Thursday, November 6, 2014

Something something

I come to my own blog often because it's the quickest way to get to the blogs I read.  I never stop to write something here, evidenced by the fact that it's been more than a year since my last update. 

Never been a big writer.  I always did well in my English classes, but I loathed writing! Math, on the other hand...  I guess that's why I ended up as an accountant :-).

So, what's been going on?

Probably the biggest news: We bought a house in June.  One day, I'll probably even post pictures of it.  Chris is finishing the basement almost entirely himself (we're hiring out the drywall, just for ease).  Can I just say I'm glad I married such a handy guy?!  Poor dude though -- his honey-do list is a mile long.

We took a week-long vacation to California in September/October.  We went to the San Diego Zoo, spent two days at Legoland and drove up to my old stomping grounds in Newbury Park.  The kids absolutely loved the zoo and Legoland, and we all survived the 12-hours-each-way road trip. 

Averie just turned 5.  Due to her late birthday, she'll go to kindergarten next year.  She has pre-K at daycare and her teacher reports she is quite far ahead of her peers!  We've suspected for awhile that she is capable of more than she lets on at home but she's stubborn as a mule, so confirmation that we need not worry about her "academic" progress was a relief. 

Declan is 2 1/2 -- he is so different than Averie at this age.  For one, he talks :-P.  I just adore his personality; I hope he never changes.  Except for the breath-holding-til-he-passes-out thing.  We can stop that at any time. 

I won't promise to write more often.  Who knows when it will actually happen again.  But we're here; we're all happy; we're all well. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Look Outside

Are pigs flying?  They might be, because I am actually blogging.  WHAT.  I know.

It's been over 10 months since my last post and that itself was a catch-up post, so....yeah.

Life is just.....gloriously busy.

It has been almost a year since I returned to work -- fortunately by choice, not necessity!  Our budget, now including child care for Averie and Declan, would be the poster child for "maybe it makes more financial sense to stay at home" but it has absolutely been the BEST move ever for our entire family.  More on that later (disclaimer: "later" may be another month or two....or five...from now).

So the fastest rundown ever:
Chris loves his job; they love him (this is starting to sound like a Primary song).  We're both grateful that he found a field to build a career in, that he will be happy in, and to have found a company that really values their employees the way EMC does.

Me: see aforementioned job.  Also, MS seems to be holding steady so that's another positive.

Averie went from almost zero functional language at this time last year to speaking in full sentences, telling long stories about her day, and really, other than articulation troubles (some normal for her age, some not), she is entirely caught up to her peers.  

Declan started crawling, then he had surgery to get ear tubes and remove his adenoids when he was 13 months old.  During the surgery, a code Blue was called -- TWICE -- and he was grounded forevermore.  Since then, he has also started talking (thank you for sparing me the grief of two kids with speech delays) and walking.  Again, more later.

Non-smartphone-camera pictures are in short supply these days; shame on me.  But I will go to my Facebook and diligently move some of my favorites uploaded there over here.  Right now.  Because if I don't, who knows how much longer it will be!  

Edit to add: OK, they are all down there!  If you have slow Internet, you may wish to leave this page up and come back later.  There are a lot! :-D

Pictures. I know, I'm shocked too.

Declan celebrated his first Christmas at 8 months old, with 8 teeth! 

Then we celebrated Valentine's Day with coincidentally coordinating outfits.  Declan cried because we put him down. 

Averie played peek-a-boo with the front-facing camera on my phone while I (mostly successfully) dodged out of the picture because it was early (note the cupcake PJ's) and I was not wearing any make-up and my hair looked like a flock of seagulls 'do.

Declan tried some (admittedly vomity-looking) baby food that I wanted to use up.  Even after he made this face, I still tried to get him to finish it.  Nope.

Averie finally potty-trained at 3 years, 4 months old.  Upside: she did it pretty much herself (really.  We went about life as normal, not chained to the house, no accidents).  Downside: it took THREE AND A HALF FREAKING YEARS, one of which was spent with two in diapers when I obviously carefully planned the 2 1/2 year spacing between them so that that would not happen.  Who said kids ruin your plans? ;-)
We were only able to persuade her to put a couple back.  Averie has about 50 pairs of underwear.  Not exaggerating.  (And yes, some boys' pairs.  Who says girls can't like trains?!)

We found out Declan can get really territorial about someone else's (*cough*mine*cough*) Easter cinnamon roll.

I took this picture of Declan, wide awake at 11 pm because he's a stinker like that, and inadvertently made him look like a poor one-legged baby.

Declan has a nervous breakdown when we tell him how old he is.  

After aforementioned potty-training (and thus no more diaper butt), the losing battle to keep Averie's pants up becomes a lost battle.  She also gets her first professional haircut shortly after this.

Um.  Hmm.  I just don't know.

Even though we have enough toys to fill a Toys R Us, Declan's birthday gift becomes the most fought over item ever.  Averie does push Declan all around the basement in it, which is almost as fun as getting to ride in it yourself.

Declan gets his first taste of Costco frozen yogurt.  A monster is created.

Averie does Utah weather right and prepares for both extremes at the same time.

To be continued......

More pictures, like, whoa.

Declan's surgery (pre-op).  I'm actually a little teary.  There has never been a scarier moment in my life than when I thought my baby was gone.

An in-and-out procedure gone awry meant we got to spend the afternoon on the Pediatrics floor.

Declan was blowing raspberries on the bottom of his suction cup plate (yes, it really works!  Made by Boon) and laughing his head off.

The first professional haircut.  I didn't want to do bangs for so long because I didn't want to maintain them but I'm so glad I did.

Sibling love (Right.  They started fighting over those necklaces in Averie's hand about 3 seconds later).

We played bubbles in the backyard.

And Averie raced back and forth from one end of the yard to another for no good reason (but she slept like a rock that night!).

Declan passive-aggressively conveyed his disappointment in the size of his personal TV (video monitor).

Chris got old.  (Everybody point and laugh).

Declan discovered the "window" in the stroller visor and played peekaboo.

Declan was cruising along the bookshelf and fell butt first into this bin.  I got the camera, he cried, then realized he was surrounded by toys and played happily for 10 minutes.  WIN.

I could laugh for hours at this picture.
Jason takes the award for best caption: "Go home, Declan. You're drunk."

This is the end.

Of all the pictures I have for now. 

Chris knew that Averie was too quiet during the car ride.

Averie and her best friend, Ethan.  They had to move shortly after this.  She still talks about him 3 months later!

Averie wanted a picture of her being a ballerina.  Side note: finally retired this same dress--a bit too short dress-->tunic-->shirt after four summers.  I use this kind of economical use of clothes to justify the purchase of more shoes (for her and/or me :-D).  Side, side note: We tried to trim her bangs ourselves.  Won't make that mistake again!

Several people have said he looks like he's wearing a toga.  Nope, just a stretched out onesie.  'Cuz I'm Mom of the Year, y'know.  But his face is too cute.

We had BaconFEST at my job.  It's pretty much the best place to work in the history of ever.  

Declan climbed onto this table by himself.  He was re-grounded forevermore.

Costco further cemented its place in our hearts.

Averie refused to let me choose a coordinating outfit for her to wear.  A little (partially OCD) part of me died when she left the house like this.

How 'bout a more visually pleasing ending to this post?  Chris sent me these for our 9th anniversary. 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I wrote six -- SIX! -- new blog posts yesterday.  I still have a bit more to do to catch all the way up, but at least the oldest stuff -- with lots of pictures! -- is up.


Monday, December 31, 2012

How We Spent Our Labor Day Stay-cation

(From September 2012)
Do you remember writing those papers about how you spent your summer vacation on the first day back at school?  Because every grade-schooler wants to jump back into the school year by writing a paper, right? :-)

Well, we didn't have much of a summer vacation -- Chris' employer has been offering unlimited overtime since June and the moment Chris finished training and was eligible to start cashing in on that (literally!), he did.  

Due to some lingering pain from his last carpal tunnel release surgery, he was having minor hand surgery again over Labor Day, and since trying to type in the first few days of recovery would not be fun for him (and that's pretty much a requirement for someone in IT), we decided to make a week of it.

We took a day to sleep in, laze around the house and do nothing at all.  It was great!  Then we were all geared up to start potty-training Averie and the first day, Saturday, was ..... an experience.  Mostly, it involved a LOT of clean-up, although she did have two successes before the day was out!  But the next day was Sunday and by the time she woke up, it was too late, then it was church, then nap, and with everything else ahead, we just realized it wasn't the right time to take this on. 

Monday was our ultra-productive day.  We had a baby in the spring so we did "fall cleaning" instead :-).  Chris and I are both what I would call "purgers."  Don't need it?  Get rid of it!  Trash or DI, whatever, but it's not staying with us.  All our years of marriage, we have culled our things regularly throughout the year to keep our living areas uncluttered.  It doesn't mean we don't have a lot of stuff -- *sheepishly closes the door on the bedroom closet full of clothes and shoes* -- but at least it's all used regularly :-).

Tuesday was surgery and Wednesday was recovery.  

Thursday and Friday actually felt like vacation.  Well, stay-cation.  We went to the state fair and the aquarium with the kids and had the BEST time.  Separate blog posts on those (loaded with pictures) coming right up.

Stay-cation -- At The Fair

I've been to plenty of amusement parks, but never a fair before so this was my and Averie's first time. 

First stop was a little simulated farm for Averie.  We put on our apron and grabbed a pail.

Got some grain for the cow...

Averie wanted to pick an apple, but they were hot from being out in the sun, so Daddy had to put it in her basket.

Chose a potato "seed" -- because Averie loves french fries ;-) -- and planted it...

Then picked up our finished potato on the other side.

Rode the tractor...
Brushed the sheep...

Collected some eggs...

Then it was time to trade in all her crops...

For a little snack.

OK, enough of the boring educational stuff (Kidding!).  Time for some rides!
The mini Tower of Terror
The princess greets her loyal subjects

Averie met her match for most stubborn creature on the planet.
And tried to help it escape.

Rode the giant slide!

<<<<  But should have stopped the first time -- Chris caught some serious air and broke his tailbone on the second trip down (it's an 8-week recovery in case you were wondering!).

 Averie loved the bounce house (is there a toddler that doesn't?)

And she was a good sport even though she fell down.
A lot!

This was a huge maze of ladders to reach the slide at the top.
She needed a little help with the first ladder.

Not a fan of the "hamster wheel

But she was a pro by the second time!

All that work for 5 seconds of sliding!

This one was really jerky and whipped around the corners.  She cried so hard, they stopped the ride to let her off.

Got swindled Played some fair games.  At least there were consolation prizes, which were plenty for Averie. 
She actually almost got it!

Declan chilled in the shade of the stroller the whole time.  Must be nice!

And kicked Averie's seat at every opportunity, in true little brother fashion.

 We finished with one more spin -- ha! I crack myself up -- on the carousel.

We snagged a fair worker to take a family picture, in which only the adults are smiling and looking at the camera. 

Then we all trudged parents trudged and kids rolled in comfort back to the car, dusty and exhausted.  It was a fantastic day.  Can't wait to go again next year!