Saturday, January 30, 2016

Reece 12-15 Months

Well, I obviously provided some updates about Reece in my regular posts, but I think that every three months for the second year seems appropriate. Honestly, I don't think I recorded a thing in the big kids' baby books after their first birthday, but who knows? I certainly can't remember details like that this far out! And so, I'll record them, because otherwise they'll be lost from me forever.

And, though I've had three months to start and edit this post, here I sit on the 30th, finally getting started. We'll blame this on the flu that I suffered from the past couple of days. Yuck.

So, here we are with a 15 month old who still doesn't walk. This kid. He started making some progress last weekend with the kids. Kennedy is the only one that he will walk around with when she holds his hands. For Eric and me, he goes straight to his knees. On Saturday, Cade introduced him to the bear crawl and for some reason, that helped him a lot with the concept of getting his feet moving and getting off his knees. He had been doing this little shuffle-step, where he never really picked his foot up off the floor, and he only took one "step," but by Monday, he was up to three. And I don't think he's taken a step since. Stinker. To be honest, he's getting heavy, I'd like him to be able to stand in the elevator, and if he's not sleeping at night right now anyway, we may as well get through another milestone. It doesn't look like I'm going to get my way any time soon, though.

I know that you're pretty much up to date on his sleep habits, because, well, I'm a big whiner when it comes to not getting sleep. He has slept through the night a couple of times since his big eight night stretch a couple of weeks ago (including the night that Eric and I were both up all night with the flu), but nothing to write home about. He has, in large part, gotten back to two naps per day, which really helps things. We can have a normal evening without racing through dinner to get him to bed, when he takes an afternoon nap! Unfortunately, it's pretty miserable to attempt this on the weekends because he's used to a quiet house during the week, and so everybody has try to be quiet. Not much fun. I wish we'd had a vacuum and dishwasher when he was born, so I could have made more noise.

I looked back on his last official update, a time when this kid was eating everything we gave him. Oh boy, do I miss those days. Now, he has a very limited palate. And, there will be no repetition. "If I had tomatoes for lunch, mom; I will not be eating them for dinner. So, don't even try." He'll still eat olives from time to time. He'll eat chicken, but only if it's covered in pesto or curry. Is that strange? I feel like that's strange. Sometimes, he'll eat green beans. He pretty much always goes for cheese, maybe toast with peanut butter, and pasta. He will always eat Greek yogurt with mashed blueberries in it, though. That's the one thing I can count on.

We are making some progress in the realm of communication, though it is still nonverbal, his only words being "hi" and "dada,"and not always used in the proper context. His signing has improved, though. I think I may have started teaching him too many new ones at the same time because he's gotten really good at signing "milk," but sometimes he uses it for "please" or "all done." He gets the "please" every once in awhile. Clapping for "more" is still a standby. He's got waving goodbye down, too.

He's gained four more teeth in the last six weeks or so, bringing him to four on the top and four on the bottom. I thought I saw a molar on its way last week, but it might have been the lack of sleep causing my vision to be cloudy. I swear, I don't remember any of the big kids' teeth coming in after those first 6-8, but with the lack of sleep in our lives, I'm always looking for an excuse!

And, of course, this kid is into everything all the time, as any good toddler (who doesn't toddle) should be. Lately, his favorite activities have been talking on the "phone" (a play phone that Cade made out of an old iPhone case and the picture of the phone that came in the new iPhone case) and taking all of the spices out of the spice rack while I cook. I suppose that's a small price to pay for getting dinner on the table, but it would be much more convenient if he could find a place to play that was not right in front of the oven. He's also starting to figure out how to open more of the drawers and cabinets, so last week all of the knives and many of the utensils had to find new homes. Everything feels so temporary right now, though, so we're not too worried about it.

It's hard to believe how far this little guy has come and how much has changed in the past year! It's a good thing we have a record of it (as spotty as it may be!). I opted out of a "15 month" photo shoot and instead posted some of the better pictures that I've taken of this one over the past three months that you hadn't seen yet. It turns out, I might have more pictures that I could edit after all because it was really hard to narrow them down to just a few. That task will have to be for another day, though, because this mama needs some sleep!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

5 Signs that You're the Mother of a Toddler who Doesn't STTN

In honor of my dear son's nearly 15 months of life, I thought I would share these fun thoughts that have been with me as I continue to get up several times a night with our sweet Reece. (she writes with a hint of sarcasm)

If you are the mother of a toddler who doesn't sleep through the night...

5. You keep a sweatshirt by your bed for all of your late night wakeups when the house is freezing. On a really bad night, you don't even bother to take it off between trips into the baby's room because you know that you won't get a chance to get warm in bed.

4. You still "sleep when the baby sleeps," though you used to be of the belief that rule expired around baby's 6th month. Now, you know that rule doesn't expire until the "baby" sleeps through the night regularly.

3. You know that in the middle of the night, your refrigerator makes noises that sound like the baby when he first starts to stir. Yet, every time you hear it, your heart skips a beat because it's fooled you yet again.

2. On the rare occasion that the baby does sleep all night, you still don't sleep well because you're worried that maybe he's not breathing. There has to be a reason that he hasn't woken you up yet!

1. You don't allow your husband to actually go into the baby's room at night, for fear that he might mess up your "system" (though it is already obviously a failure), but you won't allow him to sleep as long as you're up, either.

I'm sure you have thoughts of your own to add! And, I hope you enjoyed these shots from the Museum of Flight in Seattle last winter that in no way relate to sleep!

Monday, January 25, 2016

At Lindy's, Christmas 2014

It's strange that in spite of shooting every day now, I have no pictures to share aside from those that I share for the 365 posts. Did I have pictures to share before I started this project? Hmmm. Well, I guess I am typically behind in posting pictures, so this just fits right in. Christmas 2014.

I'm ashamed to admit that we're in a bit of a "survival mode" period right now. Our weekend was spent trying to catch up on rest and sleep because Reece slept terribly. The kids' bedroom was covered in puke when we woke up on Sunday morning, thanks to Cade in the top bunk. It required about five loads of laundry and a whole lot of scrubbing (by Eric) to get that mess cleaned up. There were a ridiculous number of tears and a whole lot of fighting. I think we were all relieved for school to start again on Monday.

Last night, we had grilled cheese and some random sesame noodles that I threw together because I didn't have all of the ingredients for any one recipe. Thankfully, black beans are in the crock pot and I made it to the grocery store today, so hopefully we can eat a little more normally for the rest of the week.

Temperatures are supposed to get above freezing this week, too, which always makes life a little easier when you live in a place where you can't accomplish much without walking outside a lot. I have to admit that I almost took a picture of our washing machine the other day for the p365 when I realized that if we were still in our old apartment, our washing machine would have been frozen for the past 10 days. I'm so glad that I don't have to worry about that anymore!

It warmed up enough to get some snow today--though just a dusting--and it was pretty to watch it fall over the city out our windows. As we look out the back windows right now, you can see the snow on the Han River where it has frozen. That's how cold it is right now. Sheesh.

We did have fun playing games with the big kids on Friday night. We got out of the house on Saturday afternoon to watch the basketball game, and had a good time chatting with friends while the kids played. And, on Sunday afternoon, Reece showed off his new ability to put together two steps at a time unassisted. By yesterday afternoon, he was up to three. It turns out this kid will walk, eventually. I think I'm finally ready for it. Maybe. Check back with me in a month.

It's hard to believe that 13 months ago, we were in the States celebrating Christmas with family. Reece wasn't even two months old. Kennedy just pulled the hem out of the pajamas that she got from Lidi because they're now too short with it in. Cade is still sports-obsessed and would wear those soccer cleats that he got every day, if he could.

I remember absolutely nothing of what we did in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, when we left. I remember that Reece nursed successfully all day on Christmas, and that was the end of that. I remember that we had a hard time trying to think of anything feasible to do with a 6 week old and a 9 month old, so maybe we didn't really do anything?

I do remember that we went to the Museum of Flight with Lindy and my brother right before we left. I still have pictures from that day to post (though I'm not sure how I managed to get so many with Reece in the Moby the whole time), and I remember that we made stops to see a lot of Eric's family on the way north to my aunt's house.

I also remember that this little Sorento was loaded to the breaking point nearly every time we got in it for those two weeks, and that the limit for how much we could bring back with us to Korea was not set by the airline but by what we could fit in this mid-size SUV. What fun.

Well, Reece is napping this afternoon (day 3 of 3 and it's only Tuesday!), so I had better take advantage of the quiet to get a head start on dinner so we don't end up with grilled cheese again!

Friday, January 22, 2016

366 Project: Week Three

This is one of those weeks that I really won't need or want to remember in the future. There was nothing blog-worthy, unless you count the fact that Reece slept through the night a record-setting eight nights in a row, followed by several nights of not sleeping more than an hour or two at a time. It was rough! As a result, there were a few days where I was not functioning at a high level and complete thoughts were not free-flowing. So, the blog sat empty. Because, it was either that or fill it with my when-will-my-child-ever-sleep whining!

15/366: It always amazes me the mess that this kid can make. Whether it's his toys, towels he's pulled out of the drawer, or plastic storage containers he's pulled out of the cabinet, he's always into something at this stage!

16/366: This one, on the other hand, has spent an inordinate amount of time doing research on getting a dog when we get back to the States. Considering it is the only thing she is excited about in terms of this move, I suppose we are encouraging it.

17/366: This week has been frigid, and Reece and I have only left the house for the morning and afternoon bus stop trips. With highs in the teens (not to mention the wind chill), it takes us about 10 minutes to get all bundled up for a five minute trip to meet the kiddos at the bus stop. I won't miss the freezing temps!

18/366: Mondays are the only day that Kennedy gets home early enough after school to get her homework done while it's still light out. This week, she started competitive swim practice twice a week, and Wednesdays she stays with Dad while Cade swims since I come to school to work out. Our third quarter routine is going to be a little hectic, I think!

19/366: Cade finally lost one of his front teeth that had been loose for months. Unfortunately, it wasn't the one that he really needed to lose. The other one is just barely hanging on, with another growing in right behind it, but we can't get him motivated to yank it yet.

20/366: While Reece's appetite has finally returned after weeks of being sick, his willingness to eat everything has not. He isn't eating many of his old favorites--tomatoes and olives included--and lunch time has become a bit of a struggle.

21/366: We (I) have developed a tendency toward hoarding while living in a place where I cannot go out on a daily basis and buy the basics. All year long, I keep a list of the things we need to pick up in the States during the summer. After that first year, when I somehow managed to lose all of the deodorant that I had purchased before we even arrived, I have made sure that I never make that mistake again. Now, here we are less than five months away from our departure date, and it's time to unload some of the overstock. (This, unfortunately, is not all of it!) I won't miss this!

Eric bought our plane tickets last night (round trip, since it was cheaper, so if anyone wants a one way trip to Korea, let us know...haha!), so we are now officially counting down to June 10th!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

366 Project: Week Two

This morning was our last Seahawks game in Korea. That's one thing I won't miss. The game was on at 3 am our time, and I really wanted to get up to watch it. I really wasn't too optimistic, and if it was going to be the last game, then I wanted to see it. But, when I finally rolled over to wake up my eyes, Eric wasn't even watching it. He was just following on the app on his phone and said it wasn't even worth watching. So, I didn't. (I think he did watch the second half, but I was fast asleep.) Waking up to highlights of a lost playoff game isn't much better than watching it at 3:00 in the morning. We're excited to be back in Washington for next season!

We had a fun and relaxing weekend, but honestly, I could have skipped it. I was just starting to get Reece back on track with afternoon naps, and I was kind of thinking we could just send the kids to school over the Okay. Instead, I took Kennedy to a birthday party after church on Sunday, and then I took Cade to see The Good Dinosaur while she was at her party. The two of us hadn't done anything in a long time, and it was a lot of fun! He didn't even seem bothered by my incessant I-can't-turn-off-the-English-teacher questions after the movie (it really wasn't that great, and we both were left with questions).

And now, a recap of our week:

8/366: I already mentioned our trip to the National Museum last week. Silhouette pictures. Because I'm that kind of mom.

9/366: Kennedy and I dropped off a full car load of stuff at the Seoul Swap (it feels so good to get rid of stuff!!), and to reward ourselves, we stopped at one of my new favorite coffee shops for a drink and some quiet time with our books. While going by myself is lovely, I get to go more often if I take one of the kids, and I'm so thankful that she's old enough now to sit and enjoy her book while I sit and enjoy mine!

10/366: The iHerb order came (and since my olives were nabbed by customs last time, I was even more excited about its arrival!), and as this is one of the last, it seemed worthy of documenting. It won't be too long before I take it for granted again that I can buy whatever I want wherever I want, without the inconvenience of a weight and dollar limit and waiting 2-3 weeks for arrival.

11/366: Reece was heartbroken on Monday morning after we dropped the kids off at the bus stop. It was just the two of us, and apparently, he wasn't as ready for it as I was.

12/366: Last week was homecoming week at school, so on Tuesday, we went to watch Eric play in the alumni versus staff game. On Wednesday, we went to see our last YISS versus SFS game basketball game. Only soccer season left to go.

13/366: Reece has just about outgrown these little Stride Rites...unfortunately, it's before he's learned to walk. I'm starting to worry because I'm not sure that I have shoes for him in the next size up. Whoops.

14/366: We are finally on the mend from the latest round of colds. Hallelujah! It was time for some of the baby toys that don't regularly make it into the bath or shower to get a good wash. Reece was more than happy to help out!

As you can see, there's going to be a whole lot of pictures of Reece during the week while the kids are in school--especially now with the days being so short still. Week two still went pretty well, but I'm already well into week three, and it's been a bit more of a struggle. Eesh. Only 50 weeks to go!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

National Museum...revisited

Oh man. I swear, I just blogged. It might take me awhile to get back to blogging twice a week! I sit down and feel like I have nothing to say. And then, I get to the end and realize I'd better stop writing or I'm going to have to go find more pictures. #bloggerproblems

I'm also struggling a bit with re-structuring my day with Reece only napping once now. I haven't given up entirely yet. I did get him to take a short afternoon nap a couple of days ago, but it's not consistent, and I'm struggling with when and how to get things done now. As soon as I sit down and try to figure out something reliable, he'll change something in the routine, so we're just gonna wing it for a bit longer.

By the third week of winter break, we were on our third round of sickness. Reece was healthy for five days maybe before another nasty cold got him down. There was a lot of snot, a lot of crying, and very little sleep (either at night or during the day).

On one particularly bad day, following one particularly bad night (Reece "sleeping" with me in our bed while Eric "slept" on the couch; I may have gotten about 3 hours of sleep throughout the entire night!), Eric decided to take all of the kids on a drive so that I could take a nap. It was only about 10:00 in the morning and Reece had taken about a 15 minute nap after screaming for nearly 30 minutes. I had no patience left. Reece had a sore throat, and I think his congestion was preventing him from sleeping comfortably laying on his back. A nap in the car turned out to be perfect for him.

And it did wonders for me, too. I slept for nearly 3 hours (the equivalent of my nighttime sleep!) and was showered and dressed when they returned. So, after a quick lunch, we headed out. After all, an afternoon nap for Reece in his crib was out of the question. The stroller was the way to go.

I had been wanting to re-create a picture that I had taken of the kids on our first trip to the National Museum during our winter break of 2011-2012, and it seemed like a good afternoon for it. For some reason, that picture of the two of them looking out over the reflecting pond (top of post) has been one that's stood out in my mind. Of course, my assumption that it would be simple to reproduce four years later, now that my children are older, more mature, and follow directions well, was a little off the mark.

Simple directions like "stand in front of that wall" and "move to the left a little" were too much for two kids who were on a mission to find rocks to try and crack the ice. And then, reminiscent of the first trip, Cade suddenly had to go to the bathroom, Reece woke up cranky, and the moment was over. Nonetheless, it's evident they've grown when looking at the two pictures side by side, right? Okay. That was the goal.

After we explored a little, got a few pictures, and found a geocache outside, we headed inside for a little scavenger hunt. The children's museum was already at capacity for the day, and while Eric tried, the look-at-my-cute-white-kids routine didn't work this time around. We were forced to hang in the adult portion of the museum. However, iPhone scavenger hunts always make the mundane seem a little more exciting.

And then, because I'm that mom, I made them take a few silhouette shots on the stairs outside the museum. I'd been thinking about taking this shot for well over a year, and I'm kind of proud of myself for actually making it happen. They may not be exactly what I was picturing in my mind, but they'll do.

Now, I must finish that laundry, and do some dishes, and maybe clean the house a little, and work on the pantry, and feed Reece lunch, and...oh, we have an exciting afternoon planned! haha!

Monday, January 11, 2016

366 Project: Week One

Well, we're finally back into the normal routine. Back to school. Back to Awana. Back to workouts and basketball games. I've spent the past two days trying to get Reece back into his routine, as well. He seemed to know intuitively and was therefore up at or before 6:30, just to make sure I don't accidentally sleep through my alarm! In spite of the early wakeups, he has still had no interest in that second nap of the day, so we'll see how the rest of the week goes. Regardless of poor nap times, cold and early trips to the bus stop, and the always-miserable trip to Costco, I am so excited to be back into our routines!

So, I still haven't decided exactly how this 366 (why do I always choose a leap year?!) project is going to play out, so don't be surprised if I mix things up a little more than I did the last time. Basically, this started when the kids got addicted to my Timehop app. They love seeing what we did on that day last year or two years ago. Kennedy decided that I needed to make sure that there is a Timehop every day, and that there is a picture of Korea on Timehop every day. The next thing I knew, we were talking about taking a picture every day. And while this talk started in August or September, I just didn't have it in me to get started then. There were still too many what-ifs and that piece of paper hadn't been signed. So, I decided to start in January. When we knew for sure that we wouldn't be back next year.

My primary goal is to capture our lives as they are right now, and much of that will center around Korea, or how things will be different when we do the same activities next year, whether that's our house, our furniture, or where we shop.

Day 1/366: We took down our little Christmas tree and packed up it and all of these ornaments to pass on to a new proud owner. Ms. Lewis, one of the kids' favorite MS teachers, will put our ornaments on her tree next year.

Day 2/366: The kids got Amazon gift cards for Christmas this year and they used them to buy books, so they spent much of the day in this position. It's a love/hate relationship for me. Love that they're reading; hate that they're on electronics. Oh well. They're happy, so I'm happy.

Day 3/366: There was no Sunday school for Kennedy because not all of the teachers were back from break, As it turned out, she had her first Communion on the first Sunday of the year. A momentous occasion!

Day 4/366: Eric and I had both been going a little stir crazy, but with three kids and bad air quality, we hadn't figured out many ways to get out of the house that were actually enjoyable. Instead, we took turns getting out of the house by ourselves and that was the best cup of coffee that I'd had since the last time I was at Fazenda two months before! Yum!

Day 5/366: Reece can tell time so well! At 7, 11, and 3, you will find this kid crouched in front of the refrigerator, clapping for more milk. And there he sits, drinking it.

Day 6/366: I made the kids go to the school library to get as many books as they possibly could to read over winter break. There were more than this, but I swear, they had finished them all before the first weekend was over! Thankfully, they will read each other's books and enjoy them!

Day 7/366: Kennedy has been shuffling for a couple of years now, but it has always bothered her that she couldn't do the bridge. Eric and I didn't really know how to teach her to do it, either. But, she now has it mastered, and she seems to spend an inordinate amount of time shuffling these days!

I'm not really using any prompts for this year's project, so I'm not sure how long my inspiration will last. I also am not making any promises about this project continuing on after we leave here in June. But, I'm looking forward to seeing our daily lives play out for the next five months!
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