Dearest Family & Friends,
Rewinding to the beginning of this year feels like so long ago. Let me start with our youngest.
Over the last year we have watched Dayton Simone grow from a 6 month old to a 16 month old. The joys of watching her grow into a chatter box, has been fun and entertaining. She started crawling at 9 months and walked at 11 months. She has been running every since. She loves her brother dearly and wants to be just like him. She speaks and signs quite a bit. Her vocabulary started with daddy, hi, & bye. Very quickly she moved to full sentences. My favorite being, “Mommy I want you to hold me.” I tried teaching her “up” but she went to “hold me”. She also says one of her favorite foods all day long. She will eat it at each meal if you let her. “Mommy, daddy, meal meal please.” Then this morning she told me she wanted, “Oat meal meal”, by which she edited by her own accord. She loves signing time, and says “baby” and signs baby when she wants to watch it. She also really loves her books. She likes to point out things in the I Spy books, or other picture books. Of course animal names, sounds and pictures excite her and she loves making noises like them. One thing she loves to do is to make a screaming noise with her hand over her mouth while someone sings “Row Row Row Your Boat” because the second verse we say “if you see a crocodile don’t forget to scream” and she screams. She loves it! Although we still have our challenges with her teething. She has not been doing well at night for over 4 months now, because getting her molars is taking forever. She is very loveable but sleeps like her brother, all over the place. So even though she wants to be in our bed when she doesn’t feel well, she sleeps horizontal with a foot and daddy and her head on mommy. She may be sleeping but we aren’t. So while we don’t want her to grow up too fast it makes for some long nights some times.
As for Hudson Cooper, he is a big three year old that attends preschool three days a week. We started him on two days a week and after a few weeks he was thriving. I knew he needed some more social time with kids his age and the random play dates weren’t cutting it. Dayton wasn’t quite big enough to engage him yet. I spent a few months before Dayton’s arrival and right after researching preschools and found a great one in Loomis. A one hour drive round trip, but I think it is worth it. I hope Dayton will attend as well when she turns two. He is very smart as well. He knows all his letters of the alphabet before even starting preschool which impressed his teachers. He is currently practicing for a holiday singing performance with his fellow 3 & 4 year old class. He announced this at dinner time last night. He loves to be the one in charge at dinner to ask everyone at the table how their day went. He waits to go last, and if we ask him how his day was before dinner he tells us, “No not yet, at dinner time I will tell you about my day.” Very cute! He loves that his cousins have moved down here from Boise, ID. He has 3 boy cousins which range in age from 7-12 which he looks forward to seeing weekly.
Speaking of cousins, one of them, my sister’s 16 year old daughter, Tayler, moved in with us in August to start the school year here. She is doing well, and it took time to make new friends but seems to be as social as a normal teenager. Our kids love her and she is a good influence and play friend for them. She helps out a lot and we love having her. My mom is still living with us as well and contributes a lot herself when she is not at work in San Francisco. The kids love grandma so much and we cherish her help tremendously! Thanks Grandma & Tayler!
As for me I have been dealing with my back problems and have another new physical issue in my left hip which started about March this year. We are still trying to figure it out. The lack of knowing what exactly is wrong makes it very hard to be a good mom and housewife. I have not been able to care for the kids or contribute to the household chores as much as needed, if at all at times. We hired a nanny to help us out because for a period of time I could not even lift Dayton up otherwise the pain increased so much I became immobile. With a few months of water physical therapy I have been getting stronger and can hold Dayton now for short periods of time. But simple things like going grocery shopping, or just simply taking the kids to the park I am not able to do by myself without increasing my pain. We are now waiting on my second MRI to see if my hip actually may have an injury to it post Dayton’s birth. Frustrating at times, it has taught me to slow down once again. I try to enjoy watching the kids play and make the most of staying at home, in the house or yard. Our nanny returns to school in January so we are looking into help for forever long it will take for me to heal. The ironic part of it is that I had to get a job, in order to pay for the nanny. I waited years to have kids and looked forward to raising them. Now I need so much help I need to leave to pay for the help. What a circle of simple pleasures? Good part of it is that I am enjoying my new job. I am teaching at a local hospital in the Women’s Health Education Department. I fit right in and find it very rewarding to teach expectant mothers what to expect, how to eat healthy and how to be physically active during pregnancy. I also teach an assortment of other women’s health topics which I also find interesting.
Now for Andrew, he has been the Daddy and hubby of the year! He works hard, mostly from home now. No more traveling, yeah! He got promoted and now can stay home for 90% of his work. In fact he has been home so much, he had to go out and get an office so he isn’t tempted to play with the kids all the time. He is enjoying his new position and it is great experience for him. When he gets off work he has been taking over caring for the kids for the most part and the housework. He has been doing it all. It is hard for me to see him do so much, and not physically be able to help. It is a juggling act as all the parents should understand. He is amazing and has handled most of all of this very well. He is most frustrated with our health care system and how long it is taking them to figure out what is wrong with me. As am I. So I thank my hubby for all he does and give him many hugs and kisses from the kids.
We also don’t want to forget to mention Baxter, our dog. He turned 10 this year and is doing pretty well despite the costs of his meds and food to keep his belly happy. We love him very much as well!
As a family we are looking at our priorities and seeing what makes us happy individually and hope to come up with a few new goals this coming year. We are very thankful for our health, the health of our kids, and the stability in this unstable economy. We are a lucky family and definitely appreciate all our opportunities and cherished moments of watching the kids grow up.
Andrew, Sara, Hudson, Dayton & Baxter (the dog)
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