We have had quite a bit go on in the last few months! Lots to catch up on!
(1) We took (survived?) a family trip to Puerto Vallarta again this year! Anyone who has traveled with kids knows it's a lot of work for a little bit of relaxing--especially considering Evelyn and I got some sort of icky food issues--but it's all about making memories, right?! We enjoyed some time at the pool, lots of play time with grandma and grandpa, good food and some new restaurants, and a little bit of exploring on the town.
(2) Other big news in our house is that we now have a three year old living under our roof! What in the world. Avery continues to amaze me at how smart and sweet she is. She is also becoming quite the extravert and taking after her daddy in many ways! She loooooooves "school" (pre-pre school) that she goes to a couple of mornings a week and just adores her teacher. She'd live at the library if I let her. That kid also never, ever tires of stories. Made up ones. By me. And her dad. It's so funny... without fail, whenever I ask her what her story should be about, she names a couple of animals, and when I ask what should happen in the story, she says, "The dragon and the puppy wanted to go to the park, but their mommy said, 'Not tooodaaaay!'" So we do that story nightly. She gets two stories before bedtime, so her other request as of late is a story about mommy, daddy, Avery, and Evelyn going to the beach. She's in her dream little world as I describe building sand castles and splashing in the water. We are learning and talking about God, that he loves us sooo much and is always with us and that he answers our prayers. Deep spiritual truths for a 3 year old! I'm not sure if this is a common toddler trait, but one distinctive characteristic about Avery is that she likes to correct people. Like, if I say, "Avery, go put this in the bin," she'll say, "It's not a bin, it's a bucket!" etc etc ETC!! Nothing gets by her. Anyway, I'm not sure yet if this is a positive or negative quality--I guess it could go either way depending--but it either cracks me up or worries me that she'll be doing this to her chemistry teachers someday. :-)
We are working on potty training (Avery) at the moment! My game plan for potty training was to wait as long as possible and then just go cold turkey. So about a week ago I realized we had no plans for like 5 days in a row, so Avery's diapers "were all gone." The only ones that were left were for Evelyn! (We had been talking for a long time about how her diapers were going to run out soon.) Anyway, it took about 3 wet accidents for her to get the hang of #1, and well, #2 is a whole different story for which I will spare you the details. All in all, though, it's going faaaar better than expected, so I'll take it.
I let the girls fill their buckets with candy as a party favor.
We also had a small celebration with Matt's side in Cedar Rapids at Chuck-E-Cheese.
This is Avery's class on Valentine's Day.
We attempted a soccer class at church with the next door neighbor Zoe.
And I just had to put this in here. I cannot believe how much Avery looks like Matt when he was young. Can I get a "what the heck"?!
(3) And then there's Evelyn. There is something about cuddling with, baby-talking with, holding and kissing your own baby that is just like nothing else in the wold world. I told Matt something like, "If every baby we had would be as sweet as Evelyn, I'd have a million!" She WAS saying "Hi," but since has refused. She used to be an avid nurser, like just LOVED to nurse and would do it all day and all night if I let her, but recently she has become quite fond of real food! (But she is still nursing too mom, don't worry. :) So anyway that's been fun to let her try new things. She loves loves loves being around people and in on the action and she gets super fussy and bored when it's just me and her if I'm not entertaining her! I just love her to pieces and am so grateful God put her in our family!!
(4) A couple of months ago, Matt and I got a little get-away to Vail. We enjoyed awesome food, some quality time together, and a nice hotel... what more could you ask for?! Oh, except for your mom to get your 9-month old to sleep through the night?! Done!! Yep, my mom got Evelyn to finally SLEEP at night, all night! Turns out all it took was a little ignoring and flipping her on her tummy. Badda bing badda boom! (Not quite like that, but you get the picture.)
In January we celebrated FIVE years of marriage. We ordered one of our wedding cakes to celebrate as well as spent some time with a few friends in our bridal party.
(5) Avery and Evelyn are just beginning to really play together. It's like the cutest thing IN THE WORLD.
(6) Grandma broke her ankle, so we were recently in Cedar Rapids visiting her in the hospital. She since has had surgery and is feeling much better! You can tell from the second picture that Avery was a little shaken up seeing Grandma not doing well!
(7) My FIRST NEPHEW Cooper was born! Maybe this will begin a streak of boys... or maybe not! Only time (lots of time, I might add, wink wink) will tell!
(8) I don't normally talk about my job on this blog--it's mostly devoted to family life--but it has been a good year teaching at the college. I espeically enjoyed teaching a class called Teaching English Language Learners to students who are studying to become teachers. Another highlight of the semester was presenting at a conference with one of my colleagues on the topic of the transition for non-native English speakers from ESL courses to college level English. Anyway, my work continues to be a fun 10-hour/week hobby for me--with summers off, of course!
Speaking of... it's almost here and I couldn't be more excited. I cannot wait for Clear Lake, taking the girls to the pool, going to parks!!! Just imagine!