January 2016

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Nate’s brother Jesse and his family made a spontaneous, quick trip down to Austin from Dallas and were in town on New Year’s Day. Quincy was still too sick and possibly contagious, so I stayed home with him while Nate and Maisy went with the family to the Thinkery and to have dinner at the Steeds’ afterwards.

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Q took an epic nap with his basketball and stuffed dog while they were gone.

On the way home, Nate and Maisy stopped at the church for our turn cleaning. Maisy felt like a big girl helping.

That weekend, we continued watching the Star Wars movies. We slowly picked away at them until we’d watched them all and could then watch the new one. The kids didn’t really watch them with us, but they were around, playing and popping in and out with swords. Quincy developed a strong preference for the Darth Vader theme song (The Imperial March). For several months at bedtime, he wanted to hold his little Book of Mormon while listening to the Imperial March on repeat as he fell asleep. What a character! We all get a kick out of him.

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Maisy went back to preschool on Tuesday, January 5th. I know 3 days a week of 9am preschool isn’t much compared to the rigorous schedules of families with kids in regular school that you need to be on time to, plus extracurricular activities, etc, but I made a note in my calendar that I didn’t feel ready for the holidays and their carefree schedule to be over. At 19 weeks pregnant, I was still feeling lousy more of the time than I cared to and after the holidays, I remember having more challenges than I’d had before getting back into a groove at work. It took me longer to re-engage mentally. I haven’t experienced much “dread of going to work” in my career, so it was a new struggle for me that I tried to push through. While I did that, I also prayerfully checked back in with the Lord to make sure that I was still on the path He wanted me to be on. If it was time for some sort of transition, I didn’t want to miss the indications and promptings in my life that were telling me so. In the end, I felt like I should “put my shoulder to the wheel” and keep working through it. After preschool on the 5th, the kids played in Mimi’s driveway.

They did some trampoline jumping with Kenzie, too.

That evening after work, the kids and I went to dinner with Mom and Kenzie at this Italian place that shares a building with a gas station. Quincy fell asleep in my lap for most of dinner while Maisy was a pasta monster, but then Q woke up and threw one of his post-nap fits, poor guy. I don’t remember the details, but I have a vague recollection of a serving of pasta making its way to the floor along with a wailing child. Luckily there weren’t many other diners to bother.

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Here are a few of the other times in January when Quincy man had post-sleep struggles – sometimes he seems to simply have a hard time transitioning:

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During our day off on Wednesday the 7th, we played with play dough and I did battle with the laundry.

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When laundry piles up and feels burdensome, I remind myself of washing clothes by hand for the duration of my 18-month mission in Brazil, and suddenly I feel more grateful to have a washer and a dryer! On Thursday the 7th, we babysat the daughter of one of Nate’s cousins whose family had recently moved to town. Trudy is about Maisy’s age and the girls have had fun playing when we’ve been able to get together.

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The second weekend in January, Nate did tree trimming in the backyard and burned limbs in our fire pit, which we should go out of our way to use more when the weather is cool enough. Kenzie and Joe were in town and were helping us with some stuff around the yard, so my mom and dad came down as well for dinner and a movie.

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On Sunday the 10th, I finished taking down Christmas decorations and put up Valentine’s decor. This must’ve been record timing for me! For FHE on Monday the 11th, I made a note that we played Sequence for kids, watched scripture videos and sang songs, and we read Valentine’s books. Maisy really likes to play games, but we don’t do it as often as we probably should because Quincy is more of a game progress destroyer. I know this will (hopefully) get better with time. On that occasion, we were able to keep Maisy busy with the game while we let Q push the game pieces not yet in play through the cracks of the table and onto the floor. The next evening (Tuesday the 12th), I was looking at Quincy and thinking how he was growing into this funny little dude, so I snapped a series of pics to capture the moment. He is full of personality.

That night after dinner, the kids were playing upstairs in the playroom and Maisy’s head had an encounter with a furniture corner. Nate ran upstairs, scooped her up, and carried her downstairs while trying to contain the blood – the head always bleeds more than you think it should for the size of the cut. We got Maisy calmed down and inspected her forehead. By then it was late and we didn’t want to spend half the night in urgent care for stitches, so nurse Tara walked us through the wound care over FaceTime. Luckily we had everything we needed in our first aid stores, and Daddy Doctor did an impressive job cleaning and closing the cut while Mommy held Maisy. We ended the night with a dose of children’s pain medicine and M getting to sleep in our bed. Maisy’s hair covers up the scar, which is very faint anyways, so I’d actually forgotten she had it until writing this up.

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As good as Daddy is at first aid, he’s even better at making fun happen, including forts.

For our day off on Wednesday the 13th, the kids and I made a visiting teaching stop in the late morning, and we met at Chick-fil-A for lunch and another visit. Back at home while Quincy napped, Maisy painted a picture for her bedroom along with some mini canvases for her Barbie house.

After Q woke up, we headed to a park so I could be visit taught while kiddos played, and then we braved Target. I made spaghetti for dinner, still easing back into cooking. After cleaning up, I was thoroughly exhausted and rather sick feeling from overdoing it. When I’m not pregnant, I try to remember that it’s a real blessing to be able to have a full day of work or activities and whatever else without inevitably ending up with an upset stomach.

Nate went to Phoenix for a conference Thursday the 14th to Saturday the 16th. In different circumstances I would’ve packed up the kids and spent those nights at my parents’ house to eliminate our commute, but it was too important to my 20-week or so pregnant self to sleep in my own bed. Plus Laney was in town for the first night, and out of town sisters should always get first dibs on guest bedrooms at the parents’ house. Quincy also prefers to sleep in his own bed at night, but Maisy has always been pretty flexible when it comes to traveling. Just one of many traits that we appreciate about our Chicken Little, not the least of which is her imagination and endearing silliness.

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As Maisy gets older, it’s a joy to be a part of her growth and progress. It’s also a relief as a parent of small children when one of them starts doing more things for themselves, such as undressing and dressing. One morning when Maisy had gotten herself undressed for the bath, Nate and I laughed at the location she chose to hang her panties. Either that or she’d haphazardly thrown them and they landed on Nate’s phone charger.

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On Saturday the 16th, Maisy went to a birthday party for a little girl in her Primary class at church. Quincy had fallen asleep in the car, so I waited in the parking lot of the kids’ gym during the party while he slept, working on an email to a missionary friend. Maisy is very fond of her friends in Primary. That evening, we had dinner at Jason’s Deli (always a safe bet for me when pregnant) and watched a movie with Kenzie and Joe. After church on Sunday the 17th, we walked through some of the new houses being built in our neighborhood. Then, Nate hung a bunch of stuff on the walls upstairs in the kids’ rooms, which I was still putting together after the room shuffle back in November. We drove up to my parents’ house for dinner that evening. Maisy drew this picture of Nate and me at church that Sunday, and I love how M draws Nate’s hair. She’s sort of gotten into the habit of drawing all men with curly hair, and I hope she always uses her dad as the standard to judge men.

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On Monday the 18th, we went to Chick-fil-A for lunch and then to the circus with Tara, Tyson, Carson, and Kenzie. Aside from the overly commercial nature of the circus, it was a fun afternoon! My kids ran out of gas before the elephants and the guys who ride motorcycles around in spherical cages, but that was fine because those are probably the parts I wouldn’t have approved of anyways. We left early and the kids fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Quincy was so tuckered out and I should mention still not back to full health, so he had a mammoth sleep that night. Nate and I took advantage of his early bedtime by watching some Downton Abbey after Nate practiced hula hooping with Maisy. Our girl has become quite the accomplished hula hooper. All I have are videos of her hula hooping, so I should get a picture one of these days. After work on Tuesday the 19th, the kids talked Poppy into reading them stories.

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Maisy likes it when she can get anyone to read to her, including Carson.

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For my day off on Wednesday the 20th, we stayed home. The kids played while I worked on the mess of the upstairs closets. I mentioned before how I’d junked everything in them for the painting. By mid-January, I’d made pretty good progress on the rest of upstairs that had been rearranged and redecorated, but I hadn’t touched the closets. I knew it was probably going to be a big chore, and it was! I made a note in my calendar that I completely exhausted myself again and ended the night feeling ill. I should learn from previous mistakes and be more careful with my gestational energy (or lack thereof), but days off are precious and at more than halfway through my pregnancy, I felt like my list of things still to do was longer than the time I had left. I snapped this photo of Q sometime that day, and I love his face:

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On Friday the 22nd, I needed to pick something up in Round Rock after work for a friend, so I took advantage of already being in the area and went to Ikea with the kids. We had a short list of items I wanted there for the nursery and elsewhere in the house. I can honestly say that both kids were pleasant shopping companions who didn’t run away from me at every turn.

I had a pretty sick feeling weekend, but I went to a preparedness fair that our stake Relief Society put on in the late morning of Saturday the 23rd. I don’t often make it to the weeknight RS activities for a variety of reasons mostly related to being a working mom, so I was glad for the chance to make it to this one. I enjoyed the classes and ideas that I made note of. Later that afternoon, Maisy painted a birdhouse that she and Daddy had built together.

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I stayed home from church the next day still feeling poorly. I rebounded and the next couple of days were normal with work, lunch with friends, a play date and preschool for Maisy, and a doctor appointment for me. On Wednesday the 27th, I’m not surprised to read in my calendar that I exhausted myself yet again. We went to lunch and the Thinkery with friends before I organized the office closet, did the dishes, picked up toys from what felt like every floor surface of the house, and I moved several loads of laundry in between all that. Closets seem to have been a January theme, and my nesting was only gaining momentum.

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To end that tiring day off, Quincy threw a baseball at my face with surprising force and gave me a bit of a bloody nose. I remember being pretty put out at the time, but it’s rather humorous to think back on now. I don’t believe Buster Brown meant to hit me in the face, but you never know with him.

On Saturday the 30th, I had church training in the morning followed by a baby shower for an old family friend, and then Tara and I hit up Ikea again. I admit it, I love that place. Nate, the kids, and I met up with the Blankenbergs in the evening for dinner and a family date at the bounce house. The kids ran around having fun and trying to keep track of each other while the adults chatted. They have kiddos basically the same ages as all of ours so far, and we’ve been good friends since we were both newlyweds, so it’s a perfect matchup. I wish we were able to get together more often. Unfortunately this was the best pic we got of the night:

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On Sunday the 31st, we used an extra gingerbread house that didn’t make it into our Christmas schedule and turned it into a Valentine’s house. And into February we went!

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