Wow. Where the heck have I been? I feel like starting a confessional: Forgive me blog, for I have neglected you. It has been over a week since my last posting.
In any case, it has been busy but good here at the house. Here in no particular order is the latest lowdown:
1. Michaela had her first orthodontist appointment today and got molds made of her teeth. She cried before the appointment, convinced they were going to slap her braces and expanders in today. I did my best to reassure her and we headed out. When we got there, she got a little overwhelmed by the whole thing and started crying again. "What exactly are you afraid of?" I asked. Just then- and I swear this is not made up- we heard a kid in a treatment room cry out in pain or discomfort or something. Michaela looks at me and says "THAT'S EXACTLY what I'm afraid of!!" Thankfully, that broke the ice a bit and she settled in and ended up doing fine.
We made our next four appointments, and at the third one, in late December, she gets the hardware cemented in. Should be a blast.
2. Thanksgiving was a great day. Dan had told me earlier in the week how much he was looking forward to Thanksgiving morning, eating cinnamon rolls like we do every Thanksgiving morning, and watching the parade. As soon as he said this, I knew it would be a semi-disaster: high expectations bring nothing but disappointment when kids are involved. And I was right: everyone was hopped up on sugar, excited about the day, making messes all over the house, and generally out of sorts. I retreated to the kitchen, where I made cranberry sauce, an apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, and Brie baked in puff pastry with pesto. We watched a little of the dog show and dreamed about the dog we may, possibly, get someday. The girls want a little yippy dog and Dan wants a big dog and I want something in between. (Actually, I don't really want one at all but noone seems to listen to that.) We got dressed in our holiday finery and went over to my parent's house, where we celebrated with Dan's dad and aunt and uncle. We took some nice family pictures while we were still fresh and lookin' decent. Alec wore a button down shirt and a quarter zip sweater over it and we were all dying with the cuteness.
The food was excellent and the company was great and we all hung out until late and celebrated a wonderful, relaxing holiday.
3. Jenna has announced that she will not go on the potty until she's seven. I replied that I am no longer buying diapers after she's five.
4. In a related note, I realized the other day that I have changed at least two diapers a day for the last 8 years. Do you know how many diapers that is? 5,840. And assuming that I use 2 wipes at each change, I have handled 11, 680 wipes since Michaela has been born. I don't think I ever consciously thought about how changing diapers is such a part of my everyday life. I don't really mind it... I'm just impressed with the sheer volume.
5. Christmas preparations are in full swing here at the house. We put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving, and the girls were a riot helping out this year. They divided up the tree so Michaela's ornaments are on the left side of the tree, Jenna's are on the right, and anything pertaining to Dan and I are in the middle. I love seeing the ornaments year after year, and can't wait to add a Baby's First Christmas one with Alec's picture in it. I have been shopping when I can and the girls are mostly done. I have ideas for pretty much everyone else; it's just an issue of ordering things online or hitting a few more stores. I will be working on my Christmas card in the next few days (thank you, snapfish, for the 40% off Christmas cards deal you are running!).
We are very into the Christmas tv specials this year and have a schedule taped to the side of the tv cabinet so we can DVR one at a moment's notice. We have been listening to Christmas music in the car and generally are milking the holiday for all it's worth. And it's only December 2nd.
6. I brought Alec for his two month checkup and he is doing great. He is 24 and a half inches tall, and 12 pounds and 14.5 ounces. This puts him in the 90th percentile for height and 75th for weight. He is, incredibly, growing out of the 3 month sized clothes and I have his 6 month sized stuff in the wash as I type. He got his first round of immunizations and tolerated them pretty well; the only after effect was that his legs were pretty sore that night. He has been sleeping pretty well and even slept through the night twice this week, something the girls didn't do until they were about three years old. He is just an entirely different baby than they were- content, happy, easy, laid back, hungry, and adorable. He started smiling last week and that has melted our hearts completely. I have some pictures I will post soon.
7. Sunday is Alec's baptism and I have been doing various things to get ready for that. My brother Brian is actually baptizing him and we are all excited for this special day. We chose to have the reception at a local country club instead of at our house, and this has reduced my stress levels by about 100000%.
8. We need a new roof. How exciting. We're starting to get estimates and hope to get it done before winter snow arrives. We also need to fix our dishwasher, which is working, but not particularly well.
9. Tomorrow is Michaela's parent teacher conference. I have to admit I'm a little anxious about the whole thing. I know she's doing fine and there should be no surprises, but I want her teacher to love her like we love her and see all of her goodness inside all of that bounciness. Plus, Dan rewards good conferences with a dinner out and I LOVE going out.
10. Tonight is the first Advent service at church for the season. I love Advent services: they help me focus on the right things and are like a wonderful time-out. Plus, they feed us dinner beforehand and I LOVE going out.
11. I weaned Alec from breastfeeding last week, and while I have mixed emotions about it, generally I am just relieved. He is the second child I weaned this year. The whole transition was seamless; I was willing to nurse him a little longer but he lost interest and clearly liked the bottle better. I was unable to sit and nurse him like I did the girls and as a result was unable to produce enough to keep him satisfied. I feel good that he got a solid eight weeks of breastmilk with all the goodies that gives his immune system, but feel a little bad that he didn't get more. And, for all I complained about it with Jenna, it is a special time you have with your child. On the other hand, I certainly feel no less bonded with Michaela or Alec, both of whom I nursed 8-10 weeks instead of the four years I nursed Jenna. And the constant nursing and need to be with Jenna all the time was very, very difficult on me and Dan. So it's kind of a mixed bag of emotions, but I am glad it is over and my body is truly my own again. Added bonus: this will be a great thing that Jenna can throw in their faces as a clear indicator that I loved her best. (Michaela and Alec: I love you just as much.)
So that is life around here. And it's all good.