Erin Virginia

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fiona - 18 Months

Fiona is 18 months old. She loves running around the house, climbing stairs (and anything else) and playing with her toys. She can't be read to enough, although she lets us know her book preferences by pushing away those she doesn't like. At night, she stalls going to sleep by trying to close books when there is only one or two pages left and then quick grabs for another. One of her little quirks is that she likes to carry little objects around in her hands. It's rare that she's not clutching something, whether it be a couple crackers (first choice), rocks, a spoon and mixing bowl or an extra pacifier. She prefers carbs more than anything else, although she eats some fruits and vegetables. Her vocabulary hasn't increased drastically, although she seems to be picking up a few more words and has started to attempt her own name. If she sees pictures in the house, she loves to point out "mama," "dada," "wawa" (Greta) and can  point to most other family members if we ask her where they are.
We've had some tough nights with her lately, maybe due to her cold or maybe just due to a phase we aren't identifying. After months of generally sleeping through the night, Fiona is now waking up 1-2 times per night and one of those times will have a hard time going back to sleep. We let her sleep in our bed with us when she woke up at night while we stayed in Indiana over Christmas, so as to not wake up the rest of the household. Now, if I try to rock her back to sleep at night after she has been crying for a while, she gets very upset and points at the door to her bedroom insistently, indicating that she wants to come to our room. She slept through the night last night at least.

She loves swimming with Chris at the YMCA

Giving cousin Cora a hug

Dumping Cheerios into my boot

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

House Updates

A couple months ago, we updated the basement to make it a more comfortable area for Fiona to play. We ripped out the old, whitish carpet that was stained from Greta's "adjustment" period to the house and from the recent water heater leak. The before picture below shows the old carpet in decent condition, but that was an old photo. After installation of the new carpet, Chris and I assembled a couch and shelves from Ikea, and the room became much more welcoming. Fiona loves to play in the basement, probably because she's not as familiar with the toys downstairs and she has so much room to play.

Basement Before

Basement After

Right after replacing the water heater, Chris and I spontaneously decided to fix up our nightmare of a laundry room. We spent two nights after Fiona went to bed clearing out the miscellaneous items that had accumulated since we moved over two years ago, laid new stick tiles and painted the mismatched walls. Chris also built a folding table later in the week. The laundry overhaul probably cost about $120 for the tile, paint, rollers and folding table materials, and I'm extremely happy with the outcome. I'd like to replace the existing paint-stained utility sink sometime soon, but there's no urgency. 

I took a few pictures of the laundry after we started the project, so this isn't the true worst of it. 

Laundry Room After

Thursday, January 02, 2014


December was busy for us with bursts of activity leading to a relatively low-key Christmas Day. We had a church party and neighborhood party mid-December and attended a Christmas Eve service at our church. We woke up Christmas morning and opened gifts to each other and tried to get Fiona interested in unwrapping her gifts (a rocking horse, Noah's ark cut-out, doll and books), but she was more interested in the wrapping paper. I think next year will be more exciting for her. Since Jamie was out-of-town, my parents decided to drive to our house on Christmas to spend more time together around Fiona's nap. After my parents arrived, we spent the day visiting and eating: smoked salmon and cheese and fruit for an appetizer and then more fish for dinner.

Fiona trying out her new horse

A slow nap-time wake-up
On December 26, we flew to Indiana to spend almost a week with Chris' family. For most of the trip, the entire family was in Indiana (Chris' parents, Allison and Rob and their kids, as well as Katie and Matt). We had a ton of fun, and the four kids certainly raised the excitement and noise level. Mike and Rhonda hosted Christmas parties for both sides of their family, so we caught up with almost everyone. 

Open it, open it!

Lilly tries on flower girl dresses for Katie's wedding

Pettet Christmas

Leckrone Christmas

Fiona was more interested in standing on the activity table

Loving on Toby, the newest member of the Leckrone family

A four generation picture with Fiona, Chris, Rhonda and Bobbi

Heading home after a fun visit and sticker fun on the plane