Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas letter: A year in review...

...And what a year it has been!  A few words to summarize would include Crazy, Busy, Exciting, Sad, Stressful, Happy, Joyous!  A friend told me recently that there is a list of the top stressors one can have in their lives and we managed to full fill three of them within a 4 month period.  Oops!  Fortunately we seem to have come through it alive, still married and happy with only a few bumps and bruises along the way. 

Our first "stressor" of the year has been our sweet little Adelaide Raine.  She was born May 10th at Saint Mary's in Reno, NV.  She is such a joy!  Addie is generally a happy baby, unless she has a reason to be upset, and her smile will light up any room.  She is now seven months old and keeping us busy.  She is sitting up great, rolling around to get to where she wants to go, checking out anything that she can get into her line of vision and putting everything she can get her hands on in her mouth.  In the beginning I was really worried about protecting her from her big brother but now know that she loves him to pieces.  That is until he takes something she was playing with and she screams at the top of her lungs until he gives it back (he always says "sorry, sorry, sorry Addie" and quickly gives it back).  This girl can stand up for herself already!  We love to watch her grow and meet new milestones but our favorite thing to do is watching brother and sister interact with each other.  Right now they have a mutual love for each other that is amazing to witness.

Since we brought up that new big brother, Jackson, we will talk about him next.  He is going to be 3 years old on January 10th which is so hard to believe.  It is so cliche to say but time sure flies!  Jack has, for the most part, taken all of this years' transitions in stride.  He was affected though, and likes to talk about our "Reno house," his "school" and loves to look at "old" pictures.  It has made us so sad to see him miss these things and try to understand what is happening from his 2 year old perspective.  Overall, though, he seems to be getting it and transitioning to his new life nicely.  He of course loves his new sister.  He can't wait until they can really play together (right now he pretends to play and share with her).  It has been impressive to me to see the compassion he has for her.  When she cries or is fussy he wants to know why and what we can do to help.  When she got her latest 6 month shots he was visibly upset for her and started singing to her to try to calm her.  Such a heart breaker!  Jackson's latest activities have been going to the zoo, aquarium, children's museum, library and the park.  He of course still loves those trains and his newest love is everything fireman (trucks, extinguishers, alarms, sirens, hats, hydrants).   We are just so proud of him.  We think that he is the smartest, most handsome boy there ever was and it's nice that we have family here that reinforces these beliefs!

This year was the year that Larry completed and received his PHD in clinical psychology.  It amazes me how much work he put in and how much he continues to do.  In April, he was offered a position at the University of Washington as a research associate working on a National Institute of Mental Health funded doubly randomized preference trial investigating the efficacy of treatments for PTSD.  We of course were very excited to be closer to family, and for such a great career opportunity, so we decided to take the offer and in September we packed up our little Reno house and moved to Seattle.

The move of course is the number two stressor on the list and what a crazy time it was.  It was a lot of work...more than I could have ever imagined.  But we got it all packed up onto a big trailer and then we drove for the last time to Washington.  It was more difficult to leave Reno, than either of us had ever expected.  It meant leaving jobs that we loved, friends that we had made and had grown very close to, and our first house where we brought our babies home and became a family.  At the same time, we were excited to see what the future had in store for us in Seattle and being able to raise our children with all of our family around had been something we had wanted for a long time. 

Onto stressor number three, which has been the new jobs.  Larry and I of course had the same start date and have had a lot of help with family watching the kids.  Grandma Trudy is here at least once a week watching the munchkins while I try to recover after my shifts.  I am working nights, per diem, at Swedish Medical Center in downtown Seattle in a level 2 nursery.  It is mostly babies that were in the NICU, but are getting ready to go home and are learning how to eat, or drug affected babies that are weaning off the drugs...not my dream job by any means, but it seems to be working for our family for now and I'm able to spend more time at home while the kids are still little.  Larry is really enjoying his new job.  He is currently working to get this treatment outcome study up and ready to recruit participants.  He enjoys working back at the UW, and has a wonderful team of colleagues that he works with, and feels like the research he is working on is meaningful and important.

Even though we have had some major stress in our lives, the good has still out weighed the bad and we feel truly grateful for what we do have and for the wonderful family that we have made for ourselves. 
We're looking forward to another great year in 2011, and can't wait to see what lies ahead.

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!
With love from the Pruitts,
Natalie, Larry, Jackson and Adelaide (and Maddie and Izzy too!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Halloween 2010: Spiderman...Spiderman...Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider Man!

This year, Jack picked a "Spider Man" costume one day right after we moved up to Seattle while we were picking up some supplies at the store.  The costume had a cool mask too that wouldn't completely cover his face, and the suit had all sorts of built in muscles, which oddly enough, he thought were pretty neat.  The costume got worn a few times prior to Halloween just for fun, but we also put it to good use over the course of Halloween weekend including pictures, Uncle Aaron's Halloween party, and Trick or Treating. 

Halloween at the Pruitt house really starts Oct 1 though, with decorations, getting pumpkins, and carving pumpkins. 

But, the big event is Halloween itself.  Jack did really well Trick or Treating, he got to go door to door with his friend Kate, and after a couple of houses, really got into the swing of knocking, saying "Trick or Treat," and "Thank you."  I think the positive reinforcement via candy helped establish motivation for the quick learning curve. 

Then it was home to hand out candy of our own. Jack thought this was pretty cool and liked answering the door. At one point a teenager in a full Dog costume (like something you'd see at Disney Land) knocked. I asked Jack if he saw "the doggy" to which he replied loudly, "Oh so CUTE!!!" The teenagers friends all thought that was pretty hilarious. All in all, we had a great Halloween!

Here's a video link, and pictures are below:

The first thing he says is "Can we eat it Daddy"
He wasn't so thrilled about cleaning the guts
A serious artist
Jacked liked the part that involved fire

Momma showing Jack the routine
He doesn't look it here, but he was thrilled about getting candy
Trying to knock, but his spidey gloves muffled the sound
Getting ready to scare some unsuspecting suckers
A few times we had to tell them not to open the doors and go in by themselves
Jack and Kate....I mean Spiderman and the Wasp!
Spooky graveyard...Real Scary!

"Building a worm box Daddy?"

So, being that Jack is now a Seattle-ite, we figured it was time for him to start going green.  Our first project was to build a worm-box.  We had researched how to build one, and it seems the easiest way is to use one of those big Rubbermaid tubs as your bin.  So we started our morning with a trip to the store to get a container and some soil.  Then it was off to the nursery to find some worms, but we didn't have any luck because apparently one place has a monopoly on the red wiggler worm business.  I guess that's okay though because the monopolizer is a non-profit organization that promotes organic gardening by keeping gardens all around the city that they use to teach classes.  Luckily the Seattle Tilth location that has the master worm bin was pretty close to our house.  A quick trip down to Wallingford, and we had our Worms!  Back home we got everything set up, Jack had been talking ever since the night before about "drill the worm bin, Daddy Zzz Zzzzzzz?," so that is where we started.  Jack drilled the drainage and ventilation holes.  We then got it set up over the drainage pan.  Next we had to create the "bed" so we both collected fallen leaves to build the first layer, then we added the soil on top of that.  Then came Jack's favorite part, putting in the worms.  He got to dump them in then used one of his little garden tool rakes to spread them around.  A little water, a little bit of food scraps, and a layer of cardboard later and we had our wormbox!  Jack helps put scraps in every night after dinner, and talks about how the worms eat the food.

 Putting leaves into the bin

 Setting up the drainage

 Setting up the bin
 Taking a break to be silly

 I love worms!

 "See Momma!"

 Putting the worms in their new home.

 Hi guys!

 Spreading them around

"Me Drill it, Zzzz Zzzzzzzz"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jackson on the MOVE

It's been a busy month since leaving Reno.  Luckily, however, we were able to sneak in some fun as well.  One such event was Jack going to the Puyallup Fair for the first time.  He really seemed to enjoy himself.  He liked the crowds, the animals, but more than anything, he liked the rides.  Here's a video of him on what was his favorite (he rode it 4 times strait at one point, each time in a different car).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Potty Trained!

Jackson has been wearing big boy underwear for about two weeks now!  We have been introducing him to the potty since I bought him a potty chair about a year ago.  We didn't really start pushing the potty training until right before his 2nd birthday but we found that he just wasn't quite ready.  From then on we would just ask him if he had to use the potty and if he didn't want to, we didn't make him.  Then he started waking up dry from naps and bedtime but would keep going in his pull-up, so we decided to try underwear and see how he did.  Amazingly, he did great!  He now only occasionally has accidents, mostly #2, when he gets too busy and forgets.  He still rarely tells us that he has to go so we have to remember to ask him.  It is so nice not having two in diapers anymore both for the cost and cleanup.  We are so proud of our little man!  Obviously from the pictures he is still learning where the undies go and how they work!! (I did not pose him, he put the all the undies on his head while I was folding laundry.  I just took the pics and laughed.)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lazy 5 water play park

Today our car thermometer was reading 106 degrees so we headed off to the water play park to cool off.  A fun time was had by all...or at least those that were awake for it!

 Jackson and Addie trying to stay in the shade.
Jackson pretending to be a baby too.

My favorite Jack quote of the day, "Water gets me wet!"

Imagine lots of giggling!

Turning on the water tower water.

A lot of the kids were sitting on the water but Jack went for the foot block.

...and Addie slept.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

We spent Father's Day at The Nevada Railroad Museaum in Carson city.  We had a great time and Jackson was in heaven. 
That is one big Choo-Choo.  Notice the Thomas train tables in the background...that's where we spent some of our day as well.
"Look Daddy"

He can't take his eyes off the trains.

Jackson and Mommy trying out train conducting.

I got a little nervous with his interest in the model trains.  I was picturing his future nerdom.

This picture looks so Abby Road.
Bye Jack

Catching a free ride.  "Hold on Jack."

My two favorite guys.  So cute!

The girls on the train.

Riding the 100 year old steam train.