Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Recap

We had a wonderful, full, relaxing, fun Christmas.  I always get a little sad when Christmas is over - I just love it so much - the time with family, the cheery feeling that comes with any holiday (for me)... and this year, watching Eliza enjoy her second Christmas made it all even sweeter.  So I feel a little bummed that it's all over and we have to wait a whole year for it to come around again!

We spent a lot of time with both of our families; Christmas Eve was spent with my family, Christmas Day with hubby's family.  We stayed a couple of extra days with hubby's family, which was really nice (especially for Eliza - she had a great time!) and very relaxing for us - there were so many babysitters around (heheh!) :D.  I got to catch up on sleep - for some reason Eliza slept GREAT while we were there (AND, she didn't wake up earlier than 6:30 when we were there.  She usually gets up at 5:30 when we're home - WTH??!!).  And then I also got to sleep in while Daddy and Nana played with Eliza each morning.  It was heavenly.  We also did some really fun things while we were there like visiting the aquarium, going out to eat, and going to a really huge Christmas lights display.  It was so much fun, and we can't wait to take Eliza back - she had a wonderful time with her Nana and Pop Pop!

She loved the dump truck!

Mama, I do not want to sit here with you there are toys to play with!

The shirt says it all: best gift ever.  So true.

Checking out the tree at Nana's house with two of Eliza's cousins

Playing in the new tunnel from Nana and Pop Pop

Looking at the Christmas lights display from the Ergo - I don't think she was a fan of being all bundled up, but we were warm!

I hope everyone had a peaceful and happy Christmas, and I hope you are still enjoying the fun of the season - in my opinion, Christmas isn't over until after the new year!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


We have a busy holiday week ahead!  We are celebrating Christmas with my family on Friday and then we're driving up to be with hubby's family from Saturday through Tuesday.  We're looking forward to a relaxing mini-vacation away from home and from allllll the snow we have.  Something like 34" has fallen already this month!  Too much, if you ask me.  I can barely get out of my driveway!

Anyway, our little star is going to have a really fun Christmas, I think.  She doesn't know what presents are yet, of course, but just spending all that time with both sets of grandparents and all of her family will be great fun for her.  We're not big on giving a ton of gifts, so Hubby and I bought her a few books and this truck, which I think she will really like.  She's started taking the two little cars that she has and "driving" them around the floor lately, which is so cute!  No one has ever taught her or modeled that for her, so I don't know where she picked it up...!  So I think she'll love this truck - AND, it's made from 100% "curbside collected plastic milk containers".  How cool is that??

As for Mama, I finished all my school work for the semester, which feels great.  What a relief to be done with that semester.  I have a break until Spring semester starts on January 18th; I think it's going to be a tough semester, class-wise, so I'm going to enjoy this break and soak up every minute of mental freedom knowing there is no school work hanging over my head!

I hope everyone has a peaceful and very merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


We took this video this morning (so please excuse my totally messy hair and the sweatpants!!) -  Eliza has, in the past couple of days, taken TWO unassisted steps in a row (!!), so we were trying to get her to do this on camera.  No luck, but it's still a cute video - I especially love how she goes down, almost in slow motion, at the end.  She was in such a goofy mood, we were having a lot of fun.  She CAN do it, and we will get it on video soon!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

13 Months

Eliza, you are 13 whole months old.  Mama can't believe it.  You've been here for more than a year already, so now we can say "a year ago, you were THIS TINY, or, a year ago, you were doing THIS".  And, in fact, I'm going to do it right now!  A year ago, you were THIS TINY!:

And now, you are THIS BIG!:

Except usually, I get pictures of you looking away from me because you are too busy for mama and her camera.  I know, I do get kind of annoying with that thing.  Exhibit A:

You are busy, there is no doubt.  Unless you are asleep, you are moving!  And, preferably, moving in the direction you want to go, most certainly not the direction anyone else *cough, mama, cough* wants you to go.  You have definitely become your own little person lately, and you are not a baby anymore, you are my little toddler.  I guess you're still not technically toddling yet (and, erm, you're not that little...), but in every other way, you are a toddler!  

You do the sweetest things like give kisses and hugs, and smile when you see your family.  And you've started to turn our heads in the direction you want us to look - you put your palm against a cheek, and then move it left or right.  Ha!  

You understand almost everything we say to you now, I think.  If we ask you to pick something and give it to us, you do.  You are so smart - I think I've said that every month since you were born! 

Eliza, you have recently started walking behind your walker - we wondered if you would ever do this!!  Well, not really, but you really have not been interested in using it at all until the last couple of weeks.  It is so amazing to see you walking upright!  I know it won't be long until you are walking by yourself.  And, if the way you walk behind your walker is any indication, you will just start RUNNING when you officially learn to walk.  I think we are in trouble!

You are very verbal, though most of what you say could be categorized as babbling at this point.  You do say "Mama" really well and it is still music to my ears to hear it.  You also say "duck", "dada", "up" (though this one sounds more like "mup")... and make lots of animal sounds (cow, dog, owl, lion, duck, bee).

Well, I have more but you are waking up from your nap, so I better go!

I love you so much, Eliza, and I am excited to celebrate your second Christmas next week!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Walker, Texas Eliza

(I totally stole the idea for the title from my friend Abby - she used to call her daughter, ViolaMae, "Walker Texas Vi" when she started walking.  Heheh.)

This weekend Eliza started using her walker all by herself!  Yesterday she was using it and I was holding the back of her PJs so she didn't fall (the walker goes rather fast on our hardwood floors), but then hubby suggested I let her go and when I did she was totally fine on her own!!  It is so adorable and makes me so proud to watch her.  My big girl!  I can't believe how quickly she has progressed in terms of walking/standing since her first birthday.  In only 4 weeks she has gone from showing no signs of being interested in forward motion (she would side-step around the furniture, but would never actually walk forward using her walker or holding on to our hands) this!

Sorry I have to link to the video - after two days, I give up trying to load it here!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Technical Difficulties!

I've been trying to upload a video ALL. DAY. LONG. but blogger doesn't seem to want to finish "processing" it.  Frustrating.  Anyway, still working on it...

Anyone else having this trouble with blogger?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I've been away for a while - can't believe Thanksgiving was two weeks ago!  Ack, I've gone two weeks without recording what my dear Eliza has been up to.  :(

And I don't have much time tonight, either - it's late and I need to get to bed!

Long story short, things have gotten extremely busy for me lately because it's nearing the end of the semester and I am frantically trying to finish up final papers that are due, and I'm grading papers as well.  A the same time, I'm also (FINALLY) finishing one of my prelim exams (it's actually a paper, not an exam) for my program.  I've been working on it since before Eliza was born, so needless to say, I am beyond excited to finally turn it in.  But, this means that literally every night (and during nearly every one of Eliza's naps), you can find me sitting at the dining room table on my laptop working, typing away.  It's been a very productive week+, but NOTHING else around the house has gotten done, and obviously, no blogging has been done either!

So, what's been going on?

  • Eliza is saying "Mama" now, which is pretty much the cutest thing I've ever heard.  I walked in the door to my parents' house yesterday after school and she looked at me and said "Mama!".  OH YES, I MELTED.
  • We saw the new Harry Potter movie.  AWESOME.  And, it was the first movie that hubby and I had been to since before Eliza was born, so, YAY.
  • My beloved laptop (that I got when I entered my grad program over four years ago) has been replaced with a newer faster (but still not as pretty) version because my old one needed a significant amount of repair and buying a new one made the most financial sense.  I love the new zippy model, but I miss my sweet old reliable (er, right up until the end there) laptop.  We've been through a lot together!
  • I got a haircut.  Yes, this is the excitement that is my life right now - and I can't think of other, more interesting, things to include here, so it made the list.
  • We put up the Christmas tree, and (even though it's fake, boo), I LOVE IT.  The house is so cozy and cute with all the decorations up.  I have to give credit to the Christmas tree for some of the awesome progress I've made this week - I sit right in front of it at the table when I write and look up at it once in a while. 

Okay, I can't think of anything else.  But, it's late.  So, here, I will distract you with some photos!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family and I have so much to be thankful for this year.  I could not be happier or more fulfilled than I feel today, and that is not only because of the blessings that I have in my life, but also because of the happy news that the past week has brought for several of my good friends:

I have 'known' Adrienne for almost 3 years and even though we've never met in person, I most certainly count her as one of my friends and, in many ways, know more about her and feel closer to her than some people I have actually met IRL.  The internet is an amazing thing!  :)  She struggled for a long time on her road to motherhood, and we were both in the trenches together for a while.  It made my heart swell when she made the big announcement that her baby boy, James David, was born last Friday morning.  I am so incredibly happy for her, and James is adorable, so head over to her blog to see pics and congratulate her!

And then, go over and congratulate Alison, who had a positive beta yesterday after her first IVF cycle!  WOOHOO!!!  So happy for her!!!  (AND, so amazed that she successfully resisted the urge to POAS before her beta.  WOW.  I sooo could not have held out!  But I'm kind of a POAS addict, as we all remember... :)

Congratulations to Adrienne and Alison, and to my other friends out there who have celebrated happy news recently.  I feel honored and THANKFUL to be able to share in your joy with you!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

12 Months

  • Eliza's 12 month stats: 26 lbs 13 ozs (95th percentile) and 31" tall (95th percentile)!  So, not surprisingly, she is still our big girl :)
  • Babbling: Eliza isn't saying many actual words yet, but she babbles on and on as though we understand her.  It's so cute.  It really sounds like she is forming sentences, but only she knows what she is saying.  Haha.  She does say "duck", and knows lots of animal sounds - do those count as words??  Heh. 
  • Standing!  She stood on her own the day of her 1st birthday!  It was funny - hubby and I were both sitting on the floor with her and all of a sudden she was standing.  We were both like "are you holding on to her?" but nope, she was standing all on her own!
  • She has her first real cold.  She woke up on her birthday with a runny nose and a cough.  Poor baby  - I can hear her breathing over the intercom right now, and every once in a while she coughs in her sleep :(  We have been so lucky with her health though, this is really the first time she's been sick - she's had a few runny noses, but nothing that I would count as being truly 'sick'.  So we made it an entire year!
  • Eliza is still wearing the same diapers - size large in cloth and 4 in sposies (which we use for overnights now).  She's in mostly 18 month clothing, though a few 12 month things still fit, as do some 24 month things.  Baby clothes sizing is so wack. 
  • This girl is smart - I know I always say that... but it's so true!  Wait, what?  Every mom says that about her baby?  Oh... well, get this: the other night we were eating squash for dinner and Eliza was mostly eating it with her hands, but she also had a spoon on her tray.  She picked up a piece of squash that had fallen on her tray, put it on the spoon, and then put the spoon in her mouth!  It was so cute, it was like I could see the wheels turning in her head.  Another one: she "asks" for help by putting whatever she needs help with into your hand.  For example, she has a wind-up stuffed lamb that plays music and when she wants me to wind it up, she takes my hand and places it over the wind-up mechanism.  So neat!
  • She is eating everything we are eating - she has been for a couple of months now (which reminds me that I have had a few people comment and ask me about baby-led weaning.  I could do a post about it or I could just email you girls, too... but I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you yet.).  She doesn't seem to dislike anything so far, but I know it's only a matter of time before she decides which foods she loves and which she doesn't love so much.  And now that she's 12 months old, she can finally eat honey; tonight she had her first taste, and it was fresh from her grandpa and grandma's beehives :)  She loved it of course.  She can also now drink cow's milk, so tonight we gave her a sippy cup full of whole milk.  We usually fill her sippy with water, so when she tasted the cow's milk she was like 'what's this??!!'.  The expression on her face was really funny.  She seemed to take to it right away.  This girl is so easy-going, it's such a joy to be her mama! :)
  • We're still nursing, probably about 3-4 times a day (or more??  I guess I haven't been keeping track very well lately).  She asks for it about that often (she uses the "milk" sign), so we nurse whenever she asks, and also before naps and bedtime.  She is not sleeping through the night, so there's usually one or two nursing sessions overnight, too.  We are still happily co-sleeping part time; she starts out in her crib and sleeps there until she wakes up in the middle of the night when I bring her into bed with us.
  • Naps - she's still taking 2 naps a day, but I'm starting to think she's moving towards just one nap... we'll see.  I'm not sure I'm ready for her to only take one nap a day quite yet!
  • Eliza is SO incredibly sweet - she's developing the sweetest personality.  She loves giving hugs and she's recently started giving kisses, too.  It just makes me melt every time she does it.  It is soooo adorable.  I say "I love you" a lot to her, and she's started hugging me whenever I say it to her.  Awww, I just can't even stand it, she is so cute!  Her kisses are the open-mouth variety, and are currently quite snotty... but we love getting them.  :)
Happy 12 months, my sweet girl!  Mama loves you so much.  I can't wait to see what the next 12 months hold for us!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A First Birthday Party in Pictures

Birthday girl's outfit made by Mama!

 Cake - hubby made it (vanilla buttercream w/raspberry buttercream filling).  Grandma made salted caramel chocolate cupcakes.  Both were sooo incredibly delicious.  I ordered the fondant toppers on Etsy.

Eliza's birthday banner (Etsy) and gift table.

 Eliza's first taste of cake!

She approves :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Birthday Party and a Big Surprise!

The first birthday party is over and the house it quiet.  Baby and hubby are both asleep and here I sit on the couch with my feet up.  So many thoughts are swirling around in my head - I can't possibly put them all down into words tonight...  My baby is a year old!  She is leaving babyhood and entering toddlerhood.  It's so surreal...

The party was so much fun.  It was just perfect.  And it was made even more perfect by my very best friend Ashley, who surprised me by flying in for Eliza's party all the way from CA.  I wish someone had gotten my reaction on video when she walked through my front door!  I was so touched that she flew all that way to help us celebrate.  It meant the world to me.  I have to take a moment (or a paragraph) to tell you about Ashley (and perhaps totally embarrass her, sorry Ash!).  She has been there for me through so much - college (we were roommates, for better or worse!), my wedding, grad school, pregnancy announcements, my miscarriages, the bad ultrasounds, the good ultrasounds... all of it.  And I will never forget how she took such great care of me (and Eliza!) when I visited her when I was 6 weeks pregnant (and totally scared and worried - this was pre-good ultrasound); she gave up her bed so I could be more comfortable, cooked for me (super nachos, yay!), stocked her fridge with decaf Honest Tea, took me out for dinner...she completely took my mind off of the worry that was threatening to eat away at me that week.  Most of all, she was so positive and so hopeful; there was no doubt in her mind that this was it, that this was going to be The One.  The day after I came home from visiting her, I had my first ultrasound, and Ashley was right: we saw that beautiful heart flickering away.  I sent her a copy of the u/s photo, and she hung it on her fridge.  And nine months later, she cried the first time she held my sweet baby in her arms, and so did I.  She had waited for Eliza all that time, too.  So, yeah... it was very meaningful to have her there to watch my baby turn one.  Thank you, Ashley.  You made a special day even more special by being here!

So, the party!  It was a ton of fun.  Eliza was a trooper and seemed mostly unfazed by allllll the people in our house oohing and ahhing over her.  And the poor thing woke up with a stuffy/runny/snotty/all-around-icky nose this morning, too.  Of all days to wake up under the weather!  :(  Poor thing.  But she seemed to enjoy herself in spite of it.  She got lots of fun gifts - a few new books, a sweet little plush doll, some cute new clothes, some bath toys, a couple of great toys that make all kinds of sounds and music (those are, I think, her favorites!), some blocks, and even a mini ball pit shaped like a turtle.  But most of all, she was surrounded by 14 people who love her so very much, and that made my heart swell.  She is one lucky girl.  Her daddy made a cake for her, and of course she LOVED it.  She even got into the present opening, and I wasn't sure she would.  But she helped open almost all of her presents, and when she found the fun things inside, she got even more involved - ha!

I'll write more when I get all the photos loaded from my camera.  It was a great day spent with wonderful family and friends, celebrating the life of one very happy and very loved little one-year-old.

Happy Birthday, Eliza!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Memories from a year ago.

Friday 11/13/09

  • I labored in the tub at home - I was alone for the first couple of hours of labor - then got out without draining the tub.  I walked the house, ended up on the floor of the nursery on my hands and knees breathing through a contraction.  All of a sudden, I hear a huge wave followed by frantic splashing - Belle, one of our cats, had jumped into the (still full) tub and was thrashing around trying to get out.  I rush in, nearly forgetting I was having a contraction (it's obvious that this was early labor!), just in time to see her soaking wet and VERY angry little kitty body shooting across the bathroom.  She got water all over the house, so there I was following her around with a towel trying to soak up the water while in labor! 
  • My mom said she would come over after she got out of clinic that evening.  She called and said she was leaving clinic and would be there shortly.  Thirty minutes pass and I'm starting to worry and wonder where she is.  I was draped over the arm of the couch at this point, in a lot of pain... but worried about mom at the same time.  I called her again to find out where she was and she said she was two blocks from my house but she had been in a fender bender.  What are the chances?!  She was waiting for the police to show up.  I think she ended up leaving and told the officer she would file the report online or something (??), because after she heard me on the phone she got there like 2 minutes later.
  • Oh, and the spaghetti sauce -- I had made meat sauce the day before but I hadn't yet added back in the meat from the spare ribs.  Before we left for the hospital, I was upset because I hadn't finished it yet; I wanted to add the meat in and then freeze it before the baby was born.  My mom said she would do it, and I remember feeling so badly that she had to do it!  How silly when I think back on it now... but I appreciated it so much that she did that, and I still remember it.  I remember I'd tell her what I wanted her to do in between contractions... and she even washed the dishes for me before we left :) 
  • Ramen.  Mom made me ramen in labor.  It tasted so good.
  • Hubby.  What an amazing support he was.  He walked in the door from work at 6:00 to me being in full-on labor, and he didn't even blink.  He just jumped right in and started supporting me - massaging my back, letting me hang on him, helping me breathe through contractions.  He was so amazing.  I wouldn't have wanted to do it without him right there by my side.
  • The drive there.  Ouch.  I remember it vividly.  I wanted to ride sitting backwards in the passenger seat so I could drape my arms over the back - and I REALLY didn't want to sit... but hubby was all: "SAFTEY FIRST!".  And I was soooo annoyed!  We finally compromised and I reclined the seat and half-sat, half-laid on it.  It was only an 8 minute drive... but it hurt.  A LOT.
  • OH.  But the best one: And I am NOT making this up.  I KNOW I was not imagining this... So we were waiting for the elevator to up to L&D.  I was sitting in a wheelchair.  The elevator doors opened and two hospital personnel wheel a gurney out.  There was a white sheet over it and I SWEAR there was a body underneath that sheet.  It was body shaped - no lie.  I started half laughing, half crying from pain... and then I started singing Elton John's "The Circle of Life" in my head.  I am not even joking - I remember this so vividly!  Even the song going through my head... so funny!  Heh, I hadn't thought of that in a while... 
Tomorrow is the big day - my baby girl turns ONE.  I can't get over it, I can't believe I have a one-year-old!  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I don't usually (ever?) post recipes, but I have to make an exception for this one.  You all must try this recipe - likerightnow (unless you're not a meat eater :).  I suggest this to you because of the following reasons:

1. It involves the use of a crockpot.
2. It is so very yummy.
4. It involves the use of a crockpot.

Reasons 1 and 4?  VERY IMPORTANT to this mama.  Seriously, the feeling of coming home and having dinner basically ready at the end of the day is priceless.  Especially given the fact that Eliza gets super clingy and all "SHAH RIGHT MOM" when I lovingly suggest some independent play time anytime between about 4:30 and 5:30... making it really tricky to cook dinner - or, at least any dinner that involves more than the microwave, which we aren't big fans of in this house.


Behold, a DELICIOUS crockpot recipe for Pork Carnitas:

2 lbs pork loin (I used one 2 lb pork loin, but you could also use two 1 pounders)
1 jar of salsa verde
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can chopped green chiles

Put pork in the bottom of the crock pot.  Open the can of salsa, dump it in.  Open the can of tomatoes, dump it in.  Open the can of green chiles, dump it in.  Turn crockpot on low.  Come back 7 or 8 (or 9 or 10) hours later.  The pork will be LIKE BUTTER.  You will be able to pull it apart sooo easily.  Serve with tortillas, queso fresco, cilantro, onions, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, lime wedges... whatever you want!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Photo Friday

I know I've just been posting lots of photos lately -- I just haven't had much time to sit down and write.  I'm busy with school and planning someone's birthday party!!!

...AND, these photos are just too cute not to post.  We picked up a (FREE!) slide for Eliza for the backyard and she tried it out for the first time today.  It was such a nice fall day, of course I had to turn it into a photo shoot of my little beauty!

I can't stand it, she is so cute :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Balancing Act

Our Wednesday

5:45 - Wake up call!  My dear girl is up and at 'em (did you know I used to think that saying was actually "up and adam"??), so it's time to drag myself out of bed.  Honestly, I am pretty zombie-like at this point.  Go to the bathroom, splash water on my face, try to wake up!  Thank goodness hubby is still home to play with Eliza for a few minutes.

6:00 - Okay, I'm more awake now... check email, throw a load of clothes in the wash, then relieve Daddy so he can get ready for work.  Play with mah baybee!

7:00 - Say goodbye to Daddy, then breakfast time!  Eggs and pancakes today.  My mom joins us (and brings aforementioned pancakes - hey, I made the eggs!).

8:30 - Naptime.  Eliza and I nap together - this is such a guilty pleasure.  I know I could be getting work done, but I just need the sleep so badly.  I will not apologize! :)

10:00 - Wake up.  Laze around for a while before getting out of bed, we play the tickle game and sing.

10:30 - Get ready to leave the house: both dressed, diaper changed (Eliza, lol) and we're off.  I drop Eliza off at Grandma and Grandpa daycare, and I could go study.  I have a presentation to work on that's due tomorrow.  I go off to the coffee shop (well, actually, to a restaurant inside a grocery store that also has a coffee shop).  Work work work from about 11:00-1:40, then I head home.

1:50 - Quickly use the bathroom (first time since this morning!!), go downstairs to throw the clothes in the dryer.

1:55 - My mom drops Eliza off.

2:00 - Put Eliza down for a nap.  She's asleep by 2:10 or so.  Go wash breakfast dishes, then start a load of dipes in the washer.  Start dinner (I love my crockpot!!!).  Answer annoying student emails.  Work on presentation.

3:00 - Eliza wakes up fussy (=still tired), nurse her back to sleep, put her back in crib.  She wakes up.  Repeat.  She wakes up again.  Still seems tired... try again.  Nope, we're awake now!  Change diaper.  Play.  Read books.  Play with toys.  Listen to music.  Sing.  Crawl around and harass cats.

3:30 - Oops, forgot about clothes in the dryer - go downstairs and get them, hang them up (hmm, kind of wrinkled...may have to iron later - dangit!).  Start 2nd wash on dipes.

4:00 - Head over to my parents' house to visit new kittens.  Play with kittens!  Work in my parents' kitchen on my laptop while Eliza plays with Grandma, Grandpa, and the kittens.

5:15 - Go home and finish dinner while Eliza plays on the floor at my feet.  She hits this time of day and is NOT OKAY with playing by herself, so I carry her around the kitchen or she either plays in the cabinets or hangs onto my legs while I pivot around her going from the stove to the sink to the fridge. Good thing our kitchen is so tiny!  

5:35 - Daddy get home (early today!).  Eliza and Daddy play while I finish up dinner.  

5:55 - Eat dinner.  Yum!  

6:20 - Eliza tells us she's "all done".  Wash hands and face.  Run water for tub.  Daddy gets his guitar and we sing (Sloop John B was tonight's selection).  

6:25 - Daddy takes over for bathtime.  I go clear the table, was the dishes, clean the counters and stove.  Listen to Eliza and Daddy in the bathroom laughing, singing, reading books, playing "where is Eliza's nose/ear/eyes...".  Stop to appreciate this awesome life.  Start 2nd rinse on dipes.  Change my clothes, get Eliza's PJs and nighttime diaper ready.  Grab towel, go check on bathtime buddies.  

6:45 - Get Eliza out of the tub, diaper and PJs on (no small feat these days, she HATES this part of her day).  Bedtime!  

7:15 - Eliza asleep.  Put dipes in the dryer.  Share a little dessert with hubby.  Make tea.  Sit down with laptop to start working.  Procrastinate and blog instead.  

8:13 - Okay, it's really time to work now... 

I love this life.  I love it so much.  It's a balancing act, but it's such a good, fulfilling one - especially on days like today when the balance was fairly even between work and play.  I am a lucky woman!

(Also: I realize how very VERY lucky I am to have my parents - they watch Eliza for me when I am at school and when I need to get work done.  What would I do without them???)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So I Don't Forget

A few things I forgot!

Eliza is 11 months old... and...

  • When asked "what does the cow say?", she now replies "Mooooooo" AND, when you ask her what a puppy dog says, will answer you "Wooof"! 
  • Eliza can now sign "more" (in addition to "all done" and "milk")
  • Eliza tickles us - we play a back-and-forth tickle game that is soooo fun and so cute.  She laughs and laughs and laughs - we can barely breathe we laugh so hard!
  • She is definitely saying "duck" now.  She pointed to geese and said "duck" the other day, and she saw a duck in her book and said it, too.  
  • When we sing the song "The Wheels on the Bus", we do motions that go along with the song, and she is starting to do them too!  She can't quite get the "wheels" action yet, but she moves her arms in little circles when we start to sing, so she is definitely getting there.  It's sooooo adorable!
  • It is so cute to watch the wheels turn in her head when she figures things out.  She is always thinking, she is always learning, and at an amazingly fast rate!  It's so cool.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fun Fall Weekend

We are embracing fall around here - it is by far my favorite season, and it's hubby's second favorite (winter is his favorite - yuck!), so we've always enjoyed doing many fall-related activities.  And this year, we get to include Eliza!  Watching her experience all of it is so much fun, we soak up every minute of it.

This weekend we took a trip to the pumpkin "patch".  It wasn't really a patch, it was more like a greenhouse full of rows and rows of pumpkins.  They must have grown in a patch at one point... anyway, MORE DETAILS, right?  There was also a little petting zoo on the property with goats and sheep and a cow so we introduced Eliza to the animals.

She wasn't too sure about this goat:

Then we went inside to pick out our pumpkins.  Eliza seemed to really get a kick out of the entire process... here she is trying to decide between two pumpkins:

Then she decided she REALLY liked this one, so she gave it a hug:

(sorry honey, that one is like $12...)

There were soooo many pumpkins to choose from that Eliza was apparently mesmerized by the selection:

And finally, we have a ($5) winner!:

It was a fun little trip.  Then we went and had Pho to round out our beautiful fall day.  Life couldn't get any better.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world :o)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

11 Months

Baby girl:

There are no words.  I sit here nearly unable to write down what I feel as we near your first tell you how much I love you and how much better my life is because you are in it...I can hardly express it, it is so powerful and wonderful.  Words do not do it justice.

Today, you turned 11 months old!  And today I wondered both how this could be true already, and how it is that it was only slightly less than a year ago that my life was turned upside - in the best way possible! - by you and that beautiful, strong cry you let out as you entered this world.  I will never forget that cry.  It made me so happy to hear it, it makes me cry (happy tears) just thinking about it.  That cry meant you were strong and healthy and alive - and finally here!

I want to tell you how very deeply I love you and how completely whole I feel when I rock you in my arms after you've fallen asleep every night.  I want you to know that I love you so much that it hurts to think of life any other way.

It is scary, too.  I now know what people mean when they say that having children means to live with a piece of your heart outside your body: vulnerable, exposed... leaving you forever unable to protect it every single second of every single day, when that is what every fiber of your being is desperately screaming at you to do.

So.  On to the good stuff :)

  • You, my dear, are one amazing, silly, beautiful, smart, SMART - no really, I mean scarysmart girl!  You blow us away every single day with what you know.  Today, we think you said "Duck".  Seriously!  You pointed to... well, you actually pointed to a goose, but whatever, details... and you said "".  
  • You are a master crawler now!  You are so fast and agile on your hands and knees.  And you're starting to cruise on the furniture, too.  This is how you ended up with quite the tongue gash this month.  You hit your chin against the coffee table as you were standing up next to it.  But, you are just fine now, and still as fearless as ever.  Mama is afraid to let you stand by yourself, but I'm trying not to hover too much - you need to learn to do it on your own, and mama knows how important that is.  
  • Eliza, you have a will of steel.  You tell us when you don't like something, and you make sure we hear you!  You screech in protest and arch your back.  It's dramatic and can be very persuasive, though we as your parents can't bend to your will every time.  That's our job, you know.  And besides, that's what grandparents are for.
  • You love your kitties!  Have I mentioned this before?  I think so, but it is just so cute I have to say it again.  You hug the kitties - even more than you hug us!  You put your head down on their backs.  It is soooo incredibly sweet.  You are such a sweet, sweet girl.
  • You love music.  I will sing to you in the car or while I'm changing your diaper and it helps to calm you down (the car and having your diaper changed are two things you HATE, by the way!). Every night before bed, daddy plays guitar and I sing along and you love it.  You want to get to daddy's guitar, though, you loooove strumming the strings.  I think we know what we are going to get you for your birthday!
  • You love to laugh.  When people around you laugh, you laugh too!  You are a happy girl.
  • You dance!  You shake your little butt back and forth when you hear music - we call it "butt dancing".  Haha!
  • We started ECFE this month and you LOVE IT.  The classroom fascinates you, and you especially like the other babies.  You explore every little corner and play with every toy - you also have a tendency to steal the other babies' toys away from them...!  And when the parents go off to our parent meeting and the babies stay behind with the teachers, you don't get upset at all.  Mama says goodbye and you just play with the other babies and the toys.  The teachers always comment on how cool tempered and relaxed you are when I leave.
  • You are usually pretty fearless... but you really dislike loud noises.  You get scared easily when you hear something too loud, like when that little boy at the zoo yelled at the fish, or when mama screamed in excitement at some good news we got from close friends (oh, mama felt so bad!  but the news was so exciting!).
  • Nighttime sleeping is still not your strong suit - you like to "check in" with mama about every 3-4 hours ;).  But, that's just fine.  I'll be here for you at night as long as you need me to be.  
  • You are still nursing, and I don't see any signs of slowing down on that front anytime soon!  That makes me soooo happy, too.  We're lucky that we've never had any issues with nursing strikes or mama's supply dropping, or you losing interest.
  • Back to the smartypants-ness: you know where your ears are, your mouth, your nose (and daddy's nose!), your feet, your shoes (and you know that your shoes (or mamas or daddy's) go on your feet), you look down at to your belly when we say "where's Eliza's tummy?", and you use signs to tell us "all done", "more" and "milk".  You still say "dada" to refer to both pictures of yourself, and to your dada :).  You can stack the blocks on the stacker toy that Anna got you, and you are an olympic peek-a-boo player.  
I love you, Eliza.  Even when I'm away from you for even one or two hours, I miss you and can't wait to see you again.  You brighten every single one of my days.  I can't wait to see you grow and change and become a little girl.  You are already on your way, and I am so proud to be your mama.

ps - okay, so there are a few words :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hello Again

I guess I have been busier than I thought.  I can't believe so much time has passed since Eliza's baptism, and since I last blogged!

And, as long as we're on the subject... I also can't believe that I'm designing a first birthday invitation and planning a party that will happen in only FIVE short weeks!  FIVE WEEKS, PEOPLE.  We're trying to decide on the scope of the first birthday.  The question is: two parties or one?  We were thinking one for friends, one for family.  That seems like a lot, but our house is so small, we can't fit everyone - friends and family - in our house all at the same time.  So, we're not sure what to do.  We'd prefer to have one big party, but it's just not feasible...  But two parties is a lot of work, so I'm back to considering just one party, family only, on her actual birthday.  I know it's "just" a first birthday, but I'm so excited to celebrate, there's a big part of me that wants to have a big 'ol party full of all the people who love Eliza!

So what's new with us?  Eliza is happy and healthy, busy as ever - and we are so lucky and grateful for this.  We had our first trip to the ER due to a tongue laceration that Eliza got when she fell and hit her chin against the coffee table -- she cut her tongue on her teeth.  It bled A LOT. OH LORDY, you have no idea how much blood can pour out of a child's mouth.  I almost lost it.  She, of course, was back to her normal happy(ish) self like 10 minutes later.  And even as it was happening and I was upset, I knew it could have been so much worse, and felt grateful that it wasn't.  We took her in just to make sure nothing needed to be done -- I mainly just wanted someone besides ME and my social science degree to look at this nasty looking cut.  We were in and out quickly, and probably talked about all day as 'Those Parents Who Worry Too Much' by the ER staff.  But, it calmed our worries and so it was well worth the $40.  A week later, her tongue is completely healed.  Way to go, stem cells!

We've got a fun weekend ahead with a trip to the BIG zoo planned!  I haven't been there in at least a decade, I'm excited to go back with Eliza.

Happy Friday everyone.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Eliza was baptized today!  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful ceremony.  We opted for "full immersion", so she went into the font in her birthday suit!  Daddy put her in, and I helped her sit down in the water.  She didn't mind the water one bit:

It was a very nice ceremony, and Eliza did a great job throughout the whole thing - she crawled around the pews, and pointed and waved to people around her.  She talked and "sang" a few times, but there were a few babies there and they were all adding to the chorus - it wasn't a quiet service!  She also played with her best baby friend:

After she was baptized, we put on her baptismal gown.  It was the gown that my mom made for me when I was baptized.  My mom and I had to alter it slightly to make it fit Eliza (because I was baptized at 6 weeks old, so Eliza is A LOT bigger than I was!) - but we managed to do it and it looked beautiful on her.

With Mama and Dada after the ceremony:

Eliza and her grandparents:

Godparents (two out of three that were able to be there!):

Afterwards, my parents hosted a luncheon for everyone at their house.  It was wonderful - so many people who love my girl, all in one place.  I was a proud mama, and she was happy as a clam (even when she missed her afternoon nap!).  We had a fantastic lunch, and had cake for dessert.  Eliza even got a few presents, too! 

It was a great day!

Eliza's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 5 ozs
Going home: 7 lbs 10 ozs
5 days: 7 lbs 13 ozs
2 months: 12 lbs 6 ozs
4 months: 17 lbs
5 months: 18 lbs 12 ozs
6 months: 20 lbs 13 ozs
9 months: 24 lbs 3 ozs
12 months: 26 lbs 13 ozs
15 months: 28 lbs
18 months: 29 lbs 3 ozs
2 years: 32 lbs
3 years: 34 lbs

Alice's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz
2 Months: 13 lbs 10 oz
4 Months: 17 lbs 15 oz
6 Months: 20 lbs 4 oz