Just when I thought life with a 2 year old couldn't get any more challenging, Ellie caught a cold. We had a little micromanager with a situation she couldn't control. She found the copius snot beyond comprehension, and the last-day chest-clearing coughing just made her mad. Ellie seems to agree with her papa that being sick is a complete waste of time and energy, and being germ-ridden is no good. Thankfully, it was just a little cold, and she is (nearly) back to full steam after a trying four days.
Ellie is becoming more and more 2-year-old-y every day. She completely runs the household. I say that you always wish for your children to be really smart until they are. She is a CEO, and she manages her two staffers like you wouldn't believe. When baby #2 comes, I'm sure baby will be managed as well. There will be none of this conform-to-the-newborn's-schedule foolishness!
Speaking of baby #2, the pregnancy is going really well! The exhaustion of the first trimester is behind us, and the heavy sluggishness (and insomnia) of the third trimester has yet to begin. The second trimester is the place to be, and I'm very comfortable here!
Settling back into routine has felt wonderful. Children thrive on a schedule, and so does this full-time mom. Ellie resumed music class this week. While we were away, the teacher changed locations to accommodate for the larger group size. She also was able to add a closed session for regulars, and we got into that one. Hooray! Now the group is not too big, the songs are all new, and Ellie is so happy to be back! This week, we celebrated Halloween a little early in music class and the kids dressed up. Ellie wore her new princess dress for the first time. The dress is a birthday present from Mimi (thank you, Mimi!) that Ellie picked out herself (see her carrying it daintily out to the car).
Until this week, she hasn't wanted to put it on, but instead has been fully contented with stroking the big glittery skirt in appreciation. Of course, once she had it on, she didn't want to take it off. Ellie was far too interested in all the new songs and sights of her music class this week to stop and pose for mama paparazzi, but I will try to get more pics of her on Halloween.
Being home again has also meant visits with friends. Ellie had a playdate with her friend Hannah, and Mama had a playdate with her friend Katja (whom Ellie loves). Mama and Katja met up for kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake), and Ellie enjoyed her "baby-chino" (steamed and frothy milk sans coffee).
Yesterday morning, we even made a trip to the zoo. It had been a long time since Ellie had visited her favorite animals, and she was anxious to check in on the giraffes, elephants, "kitties" (AKA tigers), and butterflies. Unbeknownst to us, right now is school holidays for Dutch kids, and the zoo was indeed a zoo. We opted for visiting our favorites and running away home, which wasn't such a tough call on a cold foggy Dutch day.
One more tidbit of new activities to report: Jennifer has started piano lessons. I have wanted to learn since I was in grade school, and I figured it was time to stop saying, "I wish I knew how to play" and just do it! My lessons are only 30 minutes each week and no recitals (HOORAY!), and I'm very excited! I also resumed yoga class after three months' hiatus and was made to regret my lack of discipline in not practicing on my own while I was away (so sore the next day!). I'm very lucky to have such a supportive partner who not only encourages me to take time for myself, but also takes such good care of Ellie while I do that I can really enjoy it (she doesn't miss me at all).
That's about it for us. What's new with you?