Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Photo Shoot

 Before Nathan was born, we purchased an amazingly-priced photo shoot from L. Gaines Photography. We didn't know anything about Lauren before she came to our house, but we were so pleased with her pictures! :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nathan is one month old!

 In mid-December, our little guy turned one month old! The month flew by so quickly! We loved getting to know the newest member of our family and introducing him to our friends and extended family members.

Nathan easily earns his "mellow fellow" nickname. He rarely cries except when in the car, buckled into his car seat. He'd much rather be held! Otherwise, he cries only for short periods of time until his needs are met.

Nathan spends most of his days and nights sleeping. He sleeps the longest while in a moving swing or while being held. Unlike his older brothers as babies, Nathan doesn't enjoy being tightly swaddled. Instead, he prefers to be wrapped loosely in blankets, often with a fist right up near his mouth. He wakes up to eat every 2-3 hours and then usually goes right back to sleep. His most alert time is in the evening. By the end of the month, Nathan's gaze was starting to focus more and more.

Eating is another of Nathan's favorite pastimes. He took quickly to nursing and is gaining weight well. At one month, Nathan now weighs around 11 pounds.

Some of his favorites include his pacifier (especially when he's starting to get drowsy), stretching BIG stretches, swinging in the swing, and bath time (especially once his umbilical cord fell off and we could put him directly into the water).  When we're out and about, Nathan loves when Momma "wears" him in the Moby Wrap and will usually fall right to sleep. (This makes grocery shopping with an infant and a toddler much easier. :)) Nathan doesn't mind tummy time for a few minutes at a stretch, and his neck is starting to get noticeably stronger.


tummy time

Nathan gets a lot of attention from his big brothers. He doesn't mind being held by them and tolerates lots of boisterous hugs and slobbery kisses. Ian and Ryan just adore Nathan and love helping to care for him. Ian likes to call Nathan "Sweetie" or "Little Bull" (he thinks the ring on Nathan's pacifier looks like the ring in a bull's nose), and almost daily Ian will comment, "He's SOOOO cute!" Ryan calls his little brother by name: "Nay-sun."
Ryan "reads" Nathan a Christmas book

We received lots of help this month from family and friends. Thanks to everyone who brought us meals and showed us care in other ways! Our friends and family were happy to meet our newest little guy. Most often, people complimented Nathan on his dark, abundant hair or commented on how much he looks like Daddy and Ian.

with our friend, Kati
Our friend Melissa knew how to hold Nathan right away!

with our friend, Carrie

We have certainly fallen in love with our littlest gift from God, Nathan Paul!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Getting ready for Christmas

We had fun this year preparing for Jesus' birthday!

Decorating the House

The boys were excited to help put up our Christmas tree. They eagerly attached the poles together, and Ian sorted out the branches by size before he started connecting them.

In not too long, though, it became apparent that our well-loved tree (that we purchased 11 years ago at a garage sale) would need to be replaced. The base was cracked, and the tree was leaning to the side. Thankfully we could capitalize on a Black Friday sale! Matt called about 8 Home Depots in the area before he found the tree that we wanted. We were SO excited to finally get a pre-lit tree, and the boys love the remote control that switches the lights from white to colored to a flashing mix.

Grammy "fluffed" the branches,
and then we began the fun process of putting up ornaments.

What a beautiful tree! :)

We also decorated other parts of our house, including hanging the stockings on the mantel. I was so proud to hang up Ryan's recently-finished applique stocking. Hopefully, Nathan's will be done by next year! :)

Walk Through Bethlehem

One of our favorite family traditions has become going to a local church's "Walk Through Bethlehem." It was fun to show Grammy what it was all about! The boys started out by exploring the "snow area." (Yes, only in south Texas do we manufacture snow!)

Then, the boys and Grammy took a ride on a camel! They all had a great time. Ryan kept saying, "Why is it so wibbly-wobbly?" as the camel walked around.

Then, we went inside to eat some "fish" from the marketplace,
make candles,

and meet "the holy family"!

The boys also stamped their own coins,
pet some animals,

and met the Wise Men.

Ian's Christmas Program

Another highlight of the Christmas season was attending the Early Childhood Christmas program. Each class sang a song by itself and then the whole ECC gathered to sing three closing numbers. Ian's kindergarten class sang a cute song called "One Thousand Candles" or something like that. He was excited to hold a battery-operated candle during the song.

Ian is at the top left.

Singing Christmas Carols

And, finally, we enjoyed singing Christmas carols, especially during our night time family Advent devotions. The boys' favorite was "Go, Tell It on the Mountain."