Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jacob's sick :-(

Well it's been a rough week from the start. Jacob had been wheezing and coughing so on Monday morning Dan took him to the doctor. After some x-rays it was determined that he's got pneumonia in his right lung. So he's on breathing treatments and an antibiotic and hopefully he'll be feeling better soon. We can already hear an inprovement in the coughin and he's eating much better now. Unfortunately a side effect of the med he is on is sleeplessness, and he's been having some difficulty going down for naps and at night. As he gets better and we can taper off some of the treatments, that should improve. For now we are taking turns staying home with him. Micah seems to be ok, although last night he had a slight fever. We're hoping he isn't coming down with something too. Poor guys. It has been a tough year for a lot of people in regards to illness. As you can see from the videos, Jacob is doing ok despite the sickness. These were taken yesterday. He just loves playing peek-a-boo (and just about anything else) with Micah!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

What's in a Name?

Names are important to me. Maybe it's my literary background, but when it came time to name our children, Dan and I wanted to pick something that would be meaningful to us and hopefully, someday, to our kids as well. Picking Micah's name came easy. Dan's favorite Bible verse is in Micah (Micah 6:8 "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.") and we liked that the name is a question. In Hebrew it means "Who is like God?". Before Micah was born we thought about our hopes for who he would grow up to be. Along with the general things like: a person of good character, kind, etc., we wanted, yes actually prayed, that he would be someone who didn't just take what people said at face value but tested it. Maybe even someone who asked himself the question of his name: who is like God? Am I? And what does that mean? Well, it goes without saying that you often get what you hope/pray for but not always in the way you anticipate.  We are now realizing that our prayers have been answered in the positive, for better and for worse! We have a son who questions. Everything. Everyday. "Why?" is the tagline for every statement. While we love his curious nature, it is difficult to at times to deal with a child who doesn't accept that he should do something "because Mommy and Daddy said so." Not that we want a yes-man child, but it would be nice to get through a bathtime or a hand-washing without an argument! I now know I must have very good reasons for why I want him to do things and be able to articulate those. That's easy now, when most of the time our answer is "because I'm trying to keep you safe" or "because I'm trying to keep you healthy." But I know those answers will get more complicated the older he gets. And some of them he'll probably change our minds about. So it's good that we're being forced to think in this pattern now. He's causing us to question things too. And questioning is important because often its the search for answers that helps us grow, tests and strengthens our faith and many aspects of our lives. Without testing we would never know our limits or the esctasy of achieving more than we dreamed was possible. For now, we are walking that tightrope of allowing him the freedom to express his feelings and question rules, while still consistantly enforcing those rules we expect him to follow. 

So what about Jacob's name?  Well, we know that literally the name Jacob means "deceiver", or more kindly put, "supplanter." As a biblical figure, Jacob did lie to his father and steal a birthright from his brother. Hmmm, not things we want to encourage. However, he also wrestled with an angel (which many people believe was God in angel form) until God agreed to bless him. God then named him Israel ("wrestles with God"). To make it short, the Israelites were God's "chosen" people so this was an important moment on many levels. We again liked the idea that Jacob wouldn't let go until God blessed him. He wasn't perfect, but God blessed him and made him an integral part of his overall plan. Say what you will about him, but I like Jacob's humanity. So in light of all this, what kind of person are we praying and hoping Jacob will be? A person whom God blesses. A person with perseverance. And... just to be on the safe side, I'm saying an extra prayer that he'll be a person of compassion and gentleness too :-) Who knows? Maybe he'll be captain of the wrestling team someday. He's certainly got the build for it! (That's 7 mos., 25 lbs and counting, folks...)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Skilz

Practice makes perfect!

Jacob and his new buddy

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Now that Jacob is getting older, we've been trying to introduce a few new things into his world like sleeping through the night, solid food and using a cup! So far he is doing well on all fronts. At night he usually has one period of an hour or so where he wakes up and "plays" in the crib. My theory is that he is busy practicing his new "moves," and can't be bothered to rest just then. These moves include rolling back and forth, scooching to the end of the crib and rocking on all fours. After a while he tires himself out again and falls asleep, usually opposite from where I laid him down! I included a few pictures and two videos of him playing with his new toy from Aunt Helen-- a LeapFrog Plush Pal. This thing truly is high tech. I plugged it into the computer, entered some info about Jacob and now this pet says his name, favorite color, plays music he likes and other cute things. He just loves it when the pup says his name, as you can see in this video! Also, you can see how he likes to rock to the music, while trying to get onto his tummy. He might not be officially crawling yet, but this boy knows how to get around.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Family Fun

Elora and Micah build with waffle blocks

Adella and Jacob getting to know each other


The Three Musketeers

The Aunts

Helen and Jacob

We got a chance to see some "extended" family at the annual after-Christmas bash at mom and dad's house! We met Tracy and Shawn's new baby Jovi and spent time with the aunts, uncles and cousins. When I see the kids playing it reminds me of the times we cousins had at these family parties when we were little! I'm glad that we've kept in touch while the years go by.

Well, that's it for Christmas photos! We're well into 2012 now and we've taken down the Christmas tree and are trying to get back into the semester. Dan starts up with classes next week and I am already back at the office. Thankfully, Jacob seem to have recovered from him wheezing episodes and both boys' ear infections have cleared up. This should be a very busy next few months since Dan will be traveling for work and will be taking a special trip to London for a week in March to explore some study abroad opportunities from students at the school where he teaches. We are taking it one day at a time. Hope your new year has gotten off to a good start.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

More Christmas festivities

Jacob and Aunt Helen enjoy a little play time

Helen helps Micah play Santa...again

Somebody's all tuckered out!

Aunt Helen and cousin Matthew and the rest of the gang

Becky, Joanelle, me and our kids!

A little person wants to help me blow out the candles!

Later in the day on Christmas, Matthew, Helen and her friend Donna came over for a visit! There were more presents, more eating and more good times. A couple days later we celebrated ny birthday with a visit fron some high school friends and their kids. This was my first time seeing Joanelle and her children since our first year of college, so it was really special for me. We usually see Becky, John and Sara when we visit, but this was our first time meeting their new addition Julia! What a sweetie! We later had cake and Dan and I got to go out for a nice dinner :-)
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Micah opens his stocking

Grammy shows Jacob a new toy

Jacob enjoys his new teether 

"Oooh, I've got big brother's blankey!"

That's a happy Christmas grin, folks!

Jacob and Grammy are looking nice for the Christmas Eve service.

                                                       Big brother is looking dapper (but tired) too!

Well, we made it! Two flights, a round of antibiotics and a holiday later, we are back at home. The things that were especially wonderful: seeing family and friends in Delaware again after two years of not being there, watching Micah and Jacob's faces while they opened gifts and played with cousins, eating lots of delicious homemade food, having a "date night," a surprise meet-up with Dan's brother and his wife Amanda, smooth flights and good weather. We enjoyed our holiday time and wish we could have spent more time with the people we love. We also battled some illness, which is par for the course when it's winter and you have small children. Micah had an ear infection, which has cleared up thanks to Dr. Kluck in Arkadelphia who called in a antibiotic for us to pick up in Delaware the day after Christmas! That part was not so fun, but atleast the worst of it was over quickly and it was fine before we had to fly home. After we flew home, I ended up taking Jacob to the ER that night due to some serious wheezing. They checked him out and said it wasn't in his lungs, but just right up front so not a major cause for concern. A follow-up appointment on Monday landed us with several medications to help him feel better and prevent further illness and it was also discovered that he too, had an ear infection. So he's taking his first antibiotic to clear that up. (On a side note, the illness hasn't affected his eating habits any. He's now just 2 oz. shy of 24 lbs!) Poor kids! I'm grateful that unlike some parents who are dealing with more serious ailments, our kids are generally healthy and likely to make it through all of this just fine. It's just stressful for us all, but I think it helps to be back on our routines and in our own beds. Dan's enjoying a couple of weeks off before classes start up again so it helps to have him around all of the extra time. I've got lots of photos and videos to post, but I'll just start with the ones above from Christmas Eve and Day. The video below just cracks me up with Micah's little giggle--he's a java lover after my own heart :-)
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