Summer is in full swing here and things have been pretty busy. Despite having a dozen interviews in the can, ready to be produced, I’ve been a little slow on getting new episodes of Bringing Up Betty out. I really don’t want to let my rewarding, therapeutic side project become a deadline that weighs me down and comes between me and my family. Having both kids home all day every day is pretty consuming. And I can’t get the whole “you only have one summer with your five year old” concept out of my head. So I’m letting that guilt guide me instead of failure-to-release-new-shows guilt. I hope you can feel me on that one. But I also am ok if you miss the show. 😉
What have we been up to? Well here’s a brief, listy summary:
Five weeks ago, Betty got over her nine month stroller strike. With the exception of her wheelchair, Betty wouldn’t let us push her in anything for nine long months. Grocery carts, strollers, wagons… out, out, out. She would scream and cry to the point of her lips purpling, she would hit her face and pull her hair and arch and oh my, it just was not worth it. I’d try every month or so, just to check in, with zero luck. But something suddenly changed and it’s been smooth sailing for the past five weeks. So we’ve been walking. A lot.
We have a great little neighborhood pool that Betty really enjoyed last year and I was looking forward to going almost every day this summer. But then Betty freaked out in the water (with a reaction much like her stroller aversion) time after time, until two weeks ago when I pushed through the screaming and arching and she remembered that being in the water is really fun. For the weeks when she refused to enter, we brought toys for the pack-n-play, which has taken up summer residence at the swimming pool.
This has been another big breakthrough! Betty has had such a hard time in our Ergo and hiking pack and we were at a loss for how to bring her on family hikes. Then I saw that Lillebaby was having a closeout sale on their Carry On carriers (designed for bigger/older children) and it has made all the difference. Betty’s loving our walks in the woods now, and we are trying to head up the nearby canyons on the regular.
Oh man, am I the only one who hates to make dinner in the summer? The mere thought of turning on the oven or standing over a hot stove sends me running. But a family’s gotta eat, right? I’m not thinking about dinner in the morning, so the slow cooker is usually out. Which is why I love my newest kitchen appliance so much right now. The Instant Pot has changed my life. No, for real. I’ve always wanted to pressure cook. In Brazil, everyone cooks with a pressure cooker. Everyday. Rice and beans, anyone? My husband and I both lived in Brazil (at different times and in different cities) when we were young adults, and both brought pressure cookers (from Brazil) into our marriage. But they were the stove top kind and I was always so scared of them exploding that I never brought myself to use them. The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker with about a bazillion safety features that make it virtually explosion-proof. And it makes delicious food super fast. Sorry, I didn’t mean for this to get all sales-y, but I really just love it. If you have an instant pot or get one, here are some of my favorite recipes: Chili Lime Chicken (done in six minutes, yo!), Chicken Taco Salad, Chicken Coconut Curry, Refried Beans. Ok, I’m done now.
A few friends and I started a book club. There is one my neighborhood already, and the youngest member is in her fifties. Nothing against the old ladies… in fact I think one of the best things about becoming a grown up is realizing that friendship has nothing to do with age. One of my best friends here is in her sixties! Ok, end of tangent. Anyway, we started a book club and because it’s small and we’re doing what we want, we’re reading middle grade novels, parenting books and non-fiction. I’ve actually never been in a book club before and it’s been really fun!
Also, Clara and I are reading Harry Potter aloud right now. Which is just so great. Obviously.
Betty missed the last two weeks of school and we had been on a break from private therapy, so for nearly a month we didn’t have any formal therapy in her life. I think it’s the longest we’ve gone since Betty was two months old without life revolving around all of the therapies. It was kind of nice. But also one of those things I feel like I need to stay on top of. So when our Early Intervention OT contacted us about a new-ish therapy program that she had recently certified with, and that we could do at home, I was in. We are doing a Sensory Enrichment Therapy program called Mendability. We’re only 2.5 weeks in, so it’s hard to say for sure if we can attribute any of Betty’s recent progress to the therapy directly, but I’m hopeful that the positive changes will continue. In just a few minutes a day, we combine various sensory experiences for Betty, in hopes that her brain will start to make more connections. I will definitely follow up on our experience here as we go along. But if you’re curious, just check it out here.
What have you been up to this summer?