Thursday, January 28, 2010

The BabyBear Show! presents: Return From Hiatus

Hello again, all my Internet fans!! It is I, BabyBear, back again after far too long, to share my many exploits with all of you, my adoring fans.

[Click here for the video if the embedding doesn't work for you.]

Until next time -- keep on jumpity jump jump jumping!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Guess who's seven months old?

Yep - BabyBear! It was an eventful birthday, as BabyBear spent his first Sunday morning in the church nursery. As usual, he did great -- mostly hung out in a swing trying to take his socks off, apparently. Then this afternoon, a couple of friends offered to watch him while Bethany and I went on a date. I think everybody had a great time!

Boy, did the seventh month go by fast, what with Christmas and travel and all... Some big new things, too. First off, BabyBear can sit up (mostly) unassisted. It helps if he's got a toy or something he's focused on, and even then he occasionally wobbles, but for the most part we think he's got it down.

He's also started incorporating some new foods into his diet -- including some "adult" food! We've fed him steamed sweet potatoes and banana (both slices and through a mesh feeder), and he seemed to like both. Rice cereal wasn't a hit, and he was so-so on the jar of apples and bananas, but he LOVED the jar of baby food spinach and potatoes! Here's evidence:

He's talking a lot more, and really seems at times to be repeating us on simple things like "hi" or "I love you." When we repeat his "words" back to him, he often gets a kick out of it, smiling and laughing. He's also enjoyed playing with a lot of his Christmas presents, particularly the Mozart Magic Cube, the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Bunny and the Fisher Price Baby's First Baseball (makes a daddy's heart proud). Another favorite toy is the Stack and Roll Cups.

Speaking of the birthday boy... Here he is!

All in all, it's been a good month!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti...two more ways you can help.

I can not get the people of Haiti out of my mind. Honestly, I don't think I should get them out of my mind. I believe God put them on my mind and on my heart so I can remember to pray, take action and not forget these hurting, broken people.

Growing up in Miami, the island was close to me and I would see weekly reports on the news of Haitians trying to come to the US on boats, only to be turned away and sent back once they got to shore. Many died trying. In Jr. High I had an opportunity to go on a mission trip to the DR side of the island and witness the extreme poverty in some areas there, all the while knowing it was worse in Haiti. That was before the earthquake. It truly breaks my heart to know how things are now. I know it's way worse than what the news outlets are telling us. I also know it breaks the heart of God to see people he created go through this. He knows every name, every situation and every loss and (I believe) wants to bring His love and restoration to this nation.

Giving $ is definitely a good thing to do (any little bit helps), but if you are looking to do more in addition to giving $, we found this opportunity some of you might be interested in. Jeff and I went to an American Baptist church in Pennsylvania and one of our friends there told us about this organization where you can make up kits, specifically Hygiene or Baby kits to be sent to those following a disaster (in this case, it's the earthquake victims). For more information, go to:

Personally, it's the orphans, babies and children that are especially on my heart, so I'm making baby kits. There's going to be so many more of them now and so many parents that are going to have to give up their kids because they can't take care of them. All of the items for these kits are sold at Walmart.

Edited to Add: I just found one more way!! Pocket diaper manufacturer Happy Heinys has been donating and working closely with orphanages in Haiti for several years, sending packages with missionaries who hand-deliver the goods. They are collecting reusable diapers in new or excellent condition and baby clothes to get to the earthquake's littlest victims. They will accept any kind of cloth diapers and they are also looking for donations of baby clothes. You can send to: Happy Heinys 1529 N Cuyamaca St El Cajon CA 92020 (please mark box for donation)

I'm not trying to pressure anyone or make anyone feel bad, but I wanted a way to do more and thought maybe some of you did too. Just thought I'd share...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas 2009 wrap-up

Better late than never, right? Christmas 2009 -- BabyBear's first Christmas! -- came in waves, as we celebrated separately with my mom, aunt and uncle in College Station (halfway for both of us); my sister's family in Austin; and then Bethany's family in Miami.

Lots of pictures and even some video to share, as is befitting the little one's first Christmas. First, pics from our family gathering at a mall in Aggieland, courtesy of Aunt Sue and Uncle Vic. Here's a good one of Aunt Sue and BabyBear:

A week later, we were in Austin to celebrate with BabyBear's Aunt Kim, Uncle Josh, and soon-to-be four cousins. No pics there (too busy having fun!); just a short video here.

Then it was off to Miami -- BabyBear's 1st plane rides! He did great coming and going, and really handled all the changes (being off schedule, in a new place, new bed, etc.) exceptionally well. (Unfortunately, things went downhill shortly after we got home, but this post isn't about that.)

Bethany's brother and sister-in-law were also able to come in all the way from Hawaii, so Grams and Gramps England had the whole family together for Christmas.

Among other activities, BabyBear actually went "swimming" for the first time. Really, he just put his feet in the water of Grams and Gramps' pool, but he can always tell people he went swimming on his first Christmas!

Lots more pics to share from our week there. Here are some videos to enjoy, too:
Hope y'all all had a good Christmas, too!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Is it 2011 yet?

I'm not sure 2010 really agrees with our family :)

Last night we had a bit more excitement around the house. We live on the corner of a slightly busy road on the apex of a curve. Apparently a drunk driver wasn't paying attention and jumped the curve, sideswiped my favorite Red Oak, went through the yard and ended up at our tiniest pecan tree. Thankfully it stopped there, otherwise the car would have ended up in our backyard neighbor's kitchen.

I am SO thankful that the car didn't hit the house. Especially with how cold it has been here. I'm also very thankful that no one was seriously hurt. From what we understand the driver had minor injuries, but went to jail and not the hospital. From picking up the pieces, I can tell you it was a compact champagne colored Ford that no longer has a driver's side view mirror, driver's side window, windshield and is missing pieces of the driver's side wheel assembly.

As I picked up the pieces of the car today, I prayed for the driver and his family- I really struggle with having sympathy for drunk drivers in any way shape or form. Nothing good ever comes out of driving drunk and best case scenario is that nothing happens. So many lives have been ruined because of poor choices made by those who have had too much. However, I'm SOOOO thankful that he didn't hurt the house or anyone else.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. This could have been so much worse and when we bought the house, I knew something like this could happen. It's just another story in the chapter of 2010 :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Not the way we expected to ring in the New Year...

What's less desirable than spending your anniversary flying cross-country? How about... following up that full day of travel by spending the night -- New Year's Eve, by the way -- at the Emergency Room?

Unfortunately, that was our lot last night. Before I go any further, you should know everyone is fine (now). Here's how yesterday went down:

6:15 a.m. ET -- Bethany wakes up to get ready for the flight. (Jeff wakes up 15 minutes later.)

8 a.m. ET --
We leave for the Miami airport, making record time.

10:50 a.m. ET --
Our flight leaves MIA headed for DFW, basically on time.

1:05 p.m. CT --
We arrive at DFW. As he was on the way to Miami, BabyBear is great -- this time, he slept most of the flight.

1:30 p.m. CT --
We get to the gate where our flight to Waco is supposed to depart at 4:30. The previous flight to Waco, scheduled for 1:30, still hasn't left (rescheduled for 2 p.m.), but we're told it's too close to take-off for us to get on the plane with our bags, so we'll have to wait for our flight. No problem; we go have a nice anniversary lunch at TGI Fridays, with frozen yogurt for dessert.

3 p.m. CT --
We get back to our gate to learn that the earlier Waco flight had only just left; had we hung around, we probably could have gotten on it. Sigh. Still, no big deal -- our flight boards in an hour.

5 p.m. CT --
Our flight leaves DFW a half hour late; had to wait on the stewardess to arrive on another flight.

5:45 p.m. CT --
We land in Waco. BabyBear was fine on the short flight, our bags are there, all is well.

7 p.m. CT --
We put BabyBear down to sleep at home. He's a little fussy, but we figure it's just the long day and adjusting back to home.

10:15 p.m. CT --
After a couple of hours of unpacking, Bethany and I are in bed reading, probably two minutes away from turning out the light, when BabyBear starts screaming bloody murder. He's arching his back and kicking his legs, so we figure it's gas -- maybe from the frozen yogurt. We give him gas drops and spend half an hour trying to burp him, with little luck and with no changes in his screaming. Second idea: maybe he's hungry; his eating schedule was off for the day due to traveling. So, we feed him a bottle -- he downs it, then starts screaming again a few minutes after finishing. Finally, about 11:15, Bethany is able to get him back to sleep. We return to bed.

12:15 a.m. CT --
BabyBear wakes up screaming again. Bethany tries to rock him back to sleep, getting him calmed for a bit before he starts screaming even more. At this point, we call the 24-hour nurse; she asks a bunch of questions and recommends that we take him to the ER. While on the phone with the nurse, BabyBear actually falls back asleep, but the nurse says to go to the hospital anyway. So, we quickly pack up and head out.

1:30 a.m. CT --
Check in at the ER.

2:30 a.m. CT --
Get called back for initial weigh-in, that sort of thing, then sent back to the waiting room.

3:30 a.m. CT --
Finally brought back to see the doctor.

4 a.m. CT --
Doctor finally comes into our room. Over the next 2.5 hours, a couple of doctors and a nurse come in and out. They diagnose infections in both ears, plus a bad diaper rash. The diaper rash is no shock -- he's had it before, and this one was probably caused by infrequent changes while traveling all day. The ear infections are a surprise, however, given that he hadn't complained at all on either flight earlier in the day. But, he's given some pain-killing eardrops, which immediately calm him down, and he eventually fell asleep on the table there (that's the picture here).

6:30 a.m. CT -- 25 hours after waking up, we get back home and get BabyBear to sleep.

So, that's our fun little New Year's saga. The ear drops seem to be helping, and the diaper rash is also clearing up some already. He was also given an antibiotic that we just got, so hopefully that will help, too. He still cries when you pick him up if you're not careful about how you support his rear end, but will hopefully be on the mend soon. Poor BabyBear!!