Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby’s 1st Christmas and the holiday in review…

It’s been a wonderful holiday season for us! Last year at this time, we only dreamt of what it might be like to have a child at Christmastime. A year ago I was just starting to feel Sebastian’s movements inside my belly… the awe and wonder of a baby growing on the inside have now translated into the awe and wonder of a baby growing on the outside. He brings us such JOY! Our happy, healthy, smiley baby is really the best Christmas gift we could have hoped for – we are so BLESSED and have so much for which to be THANKFUL!IMG_4330As to be expected at this age, he experiences pretty much everything via his mouth, and opening his gifts was no exception. Many thanks to all our family for the generous gifts. Sebastian is a happy lil’ camper and is totally enjoying all of his new toys. We still have presents under the tree for him, because we have found that any more than one or two gifts a day is a bit overwhelming… and we’d like to extend his Christmas for a little while longer. We actually haven’t done any gifts for the past two days, and Sebastian certainly doesn’t seem to mind. :)IMG_4329He had a great time dressing up like a miniature Santa… followed by an elf. IMG_4344Grandma and Grandpa were excited to be able to share some of the Christmas cheer with our little Santa/Elf/Baby… never mind the runny nose! IMG_4364And Seb had lots of fun exchanging presents with his cousin (and helping open others’ presents, too!). This year the cousins all exchanged names, and Sebastian and Gabe both had each other’s names. IMG_4379 One of the gifts that I was more excited about giving this year was an album that I had made for Tim’s mom from the pictures of our trip to the Outer Banks. Each of his siblings contributed photos, plus I managed to sneak some off of my M-I-L’s camera, and it turned out to be a wonderful collection of photographed memories. It was a fun surprise!
Sebastian even got to spend time with his second cousin, Blake, who’s just two months older than him, but about 5 pounds and 2 inches bigger (note the two happy twin grandpas holding their newest grandbabies). IMG_4409 And… he got to hang out and play with his cousins, Isaac and Lauryn, who love to make him laugh. Sebastian just giggles and giggles anytime they’re around. They were kind enough to share their rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” on video. If you pay close enough attention, you can hear Sebastian trying to sing along in the background.

I received a Flip video camera for Christmas (very, very cool and exciting!), which gives me the ability to film videos in a super easy fashion… so stay tuned for more videos to come! Aunt Bev’s been asking for the videos…And one last shot – Grandma Judy with her kiddos. I think I see some resemblance in the genes of these cousins!gma judy and grandkidsMerry Christmas and God bless us everyone!

More fun in the snow!

As promised - here are more photos of Sebastian's first big snow storm... The snow is mostly melted by now, and it's bitter cold outside.  It doesn't seem to bother Seb one bit... He still loves the outdoors, of course.  I'm wondering when we'll get him his first pair of snowshoes or hiking boots! Love, love, love this cutie pie!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winter wonderland...

All 17 inches of it.  White as white could be.  We were snowed in on December 19th.  My Christmas party for work was cancelled.  We stayed cozy in bed for an extended period of time, had a delicious waffle brunch, lounged around a bit, got some things done around the house and enjoyed a slower pace of life... for just a moment.  I did end up making 3 different batches of soup throughout the day, and our friends Marvin & Dori schlepped over to our house in the crazy weather to have dinner and hang out in the evening.  It was WONDERFUL! I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of snow, but when it causes the above snowball effect (no pun intended), I'm all for it.  It was great... til I drove to work on Monday morning and got stuck in the snow at the end of our back alley.  But that's another story...

Sebastian has always loved the outdoors, and adding snow to the mix didn't seem to change his opinion about being outside.  We plopped him in the middle of some snow, and he was oh. so. HAPPY!  See for yourself!

I'm currently experiencing some technical difficulties, but will add more photos later... I hope!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What’s for dinner?!

As I mentioned before, Sebastian seems to be enjoying the world of solid foods…for the most part.  All of a sudden he’s started screaming while we’re trying to feed him over the past two days or so, and we haven’t quite figured out why.  He continues to eat what we give him, and wants more and more and more, but he screams when the spoon isn’t in his mouth.  It’s almost like we can’t get the food in there fast enough!  Hopefully this is just a phase… I’m thankful for his good eating habits, because I was just speaking with two other doctor mom friends who have babies about a month and two months older than Seb, and their babies barely eat anything outside of la leche… and even that is a challenge for them at times.  So, thanks little man, for being adventurous and compliant with the new culinary experiences.

I guess I’m not surprised that transitioning to solids would be a bitter sweet experience for me.  I guess some moms are probably dying for this to happen sooner, and others, like me, wouldn’t mind if it didn’t happen so quickly.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad that Sebastian likes solids and that he’s doing so well.  It’s so much fun to watch him eat and taste new things.  But, at the same time, it’s a total realization that he’s growing up and is not 100% dependent on me as his source of nutrition.  I love nursing, and I love that I’ve been able to provide for him in this way…

In an effort to make sure he gets just good stuff in his little body, I decided to make all of his baby food for now.  And I love it.  I feel good about it.  I know exactly what he’s eating.  And Sebastian loves it.   It’s a win-win situation.

Here’s a little bit of my baby-making food journey…  I was given baby food freezer containers as a shower gift from my S-I-L, and then I got some more from my cousin.  Hooray!  They are great.  And it makes producing large batches of good food a cinch. 

First, I choose the food product – right now Seb is eating peas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and acorn squash.  I made a huge batch of carrots, too, but we haven’t introduced those yet. 

IMG_4263 IMG_4258

Then I steam the veggies.  For the butternut squash, I peeled it, cut it up in chunks and steamed it.  And for the acorn squash, I cut it in half and baked it in the oven. 


After they’re soft and near mushy, I transfer the vegetables to the food processor (NOTE: best Christmas gift EVER given to me by Timmy).  Add some of the water from the steaming process, puree away…


keep adding water as needed til you get the perfect consistency….IMG_4269

And voila!  Yummy baby food ready for the freezer trays!

IMG_4260 IMG_4261  

Freeze for 8-10 hours, pop ‘em out, and bag them.  Then, when Sebastian is ready to eat, or when we’re packing his lunch bag, we just grab the cubes and go.  So easy, so yummy, and so wonderful!

Oh, the joys of cooking!  Especially cooking for my little munchkin.  Love, love, love it!

I’d really like to be able to make his grains as well (he’s eating rice cereal and just got his first couple of tastes of oatmeal this week), but so far I haven’t ventured into that realm.  I’d love to have a mill or grain grinder… so we’ll just have to see if that shows up under the tree.  If not, no worries.  My birthday is just around the corner.  :)  And for now, Sebastian is quite content eating his Earth’s Best grains. 

Happy baby = happy mommy = happy daddy = happy family!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weighing in (at 6 1/2 months)…and then some.

I feel like I’m waaaay behind on posting these days… It’s been several weeks since Sebastian’s half birthday, and since then we’ve had his well child check – where he weighed in at 17 lbs, 7.2 ounces… and measured 27.5 inches long.  He was 6 1/2 months at the time of the appointment.  He faired all the shots incredibly well, and he just cried for a moment.  I didn’t give him Tylenol this time around, because just two days prior I had learned about a recent study that has demonstrated that Tylenol given before shots reduces the efficacy of the vaccinations.  Ugh.  But he barely fussed and had a good rest of the day.  Maybe it’s because he got to see Dr. Donna (whom I know he loves)… or maybe it’s because he’s just a happy, happy baby.  Either way, I was thankful for a good doctor’s visit.  It is such a blessing to have a healthy, jolly baby!
He seems to be growing and changing right in front of our eyes, and – just like they say – it goes by so quickly.  I’m almost afraid to blink my eyes, for fear that I’ll miss something!  On December 6th, he started sitting up all by himself, without the previously anticipated, slow motion sideways fall that seemed to occur every time we sat him down, without fail.  He was just about 6 1/2 months old then.  He also is now scooting across the floor like a caterpillar, and he’s started to push himself up on all fours.  After the holidays, we definitely are going to have to work on baby-proofing some things around the house.  My sister-in-law, who is one of Seb’s regular care providers, has requested a safety gate for the top of their basement stairs – a very wise idea!  So, I’m on the lookout for some gates… I’ve been checking Craig’s List regularly, but have failed to find any yet. 
Above is our happy baby in his new high chair.  It’s the Svan high chair, which is a sleek Scandinavian design, that converts as our little boy grows – to a toddler high chair, then a kiddo chair and a big kid chair… even an adult chair for those weighing less than 150 pounds.  We love how it looks, and as you can see, Sebastian is a happy camper in it.  It also seems to have a smaller foot print than many high chairs, which was high on our priority list for high chair selection.  We think we mad a good choice - at least thus far, two weeks into the deal. 
Eating is a wonderful and wild adventure for Sebastian.  It’s so much fun to watch him experience all news tastes and textures through his lips and his tongue.  I have found great joy in making all of his food (except his cereals/grains – which I hope to get into at some point), which I think helps to ease the emotional transition from him receiving 100% of his nutrition from me to getting some outside calories from other sources. 
Sebastian also had his first taste of a much loved staple in both the Johnsen and Martin diets.  I nearly flipped my lid when I caught his Grandpa IN THE ACT – giving him a  taste of ice cream!  There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll love ice cream just as much as the rest of us do (and he seemed quite content to have the little bit on a spoon that was shared with him), but I think Grandpa now has it pretty clear in his mind that he was prematurely advancing Sebastian’s diet.  Tim (and Tim’s mom) is thankful that it was my dad – and not his – who first introduced the “forbidden fruit!”  Everyone knew it was bound to happen sooner or later, especially with Sebastian having the great blessing of two ice cream addict grandfathers so close by that he gets to see all the time.  There were bets out on who would do it first.  I guess I lost the bet. :)
Much to my chagrin, Sebastian had a major aversion to avocado.  I tried to give him a little bit mashed up last night, which provoked a horribly ugly face, followed by gagging, and ended promptly with the vomitting all over the place.  This was a bonafide vomit - the first official one... not just a little spit up.  I guess I'll have to wait awhile to try to re-introduce my favorite fruit.  Oh, so sad.
Anyways, we’re trying to gear up for Christmas around here.  The tree is up, some presents are wrapped, and we’re looking forward to a few days of reflection, celebration, relaxation, and family time.  Our Christmas greetings will come soon – in the form of a post!  So be on the lookout.  Many blessings to you and yours as you count the days…!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I can't wait! see this movie!  I don't get super excited about movies very often, but I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie.  I have always loved babies, but now I have a new addiction!  They say it's coming soon in 2010!  Anyone want to go on a movie date with me?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

couldn’t you just eat him alive!?


Seriously, people… He has got to be the cutest thing alive! 

I’m on call today… sitting in the hospital missing my boys.  We’ve had one super quick delivery so far (hooray for fast ones!) and now we just seem to be running a special on pre-term labor rule-outs.  Ugh.

But, it sounds like Tim will be bringing Seb to see me before bedtime, which is oh. so. nice.   And til then, I get to look at photos and bask in his cuteness!  Gosh, I love that kid!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a little holiday diversion

Since we got back from vacation, life has felt a little rough.  Sebastian hasn't been himself and has been very clingy, not sleeping well, occasionally refusing to eat - we're wondering if this is just an adjustment from being back from vacation or something else - illness lurking, teething, etc.  His poor sleeping patterns have been trying on us physically and emotionally - we've both been exhausted, and I seemed to manage to mess up my neck royally by sleeping in a very akward position several nights in a row so as to protect my little babe - who would only sleep if sleeping with us. 
I also began a new schedule at work which includes multiple double bookings in order to increase productivity by accounting for our no-show rate.  I was the last provider to move to this schedule, because they were waiting for Sebastian to start solids.  For that, I'm so very thankful... but it was a difficult transition to go back to work after a week of vacation.  The mommy guilt was at a high level - I almost felt like I was going back to work after maternity leave all over again - and I had this new schedule to deal with... 
In the midst of it all, I have not felt like I was in the Christmas mood or spirit at all... it's barely crossed my mind, and I recognize that it's fast approaching.  We don't have any decorations, I have no gifts (let alone ideas!), and I haven't been in church for almost a month because of being on call and then vacation... so the concept of Advent floats around in my head, but doesn't yet seem a reality.  Sigh... Not exactly how I'd like to feel or be around Advent... especially for Sebastian's first go-around with Christmas.
In an effort to relax a bit this afternoon (I had a very early meeting that I was NOT looking forward to this morning, followed by a long day of rounding at the hospital), I decided to play around a bit with the Jib Jab Elf videos to get some comic relief and work towards some holiday cheer. 
So, here you have it - live and for the first time - the Johnsen Martin Elves performing a holiday disco dance.  There were five options, but I chose to post this one, because it seemed to be Sebastian's favorite.  He squealed in delight and flapped his little arms and legs when he saw this video. 
So enjoy!  Here's to the holiday season... may it find its way into our home and hearts very soon! 

Send your own ElfYourself eCards
And yes, we ALL can dance like that in real life. Ha!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Just another family pic…and some vacation thoughts…


Portrait Family (4)

Mostly I just wanted to try posting through Windows Live Writer instead of directly on blogger… but I thought it would be a good opportunity to share another photo!  (Don’t worry, there will probably be more to come.)

And to mention a thing or two about our vacation… It is so, so, so nice to live without alarm clocks and just relax and BE.  Sebastian’s routine is a little off, but all in all, he’s doing quite well considering the circumstances.  He’s sleeping in a different environment, eating new foods, surrounded by lots of people (12 others in our house and 11 in the house down the street), and taking it all in pretty gracefully.  We’ve had two nights of struggling sleeping patterns (fortunately not consecutively), but we’re thankful for a relatively chill and easily adaptable baby. 

Just to emphasize the flexible nature of our baby, here’s a snapshot of bath-time last night… The kitchen sink was occupied, so we used our bathroom sink.  Sebastian seemed to enjoy it just the same!  :)


Our time is quickly coming to an end.  Sigh… My “list of things to do” while on vacation still has lots of items on it!  I realize that vacation is a time to relax, but at the same time, the fullness of our everyday lives prevents us from crossing off some of the things on our list in a timely fashion.  So, off we go to be a little productive while relaxing! 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beach photo shoot

While at the Outer Banks, we planned a photo shoot with all of Tim's family, which was great fun - not to mention an adventure - to get all 18 of us looking at the camera and smiling with every hair in place at the right time!  Ha!  Thank goodness for digital cameras with super fast shutter speeds!  We took advantage of the opportunity to get some shots of our own little threesome.  There were multiple photographers helping out, which made for a ton of fantastic shots, but lots of work sorting through all the photos!  Many thanks to all who snapped some pictures.  There were soooo many to choose from, and I'm sure I'll be at it for months... But, to pique your interest , here's a glimpse of some of our favorites!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

making memories...

First experience with sand dunes...

First time beach lounging with Grandpa Martin...

First kiss of ocean breeze on the back of his neck...

First touch of sand on his little toesies...

First caress of salt water on his soft skin...

First trip to an aquarium and first sight of real, live turtles...

First picture of the family in front of fish sculptures...!

Sebastian was fascinated by the crashing waves, the howling wind and the sea life behind glass walls at the aquarium.  It's so much fun to watch him experience all of the wonders of this incredible world for the first time!  Oh, to have the awe and curiosity of a child seeing, feeling, touching and hearing God's creation!

One half

Our baby is six months old today!  We continue to be in awe of God's goodness and grace as we watch our baby grow and develop.  We are so blessed to be his parents, and he is such a JOY to parent.  Of course we believe he's the cutest baby around...and some may say that's our parental obligation, but we know it's also just plain true! 

Check him out sporting his 1/2 onesie!  This was a fabulous hand-me-down from my cousin-in-law, Crystal, who sews up a storm, making all sorts of fantastic things for babies, children, and the home.  She's very creative, and has a true gift of craftiness... she works as a stay-at-home-mom.  Check out her Etsy shop here for other neat creations!  She's made a quilt and pillows for Sebastian's nursery, which we're thrilled about!  We'll be sure to share photos of the finished product when it's in our possession.  
Sebastian is rolling all over the place, scooting around and trying to crawl.  We now realize that he can't be left alone... as we have found him several feet away from where we originally left him on several occasions.  He loves to smile and laugh, and he loves to be around other people.  We have a very social son!  He makes friends very easily, and we continue to believe that he will be used by God in special ways because of his personality. 

His taste buds are he's now had a taste of rice cereal, sweet potatoes and pears.  He seemed to really gobble down the sweet potatoes we tried that were from a jar, and then I decided to make my own sweet potatoes as a special treat for his half birthday.  Ha!  They say a picture tells a thousand words - you'll get the idea of his reaction to my rendition of sweet potatoes today by these photos!  I'm sure they'll grow on him over time...

I can't believe how time has flown... it seems like just yesterday we were coming home from the hospital with a tiny little bundle. What an amazing journey we're on! Happy half year, baby boy!
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