Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baby Eli, get up!

Ah, St. Louis. How we love you.

Our journey back to the Lou was good. Really good.
Relaxing times with good friends. Lots of kisses and hugs for Eli. And monkey bread.

Eli also got to meet two of his future best friends (if I have anything to say about it)...

Eli & Elise

Eli & AJ

My favorite moment from the weekend was when Elise walked up to Eli, who was laying on a blanket on the floor, and said, "Baby Eli, get up!" She just couldn't quite figure out why he wasn't up playing with her!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Little blue eyes

Don't you just want to squish those cheeks?

Eli has a big weekend ahead of him... he is getting on a jet plane and headed to St. Louis! Josh is recruiting at a tournament on Saturday so we decided to load Eli up (I forgot how much STUFF you have to take when you travel with a baby) and use the opportunity to recharge with some friends. Most nervous about any airborne germies that might get to our little man on the plane - hopefully the short flight will reduce his risk.

It has been an emotional two weeks... the announcement of Judy's retirement (see link in previous post) has caused a bit of a stir in our lives. While we are very excited for Judy and understand the reasons for her decision, it leaves us in a little bit of limbo. It is very unlikely that Josh will continue as a coach at Alabama after next season as most new head coaches like to bring in their own staff. We have lots of time to consider all of our options and are trusting that God will open the right door for us to walk through. I'll keep you posted as things develop!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Changes afoot

This announcement means that there are major changes afoot for the Lauers in 2010.
Stay tuned.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Confessions of a babylost mama

This is really hard. This motherhood thing. Especially after losing Noah.

I know many of you have been waiting me to write, to write something, anything. But I have been mainly posting pictures because I can't find the words.

The six weeks that have passed since Eli was born have been very emotional for me... all emotions. From the heights of joy, to the frustration of sleeplessness, to the depths of fear.

You see, it is hard for me to believe, truly believe, that it is possible that Eli is healthy. That I will one day hear him say the word "Mama" or watch him walk across the room to me. Some days I feel as though I have been transported back in time and that I am about to relive our year with Noah. Most days I watch Eli like a scientist, searching for points of divergence between him and his older brother.

Why is it so easy for me to give into fear? Several reasons, actually:
  • One is the ambiguous nature of Noah's diagnosis... he tested positive for a leukodystrophy known as Alexander Disease. However, the mutation he had was in an atypical location on the Alexander gene (read my original post about this here) which leaves the door slightly ajar to the possibility that this was not the cause of Noah's issues. So... we could do a blood test for this mutation with Eli but the results would be less than conclusive in my mind.
  • Another is that Noah's first few months of life were very normal. He did all the things he was supposed to do. So Eli's first few months of normal life offer me little comfort... I'm thrilled that he is "normal" so far, but I find myself holding my breath and wanting to fast forward the next few months.
  • The last is where Noah and Eli converge... points of similarity that feel too familiar. Not making enough milk to nurse either baby, early developing reflux in both boys, introducing them to antacids. You get the idea. The overlap could be completely coincidental, normal baby stuff. But it feeds my fears.
It's no fun to live in fear. It robs your joy and clouds your mind. So how am I fighting fear?
  • Actively seeking points of divergence between my two little guys. One happened at birth. Noah was only 6lbs 8oz at birth. Eli was a whopping 9lbs 7oz. Noah never really seemed to enjoy eating... almost from the beginning he struggled to master the bottle and after he was 4 months old, he struggled to gain weight. Eli has been eating like a champ (although he doesn't always feel well afterwards) and is currently consuming over 6oz of formula per feeding. When we go back to the pediatrician this week, I fully expect him to be around 14 lbs! It is my fervent prayer that his voracious eating continues through the critical time when Noah started to struggle with feedings (around the 2 month mark). And I long for additional points of divergence that I can report to you in future posts.
  • Sharing Eli with others. Fear makes me want to hide in the house. Fear makes me worry that others will look at Eli and tell me something is wrong with him. Hope tells me to bring Eli to Bible study with me. Hope encourages me to invite friends to visit. Hope allows me to leave Eli with his grandparents or a babysitter for an evening.
  • Reminding myself of TRUTH and through prayer:
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." 1 John 4:18a

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Ps 139:13

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Rom 12:12

So there it is.
My heart bared, my fears revealed.
And this chubby little face that I love so fiercely:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chunky monkey

Eli is not the biggest fan of taking baths... but it does give a GREAT opportunity to see his chunkiness in all of its glory!
We are headed into our first weekend with Daddy out of town... Josh is heading out on the recruiting trail while Eli and I hold down the home front. My goal? To get our Christmas card/New Year greeting/birth announcements ready to be mailed! Hold me to it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, January 11, 2010

Erin & Eli

My friend Erin came to visit this week.

We have been friends for a long time... back when we roamed the mountains in the summertime, before we married the men in our lives, and before we had babies.

I loved introducing her to Eli and he loved showing of his chubby rolls to her.

We were especially blessed by her willingness to do a photo shoot with our little family... she does amazing work that you can check out here. You should call her if you need any family photographs. Really. You should.

Thank you, sweet friend. We will cherish these pictures always.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

10 things about EJ

A few facts about our little guy...
1. Eli weighs over 13 lbs. Which is why his dad calls him "Tank".

2. He can down 6oz of formula in about 20 min, including pauses for burping.

3. Eli does NOT like his meal to be late... he eats every 3.5 to 4 hours. He gets mean when he is hungry (just like his dad).

4. Poops happen at least once a day. Hooray for being regular even if they are really, really stinky.

5. In spite of my sub-par milk production, Eli still nurses willingly as an "appetizer" or "dessert" to his bottles.

6. He hates being in his bathtub, but loves having his hair washed under the kitchen faucet.

7. Eli is really strong... he lifts his head like a champ and could easily push himself off your lap with his legs if you aren't careful.

8. He has his dad's nose and big toes.

9. Like his mom and older brother, Eli has reflux. As a result, he sneezes, hiccups, grunts, and spits all day long. We started him on an acid reducer yesterday and hope it makes him feel better!

10. Eli is a great sleeper. Until he gets hungry. See #3.

A little Bama love

Eli says "ROLL TIDE" in honor of Alabama's
National Championship!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Watch me grow... one month