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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mostly just about kids. You're welcome.

Jessa ~

Photo by Travis Lovell Photography
 Today is Abby's birthday!  Can you believe that she's two?!  Insane.  2 years ago today I was having the most empowering high of my life.  You were there!  Can you believe that's been two years?

Photo by Travis Lovell Photography
Goodness.  That girl.  I love her.  She drives me insane.  She's adorably cute.  She can make me laugh like crazy.  She can also wear me out in record time.  She continues to be diva to the core.  Just tonight she spent at least an hour walking around with a wet washcloth on her head.  We FaceTimed Grandma and Grandpa Lovell and she spent half of the conversation unable to focus on talking to them because she was too busy watching herself in the little video, putting her head down, covering her face with the washcloth, then popping back up to see her face, etc.  It was funny.  She's getting to the point that she wears three dresses a day.  Sometimes on top of each other.  Sometimes she'll agree to take the old one off before I put the new one on.

When Abby sees lotion, she wants it. I put it on her hands, then she immediately sits down and rubs it on her legs (because, of course, she is wearing a dress.)

 When she sees chapstick she yells “lips!” and has to put it on. By herself. For at least the next half hour. And if you take it away from her before she is done, she screams for the next half hour.

Like all foods, she prefers to eat from the face down.
Photo by Travis Lovell Photography
When anyone washes their hands she yells, “Soap!” and won’t be pacified until she has gotten to wash her hands with soap.

She begs to brush her teeth and gets mad if we don’t put on toothpaste (because it’s the third time that day). 

Who is this girl!?

She insists on watching Baby Signing Time.  A lot. She doesn't sign a whole lot, though.  I think she uses it to build her vocabulary.  A lot of times when we go outside she'll tell me it's windy.  (Even though it's not.)  Her next favorite show is "Jesus Mary"  Over Christmas that meant the Nativity movie.  But they don't have that one on the Bible Videos app for the iPad, so instead it now means a short, maybe 3-minute show, about Mary.  She'll watch it over and over again.  She also has no patience.  When it gets to the end, it shows a scripture.  And the words are up there long enough for you to read it.  Which usually means enough time for her to run up to me, pleading look on her face, holding out the iPad to me, saying, "Help!  Jesus Mary!  Help!"  And then the video finishes and she can start it again.  She's been starting to break out and try other movies in the app, though.  She'll pick random girls in the other shows and declare them to be Mary.

Photo by Travis Lovell Photography
Yesterday we moved her into Kessa's room.  We wanted to give her enough time to warm up to it and be comfortable there before we started taking away her binkie for good.  We want to give her enough time sans binkie that there won't be fights when the new baby comes.  I was really worried about this transition.  She surprised me at how well she transitioned to the crib becoming a toddler bed, but switching rooms?  That seemed like a much bigger deal.  New toys.  New things to look at.  Could she really sleep?  And I couldn't help but remember that when Kessa first switched to a toddler bed, she got stitches in her eyelid that first night, then started the whole fight-to-go-to-bed phase that still hasn't really passed.  It takes an hour to get to bed because she's so easily distracted and we have to read stories and sing songs and then convince her that yes, it really is time to go to bed and yes, Daddy really has to leave.  And then there are tears.  And it's just really, really long.  And I was not looking forward to having Abby do the same thing.

I shouldn't have worried.  Yesterday's nap was shorter than normal, and thanks to Dropcam we were able to watch for awhile as she just played around the room.  But then she found the camera (it was just sitting on Kessa's bed temporarily) and moved it so we couldn't see anything.  (We've since moved it to the top of the dresser.)  But she stayed in there, silent, for over an hour, then was happy afterwards, so we assume she eventually fell asleep.

Last night was the best, though.  She went down and slept without a problem.  We let Kessa stay awake for awhile to let Abby really fall asleep, then BJ took her up to bed (she was all ready for bed at this point) and told her that she had to be really, really quiet so she didn't wake up Abby.  So Daddy couldn't even sing.  Kessa was so excited to have Abby in her room, that she didn't make a single complaint.  She just went to bed.  They both slept all night.  Then this morning we heard talking in there, so BJ opened the Dropcam app and we watched as Kessa showed Abby pictures in a book.  Then Abby found Kessa's water and wouldn't give it to her.  And then just laughed and played.  It was such a refreshing change for the morning.  Then Kessa opened the door and they both came in to find us.  I really hope this is a good omen for the rest of the year.  Today she went down without a peep for nap time, then again for bedtime.  IT'S A MIRACLE.

I've decided that it's either because Abby and Kessa are so opposite that of course Abby would handle something so well that is a weakness of Kessa's.  (If this is true, I suddenly have more hope for potty training Abby.  Currently my plan is to not potty train her until she's in 2nd grade and begging to have panties because she's so embarrassed to go to elementary in diapers.)  My other theory is that it's a tender mercy from Heavenly Father, to show me that having more kids isn't going to kill me.  And that even though Abby may have a lot of energy, she's also super sweet.  And a third child will be doable.  Maybe it's a combination?

We had two birthday parties for Abby.  One was last night.  I tried to think what she would think is fun for a party and decided trampoline jumping.  She currently satisfies her craving for it by having us take off the couch cushions, at which point they become, "Jump trampolines!"  There are some weeks they're off the couch more than they're on.  Our friends, the Harris' have an indoor trampoline in their house, so we went over there and had cupcakes and ice cream.  They also have twin boys about 5 months younger than Abby that are probably her closest friends, inasmuch as you can have friends at the age of 2.  So that worked out well.  Travis and a friend of his, Brenda, came to that party.  They actually came earlier and ate dinner with us, then stayed later and learned Kingdom Builder with us.  So that was fun.

Then today was 4th Sunday dinner, so we went to your parents' where we ate opened presents and ate more cake and ice cream.  (And played with marbles and legos and all the aunts/uncles (including Chelsea), grandma/grandpa and Brian Adams and his girlfriend.)   By the time we got home she was so exhausted that she just went straight to bed.

Ok.  Let's take a break from Abby for a little bit and tell you more about Kessa lately.

We watched the new Disney movie, Frozen, last Saturday.  We took Kessa.  It's only her second theater experience, and the only one she remembers.  She loved it.  So much.  Our house has been a musical ever since.  BJ plays the music on the piano often.  (Of course just making it up. He's never seen actual sheet music for it.)  He really loves the music because there are a couple of duets that are full of emotion where one character is happy, singing in a major key, where the other character is sad/fearful/scared and singing in a minor key.  At the same time.  He's really quite obsessed with them.  :)  It's cute.  Kessa loves all of the songs just as much.  She's really turning into quite the musical smarty pants.  BJ will hum a piece of a song to himself, almost under his breath, and she'll hear him across the room and start singing the song.  She'll walk around singing a random piece of a song out of the blue.  There's one song at the beginning that isn't as popular, so we don't sing it as often, but she really likes it.  Well, during one of the popular songs there is a musical interlude in which it plays a piece from that song.  They were listening to it once (we bought the soundtrack) and when Kessa heard that she said, "Daddy, I really like that song.  We should listen to it next."  She totally picked it out!  I didn't even pick it out!

She's also showing a lot of promise at the piano.  She can play Mary Had a Little Lamb like a champ.  BJ's even taught her to play two-handed.  Of course, her left hand is just playing middle-C over and over and over again.  But she's so proud of herself for playing two-handed.  The other day she told BJ that she wanted to learn something hard for her.  So he taught her to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  She had a good grip on it within 20 minutes.  The other day she was singing a song, stopped, went to the piano and tried to pick out the notes to play it.  WHAT THE HECK!??!  She is so smart!

Kessa happily learning to scrub toilets for her daily chore.
She's still progressing like crazy in reading, too.  We had to buy a new set of books at school because she's almost finished the short vowels and long vowels books.  Both her teacher and the front desk ladies gushed and praised at how fast she's learning to read.  Today her Primary teacher stopped us and commented on how smart she is and how none of the other kids in her class are even close to being able to read.  "But even when she doesn't know a word, she can sound it out!"  [beams]  She really is amazing.  We've been calling her smart a lot lately, so we've been trying to talk about how "smart" really means "willing to learn new things" and "willing to do hard things".  We're trying to teach her that smart isn't so much inborn as it is an attitude towards learning.  We praise her when she works hard to figure something out, even when she gets it wrong.  We gush when she says she can't do something because it's too hard, but then she does it.  (Usually with encouragement from us.)

Of course, she's not perfect, but there's no reason to point out her weaknesses right now.  Let's keep this a gushing, my kids are amazing, kind of email.  Ok?  :)

Baby 3.0 is a mover.  Even BJ has felt him move once or twice.  It's fun getting to the point that I can feel him move a lot.  I've been trying to wean myself into being super excited about having a boy.  So the other day I went shopping for something else and detoured through the baby section and bought two new outfits.  I figure I have to stock up a whole new wardrobe, so I should be on the lookout for good deals now, right?  Plus, it was exciting looking at a whole new section of the baby section.

Kessa is really concerned lately.  "But Mommy, we have to buy trucks before the baby is born!"  She's really on a trucks kick.  I finally had to explain the other day that when he's first born, all he will do is eat and sleep.  And won't care about trucks one whit.  But as he gets older, then he'll care.  So then we can buy him trucks.  She seemed satisfied.  But now it's got me thinking about maybe actually decorating the nursery this time.  With trucks.  That could be fun, right?

Shawn has decided that we need to name him Melvin William Homer.  Melvin W. Homer.  He'd be guaranteed to become an apostle with a name like that!  Haha.  Seems like perfect motivation for a name, right?  But... that is better than some of the names your mom has come up with... ("Justin Bieber Homer"???) We've pretty much banned either of them from having legitimate input on this baby's name.  It's for the best.  I'm sure you understand.

Baby 3.0 is now about the length of a carrot from head to heel and about 3/4 of a pound.  He's getting big!  Kessa keeps saying, "I think the baby will be born tomorrow."  And then we have to remind her that he's not coming until summer.  Until her birthday.  Which is still several months off.  She accepts it, then a few days later makes the same assertion.  Maybe she doesn't understand what "tomorrow" actually means?

He's been doing a number on my hip, though.  I'm not pleased with that.  I finally went into a chiropractor who adjusted me, then told me everything I need to change about my posture.  Like I can't sit on my legs (I might be doing that right now.  Don't tell!  IT'S HARD!!!!), or cross my legs at the knee.  I can't stand with all my weight on one leg.  I can't hold a child on my hip.  I can't sit for more than 20-30 minutes without taking a 3-5 min break to walk or stand.  I can't sit or kneel on the floor.  ("Get a low stool to sit on when you have to be down low.")  THIS GUY IS KILLING ME SLOWLY!  Try going to 5 hours of church (I had another ward conference today), two of which on a hard folding chair, and be comfortable with all of those restrictions.

(Interruption: Kessa just went to bed and less than 5 minutes later we heard talking.  So we turned on Dropcam and they're totally talking to each other.  Kessa is telling Abby that when she turns 8 she'll get the holy spirit, which is God, and she'll get a blessing, and she'll get baptized.  OH MY GOODNESS THESE GIRLS ARE SO CUTE!  I can't handle it.  And now Abby is singing Twinkle Twinkle.  But... we also want them to sleep.  So BJ's turning on the microphone to start singing to them.  I love this device.)

(Of course, now that I've bragged, they're both awake and trying to get Daddy to sing through the camera again and ... [sigh]  Now BJ is upstairs singing through the door, Kessa is trying to sleep, and Abby is standing on her bed trying to get Kessa's attention.  Thankfully, thus far, Kessa is ignoring her.)

(Ok, we'll end the bedtime commentary here.  Abby managed to find a box to boost herself up onto Kessa's bed and BJ's back in the room putting them back to bed.  Again.  So... clearly tonight isn't the best example of how awesome this arrangement is working at bedtime.  But all things require an adjustment period... right? :D)

  • Kessa: Daddy, could I learn something that’s hard for me? Because if I don’t, how will I ever learn?
    Solution: she’s now learning Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the piano.
  • Me, in a moment of frustration: I feel like I'm doing all the chores myself. You used to want to help me, but now all you want do is screen time and games.
    Kessa: No. I like crafts, too.
  • Kessa: You have to give me $15 and 100 quarters. Because that's how much it costs to buy my powers.
    Between magic from Frozen and buying things from Super Mario Galaxy, I think this girl has gotten some insane ideas.  Like the idea that we'd buy a lightsaber off of her so that we could "draw hearts in the dark".  I can't remember all her other magical powers.  There were many.  It was an entire evening of imagination.  I remember it changed her baked ziti into pizza and cheese sticks so that she'd want to eat it.  And it made her invisible at one point.  And she told us that if we stole her magic instead of buying it, she would never play with us again.
  • Kessa: Daddy, why did you open the front door so coldly?!
  • Kessa: Do you love Heavenly Father, even if he's in a house and there's a box outside? What if he has a sock on his head and can't see?
~ Tianna and Co.

1 comment:

Madison said...

Your girls are getting so big. It's crazy how time flies. Your little one will be here soon. Boys are so much fun. They have the best toys. You'll love it.