Twenty-Two Months Old, Cabin Trip
What a crazy week! My sister Lianna came to visit at the beginning of the week, and unfortunately, Patrick and I came down with a cold almost as soon as she got here. Luckily, she was still able to get out and enjoy Portland while we stayed home and convalesced. She was also able to fit in some good auntie/nephew time with Arlo, who didn't start getting sick until yesterday.
For me, the cold started with a bad cough and then progressed to the normal runny nose and congestion (strangely, it was the reverse for Patrick). I was worried that I had bronchitis early on, because I was wheezing and having trouble breathing, but I visited a doctor on Tuesday, and she thought it was just a normal cold, so that's a relief. Despite dealing with cold symptoms of his own, Patrick has been doing as much as possible to take care of Arlo so I can rest. I'm so grateful for him! The congestion seems to be on its way out, but the cough is sticking around and making me pretty uncomfortable at the moment. Luckily, the baby doesn't seem bothered by it, but I'm ready to be healthy again!
Before we got sick, we went on our second-annual winter/spring cabin trip, to the same Mt. Hood cabin as last year. It was a different experience with a 22-month-old instead of a 10-month-old, but still very nice. I stayed inside most of the time and knitted, while Patrick and Arlo got out and played in the snow (there wasn't a ton of snow, but enough to keep Arlo happy). Patrick went snowshoeing at Trillium Lake one afternoon, which sounded nice. Maybe we can try it as a family on one of our future trips.
Arlo's favorite thing about the cabin was a basket of handmade wooden trucks--they kept him entertained for our whole visit. Sweet!
I didn't try using all of the fun kitchen appliances like I did last year, but we did have waffles shaped like farm animals, much to Arlo's excitement. Otherwise, we kept it pretty low key, which was perfect. We might try going again this summer, since we ended up canceling our plans to visit Glacier again this year (a Montana road trip with a 2-month-old baby did not sound like fun, so we postponed it until 2013). Yay for having a nice, relaxing vacation spot only an hour away!
Arlo turned 22 months old today (orange chair picture forthcoming). I forgot to mention in my last post--lately, he has been really interested in watching us when we prepare meals in the kitchen. He'll drag my chair over to the counter, climb up, and provide running commentary on what we're doing, while asking for samples of all the food (he learned about free samples at the grocery store bread counter, and he thinks it's a fantastic idea!).
Arlo has also recently developed an interest in stickers, mostly because our grocery store offers free stickers to kids at checkout. We've had a few tearful moments when he's wanted to take more than one sticker from the basket, but he has handled it pretty well so far. He and Patrick also encountered a fire truck on a recent walk, and a firefighter gave Arlo a Junior Firefighter sticker. It was a very exciting day!
Arlo has also recently become familiar with the hokey pokey. He's not entirely clear on all the steps, but he's good at turning himself around. He's still figuring out the connection between spinning around in circles, getting dizzy, and bumping into things, but I'm sure it'll become clear soon.
When Patrick works from home, Arlo likes to sit on his lap and do work too, which consists of typing on the keyboard and putting the computer mouse to his ear as if it's a phone. I know I'm biased, but this kid is just so awesome!
On the less awesome side of things, Arlo is currently going through a phase where he throws things on the floor when he gets frustrated. We try to respond calmly, but it can be hard. It's especially frustrating when he accidentally drops a piece of food during a meal and then feels compelled to sweep the rest of his food off the table while shouting. Argh.
Things are going well with baby #2. I went back and read my posts from when I was 8 months pregnant with Arlo, and the same kinds of things are happening this time around--tingling thigh syndrome, more stretch marks (that one was kind of a surprise. I figured since this baby is smaller than Arlo was, my skin wouldn't need to stretch anymore, but boy was I wrong!). One thing that has surprised me about this pregnancy is that I have much less patience than I did when I was pregnant with Arlo. I guess it's not a huge surprise, since this time around, I'm interacting with a willful toddler all day.
I've had a couple of pre-dinner meltdowns where I snapped angrily at Arlo and/or Patrick and then cried and cried because I felt so bad about it. And in general, I just have a hard time staying sweet and patient with Arlo. Even though my rational side knows that he's just being a normal almost-2-year-old, sometimes I can't stop myself from snapping at him when he makes a mess or knowingly breaks a rule, especially when it's almost dinnertime and we're both tired and hungry. Poor guy :( His encounters with Grumpy Mama don't seem to bother him too much, but they sure make me feel awful! I'm hoping that much of it is due to pregnancy hormones and that I'll be more patient with him after the baby is born, but I guess there will be other hormones to deal with then, plus sleep deprivation. Oh well, I'm doing my best, and he knows I love him.
A few weeks ago, we went through Arlo's old clothes and got all of the size 0-6 month stuff ready for the new baby. Arlo especially enjoyed looking at all of the tiny baby socks when we were folding the laundry (have I mentioned how much he enjoys sorting laundry with us? It's one of his favorite things!). Everything is folded neatly in the nursery dresser now, all ready to go.
I had another ultrasound to check on the baby's growth last week (33 weeks), and things continue to look good. The baby measured 52nd percentile, and he was head down, which is good. The only thing that made me a little nervous was that the doctor said that his head was tucked kind of crookedly, which reminded me of the positioning problems we had during Arlo's labor, where his head was crooked and couldn't fully engage my cervix to finish dilation. I'm not sure if it's worth worrying about at this point, since the baby is still moving around a lot, but at our doula's recommendation, I've been doing a couple Spinning Babies exercises to try and ensure he's in a good position. (Yep, we decided to hire a doula again, and we decided to stick with Gracie and her new co-doula Corinne, since Gracie was so great at Arlo's birth!)
When I was looking back through my old entries, I came across these pictures from when I was 33 weeks pregnant with Arlo, and I thought it would be fun to take a similar set of family portraits, this time with Arlo on the outside and baby #2 in the tummy (34 weeks along). Here are a couple of my favorites from this time around:
I mentioned some of our ambitious pre-baby house projects in my last post, and the good news is that Patrick has managed to replace both our upstairs and downstairs toilets as planned (how cool is it that he is willing to tackle this kind of project? I can't even imagine doing that kind of work myself). There were some unanticipated complications with the downstairs toilet installation (it involved leveling a flange and making multiple trips to George Morlan), but he still finished it up pretty quickly. The upstairs toilet replacement went faster. Patrick had been worried that there might be some water damage to the floor underneath the upstairs toilet, but when he took away the old toilet, everything looked fine, which was a big relief.
The new fence I mentioned in the last post is still a work in progress, thanks to lots of rain, but Patrick was able to put together a nice new trellis for our front porch roses (the old trellis rotted and then blew off in a wind storm a while ago).
As far as our living room rearrangement goes, we bought new (used) end tables and moved our bookshelf, as planned, and our new couch arrived last night, three weeks early (better to have the couch arrive early than the baby!). Arlo was super excited about the couch delivery truck and delivery guys!
The couch was made in Vancouver by Stylus (it's their Metro design), and we bought it through Portico. I'm really happy with it so far--lots of room to stretch out. Our downstairs is currently in a state of disarray while we figure out where everything will go. We listed our old IKEA couch on Craigslist (goodbye, first real couch!), but while we wait for it to sell, it's sitting in the middle of our dining room, taking up lots of space. My pregnant lady nesting instincts don't like it one bit! Hopefully it will sell quickly so we can get everything back in order.
I finished two more knitting projects recently--a sweater that turned out too big for Arlo (Ravelry link) and a stripy bunny for his Easter basket (Ravelry link). I'm hoping the sweater will fit him in the fall; for now we'll just keep squeezing him into his original yellow and white sweater.
And a quick recipe roundup:
- Skillet chicken with broccoli and ziti - tasty, try adding mushrooms next time
- Creamy Asiago polenta with broccoli rabe and sun-dried tomato topping - this was really good and pretty easy to make
- Classic spaghetti and meatballs - ready in about an hour, yummy
- Shrimp in coconut milk, served over brown rice. To save money, I cut back the amount of shrimp to 1lb and added 10oz baby spinach. It was easy to make and tasty.
- Orange pan-glazed tofu over soba noodles - the tofu was really nice; next time I would toss the noodles with sesame oil and/or fish sauce, since the glaze reduced so much that it wasn't very saucy.
- To celebrate Pi Day, I made the apple custard pie from Rustic Fruit Desserts, but the custard didn't quite set up, and the apples were too crunchy for my tastes. Next time, I'd stick with normal apple pie.
- I made Patrick a fancy birthday cake this year--I got ambitious and made the devil's food cake with marshmallow frosting from the cover of Baking. I was excited about the marshmallow frosting, but it turned out to be too sugary for us; I prefer frosting with some fat in it. But the devil's food cake itself was really nice! Also, as Patrick gently reminded me, he actually prefers simple cakes instead of big frosting-festooned layer cakes (although he certainly appreciated the work that went into this cake). I'll have to save the fancy cake-making for children's birthdays!