Dear Nathanael (6 months)

My dearest Nathanael,

The three of us have been a family now for half a year! You have changed our lives more than we could ever have imagined, and we absolutely love your presence in our lives! We are so thankful to God for the gift of you.

You are now 27.5 inches long (82nd percentile) and weigh 17 pounds, 15 ounces (57th percentile). And you are eating solid food now! Yea! You love your pears, peas, avocado, and oats. You're not so into the rice cereal or green beans, but you seem to still eat them well enough if we're patient with you. I love how your hands smell like toast and jam after you've eaten one of your favorites - pear oatmeal. I could hold your little fingers near my nose and take in that sweet smell for hours! One of your favorite daily autumn activities (and Daddy's too) is your evening walk out to the apple trees. We let you suck on an apple, and you absolutely love that juice! And you seem fascinated with sippy cups. You've been able to drink a little water, but I think you're just proud that you can hold a cup right now.

Each month I am amazed at your wakefulness development. At some point this month, you just decided you didn't need a third nap (what?!) and you now are awake for four to five hours in the afternoon and evening before bed. You are able to entertain yourself for quite a long time, especially when we put you in your playpen outside. Other than a few difficult nights now and then due to digestive issues, you've remained a great nighttime sleeper; we are so thankful that you love your sleep! And as cute as ever, you continue to prefer two of your middle fingers on your left hand to soothe to sleep!

This month has been full of physical developments for you. You sit amazingly well now which means you're bathing in the big tub, you roll over both ways frequently, you like to play with (rather chew and suck on) your toes, you are learning cause and effect with many of your toys, you help turn your book pages, you shake your toys and often hit yourself in the head, you rock aggressively left and right sometimes when you are excited or happy, you are extremely ticklish and laugh a ton, and my favorites - you give multiple big, tight hugs and slobbery kisses every day! You also love to be held in the air above our heads - a sure way to get you to squeal and giggle.

You've had your share of new and fun experiences this month -- sitting in the carriage at Walmart, sitting in your own chair at church, a cook-out and bonfire, letting the dog take you on a walk in your stroller, "petting" the cats and licking the dog (ugh!), having our new Iraqi friends over for dinner, skyping with family, and visits from dear friends and family. As long as we stick to your daily routine and don't put you in a stranger's arms, you seem to love observing new places and people; we thank God for your adaptability in this way!

Nathanael Alim, you are God's gift to us. We pray every day that you will know your Maker, become his child by believing in Jesus Christ, and follow hard after Him! Happy six months, son!

your daddy and mommy

(These pictures are getting harder to take now that someone won't sit still!)
Nathanael Alim - 6 month old
This was one way to get him to sit still.
One of many action pictures


The three generation rocking chair

This rocking chair was my mother's when she was a little girl. Then my sister and I enjoyed it, filling the storage under the cushion with dress-up clothes and shoes. How special that Nathanael is now playing on the same chair! I wonder what he'll think to place in the storage in a few months. I think these pictures were from his first introduction to the chair with Grandma.


Already half a year?!

Nathanael is six months old! His appointment is on Monday, so I'll post his six month letter then, but I simply can't resist sharing a few pictures to celebrate this exciting day!


Dad and son

Saturday, our family spent the entire day together; it was absolutely wonderful. I especially enjoyed watching my husband and son share many special moments...


Sleepy boy = messy boy

And this is what happens when Nathanael eats dinner after two really short naps.
(Though it is not obvious, he does love avocado and ate quite a bit.)

Green beans, anyone?

I LOVE green beans and was so excited to introduce Nathanael to them.

These pictures do not do justice to his reaction, but they are all I could capture after putting down the spoon and grabbing the camera.

"Oh my goodness, what is this, Mom?!"
"Get that spoon away from me!"
"Gag me!"
Needless to say, he isn't exactly thrilled with them...yet. That will change, I am sure.


Teach us to number our days.

Psalm 90 has been rolling around in my head for the past few days. I am amazed at God's perspective on time and what that means for me, especially on the days when Nathanael's not doing as well as normal and I am struggling to know how to mother him well. "From everlasting to everlasting You are God... For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night... The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away... So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom..." It is interesting to me how quickly I forget the toil and trouble of yesterdays. But in the moment, it all seems so huge. I want God to teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom.

I love how this Psalm continues; it really speaks to me right now: "Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days... Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!"

Every day, I pray that God would be Nathanael's satisfier, that he would rejoice in the Lord all his days, that he would know God's glorious power. How? Through our example. What an incredibly huge responsibility! Oh that God would establish the work of my hands - motherhood - and that Nathanael would see the Lord's favor upon us!


More and more photos

Nathanael's first bonfire
Practicing being gentle with Ayse


Nathanael's first babysitters

I just ran into these pictures on our computer. Nathanael was almost a month old, and Nick & Deborah were the trusted babysitters for our first evening away from the wee lad.
We sure miss you two!


Sitting is just too exciting!

This video was taken about a week ago when Nathanael was just getting the hang of sitting on his own. Prepare to laugh.