The Fedibblety organization continued progress towards its mission to be a healthy and happy family unit. We have received your continued love and support and are sending you ours. We are grateful for the blessings and lessons of 2012, and hope that you are as well.

Our prediction for 2012 of frequent visits with grandparents did come true. The Feltys visited us and we visited them. We did not make it to Tempe, AZ to visit the Dibble grandparents in 2012. But they were kind enough to visit us regularly as they remodeled the broken house just a few miles north of us. This year was the year Spencer and Meg really started to play together and get to know each other as brother and sister. Clare left NREL, so Rob currently supports the Fedibbletys as a research engineer at Nuance Communications.

First Quarter

We toddled into 2012 with Meg learning to walk. Ellen and Dave purchased a house in Arvada that required remodeling and structural work at the very end of 2011, so in early 2012 they came out to survey their new project. Aunt Jean joined them in visiting us, and handed down a children’s drum set that her grandchildren had loved and outgrown. Both kids have appreciated playing the drums on their own and with daddy.

In February, Spencer turned three and Meg turned one. We celebrated Spencer’s birthday with his friends in a train car at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden. Meg’s first birthday was marked with cake and presents and shared with the Feltys and Aunt Betty and Uncle Phil.

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Figure 1: Spencer’s new room

One big milestone of 2012 was Spencer getting his own room. Since Meg was born, Spencer and Meg had been sharing a room (in theory —in practice, Spencer slept with Clare most nights, and Rob slept in the guest room). We moved Spencer’s car bed into the guest room, and the guest bed to the broken house, for Ellen to use. Hopefully by 2014, it will be a guest bed once again for when family and friends come to visit.

Second Quarter

We got active in the second quarter, as the weather was unseasonably warm and nice. We went hiking with Greg Brown and Mekayla Beaver, who we were happy to have back in Colorado following their stint in Minnesota, and Chris and Sarah Brinkerhoff, who came to visit in June. We got a bike trailer to bring the kids with us on rides. Meg enjoyed her tricycle while Spencer continued to zoom on his Strider balance bike. Spencer and Meg both participated in a couple of Easter egg hunts. We put in the garden, and got our first cherry tomatoes in late June.

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Figure 2: Clare and Rob at the Blue Lagoon near Rekjavik, Iceland

May is always Clare’s month, but it was especially fun in 2012. She celebrated Mother’s Day and her birthday, turned in her two week notice at NREL and marked Rob’s and her seventh anniversary of marriage with a Memorial Day weekend trip to Iceland. Thanks again to the Dibble grandparents for watching the kids while we were gone.

Third Quarter

We traveled a lot in the third quarter. First, Clare took the kids in July to California to visit friends and family. We planned this trip for the same weekend Ellen and Dave went out to see Drew and Geebi. Drew showed off the Quantcast office where he works and we took the kids to their first Buckminster Fuller exhibit at MOMA. Clare and the kids stayed with Paul and April, except one night when Meg and Spencer stayed with Grandma and Grandpa in Uncle Drew and Aunt Geebi’s apartment while Clare took a night off. Thanks to the California crew for a relaxing trip filled with love and adventure.

About a week later, it was time to go to Michigan. Rob, Clare, Spencer, and Meg flew to Detroit to meet up with the Felty grandparents. The next day, cousin Sadie joined the fun as we caravaned to Interlochen, Michigan where we rented a house with Rob’s friend Brian Grekowitz, his wife Audrey, their daughter Kate, and Brian’s parents Ted and Dorene (who are conveniently friends with Harold and Fran). Fitting three generations of two families isn’t so bad when you have 5 bedrooms. We filled our days with wading into clear, shallow lakes with sandy beaches, putt putt golf, and outings to the Great Lakes Children’s Museum and Sleeping Bear Dunes. We all shared cooking meals and playing cards in the evening. One our last day in Trenton, Michigan, we got to spend some time with Aunt Erika before flying back to Colorado.

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Figure 3: Meg, Spencer, and Sadie patiently waiting for the old folks to get ready for the next adventure

The Fedibbletys stayed home for a couple weeks before traveling to upstate New York to celebrate cousin Jessica Dibble’s marriage to Ed DeCarlo. Meg and Spencer got to spend several days with their Great Grandparents, Grandparents, Great Uncle Dwight and Great Aunt Patty and cousins Jessica and Alyssa, Great Uncle Rich, Great Aunt Carolyn, and cousins Emily, Abe, Eli, Joe, and Ruth. The end of this trip took us to Philadelphia to visit grad school friends Craig and Wendy and their spouses Felicia and Pete. Chris and Sarah Brinkerhoff were also able to join us in Philly, for a day of fun.

In August, we went on a group camp out in celebration of our friend Nick Wagner’s marriage to Karen Van Pala. It was Meg’s first camping trip. Both kids did quite well, partially due to the sleeping bags Grandma Dibble equipped them with. Over Labor Day weekend, we went camping at Cheyenne Mountain Park in Colorado Springs with the Dibble Grandparents. Colorado Springs was having a hot air balloon festival, so we got to see the balloons light up as they filled them at night and a horizon filled with hot air balloons in the morning.

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Figure 4: Richard, Gladys, Rob, Clare, Ellen, Dave, Spencer, and Meg at the great grandparents house

When we did take time to be home, we were domestic. By the end of the summer, Clare was proficient at making all-natural soaps and lotions. The garden had a prolific year. We made a very tasty batch of salsa, and used it as an opportunity to teach Mekayla Beaver about canning. The 2011 salsa had turned out rather bland, and it is a fair amount of work, so we were quite pleased that this year’s salsa was back to our usual standards. In September, we canned lots of apple sauce and apple butter with the fruit from the apple tree in our back yard. Even after canning over a dozen quarts of apple sauce and four dozen pints of apple butter, we still composted bushels of rotten apples. The apple tree has historically fruited every other year, but our neighbors took out the cottonwood tree that was shading our apple tree and we trimmed it this fall, so we are hoping for a good apple yield again next year.

Fourth Quarter

Figure 5: Timeline of a typical day in the Fedibblety household in 2012

The fall brought autumn chores like taking out the garden and stacking wood in the woodshed that Rob made. This year’s annual family photos were taken outdoors at Red Rocks on a beautiful autumn day. The kids might have been a little young to do an outdoor photo shoot, as they were distracted by their surroundings and each other. It turned out to be a nice hike on a nice day, that happened to yield some nice family pictures. Most striking is how much the kids had grown up over the summer. Meg grew 4 inches between March and September, finally started to get some hair, and looks more like a little girl than a baby. Spencer has gotten physically bigger as well, but his maturation is most clear in his skills, like counting, dexterity, problem solving, and talking more clearly.

For Halloween, Meg was a tiger who would "rawr" on command, http://blog.fedibblety.com/2010/10/roar/. Thanks to Great Aunt Jean for giving us such a great costume. This year, Spencer was his favorite superhero, Spiderman. We celebrated twice at home and once with a festival at school. We went to the Colorado Railroad Museum for a Halloween train ride. We also went trick or treating with the Adams Family (Tao). Grandma Dibble was here for trick or treating, with witches hats and handing out candy. Any holiday that means dressing up and getting candy is a huge hit with kiddos.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving this year with just the four Fedibbletys. Clare made a turkey, which was tasty, but is a lot of meat for one person to consume before it goes bad. The turkey wasn’t done before nap time, so we fed the kids and put them down. Rob and Clare were thankful for perhaps the first and last quiet meal at home this year where they could talk to one another. The kids enjoyed classic Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner when they woke up. The day after Thanksgiving, we took the kids to The Academy and hung the doors we had been working on finishing since before Meg was born. They are beautiful and make the house feel more finished. Next up: closet doors.

We kicked off December by joining Great Uncle Phil and Aunt Betty Ill on their tree decorating day. Since cousins Ruby, Bella, and Conner are just a little older, it really helped Spencer and Meg get the idea of how to hang ornaments on our own tree. We hosted the Dibble Grandparents over the weekend of December 9th to decorate the tree, make cookies, and witness the traditional plumbing inspection as the broken house progresses to a habitable space.

Christmas this year was very fun, as both Spencer and Meg could participate and enjoy the holiday. Both Meg and Spencer had Christmas pageants where they sang Christmas carols and then visited with Santa. The sounds of them practicing around the house definitely increased our Christmas spirit. And I think Meg pointed out every single Santa decoration we passed in December. It was an exhaustive list.

The weekend before Christmas, Spencer asked if we could go on a trip. In order to get the trip feeling at Christmas without the hustle and bustle, we went up to Breckenridge for a day with Greg and Mekayla and Greg’s cousin. We went hiking in the snow and almost froze off Meg’s toes. We explored Dinosaur Ridge on the drive up. Spencer is starting to be interested in dinosaurs and get the concept of large animals that lived here a really long time ago, are all dead now, and whose footprints are embedded in the rock. That’s a tough concept for someone whose entire concept of time breaks down into yesterday, today, or tomorrow, and whether the big hand on the clock is at the top or the bottom.

As is the tradition from Clare’s childhood, we opened gifts on Christmas eve and enjoyed Santa’s gifts and a big breakfast on Christmas morning. So many of you generously sent presents, which were definitely appreciated. Meg got overwhelmed at some point with all the unwrapping, because she wanted to play with or read each thing she unwrapped before moving on to the next present. Being the nice big brother that he is, Spencer jumped in and helped her finish. Spencer loved unwrapping gifts so much this year that at the time it didn’t matter what was inside at the time they were opened. I wrapped every single pair of pants we got him separately, and each one he tore open enthusiastically. He even loved opening socks. When we cleaned up all the wrapping paper and boxes, he has started noticing the contents of the presents and playing with his toys.

We said goodbye to 2012 by having an evening of appetizers with the Adams family down the street. Tao welcomed a baby brother, Tanner, this fall, so Alisa split the evening between mothering Tanner and socializing thanks to the help of her mom. We are lucky to be surrounded with the love of good friends and family near and far. It is our wish that whatever changes 2013 brings, this network of support is a constant.

2013 forecast

2013 is likely to be the year that the Fedibblety family is diaper free again. Meg has already shown interest and some success with underwear and potties and the general business of controlling her body functions. We are very excited about this pending milestone.

Rob won a trip to Kauai, Hawaii in February 2013 for his outstanding performance at Nuance in 2012. The Felty grandparents have been gracious enough to agree to watching the kids while we are gone, and celebrating their birthdays with us when we return.

We expect the Dibble grandparents to complete their transition from Tempe, Arizona to Arvada, Colorado in late 2013 and visit frequently before then. Spencer is going to spend a week with them in early March by himself as a present for turning 4. With any luck, 2013 will be also the year that Clare figures out what she wants to be next.

We wish you all the best in 2013,
Rob, Clare, Spencer, and Meg

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