Monday, June 8, 2020

Soaking up summertime

Over the past couple weeks, I've thought about how beautiful it is that white boys and black boys have lately been filling our block with laughter and comradery, nerf darts and basketballs. From my spot in our grass (where I watch the street for cars) I smile as they zoom past--across yards and over the pavement, running, rolling, biking, jumping, blowing bubbles--and pray that this broken country will be a safe place for all of them; and that people will work to acknowledge and root up the racism in their lives, in their homes, and in their communities. 

On Mother's Day, we went to a new-to-us local park, and 
it was quite fun. It was basically a bunch of woods with different
trails to walk through, and it was very, very peaceful. 

It's precious to sit back at a distance and see these kids--some of whom are at least 9 or so years old--play with my young kids (and so patiently!). Spending time with and around our neighbors has been such a gift, especially lately.

We've had a couple recent outings to a local nature center/park,
and we love seeing all the turtles!

Our library started curbside pickup at the beginning of May, and it has been awesome. We have so enjoyed getting to interact with our librarians (from a distance) and getting new books has been wonderful. Also, while we all love browsing the shelves, the benefit of only getting books through inter-library loans is that I have full control over what books my kids come across. So, I've been introducing them to fabulous picture books that they may not ordinarily find (since they usually will pick up a Star Wars or superhero book at the library and pay no attention to anything else). In particular, the toddler has been obsessed with The Biggest Bear (SO GOOD) and Neil Gaiman's Chu books. The preschooler is obsessed with the original BabarMadeline, and Amelia Bedelia books. They've also enjoyed lovely picture books like Rainbow Fish and Ox-Cart Man. 

In other news, I recently told my husband: I just hit the third trimester. God-willing, I'll be giving birth in 3 1/2 months. I'LL ACTUALLY BE HAVING A BABY?!?! 
Peaceful soul that he is, he remarked that yes, we already knew that. I'm so grateful I married someone who exudes peace and calm. I know that I still have many, many, many weeks left, but I still had to dig out my planner and begin assigning various tasks to days scattered across the next couple months-decluttering areas of the house, making Postpartum Survival Lists, preparing freezer meals, potty training the toddler, that kind of stuff. 
I don't know if I'll ever cease to be amazed by the red dirt here! 

Pregnancy-wise, things are going fairly well. I've mostly reconciled myself to the fact that I just can't run or do much cardio work anymore, though it still stinks that I haven't been able to exercise like I could in my other pregnancies. I've already gained as much weight as what I gained in my entire first pregnancy, so...not exercising much has made a difference! The kids and I love walking, but I've found it's much harder to do other exercises since they are always around (if they ever see me squatting, their favorite thing is to push me over). 
Third trimester! 

 I finally got to start seeing my midwife in-person again, which has been an utter joy for me. It's the first time I've been under the care of this particular midwife, and I am really enjoying the experience. The past couple prenatal appointments have felt like a combination of prenatal care, spiritual direction, and counseling. I've been having weeks where I am more energized, upbeat, and feel on top of the world, and I've had weeks where everything seems like it's falling apart and I can barely function. So, I'm very grateful to my husband and my midwife, who have both been supporting, encouraging, and helping me through it all. 

I'm so glad that my husband is the type of person who sees
a massive dirt pile at the local park and thinks, 
"We should turn that into a baking soda volcano."

I've definitely been running through the gamut of emotions, what with being pregnant and the state of our country being stressful, but God is very good to us. Public Masses in our area started up again in mid-May, and it has been such an incredible gift to attend Mass again! 

It is weird being in this time of transition with things reopening, though. Tons of precautions are in place at church, and it's easy to remember that a pandemic is still happening--everyone is asked to wear masks, hand sanitizer is everywhere, and we are instructed to leave immediately after receiving the Eucharist. Yet, we look around our city, and see games and practices for little kids' sports teams, people having parties, and advertisements about pool passes being for sale. On top of that, so many people hold different views to what is appropriate right now, health-wise, and people are so ready to attack each other's choices. It's a strange time to navigate! 
We spent a recent morning making a bunch of dashi 
(here's the kombu after we removed it from the pot)
 and every time we make it, I wonder why we don't do this more often!
The kids get all excited by the novelty of it, my preschooler has recently
declared his love of miso soup, and it's kind of fun to have
 the house smell like the ocean for a couple hours. 

All in all, life has been fairly nice lately. I recently saw the newish Jane Austen adaptation, Emma., which I thoroughly enjoyed and thought was hilarious. We're finally getting together with a couple friends here and there at the park. My firstborn turned 4, and both boys seem like they've grown and matured a lot in the past couple months. We're spending loads of time playing as a family and with our neighbors. We're reading loads of books and trying to soak up the peace of summertime. The pace is going to pick up quickly, I though--our calendar is rapidly beginning to fill with "well child visits," midwife appointments, dental appointments, and outdoor meetups with friends--so I imagine that summertime is going to start flying by. I'm sure that plenty of unexpected adventures will come our way, too, so who knows what the next several weeks have in store for us? 

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