Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Holiday Fun!

Well, another Christmas is in the books...and it was a fun one!  We opted to stay in Minnesota for Christmas this year (can't imagine traveling with a 7-week old...) so it took some (self-induced) pressure off of getting ready for the holidays.  The weeks leading up to Christmas were busy enough - I can't imagine trying to add a trip in there, as well!

We had fun with so many things this holiday season: making fudge, driving around looking at Christmas lights, going to parties, visiting with Santa, wrapping gifts (haha, not really fun...), spending time with Scott's family on Christmas Eve, and enjoying Christmas day in our new home.

Next up: we're hosting a little party at our house on New Years Eve, so that should be fun.  I'm SO ready for 2013 to be over!

I spent some time this past week getting things in order to go back to work on January 21.  My email inbox is cleaned out, I shifted my hours a bit to accommodate an additional daycare drop off (YES!), and I've even learned that I'll be getting a new project when I get back to work.  I can't believe I go back in 3 weeks!!!

We did find daycare for Garrett...I was getting really nervous that we weren't going to find anything for him, and we'd have to settle for something that wasn't quite right.  A referral from another daycare (with no openings) came through...and I'm glad I called when I did.  She received a few other calls right after me, so I got in at just the right time.  She's an in-home provider, located less than 2 miles away from our house.  AND, she'll have room for Ava over the summer and for next year before school (she's in the same district as us, so Ava can ride the bus to school from there!)  Of course, we need to take a look at the pricing for Ava, but man, that would be so convenient to be able to bring both kids to the same place!

The house is still slowly getting unpacked.  I worked on the office a bit today, and tomorrow, it's all about G's room!  At least he's completely oblivious to the boxes in his room!  G, Ava and I have a playdate scheduled next week with a bunch of women/kids from the neighborhood. Can't wait - and I know Ava will be excited to meet more kids in the area.

Ava was enjoying a snowy sled ride in our backyard


Cuddling with the kiddos on the couch


Trying out a few different carriers for G - but both made my back hurt.  He just loves to be held!



SOOOO big!


Enchanted by his mobile...


Love that smile!


And I love it when he sleeps!

 

Leaving letters, fudge and eggnog for Santa


Christmas joy...maybe.



This was quite a surprise gift from Scott's grandma!


Ava was excited to see what Santa had brought her.


Success!


Our first foray into Legos...we had fun!


The first thing Ava asked for was a rattle for Garrett.  She couldn't remember that she was going to ask for a pogo stick (momentary panic, perhaps...) so when she told Santa she wanted something to jump on, he guessed a trampoline.  Nope!  Not going down that path...or even the pogo stick path! :)


Enjoy the remaining days of 2013...they won't be here long!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Time? What Time?

I honestly don't even know where the time goes anymore.  My days and nights are just a big blur, broken by driving Ava to school in the morning, and then saying goodnight to Ava and Scott in the evenings.  (Garrett and I are still attached at the hip so I never really say goodnight to him!)

I'm trying to think what I did this week...made lots of appointments, called a million daycare providers (no luck - argh!  Well, that's not true, I did find someone that has an opening, but it's way more than we can afford to pay, so...it's not really an option.)  I'm going to be persistent, though, and keep calling and calling and calling, until I find someone who can fit us in!  Worse case, our neighbor recommended a Montessori school that we could use until we clear a waitlist for an in-home provider.  Just 5 weeks to go until I'm back at work, so we need to get it situated quickly!

I did have my 6-week check-up this past Monday (all is well) and then G and I went to BI to visit with my co-workers.  We were there for almost three hours (!) but it was so nice to see so many people, and be able to introduce my little man to them.  He did great, and was fussy only a few times. 

On Friday night, I got a text from another neighbor inviting Ava over to play, so I sent her off, and then G and I went over a little later to spend some time getting to know our neighbor a bit better. It was a great, unplanned, way to spend a Friday night.

Saturday was pretty nice - I got Ava's room 100% unpacked, so she has NO boxes in her room anymore.  That was a huge feeling of accomplishment!  I also got the office somewhat situated, and am hoping to work on our mudroom tomorrow.  You wouldn't think a mudroom would take much time, but I have to clear it out in order to make room for our bench and cubby hooks that should be coming this week.  It seems like I'm taking just one section of the house at a time, and working on it, but I think that's the only way I can do it.  The next really big thing is to work on G's room.  And then today, we picked up the bed for the guest room, so that will need to be put together, too!  I feel like there are a lot of small details that need to have some attention, but am having a hard time finding the time/motivation to do so. :)

On Saturday night, we went to a co-worker's Christmas party, and I had a chance to reconnect with someone I hadn't seen in ten years, so that was pretty cool.  Plus, Ava had fun entertaining everyone, and G was a magnet for all of the ladies there.  We were hoping to look at Christmas lights on the way home, but it got to be too late, so we are planning that for next weekend.

Today, we had our family pics, and G's one-month pics, taken.  We were able to almost complete our Christmas shopping, and then enjoyed a family brunch (I thoroughly enjoyed a mimosa!)  We had wanted to see Santa, as well, but the line was waaaay too long.  So, that's also on the list for next weekend.  Ava was a little panicked thinking that we wouldn't see Santa before Christmas, but we told her that we WILL make it work!

I was also able to sterilize all of the baby bottles, in hopes that we can start bottle feeding G this week.  I have a Christmas party on Thursday night that I am going to, which means that Scott needs to be able to feed G without me.  Hoping it goes ok - we'll have to try it out a few times this week to make sure he takes the bottle well. 

I was thinking back about my maternity leave with Ava, and felt like I had everything so well-planned while I was out...I knew when I was going to start pumping, we had a good schedule in place for her, daycare was taken care of, etc.  This time, I feel like we're winging it a bit, and I'm not so sure I like that feeling.  I think I'm too much of a type A to be able to let these things happen as they will, so...I think it's time to tighten up on our routine, and start knocking things off the to-do list.  Otherwise, I think I might slowly lose my mind. :)  No, really.  It's driving me crazy.  (I haven't lost it yet, so there's still hope...!)

This coming week is Ava's last week in school for two weeks, so it is going to be very, very busy around here - plus we need to finish up with all of the Christmas stuff, and continue to unpack.  I'm certain that by next week, when I'm ready to write another post, I'll still have no idea what I did in the coming week.  But, as long as I'm getting stuff done, I guess that's a step in the right direction.  Right??

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Oh George!

Our elf, George, has been a bit of a slacker this year...he forgets to change his location most days, and then Ava freaks out if he's in the same place the next morning.  More than once, she's discovered him in his same location, and when she hasn't been watching, I've moved him, and then asked her to show me where she saw him last.  I think this has caused some confusion for her when she looks for him, and he's not where she saw him last.  I told her that George and I had a little chat about him choosing new locations, but...I have a feeling it's only a matter of time before she catches me moving him.  Today, I had him hanging off of a cabinet handle in our kitchen.  When I opened the refrigerator, he fell, so I had to readjust his placement on the cabinet.  Eagle-eyed Ava noticed the slight difference and asked a million questions about what had happened to George.  Note to self: choose locations where he can't be jostled AT ALL during the day.

We got Ava's report card for the first trimester, and overall, she's doing pretty well.  The only thing she's not making great progress in is P.E.  Huh?  How does that happen?  I tried to ask her about it, but that conversation went nowhere.  I might need to reach out to her teacher to see what she's NOT doing in class.  Not kicking a ball?  Not running?  ???  I know she likes to use the "my legs are tired" excuse when she doesn't want to play whatever game is going on, so...hm.

She's also been getting some more "yellow days" in school...all because she's talking too much, and not being quiet when asked.  When I picked her up on Friday, I asked what color day she had.  There was silence, then she sucked in a big breath, and said, "Weeeeeeelllllll...my brain was asking me a lot of hard questions today. Do bananas have ears?  Are bananas telephones? RING RING RING!"  And it went on and on and on...turning into a tirade of vegetable jokes.  In between me trying not to let her see me laugh, I asked if she's getting other people in trouble by talking to them.  Her answer was no...she is talking to herself.  Awesome.  We just don't know what to do with that girl.  I think Garrett's arrival is finally taking a toll on her.

Speaking of...Garrett's still the sweetest little baby possible.  He's sleeping pretty well, and generally going a few hours in between feedings.  Sometimes he likes to eat every hour, but we're trying to extend that time period for him, as it gets to be really hard on me when he does that.  This coming week's task is to find a daycare for him - that's causing me a lot of stress right now, so that needs to be my main focus!

Last night I went to the cookie exchange at my neighbor's house and met a ton of really nice women in the neighborhood.  They're all around my age, and most have young kids.  It was so nice to get out for a bit and have some wine, and adult conversation.  I'm really looking forward to getting to know people better...last night reaffirmed my thoughts that moving to this neighborhood was the right thing to do.  In fact, everywhere I've gone in Rosemount, I've met really friendly people.  This morning, at the grocery store, I ended up chatting with the cashier and the lady behind me for quite a while, as they were welcoming me to the area.  That sort of interaction really warms my heart...this is something that has been missing from my adult life, and is something that I've wanted for a number of years.  Minnesota hasn't felt 100% like home to me in the last 20 years, but I think I have a really good chance of finally feeling settled, now that we've made this change in our lives. 

As I was cleaning up after dinner, who did I see peeking over the couch?  Little G!


Chatting Daddy's ear off...


Working on her letters - and being silly!



A little bit of sibling cuddle time


I love it when he's alert like this!


So comfy...


Enjoying his swing, and the taggie from my coworker!


It should be another fun week ahead of us...I'm bringing G into my work tomorrow since I'll be in the area for a doctor's appointment.  And then we've got a Christmas party next weekend, fudge making, family photos, Christmas cards, wrapping gifts...and the non-ending task of unpacking!  Such a busy, but fun, time of year!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

What a great turkey day this was!  My parents were in town for the holiday, so not only did we get to have Thanksgiving dinner with them, but they were also available to provide two extra sets of hands to help us with projects, entertaining the kids, etc.  While I don't feel like our to-do list is getting smaller, I DO know that we accomplished some of the bigger tasks over the last several days. I want everything to be done right now, but frankly, that's just not realistic!  Gotta keep those expectations in check...  One thing at a time has become my new motto!

Our dinner on Thursday was wonderful - instead of preparing everything from scratch, we were able to utilize Byerly's meal service, and simply had to heat things up.  And it was gooood!  Really good.  Surprisingly good.  I would definitely recommend it!  Plus, it then gave us more time to spend as a family...eating, drinking, playing, and enjoying each other's company.

We started off the meal, at Ava's request, by telling everyone what we were thankful for.  I think it's great that a 5 year old felt that was important - and it was good to take a few minutes to publicly acknowledge all of the blessings and joys we have in our lives!

Enjoying her new "I Spy" puzzle


Scott made his very first pumpkin pie...and it was good (says the people who like pumpkin pie...I do not, so I didn't partake in the pie eating part.  But it smelled good!)


Grandma Karen and Grandpa Doug with Garrett


Busy!






Love this family!


Getting the kids under control!



Ove Glove Love!


Beer buddies



The rest of the weekend flew by (no Black Friday shopping for us!) and my parents drove back to Colorado on Saturday.  We spent the remaining time organizing (my car is in the garage - yah!), hanging curtains, and starting to decorate for Christmas.  It's interesting how much longer things take with two kids...Ava was so excited to decorate the tree, but Garrett was demanding a lot of attention from the ornament-prep guy (Scott.)  So, half the tree is decorated, and we'll tackle the rest in the next few days.

Garrett had his one month check up today, and he's doing great!  He's up to 8lbs, 14.6oz, 21.5" long, and looking good!  His eyes are a pretty blue-gray color so it'll be interesting to see what color they end up as.  The doctor did say he did not see any hint of brown in them, so they might end up staying more on the blue-ish side. He's happy and healthy, and that's the most important thing!