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Monday, November 29, 2010

You're the Peace That I've Prayed For Aren't You, Green Eyes?

In case you don't know the song title from the title of this blog post, it's the song that made Herb realize he was actually in love with me when we broke up in college once.

Anyway, it's also my segway to tell you - we have spotted an eye color change!!  Levi had really dark blue-ish gray eyes, but tonight we noticed they were more of a greenish brown.  Did this just happen over night?  Of course, the first thing I said is, "I have to scrapbook this!"  And since I'm not even close to starting Levi's baby book, the blog is the best way to document this turn of eye-vents. 

 Before:


After:



You might not be able to notice it well in  these pictures, but in the right lighting, they have really really changed!  I promise!

My baby is growing up...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Celebrations Galore!

It's been a crazy ride here in the Suereth household.  We have had three busy weekends, and now that I'm back to teaching 2 evenings of piano lessons, some hectic evenings, too.  Let's backtrack...

Herb & the marching band he works for celebrated the end of a successful season, and Levi and I watched at Hershey Park.


The following Monday, one of my elementary schools threw me a baby shower.  I loved getting to take Levi to school and show him to a few students.  It was weird that I didn't have a "last day" of school, just *poof* and I'm gone!  Connecting with my co-workers, and getting Levi further spoiled was fun!  And the other school I work out threw us a shower a few weeks ago, too.  How wonderful to work with people who are so supportive.

Last week, as I mentioned, we traveled to Pittsburgh for Herb's mom's wedding.  Levi slept the entire trip to and from Pittsburgh, not even waking up to eat.  Sleeping in the pack-n-play was also a success.  He's a great traveler.  When I looked at the pictures of the wedding, I was really struck at how much Herb, Levi and I look like a family!  I know that sounds weird, but it was just one of those reality check moments.
 




Of course, Thursday was Thanksgiving, and you already know what we were so thankful for!  Levi got to meet lots of 2nd cousins, a few great aunts and uncles, and then spent some quality time with grandma Phyllis while we prepared for some ridiculous black Friday shopping.  We're talking 12am-7am, here folks.  Unfortunately, just as we were getting home, Levi was waking up, which led to some great regret on our choice to stay up all night.



Friday, we took Levi, decked out in a bear suit, to pick out his first Christmas tree.  No pictures of that because we forgot our camera, but here's the bear suit.  We sprung for a real tree - and by real, I mean real big.  We had to go all out - it's Levi's first time!





Today, my wonderful sister-in-law and soon to be mommy, Jocelyn, planned and put together a beautiful shower for us, hosted by the newlywed, Denise.  The theme was "Thankful for Levi," and the food was delicious.  We were "showered" with love for sure!



Monday, November 22, 2010

The Lap Of Love

I can't believe I forgot to share this link!

After Nik.Cole took some amazing pictures of Levi the first weekend he was home, she posted them on her blog, and wrote some beautiful words about our adoption story.  I'm not going to repost the entire thing here, because I want you to go to her blog for yourself and check out her eye-catching pictures and her thoughtful words.


"And watching the way that both Herb & Michelle handled Levi, the ease of their touch & the natural way he just fell into their embrace made me feel like I was witnessing the creation of family right before my eyes.


Thanks for your time, talent, encouragement, and kindness, Nikki!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Uno, Dos, Tres...

It's kinda my birthday!
Levi is 3 months old today!

A look back...

October 12, 2010 - 1 3/4 Months Old
October 27, 2010 - 2 1/4 months old
And here he is today!
November 18, 2010 - 3 months old
The zebra is a gift from one of Herb's co-workers (actually his manager!) who makes stuffed animals in her spare time.  I cringe to call them stuffed animals because they are so much more special than that!  Her specialty is My Little Ponies, but she made a zebra especially for Levi since we have his nursery decked out in black and white with zebra print, too!  You can find her custom plushies on etsy or right here.  Anyway, the idea is to take Levi's picture with this same zebra on the 17th of every month and see how he is growing!

As you can see, Levi is doing well at supporting his head, and can sit up (if propped) for a while without slumping over.  He is smiling a lot, has the tiniest giggles, is intrigued by his hands, and coos on command (just say, "aaa-gooo" and you can get him started).  He is sleeping about 10 hours at night (with no diapers or bottles!), and takes several naps during the day.  He is wearing a size 6 month clothing, but I don't think he'll be in that for the entire winter.  He's growing like a weed!

Lovin' the Boppy.
I noticed he has less hair now than he did 6 weeks ago, and it lays flatter than it did.  He responds well to my voice and follows Herb and I with his eyes.

Dozing off...
New this week has been a lot of drooling, and the introduction to the Bumbo chair (which I scored on Craigslist).  He wasn't so sure about the Bumbo at first, but it's growing on him, and it even let us eat a "family dinner" tonight!


This weekend we will celebrate Herb's mom's wedding, and Levi will be rocking it in his first neck tie.  You better believe pictures will follow!  We're excited for Levi to meet his cousins, Ellie and Cora, and his other uncle Josh (he has 2 of those, you know).

There are probably 200 photos I would love to upload, but for now I'll leave you with a few more from his 3 month birthday today...

Praying with Mr. Z

Giving Mr. Z some love.

**I started writing this before midnight on 11/18/10, but didn't finish until 11/19/10, so technically today he is 3 months and 1 day.  Oops!**

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What's In A Name?

This is the post where I tell you how we picked our precious baby's name.

First, you must understand that my husband is Herbert Lawrence Suereth IV. He takes a lot of pride in his name. Herb I had a son, Herb II, who died in World War II. Herb II's brother, Sherwood, wanted to honor his deceased brother, so he named his youngest son Herb III. Herb III lovingly demanded that his first son, the one born with prune belly syndrome and not expected to till his first birthday, be called Herb IV.

Herbert means "bright warrior."

When we decided to adopt, we began talking names. Was entirely appropriate to name an adopted child Herb V?  And I couldn't imagine telling a birth mother that I was going to name her baby Herbert (sorry, babe, it's a weird name!).

At our adoption education class we discussed names, and the topic of naming a child "junior" or "the Vth" came up. At that point, it became clear to us that we really MUST carry on the family name - why wouldn't we? Furthermore, Herb III (my hubby's dad) recently passed away, and we are glad we can honor his memory through the naming of our son. But this still left me with the issue of having to name a baby Herbert (that poor thing).

We compromised. If we stuck with Herbert L. Suereth V, Herb allowed me to pick a different name for the L middle initial. I know this doesn't exactly follow the "rules," but I've discovered there aren't really rules. And if you want to get particular, Herbert III wasn't really the son of Herbert II anyway.

Back to L names. We REALLY struggled with this!! Here were the ones we considered:
~ Lennon (Irish, "dear one," significant for our musical careers and Herb's dad's love of the Beatles, but didn't really want to stick a kid with being compared to John Lennon the rest of his life)
~ Leo (I had student named Leo a few years ago and he was intelligent and adorable)
~ Luke (Good strong Bible name, but a little to popular)
~ Logan, Lance, Landis (Names I liked, but Herb did not)

Now, fast forward to the first time we got "THE CALL."  We found out we were having a son, and had to decide on a name.  Where we really going to go with Lennon?  I was feeling gun shy.

Levi was actually Denise's suggestion.  I thought, "Oh that's a really solid name, no weird spellings, comes from the Bible, flows well with Herbert, and starts with an L.  It's also kind of an Amish name, giving props to my heritage. I'll look up the meaning when I get home!"

If you saw our video yesterday, then you already know what Levi means.  But that night when I looked up Levi in our baby name book, tears sprung to my eyes and I was HOOKED.

Levi (Hebrew): joined or brought together, united

Then I realized at the climax of the song, "Just Haven't Met You Yet," Buble sings, "We'll be UNITED!!"

SOLD.

And that my friends, is how we came to pick out the name Herbert Levi Suereth V.  As far as we're concerned, he will be called Levi (except for the first day of school every year).

Herbert Levi = our bright warrior with whom we were joined or brought together

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thirty-One

Today marks one month, or 31 days, that we have had Levi in our lives. 

There are so many things I want to say.  I want to talk about the irony of all kinds of wonderful things happening on the 12th of the month.  I want to say how the whole time, I always kind of thought we'd end up with a boy.  I want to brag about how smart, handsome, and awesome my son is.  I want to upload 1050 pictures.

But for today, I'll keep it simply at this: God answers prayer. 

If Levi was not in our lives, God still would be answering our prayers, just in a different way.  However, if I've learned nothing else, I believe that it all works out.  Yes, there were times I wondered what God was doing.  I tried to surrender my desires, asking him to show me his will for our lives and our future family.  The way this worked out is certainly not how I would have planned it, but I don't want it any other way now.  I couldn't even see these possibilities.

From this HUGE desire fulfilled (the third major one in my life, too!!), I take away trust.  If God can make a mediocre musician who dreams of touching lives a music teacher, turn a lonely and insecure girl into a wonderfully delighted wife, and grant an infertile couple with the child of their dreams, why can't I trust him with every.single.part of my life?  The answer is I can.  I will.  I choose to!

I leave you with this, an updated version of our original adoption slide show.  I hope it inspires a little hope in your life, too.



If the video doesn't work, watch the movie on Vimeo here .

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Thought It Was Magic

I used to think it was a really really big deal if you could put a baby to sleep.   It was a magical thing.  Now somehow 22 bedtimes, not to mention 44 nap times have passed, and amazingly, my baby goes to sleep.  I have learned that it's not necessarily a special power to get a baby to sleep, it's just patience!

In all fairness, I should mention that Levi is an amazing sleeper.  I can't always get him to nap in his pack-n-play, but if I put  him in his crib and walk away, he's usually out in a few minutes (if it's already nap time).  He's been sleeping in about 6-9 hour chunks at night, and after he eats, goes back to sleep, sometimes totaling a 12 hour night.  This mama is not sleep deprived!

The majority of daytime napping is on my shoulder.  I was slightly concerned about this - Do I have a clingy baby?  What does that mean in the long run?  But Herb reminded me that Levi is 2 months old, he NEEDS to be held! {Duh, Michelle}  This is our bonding time.

I cherish every minute!!