Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Great Et Han

Our family returned yesterday from a wonderful trip home to Houston. I have a lot of pictures, and anecdotes, to share. But for today we must start with the legend of Et Han.

To give you some background, my brother-in-law Dylan is really big on nicknames. He delights in spending copious amounts of time arriving at the perfect nickname. So, even before Ethan was born, Dylan has been working on his nickname. He decided a few weeks ago that he would be Et Han (pronounced "E T Han"). When we came to Houston last week, Uncle Dylan proceeded to work his nickname branding magic by creating a whole elaborate back story for The Great Et Han. This video below shows a little snippet of the "lore" surrounding The Han as he also became known.
video
The best part of the whole thing, is that Ethan's "Han-like" stories, which are much like Chuck Norris "truths", are incredibly infectious! Joel, some friends, and myself, ended up telling our own Han stories to add to the lore. It was delightful and stinkin' hilarious! Thanks Dylan, I know Ethan will appreciate the special way you set him apart through this. Plus, hopefully he'll get a kick out of seeing this video someday!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thanksgiving


God is perfect. His timing is perfect. His knowledge is perfect.
And then there's me:).

We moved to Fort Campbell in August 2008 and although we have certainly met some lovely and Godly individuals, building true friendships and a sense of community has been a struggle. It has certainly been our heart's desire but it just has not been in God's timing for us just yet.

Last week in Believing God the study was delving into what it means to believe that God can do what He says He can do. Specifically the focus was on how God works such miracles and wonders in our lives if we will just ask. It is certainly not news to me that God can and will work miracles in our lives and that we are called to bring Him prayers of thanksgiving for the works He does in our lives. And yet as we came together and shared the miracles that God has done in our lives, in the last week, month, year, I was struck by how much more there is that He does for which I fail to thank Him.

So this week has been a spiritual discovery seeking new eyes to see God's wonders and miracles in our lives. Along they way I may have reached a new level of surrender about our friend struggle OR, God just decided it was His perfect time, or BOTH! This past Sunday Joel and I were absolutely in sync all through Sunday school and church, feeling as if we really belonged. Ethan has had a tough time being left in the nursery of late.
We have had to leave church after Sunday school or during it the last several weeks because Ethan is such a sobbing mess and we don't want to distract the pastor. But this week, even though Ethan still cried when we left him in the nursery, we have a plan to make Ethan feel secure in the nursery!

The nursery workers and volunteers are really getting to know him better, which is such a blessing. Ethan calmed down and played on the floor with the other kids once I sat with him. Soon enough, he didn't notice that I was there. After a few minutes I successfully exited the nursery and caught the last few minutes of Sunday school! Then we had another meltdown a few minutes into service... but we have a plan for that one too:)!

So that was a bit tangential but I was thankful that there are ladies that care for him while we are in church and that are getting to know his temperament and heart. I was thankful that our Sunday school is getting to know us and we are getting to know them.

Then on the "home" front, I have FINALLY made a neighbor friend:). All of our neighbors on the block have moved in the last month or so and we now have a whole new crop of neighbors. And with each moving truck, new hope was fostered in my heart:). Last week I brought some bread to my next door neighbor, whose daughter is 2 months younger than Ethan, and invited her to walk with us. Today she took us up on the offer and I discovered that she is a nice Christian woman and she wants to walk every morning:). It was so nice to converse in person with someone other than Joel...or Ethan:).

So here I am offering up some blog prayers of thanksgiving. For doing what He says He can do. In His perfect timing he has brought us into a sense of community here at Fort Campbell. And for that I am thankful.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mama

Today, Ethan said Mama. He has said it 1 or 2 isolated times in the last week but I wasn't sure if he was just making M sounds or not. Then today, he said Mama and kept saying it! Once he saw how excited I was at his new trick he embarked on a marathon of mama's and mamamamama's. He even seemed to be using it with cause (yes I'm aware how INCREDIBLY biased I am) and said it when he wanted my comfort or my help. I'm still a puddle of loving mush as a result of all this.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tooth # 3

Ethan cut his top right tooth this morning! He was REALLY fussy last night and early this morning, waking several times and being rather unhappy about it. Then he slept in and woke up at 8:30! When we checked, sure enough, his tooth had broken through and he was obviously feeling much better:). He has been very cheery this morning. There isn't much to photograph just yet but I will be sure to get some once the tooth is more visible.

And just because I love you and I know you are hankering for an Ethan fix, and I KNOW you don't leave within driving distance, here are a few funny shots of Ethan seemingly helping Joel out on his laptop. Seriously cute.

Hi Mama!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ethan's outdoor adventures

Can you tell since this is my 3rd post within the hour that Ethan is taking a marathon nap?! 2.5 hours and counting...
We probably should have tried this sooner but we it's only been a month since it's really warmed up but we had not moved beyond putting him in a stroller. This past weekend we set up a quilt on the oh-so-soft grass on our front lawn and played with Ethan. Once we got out there and I saw how much Ethan LOVED it and mellowed, I remembered how my nephew Jackson would do the same thing as a baby. But in Jackson's case, he was born in Houston, in the spring, so they figured that temperament out a little faster than we did! Ethan laid on his back and stared at the canopy of trees with awe,
this was his view. The outing went so well that Ethan and I went out Tuesday afternoon to enjoy the yard again:). Ethan had a fun process of exploring that I was able to chronicle. There was excitement, then he decided to roll himself closer to the grass, and calm contemplation.
Ethan LOVES rubbing the grass through his fingers!
And then Ethan made yet another move to surround himself by his new friend, grass:).
And then the final move, there was no quilt in sight at this point!
And then there was a little more tree gazing.
Now add to your image of all this, that I am firmly planted on the quilt with my bible study materials strewn about me. This was all taking place around 5 or 6 in the evening while most of our neighborhood was driving home from work. We got some funny looks as people drove by. I imagined that they saw Ethan in the middle of the grass, by himself, and me ensconced behind him and grimaced. What IS that woman letting her child do?! All well, he had a wonderful time, and so did I:).

Another haircut and eating out:)

We are the old folks that went to lunch at 11:15 so we're the only ones on the patio at this point!

Ok, so I really cannot blame our lack of "going out" social time on Ethan. Joel and I were homebodies before becoming parents:). But, we definitely have taken it to a new level since his arrival! We also have a bit of difficulty figuring out what to do and/or where to find things in the Fort Campbell area. So, this past weekend I had another hair appointment with my wonderful stylist in Nashville. Whenever I have an appointment we make a day out of it in Nashville, a lovely city, and one that we do not spend enough time in even though we're less than an hour away. After my haircut we went to this very tasty New York style pizzeria across the street from my salon. And, because I get rather giddy when I get a restaurant experience so I took pictures to mark the occasion:).

Not the sharpest shot but I wanted to show Ethan's setup, his first outdoor restaurant experience, his Mimi will be proud!

Ethan's giving me the crazy eyes because he was sleepy and not interested in his car seat.

And this is the solution we came to, Ethan cuddled up while I ate...yep we're closer than ever these days:).

We had a great time in Nashville and the whole family was worn out by the end of Saturday!

Ethan is 6 months old!

Today, Ethan is 6 months old. He is such a delight! Ethan has mastered sitting erect and unassisted so thoroughly that he is now working on continued mobility yet again:). For whatever reason Ethan decided to take his sweet time with all things rolling over. He mastered front to back rolling right before 4 months but, even though he could rock halfway from back to front, he didn't seem very interested. So about 1-2 weeks ago he began to roll easily from back to front and then combine it all! He LOVES my reaction when he gets going so he has made sure to make it a permanent fixture in his repertoire. So, now Ethan is combining scooting, rolling, and low-crawling to move himself all over the floor and the yard! He is also enjoying making new sounds by inhaling at the same time and quick little breath sounds like he's got his own private joke that only he gets. Ethan gets a real kick out of staring at himself, or us, in mirrors and he LOVES to hear "Mama", and "Papa". He is also starting to experience some separation anxiety so grocery shopping, household chores, sleep, and the church nursery have gotten considerably more complicated. This is of course not helped by the fact that he is cutting his next 2 teeth, the top fronts, and the right tooth will likely break through any day now. Finally, Ethan has started solid foods this past week! He has tried: brown rice cereal,
carrots,
green peas, This is what happened when Ethan sneezed with a full mouth of mashed peas:)
avocados, Ethan enjoyed wearing avocados as well as eating them:)!

and bananas. He really loved the avocados and the bananas but those were the last 2 foods we introduced so it is likely also because he's getting the hang of this. Ethan's favorite part of solid foods is hands down the sippy cup. He starts flapping his arms and making his little quick breathy laugh every time he gets sight of that cup! Ok, I know that was long but he's doing a lot:). Plus, I want to make sure I record all this while I remember it! I have a cute video of Ethan's first solid food meal that I'll post as well.