Hello and welcome back for another round of five things! It seems like something is always new in our world and I’m excited to update you on five new things for the Gavin family. Admittedly, most of our news is about Dessa and Harvey, but they are growing and changing so much right now, it probably isn’t much of a surprise.
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Our biggest announcement is that our sweet Harvey James was baptized on Sunday. We were so excited to officially welcome Harvey into God’s family, and several friends and family members were able to join us for the celebration. Harvey was really tired during the ceremony and screamed quite a bit while he struggled to get cozy enough to fall asleep, but he rallied and was very calm when the water was poured on his head.
We spent a few weeks preparing Dessa for the event. She loves watching babies get baptized and was so excited for Harvey’s big day. Our priest was particularly inclusive of Dessa and encouraged Dessa to help bless Harvey during the ceremony. It was so precious to see all of the tender moments between the two of them. Dessa loves going to Mass each week and we can only hope that Harvey will grow to be as faith-filled as his big sister.
A Little Kitchen Update
Our kitchen recently got a little bit of a makeover! Dessa now has her own adorable little table area. This little spot is hands-down the cutest part of our entire house, but we actually set it up to solve a bit of a morning problem in our house. You see, Dessa usually wakes up an hour or two earlier than Harvey in the morning. She is always ready to play and eat breakfast long before her little brother is ready to start his day. Our dining room is right next to the living room where Harvey sleeps (and it’s also right next to Dessa’s bedroom). We found that it’s much less disruptive to Harvey if Dessa stays in the kitchen area for breakfast and quiet play until Harvey wakes up on his own. The new system has been working perfectly for our family’s morning routine and Dessa adores her little table.
The table is from Amazon. It has a great price (under $90!) and actually came with four chairs. It’s not the most solid or sturdy table, but it was simple to assemble and is good enough for Dessa to use. The picture frames are from IKEA, as is the faux-ranunculus plant and pot that Dessa insisted we purchase during our trip to the store and it is the perfect accessory to top off this sweet little space. Right now I have framed milestone baby photos of Dessa from Artifact Uprising I had ordered for her first birthday party. They are 5″ squares that perfectly fit inside the IKEA frames and the colors are on-point. I plan to swap them for updated photos of Dessa and Harvey in the near future. These are my current favorites from a spontaneous photo op on Dessa’s bed; I think they would look adorable in those picture frames.
PS – You may recall that Dessa’s the space for the table was previously occupied by Dessa’s play kitchen (also from IKEA). Rest assured, the kitchen is still around and gets plenty of use every single day. We just moved it onto an empty wall in our dining room. It looks every bit as cute in that new space as it did in the kitchen.
Dessa also has some big news of her own. Yesterday was our first official day of potty training! A good friend of mine had a very good experience using the method outlined in the book Oh Crap! Potty Training with her daughter and she gave a glowing recommendation of the book. I read the book cover to cover a few weeks ago and we dove head-first into the potty training experience.
Dessa hasn’t worn any diapers at all in the past 36 hours (not even at night or for naps since we decided to do nighttime training right away) and I’m honestly blown away by how smoothly things are going.
I loaded her up with extra water yesterday to give her lots of practice and potty experiences yesterday. She doesn’t typically have much interest in drinking anything and it’s often a battle to keep her hydrated. That was definitely not the case yesterday, thanks to the cutest little tea set I found at Pottery Barn Kids (it’s food safe and dishwasher safe). Dessa poured and drank to her little heart’s content and the only accident we had all day was the very first time she peed because she didn’t know what to do.
We woke her up a few times during the night to prompt and teach her how to pee at night, but that was smooth sailing as well and we only had two accidents today. One was the very first pee of the day and the other was shortly before bedtime. Dessa hasn’t been napping well the past few days and she is exhausted from the loss of extra sleep and working so hard on her new skill.
This was only our second day at this and I am certain that there will be challenges (like the stream of meltdowns Dessa has been prone to all afternoon today) and even some regression ahead, but Rob and I are both incredibly relieved at how the process is going so far.
Another Round of ISR Swim
Potty training isn’t the only thing new with Dessa. As of Thursday, she has officially finished her second round of ISR swim lessons! I promise to tell you all about our experience with ISR lessons at some point, but the basic thing to know is that the sole goal of the lessons is to teach babies and young children to save themselves from drowning. The lessons require a lot of parental dedication because they are 10 minutes at a time, 5 days a week. The first round of lessons lasts about six weeks, which we completed around the time Harvey was born. This time around, I signed Dessa up for three weeks of refresher lessons. She regressed a little from where she was in the fall (which is to be expected) but came though the lessons a stronger swimmer than when she started. Even better yet, Dessa finally hit her groove and realized that she has fun in the pool. Even though having fun isn’t the objective of ISR, it sure does help to have a child who enjoys it!
One day (hopefully soon) I will tell you more about the program and how it has gone for us so far, but for now, I’ll just let you know how incredibly proud I am of what Dessa has been able to accomplish in the water. She has been trained to alternate between floating and swimming to get to safety and when she swims, Dessa travels with her entire face in the water and her eyes open.
Dessa and I celebrated her last day of swim with a special treat of non-dairy ice cream with sprinkles after her lesson on Thursday. Needless to say, she enjoyed every bite.
I’m so glad to have a break from carting Dessa (and Harvey) to swim five days a week, but part of me is also sad that it is over. I felt so proud of my very big girl every time I saw her in the pool and I know that she is going to miss seeing Miss Anna, her swim instructor, each day. We are already signed up for another round of refresher lessons at the end of April, so we certainly haven’t said goodbye to Miss Anna for very long. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy having a few swim-free hours back in my daily routine.
My New Rothy’s
Guys, I did it. I finally bit the bullet and redeemed some of my Rothy’s credit to add the newest style to my closet. Rothy’s released the Chelsea silhouette several months ago and I’ve been eyeing them from afar while trying to decide on the perfect color to enhance my wardrobe. When I saw one of the new colors called “Graphite Melange”, I decided it was the color I’ve been waiting for. The silhouette is a bit of a step outside my comfort zone and I’ve only worn them twice so I’m still deciding how I feel about them. Once I have a chance to wear and style my Chelsea Rothy’s more I will be sure to let you know what I think. I also plan to include them in my Rothy’s review blog post.
And there you have it! Five pieces of news from the Gavin household. It’s not a coincidence that Rob doesn’t really have any news to share in this post and that the most significant thing I could think to share about myself was the new pair of shoes I finally mustered the courage to purchase. We really are just trying to keep up with the small children in our house who are constantly growing and changing. And just in case you’re wondering, Rob is doing pretty great. He’s been busy working on a few big projects at work, but otherwise the same as always :)