The pre-twos

Tess is reaching an age where I totally want to push and pull time. Every day, she has new words and new skills…and new inches, it feels like! In some ways, that’s incredible. To see this peanut grow into a running, yelling toddler who can reach door handles and knows what they do is one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had.

Still, she’s also fake crying, throwing things at her brother, and declaring independence by flinging food. I could comfortably skip those steps. She’s decisive, brave, generous at times (at times!), curious and always, always watching everything. Within seconds, she’ll copy adult behavior – trying it on for size. I’ve never seen this phase up close; I marvel.

Today, we took her to an orchestra concert for kids – but still, an orchestra concert! She looked stunned, clapped in inappropriate places and got skittish towards the end, but she was engrossed. She did this without a nap and was totally awesome.

As I tucked her in last night to the sound of Christmas carols, she was curled up on my lap ready to fall asleep while we read a book. When we bought this house, I dreamt about putting a little girl to sleep in there. Not every night is this idyllic; usually, bedtime involves screaming, laughter, chatter and lots of wriggling. But every once in a while, she surprises me and is a snuggly, book-loving angel. 🙂

Remy’s right on her tail, crawling around, gumming noodles like candy and sitting up for ages. He’s starting to get really interested in following his sister around, and is falling in love with Stella! He’s still our snugglebug – he’d rather be in our faces or playing with Tess than anything else in the world.

So I’m ambitiously looking forward to every day’s new skills and surprises, and yet find myself reminding myself to focus on every minute change.

We got a giant snowstorm that snuck up on us Sunday morning – lazy flakes that surprised us all by sticking and adding up. Within a few hours, Milwaukee looked like the bottom of a snow globe. This later in the day inspired Dave to gently crash my car into another car’s bumper, which should come as no surprise after hearing about the 60-car pileup nearby. At least he wasn’t in that! As I just got my car back from a minor yet pricy repair, I’m sure our mechanic will be chuckling over our phone call.

We wrapped up the weekend with decorating day. We all head to my mom’s and turn her house into holiday central! Tess was intrigued by the trees and more importantly, by the idea of putting ornaments on the tree and taking them off. Fascinating stuff. She played with her cousins and sat on a big stool for dinner, which went better than I expected. Her cousin pitched a fit at the table, and I nervously watched Tess checking it out – I’m still not sure if I saw awe, shock or studying on her face.

Remy was overwhelmed, and then snuggled to his heart’s content. I believe he thinks decorating day is all about warming up Aunt Sue next to a fire – very satisfying for all involved. Normally the kids go out with my dad for the day, but they’re just a little too small. Instead, a number of us juggled babies vs decorating tasks. At dinner, moms took feeding and dads handled cleaning. I thought,

If this is our new system, I can work with it.

We left their house glittering with Christmas lights and covered in ornaments and bows. Tess stole one of mom’s fluffy holiday somethings, and cuddled it all the way to bed. Let the holidays begin!