After what felt like an eternity of waiting, we were fortunate enough to have escrow close the weekend before Christmas. Now that that's a good week and a half behind us, all the insanity of moving (twice), the setbacks (let's not even talk about paperwork or- worse- rats) seem like a distant memory. The day after we got keys...
Luke and I spent cleaning the new house.
Moving weekend was hectic and I wasn't sure everything would get done. Luckily we had a couple of Christmas Miracles show up (in the form of our Realtor and her nephew) and everything got moved. The next day we even felt festive enough to put up the Christmas tree!
Even though we have years of work ahead of us on the house, we all really love it.
It's hard to say what Luke's favorite thing is about visiting Utah.
Maybe it's all the Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles to give you attention:
Maybe it's eating your own body weight in fruit snacks:
Then again it could be that you've actually got cousins in Utah:
It could be because the Christensens are really funny:
It might even be that Utah gives you an excuse to wear your favorite hat:
As hard as it is to name your favorite thing about visiting family, it's even harder to leave the fun and festivities.
It was a Thanksgiving miracle that we made it home in good time and in one piece considering all the stories we heard from the Saturday and Sunday travelers. Not such a miracle was to come home and find that the HOA at the Schofields had Mac's truck towed in our absence. I guess it's the neighbors way of saying "Happy Holidays". I would have preferred a card.
Considering Luke's reaction to snow last year, I was a little bit worried that he wouldn't like it. I was prepared to bundle him up, take him out, and come right back in (and when I say I was prepared to do these things, I mean I was prepared to watch Mac do these things). I was surprised to find that not only was he o.k. with putting snow clothes on...
...he wanted to sled...
...and touch the snow.
There's no question about his maternity because I remember being pregnant with him and giving birth to him. He must get this love of snow from his father, because he certainly doesn't get it from me. After going down exactly two hills and watching his cousins for a while, he asked to go back inside and watch with the rest of the clan.
Now that he gets from me.
And here's some more photos because I have a hard time understanding the concept of "editing".
You gotta love the "I drank too much egg nog" look on Mac's face. Except it was more like bad photography timing than anything.
Luke's final birthday celebration was shared with two other little buddies who were also turning 2 in November. We decided on a pizza party theme, which seemed about perfect for our little pizza lover. Given that we had just moved most of possessions earlier that day, I was surprised to find that I had enough energy to get through the evening. Of course the next morning Mac and I woke up to sore throats and stuffed noses that let us know we had over-done things a bit. C'est la vie.
I was in charge of the dough and I quickly realized that I should have pre-cooked the dough so that we could just throw toppings on and heat them to melt the cheese. Thankfully everyone ate (eventually) and while we waited we chatted and the kids played. I made a little game that Luke really loved playing where there were some holes cut out of a board and you threw little stuffed tomatoes through the holes. All the kids took turns and had a good time.
Luke chose to put the weirdest things on top of his pizza (pineapple and peperoni if I remember correctly). I told him it was weird and he said "I like it". And he did.
We did cake (that looked like pizza) and I was surprised to find that the first two people to run up to me as I cut the cake were interested in serving everyone else before they took their own slices. It pretty much made my evening to see those sweet boys want to be helpers.
While we drove home I asked Luke about the party and two main things stuck out in his mind:
"I threw the timonos at the pizza!" and "Billy* took the car away from Luke"
*name has been changed
All in all it was a fun evening and it was really nice to catch up with the other birthday boys families and the friends we had invited.
Yup, we're moving. I've got mixed feelings about this. In a way I'm sad to be leaving our apartment and the complex because it's been a great place to become a little family. The neighbors are friendly and there are always buddies running around for Luke to play with. On the other hand, moving to a new place always gives me an opportunity to re-organize my life and to stop bad habits and establish good ones.
Luke was a less than helpful in the packing process. I would put things in a box, leave the room to get the tape or Sharpie, and come back to an unpacked box. Suddenly he also was very attached to everything I touched. "No, MY ______," he would say, and then have to play with whatever I was packing. The morning of the actual move he was watching Mac and I take things out of the apartment and it was pretty distubing to him. Almost as if we hadn't read Berenstein's Bears "Moving Day" and talked about moving every day for over a month.
When Luke saw me packing the baby bath he stripped down for a pretend bath. Then he bathed all his unpacked stuffed animals.
We are in the process of buying a house and we thought it would close by now. We put in our 30 days notice on our apartment a little late, thinking it would give us a nice little buffer in case anything went wrong and we got delayed. And we did. Over and over. Our 30 days came and went and we sheepisly asked the Schofields if we could move in for a bit. Thankfully their extra space and generosity saved us from homelessness. Or a hotel and storage unit.
You know (especially considering this is a temporary arrangement), it's nice there. Luke is thrilled to have more buddies around to play with.
One of his best buds around Nana's house is Lucy (who he sometimes just calls Luce). I think he enjoys having somebody being lower on the pecking order.
As grateful as I am to be buying a house and to have a place to stay until said house is actually ours, I can't wait to get settled and unpacked!
This morning we woke up to the sound of rain coming down. As I was the first one up (I'm usually the first one up) I had time to watch Luke sleep and think about that morning 2 years ago when he was born. When Mac and Luke got up I told Luke his birth story and we looked at photos of that day. There are some pretty National Geographic-style photos of his birth taken by our Doula (if not for her there would be no documentation at all). Luke just looked at them and said "I was born!".
Even though his birthday was today we gave him a walking bike for an early birthday present yesterday because we knew having a rainy-Sabbath day birthday wouldn't be so fun for riding a bike. He's somewhat figuring it out and learning how to turn. He's been looking forward to the bike for a while and I'm so glad he has it now. It'll be really fun watching him learn to ride. Yesterday when he came out from the room to see the Mac-assembled bike he said "My green bike!"
The celebrating continued when we went to Aunt Melanie's for dinner. Luke was excited all day to go and kept saying "I like Johnny" and "I like Melanie". There we had some yummy taco salad, sang Happy Birthday and ate pumpkin muffins, brownies, pumpkin ice cream and mint chocolate chip ice cream.
After we were done singing to him and turned on the lights, he kept putting the candles back in and singing to himself. Every time I tried to video the song he went silent. I think he might be sick of the mama-razzi.
Luke was in love with his new digger truck and legos and played with them for the rest of the time there. When we told him it was time to go he really wanted to stay, but we had to meet up with the Schofields for some more celebrating. He then showed off his stash so far and opened up even more presents. These were the only presents that were actually wrapped (I'm a gift-bag lover) so it was really fun watching his face get confused and frustrated with opening the presents and then confused still when he wasn't quite sure what the presents were. By the time we got go to bed Luke and I probably fell asleep within 3 minutes of each other- we were both spent.
(For the records he's 34.5 inches tall and about 28 pounds heavy which lands him pretty much in the middle of his age mates).