Tuesday, September 29, 2009

At 3 1/2 and 6 Months

Well, I blinked and our babies' half-birthdays came and went wherever summer and September went. We sure love these little people and are so thankful to see them grow, and proud of their accomplishments.
No one could've rightly prepared me for just how intense 3 can be, but it's been amazing to see all she's learning and figuring out:
  • We've noticed her sense of humor really developed over the summer. She comes up with some pretty funny jokes. For example, a couple months ago while driving to the beach, Joshua was letting us know he'd had enough of the stop and go traffic. Anna had had enough of being in the backseat with a noisy man-child and said, "Mommy, can we turn Joshua off?" Then burst into giggling.
  • She's getting really good at coloring in the lines.
  • She's learning to write some letters and her counting range gets higher all the time. I think she can reliably get through the 20s now.
  • We're so thankful and proud of how she's become a doting big sister. She adores her brother and he loves her, too. She really is a big help to me, and I thank the Lord for her servant's heart that is beginning to bud.
  • Anna is still our tiny tot, but she is a great eater, so I don't worry anymore about whether she's getting enough since I can now see how much is going in. Her favorites are noodles (just buttered, like Daddy), blueberries, strawberries, bell peppers, just about any bean, pizza, grapes, pears, carrots, rice, just about any soup and much more. She has Mommy's sweet tooth and will never turn down "chwakit" or ice cream.
  • I wouldn't say she has a wild imagination, but more of a practical one; it's there when she needs it. Last week she was wearing one of her pretty dresses and some really fun red shoes a friend recently passed down (thanks, Mandy!). She asked if we could go to church because I had told her they would be good church shoes, not playing outside or bike-riding shoes. Well, since it wasn't Sunday, I told her we couldn't go just then, but that she could wear the same dress and shoes the following Sunday. That waiting part just wasn't fun, so she said, "Well, we'll just have pretend church at our house then. " I actually got some really cute video of Anna and "pretend church," but we seem to have a sick video camera cable, so I can't get it to the computer. I'll consult with Daddy's expertise and maybe get it up soon.
The J-Man continues to grow like a little boy should, though still on the small side. At his recent check-up we were impressed at his height - 27.5" (75%), but not so much the weight - 14 lbs., 1 oz (2%). The doc suggested adding a little formula with the nursing. We're so thankful he's very healthy overall, and right on track developmentally; he's quick with a contagious smile, has "that twinkle in his eye" he gets from his Papa, and is just a sweet cuddle bug. Even as he recovers this week from his first cold, he's kept up his good napping habits and sweetness. If that good sleeping would just carry over into the nighttime hours, that would be great, but in due time, right? When he's not grabbing for anything in sight to explore with his mouth, he's probably enjoying his Exersaucer, swing, or practicing sitting up in front of my lap. We're almost there. We tried some rice cereal a couple weeks ago and I don't think it will be his favorite, but it goes down. Green beans, on the other hand, mostly end up on his bib as he scowls and looks at me pleadingly, as if to say, "must we continue with this?" Green beans probably weren't the kindest veggie to start with. Maybe some squash will be more appealing. Maybe it's pizza and noodles he wants. If he continues his trend of being long and skinny, we'll consider sending him to Kenya to start marathon training instead of kindergarten.

So thankful for my time with them. I confess to getting stuck in the illusion of permanence when the days just seem the same, so it helps me to ponder these milestones and the small, joyful, fleeting moments and remember I'll only pass through childhood with them once.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mini Reunions

One of our favorite things about the Army life is the people we meet along the way. God has blessed us with dear friends in each place we've lived. It's a privilege to be able to keep up with people through technology, but there's just nothing like being together. What is really fun now is to get our little ones together and see them interact. The last two weekends have been about just that! Nearly 2 weeks ago we were in Philadelphia to witness sweet Abigail's baptism. Last weekend, the Spahrs made the trek from Cincinnati to see the DC highlights. Our Annas had a BLAST. We also got to meet up with the Cooks for dinner one night. We love reunions and catching up with friends. Here's a reunion of some "minis" in Old Town. It's so neat how kids can just meet and instantly be friends.

The Annas toured the city like they owned the place. They loved the sights, but I think they mostly enjoyed the giggling. One would start and the other would follow, and as far as we could tell, it was usually about nothing. After a busy day on Saturday of the Smithsonians, the monuments, and a picnic lunch at the National Cathedral I asked them what their favorite thing was. They both agreed that the Color Wonder pages they colored that afternoon here at home were the best. I guess they just like being together.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

1800 Miles Later

We're back safe and sound and thankful for the great times we had and memories that were made.

Everyone is now catching up from all the visiting, playing with cousins, swimming in Grammie's pool, running in Nanny and Papa's big front yard, beaching at Tybee Island, shelling, boat-watching, more swimming, Anna's first throwing up experience (you can only be lucky for so long), seeing friends in NC and GA, watching a wedding in beautiful Savannah and dancing it up at the reception.

cuddling on the couch this morning

Olivia and Savannah loved seeing Joshua again

Did Daddy pick a giant mushroom? Nope, that's Joshua

It was fun to watch port-bound boats pass from our balcony. Anna said they looked like "moving cities," while Daddy would exclaim, "more trinkets from China!"

Getting back to normal life is a bit of a relief. Anna and I went out this morning for a haircut for her and some other errands. It felt good to be doing everyday things.

Daddy started back to classes today. Back to slaving (slacking?) away at Georgetown. It's another light schedule, but he will have lots of reading to do. Good thing he's such a quick study. Can't believe we've been here a year now.

Joshua is so very happy to be back in his own crib. He didn't sleep very well in the pack n play over the last 2 weeks. To celebrate his homecoming, he starting flipping onto his tummy yesterday. Now he gets stuck and mad if he flips in his sleep. He better figure out how to like sleeping on his tummy or just stay still. UPDATE: I wrote this last night, but during this morning's nap I realized little J-Man can flip both ways. We'll see which position he ends up liking to sleep in.

We all miss Grammie's cooking. Right, Uncle Will?