May Picks

As usual, we’re reading a few things…  and here’s the best of it.  Nothing too cerebral, but nevertheless making our lives significantly better.


This book was featured on the virtual book club at Modern Parents, Messy Kids.
Great blog and great book.  For those of us who are time managers by nature (me) and for those who aren’t (Tim), this book has poignant relevance for the art of actually doing the things that make you happy.  Here’s a blurb on the chapter about time:

“LIGHT BULB MOMENTS

  • “I do have time, if I make time for the things that are important to me.” I love the idea of cramming your life full of what you love. If something is going to fall off, it will be the things you don’t really value as much.
  • “Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.” I am so guilty of this! I can procrastinate all day long by doing things that “need” to be done like the laundry or checking prices of airline tickets or any other dozens of things that are necessary, but aren’t actually as important as whatever it is I’m procrastinating”


I have an ineffable love for this book.  It saved our lives sanity in about 48 hours flat.  After lots of trial and error on our part, we read up on Si’s not so average sleep personality (post colic, high reflux, easy tempered, short napping, night owl of a babe) and we finally have a kid who is getting better sleep at night AND napping longer stretches during the day.  Jackpot!  This book’s approach kicks in at about four months, but also offers troubleshooting through childhood for sleep issues, should you need them.  As a true proponent of moderation in parenting styles, I found it to be an approachable, balanced alternative to the more rigid Babywise and the more lax attachment parenting/Sears method.

Enough about that.  Si’s picks, without a doubt:

We are also watching Rookie Blue season four, which kicked off last week.  It’s a Canadian summer series about hot cops that airs on ABC.  So lame, and we so love it.

We are spending the next two weekends at home to do some finishing work on the house.  Caulking baseboards, painting and carpeting the basement, finishing paint out in the loft that we have ignored for literally one whole year…   maybe a few other small projects here and there.  Stay tuned for an updated house tour in a week or two.

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Memorial Day Memories

Tim titled this blog.  Can you tell?  Mister nostalgia.  It was such a relaxing weekend with my siblings and their families.  It’s always nice to be in one place as adult siblings, and it doesn’t happen all that often.  Swimming, teething, digging, lots of great food and conversation, as always, and Tim and I even squeezed in a lunch date.  I’m not feeling terribly wordy tonight, so here are some shots from the weekend.

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6 Months Old!

Our minds are blown.  Our kid is half a year old, and he is more fun by the minute.
What he does: sitting up for about 30 seconds (followed by a wobble and a bonk), flipping over at lightning speed (especially on the changing table), grabbing everything within a 3 feet radius (even if it’s the hardware store paint counter)
What he has:  two teeth on the bottom that we have yet to capture in a photo, his first cold, and all of a sudden, soft, straight, blonde hair with a darling widow’s peak
What he weighs:  about 17 pounds
What he loves:  Daddy coming home from work, singing songs with Mommy, bath time (read: drinking the water until he chokes), his Aden+Anais muslin blankies, peek-a-boo

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Our Weekend in Photos

We had company this weekend!  Aubrey and Keith came to spend the day on Saturday and it was so fun and relaxing.  We met downtown at the Farmers’ Market and strolled a bit, then had Turkish for lunch at Anatolia.  I just can’t ever get enough of their red lentil soup.  Luckily, Aubrey is the only person I know who loves lentil soup as much as I do.  After that, we came back to the woods and visited for several hours.  Tim and Keith did some manly grilling of turkey burgers later in the evening.

Sunday we woke up relatively early and went to the lake to sit for an hour while Si napped.  I love that our babe is adaptable and will sleep anywhere for a solid 45 minutes, even when some guy throws his oars ashore and drags his kayak through the gravel about three feet from a sleeping baby.  Thanks, dude.  Silas slept through it anyway, but I was throwing my Mom face at his oblivious back, hardcore.

After the lake, we went to town for a few things and passed Bloomington Hardware, our fave local hardware store.  Their sign said “last day for BOGO paint” and, taking it as a sign from above, we pulled in to buy six gallons of paint.  We had back-burner’d the basement painting project as well as the exterior block and decks, but at half price per gallon, we couldn’t pass it up.  Tim painted all afternoon like a champ and I piddled with the roller but couldn’t get jazzed about it.  It is looking so much better.

Here are some of our weekend shots from my phone (sorry) since Log and Ness still have my camera for the moment.  I promise better pictures next week.

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More updates on the house to come.  We are planning a major home improvement month for the rest of May and into June, including some hired help for the first time since we had Ron help us with drywall finishing.  We are ready for some progress that doesn’t make us sweat for a change.  Exciting!

Stay tuned, someone has a half birthday tomorrow and I’ll be back with a post about mister S.

Word to your Mother

I don’t know many things for certain.  In fact, I know that I don’t know a whole heck of a lot. About the only thing I really know today is that the love in Silas’s eyes when he looks into mine is like its very own universe.  Nothing makes me feel so happy so quickly as a blanket on the floor with windows open in a quiet house where Si and I can just lay and look at each other and grin in total trusting, silent, content company as I watch him observe the world as a perpetual adventure of newness.

It was my first Mother’s Day, and this year was odd because we had so many family obligations that it didn’t really register that it was my day as well.  Nevertheless, the holiday that has previously been one for me to celebrate my relationship with my Mom is now one I get to celebrate as I look at my sweet sleepy little boy this morning.  With every year that passes, I hear myself say things that sound just like my Mom.  It used to make me panic that I was turning into her, but now that my perspective has shifted to thinking about Si and the love and responsibility and hopes I have for him, I see that all her energy and words that went into us were just as intense and frightening and rewarding.  I have never been happier to be like my Mom than I am right now.

I have a habit of telling the microscopic truth, and parenting is no exception.  That is to say I keep a barometer reading on how I feel about things as I experience them and I communicate them to those close to me. Because of this, I have been told I lack resilience or sensitivity or a few other things, but I found parenting in the early months to be very challenging and I wasn’t shy about that.  I think if people remember the mountain of small transitions parenthood brings, they are sensitive to people trying to settle into what works for them in an effort to keep all parties reasonably fulfilled and happy.  It ain’t easy.  Life isn’t perfect, people aren’t always kind, and it isn’t easy to be honest all the time.  Today I am setting a goal for motherhood:  I want Silas to feel like he can be honest about how he feels and still feel supported by us, and I want him to see us living that as an example.  I feel very lucky indeed to be his mama and to raise a child with emotional literacy as a priority.  He is going to be one amazing man someday.

I don’t have my camera here, so forgive the horrible picture, but Tim got me a ring with Si’s birthstone and it is stunning.  Score one for Timmy.

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Finally, we came home last night night at 7 o’clock after tons of tired driving to find lasagna, marinated salad, and vino waiting for us in the fridge.  Thank goodness for neighbors.  Truly.  Speaking of, Elizabeth just sent me a link to this and told me she sees us doing this with Silas.  It was a lovely compliment for new parents.  We are all doing the best we can, but it’s easy to wonder just how good that really is sometimes.

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Here’s to the mothers who are doing their thing, raising the best kids they know how.

Whirlwind

We clocked over 500 miles, two extended families, a move, a birthday, a bridal shower, and three cookouts this weekend.  Si also got his first cold, but he was still a champion with his giggles and typical good mood.  Best baby ever.  

Friday, we got off work early to drive North to move Kait and Oliver.  Painless!  One big trip and done.  The next morning, we went to John’s Diner for our usual visit with John and Mary.  Best bacon in the world, and sweetest people.  We were on the road by 7:30 to go see Logan and Vanessa.  Saturday was Log’s 28th birthday, and Ness threw him a surprise party!  We were the secret keepers, which is pretty funny since neither Tim nor I can keep a secret to save our lives.  He thought we were just coming for the weekend, but when they got back from hiking, our family, Nessi’s family, and Log’s Chicago friends were all there to greet him.  The party was complete with great food, pretty weather despite an iffy forecast, and a piñata in typical Log/Ness fashion.  So cute.  Here are some pictures of the party, thanks to Bridget, Nessi’s sister.  It doesn’t even look like her family was there…but they were!  So nice to meet her parents and brother, and to see her sisters again.  

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Mid-party, we left for Illinois to catch Sara’s bridal shower.  If I hadn’t left my camera at Logan’s house, this would have been well documented, but we will have to settle for these from Sara’s facebook page instead.  The shower was relaxed and lovely, and Silas was the stud of the event.  Sara looked beautiful!  Marla (standing next to me in the bridesmaids picture below) had her bambina that night!  Welcome, baby Haley!

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I am going to be better about documenting things in pictures.  On the drive home yesterday, we were all pretty miserable, but it sure was nice to see soooo many family members in one fell swoop. 

First Food

It’s a monumental event!  Silas had his first food today and he l.o.v.e.d it.  Egg yolk!

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At the end of it, he was pretty sad it was over.  I’d say it was a success.

Sprucing Up the Woodsy Home

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I’m not big on houseplants, but this time of year makes me wish we had a whole room dedicated to them.  Coming home to the woods for the last few days has felt positively cathartic.  The green green forest triggers feelings of life at its most fundamental, natural level while I breathe in the almost visible oxygen.  Silas will be an outdoor playing kid, you can safely hedge a bet.

When you live in the woods, it is hard to do a whole lot with the yard.  We have so much shade when the trees are leafy and beautiful as they finally are now.  Roger (father-in-law, not grandpa) came to spend the week this week.  He and I tackled some huge yard projects.  In hindsight, I should have done a before and after.  It was pretty intense work since we raised and filled a bed alongside the house, transplanted and planted some new shrubs and a few pots, and finished everything out with 2 full yards of mulch.  Here are some shots of the finished project: ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Here are some other shots of the last week of our lives.
What we’re reading and listening to:
http://worldobserveronline.com/2012/04/25/15-things-you-should-give-up-to-be-happy/,
these two library finds:
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and this super classical compilation:
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The rest of the week involved a surprise wagon from Papa Roger that was Aunt Sara’s when she was a toddler, washing favorite toys, making Amatriciana pasta sauce (hold the onion, use canned puree, quadruple the garlic, and add 8 shakes paprika per 28 ounces of tomatoes) for dinner with neighbors, Nikki’s Healthy Cookies, lots of biscuits for Seamus our favorite neighbor dog, and lots of playtime with Si.
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Loving that the weekend is only half over.  Tomorrow, Tim will be home (he is working today, poor guy) and we are back to the grind with his classes full time.  Nice to have a week off when his Dad was here.

Up next:  A trip to Alexandria to celebrate the life of my Aunt Betty who was one rockin’ lady, another trip up north on Friday followed by a trip to Lafayette Saturday morning, Onarga Saturday afternoon, and back home again to enjoy at least one hour of Mother’s Day in our own house.  Cheers!