Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bits and Pieces: January

I hate to tempt the Weather Gods by saying anything, but boy, this winter has been SO MUCH better than last winter. We've don't have to worry about getting frostbite walking from the house to the car! We can play outside! I don't have to wear two sweaters and a pair of mittens inside the house!

We've taken Clare ice skating several times. (Christopher came once. He rode around the ice in his stroller. He was not impressed.) Clare, however, cannot get enough time on the ice. She's getting pretty good at skating, too. She can skate backwards and spin around in circles. Not gracefully, mind you, but she is still doing it. We met some friends at the rink a few weekends ago, and then went to Snuffy's for lunch afterwards. A fun winter Saturday. Oh, and can I just say how great it is that Groveland Rec Center lends out skates for free? For free!

Last weekend, we went down to the St. Paul Winter Carnival. We rode the bus, which I think was the highlight of the trip for the kids. Even Christopher was into it. It was such a beautiful, warm day. The ice sculptures looked a little worse for wear, but it was so nice to be able to get out and do something as a family.

Our other news for the month is that we are now minivan owners. I feel like such a stereotype. All we are missing is the dog. However, I have to say that the minivan is nice. It is comfortable and it will be wonderful for camping trips this summer.

With nights out with friends, book club, dinner parties and family time, it has been a fun month. The winter blahs still come and go, but for the most part things are good. Now that I've said I am enjoying winter, we'll probably get a huge blizzard next week. I can handle it, though, since we have so many good days in the bank.

Waiting for his milkshake at Snuffy's.

At the Winter Carnival.

Christopher was also not impressed by the Winter Carnival.

Clare on one of our many trips to the aquarium at MOA.

Saying goodbye to our old Prius. I didn't even like that car much, but it still felt a bit sad to leave it behind. It was the car we used to bring Christopher home from the hospital, after all.

Friday, January 16, 2015


I know I said I wasn't going to do any New Year's Resolutions this year, but I can't seem to help myself. There is something about the new year that makes me want to set goals. Start fresh. Get organized. And getting organized is exactly the subject of my first resolution. Now that I am out of the fog that is the first year with a new baby, I feel ready to tackle some house projects. The first thing I need to do is go through all of the places that I can close the door on: closets, the basement, drawers. These things are certified (by me) disaster areas. So that's resolution number one: organize my house. I've already scheduled all of the dates to do this, so I am really hoping I will get it done.

Resolution number two: stick to my workout routine. I really, really want to focus on this. I know it is a very commonly made (and broken) resolution, but I am going to try. Really.

Number three: read all of the books on my bookshelf. I have a stack of books next to my bed that I keep ignoring in favor of books from the library or on my Kindle. Several of these books are on loan from my mother-in-law, so I really should read them and get them back to her. Edited to add: I already broke this one by checking two books out from the library. All well, I will still try to get through the stack on my bookshelf.

And number four. Watch the entire series of Friends on Netflix. Yep. I think I can do it.

And now, here is how we burn off extra energy in the winter. Or, I should say, how Clare burns off extra energy. With special appearance by decrepit cat. (Yes, with possibly inappropriate lyrics. She didn't understand. She was too busy tossing her head.)

Monday, January 5, 2015

15 Months (and One Day)

Christopher has become Mr. Independent this month. Anything he can do for himself, he will. If I carry him up the stairs rather than letting him climb up himself, he cries in frustration and anger. He wants to turn off the light. He will put the cap back on his food packet. He tries, unsuccessfully, to put on his socks.

Of course, he still doesn't walk on his own, so I guess he is not all that independent. His crawling certainly gets him where he needs to go, though.

He had a great time over the holidays. Why wouldn't he? He had the full attention of at least one of his grandparents, great-grandparents, or an aunt or uncle almost every day of Christmas Break. When we were at my parents' house, he couldn't get enough of Baba Ralph. Any time he was around, Christopher ignored everyone else. I tried to take him from my dad at one point, and Christopher literally slapped my hands away. I guess I know where I stand.

On Christmas morning, Christopher pulled a pair of maracas out of his stocking. Christmas could have ended right there. He sat and shook those maracas like a madman, grinning like crazy. He only took breaks to stuff his face with gingerbread. When Ben finally cut him off, he sobbed and tried in vain to reach the gingerbread, which was now safely stowed on top of the mantle.

Speaking of stuffing his face, every time he eats something he says, "Mmmmm!" I love it. Especially since he'll happily eat anything I make, unlike his sister, who will only eat cheese burritos, plain pasta, frozen mango, and tomatoes. Christopher seems insatiable some days, reaching out his hand and bleating "Ma! Ma! Ma!" (More, of course.) My mom says he sounds like a baby goat. He really does. He has also started feeding other people whenever he can. I think my mom was force fed at least 10 pretzels during one sitting over Christmas. This morning he fed me my toast.

He adores his new cousin. He doesn't usually realize she's there until she starts crying, and then he gets super excited. When they first met, Josie stopped crying and stared at Christopher when he started squawking at her. I am sure she was wondering just what that thing was. I hope they'll have a great time together when she's a little older - they're only a year apart, after all.

I am looking forward to getting back into our routine now that the holidays are over. It was a good Christmas, but it is always nice to get back to normal. Or nermal, as Clare says. Here's to a great 2015!