Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Saturday 7

1. After writing my Saturday 7 last week, Justin and I left the kids with my parents and met our friends for a "Parents' Night Out." 3 of our couple friends also managed to get babysitters, and we all went out on the town together! We started at The Corner Bar for dinner, then we walked across the street to The Pump House for fro-yo and games.

After that, Justin and I ran home so I could feed Levi (who still won't take a bottle), then we went back to Paul and Missy's house to hang out in their air conditioned basement and do a little devotion. We are so blessed to have such fun, godly friends. (Also blessed by our awesome babysitters who make it possible for us to go out and have fun!)

2. All that fun started my downward spiral with the diet. I did order a salad at The Corner Bar, but I didn't hold back at The Pump House. And I drank a lot of pop. Then it was too hot to cook all week. And Justin's parents took us to Olive Garden for our anniversary (which is actually next week in case you were worried that you forgot to send us a card ;-)). I've eaten a lot of good food this week. I was about ready to throw in the towel on the diet, but I still don't fit in any of my clothes, I just found stretch marks on my bicep (and it's not from muscle!), and I've seen a few pictures of myself lately that remind me why I'm dieting. Haha. This is not me fishing for compliments. This is me reminding myself why it's worth it.

3. Levi had his "4 month" well-child appointment this week. He's actually almost 5 months, but that's when we could get in for the appointment. He's still growing on his own tiny growth curve. He's up to 13 lbs, which puts him in the 2nd percentile. And he was 24.5 inches, which is all the way up to 7th percentile! Haha. The doctor wasn't too worried about his weight gain/reflux. He's got some chub on him, and he's very happy most of the time, so it's not like he's under-nourished. He's just shrimpy! She was a little concerned about his motor skills, though. I mentioned that he doesn't even attempt to roll, doesn't really hold himself up in the Bumbo, and won't put weight on his legs if you try to stand him up. The dr. put Levi on his stomach to check his head control and he immediately flipped over onto his back. He did it again three more times while we were there. He has never rolled for me! And he hasn't since then! I guess he just wanted to show off for the doctor. So that reassured her a little bit that he can roll. But she did say his leg muscles are unusually tight. He still has the newborn reflex to pull his legs up to his body - which he shouldn't at this age. So I have to do some mild exercises with him a few times a day. It's not a big deal. He'll probably catch up eventually, he's just a little behind. I'm not too worried.

4. Last night, Justin and the girls had a campout in our backyard. He told them a while ago that they'd do it this weekend, and of course it's been the hottest weekend of the year. But the girls were undeterred! They set up the tent, roasted marshmallows inside on our electric stove, and waited until dusk to go outside. Once the sun set, it was much more bearable outside. They brought the laptop into the tent to watch a movie, then went to sleep without incident! I didn't think Lena would last all night, and Justin said they did all end up on the air mattress with him, but no one came inside until 8:30 this morning! I love that they're making memories like this . . . and I love that Justin is willing to do it with them, because I'm not a fan of heat, sleeping on the ground, or being outside. Haha.

It was a late night for all of us, though, because Levi had no interest in going to sleep at a reasonable time.

5. I've had a bit of a parenting revelation recently. I'm super hard on myself about my kids' behavior. I feel like it's a failure on my part when they disobey. I need to be disciplining them better. I need to be more actively showing them grace so they don't want to disobey. I need to know what to do and how to do it every time they act up. And most of the time, I feel like I'm floundering. I have no idea what I'm doing, and I've convinced myself that parenting is hard because I'm doing it wrong. Until a few weeks ago, when I suddenly thought: Maybe it's hard because it's just hard. Kids are naughty. Sin is real - both theirs and mine. Yes, we need to be working on it constantly. Yes, I need to discipline and train. Yes, I need to be sacrificial when I don't want to be. But there's no perfect formula for perfect kids. I can't find an exact method that will suddenly eradicate whining or disobedience or picky eating (despite what Pinterest claims). And, another big thing for me is not comparing myself to other moms. I feel like parenting toddlers shouldn't be this hard. It wasn't this hard for my mom or sister. But I'm different than them. My kids are different than their kids. Just because I'm struggling doesn't mean I'm not cut out to be a mom. It just means I might have to do it differently than they did. Lena is going through this terrible whining phase. It's more than just a whiny voice, it's a terrible attitude. I don't know what to do with her. But instead of frantically searching for methods or berating myself for not having her under control, I'm doing the best I can. I'm being firm and consistent, and trying to be patient. She'll grow out of it soon, right?

6. Today was a first for me - my little sister and I threw a bridal shower for our soon-to-be niece. I can't remember if I've written this before . . . in our family, it's tradition that the aunts of the bride throw the family bridal shower. All my growing up years, that was my mom and her sisters. So when my nephew got engaged and we started thinking about the shower, I just assumed my mom and aunts would throw it . . . until it dawned on me that I'm the aunt! How am I old enough for this?? (Ty is only 9 years younger than me, and 3 years younger than Libby. My sisters and I are pretty spaced out.) Libby and I had fun scouring Pinterest and planning for the big day today. We're both broke, so we kept it pretty low key. And we got a ton of help from Niki, my mom, and a couple of our aunts who helped with the food. I was very happy with how it all turned out!
I was so proud of the "gifts" banner I made from twine, burlap, and letter stencils! (There were a lot more gifts. I just took pictures before everyone arrived.)
Picture banner with more twine and doilies.
Niki's handiwork!

My mom collects Ball jars, so we used a bunch of them to decorate with. And I found these flowers growing in our backyard.
That lemonade jar was a fail. It leaked so badly we ended up transferring the lemonade to a punch bowl. Haha.
We had a delicious meal of Aunt Bonnie's chicken salad on Aunt Claudia's rolls, veggies, cheese and crackers, and chips. And instead of an expensive cake, we stole a couple more Pinterest ideas for dessert:
Strawberry, marshmallow, brownie kebabs
Make Your Own Fruit Pizza Bar with my mom's famous sugar cookies, Niki's fruit pizza frosting, and a variety of fruits.
We had a great time! (And lots of leftovers . . . which doesn't bode well for my diet . . .)

7. And now for the rest of the week in pictures:
Ice cream beard at Grandma's pool.
Modeling her super cute new headband from Marie and Mae Designs 
Posing next to Lena always makes me feel tan. Haha.
We got out the Jumperoo for the first time. Levi doesn't really jump, but he sways and enjoys hanging out in it..
A rare sighting of Lena in matching clothes with her hair styled!
Those eyes . . .
More in character for Lena . . .

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