"When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness - and call it love - true love." Robert Fulghum

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Year 2012 in Review


I say this every year, I know, but I really would like to get better at updating this blog. So, I'm going back through 2012 and it was pretty uneventful, other than the fact that Liam grew from a little baby into a walking/talking cutie pants. I will do my best at covering the big events from 2012.

The year started off with a very important event, the birth of Liam's cousin, Hannah Pauline Rich. This is significant because just a few weeks later, Liam and I would begin babysitting her Monday through Friday from 7a-3p while my sister taught school.

In February, I came to my breaking point with Liam not sleeping through the night. He was still waking up every 2-3 hours and I couldn't handle not sleeping anymore. I went to the doctor basically in tears and she recommend the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Weissbluth. This book completely changed my mind about letting my baby "cry it out" and even gave tips on how to ease into it. After about a week to ten days, Liam was only waking up ONCE a night and I felt like a new woman! Two months after that, when I weaned him, he began to sleep the whole night. 12 HOURS. One of the things the book teaches is that if you put a baby to bed earlier, they will sleep later. I used to put Liam to bed around 8, but once I started putting him to bed closer to 6 he slept 12 hours through the night. I could seriously go ON about how incredible this book is, but you should probably just go read it.

We started babysitting Hannah in March which kept me nice and busy with two babies on my hands. Liam was SUPER jealous of Hannah right away, but after awhile the three of us settled into a good routine.

In April, Jason got put on a permanent contract with UNLV for his job, which meant we could breathe a 
sigh of relief about his job security for the next few years. Woohoo! Liam also started standing up, but wasn't interested in crawling, walking, or being mobile in any other way. He was pretty content with an array of toys around him and a Baby Einstein video on the TV.

When the summer began, I had the opportunity to go to Girls Camp with my church again as the Camp Director. We stayed at a cabin in Duck Creek, sang songs, learned about God, played games, made crafts, acted silly, and had a great time. I missed my baby boy something fierce, though, and was glad he was in good hands being taken care of by his Daddy and my sister (Hannah's mom). 

Liam began to scoot in the summer. I call it his "monkey scoot" because he literally looked like a little monkey using his arms and legs to scoot along on his butt. He spent most of the summer absolutely filthy because of this. He also loved to go swimming in the neighborhood pool and in his baby pool in the backyard. 

In July, we finally got our backyard landscaped with grass, trees, honeysuckle, and flowers. What a difference it made! Liam loves playing in the backyard, now, and Jason and I spent a few summer evenings out there sipping lemonade and talking about our day.

Also in July we went to the Elton Family Reunion at Zion Ponderosa Resort near Zion National Park in Utah. We camped, swam, hiked, cooked, ate, talked, laughed, played, read, and had an awesome time with our family. It also rained a lot while we were there, so we were a bit damp a lot of the time. Luckily our tent stayed warm and dry. Liam was not used to sleeping in a portable crib or having Mama and Daddy in the same space as him while he slept. So, around 2 in the morning each morning he would wake up, see us lying there and insist on curling up in our sleeping bags with us. He would then lay there in between us, talk and talk and talk and talk and then LAUGH and talk and talk and talk some more. It was possibly the cutest thing I have ever experienced, albeit very tiring. He would eventually fall asleep and somehow simultaneously kick me out of my sleeping bag in the process. Needless to say, we have not been camping or on any other kind of trip since. 

After the reunion, ANOTHER cousin was born, Charlie McGregor Elton and we were so excited! It was also time to celebrate Liam's first birthday! On his actual birthday, Jason took the day off work and we took a day trip to the nearby Spring Mountain Ranch. It was about 20 degrees cooler and we picknicked, played in the grass, and took the tour of the Ranch House. About ten minutes away is Bonnie Springs, so we took Liam to the petting zoo there. While he seemed to enjoy it, it was unbearably hot and we didn't last long. We then took our birthday boy home to open his presents. It was a fun family day.

That Saturday I threw a birthday party for Liam so that all the family and friends that wanted to celebrate with us, could. We rented out our neighborhood clubhouse so that our house would not be destroyed. I made some super cute monkey cupcakes, decorated with monkey decorations, and provided a banana split "bar" for the kids. I blew up balloons which Liam and the other kids loved playing with and then he opened all of the presents that were so generously given to him. It was a fun party for a sweet little boy. 

In August, Jason started getting some really bad headaches that didn't seem to go away, so we decided to forego our yearly trip to San Diego and instead get an MRI done. It was then revealed that Jason had a "brain tumor" Jason went to the doctor alone and came back with this diagnosis. (I should have gone with him.) After some swift googling, the "tumor" which appeared on his Pituitary gland, didn't seem to be somethng we should worry about. While I was googling, Jason was telling his entire family and some close friends that he had a brain tumor. I had not told anyone as we had a follow up appointment with Jason's ENT in a week, and I wanted to wait until we had further answers. So, unfortunately, the information spread like wildfire, and soon we had too many people concerned about this "tumor" and I was frustrated that Jason had told so many people and Jason regretted saying anything. Long story short, we go to the follow up appointment (together this time) and it turns out it is a cyst, not cancerous, and is probably not an issue. By this time Jason's headaches were long gone and we had to go back and do damage control. Jason will now have bloodwork done to be certain there is no concern, but we are pretty sure there is nothing to be concerned about.

In September, we started babysitting Hannah again and they had to get used to each other all over again. Hannah was crawling by this time and insisted on following her big boy cousin EVERYWHERE which Liam found exasperating. However, they have since gotten used to each other and sometimes even play together! 

In October, we did all the normal Halloween activities. We carved a pumpkin, which Liam was too grumpy to care much about. Liam had a super cute Batman costume, which were actually jammies from Walmart and a homemade cape by Yours Truly. He looked uber cute in it! We took him to our church's Trunk or Treat where he ate copious amounts of candy corn and stayed up way too late. On Halloween, we took him Trick or Treating to about 5 houses, which he was fascinated by. He wanted to hold all of the candy in his hands and not put it in the bag! He got to eat a piece of candy before bed and then Jason and I stayed up to watch Clue.

Liam (on left) and his friend, Will

In November, Jason's sister Karalyn was able to adopt her first child! Italia has been with our family since birth, but she officially became Liam's cousin and it was a very joyous day for everyone! Italia and Liam are close in age, so it is fun for them to now be able to grow up together.

This year we bought four season tickets to the UNLV Rebel basketball games. Two for us, one for my dad, and one for Jason's brother. It has been a blast going to the games and Liam loves going to watch "Ball!" It is also fun to be able to see my dad so much.

My sister, Maggie, and her family came to stay with us for Thanksgiving weekend. The whole family was here (aside from my brother, Pete's family, who camps for Thanksgiving each year). We were all spread out at three different houses so we split up the cousins based on age/friendship rather than who they belonged to. The cousins loved it and we were able to get our cooking done without whining about wanting to be with "such and such" cousin. We then convened at a church for the whole dinner. I think the head count was around 30. We held dinner in the gym where Liam found a basketball and would not THINK of doing anything but play ball (and not eat one thing). After dinner, several games of basketball were played and the cousins put on a play for us. We ended the night by going to Jason's mom's house for some (more) dessert and more family time. 

December was, unfortunately, a month of sickness for our family. It began with me getting the Stomach Flu which was TORTURE for me to be away from my sweet little boy for a day, but I didn't want to get him sick. Jason began studying for the GMAT which we decided he should take this year instead of next year. We managed to keep him somewhat healthy until after the test, which was a great blessing, except he did have a cold. After the test, Jason then got the stomach flu. On Christmas Eve, poor little Liam got the stomach flu! On Christmas day, we had Jason's mom and stepdad and his brother, Jared over for breakfast and we all opened presents together. This turned out to be pretty overwhelming for Liam, who was pretty over it after just a couple gifts. Later we went over to Jason's mom's for dinner and then spent the rest of the evening at home. 

Liam and Hannah both started walking towards the end of the year and it is so cute to watch them waddle around my house together. Jason has been applying for PHd programs for this coming Fall and I have simply been trying to keep my sanity (ha!). We are grateful for all the new friendships we have forged this year and for all the friends who have been there for us through it all! We hope you all have a wonderful new year!