Wednesday, October 30, 2013

nothing to do with 7

Did you know that if you have a child under 12 months of age that you can register them with Barnum and Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth for a free ticket to the circus??

Isn't that so cool?

It can be used anytime, there is no expiration date?

Just wanted to pass that little nugget along to any of you who could benefit from it.

More info here.  

I am looking forward to taking my munchkins to the circus in a few years.  Thank you, Kori for telling me about this! 

Do you like to go to the circus?  Have a favorite act?  I can smell the circus as I type and I'm not sure if I've ever even been more than once.  (Have I Mom and Dad?)


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"media month" - day 23

Have you ever 


taken a break

curbed your appetite for

or in any way shown intentional discipline in your life

when it came to a form of media, whether electronic or not?

What were the specifics if you don't mind sharing?

Did you think it was good?

What were the benefits?


I would love to read your ideas.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 22

"The point of emptiness is to get ourselves out of the way so that Christ can fill us up."

Richard Rohr, Simplicity

I agree.  Lord, please help me to actually practice this.  


Monday, October 21, 2013

so yeah, I took another little break - days 17, 18, 19, 20 & 21

his new "tough" face

enjoying fall

the big pumpkin weigh off

eating lunch with a group on

*finally* visiting the book mobile - a dream come true for this little man!

We had a good weekend, what about you?  

Okay, so just for fun here are some little snippets related to 7:

*  What are your favorite ways that you have ever blessed someone else with your excess?

*  I am very encouraged to have heard back from some of the ministries I contacted and look forward to beginning baby steps towards connecting my stuff with people who need it. 

*  I also have been pondering that it is not necessarily about finding "the most needful person in all of Colorado Springs" or whatever, sometimes I think it is just about having an attitude of being loose handed with our stuff to share it with whomever God puts on our heart whether it's someone materially or physically in *need* or whether God may know some things we don't and the "richest" person may be uplifted in a very important way by something we have that we can share to bless.

*  Related to that, what is a way that someone has blessed you with something that you may not have *needed* but because they were not holding their stuff/time/gifts/food/blessings tightly, you were encouraged, lifted up, pointed to God, given a glimpse of God, etc.?  I would love to hear your stories!  I'll bet you just might have one if you think about it. 

*  Food:  I mentioned how I'm not eating dairy for Cora's sake.  It is harder than I would like to admit and there were times over the weekend that I was a baby about it.  I want to live in an attitude of gratefulness for ALL that I have.  I have soo many options and choices and wonderful things to eat!  I don't want to fixate on what I "can't have".  

*  Interesting comment I overheard at an estate sale:
"for a dollar you can throw it away"
hmm, I get what he was thinking but really, really maybe we should rethink things.  

* so Sunday officially began "media month" for us
We do not have a specific plan yet.  Plans take time to come up with, something that doesn't seem in vast supply in our season of an infant and a three year old.  Well really I should say uninterrupted blocks of time although ironically if we quit using electronic media in the evenings after the kids are in bed we would at least have *more* uninterrupted blocks of time 
But anyway, I think perhaps we'll use the month to come up with "mini plans" and see where that takes us. 

We did talk some about "media month" on Saturday night and then on Sunday morning at church there were at least three comments during class and the service that seemed to point toward "less media" and we kept looking at each other.  

* okay and this isn't pretty I'll admit but when it comes to caring about others these two posts really got my attention this week 

Okay, hope you're week is starting off well.  


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

making headway - day 16

Today was a lovely day.  

I woke up to the news that our neighbor's baby boy was born at home, just down the street first thing this morning.  What a precious gift!

I didn't have a plan for once and prayed for God to make the day what he wanted it to be.  

Our morning was fairly low key and my mom came over to see us after having been out of town and David asked if he and Cora could have Nana all to themselves so I obliged at least some of the time and got some things done while Nana read books to them on the couch. 

Then I did what I rarely do and braved the big wide world with both kids.  We just kind of let things play out and did some fun stuff.  First I forgot to feed any of us lunch or grab snacks and it was approaching lunchtime so when David asked for a snack I pulled out a coupon we had from the summer reading program at the library for a free popcorn or candy sampler at the Toy Station (super healthy snack/lunch I know!).  We wandered through that very cool store (it was his first time to go), all the educational materials brought out the teacher in me and the month display on the way down the stairs had me teaching him the months, talking about his birthday, etc.

After he chose his lego shaped candy we went to the library where I had a lot of books to return and a lot of holds to pick up.  Cora really enjoyed her time getting to get down on the floor in the kids' section while David played and she squealed and squealed!

Then we went to Once Upon a Child where I was hoping to buy a denim skirt for my girlie and where we had another coupon from the summer reading program for $5 worth of a toy, book, etc. for David.  It was my chance to start introducing him to the world of retail and how to wisely spend money, etc.  If any of you have good suggestions about the ways you have taught your kids about money I'd love to hear them.  

He did well.  He picked a forklift and has been enamored with it ever since.  He will play with it a lot I think. 

We finally made it home where both kids napped at least briefly (I'm talking to you, baby girl!) but then Cora was absolutely charming after eating and played and played in the floor making adorable sounds at us.

We ventured out for dinner at Pei Wei where Cora downed chicken like she was boss.  I was astounded!  

And in the midst of all of this I finally e-mailed some ministries and also various people I know who I thought might have good ideas of places to be donate my excess to intentionally bless others.  That felt good.  I think one thing that has been holding me up during "possessions month" is that I didn't know what I was going to do with the stuff that I was able to let go of.  

So far I have gotten suggestions of giving things to:

the women's shelter
United Way charities
using a website to search for who they give grants to as a starting place 
Hope and Home foster agency

This is a good start.  

I guess what I need to do with every closet and drawer I clean out and "liberate" I need to pray the prayer that Jen wrote in her book:

"God?  Connect us with people who need our stuff."

On the one hand I think the answers that prayer will be thrilling on the other hand I will admit there is fear, fear of things getting messy, not in my control or according to my plan or timetable.  

I think it will be good and I pray to be brave.

What about you?  What experiences have you had of connecting your excess with actual people who are blessed by it?


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

one of the biggest perks of 7 clothing month - day 15

Adrian & I - and Cora :)
went to New York City to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary 
right at the end of "7 clothes month".  

Usually I take a *notoriously* long time choosing clothes for a trip but packing for NYC (a trip where I would normally try to figure out the "just right" outfits for looking cute for my husband and chic for the city and comfy for walking around) was a breeze!

arriving in the city in Grand Central Station

It was the easiest, least "stewing over" packing ever and I really, really liked it.  I just packed what I had that was clean.  (okay, I did plan ahead a little and wore my yoga pants while washing some of the other stuff so I could pack it for the trip but still) *And* I did not feel underdressed, not cute enough, or anything of the like while we were in New York.  

How do you decide on clothes to pack for a trip?


Monday, October 14, 2013

it was a nice and needed weekend - days 11, 12, 13 & 14

Friday was that last day in a Very Long Week.

We spent a lovely fall morning meeting new friends and celebrating one of our favorites at a birthday party at the park.  Then I came home and did the only thing that seemed to make any sense at all in the moment and put both kids *and myself* down for a nap.  I needed a "start over" to the day.  

That night we got to enjoy a very fun one year old birthday party for Cora's first friend and watch that sweet little girl take her first step!  

Saturday and Sunday I relaxed.  Truth be told, I'm not very good at that.  I always have a "to do" list but this weekend I did really well and I needed it.  

Saturday we went up into the mountains on our second annual trip with my brother, sister-in-law and cutie nephews to soak up fall color, hike, cook out and roast marshmallows.  

After church on Sunday, I sat on the couch holding my baby and reading a very good book and walked to an estate sale and was fed good meals by my sweet husband who does most of the cooking around here.  I am so thankful for him.  

I also did something I've been known to do from time to time which was have a "computer free day". This time it felt a bit like a  warm-up to "media month" in our 7 experiment.  I'll be honest, I *really* don't know how that's going to go - what to give up exactly, whether my family will buy in, whether I'll be grumpy about it . . . hmmm.


I also gave up dairy this weekend.  Nothing to do with 7 but we're suspecting that sweet baby girl is allergic to it just like her brother so we're experimenting with taking it out of my diet so she is not getting it through my milk.  

So, 7 . . . 

I haven't forgotten about it but decided this weekend that living was more important than blogging.

Honestly, here we are in the middle of "possessions month" and I feel like I'm drowning in stuff.  For "clothes month" I had a plan.  I was excited about the plan and it seemed do-able.  The amount of possessions residing in our house and what to do with them and how to make sense of them and where to find the time seems DAUNTING.

I have piles, lots and lots of piles of things all around.  I do think life would be simplified if I got rid of A LOT of it but I am not sure where to start, where to find the time, what to do with it once I decide I can let go of it, etc.  

Any thoughts on this you guys?

Anyone want to come over and help?  :)  

In other news, I'm going to hear Jen Hatmaker speak later this month.  I'm excited!  This wasn't in the plans at all when I began writing this series at the beginning of the month but a friend e-mailed and said she was going to a women's conference and did I want to join her and well, yes!  It's at the end of the month so I'll have more to tell you about it later.

So let me just throw out a few things and we'll call this a catch up post.

One quirky thing about my 7 outfits experiment was that I missed my slippers.  I've had one other season that I can think of when I was a "slipper" girl but most of my life I haven't been.  Last May when Adrian and I went to Portland, the hotel gave me slippers and since I've had Cora and been getting up in the night to nurse her I've put on my slippers so my feet aren't cold when I get back in bed.  It was interesting to me that something that I am so recently "attached" to is something that was the hardest to give up for a month.  Now that I "have them back" though I do still rather take them for granted I realize.  

Also, narrowing down to four pair of shoes was probably a bit harder for me than narrowing down to 7 outfits.  I wouldn't have expected that.

The four pair of shoes I wore for a month were:

tennis shoes
my "Colorado shoes"

black flip flops
funky, slightly dressier flip flops

Do you tend to wear the same shoes a lot?  Do you think you would find it hard to narrow down to four pair?  What would you pick?  

Another thing I decided to do during clothes month was not to wear jewelry (except for my engagement ring and wedding band which I never take off and actually didn't even think about as an "exception").  

One thing I learned about myself was that I use jewelry (and the VAST majority of it very cheap, beads bought at estate sales, etc.) to "distract" from fairly boring, cheap clothes - plain t-shirts, etc.

It was so interesting to me to feel like I was learning things about myself through this experiment.  I'm still not sure how important these discoveries are or what to do with the knowledge but it is interesting.  

What about you?  Do you think it would be hard to go without jewelry for a month?  Would you rather go without jewelry or make-up?

For the most part, 7 clothes month was way easier for me than I expected and I really enjoyed it.  The limited choices made things kind of nice and streamlined.  Two of the times that were the trickiest to me were one Sunday for church when all I had clean to wear were khaki shorts and a black t-shirt.  Now wearing shorts to church at all while not a big deal to many I'm sure is *very* new to me.  But when I have worn shorts before they've been dressed up with "nice" flip flops with a little heel and jewelry.  But plain shorts and  plain t-shirt?  Quite a stretch.  

Wanna know something though?  I don't think one person really noticed.  I felt self-conscious for a very short amount of time actually - much less than I would have thought *and* I found it interesting when I asked my mom at the end of the month if she had noticed anything about what I was wearing lately that she absolutely didn't!  She knows me better than most anyone, sees me at church and lots of other times during the week and she had not noticed that I was dressed more casually, wearing the same things over and over, not wearing jewelry or anything!

The other tricky time was when I went to a monthly gathering of a women's group from church where we dress to fit the theme each time.  The theme was patriotic and I thought about "cheating" and pulling something else out but one of the t-shirts that I had chosen for the month was one that my cousin made for our family reunion.  So I wore that and Cora had a matching one that she wore and I just went with it and you know what, it was *fine*!

Okay, so let's call that catching up and I would love to hear some of your thoughts.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

ten on ten - October 2013 and how our day relates to 7 - day 10

We use the phrase "this too shall pass" a lot in our family.  My grandma, Sweetie, has taught us all it's wisdom.  I usually have thought of it as something to dwell on when you are hoping to get out of whatever situation you're in.  

A while ago I read Ashley Ann's take on it and I'm so glad I did!  On a sign she made to display in her home she put the phrase "this too shall pass" and included an extra little phrase "be present".  

That changed my perspective so much.  

Today we've had a second round of pink eye, canceling plans, crazy disinfecting mama, water heater out of commission since last Saturday, house a mess sort of a day.  

But I wanted to still do ten on ten today and while I didn't feel I had the energy or time to try to record stunning photographs of the glimpses of beauty in this messy day, I did think about "this too shall pass" and also "be present" and I wanted to try to capture some of that.  

Running out of wipes mid poopy diaper change 

Not gonna last forever

but then neither will teeny tiny baby jeans that need to be rolled up and have the most adorable bows on the waist line

*and* I am so thankful for a son who is not only big enough to help but who came running when I called him and was able to get that refill package of wipes out of the closet for me

sad, gunky, red eyes and snotty noses and faces that need to be cleaned of grape jelly will not last forever 

little hands that like to fill dump trucks in the backyard won't either

fussy faced babies and those super pink cheeks that look awfully similar to the ones her brother used to get when we discovered his dairy allergy :( :( :(  
won't last forever

but neither will shoulder cuddles 

piles of baby laundry waiting to be put away will not last forever

and neither will teensy fingers at play

and teeny tiny baby toes

making messes when you'd rather them not will not last forever but neither will imaginations ready to poor jingle bells down a toilet paper tube and tell you that they are going down the water slide and splashing into the pool

He's taken to calling me "Tiger" and he of course is "Kipper" and if you know me, you know I'm really not a dog person so being called one is not the most exciting thing to a tired mama on a long day but one day I will miss being his favorite playmate and special pal.  

He wanted to sleep in his basket for nap and I let him as long as he was resting and he chilled out in there for over an hour in his room and everytime he heard or saw me coming to check on him he would snap his eyes shut so he wouldn't get moved to his bed.  :)

Also, tonight after bath when I was lysol wiping his family of rubber duckies he asked me what I was doing.  I jokingly said that I was cleaning the germs off so they wouldn't get pink eye and he commented that their eyes are only pretend.  Smartie!  Then he told me that he would only take a bath with his tugboat tomorrow since it didn't have eyes only the front windows were kind of eyes!  Oh his imagination and understanding of the world!

I am really glad I did this today because I am getting all sentimental writing this post but in the moments I still was not feeling that way for the most part.  It still took a lot of mental effort and relying on God to get through today with a somewhat cheerful attitude.  Just being real.  

And some things to be thankful for:  

farmers market carrots to roast for dinner that were SUPER yum and come in so many fun colors!  

And do you see the "hugging carrots"?  

Carrot tops to fry in butter for dinner tomorrow night!! YUM YUM!

an amazing and wonderful husband who fixed our water heater tonight when the replacement part finally came in the mail!

a new fall tablecloth from my mother-in-law and fun pumpkin gifts from my husband for a centerpiece

So, what about 7?

well, I used quite a few paper towels today which is not very "green" but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do

it takes time to go through your possessions and decrease them (we are in the middle of "possessions month", have I mentioned that?) and sometimes you just have to live life and not worry about the projects

when sickness strikes and you don't have hot water to wash you're glad that although you did just great for well over a month with a stash of 7 towels, 7 washcloths, 7 hand towels, 7 dish towels and 7 dish cloths that you had been "experimenting" with whether or not this was a good number and still had a huge bag hidden away in the closet filled with the surplus to dip into

Now to figure out how many a good number really is to even accommodate times like this . . . 

So, hope you had a good day and I'll see you tomorrow!  A hot bath is awaiting me!!! 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Real life application - day 9

He wanted to pretend he was Kipper today.  

Having an empty laundry basket made that possible.  

Hooray for less laundry! 


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

God is GOOD to us! - day eight

I forgot to include this photo in Cora's six month post.  First time to sit in a high chair!!  Biggest girl!

Thank you to all of you who have been chiming in in the comments, via e-mail or text, etc.!  It is so nice to share and process together and hear what you think.  A blessing, indeed.  Thanks.

Today I wanted to speak to this part of Rachel's comment:

"I have to admit that most often my desires to simplify do not come from altruistic motives, but rather, wanting to make life easier on myself. Ugh. I should pray about that."  

I have felt exactly the same way at times through this process and then I had a big realization.  

You know the book Leviticus?  

ALL those RULES . . . ??????????

Do you know *why* God gave the Israelites all of those rules?  
They were all in their best interest!!

They saved their lives, kept them healthy, made their lives easier, gave them gifts, grace upon grace!

The Sabbath?

That is *for us*!!!

It is a gift that God gives us that I know I, as well as most of you, I'm guessing, don't really even unwrap almost every week of every year. 

Toward the end of 7 Jen writes:

"Hear this: I don't think God wants you to be at war with yourself.
He sent the Prince of Peace to soothe those tumultuous waters already. Self-deprecation is a cruel response to Jesus, who died to make us righteous. Guilt is not Jesus' medium."

So, yes, for me, I spent a lot of time thinking that all this sorting of clothes might just be worth it because laundry would be easier *for me* (I think all the Flylady e-mails I'd read in the past were reminding me that she says this and that nothing I've tried that she's suggested had ever led me astray but I'd never before been willing to reduce my clothes) and I felt some guilt over if I was "doing this for the right reasons" and then I had that big realization.  

God is FOR me!

Is laundry somehow part of the curse?  Does God want me chained to my washer and dryer?  This is ludicrous!  

Does God want me loving on people including my husband, kids, family and friends?  Yes!  If I am not spending so much time doing laundry will that free me up to love on people and for goodness sake, just relax and recharge and renew?  Yes!  Are those all absolutely good things *including* the being still, enjoying myself and relaxing???  YES!  

So, what I discovered about my laundry process in doing this is that I needed to be pretty strict about doing laundry twice a week BUT I always knew where to put things, it was WAY easier somehow mentally to do the laundry because I always ended up with an empty hamper to show for it and things all had a place and a purpose of getting worn again SOON and it all felt much more satisfying than the nebulous process of laundry when there are just PILES all around of clean, dirty, waiting to be put away, etc., etc., etc.  

I would love to hear if you give any version of reducing your wardrobe or your kids' wardrobe, etc. a try and how it affects you.


Monday, October 7, 2013

the thing that stressed me out the most - day 7

Okay, so I told you that I would share what stressed me out the most in all of this . . . 

scroll down to see

Cora's clothes!

Isn't that crazy???

This is a picture of her closet before she was even born.  We have been HUGELY blessed with clothes for her.  Hand me downs brought to church, mailed from Texas and Alaska, vintage items pulled out of storage from both my mom and my sister-in-law's mom's house on loan, gifts from wonderful, thoughtful friends and family, things I picked out and bought because it is fun to get to shop for your very own little girl, things I bought before I was ever even pregnant hoping I would have a little girl one day.  (Am I the only one who has done that???  Please tell me I am not alone!)

When I began to consider doing a "clothing fast" and narrowing down each of our closets to seven items, I decided not to include Cora's.

The most practical reason was that between diaper blowouts, spit up, etc., babies can go through a lot of clothing.

Another reason was that she had *so* many outfits in the 3-6 month size range (at one point I counted 60!) that she could hardly wear them all if she wore a new outfit every single day.  

Also, I just plain didn't want to because this is my chance to dress a baby girl and I wanted to indulge in all of the cuteness I possibly could.

And you know what?  Before, during and after "clothes month" I have felt stress over Cora's closet at times.  It is not that I have not enjoyed dressing her and being blessed by all of these things at all because I certainly have but at the same time there have been multiple times that I have stressed out that she might not "be able" to wear everything before she outgrew it or the weather turned cold.  I felt bad if someone gave us something and I didn't get it on her.  I have felt stress in my being over these sorts of things.  

What sense does this make???

A quote from Ann Voskamp:

“Stress isn't only a joy stealer. The way we respond to it can be sin.”

I don't need any joy stealers in my life, do you?  I don't need things that help to tug and pull my gaze off of God.  

I am not quite ready to chuck everything in her closet out.  I am so, so very thankful for all that we have.

I did take a stricter inventory of what she already had before I went on my bi-annual fun girls' night/shopping trip with my sister-in-law to the Just Between Friends kids' consignment sale and tried to stick to reduced numbers of things (I still bought two more pair of pajamas than I had written down that I thought she "needed" for the winter because they were cute and I wanted them but I did underbuy in a few other categories - to be honest, not virtuously but because I didn't find something at the sale in those categories) but it's at least about acknowledging and taking baby steps, right?

And, all of this is changing the way I look at the things we are done with.  I guess at least one perk of her having so many things is that they are very gently worn!

It was a joy to go through the things she has already outgrown recently and to sort them into piles for hand me downs, for the pregnancy center, for babies in Zambia - it was awfully fun for me to imagine little African babies wearing some of her things - very few things to save sentimentally, things to return to their owners, etc.

I am not saying this to say "look at me, see what good things I'm doing".  I am just learning, taking baby steps into this whole thing.

I do not know the answers but I would love to process some together in the comments.  

First, do please tell me that I am not the only one who has bought clothing for children not even yet conceived.  :)

Also, is there an area in your life where you are blessed with excess but that it stresses you out?  How do you deal with it?  

What other thoughts does this post bring up?

How do you decide what is "enough" in various areas of your life?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for reading my gut level honest here.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Happy Half-Birthday Sweet Cora!!!

Cora, you are a joy!  We are enjoying you so, so much!  

You have shown a big interest in toys this month.  You really like to be engaged and have something to play with.  You tolerate being on your tummy but you still don't roll over very much although you can roll both ways.  I mostly find you on your tummy when you wake up!  

Helping Daddy with his work!

You love your Daddy and give him lots of smiles especially when he makes kissing noises at you from across the room.  When you're eating you will sometimes just stop and look across the room at him and wait for him to look up and notice you looking at him.  You definitely like your Daddy's attention.  

You started snuggling more this month too and we both *love* it so, so much!!

Brother likes to turn this musical mat on for you and you like mashing around on it to make sounds.  It is one of the ways you tolerate tummy time the longest.

We squeezed the most we could out of summer and picnicked some more.  You are showing soo much interest in "big people" food!!  Not long, my sweet one!  

I asked your brother what should be the first food we feed you when you get to eat food with us and he thought a minute and said, "tic tacs!!" very enthusiastically!

You're wearing brother's jammies here from when he was a baby.  I just couldn't resist seeing you in these polka dots too and they are soo soft!  

You rarely lay down anymore. You like to sit up and play.  You are such a big girl!!

You got to go on two trips this month.  The first was to NYC with Mama and Daddy to celebrate our fifth anniversary.  Here you are enjoying the big bed in our nice hotel room.  You slept in the crib at night and I don't think you enjoyed that *quite* as much as nighttimes were kind of rough being off our schedule and not in your own bed.  We were very thankful they gave us a corner room away from all the other rooms so we didn't have to worry so much about your crying.  

In the daytime though you were such a trooper.  We went all over and you were just a joy!   

You enjoyed snuggling in the ergo

and sitting on park benches

and getting ahold of Mama's empty water cup! 

I love seeing you in these pretty vintage dresses and you wore the pearls to church that Aunt Terry gave you!  

You have started to really love chewing on socks and washcloths and things or your dress or sleeves if you can get them to your mouth.  It is really cute and funny the faces you make.  You have also learned to "pat, pat, pat" with your left arm usually and your elbow straight and you will beat with that hand on your tray and chew and snarl ferociously!!  It is soo funny!!

You wore your first tights and your cute dress from Great-Granny all the way from England!

Your second trip was to California to visit our family there.  We went while Daddy was out of town for work and Ducca took us with him.  He is a great sport to travel with our craziness!

"Gammy" fixed up a pretty crib for you and you got to wear your swimsuit for the first time!  I couldn't get over how cute you look in it!!

You enjoyed the beach and so did brother and Ducca and Mama!

You enjoyed digging in the sand.  

and being held by Gammy

At Gammy's house you got lots of good swing time with Ducca and Mama and Aunt Carol.  

Back home and you are chewing on EVERYTHING you can get your hands on!

I have already found paper, napkin and sand in your diaper.  :)  

Pretty, pretty girl on your six month birthday!!

We love you soo much!  You are a light in our lives and so much fun to be around.  You continue to delight us every day!  We are so thankful to have you, Cora girl!

And then it was time for a little half birthday celebration.  We are starting solids with you the same as we did with brother, doing Baby-led Weaning and skipping the purees and starting with table food.  

The table is set.  

Your food is ready.  Grilled chicken, breadsick, roast carrot, steamed broccoli and raw carrot.  

We thought you would like it but we were all completely delighted when you *dove* in and didn't stop grabbing things and taking them to your mouth and gnawing on them (and even getting some down the hatch as evidenced by your diaper the next day!) for a good half hour or more.  

We love you so much, Cora Baby!  

Happy Six Months!!