Monday, April 25, 2011

Post #5: Back to Work, Easter Fun & Terrible Two's!!!

What a week!  Did I forget how hard it was to work while having a 2 year old?  She absolutely wears us out!!!  Well, to start at the beginning, last Monday I took Kaitlyn to her new daycare for a half day before starting my part-time job on Tuesday... I ended up having to completely come up with a "Plan B"!   Long story short, they did not make a good first impression when she arrived- the Director did not even take 5 minutes with me to go over her paperwork, collect any money, have a place for me to put her things, or even welcome her into the class! Most importantly, they did not change her pull-up for the full 4 hours she was there (I would put $100 on it).  It's a shame because the place has a good reputation and I liked her teacher (who happened to be out that day), but it was just unacceptable!
Justin and I were a little disturbed... I was close to panicking (yes, I really was), and Justin went driving around to see what other good places nearby he could find.  Luckily he saved the day and found a place while purchasing a snowboard from someone off Craigslist (he does not waste any time).  I immediately called and loved the Director, told her our situation and me and Kaitlyn visited at 4pm that afternoon.  At 5:30pm we were on our way to the other place to collect her belongings.  So just in the nick of time, she went to the new school Tuesday morning and I went to my first day of work at the Bozeman Northwestern Mutual office!  It was a success- she said she had fun, her teacher said she did great, and what almost was a disaster turned out ok!

Easter was a blast this weekend- The weather was beautiful, and we were out and about checking out all the fun things going on around town!
Classic! Some co-workers told me about a huge Easter egg hunt that one of the local churches puts together for the whole community, so we went to that on Saturday morning!  A funny thing about Bozeman is that you HAVE to wear sunglasses if there is snow- It gets so bright, you literally will not survive without them, so of course she had to get some too!  That is before the hunt...
They do the hunt at the MSU practice fields.... 50,000 eggs, inflatables, face painting, etc.  This is right before the hunt. No one told us you needed to camp out in order to actually get in position to get some eggs!  It was packed!

 It had snowed about 6 inches the night before, so luckily they had shoveled the fields for the event. She didn't get any eggs, but didn't really care one bit!  There's the mountains behind Justin- that is a standard view no matter where you are in the city!
This is Easter Sunday morning when Kaitlyn found what the Easter Bunny had left!  So exciting!  Followed by this was pancakes, dying our eggs, and visiting a church to celebrate the real meaning of Easter, which we were looking forward to. Kaitlyn said she did NOT want to go to church...
However, we finally all got dressed and out the door and even arrived early (which has not been our standard church way).  *Thanks Jess/Allie for the adorable purple dress!
This is Justin teaching her to use her new golf set! This is for Dad, Paw-Paw, and Mark!  It looks like Justin broke his back, but he is fine now :)  Justin made enchiladas for Sunday dinner, and we spent most of the afternoon outside.  We got a trailer for our bikes to tow Kaitlyn in and went for a ride as well.

So this is not a myth, they really go through a terrible stage, and we do not like it!  She has been obstinate, whiny, clingy, stubborn...hmmmm....difficult, hangs on you, wallers (some people have never heard this word- my mom used it when we were growing up: it means to roll and flail around regardless of your surroundings or what someone's asking you to do).  The whining really gets us- Do they realize that they are whining and that it doesn't get them anywhere?  Hopefully this stage passes soon!
We hope everyone had a Happy Easter and a great weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Post #4- Goodbyes & New Adventures...

We've all been getting settled in this week and on a mission to find Kaitlyn a good school!  After a lengthy search, we have finally decided on the Children's Development Center in Downtown Bozeman.  She starts next week; she went for 1 hour today to meet her teacher and her class, and the visit was a success!  She came home and told Daddy "I liked my teacher, and met new friends Daddy!"  Too cute!  She was also excited about carrying her back-pack and getting to wear her snow boots on the playground... the little things!

I also start my new job at the Northwestern Mutual office in Bozeman on Tuesday!  There is ONE Northwestern office in the whole state of Montana, and it happens to be in Bozeman.  I will be doing a similar position to what I was doing in Atlanta (supporting an Agent), but I will also be helping their staff with office support and training.  I'll be doing 3 days a week, Tues/ Wed/ Thurs, so I am thrilled about that! The office looks very rustic like a log cabin and has a lot of "Montana" decor!

Now that I have access to all our pictures, I can share some good ones from those last couple weeks we spent in Atlanta with my family and Justin's family!   These first ones are of my sister's girls, Shelby (7) and Julie (3).  They has so much fun together, and are going to be very close cousins, despite the distance!

These next couple pics are of Justin's sister's girls, Ava (5), and Allie (3)!  Girls, Girls, Girls!!!  Kaitlyn LOVES spending time with her cousins, and Ava and Allie and Kaitlyn will also remain close despite the distance! They always have wild and silly times together!

Justin's job is going well! He stays pretty busy, and it is challenging because he is sort of creating his job as he goes. The company he works for did not have anyone focused solely on operations before he got there.  He is getting used to working from home, which is something he has never done before. It is so nice because we are able to have coffee and breakfast together in the mornings and most days lunch too!  He has gotten to be a part of some of these hilarious moments we've gotten to experience being home with Kaitlyn all this time, including peeing and pooping on the potty!  This is a work in progress, but she's doing great with it!

Justin is branching out as well and has met some people through the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce as well as some of the local leaders of Trout Unlimited which is a national conservation organization that works to keep stream and waterways clean and healthy for fish.  He may be looking to take on some responsibility with them in terms of children's programs and education.

Other things we have been doing is checking out some of the local restaurants, which have been great. Over the weekend, we drove up to Big Sky, which is a little ski village about 40 miles away. It was some beautiful scenery.  We even brought Gunther, who was ecstatic, and then we had lunch at a little village pub. Here are some pics of us and the drive...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Post 3: We All Made It!

We've all made it out to Bozeman!
Justin drove with Gunther and his mom over the weekend, shortening their trip down to only 2 days!  I don't know how they did it?  They started out on Saturday 4/2 at 4:30am, and arrived about 7pm Sunday night on 4/3.  They drove through the whole state of South Dakota just barely able to hold the steering wheel because of the high winds.  Somehow they pushed through and also managed not to kill each other!  Gunther did great- just lounged in the back and didn't cause any trouble for once in his life!
Here's a picture of the sunrise Justin captured on the first morning at the house- Amazing!!!
Here's Gunther on his first exploration of the backyard and all his space! Happy as a lark...

I flew out on Wednesday 4/6 with Kaitlyn, and luckily we had a smooth trip!  My Mom and Dad were going to Ft. Lauderdale at the same time so we were able to go to the airport all together so they could see us off!  Surprisingly, we were all even on the same concourse, which was so nice!  It is rare that loved ones can literally see you off as you get on a plane these days, so we were very blessed to have had that moment  together!  As we were getting on the plane, Kaitlyn was saying "Going to New Home... Tana-Monti."  I didn't fully realize if she understood exactly what we were doing up until that point, but she definitely summed it up!  After a 3 hour trip to Salt Lake City, several DVD's, and 2 packages of the Delta Biscoff cookies, we were almost there!  Kaitlyn did fine besides the normal 2 year old whining and wallering.  Luckily, the guy next to us had three kids and lived in Salt Lake, and took great pride in telling me all about it.  I could see the excitement starting to build once we got on the tiny connector plane from Salt Lake to Bozeman. We had an hour and a half layover, which I found humorous was actually just enough time to use the restroom, change her diaper, and a grab a yogurt, banana, and a water, and board the other plane.  When we finally arrived in "Tana," Kaitlyn was ready to find Daddy!  As soon as we got off the plane, she was yelling at the top of her lungs, "Daddy, where are you!" and "Daddy, here we are!"  It was hilarious, everybody was laughing and just kind of wondering how someone that small could be so vocal.  So when we took the elevator down to baggage claim, there he was waiting for us, and she went running!  Kathy caught it on camera (sort of)...
It was so nice to finally be all together again after a long month of transition and travel for both me and Justin.  Once we got to our house, less than 10 minutes from the Bozeman Airport, we were reunited with Gunther, who was thrilled, and Kaitlyn got to see her room!  Kathy, Justin's Mom, had worked extra hard to make it special and prepare everything just right so she would feel at home, and that is exactly what happened.  She was naming all her things she had been without for a month and began playing with them immediately "My Chair" "My Giraffe" "My Bed" "My Bears"!  It was priceless! Here's her reaction when she walked in her room at her new home!
So it has been a whirlwind of a week!  We are so excited to get settled and (more importantly) adjusted to the time!  I am totally confused having just been to Las Vegas (Pacific Time) last weekend for my best friend, Jen's, Bachelorette party, and back to Atlanta (EST), and now Montana (Mountain Time).  I'm sure in a couple days, we'll be on track!
Here is the one room we have completely unpacked and set up- the Kitchen!

We are looking forward to our first weekend here together!  They are calling for 4-6 inches of snow tonight, and it was snowing for most of the day today. Not sticking, but very pretty to see!!!
I have lots of good pics from visits with family and nieces over the last month to post, and will update on our jobs in the next few days as well!  Have a great weekend!!