Another year, another February filled with all kinds of birthdays – mine, Lily’s, Becca’s, Aaron’s, and what seemed like a score of others among friends and family. Lily managed two separate parties herself. First there was the “kids” party, which was a Blue’s Clues themed extravaganza featuring all kinds of sugar, screaming, and stickers. It was the best kind of chaos. The second party was a bit more calm (despite the crazy cousins), but a great time among immediate family. The winning gifts included a Magna Doodle, marble run, create-your-own bead jewelry, and -holy cow- a Ford Mustang Power Wheels. Thanks, Uncle Drew! Lily will see you in 13 years.
We were also happy to hear recently that Lily will be enrolled in the First Baptist Christian Day School starting in the Fall. It will be sad to leave her current daycare provider, who has been a wonderful part of Lily’s life for almost two years. But it’s time for our big girl to move on up!
Following up from our last post, our refinance process did finally go through, and Steph and I spent a romantic Valentine’s Day afternoon together signing papers in a generic Title company conference room. Well worth it, though.
I have a load of photos to get through from the past month, but expect those to be posted soon. Yikes – I’ll need to start a 2012 album now. And it’s already March. Tick tock, tick tock.
We spent the morning today touring two local preschool programs for Lily, with the intent to start her in the Fall. It was the first time I had come along – Stephanie and Lily had already visited three other places in recent weeks. Stephanie is thoroughly familiar with these kinds of settings; for me, there was a lot to take in. In one respect, I suppose that’s good – it’s nice to see programs that are established, structured, and reputable. But hey, she’s only three. (Which I know is no excuse! How else will she EVER get into Harvard?!) We’ll find a good balance, and make a decision soon – registration deadlines for most of the schools is around the first week of February.
In other family news, we’re in the middle of refinancing our mortgage. Rates were too low to pass up, and though we’ve only been in our current place for a year and a half, the potential monthly savings will be significant. And surprisingly, the stack of paperwork is only a fraction of the loads we’ve seen in the past. Rate’s been locked in, and the appraisal was done this week – so now we wait.
As has been obvious throughout much of the life of this site, I’m pretty irresponsible about new posts. Blame Facebook – all my wacky links go there. But I know there are plenty of non-Facebookers who like to watch Lily grow up in pictures, and hear about our continuing antics. I’ve tried to get Steph to author a few posts here, but she’s afraid of the Internet. Alas, I will step it up.
November was quiet, but fun – birthday celebrations for dad and Christine, as well as a family wedding (congrats to Jessica and Marc!) at the Woodend Mansion of the Audubon Naturalist Society in Maryland. For Thanksgiving, we stuffed ourselves silly with the A’Hearns, then hopped down to Richmond to visit Steph’s folks over that weekend.
But now incredibly, Christmas is right around the corner. We were just beginning to regain mobility after Thanksgiving, but are deep into holiday shopping, mostly thanks to Amazon. Tree is up, house is decorated, and threats to Lily about Santa watching are in full effect. We also thought we’d give the whole Elf on the Shelf thing a try. I’m not sure she’s fully made the connection about being on good behavior, but she definitely knows that presents are coming. She gets that from her mother.
As always, we add photos regularly (with or without an accompanying blog post).
We’re just about two months into another school year for Stephanie, so everyone has settled back into our usual routine: mommy is walking out the door as Lily and daddy are waking up and having breakfast; Lily goes to daycare until noon, when mommy picks her up; nap, work, play, and maybe some Blue’s Clues until daddy is done with work; then evening fun.
Our weekends have been pretty full recently, but with lots of annual events and fun: Rosslyn Jazz Festival, Maryland Renaissance Festival, and International Gold Cup, to name a few. And of course, we always look forward to W&M Homecoming, coming up this weekend.
New photos in Lily’s 2011 album!
As I mentioned a month or two ago, this summer we decided to tackle two big milestones with Lily – and first up was switching her crib to a day bed that she could get in and out of herself. We had visions of her jumping around all night and tearing through the house, but were surprised when for the first few nights she slept soundly, then even stayed in bed when she woke up the next morning (waiting for us to come get her). Of course, it didn’t take long for her to discover her grand new world, and before we knew it little feet were running into our room at all hours of the night. She’s like a ninja, too – we had a few evenings where we awoke to find her sitting quietly in our bed like Ju-on. In general, though, it’s been a success, and got her well-prepared for the [crib-less] week at the beach.
Once that was out of the way and we returned from vacation, we moved our attentions to potty training. We wanted to work on that before Steph went back to school, knowing we would have/need the more relaxed pace of summer to really concentrate on it. Like dutiful, intense yuppie parents, we read up, asked around, and mapped out a plan; and armed with the 3-day training method, we embarked on a weekend adventure. I’ll spare the details, but we did a lot of laundry and a lot of mopping. But she did, indeed, “get” it by the third or fourth day, and is now an absolute champ about three weeks in. We do still deal with a random accident here or there, and overnight is still tough, but we couldn’t be happier with her progress. Hey, she’s only two and a half.
If you haven’t already, check out her 2011 photo album for shots of the beach and other antics.
While it’s business as usual for me, June means the end of school for Stephanie and the start of two months of fun for Big Lils. We’ve got all the usual antics lined up this summer, including annual family beach week in Corolla, North Carolina later this month and Vegas for a weekend in July for a friend’s birthday.
We’ll also have our share of quiet time – given the frantic state of daycare in this area, we’re not able to pull Lily for the summer and have a guaranteed spot for her when Steph returns to school in the fall. Fortunately, she’ll only go for a fraction of her normal weekly schedule – giving us some toddler-free time to get things done around the house, but still not feel like we’re missing out on being with her. We’re elated with the quality of our care provider, so continuing to write out a check each week (rather than risk Lily’s enrollment) was an easy decision.
Toddler life moves on at a blistering pace. Ecstatic one minute, sobbing the next. Ridiculous demands, sly negotiations, imaginative stories, thoughtful debates, and blatant lies. Not to mention tons of hugs, and alarming amounts of empathy. It’s all a hilarious adventure for us, and amazing to watch her develop right before our eyes! I’ve created a 2011 photo album for this year, which I’ll add to periodically with all the best moments. Be on the lookout soon for updates on switching to a big-girl bed, and wacky potty training time.