It’s been almost 2 months since the kids and I joined Matt in Ames after he started his new job as a correctional officer in Newton, IA back in January. We are temporarily living in a 4 bedroom apartment in Ames until we close on our house in Newton in the beginning of May. The apartment is on the 4th floor with no elevator so we are definitely getting our leg workouts in and hauling groceries and a car seat up several flights of stairs is no joke. The neighbors below us warmly greeted us by tapping loudly on their ceiling when they heard the sound of little feet running back and forth above them the first few days. I think they’ve given up by now and frankly, so have I! We are grateful for a place to stay nonetheless and our eldest Taya has become accustomed to all apartment life has to offer, such as the opportunity to look out the peep hole for people in the hallway or to shout a “hello” to people passing by on the sidewalk below.
I can definitely say that it feels totally different living in Ames as a mother of 3 driving a mini van than it did when I was a college student at ISU driving around in my ‘95 Honda Civic. I used to go to coffee shops, hang out with friends, and go on hot dates. Now I’m married to that hot date and our dates now consist of taking children on umpteen trips to the bathroom and nursing a newborn in a crammed restaurant booth. I wouldn’t trade my family for the world though and it’s fun to walk down memory lane being back in Ames and seeing our old apartments and familiar favorites.
Since we don’t have a yard for the kids to play in right now, we’ve been going to parks when the weather allows. We’ve had some very nice warm weather days here, the highest being 73 degrees a few weeks ago! There is a really cool park they call a “miracle park” we’ve been going to that has large musical chimes the kids can play with mallets, several types of swings, soft spongy turf with hills built-in, etc. We took the kids to Ada Hayden one afternoon, a park with trails and a lake on the outskirts of Ames, so Taya could practice on her bike and Maggie could ride her scooter.
Thanks to Nana who came to visit Easter weekend, the girls were gifted some chalk and have used that a few times on the sidewalk outside as well.
I’m bummed I don’t have any pictures to share from Easter but we spent the beautiful warm day with my sister, her husband, and their 3 children who live in Ames. We ate outside and had quiche, bacon wrapped asparagus, ham steak, fruit salad, croissants, and sangrias. My sister made a delicious chocolate cheesecake for dessert and the kids decorated cupcakes. It has been so nice living closer to her and for the cousins to spend more time together.
The girls have been putting on “shows” for me every now and then. Taya acts like a stage manager, telling Maggie exactly what to do and say before scooting her out on “stage.” A show typically consists of them introducing one another, coming out of a closet, and dancing around with their stuffed animals while singing a song. Here’s a picture of them before a fashion show:
Now for a few kid-specific updates:
Dax is 2 months old and will be 3 months on May 11th. He is smiling and cooing at us which is so fun! I have determined that I think he looks like Matt with my eyes, but I haven’t actually compared him to any of our baby pictures. He is typically a pretty easy going baby unless his tummy is hurting or I change his diaper when he’s hungry. The girls love to hold him and to see him smile. His nicknames include “chicken nugget” (Maggie), “banana pants” (Taya), “Little Prince” (Taya), and “Daxy Dax” (both girls).
Maggie is 3 and has a song in her soul! She likes to sing with a little vibrato and favorites include Frozen and Moana songs. Being a little sister, she likes to do the things her big sister does and so far Taya is accepting. 🙂 She can almost always be seen wearing a tutu or a dress-up dress and like her dad, falls asleep easily just about anywhere. She enjoys helping me bake and still says, “Mommy, I want you!” She also likes to brush my hair, put puzzles together, and sit on daddy’s lap.
Taya is 5 and we just registered her for Kindergarten in the Fall! She is very excited to start school and asks us if school is “tomorrow” or if fall is “next week,” etc. She is very social and likes to be around her peers. She often asks, “Are we going somewhere today?” Taya is artistic and enjoys coloring, drawing, and painting. She has a fun sense of humor and enjoys making people laugh. I think she would be good at acting with the uncanny way she repeats movie lines. Taya is a wonderful playmate for Maggie and an adoring big sister to Dax.
We have a lively crew and I feel so fortunate that I can stay home with them!
There is not much else to report except that Matt recently went from working the 2-10 pm shift to working the 10 pm-6 am shift at the correctional facility. His days off are Wednesdays and Thursdays so the actual weekend doesn’t really feel like the weekend to us anymore which is strange. Working the 10 pm-6 am shift will allow Matt to see the kids for a longer period of time when they are in school than the 2-10 pm shift would have.
We have been back at Cornerstone Church of Ames and are enjoying the sermons and beautiful praise and worship music. I grew so much spiritually when I was in college being a part of Cornerstone Church and Salt Company and it feels good to be back, even for a short period of time. The girls are enjoying their Sunday school classes as well.
We plan to install new flooring, pick out new paint colors, and redo the upstairs bathroom at our new house after we close on it and I’m hoping to blog throughout the process, so stay tuned. 🙂