8.30.2010

Who's out there?

Some of you comment now and then. And based on your locations on my blog stats, I can guess who some of you are. But I'm curious who actually follows this blog. Do you mind doing me a favor?

RIGHT NOW, take a couple seconds and send me an email - kimber.king@gmail.com. It can say as little as "I follow your blog." Or if you read this as a Note on Facebook, let me know.

Here's why I ask.
  1. Pure curiosity
  2. I have been thinking about posting a little more often but want to make sure it makes sense based on who's out there.
  3. I'd love to have a way to contact you (email address or Facebook friend).
That's all for now. Now don't delay and send me an email! kimber.king@gmail.com

8.25.2010

Dear Nathanael (4 months)

My dearest Nathanael,

You are four months old! Every day of your life, we marvel at God's grace in allowing us to be your parents. You are such a gift, dear son. And a growing gift you are! Though you do seem to be leveling out a little now, weighing in at 14 pounds 14 ounces (about the 50th percentile) and 25.5 inches in length (about the 75th percentile). It's so much fun to be your parents!

This past month has been full of new experiences for you: an outdoor swing (it almost put you to sleep!); the church nursery; trips to visit family and friends in Western Kansas and Topeka (with a not-so-fun diaper rash experience thrown in there); skyping with loved ones; talking to Daddy on the phone; and experiencing a summer festival, fair, carnival and parade! What a fun month!

Amidst all the excitement, you continue to develop in big and small ways. You went from seven to five feedings this month and do well with 2-3 naps (though you have absolutely no consistency in length of naps from day to day - ha!). We tried formula with you one evening, and you didn't seem to know the difference! You consistently sleep 10-11 hours at night. I love how you just hang out in your crib in the morning when you awake, looking around and talking to yourself for a little while. And probably your biggest development is falling asleep on your own! It only took you one long bedtime (5o very long minutes) to really learn how to do it, and we are so proud of you! You still struggle to fall back to sleep after a short nap, but I think you just don't want to miss out on any fun.

You aren't content lying on your back for long anymore; you bend your body and try to sit. And you love to sit in our laps and stand and sit and stand and sit... You can even stand on your own while holding on to a chair (but not for long yet). You've rolled over a few times, but you haven't been able to consistently repeat it yet. You love to clasp your hands, are quite intrigued with your feet and toes, and have become an avid finger sucker (two middle ones actually). We especially love how you cling to us when we hold you, grabbing our shoulders or arms or hands. And your fascination with exploring faces with your hands always makes us smile.

Much to our delight, you seem to really enjoy music, and we have many special moments of hanging out together and listening to music or singing along. And oh the joy of your smiles and laughter and squeals! Your delight is so contagious, little boy! We pray that your life will continue to be characterized by this delight and joy.

You are a true gift from God, Nathanael. We are thankful for who you are, who God has made you to be thus far. Happy four-month birthday!

Lovingly,
your daddy and mommy

Nathanael Alim - 4 month old
And a few outtakes...
"What happens when I pull on this?"
"Are we done yet, Mom? I'm ready to take a nap."

8.23.2010

Until tomorrow...

A 4-month post is coming tomorrow (after our doctor's appointment), but I couldn't resist posting some recent pictures.

I took this one to show you all his hair.
This is such a Nathanael look.
Our sleepy boy's first experience in an outdoor swing
Standing and showing off his cute sleeper

8.20.2010

Silence, Sleep, and Vienna?

"Why so silent at Ye Kings of New England?" you ask.

Two reasons.

One. Nathanael has been learning healthier sleep habits. (Read: Greg and Kim have been busy helping him learn these habits.)

Two. Greg and I have been working on a lengthy application.

Regarding Nathanael's sleep. We had been hoping to start sleep training shortly after we moved to Kansas, but travels caused us to delay the training. And then around three and a half months - just as the books say - Nathanael's night wakings restarted, likely as his cognitive and emotional developments enabled him to realize that crying out at night would mean cuddles with Mommy. Thus the training commenced. Today was day ten. His naps, though not yet consistent from day to day, have finally begun to improve. He's been a gem at night since day two (with one minor struggle around day four or five). The first night was difficult on me, hearing my darling crying, but ever since then, he's been mostly marvelous at falling asleep on his own, usually with no more than a few seconds of whimpering. (Of course, now that I'm writing this, he just woke up and is seriously crying. Boo hoo!) One development that has made us laugh that has actually helped him self-soothe -- he loves to suck on his fingers. Not his thumb, but two to three of his middle fingers. It's absolutely adorable and is sure to make anyone smile.

Here are a couple pictures from a family nap pre sleep training.

And here's our finger sucker. Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

Regarding our lengthy application. I won't write much about this, but basically Greg is quite interested in a job in German-speaking Europe which would likely place us in Vienna, Austria. The job is a training coordinator position for BAO (Biblische Ausbildung am Ort). Seeing that this would require us to uproot our lives and move, the organization is careful to recruit the entire family, so I'm technically applying as well. Here's something crazy exciting about this opportunity, other than the incredible fit that the job is for Greg -- did you know that Turks are the largest ethnic minority in Austria, with an estimated 200,000-300,000? Now THAT is exciting! If this is the next place God has for us, it will likely be many months (years?) down the road though as we will need to raise the funds for the position prior to moving.

Here's a picture of Vienna I found online:

8.07.2010

8.06.2010

And more family

Not long after we moved to Kansas, we headed down to my grandma's to spend a day with that side of the family. Here are some special pictures from that get-together.

Nathanael with his Great Grandma

The cousins meet
(My cousin Deena's adorable daughter Neveah is two months older than Nathanael.)

Grandma and the babies

Family and the Wichita County Fair

Last Thursday, we loaded the car and headed out to Leoti, Kansas, about a five hour drive west from my parents' home in Emporia, Kansas. Nathanael traveled amazingly well again and was marvelously cheery when we arrived in Leoti. This trip was significant for many reasons. Firstly, it was Nathanael's first long car trip (6-7 hours?) and first time sleeping in his pack 'n play at night. He was wonderful with both! Secondly, Nathanael was able to meet his Great Grandpa and Grandma Wiles, many cousins, his Great Aunt Ann (his bear maker), and Great Uncle Larry (a few pictures below). Thirdly, Nathanael had his first experience at the Wichita County Fair, a significant piece of my childhood memories (unfortunately, he won't remember it yet). And finally, my Uncle Larry drove in with the family's 1924 Ford Model T which he had restored, and he and my Grandpa drove it in the county fair. Check out his blog here for details on the restoration.

Four generations of Wiles
Love from Great Grandma
Nathanael meets the pigs
and the sheep

Grandpa and Grandma with Nathanael while Dad & Mom rode a carnival ride

Great Grandpa and Great Uncle Larry with the Model T

Watching the parade

Papasan for Cats?

I guess if I were her size, it might be quite comfortable...
Good thing the lamp was on, or I might just have turned on the faucet without knowing she was there!

8.05.2010

5th Anniversary

On Saturday, July 30, 2005, Gregory and I were married here in Emporia, Kansas. Interesting that we find ourselves back here for our fifth anniversary... Actually, on the actual day, we were in Western Kansas visiting family (Leoti to be exact). More about that in another post though. It was special to be surrounded with family again on that day, not something I would have guessed would happen five years ago, but special indeed.

So what did we do to celebrate? Well, on the actual day, we rode a three minute carnival ride called the Paratrooper. It was a little more thrilling than we expected; our pod had much nervous laughing ringing out from it! But that wasn't really for our anniversary. And Greg went to a rodeo with my dad, but again, that wasn't for our anniversary... haha

We finally were able to take an evening out last night to celebrate, our first real date night (Nathanael-siz) since mid-May! We went out for a delicious Mexican dinner and then coffee. It was special to reminisce over the last five years and all we have walked through together...and all the wonderful people with whom we have shared life.

Gregory shared that the five year mark is quite significant in our culture as most marriages that break up do so before five years. It's nice to be on the other side of that statistic now. We pray that God continues to shape us to show His love more and more to each other as the years continue.

(I guess we haven't taken a picture together since we left Boston, so this is the most recent one I have of us together.)

Loving music

Yesterday evening, I laid Nathanael on our bed and turned on some music as I was putting away laundry. He just lay there for thirty minutes, peacefully enjoying the music. After a while, I sat next to him and started singing along with the music, to which he responded with his own "singing" for another thirty minutes. It was absolutely adorable. Both Grandma and Daddy came in to see what was going on, and he just continued smiling and singing along. This little guy is so much fun!