Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lukas: Our little man at 10 months

"Little man" does seem to be the perfect name for Lukas these days, as he has grown up so much in the past month. Not only has he had a physical growth spurt, gaining 1 lb. 4 oz. and growing an inch taller, but he's acting a lot more grown up in other ways, too. Suddenly our cuddly baby has been replaced by a wiggly almost-toddler who must look and feel and taste everything in sight, until he drops from exhaustion. :)

Lukas is very gradually making strides (almost literally) in mobility. He's not very fast at it yet, but he's figured out how to scoot around on his bottom. Once in a while he'll try scooting on his tummy, usually backwards, but generally he prefers the sitting position. This has allowed him to check out all the kitchen cupboards, explore under the dining table and under Mommy's desk, and find all kinds of fun things to play with. :) It's exciting to see him checking out our home in new ways, and we are gradually baby-proofing so he can explore more freely. We feel spoiled to have gone 10 months without doing any baby-proofing at all!

Standing up is the latest and greatest when it comes to excitement. Oh-so-thrilling! He still needs a lot of support, but enjoys walking around the house while we hold his hands. Lately he's been pulling himself up to his knees on any available objects (Mommy's legs, a footstool, the toilet...), so it likely won't be that much longer before he makes it all the way to his feet and starts cruising in earnest. The days of pretty stuff on the coffee table are numbered! :)

All this increased activity has made naptimes more essential. The last couple weeks I've been making a point to lay him in his bed with a bottle around the same time each afternoon. Though that never satisfied him before, now he will usually go to sleep very quickly and easily, often sleeping 60-90 minutes at a time. Since he has never napped regularly before, and rarely napped more than 30 minutes at a stretch even when little, this is amazing! I've been really grateful for the chance to get a few more things done around the house in that window of time. He's still waking 2-3+ times a night for food, but as long as it's not every hour or more as it has been a few nights we can live with that. For now. :)

Communication has been an exciting area of development again. In last month's update I wrote about Lukas' fascination with the neighborhood dogs and imitating their barking. We can now ask him, "What does the puppy say?" and 90% of the time he promptly answers with his soft little "Woof-woof". So adorable! He still hasn't made the visual-audio connection yet, but we recently got several board books with lots of puppy illustrations and I'm sure he'll be enjoying them.

Toys continue to be a lot of fun. His favorites are a tractor and a truck - spinning the wheels occupies a lot of time! He also enjoys flipping through board books, and rolling/throwing avocado pits (clean, large ones) across the kitchen floor. :) Pretty much anything new is interesting and must be examined closely. Sure would be fascinating to know what's going on in his little mind! Oh, and he now clearly recognizes himself and both Joe and I in photos or video, which is a lot of fun. I suspect the photo books I put together for him on Shutterfly are going to be very popular reading material. :)

Lukas is enjoying his solid food a lot more these days. Oatmeal is a new favorite, along with peaches, pears, and avocado. He's especially been enjoying the miniature peaches and pears from Grandpa and Grandma's farm! We try to give him two meals most days, and he's getting more consistent about eating a fair amount each time. He's very clear when he's done, though: the lips are locked shut and he shakes his head in a definite "no". ;) Nursing is gradually tapering off as my supply continues to emotional thing for me, but I'm thankful we had as many months as we did.

This month's challenge was a couple weeks or so when Lukas was apparently testing out his lungs, subjecting us to large amounts of ear-splitting SCREAMING at the tiniest frustration or for no reason at all. This wore Mama out pretty quickly! To our relief, this past week has been much better in this regard, the turning point being...

...two new teeth popped through! He now has 2 on top and 2 on bottom, so much chomping is in order. ;) We hadn't realized they were so close to coming through, but it does definitely provide an explanation for those extra difficult two weeks! Since then he has been practically angelic, the sweet little easy-going fellow we've come to love so much. We're hoping this continues for our upcoming road trip early next month!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Book review

We may have mentioned these programs on this blog before, but Abi and I both have participated in the BookSneeze and Blogging for Books programs off and on over the last few years. These have been great ways to come across new books that we might not otherwise have seen, and the best part is that we receive the books for free in exchange for a blog and retail review.

As a writer myself, I have become increasingly aware of the need to also be reading. Some old favorites serve as inspiration, but new titles add new perspectives.

I just finished my latest review book, Greater, and you can read my review here:

In other news, Tim Chaffey and I are working on finishing the rough draft for the sixth installment of The Truth Chronicles. Even better, Abi, Lukas, and I will be traveling to Kentucky to spend a few days with Tim and his family in early October. One of our goals for this trip is to do some final tweaking/editing before sending the draft off to our regular editor. We are still hopeful for a release by the end of this year.

To commemorate this latest publishing, I will be putting together at least one giveaway in a couple of months, where one of the prizes will be a set of all six volumes of The Truth Chronicles, in addition to some other titles to be determined. Look forward to that, and be sure to spread the word once the raffle hits the web!