8 Months

The past couple of weeks have really just swept right by me and just the other night Husband commented/asked me:

"You didn't do Libbie's 8 months...?"

So today we did it! I really wish I had done this with Verity, and that adds to my resolve to keep better records of her sister during this first year in which she is constantly growing and changing. 
She wasn't as thrilled about the camera as she usually is. I got that one smile out of her by singing this little song while rocking my head side to side on beat:

Libbie, Libbie, Libbie-Lou,
Libbie-Lou, Libbie-Lou,
Libbie, Libbie, Libbie-Lou,
I sure love you!

Sung to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down."

Husband is always re-writing songs with silly lyrics that involve our family. This is the one thing guaranteed to make her smile when she's just plain had enough.

What's super cute... is when Verity sings it to her, too.
She has changed so much this past month. For one thing, her all-encompassing Mommy-love has extended to Daddy, and now we have two little girls who cry and chase after him when he leaves for work in the morning.

Libbie's getting the hang of chewing! Which is exciting. I do wish babies were a little neater with their foods (I know, a silly thing to wish, right?) because sometimes.. baths get old. And this little one gets so excited by them that she flops ands flips and slides around the tub like a giddy little porpoise and it's all I can do to get her clean and keep her from drowning.. while at the same time keeping the bottle of soap away from her mouth and her little hands from yanking the plug out of the drain. 

She is all over the place.

Those tiny hands have to be among the grabbiest in the world.

Liberty didn't sleep well for a few days (and wouldn't you know it? Right when my parents were here to visit.) and I couldn't quite pinpoint why. Then she went back to sleeping great, and then next day... maneuvered her way from crawling to sitting, and pulled herself up to standing. "Oh, so that's what was going on.."

So while she can crawl, she still chooses to army crawl. It's just faster when you've been doing it for so long, I guess. She looks kinda goofy when she does it.

Probably the most hilariously pathetic part of this stage is how little foresight she has. Poor depth perception and spacial awareness.. it seems like this kid is always getting hurt. Always slipping, losing her balance, falling down, smacking her face into things, getting stuck...

It's new for me, because Verity never really went through this. 

While sad to watch, I often have to choke back my laughter. Like when I come in to get her from her nap and she's standing at the edge of her crib.. and she gets so excited to see me that she starts jumping up and down... and smacks her face into the railing. Poor little babe!
 My oversupply problem is finally under control, and nursing is a happy thing we share together. The last little piece to the puzzle was cutting out some galactagogues (coconut milk, coconut oil, oats, flaxseeds..) from my diet that I was unaware were effecting me so much. Within a few days things slowed down, and Libbie stopped getting drowned with a firehose of milk and thus.. stopped getting ticked off and refusing to nurse. Life is good now.

The best new thing this month has been the discovery of curls on my baby's head. She had a bit of fuzz from her sheet that got stuck in her hair and made a little knot. As I was brushing it out after her bath, her wet hair fell back to her head and landed in perfect little ringlets. I literally dropped my jaw. Then giggled. Then dashed for some product to hold those curls in.

While they do take some coaxing, they are natural and stinking adorable. This child inherited so many more of her daddy's genes than mine.. Man, if all her hair came in like this!!! Oh, gosh. I would swoon at the sight of her everyday. 
And to think that before she was born I used to worry she wouldn't be as pretty as her sister.. they are each so beautiful, with their own unique traits, and I love them both so dearly.

Happy Eight Months, little love of mine.


camping at Pebble Creek

"I know you're just doing this for me," Husband said. 

He was right. I'd been putting off camping this summer as long as possible, using the "it still gets too cold at night" excuse. I say 'excuse' because it always gets cold at night in Idaho. 

I have way too many less-than-fond memories of freezing while camping, when even in the middle of summer it gets down in the 40s after sunset. 

We chose to revisit a site we'd camped at a few years ago, sorta near Lava, but a little more off the beaten path. It's a beautiful drive. I love the mountain meadows full of tall grasses, sagebrush, and wildflowers, with evergreen-dotted mountainsides behind them. I love the twinkling of the leaves like a million tiny little coins as the wind blows through the aspens. 
Idaho has its charms.

And cows have the right of way.

This little hollow in the woods is nestled next to a peaceful little creek that's perfect for little ones to throw rocks into for hours on end. The sound of the water flowing is like the perfect lullaby (as long as you don't need to use the restroom.. cause there ain't one.) 

I liked camping here- and camping in general- much better when I'm not pregnant. Have I mentioned that goal? No pregnancies in 2014!? Woo hoo! That's our little New Years resolution. Camping is so much better this way.
 So while Verity returned several dozen rocks to the creek, Libbie played on a blanket for a while. Until she got bored of that.. and set herself to the task of tasting all of the pinecones one by one and getting completely covered in dirt. (TMI.. that made for the weirdest diaper changing experience I've ever had.)
We nearly left without a tarp and rope when they proved initially difficult to find, but Husband persisted despite my declarations of "there's not a single cloud in the sky!" And wouldn't you know it? It rained. Put all of Husband's shelter-building skills and waterproofing of the tent to good use. 

Post-thunderstorm, Husband built up a cozy fire with wood collected from among the fallen trees and I put together a little dinnertime experiment: campfire calzones. It totally worked, and it was wicked cool. Round one involved one of those little metal sandwich cooker things on a stick.. which both charred the dough and melted the metal. Cooking tool then destroyed (sorry Cameron & Tiffany... we'll replace it...), we found a rock with a flat-ish side and cooked our calzones on it, a moderate distance from the flames. Round two was a success! They. Were. Delicious.
We made s'mores and ate them.

We all cuddled up into our double sleeping bag and hunkered down for the night. We stayed surprisingly warm right up until just before dawn. I guess that's what happens when you have x4 body heat in a confined space.
Morning brought a roaring fire to keep warm and beautiful streams of sunshine through the trees. We cooked some tin foil breakfasts (which were less of a success than the calzones) to minimize dishes to be cleaned, and shared some bagels and juice around the campfire before taking down camp and heading back home.
(next time.. we're bringing the camp stove to cook our eggs)
And here we are: crazy-haired, dirt-faced, tired, and smelling like a campfire. Libbie must have been extra tuckered out.. cause drifting off to sleep while nursing is a rare, rare occurrence these days. Poor, sweet babe. Mommy loves you.
I suppose this is the only good thing about 1:30 church: we get to camp out on Saturday nights and return home in time for the whole family to clean up and get to sacrament meeting before the opening hymn.

Husband has been giddy about camping since he was a little boy. As for me, I could take it or leave it. I like cooking over the fire, but I also like running water and toilets. Also, hotel maids clean up after you. 

But it all turned out great, and I'm happy that we went. Happy that Husband was happy, and happy to have embarked on our first solo camping outing- just the four of us. Husband was right about this one, for sure.


a visit from Grammie & Grampa

Saturday after naptime Verity woke up to find Grammie and Grampa had flown in from New Hampshire to visit for a week. My mom helped me with some last minute cleaning before our Bradley reunion, and they joined us for an evening full of babies and kiddos and lots of birth talk, with our favorite Jim Gaffigan bit to top it off.

Two of our three couples came to show off their beautiful babies and tell all about their labors and births. These mommas did fantastically well, and brought healthy, happy babies home to join their families. Kudos to Matt & Sarah for birthing their 9 lb posterior baby completely free of medication, intervention, and damage to mom. Little Ava is one of the most gorgeous little girls I've ever seen. Dave coached Laura through a grueling longer and very intense natural labor to birth their 9 lb baby Cole whose weight gain is off-the-charts amazing (16 lbs now at 8 weeks old!). So good to see these wonderful people again.

That evening also brought Uncle Chad to visit.. and who doesn't love it when super fun uncles come over to play? Vera and Libbie had a blast with him. Being a pilot (and having one in the family) sure has its perks.

Sunday we enjoyed a family- as in, all our visiting family members and those in Pocatello- dinner of homemade pizza chez nous.. which was, of course, made by moi. 
The weather was less than friendly for most of the week, which was annoyingly bizzare after all the beauty we've been experiencing. So we enjoyed a relaxing few days at home, making homemade pad thai, strawberry jam and everything else strawberrily imaginable, and the girls soaking in their fill of Grammie & Grampa all the livelong day. 
We ventured over to Jackson Hole and into the Tetons on Wednesday, hoping the weather forecast would turn out to be dead wrong.. and then it wasn't. Cold and rainy with clouds covering the tops of the mountains as they sprinkled the peaks with snow. Breathtaking as it was, it didn't make for many good photos or the relaxing nature walks we'd been hoping for. 

Deciding to skip Jenny Lake and head up into Yellowstone.. we hit snow. It was snowing in northern Idaho/Wyoming and Montana. Snowing. In June. 
A few elk and buffalo were kind enough to do their grazing close enough to the highway for us to wave hello, and that mystical steam coming up from the ground in Yellowstone was pretty amazing.

Mountains and canyons carved out by raging rivers, and miles upon miles of evergreens. Makes for such different scenery than my dear New England with it's soft hilly mountains, gradual inclines, slow rivers and mixed forests.
Cold snowy weather and a couple of little ones who'd hit their limit for car time that day made for a dinner of yummy Chinese in West Yellowstone and a trip cut a little short for sanity's sake. Happy children beat buffalo and natural geysers in their grandparents' book. 
(her bottoms came off next and it was hilariously adorable.. )
My friend Heather and her husband recently entered the world of beekeeping; a visit to meet the girls and watch them hard at work was in order. She is so awesome for having them and were it not for my deathly fear of being stung, I would be jumping on that bandwagon in a heartbeat. Maybe if I had one of those bee suits I could be persuaded... someday. When I have a large and beautiful garden and small orchard to benefit from them. 

Mom & Jack enjoyed the visit and their Beekeeping 101 education. 

We finished off our time with a hunt for a good local quilt shop. Thank you, Momma! I had no idea how spoiled I was with quality quilting fabric from her business until I looked at the quilting section at Joann's and nearly cried. I now have everything in mind for Liberty's baby quilt and I can't wait to purchase everything and start in on the adventure! 
We finished off their lovely visit outside in the golden hours of the evening with yummy chicken, salmon, and veggies off the grill, corn on the cob and homemade bread, with chocolate covered strawberries and ice cream for dessert.
I am so thankful that my babies have grandparents who travel clear across the country to see them, and who make such an effort to be part of their lives, even from a distance. I'm thankful for pilots in the family who've made traveling so much easier. I'm thankful for Skype. I'm thankful for all the ways technology helps us stay closer as a family when we have so much geography in between us. 

It's a beautiful, wonderful world we live in and I love all the family I have in it.