Emma got a big box of sidewalk chalk in her stocking at Christmas but between visitors and activities and rainy days, there hadn’t been a chance to open it up…until Monday! After Emma helped me take photos of my Intertwined mini, Jose and Charlotte came out to join us for a drawing session on the back patio. And since I already had my “good camera” outside, I had fun snapping away.
I feel like these are the kinds of photos — low key, casual, unposed — that Emma and Charlotte will enjoy looking back on when they’re older. That alone is incentive to me to do it more often, so I’m going to keep that in the back of my mind for the future.
We had a really great time with my parents, who hit the road back to North Carolina last Sunday morning. My mom was here for 10 days and my dad joined us for the last two. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again — I really, really enjoy spending time with my parents. I was sad when they left and the house seemed a lot quieter for the rest of the day. Things did go back to “normal” as the work week arrived and we got back into our usual routine…but I still wish we didn’t live 1,000 miles apart and we could see each other more often.
(On a related note, I came across this post and it made me want to burst into tears. It’s hard to explain, so you should just go read it, but the bottom line is that since I don’t live in the same city as my parents or siblings, I have already spent more than 90% of the days I will ever spend with them in my entire life. Waaaaaah!)
While she was here, my mom mentioned that she had a quilt up in the attic made by my great grandmother. My eyes got wide — she had never said anything about this before! I asked if I could have it, so she was able to direct my dad to the right box and he brought it with him later in the week. We don’t know exactly when it was made, but my mom guessed sometime in the 50s. Look at all those tiny hexies! And it’s entirely hand-sewn! It has a few stains on it, so I need to investigate how to properly clean those without damaging the quilt. I’m so excited to have it!
Today’s a flex day for me, and I’m planning to spend some time this afternoon working on the January prompt for this year’s One Little Word workshop. I’ve picked my word and I think it’s gonna be a good fit for me this year!
At Charlotte’s 15 month checkup in late December, her pediatrician recommended that we take her for a consultation with an ENT to check on her hearing and the fluid in her ears. She’s lagging a bit in her verbal development — nothing too alarming, but definitely in the “below average” category. There have also been a couple times when, if speaking softly, I don’t think she hears me.
She’s had a couple ear infections in the last few months, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that her hearing is muffled from fluid buildup that just hasn’t cleared. We’re seeing the ENT on Monday, and I’m anticipating a possible recommendation that she get ear tubes.
Emma got tubes at 13 months, so we’ve been down that road before…and honestly, those tubes were exactly what she needed. If they are likely to be a similar “quick fix” for Charlotte — both for the ear infections and the improved hearing that goes along with getting that fluid out — I’m totally onboard.
We’ll find out more on Monday.
Houston had its first (only?) freeze of the winter a week ago and it got as low as 26 degrees at my house. 26!! That is freaking cold for Houston, y’all, and my yard is showing the effects. Turns out the lush, tropical vibe we inherited when we moved in last August doesn’t fare so well below freezing and there are wilted, sad-looking plants everywhere. I’m actually mostly happy about this — yard work is wayyyy down my priority list and I prefer to take a “survival of the fittest” approach. But now we’re going to have to spend some time clearing out dead plants or cutting stuff back to the root.
Ah, the joys of home ownership.
I finished my 2016 One Little Word album last week with a summary of facts, feelings and things I want to remember. I’m happy that I was able to finish the full year of prompts even after letting things slide from July through October, because it got me back in the OLW mindset and periodic reflection is always helpful. But I’m also looking forward to starting fresh this year with a new word. I never really connected with “clear” the way I thought/hoped I would and in retrospect, I think that’s because the word represents a feeling rather than actionable steps I could take.
I wrote in my album January that I expected 2016 to be a year of transitions, and it was. I started the year with a new baby and new job and expected both of those things to kind of settle out…but they haven’t. Now I’ve got a “velcro” toddler who is posing new challenges, and even after a year in my new job there’s been so much upheaval in my group that “settling in” has been impossible. And I’ve got a new house! I would not have predicted that last January, and the process of moving added both significant stress and significant benefits to my life in the last 6 months.
The end of 2016 definitely brought the roughest moments of the year for me, and I’m not naive enough to think that turning the calendar to 2017 will cause some sort of miracle change or magically erase all challenges. But there’s still something about the new year that gives me a fresh perspective and has me thinking about different possibilities. I’m excited to see what this year has in store…