Friday, November 16, 2012

It's Friday!

I've been on a roll this week, so may as well keep going!  Plus, I have some pictures that I just love that capture our week perfectly.  Friday in our house is a big day!  Lilly gets even more excited for school today because she has Creative Movement on Fridays, which she just raves about.  They go to the gym and run and skip and play games and do what 3, 4 and 5 year olds love to do.  They also pretend to visit a place each week, so last week Lilly came home saying she'd been on a safari in Africa.  Lilly knows that Jim gets to stay home tomorrow and as an added bonus this weekend, Ellie will be back in Fairfield, on her way back from Singapore and before she heads home to Guatemala on Monday.  We also just found out that Mum and Dad are going to be in the country soon, so it looks like we have Thanksgiving to look forward to, and then a visit from Gigi and Papa a couple of days later!  There's lots of excitement in our house.  Plus, in addition to Jack's "mama" and "dada" and constant stream of babble, he's learned how to say "up" when he wants to be picked up, which is very sweet to hear.  He hasn't quite figured out the correct context, however, and says "up" whenever he wants anything--food, the remote control, Lilly's brush, he towel blanket...and Lilly thinks this is hysterical.  Why is Jack saying "up" when he wants his blanket, Mum?

Watching Jack and Lilly as they learn to play together more and more is the reason we keep having children!  Jack was running up behind Lilly this morning while she was finishing breakfast, and poking his hand through the back of her chair to tickle her.  Lilly shrieked each time and Jack ran away laughing, only to return a few seconds later for more.  I can't even begin to imagine life with 3.  Luckily we still have 16 weeks to get used to the idea.  And these weeks couldn't be flying by faster.  I feel this little one kicking all the time now, but they're the sweet little kicks, reminding me that I'm pregnant, before the huge, uncomfortable ones come along in about 10 weeks.  Before I fall asleep at night or when I wake up in the morning, I lie in bed feeling these kicks and spend a few minutes of quiet with this baby, as I don't seem to have much of that these days.  The other day, I even felt this baby's hiccups for the first time.  This has to be one of my favorite times during pregnancy!  I'm clearly pregnant, although not huge yet, and I have constant little reminders from this baby that he or she will be here in a few short months.  Lilly keeps asking when March will be here (we go through the months of the year every time, stopping at everyone's birthdays and other major holidays) and she's coming up with names for the baby as well.  Her current favorite is Sunshine--thoughtful and happy, but I think it's time that Jim and I start talking about names for this baby, otherwise Sunshine it might be.

Here are some pictures from the bath last night.  The two of them love the bath--some nights are more relaxing than others, especially now that Jack tries to walk in the bath.  I'd love him to be a bit more steady on solid ground before he attempts the slippery bath and water, so we seem to have this battle nightly.  Jack adores the faucet, however, and thinks that splashing water in his face is hilarious.  Lilly would be content lounging in the bath for hours, so she usually stays in for awhile after Jack hops out.  She adds some more hot water, lies back and chats away to herself.

Who doesn't like drinking water straight from the faucet?! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Here we are, just a day after Lilly was playing outside in her tank top (probably not the most appropriate attire, but the girl loves her tank tops!  I can't really blame her as I was known to have a few tanks tops during my high school years...) It's now freezing cold.  Winter coats, hats and gloves are out and everyone needs to be all bundled up to go for a walk.  We've been heading out straight after rest time in the afternoons.  It's good for all of us!  Lilly and Jack get some fresh air, I get some exercise and sometimes my favorite Starbucks extra-hot-no-foam-latte (Lilly will tell you the order, and if I vary from it in any way, she wants to know why I changed my mind).  Because of the time shift, we have to be efficient, or we end up walking home in the dark--which we did last night and it's not the worst thing in the world but getting home around 5:15 is perfect.

As I've mentioned, Jim and I have opinionated children.  I'm still trying to convince Jack that shoes are a good idea, but as far as he's concerned, going barefoot or wearing slippers is still the way to go.  He clunks around in shoes and often sits down and starts crying and pulling on his shoes.  I tried to tell him that shoes are just a part of life so he better get used to them, but so far my words are falling on deaf ears.  Cue Jack's winter hat.  He absolutely does not want to leave his hat on his head.  Granted, I made him a hat that I thought was adorable, with giant pom-poms to complement his chubby cheeks.  Jack, however, sees the pom-poms as great handles, with which to pull off his hat.  

Happy to go for a walk!  Notice most of Jack's left pom-pom is missing.  It quickly became a victim of his pulling.  Small victories though--the hat is still on!

One day later--pom-pom is restored and Jack has learned to just accept the fact that his Mum is making him wear a hat with these ridiculous pom-poms!

Getting so big!  And it will come as no surprise that Lilly talks the entire time we're out walking.  She sings, narrates, asks questions, tells cars which way they should be going or holds up her hand to thank them for letting us cross.  We don't have the quietest walks but we all enjoy them!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Perfect Weekend

Just as we hoped, we had a gorgeous three-day weekend, with no unwanted excitement.  Monday, especially, was everything I love in a weekend.  Lilly had school, because they missed so much during the hurricane.  She was thrilled that Dad was going to be able to pick her up since he was home from work.  She jumped out of the car when we arrived at school, as always, and was most excited about doing her "apple cutting work" and her sandpaper letters.  I'll write more about her work in another entry because I had the opportunity to go in and visit on a parent's morning last week, and it's truly amazing!  While Lilly was at school, Jack had his morning nap and Jim and I were able to enjoy a quiet coffee together--a rare and special treat.  Jim, Jack and I all went to pick Lilly up from school and went off to the Super Duper Weenie diner as a special treat for lunch.  There's no way to describe this place other than mouth wateringly delicious.  We enjoyed way too much food for lunch, followed it up with a chocolate milkshake for good measure and as a result, afternoon naps became part of our day.  It was an unseasonably mild day, especially given the snow we had last week, so we spent the afternoon outside. Jim did a ton of yard work, with Lilly's help of course, and then we all went for a walk.

Loving her bike from Uncle Joef!  Lilly's getting pretty good at balancing on it now.

My eyes are closed, Lilly's making a great face, and who knows what Jack is thinking...Take 2!

 Dinner was followed closely by an early bedtime, leaving Jim and me sitting downstairs at 7:00 with a quiet house and our books.  Our evenings have become extra special again.  As little Clark number 3 gets ready to enter the world, we know that our quiet evenings are indeed a luxury--for a few months anyway.  So every night, after we put Lilly and Jack to bed, Jim and I sit down and appreciate our quiet hours together.  We take comfort in knowing that as much as we love our little ones, we won't see Lil or Jack until 7 or 8 the next morning.  And we cherish every second of the quiet!  Now, I realize that to many people, this day doesn't have too much excitement in it--which is exactly what we wanted.  No visits to the hospital or doctor; no hurricane or evacuations; no allergic reactions.  Just a relaxing day at home.

A tired little boy, ready for dinner and very happy that his big sister brought his towel blanket to the table for him :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 November!

Hurricane Sandy disrupted many people's lives over the past few weeks.  When you hear of the houses that were ruined, entire towns destroyed, and people displaced permanently, you'd think that Halloween for these affected towns would be a non-event.  That was not the case, however, as Halloween was rescheduled twice in Fairfield.  While I am not a huge fan of Halloween (I may have mentioned that before...) Lilly's excitement over dressing up outweighs any lack of enthusiasm on my behalf, and so, we celebrated Halloween this weekend.  We went over to Marie and Luke's house, a mile up the road from us, who live in the perfect trick-or-treating neighborhood.  There were lots of kids running up to the doors of spookily decorated houses, while the adults trick-or-treated with beers in hand.  All the little ones got to trick-or-treat together--Peter, Clark and Lilly had the best time!  The younger children were in strollers and wagons, probably asking themselves why they were dressed up in the first place when they didn't even get any candy out of the night!  But they were little troopers and had a great time, along for the ride.  The pictures say more than I could, so even though it's almost Thanksgiving, Happy Halloween!

Dinner before--not exactly quiet but lots of fun!

Ready to go! Ladybug Lilly, Clark and his lawn mowing service, Peter is Percy, Jack the tiger, Margaret the duck, and Daniel is Thomas. 

Lilly showed us every piece of candy!  She was very proud of the Almond Joy, knowing that it's Jim's favorite!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Snowman, a Snow Angel and a 1-Year Check Up

the view from our bedroom 
Snow.  That's right...snow.  That's what the last couple of days have been filled with.  As I look outside and see the snow melting, I can't help but smile as I recall the past few days.  Lilly and Jack are asleep, I have some quiet music on and am enjoying a cup of coffee that I didn't have the time to enjoy this morning.  Life would be better if Jim was home with me, but our weekend will start in a few hours when we don't have to do anything that we don't want to do.  And we're really, really hoping it stays that way.  There's been too much excitement over the past couple of weeks.

On Wednesday, Jack had his one year check up, and boy is he growing!  He's a little tank.  He weighed 23 lbs and is 31.5 inches tall, keeping him up in the 90th percentile for height.  He gained 4 lbs and grew 2 inches in 3 months.  His doctor smiled when he said to me, "I don't think I have to ask you if he likes his food!" No, no, definitely no question there.  Jack would eat all day long if he could.  And seriously, he would eat anything!  In the past week, he's had lasagna, chicken pot pie, olives, pickles, pancakes, oatmeal, toast with vegemite, in addition to his usual favorites--sweet potato and squash, peas and beans--you name it, he'll eat it.  He wants to feed himself all the time now, which can get a bit messy, especially when he's eating things like oatmeal.  Yesterday, he had his bowl of oatmeal in front of him, his spoon in one hand (which he'd occasionally get some oatmeal on) and was using his other hand to grab handfuls of oatmeal and put it into his mouth.  Lilly turned to me with this look of disgust on her face, and asked, "Mum, what is he doing??" We had a funny discussion about how babies learn to eat, but Lilly just kept watching him in disbelief.  Although in theory, it would be easier for me to feed Jack his oatmeal, it just doesn't work.  When I try to feed him, he looks away or closes his mouth and tries to grab the spoon.  Another child with strong opinions; just what we need!  All went well at the doctor.  Jack had to have blood taken from his arm to determine the extent of his egg allergy so that was not fun, but the nurses were great and did it quickly.  He had his blood drawn, had two vaccines and then we were on our way to pick up Lilly from school.  Jack wore himself out.

Then yesterday, we had our first real snow!  Lilly had a delayed opening and Jim worked from home so we had a fun morning together.  Lilly played outside for ages, trudging along, exploring the piles of snow and falling down backwards to make snow angels.  Jim and Lilly made a snowman before school and Lilly is devastated that this snowman is already melting.  Jack was already asleep for his morning nap so he hasn't had his first venture out into the snow yet.  I hope it's not the last snow of the season, like last year.  With all the crazy weather we've been having, I have a feeling that this is just the beginning.
nothing cuter than little people in the snow!

Making her snow angel!

And finally, these are just some pictures from the last couple of days that make me smile! 

Jack "helping" Jim work from home, wearing his teddy bear sweatsuit from Meme and Pop.  You can't see it here, but the hood has ears.  As Jim said, with his sweatsuit and his wobbly walk, he looks like an 80 year old man in a 1-year-old body!
The things you do when you're three!
A Lilly frog and a Daddy frog, created by Lilly

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

Life is slowly returning to normal after Hurricane Sandy's arrival in Fairfield.  The town was able to get all 10 polling stations up and running for the election today (yes, Ellie, I got a phone call with this update), so I headed off to vote in my first election with Lilly and Jack in tow.

Last night, Jim and I were talking about the election and Lilly chimed in as she so often does with an, "Excuse me, what are you talking about?" We started telling her a little bit about how today, people go and vote for the President.  Every statement prompted a new question from Lilly.  Here's how our conversation went:

Jim: We're talking about Election Day.

Lilly:  What's Election Day?

Amelia:  It's the day when people get to vote for the President of the United States.  That's in North America--you know, like your continent song?

Lilly:  Oh!  What's the President?

Jim:  He's the leader of our country.

Lilly:  Oh!  I could be the leader of our country!  (That's right Lilly, keep those aspirations big!)

Jim:  Yes, you could be our leader! Mum couldn't be the leader though, because she was born in Australia. 

Lilly:  That's another continent, like Asia and Africa! Who is the President?

Amelia:  Barack Obama

Lilly:  Who's that? I've never heard of him.  (insert Jim's smug smile here)

Jim:  Who do you you want to be the President?

Lilly:  Abraham Lincoln.  You know, because he's on coins.

Our conversation kept going and going, and continued on today when I took Lilly and Jack to vote.

As soon as we walked into the polling station, Lilly said in her not-so-subtle 3-year-old voice, "Mum, which man here is the President?  I don't see him."  Everyone around smiled, as they often do when a little person says something loudly and innocently in such a quiet place.  She told the lady checking us in that "I'm wearing my winter coat and I love it because it has thumb holes!" and then told Jack, "No, Jack, you're too little to vote.  Only big girls and mums can vote."  When we were walking over to the voting booth, I asked Lilly whether she thought I should vote for Obama or Romney and she held strong with her original stance.  "No, Mum, I think you should vote for Abraham Lincoln."  She asked if she could try and stay inside the lines and color in the circles, and part of me thought, Why not?  Our country isn't looking good regardless of who the next President is.  The Mum in me knew that I couldn't let Lilly do that so I voted and let Lilly slide my sheet into the machine, which she thought was more fun anyway.  She also got an "I voted" sticker on the way out.  Jack sat in the stroller through all this, babbling and waving and pulling off his socks.  I wonder what thoughts go through his head when he listens to his chatty, chatty sister all day long.

And so, my first Election Day as a US Citizen comes to a close.

My voting helper!