This year I made up for lots of botched New Year's resolutions (not mine, I know better) by losing about 40 lbs. Here I am a couple weeks before my due date:
I was on a leave of absence for almost 5 months. During that time we had fun playing around with Zoë. She loves the camera, as you can see.
We spent time with friends and family. Some came to visit us in Seattle:
We drove to Portland to see some. And we hopped on a plane to see the rest. Zoë was an ideal passenger and made all sorts of friends on the way. We flew to Missouri via Salt Lake City for the annual 4th of July gathering. We were able to get four generations of Vilvens and Partsons together on that trip. In November we flew to Kentucky. Zoë has been on more flights in 9 months than many people have been in their entire life.
During the spring and summer we hiked when we could. Zoë went with us as young as 6 weeks old. When we climbed Mount St. Helen's with Ryan's brother, we left Zoë at a nearby cabin with Grandma and Grandpa.
Zoë likes to get out and see the world. She started daycare when I went back to work in July. She goes to a daycare in our neighborhood three days a week. We spend Mondays together and Daddy gets to spend Friday with her. I am working 32 hours a week to make this schedule work. I still work in Flight Test, and I took on the role of Group Lead for my group when I came back from leave. It keeps me busy, but so far I've been able to make the shorter week work.
We found really cheap airfare to Bermuda, so we bought tickets and spent a week on a spontaneous and relaxing trip. Zoë received her first passport stamp and swam in the ocean for the first time. She loved the water, which was crystal clear and full of fish.
Speaking of travel, Ryan went on several work trips: Uzbekistan, South Korea, Istanbul, Japan, London (during the Olympics), Chile & Peru and squeezed in one last trip before Christmas to Germany. Ryan still works in the same group and goes on deliveries to take fuel mileage data.
Holidays are fun with a kiddo! We found excuses to take even more pictures of Zoë and to get together with our friends. We carved pumpkins at a friend's pumpkin party and hosted a gingerbread decorating party.
Zoë is growing teeth. Her four front teeth (top and bottom) have popped through. She has been hitting her developmental milestones right on "schedule". Currently she is trying to figure out walking. It is fun to watch her as she discovers new things. She seems to do something new almost every day now.
Grammy and Grampy came up for about a week prior to Christmas. They were able to spend a lot of time with her while we were at work.
Zoë's not too sure about Santa, but she sure likes opening presents. Or ripping the bows off of them, anyway. We were able to celebrate Christmas with all four grandparents as well as Ryan's brother. Zoë thinks aunt Kirsten has the funniest laugh and loved playing with her big cousin, Avery.