Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brotherly Love

Sebastian is 10 days old today! Misha continues to be a good big brother - he hasn't lost interest yet. I had Sebastian with me when I picked up Misha from day care, and Misha was so proud to show off his little brother to his friends (lots of the other kids have their own little siblings). "Hey everybody!" he announced. "Look at my baby brother! He's so cute."

Misha still loves to hold him. When I was feeding the baby yesterday, Misha asked, "Mommy, can I hold the baby brother when he's done milking?"

One day he read an animal book to the baby - it was so cute how he told him what each animal was. "And do you know what this is? This is a gorilla!" and so on.

To get the full effect, watch the video:

More pictures from this past week:

Misha seems so big compared to Sebastian! I am amazed when I look at the size of his hands and feet, which used to seem so small to me and now appear so large. When I picked Misha up the other day, I was shocked that he was so heavy.

Snuggling with Mommy

Outside with Daddy

Time with Grandma

A cuddle with Grandpa

We try to make sure Misha gets quality time with us as well. Tanya, Grandma and Grandpa take Misha out and about to play, eat pancakes, etc. Josh took him to the library tonight and got great books on space (Misha is really into the planets now). I made homemade play-dough for him yesterday, which he loved because we hadn't done it in awhile. This is his play-dough cookie shop:

And here he is admiring his penguin like a real sculptor!

Misha has been wanting to take a bath with the baby, so we gave it a try. It was a very short bath! ;)

As you can see, Sebastian still spends most of his day fast asleep...

A little smile for the camera!

Sebastian enjoys rocking in his little swing. Note the cute "It's a boy!" sign - Thanks, Carol!

Later Gator pajamas from Grandma Kate. :) So cute!

And every once in awhile he wakes up!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Little Brother Arrives!

Our new addition came just a couple of hours before his due date! Sebastian Alexander Kula was born at 9:48 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces and measuring 19.5 inches.

Misha was already asleep when the baby was born. The poor guy had waited eagerly all Saturday. “Is the baby coming today?” he had asked me Saturday morning when I was telling Josh and Tanya that this could be the day. “I think so,” I had told him. While I was packing my hospital bag (yes, packing … I hadn’t really done it before…), Misha was running around excitedly packing his own bag for going to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house. He knew all about The Plan for when the baby came!

When Josh called my mom to tell her that her second grandson was on his way, she was so excited that she ALMOST rode her bike over to our apartment instead of waiting for my dad to return with the car. My parents came over for a quick visit and took Misha with them when they left. Josh, Tanya, and I spent our time watching episodes of The Office and taking walks around the block. In the afternoon, we took an hour-long walk, bringing our mileage for the day to about 5 – not bad considering we were counting contractions the whole time! At 4 p.m. I went to the hospital, and six hours later, with lots of reassurance and support from Tanya and Josh, we got to meet our little boy.

As soon as he was born, the doctor placed him on my chest and the first thing I noticed was that he looked just like Misha when Misha was born. Amazing! His coloring, however, was a little different – Sebastian ended up with quite a bruised face after his journey through the birth canal and he had a head full of beautiful blondish hair. His bruising cleared up quickly and he looked much better by morning, so the nurses could not longer affectionately call him their little smurf.

So Sunday morning, Misha came walking into my hospital room with a smile and a ziplock bag containing a balloon “for the baby brother!” Of course he wanted to hold Sebastian right away, so he sat with Daddy and held him, admiring his little nose, little nostrils, little mouth, and little feet. We all kept talking about how cute and adorable he was, so Misha picked up our words and said, “He’s such adorable!”

A few videos: Misha’s first glimpse of Sebastian, and Misha holding Sebastian for the first time.

Misha asked if we could take the baby home, and I told him we could the next day. “OK,” Misha agreed, “then I will stay here with you till tomorrow.” Luckily, he didn’t quite stay that long. (Grandpa enticed him away with the promise of a trip to the ice cream place.) But he did stay around awhile to help “take care” of the baby. He helped Grandma change his diaper, and when the nurse came in, Misha announced to her, “He pooped in his pants!” Whenever I breastfed Sebastian, Misha was intent on watching and trying to kiss his brother’s head as he nursed. He grew impatient with the fact that of all the people holding the baby, he himself seemed to hold him the least: “Mommy, why do you and daddy get to hold baby brother and I don’t get to hold him very much?” When Sebastian was fed and content, we let Misha hold him some more, and then Misha would smile sweetly and say, “Can you take a picture of us?” Not bad, considering he has been going through a don’t-take-my-picture phase.

I was happy that this time around, my parents could be a part of seeing the new baby. It has been a long time since they had held a newborn infant, and they were amazed at how small an 8-pound baby really was. In this picture, they're admiring Sebastian's tiny toes. Josh's mom, otherwise known as "Grandma Kate," is also beyond excited, and she will be visiting us in a month's time to meet her new grandson!

Misha is quite proud of how big he is next to Sebastian, while at the same time eager for the baby to get big enough to play with. He asked a very forward-thinking question: “When he is four, how old will I be?” We told him he would be 8, and he contemplated that for a while.

Sebastian and I left the hospital Monday morning and have since been enjoying being at home. Sebastian is a very content baby – when he’s not eating, he’s sleeping. For brief periods, he opens his eyes and looks around skeptically with a wrinkled brow, charming everyone with his big, blue eyes. We love to watch his baby face expressions as he wakes up, gets grumpy, relaxes, and smiles.

Misha has been going to part-time day care, which has helped us immensely with getting through the week. Misha is so excited about the baby that it takes a lot of energy to make sure he’s gentle enough. For the most part, Misha does a very good job, but we have to constantly remind him not to roll on the baby, not to jump on the bed, not to swing toys with loud music and flashing lights in his face, not to try to pick up the baby’s head.

Even after a week, Misha still loves to hold Sebastian, kiss him, hug him, lay next to him, and tuck toys in next to him. When Misha comes home from day care, the first thing he asks as he clomps up the stairs is, “Mama! How is baby brother doing??”

Misha was holding him before a feeding once, and when Sebastian started to cry, Misha said with a sigh, “OK, you can go to your hungry spot now.” One night when I told Misha to come brush his teeth, he said to Sebastian, “I’m going with Mommy, baby brother. Wanna come? Or do you wanna stay here?”

Once when I was in the bathroom, Sebastian started to cry, and Misha dashed to his bedroom, grabbed his lullaby-singing glow-worm, and zipped back to the baby to comfort him. By the time I was out of the bathroom, Sebastian was fast asleep. What a good helper I have!

Going to the Pool

In the last week or two, Misha got to go swimming at the big pool with Daddy, Tanya, and Jenna.

A fun trip to Camelot Park with Tanya:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Warm Weekend Weather

After lots of cloudy, rainy days, Saturday was warm and sunny! Misha helped Daddy wash the car and we set up the kiddie pool. Later, we got together with Misha's friends from gymnastics for some splashing in the pool and a picnic grill-out at Pioneer Park, complete with s'mores. It was a great Saturday!

And on Sunday, Misha and I drove to Sioux Falls to meet Tanya and her friend Lynn at the zoo - and to bring Tanya back to Brookings. :)

We treated Misha to a camel ride, and he also got a kick out of petting the baby camel. So cute! And, as always, his attention span for feeding the goats outlasted that of all of the adults in the group. :) My personal favorite was the Giant Anteater.

Now you can enjoy the "Why do monkeys stink?" video:

This is Misha sporting his new shirt which Tanya made for him using the Penguin Books logo! It's adorable.