Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The beginning of a beautiful friendship

I just love this picture. I can't believe how big my babies are getting and it is so great to start to see them interacting with each other. Some of the interaction is good and some is not so good :) We tell Thomas to be gentle a lot. We have also taught him to say "Sorry, Sissy". But for the most part, Charlotte thinks Thomas is hilarious and he loves to tickle her and hear her laugh. I can't wait to see how they develop as little playmates and I am so grateful for them every single day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Last day at the lake

We have been blessed with great weather this week, so we have had a lot of time boating, jet skiing and going to the pool. Yesterday we put Charlotte in the pool for the first time and she loved it. Last year, we did the same with Thomas and he loved it, but this year he has learned a little fear of the water, so we are now making sure he is comfortable with it again. Josh is great at working with Thomas in the water and getting him to kick and do a few strokes.

Josh and I got the chance to take a long jet ski ride and get coffee by ourselves. It was weird to have the freedom to hang out together. Because I have been on the road and we were getting ready to go on this trip, we haven't really had a lot of time to spend together, so it has been nice to have babysitters (aka grandparents) here this week.

Yesterday I took a trip up the lake by myself and thought again of how nice it would be to live in a place like this. Maybe what I really think is that it would be nice to be on vacation all of the time :) - I usually get over it by thinking about all the disadvantages to living way out here like the lack of a grocery store close by and the lack of a movie theater (this is what I tell myself to make it okay to go home).

Charlotte is trying very hard to crawl (there was speculation that she would crawl this week, but while she is making great progress backward, she is still not able to propel herself forward). She did get the chance to eat meat for the first time (chicken - she loved it) and she continues to be our super social baby girl.

Thomas is keeping us all on our toes. He wants to be "outside" all day and night (it is very difficult to explain to him that it is too cold at 6am to really go outside). I'm thinking that two years from now we will be able to more easily have him go outside and play without having to chase him all over (at his current age he only follows the directions he wants to follow and "stay out of the street isn't one of them), but we will see.

Seems like it is time to take a walk over to the pool and enjoy this good weather for one more day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Annual pilgrimage to Priest Lake

This is either the 5th or 6th time I've made the annual pilgrimage to Priest Lake. I started coming with my sister, Rebecca and her family and my parents in either 2005 or 2007. We come out here for a week in late June and get a great deal because the weather is truly variable. This week, for example, we are expecting everything from 55 and rainy to 80 and sunny. We'll see how it actually turns out because we can never really trust the weather report.

We started out yesterday and went as far as Moses Lake, which is halfway here and has a great water park. We had such a good time and then a bit of a tough night (Thomas refused to go to sleep until 10:30 - which was a lot of crying and asking for Mommy or Daddy, whoever wasn't holding him). Both of the kids were up around 5:30, so we were on the road by 8:30. There is only so much you can do with small children in a motel room.

The travel went well today and we got here at 2. It was unbelievably beautiful - the lake was like glass and it was about 80. Josh took Thomas swimming in the pool (I know, a pool at a lake resort, but the water in the lake is cold and the water in the pool is warm - which makes it great for kids). Charlotte and I enjoyed the view from inside the condo. She was happy crawling around on the floor (not really crawling quite yet, she kind of gets places by wiggling and scooting) and I was happy getting everything unpacked and set up.

We got both the boat and one of the jet skis in the water about 4:30 and took off for some adventure. Thomas went out in the boat with us and Charlotte hung out with her grandma back here. It was amazing. For the past couple of trips here, I have been pregnant, so even though I rode the jet ski, I didn't really take it out there and jump or turn fast or do anything crazy. Of course I don't do anything as crazy as Josh or Mike and I sat in the boat with Thomas laughing at their crazy antics.

Beth prepared a great dinner (meatloaf!) and the kids absolutely crashed. Thomas was so tired that he went to sleep after only one reading of Goodnight, Moon.

My parents and Robb and Rebecca and the kids are joining us tomorrow and if I get my act together, there will be pictures at some point. For the time being, I will say that after my last post, I was way more conscious of my stress points throughout the trip and made an effort to take a deep breath and just enjoy my kids and enjoy the moment and my stress level was really low for the whole trip.

Tired now (all that sun, wind and fun is making me sleepy), so I am off to bed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I have been traveling way more than usual the last couple of weeks and I have discovered that I have a lot more patience these days that I used to. In the past, delays were so annoying to me that it would make me crazy. Now, I just expect them. It is possible that I have more coping mechanisms (internet access, Kindle, Blackberry, iPod) than I did in the past, but I often spend the time just staring into space. It is a nice break from all of the constant thinking and planning and I go into some sort of travel mode that allows me to just sit, be still, relax and wait.

I have discovered that this sitting and waiting also works for computers. If it is taking a while to connect to the wireless, sit back and breathe. If you get the rainbow circle (Mac) or the blue circle (Windows 7), don't push any buttons - just wait. I get the bigger message here and it comes just in time for me to go on vacation with my family. So I have decided to take this vacation slowly, to not be in a hurry to get somewhere, to listen to my kids and be sensitive when they need to stop and to just relax. No more time to waste making other people faster, I'm going to use it all to slow down. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New York City

I am in New York once again for a couple more meetings. Tonight I am staying at the Mansfield. 10 years ago when I started coming to New York for work, my friend Toben recommended this hotel and it became my go to place to stay in New York. I hadn't stayed here since I started working at Amazon and then it came up as an option when I was coming out here in May and I was really happy to find that in the 5 years I had been staying other places, the Mansfield got a little makeover and started including breakfast. I am a fan once again.

I must say that I don't miss traveling all the time. I really miss my family when I am on the road. I can't wait to get back to them tomorrow night :).

We go to Priest Lake on Friday and we are really looking forward to spending time together as a family and enjoying a little relaxation. The jet skis are ready to go and the boat is all clean and shiny. This trip is our kickoff to summer and I can't wait!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I should)

It was such a gorgeous day I should be posting video and pictures, but I am not the photographer or videographer of the family - that job falls to my father in law. We had a fabulous afternoon in the backyard celebrating my sister in law, Jen's graduation from nursing school. It was one of those rare days where the weather completely cooperates. It was about 80 degrees with a light breeze. Not too hot and not too chilly. We put the kids in their bathing suits and they played with the hose and ran all over the yard (except Charlotte - she just chattered a lot, I imagine, about wanting to be able to walk and play).

It was also the first day we got to make full use of our heat pump. We got our furnace replaced and had a heat pump installed, giving us the equivalent of air conditioning on days like today. I love it. We had been discussing doing this for a long time and finally made the decision to do it before the summer gets too hot. The room where we spend most of the day (our family room) gets really hot and Thomas' room also gets really hot, so we are really enjoying the new cool.

We have actually been doing a lot of home improvement projects this year. We had our house painted, we got new garage doors, we had our roof cleaned, we closed in our loft to make a room for Charlotte and we are about to get a new front door. I don't know what stopped us from doing these things in the past. It is nice to finally get some of them off of the to do list.

Okay, time to capitalize on the fact that my children are asleep and go to sleep myself.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy to be home!

Sometimes being a mother is terrible. It makes it so much harder to leave home every day. I thought the hard part would be going back to work after maternity leave. No, it is harder now. Each day I love these guys a little more (really, can you blame me? do you see how cute they are?). I think the traveling has made me love them even more.

Charlotte has chosen these weeks to start sleeping on her stomach. My mother will make fun of me for this, but I was really freaked out the first night I woke up and saw her on the monitor sleeping completely face down. I know I have to get over it, since this makes her sleep longer and thus makes her a happy baby, but it is taking some getting used to.

That is the terrible part of motherhood, the worrying, the love that makes me irrationally protective, the longing to spend as much time as possible. I wouldn't trade it for the world. It has taken me completely by surprise. I did not know how much I would love it and I am so grateful.

I am also completely grateful that I get to do this with someone who loves these little ones as much as I do. Josh really does all the heavy lifting and he keeps me sane. I am seriously blessed.

One more trip left and then I get to go on vacation! I got home last night at 2am. This morning I got to spend a little time with the family before going to work. Josh and I sat on the couch, drinking our coffee and watching Thomas tickle Charlotte on the floor while she laughed and laughed. Now the children are in their beds and I am about to pass out as well. Good night!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Where does the time go?

I haven't posted for a while and I have been itching to get this updated. I've been traveling a ton - I'm currently in New York for the 3rd time in 4 weeks and I'm coming back in 2 weeks. I want to get some pictures up and share a little bit of my traveling experience, so here we go...

The kids are doing great. Thomas has a lot of words and is busily communicating with us. He especially likes to say "no". He is still very active and loves to run and tries really hard to jump.

Charlotte is 21 lbs and 26 inches. She is wearing 12 month clothes (at 6 months old)! She is also very verbal and loves to chatter to us. No recognizable words yet, but I have no doubt that they are coming soon. She can sit on her own and play for a long time and then she stretches out to grab a toy, ends up on her stomach and tries to move around. She is pretty good at moving backward, so we are sure that crawling is coming within the next couple of weeks.

We are all really looking forward to our annual Priest Lake pilgrimage in 9 days. After all this travel for work, I can't wait to spend time with my family.

I used to travel for my job all the time when I worked at NavPress, but I have been at Amazon for 5 years now and have made only 2 -3 trips a year. I have felt a little rusty in the travel department and have the following observations about my latest trips:

1. These days, carry on is required. If you check a bag, you not only have to wait for it when you arrive, you actually have to pay extra. I can now fit 4 days in my little suitcase.

2. Cabs in Boston are way more expensive than cabs in New York.

3. Car service from the airport is cheaper than a cab most of the time.

4. The runway at JFK is under construction. This means that you will be waiting 1-2 hours to take off.

5. Jet Blue seriously pads the amount of time they tell you it is going to take to fly from Seattle to New York so they are always on time.

6. TV on the airplane is awesome. It passes the time very fast.

7. They really have to figure out a way for you to be able to use electronic devices while you are sitting there waiting to take off. Shielding? Different technology in the cockpit? Anything would be great.

That is all for now. I have to run to a meeting!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Back to work

I keep meaning to update the blog with the latest in our lives, but the time just gets away from me. I am definitely back at work.

The last week before I went back we made a trip down to the Oregon coast - to Yachats. Josh grew up going there to visit his great grandparents. His great aunt and uncle still live there and we went to see them. Almost the entire Canfield clan came. Josh's brother, Jeremy, had to work so he did not make the trek. We spent a lot of time playing dominoes and we did get a couple of trips to the beach as well. Thomas loved the water - he would point at it and say "Water!". Josh taught him how to run from the waves with limited success.

When we returned, I had oral surgery. For the record, I do not recommend this as the last thing to do before going back to work. I'm still struggling a little bit with the pain - it is not healing as fast as I would like. I'm just counting the days until all of this dental stuff is done.

The first week of work went well. We are all adjusting to the new schedule. I still make oatmeal for breakfast in the crockpot. It works nicely and is great comfort food. I am doing pretty well at getting up every morning and working out before I leave.

The big project this week has been Charlotte's room. We had an area next to Thomas' room upstairs that was open like a loft. We decided to close it off and make a new room for Charlotte. Our contractor came on Saturday and framed and put in dry wall. He also added a closet in the room. I'm really excited to see it all come together and think about Charlotte growing up in that room.

That is pretty much it for the last couple of weeks. Now I have to go to sleep.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

So much to do, so little time

Things have been pretty busy in the Canfield house. We have one very tired and growing boy who has now proven that he can sleep anywhere. We have been out a few times lately for various reasons and Thomas is a champ at going to sleep somewhere else and sleeping in the car all the way home and going straight to bed.

First we had a great night out on Valentine's Day. It was the night of my book club, so we planned to have dinner with each other and our husbands. It was a huge hit. We had really interesting conversation and we all got a night with adults on Valentine's Day that was way better than going to a restaurant. One thing I've really enjoyed about being on maternity leave is that I have had more time to get to know some of these folks and I'm really happy about that.

Second, we continue our daily family workout time. I'm really going to miss mornings in our house when I go back to work. We all get to hang out together and eat breakfast after our play time. I'm going to continue working out, but I'll have to do it earlier and get out of the house by 7am so that will change our routine. Look at these kids - so cute :)

The other big news is that we bought a new car. We went to look at the Chevy Traverse, but they didn't have any in stock and it turns out that the Chevy Traverse, the GMC Acadia, the Buick Enclave and the Saturn Outlook are all the same car. We were looking for a car with three rows that would have decent mileage and be able to tow the jet skis during the summer. We loved the Acadia when we drove it and it turned out that they had a used Saturn Outlook with low mileage and we were able to negotiate all of the features we wanted (like a tow package and navigation).

Otherwise, we are busily preparing for my return to work - only one week of leave left. I'm really going to miss all of this great time with my family. I'm planning to really soak up the weekends with them. It is amazing how fast the kids are growing. Charlotte is really active and so chatty. Thomas is full of energy and he gets new words every day. He said a two word sentence this week - "Bye bye Doggie" to my parents dogs and "bye bye Daddy" when Josh went down the stairs. Pretty soon they will both be competing in the Olympics (Thomas on the USA Hockey team and Charlotte in speed skating). I better go to sleep so I can keep up with them tomorrow.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

30 Day Challenge

This morning I completed my first 30 day challenge on EA Sports Active. It has now become a family activity :) We all get up in the morning and do our workout together. For Thomas this means a lot of playing on the slide and laughing when the program tells me to jump (I'm not sure why he things jumping is so funny, but he does). I decided to give myself a little treat for finishing. No, not food - shoes. I figure shoes will continue to fit, even as I lose the weight, so they are a good investment.

Charlotte also got in on some of the action today. We brought out her activity gym and laid her on it. She doesn't get a lot of time on the floor to exercise since we want to keep her protected from Thomas. But, he has been really good with her, so we are doing new things like putting her in her swing and using her mat. She loves it - kicks her legs, rolls on to her side and smiles at everything she sees.

My other big project this week is clearing out the storage closet in our loft. We have boxes up there that never got unpacked from when we moved in here in 2007. Most of it is my stuff and I have found myself much more willing to get rid of things than I used to be. We want to close off the loft and make it into a bedroom for Charlotte. That way we will be able to maintain a guest room in our house. The storage closet will have to be turned into a real closet, so we can't keep too many things in there. The final part will be going through all of my knitting supplies (I have tons of yarn), organizing them into projects and then clearing out some of the yarn that I'm never going to use.

This week went by really fast - probably because I spent another 2 days at the dentist. I have only 2 appointments left with the dentist and then a couple with an oral surgeon to fix up one last tooth. It is so great to get this done - even though it is not a lot of fun.

With things going by so fast, we didn't take any pictures. We'll try to be better about that this week.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Where does the time go?

Last week, on Josh's birthday, we went to lunch at Chuck E Cheese. Yes, Josh is over 30 and he picked the place - he thought it would be fun for Thomas :) We had a great time. Even Charlotte got in on the action by driving the jeep.

Friday was Charlotte's two month appointment and she is doing really well. I had to go back and check on Thomas' stats and she weighs more than he did! She is 12 pounds, 12 ounces, 23 inches - he was 12 pounds, 1 ounce and 23.5 inches. We'll have to see is she keeps up the trend. We've been trying to give her more opportunities to explore. We got out the bouncy seat for her and today I got out the floor mat with all of the hanging toys. It is so different the second time around because we have to keep her protected from Thomas so she doesn't get as much time on the floor as he did :)

We are definitely starting to see some personality from our baby girl. She smiles and coos at us and she just loves to interact. She does not like to be poked by her big brother and I'm starting to sense that he is going to have to watch out for her when she gets mobile. I think she will be chasing him down and poking him back.

Both of our kids are finally healthy again. It is great to see Thomas happy and hungry again. He is definitely starting to test his limits. He loves to climb and wants to go and explore everything. We are trying to keep a balance between letting him explore and keeping him safe. We bought him a slide that we put in the workout room. He loves it and it allows him to do some good climbing.

Josh gets up with Thomas every morning and feeds him breakfast. When I come out later (like an hour or two later) dressed for my workout, Thomas comes running over and is so excited to "work out" with me. He especially likes the running and the jumping :)

After my last post, I went to book group and had a great discussion about Omnivore's Dilemma. I also discovered a new place in Bremerton that sells local food called Fresh Local. They have produce and cheese and locally raised grass fed beef. Last week I made pot roast on Friday and it was really good. It was also really expensive. Which means that we are eating a little less meat. I also got some great lentils there and made lentil soup. It turns out that Thomas likes lentil soup, so we will be making that again. I've also been making bread in my bread maker again. I have a great recipe for parmesan peppercorn french bread and Josh and Thomas love it, so I have been making it over and over. I haven't been able to get the whole wheat bread to work right in my bread maker, so I am now off to locate better recipes for bread machine wheat bread.

It has somehow gotten late again, so I must be off to sleep.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Food, health and other fun topics

My son has been sick for a long time - like most of the last two months. I think he was well for maybe 2 weeks. First he got a cold and that led to a horrible ear infection and two rounds of antibiotics and now he had another cold which also led to a round of antibiotics. This week, Charlotte finally caught on to the trend and got sick. She has RSV. Crazy. I think we have finally turned the corner - Thomas is getting back to his old self and Charlotte is not having any trouble breathing.

The other big health topic in our life right now is working out and eating right. When I was pregnant, we got lazy with the eating and exercising. We knew that we would have to turn things around once Charlotte was born. We started the eating right thing in December, but I started exercising again last week. I have to be honest - I have a real love/hate relationship with exercise. I get up in the morning and grumble my way over to my workout and moan my way through it. BUT, after it is over, I'm ready for more. Like, I'm ready to move more and I feel better (sore, but better). It makes me really mad. I'd much rather lose weight by sitting on the couch and knitting, but it turns out that knitting only burns 2 calories/hour.

For working out, I am relying on several Wii programs. First, I use EA Sports Active for my morning workout. I am doing the 30 day challenge. I like it because it let me choose the intensity of workout I wanted (Medium) and the kind of music I want in the background. Afterward, for fun, we use the Wii Fit Plus. I like to play the games :) If Josh is around, we sometimes play Wii tennis. We plan on going to the park and playing real tennis when it gets a little warmer and less rainy.

And, as far as eating right, we are trying several things. I plan meals in advance - usually for the week. We eat lots of whole grains (especially for breakfast), I have several cookbooks that I like (Healthy in a Hurry and The Healthy Slow Cooker) and of course I rely on the internet for recipes.

Here is an example of a couple of things that we have made and liked:

Last night, we ate Pork Tenderloin with green beans and Sweet Potato and Chickpea Puree. Thomas ate all of it (as you can see from the pictures above). He loved it so much he rubbed some of it in his hair and decorated the table with it. Josh and I though the Pork was a little dry, but it was really good as leftovers for lunch today.

Tonight, we had Pot Roast and Salad. For the pot roast, I used the recipe on the back of the Lipton's Onion Soup box, but used red potatoes instead of white. It was REALLY good. I could eat pot roast every day. But, that is part of the deal - moderation on the pot roast.

For breakfast these days, I'm enjoying steel cut oats (also known as Irish Oatmeal). We eat ours with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a banana. I would never have thought of putting peanut butter in oatmeal, but it is delicious and the whole bowl is only 350 calories.

At book club tomorrow night, we will be discussing Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma. A lot of our eating lately has been influenced both by this book, the next book he wrote, In Defense of Food and the movie Food, Inc. I don't ever want to be one of those people who goes around telling other people how to eat or what to eat. I respect that people have to make their own decisions about food (and a lot of other things in their lives). These books and movie made me think and one of the things they reminded me (again) is that I am grateful that we can make healthy food choices. The most heartbreaking part of Food, Inc was the part where they profiled a family with a limited budget trying to choose between eating fruit and vegetables and eating off the dollar menu at (fill in the fast food place).

The healthy choice for me now is to go to sleep since both of my babies are sleeping :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just one of those days

I was thinking earlier today that I could look at this day in either a positive light or a negative light. I am generally more prone to look on the bright side of things, but some of the negative things were really funny. For example, both of my children threw up on me a little today. Thomas was coughing so hard that he gagged and Charlotte just had a little too much bottle (so technically, it was just spit up). As a parent, these are the moments that you remember and (in the future sometime) make you laugh.

On to the details of the day.

Thomas has been sick for a while. He had a cold and then got an ear infection (he pretty much gets ear infections every time he gets a cold). We discovered this ear infection in mid December when Thomas was having trouble sleeping and pulling his ear. It was a pretty bad infection in both ears. It took 4 weeks and 2 rounds of antibiotics to clear it up. We went to the doctor last Tuesday and finally got the all clear. Friday night into Saturday morning, Thomas started coughing a lot again. Saturday he still seemed pretty good. He was eating well and in a pretty good mood all day. This morning, he was still coughing, but only a little, so we went to church. After church, we went to lunch with my parents and Thomas could not stop coughing. He also refused to eat. After lunch, Josh called the on call doctor and went to get some cough medicine since Thomas was coughing so much. The doctor called back and told us to come in to get checked. The verdict? You guessed it - ear infection.

I've never seen him this sick. When he got back from the doctor, he took his medicine and then sat on my lap, ate a yogurt, curled up and went to sleep.

I spent a lot of time after that thinking about all the things I am grateful for. First, I am grateful to have such a great husband. He took called the doctor, took him in and then got the medicine. Second, I am grateful for my parents and Josh's parents. Both of them were really helpful to us at separate times today and we really love the fact that they are so involved in our lives. Third, I am grateful that we have good health insurance and we can see a doctor on a Sunday and get our boy help right away. Finally, I am grateful that we have such a good baby girl. She took a long nap this afternoon and then woke up in a great mood and smiled at me.

So, this is just one of those days. Definitely a lot of challenges, but also a lot of reasons to be grateful as well.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Life in the Canfield house

Sunday morning we took some pictures of the kids because they were being so cute

I decided that Charlotte should start wearing some dresses - and some fancy boots. She just looked so cute. She got these boots from her cousin Catalina who outgrew them quickly.

Thomas found a key chain and he carried it around. He likes to shake things to see what will happen. He loved this one for some reason.

Thomas likes to help us do the laundry. Or he really likes to "put your pajamas in the bag". It is amazing to me how much he understands now. I can say "pick up the toy and bring it to Mommy" and he does it. Amazing.

Charlotte is starting to smile more and to interact by copying what we are doing. Yesterday she giggled. And, she makes a lot more noise than she used to. She coos and babbles. I don't remember Thomas being very verbal at this age. He was pretty quiet.

We've been putting into motion a lot of new house projects. Because I am at home, we have more of an opportunity to do things. I made a list of all the things I wanted to do during the rest of my leave and got started by reorganizing my desk in the kitchen and then reorganizing the bedroom. We bought a great new dresser for the kids clothes. The dresser we were using was a little too small and Thomas' clothes are getting bigger and bigger. Now we have everything put away.

I still have a lot of things on my list. Next up is getting rid of my books. I am having a really hard time deciding which ones to keep and which to give away. We don't have the space for them anymore and I have been reading exclusively digitally for 2 years now. The room that all the books are in is also the music room and the Wii/workout room. We have actually been using it for workouts every day, so I can't wait to get more room in there.

The other things on my list involve some more organization (I have to get my knitting stuff under control and also go through my yarn stash) and lots of cooking. I have been trying new recipes - first I tried a lot of Crock Pot recipes and now I am doing some more regular cooking on the stove. Tonight we had lamb chops and cous cous salad (Josh did not love the cous cous), but the best thing I made this week was a pot roast in the Crock Pot. It was so easy (and I could have eaten the entire thing in one sitting it tasted so good).

Tomorrow I am going to cross the worst thing off my list (right below exercising consistently). I am going to the dentist. I've put it off for too long and now it is time to face the music. I'm a little afraid of how much work I'm going to need, but it is time to get it over with.

That is all the news fro our house. More pictures and stories to come next week.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Catching up with some pictures

Life at our house is pretty exciting right now - as you can tell from the picture above. I love this picture because the toy that is sitting on Josh was put there by Thomas. I had forgotten that kids don't really understand "Don't bug Daddy, he's sleeping". Thomas thinks it is hilarious to put things on Josh and also to pull his hair while he is sleeping.

Thomas got his first haircut the week before Christmas. He was starting to have a really out of control mullet in the back, so we finally took him in to get some trimmed. He was really good for the whole haircut which is amazing since his cousins were there and we were taking a ton of pictures and videos. Afterward, we took him over to McDonald's for some lunch. It was a little crazy since all the kids were out of school.

Here is a rare picture of Josh and I with our baby girl. We are always taking pictures of each other, but rarely have a chance to get a picture together. She is so precious. We took a picture with Thomas as well, but it did not turn out as well since he is so squirmy.

We went to visit my grandparents the week before Christmas and Thomas really liked this rocking chair. It belonged to my aunt, Jeanette, when she was a little girl. He loves having chairs his own size, although he is also now able to get up on chairs that are adult size, so he wants to sit in those as well.

My grandma with Charlotte. She slept for most of the visit...

We are getting back to the more normal routine of life after the holidays. Charlotte now has longer periods of wakefulness. I have been carrying here around a lot in the Bjorn because she likes it and sometimes will fall asleep a little easier if she is walked around.

Thomas continues to grow like crazy and has a lot of energy. We are really thankful that he goes to Robb and Rebecca's twice a week. He needs the change of scenery and his cousins keep him busy so he can get some of his energy out.

Josh has been busy working on a couple of websites and work for the gym.

I have been tackling all of those projects I didn't have energy for when I was pregnant. In addition to trying a lot of new recipes in the crock pot, I've been working on getting rid of things we don't need/use anymore and better organizing the things we do use.

Hope your new year has started off as good as ours!