A Life Stirred

Personality Explosion

At nearly 15 months old, Claire’s personality has just exploded!

After nap yesterday, she was full of all kinds of awesome.  Being the younger sis, she tends to just fall into her sister’s shadow.  Joanna is so verbal and entertaining, and Claire is frequently just along for the ride.  Sometimes I kind of forget that she has her own personality.

[Dear Future Claire, if you’ve googled yourself (or whatever is the 2020 version of googling is) and found this post, don’t worry.  I know you are your own person.  And I plan to encourage that as much as possible.  You won’t have to live in your big sis’s shadow forever.  I hope.]

But anyway, I love watching her personality explode!  I couldn’t stop taking pictures yesterday.  Jo was sleeping, and Claire was hamming it up.  Every time I turned around she was doing something else photo-worthy.

This is "The Face."  It's cute when she's being silly.  It's a bit not-cute when she's being corrected.

This is “The Face.” It’s cute when she’s being silly. It’s not as cute when she’s being sassy.

Just chillin' on the couch, catching up on some reading.

Just chillin’ on the couch, catching up on some reading.

She loves hats.  And maybe the Patriots?  Oh dear.

She loves Daddy’s hats. And maybe the Patriots? Oh dear.

Her language has also been exploding lately…only adding to her personality.  If you had asked me, I would have thought she had less words than Joanna at this age.  But I started counting it all up, and she has doubled the number of words that Joanna had at 15 months.  Her favorite word of all?  “Da-eeeeeee!”  She says it all day long.

Da-eeee is her favorite.

Da-eeee is her favorite.

Claire, I love you lots and lots.  I love watching your personality develop and grow.  You are one cool kid, and I’m so glad you are mine!

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Potty Training Genius…kind of.

So we are two months into this potty training gig.  And I quit.  Just kidding.

Joanna is 100% trained…as far as #1 goes.  And 0% trained as far as as #2 goes.

So, she’s 50% trained…?

I know it’s totally normal for a toddler to have trouble with #2.  But she was so tricky.  She had a few #2 successes, and then decided it wasn’t worth it…and she would just wait for her diaper at naptime and bedtime.

So at least she was consistent.

Yesterday, Ben and I decided to up the bribe incentive.  We bought her a big girl bed (a twin mattress on the floor…classy), which she only gets to sleep in, if she is successful.

I drew a picture to help her little two year old mind comprehend all the rewards that would happen for a successful #2.

I debated whether adding the poop was too graphic.  I decided it wasn't.

I debated whether adding the poop was too graphic. I decided it wasn’t.

If she poops in the potty, she gets a Curious George episode, M&Ms (probably not a whole bowl), and her big girl bed.


Not pictured: me eating her M&Ms while watching the Georgie episode.

She carried the paper around yesterday, reviewing what would happen with each scenario.

So far, we are 2/3 for getting poo in the correct location.  I’m tentatively optimistic that we are making progress.


Happy 1st Blogiversary to me!

Can you believe it?  It’s been a year!!!

A year since I kicked off this little blog adventure!  (Well, a year and two days…whoops.)

When I started last year, I had no idea how it would go.  Would I write two posts and quit?  Would I run out of stuff to say after 3 months?  Would anyone care?  Would anyone read?  Would it matter?  How would I find the time? (I had a 3 month old and an 18 month old.  I didn’t exactly have loads of spare time.)

Life a year ago...

Life a year ago…

But here we are.  A year later.  A year older.  A year wiser.

Life now.  Whoa, Time, slow down!

Life now. Whoa, Time, slow down!

And it turns out I really, really enjoy writing!!  Who knew?!

This blog endeavor has stirred my affections for the Lord in ways I didn’t anticipate.   It has given me back that little piece of my mommy mind that longs for full sentences and deep thoughts.  It has given me an outlet.  It has helped me process my thoughts and feelings.

So in honor of my blogiversary, I leave you with some of the highlights of the last year (in my opinion):

  • I made a case for Myers-Brigg…and again…and again.  I love Myers-Brigg, and you should too!
  • Like a real blogger, I have a word for 2014.  Jury is still out on whether I’m learning how to apply it.
  • This post was hard to write, but I needed to step out in bravery a little.
  • I quit facebook in May.  It was (is!) liberating!  (This is also my most-read post…some people have even found it by googling “life without facebook.”  Apparently, it’s common for people to wonder if such a life exists.)
  • I wondered why I write.

It has been a good blogging year.  I am so thankful you take your precious and limited time to read what I have to say.  It really does mean so much to me!

Oh!  Get ready!!  I’m joining in a 31 day blog challenge in October.

One topic.  31 days.  Oh, it’s gonna be good!  I can.not.wait!!

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A New Day

It’s been a little rough over here lately.

Claire is getting all four molars (there really should be a limit on how many molars a baby can get at one time…molars are the worst!).  She has Hand, Foot, and Mouth (which is gross).  She has the standard fall cold.  And she’s experimenting with dropping her morning nap (nooooo!). So she’s a little miserable.

Which means we’re all a little miserable.

But really, it’s not so bad.

She did, however, wake up at 5 this morning, cry until I got out of bed and dressed, and as soon as I got to her door, she fell back asleep.  Tricky baby.  So now I’m up…and groggy.

Can’t. stay. awake.

Have a great Wednesday!

PS I learned how to put a GIF into my blog posts.  My life will never be the same!!

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Ten on Ten: The Beautiful Day Edition

Morning bath time.

Morning bath time.

Georgie Time.

Georgie Time.

Birds in the road time.  Huh?

Birds in the road time. Weird.

Toddler Time at the library (and snack time).

Toddler Time at the library (and snack time).

Potty time.  HA!

Potty time. HA!

Naptime.  (Unrelated, Georgie regularly scares the crud out of me at night.)

Naptime. (Unrelated, Georgie regularly scares the crud out of me at night.)

Favorite fall treat time.

Favorite fall treat time.

Breaking Free time.

“Breaking Free” time.

Delivery fall treat time.

Delivering fall treat time.

Stacking the canned goods time.

Stacking the canned goods time.

So, now that you’ve seen my day, let’s chat for a minute.  The point of Ten on Ten is to find the beauty in the ordinary, right?  I could have easily found ten not-so-beautiful moments of my day.  Claire is getting all four of her molars (and was subsequently very crabby).  Joanna is getting a cold (and was also subsequently crabby).  There were sister-fights, melt-downs, and messes.  I could have easily focused on all that.  Yet because I looked for the beauty in my day, I found it.  And because I found it, it’s what I will remember.  Not the messes, the fights, the frustrations, or the crabbiness, but the beauty.

And that is what Ten on Ten is all about.
ten on ten button


A Christmas Road Trip Story

So it turns out, I really enjoy this storytelling process.  The process of remembering, writing, and sharing a part of my life (and my heart) with you.  (Yes, you, my 5 faithful readers.) 

Plus I like that I get to delve into alllllll the details that I would probably just skim over in real life.  I have this fear of boring people in conversation (because I know we’ve all been in that conversation where all you can think is “Goodness.  Shorten this thing up!”).  So I tend to abbreviate my thoughts and stories.  But really, in my heart of hearts, I just want to go on and on and share all the details and the backstory and the hilarities. 

Thank goodness for this fabulous thing called a blog.  I can go on and on.  And no one can stop me.  Because it’s my little space in the internet.  If I am completely dull, you can just stop reading.  I don’t have to watch you subtly check the time on your cell phone.  And you don’t have to come up with a polite way to excuse yourself from the conversation.  Win-win, right?

Ok, so for Christmas last year, we traveled down to Pennsylvania and New Jersey in order to visit all kinds of extended family.  It was an awesome trip, exceeding all my expectations (even though I was very careful not to have any).

See?  We had a great trip.

See? We had a great trip.

Except with regards to the actual traveling part.  That part was terrible.  Really, really terrible.

There was the crummy weather—a snowstorm on the way down and a rainstorm on the way back (ironically, the rainstorm was worse).  There was the 6 month old who could just sense when we were about 20 minutes away from our next planned stop and would scream her head off until we made it.  There was traffic and a crabby toddler and a few grumpy grown-ups.  And there was the actual distance.  700 miles and 12 hours one way is not for wimps.

But the best part was our return journey.

And by “best”, I clearly mean “worst.”

We left Ben’s sister in NJ and headed north…in a crazy rainstorm.  Visibility was…terrible.  (I am so lame at estimating things like visibility.)  Our goal was to make it to Portland, where we would crash at a (pre-booked) hotel, and then do the second half of our trip the next day.

There was traffic and longer-than-anticipated stops and crabby kids (who were all done with the carseats after a week of lots and lots of traveling).  But after a looooong day, Portland was nearly in sight!  We watched the miles and minutes tick down on the GPS.  It started snowing and the girls started fussing, but we were only about 20 minutes away from our destination.  No big deal.

And then….

The oil light blinked…

Then all the other dashboard lights blinked…

Then the car just shut down.

Not good.  (That was my expert analysis of our situation.)

With a not-yet-two year old and a 6 month old in the back, I took to entertaining them while Ben checked out the car.  And by “entertaining”, I mean I sung just about every children’s song I could think of…which, by some miracle, worked!

Since Ben and the kind road-crew guy who stopped were unable to determine (or fix) the issue, we called a tow truck.  And then we waited…forever!!  Give or take.

The snow really picked up while we waited, and it started accumulating on the road.  Obviously, the car wasn’t working, and neither was the heat.  So, I was suddenly very thankful that Ben requires lovingly suggests I always travel with a blanket.

Eventually, the tow truck came.  Yay!

But the tow truck cab only had a bench seat.  You know the kind that can fit two, maybe three (if you’re willing to be cozy).  And there were 5 of us…and two who required car seats.

But it was late.  We were tired.  It was snowy.  So we loaded into the cab: Claire (in her infant carrier) on Ben’s lap, Joanna on my lap, and me trying to keep my legs out of the way of the gear shift (and simultaneously trying to keep my thighs from touching the tow-truck guy’s).

Off we went down I-95…slowly because it was really quite snowy and slick.

And then Claire started screaming.  Loudly.

It.  Was.  Awful.

I kept apologizing.  Because really, nobody wants to be driving down an interstate in terrible weather with an overloaded cab of people AND a screaming baby.

The tow truck guy was amazing.  Every time I apologized, he would respond, “Babies will be babies.  They cry.”

At one point, he calmly asked, “Do you think music would help?” as he turned on the radio for Claire (who actually paused for a few minutes).  It turned out that this was Tow Truck Guy’s first night on the job.  He even offered to drop us off at our hotel before he took our car into the shop (possibly just to get rid of the screaming child) at no extra charge.

After the longest 20ish miles ever, we finally made it to the hotel.  I brought the girls into the lobby while Ben unloaded the stuff from the car.  And Claire?  Claire was as happy as a clam.  Apparently, she just likes to be heard sometimes.

But the very best part of this whole (long) story?

Our car stopped working because…wait for it…we ran out of gas.

How embarrassing.

But it certainly makes for a good story.  Or at least a long one.

And Babies Don't Keep