Summer, Summer, Summertime!

I have always said that Summer is my ultimate favorite season and that feeling is heightened by having a school-aged kid somehow. I mean, my own work schedule isn't changing for the summer but having Truman home each day (with me or with Tony on work days), all sorts of summer activities on the calendar, SUNSHINE and warm weather, long days with late/beautiful sunsets, Nate's summer work's all the best right now.

Also, I am sitting outside in perfect weather, drinking an iced coffee, while both CC and Porter nail dual naps for going on three hours. So yeah, I might be especially high on life (and caffeine and sunshine) at the moment, but summer is the best.

(sleepy baby made it all morning without a nap, then this!)
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But the pool was so much fun today! (pictures actually from last week, but imagine it was from today--no time to take pictures this time, I guess)
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I feel like it's been awhile since I did a random update on life, nothing really big to report but I'm sure I can still make this a nice, ramble-y post anyway.

After Porter's eleven month post, I had a blog reader send me a link to this blog post written by a pediatric OT. It has lots of ideas to help babies learn to crawl, so Porter has been getting a few focused workouts with mommy each day now. Even though he doesn't love to be on his stomach (since he can't freaking move other than pivot in circles on his belly) I'm putting him in that position much more lately, avoiding just placing him in sitting despite that being his favorite. We also got out the exercise ball (oh, the memories of trying to induce labor on this bad boy!!), have him practicing kneeling with his hands on a couch cushion, and trying to initiate the four point position. Basically we are having fun with it and I could die from the cuteness of him trying to learn how to crawl. I'm not a pediatric PT but I do think his core is a little weak, at least when he is on his stomach, since he won't pull his legs under him to get moving. Still planning to ask for that 'Birth to Three' evaluation next month at his year appointment if he isn't moving by then, but in the meantime I'm glad to have some specific ideas to work on at home. Maybe he will be a child, like many of you suggested, that will just sort of take off one day and never look back. Hard to imagine, but I'm sure he'll get his fat booty in gear soon.

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So many summer activities, so little time! This week Truman has 'Safety Town', which is a daily, 1.5 hour class mostly held outside. It emphasizes traffic, fire, and personal safety and is two weeks long, with small groups of three 4 and 5 year old kids paired up with 5th-7th graders who are volunteering to help out. They get to ride tiny tricycles around a miniature city with stop signs and houses (wearing a helmet of course!), they will go visit the local Fire Department tomorrow, a police officer will come to talk to them one day, and they learn all about poisonous chemicals that might be found in homes. So basically, this is all RIGHT up my first born's alley and he will probably be on our case about following each and every safety rule even more now! He totally loves Safety Town and I'm looking forward to their 'graduation' next Friday morning---have rearranged my work schedule so I can see the cuteness! He also has Tball every Monday night from now until the beginning of August, he liked his first practice so I hope that continues for the many, many more weeks we have with the sport. Then he has swimming lessons every Thursday night for five weeks. Whew, busy boy for his first 'real' summer break.

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Cecelia is also embarking on a few 'without the parent' activities this summer. Mixed results so far, but today was a very big day for my girl. She did soccer in the spring at the same time Truman had his class, but she truly hated it and flat out refused after the second session. This week I started her in gymnastics on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for the next five weeks, and the first two of those weeks will be during Truman's Safety Town. So in theory, I could drop Truman off at Safety Town, walk the double BOB with CC and Porter to gymnastics, then walk back after it and get Truman. We'd be done with two activities by 9:30 am----with the rest of the day in front of us.

Tuesday was Cecelia's first gymnastics class and we had discussed it at length ahead of time, to prepare her for the procedure. At this class, the kids walk into the gym all together and the parents stay out in the hall for the 30 minutes the class lasts. Cecelia simply would not have it and started freaking out as soon as the teacher appeared, ready to walk the class in. I tried to encourage sis but nothing worked, so I did walk into the class with her and kept reassuring her that THIS IS FUN, LALALALA, all while she was screaming, 'No, I want you to stay with me!' Horrible, guys, just horrible. I gave her a big kiss and walked out into the hall, where I could hear her hysterically crying. Eventually the teacher brought CC out to me saying that she was having 'a bit of separation anxiety, and this seems very jarring to her.' So she suggested that I sit on the side with Cecelia for the first class to warm her up to the idea. Luckily Dizzy was there and could watch Porter for me, and CC wouldn't participate at all even with me sitting with her. So that was fun.

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But today? Again, we pumped her up telling her how fun it would be. And I flat out bribed her saying she would get a sucker if she did the class, because come on! I know she is only (just) three years old but this is something I think she will LOVE and will be really good at doing, too. I want her to get through this phase of being afraid to do new things without me by her side, and I know she will---Truman went through this, too. So anyway, today she was a little fearful when we arrived to gymnastics and she needed me to lead her into the class (tsk, tsk, breaking the rules!). I asked the teacher if I could just sit off to the side for a few minutes and she said I could, so Cecelia did sit on the mat with the other kids. I could tell she was being very brave and she'd look over to me and smile, waving occasionally, but she was really looking around and taking in her surroundings. She participated (making pretend pizzas on their legs to stretch) and you could actually see her perking up by the minute, looking excited and so big. After a few minutes I snuck out and she didn't even notice. I snuck a few peeks through a side door and saw her doing somersaults, walking like a giraffe, and jumping on the trampoline. She was SO stinking proud of herself when class was over. And you better believe she earned that sucker she hand selected from our stash before class!

She tells me she isn't going to be afraid anymore and even said, 'I love gymnastics, it's fun,' tonight. YES. Good job, girl! We also had swimming lessons tonight which is Cecelia's other main activity this summer, and possibly her first official lesson (? I can't remember if we did these before at the YMCA or if I'm just remembering Truman).  Again, I pumped her up and agreed that we could do the swings at the playground after class if she tried her best. And then the pool water was 'contaminated' and nobody could get in during our class so it was sort of a bust, but whatever! There is always next week. And Cecelia did get scared and cried a little bit during this 'safety talk' session but she pulled through and wasn't crying when the group came back to the parents' area. I really think it's good for her to start going activities without Truman and without me---she's always done well at Lori's and hasn't shown true separation anxiety there, but she hasn't done many other activities until now. My big girl. I'm seriously so proud of her for being brave at gymnastics and hope she continues to love it.

I just sent out Porter's first birthday party invitations and am starting to feel all of the feelings about this milestone. I always had a bit of The Fever for another baby around the time of weaning, which for Truman was at a year and Cecelia at sixteen months. This time when Porter weaned at six months I didn't really experience that hormonal shift/NEED ANOTHER BABY feeling, but I'm sort of feeling it now. Something about my last baby turning a year old makes me equally sad and excited. This is nothing new and I'm not trying to spark any 'you should have another!' comments, just putting it out there that Porter turning one next month is sort of confusing my brain a bit. Like, HOW is this possible?? The invites are very cute, though, and we'll be sure to celebrate with appropriate levels of excitement over the occasion. But still. A year old? Sigh.

Sneak peek:
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On a completely unrelated and random note: I think I *finally* achieved my quest for properly fitting underwear. I know I've talked about this before but am way too lazy to link to another post, but my underwear situation is way sad. Lots of granny panties/post-partum/pregnancy size stuff going on and very little that actually fits me well. I seem to get wedgies from nearly EVERY pair of underwear these days and have decided that my butt must be abnormally flat or something for this to happen with everything, even the boy shorts I've tried. And truly, a constant wedgie is enough to grate on your nerves while creating a subtle level of irritation all day long.

I was going to splurge on these Patagonia ones, but ended up trying these C9 performance hipsters. Really love them!! I mean, two for $14 with the Target brand versus one for $22 with Patagonia? Yes, please. So far they really don't give me a wedgie unless I'm bending over a ton or squatting. I'll take it! Next up: a properly fitting bra. This is going to be even more challenging, I think ;(

Also, I bought a pair of Birkenstocks. I believe they are actually trendy again and not too hippie/wool sock + sandal, which makes me happy because I really do love them. Can't beat them for walking around town with the kids and I hope they make me a 'cool' mom and not just a tree hugger;) Since I informed Nate that Birkenstocks are popular again, he has since dug his original pair from high school out of the attic to revive them. Yikes. My new ones are in my better shape and are less scary for sure. (no picture here but a side by side shot of Nate and I in our Birks would be pretty awesome, I shall put it on my mental list of photos to get!)

How do you feel about pants like these? Joggers, or fluid pants or whatever?

Those are from Old Navy and I feel like this is probably a trend that's on it's way out already, especially since I'm just now considering them and I'm always very behind on trends. but they look so comfy! And I like the ones that are tight at the bottom I think, not sure about the drawstring waist and not sure if I'd have to tuck my shirt in to make this work. Also assuming maybe my Birkenstocks combined with these pants might be a little too much, hoping I wouldn't have to wear heels with the pants to dress them up because I don't do heels. Also really into these from Gap---they look like pajama pants and I dig it! Besides considering these jogger pants I also want to find a new pair of denim shorts for the summer which is apparently no small task because I am picky about length in my shorts (shocker). ANYWAY, having fun shopping online lately and still considering Stitch Fix but I can't quite pull the trigger.

Other things:
-Porter now has a few separates for pajamas and I cannot take it.

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-I love picnic dinners outside with the kids, especially when our dinner is served in a muffin tin.

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-The next baby boom is hitting our neighborhood, so I can get my newborn fix quite easily without actually having to give birth (or raise an additional child). Baby Joe is the cuuuuuuutest and I've made his mom promise to text me when he is awake at night and super crabby, just so I can snap out of it.

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-A wet French Braid in Cecelia's hair is our preferred way to keep her bangs out of her face the next day. This one was especially fantastic.

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-Playing outside in our backyard is the best
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-So is Beer Garden season, some are happier about this than others
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-The boys finally have matching outfits. Why did I wait this long to force this issue????
(oops, Truman accidentally put on Porter's 18 month tank top this morning and it's even backwards, hahahahaha)
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Ta Da!
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That's enough randomness for now, super fun day and season around here!


  1. Hi! Love your blog! My daughter has reeeeeally curly hair like CC's and it always looks like a hot mess. CC's hair always looks adorable, how do you manage it?

    1. HI Megan~Cecelia's curls are at their best right after a bath, sometimes sleeping on them makes them crazy. But if I use a little curl mousse and scrunch them up, they tend to calm down a bit. With heat and humidity, it's anyone's guess as to how they will look!

  2. So much to comment on!

    I've been so aware lately of how much I'll miss the weather in Swaziland, whether we move back this December or next. It's not always summer warm here, but it's always warm enough to be outside. We spend time outside every single day and man, will I miss that luxury when we are back in the States!

    LOL'ing just a tiny bit that you are exercising P. Because of course you are! He sure is cute doing his workouts. :)

    Those joggers just came on my radar (literally last night. We are behind the times in Swaziland.) I like them but I think a tucked in shirt is absolutely necessary to keep them from looking like you left the house in pajamas. I think you'd look great in them though, and even with the birks!

    T in P's shirt. Hilarious!!

    And babies in seperate jams. So friggin cute but makes them look so grown.

    1. Being in a climate where you can be outside everyday and NOT frigid cold would be life-changing, I think. Enjoy!! ;)

  3. I don't really care what anyone else wears, but I know I will never be taking part in the joggers trend. I don't think it looks that bad on other people though!

    LOVE the matching outfits! Can't wait to do that :)

    1. Never say never---didn't you say that about skinny jeans, too? ;)

  4. Just love all of this...that is all. :)

  5. Summer!!! Yes. Love everything about it.

    I am dying that Nate still has his high school Birkenstocks. I used to have the ones you got, guess I should have held on to them!

    Also, I love the picnic in the muffin tin, great idea!

  6. yay Summer! I love my burks. Have two pair. I don't care if they are trendy or not because comfortable!!! Love the GAP pants. The others not so much Love that you are doing PT with Porter. I think most babies hate tummy time. He looks like he is ready to go at any moment! I can't believe that I have been reading your blog for over a year. almost forgot, try Jockey underwear. I have been wearing them since my 20's (I'm in my 50's now) never had a wedgie with these. They are pricey but soooo worth it!

  7. Julia how do you make time for pictures and how is it that your family cooperates? Most times that is. I need to know your secret. I'm also very picky with my shorts length and have found old navy to be my go to store for shorts. Not too short not too tight, perfect for a mom :) I just got their "boyfriend shorts". Can't wait to wear them in OC MD is coming weekend! Lastly, oh my how big are your kids! I can't believe CC is three already and Porter is going on one. And Truman done with his first year of school. You are such a great mommy and such an inspiration. I took my boys to an amusement park yesterday and had you in my head all day thinking how does she do it??? I only have two lol.

  8. I am finally getting around to commenting but I totally PT-ed Lily to help with her crawling and pulling up and upper body strength and it did work for her. She was not crawling or pulling herself up to stand at a year and the pediatrician was not concerned, but it troubled me that she seemed truly in pain almost when I tried to put her in a crawl position or if I tried to get her to bear some weight on her arms. I decided to do "PT" twice a day about 10 min/time with her for a week or two and assess if I needed to push for the ped to give us a referral. I cared less about the not crawling but a lot about the lack of arm/core strength and also the possible pain/something wrong factor. Since this was around Easter I had lots of jelly beans and gummie bears that I used for motivation ;) Initially we just worked on her handling staying up on all fours to build her little core and then moving forward and then pulling up onto the lower coffee table, etc. The older kids were great cheerleaders (because they also earned candy haha!). The focused PT was a game changer for her and she took to crawling without a problem pretty quickly, although for a few weeks she did scoot in favor of crawling most days. Now it's all crawling and cruising.

    I can see now that her personality is such that she is quick to get very upset with new/uncomfortable feelings and doesn't necessarily want to put herself into those positions so she just was rather unmotivated to crawl. (Similar problem/situation: she sobs with every poop - I am questioning that too in terms of something possibly being wrong...but it's probably just Lily being Lily!). Anyway, I would suspect Porter will take to crawling quickly when he is ready and I totally get the PT work out for babies! If it can't hurt and you can help build up strength - why not?


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