Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Odds and Ends

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s hard to remember to keep up with the bloggin’, ya know? Couple that with the fact that Mommy B’s birthday is 4 days after Jesus Christ’s, and that means I have a lot of presents to get all at once. Of course that also means I get to coast from now until our anniversary in June, but I digress. What are the little boogers up to these days? Well, just about everything…

Alli is getting bigger and smarter by the day. She is learning so much at school and is growing in more ways than I can even keep up with. She has so many friends in her class (many of which are almost a full year older than her) that each day she comes home talking about what she did with a different kid that day. Her teachers do a great job of implementing the school’s curriculum and we see it in her vocabulary each week. Not just the fact that she’s learning new words, but what they mean and the context in which they are used. They delve into sensory and visual cues and talk about how they differ. Hot-cold, near-far, in front-behind, on top-below, loud-quiet… that kind of thing. So she not only knows those words, but also what they mean in the larger scheme of things and how the words relate to the object/person/feeling in question.

She’s completely potty-trained and has been for some time. She very rarely has an accident and if she does it’s usually because of something outside her control. Even though she doesn’t really like to, she can completely dress herself (or undress herself which is typically the case), including putting on her shoes. Her movies of choice at the moment are any of the Toy Story trilogy. She knows and loves all the characters, and will recite random lines from the movie at random times. “Daddy, you are a sad, strange little man.” Thanks Ms. Buzz Lightyear, I’ll keep that in mind when you start bringing boyfriends around.

Aiden is also growing like a weed. He’s only a few inches shorter than his big sister and he’s only 20 months old (today)! Sometimes I feel like they weigh the same when I pick them up… even though Aiden is “smaller” still. The kid is thick – and I’m not talking baby rolls/Michelin Man thick, I’m talking solid. He doesn’t look that heavy when you reach down, but when you slip a disc because you didn’t lift with your legs – don’t say I didn’t warn you. And I can’t say I’m that surprised, the kid eats like he’s been in prison for a 10-15 stint. Don’t get me wrong, there are still times where he won’t each much for a certain meal but for the most part he’s a miniature version of his father. A human garbage disposal. Alli can still house some grub too, but she’s getting a little more moody about it these days.

Not when it comes to certain meals, though. This past Sunday my parents cooked breakfast for us while Mommy B stayed home and worked on papers. There was a total of three adults and the A Team in attendance – and they scrambled up a dozen eggs, an entire package of bacon, and a 10-inch diameter, 3-inch thick coffee cake. I even brought our faithful Golden, Scarlett, along to help mop up. Guess how much was left? Let’s put it this way, Scarlett was sorely disappointed with the scraps. I think there was even one point where I saw Aiden double-fisting it with a strip of bacon in one hand while shoveling in Tatsy’s scrambled eggs with the spoon in his other hand. Alli mowed through her eggs (so of course I grudgingly gave her more) and had more than a couple strips of bacon all by herself. Tatsy said next time she’s going to get the 18-pack of eggs just to be safe. They’re barely out of diapers! I shudder to think of how it’s going to be when they hit puberty. I’ll probably be better off just buying a chicken… and a cow while I’m at it.

While Alli is obsessed with Toy Story, Aiden is obsessed with the vacuum. I don’t know what it is about the vacuum or the Shop Vac I use to sweep the hardwood floors, but the kid simply cannot get enough of them. The first thing he’ll do when Mommy B gets home with them is to run over to the closet where the vacuum resides and pull on the door handle. If he’s lucky enough, we’ll open the door and get the vacuum out – at which point he sprints over to the couch and plops himself down like he’s about to watch Old Faithful erupt. Once the switch is flipped on, he stares in a trance until the rug is completely clean at which point he’ll say “All done!” The only bad part about this that we have hardwood floors throughout our entire first floor so there really isn’t much for us to vacuum.  But, we have the cleanest area rug in the whole neighborhood!

We’re making our annual trip back to Ohio soon. We’ve decided to make a short stop in Cincinnati to see what’s left of my family that still lives there, catch the Bengals (my team) game as they stomp play the Vikings (Mommy B’s team), and see some friends before heading the rest of the way up to Findlay. Then it’ll be fun times with Mommy B’s family since they haven’t seen the kiddos in over a year or so. I’m not looking forward to all the driving, but the kids aren’t really at a good age to fly yet. There are just too many things that have to stay on schedule and when you put your travels in someone else’s hands, that’s not a risk I’m willing to take yet. I’d much rather have my own car handy if we needed to get out of dodge if a bad storm is headed our way.

All in all, things have been going pretty well recently. Mommy B has been keeping up with her school work, and I give her tons of credit for keeping her nose to the grindstone. Work has been going well for me, with new opportunities on the horizon. I’ve been able to take a little time to reflect on all we’ve been through as a family this year and I’m very proud of all we’ve accomplished. Next year seems equally as bright, and I’m hoping that everyone has a chance to count their blessings with those they love. Hopefully I can get another blog post in before this year ends, but I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy New Year.