Monday, December 26, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays...#221-230

Thankful (for):

221.  A new Christmas Eve tradition started, that of Marty opening his birthday gift from me (nearing or close to midnight) while the babies are asleep and we can be alone.
222.  Eating like royalty on Christmas Day -- though next year I'm definitely backing off the mimosas in the morning, ha!
223.  Church service on Christmas Eve, closing with candlelight and singing of carols, everyone wearing red and green and white and just feeling the communal warmth and love and excitement.
224.  Getting to hear "The Hallelujah Chorus" in aforementioned church service.
225.  Lovely gifts from my husband -- robe, fuzzy socks, perfume, sweater (my first from Anthropologie, woot!!!), and Agatha Christie's autobiography.
226.  Reading today from aforementioned book this line of remembrance AC had about her mother (my hope is to be a mom like this!):
Something else came to me then, besides the joy of [my bird's] return, the strength of my mother's love and understanding when there was trouble.  In the black abyss of misery, holding tight to her hand had been the one comfort.  There was something magnetic and healing in her touch.  In illness there was no one like her.  She could give you her own strength and vitality.
227. A Starbucks gift card from my brother-in-law!
228.  The absolute, unmitigated delight my children experienced opening their presents.  Who needs gifts for yourself when there is a child's joy to partake in???
229.  The fact that the most popular present of the day was a $4 flashlight from Will's stocking.  The runner-up was a $14 play cell phone for Lucy.  Isn't this always true with kids?
230.  The quiet calm of the day after Christmas; getting the chance to start looking forward to a new year and new beginnings.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Menu

~Christmas Eve~
Sausage Party Melts
(a long-ago favorite of my late mother-in-law's)
Spinach, Mushroom, and Red Pepper Strudel

~Christmas Day~
French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping
Thick-Sliced Smoked Bacon

Prime Rib Roast
Creamy Sea Scallop Bake
Au Gratin Potatoes
Crisp Green Salad

Sugar Cookies with a toast of Bailey's for the grown-ups

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Three Years of Santa Visits

Marty and I are *still* laughing about our visit with Santa today.  Check out the montage:

Year 1:  Happiness!  Santa is great!

Year 2:  Dodged a bullet with a sleeping Lucy, bribed Will with a sucker.  Decent shot.

Year 3:  The Santa visit which will live in infamy.
Now *that* is Christmas awesomeness, y'all! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays...#211-220

Thankful (for):

211.  Visits from my parents, even when they're too short. 
212.  Tylenol suppositories for little ones who are burning up with fever and can't keep oral medicine down.
213.  Big Christmas gifts for my kids from their Nana and PaPa -- a pink and white "tea" table for Lucy, an art easel/table for Will.
214.  The relationships that my kids have with their grandparents -- my poor Lucy was miserable most of the weekend but was clearly enjoying snuggle time with her PaPa; Will kept coming into the kitchen ("Nana, [where] are you?") for hugs and kisses from his Nana.
215.  A recipe for "Creamy Scallop Bake" that I copied out of Paula Deen's new Southern Cookbook Bible -- a present for my mom.  I adore sea scallops, so a Happy Christmas to me, to me!
216.  The quietness and calm of getting back into routine on Monday morning.
217.  Not one, but TWO coupons for -- thus a chance to get our Christmas cards ordered and shipped here in time to get them out and arrived at their destinations by Christmas Eve.  (I was totally flailing on this and was in serious doubt I'd get it done, but a couple things came together and I'm so glad I can send out cards!)
218.  TONS of new words from Will -- castle, umbrella, town(!) -- and a few *phrases* too -- "stand up," "big boy," "there you are!"
219.  Finding "The Polar Express" on sale at Target for $7.99 -- a beloved favorite in my family.
220.  Watching my children get caught up in the wonder and magic and beauty of Christmastime!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Series 35: About Blogs

Installment #2
20 things you'll never see me do on this blog:
  1. Refer to my husband by his initials or in any contrived, hyper-cutesy, blog-lingo way.  His name is Marty.  I will call him Marty.
  2. Behave as though my life, my words, my name, or my blog are on their way to becoming some sort of brand.  I'm just Becky, and this is just a blog.
  3. Go from one single-digit size to a smaller single-digit size and talk about "my weight loss journey."
  4. Speak as though my wedding was some kind of social event.  Two people got married and shared that day with their loved ones.  It was beautiful, happy, and intimate...and probably not worthy of a magazine spread.  Yet I still manage to go on with my life...
  5. Post pictures of myself posing in front of my bathroom mirror to show you all the outfits I'm simply agonizing over.  Complete with smiley or pouty faces.
  6. Discuss my Louis Vuitton bag collection.
  7. Create an inspiration board for a 2-year-old's birthday party.
  8. Sell you stuff.  I tried ads but they failed because I made them teeny-tiny and/or hid them at the very bottom of the page.  Turns out I hate ads on my own site just as much as I do on others' (although if you're raising money for a sick child or for an adoption, by all means...).
  9. Encourage you to buy that $160 sound machine so your infant will sleep better. 
  10. Talk endlessly about my life in great detail and then every so often, post about how you can't possibly know me at all.
  11. Attempt to proselytize you to any kind of parenting "method."  Or sincerely consider that you should give up the cost of a month's worth of diapers to pay for a web seminar on nighttime parenting.  Because clearly nobody's been able to figure this out on their own in all the centuries of human history.
  12. Share links to blogs that would make you feel inferior or inadequate in any way.
  13. Use crossed-out words to make me sound funnier.  Because I suck I'm not good at it.  (Although I heartily admire those who are.)
  14. Show you images of customized stationery I bought.  For my infant.
  15. Pretend to be perfect.  Then deny my (pretense to) perfection by pointing out that I had a bad hair day.
  16. Write an entire post about aforementioned hair.
  17. Insult children's clothing that says "I love Mommy" or the like. 
  18. Promote any kind of random standard about baby clothing; i.e., it's a blight on the innocence of a child if his mother puts him in a polo shirt at the age of 2. That kind of thing.
  19. Deify my husband.  He's marvelous alright, but definitely not perfect.  It's never pleasant to be reading your blogs, sipping your coffee, and suddenly feel yourself gagging.
  20. Speak as though your life is obviously incomplete because you, your home, or your child don't have x, y, or z. 
15 things you *will* find on this blog:
  1. Pictures of my kids.  Not necessarily dressed up or at their best.  (Indeed, aren't those mutually exclusive?)
  2. Gratitude.  Lots and lots of it.  I have more to be thankful for than time in the day to express my thanks adequately.
  3. Unabashed admiration for my husband. 
  4. Nerdiness galore -- recommendations on books, documentaries, historical places to visit.  Buckle up.
  5. Sarcasm.  Because I'm good at it.
  6. A sense of humor about (almost) everything.  Laughter is critical and it never hurts to lighten up a bit.
  7. Links to blogs that I find important or meaningful or helpful or encouraging.
  8. Confessions of struggle, loneliness, and failure.
  9. Hope -- sweet, blessed hope -- for doing better tomorrow.
  10. Amateur(!) theological thoughts and musings.
  11. Tips on what has worked for me as a wife, mom, homemaker, friend, employee, Christian.  With a great big caveat that your life just might be different from mine, and your experiences unique.
  12. Tips on how to save money.
  13. Exultations at having saved some money!
  14. Questions on parenting.  I actually don't know everything because I actually haven't done this before.
  15. Boring anecdotes about my daily life.  Let's face it, this blog is for my parents, sisters, and a few very close friends who do me the favor of staying interested in my life despite how boring it truly is.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Introducing "Series 35"

Installment #1
In honor of my fast-approaching 35th birthday (I just choked a little typing that), I'm going to write 35 lists of 35 items each.  Some will be fun, and some will be serious, but all will be random, as I haven't the time to write anything altogether circumspect these days. 

In casting about for how to inaugurate "Series 35," I looked no further than my good friend, the Shabby Princess, for inspiration...her post today is a celebration of books (hello, kindred spirit, SP!).  Thus, here's my Series 35 on favorite books (fiction/literature; I might do another list on non-fiction) and favorite authors (if I couldn't narrow it down to just one offering from a particular author):
  1. Gotta start with the cream of the crop:  Jane Eyre by the inimitable Charlotte Bronte
  2. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  3. Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)
  4. Elizabeth Berg
  5. Beowulf (uh, the Anglo-Saxons?)
  6. Chris Bohjalian
  7. The Secret Garden (Francis Hodgson Burnett)
  8. Michael Crichton
  9. Agatha Christie
  10. Jennifer Donnelly
  11. Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier)
  12. Silas Marner (George Eliot)
  13. Bridget Jones' Diary (Helen Fielding)
  14. Cold Mountain (Charles Frazier)
  15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
  16. Philippa Gregory
  17. Snow Falling on Cedars (David Guterson)
  18. Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)
  19. The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
  20. Ernest Hemingway
  21. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
  22. Barbara Kingsolver
  23. Sophie Kinsella
  24. Stephenie Meyer (that's right, I'm a Twi-hard and I don't mind admitting it!)
  25. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
  26. Love Comes Softly (series by Janette Oke -- the best books you can give an adolescent girl, in my opinion)
  27. Nancy Pickard
  28. Francine Rivers (I almost put Redeeming Love but her other books are really just as good)
  29. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
  30. Anita Shreve
  31. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
  32. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
  33. The Hobbitt (J.R.R. Tolkein)
  34. Jennifer Weiner
  35. Little House on the Prairie (series by Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Note:  Some of these books I love so much I could cuddle them, while others I love because they really moved me (Tess) or changed my thinking in some way (Catcher).

So -- please leave a comment telling me what book(s)/authors I may have missed in a list of top 35!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays...#201-210

Thankful (for):

201.  Living a mere block away from an emergency room of a major hospital.  Sometimes I'm not fond of it (the medical helicopters flying super-low over our house, the ambulances whizzing by at high speeds), but when you need help yourself, it feels like living next to heaven.
202.  Being seen in said ER almost immediately and being stitched up by a very sweet girl, who gave me three lidocaine injections so I wouldn't feel a thing, and who chatted with me to keep my mind off of her task.  (Who would ever have thought I'd be thankful for *shots* in this list???)
203.  A husband who fed and bathed the kids after he parked me on the couch with a cup of hot tea when I got home.
204.  Advil.  And a husband who watched the clock and gave it to me faithfully, every 4 hours, until the throbbing subsided some.  (I know Marty appears frequently in my lists but he is truly the greatest blessing of my life and the most present and accounted-for husband I can imagine!)
205.  That my dear friend had a successful surgery and is healing and feeling quite well.
206.  Our pastor and his sometimes brief but always thought-provoking sermons.  He must have had an off day on our first visit (I thought his message was too simple) because since then, he's been knocking them out of the ballpark.  Not a Sunday goes by that Marty and I don't talk about the sermon on the way home, and not out of some kind of spiritual obligation, either!
207.  Meaningful ornaments -- "Our First Christmas, 2008", "Baby Boy, 2009", "Baby Girl, 2010".  It is wonderful to see your blessings celebrated on a Christmas tree -- a unique way to be thankful!
208.  That Will is trying so many new words, even hard ones like "wreath."  He is really gaining some new ground and I hope we'll be having full-on conversations very soon!
209.  Upcoming visits -- my parents in just a couple days, a friend in mid-January.  We heart company in this house!!!
210.  Pandora.  Instead of having to buy the new Michael Buble holiday album, we just created a radio station and get to enjoy his music for free!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

You should see the other guy...

In a word, OUCH.
The other guy is the dome to a glass cake stand, which suddenly shattered while I was washing it last night.  The tangle wasn't pretty and I'm going to carry a scar from the encounter forever.  The other guy is now in the garbage and I am on the mend, though I must admit, finger lacerations/stitches hurt like crazy. 

I'll tell more of the story in a few days when I can type normally again...this is really just to show my boo-boo to my mom and dad.  :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Daybook

Outside:  This morning the frost was super-thick on the roofs around us, and the whole world seemed to be in one of those frozen silences.  But this afternoon the sun is shining, the frost has melted, and it's warming up a bit outside -- which is good, because we're going to get our Christmas tree tonight and I don't want to freeze my tail off!

Thinking: About a dear, dear friend going into surgery in just a few minutes.  My stomach has been in knots this whole day, not out of fear (because it's pretty much a routine procedure) but because I hate that she has to go through this and I'd rather do it for her (talk about routine -- I've had 6 surgeries in my life and they don't really bother me anymore, isn't that sad?).  Also about another dear friend having surgery on kills me that I can't go be with both of these girls.  Also about another dear friend going through postpartum issues...and again, I would be so ecstatic to just go help her and make her take a bath and a nap so I could run some laundry and dishes and entertain the toddler and hold the baby.  I've *been* there (and back, thank God) and there's nothing so helpful as a person who just *gets* it.  (Lord, do you hear me?  Please move me closer to at least one of these precious friends!)

From the kitchen:  A rather ordinary weekend menu-wise, except that I'm going to whip up a batch of dark-chocolate chip/toffee cookies for enjoying in front of the fireplace and the Christmas tree.

Reading: The Bible.  I've signed up for a "read the Bible in one year" program at church, and they're giving away Bibles formatted for this very purpose!  I'm excited to get started on January 1st, but I'm trying to get into the habit now.  Every morning while the kids eat their breakfast and watch cartoons, I'm going to sit down with my coffee and read a few chapters.  I've always wanted to do this and 2012 is my year!

Shopping: Ooh, rubbing my hands together in anticipation!  We've had little bits of extra money come in from various places, and we've budgeted for a final big spree at the middle of the month, so I'm making my list and checking it twice!  I can't wait to pick up a couple of the larger items and put them together for Christmas morning.  I hope my kids are beside themselves with joy (and I hope I make my Hubby happy too!).

Hoping:  For a very happy Christmas Day, which is also Marty's birthday.  It's soooooo important to me to make that day a good one for him, and I've got a couple (little) surprises up my sleeve.  Marty, if you're reading this, do NOT take it upon yourself to go snooping around the house in places you don't often frequent...

Hearing: The washing machine work its magic on the fifth or sixth load of the day.  I drank a ton of coffee this morning and I've been attacking my chores!

A favorite thing:  Free gifts with purchase, especially when they're actually NICE items, not just throwaway junk.  (I can't say what it is because that would give away a purchase I made for someone...)  Starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate (to *DIE* for).  Gain detergent (I switched from Tide a couple months ago and I'm still enjoying the new smell!).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Updates on my kiddos

As we approach the end of 2011, I want to remember what the kids were doing at this point (and I haven't written anything about them in awhile, so I think it's time!)...

William Champion
  • is 29 months today, as a matter of fact. 
  • I can't remember the exact numbers from our last pediatrician visit, but he's 30-some pounds and 30-some inches tall.  He's wearing mostly size 2T and some 3T in clothes but a 4T in pajamas.  He wears a size 8(!) shoe.  He's also wearing a size 6 diaper.
  • I haven't been in any rush to potty-train him (as I've read that it's much better to wait than to force the issue) but he's been giving me lots of signs lately, indicating a readiness to go for it.  So, right after Christmas we're going to get started! 
  • is offically enrolled in speech therapy, though we haven't begun actual sessions (there's lots of screening and testing and planning that happens beforehand).  He will also be seeing a speech/language pathologist to help us move forward with appropriate therapies to improve his facial muscle tone and oral motor skills. 
  • Despite any "delay," however, Will is improving all the time with his speech and is constantly adding to his vocabulary.  If a mom's gut is to be trusted as any kind of credible source for understanding a child's development (and I think it is!) then my whole theory on this is that Will was simply uninterested in speaking for a long time -- past the normal age for this interest to be piqued.  Just in the last couple months, though, we have seen this interest spark in him, as Will constantly repeats what we say (even if it's unintelligible, the effort is clearly there) and shows a growing desire to communicate wants and needs. 
  • knows his A-B-C's and his numbers 1-10 (although he often inexplicably skips 6 and 7).  He's starting to show interest in the numbers after 10, too!  Will can identify lots of animals and make their sounds, though he doesn't seem to accept the fact that a zebra isn't a horse (it's a funny conversation to have with him).  He loves to point out body parts and facial features, especially his (or your) belly button -- this makes him giggle!  We are working hard on colors (he wants to call everything "blue" although I know he knows orange, yellow, red, green, purple, and pink, too, since he's correctly identified them before).  Next up is shapes; we've bought him stringing beads for Christmas to help him nail these, too.
  • has had a recent EXPLOSION of interest in books (that's my boy!!!).  His favorites are "Dogs" by Sandra Boynton, "10 Tiny Puppies" (as shown above), "Go, Dog, Go" by P.D. Eastman (sensing a theme here?), Eric Carle's "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?", and "How Do Dinosaurs Count to 10?" (among lots of others). Will absolutely adores to sit in your lap and help you turn the pages, or sit and pore over all the pictures in one of his Bright Baby books.
  • Also shown in that picture?  His last pacifier.  We've lost all the others and we're not going to replace this one.  He only uses it at naptime and bedtime (I don't know why he had it in this picture), but to be honest, I'm loathe to take it away from him altogether.  This has nothing to do with him but is rather my own hang-up; I'm just not quite ready to let go of one of the last semblances of his babyhood.  Plus it comforts him, right?  (Rationalize much?)
  • loves to brush his teeth, although since he hasn't mastered spitting, we're still using non-fluoride training paste.  Will is also trying to help dress himself and likes to name the clothing items (he can say "pants," "shirt," "shoes," and "socks" really well but is working on "shorts" and "pajamas").
  • recently started sleeping with a nightlight.  After some night-waking and crying, we put two and two together and realized it was just super-dark in his room and he didn't like it that way, so now he has a blue car nightlight that he'll specifically request if you fail to turn it on!
  • also recently started singing!  His favorite is the "Backpack" song from Dora the Explorer (although it comes out "pack-pack" and is so cute I refuse to correct him for now).
  • is working on his "polite" words.  I can't get him to say "please" for the life of me but my sweet boy LOVES to say "Thank you!" with lots of enthusiasm.
  • is extremely affectionate.  He does this thing where he'll open his arms wide and say "Mama!" and come running to give me a hug.  Will also loves to give kisses and will make a belated smacking sound with his lips because I think he thinks he's supposed to actually make the sound rather than have it happen naturally.  It's too precious.
  • has done some time in the time-out chair (the bottom step of our staircase).  He is rarely wilfully disobedient (although that's creeping up in places) but he does struggle with whining and sometimes mistreating his sister.  He is very good at taking his punishment, though, and 99% of the time is contrite and compliant after his 2 minutes are up.  So far, so good at curbing bad behavior with him!
  • Favorites:
    • Breakfast:  strawberry jam on toast, sliced bananas, orange juice or milk.
    • Foods:  hot dogs, yogurt, raisins, animal cookies, ravioli/soft pasta, chicken, deli ham, grilled cheese, pickles, tomato soup(!), cooked carrots, Nutella, ice cream.  (Still struggling with veggies...)
    • Activities:  playing with/lining up/organizing his Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, playing ball with his Daddy, coloring, going to the park, going to Sunday School, being read to, taking baths (he goes "swimming").
    • Cartoons/movies:  (Richard Scarry's) Busytown Mysteries (he asks for "cat"), Kipper the Dog (he asks for "dog"), Peter Rabbit, Baby Bumblebee vocabulary builder videos.
  • Dislikes:  getting his hair cut (and with his mop, we have to do it often, unfortunately), seeing Daddy leave for work, his baby sister being in his business, bedtime.

Lucy Elizabeth
  • just turned 16 months.
  • is in the upper 20s in weight and I simply have no idea how tall she is (I don't think they've measured her at the doctor's in quite awhile...), though I would venture to say upper 20s in inches.  LuLu is wearing both 18-month and 24-month sizes in clothing, depending on the manufacturer/brand.  She is wearing a size 5 diaper and a size 6 shoe.
  • is not talking at all, really.  Sometimes I'm tempted to feel a bit dismayed by this, but now that I've seen Will's growth and development, I know that kids just develop at their own rates and most of the time, when they're just good and ready to do so and not before.  This doesn't necessarily indicate a problem (in fact, problems are rare but parents can be entirely too quick to the draw out of fear!) so we're not going to borrow any trouble unless/until our pediatrician expresses her concern.  Lucy babbles quite a bit and does have a handful of words (she loves to say "GO!" and "Yay!"), although she doesn't call any of us by name (she says something like "mama" but it's not quite there). 
  • is extremely well-developed in her motor skills and physical abilities.  She has been walking since 13 months and is now running everywhere and climbing on things.  I accidentally left the baby gate open for a couple of minutes and found her about 5 steps up on the staircase!  The child has no fear and no sense of caution whatsoever.  This should prove to be interesting.
  • is a champion sleeper.  If she happens to wake up at night, it's only because she's had a diaper leak or is in pain from teething, and even then it's clear that she's desperate to go back to sleep.  Her usual bedtime is anywhere from 7:30 to 8:30 (it all depends on what we've had going that day) and she will sleep for 11-12 hours solid.  She also goes down very well, too; we give her a bottle and rock her for a few minutes but only for comfort -- she is drowsy but still awake when we lay her down.  She is wonderful at settling herself in and going to sleep.  (Will was not this way AT ALL so Lucy's habits are a huge relief to us and a welcome change!)
  • loves to rub her ears (or yours) as a comfort mechanism when falling asleep.  It's my favorite quirk of hers.
  • is still taking warm milk bottles -- one in the morning and one at night.  Despite every effort to get her to take anything from a sippy or straw cup, she will only take a sip or two but won't actually drink for nourishment/to quench thirst.  I'm getting frustrated on this point since I can't keep buying different brands of cups to try with her, and I'm heartily sick of using bottles and I'm ready to see them go.  Dr. Estes encouraged us to try a cold-turkey approach (just don't give her a bottle one morning and give her milk in a cup instead) but I'm reluctant to try it this way (I hate any "method" of helping children to the next stage that isn't slow and gentle -- hello, WEANING).
  • has garnered herself about half a dozen nicknames.  We call her "Lucy" quite a bit but we also call her "Boo-Boo," "Belles-Belles," "LuLu" or just "Lu" (or "Lou" -- her Daddy and I disagree on the spelling), and "Luce-my-goose" or "Lu-my-goo."  I know, we're weird.
  • is not really into dolls yet, but does sometimes like to cuddle them and peer into their faces (I wonder if she's waiting for them to respond?).  Her favorite, favorite toy in the world is this little Fisher Price stereo that plays different kid tunes ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider") when you push various buttons.  She also loves this push-and-ride dinosaur that we bought for Will to help encourage him to walk (but he never used), a toy piano, and kitchen items (both play and real -- she loves bowls and spoons and spatulas).  She really loves all the Little People items and she's getting a couple more for Christmas, including a "zoo train" that plays music when you push it along, which I think is going to be a big hit with her!
  • This girl LOVES TO DANCE, and her favorite music to dance to is the "Go, Diego, Go" theme song (I think because it has a strong beat?).  And she doesn't just bop about a bit, no -- Lucy waves her arms almost like a hula dance, and she shakes her little booty from side to side and up and down -- it is *hilarious* to watch. 
  • struggles a bit with separation anxiety.  If her attention isn't focused on a toy or a show and I leave the room, she gets pretty unhappy, and will follow me about, trying to do what I'm doing (you can imagine how much work I don't get done when this happens).  I call her my little duckling, because she follows me around so much!  I actually love this most of the time and appreciate that she wants to be with me, but if I need to get work done or leave her in the nursery, things can get pretty dramatic and is very difficult on both of us.
  • is progressing pretty slowly with her foods.  She is still eating mostly baby food (6 tubs a day!) plus cereal, but is finally moving on to some nibbles like Club crackers and honey-nut Cheerios.  She will eat green beans and raisins and ravioli but just kind of plays with other offered items.  In this area as well we're just moving at HER pace and that's okay with us!
  • still has only the 4 teeth (both top and bottom front teeth).  Her incisors are coming through but PAINFULLY slowly.  Poor baby.
  • is very expressive.  She will put her hands under her chin like she *knows* she's being really cute:

  • has extremely wild hair.  And no one can seem to agree on whether she's dark blonde or light brunette.  I guess time will tell!
  • Favorites:
    • Cartoons/movies:  Dora and Diego are by far her favorites, but she also has an affinity for Sesame Street and Barney (that Will doesn't seem to share).
    • Activities:  following Will around, following Mama around, snuggling on Daddy.  She loves the baby swing at the park and riding in the baby seat of the grocery cart but *only* if I let her hold my list and pen!  She also loves car rides and picture books and mirrors.  (What can I say?  She's a girl!)
  • Doesn't like:  the church nursery, getting wiped up after a meal, being told "No."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays...#191-200 (yeah!)

Thankful for:

191.  "Downton Abbey."  Yes, I'm thankful for a TV show.  If you've seen it, then you know why.  (These characters are like *family* to me!)
192.  Internet-savvy people who showed me where to access Season 2 of the above (before it's released in America)!
193.  The amazing music service at church yesterday, with the choir and orchestra (it felt like we should have been charged admission!).  I bawled like a baby during their rendition of "O Holy Night."  I think it's the most sacred of the Christmas hymns and is very, very special to me. 
194.  When my kids are being extremely quiet, and I suspect naughtiness, but I actually sneak up and find that they're just deeply engrossed in books or puzzles or toys, lost in their own thoughts and imaginings. 
195.  Remembering a box I had in the garage and digging through it to find not only a long-forgotten favorite purse (Ralph Lauren brown-and-green plaid, purchased at an extreme discount) but a pair of Franco Sarto brown leather boots. (How does one forget about such treasures?  It's called back-to-back pregnancies that a) make your memory so much mush and b) make boot-wearing a laughable venture!) Now I just have to pick up a couple of skirts and pairs of tights at TJ Maxx and I can get tons of use out of both without spending a lot of money!  
196.  Marty's homemade pizza.
197.  Six-foot, pre-lit pine garlands on sale at Hobby Lobby for $10.
198.  A husband who is willing to spend time hanging nails at strategically hidden spots so the mantel decoration and stockings could be strung together with twist-ties so that the under-3 set in our house can't pull the whole shebang onto their noggins!
199.  The opportunity to do a small editing job to both exercise my brain and earn a little bit of Christmas money.
200.  The fact that our Redeemer came to us as a tiny baby, to show us that God became man in his most helpless form, to feel the sufferings of humanity and to ultimately sacrifice Himself for our sins.  The Christmas story is so powerful, it can't help but captivate our minds and souls and draw us to His heart, so full of love and grace and compassion for us.  As I sing "Away in a Manger" to Will at night, I am caught up in the beauty of the story, again and again.