our presents one by one. I'm so glad that at least for now Ben doesn't just tear into one present, shove it aside, and then look for the next one. He opens it and then wants to open it and play with it right away, and we almost had to cox him into opening up each present afterwards.
Because we didn't have church until 12:30 (has since changed to 9am, which I prefer), we were able to really enjoy the morning. I made a pancake breakfast- chocolate chip ones for the boys- and we enjoyed some hot coco before beginning to get ready for the rest of our day. I loved that Christmas fell on a Sunday this year. In our church we don't have a meeting on Christmas unless it actually falls on a Sunday , instead we have a special Christmas service either the Sunday before or after Christmas. It was really nice to be able to go to church on actual Christmas and I felt the spirit so strongly. My favorite moment was the concluding hymn. It was Silent Night. Ben had grown familiar with the song over the last month from the Huggies commercial. He called it the sleeping baby song. He also knew that it is about baby Jesus. Most of Sacrament meeting Ben quietly entertains himself with his little bag we bring each week containing coloring books, a magnetic Noah's ark, snacks, etc. But when the song began and Ben realized it was Silent Night he climbed up on his Daddy's lap and concentrated very hard to sing some of the words of the song along with James and I. At that moment I felt very happy, very much in love with my little family, and very thankful for my Savior that was born on Christmas day so long ago!
We had a busy and wonderful Christmas Eve. We spent the early afternoon at the in-laws house. It would be the first year in ten years that both James and myself (longer obviously for just James) would not be spending Christmas morning over there. It was a big change that I'm sure we all thought about on Christmas morning, but I was excited at the thought of spending Christmas morning with just my little family. So we spent the morning of Christmas Eve opening up the very generous presents from my in-laws to myself, James, and Ben, and also did the kid swap and gave our presents. It was a fun time and Ben loved his new toys, books, and clothes, and one very cool Mater pillow pet from his Uncle Jay!
We continued our day at my sister and brother-in-laws house. Where we were again blessed with more family and more generous gifts. I think Ben enjoyed most of all holding his new baby cousin, Ashlynn.
After we left the new family we went back to my parents house for a yummy dinner and Ben found out that Santa came early and he got to open up a stocking for both him and his almost baby brother, and you guessed it, more presents!
Finally we ended our night at the beautiful Oakland Temple for a large dose of reality, reflecting on what Christmas is really all about, the birth of our Savior.
Once home a very excited little boy set out his overly decorated sugar cookies for Santa and made sure we poured him a glass of milk to wash it all down. And of course mine and James' night didn't end until the stocking were stuffed and Santa's presents were under the tree!