January 16, 2014
Off to a bit of a rocky start, 2014!
I’ll have some posts coming up soon looking back at our Christmas time visit to Wisconsin and Chicagoland, but I’ll interrupt the retrospective reflection to share with you a bit about the beginnings of our year now that we’re back home in Columbia.
This little one has had a couple of big transitions. Since she did so well at my mom’s house, we decided to let her make the transition from her high chair to “an adult chair,” as the girls call them, at our dining table, and she’s loving that.
She has also graduated from afternoon naps to “rests.” That was not a change that this mommy particularly welcomed, but she was having such trouble going to sleep at night that it became clear it was time to make the transition. There were multiple nights in a row last week that she was up well past 10:00, and that’s no good for anyone, so we said goodbye to the afternoon nap, and we are now a nap-free household! Nap-free, diaper-free (except for overnight)…as one of my cousins said at our Christmas party in WI, it must be time to have a 3rd baby and throw a wrench in it all! (No, we’re not pregnant or adopting again right now :) At this point we’re just looking forward to hopefully pursuing baby number 3 in the somewhat near future!)
On a side note, I read this article this week about the advantages to having 6 kids. Good stuff to think about! Of course, I’m thankful that by the time we’d have anywhere near 6 children, my oldest 2 (at the very least) would be slightly older and able to be somewhat helpful with the younger kiddos.
I’ve gotten a small taste this week of what it might look like to have more than two people depending on me for a multitude of things all throughout the day due to the fact that, as of Tuesday afternoon, Matt’s ankle looked like this:
My super sweet friend Alex came over to hang out with the girls, and I took Matt to have some x-rays taken. The verdict was that, surprisingly enough, it was not broken, but he suffered a severe sprain, which might be better or worse than actually having broken it. He was ordered to ice it regularly and put no weight on it at all until at least Friday, so he’s mostly been hanging out at the dining room table and on the couch and occasionally hobbling around the house on crutches. I’m hopeful that he will start experiencing measurable improvements soon!
Those big events of the first couple weeks of our year – the earlier-than-expected transition away from afternoon naps and the loss of many of our plans for the last week of Matt’s vacation due to his ankle sprain – were definitely not particularly welcome.
However, as I think about it, there have been a lot of good experiences of 2014, too. I broke our blender almost a year ago, but my mom got me a new one for Christmas, so we’ve been able to start enjoying smoothies again, and we’re all loving that. Both Miranda and Madeleine CaiQun love fruit, but in the winter I’m less likely to have something cut up and ready to go, so it takes some effort on my part to make sure they’re getting as many fruit servings as they should. And both of them love raw carrots, but CaiQun in particular is uninterested in most other vegetables. Miranda will eat salads – primarily because we let her put “that sauce that’s kind of like ketchup,” otherwise known as French dressing, on them, but CaiQun wants nothing to do with them. However, if I throw some yogurt, frozen fruit from Aldi, spinach, a tiny bit of OJ, and sometimes a banana into a blender, everyone loves it! Of course, I have to heat up CaiQun’s after I make it. Did you know that in China it’s practically anathema to allow a child to eat or drink anything cold? Home almost a year and my little girl from China still has no interest in particularly cold food or drinks! But as long as I’m willing to stick her smoothie in the microwave for 20 seconds after I make it, she’s happy to polish it off :)
The girls and I have also gotten back into school, and we all really enjoy that, for which I am so thankful! Here the girls are continuing to read some of our school books one day even after we finished our “official” school day :)
Miranda and I have also been continuing to work through her workbooks. We’d taken a few weeks off around Christmas, so she hadn’t practiced writing her numbers (the big skill we’re working on now) for a while and was somewhat frustrated that she was having a hard time with some of them. I made her a little practice sheet, and I was so proud of her for sticking with it and working through it all!
The best part, though, was seeing her enthusiasm as she recognized her growing ability to do it. She was so excited. At the beginning, after each “8″ she wrote, she would count how many she had done and yell to Matt, “Daddy, I did 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 eights!!!” I was so tempted as we were approaching the 18th 8, the 19th 8, and so on to tell her she probably didn’t need to count and tell him after each one, but I didn’t want to squash her enthusiasm. Right now she loves learning, and that’s something I want to encourage :)
We’ve also been able to spend some really good time with some friends during these last couple weeks. Last year didn’t look quite like I expected in terms of our friendships, but I think we’ve seen a lot about who our true friends are and what sort of relationships we want to cultivate, and we’ve been able to spend some good time with friends these last couple weeks, which has been so encouraging!
So I guess in the midst of the giving-up-naps, spraining-ankle craziness around here, the start to 2014 hasn’t been all bad :)