Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two can play at this game 

(From E's perspective) Grandma and Grandpa are in town! What fun!

And yesterday they brought me a PRESENT! A pair of singing snowmen to go with the singing snowman I got for Christmas last year! I love dancing to it. Over, and over, and over, and over again. I'm so glad I'm old enough this year to be able to locate the on/off button! (Click here for demo.)

This morning mom made sure to leave both sets of singing snow people in a very accessible spot, so that I could play with them RIGHT WHEN I woke up (at 7:30 am, 6:30 am Grandma and Grandpa's time). I've been playing with them all morning to show sleeping Grandma and Grandpa how MUCH I enjoy them! Thanks Grandma! Thanks Grandpa!

(Mom gives evil grin)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today and door-to-door salesmen 

Oh, what a glorious and busy day today!
1- I visited a child care place that I really like that is really close to work, and signed the kiddos up! I'm trying not to think about what I will now make per hour post-childcare and post-taxes. I just hope I really really like the job!!
2- When we left the daycare, we realized something magical had happened while we were inside. LOTS OF SNOW!!! It didn't look like autumn anymore!
3- On the way home stopped off and ordered our Thanksgiving pie. Gonna do that part the easy way this year. While at the pie store, bought a coffee and a fruit bar. E consumed half the fruit bar, I enjoyed the coffee, and K slept while more snow piled up outside. Left the store and had to brush sticky snow off the car before going home.
4- Fed the oldest and put her to bed, drove off with the youngest to buy a turkey and a snow shovel. (No worries about the oldest, daddy was home with a nasty bug, so she was in good company. Did you think I'd leave her alone? :))
5- Got home just in time for E to get up from her nap, get her snowsuit on, and join me as I used the newly acquired snow shovel to plow a path through the two to three inches on our driveway and sidewalk. E didn't last long outside, but I found it invigorating (caffeine probably helped) so I also shoveled our neighbor's walk. I was about to turn around and come home when HIS neighbor came out to shovel, mentioning how he didn't want to do it but was stuck with it because his boys were sick. Well, I haven't shoveled in years, so while he went to get his shovel (all he could find was a large shovel for gardening) I got half his walk done. I finished his walk as he started his drive, and we chatted about the sunny south. Apparently he's lived in my former state as well, so he understood my new enthusiasm for snow shoveling (but assured me it would quickly get old -- I don't doubt it).
6- Progressed the laundry. Washed K's sheets. She's been spitting up a lot lately (I think it's a phase) so they REALLY needed it!
7- Got the house cleaned for my family, coming in to town tomorrow!

On a side note, door-to-door sales men. I didn't think they still existed. But they DO! We've had three stop by since we moved in. One just dropped by a few minutes ago. Have y'all ever (this year) encountered one?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our Little Helper 

I'm pretty sure E's two love languages are "quality time" and "acts of service," which means she wants to help out a lot.

E is quite the little helper. She helps cook (she pours after I measure), she helps do dishes (taking silverware out of the dishwasher and putting it in the silverwear drawer), she helps put K's pacifier back in (whether or not she wants it -- sometimes E takes it out first, just so she can help put it back in) and she helps change K's diapers (she goes and gets a cloth diaper from her changing table so that I can put it on K. Sometimes she gets one of her size four disposable diapers or a size large diaper cover because she gets confused, but most of the time she gets it right).

Anyway, although she is very smart for a one year old who can't talk, she sometimes gets confused. Friends may recall the story about S saying "you're lagging behind" and E stopping, pushing up her pants, and staring at her bare leg for a few moments, trying to figure out what daddy meant. "What's this about my leg? ..."

Tonight she was in the kitchen helping daddy cook. S said "now we need to put the topping on the casserole" and E, without hesitation, ran to the cupboard, opened it, and took out a top to put on the dish.

As a pseudo-applied-linguist (one who dabbled in teaching ESL), I find this "evidence of language acquisition" fascinating. I applaud her efforts and chuckle at the mistakes she makes as she tries to figure us out.

I just can't wait until she starts speaking better, so we can understand more of what's going on in that little brain.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ahh... Sleep. 

Yesterday I got a bug. It appears it was only a 24-hour deal, but it made quite the show of itself, causing S to come home from work early, twice. This means two days in a row, I have gotten as much sleep as I've wanted in the afternoon (punctuated by an occasional feeding, but those were brief).

In addition I went to bed at around 5 pm last night.

I had forgotten what "normal" felt like. Now I feel it. Ooooh... I am SOOOOO excited for when K finally sleeps through the night!!! I'm ready to feel normal EVERY day. It's been three or four months since I got a full night's sleep on a regular basis.

BUT, it's worth it. Haven't caught those smiles on film yet (mostly because my camera isn't attached to my hip like it was with E) but they're there, warming my heart every day.

The hero of the day and my peaceful (sometimes) one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Status 

So, good things have been happening.

I am now within a couple pounds of my pre-K weight, which means I'm 8 pounds away from my pre-E weight and about 14 or 15 lbs from my pre-cruise-pre-E weight. :) And I'm still losing! My goal is to get to my pre-E weight (hasn't happened SINCE E came along) before I stop losing naturally. I figure if I have to work hard to get the 5 or 6 cruise pounds off, it's my own darn fault, and serves me right for overeating when offered unlimited four and five star dining. What was I thinking? :)

In other news, I got the job at S's place of employment. I didn't quite play "dutch bingo"* with the director, but we had our own Evangelical version. So, among other connections, he knows the guy who helped found the school in Congo that my mom and cousins attended, he helped recruit and/or was colleagues with a couple of professors I had at my undergraduate institution. He worked with them at the school I attended my freshman year (his former colleagues were then professors at my sophomore-senior year university). This was all before I attended the school, but it was still fun.

*Dutch Bingo is a western-Michigan phenomenon. People, when they're introduced to you, invariably (yes, really) ask you what your last name is, in hopes that it's a Vander-something and they can then ask you if you know Vander-so-and-so. Then, you can say "Yes! He's my sixth cousin, twice removed! Do you know a Van-so-and-so?" and the game of Dutch Bingo begins. For me, Dutch Bingo only lasts one round. "What's your last name?" "Mc-something." "Oh... nice to meet you." I'm thinking of changing my name to Vander-something, just to fit in. (smile.)

So, that long tangent aside, in January I will start working a full-time job. I think E will love child care, and K will love not being poked in the eye by her sister every three hours. From my previous work-and-parent experience, I am confident that, far from making me a worse parent, this job will help me to enjoy my children more and spend higher quality time with them when we are together. AND it might allow us to actually have enough money saved up for a house down payment by May! (Maybe.) Only downside is the "full time" thing, but (sigh) things aren't always perfect. Half-time jobs are hard to come by at S's institution, and any job outside that school requires a second car or some serious planning. So, this is what we get!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guess the Baby -- Second Round 

Because it was so popular the first time around, here's another round of "guess the baby."

For those who haven't played before, your job is to decide which of the following pictures is K and which is E at (approximately) K's age.

This time I'm not providing you with a cool back-link to a previous post, I'll simply put the correct answer in the "comments" section. Don't cheat, now! But DO let me know (in the comments section) how you did.

2 Months 

K's 2 month check up:

11lbs 4 oz

23 and a quarter inches tall

Head circumference: 15 and three quarters inches

And, just like that, she goes from less than 50 percent in everything to greater than 50 percent in everything. She must have been making up for lost time! She's taller than 75% of 2 month old babies (roughly speaking) and is in the 60th percentile for weight. When she was born, she was in the 25th percentile for weight.

Way to go, little girl! I guess I must be feeding you right.

Now she feels kind of icky. She's going to need extra TLC today, I guess.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Last week K slept 6.5 hours straight once and I lost another pound. Every week is a little better.

This week I have a second interview at the place where S works. I may have a difficult decision to make later this week. The job is a great fit for me, but is full-time. Today we toured daycare agencies. E thought it was terrific fun. She wanted to join in. K alternated between making little "I might be upset if I were more awake" noises and sleeping. The place I liked the best offers a "try us out for a day" deal -- for free, just to see if your kids like it. I told my hubby and he suggested that, if I do get this job, he takes an afternoon off, we give our kids a trial run with day care, and he and I go on a date to celebrate. Free child care! I think that sounds great.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mimi or "me, me"? 

E keeps finding pictures of herself as a baby. Invariably she points to them and says "Mimi!" (E's nickname for K).

We can't understand why the confusion.

p.s. One photo was taken this month, one 18 months ago. If you can't guess which child is which in the pictures above, see here

Suprises in the mail. 

These pictures (especially the dress and blanket) have been brought to you in part by K &M. Thanks, guys! We love them!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

African/African American Historians -- read on. 

To my three African/African American History friends who have or are about to have PhDs...
Steve's work has a job opening for you for next year.
You know who you are.
You know where he works.
You know how cool (literally -- sorry, Southern friends) it would be to be here.
Do apply. We want you here.

And, K, the last line in the job application -- that's all for you. It's not just us encouraging you to apply, see? :) But you'd have to become a reformed Calvinist. Think you've got it in you?

Seriously, though, it'd be fabulous to have ANY of y'all come on up/down to work here, and since we know people who fit the bill, we think it'd be a shame not to know the person who fills this position!!

P.S. On an interesting and only slightly related note: I am currently reading a book by Bereket Selassie. It's a good read so far. It's historical fiction.

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