Friday, April 26, 2013

Quick 5

I'm dreaming of the day that laundry is no longer full of bulky jeans and long-sleeved shirts, but is the more manageable shorts and short-sleeved tees...

1.  Ta-Da!!  We are the proud owners of this lovely gem:
Some friends of ours from church gave us this baby for free, and we could not be more stoked.  We have big plans: a couple new swings, a baby swing and a can of spray paint and this thing will serve us well for a few years.  I love that they have a go-to this summer, and I don't have to feel quite as bad about not taking them to the park every day.

2.  In a very big Proud Mommy and Daddy Moment, Alaina spent some of her AWANA bucks on this bucket for Joya at the AWANA store this week:

I suppose it wasn't completely unselfish of her; she really wanted Joya to have something so she wouldn't keep stealing her pink bucket when they play outside.  Now they each have a bucket, so no fighting.  Right?

3.  In other backyard news, for the first time ever I let the girls play outside by themselves.  We've been debating on whether or not they were ready for unsupervised play, and after getting opinions from mommy-friends that I trust most, I did it.  Although, is it unsupervised if I sit inside next to an open window where I can hear them and can glance out at them every five minutes or so?  

4.  Bria has definitely taken a turn toward the fun side.  She can't do much yet, but she can focus and smile.  That's pretty huge.  I put her in the baby gym this week, and she finally saw the music-playing/light flashing kitty at the top.  As I knew would happen, they became instant friends.

5.  This week I locked down our only official summer plans: swimming lessons for Alaina.  She had such a good time last summer and has been asking about them at least once a month since then.  Last summer she was in a class with her good pal Avery, but this summer she'll be on her own.  I want her to repeat Level I again.  The instructor had told me that if she would work on her bobs (that is, putting her face in the water) that she could move on to Level II, but we haven't had any opportunity to do that.  And putting her face in the water in the bathtub doesn't count.  Since there are only four or five levels anyway, I didn't think that repeating a level would set her back any.  I simply told her that she had so much fun in the Goldfish class last year that she gets to be in it again.  Her response?  "Yay!"  Also we are going to try the pool that is literally a few blocks down the street from us this summer.  It's not quite as cool as the one last summer, but it's close and I thought we should give it a try.  She'll do great.  It's Joya and Bria that might not have as much fun during those two weeks, but we'll just have to play it by ear.

On to May!  I've got a big project lined up for May (besides restoring the swing set.)  Think we can do it?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Quick 5

You can really tell it's April by all the snow!

1.  Joya has begun to call Alaina by her given name.  Well, a version of it.  Until now, Alaina has been LaLaLa.  But now, mostly, she's "a-LEEN-a."  Which is cute.  And sad.  Joya still reverts to a LaLaLa now and then, but mostly she's switched over.  It's always amazing how two-year-olds grow in leaps and bounds.

2.  Lee took a day off this week and we used it to go join Costco.  It seemed like the right thing to do; all of our family and friends shop there.  So now we're a mortgage-paying, mini-van driving, student-loan carrying, Costco-shopping family of five.  In other words, we're Americans.  So much for living counter-culturally. 

3.  I can FINALLY get Bria to smile whenever I want.  Provided she's not screaming of course.  But if she's awake and just chilling out, I can more often than not coax a smile out of her.  I feel like it took us forever to get to this point.  She's a very content little girl, but she's also very serious too.  I know for a fact that Joya was smiling all over the place around five weeks.  It took Bria to eight weeks.  And of course it was worth it.

4.  Bria is modeling one of the beautiful drool bibs sent to her by our college friend Jessica.  Jessica and her husband were in Chorale with us, and we have good memories of them sitting behind us on the bus during one of our choir tours.  Jessica sent me these pretty bibs and burp cloths, along with a couple of tutus for the older two.  And I love them.  If you are looking for fantastic, handmade gifts for your next baby showers, you should check out her shop, Little Baby Blessings. 

5.  In other Bria news, she's starting to suck on her fist.  This is noteworthy, because until now she's really just been a lovable little lump.  But now she's starting to do things.  Tomorrow is her two-month check up, so I'll keep you posted on all her stats.

It looks like one more round of snow, folks, then maybe we'll start to see some real spring weather around here.  We're gonna make it after all.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Quick 5

It's really hard to teach a 4-year-old about the difference between spring and winter when it's snowing outside.

1.  Last Friday we said goodbye to Joya's beautiful baby curls.  Her hair had these beautiful ringlets that I can only dream about, and they were natural.  But they were also terribly tangly all the time.  And she screamed every time I combed her hair.  So it was time to get her first big-girl bob.  I do see hints of curl still in her hair.  Maybe the haircut didn't completely destroy them after all.
 *Side note: I took her to the ridiculously expensive kid hair-cut place for her first hair cut.  The one where she could sit in a fire engine and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse during the cut.  I'm glad I did, because I'm not sure she would have sat still without the antics of Mickey and his friends.  But I hope that's the last time I have to take her there because, dang.  And they don't even give out suckers at the end.

2.  At MOPS on Monday we had a speaker come talk to the moms about the power of a playing parent.  It turns out I have heard this lady and this talk a few years ago at the MOPS group I was attending at the time.  I realized it the minute she started her talk with a song and a skit.  Anyway, the point was that we should be setting aside time each day to give our kids our undivided attention and play with them.  I could use the whole postpartum/infant phase of the last two months as an excuse, I suppose, but I've been a terrible mommy.  I've had zero patience for my older two, and everything they do gets under my skin.  And I feel awful about it.  I think some play time would do worlds of good in my relationship with them.  So I've played with them for about a half hour each day since then.  I know my girls are gracious enough not to hold my behavior against me, but I don't want to create a pattern that we can't get out of.  So play it is.

3.  One of our play times was play-doh.  It was Joya's first time with the stuff.  And it showed me how completely uncreative I am with this kind of play.  I had no idea what to make.  I should have followed Joya's lead and just made snakes.
The best I could do: an ice cream cone and a flower
 4.  Next Wednesday ends my maternity leave.  I'm surprised that eight weeks have (almost) passed already, but I am ready to get back into the swing of things at church.  I suppose I'm ready because I know I can take Bria with me and keep her with me at all times.  I fully recognize that most moms who experience an end to maternity leave and return to work do not get this privilege, but it's one of the things I like best about working for a church.  It will be an adjustment to see how Bria does being at church all morning on Sunday mornings, but I plan to go with the flow as much as I can.  I'll be armed with the stroller and the moby wrap, and I know there are plenty of ladies in the nursery who are willing to hold her or sit with her in the nursery as she swings in the swing.  We'll manage.  Probably.

5.  Yesterday I got out the broom and proceeded to sweep our dining room.
Alaina: Mom!  What are you doing??
Me: I'm sweeping the dining room.
Alaina: (getting very excited) Who's coming over?
And that tells you how often I sweep the dining room.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go figure out what we can grill tomorrow, seeing as how tomorrow is our one nice day for the next week.  We gotta jump on these days as they come.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Quick 5

What's worse: coming down off a sugar high, or coming down off a Gramma high? 

1.  Having Gramma, Grampa, Uncle Josh and Aunt Mindy here was the highlight of this past week.  The girls got to wrestle Uncle Josh, snuggle Gramma and Grampa, and spend hours and hours outside.  Our house is a better place for having them here, since Grampa helped Lee with quite a few projects around the house.  Our basement bathroom now has an exhaust fan, our main floor bathtub has fresh new grout, our porch has a brand-new porch light, our gutters have been relieved of their leaves and sticks, our trees have been trimmed, and our backyard is free of a large, dangerous wood pile left by the previous owners.  Not to mention the lovely pictures that now hang on the walls of my bathroom, making the room not look so naked.  I know for a fact that we do not leave their house a better place when we visit them in Missouri, but we loved having them here and wish they could come more often.

2.  It was also lovely celebrating Easter with the fam.  The girls got to have their second Easter egg hunt in our backyard, and hopefully they found all of them.

 3.  My fabulous sister-in-law treated me to a pedicure while she was in town.  I must say that a pedicure is one of my all-time favorite luxuries, right next to chocolate dipped fruit from Edible Arrangements.  Anyway, we left the older two girls home with the grandparents (and Uncle Josh) and took Bria with us.  I simply strapped Bria to my chest via the moby wrap and relaxed in the massage chair while the lovely lady did her thing.  This was actually my second pedicure holding a sleeping baby.  I believe I got a pedicure while holding a tiny Joya back in the day.  Now my feet are sandal-weather ready.

4.  After what seemed like an eternity, Bria finally got to meet her friend Elyssa.  But they both slept through the visit.  Oh well, they'll be friends someday whether they like it or not.

5.  We had a beautiful break in the cold, wet spring weather on Thursday, so I took the girls to the park.  Park days always make me face my failings as a mother, since my girls love them so much and I rarely take them.  I suppose this is an easy enough situation to remedy.  Maybe that's my goal for 2013; take my girls to the park, especially when I don't feel like going.

Happy weekend, everyone!