Friday, January 27, 2012

Dear Bo, You're 26 months old...

Stats: You wear a size 4 diaper, a size 7 shoe, 24 months and 2T pants and 2T tops.  

Eating:  Your eating phase continues!  One thing I don't think that I've mentioned is how much you love Chick-F-la nuggets!  You can hammer some nuggets.  I quit buying goldfish and replaced them with oyster crackers (lower fat content), and you haven't missed a beat.  You're also into veggie straws and fruit this month (mostly grapes and cutie oranges, but strawberries, blueberries and apples are mixed in there, too).  One thing I can't get you to eat much of is veggies and bananas these days.

Sleeping:  Mercy me, sweet boy, you gave us a run for our money for most of December and the first part of January!  After Christmas, you continued waking in the middle of the night, but this time, you didn't go back down so easily.  There was nothing we could do that would help so we ended up giving you some Ibuprofen, tucking you in and loving on you, then practicing some tough love and turning up both of our noise makers until morning.  We were nervous when your cousins came that you would keep them up.  In fact, we even got a noisemaker for each of their rooms.  But thankfully, that Thursday night is the night you went back to being our champion sleeper!  Now you're back to your 8pm bath and bed, up at 7ish, with a 3 hour nap after lunch routine.  So glad, my little sleeper is back!

Talking:  Your language really started taking off this month!  You will now say:  Momma, Da-da, Daddy, Mimi, Pop, Bo, Nemo, Bible, dino, no (of course!), yeah (we're working on making this yes), shoe, shirt, tra-tor (for tractor), eye, nose, mou (for mouth), ear, yum-yum, bye-bye, and you love making car sounds and animal sounds (especially the lion sound right now).  Every time you see Daddy's truck, you make a vroom-vroom noise.

Favorite Things:  In addition to the usual suspects (Nemo, Bubble Guppies, Cat in the Hat, puzzles, books, cars, trucks), you have been into crawling under things and hiding this month.  Whether it's in the tent or teepee Aunt Jen gave you, under the slide, under a blanket I have over my lap, under the table in the church aren't picky!  You just want to "hide" under things.  So boy!  You are really into action songs right now, too.  You can do all the motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider, Head-Shoulders-Knees-Toes, and Wheels on the Bus.  You love being sung to.  You still love giving really loud kisses.  

You have turned into a huge Daddy's boy this month!  I can honesty say you've never really showed a big preference to one of us.  We both bathe you, put you down, help with dinner, etc.  You've never been much of a Momma or Daddy's boy (which is really nice--we each have shared the load), but are all about your Daddy.  You have a breakdown if he walks out of the house without you (even if it's just in the garage to throw out some trash).  You'll produce real tears and everything!  I can't blame you...he's pretty neat.

Happy, happy.  That's still how I'd describe you.  


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dear Baby 2, Farewell first trimester...

We made it through a completely uneventful first trimester!  I got out my maternity clothes this weekend to sort them and wash them.  It won't be long until I'll be wearing them.  My energy is back, my nausea is gone, and the only ill effects of pregnancy I feel are some headaches and strong food preferences and aversions.  Daddy and I are going on a little trip alone this weekend; I guess this will be our baby moon because I can't think of another time we'll be able to get away alone before you arrive.  We're looking forward to it.

Here's what you're up to this week (12 weeks):

From crown to rump, you are just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weigh half an ounce.

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your fingers will soon begin to open and close, your toes will curl, your eye muscles will clench, and your mouth will make sucking movements.  Your intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into your abdominal cavity about now, and your kidneys will begin excreting urine into your bladder.

Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your brain, synapses are forming furiously. Your face looks unquestionably human: your eyes have moved from the sides to the front of your head, and your ears are right where they should be.

These were my prayers for you this week:

Thanksgiving for a great first trimester and prayers for an equally uneventful second trimester.  That you will form perfectly and be spared any physical or mental defects, but if you aren't, that we'll be just the parents you deserve.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Dear Bo, Your first bump, birthday, and a grumpy Cowboy...

You went to your first non-family birthday party on Saturday at the Donut Stop.  You weren't too interested in mingling with the other kiddos and kept trying to escape the party!  Guess some of my anti-socialness has rubbed off on you!  You were quite interested in the balloon though.

We went to open gym at ADGC after the party to let you run off some sugar, and you took quite the spill while trying to get on the trampoline!  You were a tough boy though.

You were a little Cowboy, wearing your boots and pearl snapped shirt to church on Sunday.
{Every cowboy needs his cheerios}
{Playing with your tractors} 
 {Grumpy little cowboy}
 {Not being a very tough cowboy}


Friday, January 20, 2012

Dear Bo, Chill-axin...

We keep catching you like this, and it always makes us laugh!  You'll watch TV like this, and even sit in our laps like this while we read to you!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dear Baby 2, Your cousins came for a visit, and we got some input on names...

Another uneventful week!  Your cousins came for a visit, and Alyssa was especially interested in you.  She would sweetly ask, "So how's the baby?" and wanted to know what names we like.  I'm into family names, and the ones we like so far are:  Allie, Sarah Kate, Mary Kate, and just plain Kate for girls, and Graham, Luke, and Drew for boys.  Alyssa's favorites were Allie and Luke.

Here's what you're up to this week (11 weeks):

You are just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig.  You are almost fully formed. Your hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under your gums, and some of your bones are beginning to harden.

You're already busy kicking and stretching, and your tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as your body grows and becomes more developed and functional.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That you will have a sweet relationship with your cousins.  Many of them will be quite a bit older than you; I hope you adore them.  I remember being especially obsessed with my Benton cousins; may you have a healthy obsession with your older cousins.  Many will be quite close to you in age, too.  May you tell plenty of secrets, play together lots, and look forward to seeing each other.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Dear Bo, Visit from the cousins...

The Browns came and visited us this weekend.  They got here on Thursday and left on Sunday so we had lots of time to play and catch up!  Last time they came to Amarillo, you looked like this:

Needless to say, this time, you 3 had much more fun together!

On Friday, you played all morning until the Daddys took y'all to the water area at WT after nap time.  Then it was supper and more playing!

On Saturday we played at home,

went to the Discovery Center,

took naps, then went to the park before supper.

After bath time, there was some dancing in the living room to wear you out before bedtime.

We went to church on Sunday then enjoyed breakfast together before they headed out.

It was so fun to see you with your cousins.  My favorite parts of the weekend were:
  • you "playing the DS" with Alyssa
  • you following Cade's every move and laughing at every single thing he did (and how sweet he was with you!)
  • the three of you dancing in the living room (your signature move was "the running man")
  • the slurping noise you made when Aggie was around
  • the girls smoking the boys in 42
  • watching the Miss America pageant and the commentary that went along with it
Thanks for the visit, Browns!  We love you!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dear Baby 2, Another week down...

Well, I'm finally getting over that tired, "walking against the current" feeling in the evenings.  I've been nee ding a short nap to get me through until bedtime, but that feeling is lifting.  Hurray!  More energy!  I'll surely need it to keep up with your brother.  We saw you yesterday, and everything is going wonderfully.  Your heartbeat was 164bpm (your brother's was 170bpm at this stage)

Here's what you're up to this week (10 weeks):

Though you're barely the size of a kumquat — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weigh less than a quarter of an ounce, you have now completed the most critical portion of your development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in your body rapidly grow and mature.

Your tiny nails are forming on your fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair is beginning to grow on tender skin.  You're swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including your kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout the pregnancy.

Your limbs can bend now. Your hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over your heart, and your feet may be long enough to meet in front of your body. The outline of your spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from your spinal cord. Your forehead temporarily bulges with your developing brain and sits very high on your head, which measures half the length of your body. From crown to rump, you're about 1 1/4 inches long. 

These were my prayers for you this week:

Thanksgiving that you are doing so well and prayers that we will finish this first trimester without any issues.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dear Me, Do you really think you want a kid? Is now the time?

I read this post by Glennon at Momastery today, and this particular part made my head bob up and down:

Every time I’m out with my kids – this seems to happen:

An older woman stops us, puts her hand over her heart and says something like, “Oh- Enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast.”
Everywhere I go, someone is telling me to seize the moment, raise my awareness, be happy, enjoy every second, etc, etc, etc.

I know that this message is right and good. But as 2011 closes, I have finally allowed myself to admit that it just doesn’t work for me. It bugs me. This CARPE DIEM message makes me paranoid and panicky. Especially during this phase of my life – while I’m raising young kids. Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I’m not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I’m doing something wrong.

I think parenting young children (and old ones, I’ve heard) is a little like climbing Mount Everest. Brave, adventurous souls try it because they’ve heard there’s magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it’s hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that  most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.
And so I think that if there were people stationed, say, every thirty feet along Mount Everest yelling to the climbers – “ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF!? IF NOT, YOU SHOULD BE! ONE DAY YOU’LL BE SORRY YOU DIDN’T!” TRUST US!! IT’LL BE OVER TOO SOON! CARPE DIEM!”  - those well-meaning, nostalgic cheerleaders might be physically thrown from the mountain.
The paragraph about why she believes people try parenting made me think about why I decided to throw my hat in the ring in this parenting match.  I had an email dialogue with a friend about this in  January 2009 when we were on the cusp of making a decision to try to have a baby.  I have to preserve the conversation here because this is where I'm storing memories for now.  Reading it in retrospect made my eyes well up with tears because I can honestly say, "Yep.  I am so glad we did this."  Even though the first year was the biggest roller coaster of my life.  Let's hope I'm still saying that when Bo is a teenager...

Me to Friend:
I just got through calculating my fertility window online.  This might be the month we go for it.  I’m a little concerned that I feel so blasé about it.  I can’t decide if it’s because 1) I don’t think it will actually happen 2) I don’t want to get emotionally invested in whether it will happen or not; or 3) I’m still not ready.  Is it irresponsible to have unprotected sex without dissecting this first?  Because I’m really just so sick and stinking tired of trying to figure this out.  On the one hand, part of me says, “You’ve waited this long.  What’s a few more months until you work out your feelings?”  The other part of me says, “You’re stalling again, missy.  Get on with it already.”
 Friend to Me: 
You crack me up with this fertility window stuff.  I love it!  I was talking to ______ about you guys having a baby the other day.  I was asking him, do they really think they want one? do they just think this is the time to do it so they better get it done?  how do they know they are ready?  You know, all those questions I would ask you if we were together because you would actually answer me rather than grunt something at me during the commercials of the game.  I don't know how to help you with this one, except to say that I don't think anyone who has any common sense ever feels truly "ready" for something like motherhood.  You are going to overthink this into the ground.  If you think you want one, get off birth control and give it a try.  Why not?  (of course I would never  follow this advice).
Me to Friend:

I’m treating this like a quiz:
do they really think they want one?
This has been answered “yes”.  The part of the question I’m struggling with now is “why”? 
So far the only thing I can come up that doesn’t sound totally lame (to me) is that I want to share my life with a child.  I kind of liken it to “why do you stay married?”  (because let’s face it, I didn’t dissect the “why are you getting married” question at 22 like I would at 31).  I stay married because I love The One, because I can never be the kind of person he is, and seeing the world through his eyes is as close as I’ll come to that, but ultimately, because I want to share my life with someone—to share life experiences, to make big decisions with him, to bounce ideas off of him, all of it.  And while I could walk through life alone and likely have a heck of a time, I like sharing my life with a partner and think my life is better for it.
I think I can have a full life without kids (and even may by all means), but I also think I’d like to share my life with children.  My large family has been something I have always adored; it has its rough spots no doubt, but I love sharing life with my parents and my siblings.  I think my life is fuller for it.  And while there is no guarantee that I won’t lose a child to a horrible disease, murder, or accident and end up childless anyway, while there is no guarantee I won’t have children that I can’t stand or that can’t stand me, no guarantee that I’ll have children who will get along, etc., I think I’m at a place that it’s a gamble I’m willing to take.  I would never have gotten married had I been guaranteed that my marriage would end badly in divorce, but I did get married knowing that my marriage ending badly in divorce was a real possibility and the chance that it would work was worth the risk that it wouldn’t.  That’s kind of how I feel about kids right now—I know there is the possibility that they will suck and that parenting will suck, but I think for me the risk that it will work is worth the risk that it won’t.  I love so many things about children—I think mostly because they represent everything I am not---spontaneous, nondiscerning, free spirited little creatures.  I love their absolute joy about ALL things (and how every sentence somehow ends in an exclamation point!).  And when they turn into who I turned into and do stupid stuff and say awful things and get confused and make horrible decisions, I’d like to love them and reassure them, help them find out how they can be the very best they can be, encourage them to be productive citizens.  It’s all corny I know, but it is something I think I’d like to be a part of.  (I fully realize they could be black fingernail painting cat killers who end up in bad places, but I guess I’m saying I’m willing to risk that that’s what they’ll be.)
I know there will be days I wonder why I did it, that I’ll miss pre-kid life, that I’ll be tired and grumpy, that they’ll smell and curse me and really test the concept of unconditional love.  But again, I just keep going back to marriage.  There have been days I’ve wondered why I got married, that I miss my single days, that I’m tired and grumpy, that we both smell and curse each other, days I wonder if I can live up to my promise of unconditional love, but in the end, I’m still glad he’s mine and I’m his.  In the end, I know I’d rather spend my life with him than without him.
do they just think this is the time to do it so they better get it done?  
Kind of.  It feels inevitable that we’ll jump, and we’re running out of excuses of why we shouldn’t jump now.  I don’t feel that feeling that some people say they feel like “something’s just missing from my life”.  I love our life.  I really love our life.  At the same time, I wonder if it’s one of those things that can be an additional thing I’ll love about my life, but I just don’t know it yet because I haven’t experienced it yet.  Kind of like travelling.  I never knew how much it could add to my life because I never travelled before college.  Then I did, and I was hooked!  It’s not like my life was empty before, but now travelling is just another dimension of a satisfying life.  Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but I hope expanding our family will be like that—just another dimension to an already satisfying life.
how do they know they are ready?  
We don’t----which is why I’m going through this diatribe with you and myself all the time.  I don’t think we’ll ever be ready.  I do know that we’re financially stable now, we’re healthy, we’re at a pretty good place in our marriage, and that we’d like to be through with kids by 36. 


Monday, January 9, 2012

Dear Bo, Some things you were up to last week and weekend...

{Riding your 4 wheeler}
 {Being a ham after church}
 {Playing with your cars and "hiding" under your car mat}
{Working in the garage with Daddy with your goggles on}
 {Reading to Scout}


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dear Baby 2, We're on to a new year...

We enjoyed another long weekend as a those long weekends!  We worked around the house, watched movies, and just hung out.  Mimi and Pop even came to visit one night.  I can't recall the last time Daddy and I have been to a movie, but we saw 2 this weekend!  I kept thinking, "next year, there will be two..."  Love that thought!

Here's what you're up to this week (9 weeks):
You are nearly an inch long -- about the size of a grape -- and weigh just a fraction of an ounce. You're starting to look more and more human.  Your essential body parts are accounted for, though they'll go through plenty of fine-tuning in the coming months. Other changes abound: your heart finishes dividing into four chambers, and the valves start to form -- as do your tiny teeth. The embryonic "tail" is completely gone. Your organs, muscles, and nerves are kicking into gear. The external sex organs are there but won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks. 

These were my prayers for you this week:

That you will hang around!  I don't know why I've been anxious about that this week; I've had some crampy feelings and worried though.  I'm hoping it's just the cyst on my ovary and nothing to do with you.  That you will escape the GI problems your big brother had and get more rest than he did those first 7 months.  I didn't know to pray for those things the first go 'round, but now they're at the top of my list!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Dear Me, Resolutions 2012...

I didn't do so hot on my resolutions from last year, but that won't stop me from making some more this year:
  1. Keep blogging.  It's a lot of work to maintain this thing, but it's the only baby book my kids will probably have.  It forces me to go through my pictures on my camera regularly, and I absolutely love going back and reading past entries.  Especially from those bleary eyed infant days!  I really would have no record of them otherwise.
  2. Simplify.  Simplify my schedule, my house, my diet.  Declutter.  Organize.  Keep only what I love or what's useful to me.  And certainly keep that rule in mind when making new purchases.  I read this book and want to try to find a way to incorporate it into my life.
  3. Be healthy.  Eat better, move more, feed my mind and soul good stuff.
  4. Not only survive, but treasure Baby 2's infancy.  Sleepless nights and all.  Remembering, "this too shall pass" (and actually knowing it to be true this time).
  5. Improve my efficiency at work.  
  6. Keep teaching Bo about Jesus, kindness, and manners.
  7. Keep my marriage a priority.
  8. Be intentional with my relationships.