And the remainder of 2009....
- Our 5 year wedding anniversary! I feel too young to be accomplishing such milestones, not that it feels like work or anything.
- Jackson takes those first steps, in pursuit of a girl.
- The Leetsdale 4th of July parade tradition continues for the third straight year, which goes right by the front of our house. I love festive activities that I have to make absolutely NO effort to attend.
- Gregory and I escaped to Ohiopyle for some kid-free camping. We also toured Falling Water, which actually exceeded my expectations.
- Kicked it at Holden Beach! We saw a pregnant Rachel for the first time and celebrated Ayla's third birthday! With Wall-E cupcakes, of course.
- I got a minor promotion at work, which always brings the dreaded responsibility of making the schedule and dealing with irate customers. But it also comes with the perks of free Mexican food!
- My brother and family came to stay with us for a week. We all fared well, considering the nine people sharing one bathroom. We visited a lot of museums that we rarely take the time to see. And our kids learned several new tricks from their older cousins!
- Ayla starts dance and gymnastics classes, with my severe coaxing. I think I have more fun putting on my ballet shoes and hopping around to nursery rhymes.
- Our awesome trip to Chicago - finally meeting my college friends' 2 year old daughter. And since they are expecting another baby, I have a feeling it might be just as long until the next visit! Also, an amazing meal with my cousin Austin and his now fiance Khaylen. I'm still thinking about it actually. Yummmm.
- Lots and lots of work for Gregory & I to catch up on all that wondrous time off during the summer!
- You know, my birthday. Gregory bakes his first cake solo, which surpasses anything I've made. Fresh raspberry drip icing? Yeah. I was licking the cake stand.
- Jackson continues to explore, going up the steps alone...all the way to the attic. It was often that I would turn off the water from washing dinners (a max of two minutes) and find him up in the attic, listening to music.
- Ayla cuts her own hair. A parenting cliche I didn't really think I would encounter!
- Rachel's baby shower!
- Our first really interactive Halloween. (Last year Jackson didn't know what was going on and our daughter just tried to give all of her candy back to people.) Ayla wanted to be Dorothy and Jackson was nominated for the part of the Cowardly Lion. Amazingly, our candy stash didn't last very long!
- Ayla is almost completely potty-trained at night. Life-changing. It took a few weeks of changing the sheets and blankets every night and really putting the washing machine to the test - but our little girl figured it out!
- We take our final trips to the park, before it is sadly too cold and miserable.
- Another tasty Thanksgiving at the Abell's.
- Jackson discovers his love for Yo! Gabba gabba. (It's a family tradition).
- I work briefly at the new Market District. I'm talking a week, before they started to say that a part-time job is a minimum of 30 hours a week. Hmmmm.
- My on-line Christmas spending bonanza begins. But I finish early and just enjoy as the packages arrive.
- We bring Baxter the beagle into our home, re-introducing our need for the wet vac.
- Jackson still refuses to use many words, but he picks up more sign language. And he nods enthusiastically when we finally understand what he wants.
- Ayla spends every day asking whether Santa has come yet. We, as parents, take full advantage of using Santa and his presents as threats to behave.
- We have a relaxing Christmas at home, however knowing that Christmas really won't be over until we are able to celebrate with Gregory' s family in January.
- And Rachel's baby - Noella Diane - is born dramatically in the last few hours of 2009!