Hey, it’s time to beard the dragon and get a big catch-up post done. The big six-month mark has already come and gone! We do have an excuse for not posting, but you have to get past our backlog of cute pictures before you can read what it is.
Valor loves solid food! When he sees it coming, he sticks his arms straight out at the sides and starts opening and closing his fingers and twisting his wrists. He refuses to take a bottle , so we moved him up to a sippy cup that he mostly plays with and sometimes swallows water from. I’ve started making my own and freezing it in mini muffin tins. He has solids 2-3 times a day, and continues to nurse 5 times a day as well.
Valor has rolled over once that I’ve seen, from his front to his back. I don’t think he even realized how he did it, it was just a fluid movement a couple nights ago when he wanted to look at something.
It took me a while to connect the dots and realize that when Valor stomps (lifts up his legs and smacks them down together), he was really trying to sit up. Since about 5.5 months or so, he’s been sitting up like a pro! (But he still can’t get there from a lying down position, so the stomping continues.)
Now that he is sitting up well, those little hands are into everything, and of course most of what they get goes into his mouth for further sensory exploration.
Valor is checking out our new game, Bananagrams. Actually the first time he checked it out, he spit up on the banana bag, so this must be the second or third time.
Valor is full of laughs. There are a few things that you can always get a laugh from: tickling his tummy, tickling his feet, playing the look away/look back game, swinging him upside down by the ankles, “walking” your fingers up his legs to his tummy, and “stomping” around slowly with Daddy (a variation on “sneaking around the house” from when he was younger— also much more feasible for heavier babies).
On his big 1/2 birthday, Valor wore a new cupcake hat to celebrate!
Ready for the Chess Club!
Bathtime with the GPs!
Playtime with his buddy Isaiah, who is 3.5 months younger and has about 3.5 more inches of hair on his head…
Valor has been meaning to ask Isaiah, what is this thing for?
One day Valor reached out and patted Isaiah’s hair and laughed and laughed.
Playdate with Isaiah and Valor’s agemate, Mackenzie (5 days younger). Good times!
Yesterday was Pi Day (3/14). It wasn’t as big a deal this time as it will be in 2015, at 9:26:54 in the morning. But still reason enough to celebrate:
(feel free to guess when Abby stopped authoring this post and John took over.)
With that backlog complete, here’s the excuse for why we’ve not updated the blog for so long:
The Gjertsens are moving.
Some of you puzzle solvers picked up on this, the not-so-hidden answer to clue H. Since last month, I’ve been talking with David Blain, from David Blain & Co. in New Bern, NC (pop. 30,000)—a dialogue that progressed rapidly from interview to offer to fact-finding trip to decision to move. The new company is the same line of work (financial planning/investment management) and in some ways a lateral move, but has hopefully more opportunity for growth and career development. Additionally, we felt the strongest confirmation that God’s hand was in this when we discovered that my dad and stepmom were independently in process of relocating to New Bern themselves. The prospect of Valor growing up so close to grandparents was a compelling opportunity.
I could go on and on about the factors we considered in favor of New Bern and the factors we considered in favor of staying in Orlando. It is heartbreaking to leave a church family we have knit into the fabric of our lives. It is daunting to think about meeting brand new people who never knew James and the journey we’ve come through. It is intensely sad to move from 4 hours away from Abby’s parents to 11 hours away. It is going to be very strange to move to a place where there is no Costco, no Kohl’s, no Publix, no Home Depot (there is a Lowe’s). But in spite of all this, it is thrilling to return to my home state, close to my family, and with a terrific job opportunity. It is happy and depressing and exhilarating and draining all at the same time.
And that is our version of March Madness. If there were ever a year it didn’t matter if UNC made it to the Big Dance it is this one.
I’m sure we’ll write more on the subject in the coming weeks. But right now there is a house to sell.
And boxes to pack.