Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to Mommy B!! That's right everyone, she turned 28 years old today... and she's just as pretty as she was when I met her over 10 years ago. This past week was the 10-year anniversary of our first date as well. Even though we've only been married for 3 1/2 years, we've known each other for over a decade.

It's hard to believe it's been that long, but time flies when you're having fun. In fact, Mommy B still has a T-shirt I had made for her that reads: "B&E: Having more fun than you since 2-22-03" OK, so we didn't start officially dating until 2003, but we've been having fun together since we first met. I mean, how many people end up getting married after the guy moons someone on their first date? In my defense, I was only mooning them because they mooned us first - but Mommy B still hung around anyway.

As a birthday present, Mommy B got to go to work at 5:30am today. How fun! However, a transformer blew at the hospital shutting down all the OR's - which meant they couldn't perform any surgeries. Translation = Mommy B got half a day off! So she picked me up from work on her way home and we had a lovely little lunch date. We don't really get dates (of any kind) all that often down here, so it was nice to spend time with her while Ru was at daycare. The rest of the evening consisted of putting Alli to bed and me making dinner - which is just about the same as every other night.

We've been through a lot together over the last 10 years, and I couldn't imagine spending it with anyone else. She became my best friend a long time ago, and I'm so happy that I get to spend the rest of my life with her. I knew long before we ever had children that she would be a great mom, and of course she has turned out to be the best mom in the world. Even though Alli has my blue eyes, I can still see her mom every time I look at her. I can see the love and affection that she displays for Alli every day, and it warms my heart to know that Alli will always have a little part of that inside her as she grows into a woman.

Happy birthday hun... I love you more than you know.

Cartoon of the Week

"For the last time, I cannot make it to your family's Christmas gathering tonight." Seems about right. So many things to do, so little time to do it all... I agree Santa, I totally agree. We made our trip home with very few hiccups along the way (thank goodness!), and it was great to see family, but we're glad to be back here and getting back into our routine and our life. I'm sure there will be more to blog about later, but, since the opportunity has arisen for me to get a nap in this afternoon, that's exactly what I plan to do.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Here we go!

The countdown is on... Tuesday afternoon we'll be packing up the Pilot and heading back to the homeland for a week of Christmas fun with our families. Some of you might recall our last trip to Ohio with the whole family... and how much fun it was. And by fun I mean driving all over the place, everyone getting sick, spending two days in the bathroom, just to drive all the way back to Charleston again leaving a wake of destruction in our path. I'm praying to whoever is up there that it doesn't happen again - but you just never know, do ya?

Speaking of great timing, I've actually gotten ill the last two times I've been back to Ohio. Hmm, I'm noticing a trend here. Followers might also recall that Alli's teeth decided our trip home was a good time to bust through, making her quite the miserable little girl. Well, fast forward 6 months or so, and those damn teeth are at it again. We've been able to see her bottom two molars making their way to the surface for the last few days, and yesterday was the "big day." And no, I don't mean that they popped through - they're still working on that. I mean the big day of hurting.

Alli was fine yesterday morning, but we could tell she was a little on edge as the day progressed. After she woke up from a late nap (after only sleeping for about an hour), she was screaming bloody murder. We tried everything - bottle, lying her back down to sleep more, her frozen teething foot, walking her around outside in the cool air, everything. Nothing was working as the tears poured down her cheeks. I looked in her mouth and could tell that her bottom molars were making their presence felt... big time. They looked like jagged glaciers breaching the surface of the ocean. Think of them like a circular scalpel getting pushed through your gums from the bottom-up - that's how they must've felt to her. We were able to eventually calm her down with a fudgsicle, a Pedialite push-pop and a drive around the neighborhood with our live-saver (Elmo) on the DVD player.

Once her mouth had cooled down, she was much better the rest of the evening and slept like a champ all night. She was back to her normal self this morning, which was a relief for single-Dad-E in the mornings. I'm hoping that means the worst is behind us and she can finally start putting those big honkers to good use - bring on the Christmas ham, Alli wants some! I swear to whoever is up there, all Mommy B and I have to do is mention that we're making a road trip and her teeth just pop right in. Maybe we should do it again when we get back so she can just have all her teeth in already. I'm really hoping the worst is over and we dodged a bullet by a couple days... because I really don't feel up for dealing with a fussy baby the entire time we're home.

But enough with the doom and gloom. In all honesty, I'm really looking forward to getting to spend Christmas with our families. It's been five years since we've spent Christmas in Ohio, and we've really missed our families during the holidays. There are a lot of people who are excited to see our little walking Alli Ru, and I'm glad that she'll get to spend time with them as well. Who knows, she might even get to see some good ol' Ohio snow!

We'll have to give a full report once we get back to Chucktown - but just be warned that it could be a week or so until we post again. I hope everyone has a great holiday season and everyone gets home safe and sound!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Picture with Santa.... then... and now...

We went to get Alli's picture taken with Santa last weekend... and it turned out to be the exact same Santa she had her picture with last year! Well, duh, I mean of course, there's only one Santa... but, you get my point. =) Here's her picture from last year...

And now, here's the one from this year... can you believe how different she looks and how much she's grown in just one year??

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cartoon of the Week: Two for the Price of One!

Love the dog's point of view for Christmas... oh boy, this is so Scarlett. Thank God she hasn't used the tree as a indoor toilet though. This is what she does ALL.THE.TIME instead...

A lil bit of everything...

Seems like we're getting behind on blogging. And for our what, 5 people that actually read this and check it regularly, we're sorry. It's been quite the adjustment getting used to my new schedule, which in turn has made Eric and Alli's schedule quite different too. We're also busy with trying to prepare for Christmas, mainly, the drive back to Ohio. I know we mentioned before that this is the first time we'll be driving back home for Christmas, and we're definitely excited. My mom has promised me the best gift ever... her waking up with Alli each morning and letting me sleep in. She's even going to let us use her brand new bedroom furniture, in her room upstairs, and sleep in the guest room while Alli sleeps in my old room, so we really won't hear her and can just get some rest. I think that's better than any Christmas present I could ask for, I am really looking forward to it. On the flip side, we have really slacked on decorating around here. I guess it's because we know we're leaving a week from tomorrow, and we'll be in Ohio for a week, so there was really no point in getting our house all decked out here when we won't be here to enjoy it. So, we have a tree, with lights, but no ornaments. It's the thought that counts, right? Alli and I were hanging out with our cul-de-sac friends this afternoon and their mom even mentioned to me, "What, Eric's not putting up all the lights this year??" We are usually the only house in the neighborhood to put up a bunch of lights... not this year. I feel like a bad Buddy Elf, I really do love Christmas. Next year, we're going all out again, I'll make sure of it.

Speaking of next year, it's hard to believe by then we'll have a crazy two year old lil girl and a 7 or 8 month old little..... baby. =) I know so many people are waiting for us to slip up and share the sex of this one, but it's been fun so far. I even got a bribery letter from my grandparents today, it was so cute. It's going to be hard though being around our family next week, especially because here at the house we've been calling baby by it's gender and talking to Alli about her future little brother. Or wait, is it her future little sister? It's also hard to believe this pregnancy is halfway over. It's flown by, and I've absolutely loved feeling the flutters and movements in my belly again. We're just having trouble figuring out names again. We had a few girl and boy names we liked, but we're still not sold on them. I guess we still have some time to figure that out.

Alli has been growing and becoming more of a toddler every day. She laughs and is SO ticklish, it's more than entertaining to tickle her and hear her giggle and giggle. Both of her bottom molars are now in, meaning she's up to ten teeth. My goodness. She should be eating steak by now! Her top left will probably be in by the end of the week too. She loves to take off her socks and shoes, and then try to put them back on too saying "shuuuues, shuuuues." She likes to "ssssss" like a snake, "woof woof" like a dog, "quack quack" like a duck, and "woof woof" for anything that looks remotely like a dog (as in, horse, reindeer, etc.) Ha. We'll teach her. She's getting even better at "telling us" what she wants by pointing, babbling and nodding her head when we get the right thing that she wants. I can't believe how big she's getting. I feel like we say that all the time, but, it's true. We go back to the doctor with her on Thursday to see how her ears are doing. We're hoping for the best!

And, that's all for now folks. Hope you're all doing well and enjoying the holiday season.

Friday, December 9, 2011


What a week or so this has been for us. Where to begin? Let's try the beginning...

After Alli's lovely reaction to her medication this past weekend, I was hoping that things wouldn't get any worse. Well, it's been a roller coaster ride this week to say the least. Alli finally started improving Monday and Tuesday, and has been her normal happy self ever since. Her rash has all but disappeared and she's been on her normal sleeping/napping schedule all week. Mommy B and I felt a couple molars break the surface of her gums last night, so add those to the list of things she had to be miserable about. I swear this kid's going to need braces by the time she's 5 years old. But I'm glad to see she's back to her happy, healthy self. It broke my heart to see her in pain like that.

Wednesday rolled around, and it was Mommy B's turn to be under the weather. She was having hot and cold flashes, felt terrible and achy and was running a low-grade fever. Not good for a pregnant lady. Her doctor said they thought she was just exhausted and needed to rest - so that's what she did. She came home from work early and took some medicine and hit the bed. I picked Alli up from daycare and tried to entertain her that evening so Mommy B could sleep. Then Mommy B did something she hasn't done in over 5 years - called out sick from work. We decided it would be in her best interest to take the day off and try to sleep in and get rested. Well, what a difference a good night's sleep makes.

As I took Alli to daycare Thursday morning, the coolant light came on in my car. I figured it was probably about time to add some more for the winter, so I came home and popped the hood. It was at that time I noticed some coolant leaking onto the garage floor. I began jacking up the car to take a better look, and that's when something on my rear tire caught my eye. I examined my tire to find out that the tread was literally separating from the sidewall. Well, merry friggin' Christmas to me - looks like I know what I'm getting this year!

I put some more coolant in the car and limped it over to have new rear tires put on. $370 later, I'm riding smooth again. It's still leaking a little coolant, but I'll see what I can do myself to fix it before I go drop a couple hundred more to have someone else fix it. So I guess it was a good thing Mommy B was home yesterday to cart me around. I basically called off work too, so we decided to finish up some shopping while my car was being worked on.

With Mommy B feeling better and my car finally safe to drive, we headed off to our anatomy ultrasound together. Everything looked as healthy as can be and we're tracking one day off our expected due date, which is awesome. We actually decided to find out what we're having this time around, but we're going to keep it a secret until they're born. I asked Mommy B if she was up to the challenge of keeping a secret for another 4+ months, and she said she could do it. We didn't find out what Alli was going to be at all, and it was a great surprise the day she was born. But I have to say, I'm pretty happy we decided to find out early on #2. This way we get to start picking names and begin the bonding process even earlier - which is pretty cool.

So as you can tell, things have been all over this week for all of us. Hopefully we're in for some smoother waters this weekend - it would be nice to actually put some ornaments on our Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Only 17 days until Christmas is here! And only 12 until we head back to Ohio for the holidays for the first time since we've moved down here to Charleston... so excited for Alli to see everyone again and maybe even see some snow??

Maybe we'll actually decorate the tree today... it's only been sitting up in our living room for 4 days now, bare, with no decorations and the only love it's gotten is from a nosy dog named Scarlett who likes to lick the sap off the tree and break the bottom branches. We've had a tree in the house every year since we've had her... what's the deal dog????

Can we catch a break?

Yesterday morning, I woke up not feeling the greatest. I just chalked it up to me still adjusting to these new hours, not really eating the greatest dinners the last few nights, and just being overly tired from Alli not feeling great over the weekend. Once I got to work, I continued to feel just "not quite right", had the chills, and eventually, a co-worker took my temperature and it was 101.6. They told me to go home and get better. So, off I went. I called the OB office, just to let them know my symptoms... achy, chills, fever, exhausted, and told them my situation of the new job, Alli being sick, etc. They told me they thought I was probably just overly exhausted, as pregnancy can take a lot out of you as well, and to go home, take some Tylenol, drink plenty of fluids and rest. I slept on and off all day yesterday... thank God for my wonderful husband who picked up Alli from daycare, took care of her all afternoon, and me, as he ran to the grocery, got the essentials for a sick wife (Gatorade, Sprite, grilled cheese & tomato soup!), and proceeded to give Alli a bath and put her to bed. To say I'm thankful and grateful for him would be an understatement.

Today, I woke up with a lot more energy, although now with a sore throat. I took the day off to re-coup, and hope that I'm ready to go back in tomorrow to finish out the week. I'm hoping I'm through the worst of it, and we have our appointment today with the OB so we can talk about everything then. We also have our anatomy ultrasound this afternoon, which Eric and I are so excited for. We can't wait to see our little baby M!

Now let's hope for some good vibes and no more sickness for this house!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Time for a rally!

No, I'm not talking about the "Occupy Wall Street" kind of rally. I pity those dumb, hippy protesters camping out with their signs thinking their grassroots campaign is going to change the well-oiled machine that is the American economic system. In the words of Dr. Phil, "How's that workin' out for ya?" Changing the world, are ya? Yeah, didn't think so...

Anyway, I'm talking about the turn-your-hat-inside-out, momentum-swing-in-the-opposite-direction, bring-out-the-rally-monkey type of rally. That's right, we're no longer down-in-the-dumps defeated like Mommy B's last post. Alli woke up yesterday morning and her rash had significantly subsided. You could still see them, but we can tell they are well on their way to healing up. She acted as if nothing was wrong all day long while at daycare, and was great last night too. She got her usual sleep the last two nights, and was looking even better this morning.

So, I think Sunday was the worst of it and we're finally out of the woods. Another piece of good news is that she hasn't been grabbing her ears at all and hasn't had a single drop of snot since Saturday. We go back to the doctor next week for one last checkup on her ears, and if things look good she can get the last of her one-year shots (only a couple months behind, no big deal).

Yes, the Christmas tree is still bare, but at least our little Alli Ru is feeling better! We'll probably have to wait until she falls asleep each night before we can work on decorating it, otherwise I have a feeling she'll be a little too eager to help, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Even though there still appears to be some teeth popping through soon, things are finally settling down a bit and returning to some resemblance of normalcy.

AND... only 19 more days until Mommy B's favorite holiday of the year... CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Alli woke up today with a rash/blisters on her face, elbows and diaper area. The ones around her butt... ugh, let's just say, I cried right along with her today while she was trying to go #2. They look so painful, I can't even imagine. We think this all came from the antibiotic course we got Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She had Rocephin shots three days in a row in hopes of kicking the ear infection in the butt and getting rid of it once and for all. However, it seems like she's experiencing an allergic reaction of some sort. She's still eating, no fever, just these blisters. We also can feel her two bottom molars trying to make their way through right now (great timing, teeth.)

To say I (we) feel defeated would be an understatement. On Saturday, we were as high as a kite, went to get the Christmas tree, went to the Daniel Island Festival to grab a few Christmas presents, went to the Parade of Boats on Charleston Harbor... it was a busy day but she had a great time. Today comes around, and here we are, down and defeated. Neither of us have showered today, we've gotten nothing accomplished, and our bare tree still sits in the living room with neither of us really feeling the spirit or the energy to decorate it. At least Alli's afraid to go anywhere near it (don't know if that's really a good thing, but it's good that she doesn't want to touch it!), but needless to say, we haven't gotten far with the decorating. We're hoping the blisters get better by tomorrow, or at least not any worse... if Eric thinks they are bad in the morning we'll try to take her back to the doctor tomorrow afternoon. We're trying to stay positive... she has had absolutely no snot, which she was having a lot of before, and maybe the antibiotic is working, despite it's other effects on her. It's just defeating to try something that you hope will be the right choice for your baby, and then this happens. And what if she still has the ear infection when we take her back in a few weeks? Then we put her through all this for nothing. It breaks my heart.

Hopefully things start looking up... it's been a rough day.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cartoon(s) of the Week

The first one made me laugh because it's exactly how Mommy B and I felt up until last week. It seemed like everyone else was getting into the "smart phone" market and we were getting left behind. Even my dad has a Droid X-Y-Z something-or-other... and he's almost 60! Mommy B and I got tired of telling people that we couldn't get whatever they were sending us because we still had "dumb" phones.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't really see the need to get rid of my old one - but if Mommy B was going to get an iPhone (thanks to Alli giving her old phone a bath in dog's water dish), I might as well get one too. I'm still getting used to it, but Mommy B has already downloaded a dozen apps and will randomly say "Name an actor who's famous for dancing in movies. Quick, I only have 10 seconds left in Fast Money!" Damn you Family Feud app, you've already turned my wife into a phone zombie...

I stumbled across the second cartoon yesterday and it instantly reminded me of Scarlett. In case you can't read it, the first frame says "Rover, do your business" as the dog goes flying out the door. The second frame is Rover happily sitting next to a sign that reads "Dog kisses 5¢" Even though Rover appears to be a Lab of some type, I have to say that our Golden is quite the lover dog too.

My parents stopped by our house for a couple days this past weekend to get an Alli Ru "fix" (because we're only 9 hours away, ya know) and Scarlett was in heaven. She loved jumping on my parent's bed in the morning as if to say "Hey! The little human is awake and so am I, that means it's time to get up!" And given that the combined surface area of my father's hands could cover a small village from a rain storm, she was thoroughly enjoying some good ol' fashioned butt rubs. Any time he put his hands on her, her tail would start going 'round and 'round like a wind-up toy.

Even though she's still getting used to not being the only child anymore, we still love our li'l rescue dog... crimpies and all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

13 months old, 18 weeks along, 2 new phones, 3 shots of Rocephin...

Whew... I know we're behind on posting. It's been a crazy few weeks with me starting my new job and getting adjusted to the new schedule, hours and routine. I'm now working in the pediatric holding area, where we prep and prepare patients before they go into surgery. That being said, the OR usually gets started around 7:30am, meaning the patients need to be there at least two hours early to get registered, IV's or medication if necessary, consent signed, paperwork up to date, meet with the surgeon and anesthesia team, etc. My new hours are 5:30am to 2pm. It's a love and hate relationship... I am not too fond of getting up at 4am each morning, but clocking out by 2pm and getting Alli from day care each day makes up for it. And getting to have dinner as a family, bath time as a family, and putting her to bed as a family... nothing beats that.

Alli turned 13 months old this past weekend, and to say she's growing and learning and amazing us more every day would be an understatement. She weighs in at about 21 lbs now, and is literally running all over the place. We had our first "conference" at school to check in and see how she's doing, and the teachers say she's right on track. She will play by herself for quite a while, loves putting things in containers, taking things out of containers, stacking, pounding, etc. She is quite the ham, loves smiling and laughing... especially giggling for her daddy, and loves to be tickled. Pointing to things she wants is a new favorite too... which we've actually really started to enjoy as well, as it makes it much easier to figure out what she wants or needs. She's very "talky", just rambles and babbles on and on. She's just a constant busy body. But that's okay, it keeps us on our toes!

Speaking of her being into everything and keeping us on our toes... Alli decided that Thanksgiving Day was a good day for my phone to take a bath in Scarlett's water dish. Needless to say, Dad-E and I got to venture out with her on Black Friday (what a treat!) to the Verizon store. It was time for our 2 year contract to be up anyway, so we got to sign a new contract, got a discount on new phones... and finally joined the "smart phone" world. We weren't planning on it when we got there, but the video and picture quality on our new i-phones are amazing.. and with Alli growing, running, talking and as goofy as she is, we don't want to miss a minute. We won't want to miss a thing for baby M #2's arrival and growing either.

And speaking of Baby M, we're just flying right along in this pregnancy! We're 18 and 1/2 weeks along now... and have our big anatomy ultrasound scheduled for next Thursday. We're so excited to finally get to see our little one through ultrasound, and make sure all is going well. We will keep everyone updated!

And speaking of healthy babies and wanting all to be well, our poor Alli Ru has been fighting an ear infection since her birthday. We honestly didn't even know she had one, and the doctor took one look and said it was a "raging" ear infection and needed to be treated with antibiotics. So, we did our 10 day course of Amoxicillin, went back to the doctors 2 weeks later, it was still bad, started our 10 day course of Omnicef, went back yesterday, and the doctor rates it a 7/10 on the "bad-ness" scale. So, now we do a 3 day course of IM Rocephin (shots), and go back in two weeks again to see how things are looking. IF the Rocephin didn't help, we will then need to meet with an ENT specialist and see about getting tubes placed. It's just emotional for me, I think because I now work in the area where we see all the patients and families get prepared for surgery. I know she'll be fine, we have some of the best doctors here at MUSC, and I just want her healthy. She never seems to be "sick", still eats like a champ, doesn't pull on her ears, etc... so it's hard to say we want her "better" when it doesn't feel or seem like she's sick.

So, there you have it. Our life in a nutshell this past week... I know you've missed us. =)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cartoon of the Week: Turkey Day Edition

So funny :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family, friends, or as I know many of my nurse friends will be doing... with patients at the hospital. Be thankful and grateful for all you have. Remember, a lot of nurses, health care workers, etc. are missing their families so they can take care of yours. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, it's only fitting that I share a list of things that I'm thankful for. Let's get right to it...

  • My health. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm one of those few people in the world who has been blessed with the metabolism of a 10-year-old. My dad was the same way, eating whatever he wanted and not gaining a pound until he turned 45 years old. Well, I've got another 20+ years to enjoy myself before I should probably start reeling things in. Plus, I was fortunate enough to walk away from competitive football without a limp or constant headaches. I'm thankful that I'm healthy enough to play in the yard with my daughter whenever she wants me to.
  • My job. Being that I've been employed with the same company since I graduated college, I guess I'd really call it my "career". I know that there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who don't have "somewhere to be" every weekday, and I know that makes it all the more difficult to provide for their families. There are countless souls out there who have been canned after putting in years and years of blood, sweat and tears with the same company all for the sake of the bottom line. Having a constant, reliable source of income has become one of the most important things you can ask for these days... and I'm thankful that I have one.
  • My dog. Mommy B and I rescued Scarlett (formerly Georgetta) just over three years ago, and I have to say that I'm so happy to have her around. If Mommy B and I hadn't gotten the craving for smoothies one day, we would never have stumbled upon the Greatful Goldens Rescue and found our crimpy-haired little mutt. Fast forward three years and we're "stuck" with a walk-obsessed, gecko-killing, couch-sleeping, co-dependent family member. Wouldn't have it any other way.
  • My daughter. She is without a doubt the love of my life. Now that she spends 98% of her waking hours walking/running around the house, she is so much fun to be around. I'm thankful for how happy and healthy she is, and how enlightened she is by the world around her. She just walks to walk, exploring everything in our living room and beyond. I now call her our little giggle monster... because that's all she does. She giggles at everything - when I come home from work, when her dog comes running towards her, when we cover her head with a soft blankie, when she lays down with her Pooh Bear in her crib, when I hold her by the hands and toss her onto the pillows on the couch and when I blow raspberries on her belly after she gets out of the bath. I want so much to protect her as she grows up, but hope she learns to become independant (like her mommy) at the same time. She'll learn to work for anything she wants... but I'm thankful to be able to provide everything she needs until then.
  • Baby Meibers (aka #2/lil sib). I know how hard it can be for some people to get pregnant just once, and even harder to get pregnant a second time. But I'm thankful that Mommy B and I have been able to give the gift of life to yet another child. Even though he/she is still a good ways away from being born, I'm thankful that everything appears to be normal and healthy thus far. Even though Mommy B can't relate, I know how thankful I was to have an older sibling... to teach me what to do (and what not to do) with each passing year. I know that my older brother loved me with all his heart as we grew up together, and I'm thankful that "Number 2" will get to experience that as well.
  • The weather. OK, I know this one is kind of lame, but I can't help it. I went to pick Alli up from daycare with the top down because it was 73 degrees outside. Being a Damn Yankee, it's still a little strange not having snow on the ground this time of year... but I'm getting used to it. There's something to be said about walking outside at 10pm on Thanksgiving Eve and it feeling more like September. I'm thankful that Mommy B and I get to live somewhere so beautiful that it truly warms the soul.
  • My family. Even though Mommy B and I aren't spending Thanksgiving with our extended family this year, at least we get to spend it with each other. I know there are thousands of military families who aren't going to spend this Turkey Day with the one(s) they love the most because they have been called to duty - either by their human superior or their godly superior... if you know what I mean and I think you do. I know that our extended family is thinking about us, and if everything goes as planned we'll be seeing them in less than a month. I'm thankful that we have such a great relationship with our extended family and that we get to see them as often as we do.
  • My wife. My soul mate, period. She was the love of my life until she produced a daughter that I just can't get enough of... but I think she's strangely OK with playing second fiddle for a while. She has stuck by my side through thick and thin, taken leaps of faith with me when all we had was a wing and a prayer and been my better half for a majority of the time. She has been my number one superfan since the day we met. She cheered me on for each of my football games and track meets back in college and still does to this day as I interview for another job at my company. She is the best mother in the world, and I know she'll continue to be even with two crazy kids running around. I'm thankful that I've not only found someone who makes me truly happy every day, but that I get to spend the rest of my life returning the favor.

I hope that everyone reading this has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Even if you can't spend it with your family, just think about everything you do have to be thankful for... you'll be surprised what you come up with if you think about it for a while.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Things I Love...

  • Hearing Alli talking in her crib in the morning as our alarm clock... I mean, if we have to be woken at 6:30 am, at least it's to the sweet babbles of her chatting with Pooh Bear about her night.
  • Antibiotics and ear drops that help to ease the pain of an ear infection... glad to be getting our baby back to normal.
  • Giggles while she's in her daddy's arms. Melts my heart.
  • Her toothy smile. I thought I'd miss that gummy smile, but this toothy one is too adorable too.
  • My husband. Period. There are a million reasons why, but I won't bore you. He's just the best.
  • Feeling our second baby moving around in my belly... and chatting with him or her about their sister and how goofy she is, yet how much she'll love them and protect them always.
  • Laying Alli down at night. After we've read a book, walked to the bathroom and brushed our teeth, then gone back to her room... she actually reaches for her crib, cuddles up with Pooh, and winds down and falls asleep on her own. What a wonderful feeling.
  • Football season.
  • Alli hugs. If you ask her to give you (or more likely to happen, one of her stuffed animals) a hug, she gives a both arms-huge-compassionate hug.
  • My forever friends and family. The girls who have stuck by me through good times and bad, know that I'm not perfect but love me anyway, and the family who has always been there and given me everything they possibly can... I'm only who and where I am today because of all of you.
  • Charleston weather. It's going to be in the mid-70's all week.
  • The fact that in one month, we'll be making the drive to Ohio to spend Christmas there for the first time in five years. We haven't been able to make it home since we've moved down here, and we're thankful to get the time off this year to be able to do it. Maybe Alli will get to see snow!
  • Alli's high-fives, and how she'll do them no matter if that's what you really were wanting or not. The other day, she was eating an orange and I had my hand under her chin to catch any pieces that may fall out, and she just kept slapping my hand to give me five.
OK, I know there are more things... but for now, this is my list. We've got a beautiful weekend to go enjoy =)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Out of commission

As avid Followers can probably tell, we've been out of commission for the past few days - thus the lack of posts. It started last week when we started painting the house. As soon as Alli went to bed and Mommy B and I had dinner, we pulled out the paintbrushes, rollers, tape and ladders and painted until the wee hours of the night - which is about 11pm for us these days. Our mission: paint almost our entire first floor (which thanks to our open floor plan includes our breakfast area, dining area and TV area), our main entry way (which includes a 2-story foyer), up the staircase and the second floor hallway (which runs the entire length of the house).

We planned everything out early last week: which walls we were going to paint each night, which colors we were going to use on each, and how we were going to paint the second story walls that can only be reached by using a 30-foot extension ladder. That last part basically boiled down to me climbing up what felt like a rickety ladder, taping the areas I could reach, making another trip up with a brush and bowl of paint to get the edges, and making a third trip with the roller to cover the larger areas. Once we had those areas painted, I had to make return trips the next day to remove the tape.

Even though it was a lot of work, Mommy B was a great teammate. She helped tape and paint the edges first, then I followed behind her with the roller. I didn't let her up the big ladder - not with our next child on the way. You don't really notice how many scuff marks there are on the walls until you're a foot away from them with a paint brush in your hand. I wish I had the total square footage that we covered in the first two phases, but that would require way too much effort. Put it this way, we've almost gone through an entire 5-gallon bucket of paint - and we haven't done a second coat on anything.

But I have to say, the house looks great. This whole project was three-fold: 1) cover up all the scuff marks on the walls from the original owner moving in and out and us moving in, 2) cover up the original boring antique-white that the builders used on the house, and 3) give the main living spaces a fresh look and making the white trim really pop. Well, mission: accomplished. We picked a color that was subtle enough that you probably wouldn't notice right away if you hadn't been over in a while, but made enough of a change that things we didn't notice before look much better.

We hit a few bumps along the way though - not with the painting, but with Alli. Since we'd been staying up later than normal, Mommy B and I were starting to feel the effects by last weekend. That's when Alli decided she would get sick. Booo! OK, it wasn't really her choice, but she's been feeling and looking all-around miserable. She woke up a few times a night, just sobbing in her crib. We would go in to check on her, and she would be drenched in sweat. During the day, she just wanted to be held and everything seemed to make her cry. She was still eating, but wouldn't play at all and screamed when we tried to put her down. She was running a 102.5 fever for a couple days even though we tried to keep her on a steady dose of Tylenol and Motrin. We couldn't tell if it was a lingering ear infection (diagnosed on her birthday 3 weeks ago), more teeth coming in, a stomach bug (she was very gassy and had a few "messy" diapers) or a virus of some sort. Mommy B and I even joked last night that it could be Scarlet Fever or Hay Fever - we had tried every remedy we could think of, so we had to make a joke about something.

A couple nights ago, she awoke around 2:30am and was absolutely miserable. We tried more medicine, changed her diaper, walked her around the house, numbing liquid on her gums, more milk in her bottle, you name it. I was walking around with her in my arms with her head on my shoulder, just crying her little eyes out. I was about 30 seconds from plopping her in the car and driving around with the windows cracked until she fell back asleep - it was the only thing I thought might work. But we walked back into her room and she began reaching for her crib. I placed her down on a dry spot and she immediately stopped crying and went to sleep. Thank God.

There isn't a worse feeling in the world than knowing your child is in discomfort and you've tried everything you can to make them feel better to no avail. You can't help but feel like a bad parent - especially because Alli is still at the age where she doesn't understand what's happening to her or why. She looks to Mommy B and I to "make it all better", and there isn't a more disappointing time in my life when I can't do that for her. Mommy B took her to the doctor today and I hope that they can figure out what's wrong with her.

So - as you can tell Mommy B and I have had a rough past few days. We took Monday night off from painting to recoup a bit, but were back taping the upstairs hallway (final phase) last night. Alli had a better night's sleep and hopefully we can get our smiley, happy baby back soon thanks to the advances of modern medicine. I guess we'll have to see what happens.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Our painting project is going... well, it's going! We are exhausted from it, to say the least. Since Wednesday night, we've spent every single night after laying Alli down for bed taping the walls, moving furniture, painting trim, up on ladders (Eric, not me!), and using the roller to get this project finished. We've stayed up until 11 or later each night... which may not seem like much, but, when Alli is up right around 6 or 6:30 like clockwork each morning, it gets even more exhausting. We are completely done with the downstairs, the entry way, and up the stairs. I have to give Dad-E a lot of credit for that... the ladder he got up on to paint and tape made me scared to death... just hearing it rattle and creak. I can't imagine being up there with a paintbrush and paint, trying to balance and not make a mess. He did a great job.

We are close to running out of paint (even after purchasing 5 gallons!), so instead of pulling a Lenny like this cartoon, which would be a lot easier and quicker, I ran to Lowe's today and got another gallon and a few more rolls of tape. We have the upstairs hallway to do.. and we're just going to tape off Alli's future room while we're at it. We'll be so happy when it's finished... and it really does look so great, it makes everything so clean and neat, feels like a new home! Almost there...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More talking... or Q & A?

As Mommy B mentioned in Alli's 12-month stats post, she's been "talking" a lot more lately. She's got her regulars - dada, mama, dog and ball. She's been working on some new ones and they are getting clearer each day - yah (yeah), nah (no), tank do (thank you). Some of these words aren't always prompted, but they are funny to hear nonetheless. Here's a good story about it:

Yesterday, I "worked from home" in the afternoon and we made a family trip to Lowe's to satisfy Mommy B's latest nesting desire (painting two-thirds of the house). There were a few things we needed to pick up, and I thought Alli would enjoy 1) getting out of the house for a bit, 2) watching Elmo on the DVD player in the car, and 3) people-watching at a hardware store. We'd kill two birds with one stone - entertain Alli for a while and pick up our needed supplies. Well, I was kinda right.

As anyone who has ever been in a home improvement store knows, they stock the shelves from the floor to the ceiling. This means there is plenty for Alli to play with/poke her eye out within her reach. I was on a mission, so I didn't really let her wander around and get into stuff that much. And the fact that I thought we'd be sending Alli off to college by the time they mixed up five gallons of paint didn't help the situation. She just wanted to run around and throw power-tools into the isle and I wouldn't let her down to do so. Obviously, this pissed her off - and rightfully so for a curious almost-13-month-old. Good times for everyone.

We finally headed to the checkout and Mommy B took over while I paid. Alli made a B-line for the sliding exit doors because I guess she wanted out of there pretty bad. She stopped at the closed door (which I guess doesn't open for midgets), wondering why it didn't open for her. When the "magic door" finally opened, she was so shocked that she just stood there for a few seconds. As the doors started closing, she stuck her hand out and got it smashed in between them. It really wasn't as bad as it sounds, but it obviously scared her a lot. I took her from Mommy B and within 30 seconds, she was fine again.

While walking out, Alli found a large stick that she apparently really wanted to take home with her. Mommy B picked her up and we tried to sweet-talk her into giving it up so we could leave. Well, she wasn't in the negotiating mood after the sliding door incident. This prompted Alli to start swinging the stick around like a club and caught her mother upside her dome piece (that would be her head for older Followers). Of course, that prompted me to grab the stick out of her death-grip - which in turn, prompted a mini-meltdown.

There we were, walking through the Lowe's parking lot with our painting supplies and a screaming toddler. We loaded everything in the car and fired up Alli's Elmo DVD. Naturally, the crying immediately stopped while Mommy B and I climbed in the front seats. Apparently whenever Elmo is around, all is right with the world. I turned around and asked her, "Are you okay now?" Alli looked at me for about a second and replied, "Yah."

Mommy B and I looked at each other and laughed hysterically. We couldn't believe that 1) she appeared to understand what we asked her, and b) responded with what sounded like a perfectly viable response. She did more of it later on that evening - appearing to actually answer our yes/no questions with her "yah" or "nah" responses. Looks like we could be in serious trouble here very soon...

Nesting already??

It's project time!! Dad-E and I have talked and went back and forth for a long time about painting our downstairs/entry way/up the stairs/hallway upstairs area. For those of you who have never been inside our home, we have a pretty open floor plan downstairs. Meaning, if you're going to paint it, you're going to be painting a lot of wall... leading into the entry way, up the stairs, and down the hallway upstairs... as it's really all connected. It's a big project. So needless to say, we've been putting it off. We painted the kitchen (ugh! those are the worst to paint!), and one accent wall downstairs and figured that would do. Well, I don't know if it's nesting kicking in already, or my mom's insistent pleas for the last three years, but, we've decided to get it done. At first, we thought of hiring someone to do it and paying for that as each other's Christmas present this year (we're so romantic, I know!). However, after coming to the realization that having two kids in daycare next year will be more than our mortgage payment, we decided we're not 90 years old, we're two able bodied twenty-somethings... we can handle this!

Yesterday as Alli napped, I started taping. Ugh! Awful. Dad-E and I ventured out to Lowe's, where Alli had a mini-meltdown (more on that in a later quick post!), got all our supplies and five gallons of paint, and we were ready. We picked quite a neutral color, it goes well with the whole house, matches the accent wall, and really, you can hardly tell we painted. What? All this work for nothing? It honestly looks so much better already! The scuff marks from moving in, throwing tennis balls against the wall to our puppy back in the day, all covered. Dad-E and I put Alli to bed last night and got to work. We painted for about 2 hours, just talking, listening to music, and realizing what a great team we make. In life, in parenting, in painting. So, while we still have quite the journey ahead (in both finishing this painting job, and in life!), I'm happy to know I have the best partner around.

After this project, it'll be time to tackle Alli's future new room... I wish she was old enough now to tell us what color/theme she'd like, because I'm sure we won't feel like changing it in another couple years when she is able to tell us boss us around.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My new favorite thing

I don't recall when it really started, but Alli began recognizing Mommy B and I's faces from a very early age. I don't know when the "typical age" for that type of thing is, but Alli certainly seemed to pick it up pretty quickly. Probably because she was stuck in the house with just Mommy B (and me when I got home from work) for close to 4 months before she went off to daycare. Since we didn't (and still don't) have much help around, Alli didn't really have too many different faces to learn those first few months.

I think she pretty much had our faces ingrained in her head by the time we started taking her to daycare. This was naturally a good thing because we could tell she knew when she was being handled by a "stranger" versus her mommy or daddy. The point I'm trying to make is that even from when I first started taking her to daycare, she would smile at me when I walked in to pick her up.

In the beginning, I would walk in to find her either lying on her back on the floor playing with a mobile-type deal with dangly toys for her to grab or in a rocker being fed a bottle. I would walk over and kneel next to her so she could easily see my face, and she would smile that big gummy smile I sometimes miss these days.

After a while, I would come in to find her sitting up in a Bumbo chair or lying on her stomach trying to crawl. I would lie down on the floor in front of her so when she lifted her head slightly, she would see my face and smile that big, jack-o-lantern smile that we used to think was so cute. I began calling it her "Pick-up smile".

Once she learned how to crawl, I'd walk in and she'd spot me from across the room and it was off to the races. She would crawl over to me and pull herself up on my pant leg as fast as she could. Sometimes, she would even grunt or let out an "Ahhh!" when she recognized me and began making her way across the room.

Now that she's walking, she makes a mad dash for me when I walk in. She gets to my pant leg and holds her arms up for me to pick her up. Her face lights up so big when I come in, it can be seen from outer space. This has become my new favorite thing. I look forward to picking her up from daycare all day long just so I can see that expression on her face for a few seconds each day. I don't think she's so miserable at daycare that she's elated to see me because it means she gets to leave... but rather she just loves us so much that she's just that happy to see me. Yesterday, Mommy B and I walked in to pick her up together, and she actually started crying when she saw us. She made a B-line for my leg, pushing other kids out of the way if they crossed her path. I'd like to think that she just missed us so much that she was overcome with joy when she saw us walk in.

The other reason I love picking her up is because I get to be the one to take her home. You can't help but feel like you're "rescuing" your child sometimes when you pick them up from daycare. You're returning them to their proper caregiver and their proper home - that sounds like a rescue, right?

Well, Mommy B is starting a new job at the hospital in a couple weeks, and her hours are going to change dramatically. She'll actually be working 5 days a week and will be getting off each day at 2pm - which means she'll most likely be picking Alli up each day on her way home from work. While I'm super-excited for Mommy B and her new position, I can't help but think about all the Pick-up smiles I'm going to miss going forward.

I still get one when I get home on the days Alli stays home with Mommy B, but they're not quite the same. When I pick her up from daycare, I feel like Super Dad - scooping her up in my arms and flying her home in the fast convertible (I haven't put the top down with her in it yet). It's become a time of bonding for us... even though she doesn't know it yet. I know I'm going to miss it, but I'm happy that Mommy B gets to experience it now. She's missed out on a lot of that time over the last nine months. After all, I'll still be taking her in the morning - so I have that going for me.

But I have to say, nothing beats that big ol' smile she gives me each time I walk in to pick her up from daycare. I know it won't stay that way for much longer, but I'm cherishing it while I still can.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Alli tries to drink and walk... it's just about hilarious. She doesn't really "walk" anymore, she runs... so her running with a bottle or sippy cup in her hands is just so fun to watch, we laugh at her and tell her she could get pulled over for the reckless driving. She laughs and laughs, not knowing what in the world we're talking about. She has a few other new cute tricks she's been doing for awhile now... we just haven't gotten to mention them yet. After her bath is over, if you hand her the brush and tell her to brush her hair, she does. It's so adorable, and she really is getting a lot of hair to finally have something to brush! She also gives wonderful hugs these days. Our little parrot must take it all in... because literally whatever we do, she does. When she gives you a hug, if you pat her on the back, she pats you back. It's so funny. One night, I was giving her a hug and about to put her in the crib, and I patted her 3 times. She then patted me 3 times. I patted her one last time, and I got my one pat back. It was so cute. Anytime you stick your tongue out at her, she sticks hers back at you too. She's gaining more and more personality each day... we say we can't wait until she can really start talking, but, we're actually quite afraid to hear what she'll have to say.

Fifteen Weeks!

We're already 15 weeks along in this pregnancy... and it seems to be flying by. Everyone has told us this second pregnancy will go so much faster... especially because we'll be chasing around a toddler, which won't give us much time to even think about the fact that we're pregnant! That has totally been the case. I feel like people have asked how I've been feeling... umm, tired? I am always tired, have been since even before Alli was born, so I doubt I can tell the difference between being tired from pregnancy, or just tired from having Alli around! The two things that have really bothered me so far about this pregnancy are these two common questions/comments that keep coming up from strangers/family/friends/co-workers...

1. Did you plan this??
Hmm, we're not 17 and reckless. We are married and know how the whole baby making process works, so, I'm pretty sure we knew what we were getting into. We may not have expected it to happen this quickly, but we had discussed in length that when we started trying, it was a very real possibility that it could happen right away, and if it did, we'd be okay with that. So, here we are. And we're thrilled. Yes, we may be exhausted and very busy for awhile, but, it'll be so nice to have the diaper stage, the bottle stage, the sleepless stages... all relatively over within the next few years.

2. I sure hope this one is a boy!
Why? Just because we have a little girl, you automatically assume this one has to be a boy for us to be happy? I know it's cliche to say, but working in pediatric nursing, I can honestly say that with everything I see at work each day, I truly only hope for a healthy, happy baby. We would both be thrilled regardless of this baby's sex, and I find it hurtful and hard when I hear people make comments about the gender. Why does it matter to you if it's a boy or girl, will you not love it as much if it's not a boy? I can see Alli being so happy with a sister that would be close in age, that could potentially be her maid of honor someday, her best friend... or, happy bugging a pesky little brother, and fiercely protecting him someday in a way only an older sister could. Either way, Eric & I will be happy, too.

Our little lady's first birthday bash

I know we're pretty behind on blogging about Alli Ru's first birthday party, but, to say we've been busy would be an understatement. Anyway, no excuses... here we go!

Both Dad-E's parents and my mom and grandma all came into town on Thursday the 27th, Alli's actual 1st birthday. They all got to see her sporting her new moves of walking all over the place, which none of them had seen yet, and we all just got to visit and catch up. The following day, mom, grandma and I went out to get some last minute things for the party, came back home, and put my grandma to work cutting up cheese, pepperoni and olives to make these cute ladybug snacks! My mom and Eric were also busy cutting up the strawberries, which Aunt Gena ended up helping a LOT with later when she got into town too, and both snacks turned out wonderfully! Thanks for every one's help and support!

So as I mentioned, Aunt G, Uncle Rob, best buddy Anneliese and their faithful dog W came down from Charlotte on Friday to spend the weekend with us. It was great to see them, and Dad-E enjoyed some male bonding time while Gena and I tried to catch up on the sleep we'll never actually catch up on ever again, but, both of us sure like to try.

Saturday, party day!, rolled around, and Alli slept for almost 3 hours before the party. I guess she knew she'd need to build up her energy... but she was quite groggy and in a daze when she woke up about 15 minutes before her guests were set to start arriving. Oh, and did I forget to mention the fact that when we took her to her one year check up on Friday, they told us she had a double ear infection? So, needless to say, even though she really didn't have any symptoms, she probably wasn't feeling 100%. Right around 3pm, Alli's party guests started arriving. We had Dawn and Dave and their kids Austyn and Zane, Alice and her son Simon, Rob, Gena & Fi, Pops & Tatsy, Grandma C & grandma great, Aunt Katie & Zack, and our great neighbors Mike, Brittany, Lily & Porter. Our first order of business was giving Alli her present from us... the shirt announcing to our friends and family that she was going to be a big sister. After the congratulations were done, we opened some presents... good lord, the girl got a lot of stuff. We're very grateful and thankful for all our friends and family being so generous. Then, it was cake time! Alli wasn't sure what to think of it all... and I brought the smash cake out with a candle, which she tried to grab. Mike, our great neighbor, jumped in and grabbed her hand away... which she was totally startled by and wasn't sure what to do. We then had to coax her into putting her hand in... but after that, she was shoveling it in. Grandma C had to take it away from her after a little while... we didn't want her to have a stomach ache on top of ear infections! We also had the older kids set up to paint pumpkins with finger paint... I think they had fun with that. All in all, it was a great time! We're glad we got to celebrate with so many close friends and family, even though we aren't "home" in Ohio where a lot of other family could have come as well.

Happy 1st Birthday to our lil lady bug... we love you!

Alli's birthday cake!

Alli checking out her smash cake


This is pretty good!

Family photo!

Zane, Alli & Austyn playing on the ladybug train box!


My homemade banner!

One Year Pictures

We took Alli downtown to Hampton Park and had Sterling Pickett take her one year pictures. She had some great ideas and we had a happy, cooperative lil camper for the photo shoot. I can't believe how big she is... it just doesn't seem like it's possible.

Here's a few of my favorites... but they're so hard to choose from, I love them all!

I'm thinking we'll need to schedule at least a little mini session with Sterling again here soon to get a few cute ones for potential Christmas cards... (Dad-E will be thrilled when he sees/hears this, he just loooves how many pictures we have... and is already worried, as are many people, about this "poor 2nd kid not getting half as many pictures as Alli had...")

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life after walking

It's hard to believe that Mommy B and I have been posting in This Space for almost a year (OK, ten months or so). So much has changed in that time, and things continue to do so at an almost alarming rate. I faintly recall posting updates about how Alli increased her mommy milk intake here and here, and thinking it was such a big deal. It's funny when you look back - so many little things that you thought were important then are commonplace now. So I decided that it might be a good time to talk about some of the other things that are new with our pride and joy.

* Mommy B and I have been saying it to each other for a while, that as soon as Alli would be able to walk, she'd be a much happier kiddo. Not that she was ever grumpy to begin with... but she's such a curious little squirt that we knew once she'd be able to get anywhere she wanted to check things out for herself, she'd be in heaven. And I have to say we weren't far off on our guesses. She walks everywhere now - all over the house, up the stairs (with our help still), around the yard, up and down the driveway and even into the street if we let her get that far.

Her stride is more under control than it was just a week ago. She doesn't flail her arms around quite like she did her first day or so, and definitely falls down much less. Another thing she likes to do is when she comes walking towards you (sometimes almost running), she'll almost stop her feet but keep leaning forward. The result is her falling into your arms, similar to a forward-facing trust fall. It makes her giggle endlessly, and of course I get to steal a hug - which is always a treat.

* She loves being tossed up in the air. This also makes her giggle endlessly, even if it usually results in having the hiccups for a little while. My former teammates from my college football team would be amazed at how great my hands are when I'm catching a child instead of a football. Needless to say, I played defense back then...

* When I'm not tossing her in the air, she loves leaning over backwards when I'm holding her in my arms. I'll sometimes wiggle her around or swing her from side to side, and the giggling continues. And what child doesn't love the occasional blood rush to the head?

* She loves her some Pooh. She has a stuffed Winnie the Pooh in her crib and has slept with it since she was two days old. Once she was old enough to crawl, she would crawl over to him, grab him by the arms, and chomp down on his nose. When the teething began, Pooh's nose became our savior. Now that she's older, we put her down in the crib for bed and she immediately crawls over to Pooh to begin playing/chomping on his nose. There have been times when she's dangled him over the side of the crib and accidentally dropped him, only to have Mommy B or I have to retrieve him for her.

Monday night I made the mistake of letting her have Pooh to play with right before we headed to the bath, and she refused to let me have him before she got in the tub. I'm talking scream-in-your-face, take-him-and-I-make-your-life-miserable type of upset. So, I caved in and Pooh went into the tub with her. I'm not really sure that was a good idea, but I figured he probably needed a bath too. He spent the rest of the night in front of the fan to dry off while she slept without him.

* She's been eating grown-up food for a while now, and we've only found one thing she doesn't like. Truth be told, it was actually her teachers who found out. We still get a daily sheet that indicates what she ate/drank, when she napped, and her diaper changes (and their contents). As Mommy B and I have mentioned many times, Alli doesn't shy away from food... ever. In fact, it's become so normal for us to see "All" written next to each of her meals that we really only notice when she doesn't eat all of something.

Her school has four weekly menus that they rotate. One day, they gave her an English Muffin for breakfast, and that night I noticed they wrote "Refused" next to it. It was the first time in her 10+ months of life that she's ever refused anything. Mommy B and I just chalked it up to her not feeling well that day. Until about a month ago, she again refused her English Muffin. I don't know how they prepare it, but it's obvious that she doesn't like it - which is saying a lot for someone who can devour two hot dogs, a cup of diced fruit and multiple handfuls of Crunchies for dinner.

* The sippy cup war is finally over - and has been for a while. We decided that the best way for her to get used to her sippy cup was to just send her formula in one or two to daycare, and have them force her to take it when she eats. Apparently her teachers don't take no crap, because she was taking a sippy cup at home with no problems within a week or two. She still didn't like them much and we could tell that she would still fight with them from time to time.

So, Mommy B decided to get some bigger cups that have a straw that pops out of the top. We thought she might have an easier time with something that she doesn't have to work so hard for. Well, she took to them like a duck to water (or an Alli to the ocean). We just open the top so she can get at the straw, and the rest is history. And now that she's completely onto whole milk (yet another change she could have cared less about), all we have to do is send her cups with her to school, and they take care of the rest. I have to say, buying water and mixing formula was getting a little old... and the fact that her school provides whole milk during the day makes my life a lot easier.

OK, I think that's enough for today. More to come soon, I'm sure.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

I feel like this is probably her buddy Fi telling her to slow down and not run at full speed like she's been doing. It has just been incredible how she took off one day and has never slowed down. I was at work the following 3 days in a row after she really started officially walking, and I would call and text Eric on those days while I was at work asking, "Is she still walking??" And naturally, he'd reply, yes, she's fine honey. But of course, I couldn't help but think she might have forgotten how to do it. I think it's safe to say she's got it down.

Happy 2nd Halloweenie!

What a difference a year makes... last year, our Halloween was celebrated by us passing out candy to our few trick-or-treaters that venture down our dark cul-de-sac, while still very much learning what to do with our 4 day old infant.

This year, we packed up her new wagon (birthday present from us!) and ventured out into the neighborhood. Wow, there were a lot of kids trick or treating in the neighborhood! We had no idea, seeing that the 3 years we've lived here, we barely get any coming to our house. We realized it must be beacause our cul-de-sac is kind of out of the way, and there are so many great houses right around the pool area, it's like jackpot central for kids wanting candy. We visited a few friends, then ventured over to Nelliefield, the neighborhood next to ours, to see some of Dad-E's friends from work too. All in all, she did great... was really getting good at digging in and getting the good stuff (for us), haha, and even at one house, she had some candy from the house before and instead of taking some, she put the candy she had in her hand in the next neighbors bowl when they opened the door. The woman laughed and laughed, Dad-E said she's the best trick or treater ever, giving candy instead of taking it! She even said her "tank tu" a few times, which made us so proud. What a cute little Kangaroo our Ru made... and a perfect costume for her.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Who's ready for another roller coaster ride?

Jump on and hold on tight... Alli is going to be a big sister in about six more months!!

We are overly excited and thrilled. Dad-E and I had always discussed wanting babies close together... we thought it would be an easier transition for Alli as she grows up, maybe not being as "aware" of what's going on as if she would be had she been older when the next baby came along, so hopefully the jealousy and regressing won't be as bad. We thought getting over the diaper stage with one baby, then starting over with another would just make it seem like we're in diapers forever, so why not have two in diapers at the same time instead?! We thought with the two being close in age, hopefully they'll play together well and end up being great friends someday.

Yes of course, we realize there will be quite a few challenges along the way and it won't be easy. Two under two. Babies eighteen months apart. We'll have our hands full, that's for sure. But, it's yet another ride we're excited to try out.

We've had many people ask us the customary questions...
What's your official due date? April 29th is what the doctor's claim, however, I think it's more like May 5th, but what do I know, they know my body better than I do after all right? Seeing as they use a little wheel calendar to calculate every one's due date like every person is exactly the same and has exactly the same cycle. Pshh.
So that makes you how far along? 14 weeks as of yesterday, so we're already into the 2nd trimester.
How are you feeling? Great! Just tired. I realized this pregnancy would be much different seeing as I'll be chasing a 1 yr old around, not being able to lounge around and nap all day. But, it's been good. It actually seems to be flying by a lot faster too.
And, the biggest question yet... are you going to find out the sex this time? Probably not. As most/all of you know, we chose not to find out with Alli, and it was seriously the best feeling/surprise of our lives. That moment when you're near the end of the labor, ready to just have that baby here, and not knowing what that baby's sex is, just makes it even more thrilling. Eric and I have gone back and forth... I kind of do want to know, he doesn't... so we'll see. We still have 6 weeks to figure it out.

So here's the shirt we opened as a gift for Alli from us at her birthday party to announce it to our family and friends..

And the back, giving away the big surprise :)

12 Month Stats

We made it! A whole year old. 365 days. Our toddler visited Dr. Kelly for her one year check up on the Friday after her birthday, and we were informed she had a raging ear infection in her left ear, and one starting in the right ear. What? We would've had no idea had we not had an appointment today.. she shows no symptoms at all. So, we started on the Amoxicillin regimen for a 10 day treatment and we'll go back in 4 weeks to get checked again, get the other 1/2 of the flu shot, and another shot we skipped that day so she didn't have to get 4 shots. They checked her iron and lead levels with a finger stick too and said everything looked great from that standpoint.

So, Alli Ru, you've accomplished a ton in a year: lifting your head, rolling over, sitting, standing, army crawl, crawling, walking, learning a few words, gained your unique personality and eating from "mommy milk" to solid soft foods and regular milk. (I'm sure I'm leaving out a bunch of milestones, but it happened so fast!) Hopefully, this blog will be there (in book form, or on the Internet still!) for you to read someday and see all the fun we've gone through this first year with you. You've changed our lives forever, and we couldn't be happier.

The Stats:
Weight: 20 lbs 1 oz (33rd percentile)
Length: 29.5 inches (64th percentile)
Head: 17 1/4" inches (16th percentile)
Diaper Size: 3's
Clothing Size: 9-12 month, depending on the brand
Shoe Size: 4's - 5's depending on the brand too
Food: We started the whole milk on her actual birthday last Thursday, and she could have cared less about the difference.. so, no problems there, she's downing whole milk like a champ! And any and all food still... the only thing we've heard she's refused twice now at daycare are English muffins. Weird?
Naps: One 2 hour nap while at daycare, still 2 during the day when she's home with us
Sleep: Bed by 6:45-7ish, up by 6ish
Teeth: Eight still.. no sign of those molars yet!
Sounds: Dada, mama, baba, ga, "daaww" (dog), "uh oh", nana, yeah, nah, ball, "tank tu" (I think it's thank you.. she does it every time she hands me something after I say thank you to her... haha)
Play: WALKING! everywhere, loves riding in her new wagon, still mimicks about everything we do, all her new toys from her birthday will keep her occupied for awhile now, showing us where her belly is, stacking objects or putting them from one place to another container, or best of all, handing us everything until we run out of hands to hold onto everything,
New buddies: No one new, just seeing a bunch of her old buddies at her party... Anneliese, Lily, Porter, Simon, Austyn and Zane!
Now, the countdown is really on for that 1st birthday party.... our little lady is turning one, who said that was allowed to happen?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy birthday, Alli

The big day has finally arrived. Exactly one year ago today, Allison Ruah graced the world with her presence. I think back to that day with very fond memories...

Much like today, it was very warm. I think we almost set a record - somewhere in the mid-80's. Even though I was in shorts and a T-shirt that day, it felt like Christmas. Well, it felt like Christmas from my childhood - you know, back when you really had no idea what you were getting? That's how it felt when Alli was born - we both knew it was coming, but we didn't know the specifics of the "gift", if you will. And about 10 hours after we checked into the hospital, our bouncing baby girl was born - 7lbs. 2 oz., 20 inches long, with almost a full head of light brown hair. Wait... what?? The offspring of two bald-when-they-were-born babies has a full head of hair? Darn right, she did. Fast forward 365 days, and it's all been replaced by a full head of blond hair eerily similar to Dad-E's when he was that age.

Some Followers might recall this post that lists 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters. Some time today, I plan on writing Alli a letter to tell her about her first year of life. I'm not going to post it here because I want it to be personal for her when she reads it some day. I'm hoping to do this every year on her birthday until she goes off on her own. Might make a nice gift for her when she goes off to college or becomes a mom herself.

I'm sure many people are going to ask me what this first year of parenthood was like. The best analogy I can think of is riding a roller coaster for the first time. Here's why...

Like any good roller coaster, you start out by waiting. And waiting... and waiting. Lots of waiting. There are all these other people around waiting too, so you assume that it must be a good ride. You meet people while waiting that have already gone through it once or twice, so there must be something that keeps them coming back again. You can't really see what's ahead of you, but you've heard stories waiting in line about what's to come - some good, some bad.

Finally, it's your turn. You get on... and the anticipation starts building. Up you go, and you can't help but be excited for what's about to happen. And before you know it, your thrown in more directions than your body can handle. Up, down, left, right, up again, down again. Then a loop, then a corkscrew. Up again, down again. Another loop, another corkscrew. You go through so many emotions in such a short period of time, you're not really sure how you should feel. All the while, there is screaming, laughing and maybe some crying by those who can't handle the ride. The whole time you're trying to contain your jubilation and your tears... and just pray you don't get thrown up on.

Finally, the ride slows down and you settle into a groove. There are still some small hills - up again and down again - but nothing compared to what you went through at the beginning. You get off the ride, look at your significant other and say, "Damn... even though I was scared sh*tless, that was pretty fun. Let's do it again!" Others turn to each other and say, "No way, never again." As you walk away, you're still feeling so many emotions that you're not sure what just happened. It all happened so fast that all you can hope is that you got some good pictures along the way.

The next time you ride might not be quite as exciting as the first, but that's when you remember that this roller coaster changes each time you ride. So the decision then becomes: do you get in line to ride again? I say yes... but maybe in a little while after my stomach settles.

Happy birthday, Alli. Your daddy loves you more than you'll ever know... or at least until you have a child of your own.