Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Six Months!

This girl....

Is 6 months old!

We have officially put the infant stage behind us and are loving every day even better than the previous.

This girl....

Is the perfect addition to our family. She has a calm, peaceful demeanor, but also knows how to speak her mind and will let you know if she isn't happy about something.

She adores her big sister. And laughs hardest when watching Rufflebum bounce around her.

She loves her momma. I mean... LOVES her momma. She's at a stage where if I'm out of her sight - she gets very angry. She won't necessarily cry tears, she just yells and is mad. As soon as I come back, or pick her up etc. then all becomes right again.

This is simultaneously adorable, and irritating.

Something that is only adorable is that she has started to say "mamama"... specifically when she wants to be picked up.

This girl....
(Napping in the shade while Daddy and Rufflebum played in the river)

Knows how to roll over both directions, but stubbornly chooses not to do so. She really prefers to sit up in her bumbo chair, and is getting close to being able to sit up on her own.

To comfort herself, she will suck on her hand or a blanket.

I've given up trying to give her a bottle because that is one of the few things in her little life that makes her purple with anger (literally, she turns purple...).

This girl....

Lights up the room with her big gummy smile.

Her bottom two teeth are trying to poke through but aren't quite there yet.

But having no teeth is not stopping her from becoming very interested in our food. I've only given her a couple small tastes of things so far... and each time she has looked at me as though I've deeply offended and disappointed her.

This girl...
(On the 4th of July)

Is doted on by her big sister. If she cries, Rufflebum runs to get her a blankie. If she laughs, Rufflebum will repeat whatever act brought on the laughter. If she is frustrated, Rufflebum will try to readjust her - at which point mom swoops in to save her from potential injury.

This girl....
(Post river swimming ice cream stop!)

Is loved. Deeply. Passionately. And unconditionally.

Happy 6 months little one.
(Train ride at the zoo)

-The Pampered Bird

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Embracing Summer

Historically speaking summer time has been my least favorite time of the year. I love having a schedule. I love having routine activities. Even as a kid I dreaded summer vacation (weird I know). Once I was out of school and working full time summer didn't really exist in the same way and I actually liked that. I enjoyed working through the summer and being able to keep on keeping on with my same activities.

I quit my paying job two years ago. That first summer was horrible. I had a six month old baby, very few friends who weren't working full time, and absolutely nothing to do. I was very lonely and had lots of doubts about the whole stay-at-home-mom thing.

Then last summer I had an 18 month old, a lot more friends who were also at home with their kids... and miserable morning sickness for the entire summer. So I spent most of last summer on my couch, eating popsicles and once again wishing those days would zoom by a little bit faster.

(The reason I was sick all last summer... she's pretty worth it!)

This summer.... this summer is totally different. And for the first time (maybe ever... or at least in a long time), I am enjoying summer and all of the different things that it brings.

(Last day of gymnastics came with popsicles!)

Here's how I'm embracing summer:

1. First thing I had to do was get over my dislike for wearing swimsuits. I've never been comfortable wearing a swimsuit and have always felt more exposed than I would like to be.

But I have a toddler who LOVES the water and would swim every day, multiple times a day if it was possible. And I finally decided that I needed to get over my swimsuit phobia and get in the water with her.

(I hope this girl never loses her confidence!)

It's good for her to see her momma feel confident in her own skin. It's good for her to see her momma take appropriate risks and do things outside her comfort zone. It's good for her to see her momma have fun and not be afraid of looking foolish.

So I headed over to the LandsEnd website and found some cute swimsuits that I feel confident in (I got a couple of their SwimMini  Skirts and mix and match tankini tops found here) - and I've been doing cannon balls, and splashing, and getting my hair wet, and not freaking out about smeared makeup, and laughing, and cheering her on from inside the pool. And let me tell you...  it's been kind of amazing.

(Love these girls and their silliness)

2. The second way I'm embracing summer is by being ok with lazy days and making up our schedule as we go along.

Many mornings begin with a run/walk through the neighborhood and a short stop at the nearby playground. We come home and rinse off and play at the house or run a quick errand. After lunch comes naps and then we hit the pool. Or maybe swim before naps and play at the house in the afternoon (you know, if I really want to live on the edge and stuff).

3. The third thing I've been doing to embrace summer is being proactive in the kitchen.

Historically I experience my worst eating habits during the summer. It just gets so hot that cooking sounds horrible and so instead of eating well, I snack on food that isn't giving me anything in return and I fill up on cold drinks that aren't really hydrating me. As I result I don't feel my best and I think I cope with the heat worse than I could if I really focused on taking care of my body.

So this summer I'm being proactive and keeping my fridge stocked with homemade energy bites (recipe here), zucchini bread, fresh fruit, grilled meat, and other things that make meal planning (and snacking) quick, and healthy.
(I need lots of snacks to keep up with this active girl!)

4. The last thing I've been doing to embrace summer is keeping my priorities in check. It's easy when I'm out of my routine to just focus on the immediate and not think about the big picture.

Above all my purpose on earth is to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and love my neighbor as myself.

So each week I meet with two dear friends to talk about how we are doing those things. We encourage each other to spend time with the Lord each morning (whether it's before the kids are up, or while we're nursing babies, or have toddlers climbing in our laps, or have preschoolers yelling at us to tie their shoes). We pray for each other and our marriages and our mothering dilemmas. We share funny kid stories, and our mommy failures. We pick each other back up and send each other into the week with hugs and smiles and a "text me if you need break".

God is so gracious with us. And the slow pace of summer is a wonderful time to really see God's grace at work.

May your week be filled with purpose, and grace, and the joy of lazy summer days,
The Pampered Bird


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