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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Merry Bohemian Christmas

Eli loved sitting on Santa's lap tonight. He walked right up, was happily handed over, smiled for the camera, and even said "cheese". We were so proud of him! Our only question is, what is up with Santa's head band?

We also enjoyed the little train ride around the outdoor mall, which was the reason for the trip. I have to admit, when we first saw the "Polar Express", which consisted of a tiny engine and 4 little two-seater cars, we thought, "We drove all the way here for this?" But we went anyway, because Eli's new word lately is "Shoo shoo" and we thought he'd like it, although I was a little worried about him sitting still for the 15-minute ride. I have to say, it BLEW HIS MIND. He was totally still and mesmerized the entire way. Oh, to be young and so easily impressed.

We also got to witness fake snow outside the movie theater. This is what we do in the south. It was like foam bubbles. It actually looked a lot like snow, but Eli kept saying "Bubbles!"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Sucks

I have pneumonia. As I was laid up today with nothing better to do while I'm quarantined from the rest of society, I started reflecting on the early Decembers of the recent past. Take a journey with me through the past five years...

2005: Grandma Wimmers passed away December 6.
2006: I had a miscarriage and an operation on December 4.
2007: Mom had terminal cancer.
2008: Mom's funeral December 2-3.
2009: Pneumonia December 1.

When you consider that track record, this has actually been a pretty good December so far.

I miss taking care of Eli terribly. Chris has been such a trooper, filling in for me, taking care of me, AND trying to get some of his own work done. One thing is for sure, I do not want to pass this on to either of them, so I am trying to keep my distance.

This is my third day on antibiotics and I seem to be making some slow progress. But not as quickly as I'm used to or as I was hoping to. I'm definitely ready to get out of bed and out of the house as soon as I can. And I'm so grateful that I don't live in the days before penicillin.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

One Year


It has been one year since my mom passed away. I did not believe that time would pass without her on earth, but here we are, and it looks like it has. Somehow, the world has kept spinning, the sun comes up and goes down every day, I wake up and I go to sleep every day. I don't know how the earth and I and my dad and Tony and all her other family and friends do it, but we do, and time has passed.

I want to write some things about my mom, to help us all remember her a little better. I have no plan for this, I am just going to keep writing until I can't write any more for now, or until, heaven forbid, I run out of memories. Read it if you want, this is as much for me as for anyone else. I apologize if it is hard to follow.

My mom loved sports. She loved games of any kind, as we all know, but maybe some people don't know what a sports fanatic she was. Watching a sporting event with her was just that--an event, whether it was college football on TV or the US Open in person. My mom and I went to the US (Tennis) Open together in 2005. We had always loved tennis before that trip, but during that trip, I think we both really fell in LOVE with watching it. We had tickets to 5 sessions over three days, and we did not take a break. We sat out in the blistering sun for 7 hours straight and then 5 more hours at night because we didn't want to miss anything. Even when we did not know the players (that could never happen now--we eventually knew all the pros' names at least) we would find a reason to sit through a match--it was a five setter, the guy next to us was into it, the crowd was into it, the players were cute, we had ice cream or wine to finish...whatever. This trip took place during the height of Roger Federer's dominance. We were both huge fans and were enthralled by his talent. One night all the rich court-side ticket holders left early and we were half-asleep in the third tier, where you can hardly see the ball, and we were given special tickets to go courtside. We vaguely knew the players, but one was American, so the new court-side crowd got into it. The match went the distance, with the American (Robby Ginepri for those tennis fans out there) winning in five sets. We were thrilled. We rode the train back to our hotel after 1 AM and took the above picture in the free hats they gave out at the stadium with our "golden ticket". I was a little scared of walking around New York after midnight but mom wasn't. She had an unending faith in humanity and refused to believe that another person might want to harm her. Her faith made me feel a little safer. During that trip to New York, we also saw the musical "Wicked" (more on musicals later), and visted Coney Island, where we rode a roller coaster, saw street performers, and got my picture with Spongebob. This trip happened on a whim--I remember saying to my mom in the summer that we should go to the US Open together that year, and she said "okay" and she made it happen. It's one of those things that most people, including myself, might put off for some time in the future, but if we had, it may have never happened. I am so glad we did go, it is one of my favorite trips with my mom.

As I mentioned, this trip sparked a LOVE for watching tennis that among everyone I know, only my mom shared with me. The following summer, while we watched Federer inexplicably lose to Rafael Nadal for a second time at the French Open, we simultaneously switched loyalties and became die-hard Rafa fans. My mom even flew me up to Cincinnati that summer so we could both see him play in Cincinnati. We spent a few more afternoons baking in the hot sun, but the definite highlight was seeing Rafa up close and personal on the small court 3 playing doubles. We were both in heaven.

We used to fill out brackets for the tennis majors like most people do for March Madness. She made me a Rafa collage as my prize for beating her in the bracket challenge for two years. We would call each other after every big Rafa match. But we had to be careful because we didn't know if the other had finished watching a recorded match yet, and we couldn't give away the ending.

I would love to go to the US Open again someday. In fact, I would love to see all four of the majors someday. I just don't know who I could go with who would sit with me in the hot sun for hours upon hours and just talk and watch. I miss calling her after matches. I still love tennis, but I don't think I LOVE it anymore. It just isn't the same.

Enough about tennis, more about sports in general: She always loved to have a reason to pull for a player or team. She would pull for Ohio State because Don and Ben loved them. She'd pull for UC because of David and Stacey. She'd even pull for Wisconsin just because Tony and Beth lived there; they weren't even fans. She'd pull for Carolina for Chris and Detroit for Beth. I think she mostly pulled for the Reds for Mike and Sue Burns. And of course she loved the Bengals. Especially after she got sick and couldn't do as much, she would get so excited when any one of the above teams was playing, and she'd make an event out of watching it. I'd even watch them when I was in Wilmington, just so I could talk to her on the phone about it the next day. After she passed, I felt piercingly how empty it was now to watch sports without her to share them with.

I also don't know anyone else who shares my love for musicals like my mom did. Among our favorites are Jesus Christ Superstar (which she took me and Susan and Erica to see in Columbus), Les Miserables (which we saw together on our first trip to NY), Tommy (we saw in Cincinnati), and Wicked (NY). She also loved Phantom of the Opera and Fiddler on the Roof, which I saw with her for the first time a few months before she died. Oh yeah, and the Sound of Music. During the spring of my Junior year in high school, my mom drove me to the two colleges I applied for, OU and UNC Wilmington. I remember the 12 hour drive down to NC, we just sang and sang to musical after musical in the car together. When we got to Wilmington, we drove right by the college and straight to the beach. As we looked out on the ocean filled with pelicans and surfers, we knew this college had to be better than OU. That was another thing my mom loved--the beach.

We were supposed to make that trip over spring break, but we got a lot of snow that week and we used that as an excuse to stay inside and play SET. Really, I think we could have made it to OU, but we didn't want to. I even postpone my interview to get into the Honors College at OU. We sure did play a lot of SET that week.

You all know how much my mom loved to travel. I spent a semester in College studying in Luxembourg, and my mom came out to visit for the first week of spring break. The two of us started out with a visit to Switzerland. We had breakfast on the top of a mountain, as her tour book recommended, and couldn't see a thing through the thick clouds up there. We picked up some bon bons before heading down on a train to Italy. On the train we met a very nice Tibetan monk who gave us both little Buddhas. We met up with Susan and Erica in a small coastal Italian town, Montossoro? The owner of the hotel where we stayed was a friendly man named Andrea who gives all his customers a bottle of his home-made wine before leaving. We happened to leave on Easter, and we enjoyed our wine and our Swiss bon-bons on the beach before leaving town. I remember my mom saying "it doesn't get any better than this". She was also so good at living in the moment and recognizing the good times. Anyway, we headed to the train station, boarded the train to Florence, broke out the Bailey's, and started wondering aloud if mom could somehow get a cheaper ticket. (The wine and Bailey's were doing their jobs by now). My mom decided to get off the train and see. As soon as she stepped off, the doors closed behind her and we were off. Erica said, "we lost your mom in Italy!" We didn't know what to do, so we got off at the next stop. My mom ended up catching the next train, beating us to Florence, and making friends with our new hotel owners. Big surprise.

When I turned 8 years old, I had a big slumber party. That was what we did for our birthdays back then--no renting out a place and spending loads of money--just slumber parties. The party started out great, and then for some reason, there was a rift. Half the girls would not speak to the other half. The rift carried on to the next morning and it almost ended that way, but at breakfast my mom had us all play a silly game of "what are you going to take on a picnic" and all was immediately forgiven. She didn't remember doing that, but she saved my party.

My mom was a great gift giver. She always knew the perfect gift for someone. And she would spend way more on a gift for someone else than she would spend on herself. It was just more worth it to her. I remember the first year we moved onto Trestle Drive, I was nine, and I wanted both a premie Cabbage Patch Kid and a giant version of my favorite stuffed animal, Randolph. My mom told me I could only have one, and that I had to pick which one I wanted. I spent the entire December trying to decide which one I wanted. I forget which one I chose--by the time I finally told her she had forgotten the whole thing. I got them both.

One night when I was quite young--five, maybe, I must have really been acting up, because my mom said, "You are such a pill!" It struck me because I didn't really know what that meant, but I knew it sounded bad. What strikes me about it now is that it's the only time that I can remember my mom saying anything slightly negative about me to me during my entire childhood. That is amazing. How she was able to keep her cool--she is my mom-model.

Well, I haven't run out of memories, but my hand is cramping, so I guess I'll have to wrap up. I wanted this post to be more than about my memories, though. My mom is a role model to me in so many ways. She was so "giving of herself". I will never know how she found the time to do all she did. She had such a full life--a job, a family, literally hundreds of friends, helping people in need, playing tennis, cleaning the house and putting food on the table--I can barely manage to do two of those things! But I think one of the best things about my mom is that she would never speak badly about another person, and she didn't want others to either. She always found the good in people. I think it's one of the ways she brought such positive energy to herself and those around her and was able to achieve so much. It's something we can all strive for.

I will save more memories for some other time. I would love to hear some of yours. Take as much room as you like. It feels good to share.

The year is over, but I miss her more each day.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Talleys are Moving!

In case anyone out there doesn't know yet, we are moving! Where, you might ask? The answer is somewhat complicated. We put our house on the market in September knowing that the average time that houses are on the market lately is 6 months. We wanted something bigger, in a more family-friendly neighborhood. Not that ours isn't friendly or safe, there just aren't many kids left in this aging neighborhood.

Much to our surprise, we went under contract 10 days after our house was listed. We even had competing offers! The offers were from first-time home-buyers looking to take advantage of the $8,000 credit, which at that time was set to run out Dec 1. Our agent assured us that there were so many houses on the market, we'd be sure to find at least 2 that we liked within a couple days. Little did she know who she was dealing with.

Turns out, my criteria makes our dream house a little hard to come by in Wilmington. All we want is a neighborhood with a pool and tennis court(s) and in walking distance to a park and a school, with a nice big house and yard, and friendly neighbors. To put it plainly, a combination of Fullerton Drive and Trestle Drive. We could afford such a house in Cincinnati or probably most parts of the country, but property in Wilmington is more expensive due to its proximity to the beach. Yes, I've been spoiled by living in great neighborhoods all my life, but I'm not going to compromise my dreams for Eli--we are waiting until we find the right place.

Next Wednesday we are moving to my parents' townhouse in Magnolia Greens. With the move and the anniversary of my mom's death coming up, and not a clue as to where we will finally settle, you may wonder, am I stressed? The answer is not complicated. Yes.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Chris broke his foot two weeks ago and is on crutches. He can't drive and he certainly can't move boxes...that's how he got hurt.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Walk to Remember

I'll be walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on October 17 in downtown Wilmington in honor of my two grandmas, my two Aunt Mary Anne(s), and my mom, who have all been affected by breast cancer, as well as for my survivor friends, Mary Jean Wickemeier, TK Gausman, and Julie Evans. This is the first cancer-fighting fundraising event I will be participating in since my mom passed away. I plan to participate in many more, but honestly I think I needed a little break from cancer for a little while. So I'm back on the wagon, trying to do good. Feel free to support me by clicking below. Thanks!

Andrea's Making Strides Site


Monday, September 21, 2009

My Friends Visited Last Week...


It was so windy at the beach!

Chowin down on some mac n' cheese

Cassie and I were on TV

Watching Cassie paint

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Eli on the news

Eli and I can't stay way from the news, it seems. Maybe there is just that little going on in Wilmington. Anyway, there was a story on the news tonight about Strollerstrides, and Eli and I were there. He's in one of the pink and brown strollers. Anyway, this video gives you an idea of what the class is all about. It's harder than it looks!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tank Ou

video

Last night we got Eli into the costume box and he really got a kick out of this kangaroo Hawaiian shirt that my good college friend Robyn bought for me at a thrift store because it was just perfect for me. Anyway, here he is playing peek-a-boo. And then at the end he says his new favorite words..."thank you".

He says this whenever someone gives him something. We are so lucky because I didn't really try hard to teach it to him, he just picked it up on his own. It sure makes him seem like a polite child. And we just beam and take all the credit.

He does give high-fives, he just wasn't into it on this occasion.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Peek-a-boo

Me and Eli--we love going to parks. We love Sharon Woods in Cincinnati and we love Hugh McRae in Wilmington. We go there twice a week to do Stroller Strides, and after my exercise class, Eli plays on the playground with the other toddlers. It's been a great way to get some socialization for him, and a chance for me to talk to other moms.

But this one day a few weeks ago, the regular Stroller Strides moms left early and there were many people we didn't know, mostly grandmas and their grandchildren. While I pushed Eli on his swing I spoke to one of the grandmas, who was quite friendly, and she mentioned how she had another grandchild on the way. Then her pregnant daughter arrived. They chit-chatted about the work the daughter was having done to her house, and where they were going to go from there. This menial conversation, which I'm sure meant nothing to them, struck a chord in me. Their conversation was so easy. Nothing to work at. They can read each other's thoughts and feelings without even knowing it. Because it's not something you know about until it's not there anymore. And this woman and her mom--they cared about every menial detail in each other's lives. Because moms are starved for two things--time and information. Time to spend with their children (and grandchildren, if they should be so lucky) and information about them and their daily lives.

I couldn't help but think that where this woman is in her life, with a 2 year-old, another on the way, and a mom to share it all with, is where I should be right now if...if I hadn't lost my first baby and if I hadn't lost my mom.

This trio and all the other grandmas crawling around the playground were too much for me. I started to cry, but covered up my face so as not to make a scene. Eli started to laugh--he was preparing for what he thought was another fun game of peek-a-boo. I thought that was as good
idea--he is always good at bringing me back to earth. So I played peek-a-boo with him for a while on the swing, and then we departed the park. I had had enough peek-a-boo for that day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Missing Mom


I was just reading through my mom's blog from 2007. I remember how stressful it all was, finding out about the cancer returning, the small chance that IL2 had of working, finding out that we had to abandon the IL2 and that there would be no cure, worrying about the sutent working, many plane flights to and from Cincinnati...it all seems so long ago. And despite all that stress, what I wouldn't give to put my arms around my mom again. This picture, this day was so hard. It was the day I left my parents in the hospital in Boston after the first and only round of IL2. It was so hard watching mom suffer the side effects of that treatment, but I was so proud of her for how she handled it. I cannot tell you how bad she felt when this photo was taken, but she forced herself to get out of bed to hug me good-bye and even smile for the camera. If you blow the picture up you can see that our eyes are shiny from tears, but we are happy to be together. Lately I've dreamt a lot of my mom, but she's always sick and dying in the dreams. But it is ALWAYS wonderful to see her in a dream. How I wish that it had all been a dream. It still seems that way sometimes.

I don't know why I wanted to repost this picture, or write this post. I wasn't sure which blog to write it in. But I just want everyone to know how very much she is missed. I know that everyone who knew her misses her. Our lives will never be as rich because of her absence. I'm glad I have my little squirmy worm to make me smile.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eli Coming Down the Aisle!

Hi Everyone!

Here's a little clip from my cousin Eric's wedding where Eli was the ring-bearer (code name Frodo).


video

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Motherhood

My son is the smartest, cutest, tallest, funniest, most interesting, most agile, friendliest toddler at the playground. I'm sure all the other moms feel this way too--about Eli. ;)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Recent photos


Ahoy, matey!

Finally feeding myself

Thanks, Auntie Pam!

Where'd that mustache go?

Aren't I precious?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Words Eli Can Say...

Ba Ba (Bye Bye)
Ba! (Ball)
Da (Dad, Grandpa)
Ma (Mom)
Shoes (Self-explanatory)
Ga! (Cat)
Geee! (Keys)

We had his 1 year check-up today. He's doing great, and handled the shots like a champ. I just wish it didn't take 1 hour and 40 minutes! Why?!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I don't know if it's because I'm with Eli all day now, or because he's at the age when he is starting to understand a lot more, but I am learning a LOT every day about parenting. I am so much more involved in trying to teach Eli positive behaviors and wrestling the control away from him. It is a lot of work, but I'm so glad I'm getting a chance to do it. Seeing him a few hours a day like before, I wasn't doing much of that, and I wouldn't really call that parenting.

This week I've started taking advantage of the free day care at the gym, and Eli has been none too happy to be dropped off there, so I became determined to go every day and get him used to it. Every time I peak in, he's being held by one of the staff, which means he isn't happy playing on the floor. But I am going to go as often as possible and hopefully that will change. At least he didn't cry when I dropped him off today.

I also bought a membership to StrollerStrides--an exercise class for mommies and their stroller-children. I figured it would be a good way to meet some other moms and toddlers. Which means I have been working out twice a day. I eat whenever I get a chance, but if I keep up with this routine, there may not be much left of me =).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Anxiety Bites

Today was the first day since I've been a SAHM that has been on the challenging side. Eli seems to be suffering from a severe case of separation anxiety. Every time I stand up, he starts freaking out, whining, crying, screaming, begging to be held. I can't even walk to the kitchen anymore, which he can see from the living room, without picking him up and taking him with me. I am trying to teach him about hand holding, but sometimes he just wants to be held. I almost lost my temper over it today, then I felt bad because he only feels this way because he loves me. I guess I just have to trust that this is a phase and it will be over someday. I just fear that by giving in to his anxiety, I'll be creating a momma's-boy-sissy-pants. Does anybody out there have any advice?

On a positive note, in case anyone's lost track: Eli's first birthday is this Saturday! We already had one birthday party for him in Cincinnati on July 4, and we're having one at our house on the 18th with a luau theme! (This is going to be confusing for me when I'm old and trying to remember Eli's first birthday--"I seem to remember having a party in Cincinnati and one in Wilmington. Which was which? What the hay, hand me my dentures, Chris".) We're WAY more excited than Eli is, but he'll have fun when the day comes. I am crossing my fingers for no rain--we have invited more people than we can fit in our house, and the forecast is calling for rain. Maybe I should rent a tent.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eli's a model!

He starred in this ad for a "Caught Reading" library photo contest. Maybe we could put him to work for us. =)

Friends

I'm still loving it. I have visited a few friends lately who have two or more children. Some of them have had a three month old and a three year old. It seems incredibly hard. You can look in their eyes and see that they just don't have the energy to discipline the three year old, and are half-zombies from lack of sleep. These same parents don't have children who nap. I can't imagine. Eli naps twice a day every day and usually one nap is at least 2 hours. I'm lucky. But I keep asking myself, when is the right time to try for another? I guess every child is different, but 2 or 3 sure seems like a tough age to bring in another baby. But I don't have that many child-bearing years left so...

Yesterday was the 7-month anniversary of my mom's death. That is hard to believe. It still seems very impossible that she's not here, and I still find myself thinking about calling her and then I remember that I can't. Today I visited a childhood friend from Cincinnati who happens to now live in Wilmington. She asked how my parents were. That was very hard. She said that her mom remembers my mom as a good friend. Who doesn't? I told her that I learned from my mom that you can never have too many friends.

I want to pass along a link to another blog that I have become addicted to. It's www.thespohrsaremultiplying.com. The author had a child prematurely and did not know whether she would survive at the beginning. The little girl, Madeline, was a fighter, and she did survive, but had to use oxygen occassionally at night. One day a few months ago, the one-and-a-half-year-old's breathing became more difficult and she passed away unexpectedly. The author, Heather, writes almost every day very honestly about her grief. Reading this blog, I somewhat identify with her grief and at the same time I am reminded of how lucky I am to have Eli and I am reminded to stay in the present with him.

I am so glad I decided not to work. Eli and I are having so much fun, and I don't feel like I'm missing anything anymore. And I have even had chances to do a bit of cleaning.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Briefly while Eli's napping...

And I'm taking care of things...

I'm loving staying at home so far. We've been pretty busy so far, going to Charlotte this past weekend for Eli's cousin-to-be's baby shower, and visiting with my dad here in Wilmington before that. Today we're just chillaxin and watching Wimbledon, thinking about all those times I watched Wimbledon with my mom. I wish she was here, but she'd be as disappointed as I am that Rafa's not playing. I'm glad she got to see him win last year.

Eli's walking now. He started almost 2 weeks ago with a few steps and now he hardly ever crawls. He is just so excited to be upright. I'll try to get Chris to post a video as evidence sometime soon.

My one regret with staying home is that Eli doesn't have kids to play with most of the day. But I'm working on that, trying to set up some play dates and such.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Summer of Andrea and Eli

I have great plans for this summer. I dream of taking Eli to the beach, Cincinnati, play groups, parks, pools, the Children's Museum, indoor play gyms, and friends' houses. I plan to go for walks in the mornings and BodyPump classes at the gym in the afternoons. I plan to take Eli to swim lessons, music lessons, and yoga lessons. I dream of napping on rainy afternoons, cooking, cleaning, and being on our own schedule.

But there's this nagging voice in my head that keeps reminding me of the "Summer of George". You remember--the Seinfeld episode where George gets a severence package from the Yankees which he figures will last him about three months, so he decides to take the summer off. He has grandiose plans for the summer, but he ends up wearing sweatpants all day and buying a recliner with a refridgerator built in.

I don't have a severence package, but I do have grand plans for my time off. I have to be very careful to have the summer of Andrea and Eli and not the summer of George.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Left a good job in the City...

Working for the man every night and day
But I never lost a minute of sleep
Wondering 'bout the way things might have been...

Yes, it's true, after much deliberation, I have decided to leave my job of nine years and venture into full-time motherhood and wifehood. I have never really been happy since I went back to work in October; I always felt like I was missing out on too much. I kept working because it just seemed like too much of a commitment to quit. Leaving the security and the benefits of the City for the unknown was like jumping off a cliff.

But something kept tearing at me. The longer I stayed at work, the more often I thought about quitting. It got to where it was non-stop. Then I went to visit my family in Cincinnati with Eli over the past weekend. Over a long drive to Raleigh and then lots of conversations with my mom's and my wonderful friends, I decided it was time.

Since my mom passed, I have become keenly aware of how short life is and that I want to make the most of mine. I keep telling myself and everyone else who will listen that I can work any time, but I can never get these years back. I am so excited to start to live again, and to get to be Eli's one and only all day every day.

I know there will be times when I will get bored or tired of the stay-at-home-mom thing, but I expect there to be many more days and moments of love and fun. I might try to work part-time, but first I am going to just enjoy the summer; get Eli in swim lessons, travel more, go to the beach, and go for walks. My last day is June 17. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cousins

Last weekend, Eli met his cousin Holt (who is the son of Chris' cousin Derik and his wife Bree). Holt is one year old, and he and Eli enjoyed playing together. I wish we lived closer to some of our cousins so we could do this more often! It was fun!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Life's a Beach

Eli took his grandpa to the beach today. He showed grandpa how to play in the surf and sand and stroll along the strand.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pushin Stuff!

video

Here's Eli pushing a laundry basket around, which is actually the best toy on the market currently.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I wish every day could be like today (Sunday)




Chris, Eli, and I went for a stroll at Hugh McRae Park and we pushed Eli in a swing! Eli was in a great mood today. I think he's happy to be over the funk we all had and he enjoyed the spring weather as much as we did! Here are some photos from the day.

We all had a very rough week, as we all came down with a stomach virus. But we made it through and we're (mostly) recovered.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Eli's crawling!

videoThis video was taken a couple of weeks ago, when Eli first started crawling on hands and knees. He's a crawling machine now, but at this time he made it a little ways before resorting to the army crawl. We have to really watch him closely now, but it's fun to see him getting around on his own.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Kidney Cancer video

I made this video for a contest to promote awareness of kidney cancer and to keep my mom's memory alive. The more times the video is viewed, the better chance I have of winning the contest and spreading the word about my mom even further. So view it as often as you please and forward it to your friends and family. Thanks!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lots of New Developments...

I realize it's been a while since we updated this. It's not that there hasn't been a lot to say, though. What's happened since we last wrote? Well...
1. It snowed in Wilmington! This happens once every two or three years, so we get pretty excited.
2. Eli is sitting up on his own. He still needs help getting into a sitting position, but he can stay there and if he falls he can brace himself.
3. Eli can get around using a one-arm-dragging crawl.
4. Eli out-grew his car seat and stroller. We bought a new car seat but we're still shopping for a jogging stroller.
5. Eli's baby bath moved out of the sink and into the bath tub. He splashes too much!
6. Eli has slept through the night 3 nights in a row! He now wakes up at 7:00 on the dot every morning. I had just been getting used to getting up with him. To be honest, I think I might actually miss it!
7. We updated the shutterfly site. Here are the best of the best...




Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just in time



Today is Eli's 6-month birthday, and since I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow, I took this last opportunity to duplicate the photo above. And I think it's a good time to share these lyrics by Jack Johnson:

If I Could
A brand new baby was born yesterday
just in time
papa cried, baby cried
said your tears are like mine
I heard some words
from a friend on the phone
that didn't sound so good
The doctor gave him two weeks to live
I'd give him more if I could

You know that I would now
If only I could
You know that I would now
If only I could

Down the middle drops one more
grain of sand
They say that
new life makes losing life easier to understand
Words are kind
they helped ease the mind
of this, my old friend
And though you gotta go
we'll keep a piece of your soul
One goes out
One comes in

You know that I would now
If only I could
You know that I would now
If only I could

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Movie

If you liked our earlier video of "bouncing Eli" and you are a fan of European rock and other weird stuff and you didn't already see it via Facebook, check out Chris' "EliRock" video on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PHKRtp5gFo. Hope you enjoy. Caution: bountiful bouncing baby footage!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not feeling good

For the first time in Eli's short life, he's not feeling so hot. Or rather, he is feeling hot. He has a low-grade fever, a runny nose, and a bad cough. It's likely just a cold, but we really don't like to see him feel bad! The worst part is doing the nasal drops/aspirator suction every time he eats or sleeps. He really doesn't like that, and our doctor's office strongly recommended it to prevent infection. He probably thinks we're trying to torture him. I wish we could explain to him why we're doing it.

If there is a good side to this, it's that he's in the middle of a 3-hour nap right now, which has given me enough time to clean, work out, take a shower, eat lunch, start the laundry, and update the blog. I'm actually caught up on what I wanted to do today--except organize Eli's room. That will have to be done later.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More Photos


Today...Eli looking thoughtful


Today...Eli with Grandma


Eli enjoying his new favorite bathtime toy


Going for a walk, dude.


Daddy, Eli, and Kairos (our newly adopted outdoor cat--he showed up right when we returned from Mom's funeral)


Eli and great-Grandma


Christmas morning!


Christmas Eve



Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Year






Above are some of the photos taken of Eli in his first ever studio camera shoot. We thought he did a pretty good job for his first time. He was very tired by the end. All that forced smiling wore him out!

A couple things about the new year...I had resolved to stop swaddling Eli in 2009. I thought it was going to be hard, because he always seemed to wake up and cry whenever he got out of his swaddling blanket. But apparently, he had the same resolution I did, because at 12:30 AM on January 1, he broke out of his swaddle and refused to be swaddled again. We were shocked that he slept until 7 AM! And then last night he again refused to be swaddled, and he slept until 7:45, only waking up once at 4:30! He's very cute now, sleeping on his side and his belly even. So that wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I guess he just outgrew it, as everyone told us he would.

Also, I have been saying that I hope 2009 is better than the past couple of years, because I have had some pretty crappy years lately. But I realized on New Year's Day that this year can't possibly be better than last year because I had my mom for 11 months last year. So I can't hope for better, but I can hope for "different" and "happy". Eli is certainly a great source of joy, and since he has started laughing more and sleeping better, motherhood is just getting better and better. I only wish my mom was here to share it with me.