Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

At just past two months, our little guy was an amazing airplane passenger!

First, he exploded out his diaper just ten minutes before we left for the airport. What awesome timing! We were so thankful to not have to deal with that in the car, airport, or plane.

Second, he either slept, ate, or smiled all the way to our destination! He fell asleep on the way to the airport and didn't wake up until I was putting him back in his carseat AFTER making it through security. Then he was all smiles after he ate, enjoying looking out the windows at all the airplanes and the little vehicles zooming around below. (By the way, I have never loved the rocking chairs in Logan more than now! I am convinced a mother was involved in adding those to the airport.) He fell asleep again in the Bjorn as Mom and I ate and continued to wait for our delayed flight. He ate peacefully during take-off and slept almost three hours during the flight!

Only when we arrived and were changing his diaper in the airport before feeding him did he lose control for a little while. And I don't blame him - he was hungry! After that feeding (at 11:00pm), he talked to his Grandma (while I took FOREVER installing his carseat) and then slept the entire way to my parents' home (2 hours away), straight through being transferred from carseat to swaddler to crib, until 4:30am. What a champ!

So now our wee lad has experienced a plane, trains (if the T counts), and automobiles. He's a seasoned traveler.


Dear Nathanael (2 months)

My dearest Nathanael,

Today you are two months old! I'm so thankful for how God has grown and sustained you over these past two months! You are such a big boy, almost 13 pounds and really long too; you're in the 80th percentiles for your age! My back is definitely aware of how big you are as you most assuredly prefer to be held over anything else. (I know that's my fault, but how can I resist?) You are a true gift from God, my little one, and I thank Him for you every day.

This past month has brought about many changes. You no longer prefer walks in your carseat/stroller; the bjorn or sling are your rides of choice. You have been smiling consistently for a few weeks now, and you've even started to giggle a little now and then. I just love how your eyes light up when you smile. It is a delight to watch you interact socially with us more. Your coos are becoming more and more frequent each day. You are amazing on your tummy, lifting up your chest and head for minutes at a time so that you can see all around. Your doctor said we should watch out because you could roll over any day!

You still love your baths, so much so that we've made it a nightly bedtime routine for you. (It also helps wash off all that sticky spit-up you seem to always have in abundance!) You still fight sleep, maybe even a little more so than before. But you consistently make it one 4-6 hour stretch between feedings at night which is such a wonderful blessing to us! You are a much more efficient eater now, and you continue to take your daily bottle well - a fun way to involve Daddy, Auntie, or Grandma into your frequent meals.

We've had many fun adventures over the past month -- we've visited some of our favorite places in Boston and been to the beach a couple times! We've visited friends at their homes (the Fays, Robin's Memorial Day party, Aunt Angie & Uncle Andrew, Eden Thomason's birthday party...) and attended a couple parties at Tufts with my co-workers. You've joined me on grocery runs, and you continue to love the music at church each Sunday. I'm curious if you actually recognize Daddy's voice in it...

I think one of my favorite times this past month was taking a prayer walk with you and Daddy at dusk as we spoke with the Lord about His plans for our family. We walked to the Tufts library roof and looked out over our city and thanked God for His great work in our lives over the past and His promise to continue leading and guiding us in the future. We pray that you will learn to rely on God in this way as well as you witness how He faithfully watches over us, His children.

We love you dearly, little one. But our love will never compare to the love that God has for you, love so great that He gave His only Son's life to make a deep and pure relationship with Him possible for you. May you know this amazing sacrifice and accept it as the gift of grace that it is for you, Nathanael, our son "given of God".

And finally, I ran into this verse the other day, and it made me smile as I held you in my arms. Your middle name, Alim, means wise or learned in Turkish and Arabic. "The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him." (Proverbs 23:24) May the Lord grow you into a wise man, Alim canim!

your daddy and mommy

Nathanael Alim - 2 month old

And a few outtakes...

Father's Day & Dip in the Atlantic

We celebrated Father's Day a couple days early since Greg works all day Sunday. We had a family outing on the North Shore! Below are some stills taken from our video of Nathanael's first dip in the Atlantic.

Firstly, we took him to Halibut State Park in Rockport, one of our favorite places on the North Shore.

Unfortunately we didn't think about timing our visit with high tide, so we couldn't dip his feet in here.

But after a delicious seafood lunch in the cute town of Rockport...

...we stopped by a sandy beach and introduced Nathanael to the chilly Atlantic. We had to wake him from his nap, which didn't exactly thrill him.

So far so good
"Oh my, what is this?"
"Brr, that's cold."
"I'm not so sure I like this, Dad."
"Get me out of here!"
Pouty face
Calming the wee lad
And he fell right back to sleep...
Here's the one-minute video.



Last Sunday, Nathanael had a little poop explosion while Greg was changing his diaper. Greg was shocked but did a marvelous job cleaning and sanitizing. He was on his way out the door for a birthday party, and moments before he had to leave, he realized he had poop on his shorts. Oh well, that's fatherhood. He went to the party, poop and all.

On Monday, just before heading to an event at work, I was burping Nathanael, and he managed to spit up all down the back of my shirt and skirt. I didn't really have time to change. I figured that my co-workers will simply need to get used to that common accessory on me. Motherhood.

After we put him to bed for the night, Nathanael has been sleeping a 4-5 hour stretch somewhat consistently now for a week (skipped a couple nights though). Tonight, I think he could have slept that fifth hour again, but when I checked on the little grunter after four hours, he had worked his bum into the bottom edge of the bassinet with his legs and feet propped up on the edge. I think he's about to outgrow that bed.

And lastly, my favorite. I keep an old toothbrush with my cleaning supplies and use it to clean various hard-to-clean nooks and such. The other day, Greg used it to work out some grease stains in his slacks and then proceeded to leave it on the bathroom counter next to the stain remover bottle. (You know where this is going, don't you?) Well, that evening as we were preparing for bed, I handed Greg the toothpaste and we brushed our teeth together. After Greg finished rinsing his mouth, he went to put his toothbrush back in the holder and discovered that HIS toothbrush was still standing in the holder! Yes, he had just brushed his teeth with the household cleaning toothbrush! His disgusted reaction was so extreme that I couldn't stop laughing for a few minutes. He used listerine a few times that night. Apparently, since I handed him the toothpaste, he thought I had also sweetly gotten out his toothbrush as well. LOL! I still laugh out loud when I think about the moment he realized what had happened...


Nathanael's Birth - the long version (Part 1)

As I was walking back from the grocery store and coffee shop this morning, I realized that I barely remember being pregnant. It has only been seven weeks; yet it feels as if those nine (plus) months were years ago... Thus I am ready to share about the transition from pregnancy to motherhood.

This is the story of Nathanael's birth.

He was due April 13th. He arrived (just barely) on April 22nd, Earth Day.

First, our doctor. We had an amazing doctor, Dr. Phil McCrary. He was recommended by MANY friends, and we could not have imagined a better fit for our first pregnancy and birth. He has years and years of experience (35?) and exudes calm and confidence. And most importantly, he is a man of great faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. What a testimony he is to Christ; every doctor's office we have visited and ever nurse with whom we have spoken speaks highly of this man.

Second, the last month. About midway through the pregnancy, I had a dream in which I was at a monthly appointment, and another doctor who was with Dr. McCrary and me in the room said, "Well, it looks like you'll deliver at 37 weeks." I looked at Dr. McCrary, and he smiled and knodded. I was ecstatic! When I awoke from the dream, I decided that I would try my hardest to be ready for our little boy at 37 weeks. I didn't really expect him to come that early, but I wanted to have all the necessary preparations out of the way so that Greg and I would be able to rest for however many days we would need to wait past 37 weeks. I'm so thankful that I did that, but I never could have imagined how long those last four and a half weeks would be!

At just past 38 weeks, I was 3-4cm dilated and told not to delay coming to the hospital when contractions began. The excitement began! On April 5th (almost 39 weeks), the contractions I had been having regularly for a couple weeks become more intense, and we began timing them. By nighttime, they were 5-6 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. After discussion with the doctor, we decided to head to the hospital and get things going -- due to my progression, my decision to have an epidural, and Dr. McCrary's schedule (he was going to be out of town for a few days). The plan was to get checked in and then help them along a little with some pitocin, get my epidural, and then meet the little guy! At the hospital, they determined I was 4-5cm dilated and 80% effaced. To give you perspective if you haven't walked through this crazy thing called pregnancy, many women do not reach 4-5cm dilation until they've been through hours and hours of intense, painful contractions. And often (though there are exceptions -- like me) once a woman reaches 4-5cm, she moves into active labor quite soon after which means that delivery is imminent. Interestingly though, the dilation of the cervix only tells us what has happened; it does not really give us any idea of what is going to happen.

The delays. So at 12:30am on April 6th, the nurses told me to walk for an hour so that they could see some progress. (Note: at this point, Greg and I had already walked about 5 miles in the afternoon and another hour or so in the evening; walking laps on the L&D floor for an hour was not our idea of exciting.) The result -- no change. Due to a really busy floor, they scheduled a 7:30am induction, and we were sent home at 2:30am to try and get some rest before the big event.

At 6am, the hospital called; they were too full to induce me at 7:30am. Go back to sleep and come in at 11am for the induction. At 10:30am, I called the hospital; they were too full to induce me. The head nurse said to talk to my doctor -- I would not be induced today. I spoke to Dr. McCrary at 12:30pm -- usually Mr. Calm, he was actually frustrated with the nurses as they were being extremely difficult about scheduling an induction again. He wasn't sure what the problem was but said that for now we'd just have to wait it out and see what happens. Greg and I struggled with the situation, though we tried to cling to our trust that God had the day chosen for Nathanael's birth and would not let the hospital's busy-ness upset that.

Two days later, the doctor tried to schedule us again -- no go. He had us "on call" for a couple days while he kept trying to get us scheduled, but it never worked out as the floor was always too full. He was out of town for a few days; nothing happened.

The due date - April 13 - came and went.

April 15 -- I had my regular weekly appointment with Dr. McCrary, and he scheduled (again) an induction - this time for Thursday, April 22nd. (Of course, by that point, Greg and I had zero confidence that it would actually happen and not be canceled like the previous times.) We were also scheduled for two non-stress tests and an ultrasound before the 22nd to make sure everything seemed to be okay since I was past the due date. All the tests were fine, and we got to see our little guy one last time in the womb.

April 22 -- The hospital called at 5am -- too full, go back to sleep. Come in at 1:30pm. We were so discouraged, thinking that we were going to get another call around noon telling us to forget about it. But this time, it was real. We made it to the hospital, and they checked us in to a labor room right away. It was completely surreal to actually carry our bags into the room and get settled for the big event.

The delivery. Part 2 coming soon.


Best friends, beach time, bumbo seat, and big smiles

Okay, I only have a few minutes on our mac. (Our "dinosaur" Dell has not been doing so well recently.) So here are some pictures and stories in no particular order.

Hanging out with Odoi and Melissa
Nathanael all ready to go to the beach for the first time
Chillin' with Dad at Revere Beach
(He slept the entire time.)
Helping prepare to fly a kite with Nick and Deb and Dad
Family picture at the Atlantic
Nathanael loves to stare at our faces. We don't mind it at all.
Nathanael with his first Turkish friend, Gozde.
We will miss her so much when she returns to Istanbul this month!
First time in his Bumbo seat
All smiles with Dad
And quite possibly my favorite picture so far of this little guy