And now we come to my very favourite time of day: when Harriet is in bed, the dishes are done, and all I have to do is wait for Steve to come home from work. Don't get me wrong: I love spending time with the H, but there is this feeling of blessed relief when she is finally settled down and I can settle down, too.
Harriet is an incredible little person and that's all there is to it. We love to watch her roam around the house, busily organizing her toys or looking at books or moving her clean clothes to the dirty clothes basket (it's at that point that I usually intrude upon her private affairs and put an end to the clothes transfer). She has become so much more interested in playing - not just looking at her toys or carrying them around, but making them interact. We bought her a Playmobil dollhouse for Christmas and she loves to set up the family in their respective beds, make them eat their supper at the table, and arrange for hugs between the mommy and daddy Playmobil. She calls them her "Guys." Today I noticed that, instead of putting her animal puzzle pieces back onto the puzzle board, she lined up the pieces and made them "talk" to each other. It was adorable.
Harriet talks non-stop pretty much all day. She has opinions about everything and knows how to ask for whatever she pleases. I'm pleased to say that she is a polite person most of the time and showers us with "pleases" and "thank yous" as appropriate. Her favorite sentence is "Mommy, please? Otay," usually accompanied by the sign for please, just to emphasize her point. The tricky part comes when she simply cannot have what she so desires. The other day she found an empty Gerber cheese puffs container in the car (don't get me started on how much she adores said cheese puffs) and asked very nicely for some more. Since I was unable to produce cheese puffs out of thin air her polite asking soon turned into horrific wails of "MOOOMMMY! PLEEEEEEESE! CHEEEEESE CRACKERS! OTAY??" It was pathetic. Harriet is also combining more and more words to make sentences. Today she informed me, "Go outside. Baby, stroller, walk. Otay?" I'm really glad that she communicates so well at such a young age, especially since Baby E will be showing up shortly. I know that we will have our share of challenges, but at least I can understand what she wants and she can communicate with me.
Speaking of Baby E, can you believe that he will be here in only seven weeks? Yeeks! To be honest, I still forget that it's happening sometimes. I feel like I should still be in my second trimester and I can't understand why a) I can't sleep on my back, b) I have heartburn, and c) I feel as big as a cow. This has been such a smooth sailing pregnancy thus far that it wasn't until the other day that I felt ready to actually go through the labor/delivery/nurses-and-doctors-looking-and-poking-in-weird-areas process and just have this kid. It probably didn't help that it was a post-holiday, oh-my-goodness-I-weigh-500-pounds and I can't do the Just Dance video game to the best of my ability sort of moment. But Steve kindly listened to my bawling about wanting my body back to myself, I decided that I actually want to have this child (since that is the only logical way to get my body back), and we were all much better.
What in the world are we going to do with a little boy? I have an adorable Monsters Inc. sleeper for him. I suppose we will start off by dressing him in that outfit. Then we'll decide what to do from there.
The holiday season is over and we entered back into reality today. Steve's family came from hither and yon to celebrate with us and that made it all really special. Not very many people can say that they actually look forward to having in-laws descend for a week or two, but I can. That's a blessing and a half. After opening and enjoying many delightful Christmas gifts, we spent the rest of our break playing games, hanging out, and eating eating eating. It was lovely to have Steve home all day, every day. I could really get used to that. It was also lovely to have an ample supply of babysitters so that we could go on our "babymoon" to Omaha. We ate without getting indigestion from hopping about, slept until we were ready to wake up, and spent most of our time just Being. It was a good reminder of why we are married and I highly recommend that all married couples with children take a babymoon as the opportunity arises.
It was neat to see how Steve's Christmas gift to me and my Christmas gift to him really go together. He gave me a new cookbook (Ruhlman's Twenty), a book about the Puritans by J.I. Packer, Augustine's Confessions, and the first two books in the Master and Commander series. I gave him two tennis rackets, a bunch of tennis balls, and Tennis for Dummies. How do these go together, you ask? Well, our motivation behind these gifts was the same: we want to create different and meaningful ways to spend more time together. In short, we want to do things together - and not just sit and stare at yet another episode of The Office. We want to learn new cooking techniques, venture out into the unknown worlds of nineteenth-century sailors or tennis players, and grow together spiritually. It just makes me smile to think about how well we know each other - and how much more we have to learn. Yay marriage!
This is rather rambly, but oh well. In the nature of rambliness, take a few minutes to check out Clara's photography blog. She does amazing work and I'm not just saying that because she is my sister.