Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's so funny?

Here is an awesome video I took of Eli while he giggled with near hysteria at me. I would make you all guess what I was doing while he laughed his head off, but I'm almost sure know one would get it right, it's just to weird!

video

Eli derived more joy out of me licking envelopes then anyone probably ever has! So contrary to what I told my friend Lacey, I did not use a sponge to wet down the flaps on every single one of my Christmas cards. I did the old-fashioned way, just so I could listen to those giggles for as long as possible! (wooziness from the glue passed quickly)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Off to the Christams Tree Farm!

Oh, we're off to get our Christmas Tree,
Everyone is so excited.
Except for the little boy Eli,
He seems less then delighted.
Here he is a-snoozin'
Before the chilly trip.
He had to be awakened,
Mom and Dad wouldn't let him skip.



Right after the rude interruption
Of his daily morning nap,
He is stuffed into a snowsuit and thinks
"How did I fall into this trap!"



But his parents think he is the cutest
And off he is dragged to the farm.
He perks up among all the trees and snow
And begins to turn on his charm.



Here he is with his dear cousin Eva,
With cheeks oh so rosy and red.
Each wishing their arms could be mobile,
Instead of feeling like lead.



But the day ends on a happy note,

With a trip for some Mexican food.
And each baby was a perfect angel,
Mommy's couldn't ask for a baby so good!



The End!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Picture Day Continued...

Let's see, where did I leave off. I believe I was about to fetch the chattering child and make my way to mall to see if we could pull off these photos on a short nap.

First things first, Eli needed his hair combed in a desperate way. I suspect he sleeps standing on his head but have yet to catch him in the act. Yet another reason I covet the new video mo niter my friend Pam has. But whatever the reason, his head looks like a hay stack when he wakes up so we headed to the bathroom where a combination of water, hairspray, and spit held down most of the fly-aways. Then I hastily gathered up our stuff and we headed out the door.

I hit the next bump in the picture taking day as a result of hastily gathering our things. I realized when I was about halfway to the mall that I had forgotten Dylan's sweater! You know, the sweater for our sweater and jeans family look! I ruled out turning around- then I wouldn't have had time to eat lunch at the mall foodcourt before our appt. and I NEEDED sarku. Plus, I had already killed some time by running through McDonalds to get Eli the least messy lunch item I could think of that he could also eat by himself- a plain cheeseburger. This way I wouldn't be feeding him when I should be focusing on my sarku. That's priorities people! So I quickly decided that Dylan could either A) buy a new sweater because we were at the mall already or B) just wear the shirt he had on (luckily a dashing green collared shirt some cute girl got him). So we made it to the mall and Eli began munching on his burger while I waited for Dylan. Lunch proceeded uneventfully.

We arrived early at Portrait Innovations and it was a zoo!! Why did I think it would be any different? It is the holiday season and I'm sure everyone was doing the same thing we were. So we were resigned to waiting. I wanted to stand up on the couch and make sure the employees knew that we had a very small window in which Eli would remain happy but I'm sure that would have been unappreciated and perhaps lead to a longer wait. Luckily there was a lego table that was interesting for awhile, even though Dylan wouldn't let him put the blocks in his mouth. We made it into the portrait room soon enough and began our pictures. Here's a little tip to any mom who is going out to do family and individual shots with their kids. Do the family first! Because in the individual kid shots you are working up a sweat doing cheers, cartwheels, backflips, etc. to get your darling to smile. By the end of our picture session my hair had fallen, my forehead was shiny, and my lipgloss nonexistent. This was okay because we did our family shots first- if only by happy accident.

Eli did beautifully through the whole session! That's through three different outfits, different props, some lady making funny noises at him- all things that have the potential for scaring and upsetting he found simply delightful today. The flashing umbrellas? Fascinating. There was one small incident when you could tell he earped a little (remember the bottle I fed him in hopes it would put him back to sleep?) and there was a disturbing flash of white in his mouth but he was a trooper and sucked it back in and down. After a little eye-watering (must have been sour!) he was back to his cheesy grin and his touchdown trick.

Things went a little south through the picture choosing session. Who can blame him? I think Dylan was just as antsy but he cried less then Eli. Let's just say by the end of the picture choosing/ordering/paying they were both sitting on the floor by the diaper bag eating fruity cheerios and drinking out of the sippy cup. Or maybe just Eli had the cup!

All in all, picture day was a huge success, much more so then I thought it would be. We have awesome pictures of Eli, our Christmas cards are ready to be put in envelopes and mailed and we have our first official family picture done. What a day! Dylan put it best when he said it was relatively painless, which I'm taking to be a compliment!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Get Ready to say "Awww....."

Picture day was a total success! I'll post more later but I wanted to get up some of the pictures, they turned out simply fabulously!!!
I'll save the family picture for a surprise in my Christmas cards- but they also look great. I just love Portrait Innovations!

Picture Day

Today is picture day. We are going to attempt to take our family picture for our Christmas cards (yes, I'm going to be lazy and send out a pre-made card!) as well as get Eli's 9 month/10 month pictures. I say attempt because the last time we tried to get some cute pictures of Eli, Mason, and Eva it was disastrous. I'm hoping it was the oncoming ear infection and not the large, flashing umbrella lights that made Eli so unruly and uncooperative.

Being an organized person I had today all planned out and made the appointment to reflect the best time of day for Eli, after we had eaten lunch and had a nap but not too far after when he'd be wanting to lay down again. We are supposed to meet Dylan at the food court at 12:00 and eat lunch then off to Portrait Innovations for a 12:40 appt. Since Eli usually gets up at 8:00, lays down again by 10:00 and is up by 11:30 I thought this would be perfect. Yeah, right! I can here all you more experienced mothers laughing at my imagined control over Eli's schedule. I'm sure I'll laugh about it too....later....

So this morning started off as usual. Except for the fact that Eli woke up at 6:30! What the heck was up with that!? So we got up, me vowing to keep him up until 9:00 so that he would be really tired and sleep until at least 11:00. Well, that went well, we played and he sort of ate and by 9 he was really ready to lay down. Again, I thought, perfect! Well, I apparently forgot to let his colon in on the plan and at 10:30 he woke up screaming with extremely dirty pants. Totally off schedule and super cranky! So I figured I'd change him quickly, lull him back to drowsiness with a bottle and lay him down again in hopes he'd sleep another 45 minutes and be happy for picture time....

Currently he is in his bed, full belly, and initially he was quiet and I again thought, perfect! (why do I keep jinxing it in my head!) He is now babbling happily and saying all his words and noises.....Oh well, guess we'll get him up and get ready to head out to the mall. Hopefully this goes smoothly, they should let you do a dry run before charging you! If this goes well I might have some cute pictures to post and if not, I'll post what we get and have a great story to tell!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Trained Monkey

My good friend Vanessa has us over every Sunday for our "Football Sunday" celebrations. We get together, eat, watch the Bears, play with the baby, eat more, etc..... it's great! In the beginning of the season she decided we should teach Eli how to make the touchdown sign and to do it on command. We have been working tirelessly, and I mean that, to get him properly trained. I thought that maybe by the Super Bowl we would have it down. But surprise- he figured it out today! What a cutie! So what if he still can't crawl...or scoot... or really move forward at all :) At least he can make the touchdown signal on command. Let's focus on what really matters, shall we? So here he is!

video

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Home again, home again....

Eli and I just got back from a wonderful visit with Grandma and Grandpa Piper. We also got to stop twice and visit with the great-grandparents which was so fun! We are gearing up for a busy traveling holiday season! Luckily, Eli is doing just fabulously on his sleeping away from home. While we were with Grandma Jackie we traveled overnight to Iowa to visit with our friends Mason, Diane and Micah. We had a great little trip in a trip! We shopped and ate at restaurants then Eli and I got to spend the night at Mason's house. Eli was a star! He slept nearly all night (except for a dirty diaper at 11:00) and even went down for a nap the next morning. Can I say that I'm in love with Dr. Ferber again? Best book I ever bought!
In just two short days we will be off again to visit Grandma and Grandpa Welch in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. While sleeping is getting better the car rides are a little tougher. Seems like both the babies (Eli and Eva) are getting a shortened tolerance for the car. Not good! But we'll make it eventually. We're going to try driving overnight coming home- we'll get Eli all bathed and bottled then pop him in the car and pray for a sleepy ride home. I'll let you know how it goes! After that I'm sure we'll head to Galesburg one more time before Christmas and we're also going back to WI for another family Christmas- whew!
As I write my post I am listening to an awesome Pandora radio station that I created with nothing but Christmas music! Check out Pandora.com if you've never heard of it, I love setting it and listening to music all day. Cammie is coming over today for present wrapping and I think after the Bears play we'll watch Polar Express and really get in the Christmas mood! Happy Thanksgiving week to everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A smooth transition...

Dylan and I played with Eli for a long time last night in his room. We practiced his butt to belly transition and he did it 5 times! Isn't it funny how proud and excited you can be for a little boy who is figuring things out? And if this is how I feel when he does something inadvertently (by reaching as far as he can in front of him and bouncing on his butt a little) then how much more proud and excited am I going to feel when he is a big boy and trying to do things.... and then succeeding? I'm worried I may just be crying tears of happiness all the time because he's accomplishing things! Tying your shoe, hopping on one foot, putting on a sock? I may just be one big ball of tears and snot (happy tears and snot) until he graduates from college! I guess I really just hope I can still get that excited about my baby boy as he gets bigger and no doubt sassier. I want to always feel like whatever he is doing is the most important thing in my day because I think our babies and big kids need to feel that from their moms. What? I'm a mom? Oh yeah, there's that realization again :) And finally- video proof that my baby is getting a little more mobile....

video

(Please excuse the sideways view! Now I know not to hold the camera like that!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Waiting for Carpet

Tomorrow we get our new carpet (hooray!) but in anticipation I moved much of our furniture/belongings into the garage and kitchen. Here are a few pictures of Eli and the kitties enjoying the empty rooms!

Bathtime Song

I'm feeling too lazy to write much, so I thought I'd post a cute video of Eli singing in the tub...
video

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My First Cookie

Here is a little lesson from Eli on enjoying your first chocolate chip cookie with picture tutorials...

#1) It is a must to use two hands when placing the cookie in you mouth. Also known as 'double-fisting' it is a clever technique that is helpful when you are trying to get as much food in your mouth at one time as possible.


#2) While eating, smear as much chocolate on your mouth as you can. This helps release the essence of the chips so you not only enjoy the taste but also the delicious aroma of chocolate for a well-rounded cookie eating experience.


#3) Smiling, cooing, babbling and flapping of arms are all acceptable while eating your cookie. This lets the baker (daddy) know that you think they are fabulous and may actually lead to you getting to eat more cookie. Play your parents as much as possible before they start catching on to your devious ways.




#4) Pausing for a milk break is an important part of cookie eating. An experienced diner will hold pieces of cookie in his mouth and then drink the milk, essentially 'dipping' his cookie in milk even though his mom won't take the lid off his cup so he can do it the fun (messy) way.



#5) And finally, place cookie on your shoulder and in your hair and ear to save for later. If you're lucky, mom won't notice the chunk you hid just under your bib (she noticed) as well as the whole chocolate chip that you melted with your fingers before smearing it into your ear (she noticed but decided to tackle it in the bath later).




Eli thinks that this is the BEST way to eat a cookie and everyone should try it like this at least once!









Friday, November 7, 2008

Cute Stuff

Our little goofball.....doesn't he just look so innocent?

Eli is getting cuter and cuter by the minute- is that possible? Dylan and I are constantly laughing at his goofy shenigans so I thought I would record some of the funnier things on our blog.


-- He has started sniffing his food. At first I thought he was just missing his mouth and aiming too high, but then today at lunch I saw his little nostrils flare in and out and I swear he was sniffing a kix! Probably not much smell but when I laughed he smiled back like he knew he was funny!


-- And I think he is figuring out that he can make people laugh and smile. He's been doing this goofy head bob/shake while he eats and if you laugh or do it back he keeps on going! I love his look when he sees you watching him and grins at you- it's priceless!


-- He is obsessed with a lamp in our living room. This is kind of a weird one- but anytime you walk by it he lunges at it and tries to grab it. He likes to scrape his fingernails on the shade/chew on the shade/ stare directly into the light. Luckily he remains immobile and can't seek it out on his own or I'm sure we'd have to put it somewhere besides the living room!


-- He also has a deep love of ceiling fans. As soon as you get him up from naps or for the morning he leans back to stare at his fan in his room and it always makes him smile. Moving or not matters little, the knowledge that it does spin is enough to make his day :)


-- He is emphatically done with his cup after a drink! He usually wings it on the ground and then quickly looks over the edge to see where it is. Today he did this and as I was saying something like "No Eli, we don't throw our cups" he looked up at me and smiled this mischievous little smile. We may have a trouble maker on our hands here but we are loving it and laughing every minute!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stop the SCREAMING!

So, needless to say you may have guessed from the title that E and I had a rough night last night... There are a couple things that played into this, I think. Although to be honest I usually have no idea what is going on in Eli's head and am frequently asking him to "use his words". But I digress. What I think was going on last night was raging hunger and the excessive use of the new scream he is developing just for his parents' pleasure. Let's explore the hunger...
I recently started to notice a definite decline in my milk supply. Not only did E seem less satisfied and crankier when I was trying to feed him but the other day I caught a glimpse of my naked chest before I got in the shower and I'm pretty sure I'm down to an 'A' cup. And it's not a cute, perky 'A' cup (don't worry, I won't post pictures). So, while visiting my parents in Galesburg we tried a number of different things. First I tried pushing fluids and eating oatmeal to up the milk supply. This was marginally successful. But feedings with E continued to be a trial for both of us, him angry and crying when the milk just wasn't there and me frustrated (and sometimes tearful) that I couldn't just feed him like I used to be able to. So I came to a place where I felt ready to let go of breastfeeding (becoming tearful again just thinking about it) and decided we would probably both be happier in the long run if he got a bottle of formula a couple times a day. Here's the kicker- the kid was now refusing both the bottle and formula! I realize I'm bigger then he is and should be able to overcome his refusals but you try and force a bottle into clenched lips attached to a twisting head. It isn't easy! So since we got home we've been doing regular vitamin D milk (pediatric gods strike me down) and I also try (with my meager supply) to breastfeed him at bedtime and in the morning. Which brings us to the next problem- I work once a week at night and I usually take my boobs with me. I've been stressing all week looking forward to Friday when my husband and I both work and my poor poor sister, who did nothing to deserve this, will spend the night with my screaming child. So to prepare for this I've been trying to just let E drink out of his cup before bed. At 2am this morning I decided that this wasn't working. Or maybe E was 'using his words' ie screaming uncontrollably and that's what tipped me off. So I broke down and made him a bottle spiked with juice. Did I mention this kid is a juice junkie? Finally, FINALLY he drank about 3-4oz and laid back down. So I do have hope for you, Cammie, on Friday night that you won't be calling me at 3am and asking how I feel about putting E in the garage for the night! So this brings us to the screaming...
There is just nothing I can say to even describe the anger Eli puts behind these screams. I really contemplated getting my camera out last night and taping the unearthly sounds coming from my baby but in the end was too tired/distraught. I'm hoping it is just a phase and he realizes that A) his throat gets really sore when he does it and B) mommy doesn't respond to it well. If not, I'll definitely work on getting it taped so you can all suffer along with me in a small way.
When I finally got back to bed last night- and thank god Will and Grace was on for me to watch during the whole hungry screaming debacle- Dylan asked me what was going on with E. I told him I thought the baby was probably crazy. I also decided that while everyone tells me, my mom included, that 'if a baby is hungry enough he will eat what is offered', I think it should be changed to 'if a baby is hungry enough he will scream for hours until you offer him what he wants to eat'. What do you guys think?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Little Vampire

You may think that this post pertains to what Eli was for halloween. However, it really doesn't (he was a skunk). I say little vampire because my son has decided, for unknown reasons, to not teeth like a normal child but to get both of his canine teeth in prior to the two front teeth, thus looking like a little vampire. Once they really come in I'll work on getting some pictures, they are just little nubs at this point. But I have been despairing about how funny he is going to look! On the positive side, all of his friends are his age and non-verbal so they won't be able to make fun of him :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've been tagged....

First, here are the rules of the game:
1. Link to the person that tagged you. http://themurphsters.blogspot.com/ (Thanks for thinking of me Sarah!)
2. Mention the rules. (check)
3. Tell six (6) quirky, yet boring and unspectacular details about yourself.
4. Tag other bloggers by linking to them. (May or may not do this one...)
5. Go to each person's blog and leave them a comment so they know they've been tagged.

Sarah tagged me a LONG time ago, and I've been thinking and thinking about something quirky about myself. Am I quirky? Hmmm, I'm sure my husband and sister could think of quirky things about me but I just think I'm normal :) But, I will give this a shot and let you into my questionable mind for a minute....

Quirk #1: I frequently lose things and then refuse to look for them because (try to stay with the crazy thought process) if I don't look for whatever I lost and I have a vague idea of where it is but never attempt to confirm where it really is then it isn't really lost because it could be where I think it might be.

Quirk #2: People mistake me for a clean-freak. My husband will tell you that this is way off-base. I am actually a neat-freak. These are two different things. I feel perfectly content in my house that was last cleaned (dusted, vacuumed, wiped down) more then a month ago as long as everything is organized and put away. Now, I do really appreciate a clean house, it just isn't really as much of a priority as a NEAT one. I like to think I'm exposing Eli to all sorts of allergens thus decreasing his risk for asthma!

Quirk #3: I recently established a morning routine that I am in love with. I get Eli up, change pants, feed small face, set him down to with his toys and then I make coffee, catch up on facebook/blog/mahjong and listen to him sing to his toys and play contentedly. If I never had to go anywhere before noon I would be a happy camper! Plus, he is learning to entertain himself which I feel is instrumental to his development.

Quirk #4: I used to talk extensively to myself in the grocery store/target/anywhere in public. Why? I have no idea. But I used to catch myself talking out loud and quickly look around to make sure no one was close enough to hear the crazy! On the upside, this quirk has been resolved because now I just talk to Eli. And since my sister read that baby needs to be spoken to frequently to aid in language development I feel like all my chatting is fulfilling my motherly duty!

Quirk #5: If I pee while Eli is sleeping (naps or overnight) I NEVER flush the toilet. Gross, eh? However, and I'm sure I'll get an amen from all the moms out there, keeping your baby sleeping comes before everything else including cleanliness and when you live in a tiny house a flushing toilet can be the straw that breaks the camels back... or wakes the baby. I'm also wasting less water and thus being more environmentally friendly. Just trying to do my part to conserve the planet for my son and any future children.

Quirk #6: I try to rationalize all my actions by twisting them into something that is not weird or unhealthy but actually is good for my baby. Please see Quirks #2-5 for examples of this.....

So there you have it, try not to judge me too harshly! I'm going to tag my sister Cammie since it's been months since she blogged- and we want to hear more Eva stories!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch!

Trying to pull on the pumpkin plant.
Am I the cutest pumpkin in the picture?
Hanging out with my Uncle Eric.
"I want to take ALL these home!"

Eli is excited to go to the pumpkin patch with Eva!
But first, some leaves for munching.
Isn't he an adorable bee?
Mommy feeding goats, Eli though they were funny little creatures!
Sittin' on a hay bail- Eva thought it was too prickly!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Realizations Hits

What realization you might ask? Well, the realization that I am a mom. Weird, since I've been doing this for over eight months, you are probably thinking. And I've definitely had these moments before, where you're doing or saying something and all of a sudden you think "Huh, I really AM a mom..." But it hasn't happened to me in awhile. I think you just get caught up in the day to day- taking care of your baby, working, keeping in touch with loved ones, keeping your house clean (sort of)- and stop taking the time to think about what you are doing because it doesn't seem as new and exciting as it used to. And then it hits you again- and you say to yourself, "Huh, I really AM a mom!" So tonight, long after Eli went to bed, I decided to straighten up the house so that in the morning it looks nice to walk out to. Funny that the baby doesn't even have to be awake and present for a moment to occur! I was picking up his toys, and trying to remember which ones need to be handled carefully and turned off before chucking them in his toy bin. I was failing miserably and set off not one but two toys- one of which has a volume switch that you can hit to turn it UP and not OFF and of course I turned it on louder before finally getting it off. And I was praying that Eli didn't wake up and trying to gently set the rest of the toys in the bin and all of a sudden, BAM! It hits me again- I'm someone's mom! How strange... I have to know, do you ever get used to it? Having that be your role? I used to be a daughter and sister, then friend, then girlfriend and nurse, then wife, and now mom. This seems to be the hardest transition to get used to, but not in negative way. Just that I still marvel that Dylan and I are parents. And maybe I don't want to get too used to it, maybe that means you start taking it for granted because in the same moment that I realize I'm a mom I also thank God that I have Eli and am so grateful to be doing this. So here's hoping that the realization continues to hit at the odd moments in child rearing and to always remembering how precious it is to be a MOM!



I wanted to share a little Eli movie with you all- He is loud, busy, constantly moist and way too much fun!!!


video

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fighting the yeast battle...

Can any of you moms out there sympathize with me, and Eli of course, that a yeast diaper rash is the WORST thing to try to get rid of? We have been battling this thing for almost a month! We think it may have started with my dear little Eva who was on antibiotics and therefore got her yeast diaper rash. These two babies truly do share everything! I finally broke down and called the doctor yesterday. On a side note, I hate hate hate going to the doctor and also, apparently, taking my son to the doctor and will therefore do everything I can to avoid it. But I digress. I called the doctor yesterday and the nurse I spoke with reinforced the clotrimazole cream we are using and asked us to add baking powder baths to the regime. So now on top of getting his butt creamed three times a day he gets to play in a fizzy bath twice a day. I am just desperately trying to nix this thing before we head to Disney World at the end of the week- who wants a red itchy butt in 90 degree heat! Prior to calling the doctor I asked every mom I talked to if they had any suggestions and then tried whatever they told me, sometimes with humorous results! Two nice nurses I work with told me that leaving him open to air would help to which I replied that at least I didn't have my new carpet down yet. Turns out, I should be REALLY glad I don't have new carpet yet because this morning, while I was leaving him open to air following his baking powder soak and a peeing episode during breastfeeding, Eli decided that he simply had to go in the 5 seconds I had him sitting naked on the floor to reach for a diaper. All I can say is, thank goodness for starting solid foods and therefore solid poop! Other helpful suggestions included alternating the clotrimazole and desitin (started doing that today) and also using a combo of desitin, neosporin, and clotrimazole (haven't tried that yet). Things are beginning to look better, but I am not going to get hopeful yet, we've had this rash basically gone a few times and it always flares back up! So any suggestions my mom friends have would be MUCH appreciated. No matter how goofy, I'm willing to try anything!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The 'I should blog' entry

I really don't have a topic, or anything of importance to talk about, but since it has been awhile since I posted I thought while Eli was sleeping I should hop on here and write a little. So, here are the things that are going on in our mundane lives:

-Dylan is working nights now which means I get three nights a week with the bed ALL TO MYSELF! (How many years do you have to be married to be so excited about that?)

-Eli recently decided to boycott all of the 'meal' type baby food (turkey and dumpling dinner, spaghetti with meat sauce, etc) and would only eat fruit. Now, one can hardly blame him, they smell AWFUL. But Dylan was a little dismayed. After all, you will remember that our one goal for Eli is that he is a little foodie like his dad. So, it's back to plain vegetables this week to get him back on track. Maybe he just didn't want any of his food to touch and by touch I mean all pureed into one gooey gross mess. I think he'll be fine- he always gives me this look like "Hey, how come you get to eat all that delicious seasoned food?" when I feed him tidbits off my plate!

-I am still working on my new healthy eating plan. Things are going okay, thanks for all the well-wishes!

Uh oh, the little one is screaming, and as Dylan is trying to sleep today I should probably run right in there and get him. A short post is better then none, right?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mommy Post

Okay, so I've posted the last few times about Eli and I figure it's time for a post on me :) And it's even more appropriate because today is my birthday... 27 whole years old-yikes! My husband asked me how it felt to be 27- I said "fat and unattractive". Now, this may be a little bit of an over-exaggeration! But we do all have days like that, right? I told my sister that I'm heading back to weight watchers this week, so this is truly my last 'free' day. I have been thinking of getting back on track for quite a while, I've even had a few attempts/false starts. My day usually progresses like this:

Morning=motivated and eating a healthy breakfast
Afternoon= "well, this isn't that healthy but I had a healthy breakfast so it's okay"
Dinner = totally motivated....for starting tomorrow and will therefore finish tonight off with a blizzard from DQ!

But with an upcoming wedding where we'll see friends from college I'm really feeling the pressure (all self-applied) to start treating my body better! In the past few weeks there have been a number of occasions coming up that have prompted me to want to wait to really get back on the wagon - going on vacation for two weeks in MN, my birthday, going to Omaha, going to Disney World, Thanksgiving, Christmas.... and then- time to have another baby? But then I realize- OH CRAP- if I weigh 250# before I get pregnant for a second time I'll have to invest an ungodly amount of money in new maternity clothes! What a kick in the pants :) And so, it is with some trepidation I start up again tomorrow- mostly because I loathe giving up things I want to eat. Any other moms out there reward themselves during naptimes with a snack on the couch? But, I know it needs to be done, and I really do want to set a good example for Eli. So, wish me luck! My goal is to lose 15# by February- seems doable, eh?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Reasons we love our Minky....

Eli has adopted a "minky" as his security blanket (thanks Uncle Timmy for the letting us use your childhood word!). His minky is wonderful in many ways to both his mommy and him and he wanted to share them with you!

*A minky is always available and easy for mommy to wash because there are actually about 25 minkies as they are simply a cloth diaper. So replaceable! Any mommy knows that the key to a good security item is that you can replace it in a pinch.

*A minky is multifunctional in terms of bodily fluids and has a number of purposes: vomit wiper, drool catcher, tear dabber, etc.

*A minky can be used for entertainment when certain mommies forget to bring any baby toys. Peek-a-boo is a popular game with minky but tug-of-war is also fun.

*A minky can be the envy of all your friends. Eva, in particular, loves to grab Eli's minky and chew on it just like he does! Weird, since she doesn't really chew on any other blankets. She must be learning by watching him!

*And finally, the best use for a minky is to stuff as much of it as you can in your mouth as you fall asleep for naps and bedtime. Eli can tell you, it's the only way to put yourself to sleep! Mommy hasn't tried it yet though!

Here is a little video of Eli playing with his minky!

video

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hotel Sleeping

Or rather, hotel NOT sleeping! We just spent two fun-filled days in Chicago visiting my youngest brother and meeting his new girl and we had a great time. We went out to eat and went to IKEA and went swimming in the hotel pool and on and on and on. I was exhausted at the end of each of the two nights we spent there. Being on the go with Eli is so much fun but it's a little work as well! However, being on the go with me must not be quite as much work for Eli, as he decided against sleeping for most of the second night in the hotel....

......well, that might be a slight exaggeration! But after getting solid, uninterrupted sleep with your baby going back to the getting up every 2-3 hours is brutal. And so, looking ahead to our trip to NE to visit friends and then to Disney world I'm beginning to get a little (understandably) worried. What if he decides then that sleep is overrated and is up at all hours of the night? How will I function? And so, as I lay awake last night listening to him trying to settle himself, unsuccessfully, I devised my plan for the week....

We are now entering sleep training: Phase II. Sounds impressive, right? Well, hopefully Eli will be impressed as well! Over the next couple weeks my goal will be to gradually move is night-time feeding (which used to be between 4-6am but last night was 12:30, 3:30, 5:30...) until it is at 8 or 9am. That is when he usually sleeps till and I know in my head that he really doesn't need to eat in the middle of the night, although convincing him of this may be more difficult. I'll let you know how the training goes! Pray for us!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Eli's video debut

video

Here is it! My first video posting of Eli! I can tell that this is going to be addicting, mostly because it is so darn easy. Plus, being able to look back not only at the words I wrote but of cute little snippets of video? I mean, c'mon, what could be better! So here is what Eli has been doing lately...

~He figured out how to roll from back to front and then back again! What a huge milestone! He refrains from doing it in the presence of his mother, but I'll take what I can get.

~Using his newly acquired skill he slept on his belly last night which is how he has always loved to sleep. Here's hoping this makes him sleep even better and by better I mean LONGER!

~He is eating everything in sight. This morning he almost finished 6oz of applesauce! For those of you how can't put that in perspective it's probably like you putting down a pound and a half of food at a sitting! So now I might have to delve into the world of homemade baby food to save a little money, the little monster is already through his weekly supply.

~He continues to love his exersaucer and is getting pretty tall in it- guess it's time to pull out the directions and figure out how to make it higher. Hmmm, I know I put them some place safe....

That's all from Eli's world right now. Later in the week we will hopefully be traveling up to Chicago to visit with Uncle Tim. Our Eva has been under the weather but I'm hoping she is feeling better now that she is on some medicine!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Video trial...

So this is a test video of Dylan on the couch watching the Olympics tonight. My cousin Roz, of benandlucien.blogspot.com, told me how to do it and I just had to try it tonight even though the main star of our show is sleeping. If this works I will battle with the urge to wake Eli up and make him do something cute for the camera.....but I will hold back because that would be ridiculous! However, I may post 5-10 times tomorrow depending on how adorable Eli is being. Well, here goes nothing!

video

PS- Disregard the lighting and non-entertaining conversation. Remember, this was a test, and I assured Dylan I would erase it. But I lied a little :)

You can tell you have pms when....

.... the beer commercial makes you tear up because the horse doesn't get picked in the beginning to pull the wagon. And then you tear up at the end when, after hard-core training with the dalmatian, the horse gets to be on the team...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Expectations

I was reading an article in Parenting magazine last night (always a great way to make yourself feel incompetent as a parent) and I ran across an article about mother's dirty little secrets. One of the 'secrets' was that your child might not turn out the way you want him to. The example was a mom who was very athletic and slender as well as good in school (basically the perfect child) and her daughter was none of the above, she was chubby and hated school and sports. My first thought was how could the poor child have ever lived up to those expectations- I mean, the mother was obviously perfect, right? But then I turned to Dylan and asked him what our expectations of Eli were. I thought maybe we would have a deep conversation about all of our hopes and dreams for him.....

Guess what we came up with.....

The one and only hope we have for Eli is that he likes all types of FOOD! How hilarious! I got the giggles and realized that our lives truly do revolve around eating :) And on that note, Eli had turkey and vegetables tonight and thought they were fabulous. We are well on our way to raising a little foodie!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Budgeting

Now that I am working one day a week and staying home with Eli the other six, I have needed to find some innovative ways to budget our money. I thought I could share them and you can pick and choose any that fit into your life- Read on!

1) Discuss and create budget with husband. Potential opening conversation:
Dylan: You know you are going to be home six days a week.
Me: Yeah, I know.
*Silence for a few minutes while Dylan stares at me*
Me: Are you trying to tell me I can't go to the mall and spend money every day?
Dylan: Yeah.
Me (defensively): I know! (But I was totally planning to spend my days like that, darn!)

2) Discover free ways to entertain yourself. Some suggestions that I have found plausible:
-Open facebook page and spend hours 'stalking' people
-Bug your friends frequently with phone calls and/or text messages
-Minutely organize baby photos
-Update your blog frequently (check!)

3) Find alternatives for things you used to frivolously spend money on.
Example: Instead of getting a french manicure (which costs upwards of $35 at the cheap place) simply apply desitin under each nail- looks just the same and comes with the added benefit of being easily at hand during diaper changes!

4) Shop at Deals for a Dollar. (I used to shop there all the time, then Dylan had a break down when some of the tortillas I purchased wouldn't just pull apart without ripping- what a food snob :) So now I'm going to buy non-edibles like garbage bags that break when you pull them out of the can, etc.)

5) Live vicariously through others. I love shopping with Cammie, I feel almost the same shopping rush when she buys something as when I do- but we have been slowly morphing into the same person....

6) Discover innovative toys for Eli to play with, and by innovative I actually mean free. See my previous post about motrin bottles and magazines (thanks for the offer of sending more Laura- I'll let you know!).

7) Accelerate Eli's diet to the Gerber stage 3 foods. These come in 6oz jars and are way cheaper then those plastic containers. (You may have to disregard Gerber's advice on this one, but don't you think they want you to buy those expensive plastic containers for as long as possible? I think babies can chew chunks with their gums, don't you?)

8) Begin watching my diet again (for the umpteenth time since delivering Eli). Hopefully I will be eating less, losing weight so as not to have to buy bigger clothes and therefore saving money. Also, there is the added benefit of good health and looking better. But mostly I'm doing for the money....

9) Decide to grow your hair out. Not only will this save money on haircuts, but most husbands secretly (or openly) want long hair anyway and then I'll look more like my picture on my work badge- double bonus!

That's all I can think of now but I'm sure there will be more. While my hair, nails, baby's diet, baby's brain development (non-educational toys? *gasp*) and sanity (re: hours on facebook) may all suffer, there is a greater good to be had here. Staying home with Eli is worth all the sacrifice (except maybe his brain.... eh, I'm sure he'll be fine!)

Eli Update

I started this blog to write about my darling child, and in a round-about way I suppose I have although probably nothing he'll want to read about when he's a teenager (lengthy post about poo? Check!). So tonight I've decided to update you on what Eli is up to. If Eli had a personal profile on facebook this is what it would look like.....

Activities: Eating, sleeping, pooping, playing, hangin' with my peeps Eva and CJ, laughin' at my dad, sucking on my toes, and just a few days ago I discovered how to whine (mommy loves it)

Interests: I am interested in a multitude of things for .45 seconds at a time. Keep the new toys/items coming: rattles, stuffed animals, books, baggy full of gobstoppers, motrin bottle, junk mail (mommy gets desperate)

Favorite Music: I have to listen to mommy's music- some Augustana crap- thanks for nothin' Uncle Eric!

Favorite TV Shows: I used to love the TV, now I could take it or leave it. I believe the change in interest is that I can't shove the TV in my mouth which is all I really enjoy doing with anything anymore...

Favorite Movies: No movies yet, if any get watched at my house I have to be in bed.

Favorite Books: Hmmm, this is a toughie, I love my Pajama Time book, the cardboard is so satisfyingly firm but then any magazine is also acceptable. If you can suck off small pieces of paper and then cough and choke on them count me in.

Favorite Quote: When mommy said "Oh crap" and I actually had, all over myself and my carseat. Aunt Cammie likes that one too.

About Me: In summary, I am an adorable baby boy who just learned to sit up a few weeks ago, loves to eat anything and everything in the babyfood aisle, will smile at absolutely anyone (even the nurse who gave me shots) and is a champion at going to sleep now (mommy still loves Dr. Ferber)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

On the subject of poo...

Yes, that's right, I'm going to blog about poo. And any mom out there will know that in the world of having a new baby, poo is very important. It's something you never dreamed you would be so interested in. What brought on this post about bodily functions? Well, as I was feeding Eli his first dose of prunes this morning (he thought they were fabulous) I started thinking about how poo-obsessed we moms can be. Examples:
-It starts early, in the hospital I am continually getting called into rooms to examine diapers and answer questions like, Is it supposed to be that black? and in one case, Can you look at my baby's scrotum (she didn't use that word), there is something weird on it (she thought it was a growth or something). Turns out it was just dried poo.
-The obsession continues when you bring your new baby home- my niece Eva didn't poop for a large number of days when Cammie brought her home, we thought, something must be wrong! But the nurse assured us that breastfed babies can go quite sometime. Still, we were all relieved when she finally started back up again!
-In the early months it wasn't uncommon for my sister or I to be changing a diaper (either or own kid's butts or the other's) and call the other over to check out the damage. Gross? Maybe, but for some reason we didn't even question that the other might want to see it.
-My sister has a video on her phone of Eva's 'poop face'. This is the look she contorts her face into when she is going poop, there are sounds as well and on vacation we got endless enjoyment out of watching Eva as she pooped. We are, needless to say, easily entertained!
-At six months, the babies have been diving into new foods and that brings new poo as well. Talk about exciting! It can be green, orange or in Eli's case, hard. Which brings me to why we had prunes this morning...

Perhaps the reason we are so obsessed is because we subconsciously know that poo is a great way to gauge health and well-being and if something were wrong in our little people's bodies poo would be a place to start looking for clues. Or maybe it's just a fascinating realization that something so rank can come out of something so cute. Who knows why we are so obsessed, but I for one don't think there is anything wrong about it, so don't hesitate to call me over to check out one of yours diapers, I'll be there in an instant to appreciate to mass, color, consistency! It's just a mom thing!

PS- My sister and I have two adoring mothers-in-law who both have a funny way of dealing with baby poop that I have to share. My sweet mother-in-law always refers to Eli's business as stool, such as "I think he has to stool" or "He had a small stool while you were gone" and Cammie's mother-in-law refers to it as "Doing good work" which I find hilarious and use on a daily basis now. In fact, Eli is doing good work in his exersaucer right now, one of his best places to have a stool. :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sleep Training

Eli has been in intensive sleep training since we returned from our MN vacation a few weeks ago and I have to say, it is going FAMOUSLY! We had him trained before, and by trained I mean laying him down awake and letting him put himself to sleep, but before we left for our two week vacation where we would be sharing a tiny cabin with my sister and her husband we kind of let the training slide....and boy was that a mistake!

Unfortunately, while we were gone things really went downhill, the boy was getting up every few hours, and while I would always try to feed him in hopes that he would quickly and quietly go back to sleep, sometimes he just wanted to cry and cry and then cry some more. Let me tell you, in a camp of just 12 cabins, everyone knew what our nights were like....and would then offer us advice.

So we tried everything. One day we decided not to let him nap more then 90 min. at a time. So that day I woke up a cranky baby and then had high hopes when I laid him down at night- he didn't get the memo that he was supposed to be more tired that night and was up just as often. Another day we tried letting him sleep for as long as he wanted with the thought that a baby that sleeps better during the day sleeps better at night. He also didn't receive that memo. We tried cereal right before bed, cereal at dinner time, cereal multiple times a day..... no luck. Finally, a few nights before we drove home my mom (IE my savior) slept with him few nights and I was able to sleep for 6 hours IN A ROW! At that point I would have paid any amount of money for sleep but she didn't charge me :) So needless to say I was anxious to get Eli home and in his own crib for some remedial training.

The first night we got back I had a talk with Eli, we hummed a few verses of the Rocky theme song to get in the training mood and then we laid him down in his crib and let him work it out until he fell asleep. PRAISE THE LORD the kid finally slept!!! We have made more and more progress since then until last night we laid him down at 9:00pm, heard a little peep from him at 10:00pm (but not enough to intervene) and then not a sound until I woke up at 6:00am when Dylan got up for work and ran into his room (all the while reviewing my infant CPR as I was sure he was dead) to check on him. He, of course, was fine and I resisted the urge to pick up the poor sleeping child and swing him around out of joy for the sleep I had!

Final thoughts on sleep training- while it is difficult for a few nights to hear the baby cry it is OH SO WORTH IT!!!! Dr Ferber is my hero and if he were here I would kiss him on the lips!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hundreds of ways

Eli is the cutest when.....

....he grabs my face with both hands and tries to eat my cheeks....

....I lay him in the bathtub and he does a whole body shiver....

....he first wakes up in the morning and smiles with his whole body....

....he sees any other baby (mostly our Eva) and cracks up....

....he tries to walk across the kitchen (doesn't he know he has to crawl first?)....

....he sees his daddy and absolutely lights up (dylan doesn't even have to talk in a ridiculous high-pitched voice or do silly dances)....

....he is being himself!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Everyday bath times


I was giving Eli a bath tonight, Dylan was still at work, and we were just playing and playing, he was talking and sucking water (and a little pee) out of his washcloth as usual, and I remembered one of the first thoughts I had in our bathroom when we had just bought our house. I was taking a bath (one of my favorite things) and I thought to myself, this tub will be where we give our first baby a bath! Now, this may seem a little presumptive, I knew, perhaps more then most, that getting pregnant is no guarantee, but it had been one of my dreams for so long that I just couldn't believe that it wouldn't come true. I have these moments every once in awhile, when I look at Eli and remember that yearning to have a baby. I vaguely remember the days before him, when I could sleep when I wanted, run out for food when I wanted, even get my housework done when I wanted... But I can't look at him and wish for those times again, he has quickly become integrated into every inch of my life in the best way possible. I hope that as he grows up I can continue to remember how much I wished for this little boy and continue to enjoy everyday bath times and everything else.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Work blogging

So, as I lay awake in bed the night after my first post, my brain was whirling with all the awesome topics I could talk about, all the witty things I would say- just imagining everyone reading it and laughing "That Annie, she is so funny!"


And then reality hit, and I realized that I had to work that night, and did nothing blog related. I know many of you get that....

But now I'm at work with a bit of time to spare and I thought I would just write a bit and keep in the habit. But do you want to know what happened to all those awesome funny topics I was going to address? Hmmm....I would tell you if I knew. Hopefully I'll remember and be able to really entertain all of you in the next post. On the upside, after my oral surgery tomorrow I may be kind of loopy from the drugs so a funny entry may be pending! Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The first...

... and hopefully not last blog! So, I've been blog-stalking a number of different people for the last few months (diane, pam, laura, sarah, meredith) and I finally decided that maybe I should have a blog too. While I realize that my blog can never be a sweet and funny as pam's or contain the cool art projects that diane's has, I figure at the very least I can journal about all the mundane things that happen in my day to day with Eli (things I frequently find unbearably cute and/or hilarious) and post pictures for family and friends. And perhaps, when Eli is older, he'll want to look back and read about what happened when he was 5 months, 19 days and 22 hours old (currently he is sleeping). So here goes nothing!