Thursday, July 28, 2011

Property Kids.

Recently while at a birthday party, I overheard a conversation between two elementary school teachers. Their conversation put a smile on my face as well as eased my mind to an endearing habit/normalcy of raising children in the country. These teachers were talking about recess duty and how easily it is to spot the "property kids". These young, nature's children are the ones who take their clothes off when too hot in the classroom and on the playground or choose to pee outside under an inviting tree instead of using a public restroom. 
Anyone who has spent any length of time with The Little Girls is quickly clued in to their "property kid" status. While Savannah has grown out of peeing outside (she is a bit more sophisticated, and besides "princesses don't potty under trees."), Ivy prefers it when spending time in The Great Outdoors. These girls are more frequently running around the house in their underwear (January or July, whatevs...) than in clothes and so just this week I had to make a new rule of being properly dressed while playing outside on the play-set, thus preventing all manner of naked side effects; sunburns and bug bites in unfortunate places, possible creepy people lookie-looing through the fence while driving by and owies made worse by way of zero cloth protection. When I explained this new rule to The Little Girls they looked at me confused like I was speaking backwards and in a foreign language. Funny how they don't wonder how telephones or televisions work but telling them they must wear clothes outside seems incredibly complicated. They struggled less with understanding how Grady was born. Being raised on property myself I struggle with this new rule too. I want The Little Girls to feel free to be however and whatever they want to be without casting a shadow of cultural conformity and body image perversity. Saying this now I feel like perhaps they still have a few good years where their birthday-suits are appropriate childhood attire.

As evidenced by Ivy:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kinder Kamp.

(first day)
 I am severely indebted to Savannah's near future Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. "R". Every summer she runs a two week preparatory day camp for the first 20 students who've signed up for school. She is not paid for this two week program and could be spending her cherished summer hours with her grandchildren or having a bit of much needed down time. Instead she is the answer to my prayers, prayers fearfully whispered after interrogation-type questioning from Savannah about what school might be like for her and how she won't be able to stand being away from me. But these last two weeks she has done better than I have. Every morning she excitedly dresses herself, arms herself with her locket and bravely rides the school bus on her own. When she gets home I hear stories about Gracie, Quincy and the other kids, snack, recess, art and how many times she did or didn't look inside her locket.
(ballet pose)
 (tears over a scratch from Ivy, tears that couldn't clear up by the time I was ready to take her morning photo.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Today Grady is 1 week old.
Tim thinks I'm ridiculous getting all teary-eyed when I lament that time is already slipping away. Hormones...right?
We call him The Gobbly-Goo. 
He eats so much... well, let's just say we go through a lot of diapers.

I am so proud of The Little Girls. They are handling his addition to our family like champion big sisters. They are so helpful and want to hold him, change him and kiss all over him. Savannah always has him wrapped in her blankie and now that Ivy has his name down (yesterday was the first day she got it on her own. "what's your baby's name again?"), she is eager to fetch whatever he needs even when he doesn't need it (french fries).

Monday, July 18, 2011


 Grady Andrew Botting was born on Wednesday July 13th at 3:34 in the afternoon. Words can hardly express the magnitude of our love for him nor the joy we have shared together as a family these last few days of his life. As Tim says, "He kicks ass."
 Tuesday night.
 Wednesday morning. Monitoring progress.
 Grady: mere seconds old.
 After first bath.
 6 pounds, 6 ounces.
 Meeting his sisters.
 Checking in on baby Grady with Nurse/Auntie Shannon. My sister was in the room as he was born, waiting to receive him in case of any complications. Having her there as a coach, nurse, cheerleader, friend and sister is surely one of the sweetest moments in my life. I'm so glad he waited to be born until she was working next!
 First meal.
 Grady is the most mellow of babies. 
He cares for three things; Eating, Snuggling and Sleeping.
What more could we ask for?

Monday, July 11, 2011


 Savannah's love note to Baby B. ( too!)

And here is what The Little Girls have been up to while waiting for their baby brother.
 Grandma and Grandpa Botting's Princess Girls after a day at the Train Museum.
 Swimming with Dawson.
 A treat at Cafe Centro. 
We dressed up fancy and walked Main Street, 
soaking up every last minute they can get with me alone.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


 Tomorrow is my due date.
Somehow I think this baby isn't quite ready to greet the world. In the meantime we have been taking it easy with lots of barbecues and ice cream, swimming and lounging around in an all out mellow fashion.
This late evening fun...
  ...lead to this itchy discomfort. Mosquitoes love Ivy.
Poor SWEET girl. This is what it looks like this morning.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Crafting Puppets.

Realizing that I have very few precious hours, minutes or seconds with The Little Girls to myself ahead, we've been making the most of these last few days of quality time by doing happy projects.
 I bought this kit years ago when Ivy was tiny.
 Today we put it to good use.