Weeks 14 & 15.

Well, we didn’t die. And I didn’t forget to take my weekly photo. I’m just running a bit late.

Here’s week 14’s take.

What happened, mom? How could I possibly make you too busy for really important things like blogging?

Week 14.

All I do is laugh and smile all day!*
*Babies can exaggerate too, you know.

For the sister photo, I’m torn between this one (toes!)…

…and this one.

How could a mama not want to show off her baby’s amazing behind-the-knee chub?

Today has been super overcast and somewhat dreary, so this is the best I could do.

Week 15.

Not so smiley, mom. It might have something to do with all the driving we did this weekend, wherein I shrillingly expressed my supreme unhappiness with having to sit in my carseat. Fortunately, you have decided not to put us all through that again anytime soon.

Big sister wasn’t in the most playful mood either.

I had to bribe her with an old Windows 98 cd just to get her in the picture.

To be honest, the main reason I missed a week is that I decided I needed to give my attention to some projects that have been accumulating in the background chez Gibbs. You know, the ones that hover in the back of your mind when you’re doing something a lot more fun? Well, there has been a lot of hovering going on so I started writing everything down and The List grew to frightening proportions. Sigh. I’m kind of behind on the housecleaning as well, so it’s nose-to-the-grindstone over here.

Fortunately, I have some really fun and guilt-free sewing to reward myself with after The List has been completely checked off. My pattern won’t ship till Oct 7, though, so I’ve got that much time to tie up my loose ends. I have been really frustrated looking for some new clothes that have a specific silhouette but are nicely constructed (sorry, Old Navy) and have decided to give clothes-sewing another go. How’s that for some motivation?!

I might pop back in with some photos from my sister-in-law’s delightful birthday party, but if The List gets any longer then I probably won’t be back till next week.

Thanks for stopping by.

(To see all Beatrice’s weekly photos together, look here.)

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Week 13.

I’ve been toying with a few posts in my head for the last few weeks but I just can’t seem to get the words right. It’s hard when you want to be witty, concise, wise, and anecdotal all at the same time. You know, just your average blog post.

Anyhow, I think I’m going to give up on trying to write An Ultimate Post because wanting to seems to ensure that it will never happen. Instead, I bring you a few not-so-witty, not-so-concise thoughts about happiness.

Week 13.

I don’t know how else to say this: we have just been really happy lately. Husband has been managing to finish a lot of his teacher duties at school, and as a result he is really home at the end of the day and on the weekend. Consequently, we have been able to cook leisurely meals, play all together with play-dough, jump on the bed, take Camilla out for surprise breakfasts, go for walks in the evening, and fun things like that. Life is good, as the bumper sticker says (see Ecclesiastes for details).

The other night, as I sat on the bed with a contented baby gnawing on my finger and watched my husband and daughter hide in the closet, I realized that I was just so happy the way things were right then. Having nicer sheets on the bed, blue paint in the walls, cuter clothes on my kids, or being 15 pounds lighter would in no way increase the happiness I felt right then.

And then I came up with this theory.

I have always had a problem with envy. Whether it’s other peoples’ stuff, personalities, bodies, or bank accounts, I find that I very often believe my life would be better if I could change a few things. Not the most important things, mind you, just the peripherals. But I think we all know that getting one thing you want doesn’t lead to lasting contentment because you just move on to the next one. (I had a light bulb moment once when I sat in my living room looking at rugs on the internet and realized that, at one point, I had wanted everything in that room just as badly as I wanted that new rug. And then I had gotten it. And there I was, still wanting the new rug.)

So my theory is that I (we?) really only think getting a new thing will make us happy when we don’t have very many moments of true, happy contentment in our lives. (I think C.S. Lewis called it “joy.”) The more contentment and happiness we experience, the more we realize that having more or different stuff is just irrelevant.

So there you go. It’s just a thought.

Week 12.

I just had one of those charming moments when everyone was screaming except me. Eesh. But now they are both asleep and I can breathe for a few minutes before starting on the naptime chores.

This week’s photos were a bit of a fabric failure. Overwhelming yellow, anyone?

Week 12.

The fabric is actually pretty cute: a nice lemon with tiny white butterflies. But it’s kinda hard to tell when you look at the pics. Oops.

I’m at the point where I’m down to the odds and ends in my stash and I’m starting to buy a yard here and there. And when I do, I try to keep in mind that the fabric will hopefully go into a quilt someday. My tentative plan is to make two zig-zag quilts that alternate between colors and white, like this one (my dream girls’ room has two matching painted headboards and twin-size zig-zag quilts). Obviously there’s no need for twin-sized anything in the near future, but as long as I’m buying fabric it really helps to have an outcome in mind. Especially since that particular quilt pattern rules out some of my usual picks, as anything with a large print is going to look funny.

So, I’m trying to pick out fabric with small prints in an assortment of colors that looks decent together. Then, when the girls are bigger, I’ll let them pick out their favorites and take on the massive undertaking that is going to be sewing two full-size quilts. How long can Camilla sleep in a toddler bed..?

Scheming about sewing is really a lot more fun than actually pulling out the machine, anyhow. I’m currently into projects that are small and finish quickly, like friendship bracelets. Ooo, I am having fun with those. I saw a few patterns online, picked up some thread (floss?) at Joann’s, and got started. So far I’m up to one necklace, two wrap bracelets, and two regular bracelets, and I’ve got a big thick one that I’m working on now. They are so cheap and fun and a very nice nursing project. Yes, I really should finish knitting that purple sweater I started for Bea, but the heat sapped my knitting enthusiasm and this cold spell isn’t going to last long enough to bring it back.

I’m thinking about hosting a friendship bracelet swap on this here blog so I don’t end up just making them for myself. If I did, would any of you want to play along?

(To see all Beatrice’s weekly photos together, look here.)

Week 11.

I was a day late at taking these again. This was husband’s first full week at school and it kicked my butt a little.  Things improved toward the end thanks to some transportation assistance from other families at school…listening to a baby shriek in her carseat isn’t the nice way to bookend your work day. But things should be better from here on out.

Week 11.

Given the amount of drool and finger-sucking that I’ve seen, I think one cause of distress might be some teeth wanting to make an early appearance. Poor babe.

Camilla just wanted to face-plant on the fabric for this shot.

Speaking of Camilla, she has also been falling apart more often than usual. Yesterday, during a rare lull in the car commotion, I felt brave enough to attempt a quick run through the Starbucks drive-through. All was good when I placed my order, but the line between ordering and the window was long and by the time I got to the end I was listening to a chorus of wails from the back.

The barista literally heard my distress. “We accidentally made an extra cappuccino, ma’am…do you want it?” Why yes, I did.

Beatrice and Baby.

And let me tell you: cappuccino + frappuccino = a very caffeinated and productive afternoon.

Who, me?

Who, me? Be difficult? What are you talking about?

Bea still isn’t sleeping through the night, but we usually get a 5 hour stretch now so it’s not too bad. And you know what? She acts like a “normal” baby at naptime. I remember reading sleep advice like this when Camilla was young: Start putting your baby to bed while she is still a little bit awake and pat her back until she falls asleep. After a few weeks, you’ll find that you can lay her in the crib awake and she will go to sleep by herself. Words like these sounded so cruel after months of nights when I would glacially lower my sleeping child into her crib, only to have her eyes fly open as soon as she touched the mattress. Anything other than a deep limp-limbed sleep would result in instant wailing as soon as I put her down, and even then it was like playing roulette. But Beatrice? My sweet, sweet little Bea? I can swaddle her, rock the bassinet until I see her eyelids droop, and then shut the door. And she falls asleep. Our scheduling isn’t perfect and her bedtime wanders by about an hour, but oh — she is so gloriously good at napping. What a delightful quality in a second child.

I will finish with two photos that Josh took the other morning outside our door.

Just thought I’d share that. Pensacola has the best clouds.

Have a good long weekend, all.