Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas reminders

Hooray for Christmas! Last year was its own special thing, but I kind of count this one as Noah's "real" first Christmas. We got to get all dressed up and go to the Christmas Eve service. We got to watch him tear into his presents. We got to go to Great-Grandpa and Grandma's farm for the day (complete with Noah's first taste of lefse!).

Having a baby totally changes your life. Duh. One amazing aspect of that is how much I have learned and my thinking and faith has been shaped by being a mom and having this wonderful little person in our life. Here are some Christmas examples.

5 Christmas reminders from my baby (I mean one-year old)

1. Be excited about the good things! Sometimes I think we get so hung up on the "Christmas has gone commercial/the holidays are so stressful" train that we forget to just be excited and celebrate. Good food is worth being excited about. Pretty things are worth being excited about. Family is worth being excited about. And most of all Jesus is worth being excited about. Celebrate the good things!

2. Enjoy getting and opening the gifts along with what is inside. It is great entertainment to watch a one year old open presents.

3. Who gave you the gift is more important than the gift itself. When all was said and done, Noah crawled over all of his new toys and into my lap to snuggle. Corey said, "all he really wants is us."

4. The Christmas story really is a wonderful story. A new baby, a family--this is what God chose to center His rescue plan on. How beautiful is that when you really stop to think about it? Having a baby and a little family of my own brings it to a new level. Even though I have heard it many, many times, I am so thankful that the Lord continues to show me new things and touch my heart each year as I take time to focus on that amazing, true story. And can I just say that no, I don't think Mary should be worshipped or prayed to, but she totally rocks. Giving birth to and raising the Son of God--c'mon now Protestants, let's give the girl some credit. Oh that we could all truly believe and live that "nothing is impossible with God" as she did.

5. Babies (I mean one year olds) are so approachable and just have a way of breaking down barriers between people. We adults think so much about how someone will react, or how it will make me look, or if I really have the time to do that thing that doesn't seem like it would mean very much. I wonder how much we miss because of it. However, most people will stop and take the time to say how cute a baby looks on Christmas, or remark what a special time this is for a family, even if it is someone you have never met before. That struck me this year with two reminders. Number 1: we should be willing to reach out to each other more. Number 2: the God of the universe became a person, and a baby at that--approach Him.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Here are some getting ready for Christmas pictures! We have had lots of fun already.

putting up the tree
putting the ornaments on
looking way too much like my little brother, Briantrying out the super cute Santa outfit from Auntie Laurachillin' in a cool Christmas shirt: "1 smart cookie"
It's true!
too funny--1 smart cookie reading a commentary
(disclaimer: one page was harmed in the capturing of this moment)
at the ECFE Christmas party with his girlfriend (one of them...)
the kids' Christmas program at our church!
We lead the childrens' ministry and teach ages 4-13 (plus a one yr old of course) each week--not easy, but so worth it. We love those kids so much. They did a great job!

They decided Noah needed to dress up too. How could I say no? :)

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What a difference a year makes

It is hard to believe it has been a whole year since we welcomed our tiny precious Noah into the world. One year ago I was very sick and had to have emergency surgery to save us both. One year ago he was under 2 pounds and depending on advanced medical equipment and a whole team of highly trained medical staff to keep him alive. Looking at him now, you would never guess that was how it started. He is a very healthy, very happy, very mobile, very adorable little boy. I love that little boy more than I know what to do with. I love being his mama.
I kind of feel like we have finally let out a breath we have been holding for a whole year: that really did happen; we really did get through it; and we really are here now. All of those things have a lot of emotions that go with them.
I actually managed to hold it together through most of his birthday party yesterday. Until we opened his present from Auntie Nea.

The hat on the left was too big for him last Christmas.
What a difference a year makes.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Can you believe it is time for this update? The 12 month update. The 1 YEAR update. What a year. On my own birthday it never really feels different the next day. With Noah's, it does. On the one hand it feels like stepping out of something, like he isn't a "NICU baby" anymore. And on the other hand what happened is finally starting to sink in. Even when he was 2 pounds, he didn't actually seem so amazingly super tiny to me like everyone said he was. Of course I knew it was true, but he was my Noah--it didn't matter how big he was and that is all I had to experience. But now that an active bouncing boy of one is in front of me when I look back on it--oh my goodness, he was tiny.
He is amazing. He is pretty much caught up to his actual age already, something that usually happens around age 2. When we went to the doctor today and I was answering questions about his development she said, "so...he is pretty much caught up." I reminded her that she had actually predicted that would happen and she said, "yes, but I just can hardly believe he actually DID!" Yes, there are a few things on that giant checklist that he hasn't quite mastered yet, but it is not an exaggeration to say he is pretty much there. Wow.

Here are some highlights...
At 12 MONTHS! Noah:
  • Is 17 pounds 10 ounces and 28 inches long, and his head circumference is 17 inches. Ladies and gentlemen, we are now on the charts (for a 12 MONTH OLD)! First percentile for weight and head and fifth percentile for length. Way to grow buddy!
  • Crawls. A lot. All over. Very quickly. (Is anyone really surprised by this? :)
  • Can pull to kneeling and standing.
  • Can balance on his knees and play with a toy for about 15-20 seconds.
  • Can climb stairs. (Let me explain. No, I do not let him play on staircases, but we have a sunken living room so the opening is way to big to block and it is only three steps. He has gotten really good at going up them. Down...not so much.)
  • Says "mama" and "dada."
  • Eats anything we put in front of him.
  • Doesn't really like baby food anymore. He would much rather pick it up himself.
  • Can drink out of a sippy cup on his own.
  • Is still an excellent nurser. (Since he is adjusted only 9 months I haven't started weaning him yet.)
  • Has two big teeth on the bottom.
  • Quit sleeping through the night. I don't like teething.
  • Shares everything he has, from food to toys to the tiniest pieces of fuzz he finds in random places.
  • Loves to play peek-a-boo and hide and seek.
  • Is very active and busy, but also very happy and easy going. He has always been very alert and aware of what is going on around him and very curious. You can't get much by him. :) He does great with people and new places, but loves snuggling with mommy and daddy the best. It is so fun to see his personality develop and get to interact with him each day.
  • I love my 12 month old!