Monday, June 27, 2016

Honing our skills.

Summer is officially upon us and it is h-o-t. Really hot. I read something the other day that described our current temperatures as "hotter than the hinges on the gates to hell". That seems fairly accurate. But the sweltering Tennessee sun does bring nice things. Chaco tan lines. Lawn mower therapy. And the garden wildly awakens. Cucumbers and blackberries have been the first ones to show their lovely faces. I can't give away enough cucumbers and I'm already resorting to this behavior.

That big kid there, holding the blackberries- he's still doing amazing during swimming lessons. Four mornings a week for the entire month we've been trekking to Spring Hill rec center for 30 minutes with Miss Chloe or Miss Ellie. I'm not sure I've ever been prouder of Henry. He is so determined to conquer this and become an official swimmer. Practice makes perfect.

Henry's big brother skills are steadily growing more impressive as well. He reads to Charlie, sings to her, talks to her. He seems to constantly be within a foot of her, and it is just precious. It makes my heart nearly burst to watch them together.

After watching some home videos of baby Henry we decided Charlie might enjoy a bouncy seat as much as her big brother did- (and maybe that we would enjoy it as well, particularly at dinner time). So a few days ago a box arrived in the mail. Henry was insistent upon putting it together for his little sister- and he pretty much did it by himself. She smiled so big when we put her in it, and his mission was accomplished.

We've been trying to entice Charlie to practice certain skills too. Eleven weeks old and this girl still refuses a bottle. Actually, she's refused six kinds of bottles now, ha. She has been showing us who's boss on this matter for 8 weeks. If I didn't have weddings scheduled to photograph this fall I wouldn't get overly worried about it. I mean, she's not particularly worried is she? Stinker.

Will says Charlie's body control reminds him of Wesley (aka the Man in Black) when he was recovering from being "only mostly dead". When she turns her head from side to side it's sometimes the equivalent of cranial belly flop. But every day this sweet girl gets stronger and smilier and she's raising that head up to see the world around. She's still having staring contests with her feet and has become a fierce bubble blower.

Over the weekend our favorite guy ever turned 43 and we had such a fun day to celebrate. After a great lunch at Burger Up with some of our favorite people, the Zuill clan ventured slightly north towards the Sounds Stadium. I mean, Star Wars night at the ballpark on Mr. Zuill's birthday? That is destiny. Henry was on cloud nine meeting all the Star Wars characters. We're pretty sure he ate $50 worth of ballpark food and he got to see himself on the guitar scoreboard (complete with foam finger). Charlie was awesome considering it was wayyyy past her bedtime and one million degrees. And I think my sweet Brit thoroughly enjoyed his birthday. Family days like this should happen much more often.

Hope you're staying cool and thanks for checking in!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Charlie, two months old.

Sweet Charlie. The days and nights have flown by in a blur, and suddenly you are already two months old.

Two months old is a good age to expand one's social calendar. You went out for your first Sunday brunch last week and in good company too.

We started using our cloth diapers this week, since you suddenly seem big enough. Cloth diapering can be seriously intimidating. There are so many "do this" and "don't do that!" internet articles on washing, stripping, water softeners, etc, etc. My gosh. One thing's for sure though- they are undeniably cute on you.

You had your first round of immunizations a few days ago. Your big brother had to cover his eyes while it was happening. He couldn't stand to watch. I was so nervous it would be rough on you but you were a little champ. Well, not so little actually.

At two months old, you don't love tummy time. You get so annoyed with the hiccups and with the gripe water I give you to stop your hiccups. You don't particularly like to sit in your swing but you will tolerate it every now and then allowing me to sneak in a workout. You're not a huge fan of your carseat, still.

You love ceiling fans and hearing whistling. You love sitting on the back porch, your Daddy's songs and your brother's smiling face saying "Hey there, baby sister!". You love bath time in the tub. You also seem to love pooping in the tub. When Henry takes a bath with you it is the best thing ever- you can't take your eyes off him. You love to get your hair dried with the blow dryer. You will ride in the baby wrap the entire time I clean house each week, lulled to sleep by the sound of the vacuum.

You're still sleeping in our room at night. You usually wake twice to nurse, and that second time I don't put you back in your bassinet to sleep afterwards. You just cuddle up beside me and it is easily the sweetest part of my day.

You are starting to coo and make the loveliest baby noises. This week you're blowing little bubbles and have just made the greatest discovery on earth- your feet. You smile all the time these days- huge gummy grins that would just melt anybody. We love you so, Charlie Zuill.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

a wonderful June.

We are only a week into June and already it has been such a wonderful month.

Our June baseball season has kept us busy and wonderfully entertained. We have made some of the best friends on those bleachers. And there's nothing quite like watching the College Grove Rockets play! Henry has learned so much during this year's season. The whole team did! The difference in their skills between the first game and the last was astounding. Henry hit his first home-run this season! He played hard and fair every game and he loved it. Coach Brian, Coach Justin & Coach Hank taught our team so much. This has definitely been one of my favorite parts of being a mom!

Henry has been honing in on some other skills lately as well. Its blows me away home many challenges he's willing to take on at once. Last weekend we casually mentioned to him the possibility of trying to lose his training wheels. He was surprisingly open to the idea. So off we went. But not without proper demonstration of course.

We're not quite there yet, but he's off to a great start!

At my suggestion Henry also agreed to take swimming lessons this summer. He's had two lessons so far and it makes me so proud to watch him try so hard to master a new skill. I must have the biggest grin on my face his entire lesson. He is so brave.

The promise of Kindergarten creeping up on us has inspired me to encourage this activity. He does have an adorably captive audience after all.

Henry's big brother skills are really leaving me pretty impressed lately. He really adores this girl named Charlie, and she adores him right back. Maybe because he shows up to tummy-time with Legos and provides serious bath time entertainment!

Undoubtedly the best part of June so far- our entire family together for the first time in months. What a wonderful thing! Cousins played until they were worn out. Charlie got to meet that bunch who moved to Ohio. ha. And grandparents just glowed over their babies. I can't even begin to explain how much we miss these people being nearby. They make us complete.

Beautiful Evy Ruth was due for some three month photos. Our family sure has some beautiful babies.

Not one to be left out, Henry- exhausted from hours in the sun on the slip 'n slide- popped in for a photo op with his baby.

But the obvious cherry on the cake was when this part happened. I clearly needed this for my portfolio. How could you not love my brother? ha! I sure do!