So Much For That!

For the first time since blogs have been a thing (over a decade), I did not blog for a whole calendar year. Now 2014 looks like our adventures of 2014 will be forever lost in the fog of our “parents of two littles” memories.

As 2015 progresses, I will make this a more regular place to post our adventures, though be warned that our lives today are a far cry from the carefree, kid-free years of roaming Central Europe.

I am a little afraid to admit how mundane our days seem now when compared to weekend camping trips to Switzerland and excursions to wine and asparagus festivals…ok, maybe asparagus festivals weren’t interesting to the rest of the world, but being surrounded by fields of asparagus crops makes people a bit more excited about sharing in the harvest.

In any event, I do have a lot to document as we move forward with 2015, which we have dubbed the year of new beginnings.

January 9, 2015 at 6:07 PM 2 comments

More Cowbell

I don’t know what’s gotten into me. I haven’t blogged in over a year, but suddenly, I feel a bit sad that I’ve let such a gap go by without having a written documentation of the big a nd little life moments. I have blogged since 2002 with only this one big gap, so maybe I can make up for it? (Or maybe I’ll neglect this blog again for another year before writing again.)

We haven’t posted anything about this on Facebook yet, but most people already know that we are expecting baby #2 at the beginning of March. I’m 13 weeks 3 days as of today and feeling so much better than I did during the first trimester.

This pregnancy has been so different from Elijah. I was extremely nauseated from 5-10ish weeks and was on a prescription prenatal vitamin supplement to help with my nausea. It has a blend of B6, ginger extract, and extra folic acid, and it worked wonders for me. I also had the typical exhaustion, but what was also different from last go around was how early the symptoms started.

I tested positive at 3 weeks 1 day, because my boobs were hurting and I thought it might be indicative of being pregnant. I was right! I also experienced fatigue a week or two earlier than I remmmeber getting it with Elijah. Oh and the cravings… I’ve had so many more than last time.

Last time I craved milk, though, and I haven’t had a single glass this time. I actually hate milk, so that was weird that I liked it during my last pregnancy.

Ok, I’m being boring. I haven’t written in so long that my writing skills have withered. I hope I can hone them and get back to some better writing. Until then, I’m sorry, and thanks for bearing iwth me.

August 28, 2013 at 5:42 PM 1 comment

Don’t Eat Your Wheaties

Where did the last month go? I keep waiting for a chance to relax, and it just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me.

Earlier this month, we went to the coast with some friends from college. They meet there every summer to catch up as we all live in different cities now. It was fun but chaotic, as 4 of the 5 married couples who made it now have children (all of which were between the ages of 10 and 22 months). A vacation isn’t the same when you can’t just be on a lazy carefree schedule, and trying to make 4 infant/toddler schedules mesh is nothing short of insane.

We did not start that week off well, either. I came home on Monday the 9th with a headache and generally not feeling well. It got worse and worse, and by the time I put Elijah to be around 8, I thought I was going to be sick to my stomach. Less than two hours later, I was hit hard with food poisoning. It was the sickest I have ever been. And without divulging the nasty details, I will say that even the blood vessels in my face suffered. Unfortunately, John ended up getting it as well — he was just 2 hours behind me (he ate his lunch about 2 hours after me — found the culprit!). On the bright side, we are thankful we got sick at night when Elijah was sleeping. There’s no way we could have cared for him during that torture. Fortunately, too, John’s stepmom came to get Elijah in the morning and take him to school, which allowed us to recover. It took until that evening for us to start regaining strength, and neither of us ate much for 3 days. We finally started to get our appetite back on our drive to the coast.

This past weekend, we hosted family for an Olympic opening ceremony-watching party. It was fun, but poor Elijah got unbelievably overstimulated. Neither John nor I had ever seen him so hyper. He was nearly running back and forth between our living room and den yelling, laughing and screaming. Thankfully, he still went to bed easily.

Oh, so…yes, Elijah is now walking. I don’t have the exact day written down here, but I did write it in his baby book. It took him about 3 weeks to get incredibly solid on his feet, but he doesn’t fall much anymore. He also hasn’t crawled in about 2 weeks now. I am sad to see that go. Now I have a toddler. I can’t even joke that I have an infant anymore.

The other big news lately is that we think Elijah may have a gluten sensitivity. We won’t be going to the pediatrician for two more weeks (when I am off work), but we have kept him on a gluten-free diet for the past week and have seen a marked improvement. I did not know that gluten passes through breastmilk, and as I am still nursing Elijah twice a day, he got some gluten from my hamburger bun on Saturday night. Sunday morning, he woke up with an upset tummy (hadn’t had any of these since going gluten-free), and he was biting and hitting again, He was incredibly fussy all morning until after his nap and was largely refusing food. He hasn’t had gluten since Saturday night and seems back to good already. I do not want him to have to deal with that, but if he does have a gluten sensitivity, I am so glad we found it earlier rather than later.

I am toying with giving up my “professional” blog, which means I will post here more often. After all, I care more about chronicling family memories than spending hours upon hours a day maintaining a site that is still just a hobby. And to be honest, I do not think it would ever go past being a hobby, because I hardly have time for it as it is, and in order to push the site to the next level, I would need time that I quite honestly do not have between being a wife and mommy, working and all the other adult responsibilities that are just oh so fun.

July 30, 2012 at 5:03 PM 2 comments

Life with a Toddler

I am absolutely loving this stage. This morning, I was thinking about all the cute, sweet and funny things Elijah does, and I don’t want to forget about them, so here’s a quick list. At 14.5 months, Elijah:

  • Dances to music, especially country music
  • Says b-b-b for birds
  • Bubba = Beni/Bubbie (sometimes any dog)
  • Dances for Mickey Mouse and love the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song
  • Gives lots of kisses
  • Shrieks for noise a cat makes
  • Can point to his ears, nose, eyes, hair, mouth, cheeks, tongue, tummy, belly button, knees and feet
  • Smacks lips when going to have “mama milk”
  • Says please often by rubbing his hands together (came up with the sign on his own)
  • Already likes to say no (shakes head back and forth) a lot
  • Cries when going to school but also cries when I take him home (he has a great time there!)
  • Loves airplanes, motorcycles, trucks and “diggers”
  • Enjoys pointing out allt he bugs outside. He likes to wave to them. He particularly likes bees.
  • Saw a construction crew outside of his Aunt Stephanie’s house and thought it was so cool
  • Did incredibly well on first road trip (San Antonio to Dallas)
  • Loves the drums
  • Likes to pretend to talk on the phone (will use anything for a phone — favorite is a TV remote)
  • Plays very well with Beni; likes to give kisses and thinks it’s hilarious when we let him “ride” on Beni
  • Every time he sees a horse, he rocks back and forth like his rocking horse
  • LOVES the moon (“muh!”)
  • Food preferences: yogurt, cheese (cottage cheese, cheddar, Swiss, feta, any!), bread, nutella, chocolate, pizza, spaghetti, beans (refried, black, whatever), ground beef, green beans, peaches, strawberries, applesauce, banana pudding, sausage, Ritz crackers, grapes (purple)
  • Will make truck noises when playing with cars
  • Can make sounds for elephants and lions/bears/dinosaurs (those are all the same)
  • When asked what a monkey says, he’ll round his lips but not make any noise
  • Can whistle and also knows how to use the wooden train whistle (says something kind of like “choo choo” for train)
  • Can follow two step commands (“find your football and bring it to Mommy”)
  • Loves to say Papa
  • Loves playing with his cousin Emma (and needs to see his other cousins more!!)
  • Cut 4 molars within 14 days…ouch
  • Can climb up all the stairs to the second floor of our house in about a minute. Scary!
  • Is on the verge of walking. Stands a lot on his own, but no walking yet — still is an expert crawler
  • Has a blast playing in the kiddie pool in our backyard

June 19, 2012 at 3:48 PM Leave a comment

Working Mom: The Past Week

We have had a rough week. We had Elijah in an in-home daycare just around the corner from our house. It started out as a wonderful arrangement, but the past few weeks just seemed off. Elijah started crying during drop off and pick up again (he had stopped after 3 weeks). He seemed really clingy, and the woman caring for him said he was fussier than he had been.

With her, it was a yo-yo. I could have sworn she was two different people. Example: She texted me to say that Elijah hadn’t eaten or drank anything for breakfast and that he had a bit of an upset tummy (ahem, diaper). John and I decided to call the doctor, and the doctor was not too concerned. She just wanted him to drink something. After arranging to leave work early or get John back from Austin early, his daycare provider told us “oh, Elijah is fine! He’s happy and playing.” Ok…then why did you text me at work and say he wasn’t feeling well and suggest I call the doctor? There were countless instances like this. (I should have known when on his first day, she said he had an ear infection. My instinct said he didn’t. An expensive trip to the after-hours pediatric clinic proved I was right, and poor Elijah had to get his ear irrigated for nothing.)

After a rather ridiculously blown out of proportion ordeal last week, we decided to withdraw Elijah from her care. I had just arrived at work on Thursday, and turned back around to go pick him up. I had had a terrible feeling about leaving him there that day, and even the daycare provider asked me (when dropping him off) “why do you continue to bring him here?” It was heart-wrenching to drop him off that day, so I drove the 30 minutes back there to pick him up and got him settled with John’s mom at our house. I went back to work and worked the rest of the day. On Friday, John took care of Elijah until he had to go to Austin for his final, and my mom took care of Elijah. Today, Elijah’s Aunt Sarah is taking care of him while John takes his last final at UT Austin. John will then be at home full time with Elijah until June, when they both start school.

I have been reassured by Elijah’s behavior over the last few days that we made the right decision. I just feel terrible that he was less than happy.

I’m also just having a hard day. I really miss my boys and don’t want to be at work today.

May 14, 2012 at 9:44 PM 1 comment

Tired of Cereal

How did cereal get to be the go-to breakfast choice? We stumble out of bed and pour starchy flakes (puffs, squares, etc.) into a bowl with cold milk that all quickly becomes mush before we can muster the jaw strength to chomp it all down. An hour or two later, we are hungry again, and the second time around, if you are anything like me, you go for a quick snack, which inevitably ends up being unhealthy at least 50 percent of the time (“but I ate so well yesterday…”).

John and I are on a mission to stop eating cereal so much—or maybe cereal at all—we will see how this goes. In all honesty, I was nervous to start this, because I had a hard time brainstorming anything to eat for breakfast besides cereal or breakfast tacos. The brain block is not so surprising, I suppose, when you consider that grocery stores devote whole aisles to stocking boxes of cereal. What else is there?

Having lived in Germany, however, we learned that not every grocery store is like that. The German grocery stores we frequented had just a couple (really, a couple…like two) cereals. Certainly, then, not everyone eats cereal for breakfast!

After some thinking, I came up with the list below to get us started. We were already big fans of the green smoothie, and I am looking forward to seeing where we go from here.

Non-Cereal Breakfast Ideas:

    • Green smoothie – The one we make consists of spinach, banana, plain Greek-style yogurt, peanut butter (natural — no JIF here), almond milk and just a touch of sugar.
    • Oatmeal (steel cut or rolled oats) – I found some great recipes for fun oatmeal flavors like apple or pumpkin pie, and I am excited about sampling those.
    • Sausage and eggs
    • Waffles
    • Pancakes
    • Omelets
    • Quiche
    • Bagels
    • Cold cuts, cheese and bread (German breakfast, here we come!)
    • Muffins
    • Fresh fruit
    • Scrambled eggs
    • Hardboiled eggs
    • Breakfast casseroles (there are too many to name)
    • Granola (we have a great recipe from Alton Brown that is far better than any store bought granola we have ever tasted)
    • Plain Greek-style yogurt with honey or berries
    • Breakfast tacos
    • Coffee cake
    • French toast

We are mainly looking for easy things we can have before work, but a couple on my list do not fit that requirement and will have to be weekend meals. Do you have anything to add to our list?

April 23, 2012 at 8:29 PM 1 comment

Development

This past week has been full of new thrilling development for Elijah. I find myself smiling over the memories now, so I figured I had better write them down so I can smile over them again and again in years to come.

Elijah can now point to his nose and hair when asked where they are. Sometimes he can also grab his ears if we ask where they are.

He also can pick John and me out in photos and points to us in the photo if we ask “where’s Mommy?” or “where’s Daddy?”

He LOVES to grab our attention by throwing his hands onto his head as if to say “oh no!” In fact, whenever anyone says “oh no,” he will do this. It’s currently EVERYONE’S favorite trick.

If you ask Elijah to dance, now, he will  sway back and forth. It’s adorable! I have also caught him dancing when he doesn’t know anyone is looking.

Yesterday, I was trying to make a list on a piece of paper, and Elijah kept trying to grab it away from me, so I decided to give him his own paper. However, first, I drew a picture of a dog on it. When I gave it to him, he pointed to it and said “dog.” Brilliant.

Elijah has also developed a fondness for balloons. Yesterday afternoon, he spent about 30 minutes going through his books looking for pictures of balloons. He managed to find the red balloon in Goodnight Moon all on his own. He also found balloons in a few other books, which he kept putting in my lap to read. As soon as we’d get to the part about balloons, he’d put another book in my lap.

Now, this one is my favorite. Yesterday evening, I was cooking dinner, and John was holding Elijah. As they came over to the stove to see what I was doing, I heard Elijah say what I thought was “mama.” John corrected me and told me he was saying “nah-nah” and pointing to the bananas (just behind me). We gave him a “nah-nah,” and he ate the whole thing!

His vocabulary has exploded over the past week, too. Adding to what I listed around his birthday, he now says cheese, bubble, balloon and banana. He has also started using the signs for more and milk fairly consistently. He still uses the sign for all done, but I don’t think he fully grasps its meaning.

April 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM Leave a comment

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