Tired Nicolas!

IMG_2425_small.jpgThis morning while I busied myself with some household chores, I made an attempt to keep the children nearby so we could talk. Abigail of course very happily sat down at the kitchen table with her paints and began creating a masterpiece of sorts. But my efforts to keep Nicolas (our 14 month old) nearby failed as he desperately wanted to go upstairs by himself to play in the “loft”. I let him go for this is currently his favorite place in the house to play (maybe because it was off-limits for so long because of the stairs) and I turned my attention back to my laundry.

It occurred to me shortly thereafter that all was quiet upstairs. There was no chortling, babbling, or banging of toys in the room overhead….what had happened? I climbed the stairs in search of Nicolas and at last located the little guy. Apparently overcome by fatigue, and completely unable to get himself into his crib, he’d had the good sense to climb into his big brother Jonathan’s bed with his favorite bunny and one of his passies and was fast asleep with his curly blond head perfectly positioned on the pillow. I had to take a picture!!

Puppy Love

IMG_0893_small.jpg Earlier this evening while Jay and I attended to Abigail and Jonathan post-bath, we left Nicolas on his blanket in the play area downstairs. Given Nicolas is such a happy baby, he very much enjoys playtime with his toys and is quite able to amuse himself. Shortly after we left him we were surprised to hear little giggles coming from the playroom. Our faithful dog, Sid, a golden retriever mix of sorts, had evidently taken it upon himself to guard the baby in our absence. He was laying as close to Nicolas as a dog could without sitting on top of him. Sid was alternately licking the baby’s face (which was what made Nicolas so happy) and having his ears, whiskers and nose pulled on by tiny baby fingers. It looked painful to me, but Sid didn’t seem to mind. He even smiled along with Nicolas for a few pictures!!

It reminded me of how thankful I am for Sid, though I know he does not get as much appreciation around here as he deserves. He is so sweet with our kids, even with Nicolas who has no knowledge of how one should treat an animal. Instead of getting up and leaving when poked and pulled on, he patiently stayed alongside the baby and even entertained him. Sid is a big dog and if his behavior were other than gentle, it would be prudent to remain concerned about his level of interaction with the children, but as it is, I feel much more safe with him around than not. What a good dog!

Nicolas Comes Out of the Closet

Well, after 3 1/2 months of sleeping in his pack ‘n’ play, Nicolas finally made the move to his “Big Baby Nursery” last night. He did fine and slept a total of 11 hours (what a kind little boy!).

Though it sounds awful at first hearing, when Nicolas first arrived, we set up his p’n’p in our master bedroom closet. The closet is fairly roomy, with an air vent, and it allowed him to be close by for middle-of-the-night feedings, a definite perk for me.

However, Nicolas chose to begin sleeping through the night at 3 weeks of age, so after that milestone, there were not too many occasions when I needed to feed him in the wee hours of the morning. Logically, we could have moved him on to the nursery a month or so ago, but I think we have found it fun to have him close by. (Not everyone can say their baby sleeps in the closet.)

Then there was the issue of a third “baby” monitor (Abigail and Jonathan are already each on a separate one) which we’ve just now reacquired after sending ours back to the company for repairs. How many people do you know who have three separate intercoms in their bedroom at night? Hopefully if one of the kids does wake up, Jay and I will not feel disoriented and mistakenly stumble into the wrong child’s room!

A Son Is Given, Part 3

Abigail, Nicolas, and Jonathan (left to right)We are home from the hospital. Everything is going very well so far. Tricia is recovering quickly and is thrilled to have had a successful VBAC (if you have to ask, you may not want to know). Right now, all four of them are taking naps.

For myself, I have taken a small step of tremendous significance to me. When Abigail was born 3.5 years ago, my reading habit was annihilated. Totally gone. For three years I struggled to get it back, and in 2002 it finally returned. I’ve been worried that the birth of Nicolas would once again force me to start from scratch. Thus, I took NT Wright’s The New Testament and the People of God with me to the hospital in the hopes of reading just enough of it to maintain some continuity with my developing habit. I am thankful to say that I read through 50 pages of it (some of those pages were read 4 or 5 times since I had a bit of trouble staying awake).

I love to read, but it takes a certain discipline to quiet oneself to really enjoy a good book. Family life that involves heavy church involvement has the unfortunate consequence (at least for me) of dividing my focus such that it is a real struggle to slow down and read substatively. I’ve also noticed that my scripture reading suffers if I’m not reading in general. So far, it looks like I’m keeping the bit of progress I had made earlier this year.

A Son Is Given, Part 2

Nicolas Andrew Horne was born on July 3, 2002 at 11:03 a.m. after about 11 hours of travail. Vitals came in at 8 lbs 15.4 ozs and 21.5 inches. He’s doing well and has taken to eating like a champ. Tricia is doing well in that sense of the word ‘well’ that encompasses having just had a child exit one’s body. In particular, we give praise to God that she does not seem to have reinjured her tailbone, which broke during her delivery of Abigail 3.5 years ago (and resulted in a c-section to deliver our son Jonathan 18 months ago).

They gave us a semi-private room to ourselves so that we would have two beds. I stayed over last night in the hospital, as I will again tonight. We caught up on much missed sleep last night thanks to some major help from some very caring nurses.

As far as questions like, “Is it as special the third time around?” I can only say that I shed tears of joy and wonder, as I have twice before.

A Son Is Given, Part 1

Our original due date was June 24, but my wife always believed, for good reason, that June 27 was more realistic. Due to a variety of factors (large babies, broken tailbone on the first child, c-section on the second, etc) the doctor has felt there were some issues at work that might result in another c-section. Tricia, however, very much wanted her body to go into labor when it was good and ready. After a bit of back and forth, we settled on July 3rd as an induction date in case we had not already had the baby.

Last night, we finally went to bed after getting everything in order for the induction the following morning. We were quite disappointed, to say the least. Tricia had tried every little technique to get the labor started (spicy food, caster oil, walking, and other less mentionable…). So we got to bed late, just after midnight, prayed together, and tried to go to sleep. I succeeded pretty quickly.

Tricia, on the other hand, seems to have gone into labor. Around 12:30 a.m. she woke me (does 5 minutes of sleep actually count as sleep?). I reminded her of the general rule that the coach is to be allowed to sleep until things are severe. She left to prowl the house, and I went back to sleep. This time, I got a solid hour of sleep before she shook me awake and told me to “start counting.” Now, for those of you who don’t remember, counting sheep is a common practice used to induce sleep. And it was 1:40 a.m. I made it to 30 or so before losing consciousness. That, apparently, is when she almost slapped me.

Out of a warm sense of love (and a strong fear for my well-being), I got up about 2 minutes later. That was an hour ago, and it looks like that may be the last sleep we get for some time. We’ve both showered and are ready to go to the hospital if things continue on as they are currently progressing. It’s all pretty remarkable. After months of pregnancy and a couple weeks of waiting for labor to begin, it appears to have started less than 7 hours before the induction deadline.

So, if all goes well, this will be my last blog as a father of two…