20 months

Since Greta will be 21 months very soon and the baby is coming soon as well I better get on the 20 month post before I forget everything. This month was definitely better than last for her. No big changes, no moving across the country, no new house, just mainly hanging around with me and playing. It was probably the month she spent the most time inside, mainly due to the cold weather. She doesn’t seem to love the cold and neither do I, so I tend to avoid taking her out.

Greta has been learning new words left and right. I have no idea how many words she uses now, but she definitely has quite a lot. She just recently started combining words into two word phrases! YAY! This month she learned to say Nah for No. I’m surprised that she lasted this long before adding a no variation. So far it isn’t annoying or being screamed at us, so that is a good thing. She still does some sign language as well. I wish we would have learned a few more, but oh well, next child.

Greta continues to love her baby dolls. She likes to change their diapers, feed them cups of water or spoonfuls of food, rock them, bring them to bed, etc. She now brings all of her dolls to bed with her (only 4 or 5). Greta also likes to take a baby with us wherever we go. They usually just stay in the diaper bag, but she must put one in there.

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Greta also likes to play with her dress up box, blocks, and books. Books are definitely still a favorite. She would read all day long if we would read to her that much. This month we started checking out library books. Before I was always afraid she would rip the books or she wouldn’t sit still long enough for a longer picture book. Now she will sit for almost any book. We are finding lots of great books at the library.

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Greta is not nearly as interested in playing outside these days, which I’m pretty sure has something to do with it being cold, snowy, and having no where really to play outside. Hopefully by the end of the summer we will be in a house with a yard! We do still go outside some, but not nearly as much.

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all bundled up

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We didn’t travel anywhere this month! But we did have some visitors. Almost all of Matt’s family came to visit us this month. It was nice to see everyone again so soon after Christmas. Hopefully we will have some more visitors to see Bubba Mae once he/she arrives.

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Greta still loves to talk on the phone. Mostly she won’t actually talk when there is a person on the other end, but she is getting better. She also loves to talk on the computer to our families. We try to talk to each family on skype at least once a week. We also started letting Greta watch some animal videos on the computer. We use zooborns.com, which publishes pictures and videos of baby animals born in zoos. They are very, very cute and Greta would watch them all day if we let her.

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on the phone

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Greta mostly picks out her clothes these days. Usually she will pick out a shirt or pants and then we suggest something that doesn’t completely clash. Sometimes all of our options are rejected and she ends up with some interesting outfits. Most of the time she is pretty good at picking out something that kind of matches though, and it most always has pink in it. The girl loves her some pink!

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Greta loves to be in the kitchen with Matt and I. She always helps with cooking.

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This month Greta and I started attending some activities. We went to storytime at the library, music class at the hospital, and a playgroup at church. We haven’t been many times since we are full with visitors these days, but once the baby arrives and is a little bigger we will start going again.

This month I finally nightweaned Greta in anticipation of the baby’s arrival. It wasn’t as terrible as I expected, although it also didn’t really help her nightwaking that much. Hopefully one day she will stop waking up. I’m sure I am forgetting a ton of stuff, but that’s what happens when you write the update when you are almost to the next month.

39 weeks

Today I am 39 weeks. Since the last time I posted my belly has exploded. It now looks like a torpedo.

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And it now looks much bigger than I ever was with Greta. What does this mean? This baby better come out soon or else it is going to be 10 lbs (or maybe it already is, ack)!

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We are waiting for baby (not very patiently I might add). My sister is here now and we are hoping the baby arrives while she is here since Greta seems to LOVE her and Catherine is more comfortable taking care of Greta than my dad (who comes on Saturday) would be. I have had off and on random contractions, but nothing regular at all. Last week at my appointment I was 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced, but that doesn’t really mean anything. The midwife said you can have the baby today or in three weeks. I said I hope not in three weeks. I’m not sure how much bigger my belly can get without ripping open.

snow

We have had quite the snowy week around here. First up we had about an inch one morning last week. We took Greta out early in the morning, before the sun was up. She did not want the snow getting on her snow boots, so she stopped every two feet to wipe her feet off.

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On Saturday we got about 10 inches of snow. Matt was the only one who went out that day. Greta had a bit of a cold so we didn’t really want her out in the cold and snowy weather. Here is a video of when the snow was coming down quite hard.

And this morning we have about 5-6 inches on the ground, with another bunch forecasted. Matt went out and built a huge snowman this morning since the snow was finally good packing snow. After he left for work I took Greta out to walk in the snow and take a picture of the snowman. She doesn’t really love the snow. I couldn’t get her to smile at all this morning, so our trip out was short.

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winter pregnancies stink…

because…

1. Snow and Ice: more likely to fall and hurt both me and the baby. plus very challenging to get to the hospital in the middle of a snowstorm. (We are forecasted to get another 18-24″ on Wednesday, so hoping for no baby then.)

2. Cold means more layers of clothing, which means it is even harder to move.

3. It is so much easier to get sick while pregnant, add that to cold & flu season and yuck. Plus baby is more likely to get sick in the middle of cold & flu season.

The only negative people complain about in the summer is being hot and they claim that is why it is better to be pregnant in the winter. Clearly they don’t live in the snowy, cold climates.

finding a church

We were very lucky in both North Carolina and Texas to find lively parishes, with great priests and who focused on the social teachings of the church. We have not been so lucky here in Pennsylvania. So far, we have been to 3 different parishes in hopes of finding our new church home and have come home feeling underwhelmed and unimpressed each week.

We have a mental list of things we are looking for:
1. actively promotes social teaching of the church through helping the poor and needy
2. a lively priest who gives good homilies that relate to the world and our everyday lives
3. good music
4. a church where we as a young family feel welcome to bring our kids who may not be silent during the entire mass (Greta certainly isn’t loud, but she makes a little noise here and there and we don’t want stares or to feel like we are the only ones with a child who is making a little noise) (basically a church filled with other little tykes)
5. a church with an active mother’s group for me to be involved in (although I did start a playgroup at our last church, so I am open to starting my own group)
6. a church with personality

The three churches we have been to are very blah. Only one seems to have a good number of young children. We like the priests at a different church, but apparently the priest we were impressed by just got reassigned to a church in Philadelphia. Only one church has a mother’s group. None of them really have very good music (I personally am not a huge fan of organ music, unless it is in a huge church and there is an awesome choir to accompany it).

One thing that is certainly different here is that every church has a parish school. I know this is how pretty much the entire Catholic church was several decades ago, but today that seems to be a rarity. The parishes all seem to be pretty focused on their schools, which is maybe why we aren’t finding the focus on other things. I don’t know much about the different schools, other than one is significantly larger (and supposedly better, but that is just what I have heard through the grapevine) and costs a great deal more. Another difference which I’m not a big fan of, is that children receive the sacrament of confirmation in 6th grade! Personally Matt and I think that is WAY too early for a child to be making that commitment. At that age it is the parents decision, which is not the point of confirmation at all. I was confirmed in 9th grade and I still think that was too early. Our church in San Antonio celebrated confirmation in either 11th or 12th grade (it was up to the child to decide when they were ready to make that commitment). Maybe things will change before our children are ready for confirmation, but I doubt it since we seem to be in a pretty conservative diocese.

We want to find a church where we feel comfortable and where we will attend for a long time. I don’t want to hop around to different parishes all the time. So far we just haven’t found where we belong. Hopefully we will figure it out soon since we will have a new baby to baptize sometime this spring.