Monday, January 24, 2011

a new year full of changes

Apparently one of the major changes that I'm making this year is to stop writing in this blog, haha. No, really, I didn't intend to do that. But about two years ago, the hubby introduced me to Facebook, so I've been keeping up there more than here, with little one-liners of what's happening. But there's really nothing like a good blog post, so I made some time today to come back with some updates and some new info.

Benjamin turned one in October '10 with no big fanfare. I made the same type of cake for him that I did for Lydia's birthday, but he was not interested in eating it, or even touching it. Poor little guy was a little sleepy by that time, though, so I blame his lack of enthusiasm on being tired. He is very much into solids now, though, eating whatever we eat. He has three molars partway in, and the last one will break the skin any day now.

He is still not walking independently, nor does he really want to. He likes to cruise, though. He has been cruising since late September (although when he started out, it was more like grabbing randomly at the furniture and stomping his feet, and accidentally moving a couple of inches) and his favorite spot to cruise now is on my office chair. He'll hold onto it and walk around and around and around. I've given him a few haircuts, and it's hard to do that because he's very interested in the scissors and wants to turn around and look at them instead of being still, so usually I either have to be very fast, or have to wait until hubby can help me hold his head still.

I've been trying to sign with him and he did "drink" finally, and just in the past couple of days did "more," but those are the only two he's really done. I'm going to keep working with him though because he still doesn't say much, either. His first word was "cup" which he said at about 15 months old, and he can say "hair" as well (but he leaves off the H and the R so it sounds more like "aaah," lol). I'm still nursing him about 3-5 times a day. I'm also still "teaching him to read." In my last entry, I mentioned the YBCR videos, and we do watch those every so often, but I didn't follow the plan as instructed. I found the Doman method, though, and started that around the time of his first birthday. He loves looking at his words. And I put "teaching him to read" in quotes because maybe he'll learn to read with this, or maybe he won't, but the goal isn't to get him to read early - it's just to help build extra brain connections so that later in life, he will have an easier time learning whatever he wants to.

Lydia turned four in December and is great to have around. She's helpful to me and it's nice that she's getting to be so tall, because I can send her to get things for me that she couldn't have reached a year prior (like socks for Benjamin). She talks a ton. I'll share some of the interesting things she'd said later in this post. But speaking of reading, I've put aside the 100 Easy Lessons for her. They stopped being easy. I think she was too young for something so structured and rigid. So I started up the Doman method with her as well (and still show her the YBCR videos occasionally as well, when I want to show some to Benjamin). And I've also gotten better about reading to her. Every couple of months or so, I go out to the library and get a big stack of early reading books, then at bedtime, I have her go pick one out and read it to her (this was a new habit for me to get into, reading to her, because usually I would have just put her to bed). After I read her a book a couple of times, she starts to memorize it and/or recognize the words, and can read it most of the way by herself. She also plays with her foam letters in the bathtub and makes words that way, some real, some not so real, haha.

Re: reading my Bible more. This goal is still in progress (and always will be), but I shared some struggles that I've been having in this area in my current season in life with a friend of mine, and she passed along a daily devotional book to me that I've been finding helpful. It really is just what I need - something daily and directed. So often, I may sit down to read but not have any plan, and not have any idea what to read on that particular day. So having something that already tells me what to read is helpful. I still need to work harder on doing Lydia's Bible lessons with her, though.

Re: saving for a house. The house is not happening this spring. :( We looked into renting a house (just to get out of this tiny apartment), but even that would be more than we can afford right now. I am still doing transcription, but one of my jobs lost their big contract, so that cut down my typing opportunities. I am still making play food (and other items) to sell, though, and finally stocked my Etsy store, and also continually update my Facebook Fan Page.

Re: housework. Since we are going to be in this apartment for a while, I finally lit a fire under myself to do some massive decluttering. I've done a little bit so far, but there is still a ton of work left to do. I try to do something every day, even if it's just something tiny like removing the unneeded items from a single drawer. My end goal to have everything done is May-ish. Hubby is also attempting to get in shape by May as well.

Re: exercising. I took a break from walking outside for the winter, but haven't done any additional exercises. I need to make time to do even the 1-mile walking video that we have, since that would probably be better than nothing. Lydia probably would enjoy doing it with me.

Hubby is still working at Schwan's. Some big changes are coming to it, though, which he'll find out more about on Thursday. It could end up meaning a pay cut for us, though, if he doesn't continue building his route appropriately. But he's gotten a fire lit under him as well and had a decent day on Saturday, doing some route-building. Two weeks ago, he also applied for Safety-Kleen (where my brother-in-law works, but he works up in Utah), but the only thing we've heard from there is that they've received our application. As each day passes with no further contact from them, I keep thinking that that is not the right path for us.

Now, here are just a few of the hilarious things that Lydia has done/said:

8/1/09 - I opened a can of biscuits this morning and arranged them on a baking stone. Then I turned my back briefly to wash off the "essence of biscuit." When I turned back around, I saw that Lydia had made off with one of the raw biscuits and taken a bite out of it. And she liked it.

9/24/09 - Benjamin wasn't due until 10/5, but this was at the "any time now" phase. I asked Lydia if she thought the baby would come in September or October. She said, "October. Just a little bitty October, okay?"

11/19/09 - I was checking Lydia's emerging molars, and she asked me what's in her mouth. I told her "teeth" and then she said, "My teeth are growing up." Meanwhile, Benjamin spit up a tiny bit while he was laying around, and Lydia said that he "spilled."

1/23/10 - Tim (while eating trail mix): "Here, Lydia. Try a Craisin."
Lydia: "Mmm. Can I have another crazy one?"

3/2/10 - You know the song "If You're Happy and You Know It." You also know the song "Oh Be Careful." Lydia combined the two, and was singing, "Oh, be careful little Amen what you do." She then followed that verse up with "Oh be careful little claps what you do" and "Oh be careful little stomps what you do."

4/29/10 - "That's the screamer, see? That's where the sound comes out, right there." We were at the mall and Lydia was talking about a speaker in the ceiling.

5/25/10 - I went to get Lydia out of her room (she had not slept at all) and found that she gained some weight during her naptime. She'd opened up her dresser and donned 4 shirts - 3 long-sleeve and one short-sleeve - all at once.

7/24/10 - Sometimes I bring Lydia on my early-morning walks. She likes to look at the roly polies (or pill bugs) with great interest. But if I suggest that she hold one so it can tickle her hand, she is all "no, thank you." She's afraid of them. On our walk yesterday, she found one and I picked it up and asked her again if she would like to hold it. She said no, and walked a few steps ahead of me. I knew she wouldn't change her mind, so I tossed it into the grass (which Lydia did not see me do). Lydia walked a few more steps and then stopped and looked at me and said, "Can you put it down?" I guess she wanted to make sure I wouldn't sneak up with it and trick her into holding it, lol.

7/28/10 - I've been teaching Lydia to say "excuse me" if someone is blocking her path. Just now, she said, "Excuse me. I have to get in your way." Um, not quite the lesson objective that I had in mind.

8/18/10 - 8/18 - Lydia noticed tonight that my phone shows a picture of my mom (who the grandkids call Rae Rae) when in a call with her. We were coming in after church tonight, and I had a bag of clothes for Benjamin with me. Lydia looked at Rae Rae on the phone, then at the bag of clothes. Then she held the phone over the bag and told Rae Rae to "Look!"

10/5/10 - We were at the store. I was looking at the dry-erase markers and Lydia was looking at the pencils. Then she takes a pack of them off the rack and turns around and says, "Here you go!" and offers them to a random customer who was walking by, lol.

11/8/10 - I was teasing Lydia while filling up her milk cup. First I said that the pitcher of water was milk. She said, "No, that's water." Then I grabbed out a little baggie of coffee grounds. She said, "No, that's ... that's ... that's dirt for coffee." LOL

12/2/10 - Lydia's first Bible reading of the new quarter is Exodus 1. I got about halfway through verse 2 when she suddenly interrupted me and then went on to name the rest of the 12 tribes of Israel by herself, lol.

Here are a few pictures and videos:

What do you MEAN the food is gone already?

Expressive Benjamin

Lydia reads Eddie the Racoon

Lydia crochets some "sausage" balls