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 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 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. ;)
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.
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. ;)