Thursday, June 30, 2011

We got a bruiser

And I'm not talking in the "My kid can beat up your kid" sense either. When I walked into daycare on Tuesday, I noticed that Alli had a bruise about the size of a nickel on her forehead. I could see this thing from across the room it was so prominent. A bruise that size on an adult isn't really a big deal, but that's pretty sizey on an infant... especially on her forehead. Of course, her teachers were quick to explain the temporary tattoo my daughter had received that day.

Apparently Alli has taken her crawling and "pulling up on everything" skills to daycare with her. Well, that's probably where she learned them in the first place. Anyway, she had crawled over to the play area where they store the jumpers and larger toys and decided that she wanted to pull one of them down to her level. In the process, the toy tipped over and bonked her in the forehead. Now before all you Followers get up in arms about the teachers being irresponsible or the daycare being unsafe - I saw the toy myself and it wasn't really something that could have been avoided. Plus, it wasn't that big of a toy - but due to her impressive strength nowadays, it had some momentum going before impact.

These kids are going to be pulling on everything they see, so it's impossible to put everything up out of their reach. Besides, if they kept everything out of their reach, how would they explore and learn about new things? So needless to say there had been some tears after Alli caught one to the forehead, but by the time I got there she could have cared less. She smiled that big, fanged smile she has going now and crawled over to me when I walked in the room.

The teachers had to write up an incident report which included a line at the bottom that read: "Describe the type of First Aid that was administered: Hugs". So based on that information alone I knew that it wasn't a huge deal. Plus, the day we caught her pulling up on things I made peace with the fact that this type of thing was going to start happening more and more. Which is exactly what I told Mommy B when she got home - she was going to have to come to grips that Alli will be getting hurt more now that she's mobile.

To date she really only has had 2 noteworthy injuries: A couple weeks ago she was just learning to crawl on her hands and knees and she face-planted into the carpet. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but when you already have 4 teeth in, lips get cut pretty easily. She actually drew some blood, but I think she was more scared/surprised than actually hurt. Nothing a little TLC and a ride around the neighborhood in the stroller couldn't fix. And now her bruised forehead, which again just some hugs were able to take care of.

I know that she'll be skinning her knees soon enough, quickly followed by stitches and scars (if she's anything like her father). I was lucky to have never broken a bone all throughout childhood - but I've cut a couple of my parent's anniversary dates short by needing a trip to the ER for stitches. Oh well, maybe the boys at daycare dig her "battle scars". Maybe they take her bruise as a sign that she's adventurous and independent. That's cool with me... as long as she doesn't start bringing any of them home with her until she's at least 21.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Oh how true this is... I don't even remember the last time we actually needed to set our alarm clock... our precious little alarm clock is right across the hall. Any tips from anyone on how to get her to sleep in (even just a little bit!) would be much appreciated! It seems like it doesn't matter if we put her to bed early (right at 7ish), or late (closer to 8:15ish), she is up right at 6 or before every morning. We love her and all, but geez, we don't need to see her that bright and early every day. And like Dad-E has mentioned previously, now that she is standing right when she wakes up, her projected "talking" that turns into crying if you don't come in the room right away has just gotten louder. Anyone know where the snooze button is on a baby??

Well, that was quick

For all intents and purposes, Alli has ditched the Army crawl in favor of the "normal", on-hands-and-knees crawl. Apparently she had enough of watching some of the other kids at daycare yesterday move around faster than her, and decided to follow suit. The second I walked in the door of her classroom, she spotted me from her seated position in the middle of the room. And it was off to the races - she crawled all the way across the floor to meet me as I came in. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

Mommy B got to come home from work a little early, and Alli got to show off her "new" crawl to her as well. She was literally crawling all the way across the room - completely off the ground on her hands and knees. It would appear that she's discovered that not only is this method faster, it requires a lot less energy than dragging yourself across the floor.

So not only is she now dashing across the floor at break-neck, Dad-E-like speeds, but also pulling herself up on anything she can get her hands on. When I'm sitting on the floor with her, she'll crawl over to me and climb up my legs. Then, all I have to do is grab her hands and she pulls herself all the way up to a standing position. I don't even have to help pull her up anymore, she does it all on her own! The only thing I have to do is keep her steady, and she'll stand on her own power for minutes on end.

Looks like more baby-proofing around the house is in store this weekend!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Eight Month Stats

What an amazing time month #7 turned out to be! Alli has learned and discovered so much this month, and we're learning that we should have started baby proofing everything weeks ago! This month, as Dad-E mentioned, 3 teeth came through, all on the top, to add to her precious bottom two teeth. I LOVE those bottom two teeth on all babies, they are so adorable! Alli's little cousin Max has his two teeth showing now and they are just too cute too, I love it! Anyway, besides getting teeth about once a week, Alli has perfected the army crawl, and as of today, perfected the regular crawl as well. She was crawling all over the place today on her hands and knees... she just amazes us. One day she's not doing something that much or that often, the next day, she's doing it like she's done it for years. She pulls up on everything, as Dad-E also mentioned, and seeing her standing there in the crib waiting for us is just heart melting. She loves playing, getting into anything that's not a baby toy, "dancing", and still gives kisses (still a sweet girl for now!).

The Stats:
Weight: Not sure, had no doc visit again this month, we'd guess around 16-17 lbs
Diaper Size: Still in 2's
Clothing Size: 6-9 month outfits
Shoe Size: 2's are still big, but 1's are too small, soo.. 1 and 1/2? :o)
Food: Similac bottles, three meals, puffs, mum-mum's, water, and she wants to try just about any and all adult food... I have a feeling she'll be over this "baby food" stuff soon...
Naps: About an hour and a half in the AM and an hour in the afternoon
Sleep: Asleep for the night by 7:30pm and up around 5:30 or 6
Teeth: Five. Good lord, last month when I answered this question, it was only three!
Sounds: Dada, baba, mama (yay!!), and all sorts of other babbles and squeals
Play: Jumperoo, "car" toy, her new play mat area where she pulls up on anything, crawling to Scarlett or Scarlett's dog toys, walks, swimming in the neighborhood pool!
New buddies: Fi!!

Baby pull-ups (not the Huggies type)

This past weekend, we packed up the Griswold family truckster and hit the road again... only this time we didn't follow our usual north-westernly route to Ohio. We actually headed to Charlotte, NC to pay a visit to loyal Followers Mama G and Papa Rob and to meet their precious baby girl, Anneliese. Her middle name is Sophia, so we all call her "Fi" for short. They hadn't seen Alli in a few months, so we felt a visit was in order. After ducking out of work early on Friday, we made the quick 3-hour drive to NC with dog and baby on board. I'm sure both were thinking, "Oh lord, here we go again."

Fi still sleeps in her swing, so Alli got the luxury of using Fi's crib for the weekend. This turned out to be a double-edged sword - because even though it would be nice for Alli to not have to sleep in a Pack'n'Play, Fi's crib hasn't been lowered yet. Followers will recall that just last week we caught Alli pulling herself up the side of the crib and standing on her own. The moment I walked into Fi's room and saw the "high" mattress, I had a feeling it could pose a problem. But Mommy B and I decided to roll the dice and see what happened.

We had one chief concern - that Alli would pull herself up the side of Fi's crib and tumble over if we didn't catch her in time. But we didn't really know how much of a problem it would be if she was half asleep when we put her down to bed. We had only caught her doing it once, and it was when she was still "awake" before a nap. Well, we were going to find out one way or another.

We arrived in Charlotte by about 3:30pm and Alli had slept for much of the drive. As her bedtime rolled around, we gave her a bath and got her ready to go to sleep. Luckily for us, she wasn't too fussy trying to go to sleep in a "new place" and went right to sleep. Saturday was another story though...

Her fourth tooth had just busted through a few days earlier, but we could tell that another one was right behind it. So she was a little fussy on Saturday, not to mention drooling all over the place. This also posed another problem - she didn't want to go right to sleep when we put her down. We tried to put her down for her morning nap, and she wasn't really having it. After about 10 minutes of some of the loudest crying we've ever heard her make, we both went up to Fi's room to see what the problem was. Well, we found out right away why she was crying so loud... It was because she had pulled herself up and was standing against the side of the crib, screaming directly at the door. Basic acoustics clearly at work. Even though she was crying (for whatever reason), she was so cute to see standing there on her own.

I'll never forget that when I first told my mom about when Mommy B and I caught Alli rolling over in the crib and how we thought it was such a big moment. She replied, "Oh yeah? Just wait until the day you walk in and she's standing there." Well, that moment came this weekend - and it came rolling in like a thunderstorm on a South Carolina beach in July.

We were able to calm Alli down and get her to go to sleep a little later on. However, that afternoon was the same old story. We tried to put her down for her afternoon nap and the same thing happened. She simply did not want to go to sleep and stood at the edge of the crib screaming until we came to get her. The afternoon session was a little worse, and we could tell that her teeth were bothering her. So Dad-E went old-school and held her to my chest and rocked her to sleep. She barely fits there anymore, and my arms get sore from holding her there these days. Makes me sad to think back to the days where she would fall asleep on my chest on a daily basis.

Mommy B and Mama G took that opportunity to have some R&R time with each other while the kids slept and Papa Rob and I stayed home. Well, about 20 minutes after they left for the salon, Alli woke up after being asleep for not even 45 minutes. Needless to say, all the rocking I did didn't help much - the teething prevailed.

After getting out a couple teething-poops (those parents out there who's kid hasn't started teething yet will know what I mean soon), Alli was back to her normal self. She was great the rest of the afternoon and went right to sleep that evening. Amazing what a good crap can do for you. I guess she does take after me after all...

Sunday came and so did Alli's 5th tooth. It finally broke the surface and Mommy B felt it with her finger that afternoon. Luckily we dashed back to Chucktown at the right time and Alli slept for a good part of the drive. Mommy B and I joked that night about how this was the beginning of a new era - when Alli is able to pull herself up the side of the crib and stand on her own. Even though the last couple of days had been because she was crying, it made me so proud to see that she had figured out not only how to pull herself up using the bars on the crib but also to prop herself against the side so she could stand on her own.

So let's recap real quick - Alli is 8 months old today. She now has five teeth that have broken the surface and are coming in quickly. We have a feeling that number six might not be far behind... as they seem to be coming in weekly now. She's been crawling consistently for a few weeks and just recently starting pulling herself up to stand on her own. At this rate, she'll be walking in a week or so and have a full set of baby teeth by the end of the summer.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More hidden talent

In light of Mommy B's cartoon yesterday, I had to give more details as to why it was so funny to us. Followers are well aware that Alli is crawling now - mostly belly-crawling like she's storming the beaches at Normandy. She'll sometimes push herself up onto her knees and crawl "normally" for a few inches, but she definitely prefers the pull-and-slide method. She's also discovered that she's strong enough to pull certain items towards her if she's close enough to grab it. Well, add all those talents together and you get our Saturday afternoon.

We put Alli down for her afternoon nap even though she wasn't completely passed out yet. From downstairs we could hear her babbling away as normal before she falls asleep. After about 10-15 minutes, she got quiet - again very normal (and expected) for a napping child. Or so we thought...

I went upstairs to grab a few things and to check on Alli. I peeked my head around her bedroom door to confirm that she had fallen asleep. Not quite. Much to my surprise, she had managed to pull herself up and was standing/leaning on the side of the crib, reaching for a stuffed animal that was on top of her dresser. She was using one arm to hold herself tight against the railing of the crib and was reaching out to grab the stuffed alligator with the other. I couldn't friggin' believe it!

I called down to Mommy B so she could witness this event for herself and to make sure I wasn't imagining it. She tip-toed upstairs and poked her head around the door and saw the same thing I had. We both were in complete shock that she was able to perform such a task on her own. I looked back in and saw that she had successfully grabbed the stuffed alligator but in the process of pulling it towards her, she dropped it on the ground. She then started leaning over the railing of the crib to retrieve her beloved alligator - and that's when I had to intervene. I knew it would be a bad rest of the weekend if she fell out of the crib.

So Mommy B and I both walked into the room and it was like a deer in headlights. Alli looked up and saw us, immediately let go of the railing, and fell back into her crib like a sniper had picked her off from 500 yards. Luckily it was as soft landing, so no bodily damage was done. But you should have seen her face when we picked her up - she was elated with herself. We could just tell that she realized what she could do now, and was sporting that proud smile all parents yearn for.

Mommy B looked at each other and I said, "I guess I know what I'm doing on Father's Day... lowering the crib!" And that's exactly what we did on Sunday morning. While Mommy B played with Alli, I proceeded to lower her crib about 3-4 inches to the middle setting. While I know there's nothing I can do to prevent her from pulling herself up the side, we knew we had to lower the mattress so she wouldn't fall out. Before putting the tools away, we stood Alli up against the side to see if she'd be able to get out. She quickly held herself against the side (just like before) but there's no chance she'll get over and out now. I know it'll only last a few months until I have to lower it to the bottom setting, but I can't imagine putting her down into the crib that far yet!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

This comic just made me laugh... because it's totally Alli these days. OK, maybe not that talented... but close! She has gotten so interested, aware, and active, she is totally into everything! I can sit her down on the floor, and she will go from sitting, to rolling, to crawling, to pulling up on toys... back to crawling, back to sitting, over and over again. It's incredible to see her discover all that she can do, we couldn't be more proud of her. We just know it's going to get better and better (or more exhausting for us!), but we're so happy for her. She's so happy (when teeth aren't coming in!), and that smile just melts our heart.

So someday, when you read this Alli, just know how proud we are of you... and always will be! We love you!

Trip to Ohio: Addendum

After I finished the novel of our trip back to Ohio for Memorial Day, it dawned on Mommy B and I that I left out a couple noteworthy things. I didn't want to make the story any longer than it already was - but anyone who has ever come in contact with my family knows that we tend to be long-winded with our stories. But here are a couple things that should make you smile, shake your head and think, "I'm never traveling with an infant and dog... ever."

My parent's house sits on 4 acres and backs up against some very dense woods. When I was a kid, we cut some trails wide enough to ride our ATV through. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time as kids roaming around the countless acres of woods exploring anything and everything. It's probably been about 10 years or so since my siblings and I spent any time riding back there, so the trails have grown over and the wildlife is creeping back in. My parents now spend their evenings watching a family of deer emerge from the woods to graze and a family of foxes play around in the yard.

Followers of This Space know good and well how much our beloved Scarlett enjoys bolting out the front door (or garage) if someone makes the mistake of leaving it open enough for her to fit through. Excitable Golden Retriever + 4 acres of open space + countless acres of woods with infinite wildlife that she's never seen before = Scarlett on a leash at all times when going outside. Mommy B and I knew that if Scarlett got free it would be a recipe for disaster. Not so much because we were afraid to lose her in the woods, but we were more afraid that she would head for the street - which is much more dangerous than our cul-de-sac here in Chucktown.

Well, Sunday morning our fears manifested. We took Scarlett out on my parent's deck to enjoy some sunshine with us while Mommy B slept. I took my attention off her for a second and she managed to squeeze herself through the slats in the railing and took off like a bullet being shot out of a gun. Mama G and Papa Rob know what I'm talking about. She too had spent the previous evenings watching the deer emerge from the woods, and she has a good memory.

Off into the woods she went, down the hill and across the creek - she was hell-bent on finding those deer. I slid on the closest pair of shoes I could find and went sprinting after her. My dad took off in the opposite direction to steer her away from the road. I thought my memory of the trails would help me catch up to the Golden Flash, but everything had grown in and I was lost after about 2 minutes of running. I ran to the back of the property to make sure she didn't take off into the neighborhood behind us, otherwise we'd never get her back. I started combing forward, thinking maybe she slipped by me somewhere.

Just then I heard my dad yell from the other side of the property that she was coming towards me. I intercepted (not something I'm known for, har har har) her as she came around the bend and chased her back up the hill towards the house. After some corralling in the yard, I was able to finally trap her. I promptly drug her around the house and hosed her off. Other than a few scrapes from tree limbs and blisters from the shoes, it was a lovely morning run for both of us... note my sarcasm there. My dad informed me later that he had two deer go running by him as if he wasn't even there... shortly followed by Stubby Scarlett trying to catch up to them. Mommy B woke up right as I was coming back inside and asked "What the heck happened to you??" I just smiled and shook my head as I headed for the shower.

And Scarlett's antics didn't end there. After we stopped in Dayton Sunday afternoon to visit our friends from college, she did it again. She slipped out the back door of our friend's house and decided to visit some of the neighbors at a full sprint. So off I went again (this time with a few friends as reinforcement) to get our dog back. Luckily she wasn't gone long and I think it was too hot for her liking outside - so she came back to us to go inside. I'm starting to think that I shouldn't have taken her running all those times as a puppy... because this shiz is getting old. It's a good thing I keep in decent shape and I can keep up with her, otherwise she could be in Nebraska by now.

Another note about the trip - I'm not exaggerating on the number of people who got sick after we came in contact with them. Here's the body count: Alli (kind of), Dad-E, Mommy B, Grandma C (Brit's mom), Tatsy (my mom), Brit's grandmother, Brit's father and stepmother. We felt like the traveling plague - leaving a trail of destruction behind us as we canvased I-75. Luckily everyone has since recovered, but I'm not sure how many will be inviting us back anytime soon.

All in all, it was an... interesting trip. Mommy B and I learned a lot about ourselves and little Alli - most notably how she handles being away from the homestead for an extended period of time. We have some smaller trips coming up in the coming months, so it was good to get one trip under our belt beforehand. I mean, she'll be older and will probably have all her teeth by then - so what could go wrong??

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trip to Ohio: Part 4

Because on Thursday, Alli's 3rd tooth (the top right incisor) decided to begin pushing it's way through. Wonderful. This trip has had been the epitome of bad timing. We had an afternoon of picture-taking planned with Grandma C's friend again (just of Alli - because Mommy B and I have enough pictures of ourselves). When Alli woke up from her afternoon nap, she started getting pretty fussy. We decided to get ourselves dressed and get the pictures taken as quickly as possible before Alli changed our plans. We headed over to Donnell Pond behind The University of Findlay's (and Findlay High School's) football stadium and began Alli's photo shoot. She actually did very well, even though we haven't seen the pictures yet. I think she was happy to be outside in the nice weather and it took her mind off the tooth splitting her gums open.

We were able to wrap up the photo shoot without issue and from what we were able to preview on the digital camera, the pictures looked amazing. Mommy B and I are really anxious to get them back (which I'm sure she'll post soon). Alli was still in a good mood, so we went over to Mommy B's grand-parent's (Alli's great grandparents!) house to visit one last time before heading back to Chucktown. We sat Alli down on a mat in the shade in their front yard when she began Army-crawling around and grabbing the nice grass. I could tell her tooth was still bothering her, but not to the point that she was really fussy and upset.

Once we made it home, Alli started to get very uncomfortable. Just like it had with her first two teeth, the tears and crying began taking its toll on everyone... so we pumped her full of Children's Tylenol and put some Baby Orajel on her top gums. While the drugs were kicking in, we gave her a bath and put her to bed. But as with just about all teething babies, her typical sleep schedule was out the window. We were up every couple of hours to rub more numbing solution on her gums and keeping her on a steady dose of Tylenol. More good times.

Friday morning came and Grandma C was nice enough to take Alli for a walk around the block while Mommy B and I tried to catch a few more Z's. It seems that even if she's not very comfortable, we can strap her into a stroller or get her moving outside and she'll be distracted enough to be content for a while. That afternoon, we met up with a handful of Mommy B's friends from high school. A couple of them have kids of their own around Alli's age, who Alli had a blast playing with while we all caught up with each other. Even though I don't know them that well, it was good to see Mommy B getting to show off her adorable kiddo. We headed home and met up with another one of Grandma C's friends who used to live next door. He and his wife have a son who is a little over 1 year old, and Alli was in awe watching him walk around the living room getting into everything. I think she took a few notes while she was rolling around on the floor...

By that afternoon, I think we had seen just about everyone in the city of Findlay. We put Alli down for her afternoon nap and began packing the car for the trip home. We just hung out with family for the rest of the afternoon and evening to say our goodbyes. Once Alli started getting tired, we jumped in the car and headed back to Cincinnati for the night. Luckily, she slept for the entire drive, and we were able to get her back to sleep rather quickly once we arrived. But remember that Alli's tooth was still working on making its appearance, so once again we were up a couple times through the night to give her more drugs and bottles.

Saturday morning arrived and Alli's tooth finally broke through - which meant the misery was finally over. My mom and I walked around the neighborhood again while Mommy B got some more sleep. Besides being a little (or a lot) tired ourselves, Mommy B and I were just glad that everyone was finally feeling better. That gladness was once again short-lived when Mommy B accidentally locked her keys in her trunk as we were packing things up. Luckily, Super Pops came to the rescue and was able to pick the lock on her car so that we could get inside. I told you, the man can do anything. I was able to pull the back seat down far enough for Mommy B to reach into the trunk and retrieve her keys. Good lord, just get me home. Mommy B and I joked that we just wanted to get home and go back to work so everyone would just be back on a normal schedule

We finally get everything packed and hit the road that afternoon. Luckily the drive was uneventful and we made great time back to Chucktown, getting in around 1am Sunday morning. We were able to get Alli in her bed, get a few things unpacked with just enough energy to flop down on our new bed that had been waiting for us to return. Now that Alli's teething was over, no one was sick anymore and everyone was back in their own beds, we all slept like logs... until about 6am when Alli woke us all up, refreshed as ever, ready to start the day. Sunday was spent unpacking, heading to the grocery store and doing laundry. Alli was back on her normal sleeping schedule, and I think Mommy B and I decided to nap when Alli did.

And THAT was our lovely trip back to Ohio... needless to say I'm not sure we'll be making a trip like that any time soon. It's pretty sad when you're more tired coming back from a "vacation" than before you left.

Friday, June 17, 2011

She's a little confused...

For the last few weeks, Alli has been saying "mama"... along with her other babbles... dada, baba, etc. etc... but not on a very consistent basis. (But yay, none the less, she's saying mama!) All day today, she has said mama, mama, mama non-stop. I believe it was right around Mother's Day, or shortly thereafter, where her favorite (and first) word that she said non-stop was dada. Being that this Sunday is Father's Day, Eric and I thought it was quite funny that she's saying mama now for 'his' holiday, and dada back then for 'mine'. Good ole' Ru, she's already confused about things... the thing we're most worried about is if she'll ever learn her real name. Is it Alli, Ru, Alli Ru, Rooster, or... who's this "Allison" character?

Oh, and for the record, she's also been quite fussy today... we think that other top tooth is coming in. I wish they would all just come in at the same time to get this teething drama over with.

Happy weekend everyone! Here's lil Ru playing in her new "play area" I organized for her... she seems to love it, but now that she's crawling, she doesn't really stay put in her "area" like we'd hoped. Ha!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trip to Ohio: Part 3

I immediately headed off to the bathroom to begin peeing out my butt. Needless to say, I knew what I was in for... I was in and out of the bathroom enough times before Mommy B and I went to bed that I decided to bite the bullet and sleep on the couch for the night. This strategy was two-fold: 1) so that my constant in and out of the bedroom wouldn't disturb a sleeping Alli-Ru (and Mommy B) who were both finally feeling better and wanted some sleep, and 2) so that I would have more-direct access to the bathroom in the event the flood gates opened later on.

My father's intuition was right. I was up every couple of hours to roll off the couch and head into the bathroom where I got to repeatedly "break-in" Grandma C's new commode. After my midnight visit, I felt so awful that I emptied the trash can and brought it back out to the couch with me. At around 2am (again, the times begin to blur together) I headed back into the bathroom that Grandma C had just remodeled and promptly filled both receptacles. I haven't been that sick in a long, long time. Having that mess come out both ends at the same time is an experience that I hope I don't have to experience many more times in my life.

OK, enough with the grossness, yeah? Luckily, I only threw up that once, but the watery-butt didn't end for another day or so. The next day (Memorial Day), I spent mostly in bed. I didn't eat anything all day, which being a Meibers is a rare occasion. That afternoon, Grandma C had almost the entire town of Findlay over to her house for a Memorial Day picnic and to see Alli - or meet her for those who hadn't yet. She even had a friend of her's who dabbles in photography come over to take some candid shots of the family and friends. I was able to muster up enough strength to put on a polo shirt and smile for the camera for about 15 minutes. After that, I went back to bed. I missed just about all the food, friends and festivities because I spent the rest of the afternoon either asleep or in the bathroom. I hear it was a good time...

As shocking as it may sound, the pictures actually turned out fantastic. You could barely tell that I hadn't slept in 3 days and had almost no bodily fluids left in me. Maybe it's a good thing we took most of them in black and white - so you couldn't tell I had no color in my face. Luckily, the time I spent in the bathroom became less and less throughout the night - which was a good sign.

Tuesday rolled around and I was feeling better by the hour. I was actually able to get some food down, yet another good sign that things were on the up and up. We relaxed for the day to get Alli acclimated to the "new place" she was in, and was actually able to have a date night. We let Grandma C get some quality time in with Alli while Mommy B and I saw "Hangover 2" and had dinner at Max & Erma's. Nothing too exciting, but we don't have any M&E's down south and it was where Mommy B and I had our very first date. Alli went to bed at her normal time, and Mommy B and I weren't far behind her. All in all, things were beginning to look sunny for the remainder of the trip. Or so we thought...

At about 4am - Grandma C took her turn bowing down to the porcelain god. She was in and out of the bathroom the rest of the morning, and actually had to call in sick the day after taking vacation. Later that morning, my mom called from Cincinnati and informed me that she had been sick the entire previous day with the exact same symptoms as I had. So... instead of having another date night, we spent the night in with Alli while Grandma C slept it off. Mommy B and I couldn't help but feel guilty, and it wasn't exactly how we anticipated spending our vacation.

Wednesday rolled around and the wolfpack was feeling much better - even Grandma C. Mommy B and I took Alli over to Brittany's dad's house for the afternoon to spend some time there. She really took an interest in Brittany's half-brother Jacob's braces... probably because she's never seen any before. We went out to eat for dinner and Alli naturally stole the show. She is becoming so active and aware of her surroundings that she just wants to get into everything. Even my water glass at the table wasn't safe from her curiosity and grabbing hands. I'm really glad to see that she's taking everything in because it's the best way for her to learn about the world around her.

We called it a night and I think we finally had our first decent-night's sleep of our trip... but it was short-lived, once again...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Trip to Ohio: Part 2

I'm talking "get your @$$ out of bed and get over here" types of screams. As I've mentioned before, Mommy B and I are able to tell the difference between "I don't want to go to sleep yet" cries (or whimpers) and "I'm seriously uncomfortable and you need to fix it" cries. Well, these were certainly the latter. So Mommy B and I got up to see what the problem was, and after a few minutes of rocking Alli - she fell back asleep. Mommy B and I just chalked it up to her waking herself up, realizing that she was in a strange place and it freaked her out. So we all went back to bed...

At 3:30am, it happened again. In the middle of a dead sleep, I hear Alli screaming. Mommy B and I both sprang out of bed to tend to our baby girl. We tried giving her a bottle (which I had to stumble downstairs to make in the darkness) but she wasn't really having it - which Followers know is not something Alli really does.

It was at that moment I knew what I needed to do... I pulled on some clothes, grabbed the car keys and headed out the door - Super Dad was to the rescue. There I was - 3:45am walking the aisles of Meijer (it's like a nicer version of WalMart for us northerners) looking for two things - Children's Tylenol and teething rings (just in case) to put in the fridge. After a few minutes of wandering around like a drunken idiot (who else would be shopping at 4am?) I found my items and headed home.

By the time I got home, Mommy B had effectively rocked little Alli back to sleep. She had been able to get her to take a little formula, but not her normal midnight chow-down. Feeling somewhat discouraged, I went back to bed knowing that we would need my purchases soon enough. And I was right...

At about 5:30am (the times start to run together at this point), Alli woke up again - same screams as before. We immediately went for the Tylenol and the bottle. This time Alli willingly took both, which we took as a good sign. After a short while of rocking her back to sleep, her stomach decided that the Acetaminophen/Similac combination wasn't working out - at which point she promptly threw up all over my shoulder, down my shirt and boxers, and onto the floor. Scarlett decided to have her own early morning snack and did most of the clean-up for us. Thanks pooch.

The good news about all of this is that once she threw up, she immediately felt better and went back to sleep. Mommy B and I were able to clean up a bit and go back to bed as well. Alli woke up around 7 or so feeling like a new woman - she was back to her normal giggly, talky self. I scraped myself out of bed again to get Alli going and to let Mommy B get more sleep. My mom and I spent the rest of Saturday morning walking Alli around my neighborhood in a stroller, and things finally started to seem to be settling down.

We relaxed the rest of the day to get Alli back on schedule, and that afternoon I had some close family members come visit so they could meet Alli for the first time. She did great with them and had a blast playing at my house. I gotta say, it was a weird feeling having my child in the same house I grew up in - sleeping in my same crib, eating at the same table, playing in the same yard that I had for so many years, so many years earlier.

That night Alli went to bed at her normal time (thank goodness), so Mommy B and I decided to follow suit and hit the sheets early to catch up on some sleep. Well, our slumber was short-lived... only this time it wasn't Alli waking us up, it was Mommy B. She sprang out of bed sometime in the early morning hours and headed for the bathroom - at which point she immediately threw up. Keep in mind that I've been around Mommy B for over 8 years and have witnessed her throw up three times (that includes college & alcohol). Needless to say, she spent the rest of Sunday morning in the bathroom and bed trying to recover from whatever it was.

She managed to feel a little better by that afternoon, at which point we packed up the car and headed to Dayton to meet up with a bunch of friends from college. Some of them we hadn't seen since our wedding three years ago, some even longer. Some had kids of their own now too, so it was a great opportunity for everyone to see each other again and for our kids to play together. We had a blast seeing everyone and hanging out for a few hours - it was almost like we hadn't been apart at all. We finally said our goodbyes and we headed off for the final leg of our northward journey - to Mommy B's hometown of Findlay.

We arrived that evening and had a slew of family waiting for our arrival. Being that it was getting close to Alli's bedtime, I unpacked most of the car as family got their Alli hugs (some of them hadn't seen her since she was one month old!) We were able to get her off to bed at a decent hour, which gave us some time to hang out with family. Once again, our time to relax was short lived. Only this time, I was the one having all the fun...

Three Years

Happy 3rd Anniversary to my wonderful husband, who I've fallen completely in love with all over again, and in a brand new way seeing him as a father. We have definitely grown up together quite a bit... and it's hard to believe that three years ago we were just starting married life together... and look how far we've come!

I also want to say Happy 52nd Anniversary to my amazing grandparents, I am so proud and honored to share this special day with you two.

Oh, and just because I found it and it's funny, this will count as our cartoon of the week as well...

Friday, June 10, 2011

In the Army Now...

This morning before Eric left for work, Alli was laying on the rug in our living room as usual, doing her "Superman pose" (seen below...) She usually lays like this and just flops around, wiggling, squirming, rolling all over, but not going forward yet. Today, she saw something she really wanted. We have been trying to put her favorite toys ahead of her so she'll go toward them, but apparently, nothing is that exciting to work for... except Scarlett's toys!! She got an eye on Scarlett's toy bin, and she was off. Pulling herself with her arms and dragging her body like a wounded soldier, she's definitely perfecting her army crawl! I have videos on my phone, but I've realized I have no memory card for it, so I'll be purchasing one soon so we can post videos as well. We're so proud of her, and we can tell she's proud of herself too. It won't be long now until we're really in trouble... and chasing her all over the place...

These are her usual "Superman poses", but we've been starting to get a lot more of these as well:
Ya know, poses that look like she's actually going to use those arms for something other than flying! :o)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Trip to Ohio: Part 1

As Mommy B and I have eluded to in our recent posts, our trip back to the O-H was quite a journey. Let me start off by saying that this trip was going to be the most time I've taken off work since Mommy B and I went to Maui over a year ago when we found out we were pregnant with Alli. I didn't even take this much time off when she was born... if that gives you an idea of how much work I don't miss. In other words, Mommy B and I were really looking forward to this trip as being an adventure but also hopefully relaxing. There were plenty of family and friends who wanted to spend time with Alli that we thought we'd get some time to ourselves - maybe even be able to go out to dinner once by ourselves. Well, let the fun begin...

We decided to roll the dice and leave Charleston at 4pm on Thursday, May 26th. Knowing full well that it was going to take 9-10 hours to get to Cincinnati, we were banking on the thought that Alli would just fall asleep when she normally does and let us drive in peace (with Scarlett) as co-pilot. I started things off and got us to North Carolina just in time for Mommy B to take over and drive through the mountains in the pouring down rain. After a couple hours of pretending to be a submarine, we switched again so I could get us the rest of the way through Tennessee and Kentucky in the darkness.

With little Ru (and Scarlett) passed out just as we had hoped, I channeled my inner Mama G and put the pedal down to get us into Cincinnati as quickly as possible. With the clock striking 12:30am, we were just about an hour away from Cinci when Alli decided to wake herself up... and she she did so by throwing up a few ounces of formula she had been digesting for the last 5 hours. All down her front, on the buckle of her carrier, and into the lining of her carrier. Awesome.

Being so close to our destination, we didn't want to stop and waste more time trying to clean things up with fast-food napkins. I asked Mommy B if she wanted me to pull over, and she said no and to just keep going. She then swallowed hard and did something only a mother (and nurse) could do... she unbuckled Alli and held her to her chest and rocked her back to sleep. And that's how they spent the next hour until we reached my parent's house - chest-to-chest, glued together by formula-vomit. God I love that woman. We reached their house at about 1:30am and my mom was able to help us get things cleaned up a bit. Gotta love starting a load of laundry at 2am...

My mom was able to somehow pull out the crib I had as a baby, and put it in my bedroom so Alli would be near us. Just a note, Alli has never EVER slept in the same room as us, even the night we brought her home from the hospital. So not only was my child sleeping in the same crib that I had as a baby (which was kind of weird), she was now doing so about 4 feet away from our heads.

We were able to get about 4 hours of sleep before Alli woke up at her normal time. Apparently the midnight-vomiting episode didn't disturb her sleep pattern all that much. My mom volunteered to get up with Alli to play with her for a bit - which enabled Mommy B and I to get a little more much-needed sleep. Given that I had been up for about 20 straight hours and had driven over 600 miles, I was willing to take anything I could get.

There were a few things we wanted to do in Cincinnati on Friday, so we got up and headed across town. Mommy B dropped off her engagement ring and wedding band at the jeweler I bought them from so they could be professionally cleaned and re-dipped while we were in Ohio. We then stopped off at a car dealership to test-drive a new car for Mommy B. Alli was starting to get a little cranky towards the tail end of the afternoon, so we hurried home to get her afternoon nap in. She got her nap and we hung out at the house the rest of the afternoon/evening.

After a big-girl bath, Alli went to bed around her normal time of 7-8pm - which Mommy B and I took as a good sign that the driving hadn't screwed up her sleeping schedule too much. We were awoken at about midnight to screams that I hadn't heard in a while...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No more mommy milk

Well, as you will hear at some point when Dad-E starts his posts about our trip to Ohio, we all got quite the bug while we were up there... and passed it around too! This was quite a nasty sickness, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, general queasiness, the whole nine yards. While I was sick, I had a couple of days where I didn't eat or drink anything, and needless to say, when you don't eat, you can't and don't make much milk. So those few days of being sick really took a toll on my milk supply. I was kind of getting to the point where I was okay with not pumping anymore (it's not the most comfortable thing in the world, and it's very time consuming, especially on busy days at the hospital!), so I guess this sickness just helped me along in my decision to stop breastfeeding. I hadn't been actually breastfeeding for awhile now anyway (once those lovely teeth came in, it was time to stop), but I was still pumping and able to keep up pretty consistently. Now that I'm done, I can't say I'm terribly sad (Dad-E's going to take me new bra shopping too, woo hoo!), and it's just another thing I don't have to stress about anymore. I am sad about the bonding part, but that's been gone for awhile now. It's just a weird feeling that she doesn't "need" me to live anymore... when I kind of "kept her alive" on my own for so long. Definitely a weird feeling but, Alli is no picky eater... she can't even tell the difference. I sure can though... formula SMELLS awful. Yuck. Come on, 4 and 1/2 more months until regular milk...

Cartoon of the Week

Dear Alli,

You are back home now. In your own crib. You aren't teething (at the moment), that top tooth has already broken through the skin and is sharp as ever. You aren't in a car driving through the night and having to wake up in the middle of the morning to get transferred to a crib from your car seat. You aren't being passed around by tons of new people and people you don't know day after day. You are back in your routine of bath, bed, up and out with daddy to go to daycare to play with your friends. So please, get back to your sleeping routine! This up every couple hours crying is not working out for us. We're exhausted.

Mommy B & Dad-E

Monday, June 6, 2011

Teared up

Well, too much occurred on our road trip this past weekend to put into a single blog post, so I'll have to spread it out over a couple. However, given that I didn't check my work email all week while I was out - I've got more than enough to dig through at the moment. That being the case, I'll leave you all with this quick post for the time being.

There is a sports columnist in Cincinnati that has written for the local newspaper for many years... probably long enough for my parents to recall his beginnings. Ever since I moved to Charleston over 4 years ago, I've been following his column and (more importantly) his blog to keep myself up to date on sports news from a town that has real sports teams. And by real, I mean professional. Even though the Bengals can hardly be considered "professional" given their performance as of late...

Anyway, each day on his blog he posts a link to a video of some type of song. Could be something he heard on the radio that day or a lost gem from decades past. Either way, I'll typically give it a listen to see how it strikes me. He has a daughter with Down Syndrome, but she managed to obtain a degree from Northern Kentucky University and will be starting a part-time job as a teacher's assistant this fall. A college degree and a job? That's more than lots of folks have these days who aren't fighting a disability every single moment of their life.

A couple days ago, he posted this one. While I certainly can't relate to the Down Syndrome part of this columnist's life, Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter" got me all teared up anyway. For those fathers out there who have ever witnessed your significant other suffer for hours to bear your baby girl, give this song a listen. For those who have spent countless sleepless nights awake with your baby girl to make sure she falls asleep safe and warm, for those who have been walking the aisles at 3:30am for Children's Tylenol, for those who have ever dropped your little girl off at her first day of daycare, for those that have heard her giggle the first time you put her on your shoulders and walked around with her clinging to your hair, and for those who have ever rocked your baby girl to sleep on your shoulder because you knew that nothing else would do - lend this song your ear.

I believe a light that shines on you will shine on you forever

And though I can't guarantee there's nothing scary hiding under your bed

I'm gonna stand guard like a postcard of a Golden Retriever

And never leave 'till I leave you with a sweet dream in your head...

I'm gonna watch you shine, gonna watch you grow

Gonna paint a sign so you'll always know

As long as one and one is two (wooo)

There could never be a father who loved his daughter more than I love you...

More on the Griswold family vacation to the O-H coming soon.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Seven Month Stats

Well, we were in the car driving 10 hours up to Cincinnati on the day Alli Ru "turned" seven months, so we weren't able to update with her stats, but here we go :o)

Oh and trust me, a long update post will come later (hopefully from Dad-E since he's such a great writer), about our lovely trip home...

Anyway... Miss Alli has just amazed us more and more every day, if that's even possible. She is into EVERYthing, we can't hold onto any non-baby item without her wanting to grab it and check it out as well. She wants to GO so bad, she is scooting and twisting and rolling all over the place... but hasn't quite put it all together into crawling yet. She has definitely conquered sitting up on her own, which is huge! We never realized how big of a deal it is or how nice it is to have her be able to do this, but it has been wonderful to just sit her on the ground and not have to spot her or hold her steady the entire time. It's great! She babbles and talks all the time, only things we can really make out are "dada" and "baba", other than that, it's all her own language, but it make sense to her! She still loves to dance, gives kisses on the cheek (soo sweet), and pulling hair is also a fave... because it's "sooo funny" (to her, not us).

The Stats:
Weight: Not sure, had no doc visit this month, we'd guess probably around 16 lbs?

Diaper Size: 2's still, could probably get into 3's but we have two huge boxes of 2's left, so we'll see...
Clothing Size: 6-9 month and 9 month sleepers for sure for the length
Shoe Size: 2's are still big, but 1's are too small, soo.. 1 and 1/2? :o)
Food: We're all Similac now, and three "meals" a day - plus puffs and rice rusks and oh just anything, Alli has yet to find something she doesn't like...
Naps: About an hour and a half in the AM and usually two hours in the afternoon
Sleep: Asleep for the night by 7:30pm and up around 5:30 or 6
Teeth: Three...and let me tell you, great timing on this 3rd tooth coming in.. her top right front tooth came in while we were in Ohio, yay for a fun teething baby!
Sounds: Dada, baba, this awful noise that sounds like she's dying or choking but she laughs while she's doing it, not sure what that's about...? And lots of other "talking" to herself..
Play: Jumperoo, riding on daddy's shoulders, walks in the stroller and wagon at gma's house (we probably need one now too!), and still anything that's not a baby toy.
New buddies: She met a lot of friends this trip home... Hailey, Owen, Leander, Austin, Matthew, Mitchell, Cohen!