a Wednesday wonder: to tidy or not to tidy?

Charlie’s napping right now, so I just did my quick five minute sweep of the house to straighten things up. He’s become quite the little destroyer, pulling plastics off shelves and toys out of baskets as fast as I put them back. Which has had me thinking: Should I just leave everything until after bedtime when I do another sweep of the house, setting things back to rights? Or do I keep cleaning up a little bit throughout the day to keep my own sanity and to bring him the never ending joy of emptying his baskets?

We have so far limited Charlie’s toys to one basket of wood blocks, one of other toys, and one of books. Call us crazy, but ideally we’ll not ever have much more than this – just transitioning toys out and in as he gets older and as other babies come along. I could see us getting one larger basket to hold the miscellaneous toys, and having multiple others tucked away under his bed to pull out when he wants to play with them. But right now, he’s the definition of a free range baby, finding more interest in non-toys throughout the house in the form of plastic lids, rubber spatulas and the occasional shoe. Of course, he also has a shelf of books on the bookshelf, but he hasn’t found that yet 😂.

So it’s not much, but in a small house, things get messy fast. I love a tidy home (who doesn’t), but my little destroyer loves the thrill of getting everything out. So, what do you think, reader? Tidy throughout the day, or leave it all to the end?

This reminds me of this article I read the other day on Food52 about the apparently controversial practice of cleaning the kitchen as you go, or leaving it all to the end! What are you? I’m a clean as I go! Which maybe answers this whole Wednesday wondering. 😂 It must just be in my nature.

baby in a tin, a note on being resourceful.

Who needs a baby pool anyway? This first weekend of summer break was too, too good. I’m feeling all sorts of happiness about it. The first weekend is important, you know? It sets the stage for the whole summer. And it’s going to be a good one – I can feel it in my bones. How could it not be, with this kid?The heat and humidity swooped in with a vengeance this weekend, so I pulled the little tin beer cooler out of our outdoor side table, gave it a good wipe, filled it to the brim with the hose, moved it to a shady spot (all talk of not hanging out under the mango tree aside 😂) and tucked Charlie in it to splash away to his heart’s content. When I pulled him out thirty minutes later, happy & tired, I wrapped him and his wrinkly toes in a big striped beach towel. He took a solid two hour afternoon nap after that. Such goodness! Just love this little man so much. So, moral of the story? You don’t need to buy a thing to have summer fun. Running water? Something, anything to hold it in? You’re good! Or really pull out all the stops and hook up your hose to a sprinkler – or even just a sprayer head. No need to go out and buy anything. Although you certainly can if you so fancy! Find summer fun around you wherever you are! I’m finding that Charlie doesn’t care (nor I!) one bit if something is new, old or found. He loves his new shaker toy as much as the little Tupperware I filled with rice. And clearly he loves the tin as much as a baby pool 😊. But let’s be honest – I’m reeeeelly excited to put him in a real pool when we’re home in Indiana next week!! The tin was such a sweet solution for a hot, humid Florida day, but nothing beats the real thing. Just a note to remind (mostly myself) that money need not be spent for summer fun! ☺️

charlie crawls.

I posted a couple weeks ago that Charlie had started scooting around the house like a little zombie. This last week though, at 6 month plus a week or two, he’s up on his knees and crawling for real! He’s into everything now; pulling things off the shelves, hunting for cords, trying to eat Wendy’s bone. 2b3efb20-c8ab-47da-bbcb-ff291d412271

I looked away for two minutes this weekend, and he had crawled over to Wendy’s food and dumped her whole water bowl all over the living room and himself. Naughty boy! He’s started to pull up to stand on us and here and there around the house too. This boy is going to be walking before we know it!! Here’s a little video 🙂

 

 

radiant after birth?

7390d87f-da9c-41b0-9c87-0bea8bf375efThis article made me chuckle last week. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about Kate Middleton stepping out just 7 hours after giving birth looking fit for the red carpet. It’s been quite the hit in the news lately, and moms are making hilarious comparisons of their own looks after births. I don’t know about you, but 7 hours after birth I think I was hobbling down the hallway, gingerly trying to sit down, figure out how to diaper and feed the baby all while consuming vast quantities of food myself.

All things considered, I felt great after birth. I bounced back fairly easily, didn’t need or want any painkillers that they offered me in the hospital. I was on such a baby high! But makeup was the last thing on my mind and I’m sure I looked like a nightmare. I really didn’t care, and we only have maybe two pictures of me in the hospital to prove it. We were  Thinking about Kate Middleton having to wear heels and makeup just a few hours after pushing an 8 and a half pound infant into the world. Gosh! The whole thing just makes me think about how different each of our forays into birth and motherhood are.

While I was pregnant, women loved telling me all about their birth experiences and I actually love to hear everyone’s stories. I would cluck in compassion about their emergency c-section, gasp at the appropriate moments when they told me about the moment they needed an epidural, and express surprise about the fact that they were induced and never even felt a contraction. Everyone has a different and beautiful story for bringing their baby into the world. For the most part, every story ended the same. “Having a new baby is just the best.” That’s how my story ends anyway. What about you? It’s hard, but so worth it, right?

charlie scoots.

09420d6f-9c90-4076-b0a5-d7e1da2369faa7c22ab1-0774-429f-afe3-a79204583ddcI just had to document this silly little phase. Charlie started scooting around on his belly on Tuesday and it’s hilarious. He moves like a little fish! He pushes off with his right leg and pulls himself along with his arms. So funny. Mike told me that yesterday morning he was crawling around on his knees and up on his hands like a real crawler, but I haven’t seen it yet!

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And, of course, the first thing he went for? Wendy’s food and water bowl. I had to snap a couple pictures before firmly telling him “NO!” (which he laughed at) and redirecting him elsewhere. We’re going to have to keep a really close eye on this kid now. And we may have to start doing some more baby proofing around the house. We have tons of danger hot spots!

Click here to watch a video of our quick little scooter!

one small way to make getting ready for work with a baby easier.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetMornings can be so hard with a baby, amiright? Honestly, mornings were hard when I only had to get myself ready. Adding a squirmy little guy to the mix has not made it any easier. I’ve been back at work for nearly four months now, and I’ve collected a handful of tips to streamline our mornings. Am I still late to work some mornings? YES! Has it gotten a little easier? YES! Do I still go back to snuggle Charlie 10,000 times before actually leaving the house? Double Yes. This is such a small and silly little tip, but I’m telling you it has made such a big difference for me in the morning.

IMG_9883Are you ready? Here it is: On Sunday night, lay out all your baby’s outfits for the entire week! That’s it! Simple, but big. I get a lot of laundry done on the weekend, so on Sunday when I’m folding, I just set aside five outfits (complete with socks) on Charlie’s dresser. It makes it so much easier to get him dressed in the morning. That way, after I feed him I just have to grab a little stack and throw it on him and I’m done. No more digging through drawers, or coming up short on matching outfits.

Isn’t that such a great little thing? Try it! A bonus that is that it’s a serious visual for how close you are to the weekend. Three outfits on the dresser looks like nothing compared to five. Now, if I were really on top of things I’d lay all of my clothes out for the week too, but I’m definitely not there yet.

six months with charlie.

 

IMG_9156.JPGOur little guy is starting to seem not so little anymore. We have glimpses every day of the kid he’s going to grow up to be, and it’s a combination of heart-wrenching that it truly does go by this fast, and so fun to have his little personality shining through. At six months Charlie has been eating solids here and there for about a month. The last few weeks we’ve been on a pretty consistent two-meal schedule with nursing every three hours. We’ve even started having family dinners every night at the table, complete with prayer at the beginning which he smiles so big for. He has a newfound love of baths (every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday – when we remember), and for Wendy who he smiles for all the time. She, on the other hand, is fairly indifferent about him which makes it all the funnier to us.

Is Charlie sleeping through the night? Last week I would have told you that it was happening more and more often, but then for the last 4 or 5 days, we’ve had our nightly meetings back again. Maybe Charlie could tell I was feeling a little blue about the end of our night nursing? I’ll need to let him know that he can feel free to just wake up every once in a while instead of every night. He’s off and on for naps – some days it’s two, some days it’s three, but he’s still napping pretty horribly at school. Oh well though, he doesn’t seem too much worse for it.

He’s sitting up on his own for a surprisingly long time, not crying even when he falls over. He even sat himself up on his own from his belly the other day which, I will just tell you, was shocking. No crawling is happening yet, just lots of time spent on all fours trying to figure it out. It’s happening soon! I can feel it! Although, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t mind delaying it for a while longer. Also – we’re still toothless over here, which is totally fine with me because we’re still going strong with nursing.

He happily yells a battlecry all the time, and says “buh buh buh buh” on repeat. He loves trying to drink water out of my glass which is hilarious – the cup a big ring around his face as it spills down his front. He sits up like a big boy in his stroller, and joins us for family runs a few times a week, quietly taking in the scenery. We try to take a daily walk which I’m convinced helps him sleep better at night. The ladies at school love him (we can tell) which makes it easier to drop him off there every day. He wakes up happy, sleeps on his belly (knees tucked under, butt in the air), and still loves his penguin wubbanub best. He grabs everything within reach, thinks beer bottles are his, and has figured out that peekaboo is not a magic trick making it less funny than it used to be. But the most random things are funny to him and it’s always the best to get a big belly laugh. He hugs us, stands up with help, is so ticklish, and he just brings us so much joy every day.

a mindful morning.

“Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. It is all we ever have so we might as well work with it rather than struggling against it. We might as well make it our friend and teacher rather than our enemy.” Pema Chodron

I used to practice meditation at least 3-4 times a week throughout my pregnancy with Charlie. But then, you know, I went ahead and had the baby and lost my quiet, reflective time to playing with, feeding and generally loving on said baby.

This morning I had a spare few minutes after getting ready and before it became time to wake Charlie up. This has never happened. Ever. In almost six months! I took advantage and opened up my Calm app to get in a five minute meditation. The first time since Charlie was born! I tell you I felt so serene at the start of my day. I want to say that I was just a little bit more peaceful all day. Is that crazy? I feel like I treated myself and others with just a little more grace than I would have otherwise. I’m not going to say that morning meditation is going to be making a permanent appearance again anytime soon. Mornings are just hard. But it’s definitely a reminder to take a couple minutes in the morning (maybe while I’m driving to work!) to just check in with myself about how I’m feeling, how I’m treating (and reacting to) others, and a reminder to take the present in stride – whatever the present may bring throughout the day.

charlie sits.

And just like that Charlie has figured out the fine art of sitting. It makes me laugh to see him sitting up like such a little human. I’m so used to seeing him laying on his back or laying on his tummy with his little head popped up. He’s still a little wobbly, so believe-you-me my hand is right there juuuuuust out of sight, ready to catch him if (and when) he topples over.

Tonight I sat with him between my legs after dinner. He had a whole pile of toys in his lap, and he proceeded to dig through the mess to get to his pacifier and put it right in his mouth. Basically an adult! No hysterics about toes tonight though. But hey, there’s always tomorrow!

a (first) trip to the library.

I’m embarrassed to admit (as a librarian) that it’s taken five months for me to get Charlie to a library. I’m even more embarrassed to admit that this trip wasn’t even an intentional “Charlie needs to visit the library” visit. It was a trip for my own selfish purposes!

I’m knee deep in library lesson planning. While yes, I’m a school librarian, for the past three years I have had the luxury of being on a flexible schedule during the school day. This means I’m not a “Special.” Teachers can arrange weekly times to visit the library for their students to get books, but not every teacher has chosen to take advantage of the opportunity. This has left me ample time to do book ordering, teacher requests for books, clubs, random administrative tasks, etc. Well, all that has come to a screeching halt. I’ve become very “Special” in the afternoon. Meaning I’ve been in furious flurry of lesson planning and scrambling to get things together for classes beginning in the library this week. Long story short – I needed some books for my storytime that the school library didn’t have. So off we went to the public library this past weekend, dragging Charlie (and Mike) with me. And on the way there, as Mike was saying he would wait in the car with Charlie while I ran in. We realized – it was Charlie’s first library visit! Ack! So out came Charlie into the library to visit the Children’s section and to read a few books with his papa while I hunted down my books for storytime. Only one librarian made him cry – and it wasn’t me!

So there you have it. Charlie’s sweet first visit to the public library. Just the first of many!