Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Few Changes

Yesterday was Claire's last day at her current school. I took a job as a teacher at a preschool and I'm able to take Claire with me. I'm really looking forward to it. The school is a 'special purpose' school, with the goal of integrating children with developmental delays (specifically Autism spectrum) with typically developing children. They have a range of classrooms, from an intensive one-on-one setting to a fully integrated preschool classroom, where Claire and I both will be. We start tomorrow. I loved working with the Autism Project in Wisconsin, so I'm really happy to have found something similar here. The news hasn't really been an issue for Claire. I think I was more sad when I picked her up yesterday than she was. Maybe I'll get some resistance in the coming weeks, but as of right now, she's just thrilled she gets to go to school every day.

And I think she's going to need five days a week to start teaching her new classmates the fine art of fashion. She's been making some really wonderful choices lately. A lot of times, we'll be just about to head out, and she'll say "Wait wait wait! I'll be right back!" and then run off to find a missing piece of her outfit. Today it was goggles (to keep cold wind out of her eyes) and the shorts over the pants. She wore it to the grocery store, post office and bank.

She has also has been getting a lot better at jumping on her bed.

And a few days ago we were able to catch the sunset at the beach. We do this quite a bit in the summer, but with the sun setting so early in the winter its more difficult to make it in time. You wouldn't even know that it is winter by these pictures. There isn't a lot of snow left anymore.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Game Day

We're going over to friends' house tonight to watch the big game, but that doesn't mean we (Claire) haven't been preparing our house for the event.

Variety of appropriately colored shirts to choose from? Check.

'Decorations' in every room? Check.

Signs made? Check.

Looks like we are ready. The only thing missing is Mike. He is on his way home from Wisconsin right now. Where he actually is, though, is any body's guess. His flight from Chicago to Boston was canceled, so he could show up any time. I just hope its before game time.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Family's Visit

It was great to have my family out for a little post-Christmas Christmas celebration. Nice to extend the holidays a little bit. Since it was Dave's first visit, we tried to fit a lot of stuff in. All the best restaurants (Gilbert's and Becky's), the Portland Head Light, steaming our own lobster, and a hike. Dave wasn't too sure about the lobster at first, and my mom wasn't all that excited about holding one. But they both were very brave. Claire was shocked.

They picked a wonderful week to come. They were able to see the two feet of snow we had on the ground at their arrival, and then watch it steadily melt off as we had over a week of temperatures above freezing both night and day. One day had an official high temperature of 64 degrees. I get the feeling it would take many many winters to figure out what a 'typical' winter is like here in Maine.

Apart from that, Claire has started swimming lessons. She's taken lessons before, but always with Mike or I in the pool with her, and always with very mixed results. This is her first time in a pool with an instructor. I have to admit, given my past experience with Claire in a pool (earplugs are of more service than nose plugs), I was preparing myself to see her resist it completely. But I was wrong. She did fantastic. She had a little floatie and actually "swam" around completely on her own. She loved it. She was almost as proud of her self as I was of her.

Monday, January 07, 2008

My Sister

I realize I don't post very often...okay basically never. But after a very small gathering with Emily's closest friends from Chicago and Milwaukee who came to visit in Portland, I just needed to share some of these pictures. Isn't she beautiful?! It is just so exciting to have these little ones joining our family!

I've also included a picture of my new kitten Gus. I guess I've had him for about 2 months now but like I said, I don't really post much. He's adorably sweet and growing fast! Still half the size of George who is enjoying the company (most of the time).

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

What a great holiday season. For New Years Eve, we went to a friend's and had a great time. Not knowing anyone willing to watch Claire until after midnight, it was really nice to spend this particular holiday with friends who have kids. The adults all had a great time while the kids ran around and did the same, but with slightly more energy.

The holiday celebrating isn't quite over yet. My family is coming to visit us this week. It will be my brother's first time in Maine, so I'm looking forward to showing him around. I have a list of the usual places people like to see. They will feel slightly different in the winter, but thats fine. There is a certain charm that comes with almost two feet of snow, which is how much was on our deck this afternoon. We are in the middle of another snow storm, however, so its safe to say that by the morning, we'll be well over the two foot mark. Good thing we all have snowshoes.

We also had another reason to celebrate this past week, Mike's last call night of residency. I'm not sure what lies beyond residency as far as fellowships and such, but it could very well have been his last call general. It seems pretty unbelievable, if thats true. Still, this past month Mike's call nights have had a sliver lining, for me anyway. We are a little over halfway through a boys vs girls exercise competition with two friends. At the end of thirty days, whichever team has worked out the most (only one work out per day is counted) is the winner. Mike hasn't been able to work out on his call nights, which has put the girl's team into a comfortable lead, since we have managed to exercise every day for the past 19 days. In other words, the girls have a perfect score so far. Of course this isn't just for glory and physical improvement. There are some nice prizes involved. When the girls win, we'll be treated to dinner and a Soak. If the guys could have pulled it off, we would have cooked them a five course dinner. Our competition ends on January 8th, but I'm sure there will be a round two. Better luck to the guys then!