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winter 2014

March 31, 2014

A (long, boring) summary of our winter, complete with pictures.


This would have been a heck of a winter to be out skiing daily.  It snowed almost every day here in SW MI, and although it was cold (a real Minnesota winter, I like to say!), it was so beautiful.





Playing peek-a-boo with her sister

We owed our plow guy a small fortune.  Massive snows here at least once/week.  In fact, by the end of January, we had so much snow in the back yard that Lilly couldn’t even walk.  It was higher than her waist, so she’d sink in and be completely unable to move.  Daddy had to carry her all over the yard to play, which is kind of not the point of outside play.  (The point of outside play, if you were wondering: to tire out the kiddo so much that they a) go to bed early and b) sleep through the night.  Oh, and I guess if they learn something or have fun, that’s good, too! 🙂 )






But many days it was too cold to go out, and especially too cold for baby sister to go out, so we have been playing inside a lot.  I am so very very thankful that these two little ones seem to enjoy each other.  Lilly will often say “Baby Eleanor!  I love you!” and when Eleanor giggles at some of the silly things Lil does (e.g., roaring like a lion), it pretty much melts my heart.  I’m certain there are no better sounds.





 This silly little pouty face!



Elli got her first taste of food, and I bought my first box of baby food.  Although the picture looks promising, this is not going so well.  She doesn’t seem to like the taste of baby cereal.   We quickly switched to other real foods, but she’s not overly enthusiastic about you spoonfeeding her.  She IS enthusiastic about shoving anything in her mouth, and has stolen pieces of food from me.  So we’re having a lot of fun watching her explore lots of different foods.  Also?  We are cleaning up a lot of vomit — she’s got an easy gag reflex which seems to be triggered by even the smoothest of blended foods.  Wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences and how your baby’s vomit issues resolved?  We’re in (occupational) therapy now, but I am actually mostly convinced that she just has to grow out of it.





Also, this winter, I taught a new class.  Prep work was extensive — I have to fill about 4 hours of class time each week, and although it was in a subject that I know and love (biopsychology!), it’s been a few years since I’ve examined current research on some of the topics that I wanted to cover.  Probably the coolest part of my job is that I get to learn new things that are incredibly interesting to me.  Probably the worst part of my job is that there is endless amounts of interesting psychology research out there… which means that narrowing my focus sometimes takes a lot of hours, and I’m a chronic over-preparer anyways, so I make more work for myself than I really need to.


Another difficult thing about a new course is that I’m constantly critiquing myself.  When I teach a course I’ve taught several times, things go smoothly, I know which questions to anticipate, how to link topics so that everything flows for the students.  Teaching a new course means that sometimes, things go less smoothly, research that makes sense to me seems contradictory to students, I’m not as efficient at linking themes, some of the readings don’t go as well for students, etc.  So this, in combination with my over-preparedness, means that I spend hours upon hours preparing for each lecture, then walk away from the class feeling like I didn’t really do a, b, or c as well as I should have.


Baby E decided back in December that she would not, under any circumstances, take a bottle.  Which is fine, except I am trying to do this little thing called “work” at least two days/week.  Fortunately, I have an amazing department, a flexible job, and the ability to be on-campus in the morning, head to daycare to feed E around lunchtime, then over to Panera or another place with free wifi for a few more hours.  This was manageable (and I guess, still will be manageable), but not ideal.  I lose about 1.5-2 hours of my work day with all of this monkeying around, and then have to make up that time at night and on weekends.  This led to many many nights of up-till-2-am, then up again at 6 (with Elli waking to eat at least once in there).  Ahh!  allusive work/life balance, I desperately seek you!  The sleep deprivation has most certainly taken its toll on my memory, and I am absolutely, positively looking forward to next term, when I get to teach my most favorite (and most well-prepared) class (a class on drugs & addiction).  I add new data, studies, reading, etc to my class each term, but it is so nice to have a solid base to start from!


Despite the craziness of my teaching gig this winter, we did manage to have a few fun adventures.  We showed up in MKE at least once, a special appearance to congratulate my BIL on a new job, and to wish him and sister best of luck on their move to a new state.  Grandpa, uncle T, uncle R, cousin Haley, Lil, and I went skiing (while Nanee and baby E supervised).  In true Lil form, she was hesitant on the first run and did NOT like it.  So I dropped her off with Nanee and took a few runs with my bros.  When Lil came out a bit later, she was much MUCH happier about skiing.  (So happy, in fact, that I took her again the following day!)  In one weekend, she went from being completely unsure and not putting much weight on her feet to skiing out in front of me (I held a harness/leash that was wrapped around her waist) and asking to go faster!  I hope we’ll get so much more time on the hill next year, and that she’ll continue to be my little ski buddy!









The four of us went swimming together once (with plans to go more!).  I’ve been taking Lil swimming nearly every week, and she is becoming quite the little swimmer.  Strap a little froggy float thing on her and she goes!  She barely needs my help, but we have fun playing mermaid (Lilly) and fish friend (me).  I have a bit of mama guilt about having such fun with Lil while E is hanging out in the gym’s daycare, but E is getting big enough that perhaps I’ll be able to take both of them soon.  During E’s first swim, she didn’t seem very impressed, possibly a little grumpy.  But she LOVES bath time, so I’m confident that she’ll come around sooner or later!







Lilly has become mermaid and princess obsessed this winter, so when we go swimming, we play mermaid and fish friends.  It’s pretty sweet, and involves lots of swimming around the pool chasing each other, followed by breaks at her mermaid castle (aka the ladder positioned in the corner of the pool).  Her imagination is really taking shape, and it’s so fun to see what she’ll come up with next.  Usually, she happily plays by herself for what seems like hours at a time, but occasionally, we get roped into a game of “singing with my daughter”, in which Jason or I am her “daughter” (not sure she actually knows what that means) and we hold hands and sing and dance in the kitchen.  If you’re not doing it right, she’s all, “mama, like this!” and then demonstrates the pose that I should take (usually on one knee, with the other foot out and the arm high in the air).  We’re having so much fun with her.  We’re having so much fun with baby Elli, too.  There are many days that I’d just like to freeze this time in our lives, to keep the happy carefree playful kiddos…  then again, I’m always eager to see what they’ll come up with next!



One Comment leave one →
  1. May 23, 2014 10:04 am

    I’ve looked at these pics a million times and I love every one of them but I’m waiting for Spring to happen!

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