Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm ba-ack! (A Photo Dump)

We're home. Both kids are napping. It is a cool, cloudy day. Yesterday, driving in, the light had a different quality. It is, regardless of what the thermometer might register on any given day, fall. I feel the reflective mood rising, probably aided by lots of hours in the car.

But that is for another day . . . today is the big photo dump!

(Over)packing for the kids.

First, we went to Colorado for Charles' residency program's annual Bike Trip. It was gorgeously fall. The weather was perfect. The aspens were yellowing before our eyes. We had a blast, had good family time, got to know the residency "family," saw Charles' nearby family, and wore Clare out with all of the playing and hiking and fun-having.

Outside of our condo

Exploring the great outdoors


So exhausted, she passed out on Daddy


We headed to Arizona. We celebrated my birthday (I got a new, decent camera, so hopefully, we'll see some better (non-iPhone) pictures 'round these parts!), visited with Charles' parents in Phoenix, then headed north for my dad's wedding, had a blast with family (old and new and Clare's new BFF, Rhonda's granddaughter), and generally exhausted everyone with visiting and fun-having.

Driving out of Kansas
Climbing a tree
Climbing the rocks at Grandad's

The deck at my dad's

The newlyweds -- Congrats, guys!! We love you!!

More fun after the wedding

 And now, back to the real world. :)

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Peter - 5 months

Mr. Peedow Man made it to 5 months over the weekend.

He is the smiliest, happiest baby. He has the cutest little grin, and when he sticks out his tongue . . . it is just too adorable for words. When he wakes up in the morning, he is all coos and smiles.

He remains a really inconsistent sleeper, though. On average, he's a one-wake-up-baby, but when he has a bad night, it is bad, and might be 3 or 4. And he loves, loves, loves his Sleep Sheep. We frequently find him wiggled over to it in the corner of the crib, and once he also managed to turn it back on!

He is strong. He still won't roll all the way onto his belly, but easily could. He can just about sit independently (lasts about 2 seconds before the faceplant and wiggle to his belly), and loves to stand. He can stand with assistance for pretty long periods of time for such a little guy.

He hasn't broken a tooth yet, but has one close to the surface. In the meantime, he is content to drool and shove anything he can get his hands on into his mouth. Clare is (slowly) learning that if she doesn't want him to touch something, she needs to keep it out of his reach.

He brings such joy to our home, but man [insert all the cliches about time going too fast here].

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Friday, September 5, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 71 (Updates for the Fam (and Anyone Else Who Cares)))

Happy Friday -- slow week on the ol' blog. Nothing bad or crazy (unless you count the munchkins), just not much down time this week. Boo! Anyway, joining Jen, per usual.

1. Sometimes blessings come in the form of work trucks. Ever since we moved into our house, Charles has been trying to get the sprinkler system figured out and working. Two weeks ago, he was able to get it on, but found some repairs -- mostly replacing broken sprinkler heads. There was also a leak that showed up, and he spent a good chunk of time over the week "out at the hole" trying to get it fixed. He happened to mention this to one of his co-residents, who mentioned that he had previously worked for a sprinkler company and would be happy to help out. He rolled up Monday morning with his old boss in his work truck, and they got the thing fixed in no time flat! Praise God!

2. Meanwhile, I took the kids' to our usual Monday play group at the park and splash pad. The grown-ups thought it was a bit cool for the water, but the little girls had other ideas.

3. I don't think I've mentioned Clare's surprising unwillingness to get out of bed by herself. She is fully capable of getting in and out of her big girl bed without help. And she will not let us help her into bed. But in the mornings, she calls, "Mommy Mommy" when she is ready to get up (thankfully, that is rarely before 7 am, so I have no complaints or attempts at retraining on this front), and either asks me to lift her out, or jumps out of bed and toddles off herself.

4. So, imagine our surprise Sunday morning when she popped into our room while Charles was getting dressed with a bright, "Good morning, Daddy!" And, even more amazingly, she hasn't done it since.

5. Peter had some congestion issues all week, and Charles is fighting some little buggy boo. Thankfully, I've not had anything worse than a crick in my neck from holding Peter too much at night, and Clare seems her usual, feisty self, so all's well that ends well. Hopefully.

Unrelated -- Clare and Peter "playing rock 'n' roll"

6. Poor Peter. When he's congested and breathing like he's congested, he gets nicknamed Snergle, from too many readings of The Lorax: "Down slupps the Whisper-ma-Phone to your ear/and the old Once-ler's whispers are not very clear,/since they have to come down/through a snergelly hose,/and he sounds as if he had/smallish bees up his nose." He's either gonna love it or hate it by the time he is old enough to have an opinion.

Young Master Snergle, Swaddle Breaker and Spinner Extraordinaire

7. A week from today, we head to Colorado for a little getaway/retreat with Charles' residency program, and two weeks from today, we'll be getting back to the homeland for a couple of days, including my dad's wedding. No idea how much radio silence or noise there might be in blogville, but I'm sure I'll have some updates when all is said and done.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Currently . . . Vol. 8

Thinking about: God's sense of humor. Yesterday, Peter had trouble going down for a nap, and finally fell asleep snuggling in my arms. As I held him, I was reflecting on how little I'm savoring him these days. Too often, I don't take advantage of the baby snuggles. I'm too quick to put him down to play. I hold him to feed or when he's fussy or in the Ergo so my hands are free. I resolved to enjoy his tiny babyness more, because it is going to be gone all too soon. Then, we woke up at 10 last night, super congested. I got to snuggle him allllll night long, because he needed love . . . and an incline. Just looking for a little middle ground, here!

But in all seriousness, I'm struggling with presence right now. I'm spending too much time watching the clock, waiting for this or that to just get here already, and I'm missing the gift of today.

Maybe now has it's challenges. Toddlerhood with an already spirited kiddo. Residency. Finding a niche in a new place. But I don't want to look back on this time with longing on what I missed out on, because I was spending too much time looking forward to ________.

The days are long. It's only too true. But the years are short. That is too true as well.

Making: We're grilling burgers for dinner! I am more excited about this than I probably should be, but they sound seriously tasty today. It's a cool, hot, muggy Labor Day here (yes, all at once), and I'm anticipating a lovely evening grilling on the deck.

Reading: The Map Thief. Okay, seriously, y'all, this book was a great find! When I took the kids to the library this week Clare was seriously impatient to get to the kids section, so I had to do the world's quickest browse through the new releases to find something for myself. I spied this and it looked interesting, so I grabbed it, and it has not disappointed! It is narrative non-fiction (which I love!), and it weaves the history of map making, the history of map collecting, and the story of a map thief together. It is good reading and so interesting. I would readily recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning about unusual things. And the fact that it is narrative means it lacks the bore-factor that weighs down too many non-fiction books.

Watching:The Sixties on CNN. Charles and I have been catching bits and pieces here and there, and really are enjoying it. [Insert usual history major geek out about learning more about an interesting topic, and how awesome it is.]

Thankful for: I've got the best husband. I know I say it a lot, but I don't think I can say it enough. I'm lucky to have him for so many reasons, but recognizing my need for a break -- even a quick errand alone or a trip to Starbucks -- makes him a rock star. Heck, sometimes, he sees me needing a break before I realize it myself.

Loving: After a homily a couple of weeks ago, I redoubled my efforts to make Sunday a day of rest. To make it the Lord's Day, as we are called to do. Being the mother of two little ones, "rest" is somewhat relative -- diapers need to be changed, families need to be fed, and there is always something to clean up. BUT there is plenty of work that I can make an effort to do on Saturday or Monday. Laundry can usually wait. Errands can nearly always wait (or be condensed to the bare minimum). I can choose to do those To Do list items that bring joy and refreshment. I can choose to snuggle, rest, or play.

Praying: along with Blessed is She. Y'all are awesome!

{Linking up with A Mama Collective and One Lyric for Currently.}

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