Hapter Berday Daddy!

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Monday was Dan’s birthday.  Sadly, Dan’s birthdays have fallen into a pathetic pattern over the past few years, which goes like this:

1. Plan special yummy dinner
2. Plan special (probably expensive) healthy dessert
3. Try to buy a gift he’ll like
4. Be disappointed by a dinner that was not as good as anyone had hoped
5. Be disappointed by gifts that he didn’t really want
6. Be disappointed by a dessert that did not taste good enough to justify the time or cost

This year was the year I decided to break the cycle. I think it worked.

For dinner, we used a gift card and bought Qdoba. Tried and true. For dessert, we bought some coconut milk vanilla ice cream and blended it up with peanut butter and a dash of maple syrup to make peanut butter milkshakes. Delicious. For gifts, I asked Dan for a list and then spent a few weeks trying to trick him into thinking he was getting a bunch of gifts not from his list. And now…for the pictures.

We started with the cards, of course.

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Now for the first present…

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This was a reenactment of his surprised and happy face. The original was much more authentic.

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Lydia likes it too!

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It helps with sore muscles, sort of like a massage. It hurts at the time but feels better afterward…what Dan refers to as “good pain”.

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Abby doesn’t know what she thinks about “good pain”.

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Neither do we. But we love him.

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A bow for Lydia!

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(Somehow I forgot to take pictures of the gifts we got him. Oops.)

What could this one be?

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A new keyboard!

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Dan’s new computer setup. He loves it. Now he won’t have to get a sore neck staring down into a computer screen all day long.

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Dan and his baby girl.

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And his big girl. She wished Dan a lot of “Hapter Berdays” all day long)

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And his favorite girl.

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Happy Birthday Dan! We love you!

Munchkin Update: 2 Years, 8 Months

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This month Lydia found her way into Mommy and Daddy’s closet.  There she found, not only some high-heel shoes, but all of Mom’s necklaces.  She promptly put them all on, along with the shoes, along with a pretty dress she had asked to wear earlier that morning.  Lydia loves dressing up.  She loves being pretty.  We’re just trying to teach her not to eat the dress up accessories!

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Every night Lydia asks Mommy or Daddy to lay down on the “green bed” with her. The sheets on her bed aren’t actually green right now. They’re striped blue and purple. However, the original sheets were green, and even when those aren’t the ones on the bed, it is still the “green bed”. Anyway, Lydia loves to snuggle up with Mom or Dad before going to sleep each night. In the morning, Dan lets Lydia sit on his lap and eat two crackers while listening to Adventures on Odyssey online. So, each night we excitedly tell her all that is in store for the coming day and she eagerly asks, “Odyssey!? TWO crackers!?!”.

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Lydia has also gotten quite excited about church and Hope Group (Bible study). Almost every day she asks, “Church?” and if the answer is a no, “Hope Group?”. She is learning to sit quietly through most of the “boring” stuff and then eagerly plays with her other little friends. She doesn’t really understand that it’s not always her turn to talk but we recently taught her what it means to close her mouth. So sometimes we tell her it’s time to “close your mouth” and she’ll make one of her “close mouth faces”. One of these faces is a closed mouth with teeth showing, a bit like a beaver. The other is, of course, sucking her thumb.

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Lydia loves to copy Mom and Dad. Whether it’s feeding her baby dolls, wearing Mom’s clothes, or standing next to us at church and singing along, Lydia loves to be like us. On Sunday Dan was holding Abby in a cradle hold during a meeting at church. Lydia was wearing a headband of mine that she found in the diaper bag. She finished “feeding” her doll and then started holding it with the doll’s head on Lydia’s shoulder. After a quick glance at Dad she rearranged her doll in a cradle hold, just like Abby. It melts my heart to see Lydia wanting to be like us, and is extra motivating for us to be good parents and model our lives the way we want Lydia to model hers.

Lydia also started potty training (again) yesterday, but I’ll hold off any of those updates until next week when it becomes more clear if she’s really ready.

Changes…for the Better

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When I was a little girl, I remember coming home from church and promptly going to our rooms as we announced, “I’m going to change”. We, of course, meant that we were going to change our clothes. But my dad would often respond, “Change for the better!” Well there have been changes happening around here lately, and they have all been for the better.

First of all, I know all parents think their babies are the cutest, as they ought to think. So I know I am completely biased, but, isn’t that the most adorable picture you’ve ever seen?

Abigail has been sleeping through the night all week. The first morning we wondered if something might be wrong with her. Lydia, despite half a million attempts to get her to sleep through the night, continued to get up once a night until she was almost two. Abby has been sleeping from about 10 until about 6 or 7. Lydia doesn’t know the difference. Mommy is thrilled. And Daddy might be just a little bit concerned (will she keep gaining weight now?). Abby is over nine pounds now, and continuing to grow at a satisfying rate.

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This kid is getting bigger and bigger, and her hair is (finally) getting longer and longer. The big change for her, though, is that we’re going to be attempting potty training starting on Monday. Our first potty training attempt didn’t work out, but we are hoping the past few months have prepared Lydia a little more. We’re stocking up on “potty books” from the library and we’ve been spending a little time each day this week praying that all will go well.

And now that Abby is sleeping through the night and we’re settling into our routine, I’ve actually been able to start getting things done. After calculating that I have about half an hour extra each day to do something profitable, I made a list of all the tasks that need to get done and asked Dan to prioritize them. We prayed about it but didn’t feel any one thing was more important than another, so I’m tackling them each one day of the week. It’s only half an hour a day, but it sure makes me feel great to make some progress on long-awaited projects.

Along with tackling those projects, I’ve begun my post-baby tradition of training for a 5K. After Lydia was born I actually trained and ran a 5K, but this year I’m just doing the training. Since the whole point is to give me a workout plan and get back in shape from months and months of sitting around, I didn’t feel it necessary to spend extra money on the race part this time.

So that’s us: sleeping through the night, potty training, exercising, and getting things done.