Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Update

It blows my mind that we're already half way through July, my favorite month of the year. I don't know what I love most: the sunshine, the water, or the way we shamelessly chow down box after box of freezie pops every week. Between our crazy summer schedule, a busy 13 1/2 month old boy, and a few big changes, I've struggled to write and keep up with this blog, but the kid is snuggled up with his Scout bear, Brett's watching something about football (surprised?), and I'm upstairs enjoying the silence, accompanied by the sweet sounds of a tired dog lying beside my chair. And so I write...

I'll start with the star of the blog, these days. Mr. Levi Jack has grown up so much in the last 7 weeks. For one, he started walking the day after his first birthday. Such a stinker, that boy, because I had told so many I was just sure he would start walking before he turned one, and he had to wait another 24 hours to take off. He and I were on the back patio and he took 8 steps towards me. I cheered for him and gave him a hug, then as he sat down to play I texted Brett and said, "8 steps!!" As I set my phone down, Levi started walking again, and this time he took 20 steps. I wrote Brett again and told him I didn't think we would need to actually count each step anymore because he seemed to really get it. Brett hurried home and we laughed and cheered as Levi walked to him for the first time. Within about a week, we started seeing a lot less crawling and a lot more walking. Nowadays, he "marches" with his big, fat, flat feet all over the place. It's the cutest.

Levi has also been doing everything else toddler's do. He can now go down the steps, as well as up, so there's no "safe place" to put him. His favorite activities include emptying cabinets, splashing in the toilets, belly flopping on our bed, us, and the dog, emptying his diaper bag, and babbling non stop. He has learned how to roar like a lion by putting his arms up as we say "roar!" and then when he's done he claps for himself. He waves hi, signs "more," gives high fives, and his newest trick is whispering. The frustrating part of early toddlerhood so far has been how much he fights getting dressed or having his diaper changed, or really any change at all. It seems to take him a little while to transition to new places or activities before he's happy again. This boy and his agenda need to be reminded daily that he's not in charge. Fun times.

Right before Levi turned one, he came down with his 4th ear infection in 4 months. By the time his birthday party rolled around, he was happier, but within days we were onto his fifth infection. Brett and I and our doctor agreed it was time for tubes. Unfortunately, we still had to wait about 2 weeks, and they were the worst 2 weeks ever. Levi fussed 24/7, pulling on his ears and throwing fits on the floor. Three antibiotics later and the infection was barely going away. Car rides were the worst, which was surprising because you'd think they'd put him to sleep, but there must have been even more pressure on his ears because he cried and cried. We were so sad for him and compassionate, for sure, but we were drained and desperate for Tube Day to arrive. Sure enough, like everyone says, the tube procedure was short and sweet and, other than the fact that another ear infection had just begun, he was relatively happy. Within a few short days we had our sweet boy back! Praise the good Lord!

In the midst of all of that craziness, Brett took a new job! He is now the head football coach and P.E. teacher at an area high school nearby. This was such an answer to prayer! As much as he loved his old job, he desired to be closer to home. This new job cuts his drive down by about 6 hours a week! That's 6 more hours we get to spend time with him and 6 less hours of wear and tear on his car. Plus, he was offered a job by a solid community that really seems to be a good fit for him as a teacher and coach, but also for us as a family. Our summer plans shifted some as he now has early morning workouts, camps, and a thousand other responsibilities I could never keep up with, but I'm unbelievably proud of him and excited to cheer for him and his team this fall! Don't get me wrong, I am NOT wishing our summer away as Levi and I will miss him so much when season begins, but it will be fun spending our weekends as a family under the Friday night lights for a while!

There aren't a lot of updates on my life these days due to me having to keep up with the Fox boys (which I am so glad I get to do!) One thing, though, that I've really tried to do this summer has been to simplify my life. I've never been one who works well around clutter, and but somehow I got behind and before I knew it my mind was tired. It started with simple things, like throwing the junk mail in the recycle bin before ever taking it in the house. (I HATE piles of paper!) But then it went from there and now, between less clutter physically and technology wise (deleting old Facebook contacts, emptying inboxes, keeping a basic phone instead of a smart phone,) I feel more focused and less overwhelmed! The other thing I've been doing is making a list of projects to work on during football season. I'm a big believer this is the key to not feeling lonely during season. This season I'm hoping to paint the kitchen and living room, as well on work on a few decorative projects for them. Thank you, Pinterest. 

Wow, this has been a long update on just the last few weeks. Funny how life flies by. I haven't even written about Levi's birthday party, our time at my parents pool, zoo trips, our new nephew, or Sophie's new found love of lying on the top of the couch like a cat. I'll have to settle with just a random array of pictures because it's almost 10pm and that's late for me these days. To wrap it up, here are the lyrics to one of my all time favorite hymns and the song of my heart these days:

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. 
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in light of His glory and grace!"