Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ten months going on two years

This little boy has very little in common with the one we brought home 10 months ago.  He's become crazy, danger-seeking, crawling everywhere, pulling up on everything baby.  He's mastering the temper tantrum--when upset will arch his back and flail like a madman while screaming.  If he had an online profile, it would read something like this:

Hobbies: playing in dirt if he can find it, putting anything related to the dogs in his mouth, playing tug of war with Leroy, sneaking up on Jack, banging on things, giving toothy grins when you tell him "un uh", making door stops make the boing noise,  biting/sucking/pulling electrical cords, tipping over the dogs' water bowl, latching onto any and all plastic bags

Food: mashed potatoes, beef, turkey, cheese, whatever it is that you're eating (particularly if there is a limited quantity and you are really hungry and really want to eat it)

Literature: anything by Dr. Seus, Brown Bear, the first half of most books but not usually the second half

Film: Baby Einstein (only when nothing else will work ;-)

Heroes: Leroy (seriously, if Leroy is doing something interesting--he will totally take Leroy over Mommy)

Hates: the car (with a furious  passion, still)

His sleep has changed a lot this month.  He's dropped the 3rd nap and in Kansas City, for some reason, he only thinks he needs one.  Hopefully that's a fluke.  

He tolerates the high chair pretty well and is a pretty good eater.  He eats comically large portions of food and will grunt and reach for more--particularly if we're talking about mashed potatoes or meat.  The boy loves steak.  

Overall, he's become a much more independent boy.  A few months ago, you couldn't really put him down.  Now, he goes on little journeys around the house by himself for 20-30 minutes at a time.  Of course, he still often crawls to our legs where he pulls himself up and reaches to be picked up--but that's just adorable.  And of course, he spends most of his independent time seeking danger.  We have taken to putting him in a cardboard box every now and then.  What?  He likes it.  

Note the intense sorrow that befell him when the toy was taken away.

Trying to pull it together.

Okay, you can have it back.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


That is a king-sized bed.  It improves the quality of our life by a factor of 10 or so.  We finally have room for the two adults, two pups and one baby who sleep in our bed, and it's just lovely.

A crib was one of the first things we got when we began the nesting process.  I really thought you needed a crib for a baby.  Who knew?  When he was younger we did transfer him to the crib a few times.  Grandmas love to try to get a baby to sleep in a crib.  They've each been successful a time or two.  I very much like our cuddling time though.  And I like the amount of sleep I get.

The king-sized bed is part of our bedroom makeover.  We decorated every other room in the house before Eli showed up.  We hadn't been able to decide what to do with the room.  Finally, a few weeks ago we decided to sell all of the existing furniture (mostly antiques with sustained value) and buy crap from Ikea (sure to be worth half what we paid for it in a year).  The trade down in furniture has helped to fund the makeover and Ikea stuff is really more functional and space efficient.

I've always hated white walls, but Kenny came up with this idea.

White walls with a mint green ceiling.  It's ridiculously peaceful.  

The condition of my space is very important to me.  I can't relax if things are cluttered.  In the process of redecorating we've managed to clean out everything in the bedroom, and it makes me so happy.  A few months ago everything at home was a mess and work was fairly calm.  For months, baby juggling left no time for getting the laundry done, much less keeping anything organized.  We've finally figured out how to occasionally accomplish things around the house (or Eli has gotten to an age where it has become possible).  Right now work is chaotic and home is very smooth.  Maybe I should clean out my cube.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

9 months in, 9 months out

It's official.  Eli has been alive long enough to gestate a whole other person.  We know this for sure as he's been alive for pretty much exactly our friend Amy's entire pregnancy and now we have little Stella on the outside.  

I'm a week late in posting this update, but he had his 9-month check-up this morning so it still counts.  He was 17 lb, 11 oz and 27inches.  This makes him itty bitty if you look at the CDC's growth chart which has a majority of formula-fed babies or fairly awesome if you look at the WHO's breastfed baby only chart.  His head remains in the 75th percentile, which I take to mean he's really smart.

He first pulled himself up around Halloween.  I feel like he's figured out how to do a ton of things in the last week.  His room has a mattress on the floor where he takes most of his naps.  Yesterday, while we were playing, he figured out how to climb off the mattress (feet first) then got himself over to his play table/toy thingy and pulled himself up to play on it.  He played for a while before cruising (walking while holding onto the mattress) over to his daddy.  When properly motivated (by say, his daddy's glasses) he can even climb back up onto the mattress.  A few minutes ago he stood unassisted.  He can definitely go from laying to sitting to standing to sitting to laying.  His crawl isn't exactly textbook or beautiful.  It's mostly a series of thrashes that accomplish the goal of getting from A to B.  I hear there are no medals for crawling really well though, so we should be good.  Ooh and he can problem solve.  As you would expect, he's not a fan of the gloves we make him wear.  Yesterday, he figured out how to do something about it.  He bit off one glove and used the free hand to remove the other glove.  

Now that he's figured out how to move, it is all he wants to do.  Must stand! Must get to dangerous and/or expensive thing over there!  Must have total disregard for the safety of my head!  I know it's only going to get more exciting from here on.  And more challenging to change his diaper.  

We've also made the transition from pureed food to finger food.  This works well for him since he has SIX teeth.  What baby needs six teeth?  Mostly, he really wants to eat whatever we are eating and we accomodate when we can.  While we were in St. Louis with Kenny's parents last week, I'm pretty sure he consumed his weight in turkey.  The boy loves meat.  One night we ate steak and made the mistake of giving him his first taste.  I'm pretty sure Kenny basically split his with Eli.  After each bite he would grunt and reach for more.  

Baby boy is turning into a little person.  Maybe next month he'll be potty trained :-).

This last picture is best if you imagine him talking with a New York accent.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


4 years ago today, I talked about how much I love Kenny in front of about 200 of our closest friends and family members.  Second best day of my life.

3 years ago today, Kenny surprised me and took me out to the nicest restaurant we will ever go to and spent the most on a meal we will ever spend.

2 years ago today, we went to a cute BYOB restaurant near our first apartment in Chicago. We had moved to Chicago a few months before and had just gotten jobs.

1 year ago today, Kenny came home with the sad news about having lost his job.  We decided to keep our dinner reservations because I was pregnant, and we knew this would be the last time we’d be able to go out on our anniversary without arranging for babysitters and such for a long time.

Today, I’m going to go home after work and try to get Eli to go to sleep before his wonderful babysitters come. Then we’re going to go out to somewhere special Kenny has picked out.  This will be the 4th date (if you count two weddings) since Eli was born. Those other years he was just my husband.  This year I watched him become a father.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Crazy 8

This last month has been a busy one, as evidenced by my lack of posting.  My mom visited, we went to DC for Molly's wedding, we had our big annual conference at work, and this weekend we are in St. Louis to celebrate Eli's great grandfather's 90th birthday.  I was generally swamped with work and spent many nights in weird positions attempting to get Eli back to sleep and work on work at the same time.  

My 8-month-old baby is a big mama's boy.  He's been weary of anybody who is not mom or dad.  It makes us feel loved but makes it very difficult to share him.

He expresses joy with his entire body.  He opens his mouth for big, big smiles, flaps his arms and legs, and squeals.  When he sees me, he often starts panting.  It's possible he hangs out with puppies too much.  We kiss him lots and he's started returning the favor.  At least I think he's trying to return the favor.  He puts his open wet mouth on our faces and holds it there for a moment or two.

Speaking of his mouth, he is up to 4 teeth--his bottom middle two and the two next to the top middles ones.  We're pretty sure he's working on about 4 more.

We've more fully committed to this whole solid food eating business.  We kept forgetting for a while.  Does that make us bad parents?  His favorite is plums.  On the train ride back from St. Louis on Sunday we  let him try a wee piece of his first cheese--Tillamook cheddar.  He approached it with much wonder, as one would expect.  He also had his first meat this weekend, chicken with apple compote.  We make most of his food but opted to purchase the liquid meat.  

He has become increasingly mobile.  He crawls backwards, can rotate himself 360 degrees, roll, and generally lunge and slither in the direction he wants to go.  If he could figure out that he needs to put his knees down, he'd be crawling.  Instead he sort of puts his feet and head on the ground, butt in the air and tries to will himself forward.  He's finally over standing and become a much bigger fan of sitting than he used to be.  Mostly he likes to sit and lean forward and lunge his head forward for face plants.  

It's so exciting seeing the person that he is becoming.

Friday, October 1, 2010


My boobs took over my life about 7 months ago and have not relented.  I often wish life were more compatible with my need to feed a baby.  Every 2 to 3 hours (sometimes every 20 minutes) I stop what I am doing to work on that baby feeding thing.  That means I don't do anything (except maybe feed a baby) for longer than 3 hours anymore.  It’s all rather odd, really—though completely natural as well.  This is the part of motherhood I did not fully expect/understand/appreciate beforehand.  I also feel like it’s my most important job though and one of my biggest accomplishments.  It’s not a burden.  It’s not easy.  It is pretty magical.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Seven months, oh my

My seven-month-old baby boy.  He breaks my heart.  

We've now been experimenting with the solids for a month.  We've had mixed results.  Once he's into a food, he's really into it--but it usually takes a few introductions.  At this point he's had sweet potatoes, rice cereal, bananas, peas, and pears--and in that order.  Despite my deep seeded aversion, he totally likes peas.  We've had to take a few breaks from the solids because of another first.  This month he got sick for the first time.  I have no use for sickness in babies, no use at all.  He's had three vomiting spells and they were each the saddest thing you could ever seen.  Some crappy advice from our former doctor to not nurse him for 12 hours and feed him Pedialyte instead sealed the deal for me in making her our "former" doctor.  We followed that crappy advice (well at least for 6 hours) the first time, and great unhappiness was had by all.  The event did reinforce to me that I should always follow my instincts--they are there for a reason.  We have a new doctor who wears Garfield ties and is a delight.  

And it turns out separation anxiety is not just something puppies get.  Two mornings this week he has broken down in tears when I left him.  This of course caused me to do the same shortly thereafter.  I have, however, figured out how to squeeze in a few extra baby minutes into the day.  It turns out there is a stop for the higher speed/fewer stop Metra trains one mile from our house.  The train ride is only 13 minutes and Eli (and his daddy and puppies) can walk the mile from our house--so my non-Eli-having commute time has been cut from 45 minutes to about 20.  

He's also started to look a bit like me, finally.  More specifically, I think he's started to look like my dad.  It's been funny to look at him and recognize a bit of myself in him.  I think his Aunt Robin was right when she assured me shortly after he was born that babies usually look like their fathers at first so that their fathers will know they are theirs and won't kill them. 

He has come to tolerate sitting quite a bit more and can mostly do it on his own and would totally be allowed to do so on his own if we had a helmet for him.  He can stand with the smallest amount of assistance.  No progress to speak of on the crawling front.  Mostly he gets part of the way there and melts down.  He has discovered that rolling can be a very effective means of both transport and entertainment.  

People often ask me if he is sleeping through the night.  The short answer is pretty much.  The long answer involves my explaining that we co-sleep so any awakenings are  not very long or disruptive.  The long answer usually also involves my having to defend co-sleeping--but that's a whole other post ;-).  Nighttimes for us though are A-OK.

We are finally maybe easing out of swaddling him for naps. We're experimenting with letting him have an arm or two. 

Eli is madly in love with his puppies.  Jack remains his semi-tolerant keeper who enjoys the occasional petting Eli loves to dole out.  He is not as much a fan of the ear pulling.  Eli thinks Leroy is hilarious. Kenny has taken to putting Eli in the Bjorn and chasing Leroy around the house.  This results in great baby giggles.  Baby will also giggle if a dog or person barks at him.  He giggled today when a one-eyed dog came and snatched his sock off of his foot at the dog park.

And finally, this has been the great month of songs.  Singing to him has proven to be an often effective means of curing a crying jag.  It depends on his mood.  Sometimes he needs "Hush Little Baby," and sometimes he needs "Old MacDonald."

Our friends Ben and Julie just had a baby this week, and our friends Patrick and Amy will be doing the same in a couple of months.  I am so excited for them because I know how really awesome it is to have one of these.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Redefining okay

As is the case with many monkeys of his age, Eli likes to put anything and everything into his mouth.  As the weeks go by, we find ourselves adopting a more and more lax attitude about what is and is not okay for him to suck on.  Kenny dropped Eli off with me at work over lunch today so that he could run a not-baby-friendly errand.  I was just telling him how Eli grabbed several things off my desk and put them directly into his mouth.   Some coworkers brought over toys for him to play with, and they of course had the same fate.  We feel a bit conflicted--we should probably not let him do that, right?  We should protect him from germs and whatnot?  His contact with germs just seems so inevitable.  Kenny and I both agreed that we do have some standards.  We're not letting him near feces or meat juices.  Ah, parenting.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

These are the people in your neighborhood

I can't go for walks without being teased by the whole neighborhood.  It started a few weeks ago.  I was walking Eli, Leroy and Jack.  We came upon a group of teenage boys with their pants belted around their knees.  I heard one of them say to the other, "Look, the wife's got the baby."  He said to me, "It's about time you gave your husband a day off."  Yesterday, I obliged Kenny's request for a family walk.  I wore Eli in the Bjorn and Kenny had the two dogs.  We were walking down the street when I heard a guy shouting at us from his second floor balcony.  "I've never seen you with the baby."  In all fairness, I always do Sunday mornings, but it continued today. Kenny decided to go for an 80-mile bike ride without training today (yep).  A man with a Green Bay shirt and a stroller and a homeless woman both commented on their unfamiliarity with me in the dog/baby walking context. The homeless woman went so far as to stop me a second time and say, "I know why you're walking them!  He's watching football."

Kenny got to try out my wrap last week (pictured above). The Bjorn was closed for repairs after a vomiting episode.  He walks the crew first thing in the morning while I shower, once around noon, and again before I get home from work.  If the neighborhood were a bar, he would be a regular.  A very conspicuous regular, surrounded in adorable.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Many of our friends do races.  Our friend, Lisa, recently did a triathlon.  This triggered Kenny to make the sort of comment that he often makes in these circumstances.  "Oh yeah, I could definitely do that tomorrow if I wanted to."  I'm pretty sure he in fact made this comment to her.  I laugh at him when he says things like this because of all things, running?  Running is not his strong suit.  The last time he went for a run was eight years ago when he went accepted an invitation to go on a run with my roommate at the time so he could get permission to date me.*  I think his comments belittle/underestimate the work people do to get ready for these races.  So.  When he made this comment in regards to Lisa's triathlon I called his bluff.  Incredulous that I had no faith in his abilities, he agreed to run 10K** to prove me wrong.  Saturday night he created his running play list.  He put a scrap of paper with his name and my phone number in his shoe (should he keel over with a heart attack halfway through somebody might be able to call me and let me know where to pick up the body).  After considerable stretching and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, he took off Sunday morning.  He returned 65 minutes later looking surprisingly alive.  For the rest of the morning he made passive agressive comments to Eli about how you should never let anybody tell you you can't do something.  

Around noon he took the dogs on a two-block walk that lasted about 40 minutes.  We were meeting another friend Lisa at the zoo later.  The train is about a mile from the zoo.  There was much limping and there were many, many breaks.  He trailed us by about 20 feet for much of the walk.

I guess the lesson we all learned from this is that yes, it is possible to run a 10K with no training.  Yes, Kenny in particular can run a 10K with no training. But no, it is not a good idea to run a 10K with no training.

*Why did he have to ask permission you ask.  It's a long story.  
** Was this a 10K as in an organized event wherein people compete or run for charity or such?  No.  This was the 10K Kenny.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The next 8 years.

Eight years ago this evening I was on a first date with the love of my life.  Over the last eight years, we have (in no particular order)
  1. Graduated from college.
  2. Moved to Washington, DC.
  3. Survived my going to grad school.
  4. Had our first and second and maybe even third real jobs.
  5. Traveled to Las Vegas, Chicago, NYC, Philly, Costa Rica, Spain, Williamsburg, Breckenridge, and Portland.
  6. Gotten married.
  7. Taken planes, trains, buses, and automobiles to Kansas City and St. Louis one million times.
  8. Adopted Jack.
  9. Moved to Chicago.
  10. Adopted Leroy.
  11. Bought a loft and a condo.
  12. Evicted a tenant.
  13. Had a baby!
  14. Lost two of my grandparents.
  15. Seen Megan and Andrew, Carri and Derek, Sutton and John, Amy and Patrick, and Lindsey and TJ get married.
  16. Hosted six seders.
  17. Consumed approximately 500 bottles of wine.
To celebrate the occasion, we went out for Chinese and are now sipping on a bottle of pinot we brought back from Oregon and contemplating the next eight years.  Do you know that we will have a second grader eight years from now?  I've decided we should make a list of things we want to do in the next eight years, and so that we won't lose that list--we're putting it here on the interweb.  Maybe it will make us more accountable too.  During the next eight years, let's
  1. Take (swing) dance lessons.
  2. Travel to the south of France.
  3. Take Eli to a water park.
  4. Have another baby.
  5. Start canning.
  6. Make cheese.
  7. Remodel two bathrooms.
  8. At least one of us get their dream job.
  9. Take Eli to the Magic House and Grant's Farm in St. Louis.
  10. Take Eli to Kaleidoscope in KC.
  11. Go on a weekend getaway leaving munchkin(s) with a grandparent.
  12. Make friends with people who own a boat.
  13. Sell a loft and a condo.
Anything critical you think we're forgetting here?  The list is open for suggestions.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1/2 Year Old!

My baby boy turned 6 months this week! 

He still thinks sitting is dumb and is not quite crawling.  If allowed to, he would stand all day.

He got TWO teeth, which is two more than he needs in my opinion.  His overall mood has improved greatly since they finally cut through though.  We’re done with that now, right?

He had his first taste of “solids” (otherwise known as fairly liquid food that just happens to not be breastmilk) yesterday.  He was initially curious though suspicious of our motives.  We debuted with sweet potatoes.  Some made it into his mouth.  Some made it all over his face and hands and diaper and chair.  We believe a small amount made it into his tummy.  Curiosity quickly transitioned to sorrow, anger, and all-out crying. We’ve tried several more times and I believe he and Kenny finally had a positive experience this afternoon. 

He’s become a bit more attached to Kenny and I and a bit wearier of outsiders.  He’s generally happy to grin at people across the room while in our arms, but hand him over and he often makes them feel like they smell bad or something.  We did test him in that area quite a bit though this month.  He’s seen all of his grandparents and even made it to the West coast. 

I, on the other hand, am beginning to feel increasingly like I am losing my mind.  My memory is virtually non-existent.  I don’t know if it’s the weird sleep or the constant changing focus of my attention.  At work, I basically get up every two hours to pump.  At home, I drop whatever I’m doing when he cries.  Maybe pregnancy was just preparing me for this phase.  The other day I stopped a coworker and asked her where she had gotten her shoes because they are exactly what I need for my friend Molly’s wedding.  Apparently I had stopped her on a previous occasion and we had discussed my borrowing them.   I had no memory of this.  Oh well.  Who needs clarity anyway?  Especially when you have a little monkey like this.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let's all move to Oregon

We spent most of last weekend in Portland, Oregon for our friend Lindsey's wedding and wedding-related activities. I was last there 10 years ago and it's even more beautiful and wonderful than I remembered it. Our friend Wayne's parents were kind enough to allow us to invade their home. They even got some of Wayne's things down from the attic for Eli to play with. This is his first ride in a highchair, and perhaps the longest length of time he's put up with sitting (generally prefers to stand).

On the second day we were there, Lindsey and TJ planned a wine tour complete with bus for a group of about 40 of us. Oregon pinot noirs are among my favorite wines. Splitting and skipping many of the tastings was a bit rough, but the outing was awesome nonetheless. Views like this were around every corner:

We learned that Eli has an embarrassingly accurate knowledge of what to do with glasses of alcohol. Regretfully, I do not have the picture wherein he attempted to fit his whole head in the glass.

Later that week, we visited a few microbreweries (breweries and wineries are just like museums, only tastier). I guess Eli is just in that grab everything and put it in your mouth stage.

After partying all week, some of us found it hard to stay awake for the wedding. There was a live band playing a few feet from him, but he remained fairly dead to the world throughout. He even allowed himself to be passed from lap to lap so mama and daddy could get a few dances in. This is Eli in one of his brief moments of wakefulness during the reception. I believe he awoke to express surprise or disgust with the band's song choice.

As we were leaving, the bride even let him chew on her French-manicured finger tip. That's love.

While waiting for our flight in the Portland airport, Kenny finally did it. He ate a Baconator.

So, let's do it. Let's all move to Portland. Part of the reason we moved to Chicago was to be closer to family so we can't just pick up and move to Portland--but we can if you all come with us!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A new cry

My industrious little baby has found a new reason to cry this week. He's taken to crying because he can't crawl. Patience is not currently his strong suit.

He's been happily playing in his crib. Three times now I've left him in there wiggling on his back and playing with his feet and come back two minutes later to find him on the other side of the crib, sort of up on all fours and pissed because he can't go forward. He looks up at me and then drops his head and cries some more. I really don't know what to do in this situation. I know he knows how to flip himself back onto his back, and he's not going to learn how to crawl if I pick him up with these cries. He just gets so sad and frustrated. I've taken to cheering him on, but I don't think he understands the encouragement.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ah, traveling with an infant

I wrote half this post two weeks ago, thought I'd go ahead and finish it.

I was not at all concerned about traveling with an infant when I made my reservation. I always under-pack. Whereas most people are afraid they are going to forget something they need, I am usually afraid of carrying something I might not need. I’m usually also afraid of getting to the airport too early. If I can walk up to the gate as they are boarding my section, I consider the venture a success. Things were a bit different this time.

I did manage to pack pretty lightly. I had a baby, a bjorn, a diaper bag, and a rolling carry-on bag. The de-bjorning and re-bjorning to get through security was a bit tricky. Everybody’s advice before the trip was to nurse through take-off and landing and to bring a change of clothes for myself. Many people told me to bring a change of shirt for myself because apparently blow-outs are very common . My baby doesn’t poop though, so that was not a problem.

The journey to DC was fairly uneventful. Security was predictably difficult but people were uber understanding and several let me cut and lifted and pushed my bags without even asking. We had a 30 minute delay once we got on the plane, but Eli thought that would just be an awesome time to take a nap. He thought most of the flight was an awesome time to take a nap in fact. My cheapness led me to choose a flight into one of the less convenient airports. We took a bus to a train to get into the city and went straight to happy hour to meet up with friends. Though Eli has been to bars before, this was his first happy hour experience and he didn't totally catch on to the "happy" part.

I volunteered Megan and I to get the wine for Molly's party. A task that I thought would take about 2 hours. Between stopping to feed us, feed the babies, and a series of other seemingly minor tasks the outing lasted more like 4 or 5 hours. Oops! Oh, and Eli was pretty much just pissed off throughout because I was just not managing to get him his naps and eatings at the right times. I was used to the delays that a baby causes. Much like we were surprised to find out that having two dogs is actually twice the work of having one dog, I was surprised to find that two babies meant twice the delays of one baby. Who knew? The image of Megan and I trekking around DC with babies strapped to our chests, umbrellas, and heavy shopping bags will stay with me for quite some time though.

The shower and bachelorette party were a huge success. We hosted the shower in our hotel room. Everybody fit, the babies obliged, games were played, many bottles of wine were consumed, and it was hard to get people out of the room and onto the bar for the next segment of the night. Two friends were kind enough to babysit because nothing makes a bachelorette party more lame than when two of the hostesses bring their babies to the bars.

Some really awesome friends managed to borrow a car seat so that they could drive Eli and I to the airport on Sunday. Eli slept most of the way there. Things were looking good. And then. I got to the airport check-in counter. The nice man there was unable to find my ticket with my ID. He asked for my itinerary thingy, and it was then that he pointed out my ticket back to Chicago was for the day before. Straight out of an anxiety dream. I just stood there in disbelief. What? No. What? There, written clear as day on my itinerary it said Saturday. Massive fail. He said there were only two more flights to Chicago that night and they both said they were oversold. He got me on standby and told me that if I did not get on one of those tonight he would see me in the morning as he would be the one working then too. I told him I sincerely hoped I would not see him tomorrow. He took pity on me and waived the fee because Southwest is nice. In a state of shock I sort of ran through security too frazzled to figure out if I had a lot or little time to get to the gate. Eli started screaming as if on cue and the airport lady let us go ahead to the front of the line. I called Kenny on the verge of tears and told him we might not make it home that night. I got to the gate and realized we had almost two hours until our first chance at a flight. Eli stepped up and decided to be in an excellent mood while we waited. He ate, he slept, he made adorable sounds. Predictably, we did not make it onto the first flight. I called Molly and started figuring out how I'd get to her house and get to the airport the next morning. When they began boarding for the second flight I got cautiously optimistic when he described the flight as "full" and not "completely full" as he had the previous flight. I changed Eli's diaper and packed us up for the 3rd or 4th time that evening. We headed to the ticket counter and Eli growled and grunted (but in a happy way) as we waited for the guy to figure out if we could get on. He handed me a boarding pass, and I nearly jumped over the counter to kiss him. I couldn't stop smiling as I boarded, and was not at all unhappy to get one of the few remaining seats which was of course a middle seat. Eli rested his feet on the nice man to our left for the majority of the flight. He only screamed during the descent--probably because his little ears hurt.

After we landed a lady in the row behind asked if she could help by holding the baby while I gathered our things. I gladly handed Eli over to the stranger because I am an awesome mom like that. She did assure me she didn't have a cold or anything. It's just really hard to safely pack up a diaper bag and put on a Bjorn while holding a baby.

Kenny picked us up at the airport. He made me drive home because he missed his little man and wanted to sit in the back seat with him.

Monday, July 26, 2010

5 months and he refuses to stop growing

My baby boy turned 5 months on Friday. He is a very dramatic baby. He's over-joyed one moment and the world is ending seconds later. Over the past few weeks his coos have become these hilarious grunty noises and squeals. I'm pretty sure the grunts are his attempts to communicate with the puppies. There's a 50/50 chance he thinks he's one of them rather than one of us. Yesterday he picked up a new noise--it's like a coo but he does it with his lips pursed and closed. Video of that to come.

He's totally over laying down and sitting. He rolls and twists when you lay him down and arches his back and demands to stand if you try to get him to sit. He will occasionally get up on all fours and then get really frustrated and cry when he fails to move forward.

I wouldn't update you on his pooping habits except that it only happens once every 8 days. We were quite worried about it at first, but WebMD assures us it's okay. It does make diaper laundry easier.

He and Kenny still greet me when I get off the train each day. Once he figures out I am there he cries for me--probably for my boobs really, but they are attached to me. Counts.

He is very busy taking in his world. He will cry if he's not facing outward in the Bjorn. He has no use for the nursing cover and has taken to moving it out of his way lately. He can be entertained for quite some time watching the puppies. He has become very skilled at playing in his Baby Einstein exercauser thingy. He always hits the cow button 3 times to get to Old MacDonald (you have to skip past it saying cow and vaca).

He's grown increasingly squeezable. I can't believe another month has already gone by.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Milo, meet Eli

Megan and her Milo and Eli and I headed to DC last weekend for Molly's bachelorette party.

Technically this wasn't Milo and Eli's first meeting. They met way back when they were only 6 and 10ish weeks. Now that they are mature 3 and 4 month olds, they had a lot more to chat about.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I spend the majority of my days working on feeding Eli. If I'm home, he spends about 50% of the time attached to my boob. I pump once before work, 4 times at work, and one time after work. I'm told some women are able to just pump twice a day. Lies I say. Lies.

Getting milk into this baby has become the central preoccupation of my life. He's gone on eating rampages a few times and annihilated the back up freezer stockpile I made before going back to work. We're now living on the edge with basically only the previous day's milk to rely on.

This is my Playtex pump. I've grown skeptical of its effectiveness. I came home early from work last week when I suspected it had totally crapped out and didn't think I was going to be able to pump enough for the next day.

This is what I affectionately refer to as my lactation room. There is one functioning outlet in this room, and it is on the opposite side of the room from the chair. The Playtex pump worked with an extension cord I brought in so that I could sit in that chair. The hospital-grade relic from the 80s I rented does not so I'm back to sitting on the floor with my back to the door.

The rental pump came in this awesome gym bag.

I've also taken to buying any herbal supplement people tell me will help my supply. When I was in the store renting the pump the sales lady sold me magic beans. Apparently Malunggay is all the rage and is totally helping all women. It also costs one million dollars, but of course it does because it works and is totally worth one million dollars. In front of the bottles, behold a sampling of the pills I take in one day. This is not including the Fenugreek pictured on the right. It made me and Eli reek of maple syrup and also messed up our tummies so I'm not taking that one anymore.

I'm not a competitive person, but I can be a very determined person. I don't train for races like a lot of my friends do--but I am going to do everything I can to make sure this baby's bottle continues to have the good stuff in it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Big Boy

The monkey is 4 months old today and has gotten huge! He's practically a boy. We're guessing that today he weighs 13 pounds even, making him twice his birth weight.

While he's still a huge fan of the ceiling vents, he's broadened his horizons and formed a strong friendship with the cord attached to the monitor. That cord is within reach of his changing table (which continues to be his favorite place in the world) and he likes to pretend it's a lasso. He spends a lot of his time naked and the vast majority of his sleeping time swaddled. His head almost always leaves a sweat spot behind. He's taken an interest in toys and has become ridiculously grabby. I've got little claw marks all over me from where a baby thought it'd be an awesome idea to go for a handful of my skin. If my hair comes near his hand, he pulls it with all of his might. When not grabbing things he likes to keep those hands in his mouth--both at the same time if possible. Oh, and they definitely go in there immediately after either puppy succeeds in licking them--because of course. At about 5 or 6 every morning he likes to scream/sing. It's a joyous noise that sounds a lot like a scream. He's got a smile that melts hearts. Is ridiculously charming and can't even talk yet.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Handle with Care

This is a picture of Amy, me, and Megan taking a shot of Mama Juana, a liquor from the Dominican Republic rumored to boost fertility. A year after this was taken, Amy and Megan were pregnant and I had just given birth. Just sayin...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


What were you doing at 3:30 this morning? I know what I was doing. I was sitting up in bed clapping and offering words of encouragement as my baby boy made his first real poop in 5 days.

And then I poked his father and told him he needed to be changed. His father argued with me making the same argument he always makes at night and apologizes for the next day, "you're already up." I slept for some precious minutes and then I am not really sure I slept again as the little monkey was up screaming about every 30 minutes after that.

Maybe the curry I ate last night was a poor choice after all.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


My baby has taken to occasionally sleeping in his crib all by himself. Previously all naps occurred on one of us, in the Bjorn, or sometimes swaddled on the couch. We had a friend over for dinner Saturday night. I swaddled him and nursed him down. He stayed asleep in his room for five hours. Kenny and I both had hands for 5 hours, and it was bizarre. We were serving corn on the cob and I was sure one of us was going to have to cut it off the cob for the other. I only checked on him about 10 times. Yes, we have a monitor. No, I do not trust it. Yes, I stand there and watch him until I can detect his chest rising and falling and I am sure he is still breathing.

Further calling into question Eli’s maternity, he is totally a morning person. He wakes up around 6:00 and begins his calisthenics. He kinds of looks like he’s marching or cheerleading—but laying down. He spends a good 10 minutes smiling and flirting with the air vents in the ceiling as they are hilarious. Eventually he will decide it is time to go walk his puppies and will pitch a fit until Kenny shows up with the Bjorn and leashes.

I’m in no way biased, but I am pretty sure my baby is way advanced. He’s got the neck strength of a wrestler. He has been successfully flipping over for a few weeks now. He can do front to back and back to front. When he does back to front he can’t quite drag one of his arms out of the way so he gets pretty upset about that. He can also stand with a little bit of support. I credit the months of preparatory kicking he did in the womb. Those legs came out strong and he hasn’t stopped kicking or flailing since.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baby Junkie

I’m officially back at work full time. I’d say the major flaw with my workplace is that there are no babies in it. Namely, there are no Eli babies in it. I’ve found myself grasping for every Eli moment I can get outside of work. The moment 5:00 hits, I am out the door, walking quickly to the train, running to not miss a train, and then riding impatiently and counting down the stops. I get very angry if there is a train delay as it’s robbing me of baby minutes. When I get off the train I look from the platform to see if I can see Kenny, puppy and babies waiting. I speed walk to them and remove Eli from the Bjorn. He’s been falling asleep around 7:00, so I do not get much awake time with him. I’m pretty much glued to him until I wake up in the morning and talk myself into leaving him to go shower. I try to get ready as quickly as possible so that I can get him back before I leave. Then I carry him to the train and reluctantly hand him over to Kenny and the pups when we get to the station.

At work, I sit at a desk plastered in pictures of him. I wait impatiently for the Daily Eli and sometimes request additional pictures. I also call two to three times. I count down the days to the weekend. I am no help around the house. If I’m home, I want baby in my arms. I just can’t get enough.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My new holiday

Today is my first Mother's Day. Eli helped make me and his grandma eggs benedict for breakfast. I think his role was mostly supervisory. He also gave me some perfume which is quite thoughtful since because of him I lately mostly just smell like breastmilk and regurgitated breastmilk.

His father surprised me with the kind of surprise only I could really love. While I was at work last week he organized our linen closet--complete with labeled clear plastic bins. I went to find my hair dryer there the next day and found the loveliness accompanied with a sweet note. He once gave me a trash can for a birthday present. Many people tried to talk him out of that present, and I bet this present would sound similarly misguided to others. I couldn't have been more excited about the trash can and couldn't have been more excited about the closet though. He knows me so well.

If all of that wasn't enough, my dad also made a special lunch for me and the mother of his children (my mom). Today was just wonderful.

We came to Kansas City for the weekend mostly because I NEEDED to meet my friend Megan's little Milo and thought Eli should make his Kansas City rounds while he was still an itty bitty baby. Speaking of him being an itty bitty baby--he grew out of some of his 0-3 month clothes today. It's very upsetting for me seeing as how I'm still due two more weeks of him being 0-3 months old. I've decided to blame it on his big cloth diapers. During his Kansas City adventures he has proven once again that there is no scheduling this guy. He was completely content and happy when I though he'd be fussy and completely fussy when I thought he'd be happy. He likes to keep us on our toes. He's currently swaddled up and sleeping on the ottoman in front of me. He fell asleep all by himself for the second day in a row in that same location. This has not happened before and we are quite impressed with his brilliance. Also, we may need to steal this ottoman just in case the behavior is ottoman-specific.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Six things

1. I am back at work half time mostly from home--but I have to go into the office one day a week. I went in for the first full day last Wednesday. Let's just say I have one more thing to add to the very short list of things that can make me cry.

2. Pumping at work is no picnic. Until I figure out a better system, I currently have to go get a key for the storage room, sit on the floor next to the door in the storage room, assemble the various parts of the pump, look at a picture of Eli and pump for 15 minutes, disassemble the pump, get dressed, return the key, put the milk in the fridge and remember what I was doing before I dropped everything. I do this three times a day.

3. We went to St. Louis this weekend. We can add 5-hour car rides to the very long list of things that can make Eli cry.

4. It's not so hard to fit 2 puppies, 2 adults, and a baby in the car after all.

5. We saw three other babies while we were at my in-laws' house this weekend. Turns out we have a fussy baby. We had no idea until we saw how chill the other babies were. Who knew? He sure is cute though.

6. Baby runs hot like his Daddy. He got overheated three times this weekend and had to be stripped down and covered in wet wash rags.

7. It might be easier to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes if I could stop eating cake. I made a very yummy cake though.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Leroy--I mean Eli

I often confuse babies with puppies. I have to frequently remind myself that unlike Jack and Leroy, Eli will one day comprehend what we are saying and be able to talk himself. He won't always be small.

So far the puppies are still smarter than the baby. They know how to feed themselves and can easily recognize food. Eli, on the other hand was seen trying to locate some milk in his swing the other day. He will also cry for food and then push away from my body as he is trying to get to food. Leroy and Jack will respond to their names and make eye contact on command. Eli is still working on those things.

When Jack and Leroy have a suspected health problem, we usually wait a few days before calling the vet. Almost nothing is ever cured there and we usually walk away with a couple hundred dollar bill. Turns out our insurance covers Eli and baby problems are much better understood than puppy problems. Also, while dogs will generally look pathetic when they are ill, babies tend to scream. Eli's belly button had started looking suspicious last week and his eye was looking wonky this weekend. I called the doctor yesterday morning to see if we could get him in earlier than his scheduled 2-month appointment on Thursday. They had an opening in 20 minutes so we ran and got in the car--me with no makeup and wet hair.

His wonky eye is a blocked tear duct but she's going to give him until 1 year to work that out on his own. His busted belly button is an umbilical granuloma. She whipped out this stick of silver nitrate and rubbed it on the area to fix it. It's all gray and gnarly looking now, but I believe that is normal. He also got his first round of immunizations--3 shots in his thighs and some rotavirus in his mouth. He was most pissed off about the rotavirus and liquid Tylenol in his mouth.

He was 10 lb, 3 oz. and 21 and 7/8 inches. That puts him into the 20thish percentile for weight (up from 10th before), 25th percentile for length, and 50th percentile for noggin size. He's grown nearly an inch in less than 4 weeks, and I believe the growth happened on this one particular night. We put him to bed at one size and woke up to a much bigger baby in the morning. Fact.

He is feeling much better today. Is currently on a 2-mile hike with Daddy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

We decided to pierce the baby's ear.

Now he looks like Mr. Clean.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Big brothers

People often ask how our first borns are handling the new addition to the family. Jack has been a big brother for quite some time now. When Leroy came into his life, however, it didn't mean less cuddling time for him (since Leroy isn't much of an affection demander). Eli has been a huge impediment to his cuddling time. Jack has had to take drastic measures to make sure his needs are met.

Who knew we just had to have a baby to get them to like each other?

Leroy has been mostly just interested interested in the new creature and the wonderful items that have come along with him. Like me, he too finds the Boppy pillow to be both supportive and versatile.

He's not afraid to try any of the new gear really.

But just like Jack, he sometimes has trouble figuring out where he fits into this new world order.