Monday, July 28, 2014

Drew is 1!

For Drew's birthday, we did a casual BBQ with local family and friends. I wanted to do something memorable for his 1st birthday (for our sake, as he wont remember it). First birthdays are really just for the adults to get together, socialize, and watch the baby destroy a cupcake. And that's exactly what we did!

The theme was "balloons" - pretty easy!
Instead of gifts, we encouraged those in attendance to make a donation to
Children of the Nations. Drew raised $65!
The donations are being used to make hygiene kits for the Smile Pack program.
My girlfriend Chelsea's mother makes the most delicious cupcakes!
My sweet grandma and grandpa Watson
Drew's Uncle Loren, Aunt Danna, and Aunt Eleni (Uncle Carlos not pictured)
(these four aren't actual family, but I've known them all long enough that I may be
able to convince Drew otherwise when he's older!)

The Grill Masters (Drew's grandpa Steve and great-grandpa Bob)
Drew's "auntie" Chelsea and her nephew Grayson

Drew's Aunt Heather and Uncle Adam - looking wonderful!
Nanna Jo and Auntie Brooke
Drew opening a few small presents with Grandma Mary Ann.
He has played with this music set daily since he opened it!
A new book!
He was not a fan of the "Happy Birthday" song...
But the sugar really made up for it!
He quickly caught on...
Some made it in his mouth, 
and some in the hair.
And then he shoved the whole thing into his mouth!
And what pretty happy about it all!
Until I put the hat on him. Not a fan of the hat that day.
Hansen cousins! This was the "best" shot we could get. Oh, kids.
Happy 1st birthday Drew!
What a year! In many ways, I was definitely prepared for motherhood. God had certainly been preparing my mother's heart, long before I could ever recognize it as such. I was reflecting with Kyle and my dad a few weeks ago, and we all agreed that me being a mom is the most content I have ever been. Sure, the days are long and I'd really like my pre-baby body back someday - but I feel more prepared, able, and willing to do the job of Mom (+ wife!) than any other job or role I've previously been in. So praise the Lord for THAT!
The one thing I wasn't prepared for was how to manage my personal time now that there is a child in the house. Before Drew, I was used to setting my mind to a project or task and then seeing it through on whatever timeline I dictated. Now, my personal time comes when Drew is sleeping. When he's done sleeping, I'm done with my personal time...period. That's taking some getting used to (it's also why we implemented "Dad-urdays"!). Clearly, I still have ample time to myself as Drew is a wonderful sleeper (thanks to Baby Wise and sleep training him at a young age), and Kyle (and now my dad) are great helpers. I am still Drew's primary caretaker, though, so I've just had to adjust to leaving a project hanging and coming back to it later. Which is probably good for me, in the long run.
On that note, I'm suspending the "Giving it Grace" portion of the blog. Since Drew was born, I haven't had ample time to think through the Giving it Grace reflections, and that's been weighing on my conscience. With all the disruptions a baby brings, I fear I was becoming reckless with my writing. I don't ever want to find myself misreading, misinterpreting, or misrepresenting what it true about God and his grace. Also, while I love keeping up the blog and wish I had even more time for it, I am also working harder at balancing my personal time with other activities. That all being said, I'm also hoping that we are living our lives in such a way that God's grace is evident without me needing to explicitly point it out (and thus the title of the blog stays the same!). 

Our prayer for Drew in his upcoming year of life is John 15, verse 11: "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." If your heart lends itself so, please join us in praying this for him!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Drew: 12 Months

Drew loves: Everything - the kid just loves everything about life. Which is fitting, because that is one of my prayers for him: that he be joyful, filled of the joy that only the Lord can provide.

Drew hates: Anything. Per usual for a typical toddler, one minute he loves something, the next he hates it. The one thing I think he consistently doesn't like is sitting in his high chair once he is done eating. He'll frantically signal "all done" to us, and if we don't promptly get him down he'll throw his head back and started whining. So I amend my "Drew loves everything" to say that he does not like prolonged high chair time, or just general confinement. We've been working on our response to tantrums, and just recently ironed out our game plan for our response to disobedience. I thought he would listen to me perfectly forever...? Boo. I've finally started reading "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp. Very helpful so far!

Milestones: He's started mimicking little tasks we done around the house, like closing the dishwasher door. He seems to understand what comes next after putting your shoes on (going outside). So I would say he's mastering cause and effect, as well as sequences. Also, we're finally making oh-so-sweet progress on independent play time in his room. I finally found a system that is working, and he played in his room (crying off and on) for 45 minutes by himself today! Do you know how much cleaning I can get done in 45 minutes when there is no one underfoot? Be prepared to eat off my floors! Just kidding...I actually spent most of that time watching him on the video monitor to see what on earth he was doing in his room by himself. I had started room time with a baby gate in his door frame, but at one point he closed his bedroom door and that is when he finally stopped full-on crying and actually started to play. I think, to him, an open door means "mom is coming...where is she?!" and a closed door means "time to be by myself". So there you have it. We've been working on independent play time for weeksssssss, so I would say our recent success with this is a huge milestone.

My last post covered much of what we've been up to so far this summer, and I'll do another summer post later, so below are just his 12 month pics. I'll do a birthday post in a few weeks, too!

It's fun to watch how busy he is through this series of photos!

I kept saying "hi Drew...Drew, hiiii" to get him to just look at me and smile,
and instead he just started waving "hi" at me!

I'm holding up the remote control to entice him...

I finally let him hold the remote...pure joy!

Giving it grace: On my last post, I failed to include a reflection. That was somewhat intentional, in that somehow our lives have gotten so busy again that I've been cutting things out left and right (I was thisclose to swearing off this blog for good, but I really enjoy doing the blog so you'll get at least a few more posts out of me this year!). At the end of Drew's 11 month update, I was talking about my study of fear of the Lord. I did finish (for now, at least) my study on that topic, and came away with several really neat insights. The theme that stuck out to me the most is how many times God promises blessing and life to the offspring of those who fear the Lord. I think sometimes it's tempting for me to minimize my relationship with the Lord to be just between me and Him - it's my prayer life, my devotional time, my Bible reading. Those are personal things, between me and Jesus. But in reality, my relationship with the Lord directly affects my family: my husband, my children, and my children's children. It is so awesome to think that there may be people on this earth, little children, that (I pray with all my heart) grow to know the Lord because of Kyle and I's legacy left on our children (and their children, and so forth). As I said in my other post, God's grace has certainly carried me to this realization, because I historically have had very little, if any, proper fear of the Lord. Yet He has still graciously given us offspring, and Drew is clearing blessed and a blessing!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Fun with Drew: Part 1

Drew joined us mid-summer last year, and wasn't up for much activity (which was great, because neither were we!). This summer, he's been busy walking around and exploring everything he can get his hands on. We've been having loads of fun! 

Pool Time:

We've also been having a lot of fun at local parks. Drew usually likes the swings and the slides. Last week we met up with Nanna Jo for a picnic dinner at the park, and Drew had a blast playing on the big kid toys!

Gorgeous view!
When the weather isn't so great, we've been having fun playing in Drew's new room. Room time is a lot more fun now that he finally has a proper room to play in (his room at the condo was half nursery, half storage).

This Activity Garden has gotten a lot of use! Drew likes to climb in the window, and then go down the little slide.
One rainy afternoon, we pulled out my old collection of Toy Story toys...
Drew found Woody's hat, and thought it was hysterical when I put it on his head!

He laughed so hard that he got tired and laid down in my lap :-)
Exploring the Edmond's Art Festival for Father's Day:

I was going to share that Piroshky with Drew, but he ended up eating almost the entire thing!
Fun on the back deck:

Watching dad mow the lawn!
On Saturdays, we often go down to the Edmond's Farmer's Market:
Fresh peaches, yum!
Checking out the fire truck
We've been working a lot on meal time behavior. He is hit and miss, but mostly behaves at the table. He has finally learned to sign to us when he's "all done", and that has helped tremendously. Him not being able to adequately communicate to us is (in my opinion) to root of most of the mealtime whining/crying. He's transitioned to a sippy cup for lunch and snack time, and now drinking whole milk or almond milk (instead of frozen breast milk or formula)

I'm definitely a fan of snack time in the pool - it makes for an easy clean up!
Lastly, mom's favorite event of the summer has been the 4th of July! We took Drew down to the Edmond's Parade, where he participated in the kiddie parade with his friend Noel. Erin, Noel's mom, and I have been friends since 3rd grade - so it was neat for us to have kids so close in age! After the kiddie parade, Drew sat unbelievable still in our laps for the entire main parade. No melt downs, no crying - it was amazing! He then went home and slept for 3 hours. I wish there was a parade every weekend...
That evening, our community group got together for pizza and fireworks. We put Drew to bed at our friend's house, and he slept right through all the noise! We transferred him home around 11pm, and he managed to put himself back to sleep despite the fireworks going off directly beside our house. I can't sing the praises of Baby Wise (and sleep training in general) enough!

Drew all decked out and waiting for the kiddie parade to start (that's his friend Noel in the background)
Those sunglasses stayed on for about 3 seconds...
Erin and I with the kids
Drew's first kiddie parade!
Sweet Noel all dolled up with bows
Seeing the salute to the veterans and armed forces is always my favorite part

Drew was so content watching the parade...
He just chewed on his ducky...
He even kicked his feet up to relax a little!
We let him play with the toys that were handed out, but dad took care of the candy ;-)
Eventually he wanted to sit down on the curb by himself.
I was sad; I want him to sit in my lap until he's too big to fit!
My little pal!
Drew will be 1 this coming week! Is it too cliché to say that "time flies"? Because it surely does. I'll be back with a 12 month update in a few weeks!