Tag Archives: toddler

Goodbye, Mr. Bear

We lost an old friend today: Mr. Bear.

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Mr. Bear and Josh have been inseparable for pretty much Josh’s entire life. Mr. Bear was a constant companion, who’s presence was required at book time, bedtime, and often car time as well. I have been blown away by how much comfort one little bear brought one small boy.

And somehow, in the last 3 years, we had never misplaced Mr. Bear for more than a moment. Until today.

Sadly, Mr. Bear got chucked out of the car today by Josh while we were on the freeway. He was in the throes of a raging tantrum at the time. I didn’t even realize Mr. Bear had been relegated to the heavy tires and traffic of I-80 until we got to my parents house half an hour later.

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I admit, this boy has depended on Mr. Bear for the last 3 years, and I was initially upset that Mr. Bear was forever gone. But as my husband says, “When you have kids, you just roll with punches. And there are many punches.”

So I hopped in the car, went to Target and bought another bear.

$9.99 later: Hello, Mr. BIG Bear. Welcome to our family. (We’re not sure if we’re friends yet.)

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Although ten minutes ago, Josh was clutching Mr. Big Bear in his arms while trying to fall asleep.

So I’d say they’re going to be friends after all.

 

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My Little Guy

My little Josh is quickly growing into a big boy. I’m not sure when this happened, but it’s been really fun to witness. Parenting, for all it’s exhaustion and challenges, is full of wonder and joy.

Some highlights of this little dude who will be 3 in just a few short months.

-He is not cuddly by nature, but Mommy requires her daily allotment of snuggles with this guy and for all his protests, he loves it.

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-He is very happy when he is building something like this. (Of course, it must be built up and away from where little sister can’t get into it. Otherwise we have one very frustrated little boy!)

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-Thomas the Train, x 10,000. This guy lives, eats and breathes Thomas the Train. No need to say more.

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-And dare I mention books? We are always in pursuit of new reading material. Hanging out with his Auntie below.

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-Mommy finally got brave and tried out baking with a toddler. He loved it. Mommy… semi-loved it.

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-Playing outside. Those leaves are since gone from the tree, but at the time I would push him high enough so that the leaves would tickle his face and he giggled hysterically.

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-“We’re just two guys hanging out!” is the refrain I often hear when Josh and Daddy are together. Daddy is the BEST playmate.

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I must say, from 14 months to 27 months were pretty rough with this guy. We had frequent show-stopper meltdowns no matter how much we tried to avoid them. By several accounts, he was a “tough toddler.” But for several months now, we’ve seen this little guy really flourish as his vocabulary took off and his level of independence increased. And I’ve been happy to give him his own set of duties/responsibilities as I’ve watched him become quite capable of handling them. He is so different from his sister — he is focused, happy to be alone for long periods of time, delights in looking at every single page of a thick book, and loves his routine.

I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring. Thankful to our Savior for such this little dude. We love you Joshua!

 

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Settling In

Per usual fashion, I have about 3 minutes to type until the kids get up from their naps.

We are slowly settling into our new home. We still have a list a mile long of things we need to repair or replace, but we’re taking it at a much slower pace. We do have mold, predominantly in our kitchen area. We know there were leaks under the sink and under the fridge, and there’s still a lot of moisture showing up there under the laminate. We’re guessing that’s where the mold is (which, by the way, is not ultra high levels and also not TOXIC mold, praise God!). So bye-bye laminate flooring – it will need to be pulled up. I’m batting for tile so we can never worry about leaking anything for a long, long time. We have to replace the counter/sink/faucet/garbage disposal (which is leaking at the moment) as well, and so with a rather long list of needed repairs to get rid of mold, I’ve picked up quite a few night shifts at the hospital. I’m thankful for such a great job, which lets me work the spectrum of hours.

I’ve got up Costco’s awesomely massive Christmas wreath on our front door and some decorations on the fireplace mantle (thanks to Target’s $1 aisle). We’re on the fence about putting up the Christmas tree this year. 14 month old Rachel is active, determined, and in no way, shape or form a quitter. She will pull that tree down as fast and as hard as she can make it happen! Even so, I still think we shouldn’t skip out on the tree this year though. We might have to get creative.

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Target’s $1-$3 aisle is all really cute stuff right now.

Life with these two kiddos is so busy. I have no idea how people have 2 toddlers plus older kids at home and don’t lose their minds. Maybe it’s Rachel’s age and stage at the moment- I’m not sure?

Some of Rachel’s most favorite activities include:

  • Getting into Josh’s diaper pail.
  • Trying to get Josh’s dirty diaper away from Mom before she throws it into the diaper pail.
  • Taking wipes away from Mom while she is trying to change Josh’s diaper.
  • Eating Mom’s dirty socks.
  • Eating Mom’s dirty shoes.
  • Throwing food off of high chair tray.
  • Smearing food-laden greasy hands through hair (as many times as possible to complete the “look”).
  • Sucking on shampoo bottle.
  • Playing with toilet lid.
  • Bursting into brother’s room while he’s napping, or at least screeching loudly outside his door.
  • Snuggling with Mom.
  • Giggling and laughing while ANYONE pays attention to her.
  • Eating “special treats” after dinner (this girl loves M&M’s).

So you see, this girl keeps us on our toes (but also keeps a smile on our faces). Her big brother Josh, who will be 3 in March, puts up with his sister’s shenanigans fairly well for the time being. Occasionally he is provoked a little too much and he snaps back at her. He loves her though and is a good helper. I really love the times I get to spend just with Josh. He is learning and growing so much and it is really fun to discover a little bit of how his brain works (ahem.. a lot like his father’s.)

Well, the timer’s going off, and if I don’t get Josh up he’ll take forever to fall asleep tonight.

Hope you have a great rest of your week!

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Don’t be fooled, that headband lasted about 3 seconds.

Isn't this the cutest little bench?

Isn’t this the cutest little bench?

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International Flights, Pediatric Dentists, & Weaning

In less than 3 weeks, my 11 month old and I will fly halfway across the world to Australia. She’ll be considered my “lap infant” to save money. We’ll have two flights to get there – a 2.5 hr flight and a 14.5 hr flight. As the days dwindle until we “set sail,” so to speak, all I can think of is: What in the world was I thinking?! Yes, I’m a little anxious about it. Rachel is anything but tranquil these days. She’s prone to screeching at the top of her lungs all.day.long and her chief goal is to get as many places as fast as she possibly can.

Please pray for our seat neighbor on the plane. I really hope they’re a) into babies/toddlers, and b) don’t mind a small human being crawling in their space repeatedly while they’re trying to sleep. (Because who wouldn’t love that?)

Despite the flying part, I am very much looking forward to our quick trip to Australia. My sister and brother in law and their 3 boys ran into a visa snag while returning back overseas last month and actually have to leave their country to Australia for a month while they get visas renewed. Just my sister and the boys will make the trip. So we’ll get to do touristy stuff while Rachel and I are there visiting, and then after we return home the boys will have to do school the rest of the time.

In other news, I weaned Rachel! It happened a little earlier than planned (by 1 weeks) when my milk supply dropped quite a bit and she had been up at night crying a lot because she was hungry. Her diapers weren’t very heavy either, so I decided to bite the bullet and wean her. She immediately took to cow’s milk, which was a huge answer to prayer! She’s been chugging down anywhere from 2-6 oz of milk at a time, and sleeping through the night. However, the abrupt weaning has been really rough on my body. I’ve been feeling really foggy-brained, irritable, exhausted, and headachy. It hasn’t been fun at all. I read that my prolactin and oxytocin levels are plummeting while estrogen and progesterone levels are rising. So my body is one big hormonal mess at the moment and I hope it all gets straightened out soon! Asking the Lord to help me be patient and kind, even though I feel like a disaster on the inside. Only by His Spirit can I do such things.

I took Josh to the dentist last week (I took him because I lost a bet with my husband….just kidding. Sort of.) and experienced unparalleled screaming from that kiddo. No kidding – I was surprised he didn’t burst capillaries in his little eyeballs from all that wild screaming. My ears rang for hours afterward. I apologized to the dental hygienist several times but she acted like it was all part of the 2 and 3 year old dental course. The dentist was a superstar in my eyes after he managed to scrape tartar off of Josh’s teeth (while Josh writhed and shook and screamed with all his might) without drawing as much as a single drop of blood from his gums!

And before I go — I made a big deal about discovering a bean up Josh’s nose several months back. But the truth is, he’s shoved a total of 3 beans up his nose. It’s becoming fairly routine, apparently! I may have to buy my own medical grade suction apparatus one of these days to get those suckers out (no pun intended).

Hope you have a great week! And I hope beans weren’t on your dinner menu tonight. 😉

 

 

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Josh is Two!

I can no longer say that I have “two under two.” And that is wonderful news!

Josh turned two last Thursday. We met up with my folks and my sister and her kids at a McDonald’s with a toddler play area for lunch. He had a blast playing with his cousins until he tripped and smashed his mouth. I didn’t see it happen (I was in line to order) but his mouth was full of blood and he was NOT a happy camper after that. He was pretty grumpy the rest of the day, but he enjoyed the number of special treats/allowances he received to celebrate his birthday. 🙂

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At McDonald's on his birthday. Thankfully his older cousin's weren't too ashamed to play with him in the toddler area!

At McDonald’s on his birthday. Thankfully his older cousin’s weren’t too ashamed to play with him in the toddler area!

Josh is thankfully over the flu. It took 9-10 days for him to regain his appetite and resume his normal eating. He lost some weight and his upper arms got so skinny! His appetite is very good now and the kid is making up for that lost weight quickly. I’m so thankful about that!

We had to reschedule Josh’s birthday party to next weekend, thanks to multiple family members of mine getting the stomach flu. And one of my nephews also had a fever of 103.5 F last week from a nasty virus as well. Lots of viruses making their rounds this winter!

And now for the latest on Josh. (I want to remember these details later on!)

Stats. Weight: 24# (I think he was down to 23# from the stomach flu — but was 25# prior to that.) Clothing size: 18 months pants fit his tummy but are getting a little short. 24 month pants are way too big around his tummy still. Shirts: Mostly 18 months. 24 months shirts fit but are baggy. Shoes: 6.

Sleeping habits. Josh goes to bed around 7 pm and sleeps until 6-7 am. I’m SO GLAD his 6 week long sleep regression has been over for at least a month now. That was brutal! He naps once a day for around 2-3 hours. He goes down anywhere from 11 am -1 pm. He still has a pacifier and hubby and I need to make decisions about when and how we’re going to wean him off of that. He loves his blankie and his bear, which are both a must for sleeping with. He hasn’t climbed out of his crib yet, so I’m planning on leaving him in the crib until that happens.

Food. Josh is a decent eater. He can be picky some days. I haven’t gotten very adventurous when it comes to giving him things like soup or other hard-to-get-into-your-mouth meals. I do let him eat yogurt out of the container though and that’s always pretty interesting. His favorite food is (hands down) the almighty fruit snack.

Favorite activities. Reading, reading, reading. Any books on trains or trucks is a huge hit with him. He also enjoys books by Cynthia Rylant (Poppleton) and other short story books. He loves playing with trucks or trains, and watching real trains go by on youtube. He asks to play outside frequently, and loves to color and play with beans or corn kernels.

Reading with Daddy. I have many, many photos of this.

Reading with Daddy.

New train set from Grandma and Grandpa! A big hit.

New train set from Grandma and Grandpa! A big hit.

"Please Mom, can I have your broom?"

“Please Mom, can I have your broom?”

Speech & Learning. His vocabulary has taken off in the last two months. Hooray– we can communicate better! He has too many words to count now. Lately he’s been using 3 word sentences (“It’s a train!”) and 2 word sentences (“Again, please.”) We’re working on colors and numbers. He gets part of the sequence of numbers between 1-10 correctly (“seven, eight, nine, ten!”). I think colors will take a little longer as he’s quite fixated on the color “Green” and guesses that every color is green. He learned his shapes pretty quickly, but sometimes mixes them up.

Potty Training. I’m not going to bother starting this until he’s closer to 3. He wears size 5 diapers, and has now for probably a year or so. I look forward to not changing poopy diapers on him in the future!

Last of all, this little guy loves snuggle time with his momma. Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night and will screech for me. He’ll lays his head down on my shoulder and snuggles in my arms while I rock him for 3-5 minutes and put him back in his crib. Those are cherished moments, for sure. 😉

This morning. Kiddo has a mouth full of graham crackers.

This morning. Kiddo has a mouth full of graham crackers.

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This is from a few weeks ago, but I just got the pictures off of my SD card today. Love this one!

 

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Stomach Flu & Booger Beans

We had one day to recover from Disneyland and then BAM! The stomach flu hit.

Until now, we were novices in the flu department. Josh is the only one who has it (so far), poor little guy. He hasn’t been able to keep much of anything down for over 36 hours. Thankfully there’s no diarrhea and he only has a slight fever. But I’ve never seen him so sad and pathetic looking. I’ll be so glad when he’s feeling better.

I’ve been puked on 5 times. I found myself amazed that even though barf was completely covering my legs and running down my socks, I was near tears because I just wanted my little guy to feel better. Ah, motherhood. It’s so hard to watch your child suffer, even when you know it’s only temporary.

On a side note, has anyone noticed that every clear-liquid related food item you’re supposed to give your vomiting child is a really bright color? (Jello, Pedialyte, popsicles, Gatorade, etc.) Our carpet has taken a beating, and I’m still trying to get red stains out of it!

Completely changing the subject to much more civilized topics, Josh shoved a bean up his nose the other day. He loves his tub of beans (that has measuring cups and plastic containers to scoop with inside) and begs every day to let us play with them. He stopped putting them in his mouth a long time ago, so I am usually happy to oblige. He played with the beans around noon one day, and after his bath that evening I noticed a booger of unusually large size up his nostril. I got a q-tip (which he hates) and tried to coax the booger out. I was rather perplexed when it didn’t work. I ran to get a bulb syringe and used that next. I became suspicious that something was amiss when Josh started to cry at my rather aggressive bulb suctioning. Suddenly, I realized that this was no booger up his nostril. I yelled for my husband to come right away while I ran off again and got tweezers. Hubby pinned down Josh’s arms while I applied pressure to the top of Josh’s nostril and used tweezers to clamp onto the booger of usually large size– and out popped a PINTO BEAN! All I can say is: No more independent play time when it comes to beans for a very.long.time. and I’m grateful we avoided the ER on this one.

I hope I have thoroughly grossed you out tonight by discussing barf and boogers of unusually large size.

You’re welcome!

 

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Sleep, Overrated? I think Not.

Sleep deprivation is a very real thing at our house these days. Looking back, I never thought Josh would be the one keeping me up as he approached his second birthday. He used to be our stellar sleeper. While his little sister snoozes through the night, he’s awake and screeching from his crib, often for hours at a time.

A few nights of this is annoying. But we happen to be going on about a month of nightly crying sessions. Anytime from 12 am to 5 am this little dude can be heard hollering from his crib. I wish I knew what was waking/keeping him up– Teething? A long day time nap? Hunger? Thirst? Too cold or warm? Sadly there never seems to be anything consistent playing into his nocturnal tendencies. So I guess it’s just a phase we must endure.

Parenting is all about endurance, no? I looked at Josh, right after he’d thrown his sixth huge tantrum this morning, and thought “I know they say these years won’t last forever. But right now, it feels like they’re lasting forever.” So we packed up and went on another country drive. While the kids listened to Psalty (1980’s, anyone?) and slept in the car, I put an earbud in and soaked up truth I needed to hear in a sermon about Jesus. Because He really does make everything better. Not easier, but better.

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I’m watching my older sister with her boys — now 13, 11, and 9, and it gives me encouragement to keep going. They are such great kids. I remember my sister having many trying days when her kiddos were little. Times when she would even give herself a “time out” so that she could get back to a place of thankfulness when frustration was creeping in. She put in a lot of hard work (she still does) and long days. But her boys are a treasure– they are gifts from God. And they are a joy to be around.

My sister with her middle child.

My sister with her middle child.

So I’ll press on. I’ll enjoy the fun and tender moments, the smiles and the giggles. I’ll pray for endurance for all the other moments. I’ll go for a country drive if need be. And I’ll thank God that gas is only $1.91 a gallon.

What helps you get through the most trying parts of your day/night?

 

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Simply Being Here

These days are fun yet hectic. Rachel is doing great — she’ll be 4 months old in a couple of days and she’s giggly and smiley and already popping out teeth (teething at 3 months is CRAZY, by the way). Josh is almost 23 months and is and putting words together for the first time. He can be found with his nose in a book and a train piece in one hand at almost all times. It is a delight to see them both growing and learning new tricks! But lest you think it’s all roses– our days also involve lots of screaming. So yes, it is fun and there is much laughter– but there is also much screaming too.

In light of this busy season, I have often wondered “How can I be serving others? How can I help out at church? What can I be doing to be a blessing?” The truth of the matter is that it’s a small feat just to make it to the grocery store, let alone church. With a small baby in tote who nurses often, there aren’t really any practical places for me to be able to serve at church right now (which really makes me feel like a consumer). Josh also depends heavily on routine and schedule, and not adhering to his routine for too long means a complete meltdown (which happened in an extended version on Christmas day). All this is to say is that the bulk of my ministry these days is at home– loving my kids and my husband. I know many women who have several more kids than me, who home school and serve outside of the home in multiple capacities– and they are amazing! But that is not me. I’m being stretched thin these days just by getting dinner on the table and both kids bathed before bedtime.

Blogger Melissa over at yourmomhasablog.com encouraged me today with her post about how stay at home moms can serve God. She writes that the stay at home mom has the strange occupation of simply being there. (I’ve been mulling this over as I grew up with a mom who was also “there” (even though she worked a lot from home) and the positive impact that just having her around (to keep tabs on me, or for me to ask her questions, etc) had on me.) Melissa encourages those who feel like they aren’t even very good homemakers to see that all the work they’re doing at home for their kids and husbands  are being done for the Lord– that He is their boss. She writes “We’re doing these things, yes laundry and the whole shebang, because God has given us this job, this calling of being there, and we owe Him everything. So, we serve Him with our presence in the home.” She also offers several small ways we can serve the Lord, merely by being obedient to His Word and the overflow that such obedience brings. Some examples of this that she mentioned were as obvious as being a good friend to your husband– or as small as being kind and friendly to the employee at the grocery store. Lastly, she encourages women to focus on their chief purpose: To know God and enjoy Him forever. She encourages women not to get caught up so much in what they can or can’t do, but to focus on making every day an exercise to dwell in His presence. Amen to that!

My whole life has been geared on getting good grades in school and being in such a place so that I could choose any career I wanted. And I’m glad I chose nursing — it has been a wonderful choice, full of hard work and promoting good critical thinking skills. But not much of my life has prepared me for the challenges of being a mother. I have relied heavily on my older sister (in a way, I’m really glad her kids are much older than mine so that I’ve been able to watch her parent so much) and my mother in this area, as I am oft in amazement in the jobs they have both done as mothers. Obviously, being a good nurse has always been important to me. But being a WISE mother trumps everything else, let alone my devotion to God and to my husband. And this is where the buck stops. As much as I miss not serving in more tangible ways outside of the home, for this season of life I can serve God by being in His presence and by serving my family. Showering others with the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control). Speaking kind words and encouragement to others, or being a listening ear when needed. (Or, more realistically for this week: Not complaining even though we’re all sick, responding calmly to a toddler who’s just pitched his plate of food onto the floor, and being able to smile at a baby who screams with indignation when being put down in the baby swing for a while.)

3 month old Rachel. How we love her!

3 month old Rachel. How we love her!

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Living in the Land of Spit Up & Meltdowns

Rachel turned 3 weeks old yesterday! I can’t believe how fast time is flying by these days. A little recap of the last three weeks:

  • Rachel is a puker. Big time. I can barely keep up on the laundry to keep enough burp cloths on hand! She spits up any time during the 3 hour window between feedings. Thankfully it doesn’t seem to bother her too much. I’m just adjusting to us both smelling like spit-up 24/7…
  • Nursing is going really well. She’s a great nurser (hence all the spit-up) and doesn’t have a funky latch like Josh did. I think the difference is that Rachel wasn’t tongued-tied like Josh was. I have been putting off pumping, although realistically this is the time to get some milk stashed away for when I go back to work (very part time). For some reason I just can’t make myself do it, I guess because I was often stressed with Josh that I didn’t have enough milk and was pumping a lot to increase my milk supply, as well as to get milk in the freezer for when I weaned him. With Rachel I’m just enjoying not worrying about any of that for now.
  • Rachel weighed 6#9oz at birth and was 7#6oz at her 2 week appointment! Her pediatrician was so impressed with her weight gain that he said I could let her go 6 hours at night between feedings if I wanted to.
  • ^ About that. I was pretty excited about the thought of getting 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. But as it turns out, Rachel’s stomach is on a timer which goes off every 3 hours and 15 minutes. Sometimes there is an exception though — last night she slept 4.5 hours between feedings which was heavenly. Even with night time feedings, I still get more sleep than when I was pregnant and had cholestasis.
  • She has grown out of about half of her newborn clothes, depending on the brand.
  • She’s still in newborn diapers– not for much longer though!
  • She got a pacifier at 2.5 weeks old (after a long evening/night of screaming no matter what we did) and she mostly likes it, depending on the day or the hour.
  • The girl can scream — and suddenly! Even as newborns, I cannot believe the difference in pitches between Rachel and Josh’s cries. The girl can pierce eardrums.
  • All in all, she sleeps most of the time with 1-2 awake periods during the day (thankfully not at night) lasting 1-2 hours at a time each. She also sleeps at night in her crib, which she started doing at 1 week old. She loves being swaddled! She wakes up to eat and almost always goes right back to sleep at night.
  • So far, Rachel has been to the pumpkin patch, the park (several times), church, Costco, and Walmart.
  • She loves the Ergo and the Moby wrap, and falls asleep immediately when she is being carried in either.
From today -- 3 weeks old.

From yesterday — 3 weeks old.

Moby wrap = baby sedative. If only we could drive while wearing those things...

Moby wrap = baby sedative. If only we could drive while wearing those things…

The Ergo also wins some major points. She feels a little too small for it so far though.

The Ergo also wins some major points. She feels a little too small for it so far though.

Baby Tae kwon do.

Baby Tae kwon do.

And I couldn't leave out a sneak peak from her newborn pics that my friend Katherine took. More to come later!

And I couldn’t leave out a sneak peak from her newborn pics that my friend Katherine took. More to come later!

And now on to big brother…

Josh will be turning 19 months in a few days, and I’m not going to lie — these past 3 weeks with Josh have been brutal. The tantrums and meltdowns have been CONSTANT. Clearly, having 24/7 competition for Mommy and Daddy’s attention have taken a toll on this kid. I’m really glad he’ll know he’s not the center of the universe anymore but I just didn’t anticipate that he’d have such a hard time adjusting to having a little sister. (Honestly — I wasn’t sure if he’d even notice much that he even had a little sister!) He also has been super accident prone and managed to lose an entire fingernail (it got caught in the door jam), scrape up his nose, cut his lip, and fall so hard on the back of his head at the play ground that I was momentarily worried about a skull fracture. There were several other incidents (sometimes 3 within ten minutes!) and after his pediatrician mentioned that some kids develop stutters when they have a new sibling join them, I began to wonder if Josh’s clumsiness had anything to do with Rachel’s arrival.

In any case, Daddy went back to work yesterday and so we are all adjusting once again. I was pleasantly surprised when Josh had a great day yesterday with very few meltdowns and no accidents, but then today has been a completely different story that has made me want to pull my own hair out.

A recap on Josh from the past few weeks:

  • Josh continues to be infatuated with trucks and cars. But mainly just trucks. He can be found clutching or playing with a truck or with making ‘truck noises’ at any given moment of the day. He would sleep, eat and bathe while holding a truck in his hand if we let him. As it is, it’s a major meltdown any time we have to pry a beloved truck out of his hand. Now that we know how much he loves cars and trucks, he has amassed several (thanks Grandma & Mimi!) and they are littered all over our house.
  • Josh will repeat several words, but not consistently, and still doesn’t have any words that he says on his own. His babbling is still non-stop though and pretty cute. Still, we look forward to the day when that boy can communicate with us!
  • I gave Josh a plate and spoon with dinner last night (normal he eats with his fingers off of his highchair tray). It was an epic fail (see picture below). He chewed on the fork instead of eating his dinner, and then screamed with gusto when we took the spoon away. I’ll try giving it to him again in a few months when my cave-man toddler perhaps decides that eating with utensils is the more refined way to go.
  • We got a swing set recently and Josh loves it! (Me too.)
  • Josh still loves stories, and enjoys looking through books as well as having them read to him.
  • We got rid of his bottle and he’s been getting the sippy cup since 13 months. He gets milk twice a day — first thing in the morning and right before bed, both during story time with Daddy.
  • Josh goes to bed anywhere from 6-7 pm and gets up usually 12-13 hours later. He doesn’t wake up at night usually but has a few times since Rachel was born. Thankfully he goes right back to sleep! We are still in 1-2 nap limbo-land, but most days he usually needs 2 naps, even if the 2nd nap is only 30 minutes.

And here’s some pictures from the past few weeks!

Notice the sad lack of food on that plate...

Notice the sad lack of food on that plate…

Josh's special box that I pull out just when I'm nursing Rachel. It works really well and helps keep him occupied and out of trouble!

Josh’s special box that I pull out just when I’m nursing Rachel. It works really well and helps keep him occupied and out of trouble!

New swing set! We all love it!

New swing set! We all love it!

Josh woke up from his nap and discovered something exciting being built in the backyard!

Josh woke up from his nap and discovered something exciting being built in the backyard!

Exploring the park. He loves leaves, pine cones and sticks.

Exploring the park. He loves leaves, pine cones and sticks.

Josh's sad lack of finger nail.

Josh’s sad lack of finger nail. I’m not even going to say how much this traumatized me at the time with postpartum hormones on board.

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At the pumpkin patch. I sure love this kiddo!

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Filed under Baby, Toddler

A Late Night Update & Some Photos

I gotta say — the newness of being diagnosed with ICP and the need for an early induction has worn off and I’m left with, well, itching. Lots and lots of itching. Thankfully it’s mainly just at night. The itching is unmistakable — sometimes it feels like bugs crawling under my skin, and other times it feels like I just got bitten by a fire ant (so I guess that would be bugs crawling above my skin). Usually it’s the later. I often do a double take to see if there’s an insect on my skin. It’s a very strong sensation, and it gets annoying very quickly!

So I am averaging 3-5.5 hours of sleep a night (please no one tell me that this is good preparation for those sleepless nights when the baby comes, because there are days that hearing that will only discourage me). I took a Benadryl last night and a cold shower and I was so happy to fall asleep rather early and get more sleep. But I don’t want to get in the habit of taking Benadryl every night (even if it is category B) so I will just have to live with the itching and save the Benadryl for when I’m in desperate need of sleep. I’m surviving, but it’s hard not to be frustrated at being up and awake, feeling recklessly itchy every night. It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve fallen asleep before midnight.

Thankfully, our little baby girl has looked awesome on every single NST so far. And I’m thankful (even though I’m scared) that she’ll be coming early. I have read in several places that the stillbirth rate of undiagnosed, untreated ICP is 15%. A scary-high statistic. Breathing a sigh of relief that I am both diagnosed AND being treated (with Ursodiol). From everything I’ve read, my OB is treating me appropriately and taking every precaution.

There are many things coming up that are out of my control. The induction is just 3 weeks away. I have no control over whether my body will be even slightly ready or not for labor (I’m guessing not). I have no control over my GBS status (to be determined at 35 weeks). I have no control over whether the induction will be another horror story, or whether (if I choose to get one) my epidural will actually be intact and working this time.

Surmounting all other unknowns, I have no control over how our baby will do. Will she latch on and nurse well? Will she breathe okay? Will she be jaundiced?

(This control freak doesn’t like uncertainty, apparently.)

The nurse setting up my NST the other day asked how long kick counts were taking, on average. “About 20 minutes, probably,” I replied. “Great” she said, “But if they take up to two hours, you go straight into L&D, okay? And even if you have to go into L&D every single day, no one will fault you for it. Cholestasis is no joke.” Gee, I thought, thanks for freaking me out, lady. When I got home from my appointment that day, I retold the conversation to my mom (who had been babysitting) and found myself suddenly holding back tears. I realized that I still felt scared for our baby, even though I was on medication that was supposed to decrease the risks and even though I had an early induction scheduled. Childbirth is already scary without complications, but the reality of having a high-risk pregnancy was hitting me that day like a ton of bricks. Thankfully, since then I’ve had time to process, to adjust my thinking and also my expectations for the next three weeks (as well as for our baby’s birth). Also, seeing as I’m up most nights, I’ve also had a lot of time to research and to know with more certainty what the risks truly are and what to expect.

I’ve also spent some time memorizing the following verses to meditate on during the next 3 weeks. I cannot tell you what peace Scripture and prayer have brought me:

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Isaiah 26:33 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

I know I’m not immune to struggles, fears, or life scenarios worse than I ever imagined. Being a Christian doesn’t mean life is easy in any way. But I do know this: No matter what happens, the Lord will be with me. He will give me grace to endure and a faith greater than an easy life could ever produce. So tonight as I stop typing intermittently because of this itchy skin, I have peace about our situation, and I have hope. I’ve gone from incredibly surprised (at being diagnosed with ICP) to incredibly scared to now just incredibly excited to meet our little girl. Peace in the midst of any trial is truly a gift from the Lord.

{Thanks for praying for our baby girl whom we are set to meet in just three weeks!}

And here’s some pictures from the past week…

The things that fascinate toddlers... it makes me laugh.

The things that fascinate toddlers. It makes me laugh.

Fruit snacks are the most amazing thing on the planet to this kid. I think he’s deciding which one to eat first  (big decision!).

Who says an 8 month pregnant mama won't get down on the kitchen floor and play with her toddler?

Who says an 8 month pregnant mama won’t get down on the kitchen floor and play with her toddler? (Now can someone please help me back up?)

Helping Daddy put together sister's new diaper pail.

Helping Daddy put together sister’s new diaper pail.

“What ELSE is in the box, Daddy?”

My creepy looking hand on an ice pack, which was keeping my palm from itching so much.

My creepy looking hand on an ice pack, which was keeping my palm from itching so much.

33 weeks pregnant. My mom has said twice now that my belly size has plateaued. Of course now that baby is coming early, I want to gain more weight and my belly to grow as much as possible. Oh, the irony,

33 weeks pregnant. My mom has said twice now that my belly size has plateaued. Of course now that baby is coming early, I really hope to gain more weight and want my belly to grow as much as possible. (Oh, the irony.)

My little guy. Love this kid to pieces, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that he's going to be a big brother in less than a month.

My little guy. Love this kid to pieces, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that he’s going to be a big brother in less than a month.

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Filed under Baby, Birth, Pregnancy