Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Well, another month got away from me. November and December were busy in the Dailey house. We are now all unpacked and settled into our home. I found the last box of Christmas decorations in the crawl space, behind the crib mattress. Once I found that box, I figured I know where everything is.

My dad came out for Thanksgiving. I enjoyed putting my kitchen to a true test with a turkey and all the fixings. We all really enjoyed it. Rocky worked the day after by shooting a story with the early risers at Target. (You can see it on Billingsgazette.com.) We did do a little shopping on Black Friday, but fortunately, the stores in our area were not that busy. Maggie had fun opening her presents from Papa "Wich" and visiting the airport.

We took Maggie to see Santa at the Gazette family Christmas party. She was very excite to see him, but didn't want to get too close. She took a bag of candy and the gift (a singing Eeyore), but wouldn't let us get close enough for a photo, even with Momma and Daddy. We also got a family photo taken and she was very good through that.

Rocky and I are both done with classes. I'm taking a break and am going to try to figure out what I'm going to do. The pre-reqs for the MBA course are difficult to do online, so I'm looking into other options for that. Rocky is still waiting to hear if he was accepted into the PhD program at MSU. So, no classes for us this spring.

Rocky's parents came out for Christmas. They got a chance to babysit Maggie. She really enjoyed spending time with them, unless Momma or Daddy was around. She loved playing "Get Papa!" or scare "Grain-ma". Several times, she would make sure all of us were around. She impressed Papa and Grandma with her prayers "Bess us oh Lowd" and her singing -- especially "Feliz Navidad." We got a very cute video of Maggie saying "Mewy Kis-mas, Felz Na-dad, Joy Nol" now we just need to get it so we can share it. She was a very good girl at Christmas eve services.

We had a really nice Christmas. Way too many presents, which at the time of this writing, some are still waiting to be opened by Maggie. She loved her kitchen and Woody doll. I think next year there will be a limit on the number of presents!! The rest of us were very blessed with gifts as well. We had a very nice lazy day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November 2007

I knew it had been a while since I last updated. But we have all been busy here since moving into our new home. We moved in September 21. We got some great help from a co-worker of Rocky's and a co-worker of mine (we've even found a babysitter!). We are in love with our new house. Rocky has done a great job of getting us unpacked and settled in (my job is to keep Maggie out of the way -- easier said than done some days). We bought a nice dining room table and chairs and are looking for a rug to go underneath. We recently purchased a sofa/loveseat set for the family room. We have found we need more bookcases (big surprise). Rocky has been hanging pictures so it really feels like we are home. Next spring, we will fence the backyard and look into some landscaping. I think we are going to try using rock around the fence to deter Otis from digging out.

Rocky's parents came out the weekend after we moved in. They brought the china cabinet we got from Uncle Matt and Bonnie helped me wash the china. We only lost 3 pieces -- which I thought was pretty good from it being packed in 1992 and having traveled quite a bit in the last 15 years. We got all the china in the cabinet with a little room left over for some crystal. While they were here, we celebrated Maggie's 2nd birthday. She had a lot of fun opening her presents. I think her favorite presents were her Piggly Winks dolls and her tea set. She opened the dolls first and was having so much fun, we saved the rest of her presents for later.

We also took a trip to South Dakota. I attended a nursing job fair at SDSU and Maggie & Rocky came along for the ride. Jeffery Darnell was born September 28th, so we also got to meet him while visiting pretty much all the other relatives in SD. It was a quick trip, but fun and hopefully worthwhile as far as recruits!

Maggie loves all the room in the house. She loves to run in big circles in the family room. She really loves just hanging out on the stairs. They are the perfect size for her. She is getting really good at going up and down them by herself, but will sometimes ask us to "care-we-u" (carry me). Her hair is getting long and sometimes she will even let me put in ponytails (not very often though). I have to be a little sneaky. We are working on Maggie sleeping in her own bed right now. She's doing pretty good, but does wake up at least once a night looking for me -- I need to train her to ask for Daddy.

We took Maggie trick or treating for the first time this year and she LOVED it! We took her to just a few houses in the neighborhood, which gave us a chance to meet some of our neighbors. It took her a few tries to get "Trick or Treat" out, but by the end, she was an old pro. I think at the last house she said "Trick or treat. Tank you. Welcome." She also enjoyed giving canny (candy) out to the kids who knocked on our door. Though I think she tried to give one little girl the tootsie roll that was in her hand and half eaten! And she always had to take a treat for herself after handing it out. I think we probably saw over 50 treaters, which is much more than we ever saw in Grand Rapids or Chester.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

September 2007

This is going to be one crazy fall! A week before we started officially looking for a house, we wandered through an open house on River Oaks Drive. It was a beautiful house, great view, had everything we wanted and was within our price range. The realtor showing the house said the builder was going to finish the basement and raise the price, so we though that would push it out of our price range. When we saw it in Sunday's paper for the same price, we decided to take another look. We asked our realtor about it (as he just happened to be the listing agent). Still within our price range, and still loving it, we decided to make an offer. 3 days later it was accepted and we will soon be home owners again! Now we need to find furniture to fill it up. We bought a refrigerator at Best Buy (that was our one MUST have before moving in) and are trying to prioritize the remaining wants: dining room table, sectional, grass, fence, new bed for us, bunk beds for Maggie, exercise glider, new guest bed. I put a few more pictures on the photo page. But I am just head over heels for my new kitchen! I can't wait to get in a start cooking! We close 9/21 and are moving in that weekend.

For Labor Day we drove to Eugene Oregon to visit my Aunt Patsy and Uncle Ed. Ed has cancer and we wanted to visit while we could. He looks great! He took Rocky to opening day for the Oregon Ducks (the Ducks won). Patsy and I played with Maggie and had a chance to catch up. Sunday we went to a winery and relaxed. It was a long drive, but very pretty. The Columbia River/Gorge is phenomenal! We got there late in the afternoon and enjoyed a beautiful sunset (after the sun was behind the hills). We took 2 days to drive home (better idea). The winds had shifted in Montana and we could actually see the mountains instead of just smoke. It is sad to see all the fires burning the state. So much charred ground. Intellectually, we know it is good for the mountains to have these fires, but it would be nice if they weren't all black at once!!

Both Rocky and I are trying to figure out how to go back to school as well. I'm STILL waiting for my accounting book, but as long as I attend the lectures and read the prof's notes, I can keep up (except with homework). Rocky is headed to some training this week and is hoping to do some reading while on the airplane. Maggie is moving up to the 2-year old group in day care! Doesn't see possible that she is going to be 2 very very soon. She's no longer a baby! She loves to try to do things herself -- especially change DVDs in her player! "I get it" is her new favorite phrase. When she tires of anything it is "Momma's turn!" (very rarely is it "Daddy's turn.") With the move coming up, we've put potty training and getting rid of the bottle on hold. I think moving up with the 2 year olds will push both of those. Maggie loves to be read to and is trying to read along to "Green Eggs and Ham." She also loves to sing and sings along to all her favorite theme songs "Veggie Tales", "Sesame Street", "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse", and of course "Elmo's World." She will actually recite most of several "Elmo's World" episodes, even though she rarely watches them anymore.

Friday, August 24, 2007

August 2007 part 2

There have been a few changes to the Dailey family since the last update, so I thought I would take minute to update the blog. I've been hemming and hawing about going back to school to get my MBA. My VP recommended UM (which is where I spent a year of college back in 91/92). So I got in touch with them to see what I would need to do as far as pre-reqs as my BA in English didn't require many business-type courses. Part of my hemming was me procrastinating because I didn't want to take Calculus. Well, for UM, I don't have to, but there are 5 pre-req courses that I have to take. Of course, I put it off and put it off. Because of that, I thought I'd just start Spring semester -- all the courses are internet based, so I didn't think there would be much of a problem. After talking to my contacts at UM, I found out that doing that would push back a possible start in the MBA program by over a year. So I bit the bullet and submitted my application for non-degree seeking status!! I'm 5 days past the registration deadline, but there is room in the class (internet based) and I shouldn't be too far behind by the time I'm able to register and get my books. Rocky starts class September 6. And we will once again be attending rival schools!!

Our other big news is we are starting the hunt for our "real" house. Our goal/hope is to be in our "real" house by Christmas. We want to find something newer and depending on what we see tomorrow, we may build. There is a lot of new construction around here and some nice neighborhoods. We both have fairly specific wants for our house and sometimes it just seems that building to get exactly what we want might be the way to go. Our top desire is for this to be our "forever home" and not have to build again unless we decide to relocate.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

August 2007

July turned into a busy month! Rocky is now gainfully employed by the Billings Gazette, the local paper as an on-line reporter. If you go to the above link and look under Multi-media, you can see some of his work. The timing was great. The week before, we got Maggie into day care at the YWCA. She is in a smaller class than the one in VA and seems to like it, though there are many more tears than before! Hopefully as she gets used to it, the tears will subside (for Rocky's sake). Rocky drops her off and I pick her up. He gets the hard part as I have to be to work by 7 and day care doesn't open until 7:30.

Grandma Alana drove out for a visit at the end of the month. She stayed over her birthday and mine. Maggie even stayed home with her 2 days while she was here. They had fun coloring, watching Maggie's shows and reading stories. I think Grandma was a little tired out after running after Maggie for 2 days. We also went to Zoo Montana. The Billings Clinic had a company picnic there. Maggie got to see lots of animals (and even got pecked by a chicken) and had her very first sno-cone -- her 2nd sno-cone she decided to wear, at which point we decided it was time to go home. Maggie seems to have shot up a bit in the past few weeks. We have had to do some clothes shopping for her. She is singing along with her shows and Grandma! Grandma got her to sing "Jesus Loves the Little Children." But when I asked her, she claimed she didn't know it. She surprised her day care providers by singing the ABCs to them. She is really starting to recognize her letters and numbers and is getting better at counting, though she loves to count to 3, regardless of how many items are there. "No!" is creeping it's way into her vocabulary more and more. Sometimes, you can tell she is trying to be funny.

We visited Great-Grandma Hansen this weekend. Maggie thought this would be a good time to show us she's ready to stop the afternoon naps (she's not!) We had lots of great food and Maggie loved visiting the horses that live near Grandma and going (out) "side!" It was Rocky's furthest trip west in Montana and his first time meeting Grandma. We got to see old pictures and some new pictures of all the cousins. We also heard a lot of great stories, which I need to write down so Maggie can hear them again someday. The drive along I-90 was beautiful. I keep expecting the mountains here to be like the mountains in Colorado. But there are so many ranges here with lots of prairie and farm land between. It is a stunning tribute to God's creation.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

July 2007

Maggie has been doing pretty good with potty training. She likes to sit on her potty and throw toilet paper in. She doesn't care if she is pantless or not, she just likes to sit on it. She does get excited if she goes while she's there, but hasn't gotten to the point of knowing when she's ready. She will talk your ear off and LOVES to talk on the phone. Even if no one is there. She will pick up a phone and say "Hello? Ohhh. Bye bye." She can count to 12 on her own and loves to sing the ABCs. She also tries to sing along with the Veggie Tales theme song.

On the 4th, we took a drive to Red Lodge Montana with the intent of driving a bit along 212, which is supposed to be the most scenic drive in America (according to Charles Kuralt). We drove a few switchbacks on the way up to Bear Tooth Pass, but as we've only been here a few weeks, Rocky didn't feel confident enough to make the drive to the top of the pass. Hwy 212 is one of the routes to Yellowstone. We are starting to look at the calendar and figure out when we'll trek down there for the first time. First, we need to find a kennel for the dogs. Once we get that, we can plan a lot more trips -- like to Eugene (probably over Labor Day) and Deer Lodge. We recently started a flexible schedule at work (4-10 hour days each week), so when my long weekends come around, we'll be able to do more. Plus, we'll be able to run errands during the week sometimes as well. And as always, visitors are welcome, just let us know when you're headed this way! We also discovered the drive-in theatre in Laurel. We have gone twice and seen "The Fantastic Four" and "Ratatouille." Maggie hasn't seen much of them, but it is nice for us to be able to get out and see a movie on the big screen. Plus, it's very affordable!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

June 2007 part 2

Here we are in Billings, Montana. It was an incredible drive! Rocky did an excellent job planning the drive: we were never in the car more than 10 hours any day. Maggie and the dogs did really well. The DVD player was wonderful, though we did shut it off a few times and she told us about all the cars on the road. We were able to spend about 1 1/2 (total) days in South Dakota. We arrived in Watertown Friday June 8 and left from Redfield on Sunday June 10 around 1:30. We took Highway 12 through SD and arrived in Billings about 9:30 that night. There was much confusion on Monday about where the movers were. Our Virginia cell phones don't work in Montana (not even roaming). Rocky ended up purchasing a calling card to use on his cell phone to clear up the confusion. Apparently, they didn't have our address. Rocky is fairly certain he gave it to a couple of people with the moving company. Regardless, they made and were done unloading the truck (at least of our stuff) by 5 p.m. that night. It was so nice to sleep in our own beds!! We didn't set up the crib and Maggie now has a cot almost like at day care. She does pretty good with napping on it, not so much sleeping at night though. We're all still adjusting! It stays light much later here than we are used to -- 9:00/9:30 p.m. before it gets very dark. Right now our only complaint is no central air -- and it's been fairly hot these last few days. Fortunately, it does cool off at night and we have all been sleeping well. Nala loves that cool night air!

So far, I am really enjoying my job. While most of it is familiar, there is still plenty to learn and of course a new hospital to get lost in. The Billings Clinic has done a lot of work to make it seem like you aren't in a hospital -- muted wall colors, lots of art work, everyone says hello. Walk into the front door and you think you are in a hotel. The ED waiting room looks like a ski lodge. Okay, enough selling from me! Rocky and Maggie seem to really enjoy their time together. Rocky is getting Maggie on a schedule, which of course is blown to bits the moment Mama walks in the door. It's kind of hard knowing Rocky gets to spend so much time with her every day, but when I see her at the stop of the stairs and hear her voice the minute I walk in the door, it's all worth it! Mags is really growing. She loves to talk on the phone, sing her ABCs and will count to ten (though sometimes leaves out 7).

Friday, June 1, 2007

June 2007

Okay, I'm a little behind. May was simply crazy! As you all know, we are relocating to Billings, Montana. After we both gave notice, the time seemed to zoom by. Our house was on the market for 7 days before it sold. That was a huge relief! Then Rocky's parents came for a visit. Rocky and Mike did a lot of work on the house that the buyer wanted. We took Maggie out of day care for a few days and she really warmed up to Papa and Grandma. She had fun running all over the place and all the attention. We also went up to Alexandria to visit Uncle Matt and his bride-to-be. Some of her grandchildren were there and Maggie had a great time running around with them. Uncle Matt also gave us his china cabinet! THANKS, Uncle Matt. Now, once we get our real house in Billings, I can finally display my grandmother's china.

The best news of all is we do have a place to live. We are renting a house until we can find our "real" house. This will give us time to look at neighborhoods, research the schools and figure out where we want to live for a long time. We don't want to move again!! Maggie and the dogs don't really seem to realize what's going on yet. We just have a few things left to pack, so I'm going to have her help me pack her clothes. So for the next few weeks we will be on the road. I start my new job on the 18th. And Rocky is looking forward to spending some time with Maggie and is looking into a PhD program.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

April 2007

April has gone by quickly! So much going on. We had a quiet Easter. It snowed the Saturday before so it was a little cold to do anything outside (it was very pretty though!). We did some shopping and got to listen to a reading at Barnes and Noble of "If you give a mouse a cookie." Maggie wasn't sure what to think of the mouse, but kept saying she wanted to say hi.

We still have to take her 18 month pictures, even though she's almost 19 months old now. She had her first dental visit this month. She didn't like it very much, but the student dentist (we went to the dental school) said she has very healthy teeth. She likes to brush her teeth. She talks so much. She is starting to get frustrated when she can't do something or we don't understand her. She is starting to count -- and can count to 6, though she usually forgets 1. She also loves to sing a long with Elmo or the ABC song.

Maggie and Rocky have gotten a lot of Dadda/Daughter time this month. I've had some extra time at work for events and even made a 3 day trip to Billings Montana on an interview for a recruiter position for the Billings Clinic. I liked them and they liked me, so we are moving to Billings this summer!! We are very excited to move back west and be within a day’s drive of family. I'm happy I found a position that is similar to my current position. Rocky is looking for jobs, but is also looking forward to the possibility to staying home with Maggie for a while. Though, we do want to find something for Maggie at least part time so she can continue to get interaction with other kids.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day! It has been a fairly uneventful March. We enjoyed a short trip to Hershey and Wilkes Barre, Pa. Our trip to Hershey was the first time Rocky and I have taken a trip that didn't involve visiting anyone or one of us working or attending a conference! We did end the trip with a quick visit to Rocky's sister Shelly and family. Maggie liked all the attention on the vacation, even if most of the people in Hershey thought she was a little boy. She loved running up and down the halls, eating all the chocolate and seeing the sights. Every time we saw a cow she would tell us they can Moo. She can tell you what sounds many animals make and will try to repeat almost everything we say. Very recently "No" and "My" seem to have become favorite words. She is really loving any kind of animal and was very excited to meet Aunt Shelly's cat Butters. She chased Butters around, but only wanted to look at his face.

The big excitement in Richmond was VCU's men's basketball team making it into the NCAA tournament. They made it to the 2nd round, but lost in overtime to Pitt.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

February 2007

Maggie continues to grow and amaze us by what she can do. She seems to have entered the Monkey phase. She loves to climb. She loves to put diapers on her babies. She loves her puppies and will give them lots of hugs. Maggie seems to really love being in Junior Toddlers. We hang out for a few minutes before dropping her off and she always has to show us something. She really loves playing in their little kitchen -- cooking and cleaning! She doesn't cry very often when we drop her off. If Lucy is there, they will sit and have Cheerio's together or will go play. We have our first parent conference tomorrow, but I have no concerns about how she's doing. Maggie will bite on occasion, but it doesn't seem to be a problem - yet. Maggie is talking more and we are really starting to understand her. Cousin Zac visited again this past weekend. After he explained one of his theories, Maggie said "You're smart." Not sure if she intended to put aleck on the end of that or not.

Maggie and I have spent our last couple of flex days playing at the mall. Maggie has no problem warming up to new kids, though she also likes playing alone. We went to church last Sunday and she seemed to have a great time, and now that football season is over, we may start going more often and going to the later service. Rocky and I are still just plugging away at work and not much interesting to say. We are hoping to take a short trip over spring break. We had hoped to be able to afford a real Spring Break - WOO HOO trip, but airline prices seem to be jumping up a lot!

We do ask for your prayers for my Uncle Ed and Aunt Jeanne who are suffering illness. Rocky's mom is doing very well and hasn't seen any illness in quite some time. She and Mike are officially retired and are hoping to come visit this May.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Happy New Year 2007

2007. Wow. 2006 went by very fast. It was amazing to watch Maggie grow through the past year. I look back at her newborn pictures and just marvel. She is walking all over and talks a mile a minute. We're not always certain what she is saying, but she is getting good at sign language and can almost always make herself understood. A week from Monday she moves up to Junior Toddlers. She gets to move up with her best friend Lucy. She and Lucy are so cute together. When they see each other in the morning, they squeal with delight, do their secret handshake and catch up on the latest gossip. Sometimes, they let Hayden play with them. We are hoping that when Hayden moves up, he'll get in the same room as well. The more familiar faces that are there, the easier the drop off will be in the mornings. Maggie has started blowing kisses and even gave her Daddy a big kiss last night before bed. Rocky starts classes again on Tuesday. And I endured my second root canal -- though this one wasn't as bad as the first, probably because I requested the nitrous oxide. I was feeling really good after that!!