Although this is a much belated post, we have not fallen off the face of the earth. I can't remember a couple weeks where we have been this busy - at least in a while. Here is a quick post with some "quick takes" of what we've been up to.
1. I have officially hit the 3rd Trimester. This means 3 different things: I am growing at an exponential rate, I am nesting like crazy (my house has never been this clean and I still have 3 months to go), and I am starting to get really really tired. Combine all of these 3 things and you have the makings of one crazy pregnant lady. In reflecting on how far we've come and the time we have left before the baby comes, Michael told me something important: to enjoy the time I have with one. This is something I did well early on in my pregnancy, but in the rush of trying to get things in order I have lost sight of the amazing awesome-ness it is to have one child. Because never will I have this time again and never will I have this flexibility in my schedule. So, despite all that we still have to get done before the baby comes, I vow to take each day at a time and trust that God will provide for our needs before our little one arrives.
2. My parents came up this weekend to help with house projects. Michael and I (meaning me telling him) made a list of the odds and ends we need to finish with the house before the baby comes. With the almost 3 years of remodeling there are numerous unfinished projects that we want to get buttoned up so we can sit back and simply enjoy our home and our growing family. However, when you get my dad and Michael together it is a recipe for, how shall I say it nicely, demolishing. I must say, they got an incredible amount done in 2 short days (they always do - hey, they are the ones that built an entire garage in a weekend) and they kept everything really clean. They finished floor and window trim, mudded and taped the kitchen and bathroom, and ripped out the upstairs landing. (That last one was an idea that took shape Friday afternoon.) My mom, Avila, and I spent the day in Seattle with my sister so that my blood pressure could remain steady - needless to say, I don't do great when there's remodeling done - and I am super grateful to my dad and my husband for not only entertaining my hormonal nature but also for working so hard.
PS...pictures to come soon
3. My mom showed me the most awesome cleaning solution. It's a 1/4 cup ammonia (white, not the lemon kind), a half-gallon of water, and a couple drops of dish soap. I have since wiped down my entire house, and car, with this incredible concoction and things have never looked better. I will now use it in lieu of glass cleaner and Murphy's Oil for dusting and it even works on leather and woodwork. I am in love...
4. Avila can sing her ABC's! I don't know if there's much more to say except for mama is proud. And the funny thing is I didn't even teach her! She has an Elmo doll that sings the ABC's and the LeapFrog Magnetic Alphabet plus many episodes of SuperWhy that did the trick. She also knows that "A" is for Avila and can identify some letters. We're on our way!
5. I have made 3 simple changes that have drastically improved my "stress" level. When looking around my house I try to take stock of the things that drive me nuts. My top 3 are: dirty floors, clutter, and clothes lying around in the bedroom. I then thought of ways I could combat these annoyances and to my surprise the solutions were quite simple. I removed the 2 small rugs in our kitchen and now I can mop everyday without having to move rugs. I removed the centerpiece from our kitchen table and all of a sudden the clutter seems reduced by a 1000%! And I put a basket in our bedroom to collect my clothes for the day (because our bedroom closet is small, my closets are actually upstairs) and I put them away the next morning by simply carrying the basket upstairs. No more clothes laying on the floor!
6. Avila has been testing my patience a bit lately. Between her nap strike - taking FOREVER to go to sleep - to a sudden desire to pretend not to listen to anything I say, she is definitely testing the waters. Yet, I always say that no matter how strong her will is, mine is even stronger. Heck, I was the one who tore her dress when I was 3 simply because I didn't get my soda in a can instead of a cup. =) My steadfastness seems to be paying off. After I ask Avila to do something once, I bring out the "if, then" phrase. Example: "If you don't come here, then mama will flick your mouth." Because I showed that I was serious in the beginning I rarely have to follow-through because Avila knows I mean business. Her defiance is tapering off and I'm sure we'll go back to toddler bliss before another stage like this one emerges. All I know is that if I put in the hard work now, and set the precedence that mom and dad are the boss, we will have a lot less problems in the future.
7. I know I mentioned this before, but I am truly enjoying getting older. I understand that I am not yet out of my 20's and I might have incurred some eye rolls with this statement, however I love the fact that with each passing month I am gaining more wisdom in and about my life. I am quite a reflective person, and by using this skill I can look back on my past and see where I want to be in the future. In desiring to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better person getting older allows me to be even a step closer to my goals and the journey is something I wouldn't trade for the world.