Sunday, January 26, 2014

Back in the Swing

This past Tuesday was my first day back to work, so that means little G went to daycare!  He was a big hit with all of the other kids...I even got a pic from Sheila (the provider) during one of the days where he was all smiles.  Seeing that little guy pop up on my phone was the best surprise I could get during the day!

It was nice to hear that an experienced provider also noticed that G doesn't nap much during the day...and when he does, it's only for 30 minutes at a time.  On the flip side, that means he sleeps awesome at night.  Last night, he went almost 11 hours!  When I wake him up to feed him in the morning, it's really more for MY benefit than his - things get a little painful if he goes too long without eating...!

Due to the cold temps, Ava didn't have school (again) on Thursday this week.  And we're slotted for another few cold days this coming week, so I wouldn't be surprised if school was cancelled again.  I heard something about the seniors in high school technically not being able to graduate as they won't have completed enough days in school, due to all of these closings.  I know they will find a way to make it work, but man, this winter is wreaking havoc in unexpected places...  I don't think Ava's had a full 5-day school week since mid-December.  That's crazy!

When Ava WAS at school this week, they managed to take a fun field trip to see a play...it sounds like all of the kids really enjoyed it, and it was a nice change from sitting in their classrooms all day.  She's reading more and more on her own...I love hearing her sound out words.  She does pretty well, and that makes it even more fun for us to read together.

My first week back to work went fairly well.  At the very least, it was great to see my co-workers again!  I was put on an account that is in service recovery mode, but I'm not getting too worked up about it at this point.  I'm looking at it as a chance to help develop a different relationship with the client.  We had a deliverable on Friday that we met, without any errors, so that was a great way to start the weekend!

Without a doubt, my favorite part of the day is when I get to walk in the door and see these two faces!


On a silly note, we discovered we could wash our couch and loveseat cushion covers in the washing machine, and not just have to rely on getting them professionally cleaned.  With two dogs and two kids, this news made me happier than I thought possible!  A minor accomplishment, but one that feels really great. :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

One More Day

Last Sunday, we had fun celebrating Christmas with Scott's mom and Whitey.  It was nice and low-key...just perfect after the busy times we have had over the last several weeks.

Ava was exploring the contents of her stocking...and G's!


Little G made a haul - if only he could lift his head up to see it all! ;)


Grandma Deb was NOT pinching you - no tears allowed, buddy!


There must have been something really good on tv!


This was my last full week at home before heading back to work (I go back this coming Tuesday,) so I really needed to focus on get more things knocked off our project list.  And I did!  I love those days where so much gets accomplished...  Ava didn't have school on Friday (or tomorrow), so she and I headed over to the neighbor's house for lunch on Friday, and then Ava went back on Friday evening to play a bit before dinner.  I feel like we're really settling in here...Scott and Ava played outside yesterday in the snow, and when I peeked out the window, they were chatting with some other neighbors.  Such friendly people here!

As an added bonus, my friend Corinne came over for a visit on Thursday afternoon.  I had fun picking her brain for decorating ideas, and I (hope) she had fun getting in some snuggles with G.  Can't wait to have more friends over - I love getting people's help with decor brainstorms!

Ava's class is going to see a play in Minneapolis this week - she's pretty excited!  Overall, she's still doing well in school; however, she got a "red day" last week.  She generally gets green days, or when she talks too much, she gets yellow.  But...not this week.  She was talking (of course) but she and two other girls were also playing in the bathroom.  It's hard getting the full story out of a 5-year old, but she has a great teacher, so we got a bit more detail.  Let's just say that Ava hasn't had her tablet since that incident!

Sometimes it's best to let her wear what she wants...this was her "fruit day" selection - a pineapple shirt and cherry pants.  And two tattoos. And three bracelets, and one choker.  One day we'll discuss the "less is more" concept, but for now, she's having fun!



Garrett is continuing to do well...sleeping through the night, self-pacifying by sucking on his fingers/thumb, and reaching out for objects in his line of sight.  He gets frustrated when he can't reach his mobile, but when he's not trying to touch it, he's having fun smiling at it.

Chillin' with Mom in front of the fireplace


LOVE the concerned look on his face...and the outstretched arm!


Wish us luck in the coming week...big changes for both G and me!  Plus, Ava's excited to see her friends again from the before-school Kids Choice program.  Looks like we'll finally be able to get back into a normal routine!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I Love Lamp

And the frigid temps continued here...enough that they closed school for a 2nd day in a row!  I just read an article that states that Minneapolis/St Paul is ranked the most consistently cold city during the core winter months (December, January and February.)  This is based on 30-years of average temps, for the 100 most populous cities in the U.S.  Sigh...

Anyway, after 2.5 weeks, Ava finally went back to school on Wednesday!  I got SO much done on Wednesday and Thursday, with her being out of the house!  There are still a ton of projects to do around the house, but we're knocking them out, when we find the time.  Now that we have the major furniture in place, I've moved into the decorating phase.  We don't have anything on our walls yet, but that's okay - I need to think about what we're going to put up, and where.  All in due time! :)

Since we had an extra day to spend together, I pretty much ran out of fun projects for us to do.  Luckily, I had one last thing for us to do...it was something I wanted to do last winter, but never got around to it.  Ava and I tested our skills at candy making!  Well, not MAKING, as much as melting and molding.  It was messy, but fun - and the end result was pretty darn good!  They are two layers - peppermint candy cane and dark chocolate.  YUM!  The nice thing is that this candy mold can also be used as flowers, so I told Ava we'll make a spring time version once the snow is gone!





Garrett's doing so well...he's consistently sleeping through the night.  I generally put him to bed around 10pm, and then have to wake him up at 6:45 to eat.  Things will shift a little bit after I go back to work, but at least we know he will sleep through the night.  Whew...  We had his 2-month appointment, and he's doing well...his growth is on track, and he took his vaccines like a champ.  A crying champ, but a champ, nonetheless! :)

He's such a happy little guy.  And he appears to be fascinated with our Tiffany-style lamp that we have.  He stares at it, smiles at it, and I'm sure he'll be talking to it shortly.  We already find him talking to his puppies on his mobile, and he coos at us.  I love this stage!




It's my last week at home before I go back to work, and I've got a full list of things to do.  But, I want to be sure to take some time to enjoy the moments with G before his daycare adventure.  These last 11 weeks have flown by...but at least it's been fun!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Well, Hello 2014...So Glad You're Here!

Whew...we survived 2013!  What's funny is that I remember at the end of 2012, saying I was so happy THAT year was over, and how much better 2013 would be.  Parts of 2013 were fantastic, while others were a bit too much to handle.  So, 2014 should be a bland experience by comparison.  Right?!

We had a very nice final week of the year...we hosted a little party for New Years Eve.  It was wonderful catching up with good friends who we hadn't seen in a really, really long time.  Plus, our guest bedroom was used for the first time - it's nice that we can now host people and give them a place to spend the night, if they're from out of town!

Levi and Garrett - the two tux boys!


And there's Charlie (Levi's older brother)!



The rest of the week went by very quickly.  Scott took Thursday and Friday off, so it's been full of family time for the last several days.  Tomorrow, Ava *should* be going back to school, but due to the serious-not-kidding-you-ARCTIC temps that Minnesota will be facing, the governor has closed all schools in the state tomorrow.  One more day of winter break for Ava...lucky her!  Scott and I were laughing at the people they interviewed on the news about this school closing..."Oh, yes, the kids were supposed to go back tomorrow.  I guess that's exciting..."  Yet, their faces lacked any hint of excitement. :)  I didn't realize what a strain it was to entertain a 5 year old for two weeks (and now 1 day more!)  I tip my hat, once again, to all of the teachers and childcare providers who take care of kids all day long.  I could not do it.

We had a fun play date with about 20 neighborhood kids last week...and I got to meet a few more neighbors.  Ah, this is a great place to live! Can't wait until it's nice enough to spend some time outside and get to chat with them some more!

Yesterday, Scott took Ava ice fishing for the first time.  They caught about 10 fish, but only kept 6 or so.  For the most part they had fun - no one fell down any ice holes, or got burned by the heater.  Those were my two biggest concerns.  And I think Ava had fun.  And I had a great day with just G.  He and I took down all of the Christmas decorations, and even took a few naps.  It was a perfect way to spend a QUIET Saturday!

Getting ready to catch some fishies!


Imagine my surprise when I opened the basement door this morning, and these little guys were sitting there.  They are (still) frozen, so Scott is thawing them out before taking care of them...



This morning started off with lovely mimosas and pancakes, and this afternoon, we're dropping G off with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey so we can take Ava to see Frozen (how appropriate considering it's -6F right now!)  I've heard great things about this movie, and it's been a while since just the three of us have done anything, so it should be fun!

Two weeks left before I go back to work...where has the time gone?  G is almost 10 weeks old, and will have his 2-month checkup later this week.  I have mixed feelings about going back to work...I will miss spending my days with G, but I am ready to start using my brain again for other things.  And to talk to adults during the day.  We'll see how I feel about all of this after my first week back is done...