Tuesday, February 28

toddler sausage fingers

January 1
Catching one last glimpse of all the Christmas decorations at the garden. Quite lucky to have this as a "back yard". 

January 2
Cyborg Room
Face Timing and scheduling an upcoming visit with Auntie Julia!

January 3
Kids Room
We are half-attempting potty training, but any time we cover Leena's nethers, she thinks it's a diaper. She's pretty cute in her training panties though.

January 4
ARC Park
Our little Ralph.

January 5
Front Yard
That brightest speck of defined white is the moon.

January 6
Nine months old (on the 1st), tatted up, and wearing a hot pink diaper. The coolest baby I know.

January 7
The snow days have started. I was determined to make the most of our forced indoor time. I think next time we will stick to water colors though. (Beginning, middle, and end.) It cleaned up off the floor real easily, but the kids both looked like they were covered in bruises for a couple days.

January 8
Front Yard
Day two. We did venture outside yesterday, but after about ten minutes Leena was weezing and nobody was happy. (Turns out she developed a pretty bad cough and cold.) So today we just enjoyed the view and the warm wood stove.

January 9
We got a frozen pipe in the shower. Luckily it just took warmer temperatures to thaw it and then things were back to normal.

January 10
Seriously getting stir crazy and Leena is feeling a little better so we went for a walk. Around the scenic parking lot of the garden.

January 11
Snow is nearly gone, but we had to do our obligatory snow day baking still. Leena loves to help mix.

January 12
Kids Room
Sporting all of her Christmas threads for school today. I know I get a kick out of Leena wearing the crazy stuff she gets from her uncles (and she seems to enjoy it too), but I wonder a little what they think at school... Who cares though!?

January 13
Living Room
Painted Leena's nails for the first time. So I had to paint mine to match. I love toddler sausage fingers so much!

January 14
He loves that mean cat, but it really is safest to observe her with a pane of glass for separation.

January 15
Just a regular walk through the hood.

January 16
Cartwheels and Coffee
Tried out this new place in Carytown and can't believe we haven't been there sooner. So much contained/easy to monitor entertainment for Leena and kids under 1 are free!

January 17
Living Room
Doing my PT exercises and getting a little extra weight resistance.

January 18
We made cookies for Julia's upcoming visit which was cemented in my brain for tomorrow. Luckily I sent her this picture to share our excitement and she politely asked how cookies were going to not get eaten for an entire week. Doh.

January 19
National popcorn day! I was really impressed that Leena didn't try to eat a single piece while doing the activity.

January 20
It's a fail day. Neither Andy nor I took a photo and I didn't even have one that I could fake (which I do on occasion. So sue me.) But here's what happened today. My sister and two of her best friends from high school came over for breakfast and we had a really nice visit.

January 21
While everyone is marching for all the reasons they are marching, I'm wishing I had figured out a way to go with both kids. But too late for that. Instead I'm spending the day with them, in one of our most usual ways, and being grateful that I get to spend almost every day with them, helping to shape them into the good people of the future.

January 22
Shady Grove
We got a Y membership and man is it great! Swimming in the winter with the kiddos is one of my new favorite activities.

January 23
This is usually how the hours of approximately 4 to 6 are spend every morning. And then occasionally afternoon nap also. I can't help but not mind the little bit of co-sleeping this guy requires.

January 24
General Assembly
Our morning date, in which we dressed like crash test dummies and awkwardly took pictures with people at the General Assembly. And got paid handsomely.

January 25
A new chalkboard. Leena is teaching Edwin how to use chalk. He hasn't gotten the no-eating memo yet.

January 26
Eye Doctor
 Edwin swats pretty hard and split my glasses right in two. I tried wearing some old glasses, but I got the worst headache after a couple hours. Luckily we had super glue, a pipe cleaner, and neon green duct tape to keep together for the mean time.

January 27
Buttermilk Bakeshop
So Julia finally came to town. (We made another batch of cookies.) We field tripped to Buttermilk and walked around historic Petersburg after stuffing our faces with delicious donuts.

January 28
Belle Isle
Our little homeless toddler, smokin on some pretzel rods. Cold, but beautiful day for a nature walk.

January 29
Animal ear headbands!

January 30
Cyborg Room
I love when something simple, like Andy's shirt, can keep Leena entertained for a good 45 minutes. Especially when the entertainment involves laying on the ground like a plaid rock or stuffing her head in the arm hole and walking around cautiously and sometimes bumping into walls.

January 31
Front Yard
Walking home from Ducky Day with her back pack under her jacket and no pants. Sounds about right.

Friday, February 3

a fanny pack christmas

December 1
Cyborg Room
When your toddler is helping to decorate for Christmas and she's naked.

December 2
If Edwin is half as hairy as Andy, he'll be able to grow his own beard like this by the time he's four.

December 3
Broad Street
Quite amazed by the Christmas Parade. Each time a group passed, it was "more, more." Meanwhile, he won't sleep in a quiet room in a comfortable bed, but no problems zipped into dad's coat and amidst shouts and music and sirens and any other loud noise you can think of. For two hours.

December 4
But the no-napper is eight months old (on the first) and very happy about that!

Bass Pro
We also went to see Santa because it's something to do. One screaming baby, check. One shy toddler, check. I wondered why all the other moms looked so done-up. They knew they would be in the photo also.

December 5
Back Yard
That shop. Still getting worked on, but getting closer. Here they are framing up the hip roof/covered area.

December 6
These two are awfully cute together some of the time. He adores her and I think she's pretty fond too.

December 7
Dunkin' Donuts
Our Christmas tree adventure begins with a donut snack. This was probably the most successful part of the day, but next year we will plan better and get the full experience we were hoping for.

December 8
I love when I upload my phone and find this. Someone has learned the art of the selfie. Maybe not the art of it, just the gist of it.

December 9
Poor Edwin has to wear Leena's hand-me-downs sometimes, including the bonnet I made her and can't let go of yet. It's more of a preview as to what he will look like in his    scrum cap.

December 10
Schemmel House
Holiday party at Sister's and the boys are starting to wrastle.

December 11
Under the Stairs
At our house we like to move things around a billion times instead of finding forever homes for them. This is a popular landing spot. Someday there will be a pantry there and it won't be an option.

December 12
I kind of can't wait for summer rains when it's warm and Leena can jump in all the puddles she wants without fear of getting sick in cold wet clothes.

December 13
Day date shopping for Christmas presents. I love me a shop kitty sleeping in the sunny window.

December 14
Living Room
My proudest wrapping moment. And Leena's first bike.

December 15
This old man had a birthday today, and while we didn't do anything extravagant, we had a nice day together as a family. And then we ate cake. And I tried to get "portraits" of the kids for grandparent Christmas gifts.

December 16
Ducky telling the story of Jesus' birth, in a roundabout way while setting up the nativity. Leena didn't care. She just wanted to play with the donkeys.

December 17
Smith/Peterson family Christmas was a fanny pack Christmas! (Thanks to Santa Robert.)

December 18
Living Room
Getting ready for the long haul. Only spending five nights in Little Rock, but all our stuff makes it look like a month.

December 19
Road trip commence! Andy just got off work and we have 1000 miles between us and our destination. Fingers (and toes) are crossed for smooth sailing.

December 20
Jackson, TN
Day two. Nearly there but we stopped for lunch at Casey Jones Village. Perfect place for kids to play and have a break from the car! And I got a penny for my smashed penny collection. (Yes, that is a thing.)

December 21
Beck Compound
Little Rock, AR
Cece's house is becoming one of our regular visits when we are in town. It's always so nice just to spend time with family. And Leena took to cousin-cousin Eden immediately, whether Eden wanted her to or not.

December 22
Dawson House
On my walk to Vanessa's with a sleeping Edwin, I passed Bonnie's house. The only Roller contact I had. And though it was brief, it was fulfilling!

December 23
Greers Ferry
Andy took this while he and Leena threw rocks into the lake for hours and I walked sleeping Edwin. (Notice a trend?) I actually didn't even go down to the water's edge. Something I wish I had done, but alas.

And a family Hold 'Em tournament, hats required.

December 24
Small House
The patriarch of the family guards the goods with his eyes closed. We did a book exchange white elephant, which was lots of fun. My Richmond coloring book contribution was a bit of a dud though. Oh, well.

December 25
Holy Souls
Little Rock
Here we have Hudson, Sylvia, Edwin, and Silas. Just some of the babies born in 2016! I love how quickly and exponentially our family grows.

December 26
Ole Sawmill Cafe
Somewhere still in Arkansas
Got a nice early start for our return trip. So early we had to stop for breakfast before we even hit Memphis.

December 27
ARC Park
Richmond, VA
Yes, we drove the entire way without a sleep stop, pulling into our driveway around 2 am. We figure the best thing to do is let the kids run around a park for awhile after that. And, if you didn't notice, Andy is wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

December 28
Schemmel House
Mini Christmas with the Schemmel's. Adah is showing off her new cat ear headband. Thanks, Auntie. (That's me. The auntie who gave the headband.)

December 29
Andy and I didn't really exchange gifts this year for many reasons, but he did surprise me with these flowers for surviving our trip. Because survival is what it felt like by the time it was all over.

December 30
I have not been an avid breastfeeding post-er/updater, but this is fairly significant because it marks the end of Edwin's and mine's journey: My last pump session. Not quite our year goal, but I'm perfectly happy with how far we made it. And not going to lie, don't miss the teeth biting me one bit.

December 31
We spent the last afternoon of the year at the garden and Andy spent it at work. Since it's the end of the year, I guess I can reflect a little on 2016.
It wasn't the best year. We lost three grandmothers and a dear friend, in a very short timeframe. We've been wrapped up in projects and stressed out. 
But there have also been some pretty great moments. We had a beautiful, healthy baby boy who is cuter than cute and lighting up our lives daily, even if he won't nap. And Leena is cracking us up and keeping us on our toes, in every way imaginable. We've been working on building dream shops and a home we are proud of and happy to be in. So bring it, 2017. We are ready to not have any babies and take it easy.

Lastly, if you missed it, the ultimate 2016 reflection: A one second every day video.