Nathan is 13 months old! I really do feel like he is a tiny baby, but toddler-hood is fast approaching!

Like his father, Nathan is not a man of many words. He says: dada, mama, bye-bye, and uh-oh. He sometimes just uses mama for all people he likes (who give him food), which includes his dada. He signs eat and can also sign more, but usually just uses eat.

I’m shocked that Nathan isn’t walking yet. He has taken has many as three steps at a time on multiple occasions over the past month, but it just too uncertain to take more, and isn’t interested enough or confident enough to try walking consistently. He will walk holding onto someone’s hand, so I’m trying to be more conscious about walking with him. He does cruise quite a bit, so I feel like we’re on the right track for walking and that it will happen soon. 

While he doesn’t walk, he loves to climb! He has climbed our stairs, climbed into the train table drawer, climbs onto Colton’s bed, climbs in and out of his rocking chair, and can climb onto the bottom rung of our dining chairs and stand there. He also loves to jump on the sofa or in his bed, and will “jump” from sitting to my arms in the pool. He is our family’s little daredevil!

Nathan is down to two bottles a day: one in the morning and one at night. He’s only really interested in his morning bottle, so we will probably drop the night time bottle soon. Dropping his two day-time bottles was super easy. Finding solids for him to eat is not as easy. With only two teeth, there’s not much he can eat, and he already has some opinions about what he’d like to eat. Generally he eats any bread item, cheese – but only if its melted onto a bread item, banana, any crackers, one to two peanut butter crackers, yogurt, thinly sliced apple, and occasionally strawberries. He’s not a fan of pieces of cheese, any meat, or raw veggies. I end up giving him lots of baby food pouches, though I do try to only give them after I’ve offered at least some table foods. He does also love cake and ice cream! 

He is still so sweet and loves to be with people. And he loves to play! He has such a good time in our church nursery that he frequently has little interest in eating while there, and a nap is out of the question. When we get him home he’s exhausted and starving and is a mess! 

How Far Along: 24 weeks

Size of Baby: Baby weighs about a pound and a half and is the size of an ear of corn. Baby is also now growing at a rate of 6 ounces a week!

Gender: Completely confirmed girl!

Weight Gain: 11 pounds. 

Symptoms: Still feeling pretty good, but it is getting HOT and that is not agreeing with me too much (mostly because I have to drink sooooo much water).

Exercise: None this week. I’m getting ready for a freezer cooking session this weekend, and that combined with a trip to our soon-to-be new town to check out preschools has pretty much consumed my life this week.

Clothes: All maternity.

Cravings/Aversions: Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream, frequently indulged.

Movement: Very consistent. Sometimes I’ll think its been awhile since I’ve felt anything, but I always seem to feel some movement shortly after that.

Worries: Moving. Which isn’t really pregnancy related, but the move is imminent, and I’m starting to freak out a little.

Milestones: Viability!!! I love this milestone; while I know so much can happen between now and delivery and that nothing is a guarantee, this milestone always makes me feel like we’re really having a baby, one that will come home and live with us and need stuff (like a crib!).

Best Moment This Week: Nothing particular comes to mind from this week. I’m just enjoying browsing girls’ clothes (so many choices, so overwhelming!) and looking at what we already have. We also ordered bedding a little while ago (we agreed on something and it was on super sale at Pottery Barn Kids, so we got a bumper, pillow insert, monogramed pillow case, and crib skirt shipped to us for what a bedding set from Target would cost. I do need two crib sheets, but I plan on picking those up from Target, which will be pretty inexpensive.), which came maybe two weeks ago, and I love it! It makes me wish we had a place to live and a bed for this child so I could set it up. But I know I have plenty of time for that.

 

 

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22 Weeks – after my cousin’s wedding.

How Far Along: 23 weeks

Size of Baby: Baby is the size of a papaya and weighs over a pound! 

Gender: Completely confirmed girl!

Weight Gain: Just under 10 pounds. 

Symptoms: I feel pretty good in general, but over the weekend had some pain/discomfort I think we Braxton-Hicks. I think they were caused by a lot of walking with no sitting in the hot sun, so they should be reasonably avoidable. Since this past week has been VBS at church, I’ve had some back and hip pain, just from doing a lot of standing.

Exercise: Last week I got in two runs, plus a bunch of walking at the zoo. With VBS this week, I haven’t been able to get in any run. Lot and lots of running around, but no actual working-out type running.

Clothes: All maternity.

Cravings/Aversions: I really, really want some coconut-rolled dates. Our local co-op sells them, but I haven’t wanted them enough to drag the kids out on yet another errand this week. Also craving fruit; so glad its summer!

Movement: Getting more and more frequent, with a few movements I could feel from the outside!

Worries: Feeling good these last two weeks.

Milestones: Baby is beginning to fill-out a little, adding fat deposits. This also means her skin is becoming less translucent.

Best Moment This Week: We had a great family weekend at my cousin’s wedding. We went swimming twice, went to the zoo, ate my mom’s famous birthday cake, and just generally had a good time, all together.

 

 

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How Far Along: 21 weeks

Size of Baby: Baby is the size of a banana. Baby weighed in at 13 ounces at my ultrasound Monday.

Gender: Completely confirmed girl!

Weight Gain: 8 pounds.

Symptoms: Still feeling really good! I feel the best I’ve felt since I was pregnant with Nathan.

Exercise: I’ve gotten in a 2 mile run/walk at a 3/1 interval and a couple of walks, but with errands for the boys’ party, my gym time has been slim this week.

Clothes: All maternity.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing in particular comes to mind.

Movement: Getting more and more frequent, with a few movements I could feel from the outside!

Worries: I measured at 22 weeks at my appointment, which my doctor said was no big deal, and that really I was only 1.5 weeks ahead. I know nothing is really a concern unless you consistently measure three or more weeks ahead for three weeks, but in all of my pregnancies I’ve only measured a bit small or right on track. We shall see!

Milestones: Baby is starting to taste amniotic fluid, practicing swallowing and digesting, which means she is tasting some of the food I eat.

Best Moment This Week: After our anatomy scan, all four of us went to the mall to shop for clothes for baby girl. Everyone, except Nathan, was very into selecting outfits and had their own opinions about what we should get. And Colton is so, so excited. He has loved telling people about his baby sister and has been making tons of pictures for her room. And he insists we frame and hang them all. My sweet boy!

 

FavoriteBooks

I grew up surrounded by books. It was not unusual for me to receive several books for Christmas and to spend the rest of the day curled somewhere, reading. So it should really be no surprise that I ended up falling hard for books and majoring in English in college.

Reading is magical to me, and I want my children to feel the same way. To that end, we have a good number of books, but still not as many as I’d like! Here are some of our favorites:

Books for Babies:

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We received our first Indestructibles books when I was expecting Nathan. They are like regular paper books, but do not rip, are safe to chew on, washable, and are composed of beautiful pictures (no words). We love all touch and feel books, but particularly Usborn’s “That’s Not My…” books. These are some of the earliest books my kids have really engaged with and kept their interest.

Lift-the-Flap Books:

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Karen Katz’s lift-the-flap books are hands-down my favorite in this category. They have nice, big flaps that can be glued back on if they fall off due to use or overzealous pulling. We also really like Little People lift-the-flaps, but the flaps don’t old up quite as well.

Vehicle Books:

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Colton is nuts for all things vehicle, so we have tons of books about trains, cars, machines, and anything else you can think of. Our favorite among them is probably, “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.” The words are lyrical, rhyming, and soothing, and the illustrations are beautiful and full of construction equipment. “Little Blue Truck” is similar, and also covers animal noises, while “Tractors” and “My First 100 Machines” are mostly pictures, so they can be enjoyed independently.

“Jesus” Books:

photo 3Our lift-the-flap Bible still gets a lot of traction with Colton. He likes that he can read through the whole thing with us, he knows a lot of the stories, and flaps are always fun! I was surprised by how much he enjoys the 5-Minute Devotions; they are short stories with a prayer and a few questions for your child. We sometimes read one a night or we sit and read half of the book! The baby bible is also great; short stories with instructions for fun motions to keep your toddler engaged, and a short prayer. I used this for “Bible Time” with Colton when he was a new two-year old and it was perfect for us. The “Alice in Bibleland” books I think are out of print, but you can still find them via ebay and Amazon. There are tons, and the rhyming words really do keep kids engaged; my favorite part is the airmail bird who says in every book, “reading is the magic key to take you where you want to be.”

Animal Books:

photo 2Colton also loves animals. We check out lots of books about various animals from the library, but these are three we own that are perennial favorites. “Animal Encyclopedia” was a gift from my brother a few years ago. I really enjoy having a reference book to read more about certain animals or look up the answer to a question like, “how many eyes does an octopus have?” (two). We do consult Google a ton, but I want my kids to learn that answers can be found in books, not just on the internet.

“Classic” Favorites:

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These are books that were around when I was a kid, or earlier. Not pictured are “Pat the Bunny” (our copy is torn to shreds and missing a few pages), and “Tootle,” which is a train book that annoys me, but C loves (no idea where it is, and I don’t mind!). We love all Bernstein Bear books, but these are C’s particular favorites.

Current, Semi-Random Favorites:

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Cat in the Hat currently reigns supreme in our house because “The Cat is funny and I am funny, Mommy.” Colton is also all about butterflies these days, so “My, Oh My, A Butterfly” is a double win. The rhyming nature of the Cat in the Hat’s “about” books holds my boy’s interest and we’ve both learned something new from them!

Books I’d Like to Own:

The Polar Express, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Blueberries for Sal, Jamberry, Pride and Prejudice Counting Primer, The Very Busy Spider, and any Bernstein Bears books. I’d also like to start reading more chapter books with Colton, but I need to look more into which book would be a good place to start.

 

I am seriously falling behind here. I know these aren’t super exciting posts and I’m tempted to give them up, but I really do enjoy looking back on them and comparing my pregnancies.

Looking chubby before making it to the gym.

Looking chubby before making it to the gym.

How Far Along: 20 weeks

Size of Baby: Baby is the size of a mango – about 6 or 7 inches long and weighing in at about 10 ounces.

Gender: Pretty much confirmed that this baby is a girl. Should be “officially” confirmed at my anatomy scan on Monday.

Weight Gain: 7.5 pounds. This is about two pounds under where I was with Nathan, and since I started this pregnancy about 5 pounds heavier, I’m reasonably pleased with that, I guess.

Symptoms: Nothing really comes to mind (besides ordinary tiredness and drinking crazy amounts of water).

Exercise: Doing better with this! We went for a 2+ mile walk yesterday; it took us forever (C walked some, stopped to watch people fishing, bathroom stop, etc.) but I’m encouraged to try to get more exercise in more frequently.

Clothes: All maternity. The medium clothes that I was so sure I would need soon are still a little big – I still wear them, but man is it nice to put something on and think “this looks a little baggy.”

Cravings/Aversions: Onion rings. We live sort of near a Hardees, and that is ALL I can think about every time we drive by. Yuuuuuuum. Strangely, cooked carrots are on my hate list. I adored them last pregnancy, and while they don’t taste bad, I don’t like them at all this time around.

Movement: Gaining frequency, but I can still go quite awhile without feeling anything.

Worries: That this baby will magically turn into a boy; I’ve been looking at girl clothes and man oh man, how fun! I would still be very, very happy to have a boy, but I’m kind of locked into the girl-thing now, and that would be a big adjustment. General worry about having three kids – I read some things about having two under two, and one of them put a lot of emphasis on keeping your older child safe while you care for baby. Umm, I have a hard enough time keeping Nathan from flinging himself off the sofa or falling off of something as it is. What am I going to do with another baby in the mix!?

Milestones: Halfway to meeting this baby! Also, if baby is a girl, her uterus is currently fully formed and her ovaries contain eggs!

Best Moment This Week: I was a training ultrasound for a local crisis pregnancy center, where I friend of mine works. I got to see this baby, which is always fun, but we also got to look for identifiers for gender. Although they can’t tell you gender there (they aren’t allowed to do anything diagnostic), my friend said, “I can’t officially tell you what it is, but I don’t see any boy parts.”

 

I have written this post in my head countless times and nothing seems right. But, I’m going to try anyway.

Nathan’s first year has been wonderful; he is a complete and total joy. But so many other things have happened this year and I sometimes feel they do or will overshadow him.

But, I remember:

Anxiously awaiting his arrival. How thrilled I was that, Memorial Day weekend with a Tuesday morning induction meant my husband would not go back to work until we had two children.

How I laughed when my water broke just as I was going to bed for my “last night” of sleep before I was induced.

Seeing him for the first time. There are no words to describe how wonderful and joyous those first moments were.

Rubbing his fuzzy head the weekend his Dad and older brother went camping and it was just the two of us.

His first “flirt” face.

Our first trip with two kids to see my grandparents and my great aunt having a good day when we visited so she was able to hold him.

Hearing him laugh watching his brother run in circles.

Seeing my boys beginning to enjoy spending time with one another.

His first cold and how he cried and cried and would only sleep when I held him.

Discovering how much he loves water when he took his first bath in the big tub. He loved splashing and sticking his head under the spigot, even more so when he bathed with Colton.

Seeing him light up in a swing, and hearing him scream with displeasure when we took him out.

All the times I wondered if he would ever get teeth (still wondering!).

The countless times I caught him flinging himself off the sofa…and the few time I didn’t.

Watching him crawl like a little crab, dragging one leg underneath him.

Seeing him laugh and crawl further into the waves when he first visited the ocean.

The very first time I saw him stand by himself; those 2 seconds were pure joy and excitement.


 

No words could accurately sum up the past year. There have been sleepless nights, days that seemed endless, and unexpected stresses. But none of those are the most important thing. The most important thing is love. At two months, we took Nathan to meet my grandparents; my grandfather said, “bless him, he doesn’t know who half these people are or what’s going on, but he knows who loves him.”

And that is most important. We love him and he knows it.

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Happy birthday sweet boy.

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How Far Along: 18 weeks

Size of Baby: About the size of a bell pepper.

Gender: I referred to the baby as “she” the other day, so I’m still stuck on girl.

Weight Gain: No idea – I was at my parents’ and didn’t weigh.

Symptoms: One or two headaches this past week, but they haven’t been bad. Heartburn has started, and I haven’t been a fan of that so much.

Exercise: I’m trying to get in more purposeful exercise lately, which has mostly just been small walks pushing the double stroller. Its not running, but its something.

Clothes: Maternity! Including my very first maternity swim suit.

Cravings/Aversions: Ice cream! I really want sweets and I don’t like Chick-fil-a meals, but do love their milkshakes.

Movement: Seems to be more and more frequent and getting stronger!

Worries: I found a tick on my back one night, and then had a day with a terrible headaches and exhaustion and worried I had a tick-born illness (proof I am ridiculous).

Milestones: Finally starting to feel like I have some amount of energy!

Best Moment This Week: Spending time with my boys enjoying a little “vacation” time with my parents. Also, I didn’t have to cook!

 

In talking about Easter at school, Colton received a sticker that said, “one way to Jesus.” I asked what the one way was, and C replied, “oh, you have to go up a hill.”

Colton was playing a game recently with a piece of rope. He declared, “this is how you get to God: you have to climb up this rope and the person who gets to the top first gets to God!”

We made the Resurrection Rolls from all over Pinterest (with marshmallows and crescent rolls). He was very into making them and explaining how the marshmallow was Jesus. When they finished cooking, I showed Colton how they were empty on the inside and said, “the tomb is empty because Jesus is alive!” C looked at me and said, “he is NOT alive. Because Jesus is the marshmallow and the marshmallow just melted away. So Jesus is not alive, he just melted up to heaven.”

I took Colton into “big church” to see his older friend baptized. While we were there, they served communion. I told him he wouldn’t get to have communion, but explained that the little cracker represented Jesus’ body and the grape juice represented his blood so we could remember how Jesus died for our sins. He requested his fruit twist and water bottle and declared, “the water is going to be Jesus’ body and the fruit twist will be his blood because it’s red!” He then had his own communion with everyone. For several days, he continued to ask for a “Jesus snack” that needed to have two foods, one of which had to be red, “because Jesus’ blood is red!”

 

I wrote this forever ago…and never published it.  Whoops.

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How Far Along: 16 weeks

Size of Baby: About the size of an avocado.

Gender: I still think girl, and the ultra-sound tech at my doctor’s office agreed at my 12 week scan. Apparently she is only wrong this early a few times each year. We’ll know if this was one of those times soon!

Weight Gain: Between 3.5 and 4 pounds. Not bad, but I was hoping to stay a little lower for a while. I need to do a better job making good, reasonable food choices.

Symptoms: My headaches have mostly gone away since I added allergy meds and an iron supplement to my daily routine. Other than that, just a nagging backache.

Exercise: Other than carrying and running after my kids? None. School wraps up in the next couple of weeks, so I’m hopeful that will make it easier to find a good time to get to the gym. I think exercise and stretching will really help with my back pain AND my weight gain.

Clothes: I have fully embraced maternity clothes, with the exception of a fabulous non-maternity dress I got from LOFT. It’s stretchy and super comfy, and I think I’ll be able to wear it for quite awhile longer.

Cravings/Aversions: I just want sweets. That’s not highly unusual for me, but I’m having a harder time not giving in to that desire.

Movement: I think I’ve felt some, starting at about 12 weeks. It can been several days or weeks between thinking I can feel movement.

Worries: Since I just heard the heartbeat yesterday, I’m feeling good about this today! Mostly I worry about how I’m going to handle three kids, which two so close in age and a high maintenance older child.

Milestones: Baby’s facial muscles are developing and he can make some expressive faces!

Best Moment This Week: Scheduling our 20 week ultrasound and knowing my husband will actually be able to go – only the second appointment this pregnancy he will be able to come to!

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

E-mail Me!

Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.
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