Happy 21 Months Birthday, Cody!

On Saturday, Cody turned 21 months old. That means he’s in his very last season of infanthood! How crazy is that?

In many ways, Cody is acting more and more like a child and less like a baby these days. In other ways, he’s still a baby and I’m enjoying those things as much as I can because I know they will be gone soon. Here are some of the highlights of what Cody has been up to for the past 3 months.

Cody is officially done with his baby shots. He won’t need any more vaccinations until he’s 5 years old, which is refreshing! He now weighs 23 pounds and is 32 inches tall, which is small for his age but not alarmingly so (he has slender parents and a short mom, after all). He’s been eating more solid foods slowly but surely, though for now he’s still almost exclusively eating foods from the grains and dairy food groups. He still nurses often, and I haven’t noticed a decrease in the frequency over the past year or so. We have no plans to wean anytime soon. Although some people may find it odd to nurse past infancy, our nursing relationship is very comfortable and important to both of us. Plus, it’s good for him!

He still naps once a day for about 2-3 hours in the early afternoon, which I so appreciate. Those nap times are important times for me to get stuff done and recharge. His bedtime is around 8:30, but he can sometimes take up to an hour to fall asleep. We put him to sleep by nursing, followed by rocking, then snuggling in bed. He’s still sleeping in our bed, by our own choice, because we love co-sleeping. As with nursing, we have no plans to end that any time soon, despite the fact that he still wakes up frequently at night to nurse, around 3 times. While it’s possible he would be sleeping through the night in his own bed by this age, we can’t know that for sure, and we treasure the closeness we have with him at night with our current setup. Plus, we all get enough sleep even with minor disruptions for nursing.

Lately, however, it’s been rough because he’s teething and it wakes him up more frequently, and sometimes he wakes up crying, which is not what I like to deal with in the middle of the night. Nursing every 30 minutes to 1 hour isn’t exactly conducive to a good night’s sleep, either. But we all know that this phase will pass, as soon as those second molars finally come in.

Cody is now starting to grow out of his 24 month size clothes, which means he will finally be in true toddler clothes—size 2T! and he will probably need to move up to size 7 shoes (toddler size) pretty soon too. We even have to switch him over to children’s medicines now instead of infant’s. It really hits you from every angle how quickly kids grow up!

Cody’s growing up in other ways, too. He’s good at sharing, often cooperates when we ask him to do things, can follow simple instructions, and tries to help us with simple chores. He also imitates tons of new sounds, from coughing to sound effects for pretend cooking to animal sounds. His favorite sounds are a lion rawr, a dog bark, and of course, vacuuming. (Everything can be used as a pretend vacuum, according to him.)

As much as he’s maturing, he’s also very much a toddler beginning the dreaded “terrible twos.” While this stage has many fun and enjoyable aspects, it also is filled with tantrums, defiance, frustration, random crying spells, unbelievably clingy days, and a bad attitude we sometimes just call “the mood.” A lot of these problems are the result of him being in pain because of teething, and we can tell a lot of it is also an expression of the frustration he’s feeling at being unable to communicate verbally or control his world. It’s not easy being almost-two!

On the other hand, he could be a lot worse. He’s such a sweet, silly, smart, and fun little guy. He loves being the center of attention and doing random goofy things to make us laugh. He gets really excited and giggles when he’s offered a food he likes, such as chocolate or “milky.” He also now uses “dada” and “mama” correctly, and has several different inflections he uses to communicate what he wants. He likes to chatter to himself, and yell and scream for fun. He can identify many people by pointing at them when their names are said, and he understands a great deal of the things we say, even if he can’t talk himself yet.

Some of his favorite things to do are play with water, ride his sit-down “scooter” around the house, play with the dog food, pet the guinea pigs, harass the dogs, play with his toys, and explore outside.

The next time I post a Cody update, he’ll be two years old. How exciting! Before then, I also plan to post a reflection on his baby years, and our experience of this stage of his life before we move on to what’s ahead. 🙂

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Racism Is Not Cool.

I don’t watch, read, or listen to the news regularly, because I feel it paints an excessively negative picture of the world. At the same time, all of the terrible things that happen in the world every day are still happening, and sometimes I can’t ignore them. As much as I’d like to pretend that the world is a good place, it’s frequently not. Yes, there is beauty and love and decency in the world; there is also hatred, tragedy, and terror. I choose to focus on the good as much as possible, but today I have to speak out about the issues of racism that are leading to brutal murders across our nation.

Racism is a huge problem in our country. I have not understood this in the past because I’d like to believe we’re better than that, and as a White person I’ve not experienced the reality of racism firsthand. I’ve tried to explain away stories I’ve heard, or brush them off as rare instances. But the reality is that racism, and particularly institutional racism, is very much alive.

My heart is broken at the horrific stories of Black people being murdered by police officers for no reason other than being Black. I thought I would offer a sort of tribute to all of the recent Black victims of police brutality by listing their names here, but I was shocked to find that the list was too long; I’m talking hundreds within the past two years alone. Not all of these hundreds of victims were purely innocent in the incidents that led to their deaths–many of them were breaking laws or making poor decisions–but they were all unarmed, and treated with excessive force which led to their deaths. I can’t help but think that race was a primary factor in these officers’ decision to use excessive force. A list of these victims can be found here: http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/.

The victims of the past week, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, did nothing to warrant the brutal murders carried out by the police. These victims leave behind families and friends, and potential futures that they never got to live out. My heart is equally broken over the tragedy of the police killings in Dallas. These brave men dedicated their lives to serving and protecting, and they too leave behind loved ones and lives that mattered. All of these events are disgusting to me, and the fact that it’s all over race, an innate part of a person’s DNA and culture, is unthinkable to me. How can we humans do this to each other? I don’t understand. It needs to stop.
I support police officers. I respect their bravery and appreciate what they do. I believe that there are many countless officers who uphold justice and rise above racism. I would not want to live in a society without police officers there to uphold the law and protect civilians from those who would harm them.

I also support the Black Lives Matter movement. This movement is important because yes, of course all lives matter, but black lives are the ones being systematically deprived of human rights and dignity. Angrily criticizing this movement in favor of the idea that “all lives matter” is ignorant to the fact that not all lives are treated as equal in our country. Yes, all lives matter. But they are not all treated that way. And that is simply wrong and unacceptable for us as human beings, and especially for those of us who follow Christ. We need to do better, people.

Ending on a positive note, I believe that we can do better. I know there are people everywhere who embrace other people of different races without a second thought, and I have hope that one day, this will be the norm. One day, all Black people could feel safe in our country and equally protected under the law. One day, all White people could shed ignorance, entitlement, and suspicion in favor of love and respect. We could live in peace and stop senselessly killing each other. That’s what I’m hoping for. A world without racism is one step closer to God’s will on earth. That’s my prayer today.

Praying for comfort for the families of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael Smith, victims of this past week’s violence.