Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Catching Up

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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Anonymous said...

I thought the exact same thing about his accent!
Stacy B.

Anonymous said...

My son used to do the same thing - garbage trucks were his thing. He would wait outside on the lawn for the 'g'bay twuck' on 'g'bay day' and cheer them on. I don't know who was sadder when he reached kindergarten age - him or the garbage crew. He was out there fist pumping them and cheering them on, yelling 'way to go' and 'yay' for all he was worth, in any weather he was allowed to be out in. He would screech with excitement for any truck he saw. His fave book was one I picked up on a business trip @ the airport when he was 2: and he has it in his memory box to this day (he's 16 now). He knew every truck by name. Thanks for the memories! Cindy

Diane said...

I LOVED "The Kitchen House "!

IrishRN07 said...

1. Your driveway is SO steep! Good luck with that.
2. Love that he loves grass. Tuck wouldn't touch it and is still mildly distrustful of shrubbery.
3. Am still looking forward to seeing The Shack despite the accent spoiler. Loved the book.
4. Projects can wait, enjoy this special time
5. Don't wait TOO long because we love your voice.

Anonymous said...

Andrew is adorable! Thanks for sharing the pictures of Miracle Baby. :-)

My oldest recently got his license. I heard him confiding to his younger sister that when she gets her learner's permit "You want to ask Dad to practice with you. He's a LOT calmer than Mom." :D Maybe it's a Mom thing.

Unknown said...

Seriously, could that baby BE any cuter?? Thanks for the update, love to hear how things are going with you and yours. Wishing you love this weekend...

Tammy said...

My son used to wake up in the middle of the night for a bottle when he was 1. The pediatrician recommended lessening the amount that we put in a little each night until it was barely anything and it was pointless for him to wake for it. I was skeptical, but it actually worked! He is adorable❤

Melissa Rosado said...

We have a 17 yo and a 26 mo old. The 26 mo still often wakes up for a bottle in the middle of the night. We are older parents and just go with it too. If he needs it, he needs it. But I get the being very tired part.

Gigi said...

I remember being SO sad when my son got his license because I was going to miss our time together in the car - so I know what you mean on that score.

I've read The Kitchen House, you are going to love it. Have heard of A Man Called Ove, but haven't read it - would love to know your thoughts.

Andrew is SUCH a cutie and growing so quickly.

Anonymous said...

Your little Andrew is so cute, and getting big. I didn't see the movie The Shack but did read the book. I'm kind of feeling the need to read it again. Also I LOVED A Man Called Ove. It just gave a good, warm feeling.

Kristibella said...

Those pictures of Andrew on the grass in the sun, and then bundled up in the snow are hard to wrap my head around, lol. Every time I read your updates Anna, I chuckle because my daughter Brennah is the same age as Margaret. There is always something to relate to, and we are also braving the new world of teenage drivers. My hair will never be auburn again �� Oh! And I have a bottle-weaning tip that worked like a charm for both my girls. Just partially fill the bottle with room temp water. After a few indignant feedings, he won't bother, especially if you make it boring (no singing/talking, lights off). Soon you'll have a well deserved, glorious stretch of sleep! Good luck!

Kristen Lawrence said...

We had that same safety fence and it was well worth the money. It's definitely not escape proof but gave me a bit of piece of mind that people couldn't pull into the driveway with kids on tricycles and also to prevent kids from accidentally shooting into the road on their trikes. Good buy on your part!

katie said...

He's so cute! And now you've got me wondering about this frozen meal service. I'm in DC - would you mind sharing the name of the company you use? Sounds like my kind of cooking :)

Sandi said...

How do you like A Man Called Ove? I have been considering reading this book!

twingles said...

Tell Margaret her driving companion could be worse - she could have a mother who handles auto insurance claims and gives driving lessons not only while driving, but before we set out and after we get home. My twin boys just love it! But they know better than to argue with me. LOL I've got one who is supremely confident and a good driver but he's a lead foot, and the other one is extremely cautious and drives 25 mph on 45 mph roads while I press my imaginary accelerator and pray we don't cause road rage.

Anonymous said...

I imagine life with a teenager in a couple years (when my kids get older) and reminisce about the baby years all in one post. You're now entering the mobile-baby-almost-toddler period! Watch out. Thank goodness for those chubby cheeks. All the messes are forgiven. Its hard to be mad at the cuteness!

Anonymous said...

What an excellent update! You sound like you are doing well. Good luck with your busy little one and your driver....eek! I hope she is as "accomplished" as she thinks she might be.


Unknown said...

We read "Ove" for book club last year and LOVED IT! Such a bunch of fabulous characters, including the titular curmudgeon. It reminded me of a children's book my kids loved, called "Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch" - which I highly recommend for (a slightly older) Miracle Baby.

Kristen also has her permit... my mantra is "Jesus take the wheel." Good luck!