Friday, September 24, 2010

Where to start . . .

I am popping back over here to see if I can sneak a five-minute post in. I can't believe (well, in some ways I can) that I haven't written ANYTHING in over a year. That makes me kind of sad.

Caroline (a big six-and-A-HALF--the 1/2 is huge to her) and Linc (a fat 16 months) are upstairs playing together right now. I've been listening to the pounding of lots of footsteps overheard, several hard thuds, and plenty of sweet baby boy giggles (Caroline can make him laugh harder than anyone else can). Those giggles usually turn into screaming, though, at some point. Lincoln often lets Caroline have her way with him (he loves rough play), but he decides when enough is enough. He has no problem sharing his opinion. If I'm lucky, the screaming turns back into laughing before he can come downstairs to complain to me. :)

Often I find that the screaming is directly tied to an attempt by Caroline to dress him up in something he doesn't want to be dressed up in. He used to let her do just about anything (and we have pictures that document that stage), but lately he doesn't like bothering with sequins and scarves and things. That's probably for the better. Sunglasses and hats and shoes he will still happily try on, though.

I have no idea how to catch up, so I will just try to document a few of the things that are going on right now.

Baby News

  • We are expecting baby #3 and just found out yesterday that it's another boy. The lady doing the ultrasound said to Caroline, "How do you feel about that?" and she rolled her head back and said, "Exhausted!" Just a little bit later, she added, "I can't handle 3 boys!"

  • I think another boy fits in really well with the family dynamic right now. I also think it's crazy. Right now I am trying to figure out the best solution for a 2-year-old and an infant sharing a room . . . we want the boys to share, and we also want to keep our guest room as a guest room. (Come and see us!)

Caroline @ School/Being a Big Girl/Developing Character :)

  • Caroline started 1st grade at a school that meets on Wednesdays and Fridays for class and leaves the rest of the week open for studying at home. We are enjoying this arrangement right now. Caro loves the schoolwork we do at home and loves seeing kids and having a class when she goes to school. Right now she is looking forward to her "first-ever field trip!" She is picturing riding a bus to this field trip, but her school does not have one. "Riding a school bus" is still way up high on her list of things to do. Maybe one of these days.

  • Caroline still almost immediately begins talking about her next birthday right on the heels of the most recent one. I have had to be very firm that we are not discussing being 7 (7!) right now but are going to enjoy being 6. She upped that to six-and-a-half as soon as she officially could and even observed her half birthday this year on September 1. I will not go back and look at the pictures and blog posts from when she was 3 (3!). I will cry. I am starting to tear up a little just thinking about it. Things are so different now. I can't believe I had five whole years of just her to myself. We went everywhere together--she was such a good traveler and good little errand runner. And we stayed home together. She completely wore me out, but could also play to her heart's content in her own little world. She is still very happy in that world and still sings at the top of her lungs while she plays. I hope she doesn't stop doing that for a long, long time. This has characterized her play from the very beginning. I remember wanting to do a post a long time ago entitled, "Her Life is a Musical." Her princesses and dolls and make-believe characters rarely just talk--they are almost always singing to each other. And she makes up the best and most dramatic songs . . .

  • Today Caroline was imploring me to pleeeease let her play with her princesses and blocks on the fireplace hearth, and she promised she would pick it all up when she was done. I told her that she always says this, and she told me, "I WILLLL, I promise! I will be obedient and attentive!" These are the first 2 character traits she has studied in school, and she was putting knowledge of them to good use. I smiled at her suspiciously, and she added, "I will go the extra mile!" (Going the extra mile is encouraged under the Obedience trait.) She won me over with that one.

Fat Baby Linc

  • Lincoln is quite the talker and has been for the past couple of months. He loves naming animals and pointing out cows whenever we drive by a pasture or field . . . or Chick-Fil-A. He says, "oooh, aaah" every time he sees a monkey (and they can be anywhere, if you are looking--which he is). Even when he can't really say a specific word, he will mimic the facial gestures we make when we say it. Before he could say "shoe" he would just put his lips in an "o" shape and kind of say "oooo." The best word is penguin. He squints his eyes a little bit and moves his mouth very deliberately to say something like, "wen, weng." And his noise for a pig is very similar--more of a mouth movement than an actual "oink." When I am trying to get him to talk on the phone to someone, and all he wants to do is listen with the phone pressed against his face, I ask him all the animal sounds questions and he talks. :)

  • One of the things I love most about fat baby is that he is content to just lay his head on my shoulder when I pick him up to hold him, especially if it's first thing in the morning. I will just stand there next to his crib and soak it in. If he is afraid we are not moving far enough away from his crib, he will stir a little and point to the door, but as soon as he is happy in the direction we are moving, he will rest on my shoulder again--usually all the way down the stairs. It's the most precious thing. It's over once we get to the bottom of the stairs, though, because that's where the kitchen is. And he has only one thing on his mind when he is anywhere near the kitchen--"bite-please."

  • "Bite-please" is becoming a Lincoln trademark. When he was first starting to ask for things, doing the usual toddler grunt, I thought I might go crazy if I heard "uh-uh-uh-uh-uh" one more time in a day. I started telling him to say "bite, please" or asking him if he wanted a "bite, please" and often trying to get him to say "please" before giving him a snack. Much to my relief, it didn't take him long to change out "uh-uh" for "bite, please" (which, in the very early stages, was more like "baa-peas"). But I was in no way prepared for the frequency with which he would use it. It is his anthem, his chorus, his daily chant. If he hears any type of rustling of packaging or the slightly squeaky pantry door opening, he is immediately underfoot and begging, "bite-please, bite-please, bite-please, bite-please, bite-please, bite-please . . . " And while it is much nicer ringing in my ears than a repetetive grunt would be, he says it so incessantly that it sometimes has a similar unnerving effect--just a lot more endearing, I guess. You can't eat a single bite in peace if he is around. And he knows no stranger when it comes to food. We were in downtown Chicago earlier this month, and Linc saw a man sitting outside on the sidewalk eating McDonald's and he reached towards the man (from up on Jeff's shoulders) and said, "bite-please, bite-please, bite-please" over and over as we walked past. Close friends and family in the area (those that do the babysitting!) tell us he goes straight for the pantry when he's over at their house. After a long afternoon of babysitting, my friend Katie even changed her Facebook status to "bite please." That phrase can pretty much sum up a whole day.

Well, so much for five minutes. I had to abandon this when the playing upstairs kind of fell apart. And now I am back late at night finishing it up and thinking this is why I don't update often--I write too much! I know I'll be glad I at least wrote something.

I've decided to take a break from online reading and do some writing instead, so maybe I'll be back here more often. I find so much inspiration online, but then I'm on inspiration overload and always reading and never doing. I'm going to start with a week or two of only reading real print and just writing. And when I need a good dose of inspiration or something, I think I will write a letter (one of the most inspiring things, I think). Hopefully, now that I have said it on here, I will stick to it . . .

Signing off for now.


  1. So happy to see you back on here. I loved reading about the kiddos and can testify to the exhaustion of "bite, please" experiences with Lincoln. Your post reminded me that I need to get to blogging again. See you in November! ~Meesh

  2. Your aunt Karen would always love to have a letter from you if one of those days comes when you need the exercise of writing. I'm up with a neck ache again, about to cut my loses and study for an upcoming insurance industry exam when I took the time to read your blog...precious. The times of our lives fly by so quickly. How did Jesus do so much in just 33 years? Miss you and Caro, Linc and Jeff!