I just uploaded a few new photos and realise I’ve only mention about 0.5% of what’s been going on lately. Here’s a pictorial run-down:
We bought a new (for us) table and chairs off ebay. It’s been fantastic having a large table to eat around and prepare food on. Family meals have been so wonderful lately, and with a full house tomorrow it’ll be great to be able to have a sit-down meal. The sad thing is that when Chris went around to pick the table up the owner’s daughter said, “NO! Why is that man taking our table?” Apparently they were moving to Melbourne, rather that being hard up. This is a picture of our first meal around the new table.
Granny Jo has arrived for a 10-day stay over Christmas. She’s been especially enjoying seeing how much Tess has grown. Such a big little girl these days! And she’s no longer wearing glasses. That’s because she had a check up last week at her ophthalmologist, and her eye has changed and needs a weaker prescription. She still needs the contact lens, though. The great news is that the doctor thought Tess was seeing better and that her eye was “fixing” on objects well. Hurrah!
Tess has also been sleeping really badly lately. Ever since she learned to stand up in the cot, it’s all she’s been doing. Daytime naps are not so bad. But at night time it’s sometimes taking an hour or two of going back in a laying her back down to get her to sleep. We’ve also had some atrocious nights with her waking up and not going back to sleep. We’re all doing the best we can as we get through this rough patch.
It’s also been really hot lately. And hot days call for….. nudity! (and grumpiness?)
Fortunately a cooler day (24oC) is forcasted for Christmas Day so we won’t be all swealtering with the heat of the stove being on all morning.
There’s a lot of other things to mention that I don’t have photos for, such as Andy and Charlotte’s visit with us a few weeks back. And Granny Anne’s visit last week. The kids have been enjoying all the visitors and the special attention they’ve received!
Also, Rose has been becoming more and more inventive every day. She’s starting speaking in made-up languages, and inventing all sorts of creatures. Her favourite inventions are “logidolls” and “longyongs”. Both Tess and Rose are logidolls and longyongs, and they are the only two. Also, logidolls are known for their capacity to fly around.
Granny has arrived! The presents are bought, they’re mostly wrapped, the food has been organised, the cooking will start tomorrow. Rose’s last day of childcare was today. Chris and I celebrated the fact that we had some free childcare for a few hours and bunked off to the movies this afternoon. What a complete treasure it is to steal a few hours in the afternoon with just two of us! Best Christmas present ever (apart from a lie-in, of course!) (In case you’re wondering, we went to see A Serious Man. You couldn’t get a less Christmas-y movie if you tried!)
Tomorrow’s going to be a hectic day of cooking, attending a bbq at our friends’ place in the afternoon, and Christmas Mass at 6pm. The Christmas morning with presents and phone calls and then lots of guests arriving for lunch. Rose is going to love it all. I predict lots of excitement. And a few Christmas meltdowns.
I found this awesome web sitewhere you can customize a little video from Santa. It took a few minutes to upload a photo and a few details, but look at the result: super cuteness!
Hopefully it’ll make Rose forget her scary Santa experience from this week. Chris took the girls for their annual photo with Santa and Rose freaked out! Then Tess freaked out! The resulting photo portrays the uncomfortable vibe. Have you ever seen a more grumpy baby? And Rose looks like she is hanging on to Daddy with a vice like grip!
Something switched in her brain. Yesterday, she started crawling. No more of the comando crawling. Upright, boundless, excited, happy crawling. ‘Into everything’ crawling. ’Do it by myself’ crawling. ‘Out of my way’ crawling.
And last night? Wouldn’t go to sleep until 9pm. Her brain was clearly defragging.
Rose, by contrast went to sleep about 30 seconds after she went to bed. She was so exhausted. First there was her day in childcare. Then at 5pm the centre had their annual Christmas party. Rose’s mind was officially blown at about 5.30 when Santa arrived. Her face fell open into an excited gape (Sorry, I don’t have any photos because I only had the camera from my blackberry phone and I can’t seem to transfer the pictures.) She was one of the last kids to have their present pulled from the sack, but she was amazingly patient sitting there with her back more straight than I’ve seen in a long time. However, I have a funny suspicion she recognised both the wrapping paper AND the book (which I’d bought in her presence a few weeks ago). She gave me look that said, “What’s going on here?”
Rose’s mind was blown again when Granny Anne came with Daddy to pick us up from the party at 6.30pm. She was so excited to see her Granny!
We also were given her “school photos” yesterday. They turned out so beautifully. Here’s a couple for you to look at. Aren’t they just gorgeous?
Tess is amazingly mobile these days. One minute she’s in the living room playing with some blocks, the next minute she’s in the hallway pulling all the shoes out of the shoe rack. It’s certainly had an impact in our household, we’re suddenly having to revist “baby-proofing” the house (Rose is a bit older now and understands when something is dangerous. We haven’t had to use baby gates or anything for a long time). Along with such mobility is a shift in personality. No longer is she content to sit in one spot. She wants to go where she wants to go. For example, she’s always making a break for the bathroom, probably the most dangerous room in the house. You pick her up and bring her back the living room, and she’s right back in the bathroom again before you can count to ten. The girl is quite stubborn.
One thing that remains is that she’s still very independant. Is it the fact that she’s the second child? All I know is that she is quite happy crawling around amusing herself with bits of stray paper or a plastic bottle or a DVD case. Rose still gets most of our attention, apart for key moments when Tess lets you know she needs you.
She’s also so happy. Most of the time you can hear her coming from a mile away. She does this crawl-and-happy grunt thing at the same time. So break-my-heart-and-put-it-back-together-again happy. We’ve noticed that she can conventionally crawl, she just prefers to shimmy along the ground. I’m wondering if her sense of balance is a bit squew-wiff because of her eyesight?
The other exciting thing is that she’s started eating more and more family and finger foods. Last week we even had several meals where we all ate the same thing. So exciting to think about the end of the pureed stuff!
One of Rose’s best friends, Oliver, had a birthday on Saturday. We had such a lovely afternoon! There was face painting, a bounteous feast and lots of good conversation (for the adults) and running around (for the kids). Rose was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t her birthday. In fact, Oliver’s mum even re-lit his birthday cake so she could blow out the candle too. But to be fair she was a very good sport about it being his birthday. When she handed him his present she said, “Happy Birthday Oliver! I hope you have a nice day.” (However, we did practice this speech at home first!) I took some photos at the party, here are two of my favourites:
You see so much of Rose's personality in this photo. She loves to have fun!
I love my beautiful happy family!
So Rose has been enjoying all the birthday parties that have been happening lately, but she was really excited to discover that there was another celebration coming up involving presents: Christmas. We’ve been talking about Santa coming down the fireplace (we have three fireplaces in our house!) and leaving presents for everyone. I went to the library last week and got a whole bunch of books about Christmas out. She knows that Granny Jo is coming over from New Zealand especially for Christmas. And on Sunday Rose and I went into the city to go see the David Jones’s Christmas display, and buy an ornament for the Christmas tree. It’s true that at moments of excitement she gets a bit muddled about the details (“Look! There’s Santa Christmas and his cow!”) and when I asked her the other day who was going to come down the chimney on Christmas Eve she said, “Granny Jo!”
The other interesting thing is that even though she loves opening presents, she doesn’t seem all that interested in the presents themselves. When I asked her the other day what she wanted Santa to bring her she said, “chocolate crackles.” Heh, heh, a girl after my own heart.