My dear readers, I think I’m finally ready to touch this little corner of the internet again. I took a long, unscheduled break as our family trudged through the stress and busyness of last semester, and it carried on well past our holiday travels. Poor J has had so much on his plate:  multiple GRE tests, PhD applications/writing samples/recommendations, the presentation of a paper of his at a conference in the Midwest, and, of course, the normal workload of the semester. I actually think we handed that season quite well, despite the mountain of challenges.

Now J has roughly ten weeks left of his time at Duke. PhD application results are rolling in, slow as molasses. The snow is melting and Spring is just around the corner. We’re constantly reworking the math to figure out if we can afford to live on a meager stipend for the next five years. Oh, and I’m pregnant. (We are thrilled! More on this later.) We are on the cusp of so much change right now that I’m finding it impossible to live in the moment. I’ve never been known for my patience, and I’d rather start making all of these adjustments now. Nevertheless, here we are and I must wait.

Anyway, as usual I would like to take this time to rant and rave about the preciousness that is my firstborn. Finnegan is a whole year and a half now. His personality is huge, his sense of humor is remarkable, and his eagerness to experience and understand is simply inspiring. He has finally decided to pick up a couple of words:  dough-jee (doggie), kiggy (kitty), nine-o (dino), mum (more), hun-gee (hungry), and so on. These words are peppered throughout his usual strangely commanding baby talk, which probably gets him the most attention by strangers, only second to his red hair. His answer to nearly every question is “no,” with exception to one (this is possibly the most tear-inspiring — for me — development I could share:  if I ask Finnegan if I love him, he gives me lots of huge, enthusiastic nods of his head. Tears… forever. He also always, always, always offers a kiss to Mama. He has a whole mouthful of teeth, really; he got eight all at once over Christmas and I think we’re just waiting on those last molars now. He has grown into a lanky little guy, with skinny arms and legs and an impressive belly. He developed a fear of the dark and likes to sleep with his door open now. He loves other kids and is so wildly tough in his spunky play that it is almost concerning. “You really let him fend for himself, don’t you?” a mom said to me the other day at the playground. “…Yeah, he doesn’t really need my help.” Its true.

Finnegan’s current hobbies include:  walking backwards, dancing to any/all music, singing the Handy Manny song, exploring the outdoors, playing with cars and trucks, touching (destroying) all phones and laptops, eating blueberries, doing somersaults, making phone calls, talking about doggies, wearing my shoes, knocking on doors, and waving to bu-dee (birdies).

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