Thursday, June 29, 2017

Levi: 16 Months


Levi is 16 months old today and I realized I haven't written an update recently. So here it is!

At his 15 month appointment, he weighed 20 lbs and was 29 inches. He's mostly wearing 9 month or 12 month clothes. (His swimsuit is 3-6 months and fits just fine. Lol.) He wears size 3 diapers.

He has 4 top teeth and 4 bottom teeth (the bottom right just came in). One of his molars came in months ago, the other 3 have been poking through over the past week or two. 

He can say 4 words: uh-oh, hi, bye, and num-num (for food). Lena had 20 words by this age, and Lucy (who I considered delayed) had 10. Trying to remind myself he's a boy, a third-born, and laid-back. He doesn't do animal noises, but he does make a car noise. 

We've been working on body parts. He can do eyes and nose. Sometimes he'll identify his belly, feet, or head. 



He folds his hands when I say "amen" and sometimes he stops mid-meal to fold his hands as if to ask me to pray again. 

He loves food - especially pizza. He actually freaks out if he sees pizza and can't eat it immediately. 

He also loves meat of pretty much any kind. He chows down sloppy joes, taco meat, ham, chicken, sausage, hot dogs, etc. Other favorites include: pb&j, fruit of any kind (especially blueberries - I think he'd eat an entire pint in one sitting if I let him), granola bars, goldfish, pea crisps, and anything sweet or sugary. He's not a huge fan of veggies. Imagine that. 

He adores being outside - to the point that I've forbidden my girls from saying that word out loud. Haha. It's kind of a pain to take him out though, since he doesn't walk and can't scoot very well on the uneven ground. 

He can walk quite well, but he won't. He'll go between people, but won't let go of furniture and walk on his own. He pulls up on everything, and he's finally gotten good at getting down from a standing position. He crawls once in a while, when it suits him. But his main mode of transportation is still the butt scoot. He has calluses on his legs and heels from scooting so much. 

He's a good sleeper. We rock, sing, and pray around 8:00 at night, then he usually lays right down and goes to sleep (on his belly, arms and legs tucked underneath him). He usually wakes up between 7:30 and 8 am. He's been down to one nap for a couple months - usually around 12:30. I'm excited if he sleeps two hours. Usually it's more like an hour and a half. On bad days, only one. The girls took 3 hour naps at this age. I don't know what Levi's problem is. 

He is obsessed with my mom. He doesn't voluntarily leave her side from the moment she gets home from work until the moment I pry him off of her to take him to bed. He cries when she shuts him out of the bathroom, and follows her every where she goes. 

Levi is the least anxious of all my kids and the most social. He has very little trouble being away from me and will smile or wave at anyone! That's a big deal for my kids! Haha.

He loves cars - or anything with wheels really. He gets excited when he sees mobility scooters or wheelchairs at Meijer. His favorite toy is hands down the car ramp. He also loves balls and Duplos or blocks. 


He's likes to look at books - especially if they have flaps or pictures of vehicles. He doesn't tolerate reading as much as just pointing at pictures and quickly flipping pages. 

He's very snuggly and loves to give hugs - complete with a grunting noise that signifies squeezing hard. Haha. At night, when we rock, he lays his head down on my shoulder. When he gets hurt, he won't stop crying until I pick him up and cuddle him for a minute. 

Seriously, I could go on forever. He has so much personality, is so cute, and so funny.



Everywhere we go, people have one of three things to comment about: his curly hair, his dimples, or his butt scoot. Haha. He's a conversation starter! And we love him so much!!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Saturday 7

1. I read 6 books this week.
Hahaha. Now that you've stopped laughing at that owl . . .

I read a series by Kristen Heitzmann (one of my favorite authors) in high school, but the library doesn't carry it and I haven't been able to find it elsewhere. So imagine my excitement when I came across the first 4 books at a thrift store for $4! I binged on them this week. Then a book I ordered came in at the library, so I read that. And then a friend gave me a book I've been waiting for forever, so I devoured that as well. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much this week. And my kids watched more TV than they should.

2. I also really struggled with depression this week. I'm worried it might be related to my reading binge.

I felt guilty for ignoring my kids, but not guilty enough to put down my book. And then I hate myself for choosing books over my kids. So then I try to rationalize it by telling myself it's good for them to be bored and I'm not their playmate. But all those excuses usually come up empty. It's just another example of how I need to be more self-disciplined. It's fine (good even) to love reading. But like anything else, I need to do it in moderation. And moderation has never been my strong suit (typed as I just polished off a donut and a cookie bar).

3. We didn't spend all week reading and watching TV. We did manage to do a few fun things. On Monday, Justin's mom and grandma met us at the zoo. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time.
Obligatory picture with the statue.
4. We also attempted a craft. Pinterest said it was easy, but it was a little bit complicated and time consuming.

The girls gave up half-way through and left a huge mess. Levi cried most of the time I was helping them (he's getting his molars) and then dumped Legos all over the floor. I was taking deep breaths by the end of the whole ordeal. The girls did request we listen to Christmas music while we crafted, though. That was fun. Haha.
Picture stolen from howtothisandthat.com 
5. Yesterday, the girls got the idea in their heads that we needed to go to the track and get some exercise. I originally intended to do that a few days a week this summer, but again, I'm not self-disciplined enough to make myself do it. After yesterday, I realize why. I ran half a lap and walked 3.5 more to get to a mile. That's it. One mile. A fraction of that running. But I thought I was going to die. It actually makes me really angry. The alleged endorphins you're supposed to get from exercise turn into rage hormones or something. It started my downward spiral of depression yesterday. It makes me so mad that it hurts so much, that it saps my energy so much, and that I'm so incapable of doing something ridiculously easy. I just don't think exercise is worth it. Ugh.

6. Last night, we tried to have family movie night. I saw that Moana came out on Netflix, and none of us has ever seen it, so we made cookie bars and popcorn and sat down to watch it. Lena talked the entire time, asking me inane questions: "Is that Moana? What's her mom's name? Why is she wearing that hat? What's on that guy's arm? Why did the chicken eat that rock?" I finally turned the captions on so I could understand what was going on over Lena's relentless chatter. Then half-way through, my brother and sister-in-law stopped over and the girls went outside to play with them. Justin, Levi, and I ended up watching the rest of the movie by ourselves. Haha. I wasn't a huge fan of the storyline. I'm always wary of the gods and goddesses element, and I'm so annoyed with the same old Disney moral of "Believe in yourself and you can do anything!" Gag me. Then I remembered something Kevin Deyoung had said about Moana on twitter, so I looked it up:
Yep. That about sums it up. Haha.

7. More pictures.
At the zoo

Watching Moana

Donut!



Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day Reflections

I went to a baby shower recently where the women discussed how they could count on one hand how many times their husbands had given their kids baths or put them to bed by themselves or changed dirty diapers. And I realized anew how blessed and grateful I am for my husband.

Justin can (and does) do everything I do with the kids. He had almost no experience with babies before Lucy was born, but he learned as we went. He changed those gross dirty diapers in the hospital. When I cut Lucy's finger the first time I tried clipping her nails, he took over - and I haven't clipped any nails since then. He's always helped with baths, but when I was hugely pregnant with Levi he took over full time (I couldn't lean over the tub), and he still gives more baths than I do to this day!

We put the kids to bed together every night, but if ever I'm not home or not feeling well, he is 100% capable of doing it himself. He has his own songs he sings to the kids, he climbs in their beds and snuggles with them, he reads their bedtime stories and prays with them.


When we were in high school, before we were dating, I once overheard Justin say that he wouldn't be caught dead having a tea party with his future kids. Now, he probably drinks fake tea once a week!


He plays board games and paints nails and does hair and is better at dressing the kids than I am.


This morning I found a note that Lucy wrote him for Father's Day. It says this:
Thank you for being the most loveable, trustable, relieable, and niceist dad we could ever have! And congratulations for being the best dad in the world!
I couldn't have said it better myself. Happy Father's Day to my selfless, compassionate, loving husband. I wouldn't want to raise these wonderful, frustrating, amazing kids with anyone else!


















Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Saturday 7

1. My mopping injury is getting worse. I hurt my elbow/forearm vigorously mopping my floor two solid weeks ago and it still hurts just as bad - if not worse. After consulting Dr. Google, I've diagnosed myself with tendinitis aka tennis elbow. Most of the websites said it's a result of repetitive movement - especially when force is applied doing something new or unusual . . .you know, like mopping my floor. That's both new and unusual for me. Lol. Yesterday, I fished with Justin and vacuumed my house, so between casting and pushing the vacuum, my arm hurts worse than ever today. I can't use my pincer grasp, push buttons on the remote, pick things up from a downward motion - like picking up a pillow off the floor or grabbing my pop out of a cup holder. It is ridiculous. And of course it's my right arm. My mom had the same thing happen a few years ago and her pain lasted for months! That's what I get for cleaning, I guess!

2. We had our first real taste of summer this week with temps in the high 80s and low 90s most of the week. We live in an ancient farm house with no central air, so we were feeling it. Fortunately, we do have window AC units in our bedrooms, so we spent a lot of time hanging out in there. We also were fortunate to have a pool playdate with some friends. And we made our own sprinkler out of a pool noodle via Pinterest. It didn't work super well. The tutorial said to hang the noodle over a tree branch, but we don't have any low branches, so we used the clothesline, and the noodle kept falling off. Finally, when Daddy got home, he rigged it up on the soccer goal for maximum water spray-age.

3. Another of our fun summer activities this week was attending the magic show at the library. I wasn't sure how interested my girls would be, but they loved it. Lena kept turning around to me with an expression of shock when the magician pulled a dove out of his hat or kept spitting more and more ping-pong balls out of his mouth.
At the end of the show, the magician showed the kids how to do a few tricks, so the girls gave my parents a show when we got home.

4. I only read one book this week: Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz. I loved it. It's exactly what I want in Christian fiction. It was my first book by Frantz, but I immediately placed a bunch more of hers on hold at the library.

5. Yesterday, we were invited to the cottage of a family friend to spend the evening swimming, fishing, and roasting marshmallows. Thanks to the aforementioned hot weather, the lake was super warm and my kids couldn't get enough of it - even Levi, who is usually wary of water.
Levi's butt prints leading down to the lake. Lol.

Swimming with Dad

Snacks with Uncle Jesse. Everyone was amazed by how much Levi eats. Haha. 


S'mores!


Trying to catch fish with nets.

Moving on to the fishing pole.

The girls each caught 6 or 7 of these tiny little fish right off the dock.

And Lucy got a decent sized sun-fish!

6. A friend shared this article on facebook: Dear thirtysomething moms - I see you. It's nothing earth-shattering. Just more reminders about how motherhood is so hard, but so worth it. I loved this part about having pool playdates with friends because it is so true:
Although we may be there in pairs or groups, our conversations are piecemeal, we cannot relax. Our focus is entirely on our children. We are tired. We are distracted. Our tankini-clad bodies are battle-scarred and utterly not what they used to be.
But this part also really resonated with me:
You see, the truth is, we thirtysomethings have let ourselves go. No. We have let our SELVES go. We have small children and for the next little while, our SELVES will not come first.
We will be sleeping (or not) according to the timetables of our toddlers and/or newborns and/or a combination of the above. Our hair will not be washed as often as we’d like. Sit-ups? What sit-ups? We will be wiping noses and bottoms and messes from the walls. We will be cooking what feels like continuously from breakfast to supper time and not leave the table until at least a forkful of peas have been eaten.
This seems to be my recurring theme this year - understanding that through the menial work of motherhood, I am learning to die to myself and sacrifice my selfishness for the sake of my kids. It's a humbling and sanctifying process, but one I'm so grateful to have - both for its eternal significance and its present blessings.

7. More pictures of those blessings . . .
Helping make cake pops

We went to a friend's big pool to swim and these two spent most of the time in this tiny baby pool. Haha.


Sprinkler fun



Pool boy
The humidity makes his curls crazy



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