June 2013

June is the anniversary of my birth. I know, your favorite month. :D 

I hit the big 31 this year. I was lucky enough to celebrate with my birthday buddy, Luke (who turned one). My cake maybe looked a little bit like a torch compared to his, but hey...I'm lucky enough to see another year and another candle on that cake, so I can't complain! Thanks to Agata and Casey for the cake and dinner! 

June = birthdays, hammock time, park trips, beach trips and Disney days.

Scout had her last day of school at Chalk. It was very bittersweet. The teachers thought we had another week left, and when I told them that we were leaving this week, they burst into tears. Their hearts were broken, but I know we'll see them again when Sloane starts school after her 2nd birthday. We also had our friend Cashel over for a playdate and the kiddos set up an adorable lemonade stand in front of the house. They made some serious cash! I think the cute factor came into play...they were pretty hard to refuse. 

We saw the Super Moon this month! 

We had a beach playdate with our neighbors from Academy Dr. in Austin. I miss them so much. They honestly, were the best neighbors and I'm so glad they have become dear friends. Greg and Laura used to live in Venice/Huntington Beach when they first met, so bringing their kids here was something special for them. 

Then, the next day, the girls and I headed home to ATx to visit family and attend Jay's cousin's wedding on the 4th of July. After arriving and spending a day or so with family, I took a girl's trip to Houston with Esmy and Laura for our (almost) annual NKOTB concert. We shacked up with Tessa and Jeff and enjoyed a night of silliness to the tune of NKOTB, 98 Degrees and Boys to Men. 

9 months (April 2013)

A recap. 

The end of March and beginning of April 2013: 
Spring has sprung in the neighbordhood. The rose bushes are glorious and the loquat trees are heavy with their fruit. We were obsessed with the House Finch who hatched her eggs on our front porch, and the daddy bird who brought them fresh worms each morning. 

Sloane has began saying "Mama." Or more accurately..."mamamamamamama."  She was nine months old on April 12th. She's standing more and more and I can't keep her away from the dining room chairs. Or the toy piano. Or the couch. 

Scout was big into rollerskating and fashion. She was just over five years old. She enjoyed her "Spring Break" from Chalk Preschool and hung out with our neighbor's grand-daughter who was visiting from the Bay Area. We picked up our enrollment packet for Kindergarten, and practiced walking to the school. Scout is so excited to start school and talks about it constantly. Jay and Scout have been reading C.S. Lewis  books and are starting Prince Caspian. 

Jay and the girls enjoyed Saturday/Sunday morning walks to Starbucks...down the hill and back up with breakfast in-tow for a spoiled Mama who got to sleep in on such occasions.  Though it worried me a little (that Jay was going to hurt himself pushing both girls up that Mar Vista hill), I totally appreciated the effort and the joy that it brought all of them. Jay celebrated his favorite holiday....Record Store Day on 4/20/13. He's found a new record shop on the West side, Touch Vinyl and frequents it often. 

My mom (Marmee) paid us a visit for the weekend. While Jay shopped for records, we shopped for a scooter for Sloane and found her a Minnie Mouse "Go-Go," a toy she immediately fell in love with. We drove the girls to Laguna Beach for a beach picnic. It was a little on the chilly side, but that didn't stop us from playing in the beautiful, blue ocean. Scout got her hair cut and we got in a date night before mom had to head back to Tx. 

8 months.

On Monday, my little blue-eyed baby turned 8 months old. Hard to believe that we are SO close to her first birthday. She sits up tall and reaches for things to pull herself up to standing. She throws toys off of her highchair and looks for them on the ground. When her sister can be heard in the other room, she looks for her around the corner. She scoots, army crawls, and wiggles to get herself where she wants to be...in addition to her rolling. She only has two teeth, but is working on the top two. Her hair is thick and can now hold a clip for a little while. She naps twice a day (usually), takes one bottle at night (but is still mostly breastfed), eats three square meals (fruit/cereal, fruit/veg, meat/veg/fruit), and enjoys a baby Mum-Mum once or twice a day. She weighs around 18 pounds (still a little bean). She can say "ma-ma" and prefers to say "da-da." She gives "kisses" on demand and laughs hysterically when tickled or teased. I love spending my days with her and her sister, and am feeling especially lucky to live in this moment that is "her first year."

Tanzania Glenn sends us songs from Africa

Yesterday morning, we woke up to a wonderful message from Glenn (my father-in-law, who's a Peace Corps Volunteer living in Tanzania, Africa). He'd been telling us over the Christmas break that he'd been spending some time writing songs while he's away. He uploaded some of them, and I have to say, they've been stuck in my head since listening to them. Specifically this really, really, really lovely song about his grandkids. There's so much love in my kid's lives. They are some of the luckiest people on the planet.

Write something

So I have this file in my computer called "Write Something." It's where I go when I want to write fearlessly. It's where my most personal thoughts go and become something that isn't mine anymore; that is, they become relatable.

I'm writing today because I need to write. It reminds me that I'm able to be my own person. That I can share something with you guys and maybe it becomes relatable to you. I feel relevant. I feel like I have a place in this crazy word world. 

 I've been in such a great routine. The girls are sleeping well. Behaviors are predictable. Most things come with ease (as much as can be granted with an 8 month old and a five year old). But inside, I've got this sense of urgency to live. To be uber-present. I take pictures so that I'll remember every little life moment. My instagram feed blows up with 11 pictures a day, but that's nothing compared to what's stored on my phone/computer/camera. I want to go outside and lay in the grass and connect with the earth...to get "grounded" literally...to chase my oldest and carry my youngest everywhere we go. 

I feel like a butterfly coming out of the cocoon. Maybe it's because Spring has sprung here in SoCal. Maybe it's because I'm finally coming out of the fog of Sloane's newborn-ness. Maybe it's because we are on the verge of BIG new things with Scout. Maybe it's because I'm at the beginning of a new decade and a new stage in my (parenting) life. 

Whatever it is, I'm embracing it, hoping for the best, and working towards that goal. What's new with you? 

Five years.

Seriously? One day, your birthday will maybe not come as a complete and utter shock to me. Okay, maybe not. This year, you've grown in so many ways.

We moved into a new house a few months after your 4th birthday. Here, in this house that we call home, you've learned to ride a bike (with training wheels). You've learned to put yourself to sleep. You've learned to ride a scooter. You're learning to roller skate. You helped your dad build a video game console in the garage. You love to play like you are riding your bike to Whole Foods to get snacks for us. You helped us decorate for Christmas this year. You wrote a "welcome home sister" sign to hang in our hallway.

You started preschool this year. You have flourished in your time there. You are such a sweet friend and I've never heard anything but praise about your interactions with other kiddos there. You're readying yourself for Kindergarten. You can write almost anything. You're starting to read...sounding out words and recognizing simple ones. It blows our minds when you read words to us.

You are able to do simple life-skill tasks for yourself. You are pretty self-reliable in the bathroom, though you still need help with washing your hair. You can brush your teeth, go potty, and wash your body without much help. You can put a clip or headband in your hair, though you still prefer to have wild, crazy and free hair.

You're quite the fashionista. You know how to put outfits together, and sometimes it's difficult to talk you into a more practical choice so we let you get away with pairing mismatched patterns, fancy dresses with cowgirl boots, and sometimes weather-defying outfits. We love your style. Sometimes, you pick our outfits...and help us become "stylish." You are the first to point out someone's fashion. 

You love to swim....you're in your fifth month of swim lessons. You took your first "survival test" this summer. I was eight or nine months pregnant when you tested. It was slightly terrifying for me. I couldn't believe your ear-to-ear grin after your coach picked you up and threw you in the deep end (!) of the Olympic-size pool...in your clothes and shoes. You went under, and came up and immediately went into your "back-float"....with the biggest smile on your face. Your teacher and all the other coaches in the pool started cheering for you. Your coach jumped in and together, you guys swam to the edge of the pool and had a good time jumping off of the diving platforms. Now you are working on your streamline, and your favorite move is "monkey-airplane-rocket." 

You started ballet (again). We tried last year, but you were SO painfully shy. However, since we moved to Mar Vista, we drive past a dance school every day on our way home from Preschool. At first, I asked if you'd like to try again. You quickly answered with a "no!" But then, as time went by, you started talking about it more and more. Finally, a few weeks ago, you asked us to take you there for a dance class. We tried it and you LOVED it. You stayed in the classroom for the whole hour. You loved everything about it. You played, but you paid attention and learned a lot during the first class. You can't wait to go back. 

Happy birthday, baby girl. (You hate when I call you "Baby." But I do it, regardless...because I kind of love when you say "Mooooom. I'm not a BABY!") 

6 months.

Sitting practice on the morning of your 1/2 birthday

Peas- you love them, despite the silly face

Waving goodbye to Texas (1/3/13)

5 things about babies that are the best

that thing where they smear cereal/food in their eyebrows or hair

that thing where they are so sleepy, and lay their head on your shoulder

that thing where they look at you and you can tell they are trying to say something, but they can't speak yet, and all that comes out is "nananananananana...nana?"

thumb sucking (it's still gross to me, but whatevs...it's pretty stinkin' adorable)

the look they give you when you give them a new food...like "seriously, with this?"