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Friday, November 22, 2013

16 months

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Weight: 25 lbs. 13 oz.
Wears: 18 month sizes and some 24 month shirts
Shoe size: 6
{New} Words: ball (ba), that (da - accompanied by pointing)
{New} ASL signs: light
Teeth: 13

Here's another Reuben update, almost a month late again. Oh well. For reference this was from September 25 to October 25.

So here's what he learned between the months of 15 and 16 (now that he turns 17 months old early next week):

Throws a ball. And the occasional handful of sand, rocks, toys. But mostly balls. I think he figured out that that is what you're supposed to do with them.

Started running. He's not very fast yet and sometimes his legs go faster than he wants them too and he looks like he's going to trip and fall down but he corrects himself and continues on his merry way. He's actually very sure of himself, in not just walking and running, but in climbing up and down things as well. Having said all that he's somehow already gotten his fair share of bumps and bruises. It must be a boy thing.

Shakes his head yes. So now he can shake yes or no when you ask him a question. And he never gets them mixed up.

He's obsessed with the Gummy Bear Song videos on YouTube. You know the little green bear that shakes his booty to "Oh, I'm a Gummy Bear. Yes, I'm a Gummy Bear! Oh, I'm a Yummy, Chummy, Funny, Lucky Gummy Bear." (you're welcome by the way) He points to the computer screen and says "uh, uh, uh!" meaning he wants me to play them. Over and over and over...

Stranger anxiety. That's back. He only wants his mama. :)

Hates having his diaper changed. He gets downright mean about it. We're working on that.

When you ask him "what does a doggy say?" he say "ar ar ar ar" with a big smile on his face. Its the cutest thing!

Stacks several blocks before he crashes them and laughs hysterically about it.

Points to something he wants and says "that!"

Drags kitchen chairs to the counter so he can watch me cook or wash dishes.

Went down to one nap a day. This happened about the middle of October. He sleeps from about 10:30 to (it varies) 12:30 or even 1:30. I'm slowly working on getting him to stay up longer so he can take his nap after lunch at noon when Lily takes hers.

Around the middle of the month he started waking up about midnight and taking almost an hour to go back to sleep. He'd wake up crying his little heart out and no amount of cuddling, singing and rocking was working. Since he'd only been waking up to nurse once in the middle of the night about 4am, I didn't want to start up again at these midnight wakings, even though I knew it could be an easy way to get him to go back to sleep. So I got him out of bed and brought him out into the living room with me. We'd cuddle, watch a little TV and eventually he was ready to go back to bed. Luckily this only happened a few times.

Then one day, just a few days shy of turning 16 months old, he magically started sleeping straight through the night! Its wonderful! I'd like to say I get a good night's rest but I still wake up listening for the sounds of my children. It'll probably always be this way. I envy Andrew his ability to sleep through anything.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Thoughts on Two

"So, are you guys planning on having another baby?"

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Well we've reached that point again in our parenting journey, a place we've been before, a spot that seems oh so familiar. And yet its different this time. This life altering intersection that every parent comes to when they are asked this question by well meaning friends, family and yes, perfect strangers. You look at your significant other and you can tell they are thinking the same thing, "do we want to have another baby?"

The first time I asked myself that question I was laying in a hospital bed staring at my beautiful, brand new baby girl I had just given birth to. Yes, not even an hour after pushing a decent sized 7 lb. 13 oz. baby into the world, I turned to Andrew and confidently said "I could do this again." I knew I wanted to provide my daughter with a life-long friend...a little brother or sister with whom she could share secrets and hopes and dreams. Or torment and gang up on. I have 10 younger siblings, I know how this works. But I knew right away that I wanted that for her. In the following months, I agonized about the right time to start trying for a second. It took us about 5 - 6 months to get pregnant with Lily and knowing that I wanted them to be about 2 years apart I calculated many times the "correct" time to start trying. Sibling spacing issues aside, I also wanted to make sure I was able to enjoy Lily's baby time for as long as possible. I mean, here was my first child. I didn't want to deprive myself of the joy of watching her discover her world with no interruptions. I loved watching her grow out of her babyness into toddler hood and that she got to do it with her two parents right there by her side giving her their complete attention, meant a lot. So, for me, it was a bit of a tough decision to make to decide when it felt right to bring another little one into our world.

But when she was about 15 to 16 months old we decided there was no better time than the present and we got pregnant with her little brother pretty much right away.

And now here we are, our second is 16 months old and I'm contemplating whether we should start trying for a third little one. Some of those well meaning people think we should stop at 2, since as they put it, we have the "Million Dollar Family" (I had to google what that meant when I first heard it). I always thought it was almost selfish in a way to stop at two. Becoming a mom one day was a big priority for me when I was young. I didn't need some fancy life with lots of trips to exotic places or a large, expensive house. Because apparently the younger me thought you can only afford to take exotic vacations when you have one or two kids! lol I guess I always thought you had to chose one or the other. Now that isn't necessarily true though it certainly is a little more challenging financially and logistically. But we've managed to sneak in a few lovely trips both locally and nationwide since having kids and I don't plan on stopping if we have more.

So like I mentioned before, this time it feels different. I don't have such an all consuming desire to have another baby like I did after having Lily. I'm really enjoying having two for so many varied reasons.

In no particular order:

Its so easy to manage two both by myself and with Andrew. We go to church and he drops Lily and I off at the door. I go with her to her class while he parks the car and then carries Reuben to his class. One child for each parent. Simple. Even on my own its manageable thanks to my two hands that can each grab a kid. If I had three kids I'd have to grow another arm!

And good ol' finances. We're not in a great position to add another to the brood quite yet. We're getting there but its going slowly. Obviously its less expensive with two versus three.

I'm also not in such a hurry for more...selfish reasons too. I'm enjoying being back in shape and I look forward to a day when I can ditch the nursing bra and wear a shirt that I don't have to think "can I breastfeed in this?" before putting on. Of course if Reuben is anything like his sister that day may never come...

But then there are those moments when you're rocking and nursing your youngest to sleep and he's cuddled into you all long arms and legs and you look at him and you think back to what it was like holding a soft, tiny newborn and you start to feel that itch. It may be fleeting but it was there and you can't just brush it aside. Or when you're cleaning out a closet and you find a pile of baby clothes you forgot to pack away and you wonder if they will ever be worn again. Yeah, that has started to happen a lot recently.

So I've come to the conclusion, those who want to know, that I'm happy with our two...for now anyway. Who knows, give me a few months, the rate Reuben's growing I'll probably be longing for a baby to hold in my arms again. One that can actually fit in my arms.

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We do make such adorably cute kids though. I'd hate to deprive the world of our genes.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Weekend

Ok, I take it all back about last Thursday's post; I am loving this fall! All summer long I forget how nice it is to relax inside with the doors open and a nice breeze blowing through the house. So that's what we did this weekend. Most days this past week I've had to close the doors midday since the weather's still quite warm and our little house has no problem keeping the heat in. But this weekend we were able to keep them open all day, turn off the AC and enjoy letting the outside in for a bit.

Saturday after church we had a picnic lunch at the park with Reuben's Sabbath school class. I, of course, forgot all about it until the last minute so I didn't have anything to bring. But it was fine because the other parents brought plenty of yummy dishes. My kids didn't want to eat, they just wanted to play on the playground. Andrew helped Reuben down the slide for the first time ever. He'll climb up them but then he just sits at the top before climbing back down. I was wanting him to take the plunge at his own pace but he did very well with the slight nudge because all day Sunday he was sliding down the kiddie slide we have here at home. Saturday afternoon the kids also decided to dunk themselves in the lake before we left the park to go home. I was watching them by myself so between juggling shoes, a camera and making sure they didn't fall under I didn't get any pictures of them soaking wet. They had so much fun splashing each other. It makes me so happy to see them getting along so well and enjoying each other's company. Later that evening they helped Daddy wash and wax his truck before taking a bath, reading books and being tucked into bed.

Sunday was more of the same. Lots of outdoor time, Legos tower building inside with the doors open and sliding down slides. Andrew took Lily with him on an errand run mid-afternoon so it was Reuben and I home alone for a while. We shared a popsicle (meaning Reuben held on tightly and shoved it in my face every once in a while to "share" it with me) and rearranged the living room. We got rid of our couch several months ago so we're down to one love seat. We had pushed the coffee table out of the way leaving the kids with an open living room for them to run around, push their strollers and cars and spread out their toys while playing. Well yesterday I put the coffee table in our bedroom to use as a temporary craft table (I can't believe it fit). Now the kids have even more room to make a mess. Big surprise though, since there is less furniture in the way its easier than ever to keep the toys cleaned up and the floor swept and mopped. Makes sense.

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Thursday, November 07, 2013

A Visit to Cornfusion

I'm going to be honest with you, and you're probably going to want to slap me for this, but I'm not wildly crazy about the fall season. I know right?!?! Glancing at the thousands of Pinterest boards dedicated to the season I think may be in the minority here. Look, I don't hate it but I've never anticipated its arrival with mad excitement either. For a girl who grew up in the northeast, fall was a constant reminder that winter was just around the corner. And while I don't hate that season either, I think those of us who know what I'm talking about can agree, that while the snow and crisp temps are delightful at first, by February you're ready for some warmer weather and for the love of pete can we please see the sun?!

As a kid I lived for the summer. Growing up you could find me outside playing with friends and siblings till dark or lying in my bed with the windows open reading a good book (or two). The sunshine, warm air and colors call to me. Of course summer means something different here in the south where the heat and humidity lasts April through October, so I'm learning to embrace autumn and its cool reprieve.

I have to admit fall does bring with it certain delights. Its my chance to (finally) wear boots, bake anything and everything without heating up the house and run around outside with my kiddos without burning my feet. So I guess I'm learning to appreciate things about this season more and more.

One thing I have ALWAYS loved about fall are the countless fairs and festivals. There's just something about the smell of greasy french fries and funnels cake and the sound of twangy country music to put you in a fair mood. He he. Fair mood.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago the kids and I took a trip one Sunday afternoon (Daddy had to work with the bees) to visit a farm in Lakeland that boasts an 8 acre crop maze, pumpkin patch, corn box for the kids and other fall (corn) farm related activities. Of course we had to chose the hottest day ever to go. Lily had a mini meltdown halfway through the maze, sat down and announced that she hated it. I was right there with her on that one. Chasing kids in 90 degrees, carrying water bottles and shoes while trying to snap pictures (all by myself) isn't a ton of fun. But we made it through the maze and spent a large chunk of the afternoon in the corn box. They loved it. I was finding corn in their pockets days later. :)

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