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!

Friday, November 19, 2010

What Does Eliza Say?

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 :)

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