I’ve been back at work now for 3 weeks, and Eric and I are both pretty tired! It’s going well, but I can’t say it’s been easy. Still, we’re grateful. The baby is taking the bottle well and still sleeping well at night, so overall it’s going about as smoothly as we could expect.

Henrik is still cute and chubby. He’s started rolling over from his tummy to his back, and he seems close to going from back to tummy but hasn’t quite pulled it off yet. He can cover a fair amount of ground, though, just scooting around by pushing with his legs.

He’s been fussier than usual the past few days, and drooling like crazy, so we suspect there may be a tooth coming in. Nothing poking through yet, though. Eric discovered the absolute best position for calming him:

Face down on our legs – seriously, it’s like magic!

He’s also pretty social so far – he likes to be where the action is, which means it’s hard to put him down while we try to eat meals and stuff. He’s not exactly starving for attention, though!

In fact, Calvin has really gotten into the baby lately and wants to hold him a lot and has tried a few times to pick him up without mommy or daddy helping, which is a big no-no. Still, it’s very cute to see. Calvin always congratulates himself when he holds the baby: “Good job holding baby Henrik!”

Calvin’s changing on a daily basis, getting more grown up, more verbal, more social. Here he is with Carter, my cousin Micah’s son:

He’s going through a phase right now where he really likes things a certain way and gets totally bummed out if we change anything (e.g. he wants to close the van door immediately after we buckle the straps on his car seat, and he freaks out if there’s a delay). We’re trying to pick our battles, but he’s getting pretty bossy about some stuff and we don’t want him to think he’s the dictator. Typical 3-year-old stuff, I think. For the most part he’s still very good-tempered and sweet, and he cracks us up every day.

Plus, he’s gotten so much better at telling us what he wants that I’ll take a little bossiness in trade – the improvement in his communications skills over the past couple of months has just been phenomenal.

He’s still puzzle-obsessed – some kids are puzzle kids, and Calvin definitely is one of them. My niece Ione was like that at about the same age. I’m really fascinated watching him look at the picture on the box and figure out where pieces belong. Once he’s done a puzzle a couple of times he gets really fast and he’ll do it with this intensity that’s kind-of funny, like he’s trying to beat the clock or something. It reminds me of the scenes of guys playing speed chess  in the park in Searching for Bobby Fischer. We keep getting bigger puzzles hoping they’ll keep him occupied a little longer, so he’s up to 100 piece puzzles now. We help him through the first couple of times, saying things like “find the pieces that have part of a giraffe on them” or something like that. Then you hear him talking himself through the puzzles later: “find all the pieces of yellow,” or “where’s Sandy’s guitar?” He likes 3D types of puzzles and games as well as jigsaws. My mom has a ball that’s made of magnetic pieces that you have to put together in a certain way to make the ball shape – he’s totally into it.

He has two little Duplo men (like Lego, but a little bigger) that came with some Duplo building sets, and he named them both George. I don’t really know why, but it just cracks me up. He just seems so excited to have two Georges. If one George is good, two must be better, right?

He’s very interested in shapes, and making new shapes out of things. He uses crayons and pencils and blocks and twigs and whatever he can find to make squares and triangles and octagons (pretty much anything with more than 4 sides is an octagon right now). He uses diamond and triangle shaped blocks to make rockets and butterflies. Our neighbor’s Norfolk Pine tree has long clusters of needles that fall from the tree and are bendy until they dry out.  He loops them and calls them balloons, or puts several together and makes rainbows. I feel like I’m always marveling over normal child development, but it still seems so amazing to me how much stuff kids just figure out on their own without being formally taught. I know we could work with Calvin and teach him more because he’s such a sponge and he just soaks it right up, but I get a huge kick out of seeing where his mind takes him without our direction.

So, the kids are doing well. Eric and I are looking forward to the remodel being done so we can get a little more relaxing in. We’ve passed a bunch of inspections lately and made some good progress. The drywall is done, and the outside of the addition is prepped for stucco which is supposed to go on this week. It’s starting to really look like part of the house.

Very soon we’ll start painting and putting the floors in. Woohoo! I think I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.

That’s pretty much what we’ve been up to lately. I know our family members who are far away would always love to see more pics of the kids and hear about what they’re doing from week to week – I’m sorry I’ve been so bad about blogging, but now that we’re all getting adjusted to the new schedule I hope I’ll be able to get my act together and post a little more often.

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