Happy New Year! Please forgive the lateness of this post (it was due in mid-December), but we've had a very busy end to a very busy year. This past month we have moved to our new home in College Station, Texas. I start my new job officially on Monday. The move went pretty well and was even fun at times. After saying our goodbyes to all our friends (including Will's and Hallie's best friends and teachers from school) and our house, we hit the road in good spirits. We took 4 days to make the trip, stayed a night in Iowa City, one in Lincoln with Grandma and Grandpa, and then drove straight South for two more days, with a stop in Dallas to visit my Uncle Joel and his family. We didn't have hot water on our first night in College Station, so we got these pictures of Hallie in her new bathtub a few days later.
Both Hallie and Will have done very well so far with the move. It helps that they have been playing very well together lately. Most of the time. Will's old enough to know that when he wants to get at his sister, he does it subtly and when mom and dad aren't looking. Hallie, on the other hand, will straight-up assault Will - flailing slaps with both hands as Will cowers and usually cries. It's pretty funny except we have to bite our tongues and discipline her. So this month marks the first in Hallie's life where she's had to be put in "time out". She knows when she's in trouble and does not like it, so I'm sure she'll learn to be more discreet with her attacks in the future.
When they're not fighting, however, they really do get along very well and it's a blessing that they can keep each other entertained because Erin and I haven't had much time to devote to playing with the kids since the move. Most of the games they play are completely dictated by Will, but not always. Hallie seems to like most of the things Will likes: Toy Story characters ("Buss!" [Buzz Lightyear]), Transformers ("bubabee" [Bumblebee]), and superheroes ("IAHMAH!" [Iron Man]), video games (she talks about Mario a lot), and wrestling. Each night we have a good family wrestle before bed, which mostly consists of Erin and I holding down and tickling each child.
Hallie likes things that are more traditionally (though of course, not exclusively) girly as well, like singing, playing dress-up, and taking care of her baby. This is especially good because we have a new little girl in the family. Hallie will get to play with her and teach her all of these fun things to do as they grow up.
Bathtime has become one of Hallie's favorite activities each day. She loves to "swim" in the bath, splash-fight with Will and play a number of water-pouring games with buckets and Toy Story bath toys. After dinner, any mention of the word bath will send Hallie shrieking with delight and running to the bathroom, while taking off all of the clothes she can under her own power. We regularly have to drain all of the water from the bathtub before Hallie agrees to get out, and as the picture on the right shows, even that doesn't always do the trick right away.
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