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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!

November 05, 2014

A month of thanks

Yesterday I decided it would be fun to try to post every day this month about things that I'm grateful for. I'm not going to let the fact that it is November 5 stop me, although I suppose I could just post 5 things today. Really, that wouldn't be hard. I love the holiday season - I love Halloween, I love Thanksgiving, and I love Christmas - but I also like to savor each holiday for what they are. For Halloween, I enjoyed planning out Elmer and Arthur's costumes, and having a fun night with friends and family. And now that Thanksgiving is coming up, I'm going to count my many blessings and share them with the internet.

Back when I had more blogging power (and time), I used to post a grateful list of 3 things every day. This time, I'm going to try for one - but a post every day is the challenge.

So - on to 5 things to be grateful for so far in November:

  1. It suddenly got cool! I had to start wearing socks and shoes for my bike ride to work, and we can have the windows open most of the day for some fresh air!
  2. Cool air means busting out the sweaters (okay, I know we still had a high of 80 today, but it still gets cool in my office).
  3. Yesterday, Arthur woke up at 4 AM and fussed until 5, when I finally gave up trying to sleep and went in to check on him. After nursing a bit, he fell back asleep, and amazingly, Elmer had slept through all the ruckus. At least, so I thought. After I left their room, I went to the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee, and then Elmer came out. He looked so cute and sleepy in his fleece footies. We got some juice and got to spend some time snuggling and reading like we did before Arthur was born. I really appreciated that little bit of time we had to spend with one another. I love having Arthur, but I do sometimes miss being able to focus my attention on one kid.
  4. Similarly, Arthur woke up early again today, and I got up with him at 5:15. This time, Elmer really did sleep through everything, including nursing Arthur, changing his diaper, and getting him dressed. Chris was able to sleep through it too, so Arthur and I had some quiet time with just us and the cats this morning. It was nice to have some quiet snuggles and play on a quiet morning.
  5. Finally, I just made some granola and I have a pumpkin pie in the oven. My house smells AMAZING!

October 11, 2014

Arthur is 9 months old

Another eventful month for our growing boy! We visited the pediatrician last week, so here are the updated stats:
  • Height: 29.5 inches
  • Weight: 19 lbs 10 oz
  • Head circ: 18 inches
  • (Here's Elmer's 9 month post, for comparison)
He got his Hepatitis B vaccine and first flu shot, sported a Captain America bandage, and was ready to go home for lunch and a nap after that.

9 months old! 8Oct14

Since last month, Arthur has mastered crawling, and he is FAST! We have to pick the cat food dishes up off the floor if he's awake, because he goes straight for them if he sees them. He also loves to pull himself up to standing on anything and can balance with one hand. He cruises around the living room holding himself up on the furniture. He can't quite reach to go from the couch to the chair, but he's trying. He likes nothing better than walking around with us holding his hands - too bad we can't do that all the time!

New phone = new camera! 20Sept14

This month was a bit challenging for all of us, because Arthur was transitioning from needing to nurse at night to sleeping all night. We had a few rough weeks while we were all figuring out what we needed to do in order to sleep - Arthur was keeping everyone awake! We finally decided to stop responding at night, and there were a few nights where Arthur cried quite a bit and was pretty cranky with us for leaving him in his crib. But he's slept the past 5 nights in a row without waking up at all, so we're hopeful we're entering a new era of sleep, sweet sleep! And Arthur's great at napping during the day - he still takes a good 60-90 minute nap in the morning and 2 to 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon.

A Day in the Life: 21Sept14

Eating is becoming a lot  more fun, since Arthur is getting really good at trying new foods. He really wants to feed himself and often gets fussy if we're feeding him boring ol' cereal because he thinks he should be in charge of the spoon! This month we've expanded to eating bread with butter or jam, bananas (he's finally decided they're okay), cheese, pickled carrots, chicken salad, oatmeal with yogurt and applesauce, pancakes, waffles, pot pie, shepherd's pie, roasted vegetables (he LOVES roasted broccoli and carrots and that's the only way he'll accept potatoes), and squash. We're trying not to cringe as he smears food all over his face, but he loves eating with all of us!

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Blueberry waffles! Yum! 4Oct14

October is one of my favorite months, and the last couple of weeks have been just beautiful! It's so fun to start spending more time outside, especially now that Arthur can play and doesn't spend all his time trying to shove grass in his mouth!

Afternoon shenanigans

Afternoon shenanigans

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We have lots of fun activities planned over the next few weeks: going to the Arizona State Fair, the Desert Botanical Gardens Harvest Festival, and Halloween! It's nice to be able to do more things together as a family!

A Day in the Life: 21Sept14