Thursday, December 12, 2013

Drew: 5 Months

Drew loves: his feet, naked time, sitting in his high chair, jumperoo time, facing out in the Beco baby carrier, reaching for mom and dad, and putting things in his mouth (like his feet). And of course his old favorites: paci, lovie, and mom.

Drew hates: when you touch his nose (to wipe it or use the snot sucker), and his changing table (last month he loved must be a love/hate). He also almost always spits up when I put him in his car seat. Gets me every time.

Milestones: He found his feet! One day he seemed to find his knees. I helped him see that his feet were just a little bit further down his leg, and the next morning he found his feet...and never looked back. He'll be shrieking on the changing table and as soon as his feet are free he'll whip into frog pose so that he can reach his feet and instantly stop crying. I wonder at what age you stop being just completely fascinated with your limbs...? Anyways, other milestones: can "stand" for a few seconds leaning against the couch without us touching him, sits up with help in the tripod pose (arms down in front for stabilization) for a few seconds, can be unsupported in his jumperoo, enjoys alone playtime in his pack n' play, has started reaching for the book when we read to him, and puts anything he can touch into his mouth. Has tolerated being away from us for periods of time (a few hours up to 8 hours)...ok, it pains me to admit he actually has FUN without us! We left him in the church nursery one day, and with Kyle's parents another day so that we could attend Apple Cup without him in tow, and both times without us he apparently had a blast. Broke my little heart a little, but I'm also so very proud of him! The day we left him with Kyle's parents I had to text my friend Brynn repeatedly throughout the day for support. Thankful for my mom friends!

Favorite moments: if Kyle is holding Drew, Drew will see me and reach for me. I then hold Drew and point him at Kyle and then he reaches for Kyle. We pass him back and forth like this for a few minutes and he thinks it's really fun. I love watching him play with his feet. He was sick this last month (more on that below) so I got a few day's worth of baby snuggles in. Nothing warms this momma's heart like baby snuggles. Drew used to seem disinterested when we'd read him his Jesus Loves Me storybook each night, and now he looks at each page and reaches out to "help" turn the page. In the morning and at dinner he sits with us in his high chair while we eat, and it's so fun to have "family meals". We still haven't quite started solids yet, but it's coming up quick! All in all, his cuteness factor is just doubling by the day, and I'm so excited to see what he can do each day as each day seems to bring something new.

This last month was rough. We pulled out of the sleep regression just in time to get a diagnosis that Drew has laryngomalacia (which, in English, means "floppy larynx"). For weeks I thought Drew had a cold, and we finally got in to see a specialist at Children's Hospital. They did a quick scope of Drew's throat and said that laryngomalacia is something Drew will just grow out of in a few months. The floppy larynx makes it sound like he has a rattle in throat, when he really does not. I was so happy that he didn't actually have an 8-week long cold, and that there was nothing more we needed to do.

And then, Drew actually got a cold. And a stomach virus. It was just the saddest thing ever. He had it all: wet cough, runny nose, watery eyes, green poo, fever of 102, lost his voice, wouldn't eat, couldn't sleep. It was a mess. He just wanted to moan and be held. Fortunately Kyle was able to take some time off of work to help me out (this was definitely my first baby sickness rodeo!). After a week of Tylenol, snuggles, and prayers (and 4 doctor visits - hello first time parents!), he is finally getting better. His stomach virus is gone, and his cold is lingering but slowly lessening.

Somewhere in the midst of his not-a-cold-laryngomalacia and his actual cold+stomach virus, Thanksgiving happened. Kyle and I credit Drew for making a "couple" into a "family", so we had our first thanksgiving as a family this year. We spent half of the day with Kyle's family, and half with my family so that everyone could see Drew. It was a long day for him, but he got in some good practice sleeping places other than his crib. My aunt Shirley graciously offered to host the Watson Thanksgiving, as she lives right down the street from Kyle's aunt (who hosted Kyle's family Thanksgiving). It was great having the two events within walking distance of each other! I also love that Kyle's family and my family live so close together. My aunt, Kyle's aunt, and Kyle's mom live within minutes of each other. We live in the same condo complex as Kyle's brother Zeke and his wife Bekah. My dad lives about 10 minutes away (with stop lights), and my mom just a few more minutes past that. The rest of our family lives in the area too. We are very blessed!

The day after Thanksgiving, Kyle's mom watched Drew while I attended Apple Cup with Kyle. Not only did she give me her ticket to the game, but then she offered to watch Drew the whole day! Drew also got to see his cousins that day, so it was a really fun day for him. And I got to drink mimosas and eat Seattle-style hot dogs with Kyle and watch the Huskies beat the Cougars! All in all, a great day for everyone.

Lastly, in all of the holiday excitement, Kyle and I have been squeezing some training at church for the pre-marriage counseling ministry. I mentioned many months ago that serving in this ministry is big on Kyle's heart. It's a slow progression into this ministry, as the ministry itself is re-launching under new leadership at our church. Also, Kyle and I still need to go through several rounds of training in how the ministry functions from a logistical point of view, and then get some hands-on experience in actual Biblical counseling. There's no real point at which a couple has truly finished training and is ready to do pre-marriage counseling, it's more of a constant growth-in-progress ministry. All that to say, I'm really proud of Kyle as I watch him step in to leadership in this ministry. I'm also excited for our marriage, as it's true that often the ones "teaching" are the ones who learn the most (not that we are teaching anything, but the idea is still the same).

Ok - enough words...PICTURES! Drew decided to be super adorable this month, and may have finally settled the debate on who the cutest baby in the world is. I think he's finally understanding what the camera is, and what "Drew, SMILE!" means. (Or maybe I just got lucky this month!)

Drew liking his high chair!
Jumperoo Fun (dad asleep on the floor in the background!)
Just being a pal on the couch. I love this picture
because I think it just captures his personality so well.
Playing with dad!
Friendsgiving at my friend Erin's house. Erin and I have known each
other since 3rd grade, and ended up having babies just 2 months apart.
Drew and Noel's First Thanksgiving!
First Family Thanksgiving
The Hansen family together at Thanksgiving
Playing with great-grandpa Bob!
Kyle and I at the Apple Cup (without Drew!)
Hanging out with Papa Peter
Drew all tuckered out after his
day with Grandma Mary Ann and his cousins
Drew and Baby Neva meeting for the first time.
My dear friend Kaleigh (bridesmaid in my wedding, forever friend,
and wife to my friend Nick) had a baby three months
after Drew was born. Hello, arranged marriage!
Yes, that's Neva reaching out to hold Drew's hand. Babies holding
hands is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy ;-)
Drew and Kyle waking me up from a nap!
When I left Drew in the church nursery, Kyle's cousin
texted me these pictures of him having a
blast (and not missing me at all!).
Looks like we should have gotten Drew a baby swing!
He even took a nap!  
My friend Laura gifted me a bunch of felt, so I decided to
make Kyle and Drew an advent calendar. Kyle said his
mom had made one when he was little, so I made this for
Kyle as a nod to that memory he has of his childhood.
Our Christmas tree this year. Last year we cut down our own tree,
but with all of Drew's stuff we don't have room for a real tree
this year. Luckily, Kyle's parents had this tree they weren't
using anymore. Perfect fit!
Drew and I made some Christmas gifts!
The start of Drew's cold: watery eyes.
Kyle moved Drew's rocking chair out into the living room when he was sick,
so that I could watch episodes of the Pioneer Woman while holding Drew.
Dad snuggling Drew when he was sick
More sick baby snuggles made for some good, quiet reading time.
All bundled up for the cold weather!
My favorite pics from the Christmas Card "photo shoot" I did with him

Giving it Grace: Like I said, this has been a rough month. Rough in the sense that there hasn't been much time to process the series of events that happened. Just one thing to another, mainly with Drew. I like to be prepared, as a general rule, but Drew is just growing faster that I can keep up with. Sometimes I feel really ready for what's coming next; other times I find myself putting things off (like starting solids) because I just haven't had time to think about it. It kind feels like trying to run on ice! You have to find that perfect stride that involves just a little sliding around to really get going. Was that a weird analogy? See what happens when I don't have time to think clearly! :)

When we were in the thick of things last week, I was getting tired and stressed. When I get tired and stressed, I get mean. I never truly gave it that much thought until I read this blog post about what happens when mom is a bully.

The article is really long, so here are two passages that stood out to me:

"Every time I came down hard on my daughter, I justified my behavior by telling myself I was doing it to help her—help her become more responsible, capable, efficient, and prepare for the real world."

"I sat down on the edge of her bed and began saying things I’d never said to another human being—not even myself. 'I feel mad inside a lot. I often speak badly about myself in my head. I bully myself. And when I bully myself, it makes me unhappy and then I treat others badly—especially you. It is not right, and I am going to stop. I am not sure how, but I will stop. I am so very sorry,' I vowed trying not to cry."

To summarize, the mother who writes this blog was explaining that in response to her own inner critic, she was being critical of her daughter. Bullying is the term she used. I had to re-read the article several times because it just pierced my heart. I'm critical of myself. I bully myself. And worse, I'm critical of Kyle. I bully Kyle. Not always, but comes out. I don't bully Drew, but that doesn't mean I'm not critical of him ("why hasn't he rolled over more?"...Critical of a 5 month old - what?!). This blog post forced me to face some hard truths about my inner critic, just marching around like a big bully in my head. I sat down with Kyle and apologized to him for the times when I've been critical, and he graciously accepted my apology. It felt amazing. Grace upon grace. 

I've already caught myself being critical since the apologize - critical of both myself, and of him. But it's out in the open now, where we can talk about it. And I want to grow in this area so badly; I want to see that mean, critical bully in my head put to death. I'm thankful that God brought this to my attention before Drew gets older. Grace upon grace. I'm thankful that Kyle forgave me for being a meanie. Grace upon grace. I'm thankful that God cared enough to put this in front of me, forgive me for it, and slowly begin changing my critical heart toward myself, Kyle, Drew and others I'm sure. Grace upon grace.