Well, we kinda felloff the blogosphere at the end of 2008, but with good reason. A huge project consumed my life for the better of 8 weeks through October and November and for the last three weeks we’ve rotated through a puking spell that has left all of us completely exhausted. Such is life now, but we’re determined to rebound and embrace 2009 with better health and more comedy than ever before.
December has brought so many changes to our lives, including using the potties like BIG girls and shedding our addiction to the highchairs. The transition to toddler beds will happen in the next few months, and who knows what else is in store. We talk a mile a minute. Play silly games. And comfort each other when we are not feeling so good. It’s really a sweet time.
This stomach virus has consumed most of our December and while it’s been tough on our little bodies, the girls have been so sweet to each other. They will rub each other’s backs and help get water and blankets for the other. Of course, if you’re not the one who is sick, it sometimes makes you feel left out so you concoct ideas about “fake vomiting” and start screaming from your bed “I GROW UP, TOO! [supposed to be “throw up”] I GROW UP, TOO!”; followed by pathetic attempts at throw-up sounds. The first night that Tess got sick it was about 2:00a.m. and Chad and I rushed in their room to help her, and it scared Nora, understandably. She wanted to get out of her crib so we let her out and while we were stumbling around still half-sleep trying to clean up the child and the room in the dark Nora helped out by flipping on the light switch and announced cheerfully, “TIME TO GET UP EVERYBODY!”. Uh, no. I thought Chad was going to tackle her.
Tessa does not like to be sick. It is so sad to see a baby so limp and zoned out. Nora seems to push through it a little better and so we have a hard time telling when Nora is really feeling sick or just doesn’t want to be left out of the fun (hence the “car cleaning incident of ’08”). But Tess will let you know when her tummy hurts and when she’s not feeling well. They have been so good at communicating, it has really changed our life to be able to understand their needs. Of course, such verbalization comes with clear opinions and a fiery independence. “ME do it!”, they’ll say. Ok, ok, if you want to cook your own eggs–then have at it. Nora has demanded that SHE drive the car somedays. Uhhh, no. But they are great helpers. In fact, they refuse to sit down at the table until every piece of silverware, every napkin, cup and plate is ready and in place. They have little stepstools now so they can see the action and help us get out meals ready. It’s been really fun to have them as my little sous chefs.
2008. Crazy. So different than I had imagined. Tough in new ways and rewarding in so many more. We are blessed. I can’t wait for 2009. I think it’ll be lots of fun.
My ability to blog has been eclipsed by my skyrocketing work level, but I still manage to make it home most nights for dinner and the bedtime routine (park, bath, books, milk and cuddles) only to pick up working again in the evenings.Â There is a light at the end of this work tunnel that I think will come around the middle of this month…
Anyway, the girls are really into “labeling”.Â I guess this is the phase where their vocabulary soars as they label each and every item around them and their memory for events is repeating in this “labeling” storytelling.Â This past weekend Chad’s parents came over for lunch on Sunday and to wish Daddy Chad a Happy Birthday (shout out to Daddy!).Â We had a great time, but there was a moment when we were sitting in the living room and Grandpa Chris leaned over in his chair and KABOOM! he fell.Â He was alright and we helped him up.Â But Nora was very very concerned and scared.Â She insisted that I give him a hug at least twice.Â And every day since then Nora has gone up to that chair and said, “Grandpa Chair.Â Fall down!”Â
Their little memories are amazing.Â One time (only once)Â we saw two ducks in the little creek by the park by our house.Â The girls were so excited.Â Every time we go by the creek on the way to the park they say, “Quack quack duck!”Â And when we don’t see them I ask them, “Where did they go?”Â In Nora and Tessa’s minds there are only two responses to this question: 1) “Sleepytown nite nap!”, and 2) “Snack”.Â
Everything thing that leaves has either gone to bed or is eating something.Â It’s so cute.Â They say this about everything–ducks, dogs, cars and even airplanes.Â “Where did the airplane go?” I’ll ask after it passes overhead and flies far off.Â Nora will say with certainty: “Snack”.Â And Tessa willÂ agree and say “Sleepytown nite nap”.
Last night at dinner we were sitting around the table talking about milk and water.Â They love to see what everyone is drinking.Â Mommy was having milk.Â Daddy was having water withÂ ICE.Â Ice is a big deal.Â They love ice.Â Â Toward the end of dinner Tessa wanted to see if Daddy was done with his water.Â “Almost.” She said when she saw the glassÂ almost empty.Â “Ice?” she asked?Â Â “No,” I said, “Daddy’s ice is all gone.Â Where did it go?”Â I thought this was a good opportunity to talk about melting.Â Â Tessa disagreed, “Ice sleepytown,” she correct.Â I laughed so loud.Â True, I thought.Â The ice probably went “sleepytown.”
This is Tessa, one year ago, on Christmas morning 2006:
And this is Nora:
And this is us now, Tessa and Nora, respectively:
I would not believe it if the pictures were not right in front of me.
Our bottles are a thing of the past. We can run, not just walk. We talk and sign and hold our own spoons. We kiss and laugh and smile and chase each other around and around. We are best friends.
We sing and dance.
We shake rattles. We ask for more.
We play together and apart. We have our own preferences, our own tastes, our own individual personalities.
We love animals and books and music. We love to ride in our wagon. We can color with crayons. We can put our baby dolls to sleep and kiss them good-night.
We shout and scream and giggle. We pre-brief at the beginning of each day and post-brief before we fall asleep. We wear our hearts on our sleeves.
We are warm and friendly and inviting. We love other kids. We are very, very busy.
We share. We apologize. We are gentle.
Sometimes we have bad days, or we are sick or sad.
But mostly we are happy and we have fun.
And we are in love…
We can’t wait to see what 2008 brings.
At my house, when I say “Cheese” this is what I get:
Tessa and me:
And…the best family photo to date…
We love you!
Sometimes…when you only get a couple of hours of sleep…you entire world gets turned on its head.
Or, maybe buy cialis 10mg we should just do some yoga and call it a Friday…
Working on less than three hours today…no apparent explanation.
Hello, everyone!Â Tessa the Ladybug here…
Just gearing up for Halloween over here on Walmer Street…
Here’s Nori the Bumblebee…
Ahhhh!Â Attack of the killer Nori-bees!
Don’t worry…I’m safe in Grammy’s arms…
We thought Trick o’ Treating was lots of fun.
We’re too tiny to get any candy, but it was fun to get out and see all the other kids and just walk around.
Our life is too busy.
Last week I got a card for my 32nd birthday and in the card was one simple phrase: “Enjoy every moment.”Â I don’t think she meant the very fleeting moments of my 32nd year of life.
So, I am reminded, to enjoy these moments:
Tessa says, “Chuz”.Â For “shoes”.Â When I get home from work, both girls run frantically to the drawer where we keep their shoes.Â I don’t know what this means.Â But I do know they love their shoes and urgently want to put on mismatched variations of shoes and socks.
Both girls say, “down”.Â They don’t say “no” yet but “down” is more like, “Let me down, lady, I’m outta here.”
When asked what sound does a kitty cat make, Nora says, “Mmmm…ow”.Â There’s no long “e” sound.Â Just a long, closed mouth “mmm” followed by “ow”.Â Nora loves kitty cats.
We have the “oo oo oo” sound down for monkey, and it easily translates in the the sound also made by owls andÂ ghosts.
“Mum mum mum” still comes in triplicate.Â “Da da” for dad.Â “Pa pa” or “poppie” sometimesÂ for poppie Jerry.
We can point to everything.Â We can point to specific people when named, our ears, our eyes (ouch!), mouth, sometimes to the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” our feet, where our hats go…our head, and we can point to my personal favorite, our bellybuttons.Â Very cute.Â We’re trying for “elbow” but that’s difficult to reach.
We can play “Ring around the rosy.” And if we can’t find a partner toÂ make a circle, we just turn around and around by ourselves.Â Falling randomly to the ground.
We can dance and sing.
When we go downstairs (feet first, facing forward–’cause the girls refused to turn arond and go down on their bellys), we say “schooch, schooch, schooch, DOWN” and drop to the next step.Â The girls imitate us saying, “chu chu chu, DOWN”.Â Â Cute.Â They are very good at the schooch.
Tessa says, “All done” for everything and consistently gives the sign for it.Â
“All dun. All dun.”
The most reliable, and universally applicable, word we use is “ball.”Â Everything is a ball–particularly during the season of pumpkins.Â “Ball. Ball. Ball.” Everywhere we go.Â There are balls.Â
And giggles.Â Lots of giggles.
We love fall.Â My goodness it is so cool and brisk.Â We love it.Â We love it so much that we are already gearing up for Halloween.Â Even though there’s no chance that we will get any candy, we are trying to decide on the best costume to wear for all of October.Â
Â Right now the “Caped Royals Crusaders” are the obvious choice.
First, we get our capes and our hats on.Â Thanks for the help, Poppie.
Then we buzz around the room with electric excitement!Â Cheese Tessa!
Nora strikes a pose.
Â Also in the costume running…
But it’s hard to grab candy with socks on your hands!