Thursday, May 26, 2011

This should be interesting

Today Dad-E and I are at home (he's working from home, I'm just playing with Ru), and getting things ready for our trip to Ohio tomorrow! We are going to be making the drive back north, which in total is about 12 hours up to Findlay, but we'll be breaking it up to spend some time with his family too in Cincinnati and our friends in Dayton. So, it'll "only" be about 9-10 hours for our first leg of the trip. Well, I take that back... it would be 9-ish hours if it were just Eric and I driving... but, with an almost 7 month old and an overly excitable golden retriever, I'm sure we're in for a long haul. We're going to make the best of it though, no complaints! We are just excited to see our family and friends... especially those who have yet to meet our lil Ru! Thank goodness for having my moms SUV to drive home in, we'll have a lot more room for all of us... I'm just dreading the drive back to SC in my Nissan, especially if it still looks like this...

Yep, this is my back windshield blown out from horrible hail storms they had up in Findlay yesterday. What great luck! My poor mom... she's had my car (somewhat unwillingly and I know she misses her big SUV!), and since she's had it she has had to get a new tire, and now this! Go figure. Time to go car shopping for me...

Anyway, we probably won't be updating for awhile because we'll be at home enjoying time with our family and friends, so don't miss us too much! And wish us luck on this long, fun drive home...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Props to Pops

While most of you were sitting on your couch watching some dude pass out while trying to win the heart of last season's reject on The Bachelorette last night, you know what I was doing? I was changing a circuit breaker with a flashlight in my 100 degree garage. Ah the joys of home-ownership...

On Sunday night after giving Alli her nightly bath, I headed into her bedroom to get things ready to put her to bed while Mommy B dried her off and got her in her onesie. I flipped the light switch on the wall, and nothing. Great... now what? Luckily it was still light outside so I was able to see my way around, but I could tell that nothing was kicking on. No night-light, no lamp, no clock, no ceiling fan. Even though we had power in every other room of the house, I knew this posed a pretty big problem. Not only are we leaving town soon, but it was 95 degrees here yesterday.... today is supposed to flirt with the record high of 97. I don't care if people think Alli is coddled, but a 7-month-old needs a fan on when they're sleeping in this kind of weather. So I knew what that meant - Dad-E was looking for the nearest phone booth to change wardrobes into Super Dad.

I tried flipping the circuit breaker a couple times to see if it had been tripped, but got nothing. I tried leaving it off for the night in hopes that something had been tripped and needed to be reset. I checked things again Monday morning, still nothing. I even busted out my latest birthday present from Mommy B - a Voltage Tester. That's right Followers, last Christmas she got me a car jack and stands and this year a voltage tester for my birthday. Needless to say I'm not much of a video-gamer...

Anyway, I flipped the breaker back on and tried the voltage tester in every single outlet in Alli's room. Much to my surprise, every single one read "hot", meaning that I was getting juice to her room - but not enough to power a night light? This meant that there could have been any number of culprits - a bad switch, a wire touching another somewhere, a wire shorted out, a fried circuit breaker or heaven forbid, a wire that has been chewed through or frayed in the wall somewhere.

I came home from work and tried a couple more things to no avail. So before I went on a wild goose chase, I called the man - my dad. Followers might recall that this guy can fix anything. He ran me through a couple things to test to narrow down the cause, and we both decided it would be best (and easiest) to replace the circuit breaker all together and go from there. After a quick run to Lowe's, I was ready to rock and roll. Mommy B fired up Skype on our laptop and Pops did on his end as well. With the power completely off in the whole house, it was a race against time before Alli's room became too hot.

With Mommy B holding the laptop and flashlight, Pops walked me through removing the old circuit breaker and replacing it with a new one. We flipped the main power back on, then flipped on the new breaker. The new breaker was fine, but the moment the juice started flowing, Mommy B and I saw the culprit. There was a neutral wire that was not completely connected to the grounding tree - and it was sparking slightly. We could tell right away that it had been that way for a while, as the end of it was completely fried. We just knew that this was our gremlin...

Again with Pops' careful instructions, I killed the power, cut the fried wire off, stripped the plastic coating and found another spot to reattach it. We flipped the main power back on, and Mommy B went up to Alli's room to check things out. She came back down to the garage with a big thumbs up, which meant we were back in business. Thank god - because I'm no electrician and I didn't feel like punching holes in the drywall tracking down a frayed wire.

Our jubilation was short-lived, however. I had opened the garage door a couple feet to let some air in, but not enough that the entire mosquito population of South Carolina would want to join us. This provided just enough room for Scarlett to take herself on a walk. So just as I put everything back together and put away, off Mommy B and I went into the neighborhood to find our crazy dog in the darkness. Oh, and she hasn't worn a collar since Alli was born - so it was a real treat trying to find out where she went. I never thought I'd miss that jangly dog collar...

We were able to find her rather quickly, and she came right to me. We made it back to the house and got everything back to normal. Alli had her night light and fan going again (even though she had slept through this whole ordeal). Major crisis averted, thanks to modern technology and a dad that knows a few things. Also, I didn't electrocute myself and everything is in working order for when we leave town.

Overall, I took it as a real learning experience. I got to unearth some of my troubleshooting and critical thinking skills from my past job in Customer Support - but more importantly I learned even more about electricity than I already knew. If a situation like this ever happens again, I'll know exactly what to look for and know how to fix some of the (easier) possible culprits.

I think that's what you really strive for as a parent - to teach your kid how to analyze a situation and how to work their way through it to a resolution. That way, if they ever face a similar situation in the future, they'll know how to deal with it properly. So, props to Pops - job well done.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

This is perhaps the best idea I've ever heard of!! For those of you who don't know, our whole downstairs of our house is hardwood. We have one large rug in the living room that usually serves as Alli's play area... but also serves as Scarlett's favorite place to lay... which presents the dilemma of dog hair, everywhere. We vacuum that rug at least once a week, and when I say vacuum, I mean, we vacuum it for like 15 minutes. One rug. That's how much dog hair our loving, sweet golden retriever sheds. So needless to say, Alli is down on her belly, scooting around, usually coming up with hands and mouths full of dog hair. Awesome. I love this idea in the comic, to add lint tape to her onesie... pictures to come.... :o) Just kidding! I think...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I just miss her...

This week has been a crazy one. With my new jobs starting in the past few weeks, it's been a bit chaotic. My Meduflex position at the hospital is an interesting one... I'm able to sign up for shifts whenever I want, knowing though that I'm the first person that will get cancelled if hospital census is low. So, Monday and Tuesday, I got cancelled. However, I'm also coordinating a project called 'Nursing Your Career Camp', where Charleston County high school students that are interested in nursing come to MUSC for 3 days and shadow nurses, work in the simulation lab, get their CPR certification, and hear specialized nurses give speeches about their areas of expertise. I am organizing it all, and it's a bit overwhelming, but exciting too. So, I worked on that camp for hours both Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I had my first day orienting for my home health RN position. It was with a wonderful family and a sweet 6 year old boy, a very interesting and new experience for me.

Today, I worked on the cardiac floor and had to perform chest compressions on a 2 month old cardiac pre-op patient who was going downhill fast... how scary and what an experience. But how rewarding to see him doing well by the time I went home today. It's just been quite a busy, crazy week. And all at the same time, my little girl is learning new words/sounds, saying dada like it's her job, and just growing like crazy. I feel like I'm never around to see it all... most nights I get home, and she's already asleep. It's exhausting, yet my job is so rewarding too. I just wish I could work because I want to, not because I have to. Then I could be here for all her big moments, and little ones... I just don't want to miss a thing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First words... for real this time!

That's right folks, our little Alli girl has technically uttered her first word. Naturally, it was the "dada" sound that 95% of babies manage to say first. After Mommy B picked her up from daycare yesterday, she took her home to hang out for the afternoon. While opening up the refrigerator with Alli in one arm, she began curling her tongue just a bit and made a "dadadada" sound. She did it only briefly, but Mommy B swore up and down to me when I got home that she "spoke".

I came home a little early and we decided to take the whole fam damily for a walk around the neighborhood. Avid Followers might be noticing a trend here... I love running, Mommy B loves pushing the stroller, and Scarlett.. well, going for a "W" is her favorite thing in the world. Mommy B and I have resorted to just calling it a W because she's learned what the word "walk" means. Anyway, Alli was being a little fussy in the afternoon and wouldn't take her afternoon nap - so we decided a family walk might help sooth her a bit.

While Mommy B was getting changed and getting the stroller ready for the walk, I was playing with Alli on the floor. All of a sudden, she curled her tongue just a bit and began babbling "dadada" at me. I almost freaked out! I called to Mommy B and told her to come post haste so she could hear it too. Of course, by the time she got there it had trailed off a bit and was just baby talk at that point. However, we both knew we were on to something at that point... as we had both heard something that resembled words.

As we walked around the neighborhood, Alli would periodically babble - each time sounding just like the "dadada" that we heard earlier. Mommy B and I looked at each other and knew today was the day. Well, Alli decided that she was going to fall asleep as we neared the end of our walk - so we decided to keep going until she woke up. After all, she hadn't had her afternoon nap so we figured that as long as she was getting her nap in, we'd be in the clear. Scarlett couldn't have been happier when we walked past the house for Lap 2. Good ol' stroller worked like a charm.

We returned home sometime later, fed the Bottomless Pit and played with her for a little while longer. Then it was off to bath and bed, just an hour or so later than normal. Alli wasn't quite ready to pass out, so we left her to put herself to sleep like normal. From downstairs we could hear her talking. We both tip-toed back upstairs and stood outside her partially-opened door listening to her go on and on. Sure enough, "dadadada" was just about all she was saying.

I'm not sure where she picked it up, but it was just like a light switch went off and she started saying it. The part that really shocked us was that we've never heard her make any noises that sounded even close to that before - it was basically hearing her make a completely new sound for the first time. So not only was it a completely new sound, but it was a new sound that was really close to being an actual word! We know we're in for it now, because she's just going to start "talking" more and more and each day could potentially bring something else.

Either way, we're pretty excited for our little girl. She has hit so many milestones just in the last couple of weeks that it seems like someone hit fast-forward on her development. Long gone are the days of her falling asleep on my chest (heck, she doesn't even fit there anymore) and the days of back-talking and attitude are fast approaching. We'll have to make sure we curb that early on - she technically is a Southern Belle, after all. But being the offspring of two smart-asses could prove challenging for Mommy B and I...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Well, this isn't really a cartoon... but more of a slogan we've heard quite a bit down here...

We will be doing just that in just about 10 days! We're making the trip back home to Ohio for the first time with Alli (and Scarlett too... oh boy!) I am very excited to see our friends and family again, especially the people who have yet to meet our little Ru. We're planning on getting up around the normal time, 5:30-6am and hitting the road Friday morning, and getting into Cincinnati sometime that afternoon or evening. It's usually a 9-ish hour drive, but with a baby and a crazy golden retriever, I'm not banking on making good time, I just want us all to get there in one piece. We'll spend the night and next day in Cinci visiting Dad-E's family, and having Alli meet some family members she hasn't met yet! Sunday, we're headed up to Dayton where a whole group of our friends from college will be meeting up with us to say hi & meet the Ru-ster. That evening, we'll head up to Findlay where we'll spend the rest of the week. She's going to get to meet a lot of people, and I just hope she's not too exhausted and thrown off schedule by it all. But we're staying positive and hoping for a great trip!! It might even be nice to have a few nights where Dad-E and I can just go take a break... even if it's just going out to eat, get Archie's (yayy!! for those Findlay people, they know what I mean!!), or go to a movie without Alli... it will be a nice break. Not that we don't love the girl to pieces, but, we always have to take her everywhere with us and don't get much time to ourselves since we don't have family down here. Start to kind of feel like this window washer guy... (here's your comic for the week!)

Picture this...

You get out of work on Friday afternoon after a long week of slaving away for The Man. It's 80 degrees out even though it's late in the afternoon. As you're picking up your 6-month-old from daycare, your cell phone rings. Your best friend (and his girlfriend) invite you, your wife and your kid out on a sunset boat cruise around Charleston Harbor. You dash home, grab the wife, pack up a cooler with some snacks and Cold Ones and hop on the boat at a public dock 12 minutes from your house. You spend the next couple of hours slowing cruising up and down the tidal creeks of Daniel Island sipping Coronas while your kiddo takes it all in. Plenty of pictures are taken to document the occasion...

You wake up on Saturday and go for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood with the whole family (dog included). Then, you drop the pooch off at home and take your daughter to her first visit to the neighborhood pool. You sit with her in the shallow end while she splashes around and gets used to the water and you work on your suntan. Then, you and your wife take turns holding her in the air and "dunking" her waist-deep into the water as she giggles and smiles at the experience. Again, plenty of pictures are taken to document the occasion...

On Sunday, you spend the morning cooking a hearty breakfast and relaxing at your house - watching your daughter learn how to use a sippy cup for the first time and scooting around on the floor. She's so close to crawling, you just know she's going to put it all together one of these days. You then give the car a wash and detail job thorough enough it could pass a showroom floor inspection. You wrap things up by either heading off to the beach for the afternoon or taking another walk around the neighborhood (dog included, of course). To end the day, it's burgers on the grill as the sun sets and a cool offshore breeze blows through your hair.

No, it's not vacation... it's just the weekend.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th

Most people run and hide when they see "Friday the 13th" come along... Eric and I tend to celebrate.

We got engaged on a Friday the 13th (July 13, 2007)
We got married on a Friday the 13th (June 13, 2008) - my grandparent's 49th wedding anniversary!
We found out we were pregnant on a Saturday the 13th (close enough!!) (February 13, 2009)
Scarlett turned 3 on a Friday the 13th (May 13, 2011)

Hope you all have a great day! And enjoy this Friday the 13th, as it's the only one of 2011!

And I just wonder... next year, there are three... Friday January 13th (which will be our sis-in-law Kristi's birthday!), Friday April 13th, 2012 or Friday July 13th, 2012... maybe something else exciting will happen for us on one of those Friday the 13th's next year!!

Grab Scarlett a beer!!

Today is our furry baby's 3rd (or in dog years, 21st!!) birthday! She has really been the love of our lives (until Alli came along...), and has adjusted well in her role as big sis and protector of her newest tiny human. We can tell she has grown to love Alli and Alli sure loves her too! Or, loves grabbing her crimpies at least.
It's crazy to think that we went to go get a smoothie, not even realizing there was a pet supplies boutique next door... which just happened to have Grateful Golden Rescue there on that day with puppies in a cage out front. There was Scarlett (actually, Georgetta at the time), with her crimpy ears and busy chewing on a piece of bark. Eric actually fell in love with her first. We had to get a home inspection done by one of the Rescues volunteers, and within a few weeks... she was ours!

Our friends in Charlotte have taken their dog Wallace to a Dog Bar up there, since he's legal too, and we'll definitely have to make a trip up there very soon to celebrate. (Oh, and meet lil Anneliese too of course!)

So, Happy Birthday Scarlett! We love you and thank you for being such a great big sister :o)

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I read an interesting article yesterday about nicknames for professional athletes, and how there aren't any good ones anymore. Think about it - how many people out there know "Babe" Ruth's real name? What about "Magic" Johnson, "Yogi" Berra or "Crazy Legs" Hirsch? Followers of a certain age can recall some of the great ones - William "Refrigerator" Perry, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Carl "Mailman" Malone, Dick "Night Train" Lane and of course Jack "Golden Bear" Nicklaus.

The article wasn't trying to point out that no one knows the aforementioned athletes' first names - but rather showing that no one has a really good, creative nickname these days. I mean come on, "A-Rod"? "Big Baby" Davis? "Big Ben" Roethlisberger? Even Chad Johnson of the Bengals legally changed his last name to "OchoCinco" to reflect his new moniker, for crying out loud.

The article hypothesized that there could be a couple reasons for this decline in the use of and creativity of nicknames today. Perhaps all the good nicknames are taken... or perhaps with media communication the way it is nowadays, there's no reason to have to learn another name when the athlete's complete bio is at your fingertips in an instant.

After reading it over, it got me thinking - why do we give each other nicknames in the first place? More importantly, what does the nickname one receives by family or friends represent? Forget about nicknames for athletes for a minute, and think back on the nicknames you either had yourself or knew of growing up. What did they mean and why did people use it instead of your given name?

I'll be honest, I've had a few nicknames given to me over the years from my family and friends. When I was an infant and toddler, I was known as "Pooh Bear" or "Poohdy" because I used to watch that cartoon all the time. As I got older and sports became such a large part of my life, I naturally gathered some more. In high school I was simply known as "Meibers" or just "Meibs" on the football field and track. One guy on the football team called me "Snowman" because I wore jersey number 88 - which looked like two white snowmen because my jersey was never dirty. (Insert any bench-riding jokes here).

I went off to college and a few more rolled around. A guy I played football and ran track with called me "The White Flash" because of my speed. A few of the track guys began calling me "Mastodon" Meibers - I'm not going to divulge details as to why... draw your own conclusions on that one. Once I hit the Real World, some of my collegeues referred to me as "Ice Man" due to my partial resemblance to Val Kilmer's character in Top Gun. I kindly remind folks that I look like Val Kilmer did in 1986 - not today.

Anyway, the article talked about why groups (sports teams or families even) do this: "When we gave (someone) a nickname, good or bad, it meant that we cared," said Ernest Abel, a Wayne State professor of psychology and obstetrics. "You don't give someone about whom you are indifferent a nickname. The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference."

That last sentence really resonated with me. If you've been around my family long enough and we like you enough, you'll get a nickname eventually. We may not come up with the best of the best for each other, but it doesn't matter... its the meaning behind them that really counts. Perfect example: my younger sister has been known as "Bacon" for the last 10 years or so. My older brother has had his current nickname since he started high school. Mommy B has been known as "B-ritt" for the better part of a decade too.

I think everyone in my house has a nickname. Mommy B and I are pretty much "Mommy" and "Daddy" now. Even Scarlett has had a dozen nicknames in her 3 years with us - "Scar-little", "Scarley", "Mole/gecko catcher" and "Hole digger" just to name a few. But don't even get me started with our kiddo - I can't even remember the last time I used her full first name. In just six months, Allison Ruah Meibers has become "Alli", "Alli Ru", "Ru-ster", "Roo", "Long legs", "Toofers", "Piggy", and "Mommy's little alarm clock". I'm sure there have been more, but those are the most used lately.

Moral of the story - giving someone a nickname (good or bad) is more than just calling them something other than the name on their birth certificate. It's about a mutual affection and camaraderie, no matter the connotation of the name itself. I'm sure Alli will accumulate more in the coming years just like I did - and hopefully she understands what it really means to be given a nickname by those around her.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Speaking of sitting.... Alli has gotten this whole sitting by herself thing down. Once in awhile, she gets a little wobbly, but every day, she gets better and better. This morning while we were playing, she was sitting up, grabbing things all around her, and able to maintain her balance. It's incredible how something so simple as sitting, that we all sort of take for granted these days, does take such balance and core strength to do. It's such a huge step too, it makes things a lot easier for us too, we aren't constantly having to hold her up or sit her in her bumbo. Although, she does still love that chair. Anyway, if we could only get Scarley to truly "sit" for Alli, maybe Mommy B & Dad-E could have a night out. :o)

Greeted with a smile

When Mommy B and I first rescued Scarlett, it only took her a couple days or so to realize who her new masters were and to get into our routine. She quickly learned that I'm gone for 10 hours 5 days straight, then home for 2. Rinse. Repeat. Mommy B's schedule varied each week, but she didn't mind spending as much time as possible. But, after a couple weeks she learned that when she heard the garage door go up in the afternoon, Dad-E was home. She would always come running to the door as soon as I walked in with her tail wagging side-to-side so hard that it made her whole backside move. Those who have read "Marley & Me" will refer to it as "The Marley Mambo". Truth be told, Scarlett reminds us of Marley so much that we often call her Scarley - usually when she misbehaves...

I think that I've gotten so used to this greeting that I take it for granted now. I know that the day I come home and Scarlett isn't at my feet wagging her tail and jumping on me - will be a very sad day for me. Even when she jumps on me when my hands are full or I'm carrying Alli, I know she means well. She's such a happy dog all the time (I'm sure mostly due to her Golden Retriever nature), that it's hard to be mad at her for anything. Before we had Alli, I looked forward to this greeting every day when I came home from work and would reward Scarlett with her all-time favorite thing... a walk around the neighborhood. We both get exercise and she's happy - everybody wins.

Well, Alli has gotten to the age where she recognizes when Mommy B and I enter or leave a room. I'm not talking that she finally recognizes her parents - I'm talking her face lights up like a Christmas tree when one of us comes into the room to pick her up from a nap. There's a good side and a bad side to this though...

On the bad side, she realizes that we've left the room when we lay her down to go to sleep. If she's not "ready" to pass out, she'll lean up and look around and if no parents are present, she's not a happy camper. (Or just a camper as Jim Gaffigan says). Not sure if that's because she just loves us so darn much that she doesn't want to be away from us or what, but it can be stressful hearing her cry from her bed while we're in another part of the house. I know it's just a part of her growing up, but it takes everything I have to not run back into her room and pick her up sometimes.

On the good side - she reminds me of Scarlett when I come into her room. Typically when she wakes up now, she leans up (since she was probably sleeping on her belly) and peers around the room to see if anyone is there. 9 times out of 10, either Mommy B or I are standing right there because our "parent ears" heard her waking up. And my goodness, the smile that comes over her face when she sees me for the first time after waking up is something I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

This morning was another good example. Mommy B had the day off so I got up and hit the shower. When I came out, Mommy B opened the bathroom door and had Alli in her arms. When Alli looked up and saw my face, she literally beamed. She smiled that big, jack-o-lantern-with-two-partial-teeth smile and excitedly wiggled around in her mommy's arms. It melted my heart to have to walk out the door later, but thinking of that smile is enough to get me through another day at the office.

While getting up at the crack of dawn every day of the week isn't the most fun thing in the world to do, seeing how happy Alli is to see us makes it worth it. Is she so happy to see us because Mommy B and I are such happy, positive people? Or are all 6-month-olds that happy all the time? My hope is that she is just a naturally happy girl and that it will continue for her entire life. I'm sure I share a fear with just about anyone that has ever been a parent - that one day that smile will go away. I know Scarlett's won't until she's no longer around... and I hope Alli's will be the same way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

First words?

For the last couple of weeks or so, Mommy B and I have been trying to coach (coax might be a better word) Alli into saying her first word. We've tried "Mama" and "Dada" and even thrown a few "Doggy"s in there too, but all we've gotten out of her is some high-pitched happy yells and some grunts. However, this weekend we noticed that she's become quite vocal when she's eating.

Mommy B had Friday off so Alli spent 3 days in a row at home. Each day (home or at daycare), she typically eats 3 "meals" of baby food - a fruit with some rice cereal before her morning nap, a fruit and vegetable around noon or so, then a vegetable in the evening. Of course, we try to switch things up as much as we can so she doesn't get bored with the same foods, and as Mommy B posted once upon a time, we haven't come across anything she doesn't like.

During Alli's "dinner" on Saturday, she was especially vocal. I don't know if she was more hungry than normal or just all-around-excited, but she got pretty antsy when we first plopped her down in her high chair. After the first spoon full of whatever it was went into her mouth, she promptly closed her mouth around it and said "MMMMM!"

This wasn't your typical grunt or moan - you could hear the voice inflection up then down like an adult says when they describe a particularly tasty food. Mommy B and I simultaneously looked at each other and said "Did she just say 'yumm'? I think she did. Does that qualify as her first word?"

She went on to repeat this "talking" for the rest of the meal. As things went on, she kind of dropped the inflection and it just became more of a standard "mmmm" as she ate each bite. But my goodness, I've never seen an infant get so excited to eat. You'd think we were starving her or something... but I think it's just because she really likes the variety of baby food we've been buying/making her. I can tell she's gaining weight, and I'm happy we haven't had to restrict the type of food we give her because she's too "picky".

Sunday rolled around and it felt like she ate all day. In the afternoon she polished off a container of some fruit mixture, then half a jar of strained peas, then almost 4 ounces from a bottle. I couldn't tell where the hell she was putting it all - but I'm glad to see that she's eating well. And judging by her diapers recently... everything is making it's way through without any issues. As if I needed any more proof that she was mine - she's having no trouble with things going in or coming out.

Friday, May 6, 2011

How daycare made me cry

Let me start off by saying that we are incredibly lucky to have found such a wonderful daycare for Alli to attend. As much as I hate having to send her, and not having the luxury of staying home with her every day, I'm so glad we found such loving, compassionate people to watch her while we're working. I can tell she loves it there (although don't get me wrong, she is super excited when we come to get her, you can also tell she loves to be with us too!), but she has a ball hanging out with her friends and teachers.

Monthly, the teachers send home a folder with what they've learned and things they've done throughout the month. This past month of April, we got a folder full of pictures of Alli painting. She's sitting up there in a chair, hands all over in paint, and I was just in awe. My little girl does this stuff when I'm not around?! She was having so much fun in all the pictures. They also had made a little Easter basket out of construction paper and put her little picture in the shape of an egg in the basket. Just very cute little crafts!

Yesterday, I went to pick her up and one of her teachers asked if she was going to be back tomorrow. I told her no, that I was off work tomorrow so Alli would be hanging out with me all day. So her teacher got into the cabinet and said, well here then, since you won't be here tomorrow, here's your Mother's Day present from Alli. It was wrapped in pink paper, and when I opened it and read it, I got very teary-eyed... here's a picture of it, but in case you can't read it, it says:

Happy Mother's Day
I miss seeing you when we're not together
I'm growing up so fast
See how big I've gotten
Since you saw me last?
As I grow, I'll change a lot,
The years will fly right by.

You'll wonder how I grew so quick
When and where and why?
So look upon this footprint
That's hanging on your wall,
And memories will come back of me,
When I was very small.

Love, Alli 2011

It has her little footprint on the side.

I sure love those ladies at daycare, and how they made me cry on my first Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How is it possible to love a little human this much?

26.75 inches.

Almost 15 lbs.

It doesn't sound like much, does it? A little longer than two foot long subs from Subway. And a little less than two gallons of milk.

But this little package is the love of my life.

I am more and more overwhelmed every day with the amount of love I have for such a tiny human being. I still find it amazing that we created her, raised her into the little person she's becoming, and that we're responsible for molding her into the woman she'll become some day. It's all a little intimidating, but so exciting. Every day, I learn something new about myself and my ability as a mom, which of course, like every new parent, I questioned before she was born. Am I going to have any clue what to do? Will I know why she's crying and what to do to make it stop? Will she like me? Some of these questions I'm still figuring out, and I kind of think she likes me... or at least, she's in that stage where she likes everyone, and I just happen to be included in that group. Come back in about 13 years when we've hit the teenage years, and it'll probably be a different story. What goes around, comes around... and to say I wasn't an easy teenager for my mom would be an understatement. We're best friends now, but wow, I'm sure she wouldn't have minded me skipping those years, or at least going through them in another state (or country for that matter.)

I love Alli's little toothy grin. I love the way she looks at us when she's trying something new, eyes full of wonder and curiosity. I love her belly laugh when Scarlett comes running toward her after we've thrown the ball and she's bringing it back (even after the 20th time). I love the way she looks at her daddy. I love her huge smile of recognition when we come to pick her up at daycare, and how talkative and happy she is while she's getting loaded into her carseat... it's almost like she's bragging to her friends that she gets to leave now. I love the way she giggles and waits patiently while we get the bath ready. I love how she knows when we're going to brush her teeth (yes, teeth because she has two now! haha!) and opens wide when the brush comes close. I love the way she falls asleep on me, and when she still cuddles. I love her dancing, wiggling move when she's laying on her belly and a favorite song comes on.

I'm sure I could go on and on, but, you get the point I'm sure. She's an amazing little girl, and I'm proud to be her mom. I just never knew it was possible to love a little human this much... but I'm falling deeper in love each and every day.
Here comes Scarlett!!

Oh Scarlett, you crack me up!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Over the last few months while Mommy B and I have created this blog, we had an idea to save all our posts and when the time was right, publish them and turn them into a storybook that we could give to Alli as a gift when she was old enough to appreciate it. She could read about the trials and tribulations that her parents went through raising their first child. She would be able to read about how the "big moments" thus far in her life affected her parents and how we felt about them.

Well, I had a thought today that I decided I had to act upon. This blog should not only be a conduit for All Things Alli, but also serve as a time capsule for her later on. She could catch a glimpse into her first night home from the hospital, her first night sleeping all the way through, her first tooth, her first steps (coming soon probably), etc., etc. Just like opening a newspaper that you had tucked away in your basement (sorry fellow Southerners - a basement is an open space under your house that is under ground) for a few years, you think back to how you felt when those events took place. Even though she's too young at the moment to remember much about what's going on around her, she would be able to read about "how things were" at the time.

Well, here's how it was...
~ May 2nd, 2011 - President Barak Obama announced that a small group of Navy SEALS tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in New York City on September 11th, 2001. Over the last 10 years, his face has embodied all that is scary and evil in the world. Mommy B and I remember that day very clearly - I turned on the TV in my senior year Physics class just in time to see the second plane crash into the second building. After class change, I watched from History class (ironic, yeah?) as the buildings collapsed and people went running for their lives.

At the time, terrorists around the world celebrated the fact that someone was able to infiltrate the good ol' U.S. of A. and bring us to our knees. They rejoiced at the fact that a small group of bearded men were able to execute such an attack on a way of life they so despised. His death marked the end of a 10-year manhunt that spanned multiple countries on the other side of the world. As the news broke about bin Laden's death, young people all over the country poured into the streets to celebrate. While no amount of retaliation will make up for the innocent lives that were lost that day, our country can find solace in the fact that a small group of (likely clean-shaven) men were able to execute such an attack on a way of life they so despised. In my opinion - bad guy is dead. Time to celebrate. Loudly.

~ The average price of unleaded regular gasoline costs $3.98. I remember when I got my driver's license and gas had just broke $1 a gallon. Gas stations around the country had to fix their signs because they never anticipated gas would cost more than $1 a gallon. This time last year it was just over $2.50 a gallon. Tensions in the Middle East and Northern Africa (over lord knows what now) and switching from winter- to summer-blend gasoline has been cited for the sharp increase in fuel prices. My opinion, it's a crock...

~ The National Football League is still in the midst of its first work stoppage since 1987. The owners want more money and more games, the players want more benefits and the same amount of games. It's a bunch of jewelry rattling by people that want more jewelry. A recent study on a deceased former player's brain revealed that he had developed early signs of brain damage due to multiple concussions and repeated blows to the head over the course of his football career. Doctors believe that many of the symptoms he begin experiencing lately had likely led to his suicide. More games, eh? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea...

~ Meanwhile, Alli is so close to crawling it's not even funny. She has the strength to do it, she just hasn't put all the movements together quite yet. We can tell that when she sees something she wants, she tries with everything she has to scoot over to get it... but just hasn't put all the pieces together in the right order to get there. She is able to roll over like nobody's business (which basically constitutes her movements these days), but is about to crawl away for good.

Hopefully she will look back on this blog and appreciate all the "big moments" of her early childhood and the effect they had on her parents.. While she may not remember them first-hand like we will, she'll be able to look back and see what it was like for her parents raising their first-born child. And just like opening an old newspaper, she'll be able to really see "how things were" back then.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Do you hear that?

Lately, I'm not sure if I'm losing it, or if someone is playing tricks on me. Quite often, I swear I hear Alli crying. Now, for those of you that have never been to our house, the whole downstairs is basically just one big open area with the kitchen, dining and living room. The stairs leading upstairs are right by the front door, and Alli's room is the first room on the right. Basically, because of all the open space, there isn't much of a sound barrier, and you can hear pretty much everything. Baby monitor = complete waste of money for us. Anyway, when we were in our stages around four months of letting Alli "cry it out" and fall asleep, it was miserable for us. Just short of going outside, there was no where you could escape hearing her. The echoes of her crying herself to sleep could be heard throughout the house. And I swear, they are lingering on in my head... all these months later! I'll be downstairs on one of my days off after I've put her down for a nap, and I swear I hear her crying. So I run upstairs, into her room... and there she is, snoozing away. What?! Where did that come from?

Apparently, I'm not the only one losing it either. Last week, Dad-E was finishing up his breakfast right after I had left the house for work. He heard Alli start to cry upstairs, and he yelled up to her "I'm coming Ru!", finished his last few bites of oatmeal, chugged his OJ and ran up to get her. He got into her room, looked over the crib, and there was snoozer-Ru, still in dreamland. What?! Where did he hear that crying come from?

Is it so ingrained in our heads that we just hear it without it happening... or could we possibly have a ghost??

Nope, it's not me! I'm still sleeping! :o)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Like we've said in previous posts, Alli has not been picky at all about her food selections since she's started eating baby foods. Even when we had to add some formula to her diet, she didn't bat an eye... she just downed it like there was no difference. We've tried just about every type of baby food, and our lil piggy will eat it all. (OK, she's not exactly a piggy as you can tell by her stats, but the girl can eat, despite her weight!) So, we decided to try our hand at making some of the food, just to cut costs and stock up in bulk! We've made sweet potatoes, bananas, and apples... and she has loved them all! So glad I didn't poison her, haha... anyone who knows me, knows I don't cook! :o) We even started mixing a few of them together, like banana-apple, and even some sweet potatoes with apples, and she loves them too. And, we've got about 10 containers frozen to use in the future! It all worked out great, and it'll be easy to just grab some extras at the grocery store, steam and mash them up, and give them to her! I'm just glad that in less than 6 months, she'll be drinking regular milk, eating more regular foods like us, and we'll get past this stage of "baby foods"! Especially with those two teeth... she'll be eating corn on the cob before I know it!