April


Started April off with the final youth orchestra concert


Best buds. He slept in our room most of the time we were in Dubai and S was thrilled every morning to see him first thing. He normally stays away from small kids, but was very tolerant of all of S’s cuddles.


en route to Ras al Khaimah for the day


For our morning walk before breakfast we went up to get juice!


out to the desert for sunset and night air. And cheese and za’atar bread. S may hate the water, but she loves being in the sand.


The house cat is known as the ‘mean cat’ she’s not allowed to go near, but S adores the friendly neighbor kitty.


a casual country dancing ball the day before I left


delaying bed time…


So thankful for all the people that helped us on our trip back, from mom and dad taking us in at the airport, to the man that said we didn’t have to weigh our carry-on after the lady said we had to (God heard those prayers ;)), and for all the people that helped the short pregnant lady with a toddler get bags in and out of bins on the plane and on and off the conveyor and bus. And the 3 people that didn’t show up so the row next to us was open and we got 2 seats. And the people that offered us a ride home on our 10 minute walk back from the bus. And that there were no delays on the flight and that S slept and ate well.


From April 16

We missed their peak, but there were still some cherry blossoms left!


Finishing up my IBCD Level 2 Exam… and finding places S had helped me study. ;)


She could eat soup forever.


S’s Dubai souvenir.


This is the first time in 10 years that I’ve had 4 seasons!


She loves to climb onto her stool and stand at the counter, which makes it so much easier to cook!


She finally decided yogurt was actually pretty good stuff.


I re-made this sweater, but checked my gauge this time and STILL made it bigger than the pattern and the 3T fits her now. Not sure what’s up with that but hopefully it will still fit when the smaller one fits her sister!


She loves bringing us clothes and asking to wear them. Here she had brought me one sock to wear with her footed PJs.


Made a ring sling for when baby gets here. It works to use with S but she’s not a fan.


Azaleas


S doesn’t like green kiwis but she loved this yellow one!


a friend let me test-drive her City Select. Not the top of our list, but it works.


I wasn’t craving them like I was with S, but had been having trouble meal planning and cinnamon rolls sounded good…


S rarely nurses in public any more, but when she does the summer infant swaddle blankets we had were just too small now so I splurged.


Ezra went to Korea and brought me this…


the best curry + udon from a hole in the wall.


She sometimes carries shirts around with her all day as a lovey.


It’s a girl! :)


Finally got our hands on Ponyo!

favorite recipes// Creamy Pesto Mac // vegan carrot soup with caramelized onion // bacon chicken caesar casserole // unbaked brownies // no sugar added banana nut granola // nori rolls

best of online//  Syria and My Prayerlessness // frozen foods // breaking down the “other” // daily routine fitness tips from fit2be // 31 Days to a Stronger Tummy {thankful that because of my sister I was aware of diastasis recti and have been able to prevent it with these exercises during pregnancy!} // porch preaching // comparison of Jesus Storybook Bible & Big Picture Storybook Bible // interview with Michael Card // Wiegenlied – Strauss // prevent tearing during birth // Yemen after a year of airstrikes // electric shock drowning // 10 Lessons from a Mom of Many // Secret life of Babies // Why do people join Boko Haram? // DIY Magnesium Oil

reading of late// a booklet of Spurgeon nuggets // A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War (Joseph Loconte

the Munchkins// S is saying so many new words and jabbering almost all the time. She loves books, drinking water, and going to the playground (and eating).
Akachan is a GIRL and is more active than S was!

writing// finished my editing of Love Victorious!

Trim Healthy Mama: Thoughts on the Book

After seeing the popularity of Trim Healthy Mama in the past few years I was curious. I didn’t want to buy the book until I had read it, though, and was skeptical of some of the things they recommend. I wasn’t skeptical that it works and people enjoy it, since that seems apparent from the people I know that do it. But I had heard snippets here and there and wasn’t comfortable with all of it or sure if the science behind it was really accurate, so when I was in Dubai we borrowed it from a friend and my mom (a registered dietitian) and I were able to look at it together. I read it all (skimming most recipes) and bookmarked pages for her to read and for us to talk about.
Since I haven’t actually tried their “plan” then this is just some thoughts on the book itself.

To be honest… I didn’t love it. That’s not to say I’d never try it, just that pretty much everything I was uncomfortable with before I read it I am still uncomfortable with.

Science
The basic idea behind Trim Healthy Mama is that you don’t mix fat and carbs since then your body will burn the carbs and store the fat if you eat them together. Thus you rotate between high-fat meals with minimal carbs and more moderate carb meals that are lower fat, both paired with lots of protein. Even in their carb (called “E” for energizing) meals, carbs are limited, particularly in the kinds of fruit allowed and the amounts of grain. They also say that this is to help prevent insulin spikes which can lead to the body secreting more insulin and thus promoting fat storage.

My mom was reading a Sports Nutrition book (Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook) and it had a section on insulin so we read through it. It refuted the idea put forth in THM, saying that while insulin can stimulate the appetite, leading to overeating, and can stimulate fat deposition, that more likely lower GI diets lead to weight loss because it means eating fewer refined foods and sugar and more whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. Eating fat and/or protein with carbs will also help to prevent insulin spikes. Also, everyone has a different reaction to insulin depending on fitness level, metabolism, age, etc.
I did some more research on the lower GI thing, and this is what I found:
A low carb diet automatically lowers your insulin
This concludes that the low GI diet isn’t really what is effective in losing weight, but can still be beneficial in other ways.
– Takeaway here: again, not a magic bullet, and not necessarily the key to eating healthily, as parsnips have a higher GI than vanilla cake.
This would support the low-GI, low-carb diet for weight loss.
– Most likely is probably what Mayo Clinic states: “Selecting foods based on a glycemic index or glycemic load value may help you manage your weight because many foods that should be included in a well-balanced, low-fat, healthy diet with minimally processed foods — whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products — have low GI values.”

However, another portion of the sports nutrition book did say that your body does prefer to use carbs and store fat, implying that if you are trying to lose weight keeping them separate might actually help, but I can’t find anything online or anywhere aside from that that would support that theory or say that separating them would be a real game-changer, or what the balance should be, etc., and when they talk about it in THM it seems to be based on their experience more than anything else (unfortunately the basing things on their experience happens a lot). Obviously something in their plan works but I’m just not convinced it’s the separation, especially because it’s not just an issue with carbs. Some quotes from the Sports Nutrition book:
“Any excess protein is burned for energy, or as a last resort, stored as fat or glycogen. Humans do not store excess protein as muscle…”
“[your body] burn proteins (from food and muscles) for energy when carbohydrate and calories are scarce.” (thus just because there aren’t carbs doesn’t mean your body is going to be burning your fat).
Also, without regular carbs, your brain will burn glycogen from muscles, not fat.

So it seems there is little evidence for that really being what causes the weight loss and after reading THM my main question is if people lose weight because they’re separating fuel sources or because they’re on a lower-GI, lower-carb diet that’s cutting refined foods and helping them eat more vegetables leading to lower calorie consumption in general, and the calories that are being eaten are coming from healthy sources.

My guess is that most people have gone onto THM from a more carb-laden diet (even WAPF), and it’s the lower carbs and healthier foods that cause weight loss more than the fat/carb separation. But I don’t know if that’s true or not, though it is what everything I’ve read seems to say. THM isn’t necessarily a full-on low carb diet, but it definitely cuts and limits carbs, even in the energizing meals, to far less than what most Americans eat.

I also didn’t love how it would often require different meals for kids. It seems they make their own lunches separately from the kids every day. Cooking rice on the side for kids and not you isn’t really an issue, but making a full separate meal would be something I wouldn’t do unless there weren’t enough leftovers or something.
If you follow the plan strictly, you will be counting both fat and carb intake at each meal or snack.

Ingredients
So the science might work, but it might not. But my bigger issue was with a lot of the ingredients they put forward. There is debate over this in some cases even in the book as one of the sisters prefers to keep things more “pure” and not use cheat ingredients or items, like laughing cow cheese. But there are things that both of them recommend that I am not ok with in general, nor do I think are really whole-foods.
For example, defatted peanut flour (though I can’t find anything on how it’s made besides this, it just sounds off to me), stevia, truvia, and glucomannan.

Stevia I had done research on and decided not to use some time ago, at the time it was because I had read about the risk of miscarriage and infertility, but those studies have since been debunked. However, most forms of it are highly processed and mixed with other sweeteners, and I have read other things (here), about people having bad experiences, or their qualms about Stevia (though the first post I linked to on Stevia says these aren’t true… however they both quote some science and I haven’t looked into whose studies are more trustworthy). That said, this post is a good reminder that peoples’ bodies react differently to things (but confirmed that during pregnancy and postpartum is probably NOT the time to try new things – I was considering getting some maca for postpartum but have now decided not to). I don’t mind it occasionally, but wouldn’t make it a part of my daily or weekly life.

Truvia – erythritol. While of all the sugar alcohols erythritol seems to have the least amount of problems, I don’t think I would use it, especially not as one of my 2 main sweeteners (and if you follow the recipes from the THM book, it’s A LOT for both stevia and truvia).
First, sugar alcohols in general: most of them, while being low carb, low GI, and low calorie, aren’t digested well if at all, which puts up red flags for me, even moreso since they aren’t allowed on GAPS (not that GAPS is the standard for those of us with a healthy gut, but still). Chris Kresser gives them a cautious ok, but Kitchen Stewardship, while generally ok-ing them reminds that it doesn’t help sugar cravings at all to just use a better sweetener.

Then erythritol in particular is rather highly processed. Truvia is made from yeast that feeds on GMO corn, so while not made straight from GMO corn it’s still there.

I do use xylitol in our toothpaste, but we’re not swallowing it and I always make sure what I order is non-GMO.

Glucomannan powder is used in the book as a thickener, but what they don’t mention is that glucomannan is actually often used as a weight loss supplement. This doesn’t mean it’s bad, per se, but I do find it odd that they’re not upfront about that and that it’s their thickener of choice when it has 15 grams of carbs per tablespoon but arrowroot has 7 and gelatin has 0 (though I can’t find a clear answer on how much is needed relatively speaking. It seems about 1 tsp glucommannan to thicken 1.5 c water compared to 1 tbsp gelatin to gel 2 c water and 1.5 tsp arrowroot to thicken 1 c water, but “thicken” is a rather imprecise term).

I am on the fence about protein powders, especially as I struggle to get enough protein while pregnant and they really help me. But something that is more “whole food” like gelatin is probably better anyway. This is an interesting post about protein powders, even the real, whole-food ones.

Two smaller things: they have you only use egg whites for E meals, and also recommend low-fat dairy products a lot so you can eat them with E meals. Again, not wrong per-se, but something I don’t see as being all that “whole food” friendly.

Over at Kitchen Stewardship you can read more about these ingredients (and unlike some upset commenters, I have read the whole book and wholeheartedly agree with the review).

You can do THM without these things, but it would be much harder, not so much in everyday food but it would be harder to stay “on plan” since their treats almost always use some of these ingredients, and I think the ability to recreate most foods is what makes it so effective as people can stay on plan.

Tone
I really don’t love their style of writing, both how informal it is as well as some of the things they talk about and they way they talk about it. The most off-putting thing was that the way they talk about avoiding the “unhealthy” foods or mixing fat and carbs is something that I don’t think would encourage a healthy relationship with food. “It’s fattening.” “It will go right to your hips,” etc. Often it made me wonder “is this about my health or my wasitline?” It also seemed like you would always be having to keep track of what kind of meal you last ate and when you ate to avoid mixing fuel sources, and always be having to measure.

There’s also a lot of “you won’t miss anything” and hype that there won’t be any foods you can’t eat as long as you keep the carbs and fat separate. But they basically say you should never eat white potatoes or corn, and rarely eat bananas.

I also don’t agree with all of their theology (especially as it seems inconsistent, as they talk about using all the food groups and all the foods ok’d in the Bible, yet say “no honey!”), nor with their implications that THM is the ONLY and BEST way to lose weight.

However, I read the 2012 edition, so the newer one may be better in that regard.

The Good
I agree that our diets should be much lower in grain than the standard American diet is (ie, cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner). THM is getting people to eat more veggies and less processed, sugar-laden food, which is great!
They also rightly say that rapid weight loss isn’t good and it’s better to have slower, sustainable weight loss and lifestyle than to lose it quickly. Also that it’s not about counting calories (though they do laud calorie-free foods as long as they’re made with the ingredients allowed).

They talk about tailoring the plan for YOUR needs, which as a pregnant and nursing mother I really appreciated as so many other things are hard to do in those circumstances, if you can do them at all (full GAPS), or as in my experience grain-free, left me with no energy but also not knowing how to boost it without re-introducing grain (and maybe that’s just exactly what I needed anyway!). But this is especially important with a low GI diet as everyone has a different response to insulin and different weight loss needs (and THM isn’t just a plan for weight loss, but weight maintenance as well).
The exercise portion was in line with a lot of what I’ve read lately about high intensity interval workouts being most effective as well as fighting a sedentary lifestyle.
I only skimmed the skincare portion, but it seemed good. The section on hormones also made sense, but I haven’t done any research into that so can’t say if it’s really accurate or not.

A number of friends love the plan and find it sustainable, effective, and freeing, which is great! It can be done without ingredients that might make you uncomfortable, and while the science behind it may not be fully accurate, it does seem to work.

Would I ever do it? Possibly, but I would probably try just a plain low-carb diet first, as it’s easier and seems to be more supported by science, and if I ever did go onto full THM I would do it without the ingredients I mentioned above, on a traditional-foods diet.

(Another review can be found at Nourishing Gourmet).

The Book on Leadership: Revolutionizing Motherhood

I picked MacArthur’s “The Book on Leadership” as one of my books to read for Tim Challies’ reading challenge this year. I went into it not expecting it to really be “for” me as I’m not really in a leadership position anywhere, but early on he made it clear that motherhood is a leadership position (well duh, Kyleigh), and so it ended up being a really good book for me to read, and slowly process, review, and apply.
He talked about how influence is a huge part of leadership, and a leader as someone whose life and character motivate people to follow, and then outlined 26 character traits of a leader as seen in Paul. As part of my post-reading thought process, I started writing out some ways those character traits apply in motherhood. I’ve listed some of my comments below but didn’t want to fill it in completely to let you think through it some for whatever your leadership role might be!

TRUSTWORTHY. keeping promises to S, even if it seems unimportant to me or like she doesn’t really understand yet.
INITIATIVE. not waiting for her to ask to play with me
GOOD JUDGEMENT really thinking about where I draw boundaries
SPEAK WITH AUTHORITY not being wishy-washy with my boundaries when she pushes them
STRENGTHENS OTHERS
ENTHUSIASTIC AND OPTIMISTIC
NEVER COMPROMISES ABSOLUTES
FOCUSES ON OBJECTIVES NOT OBSTACLES
EMPOWERS BY EXAMPLE making sure I keep myself to the same standard I hold out for S!
CULTIVATES LOYALTY
EMPATHY FOR OTHERS not brushing it off when S is upset
KEEPS CLEAR CONSCIENCE asking forgiveness when I need to
DEFINITE AND DECISIVE but,
KNOWS WHEN TO CHANGE MIND
DOESN’T ABUSE AUTHORITY
DOESN’T ABDICATE IN OPPOSITION
SURE OF CALLING especially when other things like writing vie for my for attention
KNOWS OWN LIMITATIONS knowing when to ask for help!
RESILIENT
PASSIONATE
COURAGEOUS
DISCERNING

DISCIPLINED <— really needed to be reminded of that one!
ENERGETIC
KNOWS HOW TO DELEGATE
CHRISTLIKE

March


I’ve been craving cheese and carbs this pregnancy (mostly cheese, though) and so mac and cheese sounded PERFECT.


Keeping S occupied while I practiced oboe.


I’d also been having trouble with restless legs, but couldn’t get magnesium flakes before I left for Dubai so tried to load up on cacao nibs.


bought an onigiri mold at the 100 Yen store and practiced with some leftover rice!


Packing for Dubai! Everything including gifts and cloth diapers fit!


How to keep a toddler occupied on a 12 hour flight with a 2 hour delay. She did SO well.


Eeyore is great with S, but he is also jealous of all the attention she gets.


Hannah had gotten back from France the same day I arrived, so she brought me a crossaint.


sleeping away the jet lag


Sarah had a layover so I got to see her for a bit!


pita with hummus, halloumi cheese, Egyptian-style fava beans, za’atar and veggies for lunch.


park time with Grandpa


We had crazy rain so we had to do the Dubai kid thing and splash in puddles.


sewing at the C’s like always! I was re-elasticizing some cloth diaper covers. 2 bucks for elastic and a couple of hours to re-do 6 diaper covers! So worth it!


They handed us a coupon book when we walked into the mall so we had to get buy-one-get-one-free waffles.


beach day!

S hates the water but LOVES sand.


Global Village

we bought some stuff, but mostly came for these!


We’ve run into a number of Syrians and it’s hard for me every time, to know what to say when they talk about home with so much sorrow. Same thing with Yemenis, as we taste-tested honey in the Yemen pavilion.


watching Aunt Candace play baseball


brunch with M


my Global Village goodies.


visa run to Oman


Doctor Who with Candace


got to go hear the Dubai Wind Band! I miss playing with them.


Easter at the beach

trying to get a good picture!


Always a good time with these people


Got to play English Horn with the Arabian Youth Orchestra. I’m so thankful it worked out, with there being a part, an open spot, and for my parents being able to babysit S for the handful of rehearsals I had to be at and the concerts.
It was also great as it was a different conductor this year, one that was really amazing, both as a conductor and in working with youth. One day he had us “play” 4′ 33″, which was actually really neat as a way to practice silence as well as really have a time of rest and calm – I definitely have more appreciation for the piece now!

S got to hear some of a rehearsal and was dancing and conducting as usual


homemade marshmallows


I was only in half of the concert which meant I got to relax for the 2nd half. ;)

favorite recipes// since we were with my family for most of March, I didn’t really cook. But we did make Mommypotamus’s marshmallows, and I made okonomiyaki for my family (used this recipe for chuno sauce).

best of online// when you carry the weight of a child // interesting experiment about kids and guns // why kids should go barefoot more // Better than a birth plan // wanted // conversation with Michael Card // freezing in glass // the overlooked hope for Susan Pevensie // Syria: Hell is never far away // genetics & sleep training // Your Sorrow Will Turn to Joy – Meditations for Holy Week // Beware of Quicksand // Though You Slay Me // Picturing Loss: Syrian Families Pose Leaving Space for Missing Loved Ones
***What you should know about the Syrian Civil War
***Reducing allergies by introducing tastes of food between 5-7 months (read the whole thing! It’s fascinating!)
*** Creative Motherhood

reading of late// A Gospel Primer (Milton Vincent) // Trim Healthy Mama (review possibly coming soon) // A Grief Observed (Lewis) // Art & The Bible (Schaeffer. Good summary here) // listening to Compelling Interest //

thinking about// It’s so easy to skip over news of attacks by ISIS, Boko Haram. Al Shabaab. and others. “Again. Another one.” I often feel like I emotionally can’t hear of another. But then you meet people. You meet the woman at the park who’s from Syria and when she says it you don’t know how you’ll ever respond because of the look in her eyes. Or you’re talking with the men selling honey in the Yemen Pavilion at Global Village and telling them where you went and remember that some of those places are gone now. And in the Syria pavilion, how much you want to go back but can’t.
Please, you don’t have to read every article, but at least take a moment to pray for every headline you read. For many people it’s not just another headline.

what brings joy// S playing with my friends’ kids and experiencing my favorite things of Dubai // Good Friday hymn-sings complete with Passion Chorales (Ah Holy Jesus, O Sacred Head) // Dubai skyline // playing with an ensemble // English Horn // poems from Ezra // little baby movements

The Munchkins// S seems to prefer making noises over words (she usually identifies the dog and cat by their sounds even though she can say dog and kitty), but her latest word is “no,” and she really likes to use it. Camels seem to have replace dogs as her favorite animal.
She also tells us where she wants to go by holding our hand and leading us there, likes to hold sheet music and sing, and loves baby dolls (she likes to cry for them, and if I say they’re hungry, she hands the baby to me. If I say they want milk, she drops the doll and signs for nursing…). She also bows instead of saying thank you, and occasionally will bow when she hands you something (16.5 months).
Akachan appears to be growing well and I have definitely felt movement!

Bump 2.0 – First Trimester

I can’t believe I’m already a week or two into the second trimester! It’s gone so quickly. I have to keep reminding myself that second trimester with S was a road trip, Csehy, family vacations/reunions, birth classes, a move, and lots of other things. It goes quickly but it’s also plenty of time to prepare.


Baby!


11/12 weeks

From March 16

7.5 weeks VS 13/14 weeks.

From March 16

{for comparison… 14 weeks with S}

Baby is due September 13-19… I side with the later date but don’t know if they will officially change the due date to it or not, even though it’s what the ultrasound showed. I loved the midwife I met at my first appointment. I have to deliver at a hospital since the birth centers won’t take anyone rh- (I guess it’s not common here!), and we want to stay somewhere that language isn’t a barrier, but we’ve heard really good things about it being flexible with what you want to do in labor.
I have still felt really good – just some indigestion occasionally and I get restless legs more frequently than I did with S. But otherwise it’s been easy and I’m really thankful for that!

I am almost positive I’ve been feeling the baby move off and on since about 13 weeks. I’m in a bit of denial about it since it’s so early, but I don’t know when I started feeling it with S since I brushed it off as gas for a few weeks before I realized at 18 weeks it was the baby moving.
As I write I’m about 15 weeks (a few days over 14 or a few days shy of 16) and just gave up my pre-pregnancy jeans (3 weeks earlier than with S, but these fit better), and feel like I have a temperamental bump depending on what I ate, my posture, etc.
I want cheese, and carbs too, but mostly CHEESE.

LINK LOVE {will add these to our “favorites”}
Pregnancy in Japan
5 Movements for a Better Birth
10 Tips to Surviving Pregnancy with a Toddler
15 Tips for a More Enjoyable Pregnancy
Spinning Babies, Daily Activities
Fourth Trimester Take Two
Keep Sensations of Early Labor a Secret
Not Ready
How Caring for Children Changes the World
Milestones not in Baby Books
When Motherhood Breaks You
Raising My Ebenezer

February


From some oranges I bought…


S loves to hold on when we’re on the train


Everywhere needs these – a seat for the baby in public restrooms!


Snow! We went to Hokkaido for the Snow Festival in Sapporo. This is what greeted us at the station our Air BnB was closest to! I’ll be posting more photos from that trip in a separate post.


Seeking warmth in Sapporo


We went with a few friends, which was really fun, and it helped S to have a friend for when we were just hanging out at the air bnb. The guys were building a snowman and the girls were watching. :)


S playing in the snow. She didn’t like it.


Hard to see, but that’s Fuji in the distance.


Better view of Fuji! My friend Sarah came to visit and wanted to see pretty scenery, so we went to a lot of parks while she was here.


The beach with Fuji views also had lots of sea glass and pottery!


About once a month there’s an event in town that’s a room full of handmade felt toys. It’s free, but even if it wasn’t we’d go because the toys are beautiful and S always has a blast.


We went searching for Plum Blossoms at a beautiful garden in Yokohama.


Feeding the fish


With Sarah


On Valentines Day in Japan, the girls give their guys chocolate. The kind of chocolate they give them depends on how much they like the guy – there’s “obligation chocolate” and then there’s the really nice stuff, or even better, homemade. So I made Ezra some truffles. ;)


We have 8 recipes left from Jerusalem!!! This baklava was delicious and so easy!


And Sarah wanted Indian food since it’s hard to get where she lives right now and they LOVE Indian food in Japan. So we mostly ate lots of naan because I’m pregnant and want carbs.


We also made some tasty pizza


Ezra and I went to Tully’s for tea. But they only had black tea and it was 8 PM. So we got hot chocolate.


That’s OUR BABY!!! Only one, and his/her heartbeat was strong. So thankful (twins would be welcomed but I’d rather not move with twin 2 month olds…)


We found some Sakura too and of course S drew a crowd. ;)


And the cherry blossom route took us through some beautiful farms.


Flowers bought here last so much longer and are so much cheaper!


It keeps her occupied for a long time every day!


More Jerusalem


First braid!

favorite recipes// white chicken enchilada casserole // grain free puff pancake // dark chocolate earl grey truffles (tea needs a longer steep) // whole wheat blueberry scones // creamy ham and sweet potato soup // re-make: spinach egg artichoke casserole // buckwheat (or just plain wheat) pancakes with blue cheese and green onion //

best of online//  when motherhood breaks you // 8 simple words for when someone is grieving // raising my Ebenezer (so good as we look ahead to things changing with #2) // flirting with the idol of safety // escaping ISIS // eBook publisher can’t afford traditional publishing // some thoughts on Trump // masterly inactivity in homeschooling // Not ready // Why the Hashtag #foodporn needs to stop // This article is good, and I don’t know how I feel about Jesus in pictures, but I love this picture // developing our second bests // Six Truths for Dating Someone with a Sexual History // How Music Elevates Story in Lord of the Rings // Florence Foster Jenkins //How Caring for Children Changes the World // Milestones not in baby books // Your name in Gallifreyan // Hidden Miracles of the Natural World // various videos from Facebook I can’t link to: Bernie Sanders “conducting,” a reminder to keep round batteries away from kids, and for younger, gassy babies, don’t lift their legs for a diaper change but roll them side to side.

reading of late// The Shadowfields // Twelve Ordinary Men (MacArthur) // The Book on Leadership (MacArthur) //

The Munchkins//
S is really starting to talk more! She says things very seriously all the time, but her vocabulary is growing beyond mama, baby, yay, and wow – she says hi to everyone, says shoe, dog, papa/man (seems to be the same word for both), and chocho (Japanese for butterfly). She will also make elephant, monkey, dog, cow (boo), crow, and owl noises. She knows the ultrasound photo on the fridge is baby and that baby and my tummy have something to do with each other, but I don’t know if she really understands or just knows that’s what we call it.
Akachan appears to be growing well! I feel great and am so excited. I know it’s still early, but I may have felt the baby moving.

writing// Emirates + lots and lots of editing!