Sunday, January 31, 2010

What will this year bring?

Just added another year to my belt... and I said the following to my husband:
When I was 30, I got engaged.
When I was 31, I got married.
When I was 32, I got pregnant.
When I was 33, I had a baby.
What will this year bring?
Hmmm... something fabulous, wonderful, exciting, I'm sure! I'm so thankful and blessed beyond belief. And spoiled by my super husband. I had a fantastic birthday weekend. All because of him. Thanks, Timmy. I love you and can't wait to see what this next year of my life will mean...for us. Thanks for sharing the journey with me. Mua!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

8 months!

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Hard to believe, but true!  Little Seb is 8 months old today!  Incredible!  I’m still trying to figure out where the time has gone. 

For his eight month birthday, we got him passport photos… in preparation for his first international trip!  We’ll be heading to the motherland - Nicaragua - in the Spring.  This is also where we went on our babymoon, and where the inspiration for Sebastian’s name came from, so it will be a special trip.

Today was also the day that Sebastian used his stroller for the first time as a full-blown stroller, instead of just the car seat attached to the stroller base.  Surprise, surprise!  We still love our Quinny, and Sebastian loves it too.  He enjoyed sitting up like a big boy (doesn’t he just look so big?!) and smiling at all the folks around.  He’s already such a flirt! 

We’re working on baby-proofing the house these days – or at least thinking about.  I got one gate from a friend, and I’m going to go shopping for some more for our babysitters.  We’ll need to check out our house from Sebastian’s level VERY soon… I can tell already that there are lots of wonderful goodies staring him in the eyes when he’s on the floor!  He’s not crawling forward yet, but getting up on all fours, rocking back and forth and scooting backwards.  And man, can he go when he’s pushing himself backwards across our hardwood floors!  It’s fun to watch, but also hard to watch him grow up and change so fast! 

The biggest stressor of the day was spending almost 2 hours in a panic, not able to find Sebastian’s birth certificate or social security card… both of which I needed not only for his passport application, but also to get him on the plane to visit my wonderful cousins in California – a trip coming up very, very soon.  But we sorted through piles and piles, took some deep breaths, paused to pray about it, and then rejoiced when they showed up right where they should have – in the folder I had intentionally placed them in (for safe keeping – ha!) many months ago.  Now they’re headed straight for the safe as soon as I’m done with them.  Phew!

So there you have it.  Eight months old and counting.  Counting oh, so fast!

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

germs

Germs. We have them. And it seems like we have a lot of them. We've been passing around some kind of crazy illness since the second week of December, essentially. And quite frankly, we're tired. Tired of being sick. Forgive me in advance for the dissertation on our germ fest over the past month or so.

It all started with a runny nose on our baby that popped up a couple of days after hanging out with three other children with colds. Not surprising. But it's come and gone and come and gone. Turned into a cough, then throw in some teething action - without producing any teeth - make the runny nose go away, the cough get a little better, then a fever for three days, then the cough get worse, and worse yet, then the runny nose and snot all over the place come back with a vengeance, and on, and on, and on. That's Sebastian's story. And that's where we are with him now. Humidifier. Nasal saline (he LOVES this). Tissues. Burp clothes. Vaseline. Tylenol. Motrin. And more of all of the above. Oh yeah, there were some homeopathic teething drops in there somewhere, too. It seems like it will never end. Last night seemed like the worst. Poor little Seb kept waking up because he couldn't breath. He seemed so helpless, sad and pathetic. It broke my heart. And there I was trying to mother him as best I could, all the while polishing off an entire box of tissues. Geez. It was tough to have a bad night. We were both very tired, and I was feeling total blah. We had had three nights of awesome-ness just before the regression last night. Check this out: our little boy slept from 8pm til 6am three - count it, three - nights in a row! Ahhh... such bliss! And such a blessing. We were thankful for the break, because the three nights prior to that, he had been up every few hours. It almost felt like the first few weeks of his life all over again! And then there was the breakthrough. Ahhh...so good while it lasted.

Timmy - fortunately - seems to be on the mend. We hope. He had been coughing since December 23rd, and it finally started to sound deeper in his chest and more wet. He was coughing all night long. For weeks. He would wake me up, and occasionally wake Seb up, despite multiple attempts at curtailing the cough with a variety of medicinals and home remedies. I asked one of my partners and friends to call in a prescription for a Z-pak on Tuesday. After a month, I guess he finally felt worn down enough to consider it. Nothing else had worked. Tim started taking the antibiotics the next day. He doesn't recall ever taking antibiotics before. Ever. Yowsers! Forty years and no antibiotics? At least that he remembers... He did have his appendix out at one point, so I'm pretty sure he got some in the OR. And maybe when he got his wisdom teeth out? Who knows! Point is, he's almost done with them, and he's been seeming so. much. better. Not 100%. But better. He's not up all night long coughing, which is huge. Huge.

And then there's me. I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back. I've had the hacking and congestion that everyone else has had. It was a dry cough with a sore throat. Then one day it was total body aches, fatigue, a headache, chills, then a fever, which broke in the middle of the night, and I woke up drenched. Then the light at the end of the tunnel. Slowly, but surely, I was starting to feel better. Until four days ago. When it all started again. This time with a leaky faucet, i.e. my nose, that wouldn't stop running, congestion, and a bit of a cough (still lingering). The trash can is overflowing with tissues, and I've put vaseline on my raw little nose. And my options for what I can take are a bit limited because I'm nursing. I'm probably more strict about it than I really need to be. But everything that goes into my body has the potential to be passed on to Sebastian, and I take that really seriously. So I've been sticking with the box of tissues and some Ricola lozenges.

We took Seb to the doctor's yesterday. His first "sick visit." I needed another set of eyes. Objective eyes. And we love Dr. Donna, so it was nice to have a visit anyways. We were given the option of getting a chest X-ray, treating him with antibiotics, or waiting it out a little while longer. We decided to continue watching him to see if he improves or worsens. Of course, last night he came up with a whole new list of symptoms. Perfect timing - wait til after the doctor's appointment to spice up the story a little bit more. But, he hasn't had more fever since two weekends ago. His lungs sound clear, he's eating well, and gaining wait. Yesterday he was a whopping 19lbs, 1oz! He continues to laugh and smile and be the same happy baby he always is. What an excellent reminder he is for us! In the midst of feeling lousy, he's capable of finding and expressing JOY. It would be an amazing world if everyone had the ability to laugh and smile like my precious little baby, even in the midst of illness. Simply amazing.

So, I'm pretty sure this is all probably viral - one virus after another with many faces, shapes and sizes, being passed from one of us to another and back again. But it's getting old. So please, Mr. Germs. Please, please, please go away. We've tolerated you long enough. And we're ready to bid you farewell. Goodbye. Oh, and you can leave the rest of my family alone, too. Every last member of my family - with the exception of my M-I-L and F-I-L - has been sick in some way or another over the past month. So go away. Thanks. PS. We need you to go away before we go away. Seb + sick on his first plane ride = disaster.

Oh, and just so you don't think you're gonna get a post without a picture, here's Seb loving his new car seat. I'll have tell you the new car seat story some day. Good times. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Laughs and kisses for mommy

Baby Seb shares laughs and kisses with mommy... at least when not distracted by daddy. We're learning just how easily distracted an almost 8 month old can be during pretty much all things. And, we're having fun with our new Flip video camera - capturing memories!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

The final gift

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We stretched Sebastian’s Christmas gifts over several weeks, so as to not overwhelm him… and he finally opened one of the most exciting gifts – the final gift. IMG_4469

My cousin’s wife, Crystal, had agreed to make a quilt to match Seb’s nursery, and then she made several pillows to match as well. My plan is that these will be used in a corner in his room where he’ll play and read. Perhaps someday when he’s older, they’ll actually adorn a big-boy bed that he may have!

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We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what she came up with! It’s great! And everything matches perfectly! I had chosen a variety of fabrics for her to use, and she went to town. IMG_4477

She used the remnants of the curtains from his room to do some of the accent circles and eventually that same fabric will be the backing on his quilt. We’re having Tim’s best friend’s mother do the actual quilting for us – this will be something very special and sentimental for Tim.

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Thank you, Crystal! We love the goods, and know that Sebastian will treasure them for years and years to come. It’s so wonderful to have them made by family, too! That makes it all just that much more special and fantastic!

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Stay tuned for a future post when the quilt is 100% done, and the nursery is all put together…. Now go on over to Crystal’s shop and find yourself some goodies! You’ll be pleasantly surprised. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Merry Christmas! Love Sebastian

Christmas2009 Seb A long, long time ago, before he was born, I wrote a letter to Sebastian. In that letter, I talked about how Tim & I had decided to keep a running tab of all the purchases we made for Sebastian each year, and at the end of the year, make a donation in his honor to an organization that provides care for children around the world. I have to admit that I don’t do a great job of keeping a budget or documenting finances, but this is something that we took seriously, so I tried to keep up with it as best I could. After some research and deliberation, Tim & I decided to contribute a percentage of the purchases we had made for Seb to World Vision. We believe in their ministry and know that the money we shared with them will be put to very good use. We also tried to be intentional about which categories we selected to direct the funds we were contributing. Sebastian played an active role in the selection process, too! We showed him pictures of different children, projects, ministries, etc., and if he laughed or smiled, it seemed like it was a good fit!

Here’s the list of things that Sebastian gave as his Christmas gift to the children of the world in 2009:

  • Clothing for Children
  • Orphans and Widows Fund
  • Clean Water Fund
  • $350 Worth of Necessities in the USA (through matching gift donations from corporations in the USA)
  • Education for 1 Child
  • Bicycle for a Girl
  • Provide $490 Worth of Clothing (through matching gift donations from corporations in the USA)
  • 2 Soccer Balls
  • Art and Music Instruction
  • Bed Nets for a Family
  • Help for Children with Disabilities
  • New Mother and Baby Kit
  • Immunizations
  • Provide $490 Worth of Medicines (provided by co-sponsoring pharmaceutical companies)

These are all things that we have been or will be able to readily provide for Sebastian, so we wanted to share them with others less fortunate. Our hope is that, over time, Sebastian will develop a deep understanding of the worlds’ needs and grow a passion and love for the children of the world. Our prayer is that we will continue to be able to model this for him. Tim and I have both experienced poverty and the tremendous need that exists around the globe, and we feel compelled to give of our time and resources in order to help to bring equality and basic needs of life to others. We’re already praying about and planning our first family missions trip for later this year.

Sebastian also had the chance to prepare school kits for Mennonite Central Committee with his Grandma. This is something that she does every year with each of her grandchildren at Christmastime. And even though Sebastian is the youngest of them all, he really enjoyed stuffing those bags! (Never mind the slobber-drenched onesie he’s wearing – that’s just part of normal life around here.)

DSC04581 DSC04589 Many thanks, by the way, to Sebastian’s aunt, Tia Lydia, who made the Christmas card with Sebastian at the top of this post. It was such a special surprise to find that in his bag when he got home from her house his last visit before Christmas! It sounded like he really got a kick out of his first painting experience! Sebastian is so fortunate to spend quality time with his aunt and each of his grandmothers. We are incredibly BLESSED and THANKFUL for their presence in his life and the CARE they provide for him.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! LOVE SEBASTIAN

Friday, January 8, 2010

One-oh-one-point-three.

101.3. Sigh. That was Seb's temp before I put him down to bed tonight...and that was an hour after Tylenol. It was a rectal temp, so pretty darn accurate. He started with a fever last night, and was 101.3 in his arm pit, but that was before any medicine. It's so. so. hard. Soooo hard to see your baby sick. He's just not himself. He's had a cough and runny nose for what seems like forever, but now the cough seems worse. And he's had a couple episodes of vomitting. He's more clingy than usual, and his cheeks are so rosy they look like left-over holiday pointsettas. Our dear, dear Sebastian, however, continues to smile and laugh in between his whimpers, moans and groans. We are blessed by his joyful spirit that shines through at all times!
Being the worry-wart that I can tend to be (especially when it comes to my boys) I've listened to his lungs a couple of times today, and they seem fine. The battery for my otoscope is dead, so I can't check his ears. And that message that I'm expecting to light up on his forehead indicating he's teething has yet to work as I wish it would. I'd like to believe this is all from teething, but I think that'd be a bit foolish of me, Doctor Mom.
I sent Tim to the pharmacy to buy a few more supplies tonight - tylenol, ibuprofen, nasal saline and homeopathic teething pellets. So far we haven't had to use any of it, but we're prepared for anything that lies ahead.
So, pray. Pray for our little baby boy. Please. We trust God to restore him to health and give thanks in advance for how that will occur. We also could use your prayers for the healing of our own bodies, that have been beaten down by cough, congestion, sore throat, etc. Pray, too, for healing of the bodies of almost all of Sebastian's cousins and his aunts and uncles and half of his grandparents, who have also experienced the whole gamut of symptoms. Seems like whatever nasty bugs that are floating around out there are really doing a number on all of us!
Thanks for walking on the journey with us, in health and illness. We appreciate you all!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Light shines in darkness

Back in 1996, I attended Urbana '96, the missions conference for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which occurs every three years during the last week of the year. It remains one of the most memorable and powerful experiences of my college years and my faith walk. I recall being deeply moved during that time - it was a phenomenal experience! There were thousands and thousands of students gathered together in a large university stadium, worshipping together, listening to powerful and engaging speakers, attending workshops, praying and pursuing God on a more intimate level.

My parents had attended Urbana as college students as well... about 30 years before me. Although the make-up and style of the conference continues to change over time, the message and the moving experience remains the same - even after all these years. My dad still tells the story of how he got a speeding ticket while I was at Urbana, because he was listening to one of the speakers live on the radio, became overwhelmed with excitement and joy, stopped paying attention to the speedometer, got engrossed in the talk he was listening to, and bam! got pulled over. What goes on at Urbana really is exciting! Really. Really. Exciting! (and sometimes a little expensive!)

Anyways, we have good friends who are on staff with InterVarsity, and they just got back from Urbana '09. Our friend e-mailed us an update after the conference and shared some links of some of his favorite talks, presentations, and drama from this year's conference. I'm including the video below, which I encourage you to watch, if you have about 15 minutes to spare. I hope you'll be moved by this form of experiential worship. It is rich. And it's good.

This is what my friend said about this video: "This is the theatre and dance intro to the conference- literally the first thing we saw onstage. So well done, so beautiful. I wept at the artistry of it as I realized it's been a while since I've experienced really good art. The guy tap dancing is incredible."

I have to say I agree with him. The presentation "combines beat-boxing, spoken word, hand drums, tap and interpretive dance to bring the message of the Gospel of John to life in a musically and visually inspired performance."
 Take a peek!

Theatre and Dance: Word and Pictures from Urbana 09 on Vimeo.

Friday, January 1, 2010

For Aunt Bev...

A video especially for Aunt Bev... Sebastian checking out his new sippy cup!

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