Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Thoughts from the road, Day 1

Why did we ever think that driving for 3 days with a toddler was a good idea? We still have 2 more days to go. We're never going to make it!

Really, Abby hasn't been that bad. About an hour into our trip this morning, she started getting fussy, so I handed her everything I could to buy us a few minutes of peace. She quickly lost interest in toys, so we moved on to cell phones, wallets, sharp knives...anything. It didn't help that it's been raining since we got into Montana, so we couldn't stop anywhere to let her run. Our plan was to stop in Missoula. We barely made it. She was fine once we got her out of the car. Luckily, it wasn't raining there, so we were able to let her walk around outside Cracker Barrel to burn off some energy. Once back in the car, though, all hell broke loose. After a fullblown meltdown that lasted about a half hour, she finally fell asleep. For 45 minutes. She was only a little fussy the rest of the way, though. We'd decided to stop in Bozeman, MT, so we've only travelled about 350 miles today. We stopped for the day at 2 in the afternoon. Abby flipped out when we got her back in the car to go out to dinner because she's had enough of our road trip. It's going to be a long couple of days!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Our furniture is gone and on its way to its new home now. The guys packed us up yesterday and loaded us today. We were supposed to keep our bed until tomorrow, but the weather is supposed to get bad through the pass into Montana and Jack didn't want to risk it, so we'll be sleeping on the floor with no bedding tonight. At least Abby has her Pack-N-Play. She's been taking naps in it today and has been sleeping really well. She took a 2-hour nap this morning! That's the longest nap she's taken in a long time. I was really surprised because there was so much noise in the house with the guys hauling the furniture out. It gave me a chance to vacuum as much as I could before it got loaded on the truck. It's so strange to walk through our empty house.

They had a farewell get-together for us at Damon's work this afternoon. The first one was in the lobby of the Assisted Living building. Abby was completely overwhelmed by all the people. She clung to Damon until the end. Then she was finally comfortable enough to walk around a bit. Even then, though, she was still really shy. Next, we walked over to the Independent Living dining room. There, we couldn't hold on to her. She was a completely different kid! She completely stole the show running between the tables, squealing "DA!" and pointing at Damon whenever she came by him, and just being the adorable toddler she is. I couldn't keep up with her. I had to keep an eye on her on the way home because she was exhausted. She fell asleep a couple times, so I'd tap on her shoe to wake her up. At one point, she took her shoe off, but fell asleep while trying to take her sock off. We made it home and she's now crashed in her Pack-N-Play again.

Tomorrow is Damon's last day of work here. He'll put in a full day at work, then we'll just stop in Coeur D'Alene for the night. It's only a half hour away, but at least it's in the right direction. We don't want to drive through the pass at night, particularly if the weather is going to be ugly. I need to finish cleaning the house tomorrow and I need to pick up the garage door opener. I forgot to take it out of the Tercel when they picked it up on Friday. Oops!

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Sad Day

It's been a very emotional day. Firstly, this morning we signed the closing papers on our house. Our house is officially sold. Our realtor came over right after and took the lockbox off the front door. We don't move until next week, but there was something about the lock expiring on Sunday so we had to sign today. We'd originally made the appointment for 4 this afternoon so Damon could just get off work early, sign the papers, then go out for a celebratory/farewell dinner. The title company called to reschedule, though, because the buyers needed to be funded today, so off we went first thing this morning. As we're getting out of the car at the title office, the buyers called with a couple house questions. They also mentioned that they wouldn't have their deposit until first thing Monday morning. Without their deposit, they can't get funded. The buyers are only financing 25% of the house; the rest is being paid cash, and I guess they weren't able to withdraw such a big amount today after all. It's too bad because it would've been nice to have been able to go out to dinner right after. Oh well.

This was the first house that Damon and I bought together. When I met him, he was in the middle of buying a condo, and I eventually moved in with him there. It was a special place because that's where Damon proposed. That's where we came home to after we got married. Still, it always felt like I was living in his house, you know? Damon was wonderful about making feel at home, but it never felt ours to me. On the other hand, I was the one who found this house. We went through the whole process together from the beginning. We furnished it together, and made it ours. Most importantly, we brought Abby home here. This is Abby's hometown, and that made the decision to move so hard.

Secondly, the towing company came by to pick up my Tercel this afternoon. We weren't planning on taking it with us anyway, but right after we accepted this offer in Colorado it broke down. Damon barely got home that day, and it's been sitting in the garage ever since. That clinched it, so we called a charity that we found in the newspaper to come pick it up for donation. This was my first car (well, second. I drove a Renault for a week, but it was so old and almost dead that my mom took pity on me and bought me the Tercel) when I was 16. I've had it almost 12 years. It's been through so much with me; we've been everywhere together. The stories she could tell you! That car went to more proms than I did! Part of me wanted to tell the guy that I changed my mind and I decided to keep it. We could use it as a lawn ornament. I know it was time to let go, though. If I'm having this hard a time saying good-bye to my old car how am I ever going to let Abby go?

P.S. We signed up for a Flickr pro account, so I'm adding a ton of old Abby pictures. Just click on any picture in the sidebar to see the rest of them. I'm only through February right now. This should keep the grandmas happy until we get settled in Colorado.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Abby and I went to the children's museum again today. She spent the majority of her time on this stage playing with various musical instruments. She'd sometimes wander off to see something else, but it was never long before she came back to the stage. The museum is in the basement of the mall downtown. On the way there, I stopped at Goodwill with a trunkful of stuff to donate, and I'd taken out the stroller to load up the trunk. I overcame my fears and let Abby walk through the mall to the museum. She held my hand for about 2 minutes before she wanted to take off on her own. Not only that, but after the museum, we went to eat. In a real sit-down restaurant. By ourselves! And you know what? Abby was awesome. This was one of the best restaurant experiences I've had with her. She's always pretty good when we go out to eat, but she does get a little loud at times. With the exception of the very first time we tried to go out to eat, we've only had to leave a restaurant once because she was acting up. And that was only because our food took FOREVER, and she just couldn't sit any longer.

15 Months

I'm late, I know. Things are a very hectic around here since we're moving NEXT WEEK! Damon's in Colorado this week working with the guy he's replacing. He'll be back Thursday night, we're signing our house away Friday afternoon, my uncle Jack will be here to pack and load us Monday and Tuesday, and we take off Wednesday morning. I don't have a clue when I'll have internet access again, so I don't know when I'll be able to post again after next week.

The other day, I was carrying Abby and happened to look in the mirror. When did she get so big!? Damon pointed out that she's now more than half my height. I can't believe she's almost 3 feet tall.

She's doing many extraordinary things these days, but she's still not really saying many words. She says "da da" (bye bye), she'll occasionally say Hi, and she knows that Damon is Dada (she still hasn't figured out what to call me). When she points at things, she still says "Da!" I'm constantly telling her what things are called, and it's starting to stick. She may not be able to say what an object is, but she understands what it is. I can ask her where certain things are, and she'll look for them until she finds them. At first, I'd say "YAY!" every time, and she'd clap. Now when she finds something, she'll stand in front of it and clap on her own. The next step is to teach her to bring me things. Then I'll have my very own servant. Isn't that why we all want kids in the first place?

She's also learned an extremely useful skill recently. I can give her a ziploc bag with snacks such as Cheerios, and she can feed herself from the bag without any assistance. And with little mess! I'm telling you, the girl's a genius! This will come in very handy next week when we're travelling a million miles to Colorado.

While digging through her cabinet in the kitchen, she found a bag with 4 of those metal baby spoons with the rubber spoon part. She's been in love with them ever since. She'll spend a good half hour carrying them around the basement. She'll sit on the couch with her feet on the coffee table, and place them one by one on the table. Then, she'll scoop them all up and put them in her mouth. They're also great for banging on the coffee table. When she tires of the table, she'll take her spoons and sit on the window ledge and start all over. She's been doing this for days now. "Spoons" is one of those words she understands now. If she's getting into something she shouldn't, I can ask her where her spoons are and she'll immediately go on the hunt.

Another favorite toy is the laundry basket. She's graduated from simply tipping it over and throwing our clothes everywhere to pushing it all over the house. She'll go around throwing clothes, then picking them up. I never know where I'm going to find the baskets or dirty laundry. Yesterday, I found a sock in the warming drawer under the oven.

Abby also has a new game she plays with her ball. She doesn't throw it yet. Instead, she'll walk around with it for a while, drop it so it rolls away from her, then pick it up and start all over. She loves it when we throw the ball to the other side of the room, so she can go chase after it.

She's finally letting me hold her hand. In the beginning, I was constantly stooped over holding both of her hands while she toddled around. Once she was able to walk well on her own, though, she wanted nothing to do with me. If I tried to take her hand, she'd smack me away with a look that said, " God Mom! I can do it myself!" I swear I caught a glimpse of the future teenage years whenever I'd see that look. Lately, she's been letting me hold her hand while we walk around the house together. It's practice for when we got out in public without the stroller, something I haven't been brave enough to do yet.

Monday, March 13, 2006

15-Month Visit

Abby had her 15-month doctor's appt last week. She's now 33" long and weighs 23lbs. 10oz. This was the first time she didn't grow much from the last appointment. It's about time she slows down! At the rate she was going, she'd be 12 feet tall by kindergarten.

While we waited to get in, Abby had a blast running around the waiting room. I discovered 2 things while we waited: Abby is LOUD, and she has more energy than I can keep up with. She wasn't crying or anything, but she was so excited to be in a strange room with a couple other kids that she kept shrieking and yelling "DA DA!" (bye bye) at everyone who left. She was much, much louder than the other kids. There was a mom with an 8-month-old who wasn't crawling yet, so she was able to sit her down in one spot and the baby didn't move. I miss those days! Although, Abby wouldn't have stayed in one spot even back then. She would've gotten herself on her back and rolled.

I knew I was in big trouble when, after we'd been waiting almost 45 minutes, a mom walks in with a boy about Abby's age holding a balloon. I kept thinking that there's no way I'm going to be able to keep Abby away from that balloon without a big fight. Sure enough, Abby walked right up to him and reached for it. He seemed as excited as Abby was to see another toddler, although he was nowhere near as loud about it. After his mom got through checking him in, she sat him down in one of the chairs and he stayed put! How did she do that? Abby would've either climbed off the chair or stood up on it. I did manage to distract Abby away from the balloon, but I was so happy that we were called in to see the doctor right after they got there, so we avoided any bloodshed.

When we left her doctor's office, the boy with the balloon was running crazy in the waiting room and his mom looked about as frazzled as I had. It's nice to know it's not just my kid.

Abby grabbed Damon's shirt out of the hamper while running around before her bath. She loved wearing it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Damon went to the doctor today. They tested him for strep throat and influenza, and he has the flu. The doctor told him that there's no way he should flying tomorrow. He's had a fever of about 102.5 all day, and he's highly contagious for about 5 days. Not only is he to not fly, but he also can't work until Monday. I'm so glad the doctor told him this because he's the type who would try and go to work tomorrow. In fact, when he called in, he told them that he'd try to sneak in late tomorrow or Thursday to check his email and stuff. Both the person he talked to and me on his other ear said, "ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!" There's no way I'm letting him go.

It makes me so angry, though, because when I went to my doctor's office I had to meet with a nurse practitioner because our doctor wasn't there. She literally spent two minutes with me! She asked me what color my mucus was and told me it sounded viral, so there was nothing they could do. Our doctor was very surprised she hadn't swabbed me. Now we just have to hope that what Abby and I had was the flu too. Our doctor thought it was, and Abby only had it really bad for a couple days because she'd gotten a flu shot.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sick Again

Now Damon is sick! Do you know what's interesting? He takes care of us for 3 days straight and never got what Abby and I had. A guy shows up to work sick Friday, and now he's sick. We're hoping it's the same bug that we already had because we don't want it again! The poor guy feels awful. He's had a fever of 101 today, and he's had the chills since yesterday. He just can't seem to get warm. He's going to see the doctor tomorrow. He was supposed to fly to Colorado Springs tomorrow, but he's put that off a day so he can rest and get better.

My back is much better now. I went Friday to get the stitches and staples removed. The nurse said that the "margins were clear," so I'm done. Unfortunately, there was a small mole that was in the way when they cut me the last time, so the doctor sent it to pathology as an "incidental" mole that was no big deal. Well, it had "architectural defects," so now I have to have my moles looked at in a year to make sure they haven't changed. That mole was fine; just shaped funny.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Cat's Out of the Bag!

Now that everyone knows, I'm allowed to blog about what's going on with us. About a month ago, Damon's company offered him a job in Colorado Springs that we decided to accept. I blogged about it a few weeks ago, but Damon asked me to take it down because he hadn't told his staff about it yet. This wasn't the way he wanted them to find out, but now that they all know I'm allowed to spill the beans. Right after we accepted the offer, we put our house up for sale. The first couple to look at it bought it! It was so nerve-wracking trying to keep it super-clean for people to come look at it anytime. Now we can slack a little for the rest of the month. Damon starts at his new facility the beginning of April, so we close the end of March, and we'll be on the road after that. Hopefully I won't be without internet for too long once we get out there. We'll have all the grandmas breaking down our front door to see Abby!

Riverfront Park

It was a gorgeous day today, so we took advantage of it and drove downtown to Riverfront Park. First, we rode a gondola down to Spokane Falls.

The gondola goes down first, turns around just past the bridge, then goes back up. See how the gondolas going up are parralel to the ones going down? They stop that way along the way to let you take pictures. During one of those stops, the one next to us had four high school/college girls who had a blast waving and smiling at Abby. Of course, Abby loved the attention.

The Monroe St. Bridge, and a little of the falls.

Abby wasn't all that sure about the grass.

After a few minutes, she remembered that she hates grass.

She also got to swing for the first time. She loved it!