But before I get carried away with hopes and thoughts of the future, I'll round out 2011 for you, my dear reader. The first couple weeks of December were a little crazy. Steve became busy with his 40 students' final projects and papers, his own final projects and papers, and grad school applications. But we're already in grad school... well, did you know that you can be in school, like, forever? This next educational adventure will be a five year stint in PhD land, wherever that may be. The potential campuses are scattered throughout the country. If there are no bites this round of apps, we hope to stay here while Steve adjuncts in the English Dept at BYU for awhile (which wouldn't be that bad of thing, Steve's got a good thing going for himself here). BYU has been good to him, and some of the work he's produced during his MFA program has gotten accepted for publication in a couple different places. You can read a long time fav here that recently was upgraded from publication in Inscape, BYU's literary magazine, as it landed a pretty spot with the Kenyon Review online (big deal people!). Stay posted and I'll share when his poem and next story are each released in other journals due out later this year.
Anyways, some flu bugs or winter illnesses came on top of it all just to make it really fun, but everything and everyone made it through. When we made it to California for our Christmas vacation, it was a huge breath of fresh air to be out of the pressure cooker of a college town during finals week. The weather was literally perfect, the sun was abundant, food was fabulous, and I still had a couple pounds to gain in allotted healthy pregnancy weight gain amount. Granted I blew through those pretty quickly, but it was still enjoyable to take it all in.
Highlights of the trip (in no particular order) (or just skip below to see the pictures):
- Seeing and spending time with everyone
- Seeing Creedence get to know his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins better
- Wild Animal Park trip. Baby gorilla and baby elephants- too cute. I don't really even like animals, but I could spend some time just cooing over those creatures.
- All the helpful, free babysitters
- Hex Bugs, iPads, pajamas, and cinnamon rolls
- Christmas Sacrament. I guess this means I'm a mature adult now when I actually was looking forward to being able to worship on Christmas morning, even if that meant delaying gift-opening a couple more hours
- Theater movies
- Realizing that shopping for a toddler is so much easier than shopping for anyone else
- Beach visit
- Watching Creedo cook with Grandma
- Watching Creedo play with the nativity/ Bethlehem village nativity
- Being warm
- Gingerbread house decorating
- Talking about wedding/baby/college plans with everyone. So excited for all the big changes coming up for so many!
- Seeing Christmas lights/crazy Santa house
- Travelling with the ever helpful Mannie
This list could get really long. Two weeks with these people made us very happy, and we are very grateful to have been able to spend that time with them.
For New Year's Eve, we took Creedo to a balloon drop at noon at this big childrens' party back here in Provo. It was so packed, but we got a spot under the balloons and got to enjoy the event a little before escaping the chaos of too many strollers and winter coats and overfilled cups of cider in one packed event hall. That evening was fun to spend in the comfort of our home with the ever friendly Mannie, playing games, watching a movie, and giving up on getting Creedo to go to bed at a decent hour.
Then, most recently, we were able to spend a couple days with my mom here in Utah as she wrapped up her holiday vacation. She came up for week and we got to enjoy her company, cooking skills, and fun conversations! It was great having here for a couple relaxing, fun days to just play and enjoy.She and Creedo became instant friends. They did a lot of cooking together (in case you didn't notice yet, Creedo likes to cook), reading books, and chasing after each other, which means I got to take it easy and just smile as they ran around the house.
I'm pretty massive right now (although I was bigger with Creedence) and I'm pretty over this with-child thing. I remember the end of Creedo's pregnancy being much easier. I was anxious to have a baby and was quite big, but not terribly discomfited somehow. Not so with this one. I'm just as anxious to not be pregnant anymore as I am to have the baby. She will come when she feels like it. We had some promising progress right before my mom came evidenced by some swift dilation and effacement from one week to the next, but everything stopped and hasn't picked up since. We spent the last days of break setting up the house for "baby hisster" as Creedo calls her. Car seat cleaned and put back on tiniest infant settings, bassinet set up, go bags packed, bouncer chair re-assembled, all baby clothing sorted through, washed and put away in their own organized places instead of random drawers throughout the house, a couple freezer meals prepared, furniture rearranged/sold/replaced to make room, and lots and lots of discussions about naming. We still haven't decided- in fact, our list has gotten longer instead of narrowing it down. We can't really even decide on how we'll decide, so it may be "baby hisster" for a little while yet.
It's been good for Creedo to actually see things in the house that are hers, and to help set up and prepare for her. I think he won't be surprised at all when we bring home a real baby and tell him that this is our baby, the one we told him about. He'll probably talk her head off all the time. He's a huge chatterbox right now. Regular, full sentences are just around the corner. He is still very sweet- those terrible twos aren't upon us just yet. Football remains a favorite, along with Spiderman, Pooh, his new train set, Phineas and Ferb, animals, going on walks, swings, fruit snacks, eating entire unsliced apples, dancing to music with Dad, ice cream, granola, shooting webs at people, talking and talking and talking, hide and seek, helping out, reading books, and as usual, resisting sleeping through the night at all costs.
Ok, I think that about brings us to speed. Enjoy the pics!
Thanks for the candy cane, but I'm not going to sit on your lap.
Spider-Mon Gingerbread House.
Opening presents took awhile. He wanted to play with each one until he was tired of it before opening the next present.