New House Chronicles: Details and Delays

Our kitchen is coming along, and they’ve installed our countertops!

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Mike’s favorite space from the beginning (at least theoretically, based on the blueprints) has been the small butler’s pantry between the kitchen and dining room. Seeing it come together, I find it hard to argue with him (even though my heart belongs to the kitchen).

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They’re in the process of bringing the surrounding yard up to final grade, and we went for a little walk around our lot the last time we were there.

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Our bathrooms are tiled, but toiletless, and difficult to photograph without any lights.

Speaking of lights, they’re all mostly installed too. There’s just no actual electricity yet.

We were supposed to have power two days ago. Now, they say it should be the end of next week. At this point in the process, progress on the inside grinds to a screeching halt without electricity. Our builder and project manager are at the mercy of the electric company.

So we cross our fingers, and we wait.

Meanwhile our current house is under contract! We settle in a month (and we’ve packed a whopping 12 boxes!) and I really, really hope we won’t be (temporarily at least) homeless.

Add to that a teething toddler who occasionally refuses to nap, and I’m not stressed out at all.

Nineteen Months

This month was another month of firsts: first flight, first trip to Kansas, and first at-home haircut (I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself!). I can’t believe we’re counting down to his second birthday already, only five months to go!

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Likes: Balls, balls, balls! All day, we roll balls, and bounce balls, and hit balls with a drumstick. Gus is also really into playing hide and seek now, which consists of him standing behind me for thirty seconds while I pretend I’ve lost him, before he runs out and scares me. He also loves going outside (which is sort of a hassle because out front he runs for the street, and out back he runs for the pool – so we drive to the playground a lot) and he loves to pick dandelions. And after several initial failures, he finally likes bubblebaths! Every night while the tub fills up, he paces around asking for “babas.”

Dislikes: Diaper changes still top the list. Lately Gus’ inability to communicate exactly what he wants is causing all of us (but mostly him) a lot of frustration. Lots of pointing and whining until I figure it out.

Sleep: Aside from some tooth-related pain, he’s sticking to his usual schedule: asleep from 9 to 7:30ish, with a one and a half or two hour nap each afternoon.

Eating: This kid eats like a bird. He’s so skinny, but I swear I try to feed him constantly. He’s really into blackberries, goldfish crackers, saltines and prunes lately.

Clothes: 18-24 months for pants, 24 months for shirts and size 4 diapers.

New Tricks: When you ask him how old he is, Gus holds up one finger. We also all survived Gus’ first plane rides. The first was a little stressful, and the flight home he was out cold the whole time (that one was my favorite, obviously).

Teeth: One canine is through, and the other three are riiiiiiight there. Tooth tally: 13.

Vocab:
Mama/Dada
Nana
Woof!
Daisy
Jake
No
Night night
Yay!
Toot-toot!
Gus Gus
Yes!
Up!
Down!
Elmo
Nose (nana)
Uh-Oh!
Quack (Mmmmmmaaaaaaa!)
Meow
Moo
Whoa
OH!
Daisy, no! (Obviously I’m yelling at the dogs a lot)
Cheeeese!
Shoes
Juice
Roar (whispers Raaaaaaaa!)
Monkey sounds (Eee Eee Ooo Ooo!)
This/That (dat)
*Bubbles (babas)
*Hello (hey-lo!)
*Wow!
*You (usually said in response to “I love you!”)
*More
*Ta-da! (DAAA!)
*Please (peas)
*Hi/Bye
*Cracker (cacka)
*Boat (bo)

*new this month

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First Flight ✈️

Today Gus went on his first flight, and considering he’s teething AND only took a 40 minute nap on the way to the airport, he did amazingly well.

He had a small meltdown about halfway through our two and a half hour flight, and nursing an overtired fidgety toddler wedged between your husband and the carseat isn’t much of a picnic, but it bought us enough time until we landed.

I also have the sinus infection that will. not. end. So that made flying a real treat.

Other fun things that happened: TWO diapers leaked, leaving Gus with soaking wet pants, 👎. The flight crew gave us a First Flight certificate, signed by the pilots 👍!

In the end we made it to Kansas, safe and sound, and ready to celebrate Mike’s grandparents 60th (!) wedding anniversary!

Eighteen Months

After a year and a half, we’ve found a routine that works well for all of us, even though there are still days when I expect Gus to zig and, boom!, he zags. Despite a few unbearable tantrums and meltdowns, I don’t think we’ve hit full-on terrible twos quite yet, and (I know everyone says this about every age) but this really is my favorite age so far. He’s learning so much, and he’s SO. CLOSE. to talking for real, and he is genuinely funny and so sweet.

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Height & Weight: 21 pounds, six ounces and 31.8 inches (so, still a stringbean).

Likes: We’ve been drawing on our kitchen chalkboard more and more, and he rarely tries to eat the chalk anymore! He loves to “help” with the laundry and loading/unloading the dishwasher. We went back to the Aquarium a few weeks ago, and now that he’s mobile and tall enough to see most of the exhibits on his own, he was totally fascinated.

Dislikes: Nose/face wiping and diaper changes are the worst, as far as Gus is concerned.

Sleep: Consistently sleeping 10-12 hours at night, and one 1-2 hour nap during the day. He’s been talking in his sleep more and more, and a few weeks ago he sat up and just started clapping before laying back down, still asleep.

Eating: Gus has a limited tolerance for his highchair. Some days he’ll last 25-30 minutes, others he’s screaming to get down after five. I used to assume he wasn’t hungry, but one day he wanted out before eating a single bite, so I took his plate over to the coffee table, and once he was allowed to come and go as he pleased, he ate everything (which is unheard of!) so now that’s how we end every meal. I know all the books say to feed them only at the table, but I figured actually eating was preferable to not eating at all. (full disclosure: I usually take away anything that would be a nightmare to clean up in there, because our house is on the market, plus I have dogs who will find and eat anything I miss.) Now that we let him graze, I feel like he’s eating a lot more.

Clothes: 18-24 months, size 4 diapers.

New Tricks: Dog, cat, cow, lion, monkey and duck sounds. Knows eyes, ears (in addition to nose, mouth, belly and feet). He also recently mastered the slide at the playground.

Teeth: No canines yet. Tooth talley: 12

Vocab:
Mama/Dada
Nana
Woof!
Daisy
Jake
No
Bye
Hello
Night night
Yay!
Toot-toot!
Gus Gus
Yes!
Up!
Down!
Elmo
Nose (nana)
Uh-Oh!
*Quack (Mmmmmmaaaaaaa!)
*Meow
*Moo
*Whoa
*OH!
*Daisy, no! (Obviously I’m yelling at the dogs a lot)
*Cheeeese!
*Shoes
*Juice
*Roar (whispers Raaaaaaaa!)
*Monkey sounds (Eee Eee Ooo Ooo!)
*This/That (dat)

*new this month

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Picture Taking Debacles/Success

The first few times we took Gus to have his pictures taken professionally, I was STRESSED OUT.

A lot of it had to do with wanting the pictures to be perfect. Also, we were doing some family shots as well, so I was worried about my hair and makeup and our outfits, and not looking like I’d just had a baby six months prior.

Also, it was hot as hell in that photo studio (which just made me sweaty, which made my hair gross, which made me angry). Plus, we had an appointment, and they were running behind (the worst/even angrier).

Anyway, the pictures turned out great, and we went back several times after that for birthday and Christmas pictures.

And while I wasn’t AS stressed those times, I was a little stressed, because 1) perfection, and 2) impatience.

In retrospect, however, I was an idiot. Because at all those other photo shoots, my adorable baby was mostly immobile.

Fast forward to last week, and I was already too late for Easter pictures (I had an appointment scheduled but forgot I had jury duty that week, so I figured eh, close enough, he looks the same) and despite going in the middle of the week, they were still running behind.

The child has NO PATIENCE.
The child HATES the stroller.
The child has discovered RUNNING.
The child can only be bribed with so many goldfish crackers.

It was finally our turn, and our assigned photographer was very nice, but super intimidating. Big, burly, deep voice, strange man – basically every toddlers worst nightmare.

Gus was inconsolable, and permanently attached to my midsection. The photographer’s solution to this problem was to get in his face and whisper, “I’m gonna GET YA!”

I sort of wished I’d had someone to climb onto after that.

So we rescheduled again, for today.

And, amazingly, it was great.

Minimal waiting. Great pictures, and a lady photographer (Gus is a flirt, so that is obviously the way to go), and we planned a lunch break while all the proofs were edited for us to see.

I’m biased, obviously, but every picture was fantastic.

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So, in the end, it was all ok – despite being legitimately stressful this time.

Out of curiosity, at what age can you say to a kid, “if you cooperate and take nice pictures, we can go get some ice cream?” Because I’m looking forward to whatever age that is.