Observations from a fully-lived day:
1. Hospitality is far more than a well-stocked pantry or nice ribbons around party favors. True hospitality includes enjoying the presence of your guests and living beyond the details of hosting.
2. Family is good. It’s a beautiful thing when it cares for one another, celebrates one another, challenges one another and celebrates one another some more, this time with food.
3. Good things in life are hard. It’s easier to sit on the couch. It’s easier to stay home. But Easy is not always Good. Good things are worth the Hard.
4. Early morning + eventful race + afternoons with cousins + swimming = very tired littles, with early bedtimes for all. Which makes for a nice evening for the adults.
5. A year goes by very quickly. Babies grow quickly. Houses are no longer new, quickly (and should have things hanging on walls by now).
With Baby C’s birthday on the horizon, I need to log, in baby book fashion, what’s been happening with the kids. These are the days that we’ll long to remember and relive, right?
Baby C – 1 year
- Her contented nature and happy smile makes her struggles of days long ago sooooo worth it. She’s simply. so. sweet. She’ll snuggle up to me and put her nose right in my neck, a gesture I treasure now that we don’t spend our bonding time nursing.
- She’s sleeping through the night nearly 12 hours, on top of 2 naps (1.5-2 hours each).
- Eating pretty much everything that we do, but she has a preference for meat. I have to put the veggies out first while the rest of dinner is being prepared to make sure she gets good veggie intake. But I’m pretty sure she shares her favorite food with Slim – “meat.”
- She’s a quick crawler and is pulling up wherever possible. Her favorite spot to pull up is the shower (yes, the least safe). The other day she tried letting go and looked at me like, “look ma! No hands!” It’s all coming too quick. I’m in no hurry to have her walking.
- She’s getting some words and mimicking most sounds – mama, dada, mo (more), na na (night night), ball… all the basics.
- She doesn’t necessarily love diaper changing time, but with the right toy – a tiger – and a roar, she’s entertained.
Miss M – 27 months
- We’ve gone sans diapers for nearly 2 weeks. She’s really getting the handle of the pee control, but we’ve had some poopy undies still. She’s sure trying, though.
- We renamed her the Fish Monkey due to her love of swimming and willingness to try new things (she was the first to agree to try to go under the water when bribed with chocolate). She also loves hanging from the kitchen table and pulling up her feet and swinging, looking like a monkey.
- She’s been in her big girl bed for a few months now and enjoys it. Lately she’s been wanting some extra sleep, so I’m expecting to have to get out the next size of clothes in the near future.
- Thankfully, Miss M loves to wear hats, which is necessary for her clear complexion. I’m pretty sure the girl could get sunburned at midnight. We once went to the beach at 9 am for 2 hours wearing 30spf and she still had marks on her back from the sun’s work.
- I question if Miss M has a vocab to rival H boy’s. She talks and chatters and seems to understand as much as he does. Which makes their conversations fascinating.
- We went to a family reunion this summer and Miss M fell in love with her great Aunt Mary. It was so fun to watch my typically hiding-behind-my-knees girl asking to go sit on someone else’s lap. Since then she’s seen other ladies that bear resemblance and ask if they are Aunt Mary.
- Favorite activity: swinging. She could swing all day and it’s never high enough. She wants pushed “very high.” Let me tell you, there’s nothing more humbling than a 2 year old asking you to put the phone in your pocket so you can push better.
- M and her daddy had a daddy date earlier this week while I took the HH kids to the audiologist to get earmolds. They took a bike ride and stopped at Panera for a treat en route to the park to – you guessed it – swing very high. She included this event in her evening prayers for 3 nights straight.
H Boy – 3 1/2 years
- The biggest complement he will offer you: “You’re a big girl/boy.” I love it when he randomly reminds me of how good I am / how much he’s enjoying me.
- Strings, rope and cords. Those are his favorite toys. I’m not sure what kind of engineer uses a lot of rope, but I think that would be my guess of a future occupation. Just this week I’ve found a basket of toys tied to the stairs with a dog leash, a toy shovel tied to the patio chair with a clothesline and the vacuum tied to the dining room table. He leaves no string untied. At the suggestion of my MIL, I need to get him shoes with real laces. He’ll be the most impressive preschooler ever.
- The ropes go hand-in-hand with his boat obsession. He talks often of Papa Tom’s “big ship boat” and Papa Jim’s kayak boat that we paddle. Nearly every bath time we hear applause and praise that “papa tom tied the boat!”
- Ever since we took milk out of his cup (he still eats dairy add-ins like cheese and sour cream, we just don’t make it a staple), he’s become a much more enjoyable boy in terms of his whiny-factor. Obviously he’s still a 3-year-old. But he’s much more agreeable with less milk and bread in his daily diet.
- Like Miss M’s queries about Aunt Mary, H tends to believe that any older man is named Bob. We have an uncle Bob, a neighbor Bob and there was a friendly couple at the last church who invited us for dinner; he was named Bob. H is a fan of Bobs everywhere.
- Lately we’ve been talking about what it means to be kind and thoughtful. H will now get down from the table to retrieve the girls’ dropped silverware and will share his raisins freely. It’s very, very, very sweet. He loves to show Miss M how to do things – like go potty, put on his shirt, or what have you. “Just like me” he’ll say. He’s very proud to lead the way.
- H and his dad had their first movie date: Brave. He loved it. We don’t do a ton of TV, and it’s mostly in movie form, so he’s not picky about characters or plot – he just likes to watch the action scene. He came home recounting how the woman turned into a BEAR! JJ believes we should take him for Ice Age as well.
- I’ve really enjoyed watching interact and play with his cousins this summer. He talks often of A, R and J (V sometimes pops up, but not as much). Sometimes it’s a lot of work to make that quality time happen, but it’s so worth it. I love my cousins and enjoy our time together – I want the same for our kids.
Mom & dad
This summer, thus far, revolutionized our home. It’s been refreshing to spend time together, to work on separate projects and to be free to visit family and friends. JJ accomplished several goals in the back yard (patio, new firepit, new stairs down the deck). I’ve done more blogging and writing and imagining than I had in a while. We’ve also been able to enjoy activities separately – he’s been to a few movies, I’ve had dinner with friends, went to co-op meetings, attended a writers conference and spent several days with my college roommates. Not working has distinct advantages in the recreational world.