Sigh. It looks like I'm not going to be able to post any pictures any time soon, since our main computer is on the fritz and the camera adapter has gone mysteriously missing. So it seems we're all going to have to make do with a giant wall o' text. Enjoy.
Jim is awesome. He is talking SO well lately. He's putting two and sometimes three words together, and his vocabulary is now huge and more-or-less understandable (to us, anyway). His funniest mispronunciation is 'geesh da!' which means 'I love you.' I have no idea why, but it does. I'm also fond of 'seggy,' which means 'scary.' In addition to his immense store of words, he also now knows all his colors and shapes, and he can count accurately to three (he can identify if there are one, two, or three dinosaurs in a picture, for example, but anything more than three reverts back to two as a default).
One of his favorite activities at the moment is telling stories. A couple nights ago he insisted on 'reading' The Cat in the Hat to me. His story went more or less as follows (with page-turning as needed): Babies! Cat! Hat! Rake and cake and fish and book and milk and boat! CRASH! Uh oh! Thing two and thing two! Uh oh! MESS! Uh oh, mama, SCARY! Mess! Clean up clean up clean up! Good job!
Yeah, Jim speaks exclusively in exclamation marks.
In other news, Jim continues to be the most stereotypical boy that ever lived. His favorite things are dinosaurs ("Dinos! RAAAAAAAAAAR! Seggy!") and rocket ships ("Rocka sip! One two three two five BOOOOOOM!"). He has more or less stopped building houses with his blocks and now exclusively makes rocket ships, which are just like houses only more vertical. He gets very annoyed when they don't actually lift off when he yells BOOOOM.
Alas, the poor kid is also pretty accident prone. He bashes some part or other practically every day. On Sunday he took the worst fall I think he's ever had. I was upstairs sleeping in (hurray for Noah!), so all I heard was the CRASH and the WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, but upon going downstairs I heart all about it. Apparently the poor kid decided to just jump off the couch and land forehead-first on the edge of the coffee table. His entire forehead was one hugely swollen goose egg, with a horizontal line running the width of it. He still has about two inches of line left on his forehead. As you might expect, he actually quite enjoys telling that story, too. It goes: CRASH table! Hurt! Ice coooold! Hurt!
On a less pleasant note, he's also decided that hitting/kicking/headbutting/tackling/etc are all enjoyable activities. He's a pretty painful kid at the moment. Noah usually gets it all out of his system with some controlled games of tackle, but he still gets into the occasional hitting fit. We've started doing time outs in his room (just two minutes or so), and that works pretty well. Hopefully he grows out of it soon.
As you all probably know by now, Baby No-no is a girl! We've decided to call her Charlotte Mae, and we'll be using Lottie as a nickname. We just had an ultrasound Wednesday, during which we got many adorably creepy 3-D pictures that I can't show you because of computer issues. She's apparently around a pound and four ounces, which puts her at roughly 50th percentile across the board. I'm kind of curious how accurate the ultrasound estimates will be this time, since they had Jim at around 70th percentile right before birth but he turned out to be a teeny tiny baby.
The Wednesday ultrasound was actually supposed to be an echo with a real live doctor to check on Lottie's heart, since the tech found a murmur at her 20 week ultrasound. Alas, the doctor had some kind of emergency elsewhere this time, so we didn't get the full work-up, but the tech looked at it and said that as far as she could tell, everything looks normal and there is no murmur to be seen. So hopefully she's outgrown it already! We're going back in another two weeks to get the full echo done, though, just to be sure.
I tend to think she's okay, though. She's the most vigorous little thing in the world, and already hurts my poor bladder/cervix/ribcage/etc more than you'd think any 1-pound creature possibly could. My biggest struggle at the moment is convincing Noah that she needs cute girl things. He's convinced that she can just wear Jim's old camo and tractor gear until she's a teenager. I've managed to get him to consent to a few cute girly things from the thrift store, so I think we're on the right track.
The Rest of Us
Noah and I have been completely consumed with working on the house lately. So far we've painted both upstairs bathrooms (which included spending a full week stripping wallpaper, yeuch - I will never ever ever again buy a house with wallpaper in it), finally finished the dining room ceiling (almost - still have to sand and paint it), redid the stinky closet downstairs, patched and painted all the duct-tape-covered holes above the stove, and thoroughly sorted out the fireplace room. We've got a huge long list of projects still to be done yet. Other than that, we have been pretty boring. This weekend we're going up to Charlotte with grand plans of apple-picking with Emmy and Ilya. I'll take a lot of pictures, of course, but it looks like nobody will be able to see them for a few weeks yet. Such is life, ja?