- So, we had this snowstorm on Sunday. And then there were the sub-zero temperatures that followed. I won’t post pictures, because I assume the fact you’re reading this blog means you don’t live under a rock, and that means you’ve already seen pictures. Anyhoo, we had this nasty weather, which was incredibly pretty from the warmth and comfort of our house, and the kids and I just left the house for the first time today. Since Sunday. When all we did was go outside and shovel for a short while in the morning. We’ve been on the edge of nuts. Aria has been whiny and a bit wild, and I’ve been slowly becoming more cranky. As of today we have plans to leave the house for something four days in a row. Woot!
- I decided on a reading goal of 75 books this year. That’s right around what I read in 2013. Though, I read more last year than I did in the couple of years previous, so I don’t know how realistic it is. I’ve also joined Goodreads, in addition to Shelfari. I still like Shelfari’s interface better for the most part, but Goodreads has won the market, so I decided I would also go where the people are. It’s not difficult to update my reads on two sites rather than one.
- Noah was six months yesterday. Once you have children, you never again catch up to time.
- We had Noah’s six month check-up today. He is healthy, as usual. His height and weight caught up with his head circumference at the top of the charts. He weighs 20 pounds and is 28 inches long. (Here’s the report from his four month check-up.)
- The ladies at our doctor’s office are wonderful. The nurse, Joy, was happy to weigh and measure Aria at my request. Aria took her baby doll to the doctor’s office, and Joy measured her when she did Noah, and then we put “baby” on the scale before Aria was comfortable getting on. Aria was excited to go today. She kept talking about it, and when Joy called for Noah, Aria hopped right up and followed her back with no concern for my presence. That’s very rare. Aria is 30 pounds and 36 inches tall. Y’all. I’m only 64 inches tall.
- We decided not to trade rooms with Aria right now. When I measured for furniture we weren’t thrilled with the fit. For that and a few other reasons we decided to try putting Noah’s crib in with Aria’s first. It’s been there about a week now, but Noah hasn’t slept in it much. Aria really wants him in the room with her. She talks about it and asks for him, and the one time thus far we did her bedtime story while he slept in his crib she whispered the entire time. It was sweet. We haven’t put him in there much yet because he wakes up as soon as we lay him down. He’s not used to that much space, so he rolls right onto his stomach and can’t get back, and then he gets fussed up and nap time is over. We’re easing into it, but it may take a few more weeks, until he has a bit more consistent control of his own body.
- Did I mention my favorite group won The Sing-Off? The finale aired two days before Christmas, so it might have gotten lost in the shuffle. I was in such suspense waiting for the announcement. I get way too involved. My heart was pounding. I backed it up and rewatched their reactions twice. And now I’m excited for them to release an album and go on tour.
Aria turned two on the 24th. In the second year of life we are constantly changing. I can’t recall even a fraction of what Aria has done and been interested in this year, but I thought it would be fun to document what she’s into currently.
Recently she’s begun speaking a lot, and in just the last week or so she has begun speaking in full sentences. She’s very communicative, and I appreciate that. She even uses words sometimes to express her frustration or that she is sad (which is really just another form of frustration, more than it is sadness). It is encouraging to me when she expresses those things, because I am glad she has the ability, and especially that she understands that it is safe to say so.
- Imaginative play. She likes to take care of her babies, make us food in the play kitchen (today she asked me, “Want tea?”, then brought me a “drink”), and clean the house with her toy broom or whatever rag she can get her hands on (dish towel, tissue – she’s not discriminating). She also likes to help with chores. She wants to be involved in bathing Noah, and likes to cook, clean, and do laundry with me. She’s wonderful about picking up toys and pacifiers when Noah drops them, and throwing trash in the garbage.
- Blocks and puzzles. She likes to sort and arrange. The engineering bent of her mind has been obvious since she was tiny, so it’s not surprising that she likes to arrange, ponder, and rearrange. She’s careful to always put things away, and she is driven to do so “correctly”. That’s intrinsic to her, because I have been careful to never correct her when she willingly did something but did it in a haphazard baby sort of way. As she gets older, she gets more and more careful all on her own.
- Drawing on the iPad. She asks to draw multiple times each day. She’ll let me know what types of things she wants to draw, and when she would like a new page. Today I showed her how to clear the picture on one of the drawing apps, and she caught right on and started doing it for herself.
- Her baby brother. Oh, dear, she likes him a lot. She gets right in his face and jabbers to him, tossing her head from side-to-side. He eats it up. She’s also prone to climbing on him and bringing him toys to drop in his face. But, hey, I’ll take it. She loves him.
- Her cousin Emma. Emma is a current obsession of Aria’s. She follows her around calling her name, and when we’re not with her she asks about her. Emma rode in the back of our minivan once in Aria’s memory, and now Aria asks for her and points to the back of the van nearly every time we go somewhere.
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. She is also obsessed with “Kitty Kitty”. She talks about him at least as much as she talks about Emma. Daniel Tiger is an animated spinoff from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, which we have also begun watching. She likes it nearly as well (much to my relief, as I prefer it).
- Books, books, books. She loves books. Right now her favorites include several of our Boynton books and Madeline’s Rescue, which her Aunt Jo gave her for Christmas. She takes a board book to bed with her each night. She also loves her Bible, and even asks me to read my books out loud to her.
- Snow. She talks about “no!” all the time. She likes to draw on a specific snowman app on the iPad. She likes to read her book about snow.
- Current favorite foods include eggs, rice cakes, and turkey deli meat. Blueberries are always popular, as are oranges. She likes to drink regular and dark chocolate almond milk, as well as plain iced tea, and water.
- Church. She loves going to church on Sundays. Sometimes she asks for it on random days, and she gets excited when I tell her that’s where we’re going. Yesterday when we got within sight of the building she called out, “Chuch!” (there should really be an umlaut over that “u” for full effect). That thrills me more than most things, because it means she loves being with our people. We have no children’s service – she stays with Mommy (and family) during the service – so she’s not just excited because she’s going to be passively entertained the entire time.
It’s already obvious we are in for more major changes in the next 12 months. I can’t wait to see them! She’s really a fantastic little person, and I enjoy her thoroughly.
- Mom, Sister, and I took the kids to Holiday Pops last weekend. Noah was fascinated. He alternately watched closely and napped – a pretty good way to approach the thing, I thought. Aria enjoyed it, but didn’t stay interested consistently. I didn’t expect her to, though. That would be a bit much for a not-quite-two-year-old.
- Speaking of which, she’s two now. We had a lovely little birthday party for her with our immediate family on the day (Christmas Eve). She thoroughly enjoyed herself, and is loving her presents. It was a good celebration of her, and we welcomed her third year of life (I got that right, family) by praying over her. That evening we had one of her current favorite meals, pot roast, then opened our Christmas Eve box – a new Christmas movie, a Christmas book, and PJs for both kids. We dressed in our PJs and settled in for the movie (which Aria would typically have been interested in, but she’d had cake, so…) and then the book before bed.
- Christmas morning we spent at home. Aria awoke to a kitchen playset by the tree, and she played with it a bit while Andy and I finished up breakfast prep. We had a beautiful breakfast of gluten-free, dairy-free banana pancakes; turkey and egg muffins; and fancy potato bites. We ate to candlelight, and it was quite lovely. Then we opened presents, got everything cleaned up, and went to my parents’ house for the remainder of the day. It was a wonderful day with my family. A couple of the men went out in the afternoon to commemorate the troops’ Christmas in Bastogne with a ceremonial shoot. The rest of us stayed home and played this game, one of my Christmas presents.
- I already have most of our decorations down. I don’t typically remove them this quickly, but this year I’m anxious to get the house cleaned up, and to be in a position to trade rooms with Aria. Also, our Christmas tree is rapidly dying, and I’d rather it were out of the house before it gets to the Charlie-Brown-tree point.
- I recently purchased an ebook bundle that included a several-month subscription to a meal planning site called Plan to Eat. We’re finding it quite useful thus far, and will likely continue our subscription once the preview time is up. It doesn’t yet have an app version, unfortunately, but it still works well on the iPad (within the browser).
- I had the stitches in my face removed early on the 26th. It was a quick and painless process. I’m glad to have them gone. The doctor wants a couple of follow-ups to make sure it’s healing properly, but so far, so good. Apparently it will take a few weeks for the swelling and redness to reduce. It was nice to go to the appointment by myself. I even got a few minutes to read.
- We have more Christmas celebrations yet to come. We were supposed to get together with my aunt and uncle this weekend, but sadly they are both sick. Hopefully we can reschedule soon. We’re “having Christmas” with Andy’s family on New Year’s Day. The plan is to have brunch and presents. We’ll probably spend most of the day together. I’m looking forward to it.