Brooke has started waking up again during the night. In fact, it’s 4 a.m. and I just went into her room to put her back in bed. Surprisingly, she is more disruptive to my sleep than Drew, who is only three months old. Drew is an angel baby when it comes to sleep.
Brooke’s situation is challenging for me, and I don’t know what to do about it. I’m not sure if she’s hungry, she often asks for milk, or if it’s a developmental phase. She is often wide awake when I go in her room. I know children may not sleep well when their brains go through specific developmental leaps. I’ve tried giving her milk with dinner to help her stay more full but she’ll still wake up sometimes. So, that’s one of the reasons I’m not sure it’s a hunger thing.
One night last week after giving her some milk in the wee hours of the morning, she started crying again. She hadn’t eaten a lot at dinner, so I did think that on this particular night, she had woken up hungry. I was laying in my bed exhausted and offered a silent prayer that her tummy would feel full and she’d be able to fall asleep.
After ending the prayer, this thought came to mind, “Meghan, there are mothers out there offering that same prayer tonight but they can’t simply walk downstairs to get food or milk for their children.” I knew this thought was not my own but from the Holy Spirit. It profoundly impacted me.
Since this experience, I’ve been thinking more about how I can help relieve suffering. I am grateful for this perspective shift and pray for those mothers and their children. I believe I was given this thought for a reason. I don’t know if it was given to me to help me be more compassionate or if there is action I should take to more actively help relieve suffering. I’m keeping my mind and heart open to what God would have me do. I am so grateful for this new found perspective that helps me feel gratitude instead of frustration when Brooke wakes up at night (even if I’m still exhausted haha).
Brooke is officially two years old! She is our comic relief in life, and she keeps us on our toes. She makes the funniest faces (scowls) when she gets told no. She has lots of energy and loves being silly. Below are fun facts about Brooke at age two.
– She loves anything Baby Shark and Elmo.
– Her favorite foods are berries, clementines, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets (which she calls “chicken muggets”). Anytime we drive past McDonalds, she says “chicken muggets!”
– She is very active and loves to climb. The playground is a great place for her because she can explore freely.
– A few months ago, she hit and seriously cut her head. She was spinning in David’s room and fell and smacked her head on the molding around David’s door. She still has a red line above her eyebrow from the incident.
– She is very polite. She almost always says “thank you” when I help her with something or give her something.
– After I do her hair in the morning, she stands up and says “cute!”
– She adores her siblings. When she gets up in the morning, she’ll always ask for “Baby Dew.” She likes to stick Drew’s pacifier in his mouth. David is her best friend. She loves playing and laughing with him. She just recently started saying David’s name. She pronounces the “v” like it’s a “w.”
– When she’s done with dinner, she wants to go take a bath immediately and will drop her plate in the floor if we don’t get it from her fast enough (we’re trying to stop that habit haha).
– She doesn’t like going to bed and will lay on the floor by her door and call out to us until she’s tired enough she climbs into bed to go to sleep. She’s only fallen asleep by the door twice.
– She thinks it’s funny to run away from me when it’s time to change her diaper. She giggles as she runs.
– Her vocabulary is growing everyday. I’m constantly impressed by how many words she knows.
– When she really wants something she says “please” in an exaggerated tone. Although she pronounces it “nease.”
David is officially three years old. Since birth, he has had a happy, sweet demeanor. He gives the best hugs and kisses each night before bedtime. He’s quick to apologize when he realizes he’s made a poor choice (like taking a toy from Brooke). He’s generally a great listener. Below are fun facts about David at three.
He loves trains, firetrucks, tractors, and cars.
His favorite song to sing at bedtime is “Reverently, Quietly.”
His favorite shows are “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and “Sesame Street.”
He likes to eat cereal, nuts, and raisins for breakfast. Up until recently, the way he said raisins sounded like the word “citizens.”
He loves to listen to the “Mary Poppins Returns” soundtrack and the song “Peace in Christ.” A couple months ago, he always asked to listen to the “Newsies” soundtrack.
His favorite food is “Annie’s” white cheddar shells mac n’ cheese.
He currently does not like bath time…not sure why? He has always loved it.
He is fun to talk with. I can understand most everything he says.
He’s a pretty smart negotiator (or at least he thinks so haha). Sometimes when he doesn’t want to do something, he says, “David little” because we’ve told him in the past that Brooke is too little to do something (like kneel for prayer or clean up her dishes). He thinks if he tells us he’s “little” then he can get out of whatever we’ve asked him to do.
He officially stopped taking an afternoon nap. He now has “quiet time” every afternoon and plays with toys in his room for a couple of hours. He’s really good about staying in his room. We keep his “special” toys up there that he only plays with during “quiet time.” I am SO thankful he’s been such a good napper and now will play quietly by himself.
We have a basket of outdoor items for kids that sits on our front porch. It includes things like sidewalk chalk, bouncy balls, and bubbles. We go through bubbles pretty fast in our household, because inevitably they get spilled.
Yesterday afternoon, Brooke and I were out on the porch. David was still napping, so it was just me and her. She picked up one of the empty canisters of bubbles from the basket, pulled out the wand, and started shaking the wand, just as one would do to create bubbles if the canister were full. However, the canister was empty, so no bubbles formed. But the lack of bubbles didn’t deter Brooke from having fun. She repeatedly would dip the bubble wand into the canister, pull it out, shake it, and exclaim “bubbles!” with glee.
I learned a lesson watching Brooke do this for nearly 15 minutes. Brooke’s enjoyment in playing with bubbles wasn’t only found in the finished product (the appearance of actual bubbles). She found enjoyment in the whole process. And even though the finished product maybe wasn’t what she expected, she didn’t give up on the process. Because she was having fun in the process.
This experience was a good reminderL to find joy in the process of life, rather than only in the results of our efforts.
David is officially two-and-a-half years old. In the last six months, his language skills have exploded. He is good at using words to ask for what he wants. One cute thing he does when looking for a specific toy is call out its name over and over as he walks around the house. It’s almost like he’s expecting the toy to respond and say, “I’m right here, David.”
On Friday as we were driving in the car, I played the Newsies soundtrack. For the first time ever, David started singing along. I was amazed at how well he could sing the right pitches and match the vowel sounds of a lot of the words. For Christmas, John purchased tickets for him and I to go see the musical Newsies. Ever since then, the kids and I have been listening to the soundtrack a lot in the car. David says “Newsies” when he gets in the car and wants to listen to the music.
David loves to sing the primary song I Am a Child of God, Jingle Bells, and a Halloween song that my Grandma Daly made up (I don’t know if the song has a name). He also loves Baby Shark and The Wheels on the Bus. I love how he sings, “The babies on the bus go ‘wah, wah’ wah…'” The way he imitates how babies cry is so cute and hilarious.
He watches one episode of TV each weekday generally before lunch time. The two shows he watches are Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street, which he calls “Sunny Days” because the Sesame Street theme song begins with the phrase “Sunny days…”
He’s become a skilled negotiator with his sister. If she is playing with a toy he wants, he’s learned to bring a toy to her that he can trade her. Even if the toy he brings is not nearly as cool or exciting, she always takes the bait haha.
One of David’s favorite phrases to say is “Hi David.” Ever since David was little, in the mornings as I walked down the hall to his bedroom, I’d say “Hi David.” I think hearing this phrase repeatedly each day caused David’s mind to view this phrase as a generic greeting like “Good morning.” Consequently, over the last couple months, when David would hear either John or I in the morning, he’d yell “Hi David” from his bedroom. He would never say “Hi Mommy” or “Hi Daddy.” It was always “Hi David.” (Last week was the first time I’ve heard him say “Hi Mommy” in the morning instead of “Hi David.”)
His favorite food is apple sauce, which he just calls “sauce.” He’s become more picky about what veggies he eats, but I still serve veggies with every meal 🙂 He also loves all carbs – rolls, muffins, etc. I’ve learned how to make “healthier” rolls and muffins so I can feel better about what I’m serving him.
David is a light in our home. His happy demeanor that he had as a baby has continued with him. He’s a great listener and generally very obedient (sometimes he likes to march to the beat of his own drum ha). He’s a loving brother and son. Although, he thinks it’s funny to withhold hugs and kisses some nights at bedtime. We sure love him and his sense of humor.
Back in October, David turned two. I never got around to writing a blog post then, so I’m using some quiet time this week of Christmas to record some fun facts about David at two years and two months.
Some of David’s favorite foods:
Canned carrots (ewww…haha)
Bananas (he loves to say “nana” in a very excited tone when I pull them out for breakfast)
Some of David’s favorite words and phrases:
Car (sounds more like “gar”)
(He still has yet to call me/John mom/dad)
He is a happy, happy boy. He makes us laugh and smile daily. We’ve definitely had some epic two-year-old meltdowns. I’m sure they occur as a result of his brain learning so many new things each and every day. I try to remind myself of that when my patience is thin lol. We sure do love him!
Life right now is fun, tiring, silly, loud, sweet, and chaotic all at the same time. I feel so many different emotions all in one day. Some moments of the day seem so hectic as I try to feed a crying, hungry baby while I simultaneously teach my 21-month-old that he needs to wait for me to get him out of his high chair and not try to climb out himself. Other moments seem so serene as I cuddle with my sleeping baby while watching my favorite HGTV television show or as I lay next to my toddler in his bed and read him books before nap time or bed time.
We just switched David to a normal bed a couple weeks ago. We kind of did it on a whim. He was sick for a couple of days prior to the switch, and we let him lay on the bunk beds in his room and watch Under the Umbrella Tree on my iPad (we normally don’t allow him to watch anything on our iPads). While he was sick, we still had him sleep in his crib. After he got feeling better, we decided to see how he would do sleeping in the bed. So far he’s done great! He’s excellent at staying in bed, which was a concern of mine. Previously, David loved playing in his crib before he fell asleep. So, I was afraid he’d struggle to stay in the bed since he was no longer “trapped” by crib walls. But so far so good. We have a baby lock on the outside of the door, so he can’t come out until we come into his room to get him. He’s been great about waking up and looking at books in his bed until we come get him. Unfortunately, I accidentally locked myself in the room with David and my neighbor had to come undo the baby lock to let us out ha! Thankfully Brooke was napping at the time it happened.
In the spring time, we loved going on walks. Now that the weather is hot, we don’t go on quite as many walks. Thankfully the playground in our neighborhood sits up on a hill (which is a doozy to push the double stroller up), so there is always a nice breeze there. I’ve taken the kids to the pool twice. There’s a pool about 25 minutes from where we live that has a great section for toddlers and is open in the mornings. There are two pools closer to where we live but they don’t open until the afternoon, which is nap time at our house. David seems a little tentative when we’re there and likes to stay right by me. I’m hoping he’ll get more comfortable as the summer goes on. Yesterday, we almost left the pool after being there for only 20 minutes because it was one of those times when both kids were crying. Brooke was tired and hot, and David didn’t like wearing his puddle jumper. Thankfully, Brooke fell asleep and David got over his discomfort.
In the mornings, I try and focus on kid stuff 100 percent of the time. Afternoon nap time (approximately 1-4:30 p.m.) is my time I try to clean, organize, meal plan, do volunteer work, do consulting work, and anything else I need to do. The evenings are our family time. It seems our dinner time has become “whine time” for at least one child recently. I’m not sure what is up with that haha. Bath time is around 6:30 p.m. and the kiddos are generally in bed around 7 p.m. This gives John and I time to connect in the evenings, which I appreciate.
One of my favorite things about the stage of life we’re in right now is watching Brooke and David grow and interact. Brooke loves watching David wherever he goes, and David will come over to Brooke and say hi (which sounds like “hi-eee”). David also treats a lot of his stuffed toys similarly to how we treat Brooke. He likes to hold them on his shoulder and pat them on the back like he’s burping them. He also likes to put them in Brooke’s car seat or bouncer.
I’m really grateful for life right now. As I said in the beginning, I can feel so many emotions all in one day. Even in the hard times though, I would not have it any other way.
David hit his 18-month mark last week. He is full of happiness and energy. He loves to smile. I hope he maintains his happy demeanor throughout his life. It is so contagious. Everywhere we go people say to me, “he’s so happy!”
He absolutely loves cars. The picture above is a scene we see everyday. He enjoys lining up his toy cars and playing with them for hours. He often carries his cars from room to room. He doesn’t want to leave any behind when he goes into a new room haha.
He is constantly “talking” but doesn’t say many real words. When he’s hungry, he says “eat, eat, eat” (it sounds more like “eee, eee, eee”). When he sees me cleaning up, he says “een up” for “clean up.” He says “woof woof” anytime he sees a dog. When I point to the picture of Jesus in his room, he sometimes says “she-shush” for “Jesus.” When he’s tired, he’ll lay down his head and say “night, night.” Surprisingly, he has yet to say mama or dada when referring to me or John. He knows who we are though. For example, if you say to him, “where’s dad’s nose?”, he’ll go touch John’s nose.
He loves to open the pantry and pull out a cracker box (when I forget to close the baby lock on the pantry). He’s a pretty good eater and is willing to try most foods. He seems to love carrots, peanut butter, cheese, and apples.
He is a very caring big brother. He likes to pat Brooke when she’s laying down and bring her blankets and burp cloths. He’ll often walk over to her when she starts crying. He likes to pull out her hair bows and then immediately put them back on her head (see the picture below haha).
Today we had his 18-month visit with the pediatrician. He is in the 87th percentile for weight, the 83rd percentile for height, and the 94th percentile for head circumference. I love the front-row seat I have to watch him grow!