December 31, 2013

We Did It! (12 Family Pictures)

In January, I resolved to take one family picture a month. And we succeeded! Every picture isn't frame worthy but we're all in them and in most cases, our eyes are open.  Given our current state of flux, the fact that I'm fond of the resolution, and the choas that comes with two littles,  I plan on repeating the resolution in 2014. It's probably the right size goal for me right now. I may up the ante by challenging myself to get the dogs in one of the pictures, but otherwise the goal will be the same: one picture of all of us each month of 2014.













December 30, 2013

Christmas Morning

This Christmas we woke up at our house (which was amazing) around 6:00 with Cole while Ibbie slept in. Cole saw a new play mat which stopped her in her tracks on the way to the kitchen. She got out her trucks and construction equipment then started playing right away.
When she finally made her way into the kitchen the ran directly for the wrapped play kitchen. While she unwrapped the gift she just kept exclaiming, "Ooooooo! Oooooooo!" She started playing and didn't stop until her sister woke up at 8:00. 
By 10:00 we were in Baltimore, celebrating Christmas at Scottie and Big's house in our pajamas.
Around noon, we got over to my dad's for a way too good and way too big Christmas breakfast. Cole had a blast playing with the toys my dad set out for her and demanding rides her new red wagon.
We decided to spend the night in Baltimore and leisurely make our way home on the 26th. It's funny how much more relaxed Christmas was since there was no pressure to get in as much quality time as possible. We thought it would be nice to live closer during the holidays and fortutnaly, that seems right.

December 29, 2013

A Few Nights Before Christmas

A few nights before Christmas we drove into Baltimore to welcome my brother, who was visiting from Florida, have dinner with my mom and see the trains at Kenilworth.
The train garden at Kenilworth has been part of my holiday tradition for as long as I can remember. An extensive world of model trains is set up in the center of the mall for about a month. There are buttons for kids to push which bring certain features to life. Cole loved it! Next year we'll have to make an effort to go at non-peak hours. 

December 27, 2013

Coping Mechanisms

Christmas was wonderful and I'll eventually get a post up about our day, for now you must see how inventive my children are. As we all know, holidays can be as stressful as they are fun with total disregard for any sleep schedules and many relatives to meet, see, and hug. Fortunately, my girls have developed their own unique coping mechanisms.

An hour passed bedtime, Cole decided she'd had enough and just called it a day. This one really is a toddler.
Ib took a different approach. She went from relative to relative cooing and drooling as babies do but promised payback later on. She told me with her eyes. And finger.

December 23, 2013

December 22, 2013

Gymnastics Clips

Cole's been in gymnastics for three weeks.  Peter takes her on Saturday mornings and then they go out to lunch. It's a sweet little time for the two of them. Every week Peter comes home will some video clips from the class. Apparently Cole is also doing bear crawls down the parallel bars as well as forward and backwards rolls but since Peter is Cole's spotter he hasn't recorded them. Safety first! 

December 18, 2013

Hey, Monday!

Sunday was a weird day.

Shortly after I woke up, I walked downstairs with Ibbie in my arms and fell. Fortunatly my behind bore the brunt of the fall and Ibbie was none the wiser. Then as we loaded the car to go to the church we agreed to visit, Peter noticed a 2'6" crack in my windshield. Since the intergrity of the windshield was comprised, we decided to go to church closer to our house. The church was something of a madhouse when we entered. Oddly right before starting his sermon, the pastor asked that families with children in tow excuse themselves and watch the sermon from another room so that people could give the sermon their full attention. Frankly, any church that doesn't welcome children in the sanctuary is not going to be our church. We left early and decided to attend a night service at a church in Philadelphia.

The church in Philadephila was wonderful. But it won't be our church. You see, it's a Philly church and we're not in Philly. It would be difficult to build community an hour from where we live. So we'll press on and continue our search for a new church home locally.

I don't know that I've ever looked forward to Monday so much as I did this week.

And now, pictures of my babies:

December 12, 2013

The Townhouse

We decided to rent a house, at least initially, so that we can get to know the area and determine where exactly we'd like to settle. Peter found the house with the help of our friend's mother, who just so happens to be our new next door neighbor. The house is nice little 3 bedroom, 1½ bathroom townhouse. There is an amazing park down the street but with the recent snow we've essentially been home bound. Since we are still working on meeting people, the girls and I are seeing a whole lot of one another. This new house is very colorful. Very, very colorful compared to our old house
We have a lime green bathroom, a three color kitchen, and a master bedroom with a blue accent wall. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of accent walls but since it's a rental my opinion of the wall color is irrelevant. The house has three stories which means lots of stairs. The top floor has the bedrooms, the basement is all storage, so we live on the second floor which is the living room and kitchen. Our living room is a soft yellow with three purple accent walls and curtains to match. I call it the purple room.
The purple room is our living space and playroom. There's no television (because there is no where to put it) so it's all toys all the time. And music, we've got to have some music. Life in the purple room isn't so bad.  It's a bit crowded, since the dogs like to hang with us, but we're making do. Odds are we won't be in this house for more than a year or two, if that, but it's a fine pit stop. 

December 9, 2013

First Haircut

The day finally arrived: Cole got her first haircut! While the baby curls were adorable, her hair was a million different lengths and she'd developed something of a rat-tail. Two days after we moved, I noticed a children's salon by our new house. Saturday, on a whim, we got a walk-in appointment. We took a risk and let Cole sit on one of the animal chairs rather than on my lap in a regular salon chair. The stylist said she could even out Cole's bangs and cut her hair into a bob. While Cole was a bit skeptical at first, she went along with it without resistance. The movie that was playing on the television three feet from her face probably helped encourage the passive compliance. We'll be back.

December 2, 2013

Two Weeks In

We've been in our new home for two weeks now. We're unpacked and settled into the house. I'm still adjusting to life without a fenced-in yard and the million set of stairs in this house (really it's just five: three inside and two outside). As far as settling into the town, that is a work in progress. We've been to a couple of churches and have another on our short list. Hopefully we'll find a home church soon so that we can start building relationships with people in our community. It's a bit odd to go from our very scheduled, very social weeks to weeks with blank schedules and no planned socializing.  I've met a few people at the park and mall and Target but that's it.
I'm grateful every day for Memphis and our time there! Our friends, church, and neighborhood were all so special. I'm working diligently not to compare things here to there. It's just very different! One thing we all miss is Mother's Day Out! As far as I can tell, it does not exist in the mid-Atlantic. And it seems that the local preschools don't take children until they are at least two or often three. We're looking forward to putting down new roots though admittedly not necessarily the time it tastes to grow those roots. It's a lesson in patience but fortunately we're all still above water.

It was great to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my family and not miss but a night sleeping in our own beds. Skipping the hoopla of holiday travel made Thanksgiving so manageable. I can only hope and imagine that in the coming weeks there will be exponential growth as far as our feelings of being "settled" are concerned.