Sunday, December 27, 2015

End of Year Update

We bought a house at the beginning of October and moved in the week of Halloween.  Gavin has tons of room to run and we still have two rooms that are unfurnished (the house has three living/family rooms and we only have furniture in the one with the tv).  One is empty and Gavin just runs and jumps there.  The other one currently holds our Christmas tree and a boatload of toys.  The window sill in that one is the perfect height for Gavin to play at and I should probably clean the finger prints off the window at some point. 

The backyard is not huge, but sufficient, and fenced.  And we have lots of room for guests and in the course of just over a week we housed my cousin, her husband and their son (just older than Gavin!); my brother's family of six; and my parents.  None of those groups at once, but in very quick succession.  Four bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, just down the street from the school where Gavin will most likely attend kindergarten and first grade. 

And as for Gavin, he talks all the time and is forming phrases and can kind of hold a conversation.  He's sleeping in a twin bed now and we took down the crib today.  He had a very mild case of hand foot and mouth virus the week before Christmas and had a day of a stomach bug two days before Christmas.  He loves to yell at our cat Lilly.  "Lilly, down!"  "Lilly, nap!"  "Lilly, eat!" (this last one yelled at her while he held a head of garlic).  My heart melts when he says "Love you mama" or brings a book and sits in my lap.  And he plays with my hair now, which I hope never ends.  While he was sick over the past few weeks I let him nap in my bed and while he napped I read beside him and snoozed myself. 

Speaking of reading, I'm doing more of it.  I usually go to bed soon after Gavin and spend an hour or so reading before I fall asleep.  Which is why I'm slower in updating the blogs.  I'm almost finished with a book about the building of the Hooover Dam and for Christmas I got a new bio of Nelson Rockefeller and the McCullough book about the Wright Brothers.  And that's where I'm headed now. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dear Gavin

Dear Gavin,

Tonight after dinner at the home of friends, you wanted to go outside to play among the big kids.  You don't yet play with them but you absolutely love being with other kids.  You giggle at their antics and run run run around them.  But you still held my hand.  As we ran down the drive way and then back up the yard you held my hand and if you let go you turned around to  make sure that I was with you. 

I know that I will not always be your #1, nor do I want to be.  But I love that I am a source of comfort to you now.  I love that you say mama and that you run to me at the end of the day.  I love that you reach out for me when you want to get out of your crib or high chair, or if you get hurt.

I want you to grow up to be independent and able to meet your needs on your own.  And I want you to, someday, walk away from me with a wave and go on to college and whatever else your life holds.  But I hope that you'll still turn around to make sure that I'm there in the background somewhere, not so silently rooting you on. 

You are already the embodiment of so many dreams come true and we're not even a year and a half into this relationship.  You're a wonderful little boy and it will be my pleasure to see you grow into a wonderful man, and maybe even to help you become that. 

But for now, please keep holding my hand and looking to make sure that I'm right there behind you.  I love you with a love that I couldn't imagine 18 months ago and I am so excited for all that we have ahead of us. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

One of the reasons I like living in Idaho

We spent the weekend among great friends in Utah.  It was almost an entirely enjoyable weekend.  Living closer to so many people that we love was a big sell on moving the Idaho.  These are friends that one or both of us have known for a long time.  And most of them have kids for Gavin to play with.  He loves other kids and I love watching him run run run and giggle with them. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Zoo

This morning we met some cousins at the local zoo.  Gavin went to the Buffalo zoo twice before but this is the first time he's been old enough to really enjoy it.  It took him a few minutes to get comfortable with it but then he took off walking and talking and enjoying himself.  He got to pet some goats but wasn't interested in touching the llama.  He had a lot to say to some fox like creatures (I didn't get a chance to read all the signage saying what the animals were). 
Gavin just loves being around other kids and I happen to have a cousin (and few, actually) who live here in town who has a son just a few months older than Gavin.  There were some amazing laughs from these two during our visit to the zoo today. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Words

I recently heard an interview with a writer (Matthew Dicks) who said that at the end of each day he writes down a brief story from his day.  He said that this helps him keep better memories of his daily goings on.  I've been thinking a lot lately about how quickly these days with a toddling, babbling Gavin are going.  This is the only summer when he'll be a brand new walker.  By this time next year he'll be even more independent and speaking in phrases/sentences.  And while I'm excited for all that is coming I'm more than a little sad that we'll never have this stage of Gavin again.  Couple that with the fact that he very well may be our only child and I want to grab hold of these moments and cherish them, or at least the good ones, which are the majority.  I won't share everything here, because like so many of the pictures we take and even more of the times that we don't photograph, there are so many moments that are only for us.  

So here's my first brief story...

Gavin talks a lot and I love it.  He mostly just repeats what we say but every day he has more and more words that he says on his own.  In the morning as soon as I get him dressed he's running to the door and asking to go for a "walk."  So almost every morning he and I go for a morning walk, during which he talks up a storm.  Some of it is just babble but he also talks quite a bit about "trucks" and "birds."  He talks when we're in the car and when he's playing alone with his toys and he talks when he's falling asleep and when he's waking up in the morning.  He talks when he has a book open on his lap.  The best thing in the world might be when our kid learns something new and shows us that it's possible to get excited about things that seem rather mundane to me.  So I'm off to be so I can be ready early enough tomorrow for a Monday morning walk with my son.   

Sunday, June 07, 2015

A little update

Things got kind of busy for the Forbes in October and November.  At the end of September Stewart spent a couple days in Idaho interviewing for a job with the federal government.  When he applied for the job in July we never expected him to get an interview and when he got an interview we didn't expect him to get an offer and even if he did we didn't expect him to get an offer good enough to entice us to Idaho.  So it kind of feels like a series of dares that led to us leaving a life we loved in Buffalo for Idaho Falls, ID.  Our last day of work in Buffalo was November 6.  We first traveled east to visit Stewart's family and say goodbye (again) to old friends. 
 On our way out of town we picked up Stewart's sister Rachel so we'd have a third driver and someone to help us keep Gavin entertained on the drive.  Then we stopped back in Buffalo to finish cleaning and pick up our cats and start the drive across the country.  We had three adults, a teething baby and two house cats in our Ford Escape.  Everybody was a champ for the drive.  Gavin slept a lot. 
 We listened to all the available episodes of the Serial podcast, lot of music and other podcasts and tried not to go stir crazy.  Because of timing we weren't able to take our time.  On that first day we left Albany around 5pm, then we left Buffalo around midnight, and we arrived in Kansas City, KS around 8pm local time to stay with some old friends.  We caught up with them and slept for most of the night.  They hadn't yet met Gavin and we hadn't met their second, third and fourth children so a visit was probably a bit late.  I think the last time we saw them was 2008 when we met up at Disneyworld.  Jen was an amazing source of support through our whole adoption, partly because they had been through it themselves, and partly because she's just a genuinely good person.  Seriously, I have not right to be in her circle of friends, but again, she's a really good person.   
Gavin slept more the next day and missed seeing more of this great country.  Fortunately he'll probably get to experience at least one more cross country move in his childhood.  Our second day of driving was a bit easier.  We made it to the Denver area to stay the night with a couple (now family) that we knew while we lived in Albany.  They adopted a little boy about seven months before Gavin was born so I wanted to see them so we could meet each others' babies and share adoption stories.  
Our last big day of driving was the easiest, going from Denver to Orem, UT.  Except for the part near Vail where we almost drove off the road due to icy conditions and being a little tired.  Gavin woke up that morning around 4am and needed a bath due to a blow out.  The three of us never made it back to sleep.  Poor guy really put up with a lot.  I did the last leg of the drive that day, through Spanish Fork canyon in slight rain/snow/hail/whatever and after dark without being familiar with the roads.  It was more than a little scarey at times but we made it to my sister's house in Orem.  She and her family were gone so were able to go to bed a bit earlier that night.  Gavin had another rough night, partly due to teething and partly due to his whole life and routine being disrupted. 

The next morning, Saturday, we dropped Rachel at the airport so she could get home and then the three of us finished the drive to Idaho.  We hadn't found a place to live yet since we didn't know the area at all so we stayed with my brother in Rexburg until we found a townhouse close to Stewart's office.  Having a brother and sister within half an hour of our new home has been a joy beyond what I imagined.  Gavin absolutely loves other kids and these kids pay a lot of attention to him so he adores them.  
To be fair, the adults also dote on him so if possible he's even more spoiled here than he was before. 

Since then we've made it through our first Idaho winter (there were some really cold parts but February was super mild), gotten to know the town well enough to be ready to look for a house to buy later this year, explored a lot of the area both near and far and just basically started developing a love for Idaho that I didn't think we'd achieve even after living here for years.  We've made repeated trips to Yellowstone (where we saw bears on Gavin's first time in the part) and been to Jackson Hole once.  We spend Memorial Day weekend in Montana and have been to Utah about once a month.  Stewart went snowshoeing a few times in the winter and we have both been running and hiking more this summer than last. 

Stewart loves his job and it opens so many doors for the future.  For those reasons alone the move has been more than worth it.  After a few months of getting settled I decided I wanted to go back to work as well and I found an accounting position with a local, wait for it, potato farm.  No kidding.  I work for a potato farm.  In Idaho.  But it's great experience and my commute is 12 miles round trip with a day care drop off and pick up.  I have moved past being contented with our new lives in Idaho to being genuinely happy here.  Most of this is due to Gavin.  I'll share more soon about what he's been up to lately but for now it suffices to say that he's even more awesome than ever.