Monday, November 30, 2015

You Are A Very Beautiful: November 2015

November

November can be an incredibly hard month for me, it's a very delicate balancing act for me, and one wrong emotional move, and I fall off that tightrope real bad. 2012 and 2013 particularly rocky Novembers for me, so I think in the two years since Catcher's birth I consciously try to make them better, maybe even awesome. 
^^First order of business: severely needing to limit television and get outside, or anywhere.^^

Starting November 1st, we had a very low-key family daycation to Deer Valley. Some cute photos ensued. 






^^He's so scrumptious.^^

















 ^^Delicious scalding hot chocolate.^^


^^Finally, it got pretty cold.^^

We basically always eat at Davanza's in Park City. I don't know if the one at Kimball Junction is not one anymore, but they were serving the same food, and it tasted the same. It was good. 


^^"So uh, is this uh, true, mom and dad? Just, uh, curious. No reason, no reason."^^

We got pretty bored of our toys this month. So Catcher got to go to Kid to Kid and picked up some new, slightly used toys. In a few more months we might do away with these too, but it is good for Catcher (and all kids) to shake it up, 
^^This was and is still the winner. One of his words, "ball," is said over and over and we call can't get enough.^^


Then we decided on a whim - and on the fumes of desperation -  to escape with Tom on a business trip to Santa Barbara, CA, and subsequently Solvang, CA. The weather in Utah was getting bad to the bone, and it was time for a little escape. Sadly, this would be Catcher's last flight as a free "infant in lap" flyer. 
^^"Last free flight? I don't like it."^^

^^Wouldn't sleep on two separate flights on the way there. Fell asleep in 5 seconds in the rental car.^^


^^Arriving here - from where we were - felt like manna from heaven.^^
^^As soon as we arrived to the hotel, Catcher got his room service on. Or you know, just talked into a -- carefully -- disconnected telephone that he had never actually seen before. You know, those ol' horseless carriages.^^

We had to wait for dad to be done with all of his business, but don't worry, we're really cute wait-ers.

^^Vogue Magazine called, they want their models back.^^

Finally...beach time. 
^^Ok, so, it was just a little chilly for me, and my legs were just too white. Definitely could not be confused with hot dogs in these. (Google "Legs or hot dogs.")^^




^^Isn't this just the cutest place on earth? I could live in Santa Barbara. Ok, I know, I know. ^^
 ^^I mean, we have no problem just living on this playground/beach if there's a 'money' issue.^^
^^Our hotel was right next to the most delicious acas bowl place ever: Backyard Bowls. Must get if you're in California.^^
 ^^And when I NEED him to fall asleep? No ma'am. It's like getting a mental upper-cut.^^


^^Nightitme decompression.^^
^^Also some 'best of Santa Barbara' dinners with Uncle Mason and dad. Uncle Mason works on Tom's show by the way. So...nepotism.^^
^^Also, might have eaten here 3 times when all was said and done.^^

^^When I WANT him to go to sleep...no dice.^^

^^Muggin'.^^

^^Waterin'.^^

^^Sandin'.^^

^^Sunnin'.^^

^^Beach days that you want to last forever.^^

^^Got to visit dad on 'set' the last day of filming.^^
^^Somebody, named Aimee Devine, loved to send me snaps of Catcher on the trip. I love this. ^^

Solvang is one of my favorites. 



^^I look a little haggard, but I had just driven in the RV for a few hours.  It's fun, if a little rough.  I was feeling a smidgen car sick. I mean, even Ariel was pretty bummed for me.  Also, Catcher is doing his sign for 'water' in this picture. He's learned a lot of signs, but he usually adapts them to make them easier, and this was his favorite at the time.^^







^^In the windmills of your mind.^^

We RV'd it on the way home and that was definitely an experience. 

Also, on the way out OSTRICH LAND!


When we got back it was time to celebrate Catcher's 2nd birthday.This was really crazy for us. We have a two year old. Sometimes it seems Catcher came out of the womb a two year old, but now that he actually is, we see a difference, for better and for well, two year old.




 He's very intelligent and sweet, and loves to give hugs and kisses. He just started making animal noises this month with the help of speech therapy, which he gets about twice a month for 2 hours each session, and then every day with mom. With both in-home therapists and parents working their hardest, we finally achieved animal noises and a handful of sign language signs. Also, several of his old words have come back, like' ball' and 'dada/daddy' and 'pop' and 'Uh oh' and at least the SOUND of "1, 2, 3, GO!" Sometimes - only when he's mad though- he even says, "Mama." One of Catcher's speech delay issues is that he doesn't open his lips to say or sound out anything, he might make sounds, but he keeps those lips tightly pursed when he does. Any suggestions on that would be great, because even his speech therapist scratches her head about it. With Catcher's tactile defensive/eating aversions, they believe that's why he won't open those lips: fear of what will go IN his mouth if he opens it. Interesting, eh? 


 Balloons were all we really needed, and he was insanely into Elmo's World at this point.


 ^^Laughing at Elmo's World, the birthday episode.^^
^^Excited about his balloons. ^^
^^Such a good morning. ^^

We decided that since no one on the face of the planet, save for Tom, loves water as much as Catcher, so he would spend his day at The Crater in Midway. We were the champions that day. Seriously, it was like everything I've learned about Catcher culminated into his 2nd birthday and he loved it. Bonus, the parents were not stressed out at all. I think one day, with any luck, Catcher could have a party, but for now, during these times that I'm already nostalgic for, the baby/toddler years, these personal and one-on-one parties with mom and dad and family are just perfect.



^^Catcher couldn't wait for like a second, so the check-in and changing process was a little rough.^^


^^Waiting on dad. Like OMG, please hurry!^^
^^Then we got maaaaybe a little nervous about all of the people in there with us.^^


 ^^And then we didn't care and jumped right in.^^
^^We swam for about 2 hours.^^
^^"Walkin' around on those, what do you call 'em?^^


^^Our little picky eater got to have his - at the time - favorite dish. We had macaroni and cheese at Maxwell's afterwards, as he had worked up quite a swim-appetite, so he finally ate. Don't think I've made it clear enough just how hard it is to get food into this two year olds mouth. This is a big deal. ^^


^^And lastly, we came home, and after I slaved over this store-bought cupcake, we blew out the candles and called it good. And it was.^^


We also hosted thanksgiving at our house this year and it was lovely. 14 people and it was a most joyful occasion. Catcher got to play with his cousin's Jethro and Glory and that's very important to us.


It's been a tradition of ours for a while to get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, since we know our holidays will be spent mostly somewhere else, so we get in as much sweet-smelling-pine-goodness as we can before we - most likely - head for Texas. 


^^Catcher actually loves tree shopping, he's mad at me because I picked him up to go home.^^


^^Mason and Riley were with us this year and helped us select and decorate a tree, they also helped us eat leftovers.^^

Unfortunately, it was also a time of great loss for many of our friends and loved ones. Our friend Will Kindrick lost his wonderful mother, and our friends and Tom's colleague's, Rich and Marty Patch, lost their mother, the same week, and both completely before their time. We attended both funerals and were humbled and honored to do so, but man did our hearts bleed. Winter is hard, and this past November was particularly rough in that aspect. 


My seasonal depression, which I've never talked about over the past 10 or so years, started to rear it's ugly head around the end of the month. With all of the hardships mounting in our own life  - and certainly the lives of our friends - it was pretty important to me that I try to shake myself out of it as much as I could. I have an incredibly hard time being grateful, especially through hardship, but even in the good times I'm pretty short-sighted. So I made an effort to arise in the morning and go to sleep at night with written lists of gratitude.  Essentially, reasons to go on.  That's heavy stuff, I know, but I feel inspired that someone should say it; might as well be me, right here. There is so much good in my life, in our lives, but man was it hard to think of it during those times.


 Full disclosure, it's now February 2016 as I write this, and that storm continues to rage, but I am trying and doing the best that I have in me right now.  Of course, and as always, tips are welcome. Tom does his best to help me, too, and I don't make it easy, but trying really is worth a lot. 

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