Archives for the month of: October, 2015

I can be more specific if anyone has questions about these deals. Just not wanting to put a ton of info out there which is kind of personal. I would be happy to give more details if requested though to help someone else save too!

2 adult airline tickets with 2 free lap children = $336.10

9 day parking off airport at hotel close to airport that rents out their lot = $40

2 night stay at Hotel One = free

2 night stay at Hotel Two = free

2 night stay at Hotel Three= $272.09

1 day car rental = Would have been $67 but were charged extra $50 for returning at different location without being told ahead of time that would happen. = $117

$325.00 approx spending money which covered = eating out 4 times at airport, once at B.ubba G.umps, once at Mc.Donalds, countless trips of bus fare, laundry twice, tips for waiter and bell hops, postcards, book of stamps, sunglasses, ice cream, groceries for several days, taxi fare and other minor expenses.

Trip total = $1,090.19 And we totally enjoyed ourselves!!

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Day 1: Our flight landed around 5:20-5:30am. We collected our baggage and called the cab we had reserved. The driver was already waiting for us (our fare was a flat rate) and got us to our hotel with no hassle. He was very polite and friendly and gave us lots of advice and tips for our stay. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel which kindly let us eat breakfast even though it was 6:30am and check in wasn’t until 3pm. The breakfast was very good with tons of food to choose from. eggs, bacon, toast, bagels, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese, waffles, cereal and so on. It was hands down the biggest and best free breakfast I have ever seen at a hotel. The lobby and dining area are both outdoors which I thought was super cool and interesting.

We headed out to Waikiki Beach which was just a short walk away and let Tru play in the water and enjoy the ocean for the first time ever. He LOVED it to say the least. He never ever wanted to stop playing in the water again. The area of ocean we were in is blocked off from the rest so there were plenty of fish but no large waves and the water was 100% clear. It was just like standing in the bath tub for how clear it was. Perfect for kids.
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We had to come back to the hotel as we were exhausted to the point that we seriously couldn’t hold our eyes open. I was getting dizzy I was so tired. We decided to sit in the lobby and thankfully the hotel texted us to inform us that our room was ready and we could check in early at around 10. We all collapsed in the beds after getting quick showers and slept for a few hours. We headed out to walk around the beach area after a lunch of broccoli soup cooked in our room on the hot plate. We explored a park area and walked until it got dark.

First opinions: This is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the beauty of the blue water and striking mountains. I love it! I am also surprised, although saddened, that there seems to be a very large homeless population around Honolulu/Waikiki. I don’t know if all areas of the island are this way but there are homeless people everywhere! It makes me feel terrible. 😦

Day 2: Everyone has been telling us, “If you want to enjoy Hawaii, get out of Waikiki!” So today, we did. We got on T.heBus and very unsuccessfully pretended we knew what we were doing. Yes, we missed our stop. Yes, we got 2 free rides and 1 discounted rate probably because the drivers felt sorry for us. But we made our way to Kailua Beach and it was worth it!! It was positively gorgeous! Blue water, and the whitest sand I have ever seen on a beach. Fine and powdery compared to Florida beaches. It was marvelous. We also saw a purple/blue jellyfish up on the sand. I put him back in the water using a bucket because i was afraid Tru would step on it. Tru wanted to play in the water but the waves were too big and crashing on him. We had to take turns holding him in the water. I haven’t had a chance to actually get in swimwear yet and get in there myself but I have gotten 2 outfits quite wet out there holding on to Tru. 😉 Levi took a nap in the carrier while I held him and we just sat out there for hours enjoying the beach. We had another crazy ride back to the hotel and made another meal on the hotplate and off to bed.
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Notes of the day: It’s crazy because there are sooooo many people on this island but I almost feel like it’s lonely here. It’s so cut off from everywhere else. But I could still totally make a home here amongst the mountains. The flora and fauna are amazing and gorgeous. God has blessed me so much to get to enjoy this beautiful place that so many people desire to see.

Day 3: After breakfast, we moved from our first hotel to our second hotel of the week. It was just about a half mile away so we walked rather than call a cab since large baggage is not allowed on the bus. Our room wasn’t ready yet as it was still several hours until check-in time, so we left our bags there went to see Diamond Head Crater. We weren’t able to get the babies up the walkway as it is stairs and there was no way we could carry them that far. So we walked for awhile down some streets and ate a picnic lunch at Diamond Head then took the bus to Sandy Beach which we had seen the day before driving by on our way back to the hotel. There is a very cool attraction there in a rock the blows water out of the top when the waves hit it. It was so awesome to see. The waves were quite big and I stationed myself and the babies way far back from the water. As Tru and I were digging in the sand for small shells, out of nowhere a huge wave came up and grabbed at us. Tru screamed and I grabbed his arm. Levi, who was sitting in the stroller was hit by the wave as well. It was crazy. We moved even farther back after that and I learned to keep my eyes open for crazy rouge waves. After that, we grabbed some pre-made meals from a convenience store and took them back to our hotel as it was getting late. I threw in some laundry and we konked out for the night.
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Day 4: We were pretty worn out so we kept it low key today. I really didn’t want to go on the bus today because it’s so hard to load the babies on and off with all their baby gear and double stroller. So we walked to Ala Moana shopping district which is only about 1.6 miles from our hotel. That mall….. there are no words to describe it. It is enormous!!! Mac.y’s alone is 4 stories tall! I didn’t even bother to take pictures because they just couldn’t capture the enormity of that mall. We went there so we could go out to eat at B.ubba Gu.mps. It was good. After that we walked to the grocery store and bought the supplies we needed for the next few days. Everyone tells you that it’s expensive here. That’s such an understatement. Even cooking at our hotels, we spent almost $70 for hotdogs, the makings for penne pasta with chicken and broccoli, and the makings for tacos. We bought a few snack items that were “cheap” and walked back to the hotel. We relaxed for a bit and then took the babies swimming in the pool and for a soak in the spa.
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Day 5: We decided to rent a car for the day so we could see more of the Island on our own time without the hassle of getting the babies on and off the bus. DH took the bus to pick up the car and then drove back to the hotel to get us. We moved our baggage to the third hotel and then set out on our adventure. We drove to the North shore which was 39 miles from our hotel. It’s the top of the Island. This Island is so small that you can easily drive from one end to another in about an hour. We stopped at a beach there for a bit and then drove through a Historic town and ate at an overpriced (by Mainland standards) Mc.Donald’s. Then we drove to the Blow Hole so we could take pictures and stopped at Sandy Beach again to look for shells. Shells are hard to find around here aside from the billions of itty bitty shells. So I collected a lot of pretty pieces of Pumice. We drove back to the hotel as it was almost dusk after that and dropped the car off at the rental place beside the hotel. DH walked back after the kids and I. A man came up and asked me for money for a sandwich. I felt intimidated because I had the babies with me so I gave him some change. Later DH said the same man stopped him and asked for money. When DH told him he had no cash, the man asked him if he had any pot. 😦 I cooked super in the full kitchen in our room and we chilled for a couple hours until bedtime.
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Day 6: We kept it super low key on our last day. We got up the latest yet around 9 I think and headed down to the beach for a few hours. We just hung out in the water where it’s kind of blocked off a bit from the rest of the ocean by a rock barrier so that Tru and Levi could stay in the water with us but not get knocked around by big waves. It was really relaxing and fun to just sit in the water and walk the babies around and watch the little fish that seem to be everywhere around our feet. I kept religiously applying sunblock just like I had all week but at some point it got in my eye on the way back to the hotel and tears were just streaming down my face. As soon as we got back to the hotel, we all got in the shower together. Levi seemed to have some sunblock in his eyes too as they looked pretty red. After we got all cleaned up, we had some turkey sandwiches and the boys took a nap while DH and I sat on the balcony for awhile and then sat in bed watching videos online and I washed our laundry. It was one of the few times DH and I actually got to relax ALONE the whole time since we kept falling asleep every night from getting worn out with all the running around to different parts of the Island etc without getting to watch TV or eat the popcorn I packed. So that was nice. When the boys woke up we made tacos for supper and headed down to the beach to get a family picture which was a FAIL!! BUT, we found out the were going to set off fireworks so we stuck around for that and they were really nice. 🙂 It was a nice little send off for our last evening. We went back to our hotel and.. crazy thing… we watched more sitcoms online after the boys went to sleep and ate popcorn and everything.  So our last day was really quiet but good rest for our huge, looooong trip home.

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The flights: we traveled for 19+ hours going to Hawaii and 24+ going home. I envisioned a nightmare with 2 babies but praise God, they were sooooo good. They cried very minimally on only a couple flights and Tru even slept through 2 flights and 1 layover, waking only for a few minutes. We hung out in the kid play areas at the airports and ate lots of protein bars so all sugar was balanced. Really, I just prayed they would be good and I was not disappointed. The flights (3 going there and 3 coming home) and layovers were hard in me as an adult so I was shocked at how well the babies handled it. They worn comfy clothes and we packed toys and coloring books etc.
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I have wanted to post this for the last couple weeks but I just don’t have time to caption all the pictures. Enjoy!

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On the way to the airport leaving home

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On the first plane there of 3

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The clouds look like marshmallow fluff

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Tru was a lap child but he had his own seat when there were extras

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Plane window

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My arms were so tired of holding babies. On a 6ish hour layover, I opened our carry-on and Levi slept on Daddy's boxers

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DH and I were in misery on this 3rd flight. The babies both slept across our legs and it was very uncomfortable but good that they were able to sleep as it was a red eye flight

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Tru and I having our first bit of ocean shortly after landing

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The water is about to my knees here. Perfectly clear

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Utter exhaustion after a 19 plus hour trip. Taking a short nap

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Our first of 3 hotels. Our favorite by far

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Wakiki

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Diamond head. An extint volcano

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Tru loved feeding the birds. Im sure it was frowned upon

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Sandy protein bar... bleh!!

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Just peoples yards... oh how beautiful!!

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Elmo of course!

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View from 1st hotel

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LOVE that picture n the wall

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Tru loved to help push

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View from 2nd hotel

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Freshwater canal

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Love how there are plants growing all over that building

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2nd hotel - pretty nice overall

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Our one day car rental

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Last day... just soaking it up

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View from 3rd hotel

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We had a balcony at all 3 hotels. Very nice to enjoy

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3rd hotel

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With full kitchen. Older but still doable

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Fireworks on the beach

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Waiting for taxi to go to airport

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Levi didnt want to go home eithet

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Sometime during a 9 hour layover

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*Written 10-19-15 Also, I got wayyyy off on how many weeks Levi is. Oops!

Not too much to update this week. We are having more success with solids finally and have actually gotten almost 1 entire pouch of baby food down easily once or twice. Usually it’s just 1/4 to 1/2 maybe. But smashed peas out of our soup this evening were a big hit. As were tiny pieces of tater tots. He even tried a cookie at the grocery store today. Probably a bad move on my part! I am still just hoping Levi will start enjoying his baby food purees more. I have tried offering food before and after nursing. It doesn’t make a big difference really. For the sake of milk supply, I’d like it to be a little bit after so he doesn’t fill up too much to nurse. Made that mistake with Tru…

Levi saw some kids jumping around or something on TV the other day and he started laughing. He gets cracked up all the time about the silliest little things. He is always watching people and he generally finds them hilarious. 🙂 He seems to have a strong sense of humor which is exciting. 🙂

I think his size finally fits his age pretty well. He is just 1 day away from 7 months now and I don’t get weird looks when I tell people his age like I did when he was 2-5 months. Kind of makes me sad though that he is losing some of that baby chub!

He is army crawling and has very good forward propulsion. He forgot how to sit himself up but if we sit him up, he will stay there and play for awhile before gently and purposely falling over and rolling/scooting around.

Poor little guy seems to have a bit of a cold right now. He is congested to the point that I had to suction him this evening and he didn’t like that. He has coughed a little now and then but so far, no fever.

Those 2 teeth are in pretty far now and I can see them all the time when he smiles. He also likes to give me a bite now and then but it’s usually when he is on the boob too long. Sometimes he gets tired of it but doesn’t really want to be done so he just hangs on and eventually bites. OWW!

That’s all the new exciting news!

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Hard to believe he can already drive!

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We were hanging out on the porch while Tru played....

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...and then he got all silly on me. Such a ham!

I failed at taking pics this week. I’m sorry.

Dear God, I pray that Levi will adjust easily and happily to his new sleep habits and to eating the things he should eat at this stage and still drink plenty too. Thank You for his new skills with sitting and getting around. Please protect him and keep him healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Super boring sleep update. Feel free to skip. Sleep training is the name of the game this week! It’s funny that we are having to approach this subject yet again considering that Levi slept through the night from a few weeks old through the first several months of his life with a alittle tiny glitch around 4 months of course and again for the last few weeks. I put him to bed and he sleeps for a bit, then wakes up crying and wants to be held in our bed to fall asleep again and then back to sleep for a bit and the cycle repeats. Then he sleeps a few solid hours and wakes up once to nurse which he never used to do but I’m fine with it as I think as he gets bigger, he needs the extra milk because I can tell that he is really really hungry at that feeding. Then he sleeps well the rest of the night/morning and wakes up anywhere from 9am to 11am+. But, I’m a huge un-fan of co-sleeping in the same bed. I am uncomfortable and frankly, if it works for you, great, but I don’t know how to get comfortable and actually get good sleep. SO, I moved Levi to his “own” room (It’s not technically set up as a bedroom at the moment – we are working on that) tonight and so far he put himself to sleep in just a few minutes and went through one wake up/soothe himself back to sleep cycle already. He cried for just a couple minutes and it was more of a whine than actual cry. I just can’t have him doing that in our room because DH needs his sleep for his job. I worry about him if he doesn’t get enough sleep. Anyway, I plan to move him back to our room for the second half of the night so my paranoid self can also sleep a wink or two.

Naps are working pretty well when we actually are home to do them. I lay him down drowsy after a boob usually and he always fuss/cries but not for very long at all anymore. So operation CIO was a success/failure/success. I think every baby just responds and adjusts at different speeds and at different ages. Now, it’s no big deal to him. He fusses for a few minutes and doesn’t get very worked up. A couple months ago, it was terror and screaming and definitely a no-go just yet. Glad to have that mastered finally!

I’m having a hard time putting words to my feelings. I don’t want to offend anyone by writing this. I just want to be honest on here and display the whole picture of what it feels like for me personally after infertility.

Maybe that’s the problem right there… I don’t feel like I am post-infertility. And that is where I don’t want anyone to get upset with me. I understand, I do. I have 2 babies now. One of which was conceived the “natural” way without us trying. I know that it could come off pretty heartless and insensitive for me to come on here and post as if I am unaware of how blessed I have been. I have overcome infertility according to some, but that’s not really how I feel.

You see, I still feel broken. Why? Because I know that eventually we would like to have another baby. We are currently “trying” again. I am just feeling a little… I don’t really know how to put it… like we have no say-so in the matter. Most people choose to use birth “control” in-between children or when they are done having babies. But it’s like, we have built in birth control. And when we decide we want to have another baby and grow our family again, we don’t really know what that entails, how long that will take or if it will ever happen again no matter what we do.

It’s aggravating. It’s not like we are desperately waiting over here to have another baby. No. We have 2 little ones who require a LOT of attention right now. Being pregnant again right now would be pretty difficult, not that I would pass up the opportunity if it came along. Because I don’t really have the choice to wait a year or whatever like fertile women do and try again knowing that I will almost definitely get pregnant within a couple few months. I know it could take YEARS or, quite possibly never happen again. And that’s not a good feeling when you know you want another child sooner rather than later or never.

It’s just hard feeling entirely out of control. I know it’s ok because we have never had control over our fertility and yet, God has blessed us with our boys both in miraculous ways. I hope and pray that if it’s His will to give us another child, that He will.  And  if  not,  that  I  will  not  let  that  take  away  from  the  fact  that  our  family  is  very wonderful just the way it is. I am blessed. I am happy.

I feel like I kind of pushed infertility to the back of my mind (although it’s always lurking just at the surface) while I was pregnant with Levi and really, even up until the last bit. When ovulation occurred I remembered again how futile it all feels. But maybe it’s really not. I don’t want to take any credit away from what the Lord has done for us. What He has done, He can do again.

I’m just struggling a little right now with feeling so broken and like DH is broken also because we have no control over one of the most life-altering aspects of ourselves. Maybe this is how it should be for us though. To put all our hope and trust in God. We know we can do nothing without Him and I do trust that God knows what we need and what will be the best fit for our family, whether that is another child or not. I really don’t know how or why I even got down this path again…. I guess because of ovulation happening recently and my so-called fertility has “returned” but only sort of because, you know, we are still “infertile” as far as I know. Unless God has healed DH’s sperm issues and my issues and we just don’t know it. Which may well be the case and I certainly embrace any healing God wants to give us.

This time of year puts me in a more negative frame of mind also as we are approaching the 3 year anniversary of our first failed IVF. That whole hopeless feeling is just imbedded in this time of year for me. And maybe that is adding to these thoughts I’m having.

I sincerely hope this hasn’t upset anyone. I know that I probably sound so terribly ungrateful but I’m not, I promise. Infertility, it turns out, just really does a long lasting number on the heart.

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I felt the desire to honor the existence of the babies we conceived which never made their way into our arms but took a place in my heart. Because I believe that life starts at conception, I’ll always honor and love our embabies as well.
5 from our first IVF, the 2 that implanted with our second IVF but stopped growing at 5 and 6 weeks, and the 2 that we conceived naturally.
I thank the Lord for the chance I had to carry them, even for that short time.

I got bored of my frumpy style. I really just felt so frumpy and like I needed a positive change. So, whether it was a good move or not, I dyed my hair Dark Auburn. It came out Cherry Red which was fun and I LOVED it. But since I used a wash-out dye, it has lightened considerably and I don’t like it as well now. Since I know that I liked the color it was at first, I can always just dye it that color permanently. I felt fresh and lively. It was a good change. I also whitened my teeth which needed done and made me a little more happy with my ridiculously huge smile. 🙂

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I don't like taking selfies

I don’t really fit and/or have many winter outfits so I really want to go shopping for a few winter tops and maybe some jeans that don’t look stupid when I sit down. I am tall and when I sit, my jeans pull up showing my socks. Drives me crazy! I need to shop for some longs. I wear skirts a lot in the summer and I could in the winter too but I want leggings and some better skirts. In short, I want to look like an adult, not someone who has no clue how to adult.

I am in the 2ww right now. Crazy, right?! I hadn’t had a cycle postpartum yet which I was LOVING! Then last week I started getting that familiar stabbing in my ovaries and I was pretty sure it was ovulation. Took a CBD ovulation test and sure enough, smiley face! I waited a bit and tried again just to be sure and same thing. I showed DH when he got home. I figured he had a right to know where things were at. He smiled and was acting so happy/scared and I finally realized, he thought it was a pregnancy test. How he doesn’t know the difference is beyond me! Anyway, I cleared that up with him. I don’t know if I ovulated that day or the next but we gave it a whirl *wink* so technically I am in the 2ww. It’s up to God what happens now. I have not forgotten our statistical less than 1% chance. I also have a beautiful little “naturally conceived”  boy who proves that God is bigger than the odds and statistics so… We shall see what we shall see. I am perfectly fine with another baby now and I think having them close is actually what works well for our family. But again, it’s up to God. I am leaving it in His hands.

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That’s pretty much it for me right now. This whole being a mom thing is crazy… crazy wonderful!!!! I was sitting in the living room the other night after everyone went to bed and I was just thinking:

• This place is a disaster. There was hardly a place to step foot between clothes that I was sorting for the boys to grow into, dirty laundry, toys, and who knows what was hidden under all that.
• But I love it that the place was a mess! I thank God that I have little people who run/roll around and make messes and have fun all day.
• I feel like I don’t get to spend enough time just enjoying them. I need to make a better point of setting aside distraction free time where I just focus on them.   While they are happy.
• Tru is 2 and it is clear to me that this whole thing about time flying is not just some silly cliche. It is true!! Time seriously is going way too fast and all I know to do is to focus on living in the moment….
• And take lots of pictures/videos!!

We have a sitter now!! On 10-11-15, we were at my parents house chatting and Levi was laying on the floor on his belly and out of nowhere he just sat up! He feel over after a bit because we were clapping and he tried to clap too. It was the one thing too many… Plus, he really can’t clap yet. The next day he started army crawling a little. My baby is growing up so fast! It’s crazy!! I love how Levi thinks it is his job to spread joy and love to everyone he meets. He smiles at absolutely everybody. He first looks at them and then a little smile spreads across his chubby little face. If they don’t smile back (WHAT IS WRONG WITH THOSE PEOPLE), he looks at me like he just doesn’t understand. I loved watching him smile at all the new people he met on our trip… which I still need to post about once I get all the pictures sorted into the appropriate places.

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At their dr appointment

This is our second week back home and I just unpacked today. Pitiful, I know. And that was only because I was babysitting and they were keeping the babies entertained so I went through the house and did some pretty hefty cleaning. But that’s not about Levi… anyway, he had his 6 month check up a couple weeks late last week and he is in the 90th percentile for weight now at 20lbs 8 oz, the 98th for height at 28.5″, and head circumference still in the 25th at 43cm. Overall he looked great. 🙂

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And this is how mommy goes pee at the grocery store

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Such loving little buddies

We started solids last week and he HATES purees. We try every day to introduce new flavors and it’s the texture he can’t get over. He likes: tater tots, fries and ketchup, stuffing, licking the flavor off chips and whatever it was that I spied my Aunt feeding him at a family party on Sunday. I know there was fruit dip involved… But no flavor of baby food will interest him at all at this point. Today, I managed to get one whole pouch down him which is the most he has ever let me feed him and I think that was mostly because he liked having the spout in his mouth. But he may just not do purees and you know what? That’s ok! Aside from the fact that I have went crazy stocking up every time I have coupons for awhile now and I have a TON of baby food. I do feel a bit deprived if he really won’t let me have the fun of feeding him…  😦  As  long  as  he’s  healthy.  That’s  all  that  matters.

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So snuggly in his sleep sack

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Happily boobin'

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I could stare at that face all day

So:
• sitting
• army crawling
• eating various junk foods
• smiling and being generally adorable
• starting  to  finally get off of Hawaii time and sleep through the night again
• biting

Those are pretty much the highlights for Levi.

Dear God, I am so excited for the new things that Levi has learned recently. Please keep him safe as he continues to explore his world. I pray that he will eat good healthy food that is noising to him. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Where has the time gone? My baby is a boy now and he likes to remind me of that all the time. “Boy!”, he tells me. Nope, he’s not a baby anymore. 😦

On a few of our flights this past week, Tru actually let me hold him until he fell asleep in my arms. It was so wonderful! I don’t think he has slept in my arms any since before Levi was born and even then, not much. I just stared at his beautiful little face, so amazed at how perfect his features are and so soft and smooth.

It’s hard to believe so much perfection grew inside me.

He has his own preferences and needs. Things that are important to him. Places he wants to go and doesn’t yet understand why he can’t.

He holds my hand while we walk and I just soak in the feeling of that tiny little hand, holding on to me. Trusting my guidance even if he doesn’t agree with where we are going or how we are getting there.

I could learn from that.

Tru likes to be taken care of. It makes him feel loved. I think that’s pretty normal really except Tru seems to really appreciate our care for him. He pats my back while I carry him. He hugs me when I change his clothes. He stands still and happily let’s me apply his sunblock. He wants to be buckled in his stroller. He knows he is being cared for and he loves it.

He shows this same affection towards his brother, always wanting to care for him as well. He likes to bring me my water or phone even though I’m not asking.

He is independent. He can put on his own clothes if you tell him to. He puts on his shoes. He wants to use a big cup and straw. He is getting really good using a fork and spoon.

Yes, he’s a big boy now, but he’s my baby. 🙂

Dear God, thank You for 2 years (and 9 months) with this sweet little boy. I love being his mommy! He is such a beautiful gift. Please protect him and keep him healthy and strong. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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