Friday, December 30, 2011

A Slap In The Face?

Sebby is quite the charmer, trying different strategies to get the attention of the ladies around him. He often acts shy once he gets their attention, though.

Yesterday he made up a new game to impress the ladies. On our bus trip from Prague to Vienna, he would stick his hands through the space between our seats to get the attention of the women behind us. Once they were smiling at him, he would smack himself in the face then laugh. 

Moms, did your little ones ever play games like this??

We have no idea if this is normal toddler behaviour but it is pretty funny. We had to stifle our laughter, while telling him to stop hitting himself. Today he's been pinching himself in the face. 

Not sure where he gets the ideas for these "fun", new games but I hope that the appeal doesn't last too long.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sebby's 1st Birthday Party!

Having Sebby as part of our family over the past year has been a tremendous blessing. He brings so many smiles, laughs and heart warming moments to our days. We truly enjoy having him around and can hardly imagine our lives without him.

It was such fun to celebrate Sebby's first year of life! I wasn't sure if we should go through the effort of organizing a party that he wouldn't remember but in the end, decided that it would be fun to do something low key and celebratory.

It ended up being an even smaller party than I had envisioned but it was perfect! We had brunch, played with balloons & opened presents. It was all over within an hour and a half, which was just right for a birthday boy of this age.

We snapped a few cute pictures throughout the morning...

Sebby's cousins were visiting from Canada so they got to come to the party. Camdyn (4) was helping make chocolate chip pancakes. Not hard to tell that his parents are chefs...he came into the kitchen & asked for an apron then started flipping pancakes!

Candyn eagerly waiting to dig into the brunch. My brother, Patrick, was visiting and put together some lovely fruit trays.

Sebby showing off his first ever piece of cake! The adults didn't love the vegan, gluten free, sugar-free spice cake but he liked it! 

"Oooh, new books!" 
 Cam helped Sebby open presents.

Such fun playing with cousins Cam (4) & Isla (10 months).

At dinner we lit the candles on Sebby's cake. He loved grabbing at them.

What a great 1st birthday party!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 14, 2010

Exactly a year ago today...

... Darren & I got dressed up and went out on our last big date before our lives would change forever....

Delicious meal at FARM in Calgary. 

... our last big night out as a a family of 2.

Then 4 days later...

We were a family of 3!

Not Long Ago...

A friend from Montreal came to visit for a few days this week and Sebby and I had a blast hanging out with her! We hadn't seen her since our wedding (she was one of my bridesmaids) so this was the first time we spent time together since I entered this new stage of life as a mom. The best part of her visit was catching up and talking about life.

I was encouraged as I thought about God's grace in my life as we talked about the past. 

She reminded me that only a few years ago, I was in no hurry to have kids. Although I got along well with other peoples kids, I just wasn't super interested. Now, only a few years later, I have my own little one who I just love to bits. 

I laughed when we talked about how whining or crying used to have little effect on me. Now, crying really bothers me, I feel so sad when Sebby is crying. I remember so vividly the first time he started crying hard in his carseat while we were driving (he was about a week old)...I felt so bad that I started crying too. I find it particularly difficult when Sebby cries when we put him in bed and almost always struggle with the urge to rush in immediately as soon as he starts crying to comfort him. Overall I can see in my life that God has been developing a much greater sense of compassion in me, especially for children.

She also commented about my patience with Sebby at one point. I am encouraged that she noticed that God has been growing me in the area of patience during this season in life and sees me as a patient Mom. Although sometimes I definitely feel impatient, I am thankful that it doesn't show too much and will trust that God will continue to build patience in me.

When I think back, I am amazed at how God works in people including me. Through entrusting Sebby to Darren & I, God has refined me in many ways and opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on life. I am so thankful for him!

Hugs & secrets for Momma. 
What a cutie!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Finally...Asleep in His Highchair

Awww, my sleepy baby!

When I saw pictures like this in the past, I thought, Sebby will NEVER be one of those babies! In his highchair he is usually either screaming "more" or trying to get out. 

I was giving him his lunch in the kitchen, while multitasking on a few other things including trying to find an important "missing" email. The wifi wasn't working in the kitchen so I stepped out while my page was loading.  I went back in and found him asleep in his chair! 

So cute! 

I decided not to move him because he might not go back to sleep and he really needs this nap. I let him sleep too much yesterday and we both paid the price last night because he had a terrible sleep. He's tired today so I'm one good nap (this one!) will get him through the rest of the day but then he'll be ready for a sound sleep tonight.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Belated 11 Month Birthday to Sebby!

Where is the year going? Sebby will be 1 in just under a month and it seems that every month he becomes more fun!

Sebby has developed a real interest in books over the past few weeks. Before, books were of very little interest to him unless they were newspapers or magazines that he could rip up and eat. Maybe his love of paper was just the beginning as often when we leave him in a room, we will go back in to find him looking at books on his own. Daddy and Momma read to him every day and since we have gotten tired of our books already, we have been taking out library books for him. 

He loves books about babies and puppies, especially books that have things to touch or little flaps hiding part of the picture. Unfortunately, he's still a little too rough to play with those kinds of books on his own and we have found a few little flaps ripped out.

Sebby has been discovering some new foods and has found a new one to add to his favourites list: asparagus. We were a little bit surprised that he likes it but he seems to love it except for the best part...the tips!

We were also surprised to find out that he liked octopus!

He is becoming so much more talkative, babbling throughout the day. It seems that he loves to hear the sound of his voice, especially in places where there is an echo. He often screams loudly in excitement then does it over and over because he loves the reaction he gets. When we step out of the flat, he gets particularly excited and chatty also, screaming as I lock the door.

Exploring at the Alhambra in Spain

I taught him the word banana one day, and now he has decided that all food is called banana and when he wants to eat, he usually says "na na, na, na" loudly. Otherwise, he says "mo" (more) if he wants to eat something but he uses the word more for a lot of things. If he wants to eat or drink more, if he wants to read more books or play more of a game. He also asks for milk and in the morning now asks to read books as soon as he finishing drinking.

Ordering food in Malaga

He is starting to learn about animals and the sounds that they make. He can say that a cow goes "moo" and can also say "dog" and "bird". Birds and dogs are, of course, his favourite animals! As we walk, he looks around keenly for dogs, then kicks his legs and makes noises, wanting to get down nearer to them.

Looking at the turkeys at the farm where we stayed in Spain

Sebby is very gracious and flexible even when we can't keep up his routine and we put him to bed hours after his normal bedtime during our travels.

He still naps well in his carrier! (Can't even tell he is with us sometimes).

He is interested in learning about people and the world around him! We prayed for this since before he was born and continue to pray this for him. He's quite the charmer too...he blew kisses to many waitresses on our trip!

Since we don't have stairs in our flat, he finally had an opportunity to learn how to crawl up and down stairs at the Cathedral in Granada.

We know that God gave us the perfect little boy for our family!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sebby's Faves from Spain

We just returned home from another adventure in traveling. We pray that Sebby will somehow remember these experiences even though he is so young. If not, at least he will be able to look at the pictures and we will remind him of some of his favourite moments:

The Cathedral in Granada

We decided to go inside the cathedral so that Sebby could have an opportunity to be out of the carrier for awhile. He LOVED it! He tired himself out crawling around the vast marble floors and even had an opportunity to try going up stairs for the first time! 

His clacker

We decided to buy Sebby a small, inexpensive toy to help entertain him during our travels. We got the little clacker you see him clutching here. 

We didn't manage to capture him waving it violently in the air but that's probably because we were attempting to stand back, hoping he wouldn't whack us with it!

Farm Animals

We spent our last two nights at a farm in the Alpujarra mountains as a relaxing way to end our vacation. Sebby really enjoyed watching the animals, especially the chickens!

Hanging Out With Daddy

Sebby enjoyed having Daddy around play with him so much. It was a week full of giggles and boy games (slightly dangerous, noisy or rough) that Momma doesn't play. Here they are checking out the donkey at the farm where we stayed.

Overall, we really enjoyed our time in Spain, despite the late night dinners that were a little bit tough on our North American baby who is in bed by 8pm...exactly the time that restaurants are open for dinner. Just try to find something to eat between 5pm and 8pm in Spain - impossible!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Things I Haven't Taught My Boy

I find it so amazing to discover how God has designed Sebby just the way he is, at almost 11 months he is such a little boy!

He loves...

To try to figure out how things work

Like the wheels on this suitcase. Or any stroller he sees.

To play with trucks and cars

"Just making sure these headlights are working!"

To drive

Shifting gears for Eva

I can't wait to see what other things he'll become interested in as he gets older!

Friday, November 11, 2011

New Friends

"Make new friends, but keep the old. 
One is silver and the other is gold."

That song has been in my head all week as I have been emailing back and forth with friends in Canada and continuing to connect with new friends here in Scotland.

When we first arrived a few months ago, I was eager to make friends with lots of other moms and babies in the area but my ambition soon waned. Sebby & I went to one playgroup and one sling meet (a babywearing community) but both were a half hour walk from home, during Sebby's morning nap and too long for Sebby's age (he got tired & cranky and fell asleep in the carrier on the way home).  However, my main issue with both was that neither was super welcoming so it was hard to be motivated to go back.... we didn't!

I did make friends one other mom, Anna, who lives around the corner, with her little ones, Eva (2) & Archie (4 months). We get together about once a week to go to the park if the weather is nice or if its raining, we go to each others places. 

Sebby & Eva having a great time at the park!

Anna is friendly and easy to talk to and I look forward to getting together with her! However, I knew that I wanted to make a few more friends, especially since Anna and her husband are hoping to move to a bigger place in the suburbs.

Lately, I have started to get more involved in church and that has helped me get over my inertia in the friend-making department. A lot has happened in the past month, actually:

  • I joined a Bible Read Through Group with three wonderful girls from church. We meet Wednesdays at 7:30am and it is one of the highlights of my week. Sebby does pretty well too, even though he ends up being woken up early then cooped up in the corner of a coffee shop for an hour every week.
  • A few weeks ago, Sebby & I went to a Mom & Baby get-together morning and enjoyed connecting with some of the moms from church. 
  • Last weekend we went to a retreat where we got to know lots of lovely people from church. It was such a blessing to see Sebby getting so much love from the girls and was a refreshing time spiritually as well.

Sebby enjoyed getting outside and seeing the chickens at the retreat centre!
  • Over the past few weeks, I have been convicted about my need to be more intentional about giving of myself to serve God and people so this week I took the opportunity to bring meals to two families from our church who recently had babies. It was a joy to put the food together and to connect with each of the families for a few minutes while giving it to them. 
All of these things have made me feel much more at home in the community here and today was the icing on the cake! 

Earlier this week, we bumped into a lady on the street, who I had met in the park about a month ago. She is also new to the area and was telling me that she had recently found a playgroup right down the street from our place (less than 5 minute walk!). She said that it was fun and the moms there were very friendly. I decided that I would try to go this week.

Sebby & I went to check out the playgroup today and it was awesome! I wasn't 100% sure where it was but saw a mom walking with a stroller so ran to catch up with her and asked her if she was going to the playgroup. When she turned around, I recognized her! We had met on the street near our place over a month ago and turns out she helps run the playgroup. She said when she arrived home after meeting Sebby & I, she regretted not having invited us to the group and was thankful that we had found it.
We had a wonderful time meeting the moms and kids. Many live two or three streets away from us and most were extremely friendly. I had at least five moms approach me to introduce themselves and ask if I was there for the first time so I felt really welcome. The group is relaxed with light programming but lots of free time for the kids to play and parents to chat. Sebby had fun and so did I! We will definitely go back! 

I am really thankful that I am starting to feel more integrated into the community here in the West End of Glasgow and know that I am already in the process of building some great friendships!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mr.Independent/Daddy's Boy

Lately Sebby has become Mr.Independent, venturing off into new places the minute you put him down and beginning to "play better" on his own. Even if playing on his own means getting into things like crazy, its been awesome seeing him gain an even greater interest in engaging with the world around him.

One of the cutest things he has been doing lately is reaching out to touch the people sitting beside us on the subway.

Thankfully most of these people find this as cute as I do.

He likes to be on his feet whenever possible.

"Hey look over there!"

Along with the new independent streak, he has also developed an intense interest spending time with Daddy! The minute he wakes up, he is calling "da da da" and continues looking for him throughout the day. During the afternoons, he waits on pins and needles for "Dad" to get home, looking towards the door at any noise he hears outside our flat. He wants to eat only what he sees Daddy (like chicken legs off the bone!) and grapes, of course. He wants to do what Daddy is doing and go wherever Daddy is going...this morning he wanted to go to work with him so holding my hands, he followed Daddy out the door & down the stairs (this boy has NO fear!).

It's so cute to see my two boys playing together! Sebby enjoys the loud noises and playing the rough games that Daddy invents and Momma enjoys a bit of a break when Daddy is around. 

This is definitely a fun new stage for Daddy, who is used to being of interest for only a few minutes of playtime every day. These days, the whole day is playtime and Daddy is of interest all day except right before bed or whenever Sebby needs to be comforted. For those two things, Momma is still the go-to-gal.

I am so grateful that Sebby has both of us parents around so that he can benefit from our unique strengths as he spends time with each of us!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Visit With Ah Mah & Yea Yea

We were blessed to have Ah Mah & Yea Yea (Darren's parents) visit us in Scotland for a few weeks. Sebby enjoyed an opportunity to spend some quality time with his grandparents. Here are a few highlights:

Sebby wasn't sure what to think of Yea Yea at first but he warmed up quickly. In fact, he really enjoyed teasing Yea Yea once he got to know him better. He would shake his head "no" when Yea Yea asked to hold him, make silly faces at him or pretend to offer him food or toys then take them away just as Yea Yea would reach out to take them.

Ah Mah spent a lot of time playing with Sebby and they had tons of fun! On our day trip to Edinburgh, he fell asleep in her arms on the train. We were amazed because he hasn't fallen asleep in our arms in months! She said her secret was singing to him.

During our weekend in Oban, Sebby hung out with Ah Mah & Yea Yea on Sunday afternoon while Momma & Daddy took a nap.

Hanging out with Yea Yea & Ah Mah on the last day of their visit.

We will miss them!

Next time they see Sebby, he'll be walking without help. He's growing up so quickly!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Celebrating Sebby's 10 Month Birthday!

Yesterday I made flourless chocolate tortes (for Darren & I) in celebration of Sebby's 10 month birthday. We feel so blessed by our little guy and we are really enjoying watching him grow.

Sebby is becoming so much more interactive! Over the past month, he has learned to wave, give high fives and make kissing noises when we say "kiss."  So adorable! He also says "more" when he wants more food. When he gets really excited, he waves at random objects or waves both hands in the air.

We have fun swinging at the park, walking and blowing bubbles. We went swimming once but it was a bit challenging because as soon as I put him down to get stuff organized, he was escaping out from under the door of the cubicle. So we're waiting till Daddy can come with us next time. He enjoys a nice long bath before dinner every day, though.

He looks forward to when Daddy arrives home each day, looking towards the door every time he hears a noise in the hallway. When Daddy finally comes in, Sebby smiles and squeals with excitement. 

A huge milestone from the past month is that Sebby has learned to self soothe. That means that he can usually fall back to sleep on his own when he wakes up in the night. Occasionally, he needs our help to settle down again but this is a huge improvement! He can now last the night without nursing which gives us all an opportunity to get a bit more sleep.  


This month we did a two day trips (Stirling & Edinburgh) and one weekend trip (Oban) and we are so thankful that Sebby continues to be a great little traveler. 

He is no longer content being in the carrier the entire day but he still does great. Daddy enjoys carrying him and exploring together.

Sebby's eczema has been flaring up a lot less and as a result, he has begun eating a lot more in the past month. He is beginning reject plain steamed food in favour of things with more flavour, especially if he sees us eating it. We're surprised by some of the foods that he has recently tried and enjoyed like figs, grapefruit and orange juice. Yesterday ate asparagus except the tips, which he spit out! He also tried Yea Yea's (Darren's Dad's) rice noodles with chicken, carrots, bacon & curry powder and loved it (who wouldn't?!). Grapes are still his favourite but chicken is a close second, followed by baked cauliflower.

He's becoming more mobile by the day, getting more steady on his feet and faster at crawling. Nothing within his reach goes untouched in our house and there are finger prints on every wall and door in our house to prove it! He gets on his tiptoes to reach things and crawls and gets stuck under chairs, tables and beds (he cries for me to come and rescue him when that happens). He loves to use all of his strength to unplug cords and put them straight into his mouth.

Sometime he sneaks into other rooms to eat cords or climb up on the heaters or play with the dials on the heaters. He can also reach the oven control buttons now and loves to push all of them...thankfully he can't turn the dials to switch on the oven yet! Sometimes he is content to sit in his highchair watching me cook but often he crawls around the kitchen, trying to get into cupboards that are off limits or eat fruits and veggies that don't taste that great when you eat the skin...clementines, onions, garlic or bananas.

Sorry for the super long post but what an amazing month we've had!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Enjoying My Sleepy Guy!

Today Sebby woke up at 5:43am. Oh how I wish he would sleep later! I went in at 6am to nurse him and thankfully he (and I) went back to sleep until 8:30. Rushed out the door 15 minutes later, almost missed our 9am appointment with the herbalist!

He was yawning all morning so I put him in for a nap at around 11 but he woke up 20 mins later. Soon  (maybe 40 minutes after he woke up?), he was whining and puling at my of the ways he tells me that he wants to nurse. So I started feeding him and wuthin 5 minutes he went back to sleep.

I should have promptly transported hm to his crib and got on with my day: laundry, tidying our room or exercising but I didn't. I'm sitting here with a sleeping Sebby in my arms because I won't be able to do this much longer and I'm sleepy too! I don't feel like hanging out the laundry just yet.

"Hello Sebby!" He just stirred & popped opened his eyes. Guess that was the missing 25 minutes from his shortened first nap. I'd better go because he's ready to start "helping" me with this post! (This morning he removed one of the keys from my keyboard! Cleaning it in his mouth I think??).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Great Day & An Even Better Night

Yesterday afternoon we braved the pouring rain and took our first day trip to the neighboring city of Stirling. We had a lovely time touring the old city and the castle. 

 Sebby was an excellent traveler as usual. Here he is fast asleep in the carrier.

We arrived home around Sebby's usual bedtime so we gave him a quick bath before putting him to bed at around 8pm. Amazingly, I didn't see him again until 6:45am!!! I could hardly believe it! 

Sebby slept through the night for the first time in his life!

The only unfortunate thing is that apparently I've forgotten how to sleep through the night! I woke up almost every hour after midnight, wondering if the monitor was turned down too low or if I wasn't hearing Sebby for some other reason only to realize that he was still sleeping.

Hoping he keeps up the full night sleeps & that I remember how to sleep through as well.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Crawling, Crawling Everywhere

He did it! Last week Sebby figure out how to crawl on his knees! He has been doing commando crawling for a few months now and would even get up on his knees to balance but always lay back down on his belly to move.

Last Wednesday morning (September 21st), I put him down on his bedroom floor and he got up on his knees and crawled towards me! I wasn't sure if it was a fluke or if he had actually figured it out until I saw him do it again a few minutes later. 

I really knew he had it that afternoon when I called to him from the other room because I could hear him starting to get fussy. I walked to the doorway and he crawled towards me. I backed up to see if he would crawl a bit farther and he did so I backed up again. By that time he was getting quite upset with me because I was busy taking videos of him and wouldn't pick him up. I couldn't help it, it was just so cute to see him crawling towards me, crying loudly!

With just over a week of experience under his belt, he has already gained more independence as a result of this new skill. This morning I set him down then a minute later when I turned around, he was nowhere in sight. As I walked into the hall, I could see him scampering into the bathroom. He was just about to knock over the garbage can when I scooped him up and turned him around.

Looks like we'll be in for lots more fun and adventure as he continues to crawl faster while working on standing at the same tome.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Video of Mommas Little Helper

I finally figured out how to get these videos off my phone and really wanted to post this one of Sebby helping check if the clothes were dry.

Eek! That laundry drying rack isn't very sturdy. Can't let him make a habit of helping with this chore.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Day in The Life of "Mommas Little Helper"

I thought it would be fun to document a day in the life of our busy little 9 month old. Here are a few shots that I was able to capture on my phone in the midst of the chaos. 

Here goes...

Making sure the straps on his high chair are secure and then pushing it out of the way.

Helping get rid of things we don't this Ikea catalogue!

Giving bunny an eye exam.

Finding the chocolate that Daddy hid from Momma! (This one is a bit dark because he found it in the bottom of our bedroom closet!!)

Making sure the washing machine is getting all the stains out of our clothes.

Cleaning up spilled rice so Momma doesn't have to scrub again.

Making sure there weren't any broken clothespins in the bin.

Whew, what a little helper!

Other activities that I didn't capture on camera: eating phone cords, pulling "baby books" off the shelves, disconnecting the internet (to prevent Momma from getting distracted?),  climbing the clothes drying rack (to see if the clothes were dry?).

Tips for childproofing and entertaining a 9 month old welcome!!!