Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Currently: August

We've hit the point of summer where I'm just kind of over it! It's been an extremely hot and humid summer here. We've had 25 days above 90 - our average is 15. Plus it's been really humid and we've barely had any rain. The creek that we run/walk along is bone dry in many spots. I am really glad I gave up my garden plot this year (I gave it up since it's too hard to get over there with 2 young kids). I would have had to water it nearly daily for much of the summer so I don't think it would have survived! Here is what's currently on my mind!

Reading: Seven Days in June, which is a buzzy romance that I heard about on multiple podcasts. I'm reading that on my kindle. I also started The Plot - I have the physical book from the library. I've found I can read 2 books at the same time when they are in different formats and have very different plots. I always have to have a kindle book going as I like to read on my phone when I nurse Will.

Loving: Will's stage! He is such a happy, smiley guy. His motto must be "always be smiling!" We get a lot of comments about how content and easy-going he is. He rarely cries. He's so content, though, that he doesn't seem to feel the need to move. So he is nowhere near crawling! This makes our life easier but I'm surprised he doesn't want to try to move so he can (try to) keep up with his brother! Sometimes it's hard for me to accept that kids do things on their own schedule. In my mind I'm thinking, "Paul crawled at 8 months so you should have crawled at that point or sooner!" I guess my kids like to teach me that I'm not in control. Oof, you should have seen my internet search history when Paul was between 12 to 16 months. He did not walk until he was 16.5 months because of his giant 90th+ percentile head on his 4th percentile body. His pediatrician told us 16 months was the earlier he would walk because he was such a bobble head but I still researched the heck out of what to do/is this normal/etc. 

Feeling: ready for some cooler fall temps. As I mentioned above, I'm kind of over the heat and humidity. We've had a lot of days when the weather is too hot/humid to have the boys outside. We put up with horrible winters so I expect nicer summers! I am actually glad I was on maternity leave Dec-Apr because it was actually easier to be outside then than it would be now! It helps that we had a very mild winter, though!

Anticipating: my 10 mile race in October! My training is going pretty well. I am pretty slow compared to pre-kids Lisa but I'm just happy to be out there and have enjoyed training with my neighbor. They will be moving to a new house next summer which is a bummer! But I will enjoy having a training partner across the street who runs a similar pace while I have her! I'm trying not to think about the logistics of race morning too much!  I know I'm going to have to pump before I leave so I'll have an extra early morning but I'm sure it will all work out. I'm hoping for cool, crisp fall weather on race morning!

Struggling: with threenager behavior at times. There are fun aspects of Paul being 3 but the big feelings and sudden changes of behavior are HARD. I'm trying to employ techniques I've learned about on various parenting podcasts but it can be hard in the moment!

Grateful: that I was able to get my 3rd dose of Pfizer. I was eligible for a booster shot since I am immune compromised. Delta is really circulating and while things are pretty good here in Minnesota, I don't trust it will stay like this so I am glad I got some extra protection! Similar to the last 2 shots, I had little to no side effects. My arm was more sore this time but that's about it.

Working: on finding a bed for Paul. The bed we were hoping to get is sold out at Ikea so we need to go a different direction. Paul is almost 3.5 and does not seem to mind his crib. He has never tried to crawl out. But he's probably getting to an age where he should move into a bed so we need to find one this fall!

Listening: to my usual podcasts which is a mix of parenting, reading, and other slice of life content. During dinner, we have been listening to songs by Elmo on our Echo as that content is always a hit with Paul. And if Paul is happy then Will is happy! They also get a kick out of mom's dance moves. 

Watching: the new season of Modern Love on Prime. They dramatize Modern Love columns from the NYT. It's the second season and I just love the series so much. It's not Phil's thing so I watch it when he's not around. I also made sure to watch Golden while we had a peacock subscription for the Olympics. It's a documentary about making the gymnastics Olympic team. I LOVE gymnastics so really enjoyed that. Phil and I are between shows but hopefully we find something we both like soon.

for a nice, long, mild fall! Fall can be so beautiful here in Minnesota. Or it can snow in October like it did last year! I'm hoping it stays beautiful through Thanksgiving!! We have family photos on October 15th and I'm really hoping we still have leaves on our trees at that point. With how dry it's been, I fear the leaves will drop very early this year. Some of the trees have the saddest, droopy leaves. Paul will now comment on how sad the trees look on walks. 

Bonus Paul and Will Photos:

Visiting Nana Joan

What is in this fishbowl?? This is his favorite toy!

Pablo's first day in his new classroom. He had a weird rash on his face so it's not the best picture of him, but oh well. Gotta love that he wants to be a T. Rex when he grows up! Ha!

What are you anticipating, loving and watching?

Monday, August 16, 2021

Annual August Lake Trip

Last week we went on what has become our annual August lake trip. I think this is the 3rd year in a row that we've gone up to the lake for a long stretch. This trip was Wednesday-Saturday. This trip was extra special because my sister that lives in AZ was there with her husband and baby! I hadn't seen my sister since January 2020 when we all gathered at a resort to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. A lot happened (hello, 2 babies were born!) since we last saw each other so it was wonderful to spend lots of time with them. 

After our horrendous after-work drive in June, we opted to leave on Wednesday morning. We were in the car by 7:30 thanks to me pushing us along! I wanted to get to the lake ASAP! The drive wasn't too bad. Will barely napped of course but was fairly content except the last hour which he spent mostly screaming. Eeks. We stopped twice which seems to be the least numbers of times you can stop when you have a potty trained toddler and a breastfed baby. Hopefully some day we can do the drive (which is about 3 hours on a good day) with zero stops but I think we are a couple of years from that...

Wednesday was a really nice day! Maddy and Will played on the blanket together and enjoyed getting to know each other. My niece Maddy has the most epic facial expressions. Paul was similar and was so expressive. Will is just pretty much happy all the time which has earned him the nickname, "Chill Will."

Will has pretty much mastered sitting up. It was nice to plop him onto a towel and let him play with toys. 

I mean check out her side eye in this photo!!! Hilarious!

Will and aunt Abby

Will and Nana

Thursday and Friday were cooler, windier days. I went for a 4 mile run on Thursday morning and enjoyed the cooler, less humid morning temps! Will had plenty of people to entertain him in my absence!

Papa and Will
I tried introducing Will to more foods with mixed results. He chewed on a strawberry for a bit before tossing it on the floor. 

Paul really enjoyed the cousin time and asked to hold little Maddy. She is smaller so easier for him to hold compared to Will!

He also soaked up some reading time with aunt Abby!

The cooler weather meant we got some use out of footie pajamas. Will spent an entire day in this outfit as it never warmed up enough for him to need something cooler!

Always be smiling!

On Saturday morning, I went for my long run of 7 miles. I'm slow compared to pre-baby pace but that's ok. I'm happy to be able to run and do something for myself!

My mom's birthday was on Saturday and she requested lunch on the pontoon. Paul REALLY did not want to go. You know what got him on the boat? Hearing chips were on the lunch menu (we had hot dogs, chips and fruit). This kid will do nearly anything for carbs! 

Will tolerated the life jacket better compared to our June trip. It helps that he's gotten longer so the life jacket isn't as bulky on him. 

I only have pictures with my sister and her family, but my older brother and sister and their spouses and kids were all there, too! So 4 out of 5 of us kids were there which made my mom very happy. 

We headed home on Saturday afternoon after the pontoon ride. Will as due for a nap so I was hoping he'd sleep for a good chunk of the trip. He alternated between sleeping and SCREAMING for the 3.5 hour drive home. It was not pleasant. 

We always come back from the lake on Saturday because no matter how short the trip was, we need a day at home to get ready to return to normalcy. Phil grocery shopped on Saturday night and I did laundry and meal prep on Sunday. Our oak tree has started to drop acorns so Phil talked Paul into helping with some acorn clean-up. He enjoyed using his sand toys to help out. 

Will and I supervised! 

This is a big week in our house as Phil turns 40 on Wednesday! I had suggested we have people over but he prefers a quiet celebration so we'll get take-out or grill dinner on Wednesday. My gift to him was arranging 3 rounds of golf with friends and family. I'm an excellent planner and, well, his friends aren't. So he'll be golfing a round with 3 of his best college buddies on Sunday - that was the most difficult to plan! On Friday afternoon he's golfing a round with 3 of his cousins. And then he'll golf one more round with my co-worker who he has become good friends with over the years as I've worked with or for this guy for 10 years! Phil is not at all materialistic and never wants anything so the gift of time doing something he loves and planning it for him was the best gift I could come up with!

How was your weekend? Do you have any annual trips that you take?

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Baby Will at 8 Months

Will is 8 months! Where did the time go? Before we know it, we'll be celebrating his first birthday. I've said this before but I don't feel much sadness about the passage of time/our kids getting older. Maybe that will hit me when they are a little bit older? I've enjoyed the baby stage and soaked up TONS of cuddling/holding time since I knew he was our last but I like watching him get bigger and learn new things! 

Growth: He was 16 pounds at 6 months - no idea what he weighs now - maybe 17-18? He wear a mix of 9 month and 12 month clothes. He had to move up in size due to length, not weight. So some 12 month stuff is pretty loose on him. If not for his length he would still be in a lot of 6 month clothes. I'm grateful for hand-me-downs because there is no overlap between what Paul wore during that first summer and what Will wears. Paul was mostly in 3-6m clothes during his first summer. I have a few 12m summer outfits but not all that many. But we do laundry so often that it is not a big deal to have a small inventory of clothes!


He still likes to play with toys on a quilt. We work on tummy time but he does not love it... Paul started to crawl at this point but Will is not there yet. I was so sure he'd be on the move faster but he seems too content to try to move much? He is trying to figure it out, but moves backwards when he tries to crawl.

He loves to watch his big brother and is very interested in anything Paul is doing. He especially wants to play with the little cars that Paul plays with. That does not go over very well sometimes. ;) 

He loves the water! He usually cries when I take him out of the bath. We've taken him to a couple of wading pools and he loved splashing around.

He also loves stroller walks. I have taken some hour+ long walks with him and he is so happy the entire time. The extreme heat/humidity and smoky weather has limited how much we've been able to have him outside but I look forward to lots of long walks during the fall. I have yet to run with him in the running stroller but might try that this fall. Right now it works better for me to run without the stroller but it would definitely add an extra challenge if I did some runs with him!

Dislikes: really not much! He is a very content, happy guy. The only time he cries is when I go from feeding him before bedtime to putting him in his sleep sack - and that's usually because he falls asleep when eating and doesn't like to be woken up. But he cheers back up when I read him his bedtime books. 


He met more family this month! He had briefly met my brother and SIL in April but was so tired/cranky, they didn't get to hold him much. He was kind of cranky when we went to my brother's (overtired, 4 new faces), but my SIL got some baby-holding time in!

He then met my grandma when we were at my parents lake home in June. He did so well on her lap and she loved meeting him and getting to see how Paul had grown and changed since she last saw us!

And then he met my older sister and her 2 younger kids. He once again did really well when my sister held him! Maybe being outside is the key!

He'll get to meet my younger sister, her husband and their baby who is 2.5 months younger than Will when we are at the lake next week!

Feeding: We started to give him solids at 6 months. He wasn't sitting up independently at that point (a requirement for baby led weaning) so we gave him purees. It has taken him awhile to figure out how to swallow, but he loves yogurt and fruit/veggie and fruit purees. I tried giving him carrot and green bean purees and he literally gagged! But I tasted them and they were AWFUL. He liked sweet potatoes so at least there is one veggie he likes in puree form. Now that he is better at sitting up, we are starting to give him some chunkier things but he is not sure what to do with them!

Sleeping: We've turned the corner on this! I hit my breaking point after he went from waking once to waking 2+ times. So we did sleep training in July and he now sleeps through the night. Alleluia! It only took a couple of days to get him to sleep through the night. He'll occasionally wake and cry for a bit and a couple of times he's woken at 5:30 and cried for awhile but our rule is to not go in before 6 am. Paul did not sleep through the night until a year so I am VERY glad Will is a better sleeper. Not having ear infections/not needing to get tubes makes as big difference!

Mama: I'm doing pretty well overall! I see my pelvic floor PT tomorrow so it will be good to see how my increased mileage has impacted things. I haven't seen her for a month since I had been doing so well. I am excited to have a race on the calendar (a 10 mile on October 3rd - the day Will turns 10 months). I never would have registered for this if not for my neighbor. I've enjoyed running with her a couple of times a week! I try to run 3 times/week and then do 1-2 strength training sessions and walks on other days. 

Breastfeeding is still going well but I sometimes struggle with feeling a bit chained to Will. He takes a bottle great at school but does not do well when Phil gives him a bottle. He's a smart kid, I guess! So I have only missed bedtime once when I had a work dinner in July at 5:30. But I know he'll drink less and less in the coming months so I'll have more freedom to be away from him during the day on weekends if need be.

My RA is much better as the new injection I switched to is working well. So I will be able to make it to 12 months of breastfeeding. I'm not sure how soon I will wean him - we will see how I feel as I approach December. 

Pablo: All in all, Pablo has done really well with the adjustment to big brother. He has times of jealousy but is also very sweet towards his brother. He gets most upset if he sees me reading a book to Will. But I will just have him come sit with us and start over. 

Overall, we feel lucky to have such a chill, happy little guy!

Monday, August 2, 2021

What We Read in July

July was another solid reading month. I read 9 books. 

This first picture features my favorite books from the month. My overall favorite was "Greenwood." I really liked the narrative structure of the book - it starts in the future, moves backwards in time to 1908, and then forward again to the future. So it's modeled off of the rings of a tree. Trees feature prominently in the book so the narrative structure made sense! 

This picture features books that were 'pretty good' to just ok. My least favorite book was "Their Eyes Were Watching God." I had such trouble getting into the dialect of the book so I ended up listening to it. And overall I just felt a bit meh about it. But I tend to not love books hailed as 'classics!' 

The boys' reading

Will is getting more into books. He especially loves books with pictures of other babies. 

I've been trying to make a point to read more board books to him, but this can be tough as Paul gets a little territorial about books that we used to read together... 

Paul is very very into the Mo Willems books. We have probably checked out over 20 of his books from the library! He especially likes the pigeon books. Paul gets the concept of the library now and will ask me to request books from the library. I'm grateful that we live so close to our library as I go there pretty much weekly these days. I need to find another author to check out after we read all of Mo Willem's books. Any suggestions? Paul is starting to sound out some words so all of the reading seems to be paying off! We overheard him sounding out the world 'golf' on Phil's hat the other day so that was pretty cool to listen to!

Did you read anything great this month?