The Longest January in History

Ok…full disclosure. No sugar coating. January seemed like the longest month in history for us. Just one month felt more like six months. I don’t know if it’s because the last few months were so busy for us, so it made January seem slower? Or if it’s because it’s just winter and there isn’t as many opportunities for us to get out and about as much as we’d like to? Maybe it was a combination of both? Nothing bad happened…it’s not like it was a bad month. It was just long. And now I’m just so glad it’s over!

This pic below pretty much sums up our month of January.

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Anyway, because it was such a long and dreary month, we all kind of struggled.  It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve seen any family, even though it’s only been a month. The kids (especially my little energetic Kinsie) struggled with not being able to run around as much as they need to. The kids fought more than usual, and I was less patient than usual. (I told you…full disclosure!) It also didn’t help that Ryan had to take his Step 3 exam, which consisted of lots of studying and two full testing days one week apart. His testing days took up two of his very few days off for the month, and whenever he was home, he was studying, But somehow, we survived it. We did whatever we could to survive and did the best we could at still enjoying our time. We still did fun things, it just took a lot more energy and creativity than usual!

Kinsie started gymnastics

This was a major highlight for her. She did gymnastics when she was little and always loved it. She’s been asking to do another class ever since we moved here, it just hadn’t worked out since she was already in so many other sports and activities. Right now she only has ballet once a week, and T-ball doesn’t start back up until spring. My little energizer bunny definitely needed something else to help her get her energy out during the winter, so we signed her up. She has class once a week, and has absolutely loves every second of it! Brax usually has to come with me and he enjoys watching Kinsie’s class too. We love watching her bouncing around happily each week…and let’s be honest, the extra practice in coordination can’t hurt her either!

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Brax is on the potty train!

Brax is a stubborn kid, and I fully expected potty training to be a major battle, because many things have been with him so far. Because of this, I was not in any hurry to start. I learned the hard way from Kinsie that potty training cannot be forced on a kid if they aren’t ready and willing. Over the last few months, I would randomly ask Brax if he wanted to try sitting on his potty, and usually the answer was no, so I left it alone. However, early on in the month, I knew we were going to be home for most of the weekend since we weren’t having great weather anyway. I’m not going to lie, I did not have high hopes and I assumed nothing would actually come of it…but I figured I would try anyway. We let him run around commando for the day and encouraged him to try sitting on his potty every so often. To my surprise, it actually went very well! He had a great first day and was excited to keep going. We kept going and within 3 days, he was completely potty trained while commando, so we let him try underwear. This took him a little longer, but still within 5 days or so, he was getting it. Now he is still doing great. He wears a pull-up to church just in case, but wears underwear everywhere else, and he has had minimal accidents in weeks. He even goes potty at school and in public places. Stickers and small treats worked really well for him day to day, and he loves keeping track of his dry days and earning bigger rewards, like a popcorn party, small toys, and an ice cream trip. He is so excited to be a big boy, and Kinsie has been his biggest supporter!

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(Side note – Kinsie thinks his potty chart that says “Brax is on the potty train” is absolutely hilarious. I guess she will enjoy puns and plays on words when she’s older!)

Trying to stay sane indoors

Like I said before, we’ve had to get creative on how to stay busy inside. One of Kinsie’s favorite things to do lately is make recipes from her Disney Princess cookbook. So far we’ve made “Chip’s bite-size cookies” and “Rapunzel’s Towering Parfaits.”

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Indiana has had a rough January with lots of snow and extremely cold temps. Kinsie was so jealous that we didn’t get snow like they did, but was THRILLED when we had some snowflakes one day. It only lasted about 10 minutes and of course none of it stuck, but the kids were excited just to see any snow at all!

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We’ve also stayed busy by doing science experiments, setting up an entire community on the train table, doing lots of arts and crafts (including a birthday card for Kinsie’s favorite hippo, Fiona, from the Cincinnati Zoo), dress up, board games, and lots and lots of puzzles. No joke…when Kinsie is at school and Brax is home with me, we do puzzles all. day. long.

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Ryan is in the ED this month, so he is back to his abnormal hours. He has had a lot of evening shifts (our least favorite) this month. Between his shifts, studying for his test, and his weekly conference on Wednesday mornings that he is required to attend, the kids didn’t get much daddy time. At one point, they hadn’t seen him in a couple days, and he had a small break between conference and his shift, so Brax and I met him for lunch while Kinsie was at school. Brax was SO happy to spend time with Daddy and never stopped touching him. We never did tell Kinsie about it because she would have been sad she missed it!

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Zoo Day

We’ve had very seldom days where it was nice enough to be outside, so whenever it did happen, we booked it out of the house. The zoo is still one of our favorite places to visit so we spent one of our semi-nice days visiting our favorite gorillas and petting the goats.

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Rare Outside Days

The kids were giddy whenever it was nice enough to go outside (which only happened about 3-4 times). They didn’t care if the temperature was still in the 40s, they were just happy to be outside. Kinsie spent most of her outside time on her scooter and enjoyed skating with Daddy. Brax loved being pushed around in his car, and trying to keep up with Kinsie on the scooter!

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Family Downtown Day

Ryan has had to work every single Sunday this month…which has been a bummer. However, he has had a couple of Saturdays off. The Saturday after his last Step 3 session, we decided we needed to celebrate by getting out of the house and exploring downtown. It was a sunny, 50 degree day and there are a lot of fun things to do in our little city. We visited the animals at the nature center, rode the trolley, played at the rock park, walked on the Junction Bridge, and had brunch at our favorite restaurant called At the Corner. It was exactly what we all needed after a long month of studying and seclusion indoors. We had a wonderful family day!

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We are all so relieved that this month is over. February SHOULD be better. We always enjoy Valentines Day activities, and our parents are coming to visit near the end of the month. The weather also gets a little better in February here, so hopefully we’ll be able to spend more time outside and not cooped up in the house.

As always, here is our January 2019 1 Second Everyday video. Good riddance, January!

A December to Remember

We had SUCH a busy and exciting month of December! In all honesty, we had very few days where we didn’t have some kind of activity happening. We had countless Christmas parties and programs, a new family member born, and an amazing trip to Indiana filled with cousin craziness, and Christmas love. Bare with me, this is going to be a full recap!

Welcome, baby Griffin!

On the morning of December 1, I finally received the text message I’d been anxiously awaiting. “Baby Mosier is on the way!” It was a beautiful day here in Arkansas, so as we waited to hear more, the kids and I walked over to the park. I watched my phone like a hawk and finally got the news that Griffin Timothy made his appearance at 10:08am. He is as sweet and perfect as can be, and the kids were thrilled that they had a new cousin. We got to unofficially meet him through FaceTime later that day, and we got to officially meet him in person later when we traveled to Indiana for Christmas. This precious boy was prayed for long before he came, and he was absolutely worth the wait!

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Advent and Christmas crafts

My kids have always known that the birth of Jesus is why we celebrate Christmas. However, every year, we teach them a little more as they can comprehend more with age. This year, the ladies in my Bible study created an Advent study for kids, and I thought Kinsie would be the perfect age to really dive into the reason for the season. We made small ornaments with a bible verse on one side and a picture representing that verse on the other side, and a small guide that went over each verse/story. Every day in December, the kids and I would read the Bible story that corresponded with that day, and they would take turns hanging the ornament on a small tree. They absolutely loved it! The stories didn’t keep Brax’s attention quite as much, but he got the overall gist. Kinsie on the other hand, completely soaked it in. I was so impressed by how much she “got it” this year. I think it also helped that she was learning these stories at school and church as well. We loved doing this Advent study together, and this set can be reused each year.

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Kinsie is all about crafts. One of her days off school, we made a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy some Christmas crafts she could make. I figured this would be a project that would keep her busy for a few days – nope! She made all of them in ONE day. She made little Christmas dogs and manger scenes for everyone she knew – including our neighbors. She loved writing who they were for and delivering the crafts to everyone!

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Santa Sightings

Ever since Kinsie was about 2, she has requested to see Santa Claus. I’m not the kind to force my kids to sit on a stranger’s lap and take of picture of them screaming and trying to escape, so I’ve only taken the kids by request. Last year, Brax wasn’t really digging it, so we all just got a family picture with Santa, and Brax sat with me. This year, I was shocked to find out that Brax did amazing with Santa! I’m sure it helped that Kinsie went with him and helped him be brave. We visited Santa at Bass Pro Shop, which was an awesome experience. After visiting with Santa, we hung around and did some of the different activities they had around the store for Christmas. Santa also made an appearance at the kids’ school, and they kids did great again. Santa was definitely a hit this year!

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Residency Christmas Party

This was one of our favorite events last year, and this year was a blast as well. We all loved visiting with our residency friends, and the kids also loved getting some awesome gifts. We are so blessed to be a part of such a great residency group!

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Parent (and brother) Week at Ballet

Kinsie’s ballet program has various themed weeks, such as Pinkalicious Week, and Express Yourself Week. The most recent themed week was “Parent Participation Week,” where parents were invited to join the class. I had Brax with me since Ryan was working, so he got to join as well. I loved getting to watch Kinsie in her class (normally we don’t get to watch), and Brax had a blast running around with Kinsie doing dance moves!

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Christmas Music Programs

Kinsie had a Christmas program with her Wednesday night church class. We hadn’t been able to attend Wednesday night church regularly during the last few months, so I wasn’t sure if she would even know the songs or motions, but she did great!

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Both the kids also had a program at school. Kinsie’s class also did a manger skit, and she was a sheep. Brax’s class joined for the last two songs. I wasn’t sure how he would do in front of a crowd, but he did great! (Sorry I don’t have pictures of the program – but you can see glimpes of the program on the 1 Second video at the end of this post!)

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After the program, Kinsie’s class had their Christmas party and the parents were invited to stay for it. Ryan was finishing up his PICU rotation, and didn’t have very many days off, but chose this day as one of his days off so he could be a part of it. Kinsie was SO happy to have us there, especially her daddy!

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Other Christmas Fun

The kids loved filling our pantry door with Christmas cards and the crafts they made all month. They were very proud! Kinsie also loved pointing out all the people she knew on the Christmas cards we received.

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On the last Wednesday night church of the month, the kids got to have a pajama party with their classes. With that said, can I just say I was insanely impressed with my church kids’ program on how involved they get with Christmas? To kick off the Christmas season earlier in the month, they brought in live animals and had people dressed as Mary Joseph, a baby Jesus, the three kings, you name it. They also had the hallways beautifully decorated, and had awesome lessons and crafts every week! We are so blessed that we found a church we love!

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Ryan and Brax both received Christmas Groot shirts as gifts. Brax was so proud to match Daddy!

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Christmas in Indiana

After Ryan finished his PICU rotation, he started his Anesthesia/Ultrasound rotation, which comes with a week off. We were all so excited that he got to travel to Indiana with us for a week! We also brought the dogs with us so they could be with us for Christmas. Usually the dogs are great travelers and just chill in the back of the SUV, but Koda wasn’t feeling it this time. He slowly snuck his way up to the front with the kids, and even spent a little time on Kinsie’s lap! Once we got to Indiana, we had a FULL week ahead of us!

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Meeting Griffin

The first thing we wanted to do when we got to Indiana was meet sweet Griffin. The kids were obsessed with him, understandably so. Kinsie loved holding him, and Brax loved rubbing his head. After meeting him, Kinsie talked about him nonstop. He really was as sweet and precious as can be, and we all fell in love with him immediately!

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Christmas #1 – Immediate Matthews family and Stevens/Stars cousins

The next day, we had breakfast and a gift exchange with Ryan’s immediate family. The kids had a blast opening their presents, snuggling with Griffin and wrestling Uncle Nate. Later in the afternoon, we met up at Aunt Rita’s house to see some of the kids’ other cousins. The kids spent hours playing with each other decorating Christmas cookies.

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Christmas Eve (Christmas #2 – Matthews family at Renata’s)

Like usual, we attended our old church for a Christmas Eve service. As always, it was an amazing sermon and it really made me miss that church. Kinsie and Brax both got to go in their church classes with cousins, so they weren’t as nervous being in an unfamiliar class. After church, we went to Aunt Renata’s house for Christmas with Ryan’s extended family. We had lots of great family time and the kids enjoyed opening more gifts. We also got more baby Griffin time, which was pretty much the kids’s #1 priority!

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(Side note: Christmas miracle alert – Brax let me put a collared shirt on him! If you know him, you know how big of a deal this is. This was probably the nicest he has ever looked, so I had to heavily document it!)

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Family pics before church

 

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Christmas Morning (Christmas #3 – Vargas family)

The kids woke up on Christmas morning to see that Santa treated them well! Kinsie’s got a Hatchibaby, a Fiona the hippo calendar, a few new princess dresses, and two new Hatchimal play sets. Brax got a balance bike, a construction play set, and some new puzzles. After we did Santa gifts and our own family gifts, my sister’s family came over and we all opened gifts from each other. This is always one of my favorite days of the year. Somehow it is always chaotic, yet relaxing. The kids play all day with each other and their new toys, and you can barely see the floor from all the wrapping paper and new gifts. We are so blessed to have so many people that love us and spoil us and our kids!

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A few days later, we headed back to Arkansas in a VERY packed car. Ryan’s packing skills were truly impressive, and the dogs had to squeeze in to the front with us. As always, it was a tough goodbye, but we were ready to be home and start a new year.

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Notice in these pictures, my sweet girl is bawling her eyes out. She hates leaving family…poor girl! Also we couldn’t quite squeeze Brax in the bottom picture!

Ringing in the New Year

Like last year, we had a family evening at home for New Year’s Eve. We ate pizza, played Super Smash Brothers and a couple of new board games, drank fizzy drinks and popped confetti poppers…and all before 9pm! We did an early countdown (thanks Netflix) with the kids, then put them to bed. We had a great family night!

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And that wraps up our year! This year was transformational for me. I started out the year somewhat low, and promised myself that I would work harder to make Little Rock my home and grow some roots here. Now, I can honestly say I am happy here. Yes, we still want to move back to Indiana when residency is over, but I finally hit my stride here, especially as a stay at home mom. God did some serious work on my hear this year, and made me see the amazing benefits and potential of staying at home during this season. Staying at home has made me a better mom and wife, and I’m finally at peace with this being my role right now. I am in a great place right now and I give all the credit to God!

Here is my last 1SE video of 2018. I love this monthly tradition, so I plan to continue it in 2019. Happy New Year!