Thursday, September 29, 2011

Alli's Favorite

If you ever need Alli to fully pay attention for 2 minutes, just play this. She totally lights up when this video comes on... we usually watch it while she's eating dinner... and she just goes nuts. She laughs and laughs... and Eric & I obviously have the whole thing memorized. We love that last duck. QUACK! =)

Little peanut, Big personality

I still consider Alli just a lil peanut... she was always so small, tiny and petite while she was growing month after month, although lately, I think she's been catching up to the "normal" size, and is right on track to triple her birth weight by the time she's one. But one thing that has never been small is her personality. She is quite the character. Here's a few examples:

She gives me five. But not just once... like eight times in a row, almost like, "Here mom! Good lord, you want me to give you five? Then here. Here and here and here. Now go away."

She'll do her fun "noggin" trick, over and over, even when I'm not close by to do it with her. She knows it's meant to bump and rub heads, but she laughs and laughs at herself when she does it by herself.

She takes down and every.single.diaper. every time she's near her bookshelves or her changing table. She grabs one and throws it with all her might behind her. Watch out if you're back there behind her, she has quite the arm.

If you ask her to do "So big", she'll do it, but almost annoyed at you, once again. It's funny to see her face, and then she claps at herself afterward.

She loves exploring... if Eric or I go up the stairs for something, she's right on our tails and halfway up the stairs as well. (Yes, we need to put the gate up...) We have to tell her, "you think you can do these things Nemo, but you just can't (yet)!"

...I'm sure there are more, we'll post them when we think of them... but I love seeing her personality evolve and grow. I'm sure we'll be in for it even more when she can truly talk to us...

The countdown is on!

There are less than 30 days left until my baby girl celebrates being on this planet for a whole calendar year (not including her time in utero, of course). Both Mommy B and I are in awe of how quickly the last year has gone. We just can't believe that (almost) a whole year has flown by so quickly! We sure didn't sleep through it, that's for sure. In fact, I commented to Mommy B the just other day that I think we've been awake for more hours in the past year than any other year in my life... and yet it feels like it has gone by so much faster than any other year.

While Mommy B is busy planning Alli's first birthday bash, I have to admit that I've found myself reflecting over how our lives have changed and the things we've learned over the past year. There's obviously too many things to list here, but the overall theme is the same: The highs are so high, and the lows are so low.

Perfect example: Alli has been quite the fuss-butt over the last four or five days. Lots of coughing during the night (which wakes her up, along with Mommy B and I), clear snot pouring out her nose (which is what caused the coughing), and overall irritability. Sound familiar? Yeah, methinks there's more teeth on the way. Which wouldn't surprise me, given that she already has 8 teeth all the way in.

Needless to say, Mommy B and I's patience has been tried and pushed to the absolute limit. Alli simply would not take a nap yesterday, even after alternating Tylenol and Advil to ease the pain in her mouth. No matter what Mommy B did with her, she just seemed all-around miserable. I actually packed things up and "worked from home" the rest of the afternoon to help out. The only thing that worked was to take her outside and let her walk around the cul-de-sac in her "car". All in all, it was a very rough day on both of us... and we weren't looking forward to sending her to daycare today. We both laid in bed that night, asking each other why anyone would want to do this again...

By the next morning, we knew why. Alli basically slept all night (aside from just a few seconds of coughing), and woke up this morning happy as a clam. She didn't cough at all when she woke up (which was how we knew she was awake for the past five days), didn't have a single drop of snot coming out of her nose, and seemed back to normal during our little bit of play time before I take her to daycare.

I can't tell you how relieved I was to see my happy baby girl again. Not only is she way cuter when she's happy, but it makes everyone's lives much easier. I didn't have to worry about her being a grumpo to her teachers at daycare, and hopefully this meant we were over the hump. We'll see if any teeth break through in the next couple days...

This is just one example of the roller coaster of emotions that having a child brings upon parents. It tests your strength, stamina, morals, convictions, love, dedication... and most of all, patience. Not just your patience with your child, but with everyone and everything else in your life too. There was a point yesterday I thought Mommy B was going to take Scarlett back to the shelter if she didn't get out of her face pronto.

Luckily our wolfpack is still intact, but it's been challenges like this one that have really shaped us as parents over the past year. The countdown is on until Alli's first birthday, but the clock doesn't stop there... we've still got a long way to go.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eleven Month Stats

Well, here we are... our little girl is eleven months old! I haven't seen her since Sunday because of work, but, I am sure she already looks older. She's sure on the move these days... ALL the time and ALL over the place. She loves standing, she stands on the couch, the end tables, the bookshelves (while pulling down!), the windows, the entertainment center, toys, us, and even free standing more and more lately. She is getting stronger and a little braver each day, definitely testing out that leg strength. She has taken a few steps from the couch toward us, or couch to the toy, etc... but definitely wobbles, gets there as fast as she can, or, if she gets discouraged, just drops to the floor and turbo crawls instead.

Alli really loves clapping, waving, being "SO big" by putting her arms in the air, and doing her "noggin' trick." She also loves grabbing the coasters, and before dropping them on the ground, yelling "uh oh!", then laughing about it. She loves playing with any and all balls, and anything that's not hers (dog toys, mommy and daddy's things, etc.) On the other end of the spectrum, Alli hates getting her diaper changed. She squirms all around, throws a fit, and as soon as your all done changing her, she lays completely still. Really? Now you sit still? She also hates being told no. Eric told her no firmly once when she was biting his shoulder (and really, her bites HURT!), and she made the saddest, almost shocked/upset face, like, me?? Really, you're yelling at me?? It was so cute and sad at the same time. Hopefully she won't get away with too much with a face like hers.

The Stats:
Weight: About a week or so ago she was19 lbs 7 oz!
Length: Not sure, she seems taller to me every day though!
Diaper Size: 3's
Clothing Size: 9-12 month, depending on the brand
Shoe Size: 3-3 1/2's, she has gotten quite a few more pairs of shoes lately... ever since the ladies at daycare told us she had to start wearing them since they go outside a lot. Of course, the pair she wore the first day have scuff marks all over the tops of them, you can tell how she crawls... ha!
Food: Similac bottles, more and more with the sippy cup (formula and water), and basically all adult food now. (P.S. super excited to only have one more month of formula!!!)
Naps: One 2 hour nap while at daycare, still 2 during the day when she's home with us
Sleep: Bed by 6:45-7ish, up by 6ish
Teeth: Eight! We think the molars are starting to make their way soon too..
Sounds: Dada, mama, baba, ga, "daaww" (dog), "uh oh", nana, yeah, and lots of babbling still too!
Play: So much mimicking (every time we do something, she tries to do it too!), walking around furniture holding on, free standing for a few moments, loooves her Elmo toys and anything that sings and makes noise
New buddies: Neighbors down the street we just met, another Lilly and her older brother Tyler!

Now, the countdown is really on for that 1st birthday party.... our little lady is turning one, who said that was allowed to happen?


Allis' evening bath time has become a bit of a ritual around our house for the past 11 months. By the time she was about two months old, she grew to love bath time instead of being scared of it. Since she's been mobile for a couple months now, she loves bath time because she gets to crawl around our large garden tub and play with all her toys. Not to mention get scrubbed by someone else while she plays. Needless to say, it has become rather comical to watch her splash around in the tub.

The process of getting her undressed has also become rather comical, as she's typically standing on the side of the tub looking over at the soapy water and toys that she's about to impose her will upon. We're usually able to get her clothes off without issue, but the diaper is another story. As any parent will tell you, it's nearly impossible to get a diaper off a standing child... it's just a matter of physics when you've got two chubby thighs preventing a urine-swollen diaper from being removed in a downward direction.

To aid this process, we'll sometimes pull Alli away from the tub and place her on the floor in a crawling position. This way, we can easily remove the diaper from the back as she speeds off in the other direction. You know, kind of like the redneck dump truck concept. Then all we have to do is retrieve our naked crawling baby from wherever she made it to and plop her in the tub.

Well, this process has been working very well - up until Saturday night. That evening, we stripped our little girl down and she took off in the opposite direction. However, she stopped right before she hit the bedroom carpet and proceeded to pee on the bathroom floor. Before we knew it, there was a large puddle in the middle of the bathroom - just as if the dog had lost control of her bladder. I scooped up Alli and placed her in the tub while Mommy B headed for the closet to get the cleaning supplies.

We both kind of laughed it off and proceeded with the bath as normal. Then on Sunday night, Alli got a little curious after we stripped her down. This time, she headed for the toilet room and proceeded to pull herself up so she could see over. Mommy B thought it would be cute to hold her on the toilet seat as if we were practicing potty training. We figured this way if she decided to have another "accident", she would at least be on the pot and not soak our floor again. She actually did really well sitting up like a big girl, and didn't seem to be scared of being up high on the toilet.

Well, guess what happened the second Mommy B took her off the seat and placed her on the cold tile floor? The flood gates opened... naturally. And just like that, Alli had peed on the bathroom floor two nights in a row. Mommy B and I had to laugh at the fact that we had just put her on the toilet and got nothing. So off she went to get the cleaning supplies again, and I proceeded to give our little pee-body a scrub down. I guess the silver lining is that at least we know she didn't pee in the bath which would result in her inadvertently getting washed in it. I'm sure this has happened in the past, but there's not much you can do about it.

She's eleven months old today, but I'm wondering if it's too early to start potty training. This would really help out my bathroom floor, and we could stop buying diapers earlier... which would be wonderful. I bet she would be the youngest kid in her class wearing training undies!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Little baby with book in the mouth = Alli. All the time! This past weekend, we had quite the fuss-butt on our hands, and we really haven't had it too awful with any of her teeth coming in before, but we're wondering if this could possibly be her molars making their way to the surface. She's never been a drooler, she usually just gets a low grade fever, runny nose, sometimes diarrhea, cough (from the excess saliva in her mouth we think!), and just general fussiness. Tylenol, Advil & Benadryl have been our best friends this weekend. Hopefully they hurry up and arrive, as if eight teeth at almost eleven months isn't enough teeth already...!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So little time...

When I picked Alli up from daycare on Tuesday, one of her teachers asked me if she had taken any steps "on her own" at home yet. I told her that on Monday evening, Alli stood on her own for a good five seconds while banging some toys together. I went on to tell her that she dropped one of them and was able to squat down, pick it up and return to a free-standing position without having to steady herself at all! While that didn't really qualify as walking, I felt I had to share it with her teacher anyway. Her teacher smiled at me and conceded that she took "a step or two" that day - which I can only deduce to mean that she basically "walked" on her own for them.

This news made me happy and sad at the same time. I was happy to hear that she's getting more brave and becoming more willing to let go of things to venture off on her own wobbly legs. Mommy B and I have been trying to coax her away from the couch, entertainment center, bookshelf, whatever... so she can learn to steady herself without holding onto something. She's been getting better at using a wheeled toy we bought for her to push around - standing behind it and pushing it forward like a lawn mower.

But it made me sad because that means Mommy B and I technically missed her "first steps". Now, her teacher didn't really elaborate on exactly how many steps she took, how far she went, or what happened afterwards - but I can't help but feel bad for not being there for it. Taking your first steps is pretty important developmental milestone, and her own parents didn't get to witness it. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of having to send your kid to daycare.

To make things fair, I know this happens every single day in daycares all over the planet. I'm sure there are parents out there who have missed every single one of their child's important milestone "firsts" - first time rolling over, first time holding the bottle on their own, first crawl, first steps, etc... all because they have to send them to daycare. Furthermore, let's say Alli takes a few steps for me tonight... if her teacher hadn't mentioned anything to me the other day, I would have to assume they were her real "first steps."

They say ignorance is bliss - but I'm not so sure that's true in this case. If I could rewind time to Tuesday, I would have left work early just to drive all the way back to Alli's daycare and watch her take those precious "first steps" through her classroom window. It's a good thing the window is one-way, otherwise she would have spotted me and probably never would have done it in the first place. But obviously I can't time travel, so I just have to deal with the fact that when Mommy B and I see her "walk" for the first time, it won't really be the first time - just the first time for us.

This situation got me thinking yesterday as I was driving to pick her up. It made me realize how little time I actually spend with Alli during the work week. I see her for about an hour in the morning while we're getting ready, then about three hours as night before she goes to sleep. So technically I only get to see her for about four to five hours a day Monday-Friday. Her teachers see her for around nine hours each day while I'm at work.

So let's do the math:

In a given week, I see Alli for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. 4 x 5 = 20 hours. Plus about 18 hours on the weekend (when she's awake). 20 + 18 = 38 hours/week

Her teachers see her for 9 hours a day, typically 4 days a week. 9 x 4 = 36 hours/week

And there you have it... someone else is spending almost as much time with my child as I am on any given week. That means that someone else is getting to learn her tendencies, watch her grow, and experience the joy that is Alli just as much as I am. This part I'm OK with - because it makes me happy to know that she's enriching someone else's life other than my own (and Mommy B's too, of course).

The part I'm still coming to terms with is the fact that someone else is having as much of an influence on her personality as her mother and father. When you find out you're going to be a parent for the first time, you tell yourself those age-old lines over and over again: "I'm going to teach my child to be polite, to share with others, to think for themselves, not to whine, etc., etc." You are going to be the determining factor. You are going to teach them everything they need to know about the world.

But if you really think about it - you learn the most from those who are around you the most, especially when you're young. Based on the math above - that's almost equal parts Mommy B, myself, her teachers, and the other kids in class. Being the economics major that I am, I ran the math equation above through my head while doing 70 on the interstate to pick Alli up.

You know what it made me realize? It made me realize what little time I really get to spend with my daughter. Time is already flying by, and her first birthday is coming up soon. That got me to thinking... have I used the time I had in the last year wisely? Have I used what little time I've had with her to mold her into the best person she can become? Are there things I could have done differently? Are there things I should have done differently?

Perhaps much of this is preemptive so early on in her life, but I realized on my drive that there are so many outside factors that have contributed (and will continue to do so) to make Alli who she is and who she'll become. So, I better make what little time I have with her count. Even if Mommy B and I technically missed her "first steps", it warms my heart to know that we laid the groundwork for those steps to happen in the first place. Maybe I'm doing something right with her after all...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Deer Physicals: Eye Response, Normal.

Just made me laugh when I saw this... I've been having to do quite a few different types of physical assessments lately on different types of patients, depending on what floor I've been sent to at work. Throughout the last three weeks, I've been on the pediatric step-down ICU, postpartum, antepartum, adult medical surgical trauma, adult pulmonary and GI, adult neuro, etc. To say I've been overwhelmed would be an understatement. It's been frustrating, and I realized it's not what I want to do. I talked to my nurse manager and am putting the adult stuff on hold as of now, I just miss pediatrics. It's where my heart is, and I'm hoping this means I won't be cancelled a whole bunch again, but we'll figure it out. May have to start looking for a more permanent position somewhere soon, but we'll get through it. For now, I'll just enjoy the time with Ru and not spend so much money. (Which is hard when you've got your only child's 1st birthday coming up!!!)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


So, anyone that knows us, knows Eric and I love Finding Nemo. It's SUCH a great movie, and we can't wait for Alli to watch Disney movies intently with us someday! Anyway, one day last week, I was sitting on the floor playing with Alli, leaned toward her, shaking my head against hers and said "noggin!", kind of like the duuuudes do in Finding Nemo. I did this a couple different times, and my little parrot starting doing it back. Later that day, I just said, "noggin!", and she proceeded to lean in and rub heads with me, rubbing her forehead back and forth against mine. It was adorable. She did it several times with grandma Tatsy while they were visiting this weekend too. She just catches on to things so easily, and it's so cute to see her do things over and over, especially something I taught her :) Makes a mama so proud. Also, I asked her to give me a "high five", and she slapped my hand!I don't know if they're teaching her this at daycare or what, but, she even surprised me by knowing what that was! Just another example of how she amazes us more and more every day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

50 Rules for Dads of Daughters

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to this site - 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters. It had the basics in there - love her mother and treat her well because she'll grow up and likely fall in love with someone who treats her how her mother was treated, always be there for her (quality time doesn't happen without quantity time), and be her hero. But it also had a few in there that I never thought of - either because of their simplicity or their creativity.

Here are some of my favorites:
10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time. I actually already do enjoy bath time with Alli, and I miss it when we have to skip a nightly bath for one reason or another. It seems like just yesterday we were propping her up in her whale tub and she would barely splash around... now the whale tub is in the attic because she's crawling around the tub and pulling herself up on the faucet.

15. Dance with her. Start when she's a little girl or even when she's a baby. Don't wait 'till her wedding day. 'Nuff said.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she's still tiny. I couldn't wait until the first time I could put Alli on my shoulders and walk her around. Even though I still have to hold her up (which can be a pain), I know she loves every second of it. I recall riding on my father's six-foot shoulders when I was very young, and there was nothing cooler than being that high up. Even though I'm not as tall, I'm sure Alli enjoys it just the same.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don't be late. Nothing makes me smile more than when I walk in the door and Alli spots me from across the living room. She smiles that big toothy grin and turbo-crawls over to me, then immediately pulls up on my pant leg and reaches up for me to pick her up. Makes my heart melt every time.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue. I've already started tossing her up in the air and catching her as she falls, but I can't wait to really be able to swing her around a bit. I count to three and toss her up, just enough so she leaves my grasp and feels that freedom of not having anyone hold you for a split second, then grab her again on her way back down. She can't control the giggles, even when it means having the hiccups in five minutes.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them the most. This one was probably my favorite, and Mommy B and I are kind of already doing that with this blog. However, I think it would be a really cool tradition to sit down each year on her birthday and write her a letter. I'll tell her about the things she's learned in that year's time, and what I've learned myself. Might be something pretty cool for both of us to look back on years down the line.

And of course, the runaway winner for tugging on the heart strings:
50. Today she's walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she's going off to college. Don't blink. My eyes well up just thinking about this one. She's already growing up so fast, and I know there's no stopping it... or even slowing it down. She's learning at an incredible rate, and I'm more amazed by it every day.

Think about it... there is no other animal on the planet that takes so long to nurture, to teach, to protect. Most other animals are considered "adults" within the first couple years of their lives. Not humans - we take time to develop, to learn, to grow. It is this exorbitant amount of time parents spend with their child that forms the strong bond between them. Even though Alli is less than a year old, she has learned and grown so much. And I know the bond between us grows stronger every day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just call her Alli Einstein

Over the last few weeks, I've come to realize how smart and inquisitive of a little girl we have. Grandma C and grandma great both made comments about how curious she is, how fast she catches on to things, and what a little parrot she is. I've always noticed, and particularly when we were home in Ohio, that Alli always has to figure out the "how" or "why" of things. She will turn over almost all of her toys, trying to find out how it's working, cruises around the TV stand to check out the back of the TV to see where the noise is coming from or how it's working, etc. It's amazing to see how fast she figures things out. She was sitting in Grandma C's lap one of the first days we were home, and my mom was yelling "kitty kitty!" to her cat, Lucy. Of course, Alli has never even seen a cat before, but she searched around to find it too, turning her head and neck all around until she spotted the cat... and proceeded to say "kitty! kitty!" Now, it didn't come out totally clear, but grandma C, grandma great & I all heard her say it several times that week. (Dad E says he doesn't believe it until he hears it, so he's still in denial about her saying it!) She's also saying "yeah!", "uh oh" - very clearly now... not just her old "uhhhh" from before, "ball", and the old words (mama, dada, baba, nana). She's so funny too. I took her to Kohl's today to get some picture frames, and she just smiles and cheeses at every person, and if they don't say something about her or to her, she makes loud squawking type noises. She just makes me smile, and I love watching her grow and learn.

Here's my photo comparsion of Albert & Alli Einstein too =)

Trip to Ohio: Again...

As Mommy B eluded to in this week's comic, we had yet another interesting trip back to the homeland. She took Alli with her on Tuesday morning and spent the week with Grandma C in Findlay. I then flew up on Friday afternoon to spend the night with a friend from college. The plan was to meet up in Columbus on Saturday for a wedding, then all fly home together on Sunday. There were no impending hurricanes on the east coast to threaten our travel plans, so we figured things would go off without a hitch. We thought wrong.

On Friday, I woke up with my first-ever migraine headache. I'm talking feel-like-you-just-got-a frontal-lobe-concussion-from-a-middle-linebacker type of headache. I'd never experienced one of these before, so I took some Advil and hoped it would get better. 4 hours later, it hadn't. So I grabbed some Tylenol and headed to the airport. I then got to spend the next five hours on two airplanes with my temples throbbing and a general feeling of nausea. Awesome. When I landed in Columbus, I called my sister for advice since she gets them all the time. She said take some Excedrin and chug a medium Gatorade as fast as you can. No problem - I used to be an athlete, after all.

I don't know how much medication I pumped into my system that day, but nothing helped. I basically spent the rest of the evening being a lame friend and going to bed early. When I woke up on Saturday, the headache had subsided somewhat, but it hurt to move my eyes. It literally felt like my ocular nerves were being pulled out of the back of my head each time I moved my eyes to the right or left. That doesn't sound normal, does it? But I downed three more Excedrin and toughed it out. A barbacoa burrito bowl from Chipotle helped too...

Mommy B and I reunited that afternoon and I got to see Alli for the first time since Tuesday morning. Grandma C was nice enough to watch Alli for the evening while Mommy B and I went to the wedding. It was good to get out a little bit and see some of the guys I ran track with back in college. Still not feeling up to par, we came home somewhat early so we could enjoy some "peaceful sleep". In other words, Alli was across the hall with Grandma C for the evening and morning so we got to sleep in a little bit. It didn't help that it sounded like the cleaning crew decided to service the room directly above us at 7:30am - but that's sleeping in for us these days.

We packed everything up and headed to the airport around noon to grab some lunch and get through security for our 2:55pm flight to Washington D.C. That's when things went to hell. We checked in and grabbed some lunch, and everything was scheduled to be on time. We boarded the plane on time, and proceeded to sit. And we sat. And sat... with a 10-month old child who just wants to crawl on everything. Apparently we had to give a flight attendant a ride to D.C., so we were waiting for her to board. When she finally did, the captain informed us that they discovered a fuel leak below the plane and needed to check it out. So we continued to sit. After about an hour or more of going nowhere, he came back over the loudspeaker and informed us that they couldn't fly this plane and needed to get us off for repairs - in hopes of getting another plane to take us to D.C.

They informed us that they would have an update on our D.C. flight at 5:30pm. We already missed our connecting flight, so Mommy B went to the counter and got things switched. She was able to get us on a flight to Philadelphia at 6pm, then to Charleston. So again, we waited around the terminal with an infant who desperately needed a nap but couldn't take one with all the stimulation around. As 6pm drew near, they informed us that our plane to Philly was running behind - but they were going to turn it over quickly to get us out as fast as possible. We boarded our Philly flight at 6:15pm - and sat. Apparently they forgot to refuel this plane while everyone got off. This wouldn't be much of an issue except for the fact that it decided to begin monsooning over the airport. I'm talking pouring rain, thunder, lightning, giant frogs... real wrath-of-God type stuff.

I learned something that afternoon - much like your community pool, an airport shuts down and waits 15 minutes after the latest lightning strike before reopening. Well, this wasn't a Carolina storm that blows in and out of town in 20 minutes. There we sat, with no fuel and the rain barely letting up. As the rain poured, the minutes ticked by and Alli grew even more restless. After about an hour, they came over the loudspeaker and began listing off all the connecting flights that were going to be missed: Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Charleston. But of course.

So off we went - off our second plane and back up the ramp. Mommy B was about 2 seconds from going postal on the lady behind the counter, but they managed to get us on another flight to Charlotte that was boarding right then. This would get us into Charlotte at 9:30pm and our connecting flight was to leave at 10:30pm. We literally turned right around, went back down the ramp an onto the plane right next to the one we were just on. Only this plane actually had fuel and was ready to go as soon as the rain let up. Luckily it did, and we took off only 30 minutes late. There's only so much you can entertain a kid with before they get bored on an airplane. I think Alli might have gained about 2 pounds that day just from us feeding her in an attempt to keep her quite and not from climbing on everything.

After getting on (and off) 3 different planes and spending almost 9 hours at the airport, we were finally on our way. I figured worst-case scenario was that we could stay with Mama G and Papa Rob in Charlotte if we had to. At least we weren't stuck in D.C. or Philly. The other good news was that Alli finally fell asleep on the flight... as we began our decent. Awesome. I was hoping that I could toss her on my shoulder and we could get her home without her knowing the difference. Wrong again, Dad.

She woke up at about 10pm as we were walking through the Charlotte terminal, and she was none too thrilled. We boarded the plane and she proceeded to fill her diaper with enough pee to leak out through her p.j.'s and onto Mommy B's lap. It actually looked like Mommy B was the one who had the accident. Needless to say, I was volentold to take her to the bathroom and change her. I did, but it didn't stop her screaming. We had become those people. You know, the ones everyone hates and wishes wasn't on their airplane? The couple who thought it was a good idea to try and fly with their infant? Yeah, that was us. We tried giving Alli a bottle to calm her down, but she wasn't having it. She just wanted her Pooh bear and her bed. I haven't felt that helpless in a long time...

Thank the lord though, she tuckered out after about 10-15 minutes of screaming and actually fell asleep on Mommy B (wet pants and all) before we even took off. I never thought I'd say this again - but there they were, mother and daughter glued together by another bodily fluid as we were trying to get home. Just like our last trip, I've never held my wife in higher regard than I did for that whole flight. She wore her urine-soaked pants and her sleeping daughter on her shoulder like a badge of honor. I'm not sure if she saw it that way, but I was actually a little jealous. Other parents will understand.

We finally landed in Charleston at 11:30pm. We actually met up with our friends who were watching Scarlett for us (one of them was on our flight), and the entire family headed home. By about 1am, Alli was in her bed sleeping soundly and the rest of us were able to begin winding down. I worked from home on Monday, and Mommy B cancelled her shift to pick up later in the week.

What a day it had been. I'm not sure why we thought things were going to go smoothly, as our past experiences with airlines haven't been all that stellar. Maybe it's the destination instead, since we drove last time. Either way, I'm glad our family and friends are coming down here for Alli's upcoming birthday.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

"On behalf of Charter Airlines may I apologize again for the delay while the plane is being built."

This announcement wouldn't have even made Eric or I blink an eye by the end of the day yesterday. We had heard it ALL. Trust me. I have never sat on a plane so long in my life (okay, make that 3 planes), that never even moved off the terminal. Not even driving to the end out of the gates to the runway, nope. Nothing. And it would be one thing if we were experiencing this by ourselves... but add a tired 10 month old who only had one nap all day, and you're looking at two very frazzled parents and one extremely grumpy Ru. What an experience. To be continued on a future post...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Since Mommy B is back in the land of corn and bad pro football, I've taken the liberty of posting this week's cartoon. This one is dedicated to Scarlett, who has faithfully kept me company this week while wife and child are gone.

Mommy B and I always joke about what Scarlett would sound like if she could talk. We've come to the conclusion that she would basically sound like a female version of Dug from the Disney/Pixar movie "Up". Loyal Followers might have gathered that from the hyperlinks I've added to just about every reference of Scarlett that all redirect you to YouTube clips of Dug. Truth be told, she would probably sound nothing like that since she's a southern pooch, but I'm not sure if accents carry over to pets.

In any case, Alli just loves her some Scarlett. They are both about the same height now, and Alli giggles like crazy any time Scarlett licks her hands clean after a meal while she's still up in her high chair. Then when Alli is down on the floor with her, she'll open her mouth to let Scarlett attempt to lick inside it too. Needless to say, we have to yell at Scarlett before the dog-on-human makeout session begins all the time. Because just as the comic above says, a dog's mouth isn't always cleaner than a human's.

Adios until next week folks.

I wanna go back to Ohio State, to old Columbus town...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


So Mommy B and Alli are both in Ohio for the rest of the week, and I have to say, it is a very strange feeling being around the house. Even though I have Scarlett to keep me company, there is just something strange about being alone in a house that typically has two other humans occupying it along with me. I'll actually be dropping Scarlett off at a friend's house Thursday night, which will really make the house feel empty.

Falling asleep last night was difficult for a couple reasons. First, I've been sharing a king-size bed with Mommy B for over 4 1/2 years - and there have been rare occasions where I've been in it alone. This week will be the longest I've been in our bed by myself since we moved in together, at least that I can recall. Needless to say, it felt weird trying to fall asleep in such a large bed by myself. I was thinking that Scarlett would join me, but I had no such luck. As usual, she played "guard dog" and slept right outside our bedroom door.

Also, it was quiet. A little too quiet, in fact. You see, Mommy B has the uncanny ability to fall asleep in less than 5 minutes most nights - so I've grown accustomed to falling asleep to the sound of her deep, slow, sleep-breathing. Since becoming a parent, I've also gotten used to the distant rain sound of Alli's Sleep Sheep coming from her bedroom across the hall. Scarlett also tends to flip herself over as she's falling asleep, so I usually hear her nails against the wall at least once before I doze off.

Last night, all I heard were crickets. I felt so small in this big empty house... it was very unnerving to say the least. I also had to set my alarm for the first time in 10 months, which was weird to wake up to as well. Getting ready for work this morning without having to prepare a bottle for Alli was weird too - in fact, I kind of missed it. Only because I knew that meant I wouldn't get to see her smiling face... not because I enjoy making bottles.

We'll see how things go the next two nights, but I have to say its quite the lonely feeling knowing that when I get home, only Scarlett will be there to greet me. I already miss Alli spotting me from across the room and turbo-crawling over to pull up on my pant leg. Luckily I'll see her again soon though...

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Today was the first Saturday of the college football season. Any of you who know Eric and I, know that we're both huge football fans. We used to mainly just watch NFL games, but since moving down south, we've gotten more and more into college teams and games. Down here, it's a much bigger deal than the NFL games. There's an OSU Alumni Club that gets together to watch Ohio State football games on Saturday's, and we've been going to watch games with this group ever since we moved down here four and a half years ago. Last year, they changed their location of where they get together to watch the games to the bar right beside Blackbaud, where Eric works, on Daniel Island. A perfect and ideal location for us, less than 8 miles away. So today, after Alli Ru woke up from her nap, we packed up and headed out. She absolutely LOVED it there. During commercials, the group will play OSU songs, "Hang on Sloopy", "I Wanna Go Back to Ohio State", etc... and everyone sings, claps and really gets into it. Needless to say, our little parrot tried to copy everyone, and clapped right along. She was adorable, and quite the hit in her OSU cheerleading outfit and her OSU koozie on her bottle. It didn't hurt that Ohio State beat Akron 42-0. O-H!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Holiday blues

As the Labor Day weekend approaches here in Chucktown, most people think of sunshine, beaches, and grilling out with family and friends to unofficially mark the end of summer. Many will head out to the beach to spend another weekend in the sun and surf. Others will pull out the grill and spend the afternoon grilling corn on the cob and burning animal flesh. Back home in Cincinnati, a local radio station will be putting on the biggest fireworks display of the year from a barge right on the Ohio River. Games will be played, adult beverages will be consumed and memories will be made.

Unfortunately, our wolfpack will probably be doing nothing of the sort. Mommy B is scheduled to pack up Alli and fly them both back to Ohio on Tuesday, which means she's scheduled to work on Sunday and Monday to try and get her hours in before she takes off for the rest of the week. I'll actually be joining her at the end of the week for a wedding in Columbus, then we'll be flying back together on Sunday. This really stinks for a couple reasons...

First, we've missed a lot of holidays since moving down here. My company gets all national holidays off... but there are no holidays in the eyes of a doctor or nurse. As the husband of the latter, I knew this was part of the deal and tried to prepare myself accordingly. I knew there would be New Year's Eves cut short because Mommy B had to work the next day, or Memorial Days I had to spend alone because I was off and Mommy B wasn't.

Over the past few years, this situation has led to an unfortunate feeling of numbness in me anytime another national holiday draws near. People at work would ask me if I had any cool plans for the long holiday weekend, and I would somberly reply with, "No, my wife is working. I'll be spending it alone." Some would try to cheer me up by saying, "Well that means you can just relax on the couch all day, right?" Wrong.

For those of you that know me, I'm not exactly the sit-at-home-and-veg-on-the-couch-all-day type. I believe there was one December 26th a couple years ago where I came to the gym at work just to get out of the house. I couldn't stand flipping through endless commercials showing happy families getting to enjoy the holidays like they were meant to be enjoyed. And now that we have a child, the word "relax" is only exchanged between Mommy B and I to avoid the pulling out of one's own hair. Before we had Alli, it had basically gotten to the point where I no longer saw it as a holiday, but just another day I didn't have to go into work - which is pretty sad.

Of course, it doesn't help that we don't have any family here that I could spend the day with while she was working. It would be one thing if Mommy B went off to work and I could just go spend the day with family, but she is my only family within a nine-hour drive. And furthermore, it might just make things worse because then she would be the only one missing out on the fun.

Now that we have Alli, I at least have more company besides our ever-faithful dog Scarlett. But a needy infant isn't exactly the type of company I'm looking for on a gorgeous Labor Day weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my daughter more than anything in the world... but the thought of playing single parent from sun up to sun down for two straight days when we should be spending it as a family really bums me out.

I'm not sure how I'm going to entertain her for two straight days when most establishments are closed and everyone else will be either out of town or busy with their own family. I thought the whole idea of giving people the day off for a holiday was so they could spend it with the people who are important to them and recharge their batteries. That's a negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.

Then, to add insult to injury, Mommy B will then be turning around and leaving Tuesday morning and taking my only human companion with her. So I basically won't see my wife for six days, and will go from spending every second with my child to not seeing her at all for four days. Again, people are trying to cheer me up by reminding me that I'll finally get some "me time" while they're gone.

I don't want "me time"... I want "us time". I guess you can just chalk it up as another case of the holiday blues...