Hello 2015, it’s nice to finally be posting about you!
On New Year’s Day, we went to the gym with my family to play racquetball and basketball before spending the afternoon at Tara and Tyson’s, eating and watching football.
On Friday the 2nd, I worked a half day and then took Maisy to the “Meet the Teacher” Primary activity (our church’s kids’ organization), where she got to wear new fuzzy pajamas with a penguin on them, meet her teacher, and eat pizza for dinner. Due to moves as well as regular calling (assignment) changes in our ward, M’s teachers have changed a few times during the year. She has enjoyed every teacher and really gotten into the Sunday lessons. I’m regularly impressed by how well she recalls what the lesson was about as she retells it the way she understood it.
Saturday the 3rd was Kenzie and Joe’s last day in town for their holiday break, so we had lunch at a quirky deli in downtown Austin and went to the Gone With the Wind traveling exhibit. It was another activity that Quincy wasn’t amenable to, so Nate and I took turns walking him around in the stroller outside. The exhibit put me in the mood to watch Gone With the Wind, so we did that on Saturday and Sunday (too long of a movie to watch in a day when there are little kids running around).
The week of the 5th was a bit weird. We’d come home from Christmas vacation to a small infestation of rats in the backyard and in one of our attics, which totally grossed me out. One of the rats had been living inside our grill, feasting on the tray of drippings and snuggling in a bed of grill glove that he (or she?) had shredded. Nate was turning the grill on to cook some meat for dinner one evening when the rat flipped out trying to avoid the flames, and that’s when we discovered its BBQ oasis. Ew, ew, ew! It ran away before Nate could get it so he set traps around the porch, side yard, and attic to take care of the problem. It could’ve been worse, though. We talked to our neighbors across the street that week, and they’d had something like 13 rats in their attic and their dog kept getting them! Yuck! The development in our section of the neighborhood must’ve been upsetting the creatures and instead of finding new habitats back in the greenbelt, they invaded ours. I suppose you can’t really blame them. Quincy prefers chicken nuggets in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head, but he might be willing to eat rat meat if it had enough ketchup on it…
Buster Brown is a big fan of spaghetti, too!
On Tuesday the 6th, Maisy was acting pretty strange when I arrived at my Mom’s after work. I loaded the kids in the car and got halfway out of the neighborhood when I had a feeling that I should go back to my parents’ house. I did and as soon as I carried Maisy inside to the bathroom, she threw up on me. It was unpleasant, but I was thankful that we weren’t in the car anymore, since I’d just paid to have it cleaned from the last puking episode. Instead of going home, we bathed and stayed at my parents’ that night. I don’t know if I should always credit Tuesday sickies to germs shared with us at church, but I usually do. At least kids tend to rebound better after being sick than adults do.
On the 7th, I permanently switched my day out of the office from Friday to Wednesday so Maisy could go to Mother’s Day Out preschool up north at Rochelle’s on Fridays. I’ve liked the change because Wednesday breaks up the work week and gives me a chance to get some things done that would otherwise have to wait until the weekend. The kids and I also appreciate and benefit from the opportunity to do something fun and special together midweek, such as the bounce house, the Thinkery (children’s museum), or simply the gym and Chick-fil-A. Maisy felt better and was symptom-free in time to go to the first MDO on Friday the 9th. Rochelle does a really good job of emailing pictures to the parents. Here’s a selection of pics from January:
On Saturday the 10th, I finished putting away Christmas decorations, which is actually early in the month for me. Sunday the 11th was the day we finally put together our bug out bags. Nate is a masterfully efficient packer so while the kids watched the new version of Fantasia, he helped me figure out how to fit everything in the backpacks.
Nate had a conference in Miami from the 15th to the 18th, so I hung out at my parents’ house, went to Ikea with Tara, ran errands, and started a New Year’s purge of our home. That Friday, we heard tragic news that some friends in Boston had lost their 2.5-year-old daughter. I was at my desk in the office when I received a text about it from a Boston friend and even though I’d never met the little girl, the news hit me like a ton of bricks. I went outside, sat on the steps, and sobbed for this family. They’d moved into our place in Boston when we moved out, and their daughter was born the same day as our nephew Sheppard. I’d been privileged to witness some of their little girl’s life through photos and blog posts that her mom diligently shares with others and records for posterity, so I felt like I’d been blessed by this angel’s light. Thinking about her and her family has had a profound effect on me. I’ve thought about and prayed for them frequently this year, and I’ve been impressed by their steadfast example of faith, strength, and raw honesty as they’ve mourned the unexpected loss of their beautiful, vivacious daughter. A few of our employees lost family members in the same month – one father and 2 grandparents – and a brother in our church congregation died during an organ transplant surgery. I don’t have much personal experience with death, so I found myself contemplating death and the plan of salvation almost constantly as I talked with those around me who had lost someone they loved.
One of the goals I made in January was to focus more on savoring little moments, and also to do a better job of documenting them in photos. Here’s Maisy making brownies with Daddy one Sunday evening:
After Nate got back from Miami on Sunday the 18th, I took my day off on Monday instead of Wednesday so we could spend the day’s good weather getting stuff done in the yard. My mom came out to help. After all, she is one of the co-authors of our garden! We appreciate her company and help there much, much more than the yucky grubs that Nate often finds in the dirt.
A few times in January, we went to the park by my parents’ house or down south before or after work when we might’ve otherwise gone from home to work and back.
Bathtime continues to be a happy time in our house. After I took the third picture below, I looked at it and thought, when did my baby become a little boy?!
Maisy really likes to draw with erasable markers. We have this Melissa & Doug set of wooden cupcakes with plastic tops that you draw on to decorate with “icing” and for Maisy, it holds her attention longer than most toys. It’s quite magical.
I had some glass markers that we can’t use at our house because our windows have shutters on them, so I took them to my mom’s and the kids had fun using them on the backdoor window. When you tell Maisy to look at the camera, she looks to the side and says, “I am looking at the camera!”
We’ve done a lot of what I call “hall church” with Quincy this year (I think you do with most toddlers), meaning we walk the halls with him when his behavior isn’t conducive to sacrament meeting. Here he is one Sunday trying to break into the Bishop’s office! We have to keep a close eye on this boy. As Maisy says (I think from Mary Poppins), “He’s tricky!”
I don’t remember playing with stuffed animals much as a kid, but Maisy loves her stuffed buddies.
Saturday the 24th was particularly memorable. We went for a bike ride, took the kids to the bounce house, and went to Chipotle for dinner. No pics, though. (Sometimes we try to keep the phones put away.) Nate’s parents returned from their mission in the end of the month(!!) and on Saturday the 31st, I put up my Valentine’s decorations.