Levi: 2.5 Years

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My sweet baby boy is officially 2.5 years old! Before we know it, it will be his third birthday. I just can’t believe that. He is extremely fun and extremely challenging, all wrapped up in a 28 lb, 38″ body. Here’s an update on Levi:

EATING

Not much has changed in this department! He is still great about trying almost anything. Levi loves to help me cook dinner, so I’ve noticed when he does help and we are eating something new to him, he is more likely to try it and enjoy it! His favorite foods are currently macaroni and cheese, hotdogs, asparagus, and rice and beans. He is even beginning to like salads more (a change from my last update)!

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SLEEP

Levi’s sleep habits are about the same as well! Bedtime is at 7:30 and he’ll usually sleep until 7:30 or 8 AM. Then, he’ll go down for a 2-2.5 hour nap at 12:30. He still loves and needs his sleep! We transitioned Levi into his “big boy bed” right around the same time that he was potty training. I would not recommend doing both at the same time (he was acting out for a week or two, probably because of all the changes), but he did great right from the start! He loves his big boy bed.

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MOTOR SKILLS

This past month, Levi has really become a fast runner! He is also doing wonderfully with staircases, staying upright and holding onto the rails. We have begun working with him on coming down our spiral staircase on his own. As far as fine motor skills, Levi is meticulous as ever. He loves any type of art project (coloring, painting, stickers) and is very particular about the placement of certain items. He has also grown to love building with his Legos!

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COMMUNICATION

Levi is becoming more and more articulate every day! We are pretty amazed with his communication skills. He is speaking in 4-5 word sentences and is extremely inquisitive to learn the names and sounds of things. I have been working through the North Star Catechism with him during breakfast a few times a week, and he really loves that! So far, we have made it through five questions and he has memorized the sentence-long answers to each. We are so proud of him!

DISCIPLINE

This area has proved to be the most challenging over the last couple of months! Levi’s temper is really beginning to become more prominent and it has been a continuous process of helping him learn to control it. We have been trying to stay as consistent as possible with the consequences for him acting out, and it seems to be helping. We are having many fewer bad days than good ones at this point.

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POTTY TRAINING

In March, we began potty training Levi! I had planned for a 3-day all intensive training–and it literally took one day for him to be completely trained. Every couple of days he would have an accident (if we were out, or if he was farther from the bathroom), but overall he was completely day trained. We were kind of amazed! I was expecting it to be much, much harder! He loved wearing his big boy Mickey and Turtle undies, so that was definitely a great incentive for him. We also did sticker incentives for a week or two! Once they ran out, we stopped the stickers and never looked back.

About two weeks after he was completely day trained, he had stopped waking up from sleep times with wet diapers. It was pretty much like he had trained his body to stay dry while sleeping! So, we then transitioned to undies 24/7 and he has done amazing. We are so proud of our big boy and I have been enjoying a little break from diapers before babyMat arrives!

INDEPENDENT PLAY

Independent play has gotten much, much better for Levi! He now will play in his room while I am in a different part of the house. We don’t have a very consistent time for this every day (because our schedule tends to change daily), but usually at least some point throughout the day he will have “room time” for 30-45 minutes.

CHORES

We don’t really have set “chores” for Levi, but he LOVES to help us with everything! He is a natural helper. He helps me unload the dishwasher, clean the bathroom, start and sort laundry, wipe down the kitchen cabinets, vacuum (his favorite!), cook meals, and pick up his things around the house. He also loves to help his daddy mow the grass! We are so thankful for his servant heart!

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We have so enjoyed these last months with Levi as our only child! They have been really sweet for us, especially as he is growing and learning and interacting with us so much more! We cannot wait to see how he handles life as a big brother. We know it will be challenging for him, but we are looking forward to involving him in taking care of his brother! Levi, our sweet boy, you are so loved.

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The Story Of How We Found A House In Less Than 24 Hours.

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve been making plans and preparations for months now to make the move from Louisville, KY to Miami, FL. We’re excited to work with a church plant down there and minister in the inner-city of Little Haiti. Here’s more about what led us to that decision and what we’ll be doing.

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Well, this past weekend, Brian headed out of town to Miami to begin the process of searching for a house for us. In the weeks leading up to this trip, we had been looking at houses online and had found a handful of contenders. Literally, like 3. Our criteria: (1) it had to be in the neighborhood of Little Haiti or within a 1-2 mile radius, (2) it had to have 3 bedrooms, so that our family could grow into it for several years to come, and (3) it had to have windows. You read that right, windows–because literally there were some that had been boarded up for years. And I’m not really into that sort of “project” with a 2 month old, ya know?

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Brian left us on Friday, nervous, but expectant of what the weekend would hold. We aren’t especially picky people–definitely more of “go-with-the-flow” and “we-can-make-this-work” type people–so we felt that the short time frame that he would be searching (2 days total) and the limited options could work in our favor.

Did I mention “favor”? Goodness, we felt it. On Saturday morning (less than 12 hours since Brian had arrived, mind you), our friend Jeremiah got to talking with the landlord who owns a house literally 4-5 houses down from his own. After renting it out for several years, she was in the process of cleaning it out and painting it in order to get it on the market that next week. And she asked him, “Do you know of anyone wanting to buy a house?”

Has your jaw hit the floor yet? Because that’s exactly how we felt. Brian wasn’t even scheduled to meet with our realtor until later on that afternoon and this house wasn’t even on the market yet, but we can see how the Father was just lining it up from the beginning. What’s even more amazing–it fits all of our “criteria”, plus some. It’s 4 doors down from the Taylor’s, which will not only be fun, but important as our family transitions to a new city and culture. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, and we were really just expecting 3 and 1. And it has windows!!

We’ll need to do some work on the property before we move in, but it is literally half of our budget, so we will have the funds available to make those changes. And my wonderful roofing contractor daddy is already assembling a team to get the renovation under way when the sale is finalized! We couldn’t be more excited or thankful for how God has provided for us.

If you have been praying for our family, thank you! There are many unknowns that come with a move of this sort–and we are still wrestling through some of them–but we know that this house is clear confirmation that we are supposed to be in Miami working with the Taylor’s and Redemption Church.  Our contract for the house is underway and it’s looking like we will be closing towards the end of July.

What are some of our most pressing prayer needs now? 

  • We are still in need of financial supporters to help reach our monthly goal! To be completely honest, we sent out a total of 85 letters over the course of April and May and have only heard from a handful of you. Some weeks have been discouraging for us, in that aspect. We know that not everyone is in the place to give to us financially right now, but even a pledge card sent back to us letting us know that you commit to praying for us is so uplifting to our spirits! If you did not receive one of our support letters, but would like to, feel free to email us at bmathews@redemptionchurch.com with your contact information. You can also give directly to us here–just make sure to choose our names from the drop-down list.
  • We are about to have this baby! I (Ashley) am 36 weeks along today and my doctor seems to think he may be an early comer like his big brother. Any day now, we’ll be bringing another sweet boy into this crazy season of our lives and to say that I’m nervous would be an understatement. Pray that the transition from 1 to 2 kiddos would happen “smoothly” and that God would give us the patience and perseverance through the many changes coming our way!

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  • The actual timeline of our move is still undetermined. Brian has a transfer request in with Starbucks that could take place on August 1st, at the earliest, or anytime in the months after. Pray with us that August would be THE month! We are working through different temporary living options for when our lease is up on our current place on July 31st and it would be ideal, financially and otherwise, for us to be heading to Miami in the month of August.
  • Pray that the inspection on our house would be flawless and that we could continue to move forward in the process of purchasing it!

Well, that’s the story of how we found a house in less than 24 hours. Or really, what we like to call “how a house practically fell into our laps within 24 hours.” God is so good, y’all. Even in the midst of our doubt and unbelief, he still lavishes his unending gifts on us.