Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

Easter was a hit at our house this year. We did most of the egg and hunt celebrating on Saturday, saving a few springy items for the baskets on Sunday morning. The bunny hid them well this year and we all had fun trying to find them before church. This is how photo shoots at our house go.

We love dressing in our matching Sunday best (Ryan came downstairs with a matching tie all on his own!) and had a wonderful time at church remembering the true reason we celebrate today.

I am ever so grateful for the atoning sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ and for His resurrection that allows me to live with my little family forever and ever. A reason to celebrate, indeed.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

the decorating resumes

This year we actually got around to decorating Easter eggs. And it's a good thing because there's not much I love more than a hard boiled egg prepared in any shape or form. It had been a few years since we had last done it. We skipped a couple because it was just tricky for Leah and forcing her to do things with her hands isn't often a pleasant experience. Last year, Ryan was away in NYC for an MBA conference and between Leah's hands and my huge belly, I was sure it would have been a disaster. 

But this year, this year, we decorated eggs. We used the "no spill" decorating set I purchased last year and Ryan and Leah had at it. 

I channeled my inner pirate and played with a set grandma Layton sent to the girls. 

And then I channeled my inner Parisian and did one with a beret. (And then, of course, I dressed myself in a matching outfit before I had the heart to crack its shell and eat it.)

Kate crawled from me to Ryan to Leah begging to get in on the action. Next year, Kate. Promise. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Natural History Study take 7

We headed to Boston today for our semi-annual Natural History Study appointment at the Children's Hospital. It was Leah's fourth and final appointment in Boston and her third with Dr. Kauffman and his team. 

On our drive down, we took a little detour to check out the last half of the race route. The verdict on Heartbreak Hill?: Totally doable. 

I packed a little lunch for the girls and hoped to eat it in the lobby before we headed up. On our drive down, the coordinator (named Kate) called us and asked if we could push our appointment back a half hour. Perfect. 

So, with two diapers in hand for each girl, we made a pitstop in the bathroom to freshen them up. Only while Kate was getting changed, Leah thought it was a great decision to splash her hands in the toilet. So gross. So we shimmied ourselves aroudn the stroller and toilet and cleaned her flailing hands in the sink. For a long time. She thought she was hilarious. For the record: she was not.

After the bathroom fiasco, we headed to a bench in the lobby where I closed them off with benches and chairs and we enjoyed a nice, messy lunch. 

As lunch finished, I noticed a not-so-pleasant smell. Oh, Kate. Of course. So, we changed her in the bathroom. Only the smell didn't go away. Leah too? Of course. So, we changed her in the bathroom too. 

 With no diapers left, we headed upstairs for her appointment, which was flawless other than the fact that she has grown 2-3 inches and LOST 4 pounds since last fall. Yikes! We'll be working on that. We absolutely love her team and don't even have to be heartbroken about moving because this same team also travels to Chicago for the study there. Hooray for one piece of stability in the next six months!

Just as we were finishing up, coordinator Kate asked to hold little Kate. As I got Leah all dressed and ready to go I looked up to see something falling to the ground from big Kate's arms. It splattered on the floor and fear struck my heart when I realized what it was. At first glance, we thought big Kate had escaped unscathed. It wasn't to be so. Little Kate had made a mess in the worst possible way all over big Kate's shirt. I felt awful. AND, I had no more diapers with me. Luckily, we were at a children's hospital so they grabbed a few size 3 diapers for me, I cleaned up the mess on little Kate and the floor and big Kate cleaned up the mess on her shirt. We're always trying to make things exciting. 

With the appointment being pushed back and some of the other time-consuming events, we left a little later than I originally planned and hit Boston traffic big time. An hour later, we were finally out of the city and on our way home. A quick pit stop at Target and Wendy's filled our cups halfway home. We picked up Ryan from school and pulled into our parking spot at 9pm, both girls sleeping soundly.

We got them to bed and I collapsed onto the couch. 

Rett syndrome is exhausting. So are babies.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

New York City: girls only

For nearly two years now, some of my closest friends from Tuck (aka Tuck Partners) have been planning a trip to New York City. Initially, it was supposed to be in June after classes were finished but before graduation - ensuring our husbands would be home to watch kids. But, Miss Liz decided to have a baby that same week, so we moved the trip up to spring break. One wasn't able to make it last minute, so it was just five of us. 

We were lucky enough to stay in Liz's in-law's apartment a block from Time's Square and we just ran, ran, ran the whole weekend. 

I know this is an overload of pictures, but I just couldn't resist. I'm relaxed again just looking at them! Some of my favorite memories: 

Concretes at Shake Shack (so glad we didn't have strollers with us).

Late night pizza (thanks to Michelle for leading us on a wild goose chase to a pizza place that doesn't exist). 

Early morning run with Michelle (morning life is very different than night life here). 

Shopping (and finding Liz a place to sit in Toys R Us). Too bad we've all been wives of students for two years!

Seeing miss Morgan (and her cute boys)!!

Taxi to Serendipity 3 (only to be disappointed), then lunch at Cafe Fresco and Dylan's Candy Bar. 

Empire State Building (and inappropriate commentary the entire way). 

Newsies!! SO good!

Dinner at the Brasserie, banana pudding from Magnolia's, Brent visiting in his "Harvard" attire, shopping for 70s accessories for Tuck Gives, sleeping with no heater, getting lost at night with subway closures, Andrea getting hit on by a creepy old man, being blown away at the top of the Eiffel Tower Empire State Building and more. 

One of my favorite moments was when all four girls made me stop and mimic a Katie Holmes ad. I've been told my entire life by multiple people that I look like Katie Holmes, I don't see it, but I obliged these girls. I was laughing so hard with all the people walking by that I had to have their help posing. The conversation went something like this:
Maren: (laughing) "Okay guys, tell me what to do."
Liz: "Put your chin up a little more."
Tiffany: "Relax your hand. Don't smile so much."
Andrea: "You need to get wet."
Michelle: "Yah, and you need to take your clothes off."
And with that, the photo shoot was over. 

It was so wonderful to spend some time alone with these women who have become some of my best friends. A trip like this makes saying goodbye a little bit easier. And a little bit harder.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

that's what a New Hampshire winter is made of

It's frigid, frosty mornings and even colder nights. 
Quiet, still snowstorms with wind that can bite. 
It's frozen icicles dripping off your roof...
...or growing on you eyelashes (no that's not a spoof).

It's holiday parties and cookie crawls.
Girls trips to Boston and Winter Carnivals. 
It's high horses in Vermont, riding ponies in doors. 
Snow covered  vistas and boot-covered floors. 

It's watching football, eating sushi with friends. 
Piles of hats, mittens and scarves that never end. 
It's v-day and b-day celebrations galore. 
A still Connecticut River that flows no more. 

It's marathon training in negative degrees. 
Twinkling lights on homes and on many trees.
It's running noses and sick days in bed. 
Plans to go out but being snowed in instead. 

It's hockey champions (and runners up). 
Digging Larry out of the snow whenever he's stuck. 
It's my first ski lessons flying down the slopes. 
We'll definitely be going again next year I hope!

It's barren trees, no leaves in sight. 
Building snowmen and sledding while it's still light. 
It's hot chocolate and soup to warm your soul. 
And doing good deeds so you won't get any coal. 

It's candles in windows, flickering away. 
And battling seasonal depression each and every day. 
It's warm winter coats, boots, hats and gloves - 
- that's what a winter in New Hampshire is made of.