It's fun watching Lydia grow and seeing which aspects of her personality are like mine and which are like Brent's. From me she gets her incredible impatience. Sorry to see that I passed that on! But this child hates to wait for anything, especially food. If I put her in her highchair and do not have food to her within .3 seconds, I will hear about it. We continue to insist to her that we WILL feed her, we promise, but this does not seem to help at all.

Another, perhaps slightly less unpleasant personality trait I seemed to have passed on to my daughter is a sense of caution. Kim noticed this when we visited earlier this month. Her son Micah would barrel all over the house, tumbling as he went. But Lydia is more precise and careful with all of her movements. She is good at what she does, but does not venture into new territory until she is sure she can master it. I fully believe this is the reason we still have not been able to get her to walk more than a couple of steps on her own. She can stand flawlessly, without so much as a wobble, but when encouraged to take a step I can see her little mind processing. She considers it, but still does not feel she can do it perfectly and thus opts to crawl instead.

I never thought much about this tendancy of hers until recently, but it dawned on me that she is anything but daring. We haven't had to deal with many trips, spills, bumps, or bruises because Lydia doesn't do anything she isn't confident she can do successfully. Even as I've seen her go to lean on something that is unstable, and family members nearby get nervous that she will fall, I know she'll be okay. She'll test it out first. If she senses it isn't sturdy, she won't mess with it. It's rare to see her topple over at all.

In some ways I'm glad she has this trait of mine. It may keep her out of some sticky situations in life because she will take the time to cautiously assess them. But at times I wish that I wasn't so analytical and could just throw caution to the wind and enjoy things. But it is what it is and it is fun to see reflections of myself in my baby girl.

It's also fun to see some of Brent's personality coming through in her. Lydia is definitely laid back like her daddy. She isn't sensitive about things and there isn't much that she doesn't like. She does not at all seem to be a crazy emotional girl. We'll see if this changes some as she gets older, but as it is now she doesn't cry much unless she gets hurt and isn't shy at all either. She doesn't care where we go as long as we let her have something to play with, she'll happily ride around in the car all day and sleep or stare at the scenery out the window, and generally speaking she is not clingy to either one of us. Every time I worry that she'll have a hard time with a change (like when we were weaning or when we changed our morning routine), she isn't phased. I'm always impressed by how easily she handles whatever it is that we decide to do.

Just a quick note about other recent Lydia developments: She has picked up the word "Lala" as the name she gave to Elmo. She somehow knows the letter E and will pick it out of the sea of bath letters floating around her if asked to find it. She says "Dada" in reference to ducks... "duck duck" perhaps? She is also getting better with the words "fish" and "crash" (which we say whenever we knock over a stack of blocks). Lydia gave me kisses on the cheek for the first time the other day (made me cry too!) but refuses to do it again for me or for Brent. She is NOT a touchy-feely girl! She will point to her toes, belly, head, hair, and ears, but despite my efforts to teach them usually will not point to her eyes, noes, or mouth. If I ask her to point to anything on her face, she tends to just point to her ear. As smart as she is I don't get why she won't do this! I think she's doing it to spite me. :-P She thinks it is hilarious when anyone makes a horse noise, and the other day she appropriately called my mom "Nana", even with no bananas in sight!

She is the love of my life and I can hardly imagine what it is going to be like to have another one! It will be cute overload for sure!
Labels: 0 comments | edit post when Lydia looks up at me as I put her in her crib and signs "I love you" as we say goodnight.
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I realized something when I began to think about wanting a second baby. I found myself once again noticing all the other women in my life who were getting pregnant with their second children and once again feeling a sense of jealousy and urgency... much the same as I had when I so very much longed to get pregnant for the first time. What I realized the second time around, however, was that my feelings were ultimately being driven by fear. It wasn't so much that I wanted so badly to be pregnant, but more that I wanted so badly to be assured that I would and could get pregnant. Even after having no trouble conceiving Lydia I couldn't help but fear that we'd struggle the next time. What if Lydia was a miracle and we didn't know it? What if we try again for years and can't have any more kids? I felt more and more desperate to get pregnant NOW just so I could be assured that it could happen!

I think it was sometime in January when I came to grips with what I was really thinking. Seriously, Sarah... do you really think God is that small? Do you really think that He lacks control over this part of your life? When God says "fear not" what makes you think that He didn't mean it for this situation? It was at that point that I determined to shift my thinking. I reminded myself that God is a loving God and that He fully understood my desire to have more children. He knew that I was hoping for children close in age. But He also knows what is best... and I had to accept that as well. I had to accept, and be okay with, the idea that God may have different plans. God could have given us Lydia and determined that we are to focus solely on raising her... or He could choose to bless us with other children, but not until later, or perhaps through adoption. I didn't know what God's plan would be, but I committed myself to trusting in that plan rather than being controlled by my fears.

I think I have applied this same idea to the question of when to announce a pregnancy. I know a lot of people prefer to wait to make the big announcement, and I don't fault them for that at all, but it's just never sat well with me to hold back such wonderful news. I couldn't help but ask myself why I wouldn't want to share the news, and the answer always seemed to point back to fear. Fear that I'd lose the baby and have to share the sad news. Fear that someone might say something to me not realizing the pregnancy didn't work out, resulting in the pain returning. Or simply fear that people knowing might actually somehow increase the possibility for things to go wrong. I couldn't come up with any reasons for not telling people that didn't stem from fear. Doesn't the Bible tell us to share our joys and sorrows with one another? Then why hide the joy for fear of the sorrow? Share them both and allow others to rejoice with us and comfort us if necessary.

As most people probably already know, earlier this month I got the most wonderful birthday present when I found out that I am pregnant again. I was elated! And it has been so reassuring to feel God teaching me to trust Him through this. I actually became pregnant the month that I was least concerned about whether or not it would happen. And now God is continuing to push me to trust in him with the pregnancy. I was so nervous the first time around. So scared that something would take my precious baby from me before I'd even get to meet her. Looking back, I felt as though I was desperately racing through those 9 months as if disaster was right on my heels.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel any anxiety at all this time around, but I'm learning. I'm trying to be still... remember that God is in control and He has a plan for this new little life. I accept that His plan may mean suffering a loss, and I trust that He would carry me through that if it were to happen. Life may not always turn out the way that I picture it, but as long as I am focused on Christ then it will always turn out the way it should. I am continuing to pray for health and growth for my new little bean, but my aim is always to rest in God's hands, trusting and not fearing.
I can hardly believe my ears these days as Lydia is picking up more and more words. She continues to babble like it's her job, but she's throwing in a few real words now.

Her first official word was "hi" and this continues to be her favorite word to say. It now comes combined with a full-arm wave and is directed at anyone or anything that comes into her view. She is incredibly outgoing! Here are the other words she commonly says (most of which she has picked up in the past week):

Nana (banana)
Woof (more like oof, but she knows it's the sound a puppy makes)
Moo (more like oooo, but she knows it's the sound a cow makes)

She still doesn't really say mama or dada. I can only assume this is because she is smart enough to realize that she doesn't need to say them to get our attention. :) My favorite thing was when she first started to say "go go". This happened while we were driving through Chicago traffic. We kept slowing down and Lydia sat in the backseat and insisted that we "go go!"

When she started saying "shoe" it sounded like she was adding a T to the front of the word. I think she was trying to say "two shoes" because that's commonly what I would say to her when showing her a pair of shoes. Then for awhile everything related to feet was called a shoe. Feet... socks... shoes... they were all "t-shoes." She's been starting to pick up the word "socks" in the past day or so though. I've been trying to show her the difference between a shoe and a sock. I took her out in her stroller yesterday with just socks on and halfway through the walk she took hold of her foot and proudly declared, "shocks!"

It is so much fun watching her learn. She's such a smart kid!
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The week of my birthday Brent and I decided to take a short family trip to Chicago. We left on Wednesday afternoon and drove up through the city. Bad move in terms of traffic, but it was kinda nice to look at the building and city-scapes while we slowly moved along. We saw the Sears tower and watched the trains and planes go by. Kinda funny to see trains, planes, and automobiles all at once.

We just relaxed that evening and enjoyed our hotel stay. We got a nice, big room at a good hotel for just $40 a night through Priceline! I was quite impressed.

Our plan on Thursday was to meet up with my blogging friend Kim (whom I had never met in person up to that point) and together take our kiddos into the city to visit the Children's Museum. The day ended up being a bit rainy and due to traffic and parking delays we didn't catch the train we wanted. No big deal, though. I hung out with Lydia and Kim's son Micah (just 6 weeks younger than Lydia) while Kim & Brent figured out the parking situation, and ultimately we were settled and waiting for the next train for only another 15 or 20 minutes. We had the babies in a double stroller and must have gotten at least half a dozen "are they twins?" comments. Funny because they really don't look much alike, but understandable because they are very close in size.

All in all, travel took much longer than anticipated. Something I'll keep in mind next time we visit Chicago! We had a nice train ride and arrived in the city around 11:30, but then had to try to figure out our best method of getting from the station to Navy Pier where the museum was. Walk? Bus? Train? The rain had stopped and it wasn't horribly cold out, but we opted not to walk and waited for a bus. We ate lunch at Navy Pier then decided that it was getting too late to bother with paying $10 a person to get into the museum. We needed to catch a 4:00 train back to our cars which meant we'd likely need to start heading back to the station around 3 to ensure we didn't miss it.

So instead we opted to go visit Millennium Park. We chose to walk there and enjoyed the city scenery on the way. While we were in a tunnel an emergency vehicle came through with sirens on. It was SO loud! Kim and Brent went to cover the babies' ears. Brent told me he had to laugh because here he figured Lydia would be upset (if for no other reason than the fact that he was holding her head), but instead he sees her smile and mouth "hi" in the midst of the chaos. Silly girl! Speaking of saying "hi"... that was Lydia's favorite thing to do the entire trip! Whether we were in the hotel lobby eating breakfast or riding the train/bus, she would wave and say "hi" to just about everyone she saw. Hilarious!

We went to "The Bean" at the park and took some fun pictures of reflections. Then we walked to a coffee shop to get something warm to drink. After Brent finished his drink I asked him to push the stroller for us. It was fun having him carrying all our gear and pushing the stroller while Kim and I walked behind him sipping our drinks and chatting. ;)

Though the trip into the city had not gone as planned, I could not have asked for better company. It was a pleasure getting to talk with Kim and see our little ones together. If we lived closer I am certain that those two would be great playmates! The kids were much more lively on our train ride back. They were babbling and climbing all over us. Lydia taught Micah how to eat out of her snack cup and the two of them shared (and spilled) a whole cup of cheerios and baby puffs. Sincere apologies to the train staff who had to clean up the mess!

Once we got back to the cars we packed up the babies and drove to Kim & Eric's house for dinner. They made their famous homemade pizza (delicious!) and then brownies and ice cream for dessert. While the men stayed downstairs and prepared dessert, Kim and I went up to Micah's room and let Lydia and Micah go crazy with all of the toys. They had mostly been stuck in the stroller all day, so they were ready to play hard! And Lydia had the bruised knees to prove it! The best part was when they both crawled out into the hallway on opposite ends, then would turn and start rapidly crawling towards each other squealing at the top of their lungs. It was like a game of baby chicken! I really wish we would have videoed it.

We let the babies stay up way past their bedtimes since both had slept some on the car ride to Kim's house, but after Micah went down for the night it was time to say goodbye. Lydia was already in her PJ's and we expected she would fall asleep on the drive back to the hotel. I wasn't sure how she'd do transferring from the car to her bed for the night, but she was so worn out that she didn't make a peep when we put her down in the Pack N Play. Just rolled over, sucked her thumb, and went back to sleep.

Checkout in the morning wasn't until noon so we enjoyed sleeping in (as much as Lydia allowed) and taking it easy getting packed up. We opted not to drive back into the city on Friday due to cost and traffic, plus Brent wasn't feeling very well, so we hit the road on our way home. I'm so amazed by how much Lydia is growing up. When we have travelled in the past I have always had to pack tons of baby food and such to make sure she had food to eat. But now that she is getting older, she can actually eat stuff that normal people eat! She still doesn't have many teeth (2 are fully in and 2 more are just past the surface), but there was always something on the kids menu that could work for her. She's even starting to get into different beverages and enjoyed when we got her an apple juice with her nuggets from Burger King. And the men in my family will be happy to hear that she also enjoyed the sip of Dr. Pepper that I let her have. :) When did my teeny baby turn into an actual person???

I had a great time on my little birthday adventure and it was the perfect conclusion to a perfect birthday week. Thanks again to Kim & Micah for hanging out with us, and to Kim & Eric for letting us crash their house for an evening. We had a lot of fun!
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This is more or less a reminder to myself that I need to blog about Lydia's latest developments including all of her new words and about our trip to Chicago. I too often forget what I intend to write about, so I'm giving myself a reminder. Stay tuned.
A week ago I was doing my routine budget management and found something very non-routine. A strange charge that appeared to have come from Bogota, Columbia was showing up on my online statement. At first I wasn't too concerned. Brent sometimes buys computer equipment or other tech stuff from random places, so my first order of business was to ask him. Unfortunately this time he had no idea what the charge was from.

So with my parents on their way to our house for the weekend activities, and a house that still needed to be cleaned, I ended up side-tracked with phone calls to the bank and the hassle of canceling my debit card & changing all of our automatic payments over to Brent's card instead.

As a result of this little inconvenience, I've been going cash-only for the past week. It's interesting! I can see why Dave Ramsey is such a big fan of using cash. It's a built in discipline system. If I only have $40 with me when I go to the store, then I can't spend more than $40. Just that simple. It has almost felt like a bit of a challenge. I withdrew $100 in cash and I'm trying to see how long I can make it last.

My new debit card should arrive next week, and I'd be lying if I say I won't be thrilled to have it again, but for now I'm having fun using just cold, hard cash.

The weekend after Lydia's birthday was crazy! But lots of fun. :) On Friday my parents drove up from Cinci (in a crazy snow storm!) followed on Saturday by my two brothers, one of my sisters-in-law, and my 3 nieces - also all up from Cinci. Everyone stayed at our house. Joshua, Erin, and the 3 girls took over the playroom. Mom & Dad were in the guest room. And Michael crashed on the couch downstairs. It was really special to me to have almost my whole family here to celebrate with us (Michael's wife Jenna was unable to come due to having to work on Sunday). I miss seeing them!

We enjoyed hanging out Friday and Saturday, just talking and playing games. The women beat the men twice in a row at Outburst. I just love playing games with my family! We always end up with the best memories.

Then Sunday was party day! We spent most of the morning and afternoon getting everything ready. Decorating, preparing food, and cleaning up from the tornado that occurs when you have 10+ people under the same roof for a weekend. My family helped me a ton in getting ready. I had no idea how much work birthday parties could be!

That night even more people joined us for the birthday celebration. Brent's mom & stepdad came along with his sister Sarah & her boyfriend Jeremy, Brent's grandparents, his great-aunt, and two of his aunts. Brent's sister Natalie & her husband Jay were unable to make it due to a family emergency.

Lydia wasn't phased by the chaos of the party and continued to crawl about playing with things as usual. But she also wasn't super interested in her gifts. I tried to get her to do some of the work opening them, but it basically ended up being me opening them while trying to keep her from completely crawling away. She became obsessed with the box from a necklace she was given and that pretty much ended her interest in anything else. At least until she opened the big ball that Aunt Sarah gave her. My girl just loves playing ball!

The birthday girl stayed up well past her bedtime, so as soon as the party-goers had left she went straight to bed. A big thank you to Sarah who helped us clean up afterwards! It was a really nice party and we all had a lot of fun. :)
Just a couple of my favorites...