We started this summer with the same fervor Thoreau did when he began his journey into the woods. We were determined to [leaving out the part about sucking out the marrow] avoid getting to the end of summer and realizing we had not truly summer-ed.
And it’s a good thing we did because we’ve had a formidable summer virus these last few weeks that has kept us mostly at home. I finally understand what people mean when they talk about wiping kids’ noses every few minutes and having a cold circulate through an entire family. It is rough.
But back to summer.
I had low expectations of this summer, but it’s been perhaps our best one yet! I assumed that a four to six-month-old would make for a quieter summer. But Walt has loved being along for the ride, and Liam is at the perfect age to try new things and go on outings. We made a bucket list and got right to work on it.
Here are some of our favorite things from this summer.
Adventures. We found a local pool and spent some amazing afternoons there. Walt loves trying to swim himself around. We also went to a drive-in movie, which was so much fun. We also had fun picking blueberries, exploring local parks, and watching fireworks.
Library Storytime. We love our library and their storytime. They also had a great summer reading program that we paired with our preschool adventures. Unfortunately we missed the end of the program due to our lingering sickness.
Watching Liam attempt new things. This has been one of the best parts of summer for sure. From gaining confidence at library story time to his solo swimming (with floaties), it has been so much fun to see how proud he gets of himself. He’s also becoming a pretty amazing Lego builder.
Liam’s Birthday. This is the first occasion Liam has been super excited about. He was counting down to his birthday and planning every detail. He loved the cake my sister made him, as well as the Dory and Olaf balloons Jonathan brought him. We celebrated for two days (since Jonathan was off of work the day before). On his actual birthday, my sister and I made a journey to the nearest IKEA with Liam and Walt. Liam loved the travelator, as well as the vanilla milkshake we got him at lunch.
Quiet time. Quiet time is finally working well most of the time. Liam gave up his afternoon nap last fall, and we worked hard to establish a quiet time. It became a necessity once Walter was born. We started with 15-20 minutes and have worked up to an hour. It helped to move his train table into his room. If quiet time is not right after lunch (which is the goal), I’ll often give him a snack and his water bottle, which helps him be in a better mood. Sometimes he even falls asleep. We’re working on being less grumpy when he wakes up though (and by “we” I mean “he” and by “working on” I mean “searching for strategies and trying to survive”).
My Bible study. I bought this Bible study for Kindle at the beginning of summer, and it has been just what I’ve needed. I’ve been taking it slow and rereading parts, and I love that the Scripture is included within the study (it helps for the times when I’m reading it on my phone at night). It has helped me see my motherhood from an entirely new perspective.
Hospitality. As I’ve worked through my unrealistic expectations for rest and smooth days, I’ve been more open to trying new things. I hosted a women’s supper, which was so much fun. We had to pull in stools and living room chairs and add a table from our deck, but it was such a wonderful time! If I’ve learned one thing about hospitality it’s this: just do it. Things always work out, and people are always willing to help by grabbing extra chairs, stirring the last minute addition, or putting food in serving dishes (and thank goodness they are!).
Having a six month old. Watching babies figure out their hands and voices and feet is just so amazing. It never gets old. Walt is able to do the object permanence box, and he loves putting things in a box and taking them out. He’s started crawling recently, which I love (I love when my babies get mobile because it makes them so much happier!). He also started pulling up by himself yesterday.
Bearing witness. I loved this instagram the other day. It was a good reminder that being present and watching our kids is important—more important than looking up something on my phone. I’m still a recent smartphone convert, and while I really do like it, I have found myself mindlessly checking and scrolling too much since we’ve been so sick and tired. I’m trying not to use my phone for checking stuff unless the kids are asleep. I’m awfully bad at just sitting and observing and listening, but those moments truly are important.
What have you been up to?