Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The week of Christmas

When the week of Christmas, I get giddy like I'm sure so many people do. It's probably my favorite week of the year for several reasons: 1) traffic to work and back home each day is so light, 2) the Christmas music is full force, 3) there are lots of goodies around the office, 4) people are generally cheery, 5) I get days off from work, and 6) most importantly, I get to spend those days with my husband and son!

Having survived Seth’s big 1-year birthday party on Sunday, we were ready for the Christmas week. We got what seemed like the 1,000th snowstorm this season so far on Monday. On Monday and Tuesday evenings after Seth went to bed, we wrapped the last of the presents and I made my chocolate rum balls, all while we watched Christmas movies.

Dave and Carrie got into town on Wednesday night and stayed with Joyce, so we had them over on Thursday afternoon so we could visit and have dinner together. Seth a.d.o.r.e.d his Aunt Carrie, flirting with and smiling at her. They bestowed a puppy Pillow Pet that Seth LOVES! He lays his head down on the pillow and squeals. It’s so so so soft. After the little mister went to bed, we played card games and watched the movie Eat, Pray, Love. Eh. It was okay – but that’s coming from the girl who fell asleep for the middle half hour of the movie and occasionally woke up, making points about the movie so as to appear she didn’t actually fall asleep in the movie again (“Is that a baby elephant?” or “This music would make a great soundtrack”).

Jason and I started a family Christmas tradition a few years ago. We go to the Original Pancake House for a big breakfast on Christmas Eve morning. It’s our special go-to breakfast place when we feel like spending a little extra money on breakfast. They have good German pancakes! We each ordered pancakes and Jason had a yummy baked omelet. Seth has a hollow leg at breakfast time and manages to pack the food in. He had two pancakes, eggs and milk. This was even after his nursing in the morning! He is a child after my own heart. Seth did really well in his highchair at the restaurant and he loved looking around at the servers and hostesses that passed him. He seemed to keep one eye on our server at all times, as though he knew she was the one bringing the food – ha!

Another Christmas tradition is staying over at Joyce’s on Christmas Eve. After Seth’s morning nap that ended a tad early, we packed up our entire house for the one night and headed to Joyce’s to spend Christmas Eve with Joyce, Dave and Carrie. We hunkered down in the cozy family room and played games, while we tried to get Seth to take an afternoon nap. He was so wired with all the activity of being with everyone that he didn’t take a good nap.

Nonetheless, we dressed up in our Christmas finery and went to a 4 o’cock Christmas Eve service at a church nearby us that Joyce attended not too long ago. We didn’t go to our church just because it was kind of a drive and we wanted to maximize our time together.

It's been a while since Seth has sat in a church service with us, so we weren't sure how it would go - especially since the scooter didn't have an afternoon nap. When the pastor called for all the little kids to come up to the front to listen to a Christmas story, I jumped up and nearly ran to the front with Seth. Okay - he's only one and doesn't get that this is story time, but I have always wanted to bring our child up to the front to listen to the Christmas story. Thank goodness the story was only 2 minutes - ha! After a minute, Seth wanted to crawl around and I wouldn't let him. Back at our seats, Seth pointed and waved his hands to the Christmas music. He made it all the way up to the message but he got fussy because we wouldn't let him crawl around, so Jason took Seth out in the hall to walk around a bit.

After church, we went back to Joyce's and feasted on yummy appetizers. We all hung out downstairs, got in our Christmas jammies and then exchanged gifts. We let Seth touch the Christmas tree and he was very gentle with it. He liked the shiny Christmas boxes and got a kick out of the gold garland. Seth was blessed with some wonderful toys that are perfect for his age!

We had such a fun time with Joyce, Dave and Carrie. Family time is so treasured. It was fun to experience Christmas through the eyes of a one-year old!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas baby

This is such a beautiful video. When I gave birth to our baby boy a year ago just a week before Christmas, I felt like I was going through what Mary, the mother of Jesus went through when she gave birth to her son. The awe and heightened emotion of giving birth. The momentum of labor resulting in the quietness and precious moments of a newborn baby boy.

Only...not really. Because she gave birth to Jesus, Emmanueal, God with us, the Lord Most High. And, she didn't know the big impact of how we'd celebrate His birth and make it a holiday over 2,000 years later. And, she had the added pressure of how to care for this Holy baby, who just so happened to be one-third of the Holy Trinity. So, I guess I can't really identify with her by saying that we both had Christmas babies.

Yet...yet. I can still share in the moments that we both probably experienced as a brand-new mother, holding our new babies and the wonder of seeing God's newest creation.

I remember driving Seth home from the hospital after he was born. We made a stop at Jason's office to pick up some paperwork so Jason could work from home the next couple of weeks. I sat in the car with Seth while Jason was inside. This song came on the radio. I started crying over the words "You're here, I'm holding you so near...." because that's exactly how I felt holding our new baby boy, whom we waited for over 9 months for. The baby that I waited my whole life to have and he was finally here.....

Every time I hear the song, it brings me back to the moment when they first brought Seth to me after I delivered him. He was swaddled in a blanket with a blue hat. Seth was so alert and he would not take his eyes off me as though he had been waiting as long as I had to meet his parents. Besides my wedding to Jason, the best moment in my life.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The 2010 Christmas Letter

Dear Big People:

Merry Christmas to everyone I look up to! Which is everyone taller than 25.5" high.

I know what you're thinking. How can a toddler like me be typing this Christmas letter at such a young age? Well, everyone says more and more kids these days are become technologically-savvy at an earlier age. At one year old, what more can you expect?

Christmas means more to me this year than it did last year.

Last year, at 9 days old, everything was a blur. Not because time flew by, but because everything I looked at really was blurry! I didn't see much and I was only awake for what seemed like a total of 4 hours. There were lots of big people trying to see me. I was still adjusting to being outside of a warm, cozy womb for 9 months.

This year, Christmas means a tall, green tree in my play area that keeps poking me when I toddle by. It means shiny boxes under the tree with glossy bows that I try to pick off and put in my mouth. It means sitting forward in a new car seat and watching glowing houses with bright and twinkling lights go by when we're driving in the car. It means Mommy plays really cheery music on the piano while I try to climb up on the bench to bang on the keys beside her. It means standing at the window watching Daddy push a big, noisy machine up and down the driveway that spits out snow across the yard. I bang on the window to let Daddy know I want to be out there with him.

Daddy, Mommy and I were busy this year. I was busy growing from a 6lb, 14 oz little baby to a 22lb toddler. There was much to accomplish this year: learning how to sleep through the night at 8 weeks old, rolling over from my back to my stomach at 5 months, sitting up all by myself at 6 months, crawling at 8 months, cruising at 10 months, pushing 7 teeth through my gums (ouch, that hurt!), babbling and typing on the laptop. Now I'm practically walking across the room by myself! There are several things that describe me: I like to happy scream; Daddy really makes me gut laugh - especially at dinner; I get so excited when Mommy comes home from work that I usually cry when I see her; the third thing I love most (after Daddy and Mommy) is my thumb; I like it when my grandmas read me books when they watch me while Daddy and Mommy are at work; I can get crabby when I get my PJs put on because I'm just tired.

While I was growing this year, Daddy and Mommy helped me adjust to this new world and all the Big People in it. They brought me up to Grandpa and Grandma Teichroew's cabin a few times over the summer, where I rode in a boat (and yelled loudly because the boat yelled loudly) and learned to love being in the water. We spent hours (and hours and hours) in the car to visit Uncle Dave and Aunt Carrie in Door County. They have the best dogs and I LOVED it when they gave me kisses. We spent more hours (and hours and hours) in the car to visit Great-Grandma Inge and Daddy's uncles, aunts and cousins. I felt so loved by them all. We even got to visit Mommy's uncle and aunt and Mommy's college friend in Illinois, who has two Little People that I liked to play with. One day in the spring, we went to Uncle Jayson and Aunt Jen's house while everyone was there except Uncle Jayson. He walked through the door and we yelled, "Surprise! Happy 30th birthday!"

Daddy and Mommy took me to church every Sunday and we always see the same nice Big People. They're happy and make Daddy and Mommy laugh. I like being around them too because most of the Big People also have little people that are more my size. We have playdates every Sunday night while the Big People, Daddy and Mommy talk about Big People stuff.

On Father's Day, Daddy, Mommy and I stood at the front of the church sanctuary. Big Person Pastor Rick held me and prayed over me, then asked all the Big People in the audience to help my parents teach me about Jesus.

Which reminds me of something.

Christmas means another baby. Baby Jesus. Daddy and Mommy keep talking about baby Jesus. We read books about this baby born many, many years ago around the same time I was. They tell me how important He is and how much He means to them.

I hope they don't plan to replace me with this baby.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas!
Seth (and my parents)

P.S. I stood in line for a long time to sit on this Big Person's lap, but all he did was talk alot. I didn't even get to keep the candy cane he gave me. Mommy ate it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Seth - 12 months!

Seth, our one-year old son. I'm sitting on the family room couch, computer on my lap. Just like I was doing exactly one year ago, the night before giving birth to our baby boy. My, oh my. How a year changes!

(Apologies for the large, LARGE pregnant belly picture.)

Seth, you are now a one year old! You are no longer an infant. You no longer stay in one place. The fragility of being a newborn is a distant past. Excuse me while I wipe the tears.

You are a mover, always moving from the chair to the couch to the bench to the toys on the floor and back again. Only a few weeks ago, you crawled everywhere and when we tried to encourage you to walk, you'd drop to your knees thinking that crawling was faster. Now, you're walking 5-6 steps across the room on your own. The look on your face says, "I'm walking - I'm really walking!"

When we're cooking in the kitchen, you want to be right alongside us. You'll stand next to us - one hand on our leg, the other waving in the air or your thumb in your mouth. Sometimes you let go and then you just stand by yourself, practicing your balance. You don't even realize you're standing by yourself.

I'm waiting for the big one-year appointment at the end of December to get the true facts, but our scale at home says your 22lbs.
Clothes size: some 9 months, some 12 months
Shoe size: 4

Favorite foods: black beans, chicken, bananas, pears, pancakes, cheese, oatmeal with apples and yogurt. You really like food and have become very independent in feeding yourself. You like drinking out of a cup, but not a sippy cup despite our attempts at many styles of sippy cups. We haven't given juice to drink, just water or Mommy's milk.:)

You like to play games with us. One of your favorites is when Daddy says, "I'm going to get you!" and you turn around with a grin on your face and look for the nearest thing to crawl under or hide, like the piano, table or Mommy's lap.

Another game that you and Daddy play at the dinner table is when you both stare at each other and then you both start laughing at the same time. Daddy sure makes you laugh.

You've started giving Mommy toys when she asks for them. I practice signing and ask out loud at the same time, "Seth can I please have your toy?" with my hand outstretched. He gives me the toy and then I give it back to him. It's becoming a game now.:)

Seth takes two naps each day - one two-hour nap in the morning and one two-hour nap in the afternoon. He has even crawled to his room, stopped in front of his crib with his thumb in his mouth and waited for us to put him down for a nap. Seth goes to bed at 7pm and wakes up 7am. We rarely hear a peep from him at night. Sometimes he'll cry out for a second, but he's back to sleep so I'm not sure if he's had a nightmare.

As for the blue helmet Seth wears....the orthotist has said that he'll likely not need to wear it past the new year! Yay!! His head has been reshaped and looks SOOOO good. We are so glad we decided to have Seth wear the helmet.

It has been such a good, fun year filled with the blessing of growing, taking care of, loving and playing with Seth. We thank God for the healthy little boy He has given us to love and care for.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

I was so excited for Thanksgiving weekend. It's like the perfect kick-off weekend to the holidays. Not only that, but this was Seth's first-ever Thanksgiving dinner! I think I was more excited to give him his first big dinner than I was eating it myself....and that says ALOT!

We kicked the weekend off with a big dinner at Pannekoken to celebrate Dad's 60th BIRTHDAY - wahoo!! Mom, Dad, Jason, Seth and I had dinner together. It was a snowy day, so we were nearly the only people at the restaurant having dinner. Seth It's like he had a hollow leg or something. First, he brocoli and cauliflower, then bananas, then half of my German potato pancake, then a bowl of applesauce.

Seth seems like an older baby now. He sits great in a highchair at the restaurant. He loves the commotion of being others and being out and about. He was enthralled with the pretty waitress and secretly touched her painted finger nails when she placed her hand on the table next to him while taking our order.

On Thanksgiving Day while Seth took a morning nap, Jason and I watched the Thanksgiving Macy Day parade. We headed over to my parent's house to celebrate with my parents, Joyce, Aunt Millie and Uncle Bruce, Grandma and Grandpa Teichroew, Kyle and Jenni. While we feasted on the big turkey dinner, I gave Seth his first Thanksgiving dinner:

Ha - ha! Seth didn't have the whole turkey drum. He had small bites of turkey, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. After dinner, Seth took a short nap while the adults sat upstairs, talked and played games.

Kyle made us play one of his crazy games he's always coming up with. It's never dull with him!

It was a big day for Seth - not only for experiencing Thanksgiving Dinner, but also because he started walking across the room - with help of our hands. :) We've been trying to encourage Seth to walk while we held his hands, but something about having 10 people in the audience encourage you really made a difference for Seth.

In a matter of minutes, Seth was walking across the room to me and then we'd turn him around and he'd walk across the room back to Uncle Bruce or Jason. I have a feeling he's going to be walking by the new year!

On Friday, Jason brought out the Christmas decorations and tree. Jason set up the tree while I decorated the rest of the house. It was a lot of fun and I love having the house all decorated, especially since we didn't decorate last year.

We celebrated my dad's 60th birthday on Saturday with a big birthday party. Alot of my extended family was there, along with Jayson, Jen, Kyle and Jenni. We had a lot of fun just being together.

I took Monday off so I could work on Seth's birthday party and his one-year baby book. It was nice to have the day off!