what we’ve been up to: a list

I haven’t written a list in awhile! Life with a toddler is busy, and this time of year always feels a little slow. Winter creeps by at a snails’ pace, and Spring still seems so far off. Every day feels a bit like ‘Groundhog Day’ (Hey! It’s TODAY!), repeating the same pattern of wake, play, lunch, nap, play, dinner. But, I love being home and find the bright spots among the mundane tasks.

  1. We play in the snow! Most of the time we are joined by my friend, Nicole, and her daughter, Maya, who is the same age as Maelle. They aren’t playing ‘together’ yet, but we enjoy visiting while the girls swing and trudge through the snow.
  2. We have tea parties! Maelle has started playing ‘tea party’ with her papa and stuffed animals, usually while I’m away or busy cooking dinner. It just doesn’t get more precious than a little girl and her giant stuffed stingray having tea.

3. I’m addicted to Color Street nails. A friend gave me a set for New Year’s (they were called ‘Drop the Ball’ and were black and gold–very festive) and I quickly realized how awesome they are. I love to paint my nails, but I can’t think of more than a couple times in the last 18 months (!!!) that I’ve had the time to do so. When is it EVER a good time to have wet nails with a toddler running around? Color Street are nail ‘stickers’ that are actual nail polish, but aren’t wet and don’t chip. If you’re careful and don’t have long nails, you can even use one sticker for two nails, thus getting two ‘sets’ out of one. I linked to a Facebook page run by Jenny, my ‘nail girl.’ She’s so sweet. I know it’s a small thing, but I’ve really been enjoying having my nails ‘done’ again. I tend to gravitate to designs, since I can’t replicate that on my own with traditional polish, but now that I know how easy they are to put on and how long they stay looking nice, I’m sold on even simple solids!

4. Our dinners have a rhythm now. I really enjoy cooking, but haven’t felt as organized as I used to. In the last few months, we started doing a Sunday night dinner at the Nyes’ house, after my afternoon run with their son, Adam, and I incorporated ‘power bowls’ on Tuesdays. We have my in-laws over on Wednesdays so they can see Maelle, and we’ve been ordering pizza on Thursday nights after run group to make things easy. I don’t cook at home every night, but when I do, I’ve been trying new recipes and leaning hard on the Instant Pot and crockpot.

5. Maelle likes to color (sort of). I don’t think her attention span is quite there yet, but she asks to color at least once a day. We have a selection of crayons (which she still tries to eat), markers (which she uses to color her face) and colored pencils (which I fear may puncture an ear drum). Her sessions don’t last long, but it’s something to do.

6. I’m getting up early. Well, ‘early’ is relative; we have been blessed with a sleeper, and our normal wake-up time has been 8:30, or later! I’ve enjoyed it, but as a true ‘morning person,’ a small part of me was missing time to be productive or to simply enjoy the quiet. Now that I have the workout room, I have even more motivation to get up before Maelle. Last week, I was up at 7:30, but found it wasn’t enough time to get a workout in before she was awake. I also got convicted about not making time for Bible study, so this week I’m up at 7 for some quiet time and coffee before I exercise, which is so much better on all accounts.

7. Speaking of exercise… I’m using the workout room! I cannot believe how much I love it. It’s light, it smells nice (thanks to a ‘lavender and pine’ air freshener–wintery, calming and energizing all at the same time) and it truly is a happy place. I’m in there at least once a day, either to cycle or do yoga, or both. I want to do weights and some cardio classes, but I need to get a larger exercise mat so I don’t slip on the wood floors!

8. Maelle is interested in the potty! No, we are not potty training. But, she’s showing interest and seems to be gaining awareness of when she’s pooped in her diaper, and I want to capitalize on that. I’m reading a potty training book that came highly recommended, and the author says the window for the most success is 20-30 months, with earlier being possible. Maelle is 18.5 months, and while I didn’t have any intention to start until at least March or even her birthday in July, I don’t want to miss opportunities for her to make connections and have positive experiences. Disclaimer: the author also says NOT to have the potty out until you decide to get rid of the diapers FOR REAL, but I’ll just forget I read that…

9. I’m trying to read more. I used to really enjoy reading, but lately I’ve noticed that every book I pick up around the house has a bookmark about three or four chapters in…clearly I have a habit of not finishing books! I also find that reading an actual book before bed–as opposed to being on my phone–tends to make me drowsy. This isn’t new information, but I’m trying to be more disciplined about not being on my phone before I go to sleep. So, I’m keeping a book by my bed–currently Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker–and hope to actually finish it this time!

10. Andrew and I are designing a new kitchen! We’re working with an architect, and what started as a simple front door project has turned into a much bigger home renovation that will give us a bit more space, fix some roof issues and give our house a lot more functionality. We’re nervous and excited and shocked at the sticker price. It’s too early to share any more now, but more will be coming.

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