Thursday, January 22, 2015

Food Storage Theft

I promise, I'll post photos of Christmas. But in the meanwhile, some funny things and some news on Micah's job search...

The one problem with switching rooms with the girls is that the food storage is now in their room, where it can not be supervised as closely. We put up curtains to cover it up, but Natalie still gets into it once in a while. Fortunately, she really sucks at opening food packaging. Here is her attempt at stealing a squeezy applesauce:


She's a character. We asked her teachers on Sunday how she is doing in primary. They say she does fine, except that she keeps trying to take off all of her clothes. Ha!

Also, check it out! Best spent $1 on amazon ever.

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So, it looks like Lincoln Labs in Boston no longer has any positions open, which I am relieved by since I never really wanted to move there anyway. It looks like Harris in Melbourne, FL might be in a stale hiring climate so they may not have the best offer. Jobs for corning corp. in Hickory, NC might be easier to get to through working at their hq for a while first, so here's our top 3 possibilities right now as I see it:

1.) Corning Corp., in Corning, NY
2.) GTRI in Atlanta
3.) Sandia Lab in Albuquerque, NM

I thought that Sandia was off the table, but then Micah got chummy and now they want to fly him out to court him. I like Corning because there would be cold winters (call me crazy, but I'm done with heat), low cost of living and a short commute for Micah, plus lots of opportunity for mobility within the company, with branches and factories in different states if we don't like New York. I like GTRI because we know the are, have family nearby and there are a lot of opportunities for education, employment and enrichment for me, which will become more important when the kids get older. But there is nowhere affordable to live without a ridiculous commute. In Albuquerque, the lab is on the edge of town, so we could get an affordable house with some land and keep Micah's commute short, but we would be living in the middle of a forsaken dessert. So, interviews will be happening in the next month and I get to spend a lot of time alone with the girls while Micah travels.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Catching Up

We've had a pretty packed few weeks, so forgive me for taking several posts to update. Also, I may not go in exact chronological order. All I can promise is cute pictures of the girls and the occasional humorous anecdote, widely separated by dry explanations and image descriptions. Excited? Great. Let's begin:

First off, this is my first update from out new laptop. I'm still getting used to the size of the keyboard. It's surprising how little differences seem big after using the same computer for 7 years. Anyhow, that's my excuse for any typos or similar errors. The computer has a touchscreen monitor, which is cool for Natalie playing games. But the mouse (which I use almost exclusively) is a bit finicky and is always selecting, clicking, changing pages and so forth without my meaning to. Urgh.

It's been a nice week. The girls really enjoyed Christmas and have been occupied with their presents every since. I just started back up at my Ceramics class once a week, and Natalie always really looks forward to Micah's parents coming over to watch them while I go. Friends are finally coming back from their Christmas trips, so Natalie's playgroup and preschool coop have both started back up again. We're going to be doing an additional preschool with another group, which I am exited about. In our current group meeting on Wednesday, Natalie is the oldest. The new group will meet on Wednesdays will be with 2 of her best friends, and she will be the youngest, so she can have some more mature (or at least articulate) peers to model. I'm quite glad because we now have something that gets us out of the house every day: Preschool Monday and Wednesday, Playgroup Tuesday, Ceramics Thursday and Yoga on Friday. I feel so trapped when I'm bored at home without anywhere to go or anything urgent to do, so for me it's a blessing to feel busy. I'm much more productive this way- even with tasks around the house. It's like, when I know I have all day to wash the dishes, I won't bother until 9pm. But if I've got a lot on my calendar, I feel more motivated to get stuff done so I can be prepared and available for the things that I want to do.

I have been working hard and failing at documenting the many, many times that I turn a corner and witness a scene like this one:
Natalie still loves to wrestle Angela. She's always pulling Angela on top of her, rolling around with her and dragging her from here to there. Angela loves it. Until she hates it and is terrified and cries. But mostly she loves it.
The main thing I wanna share is that Natalie is...uh....er....


...ready to live long and prosper? No?... 


Natalie turned three years old!!! We had scotcheroos because we are too cool for cake.


When she opened up the wrapping paper on her birthday present from Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins, she exclaimed, "It's a Mail box!" and then moved on to the next present. It was hilarious. She was confused as we tried to explain that the gift was INSIDE the box, and when she found the art supplies inside, she was even more stoked.

She was well outfitted with games, adding to her Chutes and Ladders Christmas gift from the Agles a new squirrel game from Chere, checkers from us and this game. She loves playing Hi Ho Cherrio (Thanks Grandpa), though she struggles to accept that you just have to take what the spinner lands on, you can't just point it at the action that you want.
Angela says, "Nice game. I'm coming to eat it.''

She got lots of other fabulous gifts. LeAnn got her, "Mama, Do You Love Me?" and it's wonderful. Natalie always asks me now if she is my dear one. She also likes imagine naughty things and ask what would happen if she did them (to hear that I would be angry/sad/upset, but that I will still love her).

Micah was really adamant about me photographing this my little pony playdoh toy from Chere. Not sure who enjoyed it more :)

 Natalie is growing more imaginative. She enjoys playing dolls and stuffed animals and talking for them and I like to listen to her acting out her little schemas. Mostly, she acts out stories we've read or twists on things that we do daily. It's so interesting and often hilarious to hear her versions of simple things like eating a meal and going shopping. She loves making art and ''helping'' me in the kitchen and playing outside. She's also into princesses.

She got to start primary this year. YAY!!!! 2 Sundays now, and her teacher says she fits in just great. She loves it and told me all about what she learned about when I am putting her to bed at night. She said a very nice prayer tonight for family home evening, in which she expressed gratitude for games (twice) and for our home, and for Jesus.


Natalie had a lot of fun on her actual birthday, but I'll probably detail that later. Right now I have to go to bed because I have a crazy headache and I'm crazy exausted. Angela has been waking up and experiencing Cryfests of Exquisite Misery, in which she wakes in the night and screams hysterically for an hour+ for no apparent reason and will not be calmed by any reasonable tactic. She's getting plenty to eat during the day and evening, I've tried pain medicine for possibly teething pain. Micah says that she wakes up and cries out of mommy bed lust because sometimes in the morning after I nurse her I let her snooze a little longer in our bed. I say she's just been spoiled by Micah rocking her to sleep when she wakes up at night. We leave her to 'cry it out' after she refuses several comforting attempts, but it's not helping. All I know is, she better get over it soon because we are all soooooooo tired.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Kids with Santa

Some shots of us with the Santa at our church Christmas party. Not sure who this gentleman is, but he made a dang good Santa! Natalie ran right up to him and told him what she wanted and was thrilled when he gave her a candy cane. 




Angela was not afraid, but certainly suspicious. She was not gonna take her eyes off of him.

And this one hilariously captures how impossible it is to get good posed shots of children. As soon ad Natalie realized that there was a camera, she got very stiff. And Angela...well... she varies a lot from second to second in her expressions. I promise they were enjoying themselves as much as we were!


And, this is sorta random, but I wanted to share some cool pictures I took of some friends from church for their Christmas card this year. I have another friend who is going to have me do some portraits of her baby due in February, which is exciting. I like the chance to use my fancy camera and practice my photo editing.




Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Preparations

We have been having a great time preparing for Christmas- attending church functions last week and this week. Last week it was the stake event with a huge collection of nativities, a live nativity outside, a bunch of musical performers, crafts for the kids and cookies. I was asked to make 2 dozen cookies to contribute. I accidentally made 18 dozen. Woops. Then this last Saturday at our ward Christmas party, I did NOT win the sugar cookie competition, which I am slightly bitter about because half the participants, including two of the three winners, were NOT sugar cookies. One was shortbread and another was a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. Still, mine were well enjoyed and there were only a few leftovers, which disappeared in our house in less than a day. 

Angela has an ear infection from her cold. It may have been exacerbated by teething symptoms. I think she's finally ready to sprout fangs because she's been biting me when she eats. She's on some medicine now and will hopefully feel better soon because Micah and I are going crazy getting up with her as she screams miserably every hour all night long.

We had joy school today at our house and enjoyed doing some Christmas crafts- we all made hand print ornaments with salt dough. It was super fun and easy. The kids enjoyed helping mix and were mesmerized by me spraying their hands with pam and carefully pressing the prints. Darlene- you should do this with your kids! 1 cup salt, 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water made a batch for 4 toddler hand prints.


I told the Christmas story with little printout characters and tape. They loved it - and had much more attention for it than the bible videos clip of the nativity. And Natalie likes playing around and rearranging them. Here is one version:


She acts out the wise man giving the gifts to Jesus and the angel telling the shepherds to follow the star. It's nice to hear her telling parts of the story because it tells me that she gets it... somewhat. She also once took all the people away and just left the animals in the manger and had the angel thank all the people for coming. And she played baby Jesus getting a cookie because he was good at Publix.  Here, the donkey is "riding baby Jesus to sleep". 

Natalie's drawing skills have taken a dramatic leap. These are some drawings she did this week. Here is a person, complete with eyes, a mouth, 4 appendages and hair. So far as I know, it is her first representational work that bears any visual clues to resemble the subject.

This one, she explained, is a Daddy. He has a mustache and a beard. Can you see it?

Life as an Angela continues to be tough as big sister knocks her over and is otherwise too rough. She gets a few good bonks each day and is learning to be pretty durable. She fell headfirst into a lego block this morning. At lunch, she still had a slightly red perfect circle on her forehead...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sniffles

We've had lots of colds in the past few weeks. Micah was really sick and congested last week, Angela has it bad this week, and Natalie and I have just been a little coughy and sniffly here and there. Angela wakes herself up at night and from naps coughing all the time and sometimes it's so bad we have to run in to make sure she's not choking and dying. I've been trying a number of homeopathic remedies, essential oils and saline nose spray, but nothing has helped it clear completely. Good thing, in spite of it all, she can be relatively happy!

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 Angela has thick, luscious hair.  And by that, I mean that she is not bald like Natalie was. So I like to do this:


Our friend took us to the aquarium on her membership recently. The world of coke next door had a bunch of giant ornaments on the lawn and Natalie really wanted to sit in them...


This was at EPAR-the end of semester party thrown by a bunch of professors at GA Tech each semester with pizza and beer. We were happy to invite some friends so we weren't the only one with kids. Natalie instantly became popular, offering her soda to "cheers" with the other students' drinks.

Angela is sporting a sticker from the grocery store here. I'm happy now that she can sit in a cart because her and Natalie can ride together in the car cart! Yay!!

Angela gets herself into some interesting situations with her new ability to get around.

 And Natalie has to go to new lengths to keep her toys from Angela's eager hands.

Angela now weighs too much for Natalie to pick her up The most she can do it roll Angela onto her lap. Angela is almost 21lbs and Natalie is 28.

I got a trim and my hair somehow ended up super short. Here's a rare shot of me rocking the kiddies before bed.

Mwahahaha. Trapped!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving

Sometimes, Natalie plays with Angela and it's cute.
Other times, Natalie is pushing Angela away and hitting her when she touches Natalie's toys. Need to work on telling Mommy instead of taking matters into her own hands.


 In other news, it has been over 3 months and I am finally halfway through the 5lb chocolate bar that my Dad got us for our anniversary.

Natalie got a flu shot. And then she got a lollipop, doughnut and some chocolate milk. Oh, the pathetic bribery that it takes for kids to do things that are good for them!


We joined some friends at the zoo on Monday and had a blast!




Thanksgiving dinner was a fabulous affair even though it was just us.



I made an amazing homemade meal with all the essentials







Here is how Angela feels about cranberry sauce:



And this is how Micah feels after trying to glut himself on too much food

Post-dinner snuggles

And we randomly happened upon fireworks for the tree lighting down at Lenox mall while we were on a scenic drive of Atlanta.

Angela is into everything, won't stop moving and stands up on things now.


Now: let the Christmas cookie baking begin!



Sorry, I would write more, but now I have to go feed Angela before passing out, to be woken again every couple of hours all night long.