A LONG time has passed since my last blog entry - and I probably could type forever and ever on this one to catch you up on all the exciting changes we've had since I last posted (in June...).
Girls - you have grown and changed incredibly over the last 4 months. We are living in a new state now, and you have new friends and family members are a part of your daily lives here in our new home. In hindsight it was the best decision we could have made (to move). I look back on the way that we were working, surviving, living, and it just was not as productive and enjoyable as our lives here in Tahoe. Everyone here operates on what we call "Tahoe Time"....they move slower, respond to e-mails after a few days (rather than a few minutes), they don't honk at you or flip you off on an hour and a half long commute. People here are just happier with their lives, and they produce that feeling in the community as well. There is not as much competition for career "laddering" and definitely not as much wealth and ignorance. Aside from the changes in the people - there are absolutely NO cats here. I think I've seen two in the past 4 months. I know why nobody has cats here - I always lost many of mine as a little girl growing up here, so I think it's best that Satchmo and ZZ are living in Oregon with your Grandma Mary. They are our family members whom got "left behind" in the move. We knew that they wouldn't make it very long here, and I'm thankful that they are living their happy cat lives with someone who has more time to love them. Harper, you haven't ONCE mentioned our old cats, and have never asked me what happened to them. I don't think you were that fond of them anyway. This is just a few of the many things that have changed in our lives over the past few months. It's funny that I focused on the cats there for a few minutes......this is supposed to be about you girls!
As I said - this could go on and on and on - but I'll try to get back to the "five things about you" that I initially intended with this blog.
Harper - you are becoming quite the little girl, and we have noticed that over the past few months you've grown out of your "toddlerhood". Your language and motor skills are rapidly developing and you are SO DANG SMART. I know. I know. Every parent says that about their child. But you really are incredibly accurate, question abstract concepts, are starting to write letters (you've been writing "H" for a few months now), recognize all of your letters and are starting to recognize numbers (have been counting to 20 for about 6 months now), you understand the sun vs. the moon (day/night), that you can cast a shadow (and you even say "I cast a shadow mama...YOOK!"), and know all of your letter sounds. You recognize strange animals that some adults don't even know about, and you talk about environments and where things live and why. It's super interesting to me the way that you process information and retain it almost immediately. I know all kids do this, but it just seems to happen really rapidly for you.
You are POTTY TRAINING!!! This is a HUGE accomplishment, and I actually didn't think you were ready. We gave you about 2 days in "big girl underwear" and you HATE having pee on your legs and feet enough to make you try and sit on the potty more. You are really anxious about it though and you run around in circles for a few minutes until you're actually ready to sit down and try. We have had very few accidents and we are all SO proud of you. I'm amazed at how easy it's been and I am really looking forward to not having to buy diapers for you anymore. Having two kids in diapers is EXPENSIVE (probably close to $150 a month, just so that when you look back on this in 50 years you can chuckle at the price).
You are sleeping in a "big girl" bed ( a toddler bed )...we moved you out of your crib a few months ago (September I think). You have done marvelously and the only downfall is that we had to put a child lock on the inside of your door because you were freely wandering around the house in the middle of the night. We tried to move Zoie into your room, which you were great about and welcomed her happily. Unfortunately she was still screaming all night and you weren't able to get any sleep. You keep asking me when Zoie will come back to sleep in your room, so I'm looking forward to that day as much as you are.
You are hiking and "biking" everywhere and you love it. We have truly savored every morning and afternoon that Tahoe brought us this summer and fall. We got you a PlasmaCar which is a low-to-the-ground car that is self-propelled by rocking the steering wheel back and forth. You can also push with your feet to move forward and back. It's red, and you LOVE it. You love to take it on the bike trail up by Grammie's house and you actually go really far on that thing. The first time I took you we made it about halfway through the trail (1/8 mile each way)....and you rode the whole entire time. You also have started to love to hike and you are getting better about continuing to hike up a trail rather then stop every 2 feet to look at a rock or some pineneedles on the ground. We put Zoie in the baby backpack and it's great to have you hiking along side of us. I have dreams that someday we'll be able to backpack the length of the Pacific Crest Trail as a family. Most likely though by the time you're old enough to do that with us - you won't want to because it won't be "cool". Your dad and I have always wanted to make that trip....Mexico to Canada along the Sierras.
And I think lastly - your fifth thing Harper - I think I'll choose your relationship with your Grammie & Grandpa. You have quickly grown to absolutely adore them, and will stop anything to go and play at their house or see them. You squeal and laugh and drop on the floor wiggling when either one of them walks through the door. You also love love love your "Untle" Ben and Auntie "Towee" (Kori) and have even become pretty comfortable with dogs around their giant white dog Blanca. You ask about them all the time and whether or not Blanca is there. That right there is the number one reason why we moved back to Tahoe - so that you and your sister can have these relationships with these people. And for them to be close relationships. You are loving the nights that you go to Grammie & Grandpa's house - which means it is SO QUIET around our house...and your dad and I finally get a little break! Never would have/could have happened in Seattle, we just didn't have enough "people". I am so glad that you are able to have fun with Grammie and Grandpa and Uncle Ben on a weekly basis - it is the best sight ever to see you melt for them. And little do you know how you are melting their hearts at the same time. We all love you Harper - so much.
Zoie. Oh Zoie. Where do I even begin with you? Five things since June? Are you kidding me? Just as with your sister, there are many things I should write about. But you have had a monumental past few months. I guess I'll start with the "big" things and go from there.
First and foremost - you're walking! You started walking exactly 7 days before your first birthday. You took about 1 week to get steady and then you were off toddling around with confidence. You wear all of the little Converse tennis shoes that your sister wore when she learned to walk, and are doing great. Your little feet are smaller though so we are having the darndest time finding snow boots to fit you. I'm sure that with the powers of the internet I'll find a pair somewhere. Anyhow - we really should have dressed you as a zombie for Halloween because you have the zombie walk perfected right now - arms straight out in front of you, mumbling and drooling walking stiff-legged down the hallway. It's perfect zombie baby form - I really should still dress you up that way just for the pictures.
You are now the official owner of 8 big teeth (sharp as razors) - but you still haven't gotten any better about cutting them. You are just miserable when they are coming through your gums, and I don't blame you one bit. I'm sure it's horribly painful. You are eating 100% table food and are actually pretty picky - so we're having a tough time finding foods you'll eat other than fruits, yogurt, and pastas. Your sister is the same though - both of you are pretty tough to please at the table. You are FINALLY done nursing, and really only stopped because I refused it to you as soon as you turned 1....little stinker...you were waiting all day while I was at work and still refusing a bottle from Grammie or daddy. Finally now though you will drink up to 8 oz. from the bottle, and from me nonetheless. This is by far one of the hugest progressions you've made - considering you have sternly refused the bottle since your first week of life, and we have continually offered it to you week after week. The funny thing is though that you don't seem to be lactose intolerant like your sister, and can drink whole milk, but you prefer soy milk anyway. That means between you and your sister we are going through about 1 case of soymilk (Costco sized case) each week. That's a lot of little soy beans you're drinkin'.
Let's see...what else....oh yeah! You turned 1 last month!! Woo HOO we finally made it through our first year with two under two. It was a whirwind to say the least, and you're had SO MANY ups and downs, but you finally had 12 months pass you by and accomplished the feat of being able to eat peanut butter and honey, among other things that 1 year olds get to eat. (Even though we gave you peanut butter at 10 months...you survived). We had a great first birthday BBQ for you (on your birthday even!) and a whole bunch of our friends and family came over for the afternoon/evening. I made you a super cute cake and even made you your own little "smash" cake. All the older kids at the party gathered around your high chair and dipped their fingers into the frosting to show you what to do - it was hilarious. You finally caught on and got your fingers messy and finally started shoving it in your mouth. It made for a perfect 1st birthday evening and you got to play play play your little heart out with all of the kids who came over (Dexter, Seth, Julia, Izzy, and JJ, and your sister of course!).
I'm not going to go into it, because I'm sure it will jinx me - but you're pretty much sleeping through the night - as soon as you started taking the bottle and drinking 6-8oz. you've slept through the night a few times. 12 months later....and you're finally making progress!
And I think finally - your fifth "thing" Zoie....is that you're finally mellowing out a little bit and you aren't so fussy. With walking and taking a bottle I'm beginning to think that you've been starving for food and mobility for the past 12 months. You are just so much happier now that you're doing those new things - and it is gradually making our lives a bit happier. You aren't as fussy every second of every day, and you actually get down and toddle around the house quite a bit on your own. You like to check in and come cuddle with me for a few minutes every time you see me - but you are doing much better at playing on your own.
We finally had to hire a nanny - she is helping us out 2 out of the 3 days that I'm at work - she's fabulous - we love her. And most importantly you girls both love her too! Everyone is doing great with our new care giver, and we're finally adapting to a situation that we never thought we would do (nannying). There just aren't many feasible childcare options in our new neck of the woods, and this is one of the only ones. It's turning out pretty well though, and Harper you ask about "Bamanda" all the time (her name is Amanda...so you're close), which just shows us that she's doing a great job connecting with you.
Alright - I've had enough typing, and it's time to start thinking about what to make for dinner. I'll try to journal again sooner than 4 months from now....as I'm sure we'll have new developments each week. I'll even try to add some pictures too!
Smile girls - your mama LOVES LOVES LOVES you :)