This year we got to celebrate Ryan in the new way; we got to celebrate what an amazing father he is! Since before Ella came into the world Ryan was preparing be the most amazing father ever. He would read books, show interest in Ella's growth, and come to as many doctors' appointments and classes that he could. Since her birth, he makes time to play with her in the middle of the day, takes bath time and bedtime very seriously, and doesn't mind being goofy with Ella at music class. We decided that a day wasn't enough time to show Ryan how much we appreciate him and love him but needed a whole weekend.
What more does Ryan love then drinking IPAs? Drinking them at his favorite brewery with his two favorite girls!
Ella finished up swimming lessons with her dad just in time for our pool to open. She loves being in the water. They began swimming lessons in March. They would go to the church where Ryan and I got married ;) and spend about 30 minutes a week singing songs while Ella practiced swimming on her back and stomach, getting in and out of the pool, and going under water.
When our pool opened in May we couldn't wait to take her. There is a baby pool that goes to about 1 foot. She moves around freely and chases after her toys. Also, when it is adult swim some of the bigger kids come over and play with her. She loves it and they love her. So much so, that in the evenings they will come by our house and push her in the swing!
Ella likes to eat! She is a good eater and really enjoys all the food put before her. You can start out with bananas then switch to broccoli or cauliflower, and she just keeps on eating. What kid is okay with going from something as wonderful as a banana to a superfood like cauliflower or broccoli?!
Why does this make me happy? There are lots of reasons. The typical, I want my child to grow and eat good food in order to be healthy. I don't want mealtime to be a struggle (this could change!). The fact that during my pregnancy I ate so much McDonalds we should have bought stock! But I think the most important reason is because I take so much time and care to make sure she is not only getting the best food, but I am making it all as well!
I decided early on that I would make all of Ella's baby food. In the beginning, I thought it would be cheaper and I could control what is going into her little body. But now I am finding that she is eating so much more then what typical baby food would provide. And this makes me the happiest.
Is it cheaper? I don't know! I am at WholeFoods at least once a week getting whatever organic age appropriate food that her body can handle (I have a whole book on the foods babies can have at different months). Because I am buying organic I am obviously paying a higher price. But that isn't the only reason. I am also buying foods that just cost more. Asparagus cost more that squash or sweet potatoes. Papaya costs more than an apple.
When I look at baby food I see the typical sweet potatoes, peas, apples, and pears. But I don't see a lot of the additional foods that Ella is eating. Vegetables: brussel sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, different kids of squash, sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots. Fruits: apples, pears, mangos, avacados, kiwi, papaya, blueberries, plums, prunes. In addition to this she is eating barley and spelt cereal not just oatmeal or brown rice. Ella has pinto or black beans almost everyday.
As great as all this is, in the end if she has a option for a bread product (i.e. puffs toast) that is what she prefers! At least she is taken after me in something!
****writing this to remind myself that for any future children, it is definitely beneficial to make my own baby food!
As some of you might know, Ryan and I were have led small groups through Buckhead Church when we were single and once we were married. Due to being pregnant we took a small break to get this whole parenting thing down. This winter we were ready to jump back into leading so went to GroupLink (how people form small groups at BC). With HIGH expectations we talked through everything about our small group so that we could answer any questions should they arise from the couples that could potentially be in our group. (We even had a signal if we thought that maybe a couple wasn't a good fit! Planners or control freaks...)
Through various reasons we ended up leaving GroupLink with no one in our group! GroupLink is awkward enough as it is, but then to not even form a group! To say I was a little upset would be an understatement! But just like we believed heading into GroupLink, we knew that God was ultimately in control of what would happen.
Through conversations with different BC staffers, we found ourselves with the potential to lead a different kind of group. Our church does an 11 week intensive marriage small group, called Thrive, where you focus on different elements of marriage. The idea of this group is to do individual work from the provided curriculum then come together with your spouse to have open and honest discussion. It is designed to help each person be introspective in order to come to the table with what the individual can work on instead of finger pointing at their spouse.
So currently Ryan and I are appreciating in a Thrive group with hopes to lead a group in the fall. It has been such a good first 5 weeks with this study! We have been able to dive in and examine our marriage and find potential roadblocks. While this doesn't give us all the answers, it helps create space for us to simply communicate. Ryan and I were just saying that as the seasons of marriage change, this is a study that we can revisit again and again.