Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Need Some Mommy Advice

Question: How do you teach your kid not to throw a fit on the changing table?

Eli has developed this delightful little habit of going insane every time I lay him down on the changing table. Nothing I do/say makes him stay still long enough to change his diaper. What do I do? One of these days he's going to throw himself right off and get really hurt, that or I'll totally lose my temper with him- neither of which will be pretty.

Any advice? I'll try anything! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Eric, me, my sisters, and my brothers-in-law were all goofing around in my parents' pool on Saturday evening. My dad came out to say goodbye to us before they left for a church elder get-together. Since the party host has a pool as well, we asked if everyone was going swimming. My dad responded, "I doubt it. What are a bunch of adults supposed to do in a pool?"

We all looked around and just laughed- here we were, a bunch of adults, playing Marco Polo, having chicken fights, throwing each other around, laughing like crazy people...

I love summer. I love, love, LOVE summer. I love the slower pace, the heat, the sunny mornings and long evenings. I love swimming and watering flowers and grilling out and sitting on the porch swing. I love sharing all of this with my family.

We are blessed, and I don't ever want to take that for granted. We don't know what tomorrow will bring- none of us do, but, as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, "When times are good, be happy..." And so I am trying hard to relax and enjoy the beautiful life God has given to us today without worrying about what might happen tomorrow. Because (going back to that verse in Ecclesiastes), the Lord is the maker of both the good days and the bad days. That means that I can trust Him whatever the day brings, good or bad or anywhere in between.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Look Who's Walking

Well, actually, read about who's walking, because I don't have a picture or a video or any sort of visual proof to substantiate my claim that...

Eli is walking!

He's been taking a few independent steps here and there for a month now, and has been walking holding onto our fingers for the past week, but today he walked 16 consecutive steps all by himself, right into my waiting arms. Eric and I were both there to see it, and we were both so proud of our little boy!

Since those inaugural steps, all he wants to do is walk, walk, and walk some more. Needless to say, he's had a few falls today, complete with several hard knocks on the head. He's tough stuff, though, and keeps right on going.

I'm so proud of my baby!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hitting the Bottle

Most children transition from formula to cow's milk. Eli has decided to skip the cow's milk and go straight for the good stuff.

-NO, we do not give our 1-year-old alcoholic beverages.
-NO, we do not normally buy ginormous bottles of wine like this- it was left over from a big dinner party we had.
-NO, we are not bad people.
-YES, we think this picture is too funny not to be posted.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


The word "overwhelmed" tends to carry with it a negative connotation. Overwhelmed with work, activities, emotions, stress, life... And I have certainly felt the negative context of this word before. But I think the positive is much better.

Tonight I am feeling overwhelmed with love.

I always feed Eli at 10:30pm before I go to bed, just so he can get a few extra calories. I love these times with him, because he is deep in sleep, cozy and warm snuggled against me. After I feed him I just rock him for a long time, because I find it so hard to put him down. I pray for him and praise God for him, and I am again and again overwhelmed with love.

Do you ever just look at your child and well up with tears? Does the way they smile, the sound of their laugh, a new milestone, the feel of their soft skin just cause you to melt? Do you hold your sleeping little one for long into the night, just because you can't bear to put them down? Do you delight in seeing all the ways they grow and change, all the new things they learn?

Oh, what a joy it is to experience this kind of love, this all-consuming, overwhelming love for a child. What a humbling blessing to experience it.

Tonight as I was rocking Eli and talking to the Lord, He reminded me that He feels the same about me, only much, much more. What?!? How can that be? How can the God of the universe take that much delight in me? Why would He want to hold me, to listen to me, to spend time with me, to watch me learn and grow? I certainly don't deserve even a glimmer of His kindness, but by His grace, the blood of Jesus Christ allows me to experience this kind of overwhelming love.

Can you picture it in your mind? A mother holds her child, singing over him with joy and love. And a Father holds them both, singing all the more.

I am overwhelmed.

Remember today, friends, how deeply, overwhelmingly loved you are by the Lord.

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will exult over you with joy, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Well, after a week of wondering what was "up" with my slightly-more-clingy-and-tired-than-usual-but-otherwise-symptom-free child, I found out today.

Last night Eric and I went out for his birthday (We ate at a Japanese restaraunt and then saw Up, which was fantastic!), leaving Eli with my mom for the evening. When we dropped him off, he was happy and healthy. When I picked him up out of the pack-n-play late that night, he was burning up with fever. We took him home and took his temperature, and, sure enough, it was 103 degrees! We tried to get him to drink lots of water and gave him some tylenol, and it came down to a more bearable number after a while. I slept for a couple hours and then woke up again to give him more tylenol, and he didn't sleep very well from then on. The poor guy was (is!) just plain miserable.

I had hoped that our pediatrician, who is "open most Saturday mornings" would be open this Saturday morning, and I felt fine taking Eli there by myself like I usually do. So Eric left for his 100k cycling race, and I waited for the pediatrician to open so I could call for an appointment. Of course, this is one of the few Saturdays that they were closed. :( So that meant PrimaCare (local urgent care center, one step down from the ER), which scares the heck out of me: doctors I don't know doing things that they don't explain to my sick and screaming baby. I called my mom and begged her to come with me, and she very sweetly obliged. She used to work at PrimaCare as a nurse, so she knows the staff there and can get us the "royal treatment"- what a perk!

So, two and a half hours, 4 chest x-rays, one blood draw, one thorough examination, one dose of baby motrin, and one shot of antibiotics later, we found out that Eli has double ear infections, strep throat, and a slight pneumonia in his right lung. I feel terrible for him- my poor, sick baby.

We've been giving him tylenol and motrin to keep his fever down and have a prescription ready to start tonight, so hopefully he'll start to feel better soon. In the meantime, I'll be holding my poor sick baby as much as he wants and praying for some relief for his poor body.

A good thing that came out of this is that now we know why Eli didn't want to eat this week! I was so frustrated and discouraged, but now I know that there was a reason behind it. So hopefully once he starts to feel better, he'll start eating more too. That's what I'm praying for.

And never again will I doubt my mother's intuition. I knew since Monday that there was something "off" with Eli, but since he was acting fine and didn't have any symptoms, I didn't say anything or take him to the doctor. Next time I'll trust myself a little more and take him to the doctor sooner.

Eli is sleeping away in his crib, and Eric is laying here on the floor in the office fast asleep, too. (I guess 100k on a bike is slightly tiring.) I hope that the rest of our weekend is restful and restorative for all of us.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Up and Down, Up and Down

The past few weeks have definitely been a "down" as far as Eli's eating habits go. He is dropping feedings and not liking the bottle much any more, which is normal for one-year-olds. But the problem is that he is getting almost no nutrition anywhere else, so we can't afford for him to drop the bottle yet! He just doesn't enjoy eating- period.

I talked for a long time with his therapist this week, and she encouraged us to just continue doing what we're doing, that the path we're taking is the path we need to be on. But on days when Eli is refusing both the bottle and table food, I am left completely frazzled.

We took him to his normal GI doctor check-up yesterday, and I think Eric and I were both convinced that she would say he needs a feeding tube. I thought that we had reached that point. Like we thought, he hadn't gained any weight in a month, which further confirmed to me that it was feeding tube time. We had prayed and prayed the night before for wisdom from the Lord, because, as much as we want what is best for our child, we have no idea what that is.

The Lord answered our prayers through Eli's GI doctor, Dr. Whitney. She was discouraged that he hadn't gained weight, but she was incredibly encouraging regarding his general health and development. He is exactly where he needs to be for a one-year-old, and he is so healthy- she said that if he weren't getting adequate nutrition, he'd be getting really sick all the time and wouldn't be meeting developmental milestones. We asked about a feeding tube, and she said, "I don't want to take that step yet. It's a big one, and I'm just not comfortable with that yet." We asked if we needed a more agressive feeding therapy (like the inpatient clinic at Baylor), and she said, "He's not ready yet. You need to keep doing exactly what you're doing." She encouraged us to continue on the path we're on, to squeeze as many calories as we can into every bite he eats, and to come back in a month to re-evaluate. She checked his blood levels, too, to make sure that he is good from a nutritional standpoint. And the final piece of advice from Dr. Whitney? "Mom, don't worry. Just relax about this. Take baby steps with him, and DON'T WORRY."

I'd call that an answer to prayer. :) Wisdom from the Lord, through the mouth of a doctor that we like and trust so much.

So, that's the path that we will continue down. I would so appreciate prayer for us during this time- first, that Eli would increase his intake and learn to love to eat all kinds of food from a spoon, and second, that I would not worry and just diligently walk down this many times discouraging path with him. Please also pray for continued wisdom, both for Eric and me and for Dr. Whitney. We have avoided a feeding tube thus far and would like to continue to do so, but we so desperately want to do what is best for Eli.

I feel like it is time for a miracle. Please, Lord, work mightily!

In all areas aside from eating, Eli is doing just great. He has completely caught up to his full-term peers developmentally, is saying words, taking steps, and bringing joy and laughter to our lives every single day. To look at him, you'd never know he had a feeding problem!

But we will continue on this up and down path of Eli's eating habits, praying all the way. And trying to keep thankful, cheerful hearts, because, truly, we have so much to be thankful for.

(The picture above is of Eli gnawing on beef jerky. This is one of his favorite things to chew on- what a man!)