RSS Feed

Category Archives: Christmas

Holiday Cards from Shutterfly-Sponsored Post with Giveaway!

Posted on

Christmas is one of my very favorite times of the year.  Since Ed and I got married, I’ve delighted in sending cards every year to our family near and far.  Since having kids, I’ve really enjoyed sending photo cards.  It’s a fantastic way to send a snapshot of our family and show off how the kids have grown through the year.

For as long as I’ve been sending them, my Holiday Cards have come from Shutterfly.  Whether you want just one photo, a few, or an entire collage of photos, Shutterfly has the Christmas card for you.  I start planning my cards in October or November, just to give me time to play around with all of the options they offer.  Once I find the perfect card, it’s easy to be on my way.  I just add my favorite photos, crop if necessary, add our Christmas message, and just like that, I am on my way! It could not be easier.  Once I’ve placed my order, the cards and envelopes are in my hands within a few days and I can begin the hard work–addressing them all.

My favorite photo cards give me room for a picture of my 3 kids together, and an individual shot of each one.

Here are a few I am considering for this year:

Big Fat Joy:

Colorful Joy:

Always Merry:

You can see how you can’t really go wrong with Shutterfly.  I’m already eyeballing cards for next year when we’ll have photos of 5 kids to contend with!

Now for the fun part! First, be sure to check out Shutterfly’s Special Offers page.  This page shows you all in one spot, all of the discounts and deals Shutterfly has going on.

Second, are you interested in giving Shutterfly a try? Shutterfly has offered me a promo code for one lucky reader to receive $50 off an order of $50 of more (excluding tax and shipping). To enter, leave me a comment below telling me one of your favorite Christmas or Holiday traditions. The Giveaway will close on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:59PM Eastern Time.

I am pleased to have been asked to host this sponsored giveaway from Shutterfly for the third year in a row.  In return for this post, I am being given $100 off of my own card order, so I’d like to give a great big thank you to the folks at Shutterfly. Honestly though, even without the offer, I’d be purchasing my cards from Shutterfly, and telling anyone who would listen.

Answering my own questions; other stuff

Posted on

I asked some questions on Saturday and now it’s my turn to answer them.  I love questions and answers.  It’s fun!


  1. What is your least favorite chore, and please tell me why. It used to be laundry for me, but since the kids sort, fold and put away all of their own laundry now (plus towels!), it isn’t so bad.  I think maybe litter duty would rank pretty high up there, but Ed is taking that one on these days because it’s hard for me to bend and scoop.  My least favorite chore at the moment is general upkeep in the kitchen.  I hate wiping down the counters, cupboards, fridge and stove.  It always seems to get a way from me until it’s gross. (Ok, not the counters..those get wiped all the time as I’m using them) But man, what I would pay a cleaning lady to wipe the grime off of my white cupboards.
  2. What is your favorite throw together quick meal? Probably tacos.  Ed and the kids like their tacos with just the seasoned meat, cheese and sauce.  It’s super quick and easy. (And concerning because our family of 5 easily goes through 3 or so pounds of taco meat.)
  3. Are you watching any new TV? What should I be watching? As far as new TV goes, we’ve picked up The Neighbors and Ben and Kate.  Both fun sitcoms.  Ed is watching Vegas and Last Resort, but I can’t get in to either.
  4. What is your favorite vegetable? I generally like most vegetables, except for peas who can die in a fire, but as o late, I’ve been eating carrots that have either been cooked to death in the crockpot with whatever meat we are having or have been boiled in beef broth.  Any green veggie roasted is a super winner too.

We spent our weekend cleaning and purging, and cripes, I did way too much.  But the basement is nearly clean, and Ed got the garage mostly cleaned out so he can get his trailer in and out for the winter.  It feels good to be accomplished, but I wasn’t really a fan of all the work.

We have more on tap for this week–a friend brought me 5 totes of baby clothes, and I found 3 random boxes as well, so they need to be gone through so I can figure out what we need in the way of clothes.  I’ve also got a bunch to be listed on eBay this week with the plan being for the extra money to be allocated toward cloth diapers. I still sort of can’t believe we are doing that (and neither can Ed), BUT really, I cannot justify the expense of diapering 2 babies when we can do the one time cost thing.

I said to Ed over the weekend that my ultimate goal would be to still be able to walk when it’s time to go cut down the Christmas tree.  He looked at me like I was nuts and explained that that is in like 3 weeks.  3 weeks! Christmas tree!  Whaaaat? I think we’ll have to go light on the decor though, because who knows if I’ll be able to put it all away.

With Christmas seeming so close, it really seems like the babies will be here soon! Babies! In my house! Will the novelty ever wear off? I don’t think it will.

Oh, you didn’t think I’d stay away, did you?

Posted on

We had a pretty amazing Christmas. The kids are both at the point where they get it, and are fully aware of what is going on, and it just made it deliciously fun. Of course, they both got more clothes than they could ever wear, and more toys than they will ever play with. Highlights for ED were the Crash ‘em Up Race Track, the guitar from my MIL, a fire truck that shoots little blue balls out of it’s hose from my brother and SIL, and his new digital camera from my parents. Highlights for CA, the baby with diapers and a sippy cup, the life size plush Dora from my FIL, twin babies with all of the accessories from my brother and SIL, and her own digital camera from my parents. They both really had a great time and we are blessed to have family who love them so much and spoil them rotten.

Hub’s aunt gave CA a Dora outfit on Christmas Eve and she demanded to wear the sweatshirt immediately. She carried the pants around for the rest of the night and just kept looking at them and saying “how beautiful…”. She also proclaims “How nice!!” after every photo she takes. We had my FIL wrap some of the gifts we got for the kids that cam in the mail from Target. He happened to just wrap them right in the cardboard shipping boxes they came in, so when ED opened one he looked at us and yelled “Santa’s workshop is Target!!!!” He also thought that Santa was a big pig for eating all of the cookies we left out for him.

Oh, you want to know what I got? A very nice jewelry box from Hub and the kids, some Nicholas Sparks books, some CD’s, lotion (bath and body works Coconut Lime Verbena—YUM) and other miscellany from my parents, and a new vacuum and coffee maker from my MIL.

I did spend much of the day yesterday dashing for the bathroom so that I could gag in private, but we did manage to keep our secret from our family, with the exception of my brother and SIL. It was nice to tell someone. Hub’s cousin is also expecting and is exactly as far along as I am, which is very cool. They were totally done having kids though, and have given us all of their kids clothes etc, so we have big plans to buy them quite a bit of stuff, as giving them back their things that have now been through at least 2 kids seems a bit rude.

That all being said, I am 8 weeks along as of today and I am sicker than I have ever been during a pregnancy. I feel horrendous 90% of the time, which is just so not cool. They don’t joke when they say that every pregnancy is different. I did feel pretty awful with ED, but with CA I had no complaints. I wonder what the next 8 months will hold. I just keep telling myself that the sickness and being so uncomfortable is a sign that this is a good pregnancy, and it keeps me going.

I’d like to know, from those of you with more than 2, how did your subsequent pregnancies compare to the 1st two? Are they really all 100% different? And do you begin showing sooner with each pregnancy? I feel like I could jump in to my maternity clothes tomorrow, but it would probably be a big faux pas. I didn’t show until almost 5 months with my second, but I’m already sporting a small bump this time. The non-consistency is killing me.
Ok, really, I want to know.

We’ve Decorated—a photo entry

Posted on
My China Cabinet and Nativity Scene

My penguin pants
CA taking a rest while we do the work

My Favorite Ornament
CA’s Angels

ED’s nutcrackers

The Grinch and Dog

The View Outside

CA posing

The Tree

My New Angel

Posted on

It’s so hard to abandon an entire BLOG. I wish there was a way to download my other entries over here. I’ll probably end up copying some of them and linking to others. I don’t know. I’m attached. But then I think of my mother. Asking if she could read my “Tradition” entry. Out loud. To our whole family at Christmas. Then I’m seething all over again and I remember why I sat down and relocated yesterday. Blogging is not supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be relaxing. GAH!

I also don’t want people to think that I’m only going to write about my pregnancy since I’ve named my blog Incubation Nation. I just thought it was kind of hip and trendy. My blog will be much the same, if not less censored than it previously was.

That all being said—how did it get to be December? December 4th no less? The kids and I started their Advent calendars (one day late, so they each opened 2 on Sunday, but whatever) and Hub and I are disagreeing on how to open them. I say (and this is how we’re doing it) that you work backwards, as in today is 21 days until Christmas, so we open slot 21. He says I should be opening based on the date—today is the 4th so we open slot 4. He’s probably right, but don’t tell him I said so. I find that doing it my way though eases those constant questions of “How many more days until it’s Christmas??? Mommy? How many days NOW???”

We had some pretty wicked weather yesterday, all snowing and blowing and nasty. When I was getting ED out of the car at daycare he looked and me, and touched the snow in my hair, and said “Mommy, you look so beautiful with all of that snow in your hair.” He was so serious and adorable, I could have died right there. I love that even though he’s about to be 4 (In like 4 weeks!! What the heck!!) he is still such a mama’s boy.

I have an appointment with my endocrinologist today. At least somebody wants to see me right away. I tried to get them to just send me scripts for blood work in the mail, but they insisted that I come in. Typically, when pregnant, I have to increase my levothyroxin dose because the baby sucks up what little metabolism I have. I know this. They know this. But whatever, I’ll go in there and chat with them for a while. At least it will get me out of work for a few hours.

I’m also wondering if since my OB won’t see me til January, if I am feeling under the weather, should I call my primary? I still haven’t quite kicked what I had last month with the sore throat and the coughing and all that jazz. I was already on azithromicin and was better for a few days. I will more than likely ride it out for a few more days and then see what happens.

Ok, off to take some photos for my department to display at our Christmas party. Yeah, my job is really hard. : )


Posted on

It’s snowing and I’m excited. I love the snow, especially when it comes as we are preparing for Christmas. I’m keeping a few (Christmas) secrets and the snow, crisp air and that Christmas-type feeling make it just a little bit easier to hold out. I’m the type of person that wants to tell you everything. If I know something, I want to share it! Today is not the day though; the day will be Christmas. Friends and families will share the secrets and surprises they’ve kept over the last month or two while their children run around pink-cheeked and excited with the anticipation of opening their gifts.

This is how it always was for me growing up and is probably why I’m still such a sucker for Christmas today. The excitement would start weeks in advance, and by the time Christmas Eve would come along, I could hardly wait to get to my Gramma’s house where we celebrated Polish Wigilia . We always went early and stayed late, spending the entire day talking and laughing, my brothers and I playing Husker Du with our cousins, and the adults laughing and having a good time in the living room and kitchen in to the wee hours of the morning. There was always more food than all of us could eat, whether it was my mother having made pirogies and mushroom soup, or the later years where we just had roast beef and mashed potatoes. I still remember the year we all went out to dinner instead of going to Gramma’s (HEY! Where ya going with that cake?!). I think we all kind of felt cheated out of our Christmas Eve experience, and we never did it again.

Christmas Day was no different; my brother(s) and I waking up at the crack of dawn to see what was left for us under the tree. We were never disappointed. A long running family joke is my mother saying “Christmas won’t be overly spectacular this year….” because no matter what it always was. Christmas evening was spent with my other set of grandparents, on my dad’s side, along with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. My grandparents were always good for getting us exactly what was on our lists. There was a telescope for me one year, which I used to look at the moon, and another year, when I was in 7th or 8th grade I got my 1st real camera. It was a special gift for me because I shared my grandfather’s passion for taking photos of everyone and everything. In addition to our regular gifts, my grandfather would always give each of us kids an envelope full of cash. $10 when we were younger, much more as we got older. Again though, we stayed late in to the evening, talking, playing and laughing.

Christmas is much different now. For one, all of my grandparents have passed on. For another, the majority of my cousins and I have married, had our own families, and have started our own traditions. We still gather with my mother’s family; usually the Saturday before Christmas, and we have as good of a time as we ever did. The last 2 years have been hard, without my grandmother, who lived for this particular type of gathering—all of the food, family and fun you could ever want, but we’ve done it and we’ve had a great time. This year, our gathering on 12/15, will be extra special because it will include my cousin Bee’s daughter, Jordyn, for the very first time.

Ed and I spend Christmas Eve with his father’s family, another tradition that has been shaken by the death of his favorite uncle 2 years ago on Thanksgiving. Seeing the children, mine and Ed’s cousin’s, together and having a great time though makes it more than worth it. There’s doing shots of Crown with Greg too……(That’s not going to happen this year—I went home and still had to wrap gifts last year and I was wrecked)

Christmas morning has been spectacular for us since the kids came along. Ed and I get up early with the kids and open gifts. Later in the morning, my parents, brothers and SIL along with Ed’s mom and brother come over for a big breakfast and we all open gifts together. The kids, of course, are spoiled, and have a wonderful time. As the afternoon approaches, we head to my uncle’s house and spend the evening with my dad’s family. My cousins and their children trickle in and out as we have dinner and dessert and watch my younger cousins open their gifts.

I think that the point of all of this is that the more traditions change, the more they stay the same. We do all have our own lives now, but it is important to remember where tradition came from, and to keep it going in one form or another for as long as we can. I want my children to have the same fond memories I have of Christmas through the years, and keep them going for their own children……but in their own way.