It’s Been A While

It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated, mostly because life has just been so busy and I’m trying to really absorb this time with Jane before she becomes a big sister and I am inundated with crazy post partum hormones.

Our precious family (34 weeks)

Our precious family (34 weeks)

As far as pregnancy goes, this one has been quite different than Jane’s.  I haven’t had crazy swelling of my legs and I also haven’t wanted to eat anything remotely healthy.  This boy loves sugar!  In the last few weeks I’ve tried to get better about upping my fruit and vegetable intake, but it’s not uncommon to get around to dinner and realize that I’ve had nothing but processed foods all day.  Sorry about that, Bud.  I am a lot more uncomfortable this time around, too.  My belly feels like it’s dragging on the floor by about 2 pm and I just want to lie down and rest.  Fortunately, while Jane naps I am usually able to chill out on the couch for a while.  Baby boy is also a lot more active than his sister was, so I think he’s going to be quite the firecracker!  I’m 37 weeks now, so he could technically come at any time, but our whole household has a cold, so it would definitely be preferable for him to wait until we’re all healthy again.

Jane continues to grow and change daily.  She will sometimes put two words together, but mostly communicates in one word sentences.  Although this morning she did say “Where’s my water?”  She’s also started to say “sorry” and “shoot” a lot.  Both of which are adorable and used correctly.  Except that she always says sorry when she hurts herself.  I guess because I always ask if she’s hurt and then tell her I’m sorry.  We’re in swimming lessons this month which she absolutely loves and I hope she’ll be able to continue once her brother is born.  This kid melts my heart on a daily basis.

She had her first ear infection a few weeks ago which necessitated antibiotics—nine days into treatment and we she started to have an allergic reaction.  Come to find out that Andrew’s sisters are allergic to the same antibiotic, so we definitely won’t be using that one anymore!

Anyway, that’s pretty much what’s going on in our house… just trying to get healthy and prepare for the addition of our sweet baby boy!

Harrison

On Sunday we had to make the very difficult and sudden decision to put our sweet dog to sleep.  He developed kidney failure, and short of sending him to UF for dialysis, there was nothing else that we could do but watch him endure a slow, agonizing death.  So we did what we never thought that we would have to do for our 5.5 year old pup.  Even now it seems surreal.  He filled so much space in our hearts and home and things are just not the same without him.

Jane asks for him several times a day, and I tell her that Harrison doesn’t live with us anymore; he lives in Heaven with Jesus now.  She is asking for him less and less, but still pretty frequently.  Last night we mentioned Jesus’s name and she instantly started saying “doggie”, so I know she is starting to understand at whatever level she can.

Andrew is absolutely devastated.  Harrison is the dog that he always wanted, and it is Andrew who feels the dog’s absence most acutely.

We don’t know what sent him into kidney failure, which, for me, is one of the most difficult things about his death.  We just don’t know what caused it.  That and watching Andrew grieve.  That is truly the most difficult thing, and I just pray that God would give him peace and comfort.

Our sweet puppy shortly after bringing him home.

Our sweet puppy shortly after bringing him home.

Our obediant dog.

Our obedient dog.

Squirrel hunter

Squirrel hunter

Harrison was loved by all

Harrison was loved by all

Sweet puppy :)

Sweet puppy :)

Jane and her doggie.

Jane and her doggie.

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P1050260We love you and miss you, sweet Harrison.  You really were the best dog.

28 Weeks and Life in General

All has been quiet on the blogging front for a while, so I decided it was high time for an update!  I’m now 28 weeks with our precious boy, and he still doesn’t have a name.  It was driving me crazy for a while, but now I’m remarkably okay with it.  We also don’t have his nursery set up, but my goal is to get that done in the next three or so weeks.  I know that he will spend most of his time in our room, but I’d still like to have a place that is his.  Every time I go into TJ Maxx the baby section beckons and I pick up an outfit or socks, so his wardrobe is building, but I don’t anticipate it being anywhere near as large as Jane’s.

He’s quite an active little guy and I keep saying that he is going to throw me for a loop.  Jane is a really docile little girl who loves to read and play quietly, but I don’t see that pattern continuing with baby number two.  In fact, I had to smile this morning when a stranger complimented Jane on her good behavior in a store and said she hoped it continued with the next one.  While I’m sure that he’ll be a delight and a joy, I’m expecting my son and daughter to be as different as night and day, and for each of them to offer their own parenting challenges.

My varicose veins came back with a vengeance pretty early in the pregnancy, and hypotension and hypoglycemia just made them worse.  Thankfully, my blood pressure has gotten better so my legs don’t hurt most days, I’m just careful to wear my support hose.  The stretch marks came a lot earlier this pregnancy, though, so I’m trying to be really diligent about applying lotion to my abdomen to help keep the skin supple.

Jane and Andrew were sick last week; poor Jane had a fever from Wednesday to Sunday and is still not fully herself.  Amazingly, she slept pretty well for the most part, so at least we were all well rested.  Until now.  When I’m sick.  We had weaned Jane of sleeping in our bed, but the last few nights I’ve been bringing her in because I just cannot sleep comfortably in the recliner in her room, and she’s having such a difficult time with nasal congestion at night that she really needs us near her, so bedsharing quickly became our only option.  And between her being sick and now me, we’ve been watching a lot of TV which isn’t something I’m very happy about, but it’s the only thing that allows me to rest during the day, so I’m learning to accept it.  We’re just going to have to work on breaking some less than ideal habits once I’m feeling better.

All in all, life has been good lately.  I’m trying to really enjoy having only one child and all of the free time that affords me before our little guy comes along and I’m a hopeless wreck again for an indeterminate period of time.  When I think about his birth, there are many different emotions than what I anticipated with Jane.  With Jane, I think I was more confident and excited.  This time, while I am excited, I also remember just how hard it was to care for a newborn and how overwhelming everything is.  But then I remember, not only will I have a newborn, I will also have a toddler!  And it is for that and many other reasons that I am thankful that we have family nearby!

{18 Months}

P1120867Oh, our sweet Jane is now one and a half!  Where has the time gone?  She continues her journey toward independence; she likes to try to put on her own socks, pants, and shoes.  She’s becoming a bit more of a picky eater, preferring mostly fruit and carbs.  She does love corn and peas, so at least she is getting some vegetables!

When I ask her where her baby brother is, she will usually point to my belly, but then will point to her own!  But she will also give my belly a hug and kiss when I ask her to give kisses and cuddles to brother.  It’s so cute!  And I make sure to tell her that her brother loves her, too.  I held an eight-month-old at a birthday party a few weeks ago and Jane wasn’t jealous at all!  In fact, she just wanted to give the sweet baby lots of hugs and kisses; it was so precious!

P1120870Height: 31.5 inches (50th %-ile)

Weight: 23 pounds, 10 ounces (between 25th & 50th %-iles)

Shoe size: Her feet are too, umm, pudgy for most size 4s, but too short for size 5.  Such an awkward fitting stage!

Diaper size: 4

Clothing: Her 18 month shirts fit fine, but otherwise she fits better in 24 month clothing.  I still keep a lot of the 18 month outfits around, though, because she has some warmer clothes in that size.

Don't touch the Christmas tree??

Don’t touch the Christmas tree??

Sleep: Jane is sleeping in her crib full-time now, although she still wakes a few times at night.  She has slept through the night once or twice, but her sleep patterns tend to be unpredictable.  Andrew and I often fall asleep on the floor or in the recliner in her room in the middle of the night.  She has been waking around 6:30 in the morning and going to bed between 6:30 and 7:30 at night, depending on the timing of her nap.  I’ve gotten to be a pro at moving her (huge) convertible car seat out of the car and into the house without waking her, thereby getting her some much needed sleep and mommy a much needed break when Jane falls asleep in the car.

Jane loves being outside

Jane loves being outside

Milestones: Jane’s vocabulary continues to grow, and this month she started signing apple and banana.  She is also finally saying momma!  And now she won’t stop saying it ;)

Just after Thanksgiving, Jane caught her first real illness, roseola.  It was a pretty mild case, but it did leave her pretty cranky for a week.  Her bottom two incisors also came in this month.

Jane wasn't too excited about meeting the Clauses.

Jane wasn’t too excited about meeting the Clauses.

As an anniversary/Christmas gift, my parents gave us some tickets to Disney, and on Jane’s 18-month-birthday, we went to EPCOT where she met Santa and saw Candlelight.  It was a fun, but very exhausting day.

My Paris Kitchen

Let me first start out by saying that I am no chef, and only a “wannabe” foodie.  But I loved my time in Paris and still drool over all of the yummy things we ate when we were there.  So when I had the opportunity to review famed chef David Lebovitz’s cookbook My Paris Kitchen, I jumped at the chance.

My Paris Kitchen is full of delicious recipes, but what sets it apart from other cookbooks is that it is full of stories from his everyday (though food related) life.  It breaks up the monotony of reading just recipes and is very enjoyable.  Although I have only tried out one recipe, I have many bookmarked and can’t wait to try more.

This cookbook would make a great gift for the foodie in your life, and hey, maybe they’ll thank you by making you something out of the cookbook!!  Check it out for yourself on Amazon.com.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

{Seventeen Months}

P1120595Our precious girl has become so independent this month!  She loves being outside and helping Daddy in the garden; in fact, being outside is probably one of her favorite things in the world.  She also loves to read and have you help her count in her counting books, go for stroller rides, play with her cousins, and eat!  She has developed a new interest in the piano and loves to have me sit next to her while we both play.  Andrew wants to start teaching her how to play already using the Suzuki method.  I’m just happy she likes music!  She also loves watching Disney Jr. and I have to be careful to limit her TV watching; I try to only let her watch it in the afternoon when I am the most tired and in need of rest before Andrew comes home.  She found an old stethoscope of mine this month and has started wearing it around her neck and then “listening” to her own or our hearts and saying “boom boom”.  So cute!!!

Such a serious little gardener.

Such a serious little gardener.

Height: 30.5 inches (between 25 & 50th %-ile)

Weight: 24 pounds (50th %-ile)

Shoe size: Her feet are too, umm, pudgy for most size 4s, but too short for size 5.  Such an awkward fitting stage!

Diaper size: 4

Clothing: Some of her 18 month clothes are too small, but most 24 month items are pretty baggy.

Trying on Halloween costumes.  She wasn't too excited about this dragon one.

Trying on Halloween costumes. She wasn’t too excited about this dragon one.

Sleep: Not much has changed, she still comes into our bed at some point in the night, which interrupts our sleep but is great for snuggling.  We will probably start trying to wean her (and ourselves) off of this in the next few months.

Milestones: Jane is a pro at feeding herself with a spoon these days, and since we have no plastic bowls, we trust her with our Fiestaware most of the time.  We’ve had a few near misses, but most of the time she doesn’t try to throw the dishes.  We also ordered her first children’s dish when we went out to eat; I was shocked at the lack of healthy options on the children’s menu.  So we settled for chicken fingers and carrots.  She loved it!

Mommy and her little minion at Halloween.

Mommy and her little minion at Halloween.

She says a few more words and has learned the sign for banana.

We also finished nursing this month.  It was a difficult decision on one level, but on another, I was ready.  It was just sad knowing that I am now done nursing my first baby, but I am so thankful for the nearly 17 months that I was able to nurse and for the great comfort that Jane took in it.

Gru and his minion.  She was totally terrified the first time she saw him.

Gru and his minion. She was totally terrified the first time she saw him.

Please Don’t Be a Fluke

Last night, for the first time ever, Jane slept through the night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She slept from 7:15-6, and then took a 1.5 hour nap today.  I’m drunk with sleep.

Please, don’t let this a fluke, sweet baby girl!

Abuses of Grace

I went to the grocery store yesterday with Jane and we were having a perfectly ordinary shopping trip, observing the people around us and grabbing our groceries before heading to the checkout line.  And then I witnessed something that still just burns me up and breaks my heart.

I had earlier observed a mom, probably around my age, with two littles in a cart and a baby in a sling.  Well, she was two ahead of me in the checkout line and as she checked out the cashier read off a number of her purchases to tell her what food stamps would and wouldn’t cover.  She then proceeded to swipe her card and the bagger helped her out to her car.  And then.  The woman behind her (once she was out of earshot, I think) very grumpily rolled her eyes and said to the cashier, “Doesn’t that just make you want to say ‘You’re welcome’ for buying her nearly $200 of groceries.”  I was flabbergasted and ashamed and I felt a response rise up from within me that seldom is ready immediately.  But I didn’t spit it out, I kept my response to myself all the while feeling the heat rise up in my face and not go down until well after I left the store.

I was furious.  I was angry at the stingy and self righteous attitude of the woman in front of me.  I was angry at the whole of society.  And I was angry at the Church, because if we were doing our job right, would our countrymen and women be hungry and need government assistance?  And I don’t mean the Church as an organization.  I mean the Body of Christ being His hands and feed, feeding and caring for our neighbors.  I mean people like me.  I am angry at me.

The truth is, I don’t know that young mother’s story, and I don’t know the story of the grumpy lady.  But I do know stories of many others who have been/are on public assistance.  And I wanted to say to this woman, “No. It doesn’t want me to tell her you’re welcome.  Because I don’t know her story, and I don’t know yours either, but I do know this—I am blessed to have enough food to eat and a roof over my head and I’m happy to put a face with my tax dollars and know that I played some small part in keeping those precious children fed.  And if you are in such a bad place that you resent whatever part you may have played, I’d be happy to buy your lunch.”

I am guilty of being frustrated with abuses of the system and making snap judgments of others, but as I reflected on this particular experience the Lord impressed upon my heart that I am worse than any abuser of public assistance.  For I am an abuser of His precious blood.  Am I not convicted of sin one moment and do that very thing the next?  Do I not willfully sin and thereby abuse His grace?

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:1-4 NIV

“Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20-21 ESV

I am still heartbroken when I think about yesterday, and I still don’t know if I didn’t say something because I was afraid of confrontation, or if the Holy Spirit stopped me because it would have cause me to become prideful.  I really don’t know.   But I prayed both for the young mom and the older woman.  And for myself.  And the Lord convicted me about my attitude toward a particular need that was presented to me earlier this week.

May we all be reminded how much we have to be thankful for, especially during this season of Thanksgiving.  And may I be continually reminded of my abuses of grace when I am frustrated with others.

Weaning

I’ve been working on slowly weaning Jane since the beginning of September and it’s been rough at times.  We started out by cutting “snacks” and only nursing first thing in the morning, at naps, and at bedtime.  After about 6 weeks of that, I tried to cut out the morning session.  It stunk.  She cried and cried every day and I just tried to distract her with food and getting ready for the day. During the same time period, we had been out of the house for many naps, so she would fall asleep in the car (aka no nursing).  I think we tried this for almost two weeks, but it was the same thing every morning and it just broke my heart.  So over the weekend I decided to let her nurse in the morning again, but we were going to cut naptime nursing.  It took me three tries to get her to nap yesterday, but I did eventually succeed and she slept for an hour.

And then this morning happened.  Jane woke up happy, rolled over and cuddled with me for a minute and then didn’t ask for milk!!  She asked for food!  I don’t know if it was a fluke or not, but whatever it was, I’m happy about it and said a prayer of thanks.

My goal is to have her weaned by the end of the year, but I have really mixed feelings about it.  Nursing is no longer comfortable for me, and although I originally intended to let Jane self wean, that’s just not something that I feel I can wait for.  I knew that she was not ready to wean, so I wanted to do it very gradually and I think that we have been able to do it (thus far) in a (relatively) unscarring way (for both of us!).  I know that I will be really sad when I have weaned Jane, so I’m trying to enjoy the last weeks/months of nursing my firstborn.  It has been such a gift.