It's naptime and the kids are quiet. I'm at the table with my computer and cold-brewed coffee and I have a list of tasks to accomplish, not least of which is writing this post. Also on the list, just for posterity's sake, are updating the budget, downloading SquareCash, emailing a friend...and lots of other stuff that's bouncing around in my head. But alas, I am subject to the limits of time and ability so finishing a photo book and updating our entire love story draft will likely not happen today. I'm learning to be realistic in what I attempt....maybe.
Speaking of cold brew, it's wonderful stuff. I grind coffee on the coarsest setting, put almost a cup of grounds in a quart jar, fill it with cold water, and put it in the fridge overnight (or longer). It's technically supposed to steep 12-16 hours but I've left it in longer without problem. When it's done, strain it and enjoy your coffee with a bit of milk. It's sweeter than hot-brewed coffee, with a bit of a caramel flavor. We love it and it's nice to have coffee in the fridge ready to pour, especially on Sunday mornings. I have actually had to cut back on when I drink it because I was getting so over-caffeinated that I was starting to have trouble sleeping. Decaf cold brew, perhaps??
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Emily: such a precious child. Her hair is starting to curl and her eyes are turning brown and she's beginning to talk! She'll take a phone (or another object, including her hand or mine), put it to her ear and say "'Ello?" "Daddy" is her favorite word. I think she's using it for people in general, though, not just for Joe. (Though she certainly loves Joe.)
Still not crawling or walking, but she's pushing herself with her feet, dragging herself along with her arms, sometimes doing both at once, and scooting along while sitting by putting her hands down between her legs and pushing/pulling herself forwards. She also does a sort of pushup/plank. Doesn't get her anywhere but it's sure cute! She hasn't pulled herself up yet but if I stand her somewhere she's really stable, even if she's only holding on with one hand. I wouldn't be too surprised if she just took off walking one day.
Emily tends to be fussy after naps and before dinner. I've discovered that a few pots and lids and some fruit (citrus works well; she can't damage it easily) keep her happy for a while. And when that gets old, the piano makes a wonderful babysitter. I strap her in her booster chair and push it up to the keyboard so she can play. She loves it and it keeps her happy and occupied so I can finish dinner.
She also loves it when Joe and I kiss while one of us is holding her. She tries to push our heads together so we'll do it again; cracks us up.
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James has grown into such a little boy. I still rock him before bed (he would be distraught if I stopped) but he's been having a hard time lately figuring out how to get comfortable and where to put his legs. His imaginative games are so funny to watch. Today he had one of Joe's belts attached to one of his trucks and was pulling it around, like a puppy on a leash. He's started this trash collection game: he stuffs clothes or rags into the cleaning bucket and dumps it into Emily's walker. The first time there weren't enough dirty clothes for him so he got his clean jammies out of his drawer and put them in with the dirty rags. Now I try to make sure he has rags to use...
James loves to help in the kitchen and has a sixth sense telling him when I switch from puttering around and cleaning to actually cooking or baking something. He'll start to push a chair over, saying "Help me?" Today he did a great job of unloading the silverware from the dishwasher and then re-loading the dirty silverware.
Sometimes when he has a question or request he'll repeat it over and over, regardless of response. He'll say it like a question (strong upward inflection), then like a statement (downward inflection). Question, statement. Today on our walk it was "Emmy in da fwing? Emmy in da fwing. Emmy in the fwing?..."
Yesterday he took his apple outside and just sat on the patio for a while.
He napped in his toddler bed the other day! It was only because of major emotional trauma, however. James has almost always slept with a fan on in his room. The other day the power went out during naptime and he wasn't asleep yet--poor guy was so upset when his fan just up and stopped. I finally got him settled back down but before he was asleep, the power came back on. The fan turning on unprovoked was just about as disturbing as having it turn off. So I settled him down again and put him back to bed. Then the power went out again. And came back on two minutes later. By this point he was sitting in his crib staring at the fan and sobbing, exhausted. I snuggled with him in the toddler bed and when he finally calmed down he fell asleep quickly and soundly. Sweet boy.
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I just finished another really good book: The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh. It's a very broad look at the role of listening in our lives: listening to God through Scripture and creation, listening to others, and listening to ourselves. I thought I was a good listener but I realized that I have a lot to learn. I especially appreciated his thoughts on Scripture and his insights on what being a good listener to others really involves (silence does not equal listening), and his list of ways we don't listen well was hysterical and convicting. I didn't agree with everything and some of it I'll have to think about for a while, but overall I highly recommend it. I'll probably even buy it.
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And finally, when you take your kids to the park, swing on the swings. It's good for the soul. The end.