Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Relaxing after a bath...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Get 'em up!

Even in his sleep, Eli is cheering for the Crimson Tide to win the National Championship on January 7th...

How can you not love this face?

Eli with family!

Eli with Grammy and Grampy Glowacki

Eli with Grandpa Reckase

Eli with Moma Reckase

Eli with Uncle Nate

Eli with Uncle Nick

Eli with Aunt Beth

We are hoping to connect with the "western" Reckases (aka my brother and family) sometime this spring...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eli's new friends...

Sending out lots of love to two sets of friends welcoming sweet new additions to their families...we can't wait for Eli to meet his new friends.

Abigail Elizabeth
born 12/19
to Mark & Erin

Graham Henry
born 12/21
to Garrett & Sarah

PS How is it possible that Josh & I did not manage to get a picture like the ones above when both Noah and Eli were born? Doh!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

We've been busy...

...eating, sleeping, and dirtying diapers. Not much more than that!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Taking inventory

1. Still in my PJs
2. Drinking a chai tea latte on a foggy, rainy afternoon
3. Laundry machine is humming
4. Christmas lights are on
5. Light-hearted, animated movie on the TV
6. And this little face staring at me...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Two prayer requests

1) I need my milk to come in. Eli is a great nurser...I am just not making enough milk for him right now. Things look promising, I just need my body to take last step.

2) In the meantime, we are supplementing his feedings with formula. Over the last 48 hours he has been getting really fussy after eating and spitting up more. In our heads we know this happens with babies and their immature digestive systems...but our hearts remember Noah and all of the struggles he had with feeding and we can't help but feel a little fear.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The story of Eli

Nine pounds, seven ounces.


Last week at what turned out to be my last prenatal appointment, both the ultrasound and my doctor estimated that Eli would be somewhere between 8 and 8.5 pounds.

Dr. R looked at us and said... "He's fully cooked. All he is going to do over the next week is get bigger. I think we should scheduled you to be induced."

Those who know us know that Josh and I are the planning type... so removing the element of surprise from labor was a relatively easy decision. And I was already nervous after hearing Dr. R say for the last few weeks that I was "measuring big"... no need to cook this boy any longer!

Two days later, at 6:30am, we were admitted into the hospital and began the induction process. With my water broke around 8am and the doctor's prediction of a baby before noon, we settled into await Eli's arrival.

Noon was a little ambitious.

My contractions slowly got stronger and I received an epidural around 10:15 am. Sweet relief. But I didn't dilate as quickly as expected... at 11:00am I was still only 3.5 cm.

Around noon I began feeling some of the contractions again... not awful but I was concerned that I might feel more of the actual delivery than I wanted, so I told the nurse and she called the anesthesiologist to give me a redose. And boy did he.

I went from being able to wiggle my toes a little to not being able to feel ANYTHING from the waist down. I had no control over my legs... when it was finally time to start pushing, the nurse adjusted the position of my leg and I didn't know she was doing it until I looked down and saw my knee was bent. Crazy. I am pretty sure someone could have cut my foot off in front of me and I would only know if I was watching. Slightly disconcerting.

Josh left to get something to eat around 12:30. He gets a little mean when he in hungry and I didn't need that when the time came for me to push! By the time he got back, I had begun to experience a few side effects from the epidural: intense itching on my abdomen and some mild shaking. Neither of which was awful... but it made the last hour or so of my laboring process a little more interesting!

By 1:30, I had progressed to 8cm and by 2:30 I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. The nurses called for Dr. R when about 30 min of pushing allowed them to see the head but further pushing seemed to net no results.

Dr. R arrived and informed us that Eli was "sunny side up" or face up instead of down... this meant that his poor little forehead was getting caught on my pubic bone. He demonstrated his stubbornness when Dr. R tried to turn him and he simply turned right back. A quick decision was made to use the vacuum to pull his head down enough to pass and with about 3 hard pushes, Eli entered the world at 3:25pm! (Somehow he managed to turn during this process, so aside from a nice, round shiner on the back of his head from the vacuum, he didn't get too bruised during the process.)

Dr. R's first comment: "Now that's a big baby."

Eli topped the scales at 9lbs 7oz... the biggest baby born at the hospital that day! (My StL friends should keep in mind that this is a MUCH smaller hospital than MoBap or St. John's, so that accomplishment is relative!)

The nurses were tickled when the did Eli's official footprints and they wouldn't fit in the designated box on the form. He has big hands and big feet.

And Josh and I were simply thankful... thankful that we didn't wait until my due date (can you imagine how big he would have been then?) to meet Eli and thankful we finally were holding our second precious son in our arms.

More Pics of Eli...

Nice and toasty under the warming lights

Totally relaxed in dad's arms

Hooray! We're going home!

Look at my big hands!

"the thinker"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Welcome to the world!

Elias Jacob Lauer
Born 12/2/09
3:25 pm
9lbs 7oz
20.5 in long

Guess what?

We're headed to the hospital!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

39 Weeks!

The room is ready!

Just inside the door... hooded towel central.

Where all the business takes place!

Still waiting on a cushion for the rocking chair,
but this will be our little snuggling nook.
(The picture hanging above the chair is a print of a illustration done by a friend from college...he is extremely talented and has Christmas cards selling at Barnes & Noble and Papyrus!)

The crib... hopefully where the little guy will sleep though the night at a young age!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Starkville is better than space...

The volleyball season is winding down.

As I write this, Josh is with the team in Baton Rouge, LA preparing for a 1:30pm match against LSU.

Next Friday, the team heads to Starkville, MS, for their last match of the season against Mississippi State... which is also the last possibility of Josh being out of town when I go into labor.

However, after reading this article, I decided that Josh being an hour and a half away when I go into labor is a whole lot better than some other possibilities! =)

Friday, November 13, 2009

And so it begins...

How far along? 36 weeks
Labor Signs? Frequent braxton--hicks contractions... enough so that I am 50% effaced and about 1 cm dilated as of yesterday!
Some nights yes, some no. I've found that I sleep great on the couch where I can prop myself up against the back pillows.
Best moment this week? Josh NOT having to go on a recruiting trip on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
Movement? Yep. Even as we speak.
Food cravings? Frozen yogurt... cools that pesky heartburn and we have a great new place in T-town (Yogurt Mountain)
What I miss? Having more that about 3 outfits that actually fit on my body, two of which include sweatpants
What I am looking forward to? Having T-Von in my arms.
Milestones? Under 30 days until my due date!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday... Fall in Alabama

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wanna build a kindergarten?

I read my fair share of blogs. Even use Google Reader to keep track of them all. Most are blogs written by friends or those I wish were my friends... but a few like Cake Wrecks and Stuff Christians Like I read for a daily dose of humor.

So yesterday I was catching up on my blog reading and discovered that I missed a miracle in the works... Jon Acuff, author of the often hysterical entries on Stuff Christians Like, wrote a post about a conversation with his kindergarten-aged daughter as she discovered that there are children in the world who are starving. Her reaction made him realize that he needed to do something. And that something I am going to shameless encourage you to participate in.

Jon decided to partner with a Christian relief organization called Samaritan's Purse and tap into the huge numbers of people who read his blog on a regular basis (potentially up to 75,000 folks)... Samaritan's Purse suggested raising money to support a project in Vietnam to build a kindergarten for 240 little kids in the Hoang Then village. The cost of the project totals $30,000. He hoped to raise the money by Dec. 31st.

Here's the miracle. Are you ready?
He raised the money in 18 hours.

By the time I read his post and thought to myself, "Self, maybe you should give $5 or $10 to this project", and then went to the website to donate... all the money had already be raised. Simply awesome.

I decided to donate my money anyway.

Overwhelmed with the response, Jon has decided to push the envelope a little further and try to raise another $30,000 to build a second kindergarten... the goal now being $60,000 by Dec. 31st.

Will you help? Your donation doesn't need to be large... most of those donating are giving less than $20... and the end result will be completely worth it!

Here are a few helpful links...
Charity Navigator's evaluation of Samaritan's Purse

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Don't be jealous of my excellent photography skills... here I am at 35 weeks...

And the countdown continues...

How far along? 35+ weeks
Total weight gain? More than I care to admit.
Movement? Oh yeah. Sometimes I think T-von is hatching escape plans and is testing all his options. I've got feet, elbows, and a butt poking out in all kinds of places.
Name? None decided yet although we are working from a short list. As as many of you know, when we decide it will be top secret until the little guy makes his debut.
  • T-Von: Given by his dad and uncle Nick...the "T" stands for Traugott, which was Nick's contribution to the name dilemma, and the brothers (all 5 of them) decided that adding a "von" in front of Lauer makes a better last name for all of us.... thus "T-von" for short.
  • Yadi: Given by our STL friends here in Tuscaloosa after I revealed that Yadier Molina is my favorite player for the STL Cardinals.
Labor signs? Stronger Braxton-Hicks contractions, some uncomfortable but not painful. But that's about it!
Latest from the doc? After measuring my belly at my appointment on Thursday, Dr. R announced... "You're measuring big!" I have a feeling my eyes got a little wide at this pronouncement, because he quickly added, "But he hasn't dropped at all yet so he may be actually be right on the mark." Either way, Dr. R wants another ultrasound when I am closer to my due date!
Prayer requests?
  • Timing: We will be excited whenever T-von decides to arrive, but if we had our choice he would wait until after Thanksgiving weekend. That is the end of the volleyball season for Josh and will assure his presence and my peace of mind!
  • Feeding: I was not able to breast feed Noah. The simple reason for this was that I didn't make enough milk. But we have often wondered if that was somehow related to Noah's leukodystrophy, but no one was able to give us any conclusive answers. I would very much like to breast feed this baby... and need my body to cooperate!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

33 week update

More than you ever wanted to know...

How far along?
33 weeks
Total weight gain? 21 lbs
Maternity clothes? Some and some non-maternity clothes that I am "making work"... my belly is starting to hang out of my medium t-shirts...
Sleep? Hit or miss. Lots of trips to the bathroom and difficulty getting comfortable.
Best moment this week? Sharing our 4D ultrasound pics with friends
Movement? Absolutely! He likes to stretch out and gets the hiccups at least once a day
Food cravings: Water and salty foods
Labor Signs: A few braxton-hicks contractions, but nothing more!
Belly button? Not much of one left, but not an outie
What I miss? Drinking Coke (although I do sip Josh's from time to time) and having fewer aches
What I am looking forward to? Deciding on a name!
Milestones? Under 50 days until my due date!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bama Football vs. South Carolina

The volleyball schedule has been less than ideal this year in relation to Alabama football. There are only TWO weekends that volleyball is at home and there is a home football game. One of those was this past weekend.

It was a VERY full weekend... volleyball matches on Friday night and Sunday afternoon, volleyball recruits in on Saturday and the football game Saturday night. We also had two house guests... Josh's brother Matt, who is a manager for the South Carolina football team, and Mike, a college friend of Josh's who is an NFL scout in town to check out some of the Bama talent.

Josh took the vb recruits on to the field before the game... and, for the first time, I got to go too! Here are a few pics from the evening...
Football team on the field before the game

Josh's brother, Matt, on the SC sideline before the game started.
(If you click on the pic to make it bigger, Matt is the one in the
red beanie standing to the left of the water containers)

Me and Josh and the baby bump on the field before game time

VB players and recruits checking out the
pregame action on the field
Heisman candidate Mark Ingram (#22)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sneak Peek

After a week and a half delay, we finally had our 4-D ultrasound today! I wavered a little about whether or not to get the ultrasound, worried that it would ruin the surprise of seeing him for the first time when he is born, but in the end the desire to get a peek at the little guy won out.

T-Von (his nickname, don't ask...) kept his hands up by his face through most of the ultrasound, in spite of the tech's most determined pushing and prodding, so we only got one or two pics of his sweet little face unobstructed. But you can't miss those chubby cheeks, even with a fist in the way!

Needless to say, the next 2 months can't pass fast enough... I'm anxious to hold him in my arms!

Sweet little face

Here's my foot!

Won't you guys just let me sleep?

A little grin

Monday, September 28, 2009

An updated belly shot and a little Bama flavor...

I'm just not destined to be one of those women who has this cute, basketball-shaped belly that sticks out when she is pregnant. I carried Noah like a life-preserver-I was wide all the way around and looked more chunky than pregnant. When I went to get a pedicure less than 2 weeks before I delivered, the gal at the spa said, "I hate to ask you this, but are you pregnant?"

This time around, Josh and I both think the baby is sticking out more than Noah did... but I still don't feel like it is that cute profile that I hoped for. But, nonetheless, here is an updated belly shot from the Bama vs North Texas football game.

My parents came in town for the weekend... we treated them to 3 Alabama athletic events in 2.5 days! I picked them up at the airport and drove them straight to the CAVE for the volleyball match vs. Georgia on Friday night. Saturday morning was the Alabama football game... a little rainy, so they didn't get to experience the festivities on the quad, but we had a good time anyway. Alabama VB took on Auburn on Sunday afternoon... immediately after which I took my parents back to airport. They were troopers and witnessed three Alabama wins on the weekend... not bad!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday... okay, not really

So, I have been an uninspired blogger of late.

Not much new to share... the volleyball season is underway and has had it share of ups and downs in the first 10 matches. The life of a coach's wife is interesting to say the least. There was a nice interview with Josh published on the Alabama athletics website, focusing on the recruiting side of his work. (Gotta love the picture they chose to go with the article, too.)

I continue to increase in size and in my capacity for worry over this little life growing inside of me... nothing concrete for me to be worrying about, of course, just the anxiety of a mom who is desperate to have a healthy baby boy.

So, lacking my own bright ideas to write about, I thought I would share a few links about people who are much more inspired than me!

#1 - Some convicting thoughts about the Kanye West/Taylor Swift debacle

I don't watch the VMAs (in fact, I was somewhat surprised to learn that music videos are still being made) but found myself drawn in by the story after seeing an excerpt from the show and watching Kanye's painful conversation with Jay Leno Monday night:
"Yeah, you know, obviously, you know, I deal with hurt and, you know, so many, you know, celebrities, they never take the time off, and I've never taken the time off to really, you know, I just, music after music and tour after tour on tour, and I'm just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else's hurt."
Maybe if Kanye had rapped his responses to the questions they would have been more articulate?

Regardless, my first reaction to his antics was to think "What a jerk!" However, when I read Prodigal Jon's thoughts on the matter, I found myself nodding in agreement (and laughing a little along the way. I am quite thankful that my worst mistakes have not been televised... and am equally thankful that God loves me like He loves Kanye West.

#2 - Friends from the past who are making a difference in the world

Back in the day, before marriage and volleyball, I spent many years volunteering with the youth ministry at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. Some of the best years of my life... minus the miles of saran wrap that I seemed to be constantly peeling off of my car. Rich friendships, rich ministry, and deep belly laughs on most occasions. (Allison, Sarah, Erin... I continue to be SO thankful for our friendships!)

Two brothers, Chris and Will, were in high school back then but are all grown up now. Funny how that happens and how it makes me feel really old. But I digress.

These guys have decided to open a toy company. In Hondouras. Amazing. I can't even begin to do it justice here... so I encourage you to first read this article about what they are doing and then visit Tegu Toys and buy some blocks. And maybe donate a few trees or days of school while you are at it. Truly inspiring.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wise words

You can shed tears that he is gone,
or you can smile because he has lived.

You can close your eyes and wish that he would come back,
or you can open you eyes and see all he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you cannot see him,
or it can be full of the love that you shared.

You can remember only that he is gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry, close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love, and go on.

- by David Harkins (shared by Brielle Killip)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Noah!

Noah would have been two today. I would like nothing more than to be wiping birthday frosting from his cheeks. Instead, as Josh says, "The big man better be throwing a big bash for our boy in heaven."

I thought it might be appropriate to share Josh's words from Noah's funeral... because in spite of all we lost, Noah brought us such joy, such pride... and we continue to be amazed at the way his short life has impacted those who have heard his story.

Happy Birthday, little Noah man. We miss you.

Deb and I would like to thank all our family and friends for their love and support. The trials of today and the days to come are much easier because of each and every one of you.

Over the course of the last few days I have been processing being a parent and the decisions you face and what you most earnestly desire for your child. To be honest, I was thinking about these things because my mind was dwelling on how Deb and I would not know or experience these things as Noah’s parents.

But then God pricked my heart and put the following thoughts into motion. The decisions parents make are done to help mold their children so they can have a positive impact on others. Nothing makes a parent prouder than their child changing the lives of others in a positive way. I think it is very rare for parents to actually experience their children having a widespread impact on other people and even a small case of such an experience brings more joy than a lifetime of good grades and terrific performances.

Then I started to think about our son, Noah… and I began to realize how blessed we are. We were blessed with a son who, in the shortest period of time, impacted more people then Deb or I could have ever imagined. I will never understand why… why us, why Noah, why now… but I am at least starting to see how Noah and his brief life touched so many people, some who we know but most we don’t, and this has brought us joy. And while we will not experience Noah’s good grades or great performances, I am proud and thankful that God allowed us to experience that joy as his parents.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Missing Noah in pictures, 365 days

*Pictures courtesy of Monica Carroll Photography

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Toasted ravs and other thoughts

1. I would probably give my left arm for some toasted ravioli right now. (For those of you not from the St. Louis area, you don't know what you are missing.)

2. I took a first step to transform Noah's room into a room for the new baby on Saturday. His room has remained virtually untouched since last August... except for being used for additional storage when the flood displaced many of our belongings. I started by sorting clothes, trying to decide what to keep, what to give away, and what to save as just for memories of our little Noah man. It is going to be a long, emotional process.

3. This is the beginning of a long month of sad anniversaries. One year ago Saturday we took Noah to the emergency room because he stopped breathing. We never got a chance to bring him home again. Extra prayers would be appreciated as we remember and celebrate Noah's life during these next few weeks.

4. Is it possible that this little boy inside me is already strong-willed? I made an unscheduled trip to the doctor's office yesterday to hear his heartbeat because he hadn't been moving as much as usual on Sunday... after kicking me hard enough on Saturday morning for Josh to feel. His heartbeat was strong and clear... and I was relieved. Today, of course, he has been kicking me like crazy. Silly boy - you shouldn't scare your mama like that!

5. Did I mention that I really want some toasted ravioli?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ten Summer Favorites

Not much exciting to post about since our ultrasound... so I thought I would share with you a few of the things that have been favorites of mine this summer.

1. Lego Indiana Jones for the Wii - I love our Wii. Love it. I bought the Lego Star Wars game for Josh for his birthday back in May and decided I needed to treat myself to the Indiana Jones version after watching him play. Really fun and addicting. The game follows the plot of each of the Indiana Jones movies and includes some of the really classic scenes.

2. DeLonghi Indoor Grill - I have had this for a few years but just recently recognized its true worth. It does an amazing job of giving food a grilled flavor and keeping meat juicy. And I don't worry about blowing anything up when I use it (unlike the outdoor grill). Yum.

3. The Closer - Let's face it... summer TV pickings are pretty slim. Which is why I LOVE the fact that "The Closer" runs its new episodes during this drought. Not to mention that the show is awesome.

4. Albert Pujols & the St. Louis Cardinals - I never realized how attached I had gotten to the Cardinals until we moved to Alabama. There is just something about the Redbirds that makes you love them. I had a hard time forgiving the front office when they traded David Eckstein... but I guess that is the nature of MLB. And Pujols? What a classy guy. One of my favorite professional athletes of all time.

5. Asiago Cheese Bagels from Panera - (Ahem. I mean Bread Co. Except no one in T-town knows where I am talking about when I call it that.) These have been my pregnancy addiction. I have always enjoyed them but my enjoyment is at a whole new level since having a bun in the oven. The staff at Panera in Midtown Village is starting to recognize me...

6. Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunblock Spray - Hands down one of the best sunscreens I have ever used. Sprays on in a light layer that is not greasy and it works! A must have.
7. Skin Milk Body Lotion - I use Skin Milk body lotion and body wash and love them. Smells good and the lotion goes on without a greasy or heavy feeling. Sometimes hard to find, but worth the search.

8. Novels by Jodi Picoult - I have been devouring Jodi Picoult's novels this summer. She is a prolific writer, so I have not been lacking for reading material, and one of her books, My Sister's Keeper, recently hit the big screen. An excellent writer.

9. Eric Hutchinson "Sounds Like This" - This is my summer soundtrack. I haven't listened to the entire album yet, but so far have liked everything I have heard. My favorite? "Rock and Roll" ... it gets me tapping my feet and singing along everytime.

10. Bejeweled - Okay, okay. I know this is not a new game. But it is new to me. And its emergence on Facebook and as an iPhone app has gotten me A-D-D-I-C-T-E-D. My brother gets ridiculously high scores on the 1 minute facebook version... I will beat him. Eventually.