Monday, August 24, 2009

3 months old!

Hard to believe, but true... Sebastian is three months old today! He's such a big boy now, tempting to roll over, smiling, laughing, cooing, putting his pacifier back in his mouth all by himself, typing e-mails to his daddy (he even has his very own gmail account!), and sleeping like a big boy - well at least most nights. He must have read the textbook about growth spurts and knew that he was supposed to have one at exactly 3 months, cuz he was up every 2-3 hours last night... not normal for little Seb, and not so fun for Mama and Dada...

Fortunately, one bad sleep night every couple of weeks hasn't tainted my opinion of my precious little babe! I continue to be amazed out how much I love him, and think there can't possibly be more room in my heart to love him any more than I already do... but each day, I DO love him even more than the day before. He's definitely a keeper! I'm sure you'd agree...
A friend of mine posted the following poem on Facebook awhile back, and I just read it again the other day, so I thought I'd post it here. It's a good reminder for me, when I get frustrated about dirty dishes in the sink or house projects that linger on. Those things will all still be there tomorrow, and that's totally OK. My baby won't be much of a baby for very long! Here's the poem, to share with you:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow.
For babies grow up
we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs,
Dust, go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep
Sigh... what a wonderful journey we're on! Parenthood is amazing, and I continue to be so thankful for how God has blessed us with our beautiful son, Sebastian. He's trusted us to nurture him and teach him the ways of the Lord. It's a big responsibility, but we're up to the task and LOVING every minute!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mt. Gretna revisited

My nephew, Isaac, was in town a couple of weeks ago to spend a whole week with his grandparents - his vacation away from his sister (so he says!)! Last year when he was here, I took him and some of my other nephews to Mt. Gretna for the day. They had a great time and became friends, so I promised to take Isaac again this year. Only Gabe was available to go along this year, but we had the addition of my little munchkin, Sebastian. Despite some rain showers, the boys had a great time. And Sebastian experienced "swimming" for the first time. Just when I was trying to introduce him to the water for the first time, a little girl - innocent as can be - ran past him and splashed the bejeezers out of us both. He was NOT a happy camper... So I waited a good while before attempting again. And slowly, I cupped my hand and filled it with some water to pour over his little toes, then his legs...and finally I lowered his body into the water. He was sporting the cutest swim diaper... and certainly was the cutest little boy at the beach that day.
Grandma Judy came along, and we all enjoyed a good day. Our biggest dilemna was whether to stay an extra 45 minutes later at the lake, or leave earlier and stop at the Jigger Shop for ice cream. Each of the boys had a different vote... I'm sure if Sebastian had cast his vote, he would have been the tie breaker for ice cream, but in the end we stayed and played.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the day...

Someone else put Sebastian to bed!

Tim & I had our first late night out last weekend to go to a "ball," and that meant babysitters for Sebastian. He's stayed with friends and family before (especially after this week of me going back to work), but I've always nursed him to sleep and put him to bed. This was a big step for us; Seb got a bottle from his loving "Uncle Marvin and Nanny Dori," and they put him down to sleep. And he slept. And he slept. Just like normal...'til his dawn wake-up time for an early breakfast. Nope - he didn't awaken when he sensed we were home and were in the bed right next to his hammock. Not even when I got the pump out and took the opportunity to build up some stock and improve my comfort level! It was a good learning experience for all of us. And I only texted Marvin once to find out how our little boy was doing! ;)
Anyways, the ball was a really cool idea. Laura & Terry Schanz held a ball to celebrate their 50th birthdays, and they donated all of the proceeds from the ball, a silent auction and a live auction to the Mix at Arbor Place, which is a faith-based youth center for inner-city kids in Southeastern Lancaster City... which happens to be the same neighborhood where I work serving the underserved. They ended up raising over $30,000! Sweet! It was such a great idea, that I'd love to do it myself at some point. I guess we'll have to start planning the benefit for Tim's 50th birthday, but at least we have a decade to do it! But which organization would we give to? There are so many worthy causes to choose from... which makes it a really good thing that we have 10 years to figure it out! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I survived

My first day back to work, after three months off... so much has happened in the past three months, and my life has changed in ways I never before understood or imagined. Sebastian is an incredible gift, and I love him more than I believed was humanly possible. He has stolen such a huge chunk of my heart... and he also makes me love my wonderful husband more and more each day. Being a mother is truly amazing, and sharing this journey with Tim is even more amazing.
Last night I cried myself to sleep... not because I don't like my job (in fact, I normally love my job); not because Sebastian wasn't going to be extremely well cared for (he's being taken care of by his two grandmas and an aunt, who are all fabulous and love him to pieces); not because I didn't think I could do this thing of being a mom and a professional at the same time; not because I was afraid he wouldn't love me anymore; not because I'm afraid that I'll miss him rolling over for the first time (he's oh.so.close!)... simply because it's sad. And I was (am) mourning. And I have the mom guilt thing going on.
But I survived. My first day back was OK. I felt awful about leaving Sebastian. I hated to think about all the bottles he would get instead of the time I normally spend nursing him. I felt like my brain was mush, and I couldn't remember things - I had to ask my partners what you called this or that test, diagnosis or medication on several occasions. I was anxious about not getting my "pumping time." And I was frustrated to be running behind schedule. Oh, and I was not excited about having to do a two hour customer service training on my first day back. Seriously? The staff at work were compassionate, oohhhed and aahhhed over my pictures, tried to help me out to get to my pumping time promptly, and kept telling me that I was doing just fine (thanks, Julie ;)). My patients were very understanding, even when I entered their rooms sometimes 30-40 minutes late... and they all wanted to know about my little boy - his name, how big he was, who was taking care of him, where the pictures were, etc. Plus, throughout the day, I had hugs and notes from partners (who have made it very clear that they're thrilled that I'm back), smiles and words of the most sincere empathy from my boss (well, maybe it was really the most sincere sympathy, cuz he's a man...), and kisses and caresses from my husband, who wiped the tears off my cheeks last night and reassured me as he left carrying Sebastian out the door this morning, leaving me behind...with one of the emptiest feelings I recall ever experiencing. And then at the end of the day, when my little boy came home to me, he still smiled at me, loved me and nursed right away as if I had never left him (the bottle hasn't destroyed him, thank goodness!). He laughed and cooed, was content to have me hold him and smother him with kisses, and he followed his regular nighttime routine like such a good little boy. And to top it all off, I had ice cream with some friends to decompress a bit. So, so yummy...! And they all love my baby and fight over who gets to hold him, which is such a special gift. Of course, Sebastian eats it up - the spoiling and fussing over him that is, not the ice cream (yet!).
So, all in all, it was OK. I certainly could never say I love this transition. But it is what it is for now. And we're all surviving. And now both my boys are fast asleep, the diapers are hung and drying (thanks, Timmy), the bottles are washed, and the diaper bag and milk bag are packed for the morning. Tomorrow (today) will come soon, and we'll do it all over again. I know each day will get a little bit easier, and I'm thankful that it's only the first day once.
Sebastian has changed my priorities forever. That means a lot of things; but today that means doing the best I can for my patients while I'm at work, all the while being the most efficient I can be, so I can finish on time and race home to see my precious little babe. It means saying "no" sometimes. And it means soaking up every opportunity to love on him that I can get.
I was blessed to have three months at home with Sebastian; some women have far less time. I count it a privilege to have partners who understand the value of family and children. It's a blessing beyond belief to have family helping to care for Sebastian. And I know God will continue to use me powerfully in the service I provide to patients who are "the least of these."
Today I pray for balance, patience and rest... so off to bed I go.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cousins

After learning my lesson with the sun, I did manage to get some great shots of Sebastian with his cousins, and even some with his second cousin. I love that my camera shoots fast enough that I can just snap, snap, snap photos and be sure to get some fab images in the end... Take a peak and enjoy.

Next lesson I need to learn: kids have short attention spans and lose their patience very quickly! I better put my fast shutter to use as often as possible... cuz posing is a major task for the little ones.

Monday, August 10, 2009

While the boys are sleeping...

I know I should be fast asleep too, but I wanted to get some more pictures posted, and I have to take the opportunity when I can get it! So humor me while I show you the cutest baby boy around...Sebastian seemed quite fond of the hammock. He really does love the outdoors!
And here are some photos of how I learned my lesson while trying to take pictures of the cousins with them all facing the sun (note to self - don't put 3 small, fair-skinned, blue-eyed children directly in the path of the rays of the sun if you expect to get anything but funny pictures out of them!):

I did eventually get some great shots of the cousins... stay tuned for more photos coming soon. Well, as soon as I get the chance. :)

But it may be sooner rather than later, because we've started sleep training with Sebastian, and he seems to be doing quite well - both at nighttime and during the day. The first three nights were great (hooray!), but last night was not so great... We'll see how things go tonight; all in all, however, we can't complain, because he's been a pretty darn good sleeper since we left the hospital (and didn't have Sergeant nurse knocking on our door and barging in every 1-2 hours!) with no interventions from us whatsoever til now.

Now it's off to bed for me... I dare not be foolish and stay up late doing frivolous Internet things! But aren't you glad I posted some pictures?!?

nothing runs like a deere...

At least according to Grandpa! I left Sebastian at my parents' house last Friday for about 5 hours, while I had a trial run of going to work and seeing some patients in the afternoon. I survived, and Sebastian did great with my mom. But, upon my return to pick Seb up, this is what I found out my dad had been doing with our son! At least the John Deere wasn't actually running at the same time... Don't get any ideas, Dad! ;)

It's such a joy to watch grandparents be enamored with their grandkids... and we're so fortunate that Sebastian has all 4 of his grandparents within 15 minutes of our house. He's one lucky guy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In case you didn't believe me...

Some things about my dad have changed over the years, but his sleeping position hasn't... and just like Sebastian showed us in my last entry, he is taking after his Grandpa, at least in this way. Now let's just hope he figures out how to sleep long stretches through the night AND take nice naps for his babysitters in the next couple of weeks (somehow Sebastian seems to have forgotten this information in the past week or so!). Oh, and we could do without the likes of Grandpa's snoring, too... ;)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just like Grandpa!

We caught Sebastian in the act - napping just like his Grandpa Johnsen, with his hands and arms folded across his chest! I don't think Papa Roy has been using a pacifier much lately, though. Take a peek.. :)
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