So instead of writing some themed, planned, coherent post I'm just gonna write some life and hit publish at the end and see where it takes me.
We have one more trip left this summer, and I'm thankful, because if it weren't for that upcoming beach trip summer would be starting to feel over for me. It's only the beginning of August, but despite the heat and my desire that summer last just a bit longer, I'm starting to look ahead to the fall. Anyone else feeling that way? I'm definitely savoring the last of grilling season, and pool days, and the light lasting long enough for walks after dinner.
(I think I could seriously eat skewer after skewer of grilled pineapple.... so so good.)
The olympics. Oh, the olympics. I think I've enjoyed the 2012 olympics more than any other olympics in my life. This summer has been busy for us, but not nearly as busy as last summer. I think I feel that way partly because I am a stay at home mom now (aside from photography) and so I can enjoy the days and the spontaneity of summer a bit more. But we have had a lovely stretch of free evenings and the beginning of the olympics just happened to coincide with us putting a tv in our living room. It has been so incredibly cozy every night... We finish dinner, I do the dishes, the boys play, I sometimes fix a sweet treat and we turn on the lamps and feel like we are sitting in America's living room... watching and rooting for our country and feeling so proud of everything they've won. Seeing people not only hold up under unbelievable pressure but perform their best, breaking world records, overcoming huge difficulties... Getting to know the stories behind the athletes and feeling like you know them a bit. Having Isaiah fall asleep in my arms most nights, and Drew eventually leaving his toys and snuggling up next to one of us too. The quiet, the restfulness, the lovely of staying home, enjoying each other, relaxing in the comfort of our own home. I have loved it so SO much. The two photos below are not being posted because they are glamorous in any way, but because they are accurate representations of how these nights have looked for us. Sleepy, cozy, restfulness. :)
I've been getting out creative energy planning and making decorations for Isaiah's first birthday party. We don't do big parties every year, and I wouldn't even say the first party is "big" because our house can't hold that many people, but I do like to do something extra special for the first birthday. :) I'm sure I'll be posting photos of it after we have it.
Organization. How can it be that I've been married almost 5 years and I have never truly appreciated this skill before. It's like a new dream of mine to have a place for everything (and everything in its place.) But more than that, to have the place where each thing is kept make sense. Sometimes in life we just start putting something in a certain place and then that's where it goes... forever... even if it would be more practical or efficient for it to be somewhere else. So I've started challenging the status quo on my thinking. So far this has led to some re-organization of our bedroom (specifically bedside tables and closet), emptying out and re-organizing my buffet, creating a specific space to store all of our games, switching things around on the shelves in my pantry, and dreaming up some ideas for organization in our laundry room and basement office. Once I get going I can hardly stop myself. The getting-going part is the hardest.... But the end result is such a hugely rewarding feeling!!! One of the things I hate the most in life is needing something and not being able to find it. If I can make my dream come true hopefully that will not happen very often anymore! I read a post on de-cluttering that was pretty inspiring too. Here's the link.
Isaiah is taking a few more baby steps each day now for the past three days. He starts out all slow and cautious and the steps get faster and faster until he can't keep his balance anymore and falls down laughing. It's adorable.
Drew "ikes watching the impics too..." He repeats every phrase I say back to me at random times. I try not to smile at him too much when he is attempting something new or he gets embarrassed... He's such a sweet heart.
My man is working so hard this summer. In addition to all the things he usually does we just bought a rental property with good friends and he is trying to fit in time to do renovations on the house too. Last friday he had twenty one yards to do in a day and didn't get home til 9:30 at night.
Besides all of those interesting things listed above I had quite a day yesterday. The experience that made it so unique only lasted a few minutes, but the implications were big enough to leave me thinking about it all day and craving a bit of small town normalcy by the evening. We had a nice dose of it in a cookout and wiffle ball at Shaun's parents house last night. Just what we needed. Not gonna lie though, although the experience was scary, it was a bit exciting too... Too bad I can't share more ;)
On another note, one of the things I enjoyed most about last night's cookout was that I got to spend a good amount of time talking to a mother of 12 about her thoughts on motherhood. Her family is so sweet and soft-spoken and loving. I love to hear the input and perspective of moms who are older than me and just enjoy being a mom. Key thought that stuck out to me: there are no cookie cutter methods to raising children aside from this: listen to the voice of the Lord. She also said that God knows what you need, and what each of your children need, and he put you together in the same family for a reason. Love that. She said she didn't necessarily do things the same with each child, she kind of did what worked for her and that child at that time. My theory on motherhood: we all have ways of doing things that come naturally to us. If what you are doing is working for you, working for your baby, and not putting anyone in danger, then do that. Who cares if it's not what others believe to be the "best" method, or the most scientific, or the most up to date.... where they specifically researching you and your child when they came out with those studies? Nope. So you do what works, and don't stress, and don't compare. I think I do a lot of things a little differently than most. For example, our kids sleep in our bed with us. We get a lot of strange looks on that one. But you know what? The majority of the world sleeps with their babies in their beds. And it works for us. We actually had Drew sleeping in his own room and his own bed on a fairly consistent basis when we had Isaiah. But when we brought Isaiah home from the hospital and he was in his bassinette in our room, and Drew was down the hall by himself, Shaun looked at me, said he missed Drew, and carried him into our room. It was so sweet. We are just getting to the point where we are feeling ready to have Drew back in his own room at night, and are working on Isaiah sleeping in his crib at least the majority of the night. But I can tell you one thing, I don't believe in the "cry it out" method. I can't stand the sound of my babies crying in another room and feeling like I can't do anything about it. It accomplishes nothing for us other than stress and everyone being upset to try to force them into sleeping a certain place. This is not to say that everyone should let their babies sleep in their beds, or that you are not a good mom if you use the "cry it out" method. Remember that part up there where I said find what works for you and do that? I meant it. If you or your husband can't sleep with a kid in bed with you or it affects your relationship in any way, than respect that and don't do it. You will find absolutely no condemnation from me. I'm just giving examples here.
Potty training was another fun subject to talk about.... Drew is going to be three in october, and although we've had lots of talks on potty training we have not actually attempted it more than one day. Drew being my little perfectionist/neat freak that he is, he got so upset and discouraged with himself when he would have an accident that it was incredibly traumatic for us both. I was still full time nursing Isaiah and couldn't always drop everything to rush him to the bathroom, and we had a puppy we were trying to house train. I am fine with waiting til Drew's ready to try again and not forcing the issue. I don't know any one who graduated from highschool that was not potty trained.... It's going to happen, I just don't care about getting first place for having my baby trained the earliest. It's not about me, it's about him. The mom that I was talking to pointed out to me that if you do begin training super early, a lot of times it's more about training yourself to read the signs, figure out the timing, and keep on top of taking them to the potty than it is about training them to go the potty when they need to. Had never thought of it that way before. Again, I'm not knocking anyone who potty trains early. If that's what comes naturally to you to do, then do it! (and have fun spending that extra money you no longer have to spend on diapers!!!) I'm just saying my thoughts on the subject. Drew told me that when he turns three, he will go in the potty. If he holds up his end of that deal I am excited for October!!!
Wow... that was quite the ramble on motherhood! (Apparently a subject I care about very much!) I hope that if you take one thing from that, you feel encouraged to be the mom God has called YOU to be for YOUR babies and to not ever feel discouraged or compare yourselves to others.
And now, without proof-reading or editing, I am going to hit "publish."