So far we've had a nice little summer.  It took us about two weeks to recover from our trip to California - everyone was tired and grumpy, not getting along - we were at quite a low.  Over the past couple weeks things have finally settled and I don't feel like our lives are falling apart anymore - now that we are leaving again for a long trip! Anyway here's some things we've been doing...

Riding bikes and scooters to the little local library branch we've just discovered:

I took a picture of this nice moment because it's very rare lately:

We went strawberry picking one morning.  Afterwards we went to the grocery store to get whipped cream and these two were fighting to get out of the door and completely smashed all the strawberries. I was a *little* upset with them. :)

Another farm excursion with our good friends here.  There were some older girls volunteering on the farm through 4H - it was really neat. Vera was obviously really into the bunnies.

Edie was showing me how big she is. I'm this tall, Mom!!

Edie is really getting into being pretty and princessy and pink now - well over a year later than Vera hit this stage!  It's so cute to see her little scrappy self putting on a ballet show :)

Another rare moment of them playing together - making a birthday party for Josie the bunny:

We met some good friends at the Arboretum for a picnic last week.  It was definitely fun and worth it to get out like that, but man it was a hot one!  This picture was taken near the end - Edie could barely handle it, poor babe.  Look how cute Ruth is with her little buddy Iris :) 2 months apart.

We finally got a membership at the Y and Ben takes them several times a week.  They loooove it.

Super rainy 4th! Had a fun lunch/BBQ with friends, but still it just didn't feel like the 4th of July!

at the park:

She was feeling pretty stylish here last week after church:

reading Little House in the Big Woods and eating a popsicle on the beach - this made me incredibly happy!  This was me when I was little!!

Said goodbye to our dear dear friend Ethan and his family.  So sad to see them go but know we will cross paths again.  I met Leah through Megan and felt instant connection - I literally felt like I already knew her the first time we met!


*Rudy turns 5 months

Ruth is such a little joy - all of us just adore her.  She is by far the easiest part of my days ... it makes me wonder whether Vera really was that hard or if it was just being a new parent. I kind of think the latter.  

My favorite things about Ruth are the way she lights up when Vera or Edie come into the room [mostly Vera; Edie still sometimes is too much in her face], how she complains and tries to tell me what's wrong before she actually cries, nuzzling my nose in her ribs and getting her to laugh, how she gets so excited when it's time to nurse, her happy, social demeanor, sweet little voice and incredibly cute little chubbiness.

I did start sleep training the other night. She was actually pretty easy to put down, but I really needed her to be able to put herself to sleep, especially with our trip coming up when I won't have Ben to help. Lately she would wake up between 12-1 and then almost hourly after that, up for the day around 5:30.  So the other night I let her cry to sleep and it was AWFUL. If I had known it would be so hard for her I wouldn't have done it. I also just weaned her cold turkey from the swaddle... which just seemed cruel :( It was really easy when I did it with Vera! She cried 70 minutes and then slept on and off crying in between until 11pm when I was woken up by her cries and went in to nurse her. I felt absolutely horrible.  But guess what? I laid her down the next night in the same way [I wouldn't have let it go as long, but didn't want all that crying to be for nothing] and she cried half-heartedly for 15 minutes and slept till 12:15! Last night for 5. I've nursed her when she wakes at midnight and 3ish and lay her back down in her crib easily. Isn't it amazing how babies learn???  Next up is starting solids - she's shown interest for at least 2 months and is starting to get a little mad when she sees me eating! I've let her taste a tiny bit of avocado and a couple licks of fruit I've eaten - such a fun stage. 

I had fun last night looking through blog archives - I'm so glad I've kept this up!

taken today at 5 months:

my kids and my cousin's kids loving the baby:

I read her a book for the first time before nap last week - she was totally into it. Especially the picture of the cat, dog, orange and apple [..if I may project] :)

I love the toes in mouth stage - I remember Vera doing this at 5 months too!

First time at the Y - she loved the pool!! So cute. 
[I can't believe I took a mirror selfie]

Vera put Ben's hat on her and we took the obligatory baby in a hat picture:

So peaceful and cute!!! This was a 3 hour nap she took after keeping me up most the night:

The day after I let her cry to sleep - she was so sweet and beautiful it made my heart hurt!  I swaddle her loosely like this now for naps so she knows it's time to sleep.