The days with my baby girl lately are very sweet. Also maddening and exhausting. But mostly sweet. Felicity is crawling very quickly, and I've never been happier with our decision for a modest sized house-a decision that was made knowing we'd be giving up our income, but it's a bonus with a curious crawler! So far, we haven't had to put any baby gates up indoors, though I'm considering one in the bathroom since she was sucking on the toilet while I showered the other day. I did put one up outside on the deck, which was an idea I got from my genius neighbor. We only had one nice weather day since I got it, but it was so nice putting her on the deck to crawl around as I sat in a deck chair and enjoyed a book on a slightly cool, but sunny afternoon. I'm looking forward to doing that a lot next spring, with an iced drink in hand and the umbrella up.
I'm babysitting my neighbor's two boys each Monday and Wednesday afternoon. It's great for many reasons. I get experience with multiple small children (I pray to never have twins lol). She has a 3 year old and 1 year old, and the 3 year old and either baby is pretty easy, but the 3 year old with both babies proves challenging. Sometimes her little one is napping and other times Steven is off so Felicity stays with him, It's good for Felicity to have play time with other babies, and probably even to have a short amount of time each week where my attention isn't completely on her. It's also a great opportunity for me to help our finances a bit without having to leave my baby. I was looking for something like that anyway, so it was perfect timing since my neighbor is also my friend, and I'd rather spend time with her kids than a stranger's! I have a feeling Felicity will grow up as fast friends with her boys, as we are there 2 afternoons a week, but we also all walk together about 4 days a week. I need the push to exercise, and I try to get Felicity outside for at least a little while each day, so having a neighbor keep me accountable to walks has been a blessing. It's also really fun to have someone to chit chat with while we walk! I always dreamed of having a friend with kids in the neighborhood, so this is truly a dream come true.
We are still doing story time once a week at the library. Speaking of which, the lady who does story time is also a neighbor of ours! We were going twice a week, but the baby one is two days in a row, so I backed us down to once. If they ever split up the days, we'll probably go twice. I take Felicity 30 minutes early every other week to return books, and play with and check out new books. They keep the board books on a low, non-tippable shelf so the babies can get to them easily. Felicity sits and pulls books out with glee, as I choose some new ones to take home. Then we go to story time and she is usually pretty ready for a nap after that!
We are considering joining a weekly play group. I've done a few different group things in the past, but haven't stuck with any. I'm debating this one only because it's on Thursday, which is almost always one of Steven's days off. This week we are going to go and let Steven have a little "me time", but I will probably only go every other week if he keeps having Thursday off. We meet at local malls (during cold weather) so the babies can crawl/toddle on the soft play structures while the mamas talk. I just found out one of the ladies lives in Garner, so we may set up play dates individually too, since everyone else lives about 30 or so minutes away.
Felicity got a zebra "bike" (ride on toy) from her grandparents, so we have been taking it outside each day to play on. I bundle her in her precious pink jacket with bear ears (can't handle the cute!) and out we go. She impressively holds onto the handles, so I can push her without holding on, though I stay close by just in case. She smiles and coos as she flies down our driveway on her "bike". Sometimes she crawls through our yard, tasting and crunching leaves. I love this time with my girl!
In case you think it's all fun and games :D, I'm still learning to keep house with a baby in tow. I used to religiously clean the house once a week (Steven and I each did half). It's all but impossible to get the whole house clean at once, for now anyway, so I have adopted more of a "clean as I go" policy, even though it pains me to not have that one day each week where everything is clean at the same time. I've gotten laundry under control as Felicity will play in our room long enough for me to sort, fold, and hang clean clothes. Dinner is still a work in progress as it's her most needy time of day, so I'm making mostly simple dishes for now. I try to make more fun, involved things on Steven's days off. Felicity especially loves cat food right now, so doing anything in the kitchen is challenging as she constantly goes for Buttercup's bowls!
Basically, I'm trying to absorb all this time while she's little. It's going so, so fast and (hopefully) we'll add to our family in the next few years, so I want to immerse myself in these one on one memories while I can. I love this little girl so, so much and I'm beyond thankful for the opportunity to spend my days with her. Felicity may be tempermental and demanding, but she is cute, loving, and hilarious. And now I'm off to feed, bathe, and read to my sweet baby!