Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jackson is ONE!

 Dear Jackson,

It hardly seems possible, but today is your first birthday!  You came into this world one year ago today, July 29, 2014.  I have a hard time remembering our family when you weren't a part of it.  I have to confess.  I was not sure I wanted another baby when I found out you were coming.  You were a huge surprise to your dad and I.

But it didn't take long to get used to the idea and then I was very happy!  I'm so glad God knew we needed you, even when we didn't.
 Your first 3 months were rough for both of us.  You had digestive issues which caused stomach aches.  I felt so bad for you.  You didn't sleep well because you were in pain.  I tried everything I could think of to help you, but in the end you just needed to grow out of it.  Around 3 months, you did!  And then, you found your thumb, and you began sleeping!  And I began sleeping!  And the whole house was happy!!
 You walked before you were 10 months old and haven't slowed down yet.  You wake up each morning with a sense of adventure that continues throughout the day.  We love watching you discover new things, whether it be that you can pull the curtains down, or throw things in the toilet, or dump out the dogs water.  Fun things like that.
 You LOVE your siblings!  They enjoy entertaining you and can get you laughing uncontrollably.  Your siblings love you so much.  When I found out you were coming, one of my first concerns was for your oldest siblings.  I wanted them to enjoy you and love you as much as I did.  I needn't have been concerned.  They can't wait to get their hands on you overtime they see you.  You love them as much as they love you.
 You are showing signs of independence and sadly, of your sin nature.  It is not uncommon for you to try and bite one of your youngest siblings when you don't get what you want.  You also are trying out screaming.  I promise you, that will stop. :) These next few years, you will learn how to obey and how to submit.  It won't be easy on either of us.
 You are a good eater, usually.  You LOVE eggs and bananas and ice cream and want whatever anyone else is having.  You do not like to be left out.
Thank you for completing our family.  You are the best surprise anyone has ever received!  I love you so much!

Love, Mom

Friday, April 24, 2015

Reflections on becoming a Grandmother

As most of you know by now, Anna had her baby Myra Faith early Thursday morning, April 23.  She had been in labor since Monday, with contractions becoming stronger and more intense and she went to the hospital midday on Wednesday.  She called me and asked me to come as soon as possible, so Ellie and I jumped in the van and sped to the hospital.  We went in and she checked in and they took her back to the observation room to make sure she was in active labor.  She was, so they admitted her.   At this time, she was still smiling and still upbeat and positive.  We got to her room around 3, and her water broke and she labored pretty steadily for about 3 hours.  At this point she was 6 cm dilated, and this is where she stayed for about 4 hours.

It. Was. So. Discouraging.

For all of us, but especially Anna.  The midwife suggested she try a few things to speed things up, we had people all over the world praying for her and then we waited.

The midwife had checked her progress at about 10:00.  By 10:30, Anna was almost complete.  It was a miracle!  She then got into the pool to finish laboring.  By this time, there were no more smiles, no more feeling positive, only a drive to finish the job and birth the baby.

Anna labored in the pool for about an hour.  She was in agony.  I tried to encourage her by reminding her of the mountain marathon she had run.  I told her she was in the last mile and the finish line was in sight.  I told her what a strong woman she was and that she had this.  She could do this and finish strong.

And she did.  Through much pain and much endurance, little Myra Faith came into the world at 12:24 Thursday morning.  Anna did great!  I was so impressed with her ability to push through the pain and do what had to be done.

I was privileged to witness the entire birth.  I had attended another birth, but was not able to see everything like I did with Anna.  It was amazing.  When her little head popped out, I cried.  It was a miracle to see that fully formed, beautiful baby being born.

It's almost unreal to realize my baby now has a baby.  That my baby is now the mom.  And I am not.  I'm not sure if that's a Grandma thing, or if it's because I'm kind of a new mom myself, but through this whole experience, it felt like I was having the baby.  (Ok, not the contractions or the painful part, just the "feeling" part).  I thought that was kind of strange until Anna told me she had felt the same feelings.  And she had to remind herself that the baby in her belly was not my baby it was hers.  I found that kind of odd.  Maybe it's normal.  I'm not sure.

It's a weird, wonderful kind of feeling, this Grandma thing.  This baby is part of me, but not mine.  And I feel that when I hold her.  I feel a part of her and she feels like one of my babies, yet on the other hand, she doesn't.  She feels like Anna's baby.  But it's still so unreal to realize Anna has a baby, so that's an unfamiliar feeling also.

It's mind boggling, really.  I called little Myra Jack today.  I told Anna and she told me she called her Jack also.  I was over Anna's and Joseph's and held the baby and changed her diaper and studied her face and smelled her new baby smell.  And then left and came home to my big baby, and held him and changed his diaper and studied his face.

I know I'm not the only Grandma who has had a baby of her own while having a grand baby.   My Grandma Benzing, my mom's mom, had grandchildren older than her youngest son.  I would love to sit down with her and talk with her about that.

But even in the midst of these differing feelings, I love that baby.  I love to hold her and know I'm holding a part of Anna and Joseph.  I love looking into her eyes and studying her face, trying to figure out who she is and who she looks like.  I love to see Anna nurse her and Joseph rock her and pat her.  It's all good.  I know I've only been a Grandma for 2 days, but I love it already.  I love knowing she will grow up and I will have always been in her life.

This is a new stage, that's for sure.  But I think it's only going to get better as time goes on!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jackson at 8 months

 Jackson turned 8 months old on March 29.  He is a great baby!
 He is generally happy, eats well and sleeps well.  He is content and loves to watch his siblings.
 He sleeps 9 or 10 hours every night and goes to sleep with very little fussing.
 He eats three times a day and has 4 bottles a day.
 He loves to crawl and explore and has started pulling up on the furniture.
 Jackson loves anything Emma does and usually laughs at her antics.
 He reminds me of all his siblings at this age, until he smiles.  His smile is his alone.
 He celebrated his first Easter in his 8th month.
 Jackson loved playing with the plastic eggs and looked so cute in his bowtie and suspenders.

He matched his dad and his brothers.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Benjamin at 7

 Benjamin Robert Anthony Dziadul turned 7 years old on February 22nd.  He waited along time for his birthday to get here and counted down sleeps since before Christmas.

 Ben is a great kid.  He loves to create and has extravagant ideas about what he can do with some tape and some sticks.  I have a hard time trying to explain why his creations won't work, because he is so sure his idea is fool proof.
 He is happiest when he is coloring.  Or painting.  Or using markers or tape or rubber bands or drawing.  He is an artist and has stacks of papers he has drawn or colored.
 He enjoys his siblings most of the time.  He, Sam and Emma love to play together games they have made up.  Most days they are outside running around or jumping on the trampoline.
 Ben is doing good in school.  He can put letters together to form words and can read all the sounds, but is not reading just yet.  I know the light will turn on for him in a short while.  He is a whiz at his math however!
 Ben just recently became a believer in Jesus.  He has asked so many questions over the past year or so and it finally all solidified in his head.  He was allowed to participate in Communion last Sunday and he was so thrilled.  What a joy to be able to be a part of that.
Happy Birthday Ben.  We sure do love you!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Jackson at 7 months

 Jackson turned 7 months old this week.  (Actually, he was due to turn 7 months on the 29th, but this is February, which has no 29th, so I guess that means he turned 7 months on March 1st?)
 He weighs about 20 pounds, right on track for his age.  He had some kind of a stomach bug the last week or so, and he was very disinterested in eating or drinking his bottle.  He never threw up,  but was not himself and lost his appetite.
 However, since recovering from that bug, he has gained back all interest in eating and devours his food!  He enjoys squash, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, bananas and oatmeal.  He doesn't care for green vegetables or any tart fruits.

 He crawls all over the house and his favorite thing to crawl to is the dog's water.  He sits up like a champ, and has started pulling up on the sides of the playpen and crib.  He will hold out his hands when he wants to be picked up.
 His favorite thing to do is crawl and explore.  He loves to crawl in the big rooms at the church.  He also loves to play with his siblings.  He adores Emma and thinks anything she does is amazing.  Sam and Ben have both been such a big help in watching him as he crawls around.
 Jackson is still a great sleeper.  He takes 2 long naps and 1 short nap every day and sleeps about 10 hours a night.  He hardly ever fusses when he's put down in his crib and wakes up happy and "talking".
 He is so sweet and happy and easy.  He reminds me of Anna and Ellie the most in looks, but also looks like Sam and Ben.
Love this baby!!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jackson at 6 months

 Jackson turned six months old on January 29.  It's hard to believe.  It seems, to me, that he was an infant for so long, and then overnight grew into a big baby.  He is a great, easy baby.
 He sleeps great.  He usually sleeps 10-12 a night, and takes 3-4 naps a day, lasting from an hour or more.  He puts himself  to sleep with his trusty thumb.
 He's doing better eating and does not spit up near as much as he did. He drinks between 5 and 6 bottles a day, between 6-8 ounces each.  I am going to start him on solids this week.  He has tasted mashed potatoes and avocado, and made terrible faces at each.  I think it was the texture that was so different to him.
 He smiles all the time.  Except for when I took these pictures. ;)

 Within the past week he has mastered sitting up.  He doesn't even wobble anymore.
 He crawls and is moving faster everyday.  He gets wherever he wants to go.
He puts everything in his mouth.  Everything. And I just discovered today that he has cut his first tooth.
He is such a welcome addition to our family and loved by everyone. 
He weighs about 19 pounds, and is 26 inches long, right where he should be.

Happy half birthday Jackson.  We sure do love you.