Friday, December 25, 2009

Yosemite Trip

Dorian, James and I stayed at the Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite, California for 4 days in mid-December. What an amazing time we had in the snow! We highly recommend the Evergreen Lodge for people with children - you get to rent your own cabin on a beautiful property with 75 cabins, outdoor play and seating areas, and hundreds of evergreen trees sprawled around. They have a recreational room with games and a toddler play center, a movie room, a lounge with computers and free internet access and a full-bar and restaurant. We had every intention of going into Yosemite Park but never made it. We were having too much fun at the lodge! There's always next year...I think this may become a new family tradition.


Thanksgiving dinner at Scott's Seafood Restaurant in Oakland, California. Present were Dorian, James, Kelly, Uncle Kurt, Grandma Darby (not pictured), Grandpa Bruno, Great Uncle Tom and Great Grandma Dorothy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December Update

More pictures soon. I promise! First, one of my gloriously long written's been awhile, I know. Have you missed us? Life has been crazy busy around here. But we wouldn't have it any other way...

I am now almost 60% done with nursing school! I graduate at the end of May. I can not believe how quickly this program is flying by. I just finished my maternity rotation and, as expected, I loved it. I definitely want to become a Labor & Delivery nurse...100% certain about that. I adored my time in L&D and felt right at was the first time since starting nursing school where I really, really felt I had made the right decision in becoming a nurse. I hated Med Surg. God, how I hated it. I have now completed my Med Surg I & II rotations (thank freaking god), ICU/ER (ICU felt a lot like Med Surg, but I enjoyed my two days in ER), and L&D (we also spent time in Postpartum and NICU - fun, but not as fun as L&D). I will do my Pediatrics rotation when I return to school in January (looking forward to that one for obvious reasons), followed by Mental Health (yay - I love crazy people - we had a few while I was in Med Surg and I've never been more entertained or challenged) and Community Health (could be interesting, depending where I am). Then it will be time for my 6 week preceptorship (I applied to do it in an L&D unit; fingers crossed!), followed by graduation. I plan to spend a couple weeks cramming before I take the nursing licensure exam (NCLEX). I'll start looking for jobs in earnest in a few months time...ideally, I'll have a job lined up and start working fulltime as soon as I pass the NCLEX. We'll see how this goes though...nursing jobs are scarce in the Bay Area for new nurses right now so I may have to look elsewhere and either commute or move temporarily in order to gain nursing experience. We'll see. Stay tuned!

James is doing well too. Tempest just spent a month in the studio, recording a new album. It should be released in the spring and we're excited for a lot of guitar to be featured on it. His last big albums were recorded 5+ years ago when he was with Equation so it's been a long time coming. Gigs are coming in for next year, so Tempest should continue to keep him busy, at least by night. By day, he is the best stay-at-home dad ever and insists he still loves doing this full-time job. Thank god one of us does; I go crazy if I'm home fulltime for a week with Dorian. I love my child more than anything but it was so interesting to discover I just don't enjoy being a stay-at-home parent. I really thought I would.

Anyway, Dorian is growing away. He is still one of the big kids, 98% for height for his age and right around the 50% mark for weight. He doesn't get his height from us! He speaks in full sentences now and seems to learn about a hundred new words a day. I swear. He still loves to sing. His favorite songs at the moment are "Jingle Bells" and the "ABC" song. He dances, especially to bluegrass music, and has a big smile on his face as he moves to music. He seems to spend at least an hour a day "painting" (his word for any kind of drawing). He loves artwork. He loves playing the piano and guitar, and we're really excited Santa is going to be bringing him a proper drum and a CD player/digital radio for his bedroom for Christmas. He is an artsy kid for sure. Dramatic too...boy, is he dramatic. We get a lot of foot stomping and no's at the moment. It can be quite funny until his voice goes up about 3 octaves and 100 decibels. Dori's favorite toys right now (musical instruments and art supplies aside) are his Melissa & Doug kitchen and Brio trainset. In addition to puttering around the home and garden, we still go to the gym several mornings a week where James and/or I workout and Dorian schmoozes with the other children in the childcare program, Gymboree play classes, trips to the Oakland Zoo, MOCHA (hands-on children's art studio), Fairyland, Habitot, Studio Grow (if you haven't checked this out yet- you must!), and an assortment of parks and friends' houses.

Dorian has been loving the holidays this year, which makes it is so exciting for James and I as well. It is so much more enjoyable seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. Everything is magical to them. Dori looks forward to opening a new window on his Advent Calendar each day. He ooh's and ahh's at Christmas lights and adores our Christmas tree. We read Christmas books every night and he talks excitedly about Santa Claus, Rudolph, cake and presents. We've been to a couple holiday parties and he tells everyone the next day about the party. He really does love to party (wonder who he gets that from?) We're taking him to Yosemite this week where we'll be staying at a lodge all decked out for Christmas. There should be snow as well. The few days before Christmas, we'll be throwing our own Christmas party, going into San Francisco to see the decorations and attending special Christmas-lights evenings at the Oakland Zoo and Fairyland. Dorian seems to love everything associated with Christmas, but then again, I think there would be something wrong if he didn't. What's not to love? ;)

Pictures to come really soon, maybe even tonight. Hope you all are enjoying the holidays thus far!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Photo Shoot

Dori has really been hamming it up for the camera lately. He loves to take pictures more battles over trying to get him to crack a smile. Now that I'm off school for a month, I'm really going to take advantage of his newfound love (and my free time). Lots of blogs this month - keep checking back with us.

First up: Dori and his animals! He sure loves cuddling his stuffed he's doing it, he says "Ahhhh, cuddles! Elmo cuddles! Puppy cuddles! Monkey cuddles!"