The month has officially flown by. We’ve been busy and sick and busy again.
We returned from our Christmas out East to have a quiet New Year’s in our house. Lil picked up a cold in NJ and we didn’t think that keeping her up till midnight at a friend’s New Year’s party would be the most responsible parenting choice. Occasionally we are selfless parents. Sometimes, not so much. Like the fact that we’re determined to never let Lil know that our TV gets Children’s programming. It’s fine if other people’s TVs have cartoons, but ours simply doesn’t.
How long do you think this piece of wishful thinking will last?
Anyways. We exchanged gifts New Year’s Day. Lil got a few big gifts — a metal shopping cart and a ride-on bumblebee — both of which she LOVES. She grabs the shopping cart and yells, “BYE! SHOP!” and takes off down the hallway, usually with 2-3 babies in her cart, a necklace on her neck, and a purse. It’s too much.
She took her time unwrapping gifts, and again we still had wrapped gifts under the tree at least 2 weeks after Christmas. I’m guessing that this isn’t going to be the case next year. Other gifts included: a wooden barn puzzle, a wooden transportation puzzle, a wooden car, truck, & plane set, a plastic float plane to play with in the bathtub, a musical instrument set, a color/shape stacking puzzle, and several board books: Charley Harper’s Colors & Numbers books (LOVE his illustrations), Harry the Dirty Dog, and The Sleep Book. I am really partial to quiet, simple, wooden toys, so that’s what we stuck with. I also appreciate our family sticking with quiet toys. Thanks, everyone!
My mom came to visit a few days into the New Year. We were too busy quilting and planning my sister’s wedding shower to take any pictures, but Nana and Lil had fun together and even allowed J and I to go see The Hobbit. Nana brought Lil one of her favorite gifts of the season — a wooden barn with little animals in it. She also brought Jason one of his favorite gifts — an air compressor — and yours truly was gifted an ipad (so awesome).
I started back at work the second week in January. After receiving my BEST teaching ratings yet in fall (let’s just say I danced around the house yelling, “they like me! they really really like me!”), I returned this month with a whole new enthusiasm for my work. I feel like I’ve really hit my stride with this teaching thing and I am really loving every minute of it. I’ve also put pressure on myself to continue to improve, to continue to get even BETTER ratings this term. The fact that students are finding my class an enjoyable, memorable learning experience makes it easier to spend 2 mornings away from my little peanut each week. It makes the late nights of grading papers, perfecting lectures, and responding to emails all worth it.
Lil’s 18 month checkup went well. She’s taller, but not heavier than her 15 month appt – something the doctor seemed concerned about until I mentioned that we were all VERY sick over Christmas. She got the flu shot. Two days later, she got the flu. The joys of taking a well child to a doctor’s office full of sick children! I was hoping she’d show off all of her amazing verbal skills for the doctor, and he’d be all, “of course you are AMAZING parents – she’s the smartest 18 month old I’ve seen yet!” but instead, Lilly decided to cry almost the entire time, clinging to me.
The same happened the following week, when I took her in for a sick visit after 5 days of temperatures, coughing, and lots of snot: I hoped she’d put on a show and be her happy, cooperative self. Instead, she threw her first public temper tantrum when I asked her to put on her coat. The doctor said, “she’s that age.” Sigh.
(Note to teenage Lilly: consider how embarrassing it is to have your daughter SCREAM for 15 minutes in a doctor’s office next time I do something that embarrasses you. Perhaps it is just payback? )
Fortunately, tantrums are very few and far between. We occasionally get a tiny scream when we do something she doesn’t like, but when asked why she screamed, she’s pretty good about quickly telling us what she’d like to be done differently. Typically, it’s that she wants to do it for herself, which we usually encourage. She also doesn’t like to be rushed, which means she might be the toddler version of me. I can’t be rushed.
We traveled to Milwaukee late in the month for my sister’s bridal shower (more on that to come).
And we’ve spent the past week and a half recovering from travels, picking up the remaining Christmas decor & adorning the house with hearts (one of the few shapes Lilly can identify when asked), and making attempts to clean and organize our lives in preparation for this new year that we’re in.
We’ve also spent as much time playing out in the snow as possible this month. Lilly is a HUGE fan of the snow, and will often stand at the window and just watch it fall. She requests to go outside frequently, “Lilly ‘side walk SNOW” — which means that she wants to go outside and walk in the snow. And she seriously means that she just wants to walk around in the snow. She loves how it cracks under her feet, she experiments with stomping vs kicking vs stepping, she reaches down and digs in it with her hands. We’ve tried sledding once and skiing twice. She’d like to stay outside for much longer than her mama is interested in doing so, perhaps because I bundle her up better than I bundle up myself. I am so glad that she’s a winter enthusiast!