Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Year In Review

I can't believe that it is New Year's Eve already! Looking back on the crazy year that was 2010...

JANUARY: We moved in to our new home! This was technically at the end of December. We recruited a few family members to help us (well, to help Randy) with the brunt side of things. The unpacking was a slow process, and one that still is going on...there are still boxes in our basement! I'm actually ok with that, too. We are such busy people that a few boxes in the basement don't really hurt anything. Anyway, we have slowly made our home ours and are excited about all of the memories to come in it! We have moved five times in four years, so it is good to be home.

FEBRUARY: Randy and I celebrated our last Valentine's Day as a childless couple. And by celebrated, I mean that Randy stayed home and I sat in a graduate school class all day! Romantic!

MARCH: March was a big month for our family. Of course, we welcomed Miss Quinn Elizabeth on the 12th. Her due date was the 5th, but she knew that Mommy still had grad. school on the 5th and the 6th so she waited patiently and Mommy was induced on a Thursday night. My spring break from work started the next day, so it was actually ideal timing. I took five weeks off from work.

In March I also celebrated my 25th birthday! I consider this age to be a milestone, so it was a little bittersweet. Meanwhile, I was continuing to remotely work on my grad. school classes, attend weekly church classes, and work at my online job from home. Maternity leave - what's that?!?!

APRIL: April was the month I officially joined the Catholic church. The RCIA program concluded at Easter, and I was welcomed with open arms into our parish. Randy and I love our church and feel like it is a huge part of our lives. We are so lucky to be part of a young, vibrant religious community. This was also the month in which Quinn got to start modeling all of her cute spring outfits, including Easter dresses! I was beginning to really love dressing her up, and, of course, having her sport so many festive headbands. :-)

MAY: I finally finished my master's degree at Drake. This was the result of 2 1/2 years of Friday night and Saturday classes, tons of commuting, countless hours of paper-writing, reading, incorporating strategies into my classroom, research projects, and more. Craziness, but SUCH a feeling of accomplishment. I was (and continue to be) so proud of myself, and I consider that another accomplishment to check off on my life's to-do list.

Quinn was also baptized into our church. It was fun to gather our family together again to celebrate such an important event!

JUNE: School's out for summer! I was so excited to have a few weeks off to spend with my baby girl. Randy and I celebrated two glorious years of marriage. We also attended lots of weddings this summer. I love wedding season!

JULY: We began the month of July with a sad, sad day. We lost our beloved family pet, Cooper, in a tragic accident. His absence still hangs heavily in our home, and we think of him every day. I remember reading in a Tori Spelling memoir once that her beloved dog was quite sick but waited until Tori's daughter was born to pass away, almost as if she wanted to make sure that her owner delivered okay and that the home would be all right without her. I can't help but make a similar connection to Cooper's life and death. We're okay, Cooper. Still sad, still missing you, but we're okay. Love you, bud.

July was also the month of trips! We traveled to Okoboji to celebrate Randy's grandmother's 80th birthday! We also seized that chance to visit my grandmother, who lives nearby. We then traveled to Boise, Idaho, to see Randy's sister, Amy, and her little family. It was nice to get away. For us to take a few days off and relax was a welcomed change!

AUGUST: I began the preparations to move into my new school!! With all of the changes going on in my district, my grade (eighth) was split and moved into two buildings, one old, and one new. I began working at the new middle school, conveniently located two minutes from our home! Moving into new rooms is always a stressful process (one that I've done three times), and even more so with a baby under one arm, but I got it done and have been pleased with the experience ever since. I've begun working with people to whom I am especially close, so it makes work a little more bearable!

SEPTEMBER: Randy celebrated the big 2-6. With Randy's birthday come Quinn's and my half-birthdays, so we had plenty of reasons to eat cake in September! We also completed our 5k.

OCTOBER: Halloween! We were so excited to dress up Quinn in her giraffe costume and parade her around. I can't wait for all of the Halloweens to come and all of the fun costumes to wear!

NOVEMBER: Thanksgiving. We traveled a lot this month. It is so nice to have our families' homes just a few minutes apart so that we can see all of our relatives in a short time period. We are truly blessed to be able to see our siblings and parents often and are thankful to live so close.

DECEMBER: Food, family, and friends! We were so blessed this Christmas with good weather, especially when compared to Christmas 2009 and its blizzard. I have a short Christmas break this year and it is already, sadly, drawing to a close.

LOOKING AHEAD: My sister continues to battle her cancer. Please continue to keep her in your prayers! She is so strong and beautiful and such a good mother. She is truly my paragon of courage and grace and I wish her a happy and healthy 2011.

We are looking forward to a fun year! Quinn will turn one, start walking and talking, and I am sure she will be even more of a handful than she is now. Bring it on! I can't wait to take her to the pool this summer.

I can only hope that we are blessed with as many special memories as we were in 2010.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Recent milestones

I forgot to share that Quinn now has 8 teeth! They came in about three weeks ago, when she was just shy of 9 months old. She got FIVE teeth at once: four on top and one on bottom. Needless to say, we had some short nights in there...but she looks adorable now! Love them.

She is pulling up on everything: people, furniture, the tub, etc. While I don't think she'll walk for a while, it's fun to watch her get that process started. She is so strong! I see a future super-athlete, much like her mom. (Just kidding. Do you know me? Ha!)

teeny-tiny baby buns

She takes baths in the sink sometimes and sometimes in our big tub. We recently bought quite a few bath toys and she is having fun with those. It's so entertaining to watch her "swim" around/pivot on her tummy and splash everywhere while playing with her new boat, animals, and foam letters and numbers.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Break

I am on Christmas break and loving every second of it! I have my husband and little sweetie home with me and am relishing in the peace and beauty of the season.

We had a fantastic journey back to Manning/Westside for the Christmas weekend. Randy and I both worked all day Wednesday and had Thursday off. We went home early Thursday afternoon in an attempt to beat the storm that eventually fizzled out. We swung by my parents' briefly to visit with my mom and then headed up to Manning to spend both Thursday and Friday nights with Randy's family. Christmas Eve was spent attending church in Manilla, eating far too much, and opening presents with Randy's parents and two of his sisters' families. We were able to Skype with Amy' family in Idaho. Quinn got lots of cute toys!

Saturday was spent hanging out and relaxing in Westside. This day was just my parents, Randy, Quinn, and me, except for my sister's family's brief sojourn en route to Denison. Despite having an ear infection (diagnosed today) and a cold in one eye, Quinn still napped wonderfully and was pretty good overall. She never tires of the toys at the Meyers' house!

Sunday was also spent at my parents' house. It was such a joy to watch Quinn play with her cousins. They are such sweet kids and love her so much! She wasn't too interested in opening presents at the time, but loved her new zoo playset and other toys once we got them open.

Ava helping Quinn!  

caught off guard! Playing nicely with Ella.  

a chair full of "Meyer" girls

The pictures are slowly getting uploaded from our cameras, phones, and through emails from family. I resolve to be better at blogging this spring! I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.
                                                                                 - Job 37:14

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

9 months!

I will post a picture of Quinn later; I just got to work after taking Quinn to her 9-month well-baby visit. Our pediatrician opens at 7:00 a.m., which is so nice. Randy's work hours are much more flexible than mine so he has been taking her for ear infections, etc. this school year; it's nice to be involved sometimes. :-)

Anyway, Quinn is up to almost 19 pounds and is 28 inches long. She is in the 50th percentile for weight, 65th for height, and 90th for head circumference. She can eat anything she wants to now, which she has pretty much been doing already. Dr. Beebe thinks that Quinn will be exceptional verbally and socially, and that she might focus more on those skills than on early walking, etc. Time will tell!

I sneaked out of the doctor's office before flu shot time....that gets to be Daddy's department today.

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

...but I have a beautiful, sparkly pink coat!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The baby who ate everything...

Molasses teething biscuit
egg yolks

Monday, November 22, 2010

Family pictures

Thanks, FB friends, for all of your kind words about our family pictures! They are courtesy of the oh-so-talented Paula Baughman. :-)

I am going to link the album here so that you can see them. (Hope it works, Mom and Dad!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

8 months!

I (Jill) have been swamped lately! I had several long nights of conferences and have just been crazy busy in general.

Our little pumpkin is 8 months! She is growing so much and changing each day. I am not much of a photographer but I snapped a few shots after tonight's bath. She was so smiley and happy!

What Quinn is up to these days: crawling, playing on tummy (she does not like to sit up and play with toys!), babbling and talking like crazy. She got her third tooth on the bottom but still doesn't have any on the top.

Foods: recently introduced poultry and egg yolks. Meat hasn't been her favorite so far but she loved eggs! Yum! Quinn is also now officially a bottle-fed baby. I was sad to lose that bond with her but it definitely makes my life a lot easier.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

The world's cutest giraffe!
Too tired....time to rest.

Quinn was home sick from school part of both Thursday and Friday, so we had a mini-Halloween at home last night. :-) She's not feeling the greatest, but we think she looks pretty cute anyway!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jenni's words of wisdom

 This is not an original blog post. I just wanted to link you to the blog of a dear friend of mine, Jenni. Her recent post about work really sums up how I feel about my job, too. I work in an incredible place with incredible people, especially Jenni, who is SO positive, even while hugely pregnant and working in a brand-new position. We are Waukee. :-)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fun weekend!

We had a really fun weekend. :-) Friday night we did nothing, which is always nice after a LONG workweek. Randy's sister, Beth, and two of her kids, daughters Megan and Abby, came to hang out on Saturday and spend the night! Megan and Beth went to a wedding in Indianola so Randy, Quinn, Abby, and I got to play all evening. We ventured out to church, which was an experience with two infants. (Abby is 4 months old). It was funny to see people puzzling when they looked at us, trying to figure out our dynamic - two twenty-somethings with a seven-month-old and a four-month-old. Love it! Sunday morning, we met another of Randy's sisters, Maria, at The Iowa Machine Shed for breakfast.

Mommy and Quinn! She is getting so good at standing - strong little legs. :-)

Ready to go to church! I love the size difference. I tried to get some pics of the girls together but a certain baby kept crawling away....

                                                     Hi, Mommy!

                                       so much pink in one place!

                                         last outing of the weekend!

Thanks for a fun weekend, Williams family!

On a side note, Quinn is becoming such a little person! She is just such a joy and a blessing in our lives. We have lots of friends who have babies that are turning one right around this time; that's pretty exciting! We will be celebrating Quinn's first birthday in no time.

Quinn loves to eat. I'm convinced she would eat anything we'd put in front of her. She eats a whole banana for breakfast almost every day and loves any fruits, veggies, and cereal. It is hard to say what her favorite food is because she's never rejected anything! I am excited to have her start eating cheese, yogurt, chicken, and more as she is entering her 8th and 9th months. She is also a fast and clean eater, which Mommy appreciates. We are now using her high chair instead of her Bumbo because she can buck out of the Bumbo. Her latest tricks are crawling to our fireplace and rattling the chains that make up its cover, as well as getting into the dogs' food and water bowls at Chrissy's house (day care). She is so good at playing independently and I just love watching her GO. Can't wait for all of the adventures to come!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hi, Grandma Meyer!

Thanks for the Halloween bib! Love you!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

still here

We are still here and well! Sorry for the lack of blogging this past week;  it's been crazy! First, I (Jill) got sick. Two weeks ago I began waking up with awful earaches. However, they'd go away by the time I was able to go to the doctor in the late afternoon, so I kept putting off a trip to the clinic. I finally couldn't stand it anymore and went this past Monday; sure enough, there was trouble! I was put on antibiotics for an eardrum infection and have started to feel much better. Who gets ear infections at 25?! Quinn also had to get put back on eye paste for her pinkeye, which popped up again, but this time at a lesser degree. Thanks, Randy, for putting up with two sick girls!

I am also swamped with work. I love, love, love my job and the school district in which I work, but I feel a little overloaded this year. I'm lucky enough to work with lots of the highest level of 8th grade learners (ELP!), but that presents a ton of challenges in working with internal experts in my building, looking for extensions and differentiation for my kids, and still keep the quality of my instruction high for the "regular" kids that I have. No one said teaching was easy. :-)

After finishing my first masters I decided to take a little time off from my own educational development and am enjoying having weekends free; the two-year program in which I was enrolled at Drake took up most of my fall and spring Fridays and Saturdays! I am still thinking about what to do next and will definitely enroll in a class or two this spring or summer.

Quinn is as sweet as ever. There are new babies starting at her day care, so she is an older kid now! It is crazy to think that just a few months ago she was the tiniest one and now she is right in the middle. She's just started crawling a little bit and doesn't get too far, but we are excited about the progress she is making! She does better on Chrissy's (our babysitter) carpet than our hardwood, so she puts on the best show when I pick her up at 4:00. Her 7 month "birthday" is next week. Sounds like a good reason to celebrate!

This weekend: hanging out with R&Q, church, working from home, trying desperately to finish a few books before they're due back to the library, heading back west tomorrow for a little birthday partying....:-)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Big Girl Bath!

Well, Quinn is officially home from "school"! She has pinkeye and two infected ears. The doctor was impressed with her pain tolerance; during her sickness she hasn't really cried too much at all. The one thing affecting her the most is that she hasn't been sleeping well. We have had a few late nights/early mornings lately! Randy stayed home from work to watch Quinn yesterday but is away on business to Waterloo today. I am home from school with her. :-)

Anyway, the other night, Quinn had her first big girl bath! This was the first time we have given her a bath and not used her little tub in the kitchen sink. We have a bath seat in which she can sit up. This was the first time we felt like she could sit up well enough to use it. At first she didn't know what to think, but eventually she was kicking and splashing everywhere and loving it! The warm air in the bathroom seemed to improve her congestion a lot, too.

                                                     so pretty

                                                   getting clean!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

poor baby!

Quinn has her first bad cold! It is just awful that she is so sick and there's nothing we can really do about it. Thursday night she slept terribly and started to feel really rotten at school on Friday. She has a horrible hacking cough, a constantly running nose, and eyes that won't stop watering. The poor dolly is just feeling awful. She has been catnapping all day with her dad (even as we speak!) so I hope a few days of rest will make everything better.

I tried to get her to play in her bouncer today...she just wanted to chill.

Here is a cuter pic from a week or so ago. Somebody might have a sweet tooth like her mama! (No, she is not eating ice cream yet!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

6 month photo!

This is short and sweet. The only thing I have to share today is Quinn's 6 month photo. It's a scan so it's not the best quality, but I still think she is pretty cute. :-)