Whoa There, Life! Slow Down!

It’s hard to believe that I’m more than halfway done with this pregnancy already. My firstborn is nearly 14-months-old. And we’re really, finally starting to feel settled down here in Charleston.

Jimmy and I suffer from wanderlust. And for a while there, it was driven by homesickness for the Northwest. We are not Southern by nature! Fortunately, EV is our Carolina girl, and this kid will be Southern-born too, so, I guess they’re kind of like anchor babies. Which is funny, because of all the Coast Guard stuff here.

But… we are dreaming of Japan. Strange, right? Well, there are no plans to live in Japan, but we are planning a trip 2-3 years out. We’re learning Japanese (slowly). And, I don’t know, there is something about that place that my heart feels drawn to. It could be the fact that they need a lot of Jesus over there! I mean, it would only make sense that God would put that need on our heart. But the crazy thing is, it might not be a huge mission field for us. We would do it, of course! Perhaps there’s a different plan at work, though. Perhaps God wants us to go to Japan for a week on vacation, know enough Japanese to witness to ONE person, or maybe not even a Japanese person, and then off we go, back home to good ol’ Charleston. God loves someone that much that He would take years of learning, planning, and saving out of one American couple’s lives to use 2 seconds of it and reach someone’s heart.

Enough about that, though! It may be exciting for me to talk about, but I’ve got life updating to do! And lots of it!

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As of the 6th, I crossed over into twenty-four-years-old-hood. I’ve been having non-milestone birthdays for a few years, and I’m totally ok with it. Years go by so fast! I don’t need a big birthday bash every year. But, I did get lots of nice stuff (thank you family!), a beautiful day with breakfast at a fancy brunch place, time with my family, and some Jaipur!

Oh, that’s a new thing. Jaipur is a two-player merchant trading game. Jimmy and I love games! But we have hardly any two-player ones, so we bought this card game at a neat hole-in-the-wall books and games shop. It’s fun! And it has lots of pretty cards. And you can’t use the same strategy every time, because part of it is chance. I’m satisfied with it, I’d say!

I also crossed over the halfway mark of being pregnant with baby Peppercorn! It’s kind of strange still calling the baby that, but we haven’t settled on a gender neutral name (and I don’t think we will), so it’s that or baby #2. We’re still shuffling through names, which we probably will do until baby gets here, but there are a few we’ve got hovering at the top. I’m going to leave you hanging, though! (It’s only fair, since that’s basically the position I’m in until we meet this little guy… or girl!)

My spidey-sense is telling me it’s a boy. I have a pretty accurate gender-radar too. I’ve been right with most (if not all) of my friends. With EV, I knew it was a girl. I’d say like 75-80% certain. And I feel around there now, too. But, while I might be slightly surprised to give birth to a girl this time, I won’t be disappointed in the least. Either way, it’s crazy. Our family’s identity is going to change based on this person who’s currently the size of a large banana and likes to dance, particularly if I have coffee.

But, we will have to WAIT! Horrible word these days. But it’ll be better than Christmas, so I feel like it’s going to be worth it.

CRAZY THOUGHT: I’m a mom! Whoa!

Do all moms have a moment like that? Because I just did.

EV doesn’t seem to think it’s weird though. Gosh, that kid. She’s awesome!

New things this month: 1) the word “no” and it doesn’t mean what she thinks it means, 2) tantrums… yeah, 3) recognizing things she’s learned, 4) new interest in foods other than fruit and cheese, and 5) semi-regular naps… finally. I’ll tackle these one at a time.

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1) The word “no.” Usually accompanied by a shaking of the head. It means: no, rejection, “I’m about to do something I shouldn’t do,” “more please,” and “I want that.” We’ve found that context and body language are extremely important in figuring out which one it is. If she really means “no” then usually she uses her hand to push things away or she walks off. If she means “more please” then generally she’s looking curious or pointing at something (but still shaking her head). She also makes a “hmm?” sound when she really wants something. And it’s pretty easy to tell when she’s about to do something forbidden.

2) Tantrums. Oh joy! She has a very serious idea of what she wants these days. Apparently, she has learned boundaries just enough to know how to react when she doesn’t get what she wants. So, while she is still happy most of the time, she has discovered that she can scream about something she wants if she doesn’t get it. I wouldn’t say she’s a drama queen, but she is most definitely a toddler. Now, our patience and steadfastness skills are being put to the test. We’re not perfect, but we’ll probably survive!

3) This has been awesome. In our house, we do have screen time. But it’s not all bad! Actually, researchers find that educating programs that engage family members can be a valuable learning tool. It’s when TV replaces social interaction that we should worry. But most of the time, I am cuddling and interacting with EV while we watch shows. Some of her favorites are Super Why, Pokemon, and Tinkerbell. It was really fun when she found a stuffed Pikachu and brought it to Jimmy with much excitement! We had to buy it, of course! She recognizes characters and retains stuff really well (just like her daddy). The alphabet song from Super Why is her favorite thing EVER! And she even points to the screen and answers when the characters from Super Why, which is a reading show, ask questions. It’s funny, she has preferences already. We’ve exhausted My Little Pony (my choice for TV) but she never did appreciate it like I did.

4) New food interests. Since we had to switch to food rather abruptly, we’ve been trying to get EV to eat a variety of things. She was very receptive to fruit and dairy, but not so with much of anything else. Lately, however, she has been gobbling eggs and sausage and fig bars and even shows a lot more interest in veggies like spinach and broccoli. As Jimmy excitedly put it, “She’s eating real food!” It may seem silly, but that sort of thing is a big deal when it’s for the first time.

5) Thank goodness for this one. Nap schedules that are not something this kid took to very well. And that’s fine with me. I’m very flexible thanks to my wonderful, hard-working husband. But, it’s really hard to plan your day around naps that may or may not happen. Thankfully, ever since we night-weaned off nursing, she’s been interested in sleeping around the same time every day. 10-11 is when she goes down for her first nap, usually 2 hours long. 4-5 is when she goes down for her second nap, although sometimes she skips it and goes down for the night early, and this nap is usually an hour or less. And she almost always sleeps in the car. It still varies, but not nearly as often as before. Hopefully I can get both kids down at the same time! Wouldn’t that be awesome? Benefits of having 2 so close in age.

So that’s the update. I wish it was a little more… I don’t know, exciting? Car chases and explosions! Unicorns (but, like, not on TV). I wish I were better at telling those funny stories that happen all the time with kids.

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Maybe next time. Sayonara!

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