Monday, November 21, 2016

November Update

It’s now almost Thanksgiving, so I figured I’d give a quick update on N. More pictures/videos will be in the next post. 

Novaley switched schools in September to come to a closer school within the district and she loves it there!  She is still in a Montessori program, and continues to surprise Joe and I each day with everything she is learning, and how fast she can pick things up.  She’s also in violin and dance class.  N’s currently learning how to read words--she knows all the letter sounds and such, so if you ask her something like, “Novaley what does C-A-T spell”, she will repeat each sound back to you and be able to tell you what the word is.  While she is reading, she points to each letter to sound it out and is able to read words.  She’s working on addition and subtraction in math--which is crazy to me!  She can tell you what my phone number is, and is wondering when she will have her own, of course.  She still has a sharp memory and we enjoy watching Gilmore Girls before bed each night.  It’s funny because if we’re eating dinner in the living room and Joe’s watching Sports Center or football, she gets mad and says, “Oh my gosh, Dad, turn this off. I don’t want to watch any more sports!”  I guess she’s heard me say something like that a time or two. We’ve taken a few different trips the past few months, and Novaley is currently in Florida with Joe’s side of the family for the week. 
The holidays are approaching, so Joe and I just reiterate the fact that we would very much prefer that you do NOT buy her any toys or clothes for Christmas.  She really, really does not need anything.  If you’d like to get her something for Christmas, try coming to Houston to spend time with her.  Buy her a few piano lessons or a pass to a museum.  If you want to wait until she’s back in MN, then take her to Lego Land or a park or something.  Just spend time with her.  Joe and I want to get her away from the hyper-consumerism and materialism within this world, and most especially during the Holiday season.  We’ve actually been trying to purge our house of a loooooooot of stuff---even my beloved books! AHHH! It’s a lot more freeing with less and we’d rather spend money on traveling more and allowing N to have different experiences in different places with different people, rather than spending the money on something that will be put in a corner, closet, donated, or thrown away. 
That’s pretty much it for now….maybe I’ll have Novaley write the next post.

P.S. Be on the lookout for her Christmas card and picture.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Almost Four

There have been a lot of changes since the last update!

Novaley is now just a week away from her 4th birthday!  I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by!  Sometimes I want to cry looking at her because she isn’t a baby anymore. 

We have been busy enjoying life the past few months since school ended, and Novaley has loved spending so much time with family.  She is verrrrrrry spoiled by both family and friends, but we are so grateful that we have that support. 

Most people are surprised at her ability to have an “adult” conversation with others, and sometimes it surprises me, too, about what she will say/remember.  Things that I had no idea she was paying attention to, she will mention or ask about.  She is very observant, and still quite shy/reserved until she warms up to you—unless your close family/friends. 

People in Houston would always comment and say how “tall” she is, but she’s actually just a bit above average for height, and a little below average for weight.  She still fits in 2T bottoms and 3T shirts, so she is still pretty petite considering she’s basically 4.  I don’t think anyone really expects her to be a “big” girl though, lol.

Novaley is obsessed with animals still, and she recently got a new BFF (which makes 2 cats, 1 dog, and a fish) that she decided to name Ralphie.  Ralphie is a rescue dog whose mom was hit by a car and died, and the rescue group found him alone on the side of the road.  We hadn’t really planned on getting a dog…but we couldn’t resist!  Novaley is quite the caretaker with taking him outside to go potty, picking up his poop!, and making sure he gets fed and goes to bed on time each night.  She couldn’t imagine life without him!

Novaley loves doing the dishes, cooking, dancing, making up songs, swimming, and going to the park.  She is able to write her name by herself, and is working on spelling new words each day.  I am truly amazed at what she is able to do when it comes to reading and writing!  She adores reading, and especially making up her own stories since she doesn’t know the words (yet!).  She is quite the mom in the sense that she takes very good care of each of her babies or ‘friends’.  She treats them as if they were real. 

Novaley was a flower girl in one of joe’s friends’ weddings this past May, and she will be a flower girl again in October for my cousin.  She was pretty nervous, but she did great!

This past year Novaley has traveled to many places: Arkansas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, California, and Peru. 

Novaley can be quite clumsy, and sometimes will have a mini melt-down if she’s not getting her way at that moment.  These moments are mostly rare, but they do sometimes happen.  Imagine that! Other than that, most people compliment us on her demeanor or her hair—lol!, so we must be doing something right. 

Some of N’s favorite foods are: spaghetti and meatballs, grapes, blueberries, chicken, steak, vegetables, chocolate covered strawberries, rice, beans, ice cream, freezies, banilla bean frapps, oreo snowdrifts, smoothies, chips, ham, cheese, cereal (including frosted flakes—ew!), and basically everything under the sun, including spicy foods. 

We are so fortunate and blessed to have had so many people come and visit us in Houston, or traveled with us this past year including: our parents, some of our siblings, Tahani, Andrew V., Andrew K., Chris, Kyle, Marissa and Yui, Mike and Nancy, etc. 

I’ve realized that Joe and I really go out of our way to appease people and allow them to spend time with Novaley.  We’re re-evaluating that for the next year.  It has been four years now and Novaley and I have probably racked up more frequent flyer miles than most in their entire lifetime.  Its not the cost that matters, it’s the principle of the fact that people can’t seem to find time to come and visit us in Houston.  Flights are very cheap most of the time, so if you haven’t come and visited, I would hope that you are considering doing so within the next year. We would love to have visitors more often! 

We are ESPECIALLY blessed to have such supportive friends with us in Houston, and couldn’t have survived the past year without Isaac, Megan, Ms. Campbell and Ms. Woods.  Seriously!! You guys are our saving grace.  I, personally, would have probably moved back to Minnesota a few years ago if it wasn’t for you all.  We could never thank you enough for everything you have done for us.  xoxoxoxo

Anyways, we can't believe how fast time has flown by!

Check back soon for another should be mostly pictures/videos from the past year or so. I'll do my best to post it in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fast Forward 2 Years...

There have been countless times where I've wanted to go back to fill in all the missing months and now years that I have missed updating...but it gives me too much anxiety and is too time consuming, so I'm just going to start again now. 

Obviously, a lot has changed over the past 2 years.  Novaley has gone from being a baby to a toddler going on a teenager.  She is still going to the same Montessori school, and loves both her teachers and all her classmates...especially the boys----which is scary.  

Novaley loves to sing and gymnastics, play at the park, read books, and pretend to be mine and Joe's teacher.  

I've now been at Bethune 2 years and Joe has been at Hill for almost 4.  Our schools are about 5 minutes apart so we typically carpool every morning.  We tutor Tues-Thurs after school, and work Saturday school almost every weekend.  Novaley typically comes with me to Saturday school and my kids absolutely love her.  

We have an almost non-existent "social life".  Especially being in Houston, where we only have a few friends still--outside of work.  I'm also finishing my Librarian degree, so that takes up the tiny fraction of "free" time I have outside of school.  

We still travel as much as possible, and this past thanksgiving we actually all got to go to Machu Picchu--which was AMAZING!  I can't wait to go there again someday when Novaley is older, and with my mom and brothers.  

Novaley has been working on trying to write her letters and spell her name.  She is very smart and can remember everything--and I mean EVERYTHING, even when you think she isn't paying attention.  She's very observant, but still reserved until she gets to know you. 

She still stays up until all hours of the night if we let her.  We re-did her room so now its a "big girl" room, but she hasn't been fond about sleeping alone.  

N had her first dentist visit today and did great! No cavities...yet. more sweet tea, even if it's watered down.  Her and I already cut out Starbucks for Lent, so I guess we will just add that to the list.  

We are excited that N was asked to be the flower girl for Joe's friend Chris's wedding in May, and even more excited for summer to come so we can go back and spend time with our families.  

Anyways, here are some random mixed pictures from the past 2 years...professional pics are her 3 year pictures taken in Dec. I haven't uploaded any from my phone the past few months, so i'll add those whenever I have the chance. hopefully sometime this week.