We have been busy as usual lately. Not necessarily out of the house every day, but busy raising toddlers. Juniper has been walking since January and is really keeping me on my toes. She loves to climb as well and yesterday climbed onto the back of a recliner chair that we have, which would not have ended well.
It is really interesting to see the different personalities that our kids have! Abel was a bit fussy as a baby (I was expecting it to be much harder so he seemed easy, for a newborn) but has been a pretty chill toddler and is rather cautious. Juniper was the easiest baby (still a baby, still hard work, but very relaxed and happy!). She didn’t sleep through the night as soon as Abel did, though, and I did look forward to her being a toddler so she would be a little less demanding. Joke’s on me! Juniper is a very high-maintenance toddler, the stage of always getting into everything and always eating everything seems to be lasting a very long time. She is a real go-getter and feisty. She really lives up to that red hair she’s got.
Abel will be three next month, and it is just so fun watching him grow and learn. He is talking so much lately and I’ve been writing down some of the funny and sweet things he says. He is very thoughtful and encouraging. Often if I am sitting down on the couch he will run to get me a blanket and say, ‘I get you a blanket mummy, here you go, it’s yours!’ His common hilarious phrases are ‘what’s going on here?’ ‘you’re doing great!’ ‘I love you all the most’ ‘oh my goosint!’ (goodness).
Juniper, living life on the edge, literally.
When we initially bought this house, we planned to put up some gates at the edges of the yards, as one of our first projects. Eventually though, I decided it wasn’t that necessary and we decided not to. Now I’m chasing Juniper all over every time we go outside. This week actually, she has been a lot better about staying where she is supposed to, so she is learning!
I planted a garden here and was so excited to grow butternut pumpkins. We got a few tiny pumpkins begin to grow and then fall off and die. I was very disappointed but it’s hard to maintain a garden at the moment. As I mentioned before, I have to chase after Juniper and it’s very hard to get things done when you have to drop everything every few minutes. So I accepted that we probably won’t have a garden for now, and it’s fine. I pulled up the old plants, and Abel has been really enjoying playing in the dirt with this truck that his cousin gave him, so for now I’m just leaving it.
We found these scooters that the kids are eating in this picture, on Facebook Marketplace for free. They’re a little old but work just great and the kids love them!
In January we went to visit Jared’s brother and his family in Rotorua. We hadn’t travelled far since Juniper was born, and she did not enjoy the drive back, but we really enjoyed seeing them and getting out of Northland again! It’s about a six-hour drive, so we don’t go regularly, but ever since, Abel has been asking to go to Uncle Brad’s house at least once a week.
At the beginning of this year I made a goal to read 20 books. I really enjoy reading and I have been making an effort this year to do it more. I’ve been keeping track of them in my Little Red House planner, which I love and use every day! I can’t wait to order next year’s planner. My favourite genres are fiction (I know that’s super broad haha) and memoirs. The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, and The Sound of Gravel were both very good memoirs, about heavy topics. I also enjoyed Peggy Vincent’s Midwife memoirs, and for once was fascinated by a non-fiction book, Fast Food Nation. The last book I finished was Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo and I loved it!
I am still doing my photography here and there, and helping my friend with Crate a Celebration more regularly. It’s a good balance of a little bit of work but not so much that I can’t function as a stay-at-home mom, too, which is getting busier as the kids get a bit older. We’re sort of going through two nap transitions at the moment, too. Juniper sometimes has one nap instead of two, and Abel sometimes skips his nap altogether, but neither are fully ready to make the change.
Juniper’s hair has grown a lot this year and the back is long enough for the cutest little pigtails! However, as soon as she realises they’re in, she pulls them out. She had several weeks where she would actually leave a headband in her hair but now she is back to ripping them off (and then trying to put them back on, herself).
We’re having fun with these crazy little kids! We love going to the library too, and were taking a walk almost every day before we got sick in April and completely lost our routine, and apparently haven’t added that part back. There is a library close to our house but we haven’t been able to visit the main branch in town for several months, so when we went there a few weeks ago, the kids really loved it! Juniper especially loved the fish tank and I enjoyed having more books to choose from. The kids sections in the small branch libraries are much smaller. Abel has been enjoying the Magic Tree House books (I read them aloud to him) and Hairy Maclary, Danny and the Dinosaur, and Clifford, among others. Juniper likes walking around chewing on the corners of the books, so we try to keep the ones that aren’t board books out of her reach. And always keep the clear tape on hand because… toddlers.