Saturday, December 25, 2010

SO I better finish...

12 Days of Christmas...and Christmas is here....feh!

I actually haven't posted because I just cannot come up with a #9. Maybe the bff will come up with something creative.

Day 10...The TEN cutest little baby toes on my daughter. I love baby feet. It's just an obsession (ok, maybe not that bad).

Day 11...The "Hickey" Family has grown to ELEVEN this year with two births and a wedding. Here's the rundown: Daddy, Diana & Adriana, Billy & Debbie & MADISON, Nancy & Shawn & AUTUMN, Tommy & KATIE. It's been a big year! Can 20ELEVEN top it? We'll see...

Day 12...TWELVE+ years of friendship with my bff, Becky. It's actually more like almost 15 years, but once you get past a dozen, I think you're in it for the long haul! No matter what, we always seem to just "get" each other. We're always there for one another and we both know that will NEVER change. Our friendship is part of the foundation of my life right something that keeps me grounded, keeps me hanging on, and keeps me standing tall during the rough times. Our friendship defines a very big and very important part of my life - just thinking about life without her, I don't know where I'd be. I've got the most awesome friend in the world (be jealous!) and on this Christmas Day when I count my blessings, she's up near the top of that list! LOVE YOU BOO!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas is almost here!

So I should catch up!

Re-do of Day my bff pointed out I have FIVE am an aunt or "aunt" to five kiddos! Adriana is the oldest, the daughter of my big sister. Turning 16 on Wednesday!!!! She's a bright and fun young lady with an exotic sense of style (like all kids these days it seems). Taylor and Dalia are Shawn's nieces, which makes them mine as well. Taylor is 12, soon to be in her teens, and Dalia is 7. They're both happy, smart and two ofthe most well-behaved and caring young ladies I know. I absolutely adore them! Next oldest is Caleb! They only boy in the group and not really "mine." As my bff's son I am his honorary "aunt" and boy, do I love this fella! I love his rouch and tumble, all-boy attitude. I love playing with him and tickling him. I LOVE that Autumn has spent a good amount of time with him and he's so good with her...most of the time;o) As much as a boy toddler can be good around a baby! I just wuv wuv wuv him! And the youngest of my little gang is Miss Madison! My big brother had his little girl in September and she is such a good baby! She has these chubby cheek you just want to pinch every time you see her! And she's such a good sleeper...but that will change....sooner or later (or at least I keep hoping b/c I really think it's unfair that Madison sleeps through the night and Autumn does not). I love the fact that Autumn and Miss Madison are close in age and I hope they will grow up together and be great friends!

Day 8 - EIGHT years since I met my "girlfriend" Jessi! Are you reading this lady?! Here's a brief history of our time together:
~I had a donut, she bit my friends
~Karaoke & frat parties...and some more karaoke
~We went driving around looking for Mahwah
~She dated & married little brother...then got divorced from little brother....odd? just a lil bit!
~we had our gall bladders taken out within a year of each other
~both our mommies passed away too soon
~she chillaxed in NC for awhile & nannied
~now she's my faraway "girlfriend" in NJ, but I miss her & love her & when I come to NJ after Christmas I better see her!!!!

There's a lot missing. A lot happens in 8 years, especially when it includes college years and a brief stint as a legal part of the is definitely not short of interesting when you put the two of us together. We can hang in a diner all day and night, drinking coffee and being absolutely ridiculous. And we can be on the dance floor til our legs give out. She's my "crazy" half...the side that reminds me to have a good time and relax. Sometimes I'd go back and relive some of our college days (but definitely not all of them! ). Eight years down....and MANY more to go!

Friday, December 17, 2010

12 Days of Christmas...catching up with me!

Day 5 (12/13)...I've been trying to come up with a "five" thing in my life and I'm stuck. Except for these 5 wonderful fingers allowing me to type write now. So...what's your five?! The "FIIIIIIVE GOLDEN RINGS" part of the song was always the most annoying. Don't you think? And who wears give golden rings at once?!

Day 6 (12/14) - (almost) SIX years with Shawn! I can't believe we haven't killed each other! Each year has gotten better, but each year has also had it's trials and obstacles to overcome. Life gets harder as time goes on, but we find ways to keep each other laughing and happy. I love him. Lord knows there are days....(for each of us I'm sure!) but he's the greatest father and a wonderful, supportive husband and I look forward to many many more years together:o*

Day 7 (12/15) - SEVEN years of college education and I'm finally graduating! I started in 2002 and I'm graduating in 2010. Yes, that's eight years, but I took one entire year off when I moved to NC to get in-state tuition. Going back to school was never an issue, I always knew I was going to do it. The difficulty in going back part-time since 2005 has been great. It's hard to juggle life around school or school around life...depending on which is carrying a greater burden during the week. Add planning a wedding, enduring pregnancy, and then parenting an infant into the mix and you have my last few years at NC State. I can never do anything the easy way. But I chose my path and I'm all the hard roads made me a better person for it. Do I wish I would have stayed at Ramapo in NJ? It's impossible to answer. I would have had my degree sooner, but I may not have the life I'm living now. Only God knows where I'd be. It very well could have been a different life and a happy one, but from where I'm standing now...I LOVE what I have and wouldn't go back and trade it for anything. THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me achieve this goal. Without the support of family and friends I would not have been able to graduate this year. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Day 8+ coming soon...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Christmas....dragging....

First off - I wrote a Day 3 and it didn't post. RE-DO!

Day 3 (12/9) - THREE siblings. One sister and two brothers. And at no one point in life did we all like each other at the same time;o) It's a very happy dysfunctional family! BUT, in all fairness, my siblings help define who I am. My older brother and I are the closest, despite 10 years between us in age. From the outside I think people would think we're very opposite, but at our closest times and when we're out together we're two peas in a pod. Throughout my late teens he was there for me when I needed him and I really would not be where I am today without his gentle (or not so) nudges along the way. My younger brother shares most of my younger memories since we were the youngest two and only two years apart. He is a charmer and an absolutely hysterical person to be around. I love his sense of humor and his big heart. At the same time, we're very different and when we were more often cat and dog instead of peas and carrots. My sister is the oldest and she lives her own life very separate from us, but I've learned a great deal from her. We've had our deep intellectual talks and she's always got a way of making me think about things from a different perspective. Regardless of the paths each of us leads, somewhere along the way all my siblings have influenced me and the decisions I've made (good or bad) and when push comes to shove....we're family and we all know it, believe it, and you can bet your ass we'll prove it.

Day 4 (11/10) - FOUR beautiful, extraordinary children to nanny for! Not all at the same time though (that would just be nuts!). Since 2005 I've nannied (nannyed? no..."ied" has got to be right) for four kids (05-07, 2 boys; 07-present 1 boy, 1 girl) and each of these children has stolen a piece of my heart! The days are always a mix...good and bad! But I feel fortunate that even at their worst, I've seen MUCH WORSE children in the grocery store and thank the Lord I know such well-behaved, well-mannered kiddos. With these children, I too have grown. Our explorations and our daily interactions have taught me a lot about child care, about what it means to love and live for little ones, and how much my influence has in their life. It's a responsibility I take very seriously and a privelage I don't take for granted. I've been very fortunate to be employed by two wonderful families who have each become my family since the beginning of my employment. I'm treated more than fairly and without both families' help, I would not have been able to finish school, which is a VERY big part of my life. But these kids....these three boys and little girl....they're all like my own. No matter how big they get, no matter how long I may go without seeing them...they'll always be "my kids."

~Weekend Break~

Day 5+ coming...maybe tomorrow...after I take my LAST final exam!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2!

And on the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...TWO FURRY CHILDREN! Let's face it, we try very hard not to let a new baby affect our relationship with our pets. But it happens! And they're not stupid - they know that the extra treats they get are to replace the snuggles in bed and playtime in the backyard because you have to stay inside the warm house with the baby (or you want to take a nap with the baby...and not the dog).

But I love my pups! Jazz & Jynz have been absolutely wonderful this year with all the changes a baby brings. Jazz, the older one, went through all this when she was a pup and Shawn helped watch his niece Taylor for four years. The babe and the pup grew up together, so she knows all about ear pulling and crawling all over and poking the eyes....yea. She knows it all. And while she still doesn't give a whole lot of kisses to Autumn, she likes to plop herself nearby wherever the baby plays. She lays down in her room when I nurse her. And she will, without argument, let Autumn crawl all over her on the floor, like a speedbump. And Autumn LOVES HER!

Jynx...she was the pup we really worried about. At only 3 years old she is an attention-whore. She MUST be snuggled and pet and loved on constantly. And she MUST love you back - to the point where you are covered with Jynx licks a thousand times over. We really worried that our attention on the baby would affect her a lot.... It hasn't. Not one bit. In fact, she LOVES the baby! She happily snuggles behind the rocking chair in Autumn's room for naps. She licks the baby as much as she licks us (yea...we're the kind of parents that don't really worry about it). She stillt tries to get our attention when we're on the floor with the baby. But she's learning to co-exist very well.

Neither of the dogs have chewed toys, stuffed animals, clothes, diapers, etc.

I love our dogs so much. They complete our family. If you believe dogs have human characteristics/personalities - I feel that at times they do take on the "older sister" roles with Autumn - they're protective, they love - even if with caution, and at times they want nothing to do with her, lol. My favorite thing to do with them is still snuggle! When I get into bed at night, often before Shawn, I call them up onto the bed and lay my head in their fur and snuggle up with my "first" babies.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

So in order to get in the holiday mood, I'm doing my own "12 days of Christmas." Instead of gifts, I'm going to come up with something/someone that represents that number in my life. Obviously this is bound to get more difficult as the numbers get higher, so it will be interesting to see what I come up with.

Today is DAY 1. girl!!! This year is Autumn's first Christmas. This holiday & season introduces a child to so many new things - Christmas trees all lit up, Santa, houses decorated in pretty lights, snow, wrapping paper (bound to be her favorite thing!), yummy food (a second favorite to the paper), carols and songs about the seasons, etc. No one can deny there are certain things the winter and holidays bring that you can't get the rest of the year and I'm thrilled to see all the wonder and joy in her face when she gets to experience them all this year. Autumn, like most babies, loves new things and when her eyes capture something new and interesting it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (you can laugh, it's corny, I know).

On the FIRST Day of Christmas, I was given a beautiful baby girl, my Autumn!

Getting in the Spirit

"Getting" being the key word. I'm not in the spirit yet. Financial struggles are the usual around here, so that's not really my issue. Actually, we seem to be doing better this year in regards to presents and such compared to other years. I think I planned things out much better.

The tree is up, but not decorated (note to self: water tree before leaving for work today). This morning I put up my two Christmas dolls, a tradition from my Mom, and I put up a few random holiday items around the house. But really, I'm just not getting into it. I'm not a hundred percent why. I'm excited for Autumn's first Christmas, I'm really trying to get Shawn and I to go out and do holiday events on the weekends, like the Winterfest downtown and the Wake Forest Christmas Parade this coming weekend. I should be scheduling Autumn's pictures with Santa and planning Christmas cards, but that's taken a back burner and I'm being super lazy about it. I dunno.

A part of me really misses home. I plan on going home shortly after Christmas, maybe New Year's weekend, but no plans are solid because I have no idea about Shawn's work schedule - of course I'm also contemplating going up without him if he has to work, but that would mean either NOT visiting his family or visiting his family without him, which I don't want to do either. It's just a big pile of unknowns right now.

I think the little bit of decorating I did today helped push me towards "holiday joy," but I've got a long ways to go. I actually came up with a blog idea to help me get in the mood. Since the baby is down for her morning nap, I guess I'll start it post coming in 5...4...3...2...1...

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm alive!

I haven't posted in awhile. I suck. Actually, the past few weeks have flown by in a frenzy of school work and Thanksgiving holiday craziness. Classes are now over. I still have the final draft of a paper due Friday at noon. I also have a final exam on the 16th. Then I graduate on the 18th. And now it seems like time is going by so slowly....can I just walk across a stage and get my degree already?!

Note: I'll probably have a long and sappy graduation post in the coming days.

Autumn is doing fantastic. I've learned that her personality "tell" is her feet. Yea, you read that right. Her feet. Some people it's their eyes or smile or eyebrows, but my baby has these adorable baby feet that have a mind of their own. The way she curls her toes and snuggles them close together when she's content or when she kicks them because she's so excited it's dinnertime or when her toes ever so slightly wiggle when she's sitting on the floor playing with a toy. I'm telling you...her feet have personality and I love them!

Autumn is eating lots of new foods - mini pancakes, BREAD - any kind of bread, french fries, green beans, mashed potatoes, etc etc etc. Daddy and I are thinking of becoming closet eaters. The child can eat all her dinner, be in the middle of playtime, but wait...oh...WHAT?! You have FOOD! I WANT SOME! And she will bitch you out if you don't share. Mommy usually shares. Daddy does not. He's mean:oP

She's still not sleeping through the night. I'm not really tackling this right now. It's not really interfering with my schedule, so whatever.

She's really close to standing up by herself. She pulls up very well and has started to take steps with her push-walker (as long as we hold it to prevent it from flying across the room and causing a face-plant). She has started waving BYE-BYE! This really excites me! And she's starting to understand "blow a kiss" but hasn't got the motions down.

Babbling occurs constantly. She is a talker. Especially when she's tired or wants something.

The baby is wonderful. Just wonderful. It's hard to believe that in 2 months I'll have to arrange her first birthday party - where did the time go? This week she'll be 10 months. I guess this turned into an early 10 month update. I meant to go somewhere else with this post, but it feels wrong to include it now with such a happy post about my little girl! I love her. My sqirmy, wormy, giggly happy monkey!