Deacon: 12 Month Update

Weight:

20 lbs 15 oz (66th percentile)

Height:

30.25″ (63rd percentile)

Clothing Size:

Just now starting to move into 18 month clothes!

Nicknames:

Bubba & Buster

Sleep:

He started sleeping all the way through the night right around his first birthday! Still getting 11-12 hours, just without the middle of the night dream feed (praise the Lord!) He’s still taking 2 solid naps a day, around 1.5-2 hours each.

Diet:

We officially made the transition to whole milk this month! He wasn’t fully weaned until 13 months, but the process was surprisingly easy (even if it was a little bittersweet). In terms of regular food, he’s still a pretty good eater overall. Favorites include graham crackers, yogurt, blueberries and bread.

Loves:

Walking!! He started taking steps shortly after his birthday.

Dislikes:

Having to stay still.

Milestones:

The most noteworthy is definitely walking! He also cut two more teeth and has started to really understand more commands and respond accordingly (ex. “Can you bring me the car? Do you want milk?”)

Best Moment:

His first Christmas, first birthday and first steps were all the same month! It’d be impossible to pick just one, so I’ll just call it a three way tie :-)

Worst Moment:

Lots of bittersweet moments this month as he hits milestones and starts the toddler transition. It’s hard on the parts of me that want him to stay little forever!

Other Tidbits:

– He is constantly on the move! Any time someone is around him for a decent amount of time they remark on how “busy” he is. Haha

– We officially have more toys than we have space (after Christmas and his birthday), and he is loving it. Favorites right now include his batmobile, instruments and any ball he can get his hands on.







Small Talk(ing)

If you’re a fan of comedy you might enjoy watching comedians talk about the craft of comedy. I always find it interesting (and entertaining) to hear the thought processes that go into writing a joke or bit or even a set of jokes. In Jerry Seinfeld’s web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, as the title implies, Seinfeld picks up a fellow comedian in some unique car and they simply go out for coffee. It’s usually entertaining because comedians are typically funny and it’s often fascinating because you get a behind-the-curtain look at how comedians think.

In a recent episode Jerry’s guest was comedian/actor, Kevin Hart. During their discussion something stood out to me that I think has striking implications outside of comedy. Seinfeld began professing his disdain for the use of pyrotechnics, flash, lasers, stunts, etc. before a stand-up comedy routine. He mentioned it might work for some people (like guest Kevin Hart) but he preferred a much more yeoman-like approach, similar to Mike Tyson’s approach to a boxing match. Tyson went against the grain of the flashy, bombastic performances that many prize fighters were known to embrace by coming out in a simple terry cloth “poncho” instead of a silky long, embellished robe. As Seinfeld remembered, “He would cut a hole in the hotel towel… no socks… so stool… he came ready to fight… It’s a reduced essence.”

Seinfeld’s reasoning? Too much lead up to the actual stand-up routine “makes the talking seem small.” I couldn’t help but to transfer this assessment to modern church culture. A lot of churches with vast resources create fantastic events which help to raise attendance and interest. The danger, though, is what Seinfeld fears about his shows: that the talking (sermon) might be made to seem small. The message from God’s Word is meant to be the centerpiece of a worship gathering. If there is more emphasis placed on creating an exciting environment or attractive event than on hearing from God, we’ve missed the mark. There is an adage in ministry that says “what you win them with is what you when them to.” The idea here is that if people are “hooked” by hype then that is what they will desire and will often find themselves dissatisfied and unfulfilled.

A similar scenario unfolds in Mark 8. After we read about Jesus miraculously feeding a multitude, some Pharisees demand a sign from Him as a test. But Jesus questions their desires, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

NOTE: I am not saying Jesus’ miracle is empty hype. I am simply pointing out that people are often attracted to the fantastic and then err by letting it distract them from a richer truth.

If we are truly longing to know and follow Christ we will, like Paul, keep the Gospel as our top priority (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This was Jesus emphasis, too, when asked for a sign in Matthew 12. He replies, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Knowing that the people were testing Jesus out of curiosity as a test and wanting to simply see something amazing, Jesus responded with a prophecy about His resurrection from the dead!

Stay alert, folks! Let’s not be considered an evil generation that only longs for a fantastic event and dismisses the message of God’s truth as it gets overshadowed. God talks to us through His Word. He talks to us through the Spirit. He talks to us through faithful preaching.

Let’s avoid anything that makes “the talking seem small.”

Deacon: 11 Month Update

Weight:

Around 20 lbs

Height:

Around 29 in

Clothing Size:

He’s still in 12 month clothes for the most part. There are a couple of 9 month items I’m still squeezing him into as well, but those days are coming to an end!

Nicknames:

Bubba and buster seem to be the two he gets the most often.

Sleep:

Right now he’s sleeping 11-12 hours a night and getting two 2ish hour naps a day. He’s still waking up for at least one feeding at night though, so I plan to do some kind of sleep training this month to get him sleeping all the way through before his first birthday… say a prayer for us!

Diet:

He’s still a pretty good eater! He really likes his veggies and his snacks (Plum Organic Teething Crackers are a gift from the Lord!) He’s not a fan of bananas or any berry. So unfortunate! I keep trying to sneak him blueberries or strawberries and he keeps spitting them right back out! Ha. He loves feeding himself too, so any small item that he can pick up is usually an easy sell.

Loves:

Crawling, standing, eating, being tickled, playing with Dada, “catching and throwing” a ball and playing with his socks/shoes.

Dislikes:

Having his face wiped. If it were up to him he’d be crusty all day, everyday!

Milestones:

He’s currently cutting his two front teeth, bringing the grand total to 5! He’s also starting to imitate us, play more independently and he tries to catch and throw the ball (usually).

Best Moment:

This month has been full of sweet, everyday moments. I don’t know if I’d be able to pick just one, but I’m savoring all of the big smiles, belly laughs and mama-cuddles. He is quite possibly one of the happiest, most fun babies in existence.

Worst Moment:

We’ve still had a couple of hard nights since he’s teething, but overall it hasn’t been too bad.

Other Tidbits:

– I know this probably won’t last forever, but I really love grocery shopping with Deacon. He generally just sits there and talks to me, tries to “get” me and smiles at the other people we pass. I usually have at least one person stop me and tell me how sweet/cute/good he is when we’re out and about :-)

– He has started to show a little more of his mischievous side this month. It’s funny for now, but it’s a reminder that the days of discipline aren’t far away either!

– He is ticklish EVERYWHERE. Some favorites are his ribs, collarbones, belly, thighs and feet.

– Right now he thinks I am HILARIOUS. Like, all I have to do is look at him and say “BOO!” and he starts cracking up. And if I decide to pop out from behind a doorway or the couch, forgettaboutit. Dada gets plenty of laughs too, but at the moment Mama seems to be the funniest/silliest one in this house :wink:

Cough Drop Christianity

I was recently under the weather (like many others) and in frequent use of cough drops. I noticed the particular brand that I was using offered “a pep talk in every drop.” The cough drop wrappers have inspirational phrases printed on them to, I guess, lift your spirits.

Phrases actually found on these wrappers include (but are not limited to): “Keep your chin up,” “Conquer today,” “Elicit a few ‘wows,’ and “Don’t give up on yourself.”

I’ve always struggled with the idea of pep talks that aren’t grounded in any sort of truth. Blame it on the cynic in me or my lack of emotion, but if there’s no reasoning behind “keep your chin up,” I have a really hard time being convinced to keep my chin up.

I’ve heard motivational speakers tell crowds of high school students that the only thing keeping them from having a great day is the decision to just “be awesome.” That’s such a cotton candy approach. It might get you out the door, but sooner or later reality of a broken, fallen world will set in. A pep talk might lift your spirits when you realize someone at the last donut. But if your mind is overcome by the real tragedies and disasters that affect this world, let alone the discouragement we can muster in our own minds, positive thinking won’t cut it.

Sadly, most people outside of Christianity never hear about victory that is grounded in the eternal hope of Christ. It’s also important to recognize that many Christians don’t either. A lot of Christians are settling for motivational speaking rather than the transforming truth of God’s word. It’s concerning that some sermon points could double as cough drop wrapper pep talks. The ideas that “all that you need is found in yourself” or that fulfillment is found in “eliciting wows” are contrary to the gospel message of Jesus.

We can’t handle everything that comes our way on our own. We don’t have everything we need within ourselves to conquer the world or even the day. These deficiencies and weaknesses highlight our need for a Savior. We may want to believe that we can do anything if we just believe in ourselves, but we are saved by faith in Christ, not faith in ourselves.

Self-sufficiency is a really dangerous mindset to adopt. Self-sufficient people don’t know their need for a savior, so they won’t surrender to a savior. They also won’t point others to the Savior. That’s the ugly flipside of “cough drop Christianity.”

I’m not condoning self-loathing, either. Please don’t get me wrong. I believe we should all walk in confidence, freedom and victory. And I believe we all have worth. I just believe that confidence, freedom, victory, and worth are all found in Christ.

I often find that the music of modern hymn writers, Keith and Kristyn Getty really ministers to me. Their song, “My Worth Is Not In What I Own” really reiterates the truer, better pep talk that comes in claiming and celebrating the gospel of Christ and the worth that we find in Him alone. May it minister to you, as well, and serve as a reminder of the antidote to Cough Drop Christianity that we have in the gospel of Christ!

Deacon: 10 Month Update

Weight:

20 lbs (50th percentile)

Height:

29 in (50th percentile)

Clothing Size:

He’s filling out his 12 month clothes more and more these days! I am LOVING getting to dress him more like a little toddler/man and less like a little baby…

Nicknames:

Bubba, Buster and Stinker.

Sleep:

Oy vey. I miss sleep. He’s in the process of cutting a tooth right now and he just got over a cold, so sleep has been very hit or miss the last two weeks. He’s still getting 11-12 hours at night, but it’s usually broken up into 3-4 hour segments. Naps have been hit or miss as well, but he gets at least one solid 2-3 hour nap a day and one shorter nap.

Diet:

Anything in site. Last night he tried pancakes, which he seemed to really like. I’m also noticing he has a bit of a sweet tooth (surprise, surprise :wink:)

Loves:

Being on the move. If he could stand/crawl/climb all day without napping I think he would. He is also obsessed with pulling on Junebug’s ears and talking to anyone who will listen (like his mama)!

Dislikes:

Having his face wiped. I feel like he is perpetually crusty these days! Every time I try to wipe his face or his nose he melts down. He feels the same way about having his fingernail/toenails trimmed, but thankfully I don’t have to do that as often!

Milestones:

Walking with assistance, signing “more” occasionally, saying Mama and Dada in context and cutting a second tooth!

Best Moment:

One night while he was sick he screamed during bedtime until I came in and cuddled and rocked him. I seriously cannot remember the last time he let me do that (while he was awake) and I loved every second of it!

Worst Moment:

Sunday night he woke up at 12, 2 and 4… after which I stayed awake because of a 6 AM practice. Then he skipped his morning nap. It. Was. Rough.

Other Tidbits:

– He really loves Junebug! He has started playing and interacting with her more and chasing her around the living room. It’s super cute!

– He seems to be pretty close to walking on his own. We are going to be in serious trouble when he figures that out :wink:

– I keep getting comments from people (including his MDO teachers) about how chatty he is. He is definitely always talking about something!

The Better Way

Our church has been reading through “Make Mature Multiply: Becoming Fully-Formed Disciples of Jesus,” edited by Brandon Smith. In chapter 6 Logan Gentry notes that Jesus’ evangelism strategy was to point people to “the better story.”

Gentry points out Christ’s “you have heard it said, but I say” statements as a means to contrast the world’s perspective with the better way of the gospel.

This resonated with me and something I’ve been working through when it comes to parenting. I’ve been wanting to develop a way to shepherd our son’s heart and not just his behavior. I definitely want a well-behaved kid, mind you, but I also don’t want moralism to be an obstacle or distraction to his realizing a need for the gospel.

We have one son, now, and he’s only 10 months old, so we still have a LITTLE time to work on this. Recently though, I was challenging myself to point him to a better way rather than just a “because I said so” approach. I want my son to know that I have his best interest in mind when I correct him. I want him to recognize that his heart is not whole apart from Jesus.

So I’ve tried recently, instead of just saying “no” or “stop” to adding “you don’t need that” or “that will hurt you” as a further explanation of why I’m disciplining him. It’s a small step in a huge journey, but I can only hope that I can point him to the better way found only in the gospel of Christ.

Deacon: 9 Month Update

Weight:

20-21 lbs

Length:

About 30 inches

Clothing Size:

We’re starting the transition into 12 month clothes. He’s still in 9 month pants for the most part, but with his cloth diapers the 12 month stuff fits pretty well :wink:

Nicknames:

Buster, Bubba, Booger and Crankster (a new addition during vacation).

Sleep:

We’re currently trying to get back on track after our vacation last week. He’s doing pretty well, especially where naps are concerned! At night he’s typically sleeping from 8:30 PM to 7:00 or 8:00 AM with two feedings over the course of the night. Sometime during the next month I’m going to try to drop ALL nighttime feedings… wish me luck!

Diet:

At this point he’s tried pretty much everything that I can think of (that he’s allowed to eat). He really prefers to feed himself these days, so I’m having to get creative on finger foods that are nutritious and yummy. Cherrios are a current favorite, as well as vanilla yogurt whenever I sneak him a bite.

Loves:

Torturing Junebug, pulling up on EVERYTHING, being held by Mama, being tickled by Dada, chewing on straws, riding in his stroller and crawling on his hands and knees (no more army crawling)!

Dislikes:

Missing naps, not being able to feed himself, having his face wiped and having his snot sucked. Coincidentally, these are all things I also hate :wink:

Milestones:

Crawling on his hands and knees, pulling up on EVERYTHING, finally cutting his first tooth and clapping (it’s SUPER CUTE, y’all)! It’s been a big month developmentally!

Best Moment:

This month has been full of great moments, but finally seeing that first tooth make it’s grand debut was definitely one we’ve been anticipating a long time! It was also pretty precious to see him playing with Macy and Grace for the first time :-)

Worst Moment:

Traveling with Deacon this last vacation was pretty tough. For some reason he decided he HATED car rides, so we spent a lot of time shhh-ing him and singing songs to calm him down. It will definitely be a little while before Deacon gets to go on anymore vacations…

Other Tidbits:

– Overall he is still such a JOYFUL baby! Vacationing was hard on him, but ever since we got back he has been all smiles, giggles and baby talk. He is such a joy to parent.

– We’re starting to get a better sense of his personality these days. Besides being easy going and joyful, he is also mischievous and a little too smart for his own good!

– He has started to say “Mama” and “Dada” pretty regularly, but not usually in the right context. We figured out that “dadadadada” is the noise he makes when he’s in a good mood and is feeling talkative and “mamamamama” is the noise he makes when he’s tired and/or whiny. I’m trying my best to switch those two so I can get some of those joyful jabbers :-)

– These last few weeks have turned him into a bit of a Mama’s boy. While I know this is only a season, I am definitely embracing all the cuddles, sloppy kisses and gummy smiles I can get!

Deacon: 8 Month Update

Weight:

Roughly 20 lbs

Length:

About 30 inches

Clothing Size:

He’s still in 9 month clothes right now, though I’ve started trying to stock up on 12 month stuff since he seems to be pretty snug in most things these days. I’m pretty sure by Fall he will officially be in 12 month clothes.

Nicknames:

Buster, Bubba, Booger and Stinker. Now that he’s getting more and more active I find myself using Booger and Stinker more often :wink:

Sleep:

We’re finally back to a normal sleep schedule (praise the Lamb!). Recently I’ve been putting him down between 8:00 – 8:45 and he’s been sleeping until 6:30-ish with one dream feed around 10:30 or 11:00. I know I need to drop the dream feed soon, but it’s usually the only time I can steal some cuddles, so for now it stays!

Diet:

All of the same foods as last month with the addition of spinach, broccoli, oatmeal, pumpkin and sweet potato puffs (similar to cheerios, but they dissolve and are much messier). Watching him eat broccoli was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. He looked so betrayed and confused every time I tried to feed him another bite!

Loves:

Army crawling, climbing over things, sweet potato puffs, licking/biting Junebug and getting tickled by Mom or Dad :-)

Dislikes:

Broccoli.

Milestones:

We are getting more belly-laughs and he seems to be paying more attention when we are talking to him. I don’t think he understands what we’re saying yet, but he is definitely keying into the fact that we’re talking to him! He’s still army crawling EVERYWHERE and has recently started climbing over some of the barricades I’ve set up. Time for baby gates!

Best Moment:

This may make me a terrible Mom, but this broccoli video takes the cake…

Worst Moment:

We had a couple of really cranky days last week that were rough on everybody (especially Mama and Junebug :wink:). Thankfully it passed quickly and Deacon is back to his happy-go-lucky self!

Other Tidbits:

– When Deacon gets in a really good mood pretty much anything can make him laugh. We had a blast the other day in Walmart when he decided that saying “hi!” over and over again was the funniest thing I’d ever done!

– Last Sunday Deacon moved up a room in the church nursery. He is now officially a Platypus and this Mama can’t handle it! I just kept getting flashes of him going to kindergarten and then college. *sniff* It’s all happening so quickly!!

Deacon: 7 Month Update

Weight:

I would guess around 18.5 – 19 lbs. He definitely hit a growth spurt this last month, but he still isn’t as chunky as I would prefer/he could be.

Length:

Around 28-29 inches.

Clothing Size:

Homeboy is filling out his 9 month clothes! There are a couple of 6 month things I can still squeeze him into, but it is becoming increasingly difficult…

Nicknames:

Buster, Bubba, Booger and occasionally Wittle Baby Deacon. I’m trying to call him by his actual name more often so he doesn’t end up telling his kindergarten teacher his name is Booger :wink:

Sleep:

We’ve been dealing with a little bit of sleep regression these past few weeks since we got back from vacay. Being in a new place with no real schedule really threw him off, so we’re having to work on sleeping through the night again. He’s still sleeping 11 hours (or more!) throughout the course of the night, but he has started waking up anywhere between 4 and 6 AM wanting to eat again… We’re almost back to normal though. I see the light at the end of the sleepless tunnel!

Diet:

As of right now we’ve done sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, yellow squash, butternut squash, green beans, pears, peaches, bananas, mangoes and apples. In the next month I’m hoping to start introducing finger foods (exciting stuff, people!).

Loves:

Army crawling EVERYWHERE, getting tickled, playing with Junebug, hanging out outside, jumping in his jumperoo, being in water, “talking” and sitting up like a big boy :-)

Dislikes:

Being put down for a nap when he’s not done playing and (most recently) the church nursery.

Milestones:

Shortly after he hit the 6 month marker he started sitting up by himself and army crawling! He is basically impossible to contain these days and he is loving his new-found independence. He is still jabbering a ton, and we are anxiously awaiting that first tooth…

Best Moment:

Taking Deacon to Wimberley for the first time will definitely be a sweet memory for us. He got to float the river in his little boat and take in all the Wimberley sights/restaurants/experiences that we know and love. I really hope we’re able to keep going back in future years so that he’s able to have fond memories of our favorite little central Texas town :-)

Worst Moment:

Sleep regression courtesy of our Wimberley vacation. While he seemed to really enjoy most of the activities, our little trip wore this bubba out!

Other Tidbits:

– I’ve started to incorporate some sign language into our feeding times. So far he just stares at me like I’m a lunatic, but I’m hoping he starts to catch on soon.

– This last week Deacon has started to cuddle a little! It has definitely been filling my Mama love-tank to get some of those sweet snuggles, even if they’re short-lived.

– We think he may be allergic to bananas! It’s truly tragic. The last two times I’ve fed him bananas he has ended up projectile vomiting (like, a LOT of projectile vomit) shortly after. I’m hoping this is something he grows out of since bananas have historically been the one fruit Jeremy and I always have on hand! Ha.

– His favorite toy is a spare remote that my Poppy gave him on the 4th of July. It’s the one thing that he always seems to play with/chew on when we hand it to him.