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Thursday, December 15, 2011

I feel like every post is entitled Update

Well, it's been 2 weeks (tomorrow) since the movers brought all our stuff.  We've got all except a couple of articles of furniture (stored at BJ's grandparents' house) moved in.  We've got probably… 85% of our stuff unpacked.  But have you ever noticed it's the last few boxes that are the hardest to unpack?  Mostly we're down to office stuff (I hate paper!), crafty stuff (which doesn't really need to be unpacked, but it would be nice to have organized), baby stuff (I am shocked at how much stuff we have in boxes in the nursery.  Probably more than almost any other room.  And this stuff isn't urgent, but I'd like to have all done by mid-January at the latest so it's ready for the baby to come), and a few random boxes in our bedroom that came from the Homers' (where we've been living).  There are a couple of boxes in storage I need to go through, too, as I'm missing a box of Christmas ornaments still.  Oh hey, and I need to put up all my Christmas decor. And hang up pictures.  Those are still in boxes, too.  But really, in the entire scheme of things, that's not very much.  It's just hard to convince myself of that when I'm faced with the prospect of unpacking more.

Ok, you don't care about my unpacking woes.  I know what you really care about.  Kessa.  So here's a little bit about what she's up to lately.


Kessa has discovered the carts with cars on front.  Unfortunately. Today she discovered a new way to sit in them. (And she almost always has to be holding some grocery item. Hence the chocolate chips. But she's really good at putting whatever she's holding on the belt when we check out, or handing it to the cashier.)
I was worried about leaving all of her toys at Grandma's house, but gaining all "new" toys seem to have taken her mind off of it.  They're all toys she had before, but that was over 4 months ago!  In her mind, they may as well be new.  I'm planning on putting half of them in storage and rotating them after Baby comes, to give her some "new" toys again.  To help her feel less left out.  (Mom Lovell, doesn't this remind you of my room growing up?  Except they would have all (and more!) been on my bed.)
She is fantastic about letting me do her hair.  I'm always amazed at how well she'll sit still (ish) while I play with her hair.  I now have hope that I might have a chance of learning to do girls' hair!  Hopefully she'll keep letting me practice on her!  Typically I just do two pigtails, but every once in awhile I'll get a little more fancy.  This is the second time I've done this one (with much better results) and it lasted only the morning.  When she went down for her nap, she made me take it out.  Resulting in really, really crazy hair later.  But she's a pro at crazy hair, so it wasn't anything new.  I'm just sad that I'm the only one that got to see it in real life.








She really is my girl in so many ways.  First the love with the stuffed animals.  Then her love of blankets.  When I unpacked the blankets, she pulled as many as she could into a pile, the cuddled up inside of them.  And she knows they're her blankets, too.  "Dat Sessa's blanket!"

Kessa has really gotten into singing.  Her favorite is probably Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  She's got most of the words down pat.  Though, every once in awhile she says, "Up above the water so high" which cracks me up.  She's also getting good at singing along with Teach Me to Walk in the Light, I am a Child of God, and I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus since those are her bedtime songs.  BJ decided it would be fun to see if he could get her to pick up on the words to Silent Night this month, so he's started singing that to her at bedtime, too.  Apparently it's working, because the other day I listened to this (what you hear on the video) over and over again for probably a full half an hour.  And if she ever hears the song (which is often, as I like to listen to Christmas music) or is in any way reminded of it, she'll start again.  Repeatedly.  It's great.

video

In non-picture/video documented news, she also:

  • is working on potty training (all her idea, I assure you!)  She has only had 2 successes in the past week (both yesterday) but I'm only half-heartedly working on it.  We're going on a week and a half vacation soon and I've had a cold the last couple of weeks, and I'm pregnant.  So I haven't really had the energy to push it.  I figure after Christmas we can work harder on it.  But my favorite part is that no matter who goes to the bathroom, even if she's across the house, she'll yell, "Wash your hands!"  She's very, very insistent about it, too.
  • loves watching the workers build the house next door.  We've put a chair up to the window so she can climb up and just watch them for ages.  She thinks it's great.
  • is finally getting the hang of nap time again.  We gave her a toddler bed when we moved in (and put the dismantled crib in the nursery—out of sight, out of mind) and because everything was new and because she could get out by herself, nap time pretty much went out the window.  It took almost a week, but we finally are getting nap time reestablished.  This is resulting in a much happier toddler and mommy in the afternoons/evenings.
  • Speaking of sleeping, night time was fun for a few days, too.  Her getting up an hour after we put her down and trying to sneak around before we catch her.  Or the one morning when BJ got up early, went downstairs, and found her asleep on the couch.  Luckily night time has been better and easier than nap time.  Now she just wakes up before us and comes and stands or lays in our doorway until one of us wakes up and notices her.
  • can talk a storm.  She ends most questions with "huh?"  (Like, "Where daddy at, huh?")  One of her favorite phrases is, "That would be fun!"  I want to know where she picked up the concept of "would be".
  • has a great memory.  She'll remember that Daddy is at work.  One time we were going to go play with a friend, Katya, at Jump on It, but she didn't take a nap, so we didn't go.  The next time we had plans to go see Katya, she said, "Tatya?  Jump?"  This was probably close to a month later.  
  • has much better balance.  Today I watched her climb onto my exercise bike, then climb down by herself.  Not many months ago I would have either rushed to help her or sat there biting my nails, praying she didn't fall.  Today I watched from across the room saying, "Hurry! We still need to get your shoes before we go to the store."
  • loves to be my big helper.  She'll even tell me, "I big helper!"  She'll put her dishes in the sink or dishwasher after meals.  She loves to help me do laundry (yay for front loading washer and dryer) and is even learning how to fold towels.  I'll ask her to put her shoes in the closet and she'll yell, "Oh!  Ok!" and run to do it.  That doesn't mean she does everything I ask.  (Hahahaha.  Yeah right.)  But in general, she really is my big helper.
  • is super excited for the new baby.  We're pretty sure we're actually going to name the baby Abigail Pearl (I told you the name was subject to change) (you like how I always announce these things at the bottom of super-long posts?) and Kessa is excited for Abby to come.  Her new favorite thing is to kneel on my lap, facing me, putting both hands on my belly and saying, "Come out, Abby!  Come out!"  She really wants to hold her hand, give her hugs and kisses, and give her high-fives.  (She already does all of that, minus holding her hand, but to my belly.  High-fives to my belly can be a little dangerous.)  She's very excited to help change her diaper, be soft with her, play with her, and even share with her.  I'm really hoping her excitement lasts and that I'll be able to share my attention sufficiently that she doesn't get jealous.  Here's to hoping!
And with that… I think I'll be done tonight.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Housing Update 11/12

18 more days until move-in day!

So, this is actually an update from both Thursday and today (Saturday).  It is so close to being done.  I'm having a hard time figuring out what's left to do.  I know they need to put on the closet doors and touch-up the paint.  And add the railing on the front stairs.  They need to wait for the concrete to cure (maybe that'll take the next week?)  And they need to clean.  But other than that, seriously, I'm having a hard time figure it out.  But I'm sure there is something else to do and they aren't just making us wait for kicks and giggles.  :)

Here is a non-blurry picture of our 5-burner gas range/stovetop/cooktop!!!
(I told you I was excited about it.)

The island, complete with drawers and cupboards.
(No, it's not granite.  Just looks like it.) 

We have carpet!!! [squeal!]
Damian looked at it today.  It doesn't hold up to his high standards (what do you expect, carpet is his life) and gave us a few tips of things to make them fix, but for the money, it's good.
And I promised to consult him whenever we upgrade.

The chandelier above the dining room table. 

This is the half-bath on the main floor.  We have toilets and sinks!  Also, see that toilet paper roll holder?  I am so going to make them move that.  It's ridiculous how close it is to the toilet.  Like, mere inches.  Moving it forward 6" would make all the difference in the world.  Easy reach instead of twisting clear around.  Also, lower the chance of the toilet paper roll actually brushing against bare skin.  I mean, really?  (Ok, I am not a very picky person about most things.  But apparently I have definite opinions about toilet paper roll holders.)

Maybe this isn't the best order, but I'm too lazy to change it.
Because our house is so tall, they put a tiered rock wall around our front porch.  This is the top view.  I plan on putting in a rock garden full of low water plants.  
I'm dreaming of a succulent garden.

The kids' bathroom upstairs.  (This toilet paper roll holder (not pictured) is acceptable.  In case you had a burning desire to know.) I love the built-in shelves in the tub.  I'm kind of jealous, actually.  My shower only has one built-in shelf.

Laundry room 

They've even installed the water heater! 

Our shower is now installed.  As well as the tub hardware.
This is the view from the bedroom.
Getting blinds on that window will be a top priority. 

Tub and shower as viewed from the walk-in closet.
Which, come to think of it, we've never taken a picture of.

Master bathroom sinks and counters and lights.
View from bedroom door.  The open door directly across is the toilet room (yes, the toilet paper roll holder is horrible in here too).  The half-open door to the right in the mirror is the closet.

Our back porch.  
Or rather, the right half of it as seen through the sliding glass door in the kitchen.

View from the front of the house.  See?  The stairs aren't nearly as daunting with those rocks there.  I like it.  (Also, they'll put a railing in on the driveway side of the stairs.)

From straight on.  (The driveway is poured, it's just covered by a concrete blanket (Damian, did I get the technical term right?)  because it's getting really cold here.

View of the back porch.  I don't think they stain it.  
We may have to do that.  Someday.


Go ahead.  Be jealous of us.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Housing update 11/4/11

This is about a week late.  Sorry!  Hopefully more pictures to come in a day or two.

Look!!!  We have a kitchen!  With cabinets!  And an island!  
And a sink!  And a dishwasher!  Wooooo!!!!!!! 

And the cabinets continue!  Over the double oven!!!
Yay for a double oven!!!

Let's swing back over to the other side for a second.  I forgot to get excited about the microwave!
And what's that down there?  The stove top*?

 Please excuse the blurry photo.  It's probably blurry because BJ was laughing at me while he was taking this picture.  BECAUSE I WAS FREAKING OUT OVER THE FACT THAT OUR GAS RANGE HAS FIVE BURNERS!!!  I had no idea about this brilliance that is to be mine.  It was a complete surprise.  And it is ridiculously exciting to me.  You have no idea.

Ok, moving on.  Upstairs we also have cabinets in our master bath!  And sinks!  And lights!  Did I mention that we actually have lights throughout the house, and they work?  Hooray!  Because now that it's getting dark earlier, we can still go see the house in the evenings.

See?  Cabinets!

We also have toilets.  And a back deck.  (BJ, how did we not get a picture of the back deck?)  That was a drama, because the stairs went the wrong way!  And I wasn't happy about it.  But then we talked about it a lot, and I decided that maybe the stairs going the way they are would be better.  So we decided not to make them fix it.  We also have the washer drain pan in.  And the drain cut down to be level with the floor.

It's so exciting!!!

And hopefully we'll be going down again tonight or maybe tomorrow, so we'll get new updated pictures up here soon.  Weeee!

*Poll time.  Do you call it a stove top?  A stove?  A range?  Something else?  
Please, help settle a disagreement here. Tell us your opinion in the comments.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

This is Kessa's first real Halloween.  She dressed up for the other two, but really just stayed in the house, maybe wearing her costume for an hour, then sleeping through trick-or-treating.  What can I say?  BJ and I aren't big Halloween-ers, so without the kid wanting it, we just didn't do it.  (Both of her costumes before this year were given to her.)  This year we were living with BJ's parents, which meant we got a lot more pressure from Teresa, plus Kessa was old enough to enjoy it this year, so we did it.  Since Papa Homer's goal this summer was to turn Kessa into a cowgirl, I thought it would be a perfect costume.  Teresa thought she needed cowgirl boots months ago anyway, so Mama Homer bought her some pink ones (at Teresa's insistence).  The denim leggings (jeggings, I think they're called?) and the shirt she's wearing in the first pictures came together (even though you can't see them for the coat) and the cowgirl hat is borrowed from a neighbor in the ward.  (Kessa refused to try on any cowgirl hats in any stores, so there was simply no way I was paying $20ish for a hat I didn't think she'd wear.  But then a neighbor lent us hers, and since we were all wearing hats the first night, she happily wore hers too.  So yay!)

Neighborhood Halloween Party
Here's Kessa and I to prove that I did, in fact, dress up.  Costume thanks to the Homer's stash and Teresa's insistence that we dress up.  :)

Closer-up of Kessa.  Sorry for the graininess.  These were all taken on BJ's iPod Touch.

Ok, maybe Kessa still didn't want to wear the hat at first.  So Daddy wore it on top of his hat.  Y'know, to make it cool.  It worked.  She wore it after that.

At the party Kessa went straight for the blow up toys.  Here's a video of her trying to get through the obstacle course (at least part of it).  There was also a giant blow-up Twister game that she liked bouncing on.  So, in other words, the second we got there, her boots and hat came off.  So she didn't really look like she had a costume on.  :)
video

Trick-or-treating Practice
Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures or videos of this.  Use your imagination.  Since Kessa had never done any trick-or-treating, we decided to practice with her that morning.  BJ hid in the pantry and I helped Kessa knock and say "Trick or treat!"  Then BJ gave her an animal cracker.  Her eyes lit up and I helped her say "Thank you".  So we closed the door and did it again, this time with much less prodding.  She loved it.  It definitely helped later.

Halloween at Daddy's work
BJ's work has an unofficial mascot of a panda bear.  So someone there dressed up as one and wandered the area, giving kids high-5s and such.  Kessa loved him.  The second she saw him she yelled, "Panda Bear!"  Then despite her usual shyness, she ran up to him, gave him a high-5, knuckles, and a hug.  It was adorable.  As we walked around trick-or-treating in the various departments (which she did very well at, if still quietly and usually with prodding) she'd look around for the panda.  If she couldn't see him, she'd ask, "Where panda, huh?"  So finally I decided we needed a picture of her with the panda.  So immediately she got shy.  The first picture is of me trying to encourage her to go over and stand next to the panda.  Once she finally did, she was happy, though.

I love that when we tell her to smile for a picture, her smile looks real, not like some cheese-job.  Hopefully that stays as she grows up.  [crosses fingers]

Oh, and as a side note, Dum-dums are officially her candy of choice.  If there were ever any dum-dums in the bowl of candy she was choosing from, she immediately went for them.  Even if there was also chocolate!  Mommy was very disappointed.  Kessa ended up eating 4 dum-dums in the course of 2 hours that day.  It was only due to BJ's creativity at the dinner table (this bite's for the panda!) that she even ate any dinner.  She also got a full-sized box of Junior Mints, but Mommy confiscated them almost the second we got back into the car.  As a taxi fee.  :D

Halloween Night
Oh look!  Her jacket is open!  You can see her shirt.  (She actually had 3 options to choose from.)


"Where's the candy?"

"Outside?  I'm outta here!"

Teresa (an Indian) and her friend, Alexis (a cowgirl) took Kessa trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.  (Oh why, oh why didn't I get a picture of them together?!  Teresa chose her costume based on Kessa's!  [sigh])  Two other of Teresa's friends showed up at the end, then Papa took them all over (all the girls and BJ) to visit Nana at the rehab center and show off their costumes.  (Again, not pictured, sadly).

Kessa got to bed much later than normal, and on much more of a sugar-high than ever before, but she loved it.  And two days later, she seems to have completely forgotten that she has a stash of candy in the pantry.  I am ok with that.  :D

Friday, October 28, 2011

Clean up, clean up

Kessa is becoming quite the good little helper.  I mentioned in the giant update of death that I am a horrible mother and give Kessa chores.  Well, this is partially due to her love of helping me.  Most of the time she happily takes her diaper to the garbage and clears off her place at the table.  Sometimes she'll volunteer to start setting the table (though she needs assistance with that) or will come back for more dishes when she's done taking hers to the dishwasher.  More than once I've left the room while she's eating something only to come back to find her putting her plate in the dishwasher.  (Usually taking up as much room as possible.)

You know the clean up song?  "Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere?  Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share."  Kessa loves it.  It's not uncommon for her to just start cleaning something up then sing, "Keenup, Keenup, evybody, share!"  Or if I'll sing, I'll leave off the last word and let her sing it.  She's pretty darn good at it, too.

She has loved helping with the laundry for a long time now.  Back at our house she loved loading, transferring and unloading the washer and dryer.  It's harder to do here where they have a top-loading washer, but she still loves to sit on the dryer and put the clothes in the washer that I hand her, or pull clothes out of the dryer and put them into a hamper.  She's even been known to help me sort clothes when I'm putting them away by pulling all of hers out, or by shouting out the names of the owners as I hang up shirts ("Daddy shirt!  Mommy shirt!  Daddy shirt!  Kessa shirt!")

She went above and beyond the other day, though.  I found a pile of cleaning rags waiting to be folded on a chair, so I started to fold them.  Kessa immediately wanted to be involved.  I handed her one, expecting her to be more destructive than helpful, but ended up being quite surprised as she listened to my instructions and watched as I folded the towels, and soon was doing a surprisingly good job folding towels on her own.  She had folded probably 6-8 on her own before I pulled out the camera, which of course meant that she was about done.  She stumbled a little in the video, but I am still impressed at how well she did at the age of 2 1/3.



They say it happens in three's

October 13th was a rather … eventful… day.  It started out well enough.  Kessa and I played happily all morning.  She went down for a nap and I left her with Mama Homer while I headed down to Provo.  First I picked up my camera at a ropes course we attended a month prior.  Apparently having two cameras makes me not worry so much when I don't see my camera at all for a month.  Then I stopped by my friend, Bonnie's, house for a quick minute to say hi.  Then I went to Joanns and bought some yarn and crochet hooks to make my nephew an adorable football hat (that apparently I never took a picture of).  Then I headed off to Allred's Orchards to buy some apples to can some apple pie filling, because I was completely out.

And that's when it all started.


1.  I bought the apples and went to put them in the trunk of my mother-in-law's car.  (My car is still dead from the alien invasion, so I borrow their car whenever I need to run errands.)  I turned the key, without any extra pressure at all, when suddenly, the keyless entry portion was still in my hand while the key was still in the trunk.  I was dumbfounded.  I got the apples in the trunk, then called BJ, "I, uh… just broke your mom's car key."  To make matters even better, I couldn't start the car with just the key portion.  It took me awhile to figure out, but apparently both portions are needed to start the car.  So I had to put them back together and hold both halves while turning it.  Great fun indeed.  Needless to say, I skipped the rest of my errands and drove straight to Trav's to make apple pie filling.  My one consolation was that I remembered hearing a random conversation between Carol and John a week or so before where he was asking about some keys and if she knew they were cracked.  So I crossed my fingers that these were the same keys.

2.  Travis wasn't home yet, so I stuck on my apron, turned Harry Potter on my iPod and stuck it in the pocket, and started slicing apples.  After awhile I decided I needed to make the sauce to pour over top, so I bent over to grab a pot from the cupboard.  Immediately my iPod slid out of my apron pocket and hit the tile floor, face down.  I was immediately sick.  I didn't want to turn it over.  But I did anyway.  And saw my screen was shattered.  I went straight to the computer and chatted at BJ, almost disbelieving that I had broken two expensive items in the course of an hour.  Travis came home then, and up to that point I had been in control emotionally.  But when I actually saw another human face and held up my iPod, I burst into tears, sobbing, "I'm not crying!  I'm pregnant!"

3.  Well, I eventually calmed down, we turned on Harry Potter in Trav's office, then went back to canning.  I sat there peeling, coring and slicing apples, minding my own business while Travis went outside to pick some tomatoes.  (We were also canning spaghetti sauce.)  He walked in just in time for me to hold up my recently-sliced finger and ask, "So, do you have any bandaids?"  Turns out, that peeler/slicer/corer gadget is sharp!  


In good news, two days later the Homers had a new key (it had, in fact, been cracked.  So I was just the unlucky fool to be using it at the wrong time), the wonderful man at the Apple Store gave me a brand new iPod for free (after my sob story and telling him that I really didn't want to spend $150 fixing it when we wanted to upgrade to iPhones anyway in February when our T-Mobile contract expired) and my finger had healed enough to remove the bandaid.  So apparently bad things happen in 3's, but they can all become good things in 3's, too.

Temple Square

We had Regional Conference last Sunday and our stake was one of 20 invited to go to the Conference Center to watch it.  Kessa did fantastic with a collection of books, paper, crayons and dolls.  (She did just as fantastic during the Saturday evening session the night before.)  I am quite impressed with her ability to stay quiet during church meetings.  Her ability to stay still?  Not so much.  But quiet?  Yes.  For the most part.

Kessa was enamored by the waterfall outside the Conference Center.  Can I blame her?  Not really.  She's my daughter after all.  We decided to get a family picture in front of the waterfall.  Unfortunately we were staring directly into the sun, so our faces are a little shadowed and squinty.  Please forgive us.  (Baby 2.0 not pictured)

On our way back to the car, we walked through Temple Square.  While Papa and Mama Homer visited with some people they knew, we took pictures of Kessa in front of the temple.  I love the top one where she's peering off into who-knows-what and the bottom one has the most adorable smile.  


Also, notice that she actually has enough hair for pigtails now!  And she does a fantastic job of holding still (enough) while I put them in her hair.  She started the day with bows in her pigtails, too, but for some reason, she doesn't ever let those stay more than an hour or two.

Falling

Teresa and her friend Alexis raked up some leaves yesterday to let Kessa play in the pile.  She had a blast!  Here is their story, in pictures:

Kessa: Look Mommy!  I'm covered in leaves! 
 Teresa: Kessa!  Let's bury Alexis in leaves!
Alexis: Well, gee, Kessa, that was fun (sarcasm), why don't we do the same thing to Teresa?
 Kessa: Well, I do have this giant pile of leaves here [giggle]
Revenge!!!!  Bwahahaha
video

Rings

Kessa has figured out rings.  Mama Homer has about a billion of these balls, and many of them have loops where you can stick your finger through.  So I taught her to put them on her finger and wear them like rings.  Now anything she can put on her fingers she'll proudly display as a ring.



Mini (hahaha) update

Note: I wrote this weeks ago and never posted it because I wanted to add pictures, but just couldn't bring myself to find all the pictures.  So, sorry, but it's a text-only update.  Pictures to come in future posts.

Well, I keep getting into trouble for not blogging (I admit, I have been a slacker recently) so today I will give you a "mini"-update (as mini as I can get, anyway) on each of us and life in general.  Hopefully someday I'll actually catch up.

Life in general
Our house in Lehi is currently being built (post with pictures to come… someday) so we're living with BJ's wonderful family in Riverton.  Thanks to their generosity we're being able to save up for a good down payment and everything that we'll need to buy to get settled once we move in.  My car is still broken, thanks to the mustard aliens, but it's much, much easier to get by with one car while living here.  BJ and I are currently Sunbeams teachers.  We have anywhere from 1-3 kids (but usually 2) and it's really fun.  It's great to have a legit snack time and go on a walk around the church every week.

Kessa
Kessa is now 2 years and 3.5 months old.  She can talk up a storm and her language skills are developing like crazy.  She's loving Nursery and is even excited when we wake her up early from her nap.  "Church!?  Nursery?!"  Here's to hoping that she'll always be that excited about going to church.

Kessa is obsessed with Asleep and Awake.  She'll put all her toys to sleep, then make them wake up.  Over and over and over again.  At nursery this past Sunday she got all the dolls out, laid them all down and covered them with a blanket, making sure their toes were covered, to put them to sleep.

She is a huge tease.  Especially to Jax (the Homer's dog).  Jax has a ball that he loves to chase.  She loves to get it and put it somewhere just out of his reach.  Often she'll run with it on her head to keep it out of his reach so she can get to somewhere to hide it.  (Which has led to a couple of instances of him stepping in front of her and her tripping over him.  Which is largely hilarious to me because she totally deserves it and we've warned her.)

She finally has hair!  It's blonde and curly.  And crazy all over the place.  But it's really nice to to just be able to get it wet, brush it, and scrunch it to make it look nice.  But her teasing nature has caused her problems with her hair.  Remember her holding Jax's ball on her head?  Well the other day BJ's cousin was visiting with her two kids and they had a car that would drive on it's own (just move a switch and the wheels turn on their own).  Well, Ashton (about a year older than Kessa) wanted to play with the car and Kessa had it, so Kessa put it on her head.  We now have a big chunk of hair in an envelope to remember how long her hair is.  And I'll be honest, I think it must have ripped out the longest chunk of hair she has, because I still can't fathom where it came from.  Her hair isn't that long.

She's still incredibly easy to put to bed.  (Though we've definitely had phases where it wasn't.  Usually when we're in transition between new bedrooms, though.)  And it's adorable now because her crib has a bunch of stuffed animals in it and she'll talk to them and put them all to sleep and sing.  And we can hear it all through the monitor (we sleep 2 floors below her right now).  And it's adorable.

She's also a really, really good eater.  She eats pretty much everything we put in front of her.  And if there's anything she doesn't want to try, Grandpa (Papa) just takes a bite and asks her if she'd like to eat it with him.  Which she always does.  Her favorite foods are olives and black beans and cherry tomatoes.  She's starting to really like broccoli, too.  Oh, and carrots.  Seriously, how did I get so lucky to have this child?  BJ may deserve her (he's never been picky) but I sure don't.  I was the pickiest eater as a child.  (Luckily I grew out of it.)  She does love her sweets, though.  "Ah cream" means both ice cream and whipped cream and she insists on one or the other every time she eats something sweet.  She thinks "snack" means "fruit snack" so I have to be really careful when asking her if she wants something to eat.  Because usually we don't have fruit snacks.  Though every once in awhile when I slip I can get her to eat dried cherries or apricots because they're fruit and they're gummy kind of like fruit snacks.  Hahaha.

She's on this kick lately where she'll go around and point to people's noses and tell them they have big noses.  It's hilarious and slightly embarrassing at the same time.

Her coordination is getting really good.  She can build towers out of blocks without any help.  She's got shape-sorters down pat.  She loves to grab onto anything taller than her and swing.  Or lean over a table or chair and "fly".  She'll climb on anything she can.  She loves to perch on the back of couches, which always makes me a bit nervous.  She loves to "Ruuuuuuuun!!!!!" and is much better about not falling flat on her face when she does so.

She responds well to bribery.  I often get her to do things by telling her what we'll get to do when we're done.  "You can have another scoop of peas if you finish your chicken first."  (Yes, I bribe my child with peas.)  If Kessa has a picky side, it's with meat.  She often needs a little bit of coaxing to eat it.  Though, we had tilapia last night and she scarfed it down and asked for more.  We also get diaper changes over with by bribing her with playing with a toy or daddy will pick her up and "fly" her or we can go outside for a walk after her diaper is changed.  She LOVES outside.  She'll do almost anything to go outside.  I definitely use this to my advantage.  I am not ashamed to bribe my child.  :D

Speaking of diapers, she's starting to show signs of potty training. I'm a little worried about this, mostly because I don't want to do it at someone else's house where there are three flights of stairs and 4 different bathrooms.  Especially when walking up one flight of stairs tires me out.  But she loves to go into the bathroom and sit on her potty (we have one downstairs).  And she'll (sometimes) tell me if her diaper is wet or stinky.  And I've convinced her that wet/stinky diapers hurt and new diapers feel all better.  So it's a very common thing during a diaper change for Kessa to point to her bum and say, "Hurt" then point to the new diaper and say, "Ahh bettah."  Cracks me up.

She can count to 12 on her own, but she often stumbles over 7.  She'll go from 6 straight to 9.  But if I remind her about 7, she'll get all of them.  And sometimes she'll get them all right.  We started counting the stairs as we climbed them several times a day.  There are 16.  She's great till 12, but the -teens get her.  So after 12 it's all "ah-teen".  Lately she's started vetoing the counting.  (Probably because it often happens on the way to bed and she's hoping that by disrupting routine she won't have to go to bed?)  So one time BJ was taking her upstairs and started counting and she protested, so being silly he started naming off fruit instead.  Now she insists that he does that every time.  He's started being creative.  Last time I heard him use a pluot.  Which cracked me up.  (Love those, btw.)

Kessa and I were walking up the stairs today. I had asked her if we should make a smoothie when we got upstairs and she said yes, so I wasn't surprised when halfway up the stairs she started saying, "Want food!"  Turns out, though, she wanted me to count fruit up the stairs. But I never caught on. So she gave up on me and the last few steps she said fruits. "Apple, orange, banana."

Her sneezes of late tend to end with a ppbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpb, like she's blowing a raspberry.  I love it.

She can recognize most basic animals and say what sounds they make.  She knows the signs for many of them, though she's forgetting a lot of her ASL because we just don't watch as much TV around here as we did at home.  (Probably because I have more help here.)  So we've been practicing them more and she's picking them up quite quickly.  She knows her colors really well, too.

She LOVES to color.  She uses whatever she can find.  Crayons, colored pencils, gel pens, regular pens, coloring books, scrap paper, post it notes.  We're getting the idea across that she can only draw on paper.  Not tables, chairs, skin, etc.  It's slowly sinking in.  Today she was sitting on my lap drawing on post it notes with pen while I read emails and accidentally drew on the desk.  So I grabbed a wipe and she cleaned it up.  She later drew on my arm and she said, "Sorry, wash it."  Then she washed it off with the wipe.  And later again on the desk.  She's getting really good at saying sorry (she'll even say it to toys and furniture when she drops them or bonks them) and cleaning up messes.  Which is super nice.

Teresa (BJ's sister) is horrified because Kessa has chores.  Mostly it's just throwing away wet diapers, but I'll often have her wash her hands, face and table when she's done eating and here and there I'll remember to have her take her dish to the sink.  But Kessa is good at it and rarely complains, so I'll keep at it.  She's also great at helping with the laundry if she's around when I'm doing it.  (Though it's harder right now since the Homers have a top-loading washer, so Kessa can't move the clothes easily.)

Overall, the terrible-twos haven't really been all that terrible.  Oh, sure.  She's becoming independent and has to do everything herself.  "My turn!"  And sometimes she is just willful and won't do what we say.  But most of the time we let her do what she wants to do and find ways to distract/bribe her when she's being super stubborn.  I guess it was just a matter of learning to work with her change of attitude instead of working against it.  It helps to just remember that she's just a kid.  And that she should be allowed to be just a kid.  It helps me keep my cool when she's testing my limits.  :)


BJ
BJ is loving his new job at Instructure.  The work itself he likes about as much as he did at Mozy, but for different reasons.  And he loves working with his current co-workers a lot.  Apparently BJ is boring, because neither of us can add anything else to his update.  ;)

Tianna
I'm now 21 weeks pregnant.  We had an ultrasound last week and found out we're having a girl!  (In case you missed the picture announcement.)  I'll admit, I'm a little surprised.  This pregnancy has been different I was convinced it would be a boy.  I haven't been nauseated hardly at all.  (I've only thrown up 12 times!  Yes, it's so odd that it was easy to keep count.)  Mostly I've just been really tired and sleeping easily 10-12 hours per day.  Sometimes more.  Luckily the last week or so I've done a lot better about waking up on my own around 7 or 8.  (That doesn't mean I get out of bed right away, but it's nice waking up on my own instead of being dragged out of bed because BJ is going to work and I have to watch Kessa.)

I've been working really hard on self-improvement (I get in these phases sometimes) and have started a scripture blog where I'm marking attributes of Christ and trying to compare the stereotypical OT and NT God.  If anyone wants to join with me, I appreciate feedback.  I post one chapter per day and am currently at the beginning of the Book of Mormon.

Kate
We've decided to name the new baby Katelyn Pearl Homer.  Well, we're pretty sure that's her name, anyway.  Pearl we're pretty set on (it's my mom's middle name) and Katelyn was chosen when I was pregnant with Kessa.  But the spelling is open for change.  And we reserve the right to change the name itself if we so decide.  But we're pretty sure that'll be her name.

We've been trying to help Kessa get used to the idea of having a new baby sister.  We point out babies everywhere we go.  We encourage her to rock her dolls.  If I ask her where Mommy's baby is, she'll point to my tummy.  If I ask her what the baby's name is, 3% of the time she'll say Kate, 7% of the time she won't respond and 90% of the time she'll say Cake.  Hmm… maybe she has more of a sweet tooth than I thought?  :)

Note: Since writing this, we're no longer 100% sure about the name Katelyn.  But the part about Kessa calling her Cake was too cute to take out.  We'll post an announcement when we know for sure, for sure what we're going to name her.  And then we'll probably change our minds again when she's born and we see her face.  ;)

Backdates

Ok, friends.  I'm way behind in blogging.  Way behind.  But I'm too overwhelmed with it to go back and catch up.  So I'm going to start with a huge update that I wrote awhile ago (sorry, with no pictures.  It's too overwhelming to find them) and then just start from today and work backwards.  And who knows how many I'll post per day.  So… sorry for the deluge… or the drought… that is sure to come.  :D

Another house update

Well, our house is a month from being move-in ready.  1 month!  This is getting exciting.  And now, because I know that you've all been waiting on tenterhooks, just like we have (hahahaha… sure you have) I give you… pictures!


October 22, 2011
 They're starting the stucco!  

They've laid the vinyl in the kitchen, entry, and bathrooms! 

Oooh!  Texture on the ceiling!  But no paint yet. 

They've been mudding and sanding the walls, too! 

And they put in pillars on our front porch! 

Did I mention that our garage is super tall?  Because we've got the daylight basement, the garage covers most of the basement and the first floor.  We're talking about adding a floor above the garage door and using it for storage or a fort or something.  I mean, seriously.  Look at how much room there is over the garage door! 

October 26, 2011
I stopped by on my way home from a midwife appointment (baby looks great, btw!) and there were workers swarming EVERYWHERE (you can see one in the garage) so I didn't go inside.  But I was thrilled anyway because the stucco was on!  [squeal!]

October 27, 2011
There are shelves in the pantry and all the closets!  Also, they've painted all the walls and baseboards and installed all the doors!  (Well, apparently not all, because we found some in the basement, but by the time we realized that, we were in a hurry to leave (ok, I was in a hurry to leave.  I was hungry!) and didn't want to comb the house trying to figure out where there were missing doors.)  Also, to note (esp. for Jessa): the paint isn't that dark.  It's about that color, but not that dark.  The coloring in the picture is just off. 

They've painted the ceilings, too! 

Ok, so, did I mention that our front door is SO TALL?!  Didn't believe me from previous pictures?  Well, let's give you something to compare it to.  BJ is 6'1".  Doesn't he look like a little toy doll here?  IT'S SO TALL!  No stairs yet, though.
  
And the front!  Look!  There is rock on it now!  Doesn't it look so pretty?!  I'll be glad when the cement on the porch is covered in rock and there are stairs.  And a driveway.  And a garage door. And shutters.  But dude, I am so excited right now anyway.  It looks like a real house!  THIS IS EXCITING!