Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Need a little chub?

We've got a little extra over here...

Little rascal

We are perplexed. We are befuddled. We are exhausted.

I had been prepared to write a post about what an amazing sleeper Eli is... and then he became an even better sleeper... and then it all fell apart.

Let me back up.

For the past two months, Eli has been reliably sleeping from about 8pm until about 6am, with one wake-up to eat sometime near 2am. We had been trying to wean him off that middle-o-night feeding as Josh and I were pretty sure it was more habit than need.

Last Friday, Eli decided to sleep through his feeding (hooray!) and woke up at about 4am. Josh gave him his pacifier and then he slept until after 7am! He repeated this feat on Saturday night with a few variations.

Sunday night was a little more of a struggle... but still no middle of the night trip to the formula cafe.

Then it all hit the fan.

Monday and Tuesday nights were awful. Eli slept until about 12:30am then began waking up every hour and a half. WHAT?

We can't figure out what changed... friends have thrown out growth spurt and teething as possibilities. I'm pretty sure Eli has been in the middle of a growth spurt since the day he was born, so that seems far-fetched to me. I have felt his gums and haven't noticed any swelling or tooth bumps.

If it happens again tonight, we will go back to offering him a small bottle. Not really a fan of this because I don't think he needs those calories (have you SEEN his rolls?) ... but I am a BIG fan of sleep!

Any ideas, advice, or tricks?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Monday!

wanna play?

Shoot for Seamus

If you live in or near St. Louis and want to get some great pictures of your family, check this out! Fresh Art Photography is holding mini-sessions on April 17th that will benefit the St. Louis Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Click HERE for more info.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tummy time trials

Eli is not a big fan of being on his tummy.
I can hardly blame him. It usually means instant spit-up.

But he still needs to strengthen those neck muscles so I torture him with a little time on his belly each day. Here's how it usually goes...

"Hi mom. This isn't so bad after all."

"I might even smile at you. Or try to reach this paci."

"Hold on a sec!! I'm on my tummy! I don't like being on my tummy!"

(Indecipherable crying... face buried into the floor)

Shout-outs...Fresh Art & Hoot Designs

Back when Jodie Allen was just coming on to the photography scene in St. Louis, she offered to come take some pics of our little Noah man. Here is one of the many pics she took that day that I will cherish forever...
She is now half of the creative contingent at Fresh Art Photography and continues to take amazing pictures. Jodie periodically spotlights other artists on the Fresh Art blog... which is how I discovered Hoot Designs. Look at this unbelievably awesome print that can be personalized with names that are special in your family:
And Jodie is giving one away on her site! I'd love to have one for Eli's room with lots of family names but especially "N is for big brother Noah". Hop over to her website and check it out!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Many of our friends are celebrating this auspicious holiday in Dogtown today... since we can't be with them, Eli donned his lucky clover bib for the occasion!

(Thanks Aunt Judy and Aunt Pav for the bib!)

Eli hangs out with his brother

Back when we were rallying people to pray for Noah, a friend of a friend made these awesome kleenex box covers with Noah's cute mug on each side.

I have been fighting a cold the last few days and so Noah's kleenex box has been more prominently located in the living room so I could blow my nose. This morning, as Eli was hanging out in his rocker, I realized he was staring at his brother's picture on the side of the box... just about melted this momma's heart.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Be a word nerd... and do something good for the world

I love words.

I wish somewhere along the way that I learned more about the Greek and Latin roots of English... and have actually contemplated buying these (or asking for them for my birthday!) to fill in the gaps in my education.

Anyhoo, the Pioneer Woman posted a link today to a website called FreeRice. It tests your vocabulary knowledge and donates grains of rice to the World Food Programme for every right answer you give! No registration required and there are other categories of knowledge to choose from if being a word nerd just isn't your thing.

I've made it to Level 42 but can't seem to muster enough brain power to get further. No worries, Eli will nap for at least another 20 minutes! (Never mind the shower I should be taking during these few minutes of peace in the house...)

Friday, March 12, 2010

To teach or not to teach...

I miss teaching.

I miss middle schoolers.
(Gasp. I know. Some think that this is like saying I miss having root canals.)

My departure from the classroom was intended to be a short hiatus so that I could spend the first year of Noah's life at home. My principal at NKMS graciously hired a substitute and I was scheduled to return to my cozy science room in the fall of 2008. Then ... well ... life happened. Josh was offered the job at Alabama, we moved to Tuscaloosa, and Noah's diagnosis meant that pursuing a teaching position in our new state wasn't in the cards.

This May it will be three years since I stood in front of a group of 7th graders trying to concoct creative ways of explaining to them the mysteries of the scientific world. There is a pile in the corner of our garage that contains all the treasures of my teaching career: curriculum, posters, hall passes of variety shapes and sizes, books, science gadgets, etc. I sometimes gaze wistfully at the pile when I head to the garage on some housekeeping task, but the boxes have remained unopened since our arrival in T-town.

I did go so far as to apply for teaching certification in Alabama. The arduous process ended in a cryptic letter from the state implying that I needed to take a general science content exam... I explored this possibility and discovered that I may have been able to navigate the exam when I was newly graduated from Washington U with my biology degree, I am currently ill-equipped with the knowledge required to pass it. Further investigation revealed that I actually could be certified to teach life sciences in Alabama with the credentials I already possess (I did teach 7th grade for 10 years after all) but the state thought it would be in MY best interest to be certified to teach multiple science content areas.

This certification roller coaster ended with me discovering I was pregnant last April. Ironically enough, days after confirming Eli's little life growing inside me, a 7th grade science position opened at a respected local middle school. Needless to say, I didn't apply and thoughts of teaching moved to the back burner once again.

And now it looks like our days in Alabama are numbered. Unless something dramatic unfolds, the 2010 season will be Josh's last with the Crimson Tide. The hiring cycle in coaching will rev up in November and December... until then the picture of our future remains murky.

If and when the opportunity presents itself for me to return to the classroom, will I be ready? Will I have lost my touch? Will the technology pass me by?

All I know is that I get to look at this sweet little face every day instead of the faces of a bunch of adolescents who may or may not care about the steps of mitosis... and that is not a bad gig.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Accidentally on purpose

I did not set out to redesign the blog.

More accurately, I had only been thinking about redesigning the blog. I came across a cool site with free templates that were tempting me.

But I was scared. Scared to lose my widgets and whozits and whatzits. Scared of the html code I knew I was going to have to navigate.

So I figured I would play it safe and set up a "fake blog" to experiment on. I had my blog open in one tab (so I could copy some of the html code) and the fake blog open in another.

Do you see where this is going?

I even said to myself, "Self, be careful not to confuse those tabs. It would be really unfortunate to make changes on the real blog when you only mean to play around with the fake blog."

Then, I did exactly that.

If you happened to catch me in the middle of the madness, you probably wondered what the heck was going on. It took me a little while to sort it all out and more than one moment of panic.

I am still tweaking a few things, but I think I like the new design. What do you think?

Eli in the mirror

I don't remember Noah ever interacting with his reflection.

So, when I set Eli up in front of this mirror today and he started smiling and talking to himself, I was practically in tears.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Watch me grow... three months

Oh, my sweet little monster. Is it possible that you are already 3 months old?

The last 90 days seem to have passed in the blink of an eye... and yet sometimes I look at you and you seem older than the measure of these days. You are chunky, that we have established. You are already heavier than your brother ever was (although you had a 3lb head start at birth)! You have reached milestones that we only hoped for with Noah and that is a joy like no other.

Your personality shines through more and more every day... you are quick to smile and quick to cry. In fact, sometimes you do both at the same time. You love your exersaucer but hate your bumbo. The TV captures your attention regardless of what is on and you often stare at the ceiling fan with such intensity it is as if you are trying to will it to start spinning on its own.

You go to bed between 8 and 9 pm... you like to watch your fishies while you are falling asleep and often complain if they go dark before you have drifted off. You started sleeping unswaddled a few weeks ago (your dad tried this while I was gone... he likes to experiment) and this allows you to put your arms up over your head or straight out to the sides. You don't like napping in your crib during the day but will sleep forever in your swing. You like to snuggle in the mornings and I am happy as a clam to oblige!

Your stomach is your worst enemy... you love your bottle but it often doesn't love you back. Let's just say that I do lots of laundry. LOTS of laundry. Sometimes your spit-up gently leaks out of your mouth. Other times it is what your dad calls a "shooter". Either way, we keep bibs and burp clothes at the ready. And I always have to make sure I scrub under all your chins to make sure you don't get too cheesy. Your tummy troubles often make you fussy and we are trying to find a way to make you feel better. When you get really fussy, you like it when your dad holds you with your back against his chest.

You are growing so fast your clothes always seem a little small. I can barely carry you in your car seat and we have already been talking about having to buy a new one because you seem a little squished in the one you inherited from your brother.

You are always moving... legs, arms, hands, head. You've recently discovered that your hands are pretty useful and use them to grab on to toys, your bibs, your paci, my hair, etc. You have even realized that you can use one hand to grab on to the other!

I love every minute I get to spend with you. Ok, maybe not the minutes when you are screaming in my ear or waking me up at 4am. But even then you are ridiculously cute. You sometimes remind me so much of your brother it makes my heart hurt. You are the light of my life and I am trying not to squeeze you too tight.