Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Spring Has Arrived

Spring is here, and the street has awoken from its hibernation.

A neighbor had a baby this month, which I think now makes Atticus the fifth youngest on the block and Edith the tenth. In other words: there are lots of kids around. Texts have been flying among parents for last-minute play dates, or we'll have an impromptu gathering if we pass a friend's front lawn. It's a free-for-all, and I like it that way.

Edith and I walked to the river yesterday and ended up saying hi to at least six neighbors and stopped to talk to two more while Edith played with the other kids. It's wonderful.

We've made it to the splash pad once already this month, and I'm ready to hook up our new sprinkler soon and fill up the kiddie pool (both have been used only one time, on a freakishly hot April day). We're planning a summer vacation. I have a long list of playgrounds to visit around Columbus. Summer, we're ready for you.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Photos: April Highlights

April 4 -- COSI

April 15 -- Easter Party & Mommy's Glasses

April 19 - Backyard Fun

April 19 -- Hammock Time

April 23 -- Church Playground

April 30 -- Picking Wildflower #1, by Becky

April 30 -- Picking Wildflower #2, by Becky

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Boys vs. Girls: Haircut Edition

Why did I ever think that I would want two girls? Despite his definitive entrance into the Terrible Twos, Atticus is so much fun. And in many ways, boys are so much easier.

Boy clothes aren't as cute as those for girls, but at least the lack of options makes it simple to pick out a wardrobe. Shoes, shirts, shorts -- they are all pretty straightforward. And the easiest thing of all, I've recently learned: the hair.

Girls choose short or long hair, bangs or not. If it's long, as Edith's is, the choices multiply. Headband? Barrettes? Hairband? If a hairband, what color? Do you want pigtails or a ponytail? High ponytail or low? AND CAN YOU JUST SIT STILL SO I CAN GET THIS IN??????

There are a few choices for boys, but not nearly so many. In fact, after reading a couple of blog posts and watching a video, I decided I could do it myself. I got out the clippers, used three different sizes -- an inch on top, a half inch to about the top of his ears, and a size in between to "blend" the two areas -- and it looks pretty darn good. He's gotten several compliments, so I think I'm now his new hairdresser.

Edith, on the other hand, hasn't had a haircut in over a year. Boys are great.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Funny Stuff My Kids Say, Part 2

March 21, 2017
Edith, looking at a mud puddle, asked how it got there. I asked her what she thought. Her response: The raindrops pooped.

March 27, 2017
I asked Edith to clean her room. She looked at me sternly, and I internally prepped myself for some major sass.
E (slowly, sternly): "I. Am. (Pause) Adorable!"

April 11, 2017
E: "Are we ready to die?"
Turns out, it was "dye," not "die." She wanted to decorate the eggs we had boiled for Easter that morning.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Photos: Atticus Asleep

Kids are never so cute (or pleasant!) as when they are sleeping.

March 16, 2017

March 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Atticus Turns 2

April 2, 2017

The calendar has confirmed what I long have feared -- Atticus is getting older.

He turned two on Sunday, and boy does he act it. So far we haven't quite entered the terrible phase, but we're well within the Ornery Twos. That's a thing, right? If not, he's doing his best to make it so.

Atticus at 2 is singing the ABC song (and even gets a few of the letters in the correct order lol) and is starting to learn his colors (blue, green and recently pink). He is saying more words than I can count and learning new ones each day. I think he could spend hours on my lap looking at books, pointing to and reciting the objects he knows and patiently asking about the ones he doesn't.

He loves Maisy Mouse books, ring around the rosie and pretty much anything his big sister is doing. He is always happy swinging and is brave when it comes to slides and (especially) ladders. And Mama is thrilled that he still takes a two or three hour nap every day, even if he wants his beloved fuzzy brown teddy bear with him.

He doesn't much like his hands dirty, although that doesn't stop him from stuffing every type of food into his mouth. This kid has an appetite. Sure, he can use a spoon and fork, but fingers are so much faster! He's eager to drink his milk and water from a big-kid cup without a lid, but mama still has to clean up quite a few spills.

Best of all, he loves to laugh and is eager to do so. Simply put, Atticus is a joy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Looking Toward Preschool

We got official word last week that Edith got a spot in the preschool we were aiming for. I wasn't terribly nervous. Current students got priority, but I arrived early on sign-up day to make sure she would be first on the list if there were any openings. Of course, some of those preschoolers will be moving on to kindergarten, so I was 99.9 percent sure she would get in.

Still, receiving that letter made the upcoming school year seem more imminent -- and more real. My kiddo is going to school! Four days a week! Half days, but still. Next comes grade school, then high school, and then pretty soon she'll be moving out of the house.

I know she will love school, and I think Atticus will love his alone time. Edith was the center of attention for the first 2 years and 4 months of her life. Atticus will be 2 years and 5 months when his big sister goes to school and he finally becomes the center for a big chunk of time most weekdays. Ahh, how the tides have turned, I'm sure he'll be thinking!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Photo: Matching Coats

When Edith pulls on this pink coat, Atticus insists on wearing the matching green one. Even if I wanted to say no, how could I resist such cuteness?

February 23, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Funny Stuff My Kids Say, Part 1

Edith, during a pop-up snowstorm  last week: "The clouds are pooping."
I was counting Edith's jumps on our mini trampoline yesterday, and I got into the 90s. "Is that English?" she asked.


Also, I've been considering for some time making this blog once per week -- after all, paying jobs take priority, right? Accidentally skipping Friday's post seems like the perfect time to do so. From now on, posts will be published on Tuesdays, with a mixture of text and photos. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Movie Theater Outing

I've heard a million times that you do things differently with your second child, and I agree a million percent. Case in point -- yesterday I took Atticus to his first movie at a theater.

Edith's came shortly before she turned three years old. By contrast, Atticus is a few weeks shy of two. In both cases, the first outing was at a local theater that shows movies that have long been released for around $1.50 per ticket. So if the kid can't take it, at least we're out less than 5 bucks.

Edith, Atticus and I saw "Moana," the newest Disney flick. We arrived in the middle of previews, and only a handful of patrons were there. Edith asked a couple of questions too loudly, and Atticus had a couple of minor fussy moments, but all went well. On our way out, I saw another mom who had kids about their same ages. I like to think the smile I gave her was conspiratorial.

It was a lovely outing for a cold, gray day. Looking forward to doing it again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Presidents Day Update

Another year, another Presidents Day, another book about a president.

Just a few weeks ago I finished the next biography on our quest to read a book about each president, this one on Herbert Hoover. I knew next to nothing about him, so it was an interesting read. And the holiday inspired me to start our book on Franklin D. Roosevelt yesterday, so maybe I'll actually finish two presidential biographies (or more?!) in the next year. One can dream.

Of course, the long presidential campaign season, the election and then the events of the last month have put me into presidential-info overload. But it has been interesting to be able to compare our current president and political engineering in general to those of the past with a little bit of knowledge. I may not agree with the policies, but at least I can understand some of the history behind the ideas.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Photo Friday: Edith Ice Skates

If you are friends with Paul on Facebook, you probably saw this photo that he took of Edith when they went ice skating last month. But it didn't *really* happen unless it's on my blog.

January 2016

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day, and for the first time in a long time, someone in this house actually cares.

Spoiler alert: It's Edith. She has made a valentine for me and another for daddy, and a few random ones just for good measure. And she has received a couple from our neighbors, so I think that she'll spend this morning making a few more to drop off in  her friends' mailboxes. Craft + outing = Perfect activity. For Edith, at least.

I guess I wasn't exactly truthful in my first sentence. I care about Valentine's Day, but only because Paul usually celebrates by bringing me home a yummy treat. Ask me in 12 hours if the tradition continued.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mama Edith

Edith is becoming quite maternal.

I've caught her washing Atticus's face with a damp paper towel after supper. Also, wiping his nose. She has named her favorite dolls "Cute Baby" and "Baby Rose." Yesterday she told me she "really want(s) a baby in (her) belly." When she's older, she clarified. Her baby will be named either Rose or Jane.

She's asked once or twice if she could have a baby brother or sister. (No.) The other day, she told me that she wants to be a mom when she grows up, and she wants her name to be Diane. (Already taken.) It will be interesting to see how long this phase lasts.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Atticus Speaks

The so-called language explosion has begun here, and our 22-month-old seems to surprise us with a new word every day.

Our favorite: "dinks." I was always under the impression that thirsty children first learn to say some variation of "cup," "water" or "milk." Instead, Atticus ask for "drinks." Or as he says it: "dinkkksss" -- definitely elongating the K and the S. It's pretty darn cute.

Everything is currently the color "blue" and he just may recognize the letter "A" for Atticus. He'll attempt to repeat his own name, and Edith's, too. But he usually just says "E-deeee," which his sister definitely doesn't care for.

If he sees a picture of an apple, he'll say "apple." If he sees a picture of a dog, he'll say "dog." If he sees a picture of a cow, he'll say "moooo!"

Can't wait to see what he learns next!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Spring in the Winter

In the dead of winter, in the middle of my least favorite month, it's nice to get a bit of a reprieve. This past weekend, I got two of them.

First, Mom and Dad came for an overnight visit. That always feels like a vacation since, of course, the kids just want to play with Grandma and Grandpa and ... that's it. No bothering me for 24+ hours. Score.

And second, the weather was beautiful. I'd take temperatures in the mid-60s any spring day, let alone in January. We all spent quite a bit of time outdoors, and the kids even broke out the chalk.

But Grandma and Grandpa returned home, and this week brings back rain and cold weather, and maybe some snow later on. Oh, how the real world interferes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Snow White at CCT

What do parents do if not try to pass down each and every one of their hobbies to their kids? That's why I've already introduced movie musicals to Edith. That's why she asks for the "Hamilton" soundtrack as soon as we get in the car. And that's why, for the second year in a row, Edith and I went to a show by the Columbus Children's Theatre.

OK, so children's theater isn't exactly a hobby of mine, but I do love to see a good show. And a 50-minute show without an intermission seems like a good introduction before going to see something much longer -- and more expensive. Last year she and I saw Rapunzel as part of her Christmas present. Last week it was Snow White.

The productions are low-key but well done -- minimal sets, four actors/actresses and lots of audience participation. Edith loudly asked some questions during the show, but no matter. With a theater full of children, it's bound to get a bit noisy.

And we couldn't leave without meeting Snow White, of course. If I heard correctly, Edith was describing her shoes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The End of the Nap

I'm never prouder to be a mom than when my kids are asleep.

I jest, but only in part. The other part recognizes just how much more difficult it's been lately since Edith has cut back her naps.

Edith turned 4 in November, and I'm lucky she held on to her daily nap until then. The two hours or so when Edith and Atticus would nap at the same time (and Atticus, usually another hour after that) was a welcome respite.

But it wasn't long after her birthday that her naps became more sporadic. Even still, she will occasionally take them, particularly if it's been a big day or we're in the car in the evening. But nowadays she has mostly "quiet time" -- and that phrase is definitely supposed to be in quotation marks since it's never as quiet as I wish.

Perhaps the naps will return when we're able to get out and about more. The frigid temperatures over the last week have kept us largely indoors. In any case, I have recently seen a slight increase in my freelancing work, so nap or not it needs to get done. Really, Mom is the one who needs the nap.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Photo Friday: Family Portraits

Let's start the year with two family portraits from the last few months -- the first from my sister-in-law, the second from a Disney photographer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

From 2016 to 2017

The holiday season has been punctuated by illness. The worst of it was nearly a week ago, but I'm sneezing even now as I write this on Monday night.

Christmas was great. It was a day spent shuttling between family in Hilliard and Defiance, like usual. Unfortunately, my sister and her family were sick and out of commission that day, but I assumed we would likely see them later in the week. It didn't happen.

On Tuesday night Edith puked. It was a one and done, and she was better in no time. On the other hand, I was throwing up every 45 minutes from 1 to 5 a.m. Wednesday. I hadn't felt so bad since the early days of my pregnancies.

I was nauseous most of the rest of the day and slept it away while Paul and my parents watched the kids. Worst of all, we had to cancel plans to see some friends that evening.

The next day I was 100 percent better, just in time to go back to Columbus. We went to a party Friday night and hosted our own on New Year's Eve. Then on New Year's Day entered the congestion and sneezing. Nothing serious, but way annoying.

The end of the holiday season is always a bit depressing, and this year it feels even worse. I'm already ready for winter to be behind us.


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