Before we became parents, both Blake and I would have phases where life just seemed to be in a lull. Not always, and never to the point of depression or anything like it. Just times where every day, every week, seemed to be the same more or less, and so we would get bored.
At those times, we would usually have to do something to break the lull, like a new video game, or starting some hobby, or even just cleaning the house or rearranging a room. Something to break up the days of ordinary.
We talked about how we knew having a child would change that, and honestly it was one of our many signs that we knew we were ready for the kid stage of life.
Grace has not disappointed. Probably partly because I am also pregnant, but we both feel like life goes faster now, and every day is filled with something, because every day she is doing more, and experiencing more, and it is fun to share those moments with her.
In the last month, we did our first couple of cautious peanut butter tastes, just a little each time, to see if she would have an allergic reaction. Both times passed without incident, and now peanut butter has become a common occurance in her diet. She loves it!
This morning at breakfast, we saw just how much she liked it again, as she ate her offered piece of English Muffin with peanut butter, and then wanted more. I didn't have more of the English muffin to give her, but my mom had offered her a turkey sausage. On a whim, we put the peanut butter on the sausage... yep, ate that too! Then we gave her the ramekin that the peanut butter came from (it still had some in it) and she happily licked the peanut butter off that as well! It is nice to have an easy protein to give her that is such a consistent win with her.
Along those lines, we have been able to reintroduce dairy to her recently, and that seems to not be causing her any trouble either, so we are transitioning her off formula and onto just milk, and cheese and other dairy products are becoming more of her daily food too.
We had our first "Parent and Me: Princess Ballet" class last week, and she looks adorable in her ballet clothes! I wish I could say the class was a huge success... but honestly she is a bit young/behind for it at the moment. The class age is from 1 1/2 to 3, and since she is just past that bottom age requirement, is still catching up on English, and is behind developmentally... there is a lot in the class that she can't do.
She liked the walking around in a circle part, and thought it was really fun when they gave her a wand to hold/play with. There were parts of the class that she tolerated being basically my puppet, where I moved her arms and legs how they were supposed to, but there were other parts where she would get frustrated having to sit when she wanted to walk around, or that she literally couldn't do what they wanted (gallop, hop, etc.). But my hope is that she will improve every week, and more importantly it is a good life skill for her to learn that she can't always just wander and do what she wants, she needs to be able to follow directions, even those she doesn't like.
Blake says that I put her in this class just for me, and it is true that I am so excited to do the "parent stuff" that I can see I somewhat jumped the gun on this one. But that wasn't the only reason I chose to do this class now, as she just is old enough for it. The bigger reason is that every day I am more aware of the fact that I will have an infant as well as a toddler in just a few short months. Once he arrives, it will become really difficult to do things like this until he becomes significantly older, so he could stay with a grandparent or calmly stay in his infant carrier while I did the class with her. I wanted to do a class with her while it is still just me and my daughter... because her time as an only child is short and I want these moments before they get stressful with having to watch a second child.
In other news, Grace had her first trip to the local fair today.
At the petting zoo, she was afraid of the animals at first, and really wanted to be held, and didn't really want to get that close to them.
But as Blake worked with her, she got more comfortable with them in the time before we left the petting zoo.
She enjoyed eating corn on the cob with my mom, but was not a big fan of the chicken... although she liked the sauce. She would put a piece in her mouth, suck off the sauce, chew it a little, and then take it back out. Fun stuff.
We have been taking Grace to the neighborhood playground by us more often as something to do in the early evening before dinner and bedtime, and also as a way to get her to exercise and thus make her more tired as extra insurance so she doesn't wake up at night.
She likes to climb up the slide (with help) more than sliding down it (though she does both).
Then she climbs down the stairs.
Today, she had the opportunity to try to hang independently for the few seconds she could before she lets go into Blake's waiting arms.
Every park trip also involves some walking on grass time as it is supposed to improve her balance and walking skills.
For a short time, Blake's mom joined us at the playground, and they had some fun together.
Which also meant we were able to get a family picture:
If you haven't seen me in a while... you might notice that my belly is rather big at the moment.
I am currently at 31 weeks, and very much feeling it. Sitting for extended periods of time is not comfortable... not on the couch, or chairs, or in the car, etc. I notice the extra wait when I walk, or go up the stairs, or pick up Grace, or pretty much whatever I do. My latest pregnancy symptom is acid reflux, which means I have had to change some of what I eat or suffer for it. All of this conspires to make a part of me very ready for when my body can start the process of getting back to normal.
On the other hand, besides he isn't fully baked yet, I need at least the next 9 weeks to get ready, and a bonus week or two might not be bad either. To say his room isn't ready yet is a massive understatement. You see, up till recently, that room was a "guest room"... except we only had someone stay there years ago... and thus it really was a storage room. An easily ignored, catch all, not nicely organized storage room. A spot for those things that don't have a great home, like luggage and card tables. A spot for all of my second grade teaching things that I want to hold on to for possibly a future teaching position in that grade again (I taught second for 4 years before moving to 4th). A spot for my craft supplies that don't fit in the office. You get the idea.
Long story short, before this room can become his room and a nursery, the first step is cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of stuff. We have made some headway in that department. First, we cleaned up our garage to make room to store his things. Then we gave some furniture in there to relatives who wanted it. Next, I have been purging magazines from bookcases in other parts of the house to make room for the picture books that were previously in the cupboards, and now are residing on a bookshelf in the hall for when the kids grow old enough to read them. So steps have been taken in the right direction, but there is still a ways to go before it is empty, and only then can we start the fun decorating and preparing steps.
Besides getting his room ready, the other way I have been nesting lately is in preparing meals for the time after he is born when I don't want to cook.
I have read many times online of others doing freezer meals. If you haven't heard of them before, the general idea is that you prepare everything for a meal, usually a crockpot meal, but you don't actually cook it. Instead all those frozen ingredients go into a freezer bag, and then on the day you want to eat it, you take the freezer bag out, thaw it enough to get the contents out, and then have the crockpot cook it for the day, and you basically have a homemade healthy meal with minimal effort and stress.
Some of these women do one massive prep day and then make all their meals for the month. Intense. We just made ten on Saturday, and that seemed pretty intense. Blake was quite done cutting vegetables by the time we finished. But the good news is that we now have ten meals in the freezer that I can see myself making even with little sleep, a newborn and a toddler. My goal is to have 30 total before he arrives, plus some soup mixes in jars made too.
But I did promise Blake that it wouldn't be next week, I don't want to wear out my best helper.
As you can see, life is not boring around here, and between Grace and preparing for the new baby, our life is full and fun.