Summer Reading.

I do this every year.
I make a list of books I want to read throughout the summer.
And most of the time, I don’t even get through two of them.
But this time, I really want to change that.
So, I’ve compiled a list of 5 books.
Usually, I’m over-ambitious and choose like 10.
But 5 seems to be a bit more realistic.
So, I’m listing them on here to act as a reminder to me.
To read them.

And learn from them.
And enjoy them.

So here they are:

Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret by Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor
This is whom my son’s middle name is inspired, so it is only right to know a little bit more about him. Brian read this book several months back and couldn’t recommend it enough. And biographies are my favorite types of books to read, so this one should come easy. Key word: should.

Christ + City by Jon M. Dennis
We want to work in an urban center overseas. I wanted to mix my list up a bit and throw in some theology/practical application for church planting. Brian recently read this one too and recommended it (ah, the life of a seminary student). I thought I’d give it a try.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I read this book in high school and it was one of my all-time favorites. Plus, the movie is coming out in a few weeks, so I’d like to compare the two. Added to my list.

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson
I started reading this towards the end of my pregnancy, but I was too exhausted to get passed the first chapter. I’ve heard great things about it, so I definitely want to read it this summer to learn more about parenting and the Gospel.

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I feel like this is going to be the most challenging book to get through, but I like a challenge. Sometimes. I needed to mix my list up a bit, so I went for this one. We’ll see how it goes.

So, that’s my list! Here’s to attempt #7 at self-imposed Summer Reading. Maybe this year will be different!

Levi: Week 20 Summary

Here’s a recap of Levi’s 20th week!

Nothing too new this week as far as feeding is concerned for Levi. We did not try any solids this week, which turned out to be a great thing (stayed tuned for his sleeping tendencies!) Some days during the beginning of the week, he actually extended to 3.5 to 4 hours between feedings. This was mostly due to a longer afternoon nap during those days. Toward the end of the week, he leveled back out to 3 hour intervals. I think he is progressively going to put himself on a 4 hour schedule within the next month or so, but I’m not going to push it. If I’ve learned anything with Levi thus far, it’s that he does things in his own time 🙂

Overall, Levi took great naps all week! On occasion, he would cry it out for about 15 minutes, but even those times seemed rare this week. I figured out he goes down best for his morning nap about an hour and 20 minutes from his first feeding. He also started extending his mid-afternoon nap to about 2 hours! As long as he gets a good morning nap and a solid 2 hour nap in the mid-afternoon, he usually just needed a 45-60 minute nap in the late afternoon to keep him happy until bedtime. He was taking four 1.5 hour naps each day, so most days this week he was able to eliminate his last one! Some days he had more trouble!

Levi’s time awake was pretty pleasant all week! He was content to independently play on his floor gym or in his Bumbo. He really enjoyed his Sophie giraffe this week and he has learned how to hold her better and gnaw on her! After a few weeks of busyness, we also started reading his Jesus Storybook Bible again before his morning nap. He really loves the pictures! On a good day, we can get through about 2 pages before he gets antsy…but hey, even a little truth is some truth 🙂

Levi’s mobility skills are ever-increasing! This week he continued to figure out how to “pivot” his body while on his belly and his back. It’s hilarious to watch him wiggle back and forth to do this. He also started laughing a bit more this week! He does it when Brian or I poke him in his ribs or sometimes when I put him on my knees and bounce him around like Superman. It’s the cutest laugh ever…but I may be a bit biased…

Breakthrough! That’s all I have to say about this week in this area. Every night this week Levi slept at least 8 hours and some nights even 10-11 hours! We have been putting him to bed at 8 PM every night (ones that we are home), which usually works perfect because his last feeding is around 7 PM. He seems to either wake around 4 AM or 6:30 AM on any given morning–both of which are totally fine with me! If he wakes at 4 AM, I usually will give him a full feeding to hold him over until at least 7 AM. Several times this week, when he woke at 6:30, he didn’t actually sound hungry, so I let him cry it out. Typically, he would go back to sleep until at least 7:30. Only one time did his crying escalate to where I felt like he was hungry. I half-fed him that time, put him back in his crib, and he slept until 8 AM. I’m hoping this trend continues! I’m proud of my little guy!

No real big events this week in the life of Levi. Once he started sleeping through the night in the beginning of the week, I wanted to stay consistent as possible so he would keep it up! So he didn’t go out much at nighttime, when possible to keep him in! I don’t always want to do that with him, but I figure he has to establish that pattern for now.

One fun thing that happened this week in the life of our family was our friends, Ethan and Anna, announcing their pregnancy! We had known for a few weeks, but they finally made it public! Yay! We are very excited for them and can’t wait for Levi to have a Crowder buddy/girlfriend to play with! He or she is due on November 29th–two days before Levi’s 1st birthday. Here’s to hoping for a birthday buddy for him 🙂

In closing, here are the many faces of Levi Hudson this week:


That’s all for now. Until next week!

Levi: Weeks 18 & 19 Summary

18 weeks! On his way to Daytona Beach!

All of last week and half of this week we were in Florida on vacation! Levi did surprisingly well the entire trip, despite our moving from city to city almost every other day. We tried to keep him in his normal routine of eat-play-sleep as much as possible, so I really think that helped. Overall, he was a really happy boy!

Nothing really changed in the nursing aspect of things. Still every three hours. I noticed Levi was a bit less distracted than in previous weeks, which was nice. I really aimed at nursing him for most feedings during this trip so that my supply didn’t drastically drop (this happened last time we went to Florida, because everyone was anxious to feed him bottles). This time, he only had maybe 2 bottles the entire 10 days, which not only kept my supply intact, but also kept me from having to pump as often, which is such a time sucker!

Levi also tried avocado for the first time while we were in FL! I just mashed it up and mixed it with breastmilk to thin it out some–so easy! He seemed to be okay with it. It was his first “real food” that wasn’t rice cereal. My mom and I tried to feed him closer to his naptime, so he got real whiny, real quick! I certainly plan on trying it again, just not sure when exactly that will be. I’m considering waiting a few more weeks for solids–at least until he is 5 months old. I’m anxious, because it is fun, but I really don’t want to rush him if he isn’t ready. I’m also leaning toward the “baby-led weaning” approach with him because I like the philosophy behind it, and we really can’t start that until he is 6 months old.

Levi’s wake time for these two weeks were much different than normal, simply because he didn’t have all of the usual toys he has at home. He spent a lot of time playing on the floor with rattles (we could pack those) and he even had a few new experiences. Levi went in the pool and the ocean for the first time while we were in Florida! He seemed to enjoy both and tended to do better when Brian was holding him in the water–I think he felt safer!

All that progress Levi made during the night before we left for Florida was completely interrupted on our vacation! But I definitely don’t hold that against him at all. He was sleeping in weird and uncomfortable places (in a play pen) the entire time, so he regressed back to waking every 3 hours. Luckily, the later part of this past week (week 19), when we were back at home he had a good 5 hour stretch one night and last night he slept from 10:30 PM-6:30 AM. Yay! Obviously, it’s just going to take a few days of our normal routine to get him back into the swing of things!

My birthday was during Levi’s 18th week of life! It was so much fun to have him and Brian to spend it with this year (and my parents and brother as well). We went to Friendly’s in Orlando the night of my birthday and Brian put some strawberry ice cream on Levi’s lips. Right away, he pulled back–I think he was startled by how cold it was! It was also so fun to show Levi some of our favorite places in Florida. He was such a good sport as we traveled from Orlando to Daytona Beach to Tampa and, finally, to my hometown of Citrus Springs.

It is amazing how Levi’s personality is changing and developing! This trip to Florida (unlike my last trip with him in February) was SO much more enjoyable. Levi was unbelievably happy and content almost the entire time. As long as he was fed and well rested (which I made sure happened the best that I could), he was in the best mood! During the past few weeks, I have really seen him grow more attached to Brian as well. His face literally lights up when he sees him. I think Levi is starting to recognize Brian as his daddy now, which is adorable! I’m surprised it took this long, but as I think back, the first three months of this life were really focused on physical needs. Since I was home with him during the day, he obviously depended on me for a lot of these things. Now that he is becoming more play-oriented and can express his emotions much more, I can tell he just loves his daddy so much!

While Levi is totally sweet, when he wants something he is the most stubborn and demanding little guy! This hasn’t changed 🙂 When he is hungry, he has a distinct scream to let us know. When he doesn’t want to take a nap, he will cry in his crib for 20 minutes until he passes out. When he doesn’t want to be in the Bumbo anymore, he will arch his back to where he will almost flip over the back of the chair. He is definitely not a perfect baby! But thankfully, we expected that! 🙂

Levi is so close to rolling over on purpose! He can do it sporadically from tummy to back–but I don’t think it’s intentional just yet. He started lifting his legs really high when he is laying on his back, which rolls him onto his side, so I know that rolling is right around the corner. He is also learning to rotate his body while laying on his back! I went to get him from his crib the other morning and he was completely turned the opposite direction than how I had laid him down that night! Levi is also improving his skill of grabbing and holding onto toys that are placed in front of him.

Here are some pictures of our wonderful vacation:

First time in the pool.
My birthday in Orlando!


Pool time with Daddy!


Showing Levi the ocean.


Playing in the waves!


First family vacation!


Levi: Week 17 Summary

17 weeks! Levi’s First Easter!

Levi is officially 4 months old! Crazy to think about. He had a pretty eventful week. Here’s a quick recap:

Nursing is pretty much the same as last week. One distracted boy! There were several times this week that he seemed satisfied after eating for only 30 minutes, so that was definitely nice!

Levi also tried rice cereal again two times this week. The first time, I think I made it a bit too thin, so he had trouble with it. And boy, did it make a mess! The second time, I was sure to make it a bit thicker and he did much better. He actually ate the entire bowl! Then he screamed for the next hour from constipation…. We are going to wait a few more days before trying it again.

Still loving the Bumbo and floor gym. Levi did grab a toy that was sitting in front of him this week and start waving it around. First time for that! Still working on the whole rolling over thing as well.

I think something clicked about naps this week for Levi! It was great. He would easily sleep 1-2 hours at a time and barely fussed or woke at all. I made sure to put him down right at the 1.5 hour mark from when he had woken–earlier if he was getting fussy. On Monday, he actually napped for 3 hours straight! Brian and I laid down to take a 1 hour nap, while he did. We didn’t set alarm, assuming he’d wake us up. Yea…3 hours later I woke up…and Levi was still sleeping. First time for that! Usually the kid is like clockwork. I think he was just exhausted from our busy Easter Sunday the day before.

There was only one night this week where Levi woke multiple times! Yay! All other nights he woke around 3 or 4 AM and then slept through til morning. It was a great week for sleep! I have officially figured out that doing a dreamfeed does not work for this kiddo. Every time I feed him at 8 PM and then put him down while he was awake immediately after, he would sleep 8 hours straight (til 4 AM), but every time I dreamfed him around 10 PM, he would wake at least two more times throughout the night. I think it just messed with his sleep rhythm or something. Done with that!

Levi’s first Easter was this week! He had no clue. Brian’s 26th birthday was this week. Also, no clue. Lastly, he had his 4 month doctor’s appointment this week. This, he figured out! He had to get 3 shots and 1 oral vaccine. Poor baby 😦

He weighed in at 14 lbs even and measured 25.5 inches in length! 40th percentile for weight and 70th percentile for height. Looks like we’ll have a tall and lean little guy on our hands…not surprising, considering his daddy!

We’re heading to Florida tomorrow for a 10 day much needed vacation! Can’t wait to take this guy in the pool and show him the beach. It’s going to be great. Praying it won’t totally ruin all the progress he has made this week! But it will be worth it, regardless. That’s all for now!

Levi: Week 16 Summary

16 weeks!

Man, this last week was rough! Levi was so great all week, but I was super sick with a cold/sinus infection (couldn’t really tell what it was–all I knew is that I felt terrible) so that made things difficult. To top it all off, I had a huge final paper to write for my seminary class, so that just added to the stress! Here’s a summary of Levi’s last week as a 3 month old babe. I’m not crying, really.

The only real difference with feeding Levi this week was his level of distraction. He usually eats for about 30-40 minutes, but this week, every time we hit the 20 minute mark it was hard to keep him focused! He would literally stop eating and just stare at me and smile. He would just gaze into my eyes like I was his favorite person in the world; I think I am–but don’t tell Brian 😉 Of course, that made me feel great, but the dude needs to eat or the whole day goes downhill quick!

Related to feeding, Levi tried rice cereal for the first time this week as well! He seemed to like it…kind of…
I think he was just very confused as to what was happening and then halfway through the bowl he started screaming because he just wanted his milk. I haven’t tried it since that day (I’ve been too lazy), but I do plan on trying it again this next week!

This stayed the same as last week too! Bumbo and floor gym and the toys of choice. I was reading a blog about tummy time recently and how to get him to like it more. One tip they give is to lay on your back and put the baby on your legs in the air (like Superman). We tried it! And he LOVED it! He literally laughed and smiled the whole time. I think he liked that he felt taller than me for once. And he actually has liked tummy time a lot more since doing that, so success!  Levi did roll from tummy to back 4-5 times this week as well!

Levi napped pretty much the same as last week as well–mostly long naps (1-1.5 hrs) and a few shorter ones. I’ve started to figure out his cues for napping are fussiness and red around his eyes. He does yawn occasionally too, but if I put him down before the other two things happen, he won’t actually go to sleep for 20-30 minutes.

Well apparently, not much has changed this week, because Levi’s nighttime sleep is about the same as well! A few times when I dreamfed him around 10 or 11 pm, he didn’t automatically wake up 3 hours later, which was the issue before. I’ve learned if I do dreamfeed him at night to try to keep him as asleep as possible. Sometimes that is difficult, but I figure if he doesn’t wake up and I’m just filling his belly to hold him over, then he won’t automatically want to wake up 3 hours later. We’ll still experimenting with that!

We stayed home pretty much all week because I was sick and because I had a paper to write–I called it my “hermit week.” So there were no big events in the life of little Levi. Poor guy.