Personal blogging has fallen by the wayside. I thought that over the holiday and early part of January I would have just tons of free time and be able to kick back a little bit. That has not been the case. I've been busy shooting, editing, and communicating. I click on my homepage and keep seeing a Christmas post, thinking about how I have to fill in my friends on what has been happening around here for the past few weeks!
First of all, we spent New Year's Eve with our good friends Eric and Jen. For the past few years we've been taking turns with, hosting a low-key NYE and this year was our turn to host. We played Texas Hold'em, watched Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve, and ate snacks. I like that kind of party. I am not sure whether or not I want to go back to the days of overindulging on food, drinks, and staying up so late that the next day is all about "recovering" from the night before! Good thing in this case, because New Year's Day we got up and took the kids to my parents' house, so we could drive to Wisconsin...
Ron's friend Chad from high school was married on 01-02-2010 (which is a cool date, same forward as backward!) and I was the photographer! We went to the rehearsal dinner with the family and wedding party, and the wedding day was really nice. When we left the reception, the temperature on our car's digital thermometer read -4. Eek.
The following weekend Kelly and Heath came to MI to visit and celebrate Christmas.
I have to update our Smugmug galleries - I have more great pictures from that weekend :)
The other cool thing that has happened over the past couple of months is Lucy has become officially potty trained. She started using the potty chair several times a day around 18 months - I guess some people consider that potty trained, but I did not. We thought starting her early would be a good idea, and those successes reinforced that belief. In hindsight I think we started her too soon and she wasn't really ready even if she could technically do it. She is smart as a whip and we thought, 'oh she'll get this no problem!' She had fewer and fewer accidents each day and we thought we were in good shape - around age 2, I thought we were right on track and in no time we'd be done with diapers and/or accidents! Not so fast, eager Mom and Dad! When she started to get less attention than she was used to (partly because of her baby bro, and partly because of my work), she started having more and more "accidents", and not seeming to even care if she was wet or dirty! She knew how to undress, get on the toilet, wipe, flush, and do everything all by herself, and yet she seemed to be using potty training to prove to me that I couldn't make her do anything, and she was in charge. Grrr. I guess in that respect, she is right. You can't make a kid go to the bathroom on command, and you can't really know when they need to go (and harassing them 100 times a day only makes then say "NO!" even if they do need to go).
I was so discouraged, and felt that we had tried everything - rewards, bribes, punishment, other incentives, throwing away panties, encouraging with clapping, singing, dancing, hugs, kisses, high-fives, charts, promises... it really didn't matter. I read blogs, and was tempted by boot-camp-like programs that promised to potty train your kid in 3 days. Although from age 2 to age 3, when we were in the midst of the worst potty training times, I knew in my heart that she was too young to be considered for any kind of drastic program, and she'd get it eventually. I just had it in my head that I wanted it to happen right around age 2, because my sister was around age 2 and I was around 2.5, so that was what I considered "normal" (but that's not necessarily normal at all, and furthermore, so what?!). For Lucy, it was only going to happen when she decided she wanted it to. Of course, when I kind of "gave up" and backed off, and stopped trying to make it happen, she stopped digging in her heels and just became potty trained, and she gave up the battle. Now accidents are very rare (and if there is one, she's just a tiny bit damp and gets to the toilet for the rest), and life is a lot less stressful! Hooray!
We have registered her for preschool (Hudsonville), where she will go three mornings a week. I am so excited for her to get out and learn and play with other kids. She graduated from her toddler bed into a big twin sized bed with drawers underneath, and she has more space to sprawl.
Henry is saying more and more words - and is getting cuter every day. Here is what I can think of off the top of my head:
[he makes car noises when playing with cars]
Mmmmm (if something is yummy)
Bear (sounds like baieh)
Ruff (whenever he holds a stuffed animal he makes little high-pitched "ruff! ruff"!)
...And he still has a super high-pitched loud scream. True story: his food ran out a night or two ago, and his scream literally made my ears ring. I'm not even kidding, and I get to sit right next to him! Adorable, right?! I would love to measure the decibels he can kick out.
Here are some more Henry tidbits, since I feel like I haven't talked about him much lately... even though he is a charming, loving, sweet little boy and growing and changing so much!
He loves to get into cabinets and pull everything out, particularly the one with big mixing bowls, or cookie sheets and trays.
He carries large pieces of chalk around (sometimes likes to chew on them),
He bangs things together, bangs toy piano,
or bangs his head on the back of his highchair for attention, so hard the high-chair scoots across the floor.
He climbs up onto the couch, ottoman, or soon-to-be-his toddler bed.
He always picks red cars out of the basket of cars.
He screams when his food is gone, loves to eat anything, drinks all his milk in one gulp.
He is starting to learn how to feed himself with a spoon (like applesauce),
He dances to anything making music (he bounces up and down bending his knees, or he twists)
He claps and looks back at you smiling when he puts something into a container,
He can stack a few blocks,
He climbs steps quickly (but can't go down safely).
Gets mad and chases after Lucy if she takes his toy, but...
if she chases after him he runs terrified.
He throws a tantrum by sitting down, then slamming himself face down on the floor sobbing, then rolls his head to the side to see if you are paying attention to how upset he is.
So, life is typical, busy, sometimes monotonous, and I think we are getting a bit of cabin fever around here. Looking forward to spring! Meanwhile, the kids keep things always entertaining.