Thought I'd give you a hodge podge update on what's been going on around here:
After a few weeks of balmy weather, we had our first snow of the winter this week. It was icy and the wind was CRAZY, so conditions were NOT ideal for playing. We got our photo ops and ran back into the house.
Truly, this kid LOVES being outside. You know how some babies don't like the feel of grass on their bare feet? Andrew embraces the grass. Andrew is ONE WITH THE GRASS. He's also fast, which means I'm always trying to stay one step ahead of him, scouting out wayward dog poop, wild mushrooms and other hazards. Each afternoon we watch the airplanes fly overhead. We also spend a great deal of time waiting for the mail truck. Cars and trucks are his current thing, with birds still topping his list of favorites. I'm re-learning how to slow down and notice the little things again. Sometimes it's magical; sometimes it's excruciatingly boring. He's such an outdoorsy guy that he gets angry when the dogs get to go out and he has to stay inside.
Last week, Andrew started veering off down our steep, hazardous driveway, in search of cars, or freedom, or the mail, so I bought this online. It's still in the box, so I have no idea if it will make a decent barrier or at least slow him down. I'll let you know. While I was reading up on this product, I watched a video a reviewer left, and I was astounded. The little boy in the video looks just like Jack when he was little. I can't see his face, but his silhouette, gait, and gestures are spot on. Tim and Margaret agree! It's only 18 seconds long, but it's so sweet to watch (click on link and go to bottom of screen).
Another friend suggested parking my car sideways in the driveway to create a barrier to the hill, which could be helpful. This pic gives you an idea of how steep our driveway is. You can barely see the houses across the street from this vantage point.
Speaking of cars, Margaret now has her learner's permit! She will be eligible for her license in October, and we have a lot of practicing to do before then. She is doing very well, but the whole thing stresses me out. I mean, wasn't she JUST a little kid? She proclaimed, after about 2 whole weeks of driving, that she's a better driver than I am. She also said that her dad is a calmer driving companion. Sheesh. I'll concede that it's hard for me not to clutch the door handle, and that my attempts to regulate my breathing could be construed as annoying, but we live in the land of road rage and terrible traffic. I'm going to miss driving her around when she gets her license. One of my favorite things about the kids being in private school all those years was the time spent together in the car each day since there was no bus service.
It's hard to believe that one year ago I was very pregnant, and now this little (kind of big) guy is next to me in his high chair eating peas. He loves peas, bananas, hummus, avocado, strawberries, clementines and is currently obsessed with blueberries. Speaking of eating, he is bigger at 11 months than Jack was at 18 months, and Margaret at over 2 years. Related: my back is sore. I'd love to get you a pic of his two little bottom teeth that are finally poking up, but they are still pretty tough to see. The dogs are also growing, because Andrew loves to throw food on the floor for them.
Miracle Baby has also been waking up A LOT at night lately, which is killing us, but he still goes down very well at 7 pm. Tim does the bath and bedtime routine every night. I weaned him much earlier than the other two, so that Tim could help me more, but now we've created a bottle monster who wants bottles in the middle of the night. I know we should get a grip on this before his one year appointment, but we feel too tired and old to deal with it, so we just stagger through the motions.
Andrew on the inside, a year ago:
On the outside, today, watching the birds:
Did I tell you what we've been doing for dinner lately? I remembered those food assembly places I used to go to when Jack and Margaret were little. Lo and behold, they are still around! I found one that ASSEMBLES and DELIVERS frozen dinners to the house, so I'm basically doing nothing. All I have to do is thaw a meal and pop it in the oven, saute it on the stove, or put in the crock pot. This has been working better for us than the fresh box subscription meals (like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron) we were doing before, because the fresh food in the fridge was stressing me out. If I couldn't get to it in time, I ended up wasting food.
I also need as little prep time as possible right now because Andrew is...busy. Last week I was chopping something when he pulled open our dish drawer and hurled a dish to the floor with all the gusto of a guest at a Greek wedding, all while clinging to my leg. He can sense an opening when it arises. Today he opened Margaret's snack drawer and fed a sleeve of crackers to the dogs.
Have you seen The Shack? I saw it last week. Because it deals with the death of a child, you might assume I cried throughout it, but I didn't. I'm not a big crier, even though I recognize and appreciate the healing power of tears when they do come.
I read the book when it first came out, long before we lost Jack, so there was a lot I'd forgotten. I know the book has helped many, many people grasp the concept of God's vast yet personal love for each of us, and I believe the movie will too. I thought the movie was very well done and full of love.
The only thing that bugged me about the movie?
No, nothing theological. Sure, for some it veers too much from the Bible, and for others it doesn't veer enough into the mysterious ways our loved ones can comfort us after death. It is not going to be all things for all people. No, the only thing that bugged me was when the lead actor, Sam Worthington, kept slipping into his Australian accent during intense scenes. And there were a lot of intense scenes. I found it very distracting, because once you notice something like that, it's hard to un-notice. You're welcome.
As for my bedside table, I'm finishing up A Man Called Ove today, and The Kitchen House is on deck for next week.
I'd love to tell you what I've been writing (very little) and what creative house projects I have in the pipeline (stair railings) but this hodge podge will have to do today.
Sending you lots of love for whatever your day holds!
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