Sunday, January 29, 2012

When Nature Attacks

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day in Portland so my clan decided to make the most of it by going down to the river beach and feeding the ducks. We often went and fed the ducks in Arizona, but never have done it since we moved here. Over the last few days Merrick has been asking to go so we took advantage of a rare sunny day.

There were a lot more ducks than I thought there would be and they were anything but shy. As soon as the bread came out, the ducks came running. Merrick enjoyed throwing the bread and kept saying "hi ducks" over and over.

But then the unthinkable happened. Merrick held the bread in his hand just a second too long and a duck bit him (is it considered a bite since ducks don't have teeth?). Merrick flipped! I don't know if it really hurt him or just scared him, but after that he just wanted Jeremy to hold him. If you ask him about it today he will tell you that a duck ate him (I don't know where he learned to be so dramatic, certainly not from me).

When we finally got him calm we decided to take a walk along the river. That is when Jeremy noted that I had been hit. There were seagulls around while we were feeding the ducks and apparently they weren't too happy about not getting fed so they decided to take it out on me. I had a nice big seagull poop down the back of my jacket and in my hair.

Needless to say, our little outing was over. Jeremy and I have joked before that we were more of outdoor observers rather than outdoor people, but after yesterday even that might be a little much for me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow Day!

The highlight of this last week was snow. Being Arizona natives, none of us have ever experienced a snow day, so when the snow started falling hard and fast we were all excited about the possibility. It had snowed off and on Sunday and Monday, but by early Tuesday it started sticking. Since we are at the top of a hill it was not really safe for us to go anywhere and while school was not canceled for Jeremy, it was not safe for him to go. In the end we decided to have our very first snow day.

We could not let our first snow day go by without some serious playing. We started out by sledding in our driveway.

The hill was not quite long enough though so we decided to bundle up and walk across the street to the park. We did some sledding at the park, but then discovered the real fun, snow covered slides. You would get going so fast and there really was no way to stop yourself so when you got to the end, you would shoot out and land in the snow a few feet out.

Merrick was not really a fan of the slide of death. His favorite part was building a Merrick-sized snowman. We decided to go for quality over quantity and Merrick really liked getting to help.

Merrick loved his snowman so much that he wanted to give it kisses.

But not so much that he did not want to knock it down, like at true boy.

Thanks to Mother Nature the Cliffords have officially had their first snow day!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Change in 2012

So this is my first official 2012 post. I love starting each new year. It is a fresh start and a new beginning. It is fitting, therefore, that on this day that I am blogging about starting new, it snowed. I don't think anything symbolizes a fresh start quite like freshly fallen snow. I just can't resist posting a picture of Merrick playing in the backyard this morning. My favorite part about it was that he kept calling the snow "interesting" over and over.
I think that "interesting" is a good word to describe the few short weeks we have had of 2012 thus far. There is the old expression that the only thing that is constant is change. That is how I feel lately.

We just got in the groove of having Jeremy home and he is back at school with new classes and a new schedule. He picked up an extra class and is now full time and we are trying to get a routine down to make it all work. To top it all off, he is already trying to figure out work/classes/clinics for this summer.

I have started a new job. I am working with a baby sleep coach to develop an online program to help families with sleep training. I am going to be managing the social media aspect of the business as well as helping with current client emails and eventually I will become trained to be a baby sleep coach as well. It is really exciting, but a little overwhelming since I am still watching Ben and Becca's boys 10+ hours a day. I wouldn't be able to do it without the help of my mom and Jeremy.

As for Merrick, he changes by the moment, second, blink. He learns things so quickly it is hard for me to keep up. One thing he is getting down, which I am extremely grateful for, is potty training. I don't even remember the last time he had an accident during waking hours.

I am thrilled to be starting 2012 with a nearly potty trained little boy. I don't know what 2012 will bring, but if the first few weeks are any indication, it will be anything but dull.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Years Eve 2011

It is finally time to wrap up 2011 with a post about New Years Eve. In all honesty the night was a bit of a bust. I think it is the first time in my adult life that I did not stay up until midnight. Jeremy was sick and went to bed at 9pm. I watched a movie with my parents and made it until 11pm, but was out for the count well before midnight.

The highlight of the day actually came much earlier. Before Jeremy got sick, Jeremy, Merrick, and I piled into Ben and Becca's van and drove up to the mountian to go sleding.

The trip started out a little slowly with traffic, all the kids saying they were cold, and finding a good hill to sled down, but eventually it all came together. We made it through the traffic, we found a good hill, and when the kids got into sledding, they forgot all about being cold.

We played for a few hours and were all exhausted by the time we got home. Although the night ended up mostly being a bust, the fun of the day more than made up for it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas 2011

I have been such a slacker lately with the blog, but now that it is actually 2012 it is time for me to wrap up my blog posts for 2011. Lets start with Christmas:

Christmas 2011 in the Clifford household was a memorable one. I was so excited leading up to Christmas. I feel like this is the first year that Merrick really understands what is going on and was really into all the holiday traditions. He loved going to see Christmas lights, listening to/singing Christmas music, and talking about Santa. Just don't ask him to sit on Santa's lap because he will tell you that he is too big to do that.

This year Jeremy and I had really carefully picked Merrick's presents and I knew it was going to be a great year for him and that he would be really excited and surprised with his presents. As predicted, the big winner of the presents was his Buzz Lightyear bike and t-Rex helmet. I love watching my two-year-old ride his 16 inch bike (meant for 5-8-year-olds) like a pro. He is just getting so big!

Since it was Sunday it was also really nice to take some time out of our day to go to church, feel the Spirit, and reflect on the true meaning of the holiday.

We were so grateful to spend the day with some family, but missed those that were not nearby. Technology has been such a blessing in our lives though as were with able to feel connected with those far away via skype and cell phones. Grandpa and Lollie were able to watch Merrick open his presents and we were able to talk to Jeremy's brother Bryce (if only for a few minutes).

Christmas 2011 was a great one and will not soon be forgotten.