Friday, March 27, 2009

Casserole, Anyone?

Today was food-making day. I had the day unexpectedly free- I usually keep Heather's kids on Fridays, but today I got a little break. So Eli and I headed out to NewFlower Farmer's Market for the second time this week and bought a ton of fresh produce. (If you live in the Dallas or Plano area and haven't checked out NewFlower, GO! Their prices on natural and organic foods are amazing.)

While Eli napped and it rained cats and dogs outside (perfect nap weather!), I cooked up all kinds of baby foods, along with a huge batch of tabouli for Eric and me. I got the basics taken care of first- broccoli, carrots, potatoes, apples, pears. I saved the worst for last... Meat. Something about blended meat just doesn't sit well with me. :) But as per our awesome therapist's reccomendation, blend meat I did.

I made a broccoli/rice/chicken casserole and then threw it in the blender with some water and flax oil. It came out to be this greenish pasty stuff that smells great but looks like that stuff we used to play with as kids called "Gak."

Eli ate some tonight, though, so it must not be too bad. I'll look forward to feeding him things that aren't blended or mashed. Chicken is so much more appetizing when it's in solid form.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Time Has Come... lower the crib mattress to the next level. Who'd-a'thunk it? My little Eli is now capable of hurling himself out of his crib. Presumably, that is. I don't want to actually test my theory. :)

Just this week Eli has mastered the art of escaping his sleep pillow. We have slept him in this boppy-style pillow since he was a tiny baby. It helped a lot with his reflux and was a just a good sleep positioner. He got pretty attached to it, too. It's a really secure contraption- a boppy with a cloth strap that goes between his legs and velcroes to the sides. I thought he'd be sleeping in it until he was ten, judging by how much he loves it.

Or loved it, shall I say? :) Like I said, he has mastered art of escape. Even when securely fastened in, he manages to wiggle his way out of the pillow so he can crawl around in his crib. Or if he can't get out of it all the way he just drags it with him. He loves this new-found freedom. Who needs sleep when you can crawl around in your crib, play with your stuffed animals, and, best yet, pull up on the sides of the crib in attempt to lean all the way out?

Needless to say, I think we're ditching the pillow this week, even if it means listening to him talk and play for a long while before he finally wears himself out and goes to sleep. And I think we'll be lowering the crib mattress, too. He's a pretty short little guy, but he is surprisingly strong and wondrously adept at getting exactly what he wants, i.e., out of the crib on his own. However, since I am betting he doesn't want a concussion, Mommy and Daddy might have to intervene a little to keep him in. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Week Gone By Already?

Today was the baby dedication today at church. There were 6 babies all born within the last year who were dedicated, among whom were Eli, Cooper, and Timothy (my nephews). It was really special to stand in front of our church family and receive their love and support as we affirmed our desire to raise Eli in a manner pleasing to the Lord. My grandparents are in town this week, and it was all the more special to have them there. The picture above is us with them (duh).

On Saturday night we had a surprise 80th birthday party for my grandmom. It was a huge success. The night ended with each of us reading a tribute that we had written to my grandmom, and there was not a dry eye in the room. What an honor it is to have a grandmother so devoted to the Lord and her family. I think all of us in her family- children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren- agree that she is the most beautiful woman we have ever known. She is my role model, and it was such a blessing to get everyone together- the whole "Texas" side of the family- and celebrate her 80 years with laughter and tears of nostalgia, joy, and thankfulness.

Not too much else happened this weekend. It was nice and relaxing. I got to have breakfast with my dear friend Sarah on Saturday, and my mom kept Eli for a while on Saturday afternoon so that Eric and I could go out. Eli, as always, enjoyed lots of time outside. A great weekend was had by all!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bits and Pieces of Our Weekend

This weekend Eric and I planted a vegetable/herb garden! Kelly and Phil inspired us, though I'm sure we aren't quite as knowledgeable as them about vegetable gardening. But garden we will! It looks really pretty- all kinds of veggie plants and herbs surrounded by a marigold border. Ask me in a month what has survived. :)

We've already had one casualty- our dog Tess ate the cilantro. Apparently she likes it as much as Eric and I do. She is the inspiration behind the chicken-wire now surrounding the garden.

Eli had a great weekend too. He got to spend lots of time outside with us, which he loves, and he spent Friday night with my mom so that Eric and I could go out on a date. We had a great time, aside from the fact that the waitress at the Cheesecake Factory accidentally spilled a huge glass of ice water on me. My right leg was soaked from hip to toe, but since they paid for my dinner and dessert, I'd have to say that it was worth it. :)

Yesterday I got to see my friend Julie Taylor, who I haven't seen in years. We were overseas together, and she shares some of the strangest cultural memories I have. :) She is back in the States now, and it was so fun to pick up right where we left off. Love you, Julie!

And on Saturday I did not pass out while singing for the ladies' breakfast. Neither did Sarah. In fact, I think we did really well. Our musical career has been launched!

On Sunday I went to church alone for the last time in a while (hopefully). Eric and I have been alternating weeks all winter- one week I go and he stays home with the baby, and the next he goes and I stay home with the baby. All this was an effort to keep Eli germ-free so that he wouldn't catch RSV. Thankfully, the RSV season is ending, Eli had his last shot, and our hibernation period is ending! I can't wait to be at church as a FAMILY. Next Sunday is the baby dedication at church, and my grandparents will be in town! It will be a really special Sunday, for sure.

I hope you all had a great weekend, too!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You Know I Love You If...

...I agree to sing a solo in front of people for you.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a solo kind of girl. I love to sing, and I love music. I was in choir in high school and at A&M. I sing around the house, in the car, to Eli, etc. I can play the piano a bit, and I love to play and sing when no one is listening. I can even be talked into a duet once in a while. But rare is the occasion when I will sing a solo.

I get so nervous at the very thought of it. I hate being the center of attention, especially when I'm doing something that I know many, many other people can do better at (like singing, for example). My sisters are both solo kinds of girls. I love to listen to them sing, but I gladly remain the sister that no one knows can carry a tune.

Unless I think you are one heck of a friend. Then, for you, and for you only, will I step WAAAAAAAAY out of my comfort zone and sing in public, just because you asked. The last time I sang a solo it was for my friend Sarah's wedding. The song was gorgeous, a new arrangement of "Rock of Ages," and the wedding was at Park Cities Presbyterian, a beautiful church with amazingly high ceilings and really echo-y accoustics. The piano player that was accompanying me couldn't have been better. But none of this mattered. I was a bundle of nerves for the entire week leading up to the wedding. I couldn't sleep at night, and finally my mom handed me this pill that was supposed to "relax" me so that I could sing without being nervous. I took it about an hour before the wedding, and it did the trick: I sang the song without passing out. Making it through the reception, however, was another story. I was so relaxed that I could barely keep from laying my head down in my plate of chicken. Eric almost had to carry me to the car.

This Saturday, against the wishes of my nerves, I will sing again, and only because I dearly love my friend Sarah (different Sarah that the wedding Sarah). The women's ministry at church is having their monthly breakfast thing, and the focus is missions. Sarah asked me to sing a Caedmon's Call song called "Jesus is All I Need" while she plays guitar. Too bad I like Sarah so much, because I am incredibly nervous already! Eeek!

It's a good thing that a lot of these ladies have known me since I was a year old, and all of them are believers, which means that they can't judge me too harshly, and they will still love me after my song, even if I turn bright red, pass out, and fall off of my chair.

I wonder if my mom has any more of those "relax" pills lying around...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

10 Months Already?

Eli Dane, you are 10 months old tomorrow! I can hardly believe it. You are our little miracle, the joy of our lives. Last week I drove past Baylor Hospital. You were in your car seat in the back, flinging your toys around and blowing raspberries. And as we drove by the hospital where you spent the first 42 days of your life, where your Daddy and I drove every single day to just sit with you for hours, where, truly, your life was saved, tears filled my eyes.

They were tears of pain, for there is still a place in my heart that hurts for all that you had to endure, being born so early. They were tears of thanksgiving, because you are alive and here with us today! They were tears of joy, because I could hear you talking away in the back seat, banging your toys around. And, most of all, each and every tear that I cried was a praise to our God, who has been your salvation since the moment He began knitting you together inside me. Your name means "The Lord is my salvation." May you testify to this every day of your life!

At 10 months you are still very small, but the only one that doesn't know that is you. You're strong, tough, energetic, active, and bright. You are also extremely stubborn. :) But this stubborness is tempered with an incredibly sweet spirit that is a joy to see. You are our precious little boy, beloved by God and beloved by your Mommy and Daddy, who are honored that our Heavenly Father allows us to be your parents.

Here are some things that are true of you at 10 months:

-You now eat from a spoon! You won't have anything to do with apples, pears, or carrots; you will tolerate only a few bites of bananas, prunes, and sweet potatoes; avocados make you gag. But you LOVE peas and broccoli. Can't get enough. While your food choices surprise me, I will feed you peas and broccoli until you turn green. I am just so thrilled that you will eat from a spoon at all! You are making huge steps in overcoming your oral aversion. Keep up the good work, Eli!

-You weigh 13 pounds, 12 ounces, and you're 25.5 inches long. When we last saw Dr. Whitney, her comment was, "He's small, but he's so healthy and strong!" How true!

-You love to give kisses. You open your mouth and slobber all over our faces, and it is the cutest thing in the world.

-You are getting really close to crawling! You can push up on your hands and knees and "rock," and you can turn in a complete circle while on your belly. But you are so frustrated that you can't make forward progress! I think it will be soon.

-Your new favorite sound is the "raspberry," some sort of combination of "m," "b," and "p," with a lot of slobber thrown in.

-You love Mommy, Daddy, MomMom, and Aunt Heather, in that order. Your PopPop and your Aunt Kelly are working hard to get on the list. :)

-You are so ticklish!

-You love to be outside, to take long walks, to pet the dogs, and to watch cars drive by.

-Your favorite toys are the remote, chapstick, a rubber duck, a white teddy bear, your nasal aspirator, a tube of lotion, and a red plastic toy spoon. Go figure. :) You are also quite fond of your blanket!

I could go on and on. I am just that in love with you, Boo! Happy, happy 10 month birthday, my sweet Eli. You are our miracle.

I love you with all my heart,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


We've been getting little hints of spring for the past month or so, and I am dying to have it officially be here. No more cold viruses being passed around and around, no more RSV season, no more long sleeves and pants...

Eli and I went to one of our favorite spots today- the Arboretum. My sister Kelly and her son Timothy came with us. We had a great time, and the weather was pretty close to perfect. The tulips and daffodils are all up, and the beauty is stunning. Eli shares my opinions. :)

So my question is... when do you start disciplining your child? Eli has started this incredibly annoying habit of throwing a fit if I take something away from him or don't give him something that he sees and wants. When do they understand the word "no?" I am kind of anxious about this next phase of parenting- I want so badly to do a good job, but there are so many ways in which I can screw it up. I don't know what I'd do without the Lord!