31 December 2015

2015 - In Review

I always love to look back on my previous year and reflect on the ups and downs. When I think back on 2015 all the things that pop into my head are "Difficult pregnancy and baby with a hear defect." And obviously, that was a huge part of my year. But I did not just sit around twiddling my thumbs while waiting for Trixie's arrival. Life was lived!

Of course, the biggest highlight was having Trixie. Her heart defect threw us for a loop, but it also blessed our family in many ways. We are so grateful to have her in our family, and we have felt the love of God in countless ways since learning of her diagnosis and welcoming her to our family.

I counted 36 medical and dental appointments on my 2015 calendar, and I know there were a few I missed. Many of those were pregnancy-related checkups, but it still adds up to a lot of time in doctors' offices. I'm crossing my fingers for fewer appointments in 2016.

Places in 2016:
  • Utah
  • Hawaii (No kids!)
  • Nevada (just drove through)
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington (just drove through)
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
Fun activities:
  • Camping! And lots of it. We camped in Utah, California, Oregon, and Wyoming.
  • Biked the Hiawatha Trail. It was challenging and fun. We'd like to do it again one day when the kids are bigger.
  • Swimming in the ocean, both in Hawaii, and a little bit off the Oregon coast.
  • Canoeing! So much canoeing! Rivers included:
    • Trinity River in Northern California
    • Smith River in Northern California
    • Rogue River in Oregon
    • Nehalem River in Oregon
    • Spokane River in Idaho
    • Snake River in Wyoming
    • Jordan River
    • Provo River (But I had just had a baby, so I was absent for this one. The boys had fun though.)
    • Colorado River (But I had just had a baby, so I was absent for this one too.)
    • Clark Fork River in Montana
Other noteworthy things for 2015:
  • I turned 31. Eric and I went out for burgers at Five Guys, and then we did a little shopping.
  • Our family birthdays are now August, September, October, November, and December, with Trixie being in August. The farther away we got from her actual day of birth, the more capable we were of doing fun things for the other birthdays. Eric's birthday in September was an afterthought. Sorry, dude.
  • We started going to Cold Stone to use our buy-one-get-one coupons. Best tradition ever.
  • Ike had a his first-ever birthday party with friends, and it was a lot of fun. Eric was a terrific party entertainer.
Goals for 2016:
  • Keep Trixie healthy for the remainder of flu/cold/RSV season.
  • Resume making bread for the family. (Totally stopped that early in 2015 and haven't been able to get going again.)
  • Read all the books for book group. (I read most for 2015. I think I skipped out on the months when I knew I couldn't attend.)
  • Host a meal for parents and families at the Ronald McDonald Family Room in Primary Children's Hospital.

09 December 2015

Ike is Five

It happened on Sunday: Ike turned five. I've tried not to spend too much time wondering how this happened.
At five years old, Ike is sometimes a pill, but I'm not going to focus on the negative things in this post.

Ike is a great older brother, especially to his baby sister. He loves her so much, and it is adorable to watch. He also loves Felix, and they usually play incredibly well together. I recently heard him negotiating with Felix to take turns with something, and I was really impressed and pleased that he is learning to work things out when they disagree rather than fight or bring their issue to me.

Ike's favorite thing to do is play with friends. He will go from one house to the next, to the next, to the next, all day long, if I let him. From his friends, he has learned about a lot of pop culture things like Star Wars, Avengers, zombies, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and ninjas. We don't watch many shows, and we heavily sensor what few shows the kids see on Netflix, so some of the things he tells us about those shows and their characters has been surprising. One day we'll happily watch Star Wars with him, but right now we think he is too little.

His favorite toys are his dinosaurs, and I enjoyed putting the dimetrodon puzzle (pictured above) together with him. (Eric picked it up, brand new and unopened at a yard sale several months ago. Woot!) He also loves his Hot Wheels race track and his wooden trains.

All of Ike's teachers (at Primary, tumbling class, and pre-school) tell me that he is exceptionally well-behaved and polite. Other parents also have commented on how polite he is. This is both thrilling and baffling to me. Thrilling for obvious reasons, and baffling because he can be such a stinker with us sometimes!

I sure do love this little boy of mine. He is so fun and such a good helper. I look forward to seeing how he grows and develops over the next year as he starts public school.