Attention burglars: Our house will be occupied pretty much 24/7 through the holidays. Not only does my wife’s schedule include all the actual holiday days this season (we like the extra pay), but I’m personally still worn out from the last few months.
Traveling doesn’t wear me out as much as being social or breaking my routines. I guess this means my brain is getting old. But each month since July, we’ve either hosted someone here, or traveled, or both. (We hosted Valentina and Kristin, traveled to Odessa, Oklahoma, and New York, just to name a few). My wife loves these events, but I’m always left exhausted — mentally. It was my decision to not plan any holiday trips.
Also, during our November visit to New York, my wife finally agreed with me that we shouldn’t travel anywhere again until Rebecca can sleep through the night and consistently eat something besides human milk. She alternates from sleeping long stretches and eating everything to waking up every hour and eating almost nothing.
One change that I think will stick: Over the last two weeks, she’s switched from two naps a day (10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) to one nap a day (about 1 p.m.) It means there’s slightly less down time for me, but it’s a sign of maturity on her part, which is encouraging.
Rebecca added her eighth word yesterday: paper, pronounced “paa paa”, while excavating pieces of paper from the recycling bin. Also yesterday, she tried to learn the word “wheel”, but didn’t get close enough for me. She kept tapping the wheels on her dump truck toy and looking at me, which is her way of saying “What is this?” As I repeated the word, the closest she got was “eee”. Same thing with “zipper” a few days ago: she pronounces it “ptptpt” (is that how you spell the ‘raspberry’ sound?)
She’s also finally starting to give to me things she finds on the floor instead of putting them in her mouth. This is a huge improvement and if it continues will be a stress-reliever. Perhaps if our house was less clean, she’d be less interested in every little speck she finds. But she’s a neat freak. When eating at the high chair, if one speck of food drips from the spoon to the tray, she will point at it until I wipe it clean and won’t eat until the spot is gone.
She can get off our bed by herself — swinging her legs over the side and sliding down. The last few inches is a straight drop, but she lands on her feet. (She can’t get on it by herself yet.)
My wife’s January schedule (always subject to change) looks very nice right now — a series of four days at work followed by three days off, throughout the month. It’s the most regular schedule she’s had since moving here, so it’ll almost be like a normal work week. Except she’ll always be working weekends. Again, this is by choice because there’s a weekend pay differential.
All of Rebecca’s presents (the ones we bought) are wrapped and under the tree — my wife assures me this will be the last Christmas we do this. Her family’s tradition is to keep the presents hidden until Christmas Eve at midnight (when Santa brings them). Shrug. My parents always mentioned Santa, but I don’t think any of us kids ever really believed in it. When we stayed up late on Christmas Eve, it wasn’t to catch Santa — we were trying to catch our parents in the act of playing Santa (and we never did make it). A gift from Valentina arrived yesterday; I’ll wrap it tonight.
She’ll get some gifts later. My parents bought a couple of gifts for Rebecca that she’ll receive upon our next visit to Oklahoma, whenever that will be.
The gifts that my wife and I bought for each other have arrived — most of them, but we haven’t wrapped them yet. It’s going to be a small Christmas this year, except for Rebecca. Our HOA (homeowners association) has demanded the entirety of 2012′s fees up front, even for residents who are up to date on their payments. Also, the trip to New York wasn’t cheap.
For my wife and I, as usual, our real Christmas will come in March when we get our income tax refund check.