Big Brother Jared

Jared and Luke "win" the race!

My little boy Jared seems to grow a little every day.  He seems to be so much older than he did just a few months ago.  We have all been adjusting to the new move to Texas and Jared is the one who remembers Ecuador most clearly right now.  Jared had to start off by having a birthday party with no little friends to help him celebrate.  Since then, he’s made some friends at Awana and the Thursday Bible study group that his mother goes to in the morning.

I have been very grateful to find a church with an Awana program in Lake Jackson.  There is only one church in the area that is doing it and they seem to be providing the facilities for the kids from a lot of the surrounding churches.  Jared continues to thrive on learning Bible verses.  What has been interesting is that most of his verses are in the 30’s, which is actually Jared’s hardest number to pronounce.  He tends to make the “f” sound when he’s trying to say “thirty” so that it ends up sounding like “forty” instead. However, with all this practice he is starting to get much better with that.

Jared also enjoys learning his alphabet.  I decided not to put him in preschool this year, but to work with him on some phonics at home.  One book that Jared enjoys is a book of little flashcards.  It has three sets of alphabets side by side and then three rows of three letter words.  Jared can flip through the picture/word cards and spell out the words on his own.

Just last week, Jared surprised me by teaching himself how to spell “toy” completely on his own.  Jared also tries to teach Luke everything that he is learning.  Poor Luke has a hard time keeping up with his brother, but he seems to have fun trying.

The other day, Jared told me the first compliment he’s ever given me.  I had just come out of the shower and I had a towel wrapped around my head.  I came out of the room to remind Jared that he needed to get ready for breakfast.  Jared just looked up at me and smiled and said, “You look like a princess, Mommy.”

I told him thank you, although I wasn’t sure what to think about his mental image of princesses wearing towels on their heads.

Notes on Grace

It is hard to believe my little baby girl is already six months old.  Already she is developing into a morning person and a fussy, evening child.  She rarely cries when she wakes up in the morning.  Often I find her lying in her crib looking around as if she is simply listening to the sounds of life going on outside of her bedroom door.

Her bedroom door is permanently stuck open so it is nearly impossible to create a quiet environment for her naps.  So, it is a good thing that she isn’t a light sleeper.  As soon as the boys are up in the morning and running around, I’m sure she wakes up.  I can never quite tell when she wakes up because she doesn’t demand immediate attention.  She seems content to wait until someone takes notice of her.

I’m pretty sure she knows how to roll over.  I just haven’t given her much time to practice.  I rarely can lay her down on the ground to test that theory, because my two energetic boys leave me in constant panic that they may trip over her or land on top of her in the midst of one of their wrestling matches.  Right now her favorite spot is to sit in a walker in the living room with a few toys and just watches her brothers play.

She also likes to scrunch her little mouth into a pucker and make little blowing noises through her lips.  She also likes to smile while letting her tongue hang out of her mouth. She has a very expressive little face.  Her brothers love to play with her.

And now her first tooth is starting to make its way to the surface of her bottom gum.  In spite of the soreness, she doesn’t complain too much.  Grace continues to be a peaceful, content little baby who loves to have attention.

Grace playing in her walker


Two Plus One Equals Three

The test that came out positive

This following week, Stephen and Cristina and the boys are going to visit Cristina’s obstetrician to talk about a new discovery she made at home a few weeks ago.

 She was noticing a slight difference in her body at the end of the month of July.  Early in August, she took a home pregnancy test that came out…positive. 

So, we are ready to announce to the world that the Meier family is planning to expand to include a third child sometime next spring. 

If all is going as can be predicted, I am currently eight weeks into my pregnancy and should be do in early April.  We would appreciate your prayers for a healthy pregnancy.  I know….I know….some people are also saying, “I hope you have a girl this time!”  We’ll see what God blesses us with as two plus one will equal three little ‘MK’ meiers in about seven months.

We will keep you updated as time goes by.

Baby and Big Boy Updates

Luke reaches out to see the flowers that Jared picked.

Our babies are growing so fast, it is hard to keep up with them.  Jared is now 2 ½ years old and Luke is one year old.  They had a doctor’s visit at the end of January.  I discovered that Jared had gained 2 ½ inches in height in the past six months but hadn’t gained a single ounce in weight.  He basically weighed the same amount that he did this summer.  He is nearly 37 inches tall, but only weighs 26 lbs.

It didn’t help that his body had to fight two different stomach flu attacks.  His first one was in mid-December and lasted until about Christmas time.  He was better for a few days when a really strong stomach flu hit him a week after New Year’s.  He was throwing up all of his food for a few days and his mom got concerned enough to take him to the doctor to get antibiotics. 

February has been a better month for him.  According to our bathroom scale, Jared has gained back the weight he lost while he was sick and hit a new record of 29 lbs on Sunday. 

We are still struggling to potty train him.  Jared is not interested in using his potty and does not let us know he needs to relieve himself until after he has done so…in his diaper.

In other areas, we are seeing lots of progress.  Jared is officially finished with bottle feeding and uses his sippy cups to drink all of his fluids.  His vocabulary continues to grow in both English and Spanish (although he prefers English when his parents are around).  He has learned to count (for the most part) to about 14.  Sometimes he’ll say “One, two, three…nine!”  Then he tries to fill in the numbers in between. 

Luke has gone from crawler to…climber.  He’s not confident to take those first walking steps on his own, but he will stand up and pull himself along furniture.  Anything that he can lean on, he will use to push himself across the room.  He has learned how to climb up on a tall couch and climb off without hurting himself.  I’ve seen him climb up on Jared’s “big boy” bed and climb off without any assistance. 

Once I saw him push a stool across the kitchen floor until he reached the stove.  He proceeded to climb up on the stool so that he could reach the knobs on the front of the stove.  His favorite button is the light switch to turn the light on in our stove. Of course, I took him off the stool before he started turning on any burners on our stove.

At this point, I’m sure it will only be a short time before Luke starts walking. In the meantime, he is learning how to talk.  Most of his talk is just babble right now. He knows who each of his family members are.  Stephen is “Da-da,” Cristina is “Ma-ma,” and Jared is “Ba-ba.” He is always full of curiosity to discover things that are within his reach.  This means more and more things have to be moved OUT of his reach.

One of Luke’s favorite places to be is in front of our bookshelf.  The bottom shelf contains puzzles and musical toys for both boys.  The second shelf (still in Luke’s reach) now contains only the books that Luke is allowed to play with.  Basically, those are the books that Luke can’t shred to pieces.  Luke enjoys reaching up into his second shelf and pulling down the books that he can look at.  I’ll often find him sitting in front of the book shelf with his puzzles, toys and books piled all around him.

The third bookshelf is out of Luke’s reach, but is now within Jared’s reach.  We put all of Jared’s books up there that Luke could easy destroy if he was allowed to get to them.  By the time Luke gets tall enough to reach Jared’s shelf, we hope that he’ll be able to take care of the books as well as Jared does. 

I still have not weaned Luke completely, but he is learning to eat “big people” food.  He loves having small pieces of cheese or meat that he can put into his own mouth.  He’s gotten into the habit of fussing at being spoon fed.  I think he’s catching up with Jared in being able to feed himself.  Jared is still in the process of learning how to hold his own spoon and fork while he eats. 

We are proud of our boys progress and enjoy watching them play and interact with each other.

Jared’s Adventures

Jared in his Santa hat

Jared Meier is now two years and five months old. For most pediatricians in Ecuador, this is way too old for a child to be in diapers. I, personally, have been trying to take my time in beginning the process of potty training, since it doesn’t seem that Jared is very much interested in the idea of sitting on a toilet.

One day, Jared actually agreed to try it out. I grabbed our little “potty book,” some cookies, some wet wipes and lots of enthusiasm to help Jared adjust to the idea. However, Jared soon became frightened about sitting on the cold commode. As soon as the urge hit him, he wanted to squirm off the toilet and relieve himself into his diaper. I had to hug him and encourage him to relax. I felt like I was coaxing someone through labor.

When he finally finished his duty, I gave him a cookie and told him what a big boy he was. I thought we had made a breakthrough.

That is…until the next time he needed to go to the bathroom. At the mere suggestion of using the toilet, Jared began to run away crying and screaming. To avoid the toilet, he’ll actually go into his bedroom and grab a clean diaper. He’d wait until he had filled his diaper and then runs over to me and says, “Change diaper, please.” Once, he actually hid under the dining room table until he had filled his diaper to make the announcement.

Stephen and I both tried to explain to Jared that babies use diapers and that big boys use the potty. When I asked Jared if he was a big boy or a baby, he looked up at me very seriously and said, “Jared a baby. No potty.”

Sigh. I guess we’re not quite ready for potty training yet.

In spite of this small setback, Jared continues to surprise us with his progress and growth. He have become very clever at reaching items that we’ve specifically told him are “off-limits.” He has discovered how to use footstools and chairs to reach up to table tops and high shelves in order to get what he wants.

We are also trying to figure out where he got so polite in answering questions. For the last couple weeks, he has started saying something that sounds like “Yes, sir” to things that he is really fervent in answering “yes” about something.

And there are also those heart-warming moments when he’ll burst out with something sweet. The other day, I was putting him in his high chair when he looked across the room at Stephen and said, “I love Daddy.”

I asked him, “Really? Do you love, Mommy?”

“Um-hmm,” Jared replied. “I love baby Loot.”

Jared hasn’t quite gotten the grasp of the “k” sound, yet. But it is really cute to hear him call his brother, “Loot.”