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Some Happy News…

I have some happy news . . . I finally finished my long-term dog photography project after seven years of work, including a year of revisions!  I am very elated to have finished this body of work inspired by our sweet dear Biscuit, who changed my life forever.  It is just a feat to finish.  It was one of the hardest endeavors I have ever undertaken.  There were so many times I thought I would never finish; many times where I encountered problems that I had to figure out and resolve; many times I experienced intense fear; many times I felt like my revisions would never end; and there were many times where the path felt uncertain.  However, my desire to finish this body of work outweighed everything else, and I really learned to trust the process and journey.  I, ultimately, learned to have blind faith through this process.  I am ecstatic to be on the other side, which, often times, felt like I would never reach this point, during this process.  I learned so much about myself during this process, while seeing this project though to the end, through think and thin, which is the only way to make dreams happen.  (I previously wrote a blog post about what I learned during this creative endeavor, here.)  I am really proud of this body of work, and I hope that it will positively impact others; and, importantly, helps other dogs like Biscuit and Victory.  My blad and proposal are nearly complete, and I am excited to move onto the next steps of shepherding this work out into the world.

So, if there is something you really want to accomplish, it is possible, and I encourage you to try.  The Universe will always support you.  I am so sincerely grateful to my mentor, Deborah Samuel, who has helped shape my path and provides countless advice, feedback, encouragement, and support.

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.  The hunt to uncover those jewels — that’s creative living.  The courage to go on that hunt in the first place — that’s what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one.  The often surprising result of that hunt — that’s what I call Big Magic.”  — Elizabeth Gilbert

 

 

(Image credit: Morgan Harper Nichols).

Twenty One Month and Twenty Second Month Snapshot: Alexandra

I completed the monthly snapshots of our beloved Alex during her first year.  Here is the snapshot of Alex’s twenty first month and twenty second month!  (You can view Alex’s thirteenth and fourteenth months here; Alex’s fifteenth and sixteenth months here; Alex’s seventeenth and eighteenth months here; and Alex’s nineteenth and twentieth months here).  Alex is changing all of the time and she continues to grow like a weed and she has the loveliest hair curls — I think we might be getting close to her first hair trim in the near future!

Joan Didion said, “Life changes fast.  Life changes in the instant.”  This is so true, especially now.  Life as we know it has changed, greatly.  Things are very different due to COVID-19.  This post is different than Alex’s other blog posts, as during this period of time, we were in quarantine, which continues.   We have no idea when Alex will return to school; however, she is doing daily Zoom sessions with her class, which she enjoys.  I know that I will miss this time together, whenever this period ends.  We fell into a daily rhythm, early on, and we spend as much time as we can outside together, while embracing the nice weather, which has vacillated between warm and cold weather this spring.  Alex loves to run outside and burn her energy, always.  Alex loves spotting puppies and other animals, while on our walks.  Our Governor left one State Park open, which we frequent.  Alex absolutely loves throwing rocks with her Daddy into the river!  We have found new trails and places that we have never been during this time, as everything is closed.  During our walks and hikes together, Alex loves collecting sticks and she is in love with storm drains and water run off reservoirs — she finds them fascinating!  She also absolutely loves to do bubbles, too.  (We made sure we stocked up on bubble solution during this time, which has been hard to come by, along with other items, which we take for granted!)

Alex continues to change all of the time.  Her favorite song, currently, is “Skip to My Lou” — she absolutely loves it, and she dances to it as well!  She does not watch television, but she does like watching a few clips, at a time, of the Super Simple Songs.  Alex loves to FaceTime as well!  One of Alex’s favorite things to do is doing the Highlights “Find It” pages.  She is captivated with finding the items in the pictures; and she also enjoys greatly looking at her books asking us and telling us what is contained in the pictures.  Alex also loves looking and learning about animals in her Ranger Rick Cub magazine.  She is learning to count and she recognizes some letters, already!  She is talking more each day, too!

We celebrated Easter at home with Alex and Victory!  They seemed to have a great time with their Easter baskets!  We also spent Mother’s Day at home filled with beautiful weather and a fun walks together, along with take out for dinner!  I am so grateful.  I still cannot believe Alex is almost two-years-old!  The time is flying too fast and we are doing our best to savor it.  Due to the COVID-19, we cancelled her birthday plans, this summer, and we will celebrate at home together instead.  And, we will also likely cancel our vacation plans as well.  I will always remember this time for many reasons.  We will have many stories to share with Alex, someday, when she is older, from this time together!  I do my best to capture our time together via photographs.

Alex still cuddles with me before bed and she sits with me in the glider where she loves to spot items in her Highlights and her books with me before bed.  She is sleeping and napping really well these days, thankfully, and she is eating well, too!  Everything is always changing and it is all so fleeting.  What I will remember from these months is how she wakes up talking to herself in her crib, while looking at her books, which she loves.  She is entertaining herself more in the mornings, which is great, especially during this time of great juggling between everything!  Victory and Alex are closer than ever.  Alex’s new hobby is feeding Alex from her high chair!  Victory, I believe, has no complaints!  Alex and Victory are always up for an outing and adventure!   We took the girls to get ice cream on more than on occasion, and we all ate our ice cream in the car together!  Alex is becoming her own little person right before our very eyes, and she is looking more, and more like a little girl!  I feel so fortunate.  It has been such as journey.  We are doing our best to embrace the now, the present.  We are so grateful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few iphone images from Alex’s twenty first month!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twenty first month — Alex riding her Roadster!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twenty first month — Alex trying the Peloton for the first time!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twenty first month — Alex and Doug throwing rocks into the river together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A few iphone images from Alex’s twenty second month!

 

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twenty second month — Alex dancing on her hands to Redbone!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twenty second month — Alex feeding Victory some food!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twenty second month — Alex and Doug flying a kite together!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twenty second month — Alex running over a bridge!

What Does this Make Possible?

We are already into the eighth week of being in quarantine.  This is a scary and uncertain time, and the whole world feels crazy and bizarre.  I understand how uncertain this time can feel, and I hope you are able to transform this storm into a season of growth. 

I know this pandemic is causing pain across the globe.

People are sick and scared; they are hungry and desperate.

Many small business owners scramble and wrestle with some big questions.

Those that work in the retail or the service industry jobs are feeling another layer of pain and fear through all of this.

Brave medical personnel and other front-line personnel around the world are literally putting themselves at risk for each of us.

I am also watching a shift occur.

We are home.

We are spending time with loved ones.

We have the space to try new things.

We have the space to explore nature.

We have the space for introspection.

So many of us are falling in love with a new kind of simplicity.

People around us are longing for clarity, peace, and hope.

Through this experience, thus far, I have learned that a simpler life is not a limited life.  When this quarantine is over, I have no idea how things will look; but, I know that I will likely treasure my days together with our little family, even with the difficult days, the uncertainty, and the juggle of it all.  It is a time I will never forget for so many reasons, and we all get a choice how we choose to show up during this time.

What does this time at home make possible?  How can you grow and evolve intentionally during this strange season?

Wishing you peace, health, and safety.

 

Pandemic Puppy

 

Our sweet and beloved Victory, has been such a comfort during this pandemic.  We have all adjusted to our ‘new normal,’ for the most part, going on seven weeks of quarantine, and I am not sure what we would do without her.  Victory has always been a part of every facet of our lives, but she is especially such a source of comfort and solace during this time.  We love her so much.  In fact, other people, who normally would not otherwise have a dog are getting ‘pandemic puppies.’

According to a recent article, “[p]ets have been shown to help ease feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression—making them seemingly ideal companions for an emergency situation that demands isolating ourselves from friends, family, and our normal day-to-day interactions.  Pets can also decrease feelings of isolation, and force us to get off the couch every few hours, traits that are perhaps even more important in the era of social distancing, says Kitty Block, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.  According to PetPoint, an application that collects data from more than 1,000 animal-welfare organizations in North America, in the recent weeks, adoption rates have varied greatly across the country, while instances of fostering have increased significantly in aggregate.”  In some areas, there is such a high demand to adopt a dog or animal, that some people leave empty handed and have to return multiple times.

There are also many animals being surrendered to shelters and rescue organizations during this pandemic as their humans are unable to care for them for one reason or another, such as financial reasons.  So, if you think a dog might help you during this time, and you feel you are able to rescue and adopt an animal, for the long term, a ‘pandemic puppy,’ might just do the trick to lift your spirits.  According to this article, “[a]s long as new owners act intentionally and with long-term planning in mind, the prolonged stretch of time at home may likely provide a unique chance for owners to bond with new dog.  This difficult period may mean that people become more attached and attuned to their pets than if they were seeing their animals for only a few hours a day, while working under ordinary circumstances, which may help get them through the hurdles of pet ownership with less frustration.”

Victory has been with us for six-and-a-half years, already, which is difficult to believe.  Importantly, Victory, our rescue sheltie, has given us the invaluable gifts of endless love, joy, and peace during this pandemic.  We feel so grateful and blessed to have her as part of our family; and we are grateful to all be together during this time.

 

Here is a video where Alex has learned to feed Victory from her high chair versus dropping the food on her mat for Victory to eat!  I know Victory is pleased!

Helpful, Wise Quotes

 

How are you doing today?  There have been so many moments lately where I am at a loss for words.  So, I figured, why not turn to the uplifting words of others?  Here are a few of my favorite quotes for whenever I need a dose of wisdom.

“You can cut all the flowers, but you can never keep spring from coming.” — Pablo Neruda

“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” — Madeleine L’Engle

“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things that do fall under the jurisdiction… I can select what I can read and eat and study.  I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life — whether I will see them as curses or opportunities.  I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others.  And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.” — Sakyong Mipham

“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be.  Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose.  Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go.  Acceptance is a small, quiet room.” — Cheryl Strayed

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” — Maya Angelou

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.  You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.  That’s what this storm’s all about.” — Haruki Murakami

“We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved.  They come together and they fall apart.  Then they come together and they fall apart again.  The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” — Pema Chödrön

“Being intelligent is not being studious.  It’s knowing how to be fulfilled in all circumstances.” — Wayne Dayer

“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“In every crisis there is a message.  Crises are nature’s way of forcing change breaking down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place.” — Susan L. Taylor

“I believe that beyond this space and time, all is well and all will be well.” — Oprah

Finding Grace During a Pandemic

How are all of you hanging in there?  I know that this pandemic is challenging for everyone’s lives, including animals, which has been turned upside down.  As a mom of a young child, I’ll admit that it is a difficult time for us, at times.  In the beginning, I felt more optimistic, as this time is feeling more like a marathon than a sprint.  Fast forward, we are now on day 33 of quarantine, and there have been moments of pure frustration and exhaustion, as a result juggling motherhood and working simultaneously without our support system.  We have been stripped of Alex’s school, sitters, local museums, swimming lessons, parks, libraries, book stores, playdates, playgrounds, etc.  It is all a great loss to us, and it is an entirely different way of living than we are accustomed to.

What I have learned through these past few weeks is that there is a ‘new normal’ and we presently cannot do work and parent in the same way or at the same level during this pandemic.  My ‘best’ right now looks a lot different now.  We are figuring things out as we go.  And, I have soon realized it is ok, and it is necessary to reset expectations and allow yourself grace.  Doug and I tag team the best we can.  But some days, we are honestly getting through the day because we are so exhausted.  Weekends no longer feel like weekends — they are not distinguishable from other days of the week.  Whether people admit it or not, we are all struggling, to a degree, trying to figure out the best way to live each day, together.  One of the more challenging parts of this pandemic is that we have no idea when this “sheltering in place” will end; and we have no idea how our world will look after we get to the ‘other side’ of the pandemic.  It certainly will be interesting.

I know that there will be many lessons and unexpected gifts to take away from this time.  Despite everything, Doug and I are really grateful.  We are being forced to pivot and be creative in many ways.  Someone wise said to me, recently, “this will pass and all we’ll have is what we did with the time.”  I found those words so helpful.  I have been photographing our time together during this pandemic as recording of this time in order to look back on together some day.  I have found getting good rest helps; having a gratitude practice really helps; truly being present in the moment also helps; feeling your feelings of disappointment and loss; cuddling up with your animal (our beloved Victory is a constant source of support for all of us); and allowing yourself much grace during this time.  I have found the following resources, during this time, helpful, and you might, too.  This is a great podcast; here is a great Ted Talk; and, here is another helpful podcast.  (And, as a side note, if you need toilet paper, check this place out.)  Stay safe.

Finally, I love these words, below, entitled Grace, by Morgan Harper Nichols.

“I cannot tell you what this season will bring out of you, but I can tell you that it matters to keep showing up every day.  I can tell you that it matters to give love, even though you do not think you are good enough.  Your presence matters, even in this chapter.  Even if you feel overlooked, alone, or far from home, you belong in this life just as much as anyone else, no matter how others see you, or how you see yourself.  Whether you are having the most productive week or you feel like you are falling apart at the seams, there are signs of strength and movement with every breath you breathe.  So take heart, breathe deep.  Even before things fall into place.  For even here, in these unknowns, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace.”

 

 

Loving: Spring 2020

Happy spring!  The trees are in full bloom here, despite the ongoing pandemic.  Below are a few things I have been recently loving this spring!

 

 

1. Alice + Ames Dresses — I love these dresses!  They are the best!  These dresses are made with extremely comfortable material along with simple design.  Alex now has a handful of these dresses.  I will, for sure, be purchasing them for her for the years to come!  I love the simplicity of design of these dresses and Alex loves to twirl in them as well!  I had fun picking these dresses out along with her new spring and summer clothes!

2. Bob Stroller  — Alex officially outgrew her Bugaboo Fox, which we loved.  I, initially, thought we would be in that stroller until Alex was around age three.  However, that was not the case!  It never crossed my mind, when we got the Bugaboo, that she would outgrow it so quickly.  The Bob Stroller is our last stroller purchase, and we are happy with the Bob stroller; it rides well and maneuvers well; Alex likes it; and Alex can be in it for awhile, we hope!  We have put a lot of miles on the Bob stroller, recently, and it has come in really handy for us during our frequent walks together.

3. All Along You Were Blooming — I first learned about this book on a recent podcast where I first learned of Morgan Harper Nichols‘ work.  I find her work and poems quite inspirational.  You can read this book cover to cover or pick random pages each day, which, for sure, will provide inspiration and thoughts for reflection.  I highly recommend this book!

4. Unlocking Us with Brene Brown — This podcast is so great!  I highly recommend it!  This podcast reflects both the magic and the messiness of what it means to be human.  The interviews and conversations are really fascinating.  I highly recommend this podcast!

5. Little Fires Everywhere  — At the beginning of our quarantine, we started this series.  It is so, so good.  We love it and cannot wait to see how the series ends.  Based upon the best selling book, this series explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood — and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

6. Fromm Dog Treats — We tried some new dog treats for Victory!  And, she loves them and she gives them two paws up!

You can view other things I love here!

Photographs: Julie Blackmon

Have you seen the wonderful images by Julie Blackmon?  I have always loved her work.

Julie Blackmon is a photographer who lives and works in Missouri.  She majored in art education and photography during college, and she began photographing seriously in her late thirties.  Her photographs are inspired by her experience of growing up in a large family, her current role as both mother and photographer, and the timelessness of family dynamics.  Many of her photographs are inspired by 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings of domestic life.  Blackmon photographs are carefully orchestrated to include members of her own family with a sense of an uncanny.  Sometimes her photographs are made up of several images via Photoshop.  Blackmon has been quoted as saying, “I know I’m very much defined as the ‘family’ photographer, but I don’t think of it quite this way,” she says.  “I’m just looking around at my everyday life and, like any artist, trying to make sense of it.”

Prior to the COVID-19, Julie Blackmon’s photographs were on display at Robert Mann Gallery/Fotografiska New York until May 2, 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos are courtesy of Julie Blackmon.

How Are You Doing?

 

 

How are you fairing with everything going on during these strange times?  I personally have never ever experienced a time like this before.

We’re hanging in there.  We have been really busy with Alex who is home from school.  We have managed, to our best ability, keep her busy and we get outside twice a day on most days.  The fresh air helps everyone.  We have found a new schedule and pace of things, as the days pass.  It is definitely different than our norm and more challenging to get things done, for sure.  Alex misses her friends and school, as do we.  We all did a Zoom yesterday with Alex’s teacher and friends from school.  During this time, we have experienced great joy to intense meltdowns with Alex within minutes of each other.  Doug and I are traversing our way though everything with Alex home from school.  Some days feel really long and challenging, while others pass quickly, like usual.  Sometimes, it is really difficult to believe this pandemic is happening.  Someone wise said to me, recently, “this will pass and all we’ll have is what we did with the time.”  I found those words so helpful.

However, we are doing our best to thrive versus survive this time.  I am doing my best to look on the brighter side of things, most days, even though what is going on is truly awful for people experiencing really hard times and sickness.  Everyone is experiencing some type of hardship.  Reflecting on this time, so far, it is the most time the four of us have collectively spent together since Alex was born.  We have had to be very creative, which has been interesting, as we cannot go on our typical outings together.  We have taken car rides together, gone to open fields that we have never been to before in order to get everyone out of the house.  Bubbles have been a hit as well.  I think Doug has purchased every type of ball for Alex from tennis balls to kick balls, as she loves them and we have already lost a few of them as well!  (She even likes to sleep with some of her balls — go figure!)  Alex is still really into studying her books, so we always do that with her in the evenings before bed.  The pace of life has not been so frenetic as usual, which has been a nice change of pace not to have to be somewhere at a certain time.  Doug and I have more time to talk and visit.  We actually are getting to watch a little television in the evening on Hulu and Netflix.  We are all getting a little more sleep at night, which never hurts.  Perhaps some good things will come from this uncertain time.  I have found the most beautiful things often can come from difficult times.  I am grateful that we are healthy and we can all be home together, for now.  Stay safe.  Sending love.

 

(Top image credit: Morgan Harper Nichols).

Nineteen Month and Twenty Month Snapshot: Alexandra

I completed the monthly snapshots of our beloved Alex during her first year.  Here is the snapshot of Alex’s nineteenth month and twentieth month!  (You can view Alex’s thirteenth and fourteenth months here; Alex’s fifteenth and sixteenth months here; and Alex’s seventeenth and eighteenth months here).  Alex is changing all of the time and she is still growing like a weed!

How is our little girl already twenty months old!  The time continues to fly by very quickly!  I cannot believe we will have a two-year-old in short order!  This is such a sweet time, and there has been so much change in these last two months.  Alex is finally sleeping consistently throughout the night and it has really made a difference.  Since birth, Alex has not been the best sleeper at night.  Right now, her sleep is consistent and predictable, and I am honestly getting the best sleep since before she was born.  Her hair is getting longer, and she still has her lovely curls.  We can even do little pigtails now!  She is not a picky eater, and she is willing to try anything.  She is also working on getting her two-year molars.

Alex is quite outgoing, she has a sense of humor, and she is fun and adventurous!  She has the cutest laugh and giggle!  She is dancing up a storm and she loves to dance (she makes up her own dances) on the hardwood floors at home!  She loves music and she makes up her own songs, which she sings, and it is so endearing.  She still loves her bath time and she loves practicing going under water and blowing bubbles during this time!  She has even started to take a few showers with me, and she loves it!  She also is really into balls right now — she loves to throw them and play with them!  Alex is also captivated by her Daddy’s trains, shown below!  She still loves to read her books, she loves for us to read to her, and she enjoys going to the library and bookstore.  A favorite book right now, is the “I spy” books!  She loves looking at her books, and she frequently says, “What’s that?”  She is spending more time on her own reading her books and playing, which is great!  She also loves coloring.  She made the cutest Valentine for us at school and we gave the girls Valentine gifts, which they loved!  Alex loves going to school and she enjoys learning and being with her friends at school.  Alex is learning to count numbers and she is saying more words and she seems to comprehend and understand more and more each day.  Her favorite that phrase is, “What’s that?”  Alex still loves to be outside and go to the play grounds.  She is quite curious; and, she never forgets anything!

However, it has been a tough winter filled with sickness here.  Alex missed at least a week of school as she had fevers, a double ear infection, and bad cold.  It took multiple rounds of antibiotics to kick the infection.  I then got run down taking care of Alex, and I got strep, the flu, pink eye, and a bad cold all in quick succession.  Then, Doug got a bad cold.  This all happened over a six week stretch.  We just cannot wait for spring to come fast enough, and it’s almost here, technically!  Victory and Alex bonded during all of this sickness, as she is so attentive to everyone in our home.  As a result, there are not as many photos taken during this time, as I did not feel well.

Once everyone felt better, we took Alex to the train store to get a few things for Doug’s train set up.  After much work, Doug has nearly finished his train set up, a passion of his, and he can run three trains simultaneously!  And, it is so sweet, because each night, Alex asks to go up and have Doug run the trains!  The trains have never been run so much, ever!  It is so nice Doug can share his passion with Alex!  (A brief video is shown below).  Doug even got Alex a girl’s conductor’s hat, and Alex loves to conduct in only her diaper, of course!  We are working on getting Victory to come up during this train time, but she is not yet comfortable.  So, we bring Victory up during this time, only to have her leave!  So, we are working on it!  For Valentine’s Day, Doug got Alex an Ikea train, which she loves and she is pretty good putting the track together and ‘running her own train’ liker her Daddy!

We also took Alex to Port Discovery, a children’s museum, with her little friend from school.  Alex had a great time.  It is one of the neatest and most interactive places that I have been to for kids.  As you will see in the images below, there was a large slide, four stories high, and one had to be five years in order to go down the slide.  So Doug broke the rules, and they climbed up to the top together, as he knew Alex would love it.  They reached the top, and Alex sat right down on the slide; and, thankfully, the museum worker let them go down the slide even though Alex is clearly not five-years-old.  It was neat to watch them go down together!  Alex still seems to have no fear and she is pretty adventurous!  There were so many activities for the children, and Alex really enjoyed pretending to be a cashier and pressing all of the buttons on the cash register checking people out with their food!

We were finally recently able to get Alex back into swimming lessons after everyone got over being sick!  She still loves it!  Doug and I take turns going in the pool with her!  And, we now have Alex on a wait list for a gymnastics class since she is so active and loves to climb!  That should be fun as well!

We also went with Alex on a school field trip to the Maryland Science Center, where she had a wonderful time with her class!  Alex loved the Kid’s Room and she especially loved the dinosaur exhibit!  She had a great time exploring, as always!

We were fortunate to get some fun outings in, described above, before things really changed out here late last week due to the COVID-19.  We hope you are all staying safe.  It is a really crazy time, isn’t it?  We will have to be really creative to keep Alex occupied, while finding safe ways for her to burn her energy!  Most everything is cancelled out here and work schedules have been modified greatly for many people.

Alex still cuddles with me for a little bit before bed and sits with me in the glider.  She no longer falls asleep in my arms outside of her being really sick.  It is a reminder that everything is always changing and it is all so fleeting.  What I will remember from these months is how she wakes up talking to herself in her crib, and it is so captivating.  She is entertaining herself more in the mornings, which buys us a little time!  However, she loves to and prefers to play with us!  How she greets Victory in the morning with a big smile and wave, whereby Alex says, “Hi Tory!”  I always love her big smile, which melts our hearts.  Alex also loves to run up to us, and she gives us hugs on our legs, while we are standing.  It is so sweet.  And, she is always up for an outing and adventure!   She is becoming her own little person right before our very eyes!  I feel so fortunate.  It has been such as journey.  We are doing our best to embrace the now, the present.  We are so grateful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few iphone images from Alex’s nineteenth month!

 

 

Here is a video from Alex’s nineteenth month — Victory being such a good ‘big sister’ to Alex!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s nineteenth month — Alex feeding Victory some treats!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s nineteenth month — Doug and Alex running the trains together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few iphone images from Alex’s twentieth month!

 

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twentieth month — Alex coloring!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twentieth month — Alex at her swimming lesson!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s twentieth month — Alex and Victory sitting together during a dinner together outside!