After Katie’s birthday and Halloween, we enjoyed a week of staying just around the house, just in our play clothes, eating leftovers, playing in our straw stack, taking walks, going for wagon rides, planning for November and the coming Christmas season.

Eric has had a difficult week with his teeth, and in the beginning of the week he was waking up constantly at night and had a small fever. Our sleepless nights reminded me of our newborn days. Toward the latter part of the week when he was feeling better, then, we had to brush up on our sleep training. Last night was finally back to normal—whew—though the trick seemed to be extra cuddles in his rocker and reassurances I would be near. With his teething, he has become even more of a “mommy boop”—I think he just likes to know comfort is nearby.

So I have been catching up on sleep here and there, and I haven’t minded taking it a little more slowly this week.

We have spent cozy moments all piled in Katie’s bed, reading books both kiddos like. I cherish those times for their coziness.

Yesterday was one of those golden days when everyone seemed to be in a syncopated rhythm. Mothers, you know what I mean. Even the best days we have can feel like work, good work, but work to get everybody coordinated. Yet every once in awhile, everyone wakes up naturally in the same rhythm, wanting the same things, on the same wavelength. We celebrate on those days—they are gifts. Yesterday we had one of those gifts. We had breakfast, we all went for a walk, and then we came back home and we all colored together. Katie and Eric shared fishy crackers and crayons. When Eric went down for a nap, Katie and I finished her thank you notes to her birthday guests. She wrote “thank you” in each one, and I also wrote a message. She was very good about this and got them done in a few minutes right when I asked. Good girl. As parents we never know how amenable out children will be to writing their thank you cards, so I am very thankful that she was so willing. I hope her brother follows suit someday!

We also worked on our Lego Hogwarts castle while Brother was sleeping:

We have had so much fun with this Lego set, her first “big girl” Lego set. It is relaxing to build together.

We still have a little ways to go, another wing of the castle. I am hoping to receive the Diagon Alley set for Christmas or my birthday (hi, Husband!) because I know we’d have such a good time with that set. Katie has Hagrid’s Hut coming to her from Santa… I think we’ll leave them all up for awhile…

I should also mention that Katie and I have started Harry Potter all over again. I had finally resolved to move on to other reading (we did Charlotte’s Web and Ramona the Pest), but by Wednesday she was begging to do it again. We’re reading HP only at night now, though, and trying to diversify our literature during the day. It never hurts to read something more than once. Many of my favorite books I have read upwards of half a dozen times each, and I always engage with those texts at new levels each time.

I am primarily interested in growing her vocabulary, no matter what we read. Yesterday morning, as we were watching a television program, I pointed and said to Eric, “Look, there’s a big rock!” Katie interjected, “Actually, that’s called a boulder, Mama.” Pretty soon, she’ll be teaching all the diction and language usage around here!

She is such a character, too. We’ve been doing our slate work and playing spelling games out loud. It is low-tech, but it works in those moments when we don’t/can’t access the iPad, like when we’re cooking or eating meals. Today I asked her what words she wanted for slate work, and she wanted me to spell out “spider,” “Frankenstein” (which led into me telling her about Dr. Frankenstein, his monster, and Mary Shelley), and “mad doctor” among others. Bill was wondering aloud the other day if we had somehow turned into the Addams Family—especially when Katie started building a coffin out of her blocks and told him so in her sweet, happy voice. Her interests are definitely eclectic, though, and it amuses me to no end to watch her explore her world.

Today we have been loving the rain. We went to our music class this morning, and then we turned on The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I had my first gingerbread latte of the season and pretended it was close to Christmas. A little bit of a stretch… On the other hand where we live, when a rainy day comes anywhere close to Christmas, I need to make the most of it!

Other than that, today both kiddos are napping at once…whoa! That is rare indeed. I am going to spend the rest of the afternoon getting ready for my best friend and her husband, who are visiting tomorrow. Time to get the house cozy and some of the lunch dishes prepped!

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