This isn't really a blog anymore but I think it can be a substitute for a holiday letter, which we're not doing either.
Leah is now 3. Yesterday we had a swim party at the South Side YMCA. A small group, but everyone who came had fun splashing around then taking strawberry cupcakes to go.
Hard to imagine that the last time I wrote something here, I was talking about her language taking off. She of course can now say whatever she thinks of. Leah really likes puzzles and building toys and games like concentration and Candyland. She's great on her scooter. She sings. A lot. She loves to paint and has excellect control over her water colors. Susan and her teachers all agree that she's quite a ham; she loves being silly and entertaining those around her. She and Kate are very close and they almost always prefer to be together vs apart. They like to play together, especially pretend games like camping.
Kate is in her second year at the Lab School and Leah is in a room of 2-turning-3 year olds at Akiba Schechter. They've both been doing swimming and ballet this fall and Kate was in the Hyde Park School of Dance Pre-Ballet Holiday show again, this time in the Frosty the Snowman number. Leah is an enthusiastic swimmer and Kate has been working hard so that she can now swim a bit of breaststroke all by herself. Kate also has piano lessons and within a few months has exceeded my ability to help her out with practice.
On weekends, the Farvewidigdos often go to the city's museums: the Children's museum, Aquarium, Field Museum, Zoo or the Science Museum. We go to birthday parties and our favorite casual restaurants. The kids like to cook and bake with mom; Kate usually cracks the eggs and Leah is becoming trustworthy with pouring and stirring. Over the summer we started going to the lake shore quite often and Matt and Kate will start going to the outdoor ice rink again soon.
We had some nice excursions this summer: to Indiana for fruit picking or to go to a working dairy farm and to the burbs for the Santas Village kiddie amusement park (huge hit!). And of course we went out for apples and pumpkins in the fall. And like last year, we spent a long weekend in the early summer at Nana's and took a week to rent a house in Union Pier, MI.
We had very little beach weather for the Michigan trip but had a great time nonetheless. Stayed at the same house and Kate played with a girl she played with last year (very sweet!) and again we flew in lobsters for a special meal. Kate and I collected a lot of beach charcoal, which we later gave to her school class for a project. We went fruit and veggie picking and found that digging potatoes is really fun and totally addicting! And we found a great children's museum and carousel in St Joseph, MI.
Earlier in the summer they were both at summer camp at Akiba. That was Leah's first school experience and she took right to it. In fact, even though she has new teachers this fall, she's still quite obsessed with her camp teachers, Lexcie and Tori. For weeks/months she insisted on being called Lexcie and renamed her beloved stuffed dog Tori (formerly 'Baby' or 'Fluffy').
For Kate's birthday in September we had a small party at the house. The kids made their own pizzas and decorated their own cupcakes.
She is independent in so many ways these days. She takes care of her things and rarely loses them. She can read and she completes most of her morning routine with little assistance. She thinks of projects she'd like to do and then just goes ahead and does them. In her classroom she's confident and enjoys leading her classmates in her projects.
It always feels like a scramble but somehow we've completed the various fall traditions. For Halloween Kate was Liesl (from the Sound of Music) and Leah was a spider. They both really held up well for trick or treating and have been dutifully easting one piece of candy a day for months. We had latkes and lit 1-2 menorahs each night of Hanukkah. We even put up christmas lights, a tree and did a Playmobil advent calendar.
I guess adherence to all these traditions suggests we really now have children and not babies. Everyone knows how to walk and talk now but there's still lots of fun. Kate has learned to snap this year and Leah can put on her own mittens.