Sleeping: Our big sleep training push this month has been focusing on a new wake-up routine. She is so good about not getting out of her bed without calling us, but it had started to drive me a little nuts that as soon as she woke up, she was calling, "Mommy, come get me!" non-stop until I came in. So I sought out wisdom from my dear friend/mentor Stephanie, and we have re-trained her in this area. Instead of her being in charge of when she gets up, WE are in charge. She now knows that when she wakes up, she can read books, sit quietly, or lay back down and try to sleep. But she is not to call us - we come get her when it's time to get up. This has made for a MUCH happier mama, and it's amazed me, but several times, she has laid back down and gone back to sleep! I think this training will pay off majorly after Tucker comes. I know there will be times when she wakes up & I can't come right in and get her because I'm feeding or rocking or whatever. It's so good for her to know how to wait well.
Eating: Dan & I talk all the time about what a good eater she is. She will try anything once. She might not like it....tomatoes are a definite reject....but she'll try a bite every time we ask her to. I think this works for her because she knows that we won't make her eat it all, especially if she doesn't like it - we just want her to try. She ate sushi with us for the first time a few weeks ago, and loved it! Her favorite thing lately has been fresh pineapple. I think she could eat an entire one if we let her!
Talking: Her vocabulary continues to expand - she is using words like "incredible" in the correct context. We are hearing SO MUCH parroted back to us - she was playing with her cell phone in the car today, and told us, "I need you to please be quiet while I talk to my Nana!" Her imagination is taking off, too, and it's so fun to hear her talk about the different things that are going on in her mind. She told me a story this afternoon about some worms who went shopping in their blue car. They went to the grocery store and bought sugar, and poured it in their milk. But only worms eat sugar in their milk - not people! I could not keep the smile off my face as I listened to her. I can't wait until she learns to write....she's going to write some fun stories. She's also using different voices for things as she makes them talk to each other.
Discipline: The tantrums seem to have subsided, for the time being, although we'll see one every once in a while, especially if she's tired. We continue to have to work on first-time obedience with her, but she really is eager to please and truly desires to honor us. One of her favorite Bible stories lately has been the one about Jonah being swallowed by the big fish, and she's beginning to understand the correspondence between Jonah disobeying God and being punished, and her disobeying us and being punished. We just continue to pray that we disciple her HEART, not just her behavior. Dan & I have been talking a lot lately about how we don't want to neglect the TRAINING part of discipling her. So often, we get caught up in simply addressing her misbehavior, but that is only one part of discipleship. We want to train her well in righteousness. No small job.
Playing: Hooray for warm weather, and a new house with lots of land to run and play on! She is having a great time playing tee-ball out in the grass, and taking her babies for walks in their stroller down our driveway. She plays very little with "toys," preferring instead to play with her babies or draw/color/paint on her easel. I'm not going to discourage any of that imaginative play! We have been trying to drastically limit her TV time. My first trimester when I was so sick, she watched quite a bit more tv than I was really comfortable with, but it was all I knew to do. Dan was working and at school A LOT, the weather was cold and yucky, and we were trapped inside our little apartment on campus. I felt terrible, and so I would often let her a watch a cartoon or two each day just so I had some time to rest. We quickly saw her become almost addicted to the thing. It was bizarre - she was asking about it everyday, crying when we wouldn't turn it on, etc. It amazed us how dependent she became on it so very quickly. So with the warmer weather and a mama who feels good, there's no reason for that thing to be on - we will go days and even weeks sometimes now without turning the tv on for her, and she seldom asks for it anymore.
Just a few of the fun things that Lana has been saying/doing lately:
I was changing her clothes the other day, and she looked up at me with the funniest expression on her face. "It's in me, Mommy!! It's in me!!" "What's in you, baby?" I couldn't figure out WHAT she was talking about! "It's IN ME!!" "What's in you?!?" "My panties!!" She had a wedgie, and could not figure out what the problem was!
At lunch one day, a grape fell into her potato salad. She gingerly picked it up, held it out to me, and said, "I DEFINITELY don't want this one!" We rolled with laughter....she sounded just like me!
As we were leaving the playground one afternoon, Lana started to whine and fuss. Her hand in mine, I talked with her as we walked toward our house about how it makes it hard for me to want to bring her to the playground when she has a bad attitude. She looked up at me, so sincere.... "I'll have a better attitude next time, Mommy!"
Lana has started imitating us reading the Bible. I was pushing the buggy through a store, and she opened her Bible: "I John 620, chapter Peter," she said, in the most authoritative little voice. People around us couldn't help but giggle.
She has started praying the most wonderful, sincere prayers. If she sees a child crying or hurt, her first inclination is always to pray for them. Every weekend night when Daddy is working, she prays for him and his friends. "Dear God, please help Daddy and his friends to have fun at work and to be kind to each other. Keep them safe and help them obey!"
Saturday morning, Dan took Lana on a date. They went to Jumping Beans and then had lunch together at Ziggy's. Later that night, I asked her about her date, and she said, "It wasn't just a date, Mommy! Daddy took me to a PARTY date!"
She has a pair of pink Mary Jane Crocs that are too small for her....I think they were the first pair that Sue Sue ever bought for her. (Sue Sue and Baloo KEEP Lana in Crocs, thank the Lord!) Anyway, I was packing up some of her shoes that are too small to make room for the new ones, and she pulled out those Crocs and said, "These are for my new baby to wear!" I don't know what we'll do if we have a little boy - he might just have to wear those pink Crocs!
I am almost 17 weeks pregnant now - nearly halfway done! It's incredible how fast this pregnancy is going by. I guess I'm staying so busy with a preschooler that it's just flying by.
The nausea is completely gone, although I don't know if I'll EVER not be tired again. i feel like I could sleep all the time. Dan has been SO gracious to let me sleep as often as I can. I try to sleep in a little on Wednesday mornings when I can, and he lets me stretch out naptime sometimes by getting Lana up and starting dinner. He's so good to us.
I experienced some really bad back pain a few weeks ago - one day, it was literally paralyzing. I couldn't get out of the bed, and had to call in to work. The doctor recommended Tylenol and lots of wet heat - it helped, but the pain came and went. I had never experienced anything like that with Lana, so it was shocking to me. And then, after a week or so, it went away. My belly popped out quite a bit, and my back quit hurting. Crazy!
My cravings are mostly over, although I have not wanted to eat ANY meat lately. Funny, I have been so sure that I'm having a boy up until now, but this aversion to meat is exactly how I felt with Lana, so maybe it's a little girl after all. Either way, we are just so happy to be having this addition to our family.
Suddenly, and way out of left field, the Lord has yet again given us the desires of our hearts....more than we could ask for or imagine.
Here's the story: we have some friends who have been renting a house for the past few years, and every time we've been to their house, we tell them that whenever they want to move out, we want to move in. It's an older house but built really well and in CRAZY good condition. It's about 1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, one bath, an office/playroom, a storage shed, a covered carport, beautiful trees (cherry blossom!), is on about 25 acres of land, has a big pond stocked with fish, the owner plants a huge garden with fresh fruits and veggies (corn, tomatoes, peaches, pears, etc.) that he gives away. (This is a HUGE plus for me!!! I love fresh fruits and veggies!!!)
Well....our friends are buying a house, and they recommended us to the landlord! Dan has met him, and they have a gentleman's agreement - it's basically a done deal! Mr. Brown is a wonderful man - just the kind of person you want to rent from. He's in his 80's, and has lived in the area his whole life. He and his wife actually lived in the house we are going to rent for nearly 30 years!!
The rent is about $15 less than we pay per month to live on campus. It's well water, so no water bill. They do have propane heat which will cost us more during the winter, but we went and talked to our friends who live there now, and they showed us how to save on that. When Dan talked to Mr. Brown, he said that he had thought about raising rent because of rising property taxes, but he just loves seminary students, and he'd rather collect a little less rent from tenants that he knows are trustworthy.
It's about 3 miles away from campus. A little further out from town than is "ideal," but for the price and condition, it can't be beat. We know - we've been looking.
Our friends are closing on their new house on the 31, and will move out April 4-6 - we'll move in the last half of that week. It's Easter break, which works out perfectly for Dan. Brother, Janika, and Jake had already planned on coming to visit us that week, so they're still going to just come on up and help us move - how wonderful!! Obviously things could still fall through - if our friends don't move into their new house, then we don't move into this rental house. But their home inspection has been done, and their loan has been pre-approved - now we're just waiting!
We found a really nice futon on craigslist to put in the office, so there's a place for you to sleep when you come visit us!! We bought a farmhouse kitchen table at an antique store today, and are busy looking for a trundle bed for Lana's new room so her bed can go in the nursery. We are just so excited about having room for our growing family, and even more - having room to invite people over! For our family to come visit, for our small group to meet, for friends to come to dinner...
God's hand is just so evident in this. We talked to the housing department, and there is going to be no trouble with us getting out of our lease. He's just clearing the path for this to happen, and we couldn't be more grateful. We have LOVED our time on campus, really we have, but this is just such a good move for us with new baby coming. And the abundance is just overwhelming to us - it's not only a rental house, which alone we would be grateful for, but all of the other sweet gifts that go along with it - the acreage, the fruits and veggies, the pondfor fishing...it's just more than we could have hoped for!