These are only kind of quick...given we have hardly blogged all summer they may be longer than usual!
1. Summer Update. Despite the cool (aka: crummy) weather, we have had a great summer. We spent a week with family plus another weekend with friends in Lake Chelan and have tried all we can to do small family outings where we live - walks, playing lots outside, and finishing house projects. Summer is a great time to refresh, although I joked with Michael that we need to plan this kid thing a bit better. The past 4 summers I have either been preggo (in the yucky 1st Trimester) or have had an infant! Despite being stuck inside with a baby we're trying to adopt a more laid back mode and focus mostly on the things that matter. And we're learning some great lessons in the meantime.
2. Lessons Learned from Vacation. Vacation is a blessed thing. Whether you camp in a tent or stay at a five-star resort the lessons learned from time away can be priceless. As mentioned above, summer is a time to reflect on the things that are truly important - family, memories, peaceful and fun times. Vacations usually afford one the opportunity to kick back and not worry about things like cleaning, cooking big meals, or hustling about. After coming back from our week in Chelan relaxed and refreshed it was my goal to adopt the "vacation mode" for our household. While away I didn't care less that the house we stayed in wasn't picked up or that I wore the same thing everyday. And while things at home aren't utter chaos, I now worry a bit less that the dishes are clean or that there are piles of laundry in my laundry room. I spend my time painting with Avila or snuggling with Maximilian or enjoying a nice glass of wine with my hubby in our wonderful backyard - and we are all better for it.
3. I am IN LOVE with Max. It never ceases to amaze me how much I am in love with our son. He is so unbelievably happy and you can tell he just enjoys life. His smile is cute and coy and flirty and mischievous all rolled into one and I could just snuggle with him all day long. I guess it's hard for me to put into words how blessed we feel with this little child who has been in our lives for just a few short months. He brings out the motherly side of Avila, he loves to sing, and he is content just about anywhere. And it only brings us more joy and excitement to realize we will get to see him blossom into a little person, just as we have witnessed with our daughter.
4. Why does puke surprise me? On a completely different note, Max is - how shall we put this nicely? - quite messy after he eats. If he (and I) can manage wearing only 2 shirts a day I claim success. But the funny thing is - even after knowing he spits up A LOT - it catches me off guard every time. You could be in another room and here me shout, "Oh, man!" or "Max, are you kidding me?" about 20 times a day. Even Avila has caught on. Every time I make a slight noise of frustration, she says, "Did Max puke again?"
5. A new patio! We have a new patio! After resigning myself to the fact it would be a long while before the last section of dirt in our yard would be converted into anything, we can proudly say we have a new (beautiful might I add) patio. When time allows, I will of course post pics. All we have left to do outside is some landscaping and finishing painting the trim on our house. And then...it's on to the basement. Last I heard my dad was coming up in 2 weeks to start framing in the walls...uh oh...
6. Our amazing little girl. Not only am I amazed at how much I love our son, but I am also amazed at how exceptional and kind our little girl is. Sure, this may be motherly bragging, but Avila is one of the most sweet, gentle, compassionate, grateful persons I know. She says "thank you" for everything (even for time-outs...) and she is acutely aware of other's emotions. Her memory is quite freaky and she is quick to pick up anything you put in front of her. Now if only we can get her to fall asleep during naptime...
7. Starting "school." I have noticed lately that Avila needs a bit more than the toys and games around her to keep her from getting bored. Plus, with brother around, she is in need of some good attention. So, I have decided that during Max's morning nap, we do "school." She looks forward to this every morning and our activities range from learning activities, playing, coloring, cooking, reading, or anything else we can do together. It's a good 1-2 hours of "just us" time. I stay off the computer, forget about any housework I have, and focus solely on her. This has been great for the both of us - for me it gets my mind on track, thinking about how to incorporate more learning activities and liturgical events into our day, plus she gets the mama-time she craves. I can't wait to see how this will mold and take shape over the coming months.