Monday, July 4, 2016

What I'm Into: June


I was SO excited to see this month roll around. I don't know that I've ever been more excited about a new calendar page in my life! 

The main thing we've been "into" this month is our new family member, Sarah Lamar! She's really stolen the spotlight this month, as well she should have. That said, this one is heavy on the food and newborn outfits and light on the reading and watching and listening and such. No shame in my game.

Sarah Lamar Herrington
7 lbs 14 oz
20 in
6/12/16, 4:08 am

Our VERY FIRST family picture popped up in my Timehop and I couldn't resist a little comparison:
Seven years of doing weekly family pictures and it's probably my most rewarding compulsion to date!

On the Nightstand:
I didn't do a lot of reading, even in my favorite two devotions and even though it was a goal to stay back in them. I'm offering myself lots of grace during the post partum period.
Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 
The Mockingbird Devotional: Good News for Today (and Every Day)- Ethan Richardson, Sean Norris

On Their Nightstand: 
Annie has been reading a bunch, per usual, but we've taken a break from structured school and this month I didn't do near as much reading aloud. We have been going through library books and Annie's sweet Sunday school teacher also brought this precious book over as a gift for the children:

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
It's a cute little story about how three owl babies get nervous one night when their momma leaves to go hunting and how they comfort each other. We found it particularly endearing since there were two older owls babies who really helped reassure the more tiny one. It was also a hit since Annie is obsessed with owls.

On the Shelf:

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms How We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead- Brene Brown

From last month- I'd love to finally pick this back and up and now that I've nested my house to death, I'm thinking a month or so with low key goals like reading will be perfect with a nursing newborn. Hahaha. What a funny joke. Um, no.

Modern Romance- Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

Our Q&A a Day: A 3 Year Journal for 2 People- Potter Style

I shared about these last month too and didn't touch them (though Peyton's been reading Modern Romance) but I'd really like to ACTUALLY make them a priority in August.

At the Theater (or from the couch):

We watched this the other night and I LOVED it. It was hysterical while still having some sweet, somewhat meaningful parts. Amy and Tina are just GOLD, you know? Peyton and I realized we were spending far too much time watching really serious stuff. However, I feel like comedies can be so hit or miss and so much harder to predict if they'll be worth the time. I asked for recommendations on IG and Facebook and we now have a great list!

On the Small Screen:
Nothing at all except the news.

In My Ears:
Well, I made my labor playlist this month, so I listened to a ton of great stuff while I was compiling it. I didn't end up using it but now I have an epic hours upon hours playlist with my favorite music. It's basically a master playlist of my absolute favorites. It's ginormous, though, so I'm not sure I can really put it on any device and I may just have to enjoy it on P's laptop.

This was about six days before my due date (nine before she actually came) and I had finished making the birth playlist, completed the sections I wanted to in the Bradley book, and had been to Briarwood four times in forty eight hours (would've been five but there were thunderstorms last night!). I also designed my June header and churned out two blog posts- including last month's goals- that I really wanted to get finished. I felt more than ready to have a baby!

Around the House:

Nothing new really and I got most everything baby ready back in May, but I did end up tackling this one day pre-Sallie!

2016-2017 homeschool organizational system is complete! I had it all set up like the top left and Peyton got home and we discussed how excited I was that it all fit but how it was still not as easily accessible as we wanted. We discussed lots of options and I decided to switch it with the stuff in our craft closet (top right). It's a lot more logical anyway since the kids craft exclusively at the kitchen table and Annie and I often do school in the office. And actually, especially after I got all our card stock, laminator pouches, and construction paper in the bottom drawer of the filling cabinet it's ALL a lot easy to access. I also moved all of the kids' old Ask and Click magazines out of the cabinet and into a huge basket in the den and told me they don't have to ask permission to get them anymore. Anyway, I finished up this project around two one morning. I'm so excited about a better system. 

 One thing I didn't get checked off my list before Sarah Lamar arrived was getting our cloth diaper stash organized. I got them all accessible but I needed to sort them. All the diapers, covers, and liners we're currently using fit in the bin on top (I wash every other day) and the drawers are bigger diapers and covers for later. I was sort of dreading it because it IS more work, especially when they potty all the time. BUT, we haven't had a single leak and we were having numerous explosions multiple times a day even with the pricey disposable brands. So really, less work/laundry!

Third child changing station, diaper genie, and changing table. I do have my cute wet bags out now as opposed to the Kroger bag. And we've actually never had a changing table (though we did have not one, but two, armoires in Annie and Graves's old room that has a closet that is now my room and my closet but...priorities). That said, I still made it a lot more complicated than it needed to be. I can't believe how much that little PnP tray holds- diapers, wipes, alcohol, diaper cream, her vitamins and dropper, a burp cloth, a toy, and the much loved (and shockingly still functional) "Twizzle" from years gone by. As I've mentioned before, her real clothes hang in the kids' closet and I use bins under the crib for storage but her jammies and stuff are in the bottom drawer of our dresser. She's pretty much set up camp in our room. Probably would have to fight the SD of seven years ago on it, but tiny babies don't require that much space or stuff. 

In the Kitchen:

It almost looks like someone was forty plus weeks pregnant here. Haha! I don't think I've ever posted so many food pictures in one month in my life! 

When you have blueberry bushes in your yard and Greek yogurt in your fridge and ten year old popsicle molds in your cabinet. [About the blueberries, Annie told Graves to "open your mouth and close your eyes" and popped one in. He said "Oh! I thought it was going to be a pregnant bird". OMG, what?!?]

When I was pregnant with Graves, there was a period where I ate aturkey melt literally on the daily? I started craving one and had to reestablish the tradition!

I love how in the Summer fresh fruit can be a dinner side. Summer is for...watermelon-whenever, wherever. 

Peyton grilled this great spread one night and was SO sweet about telling me to take it easy and not worry about getting anything done (which if you know him, is really out of character- he likes us ALL to work hard, ha!).

 Best ever hipster snack- avocado toast (protip: mix some Feta in and it's even better). Pairs perfectly with some fresh peaches. I ate better this pregnancy than I ever have in my adult life (which isn't saying much, but still) and I really want to keep it up. It's so nice to find good foods you enjoy eating!

I do have to give Peyton a lot of the credit. My friend who ordinarily does eat and feed her family really healthy, whole foods was shocked by the amount of produce he buys on a grocery trip. And when he cuts it all up for us? Swoon. 

Have I mentioned I love Summer food? We had a friend over and I made our new favorite fish tacos; plus some guacamole; and fresh watermelon, peaches, and avocado. Peyton cooked corn on the cob on the grill and we sprinkled powdered Parmesan on it. And I made that insanely easy store bought cake/instant pudding/strawberry/cool whip dessert. So good, so easy! Also, my BFF (who is actually so good at cooking/entertaining/homemaker stuff) told me I was either crazy or super woman for having guests over the day before my due date. Haha, probably the former!

 In other (happy!) news, someone made a "great mistake" as Annie called it. There was a miscommunication when Peyton asked his boss to have some backup lined up for this weekend and the scheduler just got him off for today. Voluntary Simiplicity has made it possible for him to only have to work SEVEN days this month! So amazing having him here with us so much. Even on the hard days, I do really love this life that we've carved out for ourselves and that God has generously given us.

Some days, I just laid on the couch and gestated. Some days, I made peach cobbler, guacamole, and pomegranate pops. [And then went into labor that night!]

Our New Girl has been sleeping (and eating!) great for a tiny baby and Peyton is sweetly making sure her momma is, too!
Peyton picked up an extra shift one day and I was missing him. BUT the big kids washed a bag of bing cherries and sat on a towel in their skivvies spitting the seeds.  A friend mentioned to me recntly how the physical work of motherhood gets easier as small people get bigger but the emotional work is ever often ever more difficult. That's been so true to my experience. I always, always say the most exhausting part of parenting is the emotional resources it required. And (barring this nutso post partum period) that burden doesn't seem to get any lighter. This part is beautiful too, I have to keep reminding myself how much I enjoy them. And when Sarah Lamar is seven and washing her own fruit I'll be thirty eight and maybe I won't even have any desire to be up in the middle of the night providing meals to a tiny nursing person. A sweet precious neighbor with three girls brought a pan of brownies and I topped them off with the cool whip my friend Morgan included in her picnic basket smorgasbord of chicken salad and pimento cheese (my favorite thing to take to new mommas because you can snack on it ALL THE TIME- day or night...or 3 am!)

In My Closet: 
And it definitely looks like someone was forty plus weeks pregnant here!

I got a couple of more good wears out of my sleepwear dress from the Anthro.

I wore this to Walker's to eat lunch for our anniversary. I got a bunch of compliments on it, which feels SO good at thirty nine weeks pregnant.

This, however, was my more usual look. I call it "It's my due date and I've been sitting at the pool in the ninety five degree heat for two hours without getting in because I went this whole time and I refused to buy any new maternity stuff, including a bathing suit".

And I went to Target in stubby pigtails and Peyton's Snoopy shirt. Winning.

Another one of Peyton's tees. I felt just like The Hulk looks a couple of times this past month!

 The picture on the left showed up in my newsfeed on Facebook so I had to do a little dress/shirt, baby on the outside/baby on the inside comparison. 

This was one of my favorite things to wear this month! My rings took a lot longer to stop fitting this time (shocking because I gained the weight a ton faster). Anyway, I absolutely LOVE wearing this simple gold band that belonged to some relative of Minnie's (maybe to my great grandmother Vada, whose name was back on the list for a short time!) and that she gave me when I was pregnant with Graves. Also: Captain America and Spider-Man again. 

Actually THIS was my absolute favorite thing to wear this month. There are no words, really.  Sweet girl. 

It's taken some time, thoughtfulness, and creativity but I think I've found a system that allows me and Sarah Lamar to be comfortable in our room at night. And thus, we also figured out the nighttime fussiness. I will say that, despite the exhaustion and weepiness, I've been so chill about this and didn't let myself fret when I couldn't figure it out. I hopeful that's a third-child-seven-years-of -parenting-brings-perspective thing that continues.It was because I turn the air down about ten degrees to go to sleep. We figured it out because Sallie loves being outside or in the car because it's like a sauna. So now sleeping here feels like sleeping on the surface of the sun. If Central Mississippi gets ANY hotter, I'm planning to use one of my favorite lightweight quilts because the actual bedding is too hot and I have to have something covering me and just a flat sheet skeeves me out. I sort of wish one of those muslin blankets was big enough for me. I also busted out all the (super not risqué) cotton gowns my friends indulged me by stretching the definition of "lingerie" at my shower eight years ago and am wearing them instead of t-shirts and shorts. I wish my hair would go in a ponytail. Of course the obvious answer is to bundle HER up. Peyton was really gracious about the air when I was pregnant but this was the perfect excuse to jump back on the eighty degree crazy train. I did tell him what an EXCELLENT catch I am to sleep in a sleeping bag in the Winter and do this in the Summer. So we compromised and it's on 77-78 at night. Also, I didn't think she was the type of chick who likes to be swaddled. She loves playing with her fingers and sucking them and stretching and kicking her legs. Basically, she already seemed too big for it..ugh). Peyton and I were laughing because we swaddled AP until she was like ten months old and I took Graves's little Velcro swaddlers with me EVERYWHERE. I think she might be more of a free spirit, this one. We finally tried it and she DID hate it at first- it was like a baby straight jacket- but it worked. And yes, we're making sure she doesn't get TOO hot. Funny aside: I wore the Purple hearts on our WEDDING NIGHT. Lucky P, hahaha.

In Their Closets:

I'm pretty much in love with Annie's swimsuits this year! 

There's not much better than a watermelon motif.

Followed closely by her "buzzy bee" rash guard.   

Annie in her daisy dress (she insisted that the baby's nickname is "Daisy") and Graves sporting some smocking for as long as I can stretch it out. 

As much as I love the smocked stuff, how cute is this guy in his t-shirt and shorts? But the high tops with shorts is what makes the outfit, I think! 

And here they are in their natural element!  

Going home dress that was mine- you can't really see it and it's hard to make out many details even in the second picture but it is so sweet! 

I went through the boy boxes picked out some of Graves's stuff since I dressed him in such "sweet" things. I sort of love her in blue and yellow. Also: THOSE CHEEKS.

Bows and Bibs. So glad I get to do this all over again!   

This was one of my favorite little outfits/sleepers (I never knew which it was but they're so interchangeable in the early days) that Graves wore. And I just found out (unsurprisingly) that Annie loves it, too. As resistant as I am to gender stereotypes, I always preferred Annie in pink and Graves in blue. For some reason I love Sallie in yellow. I've never really liked it as a color, but it fits her. Even her nickname seems like yellow and sunshine to me. Maybe I've got a touch of synesthesia? Anyway, it's a favorite.  Also, as a somewhat unrelated, but hysterical aside, remember Graves's swim team coach (Josaline) that he previously referred to as "Coach Vasaline"? He's been calling her "Coach Duckling". Names are hard. It took him about three days to get Sarah Lamar's down and sometimes he still doesn't fool with it and calls her random things like "wheat"?!?
 In My Mailbox:
Another day when we were still waiting for Sister Baby to come, I knocked out something else big! I got this year's kindergarten and second grade curriculum that had been being delivered over the last few weeks organized and put up in our school area and boxed up the stuff we didn't need from last year to send to the attic. 
In My Cart:
Not a ton. I got a book off Amazon that was going out of print and I got the same dress in three colors at Walmart for less that $25 (why I will not ever be a true minimalist, ha!). I also ordered a swimsuit from Target. I'd been eyeing it for awhile and it's cut differently than the other two I wear a bunch. I think it'll be really functional...once it fits =)

Around the Town (and At Home):

 Annie and Graves set up a "feast" in the backyard one evening!
Besides the baby, we have had a very low key month, BUT we've been pretty immersed in swim team (pun intended). This was at the first meet. This guy is quite smitten with Coach Josaline, who he refers to as "Coach Vasaline". Also, he full on sobbed the length of the pool and then told me it was "very fun" and that he was disappointed he only got to swim in one event.

Crazy Hair Day at swim team and y'all, Graves decided the best kind of crazy hair would be BODY HAIR. LOL. Also, both kids improved so much after they swam with a friend who is much more proficient and the peer pressure was SO good for them. Annie swam in the twelve foot deep end- two weeks ago she wouldn't let P take his hands off her in the four foot area. And sweet Graves was the Dolphin of the Week.

I told Peyton we probably should just live in a studio apartment since Graves winds up between us half the time, Annie's taken to sleeping in my grandmother's old "love chair", and Sister Baby will be in the PnP. Also, Annie sleeps in her swimsuit most nights because she's NOT a morning person and she likes to take care of as much as possible the night before.
As I said, the biggest highlight was welcoming this girl. I love her yawns!

And it was certainly the highlight for Graves. He's been wanting this baby for so very long and once she was here he kept asking when she'd come home for the hospital. 

We had some fun friend visits in the hospital (and some hysterical texts from friends from afar).

I am surrounded by people who love well. 

Peyton did such a great job cleaning up the house and having things ready for me and Sallie to come home so we had an impromptu play date with the cousins. And took the baby to visit the in-laws. And picked up the car with the new clutch (did I mention the movie like experience where our ONE CAR literally stopped working on the way to the hospital in the middle of labor?).These have been some of the best days of my life.  

a dolphin by day four!
and sno-cones to celebrate everyone having a great weight check!

Lots of firsts here First shift for Peyton to work with no help/visitors. First solo outing with three kids. First time to wear this sunsuit. First time nurse at the park (or really anywhere that public). First time post partum to "exercise" by walking the half a mile in ninety five degree heat. 

At the Schoolhouse:
This might have been the biggest undertaking I wanted to accomplish before the baby got here. It'd been a bit of a labor of love lately. We're switching curriculums next year and I think it'll be a better fit for Annie. This was a grit your teeth thing for both of us. And her favorite time to do it is late at night after Graves falls asleep. Which, I really don't blame her. And it IS easier. But I had either been ready to go straight to sleep or just so touched out and in need of a break. BUT, we did it! She told Minnie how she had finished this curriculum and helped us pick (from among predetermined choices) the one for next year. Peyton asked me at the beginning of this pregnancy when I was having a really hard time what I'd do if I had a full time job outside the home. It really hurt my feelings but it also made me think. And now I have my answer. I'd show up in exactly the same way I showed up for her at ten and eleven at night, sometimes pushing ourselves to fit in two lessons, not putting it off except on the very hardest days. And I'd try to have the same patience with my students that I've struggled to find for her this year in this area. Praise God another year of math is in the books! 

 And here's a list of all the resources we plan to use. Peyton initially wanted to start back schooling in July (?!??- might be nuts, but going through the Summer has always worked for us) so one morning during swim team (pre-baby) we had a "meeting" to discuss plans for the upcoming year and figure out the division of labor no that we'll havee two school age children (which IS nuts!) and also a tiny nursing human. We actually decided to push it back until August since Peyton's working a good many extra days in July but it feels good to be organized and ready to go!

On the Blog:
Whew! I haven't written a lot but what I have written has been, while not necessarily my best writing, hugely significant for me.
God's Continued Provision in Our Marriage- On our anniversary, I shared how I've seen God work over the course of our marriage and how it gives me great hope as far as Peyton's issues of faith.
The Amazingly Difficult and Beautiful Story of Sarah Lamar's Birth- It took me a lot of time to write this and birth is about the hardest thing in the world for me to articulate in writing, but I'm proud of it (the birth and the writing).
{Throwback Thursday} Babykins #3: Reflections and Comparisons at Forty Weeks- Even  though I didn't write it until after she was here, it was fun to reflect back on those last few weeks of pregnancy. And I'm glad I got the pictures.
 Baby Blues: Things That Hurt and Things That Heal- I wanted to take some time while it was still fresh to share about my very volatile emotions and the things that were hurting and healing.

On My Heart:
- It's funny because last month I wrote about being really nervous about the transition and it's been so surprisingly easy. I was thinking about that today before I even looked back at last month's post. What I didn't remember being so hard are all the EMOTIONS.
- I wrote a whole post about exactly that but it's been a real struggle. I feel like I'm finally starting to be able to breath again.
- I have to say specifically I'm having a lot harder time than I thought I would coming to terms with this being our last little baby (biologically speaking). There's a whole post waiting to be written on that but it's on my heart a LOT these days. 
In My Prayers:
- The being done with babies forever things is hard and scary. But after this pregnancy, I'm also real ready. I'm praying that the Lord will help me to enjoy this last baby and not fixate on everything being sad because it's the last time. I wrote that last month and I've been sort of in survival mode so I haven't been praying as much as I'd like but I guess I can only say that I want to start praying this again more fervently.
- I mentioned last month praying about the upcoming birth experience. And then this month I prayed through it. I've never actually prayed as hard through an experience as that one. At least not that I can remember. And now I'm just really overwhelmed with gratitude for what it was.
On the Calendar: 

Peyton's actually picked up some extra shifts in July but other that that it's going to be a SUPER chill month. Hopefully enjoying lots of time at the pool and Cookie is coming down at least one weekend!

What I'm Into

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Congrats on your new arrival!

I love the idea of taking weekly family photos. I have noticed that I have a lot of pictures of the kids, but I'm not great about getting pictures with my husband or me actually in them!