Grandma came.

And then she left.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Rather than dwelling on my sorrow, I am trying to channel it into photo posting. The weather was quite overcast while she was here, so I only got a few pics in the house. There are some others from our very fun trip to the zoo that I will also post soon.

Fun with grandma.

What could be nicer than a grandma, a toddler, and a yummy little baby?

Peekaboo!

We’ve told Camilla that we will (hopefully) be visiting Washington in July, and she’s been asking me to make it July now.

I wish I could, babe.

Mostly Milla.

The object of the post is currently taking a little nap for the first time in days (huzzah!) so I’m going to whip out some photos of her 2.5 year old cuteness.

Our property manager gave her a balloon last week. She hasn’t mastered the art of sealing her lips around it and blowing, but she tried and tried.

Oh, she also got her first tootsie roll. What could be more fun than a new balloon and a tootsie roll?

A balloon and a tootsie roll. Unbeatable.

I left my heels out after church and this is what happened. I guess I should do it more.

Trying on mommy's heels.

And here’s Daddy reading one of many rounds of Frances to Camilla. We read a lot of Frances. Every single day. If I wasn’t so fond of that clever badger, I might get a little annoyed. But she holds up pretty well, even if it’s the 10th time that week.

Reading Frances with daddy.

I like to compare them to these photos from October 2010 (she was 16 months old).

Her favorite book.

Both Camilla and daddy’s beard are getting so big.

Week 32.

(It’s technically week 33, but the weather is too rainy for photos and I never managed to finish this post last week. So here it is.)

Only 20 more weeks until Bea turns one! I don’t know if I find that depressing or exciting. She’s still not gotten beyond the slow topple (= not sitting up) and she can only scootch backwards. She finds that pretty frustrating, actually. It must be maddening to flail all your limbs so you can reach something only to find that you are farther away than before (and, to add insult to injury, half-buried underneath the sofa). I want to treat her as immobile because she doesn’t technically crawl, but she certainly gets around if given enough time.

Week 32.

Tee hee! I have big plans for our living room as soon as I master that pesky locomotion thing.

Tee hee! I have no idea what’s in store for me after sister can start taking all my things.

So that’s where we’re at. It’s been a busy couple of weeks in other respects, but I like having things to look forward to. Lots of visits from friends, and my mum is coming in February. Yah! We’re pretty much counting the days till then.

Since it’s the end of the month, I thought I’d give an update as to how those New Year’s resolutions are coming along. I have been slowly but faithfully pursuing no. 1 (to lose weight) and recently kicked it up a notch. After a few weeks of wondering whether I was actually getting thinner, I started plotting my weight every day on a chart in the bathroom, a la the Steve Ward Diet. It quickly became apparent that just trying to eat healthier would keep me at a roughly flat line but not make the line go down. Phooey. So much for the No-Effort Diet.  Then my sister joined www.myfitnesspal.com and I followed suit. We are both trying to keep track of our calories for a month and oh boy, has that been illuminating. Even though I’ve done it before on paper and felt like I was doing it still in my head, it turns out that I have definitely not been adhering to a number that favors weight loss. It seems that every day there was some moment when I felt like I needed a little extra something–and I found it. Now I’ve actually got to cut back somewhere if I overindulge, which is something that I have always had trouble doing. Using the website does add one more thing to my day, but sitting down at the computer for a few minutes after a meal is totally worth it as long as I don’t get sidetracked into doing a bunch of other things as well. Ahem.

Now, there are a few things about using the site that I don’t like. There’s not an option that I can see for breastfeeding women, so I just add it in as exercise every day to increase my calorie limit. Also, I really prefer to eat whole foods and I could see how it would be easy to gravitate toward packaged ones because it’s easier to find the calorie/nutrition information (you can add in your own info if they don’t happen to have the food you want in the database, but it’s obviously going to be more work). I have also had to start measuring a lot of foods, which adds some complication and a few more dishes to a possibly harried day, but I imagine that you have to do that on most diet plans. In general, though, I really like the feeling of security that, if I keep careful track of what I eat, I will eventually lose some weight. It also helps that I think my sister will probably take a look at my meal diary at the end of the day. :)

As for no. 2 (exercise), husband and I take the babes for a walk in the evening a couple days a week and I’m trying to get in the habit of doing a short dance/aerobics video in the morning with Camilla. The last two days I did my workout with Beatrice in the baby carrier, which added a bit of extra zing. I expect legs of steel after a few weeks of this. Sometimes I think about lifting weights, but bouncing Bea around a few times seems to have about the same effect. If I can only increase my reps, it will be a complete workout.

As for no. 3 (to read more books), I have sadly fallen behind. I finished Close to Home, a really wonderful book about motherhood from an Orthodox perspective. [Lauren Pope, I think you would really like it]. I re-read Thrones, Dominations, an unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey novel that was taken up by another author, and had a good time with it, especially since the setting very similar to Upstairs Downstairs so it’s easy to visualize. I have started on some very enjoyable short stories by Nikolai Gogol but Milla’s naps are all over the place (i.e. sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t) so I don’t get much momentum going. Must try harder to make reading happen.

As for no.4 (to not shop online), I am waivering. While I still think it’s a good idea to try things on in person, there are some items that I just have a hard time finding in the quality/price range that I want. Goodwill has come through for odds and ends, but I just don’t enjoy shopping at department stores very much anymore. I am giving Boden another try — it’s usually out of my price range, but I got two t-shirts with 20% off + free shipping and I think I might save up for a few more things from the current season. They do go on sale eventually, so if I know what I want then I can try to snatch it in my size when it’s a little more reasonable. Quality, not quantity, is my new wardrobe motto.

Of course, this easiest way to be happy with your wardrobe is to…be happy with your wardrobe.

Contentment, you save so much money in the long run and bring me closer to Godliness. I should try so much harder to get you than to get a new dress.