It feels like there is so much going on these days yet nothing that I feel needs a blog post about it. So instead of lots of little posts, I guess I'll do one here-is-everything-in-my-life post.

It's officially summer and the weather around here has not proven otherwise. It has been hot! Thankfully this week has brought us some milder temperatures and Lydia and I have enjoyed more outside time without me feeling like I'm seconds away from melting. I'm currently enjoying having almost all of the windows in the house open, keeping our home at a lovely 70 degrees inside. Fabulous! We will be taking advantage of this weather and going to the zoo on Friday with Grandma (Brent's mom). I'm seriously considering getting a "leash" for Lydia so she can run around without me worrying about having to hold her hand. She hates when I make her hold my hand.

We are currently transitioning to a one nap schedule for Lydia. After a few days in a row of having her talk/play in her crib for over an hour any time I tried to put her down, I decided she must not really be tired enough to take two naps anymore. Since dropping the morning nap she has been much better about falling asleep shortly after I lay her down and has been sleeping well. Occasionally she'll still only nap for a bit more than an hour, but most of the time since we have made the switch she rests for closer to 2 hours. So for now our routine is to eat lunch, clean up, then take a nap. Today she went down at noon... currently 1:30 and she's still up there snoozing.

Lydia is definitely a bundle of energy these days, as well as a sponge for knowledge! I'm starting to run out of body parts to teach her now that she has mastered hair, head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, cheeks, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, belly, legs, knees, feet, and toes. She picks them up faster than I can figure out what to point out next! She loves her letter puzzle and her bath letters so we are constantly going over which letters are which even though she doesn't seem to remember most of them. Her current favorite is O and she is sure to point them out whenever she sees one, even on our clothing. She loves to go outside and point out the grass, rocks, bushes, trees, and birds. I'm pretty sure she knows flowers too, but she doesn't use a specific word for them that I've noticed.

Besides her constantly growing vocabulary, Lydia is learning a lot of other skills as well. She likes to mimic what I do and helps me put laundry in the dryer or get shoes to go out. I've stepped up our "potty" talks in hopes of making an attempt at potty training around 18 months. She loves the concept of flushing the toilet, but hesitates to push the handle hard enough to actually make it go. Usually I help her and we both wave bye-bye to the toilet's contents. Lovely, I know. :) I'm hoping to get around to buying a potty seat and step stool for her soon so we can start practicing sitting on the toilet. With any luck I'd love to have her potty trained before Eli is born!

Speaking of Eli, he is getting stronger and stronger every day! I'm past the halfway point now - will be 21 weeks on Saturday. He loves to be awake and kicking when I am trying to sleep, so I may as well get used to being tired again. Nightly heartburn has also kicked in, but thankfully the pain in my hips that I had with Lydia has not shown up yet. Maybe my body is a bit more used to it the second time around. Oh, but for some reason my knees click when I go up stairs. No pain, just noise. *shrug*

Only 6 more days until our official ultrasound. So excited!

Aside from news about the kids, we have been in the process of refinancing our mortgage lately (and when I say "we" I really mean "Brent" because he basically handles those kinds of things and I just sign where he tells me to). In theory we are supposed to be having our closing tonight, but I think it's still pending. Hopefully soon. Brent has also been able to do a sizable side-job recently that's going to bring in a decent amount of extra income for us. He just finished it up last week and sent the bill to the company. That money combined with our tax return that we've been holding on to, plus some money we've been setting aside for car related things, will hopefully be buying us a van soon! The thought of having two kids in our little cars, especially for any kind of travel, just doesn't work. Our cars are both getting old and we're looking forward to getting something different. We will by no means be getting an awesome NEW van... we have already committed to NEVER having car payments again, so we have to stick with what we can afford to buy in cash... but we're hopeful that we can get a decent used van. Anyone interested in buying our 1998 Saturn while we replace it?

Tomorrow marks the start of July - a very busy month for us! We have a wedding to attend this weekend and my parents will be visiting as well. This month we also have a super exciting camping trip planned and several birthdays (including Brent's birthday and his sister Natalie's 30th!). It seems like I will blink and summer will be over already! Which isn't such a bad thing considering I'm counting down the months to my sweet Eli's arrival. Once we confirm the gender at next week's ultrasound, I'd love to get paint colors picked out and really start getting the nursery figured out. But since his room is currently our guest room, we may delay getting it set up until closer to November. Lydia is still using the crib and changing table, but I'm hoping to work on transitioning to a "big bed" and working on potty training soon (as mentioned above).

So there's a glimpse of my life at present. I love it. I love my family and feel so incredibly blessed. I'd be remiss if I didn't turn and give all the credit and glory to God for these wonderful blessings in my life. I am simply amazed and in awe of what I have been given and am humbled that my God would think to honor my family as such. To God alone be the glory. :)
Today I looked down while taking a shower and realized that my toes are gone. The belly is taking on a life of its own (literally!) and has overtaken my downward view.

I'll be 20 weeks along on Saturday. I can hardly believe we're halfway there already! Oh and let me just take a moment right here to tell Eli how sorry I am that I haven't written a whole lot about my thoughts during this pregnancy. Everything has just been so smooth this time around, and I'm simply not on the computer as much as I was last time. So I'm sorry, Eli. I do love you tons and am so very excited to meet you in another 20ish weeks, even if I'm bad about documenting it all!

I had another appointment with my OB on Friday, just shy of 19 weeks. So far I've put on around 12lbs since my first appointment. I was pretty pleased with this, honestly, despite comparing my number to several others due in November who all seemed to still be in the single digit weight gains. I put on just shy of 50lbs with Lydia. I was okay with that too (not necessarily thrilled, but okay), and all of it was gone by the time she was roughly 6 months old. So I won't freak out if I get close to that number again, but I'm aiming for more in the 30-35lb range for this pregnancy. I must be doing okay so far because my doctor immediately commented on how skinny I look and had to double check my chart to make sure I'm gaining weight okay. So I guess I'm at least carrying those 12lbs well!

Eli's heartbeat was once again around 150 (the boy is consistent for sure!) and the doctor quickly exclaimed "Girl, girl, girl!" ... I just chuckled to myself and decided not to tell her that we already know we are having a boy. I know that she doesn't really believe in the old wives tale about heartrates predicting gender, but she does like to mention it at every visit.

My ultrasound is scheduled for July 6th. Just 2 more weeks! I'm looking forward to getting all of the official measurements and confirming that the name Eli will be appropriate for this little one. :) I'm curious if my due date will change too. Not that I'm getting my hopes up, but I've sort of had a feeling that this one is a little further along. My pregnancy test results were much stronger/darker than they had been when I tested with Lydia, he looked really developed at the 15 week ultrasound, and I've already been feeling really strong movements for weeks now (including Brent being able to feel him very well from the outside). I suppose a lot of this could just be attributed to this being a second pregnancy, thus why I'm not getting my hopes up. But still, I'm curious. Anxious to get another look at my little guy and praying that all looks good in a couple of weeks.

Other pregnancy news: I'm HOT!!! Maybe because most of my last pregnancy was during the Fall/Winter, but this time I'm way more toasty than last time! Lydia loves to be outside, but I can hardly stand it after 10 or so in the morning. I'm okay in the shade, but we have very little of that at our house. This weekend we pulled out the baby pool. It's really nice that the pool is big enough for me to sit in it while Lydia still has plenty of room to walk around and play. I have a feeling the pool is going to be our afternoon outdoor activity a lot this summer! We have a camping trip coming up in a few weeks and I'm very happy we tried to get a site with shade. We've never been to this particular campground so I'm hoping it will be true to the description. If not I may have to train Lydia and Micah to fan me with branches or something while we are there (feel free to let him practice ahead of time, Kim... haha!).
There has always been a debate amongst women (pregnant women especially) about whether it is better to find out the sex of the baby ahead of time or to wait until the baby is born to find out. I've always been a big planner and don't think I could ever possibly wait until the big day to find out. With both pregnancies thus far we've kept the mindset that you will always be surprised at some point... either getting the fun news at an ultrasound or in the delivery room, both will be fun and surprising moments.

A part of me still feels this way, but I did have a thought the other day that made me think it actually could be more fun to wait (though I know I'd never have the patience). You see, I AM very excited to know that I am having a boy. And I am already having TONS of fun thinking about what it will be like to have a son, preparing his room, and calling him by name. But the one thing that delivery has over ultrasound any day is 100% certainty. There's no denying after a boy is born that he is in fact a boy. Unfortunately with ultrasound, I find myself constantly having this nagging in the back of my head making me scared that it was wrong. What if I get all attached to "Eli" only to discover later that my son is in fact a daughter??

Granted, I plan to have a couple more ultrasounds before the big day arrives and if all three times I'm told I'm having a boy, those are pretty good odds. And trust me, if you saw the pictures of the "proof" - there's really no denying I've got a son on the way. But kinda in the same way that the ultra faint pink line on the pregnancy test robbed me a little of the "Oh my gosh I'm PREGNANT!" moment when I was testing the first time (with Lydia) because I wasn't really sure if it was a positive result, an ultrasound is never 100% fool proof and it causes me to be scared to celebrate and to embrace the idea of having a son.

Maybe I'll feel differently in July when (if) I get confirmation from my next ultrasound that I'm having a boy... and again, I still don't regret choosing to learn the gender and will likely continue to do so for any subsequent pregnancies... but I now feel like I can understand a little bit of why it could be more exciting to wait.
I found it fun that Lydia turned 15 months the exact same day that Eli was 15 weeks along. Fun. :)

So I realize I'm behind in posting this update, but life has been busy! We've had all kinds of activities including a big family trip to Florida! But those will wait for another blog post. For now, here's an update from Lydia's 15 month appointment.

For starters, she continues to be tall and lean. She is 31" long (75%ile) and weighs 21lbs 3oz (25%ile). I wasn't surprised by these numbers at all. She is definitely getting taller all the time as evidenced by the increasing number of things she can reach throughout the house. And she is a MOVER... all the time! So no wonder she doesn't have any baby chub left. All day long she is walking everywhere. She does laps around the island in the kitchen, runs back and forth across the living room, explores the hallways... it's tiring just to watch her!

There were no concerns at all at her appointment and the doctor was very impressed by Lydia's cognitive developments. I knew I had a smarty pants on my hands. :) When I told the doctor that I had lost count of all of the words Lydia uses, she was thrilled (saying she would have been pleased with just 5 or 6 words). It's true, my girl is a talker. She is almost constantly going around saying the words that she knows really well (ball, mama, daddy, juice, shoes, go, nose, toes, books, no, nana, hi, hello, etc) and often wants me to tell her what other things are. When I teach her a new object, she wastes no time in attempting the word herself. Lydia surprises me on a regular basis by trying to say words I didn't even realize she had learned.

She is also surprises me with how smart she is in other areas. She loves to organize items and put them in their proper places. She understands a ton of commands and usually does whatever I ask her to do. My mom even asked Lydia to give her puppy a drink and she immediately took her sippy cup and put the straw in her stuffed puppy's mouth. She also "sings" for me when I ask her to sing a song. It is adorable! It's usually just 3 or 4 "la's" in some tune she makes up, but I love it. I have lots of fun teaching Lydia different body parts too. So far she can say the word (for most of them) and point to her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, head, hair, neck, hands, fingers, knees, feet, belly, toes, and we're working on shoulders. And at bath time I'm working on teaching her all of the vowels. She's pretty good at E and O, sometime I, but A and U need more work. It's so fun to watch her learn! Even more so, I'm looking forward to watching her help Eli learn. It's going to be so cool to see my babies interacting with one another!
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