It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve had a chance to sit down and write. As it is, I am ignoring a pesky stack of belated grading, but I figure…it’s not going anywhere.
November was a busy but wonderful month. I LOVE Thanksgiving! We had three delicious dinners over the course of the week, and each was wonderful. On the Saturday before, my whole family got together for our traditional feast. Having everyone together is getting more and more difficult, so these times with the whole fam are precious!
We took our traditional Christmas picture, which is becoming more and more of a challenge: this year we had two additional family members to add to the mix. My sister-in-law-to-be Katy is lovely and photogenic, so she didn’t add any complications, but Abby proved to be a tough subject to capture. Finally! I’m not the one messing up all the shots! Getting the photo took the typical two separate attempts, and in keeping with precedent, the “winner” was taken in the front yard of my parents’ home. So, after several false starts…
We ended up with all 9 of us looking fabulous! Laura the Photographer has succeeded again!
Later on in the week, we took Abby on her longest road trip to date– four hours to East Texas to visit her great-great grandmother! Our family matriarch is almost 97 years old, and she still lives at home in Emory, Texas, which provided the inspiration for Abby’s name. Abby traveled beautifully in her car seat, and slept well in her pack-and-play on her first night away from home.
Speaking of sleeping, Abby is still pretty resistant to daytime sleep, although she’s improving somewhat. She takes several short naps throughout the day- usually no more than an hour at a time. I would love to see her consolidate these sleeps into a couple of really long nap times, but we’ll see. I’m not really sure how to go about engineering that. For now, I take what I can get, although my productivity is questionable (see previous post). Her nighttime sleeping is about the same as it has been for a couple of months- she goes to bed about 9 and sleeps until 6 or 7, with one feeding some time in the wee hours of the morning. Abby is able to put herself to sleep easily at bedtime, and she goes immediately back to sleep after she eats, so I can’t complain one bit.
We’re still using FuzziBunz, and the hassle of laundry is really not a big deal. I feel like I’m doing laundry around the clock as it is, so I don’t really notice one extra load per day of diapers. I actually kind of like diaper loads because they’re easy to fold, unlike my normal loads of baby stuff! Yes, they sometimes leak, but so do her Pampers. My main complaint about the cloth diapers (and I’d love to hear input from you CD moms out there) is that Abby’s pants don’t fit over them. So right now we only wear FB when we’re at home (or out for short trips) when I don’t usually deck her out in real “outfits” anyway. But they are super cute, aren’t they?
Stephen was kind enough to give me an afternoon at the house by myself to decorate our house for Christmas. Last year parts of the house were still under construction, so this year I enjoyed getting to deck ALL of our halls! I love, love, love Christmas decorations, and it’s especially fun to be figuring out how to decorate a room for the first time. All the possibilities! I volunteered to host our small group’s Christmas party just to make sure that I got all of my decorating done, which was a great incentive and deadline. (The party was fun, too!)
We also enjoyed a fun Thanksgiving day with the Watson side of the family. Abby is the youngest of six grandkids on that side, so Watson get-togethers are always loud and rowdy fun! We also took a family picture, which was even more of a challenge with so many kiddos! We took pictures at a nearby park, so the kids got to run around and let off steam between poses. It worked! We got a several great ones, thanks to my sister-in-law Sandy, who is our resident photo-genius. Unfortunately, I do not have those pictures on my computer, so you can’t see them. What you can enjoy is this picture of Stephen trying to teach Abby how to play dominoes. You can see she shares my enthusiasm for 42.
Last weekend a couple of us girls from my small group got together to learn how to make bread. So fun! One of the ladies in our group is a terrific homemaker and she’s done lots of baking for her five kids, who are now mostly grown. Another young mom and I enjoyed a few hours sitting in Carol’s kitchen, sipping on coffee and tea, tending our babies, and taking turns mixing ingredients and kneading dough! The final result was a delicious loaf of whole-wheat bread. I served my bread with some beef stew for dinner that night and patted myself on the back for days at the delicious accomplishment!
So Abby is taking after her mother in terms of her oral fixations. I always swore I wouldn’t let my kids suck their thumbs, since it’s caused me so much difficulty (I have always believed that I started nail-biting as a substitute behavior). BUT, self-soothing is such a wonderful thing, I’m letting it go. After all, 27 years from now, Abby can always wear fake nails.
I’ve loved being back at work. Sometimes I feel guilty for enjoying it so much, but so far I’ve felt like my work/home balance has worked out beautifully. Abby has a team of very loving and attentive babysitters, and so I know that she is happy and well-tended while I’m away. Teaching is a role that is familiar and comfortable, and it’s nice to get to wear that hat for a few hours every morning. I know that maintaining balance will become more difficult as Abby gets bigger, but for now we’re in a good place.
Speaking of school, our faculty Christmas party was last weekend. Stephen and I left Abby with his parents for the evening, and we had so much at one of our first nights away since Abby was born. We got all dressed up in our festive clothes and enjoyed hours lingering over delicious food and drinks with friends.
For those of you who are not so keen on the math, Abby is three and a half months old. She seems so big, especially when I look back at pictures that are just weeks old! She is getting more expressive and interactive every day, which I am loving. She will play with toys in her bouncer and on her activity mat, and she is developing a strong grip. She’s not rolling over yet, but she’s trying! We’ll see the pediatrician again at the end of this month, and I’m going to ask him about a plan to start introducing some solid foods (I’m thinking of trying around month 5). We’ve had no trouble with her feeding so far, but I’m looking forward to introducing her to some variety, mainly just to give me some flexibility when we’re on the go.
We have about a week and a half left of school, and we’re looking forward to some time off. Stephen’s two jobs keep him very busy, and holidays are lovely times to enjoy hanging out at the house as a family. I’m looking forward to leisurely mornings, tag-team housecleaning, holiday shopping, and, catching up with family and friends over peppermint Mochas at Starbucks.