We went to Anacortes a few weeks ago to spend a couple days catching up with some friends and family that we hadn’t seen since Audrey was born. Since days pass where I don’t get to look at my pictures or even pick up my camera, it was a happy surprise when these images popped up on my screen. Walking out to get the paper is one of my favorite things to do when visiting my parents because it is quick, relaxing and just long enough where you don’t have to go wild trying to get out the door…grab the nearest coat, some shoes, maybe a hat and you’re good to go! It is also the perfect length to convince Maggie to walk without complaint. Plus, she gets to check out the stinky cows on the way.
I had planned to leave Maggie up there for a couple days and head back home with Audrey to have a couple days with just Barry and Audrey. I was prepared for Maggie to be a little upset that she wasn’t coming home with us, but I’m pretty sure Syd was more upset to be left behind than Maggie ~ and Sydney LOVES Camp Janet. When I left, Maggie and my dad were in a very involved game with the train tracks and Mags hardly looked up to say goodbye. (I was a bit stung, but pretty proud that she was so excited to be staying.) As I packed up the car, I listened to the interactions between Maggie and my dad and I couldn’t help but laugh. They’d set up an entire village in the middle of the train tracks (not pictured) and the train operated with Maggie’s whistle….Maggie was in heaven.
Also while we were in Anacortes, we went to Midge’s and she got to snuggle with Audrey and read stories with Maggie. Whenever Maggie is in A-Town with my mom, they go visit Midge and so Maggie is very familar with Midge’s house and has a definte idea of all the things that she needs to do and where all the toys are stored. At one point she had Midge practially on the ground trying to cajole Callie out from under the couch so they could brush her. Poor kitty cat, but the two Maggies were having a ball working together to get that fat cat out.
Even though I had a cat that lived FOREVER (I got her in 1st grade and she died when I was in college!), I’ve never really considered myself a cat person. Most of the people we know that have cats, have scardy cats that hide when we’re around. Callie is the opposite of a scardy cat once you get her out from under the couch or table. She loves getting brushed and is so patient and calm with Maggie. On the list of things to do at Midge’s is brush Callie and Maggie worked for quite a while while Callie patiently waited for her to finish. I only wish Syd was as patient.
The most frustrating part about visiting Anacortes is not having enough time to see some of my favorite people. In fact, that could be said for all of Skagit Valley….and if I’m being really truthful, I’ve got e-mails, texts, facebook messages, voicemails and even snail mail that I’m way behind on. Perhaps I try to keep in touch with too many people? So when it came up that we would be able to meet up with Kara, I was thrilled.
We spent a couple hours at Kara and Ryan’s house painting, coloring, eating and just relaxing. Maggie and Kara were able to have long conversations about where Ryan was and now – nearly a month later – we’re still hearing about how Ryan went to Bellingham to get ‘ice skates’ for Kara. It is so funny to me how certain conversations stick with Maggie and make an impact. It’s also a reminder of how careful we need to be because kids are ALWAYS listening.
When we were packing up to go home, I took Maggie to go potty and left Audrey in her car seat ready to walk out the door. I told Kara to just give it a few rocks if she started squaking. Of course, Audrey started yelling and these two things happened within the two minutes it took Maggie to go potty:
1. Maggie started yelling “Don’t worry, your big sister is here! Don’t worry, your big sister is coming!”
2. I caught Kara red-handed taking Audrey out of her car seat….even though we were literally packed to go. It feels go to have a friend that loves my babies so much she doesn’t want to hear them cry.
Most people have been asking me how being home with TWO kids has been. I don’t really have an answer and stumble through a few sentences each time I’m asked, never giving the same response. Practically immediately after Audrey was born, I had a strong sense of feeling like our family was complete and now that we’re into her second month, I hardly remember what life was like with just ONE. That doesn’t mean that every moment has been perfect and has come without challenges. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to remind Maggie that she doesn’t have to have her face THISCLOSE for Audrey to see or hear her. And as I’ve mentioned above, I’m way behind on communicating with people….some day I might catch up.
Most of all, being home with two has been great. It actually feels like three kids some days because Sydney really is our third child. I was especially reminded of this on Tuesday when Syd spent most of the morning barking, barking, barking at the trash trucks that were driving up and down our street. Sometimes, especially after a horrible night’s sleep, her bark can be a bit annoying.
Maggie is the most helpful big sister and we’re working really, really hard to make sure that she gets plenty of Maggie Time. This means dance parties galore, books, baking projects and playing dollies for stints. For the most part, Maggie wants to be involved with whatever it is Audrey is up to…announcing to us over and over, ‘she’s wide awake!!!” if Audrey’s eyes are open. Maggie also ‘translates’ for us whatever it is Audrey needs…which is most often “mommy’s milky.” The other morning Audrey was lounging on the guest bed and Maggie decided to play her a concert with the harmonica. I had to rush and get my camera because it was the funniest/sweetest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Sadly, Audrey wasn’t really into the musical numbers that Mags performed. Maybe next time.
I have become horrible with taking pictures these days. Days pass where I don’t take pictures or even know where my camera is. It isn’t that I don’t want to take pictures or am not motivated….it’s just that my time is so divided between everything. But the other morning we were leaving our house and Maggie asked me to take her picture with New Baby. I don’t think this has ever happened, so of course I ran back inside and grabbed my camera. I’m not a fashion blogger, but these little images of Maggie reminded me of a ‘what’s she wearing’ type of image. These days, as long as she’s wearing ‘leggings’ or ‘yoga pants’ she is good to go. Funnily enough, I w
ABM , anacortes , camp janet , doing stuff , family , friends , Grandparents , MMM , photography
The 25th of December really came and went this year. It did. That’s what the calendar tells us, but both Barry and I are having a difficult time believing that Christmas actually happened. Maggie had been anticipating Santa’s arrival for quite a bit and since we knew that we wouldn’t be home for Christmas Eve, Santa came early….almost a week early. We sprinkled the Reindeer Dust that Linda made for Maggie. This year, as compared to last year, Maggie really understood what she was doing. As she pranced around outside, in the cold, wet evening air, she announced to us where each reindeer was going to land. “This for Donder. This for Comet and Cupid…” We’d sprinkled the dust a few nights before because she was so excited and Santa’s reindeer only brought snow, this time she dumped the whole bucket out to make sure they knew where to land.
In writing a letter to Santa to let him know about the cookies, Maggie was very insistent that we start off with a “Happy Birthda, Santa” message. I’m not sure where she got the idea that it was Santa’s birthday, but I’m sure he was really pleased to see such a cheerful greeting. Mags worked for a really long time using the ‘special’ markers to write her own note to him. She really wanted a dolly (her word, not sure where she got it) and I’m pretty sure she wrote a paragraph or two describing her ideal doll.
Being a parent of a young child brings a rush that I wasn’t prepared for when it comes to Christmas and Santa Claus. After Maggie fell asleep I was practically bouncing off the walls with excitement – as if I were the child. By the time the next morning rolled around and Maggie was ready to get up, I was still carrying the feeling of utter joy with me. I was also nervous that somehow it wouldn’t be as cool as I was hoping for.
Aside from the fact that Maggie first noticed the ONE present that was out of place under the tree, her reaction to what Santa had left her was absolutely perfect. Lots of high-pitched “Oh’s” and “For me?” questions. Her doll house was a huge hit, as expected and when she noticed the dolly that Santa left her she swooped it up and gave it a huge hug – and then promptly set it down to get back to her doll house. Santa had also left little wooden dolls in Barry and my stockings – a mama one for me and a papa one for him. She thought that was hilarious and the fact that Sydney even got something in her stocking seemed to please her even more.
After we had a morning celebration of Christmas, it was time to get the show in the road….my mom came down and picked up Maggie to bring her back to Camp Janet. My mom also got to come to a doctor’s appointment with me and see B2 on the old, rickety ultrasound machine. Less than a month to go now! Wowza.
I didn’t exactly confirm it with Maggie, but I’m almost certain that she was more excited to go to my parent’s house than she was for Santa coming to her house. Both her and Sydney were more than happy to say goodbye to me and head down the road. I stood in the driveway and cried for a bit and then went inside and started to pack. Being home alone, without a husband, child, or dog, is a feeling that I’m not used to. It was as if I couldn’t relax or settle into a project – the house was too dang quiet.
By the time Barry rolled home, I’d pretty much packed our bags and we were able to have a relaxing evening at home…again, something that felt all too surreal. What did we do before Syd and Mags arrived? The next morning we got in the car and started our trek to Mount Hood for Ryan and Kara’s wedding. To be honest, when they first decided the weekend of the 21st to get married, and I looked at where I was going to be in my pregnancy, I was pretty nervous about how I was going to be feeling. Thankfully, I have felt really good and taking a longer car trip to Mount Hood didn’t feel like something I couldn’t do.
Plus, being able to be a part of Kara and Ryan’s wedding was so special and amazing. Timberline Lodge was a spectacular setting and both bride and groom were beaming from ear to ear. As with my life these days, my pictures are lacking but their photographer (that happened to shoot Canon!) got some amazing shots that I can’t wait to see. The ceremony was next to the fireplace in the main lodge and we had an intimate dinner in a private room where most of the guests were able to toast the happy couple. Kara’s composure at the speech she gave at the end of the evening floored me – after so many emotional moments throughout the day, she was solid as a rock. Congrats, K + R! We loved being there to help celebrate! It was perfect.
Barry and I had discovered on our way up the mountain that our car did NOT have All Wheel Drive as we had originally thought….we also knew that we didn’t have chains to strap on in a moment’s notice. Not to mention the fact that snow had been heavily falling in the previous days. To say that it was a white-knuckled drive would be an understatement. But we made it up the mountain to Government Camp to stay in a cabin with friends Saturday night and then up to the lodge to stay for Sunday night’s wedding. On Christmas Eve, Monday, we woke to find our car covered by a heavy-duty snow drift. Barry borrowed a snow shovel from the front desk and before we knew it we were back on the road headed down the mountain. We high-fived and fist-bumped when we finally made it on to clear roads – both of us holding our breath and not talking down the winding roads.
We made it back to A-Town that evening in time for dinner and presents with my family. The reunion with Maggie was full of hugs and kisses – four nights away from her is the longest we’d ever gone but she had a great time with my parents. As we sat around the Sun Room opening presents and talking I sipped on my tea and tried to wrap my head around the fact that just that morning I had been eating breakfast in a fancy lodge waiting for the two tons of snow to be moved in a snow-filled parking lot. It didn’t seem real and I felt like zombie.
Miraculously, Barry and I stayed up talking with my family for quite a bit. I think we were both a bit jazzed up to be out of the car and finally back with Mags. We played a game of Musical Beds that night – I can’t seem to get comfortable anywhere these days – and the next morning, Christmas Day, I woke feeling like the last few days were finally catching up to me. Once Mags woke up, we drove to Alger and enjoyed a nice Christmas morning with Barry’s side of the family. Maggie really loved passing out gifts and opening presents….after a bit of practice, she’s finally gotten the hang of it. Brian had been up since 3:30 and Barry and I probably looked/acted like we’d never gone to sleep – zombie mode was in full force!
Maggie started melting down way earlier in the day than we had anticipated, so after a quick stop at Grandma & Grandpa Rhone’s, we were again on the road back home to HBHQ. Both Maggie and I slept the entire drive home – not sure who needed it more. And that is how we found ourselves back at home around 3 o’clock on Christmas Day with zero plans and zero family. It just didn’t feel feel real. We’d had such a blitz of events and to come home to a quiet house that we’d left almost a week ago, didn’t feel too Christmasy. We had a funny hodge-podge dinner and went to bed earlier than we should admit.
When we look at the calendar and see that we’re creeping towards the 1st of a new year, I have a hard time believing that for a number of reasons. One being that I’m about to have a baby and another being that many of our end-of-the-year rituals and traditions got squished, squashed or moved this year. Even Kara and Ryan’s beautiful wedding seems like a dream, the whole weekend went by in a flash. So, Happy Christmas to those that had a quickie like us and those that had a leisurely day! Because, believe it or not, Christmas did actually happen this year!
anacortes , camp janet , doing stuff , family , friends , Grandparents , life , love & marriage , MMM , Nice People , Random , travel
Because I’m a copy cat and everybody and their mother is writing about things that their thankful for, I’m bustin’ one out here. Plus, making lists is much easier on the brain in comparison to putting together actual sentences. Here we go!
1. Raffi. We’ve started listening to his Christmas album and I love it now as much as I did as a kid. Maggie has no choice, but to love him too.
2. Caregivers. Having our nanny, Jessica, watch Maggie in the mornings while I go to work has worked out better than I could have hoped. We’re lucky that our little girl is loved by so many different people.
3. Being home. I love my afternoons with Maggie (especially on the days when a major meltdown doesn’t happen) and know that all too soon her little life is going to be changed forever when her little sister arrives. I find myself trying to take every hug, kiss, snuggle, book, and game that I can with undivided attention.
4. B2. She’s kicking and karate-chopping her way around my tummy. She is already so loved by so many. Hard to believe that in less than ten weeks she’ll probably be here. To say we’re excited, would be a major understatement.
5. Grandparents. My parents and Barry’s parents are awesome grandparents, Maggie is the luckiest of girls. But I too am a lucky girl, I’ve got pretty amazing grandparents of my own. 3G and Great Grandpa E. stopped by last week for a quick visit and they’re a shining example of what it means to be family. Nothin’ but love from those two!
6. Barry. So much of what he does he’d prefer it go unnoticed. He makes the beds in the morning, takes the trash out when it is full, empties the dishwasher, folds laundry, sweeps, dresses Maggie, and the list goes on and on. He does these things partially because they need to get done, but also because he is a caring, helpful husband and father. He is amazing. We work because I don’t expect him to do these things, but am beyond grateful that he does. I notice.
7. Cocoa Butter. Stretch marks showed up on my tummy two days before Maggie was born. Not sure that slathering myself in cocoa butter helps, but at least I smell good.
8. Facebook Homies. I actually don’t really like facebook, but I’ve got a ‘secret’ group on there with some of my A-Town friends and that little club keeps me laughing and truckin’ sometimes. I haven’t seen some of those women in a few months now, but because of our ‘secret’ group, I halfway know what is new in their lives.
9. My madre. Years and years ago I gifted her with the best thing in the world…..a nickname that is SO perfect: FIDGET. My mom, The Fidge, is about to host 25 people at Camp J. for T-Day and I know that she’s already more ready than 98% of the rest of America prepping for the same holiday. She’s a planner, an organizer and a bustle of energy. She successfully helped me host a bridal tea last weekend and there is NO way I could have done it without her.
10. Gestational Diabetes. I’m just thankful that I don’t have it. I had to do the three hour test and spent a few days feeling very sorry for myself that it was even a possibility. I’m feeling pretty amazing, regardless of being told that “I look ready” a couple times. I plan to go full-term, which means I’ve still got some serious baking to do with this babe.
11. Nog. I am thankful that we still have a shot glass or two from years ago because taking a shot of egg nog just makes me feel whole some days. Happens every year, I fall in love with egg nog and am done with it by Christmas.
12. Maggie’s attention span. There is no doubt in my mind that Maggie is an artist. She amazes me with her attention to detail and ability to follow through on a task. Our hallway closet that contains paints, glue, glitter, a roll of butcher paper, markers, stickers, watercolors, and other supplies gets used nearly every single day.
13. Christmas. Often times Christmas is a stressful time for us because we’re trying our best to fit in more events than time allows. This year will be a bit different for us, as we’re celebrating Kara & Ryan’s wedding the 23rd, but I’m truly excited to see Maggie experience the holiday.
14. Friends getting married. Kara and Ryan are getting hitched in about a month and seeing them last weekend made me really excited for their impending nuptials. Being with the one you love….it doesn’t get any better than that. Kara’s excitement over all things wedding is contagious.
15. A stocked freezer. Charlyn has hosted a meal-prep night a couple times now and I’ve come home with enough food to fill our freezer. The meals are great on days that I don’t feel like cooking or our schedules are busy. I’m thankful for friends that plan ahead….and include me in those plans!
16. Work. It was hard to go back to work after being home with Maggie for a couple years, but I really do love teaching and I love my coworkers. I know that once B2 arrives I’ll fall back into the swing of things of being home, but for now I love the community and connection I feel at work.
17. My yoga pants. What pregnant woman wouldn’t put yoga pants on her list? My whole plan this pregnancy is this: leggings, tunic & boots. It’s been working pretty well, but sometimes in the evening I change out of my leggings into my yoga pants. That’s how much I enjoy my yoga pants. Plus, my yoga pants helped me locate a missing library book, but that is another story for another day.