So... Now that I've finished and posted the 2016 Recap a whole year late, it's time for our whirlwind review of 2017! Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and enjoy the photos!
Elinor started the year off with a bang-- and by that, I mean a wordsplosion. She started referring to at least a dozen of her favorite books by name and, in general got better and better at communicating. She also discovered a passion for pandas (or "bambin", as she pronounced it), and a profound dislike for the "rarring", a.k.a. the vacuum cleaner. I started our first attempt at potty training, but nothing came of it that month. I also finished a custom made Supergirl doll that I started to make the month before as a Christmas present for Michael. It was a nice, quiet month.
|Supergirl, based on the CW show version played by Melissa Benoist|
|Elinor, smiling for the camera|
|Snow! Elinor loved it!|
This month mostly consisted of me trying to figure out how to get Elinor to nap, and Michael and I starting up a search for a house to buy. The apartment felt smaller and smaller as Elinor grew bigger and bigger, so we felt like it was time. Also, I managed to finish a drawing for the first time in months!
|Outdoor fun on a warm(ish) spring(ish) day.|
|Watching baby bambins on the Youtube.|
|Vin, from Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series|
This month started off on a sad note-- my sweet, cuddly, 17 year old cat passed away after a long and happy life spent dipping his paw in his water bowl, jumping into my top bunk bed to snuggle on cold winter mornings, and inhaling way too many blades of grass. On a happier note, my goofer bean turned two! I threw her a lavish "Panda Picnic" party, which she enjoyed despite the fact that only two children showed up. Most of her friends at this point were grown-ups anyway, so it worked out. Also, we found out that we were expecting a brand new addition to the family! Super exciting (except for the morning sickness part, which I'd managed to escape while pregnant with Elinor. Oh well.) Another high note was a visit to the Kalamazoo Living history show with Grandma and Grandpa Jennys, which allowed them to show us off to many of their friends, and gave us all happy memories to treasure.
|Me and the best cat ever, taken in May 2016|
|Panda Picnic Party fun!|
|More birthday adventures!|
|Our pregnancy announcement: New Reader Coming Soon!|
This month was a mix of sweet and sour. Morning sickness and a swath of dentist appointments made life rough, but OB appointments, Easter, and Michael's birthday added joy to the mix. We started feeling settled into our church and small group, which was also exciting. Add in gobs of pleasant weather and we had quite a nice month!
|Elinor graduated to front-facing this month!|
|Stealing Mama's seat... and her milkshake!|
|Dollbaby and her donut|
|Me and my favorite birthday present!|
I spent most of June thinking about pee... that's right, we started working on potty training again. It kind of eats your life for a while. But, on a more pleasant note, Michael and I also went and saw Wonder Woman together (it was fantastic!) and were given an A/C unit for our apartment. I made Elinor a Pringles Man plush (yes, really!), and, happiest of all, we found out that Baby Inside was actually Aurora. Super exciting!
|Elinor, waiting to see if her sister would be a boy or a girl.|
This month, Elinor finally finished potty training, and also made the switch from afternoon naps to afternoon rest time. She started expressing herself in more complex ways and learning new words almost faster than I could learn to decipher them. We all enjoyed a week off at the annual Hardy Clan Vacation, though Elinor hated the sand with a passion. She did learned to be okay with the water as long as I held her tight. By the end, she even managed to be okay with playing with the sand, as long as it didn't touch her legs or feet. Progress!
|Cool time pool time!|
|The Handsomeface and me|
|How Elinor felt about the sand.|
|Learning to love the water.|
In August, my grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary! So I made some art for them. Our house search continued fruitlessly, as we encountered dead animals, potentially fatal structural defects, and smells that could knock a man down at sixty paces. We had some fun times, too, baking and getting ready for the baby, and getting a few good laughs out of Elinor's new bedtime habit of sitting on the potty till she conked out and tipped onto the carpet with her tush in the air. Quite nice, overall.
|The picture was taken while the painting was still wet... And I forgot to snap one once it was framed. Oops.|
|Checking out the solar eclipse.|
|Lots of love for Baby Aurora|
|Baking is fun!|
The house hunt continued, with more potentially fatal structural defects and an oh-so-close house that was super nice but had a bunch of outbuildings all built over the property lines. That was when I decided I was done. There was no hope of moving before the baby came, so why not take a break from the drama? We looked at a few more listings, but I don't think we actually visited any more houses for a while. In between house hunting jaunts, Michael and I used the RenFest tickets he won last year to go and join a cosplay contest. We didn't win, but making costumes and wandering the festival was super fun, so it was totally worth it. We celebrated Elinor's half birthday by making watermelon popsicles, and then eating them all up before I had a chance to snap a photo of the finished product. Yes, they were that good! Add in a "first day of school" library trip and a sneak peek at baby Aurora, and we ended up with a September to remember!
|Wonder Warrior and Batgirl|
|We didn't really do school that fall, but this kid just takes such cute pictures!|
|My beautiful baby!|
|And my beautiful big girl!|
In October, things were a little bit crazy. Aurora's due date was November 9, and Elinor was ten days early, so October became Get Ready for Baby month. I'd put it off during the house hunt, since I didn't want to get everything ready just to pack it up and move to a new place, but with some help from my mom, I got things whipped into shape. Even so, I managed to find time to take Elinor apple picking, and, later, to an fun, touristy-type orchard where she met her new best friend, Giant Pumpkin (she's a weird kid). Michael and I also celebrated our fifth anniversary, and Michael made his first foray into sewing from a pattern in order to make part of his Halloween costume. I skipped out on a costume this year in favor of getting ready for Aurora. Of course, we finished out the month with trick-or-treating, which Elinor enjoyed even more than last year!
|Tractoring around at the orchard.|
(I told you she's a weird kid!)
|Pumpkins! I carved the Tangled one, and my mom and I collaborated on the |
Little Green Robot one for Elinor, based on her favorite shirt.
|Martian Manhunter and Dr. Strange, AKA Michael and a friend from church.|
|A little Pikachu, all ready to go snag some candy!|
We started November off with a bang as Michael got thwacked in the head with an empty drywall-mud pan, earning him ten stitches. Less than a week later we added in an even bigger bang as, just a few days before her due date, Aurora made her very dramatic debut. From start to finish, that labor lasted about two and a half hours, and before you say it, no, you don't wish your labor was that short! It sure was worth it, though, to finally meet our little Punkin in person. Elinor was a trooper through the ride to the hospital and the overnight stay at Grandma and Grandpa's, and even stopped eating breakfast halfway through to insist that Grandpa take her to go "meet Baby Aurora already!" The rest of the month was pretty calm. Michael worked, I relaxed, and we all got used to our new family-of-four dynamic.
|Brand New Aurora!|
|On her way...|
|...to meet her baby!|
|First family photo!|
|All dolled up and ready to go home.|
|Elinor having some fall fun!|
This month was a whirlwind! We started the month by going to look at a house. I had kind of thought that we'd hold off on the house search until after New Year's, but it was a two-bedroom, two-bath house right in our very nice neighborhood, so we went anyway. It was amazing: no chokingly strong stenches, no potentially fatal structural defects, no dead animals, and close enough to our price range that we could hope to possibly afford it. Long story short, we're closing in February! Merry Christmas to us! Speaking of Christmas, besides the whirlwind of house-buying stuff (mostly taken care of by Michael), there was a whirlwind of Christmas prep. I had a way-too-long list of stuff I wanted to do; baking, sewing, ornament making, shopping... the works. Long story short, at about two o'clock Christmas morning, I checked off the last item on my to do list! Christmas itself was wonderful, packed with gifts, family, food, and fun.
|Elinor helping with Christmas prep.|
|All the projects I did. I may have a slight crafting problem.|
|Decorating the tree (which Elinor named Nutternut!)|
|Elinor with a favorite gift.|
|Aurora with a favorite gift.|
|My girls being adorable.|
|Merry (very belated) Christmas!|
So there you have it, the Jennys Family 2017! Thanks for reading, and here's to a bright and beautiful new year.