Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fall Update!

Well, we've all had a pretty busy Fall!  In September, the four of us flew to Florida to spend some time (and Claire's third birthday) with Nana and Papa.  We all had a great time and wished we could have stayed for much longer.  Halloween was a blast - Claire and Nora were both Ariel, the Little Mermaid.  Nora was the mermaid and Claire was the princess (and Claire made sure everyone knew, if they asked what she was going to be for Halloween).  Claire trick-or-treated around the neighborhood and really enjoyed herself!  In November we had a nice Thanksgiving dinner with Bonnie, Gary, and Frona.

We've also been in the process of buying a new house and moving - we nearly bought one house in October but the deal ended up falling through.  We purchased another house on November 26 and are expecting to move in on December 22nd!  More on that in another blog post!

Nora has been a busy girl these days, what with eating lots of different foods, crawling and starting to pull up on furniture. She's even taken a few steps while holding onto the couch, so we might be getting closer to having a walking baby on our hands...look out!!

Also, on December 2nd Claire started preschool at Montessori Garden School - so far she seems to really like it! It's a small school with about 10 kids (all around 3-4 years old), and the teacher has 30+ years of experience in both Montessori teaching & also Montessori teacher instructing. Claire is definitely absorbing a lot and getting to know her fellow classmates - she's excited to go back to school after the Christmas break, so that's a good sign!

We're heading up to Vancouver for Christmas this year, and in addition to the usual suspects, my Aunts Cathy & Barb & my cousin Allison are all making the trek from Manitoba! It should be a great visit, and we'll post about it...soon...!

We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas - see you in 2015!

Fall 2014 Update Pictures!
Claire's Third Birthday Pictures!
Claire and Nora Visit Florida Pictures!
Nora Doesn't Want the Chair Video
The Vickerys at Bono's Video
Claire at the Beach Video
Claire at the Beach Part 2 Video
Claire and Zach at Rebounderz Video
Thank You Very Very Much Video
Southern League Champs Video
On the Swings at Palencia Park Video
Claire Decides to Jump Video
Nora in the Pool Video
Claire at Eagle Creek Pool Video
Birthday Presents for Claire Video
Claire and Nora Ride the Carousel Video
Claire on the Roller Slide Video
Queen of the Trampoline Video
Swinging at Peppermint Park Video
JumpTime Enthusiast Video
Nora Crawling Video
Nora Tries the Scooter Video
Leaf Monster Video
Nora Gets the Green Stick Video
Sisters in the Leaves Video
Vickery Family Walk Video
Nora Tapping Blocks Video
I'm a Famous Preschooler Video
Claire in the Box Video
Nora on the Scooter Video
Nora Dinnertime Video
Nora at Little Gym Video

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Playing Catch-up, Part Deux

Yep, that's right, folks - 2 blog posts in a week!! We can't believe it either...please don't get used to it!

So, when last we blogged, we were heading into Summer & looking forward to lots of nice weather. This summer has been a great one, both weather-wise & otherwise, so let's discuss, shall we? Great.

We kicked off the summer at the beginning of July by driving up to Vancouver to spend the July long weekend with my family. We headed out of Boise on the Thursday night (July 3rd) and drove through the night, arriving in Vancouver around breakfast time. The girls did really well on the overnight trip - Nora slept through a lot of it, and Claire slept off & on, but at least when she was awake, she would just talk quietly to herself & look out the window. No complaints from us!

The visit in Vancouver was great - the weather was gorgeous (and hot!), so we spent lots of time with Auntie Megan, Emily & Matthew at pools and playgrounds, which Claire loved of course! We also headed out to Cultus Lake to visit Uncle Dave & celebrate my birthday. Dave has a truly beautiful place to call home - the lake is practically at his doorstep, and is absolutely stunning! The water was amazing & even Claire splashed around in it after some serious coaching & coaxing from various family members. We were able to coordinate this visit with a cross-country visit from my Auntie Cathy who lives in Manitoba, so it was wonderful to see her & introduce her (and the whole family) to Nora!

Zach drove back to Boise & Claire, Nora & I spent another 10 days hanging out with everyone. It was so nice to just hang out at the wading pools & parks while the cousins played together. The girls & I were sad to leave, but had to head back to Boise so Zach wouldn't forget what we looked like! We flew to Portland & then to Boise, and both girls did very well. I was quite worried, flying with both of them by myself, but luckily the flights weren't long (1hr 15mins each leg), and Nora slept for a lot of the 2nd flight so I was able to keep Claire busy.

Our next adventure came in mid-August - camping with an almost-3 year old & a 6 month old! Such fun! No really, we had a great time. We headed out to Lewis and Clark Trail State Park, in Washington State, to meet up with our friends Joey & Sam and their daughters (Cecelia, 5 & Mallory, 2), and Tracy & Dan. We spent 2 nights at the campground, which was just lovely - the sites weren't big, but they were nice & right close to a small river. The girls played really well together & kept each other entertained for long stretches, which allowed the adults time to visit. Both Claire & Nora did very well sleeping in the tent with us - Claire was so worn out by bedtime on both nights that she'd just pass out cold & not even bat an eyelash if Nora woke up & cried! Yay for tired kids!

So, those were the two big trips of our summer, and now that we're heading into Fall, we're very excited to be flying down to Florida this Tuesday to spend a week with Jan & Ron! More about that trip in our next blog post...until then, here are the pictures from the rest of our summer...Enjoy!

Katie, Zach, Claire & Nora

Late Summer Update Pictures!
Nora Tries the Jumperoo Video
Nora Getting Used to the Jumperoo Video
Nora in the Jumperoo Video
Splashing Claire Video
Nora Splashes Video
Grass Fed Baby Video
Nora Eats Rice Cereal Video
Pool Slide Video
Nora Jumping Video
Nora Tips Over Video
Nora Reaching Video
Carousel Ride at the Fair Video
Jeep Ride at the Fair Video
Boat Ride at the Fair Video
Train Ride at the Fair Video
Camel Ride at the Fair Video
Nora in the Yard Video
Claire Pushes Nora Video
Labor Day Dinner Video

Monday, September 1, 2014

Blog? What blog?!

Let's just pretend that it hasn't actually been 6 months since we last updated this blog, OK? Great, thanks...moving on...

We've had a busy time in the past little while, getting adjusted to being a household of 4. When Nora was born, my Mom was able to be here both before & after her arrival, which was great for everyone, but especially for Claire, since she had some awesome one-on-one time with Grandma Shepherd during a very transitional time. It was also wonderful to have Grandma here for the first days of dealing with both a newborn & a 2 year old!

After that, our next visitors were some of my family members on their Spring Break in March. My sister Megan, brother Dave & my niece & nephew, Emily & Matthew, drove down to meet Nora & hang out with us for a week. It was so nice to have them here, since Claire is pretty much obsessed with her cousins, and Nora had her dreams come true by being held by someone basically 24/7! We also got to celebrate Emily's 10th birthday with her (WHAT?! When did that happen??).

Our final visitors were Zach's mom, Jan & her friend Susan, who came at Easter to meet Nora & celebrate Easter with us. Again, Claire had a wonderful time showing Jan & Susan around & going swimming in their hotel pool. We hosted Easter Brunch with Jan, Susan, Gary & Bonnie and Claire absolutely loved colouring & hunting for Easter eggs with everyone!

Thanks to everyone for some fantastic visits, and for coming to visit us!
And we promise we'll try not to go so long between blog posts in the future...

Zach, Katie, Claire & Nora

Mid-Summer 2014 Pictures
Pictures from Nana and Susan's Visit

Claire Sings Her ABCs Video
What Dis Called Video
Nora on the Floor Video
Nora Swings Video
Claire Climbing Video
Nora's First Bath Video
Off the Beam Video
Flying a Kite Video
Claire at Manitou Park Video
Nora Playing Video
Nora Talks Video
Easter Basket Video
Baby Nora Swings Video
Baby Nora Close-up Video
Claire Swings Video
Claire at Jabbers Video
Claire Dyes a Lavender Egg Video
Claire Rocks the Turtle Video
Nora on the Play Mat Video
Claire Plays B-Ball Video
Claire's Tutu Video
JumpTime Video
Claire at Little Gym Video
Nora Gets Some Help Video
Nora on the Mat Video
Kleiner Splash Park Video
Claire Loves the Fountain Video
On the Trike Video
Nora Rollin Video
Sliding Into the Pool Video
Nora on a Swing Video
Claire Makes a Pizza Video

Monday, February 10, 2014

Welcome to the World, Baby Sister!

Yes, that's right folks, we are officially a family of four, as of Friday, February 7, 2014!

Nora Jane Vickery was born at 5:08pm, weighing in at 8lbs 6oz, and measuring 20 3/4" long. She is a very sweet little girl with a solid set of lungs, and Claire is totally in love with her (so far - we'll see how long this lasts!)

Because of the fact that Nora was already 1 week overdue, my doctor scheduled me to be medically induced on Friday morning. After a lovely overnight snowstorm, Zach & I went to the hospital at 7:30am and Claire stayed at our house with my Mom, who has been here since last Tuesday, Jan 28th. Claire has been over the moon about having Grandma here, so was more than thrilled to spend a couple of days with Grandma!
Once we got to the hospital, I was admitted & they got everything organized for the induction. I was induced at 9:05am, my water was broken at around 3pm & after some great coaching from Zach and our awesome Labor & Delivery Nurse, Aubrey, Nora made her entrance into the world!

So, from induction to delivery, I was in labor for about 8 hours. Thanks to the wonderful nursing staff & doctors at the hospital, St Luke's Meridian, everything went as smoothly as possible, and we truly have nothing but good things to say about the nurses and doctors we worked with!

Claire & Grandma came to see us & meet Nora that night, but we're not sure if Claire was more excited to see Nora (and us) or hang out in a hospital room with lots of awesome new stuff to mess around with! She is definitely a big fan of her little sister so far, though, which is very cute to see. She tells us all the time, "I LOVE the new baby!!" and always wants to hold her or give her a kiss. Our fingers are crossed that the feelings continue!

We were released from the hospital around noon on Sunday and spent the rest of day adjusting to our new lives as a family of four!  Bonnie and Gary also stopped by for a bit to meet Nora and while they were here we had a nice Skype call with Nana Vickery too!

All in all, it was a very exciting weekend, and we are so thrilled to finally meet Nora & get to know her! Welcome to the family, Baby Nora! We love you!

Nora Jane Vickery Pictures!
Claire and Grandma Meet Nora Video
In the Recovery Room Video
Claire Gets Legos From Nora Video

Monday, January 27, 2014

Minivan Ownership

Since we learned we were going to be parents of two last summer, we've been thinking we will need a bigger vehicle for hauling around double strollers, portable potties, and making the occasional trips elsewhere.  Katie and I agreed that a minivan was more practical for us than a three row SUV.  For several months we've been spending parts of our weekends looking at minivans, which surprisingly, is not the most fun thing to do.  Especially when there is a toddler involved who wants us to buy every one she sees!

Pretty early in the search the Honda Odyssey EX-L emerged as the nicest possible choice. The only problem being that it was the 2014 "refreshed" version that had everything we (OK, moreso me) wanted.  Meaning that the ideal option for us was not available used.  Just before New Years the search was resumed and it was time to make a decision - no more wasted weekends at car lots for a long time!  Instead of compromising on a less appealing vehicle, with the end of year incentives we decided to take the plunge and buy a new 2014 Honda Odyssey EX-L!

The new vehicle is definitely newer and nicer than what we were initially thinking of buying.  But so far we've been super impressed with the vehicle!  My personal favorite feature is the keyless entry and push button start.  Shockingly to myself, I am now of the belief that taking car keys out of one's pocket is an old-fashioned 20th century act of drudgery.  All of the other bells and whistles - Bluetooth, satellite radio, trip computers - are pretty nice too!  It is also nice to have so much room, even with two car seats installed.  Oh, and Claire loves to nap in it too, which can either be a good or bad thing.

The coda of this tale is that our trusty 2001 Ford Escape is no longer a member of the family.  It was a great car and will be missed - especially if/when the next hiking trip comes about!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Playing Catch-up (Part 2)

When we last left you, our loyal readers, we had just finished up a great visit from Nana & Papa Vickery, back in October. Since then, there have been a few notable happenings, including Claire's first time Trick or Treating on Halloween, as well as (American) Thanksgiving & Christmas.

Claire was a dinosaur for Halloween (a blue & green one - there's a picture or two of the Claire-osaurus Rex in the Picture link at the end of this post). She loved shaking her butt to wag the tail of the costume, which was pretty entertaining! We decided she was old enough to sort of understand the idea of Halloween, so while Zach gave out candy at our house, Claire & I went to about 10 houses in our neighbourhood to Trick or Treat. Every time we walked up to a house, I asked her "What do we say when they open the door?" and she was very good at saying "Twick or Tweat!"...but as soon as the door opened, she was mute! She did manage to say "Thank you" after she got candy, but it was a little overwhelming, I think! That being said, she did tell us that it was the "Best Halloween...EVAHHHH!" multiple times that night (and since then!), so she clearly had a good time! She also got to give out candy with Zach when we got home, and loved saying "Happy Halloween!" to the Trick or Treaters!

For American Thanksgiving this year, we were lucky enough to be invited to dinner at Gary & Bonnie's, where we had a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings. Not only did Claire get to hear Uncle Gary play the guitar, but she was also entertained by Bonnie & Gary's two Dachshunds, Maggie & Cudjo - they were a little worried about her, since they aren't used to a crazy toddler running around, and she was fascinated by their barking - they'd bark at her & she'd laugh in their faces! Poor dogs! Thanks again for a delicious dinner, Bonnie & Gary!

This year's Christmas was different from past years, since we didn't travel anywhere. We stayed home (I couldn't fly & wasn't comfortable driving 11+ hours each way to/from Vancouver in potentially nasty weather, especially at 8 months pregnant!) We went to a Christmas Eve church service at Southminster Presbyterian - they had a good mix of traditional carols & hymns, a candlelight portion at the end of the service, and some more contemporary aspects like a puppet show (Claire loved them - they sang "Bethlehemian Rhapsody" - a nativity song to the tune of, you guessed, Bohemian Rhapsody!). The minister's sermon also included this Youtube video of Extreme Sheepherding!

On Christmas morning, we opened our stockings & Claire opened her present from us - the dollhouse that my Grandpa made for Megan & I when we were kids (which Claire's cousin Emily also played with). We did some renovating, repainting & re-wallpapering/carpeting, since the 30+ year old flooring & wallpaper was starting to peel & show it's age. I also found some cute dollhouse furniture & a family of four...Claire seems to really like the dollhouse!

Bonnie & Gary came over for Christmas morning brunch, which included eggs, home made cinnamon buns, fruit, some different cheeses & bacon. We loved having Bonnie & Gary over, it was great to sit & chat. After Gary & Bonnie headed home, we opened presents (it was a wrapping paper explosion in our living room!) - Claire loved this part, it's amazing what a difference a year makes when it comes to Christmas present unwrapping! She was excited about all her gifts & I promise Thank You cards are coming shortly! We loved our gifts, too - it was a great year & we were all spoiled!

Our New Years was also quiet - no partying for us! Now that 2014 is here, we're in the throes of getting things ready for Baby #2, as well as painting our guest room (which will become Claire's new room in a few months). Everything's going well on the baby front - only 2ish weeks to go until my due date of January 31st,! My mom will be flying down a few days before my due date, which will be MUCH appreciated! Then Jan will be coming out to visit & meet the new tyke once she's fully recovered from her knee surgery (which was December 18th) - she's doing great on her recovery!

So, I think we're all caught up now! As always, sorry for the lengthy novel...there was a lot to talk about! Here are a whole bunch of pictures & videos for your viewing pleasure. Next time we'll try not to wait so long, and we'll be sure to post a quick update when the new baby arrives!

Claire New Years Update Pictures
Climbing at Gordon Harris Park Video
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Video
Uncle Gary Plays the Guitar Video
Claire in the Snow Video
Snowstorm Video
JumpTime Video
I Want a Hug Video
On the Rings Video
Claire Dancing Video
Christmas Morning Video
Claire Opens Lego From Grandma Video
Claire Opens an Ornament From Nana and Papa Video
Claire Opens Her Doctor Kit From the Aprims Video
Claire at Chickalay Video
Claire Plays With Markers Video

Friday, January 3, 2014

Nana and Papa Visit Boise

In October (yes, we are behind!!) Nana and Papa Vickery came to Boise for a visit.  They arrived on the 10th and got to spend a week with the three of us - it was a great visit! Claire was very excited about having Nana & Papa around for so long (not long enough!).  Highlights included going to the park, showing Nana & Papa around Boise, lots of book reading, and going to Linder Farms. The Linder Farms Pumpkin Patch was a big hit with Claire, especially the Corn Box (which is exactly what it sounds like...a box..filled with dried corn!) and the petting zoo. All in all, we had a wonderful time with Jan & Ron!

Nana and Papa did a much better job than us taking pictures and videos so here they are for your enjoyment!

Nana and Papa's Pictures