Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thanksgiving in Indianapolis

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We took Rebecca on her first long car ride to Indianapolis over Thanksgiving. I was definitely a little nervous about nine hours in the car with a nine-month-old, but she gets an A for her first long car trip! Aunt Lu drove out with us on Wednesday, and it was fun to get some extra time with my sister. The traffic was pretty light, but we drove through rain for the last five hours.
With an extra adult always sitting with her, Rebecca stayed very happy in the backseat! She has many toys she likes, recently learned about "lift the flap" and touch-and-feel books, and ate her bottles like a champ. Coming home was also pretty good, and I sat in the back part of the way to keep her happy. She even took a two hour nap on the way home!
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I didn't do a great job capturing family in photos at Thanksgiving. I was still a little overwhelmed with Kip's injury trying to process what could be the new normal for the months ahead. While we were there, Kip was on crutches, and I was thankful to have some extra hands around to help with Rebecca. She gave lots of snuggles to all of her uncles, aunts, and my dad and Tracy! Sometimes she gets fussy if I am in the room and not holding her, but for the most part, Rebecca will still let anyone hold her. This is true unless she's really tired or hungry of course, but what can you expect from a baby?
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Her little turkey onesie was ordered from Ellie Handmades on Etsy and outfitted with a Baby Gap tutu and pants combination that she will wear often with all her Christmas onesies. Not going to lie, my favorite seasonal decoration is officially my kid. She just looks so cute in everything for the holidays! Rebecca loved the Thanksgiving meal, eating Becca sized bites of everything. She was a trooper for family photos, sitting in her high chair, and exploring all the new places with her very slow and deliberate crawl. We are definitely thankful for family and this little turkey.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Boulevard Brewery Tasting with KC Canning Co.

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I decided on a whim that we should go to a Boulevard Brewery pairing event on Sunday, November 20th. Our friend Anne is a proud Boulevard employee now, and she passed along the information about their Thanksgiving event with KC Canning Co. And because the event was from 3:30-5:30 on a Sunday afternoon, it was the perfect time for Rebecca to hang out with Grandma Barbara for a little bit while we went out. Boulevard had five little appetizer bites with drink pairings, and it definitely pushed us to try some beers we wouldn't normally chose. If you haven't been, the new Beer Hall is gorgeous and pretty cozy for the winter days ahead.
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Our Sunday Funday date ended up being really perfect in a lot of ways. Kansas City was looking lovely, Kip enjoyed seeing the Beer Hall for the first time, and we had a lot of fun hanging out just the two of us for a couple of hours. It was a little over a week before our anniversary, and while we brainstormed lots of things that we could do to celebrate two years, this ended up being our anniversary date. The day after the event at Boulevard, Kip threw a log while cleaning up brush that left him with a torn meniscus and ACL. His accident has made life a lot slower and a little more stressful as we have been trying to figure out next steps.
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We're really grateful that it happened while he was standing on the ground and not in a tree. And thankful for great medical care so far. While he is pretty restricted on movement, Kip can still carry Becca, take her to school, etc. We're still waiting on a scheduled surgery time (apparently everyone wants to have elective surgery done at the end of the year), but we are hoping that it can be soon as the doctor estimates six to nine months before he's cleared to be "as good as new." Kip is so positive and optimistic, making me so grateful that we're on the same team.
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Our anniversary was quiet with dinner at home with Rebecca and the last slices of cake we brought home from Indianapolis. I was thinking while we were eating that when I was single, these were the nights I craved. I wanted to be at home with my little family doing ordinary things like eating dinner, wrestling a baby into pajamas after bath time, and watching a show with my husband. Being married to Kip is all those sweet ordinary moments and so much more. He's so good for me, and he makes me a very happy lady. I love the life we're creating at our little house on Dearborn.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

K-State vs. Oklahoma State || Family Photos in Purple

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Kip took a weekend off hunting to attend the K-State v. Oklahoma State game on November 5th with us. It was an afternoon game, so Rebecca spent the afternoon with Grandma Karen, Grandpa Keith, and Uncle Kenny while we headed to the stadium for ribs and tailgate fun! Karen made us delicious cookies to take along to the game, and we loved the warm weather for a November game. It was nice enough for t-shirts!
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We stopped at the Alumni Center on our way into town to snag a photo for the Christmas card. A year ago we did the same thing in Manhattan, but it was freezing! We had to jump out of the car very quickly and use the tripod in front of the East side of the stadium. This year it was much warmer so we took our time at the Alumni Center getting the photo just right. We're the nerds walking around with a tripod, thank you very much.
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It's tricky enough to get Becca to look at the camera (she's so busy!), but it was even more challenging using the timer. Rebecca was so concerned about a little kid nearby at the Alumni Center that was crying and pretty upset. In the end, she did pretty well, and Mom got a great one for her card. She even used a couple photos of Rebecca for the back because she's pretty cute. We didn't plan our outfits, we all just showed up in purple and it worked. Funny how that goes in our family!
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I think Rebecca was a delight for her grandparents, and Kip and I had fun hanging out together just the two of us (and tens of thousands of K-State fans!). We were at the game until the end, and it was a heartbreaking loss in the final seconds. After the game we made our way in traffic to Kip's parents house, scooped up Rebecca and headed for home in the van. We stopped and got Panera on the way home, a perfect light dinner after the delicious ribs earlier in the day. Kip and I are both grateful for the family and friends who have welcomed Rebecca into the K-State routine. We are lucky to continue enjoying games together!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rebecca Claire || Nine Months

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On the 17th of November we celebrated nine months of Rebecca! This little nugget goes for a check-up later this week, so while we don't know her stats just yet, we do know that she's scrumptious. Becca has a lot more hair, and it's starting to swoop over to the right nicely. It's also the same color that mine was when I was a baby, a little lighter than my hair currently is now.

Rebecca is busy! She crawls slowly around and still crawls after her toys instead of getting into trouble. She has discovered that when I leave the kitchen and living room and go into the office that she can follow me! She was pretty proud of herself.

Belle and Becca interact a little bit when Becca is laying on a quilt, but they mostly just co-exist. You can see proof of it in the photo above as Belle walked by and licked Rebecca's toes just as I snapped the photo. Besides mama and daddy, we're pretty sure Rebecca has a good concept of puppy and knows where to look for Belle around the house.
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The photos get ever more challenging, and we chatted at book club about how much easier we could make them for ourselves. Next kid I will know better. I wanted her to lay down on the quilt, and she wanted to sit up and look around. And I wanted her to sit on the chair, and she wanted to dive head first off of it.

We made some big transitions in sleep this month, graduating from the Magic Merlin to a Halo sleep blanket. She doesn't use a pacifier except sometimes as a trick to help her fall asleep, and while she sleeps with her black and white puppy in her crib, she doesn't tend to cuddle with it. Rebecca had some rough nights when she realized that she could SIT UP in the middle of the night. It was like she didn't realize that once she sat up she could lay back down. That's gotten a little bit better in the last couple weeks.
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Rebecca is wearing mostly 12-18 month clothes from Gap and the like, but we squeezed in one more photo shoot in her 6-12 month white onesie. We've transitioned totally to size 4 diapers as well. She has almost outgrown her size 2 moccasins, but we've got backups ready to go in the next two sizes because they are so easy to put on and go!

With her two little teeth, Becca is still willing to eat all the food we give her, starting to figure out food pouches on her own, and getting much better at using her cups with a straw. I think she eats everything daycare gives her too, and we're thankful for our hungry little bear. Rebecca takes three bottles at daycare and nurses right after school and at bedtime consistently. She's still up one or two times a night, but I go to bed hopeful every night that she will surprise me and just sleep through the night.
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And she's still got those sweet dark eyes like her daddy with the kissable cheeks.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Literacy Festival 2016

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When I taught in Virginia, I coached a Battle of the Books team and fell in love with the competition around books. I wrote about the background of bringing it to KCK back in 2012, and the event has grown since then in really neat ways. Our book lists reflect our diverse population and questions were written by district staff including yours truly! Last summer I read all of the six middle school books and created questions for the competition. Mom read all the books too because she's a fan of the book battle and young adult literature too. While I did a few other various tasks to start, Mom has always done the score room and I joined in the past couple years. This year we brought along the junior member of the team, Rebecca, to supervise while Mom and I entered the scores.
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We were over prepared for Rebecca, carrying along a little high chair that straps to a chair, tons of snacks, a stroller, and even the Ergo. As my friend Tara and Bill Snyder like to say, "Proper planning prevents poor performance!" Becca did awesome. We arrived just in time for her breakfast, and she happily snacked on bite size snacks and then played with toys for over an hour in her chair. She did a little crawling around, took a short nap in the stroller, and greeted everyone who came in before finishing out the day with more food in the high chair. In the photo above you can see how delighted she is with whatever is on her high chair tray! She had fun while we worked, but next year she would be way too active for lots of sitting with Mom and Grandma.
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Battle of the Books has expanded in KCK to include storytelling, poetry slam and debate, a true literary festival and the t-shirts for our students reflect that. Our sweet students just barely missed placing, but I've been enjoying chatting with them about the books including my favorite YA title of the year, Echo.

My mom always says that teaching skipped her generation, but besides my mom, I definitely come from a long line of teachers. I have fond memories of visiting my grandma Virginia at school when we had days off to see her little reading classroom. And my mom taught me school was important in other ways by not missing an event when I was growing up. She is still busy supporting our students regularly with whatever they need (and they need a lot).

As someone who always loved school, I hope that Becca also thinks it is cool to visit Mama at school. I don't have a classroom of my own, but because I am a site based instructional coach, I get to know teachers and kids extremely well. I want Rebecca to know that school is a very special place to be whether it is her school around the corner from our house or the place where Mama works.