Some news and the conversation of the day.

We are currently in Dallas.  Tomorrow morning the movers will bring our stuff to our house and unpack (but not put away) all of our stuff.  My plan is to get everything out of boxes and put everything away that fits, and get rid of the rest.  We have had stuff in boxes at my Mom's for a year and a half, so I don't even remember what I own.  Or if I still want to own it.  Anyhow, tonight is our last night of transiency.  We drove up to Dallas early early this morning to go to church in our new ward, mostly because we had to stay the night anyway to be here early enough to meet the movers, so we may as well make a day of it.

So we're chillin' in our La Quinta tonight.  Ella discovered the cups and was playing a game with them.

Jess: She has water in that cup.  Did you give her water?
Paul: No.  Ella, where did you get water for your cup?
Ella:  The toilet.
Jess: She's stirring it with our toothbrush.  Don't use the green one anymore.

More exciting news (not related to us having to purchase new toothbrushes):

Charlotte took her first real steps today.  Yep, right here at the La Quinta.  She has been doing single steps in between pieces of furniture or people.  But this afternoon she was getting four and five steps in a row consistently.  Shaky, slow, small steps.  But all by herself.

This is almost as fun as all of the animal noises she has started making.  Her favorite is a dog, but I enjoy her bear impressions more.  She likes to randomly roar at people.  It happened, like, four times at church today.  I shouldn't be surprised, because we roar at her all the time.  She will also meow, but she doesn't have the name association down, yet.  It is just a imitation of our meows. (She does correctly respond to "What does a bear/dog say?")  She is so outgoing.  She is sure everyone she sees is her friend, and she crawled up to at least two different strangers at church today and tried to climb on their laps.  They happily obliged.  Everybody likes to hold happy babies.

When Ella was this age strangers would wave at her and talk to her and it would take her at least sixty to ninety seconds to decide that she would smile and wave back.  I would tell people she is "slow-to-warm".  She is still that way to some extent, which is fine.  We like her the way she is.  Luckily, when she does 'warm', she is darling; well worth the wait.


Must it ever end?

The weather is lovely here.  I think this might be the only place in the country with nice weather.  We have been swimming every day. Three beach days so far.  A fifteen mile bike ride in the everglades.  It has been a magical vacation.


It's Snowing!

We (and by 'we' I mean New Hampshire) are expected to get between eleven and twenty inches in the current storm.   That does not count the three inches that we got yesterday morning.  At least I am in good company.  It seems like the entire country is getting snow.  (Except Colorado.  Sorry, Kate.)  Luckily, we are scheduled to fly to Florida on Friday evening.  Lucky for multiple reasons.  The obvious being: We are getting out of the snow for heaven's sake.  We are also lucky we will miss all of the snow storm flight cancellations, if weather predictions hold.

You might be wondering about the handsome young man who graces the beginning of this morning's post.  That is Paul.  And he is sleeping.  And I'm not sure if those are nipples or arms.  I didn't ask.  But I couldn't be a prouder Mamma. Ella and I were drawing together yesterday, and all of a sudden I look over at her creation and see... something resembling a human!  Imagine my shock.  About a month ago she started drawing recognizable people, but this is by far her best work.  And in the true spirit of parenthood, I began thinking of all the ways that I have helped mold that sweet child to arrive at the pinnacle of her two and a half year old potential today.  And then I told myself that I was probably wrong, and she was just born brilliant.  And then I self-talked a little about how Ella is just normal and normal is okay, and childhood is not a competition, and it doesn't matter what other two and a half year old's are drawing, so don't get on the internet to see if she is developmentally ahead of or behind her peers on this one.

It's a constant battle.  All right there inside my brain.

Wish me luck as I wage my own personal war against competitive parenting.

And if you want to help:  Please do not tell me about how your newborn slept through the night at five weeks. Or ask me what I am typically doing with my eleven month old at three in the morning.