Life Lately: June 2021 Recap
Last month I shared about things I was loving lately and asked you guys if you were interested in a monthly post since I ran out of time after having Remy to really do weekly ones. I received a handful of excited responses, and given that the world of blogging has evolved so that comments are rare to get these days, I took that as a yes. That post was a compilation of things that I had been enjoying, but I thought that it would be a good idea to combine that with a general overview of what’s going on over in these parts since I don’t get to connect to you all in that way as much anymore. I’m planning on making it a monthly thing, so let me know any feedback in the comments!
Here’s what happened during the month of June:
Remy had her six month appointment and a follow up with the feeding team. Both groups were happy with how she’s growing, so that was a relief. She’s still below the first percentile for her weight, but she’s gaining well, so we are keeping things the way they are and will reevaluate at the next follow up, which is in a couple weeks. She was also referred to physical therapy because she is delayed in things like sitting, head stability, and just has low muscle tone overall. Other than those minor limitations, she’s very, very happy, and doing well.
This is the first month that I was excited to head to our local consignment store and look for clothes for her. I bought her a bunch of little rompers and I see many more in our future :). I even bought her a bow, which I notoriously hate, but it was small and gray so I had to do it. And I don’t hate it.
I also bought her her own crib – the same one that Miles has – but I haven’t moved her upstairs to her own room yet. Like Miles used to, she still wakes up once or twice and then goes right back down after I feed her, so for me it’s still more convenient to keep her by the bed because then I don’t have to worry about going up and down the stairs at night. I’m not sure when I’ll move her, but it probably won’t be for a little bit. (The split picture below is of Miles and Remy in the same outfits – too cute).
Miles has been talking like crazy and it’s so cute to have conversations with him. He’s still going to daycare 2-3 times a week and learning a lot. He started swim lessons at the beginning of the month and while it took him a couple weeks to not cling to me like a monkey the entire time, he’s starting to get more comfortable in the water and definitely more comfortable dumping water on mom’s head.
June wasn’t without its struggles though for little Miles. He’s a little over two now and definitely going through lots of different emotions. It’s a combination of fascinating and trying for me to be there for him and watch while he has various meltdowns or experiences. I know that my job as his parent is to help him feel safe and to teach him that all emotions are allowed, so most of the time I just sit nearby or hold him if he lets me.
One thing we started and then stopped all in the same month is TV. He was fine with it for awhile, but then I started leaving it on longer and also letting him watch random things on You Tube that he seemed to really enjoy. I knew that I was doing it out of laziness and so that I could get a break and drink some coffee (NO judgement at all if you follow the same pattern – parenting is hard!), and I was noticing a lot more ups and down in his behavior. I knew a couple friends had gone through this and had cut out screen time which resulted in a big difference, so I did some research. I followed an IG account (this one) that went over a LOT about toddler neurodevelopment and screens and also reviewed a ton of specific shows. It helped me make the decision to try and limit screen time as much as possible for him – especially because before TV he has always been so creative in his play and it’s been fascinating for me to watch from a young age. As much as I didn’t want it to make a difference, he’s barely had any tantrums or meltdowns since we went back to playing with toys and other things. I don’t always agree with EVERYTHING on her account, but I think doing the research was valuable. I also am not saying there will NEVER be screens, but for now I’m working on limiting them in favor of creative, independent play, especially with it being summer and there being so many opportunities outside.
Speaking of outside, I took the kids to a splash pad and it was another lesson in letting Miles be Miles. It’s so easy to try and push him into playing since it’s something I think is fun, but when we got there, he was hesitant and wanted to stay on the perimeter, often in my arms. There were a lot of kids, many of them older than him, and I think he felt overwhelmed. It took him an hour of slowly working his way in to be comfortable and find some enjoyment in the water. Even after going in by himself, he only lasted a little while and then wanted to walk around with me where there were less people. I let him choose what he wanted to do and I think that made it a much better trip for him.
I think we finally found a good barber to take him to and I’m obsessed with this picture that Neil took, so I’m putting it here (ha). Also, one where both my children are loving their feet as always.
A big accomplishment for me in June was confidently taking both kids out by myself for long periods of time. It’s always so daunting to make that first trip out, but once you do it, it’s empowering and you feel like a super human who can do anything. Is that just me?
Since our first trip to the Museum of Life and Science (amazing, btw), we’ve gone on several more trips as a little trio.
I started exercising again. Yes, I had been running, but it has quickly gotten too hot for that, so as I had planned, I started doing the workouts from BTY Training Lab again – our old gym in Chicago. Whereas I used to do 4-5 of them a week, I started at two and have only recently added on a third. I have been using significantly less weight and was quickly humbled by my inability to do any pull ups and my pushups felt like I had 50 lbs on my back, but I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m going even slower than I did after I had Miles because although I also backed off on the amount of weight I used, I still ended up back in pelvic floor therapy and I don’t want that to happen again. So it’s easy does it over here; it’s just nice to be able to use some weight again. 🙂
My mom and my sister came to visit at the beginning of the month for a couple days. It was really nice because although they were here when Remy was born (they came at Thanksgiving and stayed through her birth to help out with Miles), they hadn’t actually met her because she was in the NICU for so long. I’m really glad they were able to come visit and look forward to when I see them again.
One of my favorite parts of June was being able to donate my car. It was the first big purchase I made after getting out of jail and working to rebuild my life. I was approved for a loan, paid it off, and it was my car for almost a decade. The AC went out on it this summer and the cost to repair it was worth more than the car, so I knew it was time to go. I shared about it on Instagram and someone mentioned donating it to somewhere recovery-related, which I didn’t even realize was an option. I did some research and there was a local program for those suffering from substance abuse issues that accepted car donations to give to their graduates. They would also be able to do the mechanical work on the car since they trained in vocational studies as well. I know how hard rebuilding can be, so it was such a perfect match and I donated my car immediately.
My friend Julie from Chicago also came to visit and took a bunch of family pictures, which was amazing. We don’t have many of the four of us together, so I’m so glad we got to hang out AND get awesome pictures.
Another positive in June was that Neil changed jobs AND got a promotion. I’m really proud of him because he always works tremendously hard and it’s a relief to see him at a company that values him and his ideas. Here was our celebratory sushi lunch. 🙂
Things I liked
We Can Do Hard Things Podcast by Glennon Doyle: I’ve always liked Glennon. I have all her books and have liked her since her beginning blogging days. I have NOT always liked podcasts and I go back and forth on them over the years. I listened to a couple of her episodes and I really liked them and they of course made me think and gave me good topics to bring up and talk about with Neil. If you like self-help, inspirational, Brene Brown-type subject matter, I’d check her out. I’ve linked the Apple Podcast link, but you can find it on Spotify as well.
You know my love for candles, and my friend Rebecca who owns LHLL recently came out with one called ’94. She’s actually the one who turned me on to fancy candles many years ago and I have to say, this one is a winner for me as well.
These patches have FINALLY been what I’ve been looking for to help with my skin picking. If you don’t know, I’ve had issues picking my skin since I was in high school and when it gets bad, I tend to cover myself in Band-aids. Since my most recent issues have been on my shoulders, it’s not as easy if I want to go out in tank tops and things like that. Someone recommended Tegaderm to me and I bought the generic brand at the grocery store and OMG. They’re transparent, waterproof, and you can barely tell I have them on. They’re basically just a barrier between my skin and me (ha). I leave them on for a couple days before changing them and my skin has cleared up so much now that I can’t constantly pick at it. They don’t have the brand I bought on Amazon, but here is a similar one. There are also multiple sizes so see what works best for you!
So here we are. I think that catches you up on most of what’s going on over here and I look forward to reconnecting with you guys on life and things I love next month. Until then, follow me on Instagram if you’re looking for more regular updates and videos of Miles dancing through the mall. 🙂