Life Update

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The other day I watched Therese figure out how to kick so her bouncer would bounce on demand and thought about how sad I was that long-term effects of sleep deprivation also deprived me of memories of Christopher from that age. A blog update! That’s the ticket!

Christopher is one week short of three years old. Cliche, cliche, the time flies, etc. But really. He seems to have had a mental leap within the past few weeks. He’s been making connections, parroting us less, and is more interested in imaginative play. He has spent the first part of nap time pretending to be an airplane by jumping from his defunct crib to his bed. I cajole him into sleeping by pointing out that airplanes need to refuel in order to fly again. It’s working. Also, if you’ve never heard a toddler say the entire St. Michael prayer, get thee to a family oratory near you. It’s pretty great.

We got to go to California Adventure when I was visiting my family with the kids a few weeks ago. I went with low expectations for how much Christopher would enjoy it; he can get overwhelmed and quiet at busy places, even if he’s loving it. But he loved it. We went on the first ride and he seemed a little quiet and maybe scared while we were on the dancing tractors, but we got off and he immediately smiled and asked to go on more rides. So great. So magical.

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Plus, Grandma got him this Lightning McQueen lunch box.

I dropped off his registration for a sweet two-mornings-per-week preschool program that will start in the Fall earlier this week and felt pretty wistful about it and also confident in the decision to send him. We’ll see if my resolve continues to August. I want to pick up some part-time work from home and also have him learn from someone who isn’t me. Plus, they help with potty training and while we had one glorious week of relative success when I was super pregnant and feeling motivated, it ended in multiple tantrums so, he wasn’t ready I guess. That giant box of size 6 diapers I pick up at Meijer regularly feels like a millstone around the neck. Here’s hoping for some success this summer.

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A few of my favorite recent Christopherisms:

“See you later, alligator. The alligators are going home.”

Chris: Who are your buddy friends?
Christopher: Catherine, Cecilia, Mr. Mark [his music class teacher, toddler celebrity], Justin, Therese, Christopher, and an elephant.

“Chester is going to get you a present for St. Chester’s day!” Chester is the dog we looked after in New Haven and I guess since St. Nicholas got him presents for St. Nicholas day, this makes sense.

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Therese (or “Thewese” [Christopher] or “Theresebot” [ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯]) is four months old, super smiley, sleeps through the night every night, and generally seems self-aware that she is the second child to a squeaky wheel oldest. I fully believe in nature over nurture now. Girlfriend doesn’t really like to nap during the day, but I’m letting her cry a little more (#secondchild #attachmentparentingsucks 😉 ) and that seems to be working vis-a-vis actually falling asleep. Her favorite place is her crib and she gets so excited about bedtime, it’s like she’s not even related to her brother. She loves to kick really hard with both legs and when she first figured it out, she kicked all night – in her sleep, thankfully. She’s close to rolling over and is an expert grabber-at-stuff. She’s just a delight, really. I’m so thankful. If they’re all like Therese, I will have ten more babies.

Somehow over the past year I’ve become a crafty person???, so I spend most/all of my monthly fun money at Joann. #thosecoupons After making the curtains for three of the rooms in our house, I wanted to use my long-neglected sewing machine more. I’ve made two dresses for Therese from these darling Puperita patterns, including her Easter dress, which was above my pay grade, but I did it and I learned a lot. I’m currently making a muslin for this gathered sundress [warning: PDF] for me, but somehow made the bodice way gigantic. It’s harder making dresses for adults who are no longer just little tubes. I also have a lot of random orange scrap fabric, so I might take a break from my dress to whip up a construction worker vest for Christopher’s birthday.

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Therese in her “Baa Baa dress”

My further efforts to beautify our house with flowers were thwarted by evil squirrels who dug up each bulb Christopher and I planted in front of our house with artful efficiency. I hate squirrels now and they should be banned. Chris generously replanted everything, ignoring my forlorn insistence that the tubers were gnawed on and would not grow. He dumped two things of cayenne pepper over them which will hopefully create the double effect of warding off further squirrel mischief and preventing me from making food too spicy for him.

We’re gearing up for a trip to Europe at the beginning of the summer. A dear college friends’ new baby is being baptized in Oxford, so we’re trekking across the pond for three weeks(!). I’m over-the-moon excited about England and am anxiously awaiting trips to the Oratory, the Eagle and Child, London, and taking advantage of our AirBnB’s TV license. Bummer they cancelled The Great British Sewing Bee just before our trip. 😉 We’re also going to spend a week in Italy and a weekend in Paris. If you have any suggestions, hit me up.

Though there is so much joy in our house, Lent really came to us this year. I’ve been dealing with some autoimmune thyroid stuff that saps all my energy, but more significantly, Chris’ mother passed away. It’s been more of a meditation on the reality of death than simply “lol giving up chocolate is hard.” Lent often feels like an experiment to me – “how hard would it be to give up Netflix???” – which I know means I’m doing it wrong. But this year, the mortification is real without even giving anything up. We’ve been splitting our time between our local parish and the Byzantine Catholic community on campus. The Eastern Rite has been so helpful for me in learning to pray the liturgy when I don’t have the words to pray myself. So please pray for us. It’s been hard, but Easter is coming. Blessed Passiontide, everyone.

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