A new school year starts tomorrow, and as I reflect back on these 20 weeks I've had with Willa and the time we had together as a family of three this summer, I feel incredibly grateful. Being away from her will be tough, but I will be able to stop in and nurse her at lunchtime each day, and we know that she is in great hands. I also looking forward to see her interact with other babies and to getting back into the classroom. I'll teach a new class (American Lit II) this semester, and I can't wait to get to know my students (which won't happen for another week. This week is just meetings).
As I reflect back on summer vacation, it would be easy to think to myself that I didn't do enough, but instead, I want to celebrate all that we did get to do!
A is for Austin
Brendan and I are used to romantic, adventurous trips each summer. This summer, our version of that was staying at my parents' house while they were on vacation. The change of scenery was much appreciated, and a bonus: it was the cheapest vacation we've ever taken!
B is for Breastfeeding
I troubleshooted breastfeeding this summer, and it finally became easier. Willa has grown 6.2 inches and gained 6 pounds, 5.5 ounces since birth. And I've been really hungry/thirsty! I've taken a break from pumping the last month of summer (and I've immensely enjoyed that break!), and we're starting daycare with 250 ounces in the frozen stash.
C is for Celebrate
My first Mother's Day, Brendan's first Father's day, many family birthdays including my own, fourth of July, and five years of marriage. Summer is like a never-ending party!
D is for Doctors Visits
This past week, Brendan and I both had our annual doctor appointments, Willa had her four month shots, and even Zoe took a trip to the vet (she had a UTI but thankfully is better now!)
E is for Embracing it All
Being tired, having a baby that will only nap next to you, and getting very little done: it all comes with the territory of the infant stage. I'm glad that we embraced the changes.
F is for Family & Friends
We saw SO many friends and family this summer. A family reunion, my best friends from high school meeting Willa, and Willa meeting her great-grandparents and spending time with family in CT and Maine will forever be great memories.
Willa is constantly rolling over, grabbing toys, and babbling. She can do so many more things now, and it's so fun to watch her grow.
H is for Hacks
Life hacks that is. I'm on the hunt for every way imaginable to simplify chores and make life easier. I made a huge batch of chili this weekend, and we refrigerated half and froze half. I plan to do some freezer cooking every weekend. I'm also picking out outfits and packing lunches and the car the night before. Any other life hack tips?
I is for Ice Cream
Shout out to my favorite favor of the summer: Bluebell's Butter Crunch.
K is for Kimchi Fries
Maybe my favorite discovery of all time. Thank you Chi'lantro!
L is for Lobster
Cause I ate a ton of it.
M is for Maine
We made it up to Maine for the annual family vacation. It was a little more complicated with a baby in the mix, but Willa proved to be a great traveler. M is also for Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit because we actually got some sleep this summer!
O is for Organizing
Last week, I pulled everything out of my closet that doesn't fit or isn't nursing friendly and put it in a storage container under the bed. I also packed up things to send to Goodwill and to Dress for Success. I went through Willa's clothes to put away the stuff that's too small (she's wearing 3-6 month stuff now).
P is for Playdate
Willa got to play with her friend Sadie a couple of times this summer, and we got to see Maggie Lyn and Atlas in Austin, Emma, Cecelia, and Theron in Connecticut, and Everett in Maine. We also saw Tucker in Midland! Baby mania!
R is for Reading
I did a lot of reading this summer, and luckily, not all of it was board books! I enjoyed reading Evicted, Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson, and Florida and Other Stories and Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff (I'm currently working on Monsters of Templeton also by Groff).
S is for Shopping
Since none of my pre-baby clothes are nursing friendly (and let's face it, most of them don't fit) I did an online shopping spree at Seraphine and Milk this past week to get ready for the school year ahead.
T is for Twosome
Brendan and I got some quality time together. From our secret date to see Paul Simon to our anniversary dinner at Barley Swine, we got to take some time for just the two of us, which was much needed. We also got to go on some couple's dates with Amanda & Matt and Cassie & John.
W is for Working Out
We joined the YMCA this summer because they have free childcare, which meant we could both workout at the same time. Brendan loves the cardio and weight rooms, and I have taken so many classes (Barre, Yoga, Pilates, BodyPump, Zumba, RPM, Mommy & Me). I even told Brendan I was going to swim a mile one Sunday and then had to stick to it (that's 32 there and back laps, yikes!) Bonus: I've started to meet some new friends. We also have stuck to our morning family walks which help us get outside before it gets too hot.
Y is for Yard Work
This one is 100% Brendan: he weeded, he cut back, he watered, and our front and backyard are in their full glory (promise to take some pictures). We saw a wasp the size of a hummingbird. It was horrifying!
I didn't cover every letter, but you get the idea. We had a nice last weekend of summer: Farmer's market, yoga, walking, cooking, and labeling everything for daycare. Wish us luck tomorrow as we head into uncharted territory. I'll never forget the sweetest summer of our lives!
Have a great Sunday evening!