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!