Sophie’s 1.5 Year Update

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All this talk about a new baby, and when is the last time that I updated you all on Sophie’s silly antics? It has been awhile. Well, let me tell you, she is one impressive lady! At her 18 month checkup, her doctor asked us “How many words can she say? At least 10?” We didn’t know how many exactly, but we knew she could say at least 10. So when we got home, we made a list of all the words that she can both say and comprehend if said to her. The list ended being close to 40. FORTY. I mean, I felt like my kid was a genius (until she tripped over nothing in the living room while walking at a moderate pace… clearly more brain than brawn…)

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Now that she is closer to 2, it seems like she’s learning 2-3 new words EVERYDAY. She walks smoothly, she can go up and down the stairs by herself, which has actually been a blessing for my pregnant self, since I can no longer carry her up and down the stairs. She is starting to show genuine interest in the potty, So I’m hoping my days of having 2 kids in diapers will be short-lived.

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She has become exponentially more affectionate. She gives hugs, kisses, and pats on the back. Her current obsession is Winnie the Pooh (only the classic “Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”) and bees. Yes, bees. The bee obsession began with Winnie the Pooh and his quest to steal the bees’ honey, but has carried over to this obscure Dutch show called “Maya the Bee.” Any time she sees a picture of a bee, she gets excited and laughs, pointing at the image saying “BEEEE!”

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Her 2 favorite books are ‘The Pout-Pout Fish’ and ‘Potty,’ where she learned the word “hooray!” Actually, “hooray!” is probably the cutest thing she says currently. She still sucks her thumb, and that really doesn’t worry me because it keeps her content and consoled when I can’t. I have faith that she’ll eventually outgrow it without any special intervention from me.

And that is pretty much Sophie in a nutshell! I love that sweet girlie, and am amazed at how much she grows every day! I can’t wait to see her interact with her new baby sister!

Weekly Update

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Like I mentioned on Friday, my brother is leaving today which has left me feeling a little empty. In addition, I’ve had this crippling anxiety about becoming a mom of 2, as well as stress about this house hunting business. It’s hardly like we’re packing up boxes and beginning the process of moving, but I’m still overwhelmed by the work that goes into being a first time home buyer.

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Sophie is still working off the tail end of a cold she’s had for 3 weeks now. That by itself is enough to be exhausting, but taking into account the increase of contractions I’ve been having lately, I’m dealing with physical stress on top of the emotional stress. I’m not meaning to make this post a total whine-fest, but I have to be honest… this is an update, afterall.

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Mostly I’ve been feeling guilt. When I was pregnant with Sophie, there was so much excitement surrounding her birth. Everyone wanted to touch my belly for a chance to feel her kicking, and besides comments about my size, this bump has all but gone unnoticed. I had months to carefully craft a gorgeous nursery for Sophie, while this baby got a cradle set up next to my bed, and that’s it. I believe every new life is unique and precious, which is why I have much guilt about the lack of reverence I’ve given my second child. Some of it has to do with circumstance in that, we don’t want to set up a beautiful nursery in our current home that we will be having to move out of… but talking with other moms of multiples, we all feel the guilt of our other children feeling like afterthoughts.

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So pray for me, dear readers, as I wrestle with these thoughts over the next few weeks.

Comfort and Joy

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I’ve been lucky enough to have my brother here helping me nest for the past 2 weeks, but he leaves on Monday. Besides spending time with his [sassy] goddaughter, he’s been helping me clean, organize, and been cooking us meals from scratch. If you’ve followed my blog for more than a year, then you know winters are especially tough on this former Southern California girl, but having my brother here has really helped me from feeling overwhelmed and isolated.

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Another thing that has helped, is baking! [My blog is named after a cookie for goodness sake…] While I’ve been trying to take care of my [and baby’s] health, winter time always calls for comfort foods. See, my brother never left the golden state after he turned 18, like I did, instead he stayed there for college and wasn’t expecting the winter wonderland that appeared here over night when he planned this visit. He too, has been needing comfort food during his stay, and so after my kale smoothie in the morning, the day usually progresses with either some fresh baked cookies, or a pan of baked mac’n’cheese. I’m not going to go as far to say that is a “balanced” nutritional diet, but it’s all about survival here in the winter. J got me a fitbit for Christmas, and that in and of itself has helped me to be more aware of my habits and how to improve on being a little more active.

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Though I’ll be sad to see my brother go, as I’m sure Sophie will be sad to see her playmate disappear, I rest assured knowing my mom will be here in less than a month for the birth of this new baby! In the meantime, I have J’s birthday to look forward to, as much as some well-deserved alone time I’m planning for us.

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Despite having a pretty mild winter here overall, it is still hard for me to cope when the snow starts falling. How do you all survive the winter months?

5 Things I Love About Winter

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Being a Southern California native, there wasn’t a lot for me to love about winter when I first moved to the Ohio Valley. I mean sure, witnessing your first snowfall is pretty magical, but after that — then what?

In fact, I remember an encounter with my roommate during my very first winter here. I was shivering as I came back from class, complaining about the cold when she said, “Well, of course you’re cold… Where’s your winter jacket?” I was so confused and responded in all seriousness, “This IS my winter jacket,” while pointing down at the hoodie I was wearing. Um hello, when it’s below 60 degrees, you throw on a hoodie, duh. While my hoodie was adequate for San Diego winters, I was totally clueless about how to handle a real winter.

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As of this year, I will have spent a total of 5 winters back east, so I wanted to share with you, some genuine reasons to love winter. These are the little things I have to hold on to when I haven’t seen the sun shine for a week straight.

  1. Citrus season! Blood oranges and clementines, I seriously binge on these fruits in the winter. Not only are they at peak deliciousness, but they are reminiscent of warmer days.
  2. Natural Beauty. Ok so Ohio is pretty ugly once all the colorful fall leaves have disappeared from the trees, but it is redeemed through the beauty of snow fall. My favorite thing about a big snowstorm is walking outside just after the climax, to hear nothing but the sound of fresh snow beneath my boots.
  3. Indulgence. Of course the holiday season is the classic time to indulge, but if you know me, then you know I go hard all the way until spring. Hot beverages and baked goods just should not be limited to the holiday season, people! Nothing motivates me to preheat the oven and sip on hot cocoa like 30 degrees.
  4. Being stranded. Ok so this one is slightly romanticized. Being stranded in your car on the highway during a snowstorm would be bad… Having a legitimate excuse to stay in and cuddle? Not bad. When I see the snow covered road, I start praying for cancellation of any plans. In SoCal we could say “yeah, I tried to come see you, but I saw the traffic was just too bad.” Our 2 lane highway never has any traffic to rival that of the 405, so snow is all I have to work with in the way of canceling plans.
  5. Holiday denial. For some reason, people in Ohio keep lights and decorations up for longer, and not just because they’re lazy… it’s intentional. While I don’t know the exact reason why, I’d guess it’s because they don’t know how to reconcile still having snow, with out the enhancement of twinkling lights and happy snowmen.┬áIt’s much easier for the brain to live in a happy place of “Christmas wasn’t that long ago… it’s still the most wonderful time of the year! Surely if this snow is still festive then so are my holiday lights!” At least, that’s my thinking. I typically keep our holiday decorations up until Valentines day, where I then reluctantly pull out some pink and red decor, before the real excitement comes in March and I actually get to bust out the SPRING decorations!

What’s your favorite thing about winter?

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Tis the Season!

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Our house is looking a little different this holiday season as we go forth with a toddler running around the house. I’ve still put all our glass ornaments on the tree, though I definitely secured them with more effort than I ever have in past years, but I am determined to still have out all our special decorations in tandem with our special children running around. However, you’ll notice a few additional decorations, of the cheesy primary colored variety, that are specifically for Sugar Plum [like the advent wreath above, for example. Candle sticks aren’t exactly 18 month old friendly].

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Despite wanting to have a bigger focus on Advent this year, that hasn’t stopped me from ┬áindulging in some Christmas spirit. I mean, the point of Advent isn’t meant to turn us into total Scrooges. And in a more Catholic spirit, we have 3 important feast days coming up: The Immaculate Conception, St. Nicholas, and St. Lucy. We have some new traditions we’ll be trying out for each of these days , and I couldn’t be more excited!

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My favorite part about the wee was having a “snowball” fight with Sophie, using a bucket of these plush little snowballs my mom got for J and I on our 1st Christmas. Uncontrollable giggling.

Watching her set up her little nativity was pretty adorable too.

Have a great weekend every one!

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