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January 15, 2015

Arthur's one year old!

Well, as of a week ago today!

My baby's 1year old today! Happy birthday Arthur!

Since all of us have been battling some stage of a cold for the last month, we weren't in the mood for much celebrating. But I made some Maple Carrot Cupcakes, we sang Happy Birthday, and Gramma Maughan and Aunt Lorraine came over for dinner and to help with bedtime after Chris went to work.
Pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. Maple carrot cupcakes!

The birthday boy himself, enjoying his cupcake! 8Jan15

Arthur's birthday

Arthur's birthday

Arthur's becoming quite the confident toddler now, it's starting to get difficult to still call him my little baby. He can climb into the wagon all by himself, and he just loves to poke around the house or the yard and check everything out.

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One of his favorite things to do is just carry a book around the house, and then he'll sit down and look at it by himself, sometimes "reading" it out loud to us. It's funny, though, because it's rare that he'll let us read an entire book to him without squirming out of our lap. He likes to play with his toys, and will go over to the toy box and just dump the whole thing over so he can pick through everything.
January 1, 2015

Elmer is still his favorite person in the world, and Arthur pretty much wants to be doing whatever Elmer is doing. One thing they both just love is going for a walk in the wagon. Arthur is never ready to get out, no matter how long of a walk it is.
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Most of the time they play pretty well together, but there are inevitable conflicts. We try to encourage Elmer to see how much Arthur adores him and to be patient, but an almost-3-year-old has his limitations.

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I just love this picture of Arthur, because you can really see his personality coming through. He's a happy little guy, but he is independent, stubborn, and strong-willed. I don't think we'll ever need to worry about Elmer pushing him around too much.
January 2015

Both boys had their annual check up today, so here are Arthur's latest stats:
Height: 31.3 inches (Elmer was 31.5)
Weight: 21 lbs 10 oz (Elmer was 21 lbs even)
Over the past month, 3 more teeth have come through, and I think there are more on the way, so we are in a teething surge, but he enjoys being able to gnaw on more complicated foods. Now he likes to be given bigger pieces of food, like half a banana, so he can hold it and try to take bites. It's fun to see him manage it. We're working with him on learning to sign for "more", and I think he's starting to get it. But he makes it very clear when he wants something, so we'd better start working on "please" pretty soon!

Arthur 31Dec14

Believe it or not, I didn't take any pictures on Christmas, so I'll definitely need to make more of an effort to take more pictures! I feel like I dropped the ball a bit this past month, but again, I think that everyone being sick over a busy holiday is a good enough excuse. But even if I didn't record every minute, we had a great Christmas and loved watching both boys enjoy the holiday. We're so happy to have our sweet little family!

Taking down Christmas decorations with my helpers! 3Jan15

January 05, 2015

Looking back at 2014

I just realized that I skipped my annual retrospective last year! I guess I wasn't in the mood, since I started my maternity leave for Arthur right after the New Year, and I certainly wasn't interested in looking back. But here we are, a year later, no new babies or pregnancies to deal with, so it's time to get back in the groove.

#Elmer posing for a selfie! 23Jul14

2014
It's been a great year, but definitely challenging. I returned from maternity leave right at the beginning of April. Our University Librarian had announced her retirement while I was on leave, and she left at the end of June. We didn't hear anything about the search for her replacement for a long time, so the general mood of people at the library was pretty dark. No one likes being on board a plane without a pilot. Fortunately, the successful candidate was announced at the end of October, and I think we're all trying to temper our excitement until he actually joins us in February.

I decided not to travel this year for work, but I did attend the AzLA/MPLA Joint Conference in November, which was a lot of fun. I really enjoy and value both of these professional associations, so it was great to have them combined in one conference!

As for accomplishments this year...you know, there just wasn't anything big, but there were lots of small steps forward. I feel like my position has become more cohesive and it really feels like I have more direction than I did in the past. I had more one-on-one discussions about open access, publishing issues, and copyright with faculty and students. I was on the search committee for a new Digital Projects Librarian, who started today! I'm on a new workgroup that focuses on data management and repository services, and I'm excited about the directions we may be taking over this coming year. And, with the help of some of my seriously awesome colleagues, my ASU Scholarship Showcase collection has almost 200 scholarly articles published by the ASU community! 

I actually had my most successful Open Access Week programming yet, with a series of interviews of ASU faculty on the Library Channel. These were tweeted and retweeted throughout the week, and I think they had the most impact of anything I've done to promote Open Access Week so far.

No hands! 16Dec14

At home
I don't think I made any resolutions this year, so I can't really use that as a measure. But I feel like I've come a long way since last January. After all, I have a little boy who will turn 1 on Thursday, and another one that will turn 3 in a couple of weeks! I've learned how to juggle both of them (well, we're always learning), and I feel like both Chris and I are getting better at balancing our needs, their needs, and work. I really feel like I'm emerging from a fog - we're getting more sleep, I'm not exhausted all the time, and life is looking pretty good.
Visiting Mama's work

And now: 2015
One of the biggest unknowns is how much Dr. O'Donnell will change about the libraries when he gets here in February. I'm so excited to have some new leadership and I'm working really hard to keep that in check. I'm sure that he will certainly make decisions that I don't agree with. But I'm ready to support whatever priorities he sets - just tell me which direction to go - I'm waiting on the bus!

But I'm also excited to continue some of the work I've started that's been building up steam. I'm working more closely with our Graduate and Professional Student Association about open access and copyright issues. Interest in the digital repository is growing, and I'm hoping to really get my content harvesting project out of beta and into my main workflow. I think our new workgroup is going to be doing some exciting things. I'll probably go to Wyoming for this year's MPLA conference, since I'm on the MPLA Executive for my second stint as Leadership Institute Co-chair. So I'm really optimistic about the opportunities this new year will bring!
Arthur 31Dec14

Resolutions
I'm working hard on increasing my productivity and workflow at work. I've been working a slightly compressed schedule to allow me to get home to help with the kids for dinner, and I want to optimize what I'm doing when I'm at work. I'm experimenting with Trello as a to-do list/project manager, and also starting a work diary to be more mindful about how I'm spending my time (my friend Lindsay's last ACRLog post inspired me).

Also, I'm going to learn how to take better care of myself. For the first time in 4 years, I'm not pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking care of tiny infants, and there are no plans for any of those things in the future! I've lost touch with what my body needs, now that it belongs just to me again, and I'm getting older so my old habits don't necessarily match what I need now. I need to listen to it again to learn how much I really need to eat, what to eat to feel good, what exercises I can do given my schedule, and build up some core strength again so I can get rid of some of this back pain I've been having. And, I'm giving myself permission to do some things for me again, such as go to a work happy hour, or go out shopping with a friend, and plan dates with my husband. Chris has encouraged me to go out now and then, but I haven't allowed myself to do it. So now I'm going to. It's okay to relax and enjoy the catnip now and then!

January 1, 2015

Also, I haven't posted a cat picture in AGES!

December 10, 2014

Arthur's 11 months old!

Poking around the maze!

The biggest news is that our boy is walking! It's just a few steps right now, but he's getting braver and more confident every day! He's walked from the couch to the kitchen table, between chairs, and will eagerly walk towards Mama, Father, or Elmer if we're within a few feet. It's pretty exciting! He'll be running down the hall in no time!

Otherwise, Arthur is just growing into a little boy. He's been sleeping pretty well over the past month, here's hoping I don't jinx it by talking about it. Honestly, he's a good sleeper - he's always been good about going to sleep on his own when we lay him down. At night, we all cuddle and read stories, then turn off the light and sing some songs. Elmer lies in bed and I snuggle with Arthur while we're singing. And then I just lay Arthur in the crib, kiss Elmer goodnight, and out I go. Arthur usually just rolls onto his side and goes to sleep, unless Elmer gets out of bed to wake him up to play. Sometimes I have to remind Elmer that bedtime means stay in bed.

Another landmark is that we stopped nursing altogether over Thanksgiving weekend. By that point, Arthur had only been interested in nursing very briefly right when he got up in the morning and right before bed. But that was it, so I decided it wasn't worth it and just stopped. He didn't even seem to notice - now we just snuggle a bit instead. He's a little cuddlebug - he likes to curl right up and put his cheek on your chest. It's very sweet. Sometimes when we're all sitting and playing on the floor, he crawls right in my lap and wants to just sit for a minute resting his head against my chest. I just love it. He still likes his bottle though, and has a couple bottles of milk or formula a day.
Misc November

It's also fun to see Arthur figuring out the world. He can understand a lot of what we say to him - he's pretty good at responding when we say "No" to things, and he definitely looks to see if we're watching when he goes for something he knows he's not supposed to grab, like the cat food dish. He love to sit and read, play with toys, and chase the cats. He likes to turn off the lights, and loves to go check out the bath when I start the water running. Bath time is the best - he gets so excited he doesn't like to wait for me to get him undressed.
Yeah, it's been that kind of day. 23Nov14

Arthur still only has two teeth, but it's amazing what he can eat! He just wants to eat whatever we're eating and seems to get really picky if I try to give him something different - if he sees I'm eating chicken and offering him some cereal, he will NOT eat that cereal. Chicken is the only thing that will do.

Pickle eater!

The weather is still nice, so both boys love to play outside. Arthur gets pretty adventurous and will open the back door if it's not latched and just go on out. They love to play in the sandbox, on the swing and the dome, and they just love the wagon. Arthur wants to do whatever Elmer's doing, and Elmer's usually a good sport about it:
Love the wagon!

especially when he gets to help:
Elmer helping

Strollin

We've put up all the Christmas decorations, and both boys just love the Christmas tree - they'll just hang out by it and look at the lights and ornaments. I've put unbreakable ornaments within reach, so they can touch them (though I caution them to be careful). This is a fun year, because Elmer is old enough to get excited about Christmas and of course it's Arthur's first. It's fun to create our own family traditions.

Rockin around the Christmas Tree

I can't believe that he'll be 1 year old so soon!

December 01, 2014

The rest of November

Well, November is over, so I'm wrapping up my month of thanks. Since I didn't post for over a week, I'm not sure I can remember specific things for each day. But here are some things I was thankful for:

  • a rare day that both Chris and I have the entire day off!
  • good friends and football parties 
  • a silly baby who makes me laugh every day with his antics
Yeah, it's been that kind of day. 23Nov14
  • cooking breakfast for my family and planning for a holiday
  • Thanksgiving day with our families, and watching Elmer and Arthur play with their cousins
  • so thankful that both of us and our children have been so healthy - we're truly blessed in this as so many of our friends, family, and colleagues have been sick this season
  • playing guitar with a quartet!
  • putting up all my Christmas decorations and seeing both Elmer and Arthur's delight in the tree
And finally, wrapping up the month with a beautiful Taize service at St. Mark's. What a great way to send out a month of gratitude for the blessings that we have and to ring in the Christmas season!

November 21, 2014

Week of Nov. 16

Well, I've thought about posting all week, but just never got around to it. So, here's the roundup:

Sunday: We went over to my in-laws for dinner, which we haven't done for a long time. I'm thankful to have such a great mother and father in law. I want to bring Elmer and Arthur over to their place more often. I have fond memories of considering my grandma's house my home away from home, and I'd love for my boys to develop memories of Grammie and Grampa Perry's home.

Monday: Oh! I worked from home all day on Monday (which was nice in and of itself), and the city has been paving the streets in our neighborhood. They did our street on Monday, and Elmer was in hog heaven watching the pavers out his bedroom window. I was very thankful, not only because it was fun watching Elmer be so enthralled, but also because these streets were in pretty bad condition and they are SO nice and smooth now!
Misc November

Tuesday, I was grateful for our bible study group. We've been meeting every Tuesday for a couple of years now, and we've all grown very close. There are very few people I feel as comfortable being my whole self with - we help each other, we talk about our struggles and celebrate our successes. I look forward to our Tuesday nights together!

Wednesday was the Marimba Pachanga party! I took the boys to the concert and we all had a great time! Arthur was cranky on the way there, but as soon as he heard the music and saw the instruments, he started clapping and laughing. Elmer had a great time dancing with Suzy and Gramma Maughan. I love the marimba ensemble! Even if I can't play with them any more, I can still go and enjoy singing and dancing!

Thursday was just a normal day for me, and I was pretty thankful for that. I got some good work done at work, had a nice evening with dinner, bath, and bed with the boys, cleaned the bathrooms, pickled some cucumber, and read a book. Days like that are great!

Today, I took the day off. We'd planned to go camping, but decided it was too chilly to take the boys overnight even around here (lows are in the high 40s, which wouldn't be bad for us, but Elmer has yet to actually sleep IN his sleeping bag). So we went to Boyce Thompson Arboretum and had a picnic lunch and a bit of a hike. It was nice to take a day trip, and I was thankful for the beautiful day!

November 15, 2014

AzLA MPLA Conference

I attended the joint Arizona Library Association/Mountain Plains Library Asiciation Conference Wednesday through Friday this week. I wasn't involved in the conference planning at all, which still feels a little strange. Once a conference committee co-chair always a co-chair, I guess.

Anyway, I had a great time! I got to see not only my AzLA friends from around the state, but also my MPLA buddies who escaped the sudden winter weather in their home states to enjoy the sunny warmth of Fountain Hills in mid-November! I'm grateful for all the fun, intelligent, and passionate people I talked to this week who are a big part of why I love my job!

I also got to hear some great speakers: Bob Boze Bell spun a great yarn about his childhood and love of the history of the West, Lee Rainie of Pew talked about how important and beloved libraries are in their communities and the challenges that lie ahead, and Connie Willis told how books change lives and always will, and reminded me of how much I love to read. I'm thankful for the opportunity to hear inspiring speakers that recharge my professional batteries and fill me with hope and new ideas.

Finally, I'm thankful that my library encourages and supports my attendance at conferences. I know how lucky I am to have the ability to take time away from the office and have my registration paid for so that I can make these wonderful connections with people and ideas.

And today, I'm thankful to have a lazy day at home, because it was a long week!

November 11, 2014

Arthur is 10 months old!

It's so funny to think how vividly I remember this time last year - being pregnant, counting down the weeks (only 8 to go!) until Arthur was due. And here we are now - this big boy who wants to walk so badly, who eats more than his brother sometimes, who talks and laughs and cries, and who loves to snuggle.

I didn't know we had a dog! 13Oct14

This past month was full of adventure as we all enjoyed cooler weather. We went to the Arizona State Fair (more fair pictures):
AZ State Fair 18Oct14

AZ State Fair 18Oct14

We've gone on some lovely bike rides and played at the park.
Fun Saturday morning! 25Oct14

Fun Saturday morning! 25Oct14

We went trick or treating on Halloween! We got one more use out of our Winnie the Pooh costume for Arthur, and Elmer was a robot. The two of them went trick or treating to a few houses in our neighborhood, and then Arthur went to bed. We let Elmer stay up as long as he wanted to hand out candy and hang out with us. We had a fire in our firepit outside, and were hanging out with some friends. About 8:30, Elmer started saying "Go home", so I figured he was ready for bed. Both boys slept in a little the next morning.
Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014

(More Halloween pictures here)

Since our last post, Arthur has slept pretty much all night most of the month, except for waking up early this last week. I think we're out of that again, though - this morning he slept until Elmer woke him up at 5:30. I keep thinking that someday, maybe in the next couple of months, we might actually get to sleep until 6 on a regular basis again. I dream big, I know.

Arthur is still very independent. He wants to feed himself, so we have started fixing meals that consist mostly of finger foods: lots of bread and toast, pickled carrots, pickles, bananas, apples, roasted veggies (he particularly loves Father's roasted broccoli), dates, cheese, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. We had to buy him his own water bottle because he gets so mad when everyone else is drinking from a water bottle but not him. Elmer insisted I buy a matching bottle, so my boys both have a dinosaur Camelbak bottle.
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Both boys love being outside - they play in the sandbox and poke around the yard. Arthur is getting really adept at navigating around. He bear-walks on the sidewalk because he doesn't like his feet and knees dragging when he crawls. He can climb into and out of the sandbox by himself. And he loves to stand and cruise around the wall or the wagon. He's getting really good at standing on his own - soon he won't need to hold on to anything, and he'll be walking before we know it!

Arthur 1Nov14

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Veteran's Day

Today I'm thankful for all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces. I admit that I have some complicated feelings about this holiday - for all the lip service given to veterans by our politicians during campaigning, we as a nation continue to systematically treat veterans with contempt and neglect. The top search results for Veteran's Day today bring up lots of articles about the freebies and deals available to veterans today. Yet throughout the rest of the year, they struggle for decent health care, both physical and mental. They struggle to be employed, they struggle for schooling, they struggle to make lives for themselves and their families. While I may not always agree with our military actions, and I believe too much of our nation's budget is spent on defense, I wish nothing but the best for those who have been sent in harm's way by our government. I pray for them and their families. May those who are deployed return to us safely, and may all who are safely home be blessed with health and happiness.

November 10, 2014

Sunday/Monday

Yesterday was a little rough - Arthur was waking up at 4 or 4:30 in the morning a lot last week, so we have all been sleep-deprived and cranky, and yesterday was no exception. But after church, I decided to cancel our usual visit with my parents and head home for lunch and (hopefully) an early nap. I was so glad I did - the boys were both still pretty cheerful for lunch and went to their rooms for naps without protest. Even though Elmer didn't sleep, he was happy and quiet reading in his room. And Chris and I got naps too! I love weekend naps!

Elmer is making all sorts of fun and interesting emotional and cognitive leaps. He's recently started doing more pretending, and with prompting will tell a story he makes up. Or he will spontaneously decide to give Arthur a hug and kiss (he did this morning - my heart melted). Tonight, after he was in bed and I was singing our bedtime songs, he said "Elmer's happy." I told him I was happy he was happy, and gave him a kiss goodnight. I tried to give him a hug too, but he said "NO HUUUUUGGGG!" so that was right out tonight. But anyway, I am thankful that Elmer was happy tonight, and I love that he's starting to say how he feels.

November 08, 2014

Thursday through Saturday

Just because I haven't done a post every day doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it. So here are my thankful thoughts for the rest of this week.

On Thursday, I stepped on the scale and it said I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight. Pre-Elmer pregnancy weight, a weight I haven't seen in 3 years. While I haven't been really stressed about my weight, it's nice to start getting my body back.

On Friday, hey...it's Friday! We were able to play a game of Descent for the first time in maybe 2 months!

Today, I'm thankful for good friends, a good dinner, and some great mariachi music on my block!