Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Tenth

Our girl is in the double digits.  On the one hand I can't believe she's already almost a year old but on the other hand I can't believe she was born only last year.  She's just such a part of our family now it's hard to imagine it without her (luckily, since she's not going anywhere).

She had a really fun first Christmas and seemed to quite enjoy everything about it (especially the bottom third of the tree), though she's still getting used to the idea of snow, of which we had a blessed abundance this year.  As predicted, she was pretty interested in wrapping paper, though she also really enjoyed her new toys and books.  She has a hearty appetite these days, when it's something she's interested in, though she sometimes prefers to be held while eating.  She's super active and loves to follow people around and discover them when they've gone to another part of the room or behind a door.  She seems to like it when I sing to her (more than I remember her brother liking it), and she can often be heard giggling heartily or sighing wistfully, which are both completely charming in their own way.  The other day we left her with Mom and Dad while we went to Star Wars and dinner and she was perfectly fine the whole time.  Yay!  It's just nice to know she's okay with being left places for a few hours (though we were quite glad to squish her again when we came back) (thanks as always, by the way, Mom and Dad).

As ever, The Wife's update is here, but here are a few Insta/phonepictures:
Sometimes I just want to stare at them and remember every single little thing.
Fun li'l Santa pile.
Yes, maybe these presents were more for our amusement, but they liked them too.
Just being happy with her new octopus
New fleecy hoodie from Grandma!  I think she likes it.
Baby, what are you doing to me?!?
I guess she wasn't really interested in sitting up any more.
She's such a smooch I can hardly stand it, and even though she's been having an issue or two with sleeping (most of the brunt of which falls on The Wife since it's mostly to do with naps... sorry, Wife), and she is starting to act a little more independent and willful (the dramatic dodges at mealtimes), she is usually pretty easygoing and sweet and funny, and she and The Boy love to talk and play and giggle together.  Sometimes I'm blown away by how beautiful and clever and sweet this girl of ours is.

As a preview for month 11, just last night she kept me up to the wee-ish hours, when she was mostly happy in her second wind but not really interested in sleep, and making it known whenever I tried to put her down, but I was eventually able to sort of trick her into nodding off and then crawled ever so slowly and quietly out of the room before she could protest, but really (though I was tired and a little frustrated at the time) I think she might have been saying "Da!" in that sweet little voice of hers, and she was quite snuggly, and I don't always get these opportunities since most of the time she prefers Mommy, so I guess I better step back and be grateful for it all.  All too soon she'll be where her brother is and we'll be wondering where our baby girl went.

P.S. Again I feel like The Wife needs some props.  It's hard these frigid days to be inside for most of the time, and the cabin fever can start to affect all parties involved, so I'm amazed as always at what she can do, even when it's challenging. :*

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

We Wish You a Merry... and a Happy... (2015-2016)

Just a quick post with more details about Christmas before I forget them all...

What a wonderful Christmastime was this last!  It was busy and crazy but fun and snowy and all the things that Christmas should be.
We thought this tree looked like a Weasley.  Pigwidgeon it is.  (I will also say that I felt really bad throwing our tree out a couple weeks ago... It stood tall and strong and beautiful without being watered for days on the back patio and even after I put it on the curb.  Well done, Costco.)

Let's make a little list:

I was... recruited to sing with a fun community choir, which ended up being a lot more of a commitment than I expected, but also really enjoyable.  We had a handful of concerts in various venues (Temple Square was fun but a drive, and the AF library atrium is interesting for a chance, and a high school auditorium always brings back memories, though the Alpine Tabernacle is probably the best overall), and it gave me a chance to wear a sparkly bow-tie and cummerbund, so there is that.
 Our family Christmas portraits turned out beautifully and arrived just in time to put on display:
Thanks, Kami!
At work we had a white elephant exchange party, and in true white elephant fashion I found whatever I had on hand (not that I forgot until I arrived at work or anything...), and it turned out my gift was pretty popular and was traded around a few times.
If you think that I just found something in my car and put it in a gift bag... well, you're right, but I also embellished with a couple of wintertime accoutrements.
I didn't end up with this remarkable piece, but it was enough for me to know that it even exists (it's a musical box that plays The Entertainer).

We also had a team building activity building "gingerbread" houses. Mine is a miserable failure, but hey, I went out on a limb and tried to tie it to HP.
Sorry, Hagrid.
Then of course Star Wars was a thing going on, so we went to that eventually (we didn't plan on seeing it right away, but the threat of spoilers grew too great).  This was a Sunday morning art activity, which ended up featuring a certain young Jedi.
Wife, Rey and Baby Jesus.
 For Primary we had our 2nd annual Primary Christmas Concert, where each class takes a turn singing one song in front of the rest of the group and it turned out to be really great.  Some classes went above and beyond in preparing visual aids or learning sign language.
While I was at my Temple Square concert I took a few minutes to walk around and look at the lights in the rain.
 Then it was Christmas Eve and the kids were in bed and Santa was on the way and we realized that we haven't watched this in a while:
And then it was Christmas morning!  It's been interesting with two kids, one getting older and realizing what Christmas morning means, and trying to find a good balance of gift giving, and I really felt great about what we gave and how much.  It's hard because there are soooo many fun things and I feel like I said, "oh, he/she would totally love that" like a hundred times, but in the end they would love quite a lot of things, but that doesn't mean they NEED all the things.  As it is it's been almost a month and he's still not tired on that train or those tools.
We love Santa!  (But we love Jesus more.)
As for us, we treated each other to fun and great things, from literary adaptations (Jonathan Strange!  Far From the Madding Crowd!) to books (art and HP music and AG!) and some great supplies for my cubicle, and some unique touches as well.  That Hogwarts sweater quite becomes our favorite Gryffindor.
I'm kind of thinking he doesn't quite grasp the concept of stockings?  Or maybe he does and we're the ones who don't.
And then I decided I better take an extra day off work to spend the day with these three beloveds:

(The inclusion of the train was a coincidence in the first two, but totally planned in the third.)
We spent plenty of time with family and having the usual fun and foods (fondue) (pullaparrrrts...) (little buffet at home), and webcamming with our family in the Midwest and generally having a nice time, enjoying being home together, and watching the snow fall off and on.
My top Instaposts of the year.  Is it surprising that every single one features Poopsie?
New Year's Eve was fun with family goings-on and then, well, watching the ball drop on YouTube at around 10:37 and calling it a night.  Then of course it was time for the annual shave-and-a-haircut, which this year evidently meant going full-on buzzer without even the shortest attachment.  Brr.
Don't be deceived by her puzzled expression, she knew her daddy.
This middle step we like to call the 24601.
This was a really interesting year, from a lot of highs (a certain arrival in mid-March, lots of family visits, actual road trips) to a few lows (lost job, insane societal issues, new sleeping schedules), but we're the four of us standing tall.

I really think it was the merriest Christmas yet, at least for me, and there were many times when I just sat and observed and it was like Christmastime was all brand new again for me, whether sitting back watching my little ones just doing their thing on Christmas morning or learning some new Christmas songs or snuggling with my darling girl.  It's always sad when it's over, but hey, we're already 2/3 through January, right?

Bring it, 2016.