I'm not going to lie to you, this hasn't been your best month. Ever since we got back from our trip to Europe, you've undergone a steady and gradual descent into restless sleeping. It started with bedtime.
Putting you to bed used to be a joy, a pleasure; We gave you your bath, sat with you while you ate and read you a book, and then we would lay you down, kiss your nose, and say goodnight. Done and done. Suddently, though, you were no longer content with this arrangement, and instead required butt pats at a rate not to exceed two per second until you were sound asleep. This wasn't completely unreasonable, except for the fact that it was sometimes taking upwards of an hour for you to fall asleep. You might nod off after ten minutes, sure, but as we slowly crept out of the room we would inevitibly step on a squeaky floorboard, waking you up and starting the process over again.
Of course, bed time hasn't been the only point of contention this month. Even after we finally manage to sneak out of your room, we can count on at least two overnight wake-ups, each one requiring a bottle and a combination of either children's tylenol for your teeth or gripe water for the gas. Sometimes all three. And while your mother and I are definitely night owls, we are looking forward to the day you grow out of this phase.
I have to say, though, that despite all the overnight shenanigans, you're still an absolute delight during the day. You're just so happy and smiley all the time that it makes it hard to stay mad at you, even though we spend the days walking around like zombies due to lack of sleep. In fact, you're just so happy that you have apparently decided that you don't need to take naps any more! Fantastic!
What has saved us though, and has enabled us a safe option to lay on the couch and get a nap in here and there, is your bouncer. If there is one thing you love in this world more than not sleeping, it's bouncing. We could put you in this thing for hours and you're just the happiest little jumper in the world.
Early this month, we also got to meet up with your grandparents, aunts, uncle, and cousins for a family photo shoot. Here are some of the highlights.
Team Soell: Mama, Papa, and Lucy
Auntie Julenna, Shirlene and Grandpa Rex, Mama, Lucy and Papa
Mama, Lucy, Grandpa Rex, and Auntie Julenna
Mama, Lucy, Papa, Auntie Lesley, Uncle Darin, Cousins Will and Emma, Mimi and Gramps
Lucy, Papa, Mimi and Gramps
Lucy and cousins Emma and Will
Lucy, Mimi, cousin Emma, Gramps, and cousin Will
You're getting so much bigger and stronger, and hearing you laugh every day at something new is amazing. I can't believe all the little things you're learning to do as you inch your way down the path to independence. Let's just keep working on the sleeping thing first though, what do you say?
All my love,
The holidays are stressful. Halloween is fun, and I have no problem with Thanksgiving, but once that last turkey sandwich (topped with stuffing and cranberry sauce, of course) has been consumed is when my stomach really gets tied up in knots. Not because of the ungodly amount of pumpkin pie that I'm sure to have eaten, but because of all the shopping that I know needs to be done. This year, January had the great idea of getting professional pictures taken for both of our families: A great gift and almost no Christmas shopping? Genius.
So this past Saturday morning, we met up with our families at Inniswood Park in Westerville to spend an hour or so getting our pictures taken. We were cautiously optimistic about the weather all week, and on the morning of the shoot we were happy to find it nice and sunny. It was a bit on the cold side, but for a weekend in November there was very little to complain about. Around ten in the morning, we rolled into the gardens with my parents, my sister, her husband and two children, January's dad, step-mom and sister. That's a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of people to handle.
Lucy hamming it up for Mimi and Grandpa. Photography by Lisa Rice Photography
I'm admittadly a little biased when it comes to central Ohio photographers, but we were fortunate enough to be able to get Lisa Rice -- with whom January has been able to shoot several weddings over the years -- to meet up with us to take these pictures. Lisa was great and was able to quickly get through each group and combination of people quickly so we didn't have to get too cold.
Team Soell with the Newbanks family. Photography by Lisa Rice Photography
At the end of our time at Inniswoods, Lisa had taken photos of just about every combination of us imaginable. Coincidentally, just as I was beginning this article we got an email from Lisa with our final photos, and they're just so great! We're both really excited to be able to get some prints of these made and wrap them up for Christmas morning, but I couldn't resist sharing just a few of them here.
Will and Grandpa. Photography by Lisa Rice Photography
Lucy with her mama and papa. Photography by Lisa Rice Photography
It feels really good to have our holiday shopping all but done, weeks before Thanksgiving is even here. I'm definitely looking forward to less time stressing over shopping and more time decorating the tree and watching Lucy experience her first Christmas. Thanks again to Lisa for the incredible photos, they're better than we imagined they would be!
I have failed. Two days into NaBloPoMo -- only one day after my blog post announcing my participation -- and I've already blown it.
I feel like these past few weeks have been one long string of failures. Our primal / paleo diet started off so well, but ever since returning from Prague it's been something of a continual downard slide. My intentions are good, but I'm finding a distinct lack of motivation when it actually comes to the time to cook my food. It's just so much easier to call Gatto's pizza than it is to throw a pork roast in the oven. No, actually, now that I've processed that thought, I know it isn't any more work. One phone call versus five minutes cutting up a pork loin? That's just laziness.
The diet and my lack of blogging aren't the only areas where I feel that I've failed recently, but those are the obvious ones. It's really tempting to just throw in the towel and say "Oh well, I failed. I guess I'll go order another pizza and watch TV." Especially this time of year, when the days get darker, the weather gets colder, and entire days can go by without leaving the house. It's very easy for me to slip into a dark, depressed state where I never get anything done that I set out to do.
If there's one thing I've learned over the past few years, dealing with seasonal mood changes, it's that you have to channel as much determination into fighting it as you can. Sometimes you just need to draw a line in the sand and decide to turn things around. It ends today, and tomorrow I will start to get things done.
You blink your eyes, and suddenly it's November again. This time of year means a lot of things: Eating leftover Halloween candy, preparing for Thanksgiving, and beginning to think about Christmas and New Years. For the past three years, November has also meant National Blog Posting Month -- or NaBloPoMo -- for thousands of people across the Internet. It's the one month every year where people commit to getting back into the blogging habit by posting a blog update every single day. My first attempt in 2009 was successful, while I only scored a 21 out of 30 last year. Nevertheless, I'm giving it another shot in 2011!
Over the next 29 days, you can expect to see some more of the usual: Updates on Lucy, pictures of Gus, and random tech ramblings. You'll also see some follow-ups to NaBloPoMo posts from years past, including additions to the "favorite things" and "strangers I love" series. If you're really lucky, you may even see a first-draft of the children's book I've been mentally composing for years, featuring our favorite border collie.
So stick around, and comment often -- National Blog Posting Month kicks off now!