Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's a...


Hard to believe! She broke all of the old wives tales!

Now to just agree on a name...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4GLTE smartphone

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas was very low key for us. Nathan and I were feeling a little Scrooge-ish I think with the upcoming move and basically all we did was put up the Christmas tree! We also spent an evening making our own Christmas ornaments, which is a separate post. We rationalized that Shane isn't old enough to really know what's going on.

I had a tough time this Christmas, struggling with the materialism of a holiday I used to love. Nathan's family goes all out at Christmas time and even though I know, I KNOW that Christmas is not about the gifts I still always feel guilty that was don't spend/give as much. We can't. I don't believe in it even if we could. And this Christmas? This Christmas we didn't have anything to spend. So I did home made gifts, because I already had the supplies and what I didn't have I got for under $10. I was really nervous about how the homemade gifts would be received but they actually seemed to be well-liked! And I was pretty happy with them too.

Anyway we had a nice Christmas and I hope that all of you did as well.  On Christmas Eve we let Shane open his gift from us, which was actually his birthday present that I didn't give him because he got SO many toys.
Christmas morning I made chocolate chip pancakes as a special treat. I even got out some real Maple Syrup that I found at Walmart of all places! This northern girl can't stand that fake grodiness.
Then we got dressed up and went to church. Shane rocked the tux he wore to his uncle's wedding. I should've let the arms and legs back down, I didn't realize he's grown so much in just a few months! Everyone thought he was adorable in his tux. He was having a really rough morning and cried for ten minutes after I left him in the nursery, so I spent the service playing with him. I was sad to miss communion but happy to spend some sweet time with my boy.
From church we went to my in-laws house where I helped with lunch. Once more of Nathan's family got there we ate lunch, then opened up gifts.
 This was the first thing Shane opened.  He was so excited, he just wanted to play with his toys as he opened them but he has such a large stack that we had to move him along a little.
 Once Shane finished opening his presents, he helped me open mine.  He certainly got into the unwrapping part of Christmas this year!
 As a kid growing up my parents took a picture of us with our presents each year so I thought I would do that with Shane. I like to look back even to this day and remember my favorite gifts! I couldn't get Shane to stand with his presents without playing with them, but here are the gifts he got from Nathan's family. See the tall tower car ramp thingy? We are leaving that in the box until we move, so that he has something to keep him occupied while we unpack.
 These are the gifts from us. The car ramp was his birthday present. The book is really sweet, it's called "I Love it When You Smile" and I found it at the dollar store along with the coloring book. The truck were Daddy's pick.
 This is one of my favorite of the gifts Shane got. It's a little outfit with Navy emblems on the shirt, T-shirt, and jeans.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Boy or Girl?

Since we only have a little over a week until we have our ultrasound and (hopefully) get to find out the gender of baby #2, I thought I'd post a poll so you all can vote on what you think the baby will be. The poll is up on the right side of the blog.

At first I was hoping we'd have another boy so that Shane would have a little brother to pal around with, but now I'd love to have either. Obviously all we want is a healthy baby, and even if it isn't we'll love it just as much, but I would be equally happy with a boy or a girl.

Here are your clues to help you guess the baby's gender:

My Intuition: I think it's a boy, but not strongly. This pregnancy has been basically identically to my first pregnancy which obviously was a boy.That's why I think this one is a boy. The only thing is that with Shane I knew it was a boy, and with this baby my gender intuition is broken. I have also has baby girls on the brain a lot with this pregnancy (thanks a lot, Pinterest). So I would say Boy/Inconclusive.

Intelligender: Yes, I did it for fun. Hey, it's got a 50% chance of being right! It said boy.

Shettles: Boy

Old Wives Tales:
Heartrate: Boy
Wrinkles on the back of the legs: Boy. (If the wrinkles on the back of your first babies legs align, the next child will be the same gender. If they do not align, it will be the opposite gender)
Chinese Gender Chart: Boy
Strange Math Equation: Boy. (You add the age you were at conception-25-with the number of the month of conception-8-and if the number is odd it is a boy. If it's even it's a girl. So for me it is 33, ie boy)
Carrying High or Low: Inconclusive.
Acne/Look Stealing: None. Boy.
Cravings: None. Inconclusive.

Um, not one thing points to us having a girl. We'll see if we beat the odds! Of course we all know 10 reasons why every superstition is incorrect but like I said before, there's a 50% chance of being right! And isn't it fun to guess?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

18 Weeks {5 Days}

18 Weeks. I hate how my face looks in this picture, so just look at the belly. Looking pregnant, right?!

This week I had an appointment with my midwife, Emily, and we spent some nice time chatting together. I am so sad to be leaving her as we have a lot in common! We are going to try to do some things together before I leave though. We are going to the children's science museum on Monday--she has a membership so she can get me in free!

This week I have notice that my SPD is back with a vengeance. It started later in this pregnancy and I think that is because I had gotten everything into alignment with a few chiropractic visits over the summer. My hips are also completely out of place. It's very painful!  I am going to try to make an appointment with the chiropractor next week. It's at the point that I can barely move, and laying in bed or sitting on the floor to play with Shane are just excruciating. I figure that a lot of pelvic pain is my trade off for not being sick the entire pregnancy. I don't really mind it though, because the trade off is so wonderful! The sweet little kicks make up for having to hobble.

The other strange thing I have noticed lately, and I forgot to talk to Emily about it, is that I am faint any time I have to stand much. If you will remember I fainted at Walmart when I was pregnant with Shane and I experienced more light headedness after that incident but it was most often just in church when we stand for about an hour. But this time it is much more extreme--I can hardly stand long enough to change Shane's diaper and I usually have to sit down for a minute when I'm doing the dishes. I don't lock my knees or anything, and I'm totally fine if I'm walking or moving around the house. It's very odd. I've even taken my sugar a few times when this happened and it was fine.

One of the coolest things that I did this week was schedule my 20 week ultrasound! Squee! I'm so excited to see the baby and find out what we're having. It is at 9am on Dec 29th and we will be taking Shane as well. He always sits on the table and "helps" measure my bump and listen to the baby's heart--I want him to be as included as possible. Only ten days away!

This morning I had a severe pregnancy brain moment. I put Shane in the car to go to church, and left his door open. Then I was putting the stroller in the trunk and I needed both hands so I put the keys in the rain gutter on the side of the trunk. Then, oops, I closed the trunk and bye-bye keys.  I pounded on the bedroom window until Nathan woke up and let me in the house and then I looked for the spare car keys so I could open the trunk. Couldn't find them. Then I spent about 45 minutes trying to find a locksmith or someone who knew how to jimmy a trunk lock. About an hour after I locked the keys in the trunk, I remembered: There is a trunk latch release in the car. HELLO! Sigh. Thanks, PB.

Tonight Nathan and I went on a date. I think this is the second one since Shane was born? We needed it! We went to see a movie and went to dinner.  While we were sitting in the movie Nathan got to feel the baby move!

I think that's all the good stuff for this week!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

School's OUT!

I have written a post about going back to school several times in my head, but I've never actually written it out and posted it! It was a lot longer and more detailed in my head, but here's a shorter version.

I wrote about going back to school here when I signed up for spring semester.  I only took two classes last spring but I took four this fall (Yeah, what was I thinking.). I took Psychology, Concepts of Physical Activity, Anatomy and Physiology, and Bowling. The A&P class actually had a lab so technically I attended five classes, but the grade all rolled into one. And bowling, I know, I just needed one credit hour and I thought it would be fun. I actually had to take quizzes and tests though! Overall it was nine semester hours.

I'm not going to lie, it was a tough semester between my very active and attention loving Shaney and first trimester morning sickness and fatigue. I can't say that I did much studying, especially not compared to what I should have. Thankfully, all the classes were relatively easy except for A&P and I'll say that was a tough class! Interesting, fascinating, but very difficult! Plus I got a prof. reputed to be one of the most difficult teachers of the class. I enjoyed it, but I am SO glad that it's over.

Wednesday afternoon was my last final and I got my final grades today. I am very happy to say that I got all A's!  That means that as an adult returning student with first a job and infant, and this semester with a toddler and a pregnancy, I have gotten straight A's. I'm proud of myself! But I can't really take the credit. It is totally a God-thing that I got good grades, especially in A&P!

I won't be taking classes next semester because we'll be moving and I'll be having the baby, and to be honest I don't know when or if I'll go back for a lot of reasons. But I do feel like I've proven to myself that even though I'm "old" I'm still smart enough to go to school, and I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to add a few classes to my transcript.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sabotaging Breastfeeding

*I wrote this post late last night but since I was falling asleep while typing I though I'd refrain from posting it until I had a chance to read over is this morning ;)

I'm sitting on the couch, Pinteresting (I totally just made that word up and it's awesome), and I have the TV on in the background. The Office is about all that is on, and although I've always disliked the show this one caught my eye because it has a birth and a newborn in it.

The scene: Pam and Jim have just had a baby and are in the hospital.  Pam is trying to nurse her newborn.  She is having trouble with helping her daughter latch, and worrying about her supply.  You know, normal new nursing mom fears. They buzz the nurse to ask for help.

The nurse is where I get angry. Very angry. She refuses to help them. She demands offers to take the baby back to the nursery so that Pam can sleep. She tells Pam she will offers to give the baby a bottle and tells Pam she can try again later. This continues throughout Pam's hospital stay. I can't remember everything that was said but at the end the nurse tells Pam, who is still having trouble with latch and has again asked for help, that it's okay  if the baby won't latch because there's nothing wrong with bottles.

Not until Pam is sitting on a bench alone outside the hospital waiting for Jim to pull up the car is she able to successfully nurse her baby. And she is excited, she is proud, she is finally sure that she can feed her baby.

This episode really ticked me off. It ticked me off because this is very very frequently how new moms who want to breastfeed are treated by nurses. It ticks me off because Pam didn't want her baby given a bottle, she wanted to breastfeed and she was simply asking for help. It would have been so easy, not to mention confidence inspiring, for the nurse to have just helped her! She wasn't asking for help to give the baby a bottle feeding, she didn't want to give her baby a bottle, she just wanted help learning to breastfeed, and the nurse clearly had a different agenda. Um, did you know that most American hospitals get PAID to push formula? They do. It's not widely known. Except, that is, for Baby Friendly Hospitals (and maybe a few knowledgeable others).

You see, there is something called the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. It was put in place by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.  There are not very many hospitals that are Baby Friendly certified, and if you are going to give birth in a hospital I urge you to find one that has this certification.  Even birth centers can be certified, although by nature a birth center is generally friendly toward all things natural. This is a link to Baby Friendly USA which explains more about the BFHI, or Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.  According  this website, the BFHI is a  "global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding. The BFHI assists hospitals in giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so."   There are ten steps outlined on the website that include things like rooming in, 24 hour breastfeeding support, staff trained to assist in breastfeeding, early establishing of breastfeeding, not offering pacifiers or artificial nipples, and not offering free gifts of formula.  If you are an expecting Mama who plans to breastfeed, I'd check this link out. Even if you can't give birth in a BHFI certified hospital, you can know what you ought to be offered.

Obviously for a normal pregnancy I would recommend the care of a skilled midwife and a homebirth or birth center birth. This already will set you up for breastfeeding success.  But if for whatever reason you are going to give birth in a hospital I urge you to have a support system in place. Join your local La Leche League. Have the number of a Certified Lactation Consultant. Hire a doula to take to the hospital with you. Do your research, read everything you can, know your rights, know what you want, and don't be afraid to ask for a different nurse. 

Because our society is unfortunately not a society where breastfeeding is normalised girls are not brought up watching their mothers/aunts/other adult women breastfeed and so the knowledge is not passed down, it is an unknown and many new moms are unsure about the how of it all. Breastfeeding is instinctive in that baby's want it and many women feel the urge to do it, but it is not necessarily instinctive in the execution. Women need help, encouragement, support, and advice. Women need to be able to talk to someone who can tell them that it's okay their milk hasn't come in yet, that colostrum is sufficient for the minuscule stomach of a newborn and they need someone who can tell them whether or not the latch looks good and that hey, maybe your baby has some stage of a tongue tie and that's why he's not latching properly and many, many more things that "there's nothing wrong with a bottle" doesn't encompass.

I was blessed. My son took right to nursing, I had a visit from the lactation consultant in the hospital, and for two weeks I had my mom (who breastfed three children) there to help me. Other than numerous painful clogged ducts and now pregnancy making things painful I've had an easy, rosy breastfeeding experience with Shane. I still had things to learn though, and I did a lot of reading before hand. I didn't realize until my dad came to visit at two months old that the little squeaks and grunts and gulps and slurps were a good sign, a sign of plentiful milk supply and a happy baby. I didn't know until I visited my mom at three months that Shane's lower arm could go around my torso instead of being crammed under my chest. There's a learning curve to breastfeeding and I've had the last 18 months to practice. There is not guarantee that the next baby will be like Shane. You have a different nursing relationship and different challenges with each baby and there is no guarantee that this baby will take to it as easily as Shane did. Or it could be vice versa for some of you moms who had a difficult time initially with your firstborn.

There is never, ever a good reason for someone to sabotage your breastfeeding relationship. If someone does, I encourage you to find a different person to ask for help. You are the Mama. You are your child's advocate. You are strong, you are beautiful, you are important, you can do it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

17 Weeks {6 Days}

I think I've now gone from "she ate too many Doritos" (which, let's be real, I have), to "I'm pretty sure she's pregnant but you never ask that question so what do I do?" I think this because at our church ladies Christmas party on Friday several ladies came up and cautiously asked if I was pregnant. I am! Bet you didn't know that:!

The other new thing this week is that I felt Baby kick from the outside today, as I was putting Shane down for a nap. It was very faint, but I could feel it on the palm of my hand! And of course I'm feeling Baby move a lot more, several times a day usually.

This afternoon I took my first nap in several months. Usually while Shane naps I do schoolwork or chores, but today I just fell asleep for about 45 minutes. It felt so good! Once school is done I will probably spend Shane's naptimes packing or organizing or even crafting but once we move and I don't have to pack up a house anymore I will most definitely be working in some more frequent naps!

At 17 weeks Baby is about the size of a baked potato--it weighs about 5oz and is about 5 1/2 inches long. Over the next six weeks its weight will increase approximately six times. Finger and toe nails are also beginning to grow, which is why they already need cut by the time they are born! When Shane was born we cut his nails when we brought him home, even though the hospital will tell to file them instead. Actually, my mom cut his nails and showed me a neat way to kind of slide the clippers and clip as you go, and I've never cut Shane's finger. I used to only cut his nails while he slept but now he sits in my lap and we sing the ABC's while we clip. Sometimes it takes two sittings, but he's pretty good about having it done.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Navy Update

When Nathan originally went to MEPS, he was scheduled to leave for basic training on August 6th, 2012.  We were a little bit disappointed because we were hoping it would be a little sooner than that, but we got used to the idea and I was glad I'd be able to stick with my midwife and birth center and have the baby before we moved. When Nathan asked, he was told that there was no way he could leave earlier.

Last Thursday, after Nathan's DEP meeting, he called me and said the recruiter wanted to meet with both of us on Tuesday morning. He wanted Nathan to leave earlier, because if he didn't go to basic before I had the baby he could only join the Reserves. Nathan said the recruiter was talking after Christmas. My mind flew into a whirl, list after list after list forming in my head. I only got a couple hours sleep that night. And the next night.  Finally I tried writing things down as I thought of them, but that didn't really help. Still no sleep. I wondered why the recruiter had to make the meeting so far off! I was totally fine with him leaving earlier, I just wanted a more definitive timeline and more information. I despise feeling like I don't have all of the information. It leaves me feeling helpless and unable to plan.

Finally Tuesday morning rolled around and so did the meeting with the recruiter.  I went to the meeting armed with a notebook page full of questions! Nathan said, "what a surprise". See, I just like to KNOW things. Makes life incredibly easier. Anyways, the long and short of the conversation was that since Nathan already has two dependents (Shane and I) they want him to go to basic now because if I have the baby that gives him three dependents, in which case he has to get a waiver which the Navy has to approve and, well, they may choose not to approve it. Confused? It's ok. So the recruiter is putting in the paperwork to get Nathan sent early and he will for certain be home until January 3rd. The recruiter thinks he will probably go in January or February. Now I know that doesn't give me a whole lot more definitive timeline but since I do know that he will at least be here until 3 Jan, I can take a little breath. I got all of my questions answered, which makes it easier to plan some other things as well. Knowledge is Power, people.

Our plan is to pack up as much as possible, all of the things we don't use on a daily basis. As soon as we find out what we're having I'll be able to decide what I can pack of Shane's things as well. When Nathan goes to basic we will be getting a storage unit for all of our things (the Navy will pay to move them when Nathan gets stationed) and I will be moving to Ohio while Nathan is in basic and A-School. (About 5 months). We are letting our house go since we are on a month to month lease and I'll get a little apartment as close as possible to my parents house. Toddlers can be overwhelmingly energetic and because my parents and my grandparents live together, we thought it might be best if Shane and I had our own space and we can spend evenings and weekends together. But this way I'll be close enough that they can help if I need it especially in the later stages of pregnancy and when the baby is born.

I am actually really glad that the leave date is being moved up. I am totally ready to get started with this new stage in our life. To be honest, the only thing I'm really grieving is the loss of the birth I had planned to have. I love my midwife, the birth center, the birth tub, the personalized care. I have actually been excited to labor and deliver because of Midwife Emily and the relationship we've been developing, as well as the waterbirth I'd planned to have. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little sad to be missing that. But mom and I did some looking around online last weekend and found a few birth centers in their area that look like they do waterbirths, so we are going to check them out when I get up there. That alleviates the sting a little bit. And of course I'm excited to be close to my family.

There are SO many things that we have to do before Nathan leaves and unfortunately most of them plus the packing will fall to me, since Nathan is working nights.  So if you can pray that I'll have some extra energy and strength. I always seem to be packing and moving while I'm pregnant! And that makes it a little more challenging. Also, if anyone wants to come play with Shane for a few hours so I can pack, let me know. I have my finals next week so I am going to focus on that, and then after that it's preparing to leave. I'd rather be ready too early than to have Nathan leave and have to try to do everything alone. I'd also like to try to see each of our friends at least once before we leave. I'm a lot more mentally calm about things since our meeting, after all it's not like I've never done this before!  Or, you know, like twenty times. Ish.

Monday, December 5, 2011

16 Weeks {6 Days}

The baby doubled in size this week, and I think I can see the difference in my belly. I meant to take a picture today but I forgot.

How Far Along: 16 Weeks, 6 Days
Total Weight Gain: 4 lbs, as of two days ago
Maternity Clothes: Yup. I need a new pair of jeans. My ones from last pregnancy have holes in the thighs. Big holes. The cold air whistles through.
Stretch Marks: A bazillion. But no new ones.
Sleep: Terrible, but I can't really blame it on the baby. It has more to do with my mind racing and turning and thinking about some things going on. I just can't seem to turn it off to sleep.
Best Moment of the Week: Feeling the baby move multiple times a day. Watching Shane be a ham.
Worst Moment of the Week: Some news that we are dealing with--I'll post about it after we know more tomorrow. It's not bad news, just stressful news.
Movement: At 13 weeks I thought I felt movement. At 14 I was pretty sure. At 15 I knew it. And at 16 weeks I'm feeling movement not only daily but multiple times a day. It's not very strong yet, but I know it's there and I love it!
Food Cravings: None
Gender: We don't know yet. I can't wait to find out!
Labor Signs: I started having Braxton Hicks around 14 weeks. They are getting a lot more frequent now.
Belly Button: No change really.
Wedding Rings on or Off: On.
What I miss: A good night's sleep. But I've been missing that for a long time now, and I expect to continue to miss it for as long as I have little kids or am pregnant! It's a privilege of motherhood, right? If you'd like to wake up early to feed my eternally starving son so I can sleep in, let me know. I'll take you up on it.
What am I looking forward to: More/stronger movement, gender ultrasound, getting answers tomorrow, finishing out the semester, getting my house organized.
Weekly Wisdom: The night your husband asks you to stay up with him, your baby will wake up early as well, ensuring you will get five or less hours of sleep.
Milestones: Baby doubled in size this week! I can tell too, my belly got bigger!
Weekly Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Spoke Too Soon...

The icky, horrible, painful, bleeding, nasty rash is back suddenly. Ugh. Here we go again. I thought we had this stupid thing beaten!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cloth Diapers and a Yeast Infection

Somewhere near the end of October, Shane came home with a terrible diaper rash and no matter what I tried, it would not go away. In fact, it went from a simple little red rash to an angry, raw, painful bottom with open sores. I took him to the Doctor where they confirmed what I suspected: yeast rash. Ick. The Dr. prescribed a VERY expensive cream to apply once a day. Thankfully Shane’s insurance took it from being a $290 tube of cream to a $5 tube of cream. Seriously!

Now, with cloth diapers you aren’t supposed to use diaper creams since they ruin your diapers.  So I switched for a while to my go-to disposable, Pampers Cruisers. They made the rash worse, even with the cream (which I had to apply multiple times a day to see any improvement, by the way). So then I went out and bought a pack of the Huggies Naturals, that are supposedly for sensitive bottoms. They seemed to help a little, and after a week or two the yeast infection cleared up. So I went back to my cloth diapers.

And the stupid rash came back. Like, instantly. Sores.  My poor baby! Disposables again. In case you ever wondered, going from soft chemical free cloth diapers to chemical filled disposable diapers is NOT good on little bottoms. I was frustrated that we couldn’t get rid of it and I felt so bad for little Shane, you could tell his bum hurt! And then something popped up in my news feed on Facebook about how yeast bacteria can continue to live in cloth diapers. Ding ding ding! A light bulb went on in my head.  And I decided to make some changes to my cloth diapering routine.

First, I stripped my diapers according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This involved bleach and blue Dawn original dish soap with multiple hot rinses.  I also added tea tree oil as a few websites recommended, as that is a natural antiseptic.
I also ditched the disposable wipes (except for in the diaper bag, currently) and mixed up a solution of water and tea tree oil in a squirt bottle. 

I found all of Shane’s old receiving blankets and cut them up into wipes—they get rough after one baby so I was going to replace them for the next one anyway. And if you’re making your own wipes and don’t have old flannel receiving blankets lying around anywhere, you can get them cheaply at thrift stores or secondhand kid’s stuff stores. I also cut a few into rectangles to fit inside the diaper to line it so that I can use cream and not ruin my diapers.

I also found out a week or two about a cloth diaper store that opened up recently about half an hour from my house. Shane and I took a little jaunt up there to check it out and find some cloth diaper friendly diaper cream as well as wash detergent that’s actually meant for cloth diapers. It was such a cute store and I’m excited to go back! She’s got some great stuff.  The diaper cream she recommended is AMAZING and I love it even though I’ve only used it for a week. It actually smells really good, as well as goes on easily and does a job as good as or better than the popular Desitin or Butt Paste. I am still using the receiving blanket pieces to line the diaper when I use the cream just in case, but it IS supposed to be cloth diaper safe so I am safe either way.

I am still using a disposable at night with the yeast cream, at least for a week or so until I know for SURE that the rash is gone for good. But it’s been gone for a little over a week now and the rest of the redness and irritation went away as soon as I got Shane back in cloth diapers so hopefully we are clear!
And THAT is our (hopefully one and only) adventure with a yeast infection.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shane's Words {17 Months}

I stopped doing monthly posts for Shane a while back, mostly because it was just a guilt trip since I never did them on time. But I thought I'd want to remember a few years from now what words he was saying. I listened to him all last week and I think I got most of them.  These are only the words he says voluntarily, he imitates many more.

Keys, car, hi, bye, bye-bye, dog, no, meow, uh-oh, pretty, mamma, daddy, diaper, excuse me (me me), hot, cold (and he knows the difference), nee nee (nursies), love you, paw paw, bop bop (grandpa), meh ma (grandma), more, all done, down, bite, shoes, potty, baby, boo-boo, ball, spoon, block, airplane (la-lane), book, please, water, bite, banana, truck.
Reading with Daddy.

He's also pretty good and knowing what you are telling him to do ie "Put it in the garbage", "bring mommy her phone", etc.

The toddler in him is definitely coming out as I see him throwing himself on the floor crying about once a day these days. Sometimes it's because he was naughty and isn't getting his way (which is generally only if he's hungry/tired), and I just walk away and ignore those. Other times it's because he just can't communicate to me what he wants or is trying to do (can't finish the puzzle or get all the shapes in the sorter) and is frustrated about that, in which case I pick him up and give him a cuddle and tell him I'm sorry he doesn't have the words, and we go from there.  We are working hard on signing/asking for help instead of screeching. Overall he's incredibly well behaved for his age and I consider that a blessing straight from God. I really can't take any credit for his behavior--I think it's just his nature to be easygoing and want to please.

Lest you think he's perfect (he pretty much is ;) he does have a vice. Hair pulling, and only on his cousin Alie. You see, Alie loves Shane and gets very excited whenever she sees him. She loves to give him kisses and hugs, even though he's not into all that. They enjoy playing together. There are also times when she is very mean to him. She pushes, kicks, scratches, snatches, and bites.  And then he pulls her hair until she screams. Which my Mama heart says she deserves, but that's now how Jesus wants us to treat people. Sigh. Usually the fights are over a toy. And I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's him taking the toy from her. Mostly she takes the toys from him, yelling "mine"! I heard Shane say that to his Daddy a couple of days ago and I was NOT pleased. I can't wait until school is out!

Shane is OBSESSED with babies. I'm glad, I'm thinking he's going to be a great big brother! He just loves to be around them, give them kisses and hugs and pats.

I don't remember if I already wrote this, but he folds his hands when we pray but gets to "amen" about the same time we get past "Dear Jesus". He has to be involved with everything I do; cleaning, cooking, laundry, and is a pretty good little helper. I think I'm going to buy him a little squirt bottle and just fill it with water so that he can clean to. He also has started putting things where they belong recently, although he isn't good at picking up his toys.

At our checkup recently Shane was 26 lbs and 31 inches. He is in 18/24 months clothes and size 5 shoes. His diapers are still on the middle snap adjustment, or size 4 in disposables.  He's getting tall and slim, and his hair is getting long!

I'm continually amazed by how quickly he's picking things up and what a little explorer he is. He's just so...happy! I love it! And who knew a toddler baby could have a sense of humor? I must look at him 5 times a day and tell him he's just so cute/smart/awesome.  He's even started putting things away (not his toys, unfortunately) but other things. And he likes to help clean. He screams "Daddy!" every time he hears a pickup truck go by.  And when he gets in his truck he tells us bye and love you and hangs his little arm out the window like a grownup.

It occurred to me yesterday when I was driving home that I ought already to be praying for my future daughter in law, and not just my Shane.

It occurred to me that, while I've always thought raising a girl would be more challenging, that it might actually be more challenging to raise a Godly, faithful man. I want him to love God. I want him to be the leader of his household; strong, steady, faithful, hardworking, honest, loving, gentle. These aren't prevalent things in my generation, and probably will be even less in Shane's generation. What a challenge!