The latest and greatest from the Bailey family adventures.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fun in the Snow

We have continued to enjoy the snow this year. We had a great Thanksgiving weekend with Gramma and took a ton of pictures! We hope you are all enjoying the Holiday Season as much as we are.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Californians

Please forgive us our Californian moments! We got our first snow fall and the kids were so excited. At the time of the pictures, it wasn't sticking yet. We had a cold night and a little more snow that stayed on the grass for half of Monday. I had to share the pictures.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Update

Hello Everyone! It has been a while since we posted, and we thought you would all be interested in the Bailey Family Fall 2008 Update. We have all been hard at work with our new responsibilities in our new lives.

Since the last time you heard from us, Darla has found a job. She is employed as a teaching assistant at Kaufman's Children Center. Kaufman's is a speech therapy center working with autistic children and children with speech disorders. Darla found the center online before we left California and working there was her goal long before the truck ever left SPA. It took them a while to realize what a catch they had in Darla, but now her employers are very happy they took her on. Darla has become the new rock star at her work and is very happy to be learning new things. She loves her new job!

Greg and the kids are all going to school everyday. Millie is attending school at the Child Development Lab and Wayne State University. Her teachers are Miss Toria and Mr. Chris. Her class is great. Her classroom is great. She is part of a diverse group of kids and has made a lot of friends. She brings home a large amount of art. If anyone is in need of a Miller Bailey original, she loves drawing and will gladly mail you something. Believe me, we have lots of art. We can spare a beautiful picture for you. Millie has also recently learned about the mail. She loves pen pals and writing letters, especially on the back of art projects (recycling).


Gio has been attending school at Niles School here in Troy and going to Kindercare during the hours before and after school, but this has proven both costly and time consuming, driving each of the kids to schools in different cities. We have secured a spot for Gio at the other school on the Wayne State campus, the Center for Early Childhood Education. We were planning on joining the school and paying for his care there, but we had the good fortune of getting into an open funded spot when a family moved away. Gio's new teacher is Miss Troutt. She is very nice. Having both kids at Wayne State while Greg is in class will be much better in case anything goes wrong.

Greg is doing well in his classes and has been working on an original play for his playwriting class and has found the experience of writing dramatic work extremely fulfilling. Greg will be directing a play in Wayne State's Studio Theatre next semester and is excited to start that project as well.

We have been spending a lot of time enjoying the changing of the seasons, something we have not experienced since leaving Greeley. Our kids have never seen the leave change or felt cold weather, so they have been learning a lot. We went with Greg's parents, Carol and Tony, to a farm called Klackle Orchards to get pumpkins and ended up spending the better part of the day there. They had all sorts of fun things for the kids to do with pony rides, a corn maze, apple picking, a petting zoo, an inflatible universe of fun, tricycle races, tractor rides, a llama, an elephant, and great food. So much fun! During this trip to Rockford, johnelway also met his new best friend, Rocket, Carol's new dalmation-looking non-dalmation.

On Halloween, Millie dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and Gio was a pumpkin. Their costumes were made by Lynn, our friends Laurel's mother, and they were fantastic. Lynn is awesome. We went Trick-or-Treating with Jesse and Laurel's three little girls Alana (4, a kitty), Jospehine (2, a ghost), and Charlotte (11 days, a newborn baby). We have more candy than we can manage (although we are certain to do our best).

We are also really excited about the election next week. We had a great opportunity to expose our children to bleeding-heart liberalism from a very young age when we took them both to a political rally in Detroit for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. It was a great day (the first rally either of us had attended as well). The kids were thrilled to hear Obama speak and could not stop chanting "Yes We Can!" Greg tried to obtain a fake driver's license for Millie so that she could vote on Tuesday, but Darla would not let him, insisting no one would believe Millie is over 18. She might have a point.

We are looking forward to the holidays and will be spending a lot of time in Rockford during Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm sure you will be getting an update from us soon. Until then...

Best,
The Baileys

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is this Greg's daughter, or WHAT???

I had to share these videos of Millie. She is singing Little Red Riding Hood's song from "Into the Woods". She gets most of the words right and it is so funny. I took the video on my phone so there are two short clips but I think it is worth listening to. Enjoy.



video video

Sunday, August 17, 2008

From Michigan

Hello!  It has been a while since we got around to posting here as we have been adjusting to our new life in the Detroit Metro area.  We are happy to report that all of us our well and we are here in Michigan.  Getting out here was quite a family adventure.  We traveled to Michigan caravan style with Darla and Patti riding with the kids in the van, and Greg and Tony traveling in style in the Penske Truck. We spent several days in Denver visiting with friends and family.  It was so good to see everyone and to be in Colorado with our kids.  Millie has spent so little time there, and this is Gio's first trip.  Having them around Greg's family and our dear friends from UNC was a real treat.
       

Since arriving, we have been enjoying the vast size increase of our living quarters after living at San Pasqual for four years.  We are now living in a three story town house in Troy, Michigan.  Troy is a suburb about 15 miles north of Detroit.  Since moving in, we have found the increased living space, about 1600 square feet including the basement versus about 550 square feet at SPA, has made it easier to keep our things in order and have a clean house all the time.  For anyone who ever went into our last place, you know that was quite a challenge.  We have also enjoyed the ability to prepare three meals for the family every day in the full kitchen.  After four years of dealing with a kitchenette/living room, it is a big change.

Another aspect of our lives that to which we have had to adjust is the newest addition to our family, our Yellow Labrador Retriever puppy, Johnelway.  We got him from the pet store within the first week of being here.  He was about twelve pounds when we got him five weeks ago at eight weeks old.  He is now a little over three months and has rocketed to over 27 pounds.  He's going to be a big boy.  He is a crazy ball of energy at times and has gotten into the habit of waking Greg up at 4:45 in the morning every day.  Johnelway is going to be entering puppy training classes shortly to help him and his people learn how to live together for the next 15 years or so.
Darla has been hard at work looking for a job, but was sad to learn that she does not have the skills needed to manage a Chuck E. Cheese's.  That was hard for her to deal with, but she is still fighting the good fight.  The job market is slim here in Detroit, but we are confident that she will get something good at any minute.

Greg starts school soon and has to go tomorrow to start the orientation process at Wayne State.  The first semester should really give Greg the chance to learn what life at WSU is going to be like for the next few years.  He will be directing a long one act, Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music by Lee Blessing, but it will not go up until late in the Spring, or as it is called in Detroit, the Winter Semester.  With his fellowship, Greg will not be teaching until next year, so that should also give him a little extra time to adjust to the new situation.
With Greg's school not yet under way and Darla still looking for a job, we have had the luxury of staying at home and getting to spend a lot of QT with the kids.  Millie and Gio are very excited to have their own bedrooms.  Millie loves it because she can easily keep her room neat and tidy.  Gio loves it because he has a place that he can keep looking the way our living room used to always look, like a tornado of toys and books ran through it.  We tried for the first few days to keep the room clean, but he loves to go in right after you spend ten minutes putting everything away and rip every book off the shelf and every toy making as much noise as it can.  Often, you have to find the floor from memory... and with a shovel.  We have resorted to heaping everything into piles off to the side so that we can traverse the mass of playthings and get to his bed and dresser. 
Millie has taken to staging plays everyday and casting the entire family, including Johnelway, into individual roles, and occasionally as entire groups.  Her favorite plays to put on are Peter Pan and Into the Woods.  In the latter, she is always Little Red Riding Hood, a bit of a surprise with her adoration of Cinderella under most usual circumstances, but in Peter Pan she varies from Peter to Wendy, assigning the roles of John, Captain Hook, and Peter Pan to Greg.  Gio is always Michael, Darla is usually Mrs. Darling, and, without fail, Johnelway is Nana.
We celebrated Gio's birthday by having huge party with everyone we know in the lower half of Michigan in attendance.  Our house proved plenty big enough, though, since Greg's mom and Aunt Mary didn't take up too much extra space.  Gio had a Cars birthday party with tiny cheeseburgers and french fries.  We got him a play workbench with a take apart car engine and a wood shop, every piece of which has been lost to the abyss of Gio's room.  He has since decided that he likes birthday parties and wants to be given presents nearly every day.
With all the free time, we have felt a bit like we are prematurely retired, and it has been nice, but the real world is beckoning just around the corner.  Our early retirement is coming to an end.  We will let you know how things are going when Greg and Gio start school, Millie enters day care for the first time ever, and Darla is gainfully employed.  Until then...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Having just celebrated Father's day I thought I would share through pictures what a great dad Greg is and how lucky we are to have him!







Monday, June 2, 2008

Disneyland!

Sometimes when you time things out in advance, the timing is not so convenient.  We planned our second family trip to the Happiest Place on Earth a couple months beforehand.  We were sure to find the right hotel, get the best tickets available, decide which attractions we wanted to see... We were totally on top of it.

Then Greg got sick.  For nearly a week before the trip, Greg was working through a horrible bout of a flu-like virus.  Running a fever and dealing with all the aches and pains associated with the flu, we continued to prepare for our trip.

Then Millie got sick.  Since Greg is one of her favorite people, she would not stay away from him even at his sickest moments.  A couple days before the trip, the fever hit her as well.

We had to decide whether it was prudent to go ahead with our trip with half the family largely out of commission.  Let me tell you what we learned from the experience...

We learned that Greg will never be too sick to enjoy a trip to Disneyland with the kids.  Greg's fever was mostly gone by the time of trip, but he still had a horribly sore throat and the worst chest congestion he has ever known, which made restful sleep nearly impossible.  Still, he made it through the trip without a hitch and even had a blast.

But more important than that...

We learned that Millie is seriously hardcore when it comes to all things Disney.  She was running a fever that would sometimes spike above 103!  She was having trouble sleeping due to waking up sweating every night.  Her "talk" (throat) was bothering her for days.  And yet she never complained.  She never cried about being sick.  She got through the trip like a trooper.  By the end of the second day, she was totally exhausted, but through her sickness she and Greg were able to take advantage of her newly acquired height, and she went on two very serious Disney rides, Splash Mountain and Space Mountain.  She's three!!!  Neither ride went perfectly.  She was fine all the way through Splash Mountain until she got drenched after the drop, which made her call for her mommy.  She had no problem with Space Mountain either, except that it was too dark and "a little scary."  But she rode them both.  She did great!

Darla and Gio also had a blast, but they had the advantage of being in good health.  While waiting for Greg and Millie to finish up a tall person ride, Darla and Gio happened upon Buzz Lightyear.  Gio could not have been more excited.  After taking his turn for a picture with Buzz, Gio continued to approach his huge hero.  Many other families now have pictures of Gio too!

 Gio surprised us when he was more excited to meet the princesses at Ariel's Grotto than Millie was.  He could not stay in his chair and had to run and hug each one as they approached the table.  Millie handled that experience with more grace than last year, managing not to poop herself at the first sight of a princess approaching the table.

Darla also made huge strides this year, facing her debilitating fear of heights and riding the ferris wheel at California Adventure after nearly crying while on the ride last year.

The kids were able to walk for themselves the entire time as we passed by 10 year olds sleeping in strollers.  (No Joke)  We considered renting a double stroller, but wanted to see if they could do it on their own.  Neither one had a breakdown the entire trip.  We were so proud.

The highlight of the trip for the whole family had to be the Pixar parade at California Adventure.  The whole thing was led off by Lightning McQueen!!!  The kids were talking about it for days.

All in all, the trip was awesome.  I hope next time we will not be battling health problems, but even if we do, we know that we will still have a great time.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Greg on Moving



I am happy to announce that I have been accepted to the Theatre Ph.D. program at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.  At the end of June the family will be loading the truck and re-locating to the Detroit area.  We are sad to leave our current home and the wonderful friends and neighbors we have here, but we are also excited to start a new chapter of our lives in Michigan. 

We are planning on living north of the city in Troy.  There are excellent schools there and it is one of the safest cities in the country.

I visited the school in April.  The program seems to be a perfect fit for what I am hoping to achieve in the next phase of my continuing education.  I will have the opportunity to teach undergraduate students, direct plays, and further explore the academic world of Theatre Arts.  

We hope that our family and friends will keep in touch with us as we begin the next phase of life.  We will be certain to keep you all updated on how things are going.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The second week of Spring Break


We had lots more fun last week.  We spent Easter morning with the Ray family.  Gio, Millie, and Shannon had tons of Easter Morning fun looking for baskets and eggs.  That crazy Easter Bunny hides those baskets in the silliest places.  



We also are so excited that the Gecks are back in town!  Danielle and Tony had a party at my Mom's house to celebrate A.J.'s 2nd birthday.  Millie and Gio were so excited to spend time with their cousins.  They also were very helpful when it came to opening and playing with the birthday presents.  Gio was really excited that A.J. received so many "Cars" themed gifts!  Millie just wanted to hold Kayla. And give her kisses...

Our final family adventure involved an afternoon at the park.  We ventured out on Saturday morning with our sights set on the butterflies at the Wild Animal Park.  We always go to the Park on our days off, Tuesday or Wednesday.  We forgot that it is a wildly famous tourist attraction that happens to be less than five minutes from our house and that a Saturday during beautiful weather and butterflies was the worst idea ever!  So the parking lot was so packed that our plans quickly changed to the regular park instead.  Greg had lots of fun playing, so did the kids!  Greg tried to play catch with the kids, Millie was slightly interested but not so skilled.  Gio only ran away.  Hopefully Greg will have a catch partner someday...
Millie and I have to share our picture with everyone.  Carol bought us matching apron sets.  They include Easter themed, embroidered aprons and appropriately sized oven mitts and pot holders.  They are so cute.  We had to take a picture, Carol said.  Here it is!

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Temecula, CA, United States
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