And She’s Off…

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Last week, the tiny chubby baby we brought home from the hospital on a very hot July day somehow become a 7 month old. Violet is now eating solid food (favorites include avocado, peas, and squash) and as mentioned in my previous post, little miss cheeks is now mobile.

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Her crawl isn’t pretty.

But it sure is cute.

In fact, it is pretty much an Army low-crawl.

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But it gets the job done.

Which is all that really matters anyway.

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When at the doctors last week, Violet tipped the scales at 17 pounds, 9 ounces. She continues to soak in the world and greet almost every situation with a smile. She appears to have the same go-with-the-flow attitude as her older brother and is just an all-around happy baby. And we’re finding out just how curious of a baby she can be. I am whimpering at the thought of how much money we will be pouring into baby gates and other barricades. Why go to Paris when you can buy molded plastic and metal barricades instead? Oh là là, indeed.

Zone Defense

The game has changed.

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Man-on-man defense is no longer employed. We’re watching our nephew, Mikey, this week so we’ve had to switch to a zone defense plan of attack when wrangling children. My sister had to go to Las Vegas on business so when our brother-in-law decided to tag along, we volunteered to watch Mikey for the week. Of course, Violet decided the minute Megan and Mike left for the airport that it was the most perfect time to start being mobile, so things have been just a little hectic around these parts (i.e. I wouldn’t eat off the floors). We’re a few days into life-with-three-kids so we’ve learned a couple of important lessons thus far.

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Behold the power of the van. I drive a Subaru Outback, which is perfect for our family of four. I love my car. It is small enough to maneuver in tight places but yet rugged, and big enough to accommodate two full-size car seats, a stroller, and a dog. But accommodate three full-size car seats it does not. So we’re using the Volvo XC90 as our main source transportation. I also love this car – I drove it for years before we traded in Clay’s truck. It has over 100,000 miles and still going strong. But I do not love this car for a family of five. Yes, it has a third row but it is impossible to look graceful when climbing into the car from the back door just to buckle/unbuckle Weston’s five-point harness because my bum can’t manage to navigate itself through a second row filled with carseats. All it took was one quick trip to the store for Clay and I to declare that if a third child were in the cards for us, we’d be succumbing to the power of the minivan with no shame whatsoever.

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Vacation without guilt. We currently have a bit of sticker shock while researching possible just-the-two-of-us vacations. Like many others, our lives are filled to the brim with IRAs, 529s, mortgages, and other little nest eggs scattered about. Our vacation fund is currently low on the list of priorities and it has gotten to the point where it feels wrong to spend money on a big vacation when it can be pumped into a resource that will benefit us later – delayed gratification if you will. I think this can be a dangerous precedent. Seeing my sister and her husband escape for a little bit has given us the kick in the pants we needed to reassure ourselves that it is okay to spend money on a vacation without our kids.

Chaos can be good. I like having two kids. The fact that we have a boy and girl just adds to the ordered and structured environment I tend to crave. But a little chaos never hurt anybody and sometimes it is good to have a solid wrench thrown into your plans to remind you that you’re never as in control as you think are.

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We’re lucky to be stationed so close to Megan and Mike – only a three hour drive. The boys are super close and love seeing each other on a regular basis. While life hasn’t necessarily been smooth during our week with Mikey, it certainly has been a lot of fun. And since Megan is due with a little girl in June, Violet will have a cousin close in age as well and things will become even more chaotic when we’re all together. That isn’t such a bad thing, right?

In The Meadow We Can Build a Snowman

Snowpocolypse 2014 is upon us. My inner-Carlton is dancing – Clay is home and able to enjoy the snow day with us. He was TDY the previous two snowstorms and unable to partake in the traditional festivities that accompany the national capitol region shutting down.

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We woke up to about 10.5 inches of snow. It has since began sleeting on and off but we’re due for more snow throughout the day and tomorrow. While the area is accustomed to snow, it is ill-equipped to handle a storm of this magnitude so I can’t imagine it going back to business as usual tomorrow.

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The snow sure is pretty. And perfect for snowmen, snow cream, and snow margaritas.

You know, the important stuff.

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The little guy insisted on being responsible for clearing off my car.

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Baby Violet loves being outside all bundled up.

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And this girl is happier than a camel on Wednesday (sorry…). Lucy was born and adopted by us almost nine years ago during our time at Fort Drum, NY. She is a winter dog at heart and in her element dashing through the snow. While we’ve had snow storms in all the places we’ve lived since, they’ve been nothing like what we experienced up in the north country. With almost 12 inches, this is the first snowfall that has felt like true winter. And Lucy just ate it all up. Literally.

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She also tried her hardest to get a pick-up game of football started.

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Snow + woods = Simply beautiful.