On this day nine years ago, I had hoped to be holding my first baby in my arms. After all, January 29, 2004 was the due date. There's such a build up. So much expectation. And third trimester discomforts make a mommy-to-be really, really (did I say really yet?) ready for that little one to arrive. The crib might not be put together. There might not be a big enough diaper stash. There may not be enough onesies or blankies, but when the time finally comes, it should come. Right? There shouldn't be any of this, "Oh, babies never come on their due dates" business. And it certainly doesn't help when future grandmas start calling two weeks before the due date asking if Baby is here. Umm...don't you think we would have let you know?
But, it wasn't to be. Our little boy didn't arrive on January 29, 2004. Or January 30 or 31st. Evan was meant to be a February baby...
Sunday, January 20, 2013
At the end of the Christmas break, we took a trip to the Zoo!
I made the mistake of telling Duncan about the Zoo playground early in the day, so he was already asking to go play by the second animal.
I think he enjoyed seeing the animals, but the boy does have a one track mind. Miranda, on the other hand, really wanted to see everything!
The Giraffe smiles...
What's black, white, and red all over? A zebra in the American Southeast!
A mama gorilla with her baby on her back!
Oh hi, red panda!
So, Duncan was a bit of a Debbie Downer till we got to the Panda area. There's a room where people can see the pandas, and the pandas can see the people. They were obviously interested in us!
Duncan finally got his turn at the window, and the little panda did not disappoint!
Some lunch, then play time...
on the playground.
A great day at the Zoo makes for two exhausted kids!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Miranda's Aunt Pookie gave her a Rapunzel dress for Christmas. So naturally, she came down as a princess on Christmas morning!
Christmas morning means many things. The birth of Jesus. Family Time. Good Food. And removing toys from all that annoying plastic packaging. Justin looks thrilled.
Santa shopped locally (and small!) this year. He found this cool neck-a-lace (as Miranda calls it) with Ariel for my mermaid fanatic.
Duncan was too busy testing out his spy gear to look up for a picture.
A reflective jacket for me from my inlaws. The note basically apologizes for the color. Haha! Thanks, LaLa!
The Mess! Miranda gathered her things around her and played in the family room.
Duncan took his new things to his room. He began his first (of many) Lego projects that day.
Monday, January 7, 2013
This year...or I should say last year we did the usual thing and got our Christmas tree around the second week of December. Brought it home, put it in the front window, and the kids and I got down to decorating. Miranda and I made these princess dresses together!
Of course, with all of the intricate cutting, I guess I mostly made them. But she loved them, and that makes all the difference!
The tree started to lean to the right about a week before Christmas. I mentioned it to Justin. I'm not sure if he believed me. I never really thought it would fall over. Not really. Then...one night as I did the dishes, I heard a crash. Whatever it was sounded big! I ran to find the kids. They were fine. I asked Justin, "What was THAT?!" And then I knew. The tree was down. Glass! Water! Everywhere! My eyes welled up a bit, but Justin was there trying to get the silly thing upright again. He managed to do it. I cleaned up the mess. There were several ornaments that I'd had for years that were broken, but those weren't the ones that I was most upset about. Ever since Evan died I've purchased an ornament for him from Santa. Two of those ornaments were broken. Also, his baby's first year ornament and a bell for our wedding anniversary year from my sister. I was just sad. But determined to replace at least a couple of the special ornaments.
On Christmas morning in Evan's polar bear stocking that I made so many years ago, there was a new ornament!
What better way to symbolize a new beginning than a butterfly? I love it!
Saturday, January 5, 2013
We had some mild weather before Christmas, so we decided to take advantage of it and play outside! Of course, we play outside when it's cold. It's usually a shorter trip! Miranda's favorite at this particular park is the four person see saw. If there are other little girls around, she tries to get them to see saw with her. If not, big brother will do.
Duncan seems to like it, too!
Duncan is a natural climber. It was so weird. He just started climbing all over the place when he was a little over a year or so. Evan only climbed at the playground. Duncan? He climbed everywhere. And everything. I remember being told by other people, "Wow, you've got a climber!" Like that was news to me! We had little nicknames for the kids that started with Evan. When he was screaming a lot, he was Screamy McScreamsall, Mayor of Screamy Town. If he was cranky, he was Cranky McCranksall, Mayor of Cranky Town. Duncan, obviously, was Climby McClimbsall, Mayor of Climby Town. He still gets up there with the best of them!
I don't know if Miranda was a born climber or if she wanted to be like big brother. Or possibly both. She has always tried to keep up with him, and she's finally got the skills to do it. But she's just as likely to hang out on the swings at the park. She likes the baby swings, even though she's a BIG 4 year old.
Duncan strikes a pose.
King of the Mountain!
And his little sis!
Friday, January 4, 2013
Our fourth and final day at Disney World arrived on Thanksgiving Day! (Note the lollipop!) Duncan was upset about not going back to The Animal Kingdom. We decided to spend some time in Tomorrowland to help him change his mind.
Justin got fast passes for Buzz Lightyear while the rest of us slowly headed over to Winnie the Pooh (I accidentally posted those pics for the third day. Oops!) Had fun playing in the line and riding the ride, and then walked over to Tomorrowland. The park was packed! The kids were more used to all the people and having to wait in line, so Day 4 was pretty laid back. Buzz Lightyear was a lot of fun. Miranda ended up not wanting to ride, so we had two extra fast passes. Pretty much as soon as Justin and Duncan got off, they got right back on! Duncan loved the ride and was pleased with his new Zurg toy.
Mickey and Minnie topiaries decked out for Christmas!
The theme of the week for Miranda was definitely: Princesses! It wasn't Disney World, it was Cinderella's Castle. Well, it was also Dismey (or maybe Dis-Me!) World! Taking her to see the castle was a good way to distract her when she was a bit cranky.
Some of the guide books say not to bother with the Tomorrowland Speedway. There are no fast passes, and sometimes the lines can be pretty long. It moved along at a good pace for us. And it was fun to watch other people. Besides, how cute is that picture?! Miranda had a blast "driving" the little car.
Miranda controlled the wheel, and I controlled the gas pedal. I wasn't being bossy (no, really!), the pedal requires a longer leg with some strength behind it.
Justin and Duncan were in the car behind us!
Who's that peeking through the Stocks?
Who knew punishments could be such fun!
While Miranda and Justin went to the Tiki Room, Duncan checked out these Tiki Gods. He listened closely to the drum beats.
Miranda bailed on the Tiki, so we hit Alladdin's Magic Carpet Ride again. And Pirates of the Caribbean. The park was getting more and more crowded, so we decided to call it a day.
But first, we purchased a couple of balloons to release in memory of Evan. My mom asked me if I had wanted to wait till Evan's death anniversary on November 24th. I said no, that I wanted to remember him on Thanksgiving, because I was so thankful for him.
We took one last look at Main Street and left.
The next day we drove and drove and drove. There was some crankiness. There was some silliness.
We arrived safely back home with loads of wonderful memories!