We flew home from Oregon on June 1st; just the kids and I, and hit the ground running. That same day, we went to her cousin's first birthday party, followed by an outdoor movie that evening in our neighborhood greenbelt.
The next day, we had more cousin time at their beach hotel pool in the morning, and went to the Baker Street Bash instead of going home to nap. It was the first time that she went off without an adult. She was with two older kids that are the children of C's godmother and more like family than friends, but it was still a definite sign that she's growing up.
She was sitting with Michael watching the talent show and the Cupid Shuffle came on. Apparently, dancing to this song is hard to resist. I was so surprised to see her not only get up and start dancing to a song she had never heard, but also join a lot of kids up on stage!
A is a bit cautious and reserved, but it never gets in the way of her fun! I never would have gone up on stage at her age because I was so shy. But she felt comfortable, which speaks volumes about how comfortable she feels there and with Mak and Michael.
While we were in Oregon, my husband started taking our puppies out our back gate and letting them off-leash once they got to the stream. He's training them to come when called, in case there is another dog or mountain biker. They listen most of the time, and are eager to please. Once we were home, we joined in and now regularly go in the murky, mucky water too. As the pups are getting more adept at navigating the slippery rocks, and so is Baby A. Since she was little, I've been a firm believer in letting her get messy and explore. You know, the amazing adventures of our childhood and pretty much every generation before us that are now discouraged and almost frowned upon.
Children need to be able to get outside with unstructured time to explore. Physical and emotional problems arise when they aren't allowed to and/or are too tightly restricted and controlled. Check out this article: THE UNSAFE CHILD: Less Outdoor Play is Causing More harm Than Good. I am a firm believer that the more freedoms we allow our children, the more likely they are to listen and obey when we want/need them to- not the other way around, as some would fear. If a child is constantly told they cannot do something, it is a natural reaction to try and test those boundaries. Baby A knows that I am a "yes Mommy" and that if I do say no, there is a pretty good reason. Because of this, she is more well-behaved, not less. It is the children who are greatly restricted and constantly told no who do their very best to do the opposite of what they know to be their parent's desired behavior. Or, they have so many limits that they just tune them out. Because I seek to please A, she seeks to please us. She has never thrown anything down our staircase, for example, in part because I've never told her that she shouldn't.
Baby C continues to be such an easy-going, charming little guy! He's starting to show affection by leaning his head forward to touch ours, or by grabbing our hair and smashing his face up against his. He loves the tall giraffe in his nursery, and giggles when I bring him close to it. He's a fast army crawler and toward the end of the month was starting to crawl on all fours, and pull himself up on furniture. He loves throwing any ball back and forth, and often shakes a bit with excitement after he throws it while letting out a little grunt. It is just so darn cute, so I do it with him daily.
Toward the end of the month, A started walking more with us without the stroller. She now regularly does 1.5-2 miles out our back trails without any "I'm tired" complaints. My goal is to take advantage of the small patch of wilderness we have right out our back gate more and more as the kids get older. For our upcoming international trip, I bought The Nature Principal: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age. My goal is to still get out there with the kids daily in the fall, and eventually get mountain bikes for us all to ride.
For the last week in June, A went to VBS with her cousin MC. Although "I don't know" was usually her response to me asking what she learned, she did randomly say "I love God so much!" as we were getting ready to leave. In preparation for his first international trip, Baby C had his first haircut. For about a week after, I was adjusting to how much he looked like a boy instead of a baby.
We had two movies outside on my hubby's new projector and screen that he got for Father's Day: Shrek 2 and Toy Story 1. We're hoping to make this a summer tradition.
We met our neighbors at Angel Stadium for the kids' first baseball game. A was more into it that I expected, and even clapped every time either team scored a point. The end of the month found me trying to prepare and order things for Baby C's first birthday which is just over a month away, and packing for our trip to Helsinki! Before we flew internationally with Baby A when she was 14 months, I was really nervous and second guessing our decision until the night before. But since we have that under our belt and C is such an easy baby, I'm way more excited than I was last time.
Things I don't want to forget about this month:
- Finishing a hot 3 mile run and laying down in the toy room. A brought me a kid's cup filled to the brim with ice cold water, completely unprompted.