Catching Up!

I get emails from various places talking about child development that are supposed to be geared towards the kids’ ages.

As Oliver has gotten older, they’ve become less and less in line with what he’s doing. It’s always felt like I was getting emails that said, “Your child is probably skipping all over the block, doing math problems while blowing bubbles. Encourage this behavior and make sure that you’re implementing algebraic equations into your play time.” And when I got these emails, Oliver wasn’t even able to walk yet.

But today I got one that said the following:

By 30 months, your child can name a few body parts, some colors, and even a friend or two. Her memory and speaking ability work in tandem. Help out by expanding on what she says. If she says, “Dog sleep,” you might say, “Yes, Spot is curled up and fast asleep in his doggie bed.” She can’t imitate your complex language patterns yet, but her brain is absorbing them. Every time you repeat her words or expand on them, you’re giving her memory practice.

Well, all I have to say is that at 30 months, my child knows most of his body parts (and some choice ones of his sister’s!), most colors, and more friends’ names than we stay in contact with, as well as the names of ALL of the Thomas the Tank Engine characters. He also does talk about things sleeping (mostly Thomas trains), and will play imaginatively with them, putting some of them down to nap [Aside: how cute is that?!] while others keep pushing the coaches or the freight trains.

So, my son is finally ahead of the curve, and I officially have decided that he’s a child genius. 🙂

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Bible Challenge

Conner and I have challenged ourselves to read the entire New Testament before the year ends.

A couple of years ago, when we were active LDS members, the president of the church challenged all its members to read the Book of Mormon before year end. This was done in August, I believe. Conner and I both began in September, or maybe October. And we both finished with a couple of days to spare. (It is possible that I skipped some of the Isaiah chapters of 2 Nephi, but who can blame me?)

I found the whole process to be quite spiritually rewarding. At the time, I believed that the BoM was God’s word. I believed I was following a prophet’s directive. And I was doing my best to be the best that I could be. I would read the BoM on the subway on my way to or from work (usually not both, because I wanted to be able to knit on the train too). I wound up thinking about what I was reading about throughout the day, and making connections between the stories that I wouldn’t have noticed with a slower read through.

I’m hoping that our current challenge will have a similar positive effect. If nothing else, it will make me more familiar with the Bible, as I haven’t read all of the NT before. I’m currently reading The Message paraphrase. At some point I’ll probably get a Bible study (any recommendations? Why did you or didn’t you like what you used?). I also hope that reading it will have some of the transformative power to make me a better person. And, probably most important, I hope that it will help me draw closer to Jesus.

I’ve started with the Gospel of Mark. There are two reasons for this. First, at church they’ve been doing a sermon series on the Gospel of Mark. Second, I’ve often decided to read the entire NT, and started at Matthew… and stopped within Matthew.

My Masterpiece

I finally got around to painting the kids’ room. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

The entranceway, with both of their names:
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The room. The alphabet goes around the room in lowercase, with capital letters falling all over. And next to Oliver’s bed are the numbers 1-10.
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A Trick!

For the first time ever, Oliver played a premeditated trick on me! We were roughhousing around, and he was running into me and I was pretending to get knocked over, pulling him with me and tickling him. After one of these times, he said, “I go get Thomas.” He had a mischievous twinkle in his eye, but I didn’t realize anything was wrong.

Then he got up, and ran out of the room… but immediately turned around, and cackled as he ran back at me yelling, “I knock you OVER!”

How much fun can my kids be, really? Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like a big cognitive development.

One Half!

That’s how old my baby is–she’s one half. Yep, six months have gone by since Little Miss Hazel arrived. The last six months have been incredible. Hazel is so different than Oliver, and it’s fascinating to see how Conner and I made these two people and they’re not the same! Hazel is definitely more mellow, more laid back. We’ve also gotten to see Oliver turn into such a good big brother. He adores Hazel, and says so all the time.

In honor of her, some recent pictures.
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Big smiles:
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She loves her swing
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but refuses to sit back in it… even when she sleeps!
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Hobbies

When Conner and I first got married, I felt like I didn’t really have any hobbies. I’ve always loved to read–more than your average person–and loved watching movies, but those didn’t feel like hobbies. I wanted to create something, or have something to show for my time. So, with Conner’s encouragement, I decided to find something.

I started with cross stitch. I did that for quite a few years, found it relaxing, and loved the final product. We still have one of my cross stitches hanging on the wall. Here’s a picture of it:
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Then, I got myself a teach-yourself-to-knit kit. I ignored it for a couple of years (haha!). When we moved to New York I pulled it out again (maybe I found it when I was unpacking), and decided to give it a whirl. My first attempts were abysmal–I thought I was purling, but was really just knitting wrong. My first square was ugly, at best, but a good experimental piece.

I’ve continued knitting, with more and less vigor, since then, and have lots to show for it. Socks for Conner, a major scarf, a pretty scarf, an ice cream cozy, an ice cream pint cozy that turned into a hat when it was too big for ice cream, a few purses, hats… I love knitting, I love reading about knitting, I love yarn, I love yarn stores. I’m a knitter.

I also took up photography. Almost two years ago, I got a great bonus at work, and spent it all on a Nikon D50. For my birthday that year, my dad got me another lens for it for my zoom shots. I’ve since bought two additional cameras and have a great time taking photos and videos of everything. I was fortunate enough to be able to take the photographs at a wedding. Two of the bride from the wedding:
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I also love writing. And cooking.

So, these days, my problem is that I don’t have the time to do all of my favorite things to do. And this is while I’m on maternity leave! When I go back to work, I’m only going to have less time for the things I love. And I’m not sure what to do about it. I’m working on socks for Conner. I have a ton of photos that I’ve taken and want to go through, edit, and post online. I want to create my portfolio. I want to cook more–especially now that Hazel’s on solids, I want to make all of her food like I did for Oliver.

I am so blessed to have so much in my life.