I guess I should have known better than to try to commit to writing a blog post every day this month. I do think about it daily (sometimes multiple times a day), just not when I'm at my computer with enough quite moments to write. So here are things I have been thankful for over the past few days...
5: My husband and how perfect he is for me. I'm seriously blessed with an amazing man who loves the Lord, loves me and loves our daughters deeply. He's always growing and always challenging me to do the same.
6: Our home. Although we don't know for sure whether we'll be in our house long term, it is a wonderful place to live and I am grateful for a warm, sound house that, though imperfect in many ways, is beautiful as well.
7: Leaves in our backyard. 95% of the leaves in our yard are actually from our neighbor's maple tree. And I'm fairly positive at least 2/3s of the trees leaves fall into our yard every year, not her's. But the tree provides us with lots of shade in the summer and the leaves have been such fun to rake this year since Elise "helps" me. She spends lots of time sitting in the leaf pile, picking up handfuls and leaves and re-depositing them in the yard and walking up to us saying, "Oooo!" as she finds new, pretty leaves to share.
8: Elise's verbal skills. Tomorrow she has a speech evaluation with a speech pathologist to make sure she's on track for her age. We're not concerned at all, but they like to have these appointments for toddlers who were as premature as she was to ensure they catch any deficiencies now rather than later. Given what a chatty Cathy she is, I don't think we have anything to worry about. On Friday she randomly said, "Kit!" and the had fun talking to her daddy and saying his name. And one of our favorite things that she says is "haw-hee" rather than "hee-haw" for a donkey sound. She hasn't ever reversed words any other words so we find it funny that she always says "haw-haw" even when we say it correctly right before she says it.
9: Homemade bread. I've been making a delicious bread recipe courtesy of my friend Melissa lately. You mix up a big batch of dough, let hit rise (no kneading necessary), cut off what you want to make right then and bake it, put the rest in the fridge and then take it out as needed to return to room temperature and bake later. It's super easy and incredibly tasty. It's especially nice now that the weather is chilly to have fresh bread with soups and other warm dinners.
10: Crocs. It's actually a bit embarrassing to admit this publicly since Kit told me at one point to hurt him if he ever wanted Crocs. But Kit, Elise and I all got a pair on our anniversary trip to the beach with the girls in September. And we love them. For Elise, they make the perfect shoe for playing in the backyard since they can get muddy and then wash up in seconds. For Kit, they make the perfect house shoe to wear around the house and to take Coco potty in. For me, I really hate to say this, but I've actually worn mine out of the house on multiple occasions. They super comfy and mine don't have the holes in them because I needed ones with better arch support (thanks to pregnancy changing my feet and causing them to ache at the slightly uncomfortability). So yes, we do have Crocs and must agree with all those who have gone before us in saying that they are really comfortable.
11: Cardboard boxes, yogurt container lids, spatulas and the like. It's wonderful to have free toys that entertain so much! As I'm typing this, Elise is actually playing in our drawer of plastic food storage containers for the first time and having quite a blast.
12: Cloth diapers. Yep, we made the switch to cloth in August. Never got around to mentioning it on the blog because, well, I've been busy with two little girls! We're exclusively using BumGenius Elementals, their organic cotton diapers with snaps. I decided that since they actually had everything I wanted from a cloth diaper (aka all of the features that I hadn't found in other diapers and that had kept me from using other diapers) and have a great reputation (I'm a big researcher of big purchases like this and hadn't ever been able to find anything in my research that gave me the peace of mind I needed from other users until I found these). Although I'm not a fan of cleaning out the poop (we use a diaper sprayer attached to the toilet), and it's sometimes a pain to remember to put them in the washer, I do love using cloth and haven't regretted making the switch.
13: Elise's little imagination and communication. Saturday we had a leadership workshop at church from 9am-2pm. Both girls were in childcare, and I would go to their classroom every so often to get Evie and feed her. Both girls did a great job and Elise was chatty (as usual) on our way home. She was also singing. One of her songs went like this, "Silly sissy, Coco crazy, ba-gock!" I love that she was being creative and combined her goofy sister, slightly psychotic dog and a chicken ("ba-gock" is her chicken sound) into a song.
14: Evelyn's healthy lungs. I've mentioned before that this little girl can cry like you wouldn't believe. It literally makes your eardrums rattle. Although it can be very grating, it's also a sign that she has healthy lungs. Given the many weeks Elise spent on CPAP and then learning to not forget to breath, it's such a blessing for Evie's lungs to be so healthy.
15: Friends. We have so many good friends and are very blessed in that way. Last night we had some of our dear friends from the NICU, Paul and Susan and their son, Anthony, over for dinner. We hadn't seen them in a while and had a great time catching up. Kit and Paul are basically twins who were separated at birth and by a few years of age...every time the two of them hang out they figure out yet another thing they have in common. It's quite ridiculous actually. I'm glad for friends like the Carsons and for all our other fabulous friends.