Twin Pregnancy Log – Weeks 21 through 28

Week 21: I had my second anatomy ultrasound on March 28th, 2017. It took over 90 minutes! They checked all of the babies’ systems and bones. The ultrasound tech kept saying how beautiful they are, so I took that as a really good sign. The boy is approximately 14 ounces, and the girl is about 12 ounces. They are slightly big for their “age,” so they are growing just fine! The boy is head-down closer to the exit and the girl is a little higher up on my right, but they are still moving around a lot. My vitals are also very good — whew — but the weight gain has taken off. I am gaining about 1.5 pounds per week now, which is good and normal, but gah! I am going to gain a lot. The doctor said it is fine if I gain 60 pounds!! I am aiming for 40. (I’ve already gained about 10.) The doctor also said I really need to take it more easy and not worry about exercising. She was concerned with my uterine cramping and the tendency for twins to cause pre-term labor. She said I should try to NOT pick up Ken anymore, which will be hard. But if I don’t take care of myself, I could be put on bed rest!!

I can feel the babies’ movements really well now, which is mostly fun. There are still tougher days and easier days, but I’ve actually gotten some good sleep lately. And I’ve had a few days straight of NO HEARTBURN, so that is exciting! On the advice of a pregnant friend, I got some doTERRA DigestZen oil and I think it actually works to prevent heartburn. I need to keep testing it, but right now, I’d recommend it!

Week 22: I definitely have good days and bad days at this point. Sometimes I am up to tackling most of my usual activity — housework, walking all of Brooklyn, carrying Ken up the stairs, etc — but there are other times when I get out of breath just standing up. I’ve also had a few days of some cramping and pelvic pressure, so I have been trying not to push myself too hard. We had a really busy weekend with lots of fun with friends and I felt pretty good, so that is encouraging!

Week 23: This has been a pretty good week. My belly is definitely growing (and itching! I need to get some belly oil. Or just use all of the coconut oil I have on hand!) and the babies are moving around a lot! I had a quick ultrasound on Thursday and my cervix looks good. I had been worried because of my previous uterine cramping, but things seem to be progressing smoothly. The babies have moved positions slightly. The boy is still on the bottom, but he is slightly breech now, and the girl is laying transverse on the top with her back facing out. Neither would really cooperate for any good photos.

Week 24: I made it to the viability milestone! Hooray! That basically means that if the twins were born today (at 24 weeks), they would most likely survive. But of course, we want them to stay in for as long as possible. The doctors have just been very serious about pre-term labor, so it feels good to have at least made it this far.

I was really strict when I was pregnant with Kenneth and tried not to touch any type of caffeine. This time around I have been a little more lenient with tea and decaf coffee… but it isn’t worth it! It gives me so much heartburn! Especially anything from Starbucks. So, I am rededicating myself to abstaining as much as possible. It is hard. I have also been avoiding a lot of different foods (salads, deli meat, cold sandwiches, etc) because I am really scared of getting food poisoning ever since we caught those two big stomach bugs over the winter. It is a little irrational, but I just don’t want to get sick again. Barfing while pregnant is not fun. I am worried that my nutrition is not quite as stellar this time around.

Week 25: This pregnancy is getting hard! I know I have said that before and I know that it is only going to get harder, but man, it is starting to really affect my day to day life. I have some back pain and lots of heart burn. I pee all the time and don’t sleep great. Everything makes me out of breath, like standing, walking up hill, blow drying my hair, etc. And I have so much nasal congestion, which you would think would be the least of my problems, but only breathing out of your mouth for months at a time gets really gross and uncomfortable.

Want more unsolicited ranting?? Daily tasks (like picking ken up at school, shopping, walking up stairs) are getting very difficult and it feels like no one outside of myself has any concept of how difficult. I walk down the street with a giant belly, a 33 pound toddler in a stroller, a diaper bag, and bags of groceries, and there is like only a 25% chance that people will even move out of the way on the sidewalk ramps. I really feel like the attitude in NYC is that if you choose to have kids, you have to deal with it 100% your self. No mercy for the weak. I am a very independent person who is up for the task… but would it hurt the single young men without even a messenger bag to weigh them down to maybe let me have the right of way on the sidewalk ramp?!

Now, of course, there are always some very nice people out there holding doors and being patient with Ken. And certainly, I don’t know what is happening in the lives of those single guys, so I shouldn’t really judge their behavior. And my pregnancy is progressing so well and I know that is an extreme blessing. But PREGNANCY IS HARD. Not to mention twin pregnancy while wrangling a toddler. And did I mention Travis was out of town for three days this week? And I have no family support in town? And we are MOVING on Saturday? And child care costs anywhere from $15 to $100 an hour? I guess I am just feeling like no one is acknowledging how hard it is to grow, birth, and raise babies full-time… but isn’t that the unending, unheard complaint of women since the beginning of time?? My only choice is to suck it up and keep working. No one is coming to save me.

My weight is really spiking. It feels like my belly (and boobs) got considerably larger this week. But I am also afraid the rest of my body is getting fat. My weight gain is a month ahead of what it was during the last pregnancy and I think my belly is as big as it was right before Ken was born! Even if the rest of my body isn’t necessarily larger at this point, my body fat percentage is definitely higher. Which is very normal for pregnancy, but I just hate thinking about all the work it will take to get back in shape. Ugh. I am so worn out all of the time these days that even light exercise feels ridiculous. I did some squats and I nearly passed out.

I had an ultrasound and doctors appointment on Friday, April 28th. All looks good and the babies are laying transverse with their heads on the left. We were able to get a pretty cute 3D photo of baby girl, but baby boy wouldn’t quite cooperate. Baby boy weighs and estimated 1 lb 12 oz (64% percentile) and baby girl weighs 1 lb 8 oz (21% percentile). It is always fun to see them and be reassured that they are doing just fine in there.

Week 26: This was a tough week. We moved into our new (rental) house last weekend but didn’t have gas service all week. Which meant no cooking and no warm water. I had to go back to the doctor on Thursday for the second gestational diabetes glucose test. Bummer. (And I seriously almost passed out after the test while trying to do some shopping in the city. Turns out you need more than some almonds and water to eat after fasting for 18 hours and having four blood draws!) Then yesterday our basement flooded. Not great. All of it has set back our unpacking, so we are still living out of boxes and spending way too much on take out food. When I get stressed and tired my emotions sort of just settle on self-pity… so it hasn’t been easy to “cherish every moment” of this pregnancy lately… BUT the good news is the gas got turned back on tonight and I took my first real shower in a week!! So things are looking up!

Week 27: This week marks the end of the second trimester. (Or maybe next week? Depending on which pregnancy calendar you follow.) It is kind of mind blowing, but I also can’t believe I have so many weeks left. At this time during my first pregnancy I was still running! That seems completely inconceivable at this point in this twin pregnancy. My belly is huge. I think just as big as just before I delivered Ken. Stretch marks are starting to show up. Ugh. The good news is that I passed the second gestational diabetes test with totally normal numbers. Whew. Thank goodness because I am really craving a lot of sweets. Also trying my best to eat a lot of protein and fruits and veggies, don’t worry.

We have settled into the new house a bit more, which feels great. but we still have a lot of organizing to do. Of course, I want everything to be as ready and clean and organized as possible before the twins arrive…. but there is so much to do! And so many more things to buy! Ugh. Dressers, strollers, car seats, and oh ya, maybe a car?! We need to stay on task!

Week 28: Happy/scared to be officially into my third trimester. My body is definitely showing it! I had an ultrasound and doctors appointment on Tuesday, May 16th. The babies look “beautiful” as the techs and doctors keep saying (but we didn’t really get any good ultrasound pictures) and all my stats are looking good, too.

The girl is still positioned on top and the boy on the bottom. They are still transverse, but they flipped sides and now have their heads on my right. I am slightly nervous about them getting into birthing position (head down) but they are moving around a ton (sometimes it is pretty uncomfortable) and they still have lots of time to get ready. I am very thankful that this is basically turning out to be an optimal twin pregnancy, but man, it is getting REAL! The doctor measured my belly and it is just as large as a 39 week belly for a singleton pregnancy. And I have at least two more months to get so much bigger! I really can’t wrap my head around it. I already feel gigantic. They doctor is totally happy with my weight gain — I’ve gained about 22 pounds. Not bad really, but I also started a little heavier than I’d like. I’m probably going to gain 20 more pounds before this is all over. I am trying to be ok with it… but my rear end is getting fat! ugh.

I finished up week 28 by attending the wedding of our dear friends, Joel and Amanda. (Grandpa was in town for a half marathon and generously babysat Kenneth. Hooray!) It was a beautiful, fun event and it made me really happy to have such good and supportive friends. And I am glad that I am still somewhat capable of socializing late into the night… but oof, I was so sore just from standing for a few hours. There is a lot of pressure on my hips, pelvic floor, legs, feet, etc. I want to keep pushing myself to do as much as I can during this pregnancy, but it is getting more uncomfortable. And oh right, the doctor says I need to rest more, not pick up Ken, not worry about exercising, and even cut out too much walking. Oops. I am not good at any of those things.

Anyway, I am scared about what will happen to my body, but I also know that being pregnant with twins is a really unique experience that not many get to go through. I am trying to take it all in. Like a lot of things in life (like raising children?) I think the experience, despite its amazing parts, is just difficult enough to not really make you want to do it all again… but I also know we will look back on this as one of the most magical, wild, fun times of our lives. It is strange and wonderful how life works out. We couldn’t have planned it this way even if we had tried, but we are up for the adventure!

Twin Pregnancy Log – Weeks 15 through 20

Week 15: I started off my second trimester a little sick after a fun-filled trip to DisneyWorld with our sweet first-born. Being sick and pregnant is not fun. I hope this is my last illness for the duration, because it will only get harder! I feel like my baby bump became real this week. My normal jeans felt too tight last week, so I finally just broke out my maternity jeans. They are still too big, but I wanted to be comfortable. I already feel huge after eating meals, but I know that this is just the very beginning. I still haven’t really gained weight, but I think it will be coming soon. I have been drinking bone broth and trying to avoid too much sugar. I don’t have a lot of cravings, but fried chicken still sounds good. The nausea is pretty much gone, but I am getting heartburn a lot more frequently… which I know will just get worse. Overall, being pregnant with twins is difficult — I feel out of breath nearly all the time — but I know that I am still in the easy part.

Week 16: This week started off with really bad headaches and a lingering cold. I got a little worried. But I started feeling much better throughout the week. We also had awesome weather in Brooklyn, which helped. My baby bump is definitely showing now. I can still wear many of my normal pants, but I can’t really suck in my stomach and hide it these days. My appetite seems to have picked up a bit, but I still get full easily and have heartburn off and on.

Week 17: I started gaining weight this week. Ugh. I know that I have to gain 1-2 pounds a week, but I am still pretty stressed about how huge I am going to get.

February 28th, 2017: I had my first anatomy ultrasound today… and one of the babies is a girl!! I am so excited and happy. I really thought I would have all boys, so this is a really fun surprise. Perfect.

Week 18: Heartburn, nasal congestion, and a frequent need to pee are daily symptoms. I get up to pee most during most nights and it is daunting to think that I won’t have a full, uninterrupted night of sleep for a long time. I overdid it a few days this week walking all over Brooklyn. It takes me longer to recover from tiring days. And I’ve had some uterine cramping this week, which is slightly worrisome. But overall, I know I am doing well and feeling relatively good. My belly is definitely big and bold. I am wearing mostly maternity pants at this point. I am pretty freaked out about how big I’m going to get… I have a long way to go…

Week 19: I had a check up ultrasound on Thursday, March 17th, 2017, and all looks good. They were mostly checking out my cervix, but I got to see the babies, too. Two strong heartbeats, all the organs, and two very distinct genders! The twins are moving into positions more parallel to my body and are side by side, boy on my left, girl on my right. I’m feeling extremely fortunate, but also always slightly nervous about them coming too early. And also always terrified about how big I’m going to get!

I’ve been feeling indistinct “activity” from the twins for a couple weeks, but this week it has become a little more recognizable. I can’t really pinpoint which baby is moving or what they are doing, but there are definitely two different sides of movement. It is crazy to see them wiggling about on the ultrasound, happy to each be doing their thing.

Week 20: It feels good to be at the half way point of this pregnancy… but it is daunting to think I have 4-5 months left to get bigger and bigger!! Two babies definitely take up more space than one! I’ve been able to feel the twins moving around a lot and am overall feeling pretty good… except for, you know, constant heart burn, shortness of breath, muscle craps, and nasal congestion. Honestly, I am feeling really fine and I know that I am extremely fortunate to be progressing through this pregnancy healthily, so I don’t have any serious complaints…. only non-serious ones. Ha. In the mornings, when the babies are all tucked in and inactive, I feel great. Pregnancy is no big deal! But by the end of the day, when I have food in my system (and therefore heartburn), I’m sore and exhausted from too much walking and too many stairs, and the babies are all stretched out and pushing on everything, it all feels a lot more difficult. I really can’t believe I am only half way through this! But I try to keep in mind that it is not every day that a person is pregnant with twins, and it is a grand adventure! So, I’ll just try to appreciate the experience. It must be hormonal, but I have been really in love with Kenneth and Travis and even Crusher these days. I am just feeling so grateful for our little family and excited to be doing this all with them.

Twin Pregnancy Log – the first trimester

Wow! So by now you already know that Travis and I are expecting twins this summer. A major surprise! I didn’t keep as detailed a log as I did during my first pregnancy, but I wanted to publish some of my thoughts as a record of how we got here…

In the beginning… I ran the NYC Marathon with my dad on November 6th — fun! — and for TMI, I also happened to be on my period that weekend. My last period for a while, it turns out. Travis and I had already planned to start trying to expand our family after I finished the marathon, we just really didn’t expect it to all happen so fast. We were pregnant two weeks later!

Weeks 3-4: I really wasn’t expecting it, but in the week before I was supposed to have my next period I experienced three things that hadn’t happened since I was pregnant with Ken: 1. I had bad heartburn, 2. I had cramping in my lower ab muscles, 3. Crusher started sleeping with me in bed right by my belly every night. I thought, “hmm, that is weird, but even if I WAS pregnant, there is no way I would already have symptoms. It is too early.” (It was technically only week 3 at this point.) But I took the pregnancy test on December 2nd (a day before my expected period) and it was positive! Very exciting, but pretty baffling that it happened in basically one try!

Sidenote: I was trying to get into a new OB/Gyn practice (Downtown Women) and had made an appointment in early November. But the appointment was cancelled by their office and rescheduled twice. By the time I was rescheduling it the final time, I was pregnant… and THEY DON”T TAKE NEW PREGNANT CLIENTS! So… I am once again at NYU Langone OB/Gyn, and I actually couldn’t be happier. I really like Dr. Fanti and Dr. Conroy and have had a really positive experience at all of my visits so far. I just wish the hospital and offices were a little closer to home…

Weeks 5-9: Because of the holidays, I wasn’t able to schedule my first doctor appointment until January 11th. I didn’t want to let anyone (other than Travis) know about the pregnancy until after it was checked out — I am a little bit cautious/superstitious about that kind of thing — but I slipped and told a few close mom friends in December (only because they knew that we were trying). I felt really fatigued and nauseous in December, but it hit me hardest while we were in Kansas City visiting family for Christmas. Weeks 7 & 8 were brutal. I was so tired and really nauseous all the time. This pregnancy felt a lot harder than Ken’s, but it is difficult to tell how much is just in your head. BUT, I am trying to trust myself more and remind myself that I am objectively NOT a wimpy person and if something feels really tough, it probably is. So, I really did have a feeling that this pregnancy was different, and I was actively worried that it might be twins. This is a photo of me partying on New Year’s Eve…

We hadn’t planned to tell our families about the pregnancy over the holidays, but it couldn’t exactly be avoided. Many people noticed that I wasn’t running or drinking coffee or alcohol, and then my sweet in-laws gifted us a summer vacation for Christmas… and we had to let them know that I might not be able to travel. Everyone was excited, but I think also a little overwhelmed since there was already so much excitement happening over the holidays. Oh, and our whole family got a terrible stomach bug at the end of our trip and were barfing and super sick the first week we were back in Brooklyn in January. Not good. I was worried about the pregnancy when I was barfing and barfing, but it seemed unaffected.

Weeks 10 – 13: I already said it, but this pregnancy has just been HARD. I am out of breath basically whenever I do any activity. I ran a few times early on in the pregnancy, but by week 10 it just didn’t feel worth it to waste my energy. I have to save it to carry Ken up all the stairs to our apartment! I regret that I have not exercised much during this pregnancy at all, but I am staying active and walking a lot, chasing Ken around, plus trying to do some random strength exercises here and there. In addition to breathlessness, I also have a lot of nasal congestion and tons of heartburn. Ugh.

On January 11th, 2017 (during week 10), I had my first ultrasound and doctor’s appointment. Travis didn’t come because he was watching Ken, but I wish he could have been there. As soon as the tech put in the internal ultrasound wand, she said, “IT’S TWINS!” It was a fun/shocking/happy moment that I hope I always remember. I think I said something like, “Thank goodness I’m not crazy!” I just had a feeling it was twins all along. But it was still a mind-blowing moment to have it confirmed. (I should note here that my mom and my paternal grandmother also had fraternal twins, so it was on my radar.)

The day after we found out that we were having twins, we left for Bermuda! We had planned the trip over six months prior so that Travis could run the Bermuda Triangle Challenge. I ran/walked the 10k with him. It went really well, but I didn’t feel like pushing my body too hard. The trip was a lot of fun and felt like a mini babymoon. And the next weekend (Week 11) I went to DC with my friend Jessica for the Women’s March. It was another successful trip and I was able to walk many miles without much fatigue.

I had a second ultrasound and a meeting with a high risk doctor on January 31st (during week 13). The babies both looked great — moving around like crazy! — and I also checked out all good. I started this pregnancy 2-3 lbs heavier than my previous pregnancy, which of course irked me, but I guess it isn’t too bad. I lost a few lbs in the first trimester, but basically stayed pretty steady and was still wearing all normal pants and clothes at this point. The doctor emphasized how much more of a metabolic load growing two humans is and stressed that I may have trouble eating enough calories each day. (Up to 700 extra calories a day!) I scoffed. Eating enough is never my problem! But… with all the heartburn, fullness, and fatigue, it may actually get more difficult…

We ended week 13 by signing a lease on a new rental house in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. When we learned we were having twins we just knew we had to leave our fourth-floor walk-up apartment. The small size could be doable, but it is just too hard to climb the stairs while pregnant, not to mention with three kids! Despite being farther from the city, the house should be very nice (with a garage, yard, and basement!) but there have been a few delays with our move-in date. We hope to be in it by the end of April.

Week 14: When we found out we were pregnant, Travis and I couldn’t resist booking a trip to Disney World with Kenneth! We wanted to really spoil him and celebrate him for his second birthday before his siblings arrive. We had a wonderful trip with him! It was so fun to spend four days straight as a family, just making sure he was having a blast. I was feeling a little better nausea-wise at this point, so the trip was actually pretty easy. BUT it also seemed to be the week when my belly started to pop out. I had brought all normal pants and shorts and they were feeling tight! By the last day, I had to resort to stretchy pants! (Seen below.)

So… we are on our way to becoming a family of five! (Six if you don’t forget Crusher.) We are really excited and a little terrified. But mostly I feel very grateful that everything has gone smoothly so far. I am constantly aware that pre-term labor or other complications are more likely with multiples, so I am trying to be mindful about taking it easy and listening to my body. I will keep you updated on my progress in future logs… stay tuned!

BIG BROTHER!

Kenneth has a super big announcement….

He is going to be a BIG BROTHER! ……times TWO!

I am pregnant with twins!! It just might be the biggest surprise of our life. And we just found out at the ultrasound yesterday that we are having a boy and a girl! The babies are due in early August.

We are really happy and excited… and overwhelmed. This weekend we are moving to a bigger house in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It has all been a whirlwind, but Kenneth is taking it in stride. We know he is going to be a wonderful big brother.

Kenneth at TWO YEARS!

On January 8th, Kenneth turned TWO!! Two years with my sweet, funny, active baby boy. It is hard to imagine how we got here so quickly! It has all been a whirlwind of playgrounds, pizza, and Buzz Lightyear!

Fun facts about Kenneth at two:

  • At his 2-year doctor’s appointment, Ken weighed 30 lbs and 9 oz. He was 37.25 inches tall! Very tall. He was a real champ and took his shots and finger prick without any tears. He actually likes going to the doctor and is really cooperative. Such a good boy!
  • He is learning all sorts of new words every day! His pronunciation is getting better and he uses quite a few multiple word phrases.
  • He can recognize and say all the letters of the alphabet, most colors, numbers 1-5, and most animals and animal sounds. The letters F and H are hard for him to say, but he is getting better and better.
  • He loves it when we sing him lullabies before bed. He prefers them to books, but we try to do both. He requests the songs by name: like “Rock Baby,” “Row Boat,” and “E-I-E-I-O.”
  • He is loving school. He goes twice a week for three hours at a time. He has a best friend named Jack in his class.
  • His favorite foods are cheesy pasta, chocolate milk, juice, bacon, hot dogs, and lollipops. So healthy! But he will eat a lot of fruit, eggs, yogurt, some cooked beans and veggies, chicken, and cereal. He has been talking a lot about “tacos” lately, but I don’t think he’s ever actually eaten an assembled taco… hmmm.
  • He loves to JUMP on, off, and over everything!! I think he is pretty good at it. Ha.

Instead of having a party for his second birthday, we decided to take Kenneth to DisneyWorld. We just couldn’t resist spoiling our only sweet baby! We all had a really great time. Travis and I loved spending all day, every day with him. He loved the rides, the characters, and all the new toys he brought home. He especially loved meeting Buzz Lightyear and riding the Buzz Lightyear ride. Forcing a toddler to nap each day in the middle of the Disney excitement was the hardest part, and we all got a sore throat/cold by the last day, but overall, it was a magical trip.

It is so fun to have a little son. It is a privilege to get to watch him grow up and learn new things everyday. My wish for him is that he continues to have a happy, healthy, safe, challenging, rewarding life full of love. I will do everything in my power to make that possible… including buying waaaay too many Buzz Lightyear toys.

Women’s March on Washington

Today I am sad. But tomorrow I take action! I will be traveling to Washington DC for the Women’s March.

For me, the march is not anti-Trump or anti-anything. It is pro-women, pro-human rights, and pro-diversity. I am excited to stand up for my values and have my voice “on record” for all to see. This is the sign I will be carrying.

Will you be marching tomorrow?

one little word 2017

Well… Happy New Year! Gosh, the end of 2016 was a real doozy. Of course, I voted for Hillary Clinton in November, and as we all know, someone shockingly unqualified and extremely offensive is our president instead. I am scared. But that brings me to my word for 2017:

COURAGE

Instead of setting New Year’s resolutions, I pick a word to focus on for each new year. It gives me focus and a broad goal to set my sights on. In 2017, I am going to try to live with courage. It means facing challenges with calm determination. Not giving into despair. Keeping the hope alive that good will prevail. It definitely applies to our political climate — I hope to be much more politically active and engaged this year — but it also applies to my personal life. Travis and I have some big decisions to make this year and some big adventures to tackle. It will probably include a move… and I already know it includes big surprises. I will try to approach it all with courage.

When I find myself in a doubting place, wondering if I can handle it all, I have a new defiant mantra: “You have no idea how strong I am!”

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My past words:

2016: balance
2015: love
2014: optimism
2013: sweetness
2012: explore
2011: peace
2010: wonder
2009: busy
2008: hope

What is your one little word for 2017?

Kenneth at 18 months…

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As usual, Kenneth has been growing and learning at an amazing rate! …and I am continuing to do a less than stellar job documenting it all. I recently got out his baby book to try to do some scrapbooking, but then Ken woke up from his nap and the book has been sitting on my desk ever since. Someday I’ll get it all done!

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For now, here are some fun facts about Kenneth at 18 months:

  • Ken recently had his 18 month doctor check up. He weighed 25.5 lbs and is 35.5 inches tall. He has caught up to the same height that Travis was at 18 months! But he is three pounds lighter – eek!
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  • He absolutely is obsessed with balls, his stuffed rabbit, and Buzz Lightyear. He wants to watch Toy Story any time we will let him. He just asks for “buuuuz?”
  • He has all of his front teeth and his molars. He basically eats whatever we are eating and has been avoiding baby food packets. He is sometimes picky, but he usually loves bananas, strawberries, cheese, pickles, muffins, yogurt, eggs, milk, and juice. Juice is his favorite treat! Well, other than actual treats. He knows how to say donut and loves ice cream!
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  • He is babbling all the time lately. His favorite phrase seems to be “douga douga douga do.” We don’t know what it means… yet. He has also recently learned to say “more,” which has come in handy. He often wants “more milk!” He attempts to repeat all sorts of words, but multiple syllables are still tricky. He also seems to get frustrated more often when he can’t communicate what he wants. He has been doing a lot of forceful pointing!
  • He is eager to read books with us before bedtime, and even “reads” to us sometimes. He is learning his colors and can point them out when asked (most of the time). He also pretends to count things. He doesn’t know the numbers, but points at things and makes them up. Very cute.
  • He loves running, climbing, and hanging. He climbs on the furniture now, and can even climb up ladders at the playground all by himself.
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  • The week of his actual 18 month “birthday,” Kenneth’s Aunt Chelsea and Uncle Myles came to visit. They stayed with us and Ken had a great time showing them around the city. He especially loved our trip to the Natural History Museum.
  • Last week we were in Portland visiting Kenneth’s cousin Ela. He loved her and wanted to give her a lot of hugs. Tomorrow we leave for Kansas to meet his cousin Emmett!

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Ken is turning into a boy right before our eyes! It is such a fun journey, but I just wish I could remember and capture very moment. (Well, except for maybe the post-travel nap fights…) I love this fun boy so much!!

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Kenneth at 15 months…

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Even though I can’t keep track of him every month like I did for the first year, Kenneth has been learning so many new things that I feel like I must write some of it down!

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Fun Facts about Kenneth at 15 months:

  • Kenneth had his 15-month check-up at the doctors last week. He is 33 inches tall and almost 25 lbs. He is exactly half of my height at this point and still above the 95th percentile for his age. He is definitely a big boy!
  • Two additional bottom teeth grew in over the last month or two, for a total of 8 teeth.
  • He is awesome at walking and can also climb stairs and do a little running. He also figured out how to ride his scooter this week! Wow.
  • He can drink from a sippy cup, from a straw, and even from a regular glass, but that can get messy quick. He also loves eating with a spoon or fork. He really LOVES dipping his food in dips. And Travis taught him how to do “cheers,” so he insists on clinking his sippy cup before nearly every drink.
  • He is working on talking and attempts to use a lot of words. Some of his most common words are: Dad, dog, ya, yes, sock, shoe, teeth, cheese, good, milk, juice, eye… I am sure there are more. His pronunciation is not very good yet, but he definitely knows what each of those words mean and tries his best to say them.
  • We traveled around Europe over the last month and Kenneth did a great job. He was so flexible and slept well at all the many different hotels. His favorite parts of the trip were the hotel bathtubs and the playgrounds we found in each city. He wasn’t a huge fan of museums, but he did like trying lots of new foods. He really loved Hungarian goulash!
  • He is still taking his Moozika class, plus we added on a Gymboree “Learn & Play” class, and this week he starts a “Little Hatchlings” class at the Prospect Park Zoo. I am hoping he keeps socializing more and more so that he will be prepared to start a bit of preschool when he turns two.

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He is learning and changing so fast that even though I have taken 3000 photos of him since his first birthday, I feel like I am not capturing all of his amazingness. I love him so much at this age! We are really having fun with him and just don’t want the time to pass too quickly!

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Kenneth at ONE YEAR!

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Happy birthday, Kenneth!! One year ago my sweet, funny, determined, cute, wild, magical baby boy was born. It was the best day of my life. Now he is a one-year-old. I am excited, but emotional. I am sad that one whole year of our time together has passed. I’ve loved having him as my little baby.

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Fun Facts about Kenneth at one:

  • Ken is often a serious boy, especially when tired, but he is loosening up and finding his sense of humor. He loves being chased, caught, and tickled. He loves feeding food to Crusher. It cracks him up every time. He still likes peek-a-boo and doing pop-ups behind the coffee table. He likes his toys, especially his new ones. And, he loves throwing around balls with dad and Crusher.
  • Ken absolutely adores music. He does a little bouncy dance whenever he hears music, and he wants to play ukuleles with his dad every day. Hoot n Nanny (grandma and grandpa Johnson) gave Ken a child’s guitar/ukulele for his birthday and he already knows how to hold it and strum it. We re-enrolled in the winter session of Moozika class and he enjoys all the familiar songs and new instruments to play.
  • Ken is walking! Sort of. He has been taking unsupported steps for over a month now, and can do quite a few steps in a row… but he still much prefers crawling. I want to encourage him to become a true walker, but he is stubborn when prompted to walk on command. He seems to only walk in significant amounts when he is playing on his own and isn’t really thinking about it too much.
  • Ken can climb stairs! He even climbs up many of the stairs up to our apartment, and feels quite proud of himself when he does.
  • Ken’s favorite books right now are the “Pat the Bunny” series. I keep them on the nightstand in our bedroom and he crawls in there at least once a day to pull them out and play with them. He thinks all books should be interactive and is disappointed when they aren’t. Travis and I got him “Pat the Christmas Bunny” and “Pat the Birthday Bunny” for the respective holidays.
  • I’ve started the weaning process with Ken. I am really surprised I made it a full year with breastfeeding, but now that it is easier and more convenient, I am surprised at how reluctant I am to let it go. Like all things related to being a mom, there was a lot of pressure to breast feed. Now, I feel like there is a lot of pressure to get him weaned asap. I think I could do it really quickly, if I wanted, but for now I’m taking it slow and trying not to cause him too much distress. He is down to 1-2 feedings a day, so we are getting there.
  • He loves giving and receiving kisses, as seen below. We are working on teaching him how to blow a kiss.

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Ken’s Birthday Party:

We traveled to Kansas City for Christmas and New Years, and we decided to stay an extra week so that we could celebrate Kenneth’s first birthday with family. The party was a success! We decorated Hoot n Nanny’s house, brought in some barbecue, and I even made a #1-shaped cake! Lots of family came to celebrate, which was wonderful, but it also overwhelmed Ken a bit. He did really well, but it was hard to get any photos of him smiling.

I made him a little “smash cake” of his own to try. He was sort of interested in it, but didn’t do a full-on smash with it. I probably took it away from him too early, but his grandma was really worried about him eating too much. He also got to try some ice cream and chocolate. He loved them both!

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Kenneth received so many fun toys for his birthday and Christmas, including an awesome drum set, a mini guitar, a new puffy coat, and so much more! He is a lucky boy. We were able to bring much of his new loot home and it hasn’t quite pushed us out of our apartment yet…

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After twelve months of publishing these updates, I know I am getting repetitive, but it is such a privilege to watch this new, little human figure out the world and grow up. Nearly everyday — even through the crying and poop and carrying the stroller up endless stairs — I am thankful that parenthood is part of my life experience. It isn’t easy at all. Staying home with an energetic, inquisitive, nonverbal entity nearly 24-hours a day can be monotonous and overwhelming sometimes, but I enjoy it. My love for this little person has transformed my life. I look forward to all of our future years together.

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Also, check out Kenneth at one month, Kenneth at two months, Kenneth at three months, Kenneth at four months, Kenneth at five months, Kenneth at six months, Kenneth at seven months, Kenneth at eight months, Kenneth at nine months, Kenneth at ten months, and Kenneth at eleven months.