Monday, September 29, 2008

uh oh, did someone say "accountability"?

I'm sorry, but isn't his little hiney SO cute?!

Well, every Sunday night, one of my good friends and I get together to discuss how we want to get healthy, not only for us, but for Eli and for her future kids. We laugh because we do a whole heck of a lot of talking (one Sunday we were having this discussion over a scrumptious Whataburger meal) but the week will go by and nothing has changed.

It's even more annoying than that though because when we decided we were going to lose weight before and made some changes, we did awesome! I mean, we were smoking hot! :) But, we let a few things slide, I had a kid, and that's that.

So, we finally made a "plan" I guess you could call it, and titled it "Drop 10 Pounds for Eli." hahaha... that makes it seem really dramatic and over the top, but what we're trying to say is "drop 10 pounds before Eli's 1st birthday" which is December 18.

I'm back into my old clothes and have been for awhile, but things are most definitely NOT the same. I'm good with change, but I'm not good with the complete lack of self control. There will be no crazy measures taken (unless you count us not eating any type of chewy candy for two months straight...), just good food and exercise.

Basically we have to work out for a minimum of 45 minutes, 5 times a week (before Sunday night). We have to log our food. We can't eat chewy candy or fried food. And we can't lie.

This morning was so beautiful when I left for work. Our camera just does not do it justice.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday! We've already had a fun day today! We went to eat breakfast with my dad and Eli at Poor Richard's and then went to Target for some Eli shopping! It's such a mom thing to do to spend money on someone else on your birthday! She got him several super cute shirts, socks, and two pairs of pants for the fall!

This Thursday Jeff is taking Eli to the Arboretum to take pictures in their giant pumpkin patch! Some of the shirts mom bought will be the perfect for the pictures! We are so excited!

Ok, back to the birthday. My dad got her a brand new camera, a great memory card, and a photo printer/copier that looks fantastic! Which is really also great because her last camera was very slow. The moment was long gone by the time her little camera decided to take the picture. good job dad!

Her sisters are coming next weekend to celebrate her birthday (and her little sister's birthday, which was yesterday: happy birthday Judy!) so I'm sure a lot of photos will be taken!

My present to her has not come in yet... surprise, surprise... but I think she likes it that way because it adds some mystery and length to her birthday! That's why I do it mom (smile)

Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I have a dent in my forehead

Did you know that? I've had it ever since I was little. Somehow I was born without the innate reflex (is that redundant?) to put my hands down in front of me when I was falling. It comes natural to most people, but not to me. I would fall down a lot when I was little and would smack the ground face first. And, no lie, my dad used to have practice falling sessions with me where he would push me down, gently I hope, and try to get me to put my hands down to protect my face. didn't work...

Which brings me to the dent. At some point, before my bones had hardened completely (I think) I fell in the driveway onto some teeny tiny rocks. My parents picked me up as I was screaming and crying and noticed a little stone was stuck in my forehead. My mom said she just flicked it out (it didn't break the skin or anything) and there was a little indention made. She didn't think too much of it, but then as the days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years, do you like that dramatic picture I just painted for you?:), the dent never went away. Here I am, 26 years old, and yes, the dent is still with me. You can actually feel a little mini cave in my skull where the rock hit.

I write this to you, not to let you in on a little known fact about my life, but to lead into what happened yesterday evening to Eli.

I'm sure I've mentioned that Eli is well into the "pull up on anything that seems stable" mode and spends most of his day crawling from one place in the house to another trying desperately to be big and stand up. Last night his focus was on one of our recliners. I love it when he decides that would be a good idea because the recliner is cushy soft and if he falls into it, it will hurt, but nothing like falling on brick or wood or something like that.

Eli had pulled up on the arm of the recliner and Wes was sitting behind him and I was sitting in the chair. I could tell that Eli's feet were a little too far back to pull off this attempt, but he was able to pull himself up anyway. Then it came time for him to sit back down. Because his feet were so far back, it was hard for him to perform a safe sit down. So, he slipped, went face first into the cushy soft chair and fell to the ground. ...only... he didn't hit the cushy soft part of the chair. He went face first into the only part of the chair that is hard: the rivets.

He let out the worst scream I had ever heard, I immediately picked him up to take a look at him, and he had a rivet sized dent in the middle of his forehead! After thinking, oh my gosh! is he ok? is he bleeding? does he have a concussion? what do I do? I have to be honest and tell you that I did think, is that dent going to stay there permanently??

After my calm panic subsided, Wes and I took our screaming child outside to get a better look at his head and get some fresh air into his lungs. The dent went away and the red spot got a little swollen so we called Nurse Hannah and Eli was fine.

I am happy to say that Eli has no dent or any type of head trauma. He was happy as a lark minutes after the injury, thanks to the one legged bird that was sitting on our fence. Eli loves birds! It's hard to see, but click on it and make it bigger to see this sweet little birdie!

All of this was happening in the midst of me trying to finish my test that was due last night by midnight. Julie and I didn't realize our online class had started until a week after it started. We didn't realize that we were doing the wrong assignment until the day before the test was due. So from Thursday night about 8:00 until last night until about 10:30 for me and 9 seconds before midnight for Jules, we had to complete 70 questions, 4 essays, and 1 application exercise.

And one last thing. Wes let me sleep in this morning. I woke up about 8:10 and I haven't slept until 8:00 since before Eli was born! It was glorious! Thanks babe!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Snot Stew

So the ever flowing snot from Eli's little nose is really getting annoying! I do think it's bothering me more than it is him, but seriously... how can so much runny yuckiness come out of such a small person??

Last night was not so great... Eli woke up at 2:38 am kind of wimpering. I waited a little while until I heard the crying, hoping he would go back to sleep but no such luck. So, I went in, changed his diaper, gave him his paci, sucked out his nose with that bulb thing, and tried to get him to go back to bed. He wasn't having it in his crib, so I tried my bed... worse. I realized he hadn't had that much formula that day so I made him about 4 ounces and put him back in his bed. He just could not settle down. Finally I ended up rocking him and he fell asleep after talking to me awhile. For probably 15 minutes after he fell asleep I just held him and rocked him. I wasn't frustrated, I wasn't annoyed, I wasn't even tired. I just wanted to hold on to that moment when I could rock him and hold him and love on him. So sweet. After that, I put him back in bed and he didn't wake up until I had already left for work.

We've been trying to introduce him to more solid textures, like those Gerber puffs that just kind of melt in your mouth. Eli isn't really into those yet... haha... I need to get some intermediate textures though. I'm sure going from thick purees to crunchiness is kind of shocking. We went outside to sit in the shade and practice eating them... hahaha... he's not a fan... yet :)

I would also like to take a moment to welcome Camren Colley into the world! He is adorable and we are so happy for you Jen and Coby! Jen had one of the most interesting pregnancies I had ever heard of... everything from placenta previa, to bedrest, to gallbladder attacks, to a c-section, to having her gallbladder out, to a blood transfusion. But she is doing great and loving her new baby boy!

Wes is on his way home! yay!! Well... Eli just pulled over all the DVDs again so I better go do some damage control :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Your Kindness Lord

There's a worship song that has the line, "it's Your kindness Lord, that leads us to repentance, Your favor Lord is our desire, it's Your beauty Lord that makes us stand in silence, Your love is better than life."

Sometimes when I look at my life and all of the kind things that God has done for me and my family and my friends, I will almost (and usually actually) start to cry just in awe of how merciful He is to me. "It's Your kindness Lord, that leads us to repentance..." It makes me feel so small and so insignificant and so right all at the same time. Especially now that we have Eli, I am just shocked into silence practically at how perfect he is and how amazing he is and how much I love him. And to think that those feelings are such a fraction of how God sees us truly overwhelms me.

It is at times literally breathtaking to me that He loves me so much. I want to remember that, yes God uses discipline and yes he uses kindness. I sometimes feel His discipline when I abuse or take for granted his kindness, yet it His kindness that overtakes me the most. Thank you Jesus for letting me feel that.

I came in here to check your blogs and to update mine while Eli was eating his bottle and laying on a pillow. It got really quiet which either means he's in trouble or he's asleep, and as you can see, he was asleep. It was that moment that I was again just knocked over almost with the kindness of God. It honestly took me a minute to even know what to type because really, what can you say that can even come close to describing how you feel in a moment like that.

Yesterday was Eli's 9 month check up. He weighs 23.11 pounds (right at the 95th percentile) and is 30 1/2 inches long (still above the 95th percentile). He is so funny and we were laughing because Dr. Grace was like "you know you and Wes aren't really big people, but he is a big baby!" He's happy and healthy and ended the day yesterday by catching a cold. So, last night wasn't the greatest for him because his nose is all runny and yucky and the gunk in it was making it harder for him to lay peacefully and breath through his nose. He woke up a lot last night, which is not normal for him. I felt bad for him (and us...) but he's acting fine today... just covered in snot and drool... mmm...

We're about to go to Babies R Us to get a new bottle brush. Wes cleans the bottles for the most part and says we need a new brush! He left today so I'll "surprise" him by getting a new bottle bursh! haha... won't he be so excited? :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

9 months old

Eli turned 9 months old on Thursday, Sept. 18. Every time he turns another month old I try to take some time and just try to feel those feelings I had the day he was born all over again. I talk about what happened, and how he finally made it to the world, and how it was to see him for the first time and eventually hold him for the first time. I loved every second of that whole experience after he was born. I love Eli so much...

Here are all the things (I can think of) that he does right now:

  • he babbles and says "dadadadada..." all the time
  • he crawls everywhere and is very fast now
  • he likes to check the perimeter of every room to check out the outlets (great...)
  • he loves giving Wes a high five
  • he is super ticklish
  • he pulls up on anything he can touch and has stood alone for about 3 seconds now
  • he loves to give you something and take it back only to give it to you again
  • he loves playing "Where's Eli?"
  • he loves to stand up and dance
  • he loves to feel people's faces
  • he can drink from a sippy cup if he's propped up (still working on sitting all the way up and drinking)
  • he sleeps from 8 pm to 6:30/7:00 am in his crib most of the time
  • he loves being outside
  • he can put his passy in his mouth and will freely offer it to anyone... including the dog...
  • he's found one flavor of baby food he does not like: apple vanilla with oatmeal
There are probably so many more things... I just can't think of them at this second. He's growing up faster than I expected I will say, but it's all beautiful!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Boys

Isn't that such a sweet picture? On Sunday night for church I put Eli in his rockstar shirt that Uncle Jeff bought him and it was so perfect because almost all the guys were wearing black. Eli fit right in!

He looked so adorable in his new little jeans and shirt and shoes... that kid... I could just eat him up!

It's been a lot of fun actually to see the guys with Eli. The whole band is so sweet with him. It's easy to picture girls being mushy gushy with a baby, but it's just so fun to see all the guys be the same way with him!

Eli really hasn't been too big into the separation anxiety phase so he usually will go to most people, and he loves hanging out with the guys in the band and all the friends that go along with that.

It's almost daily that I am reminded of how extremely blessed we are to have such fantastic friends! I think about my kids at school that are kind of loners and don't have many friends that they see outside of school. My heart sometimes physically hurts to see them outcast or left out or ignored. At any age level that happens, but many kids will find a group by the time they get to high school. For the ones that don't, or are new, or have different responsibilities than other "normal" high schoolers, it is really difficult.

Two years ago, Rachel's Challenge came to our school. Rachel was the first student killed at Columbine and her family has used her legacy to speak to thousands of students all over the nation. After they spoke at our school, a Friends of Rachel club was started to welcome new students to the school and basically just spread kindness to put it simply.

I love teaching high school. I love my kids and the age group that they are in. But sometimes working with that age group is very trying. They can be mean and cruel and vicious to each other. Trying to reason with a 15 year old is maddening, and letting meanness slip by is harmful, so it's this crazy cycle all the time. But, I do think that there is redemption for all of us, hopefully, and that we can all be better than we are. Including high school kids :)

All of that to say, that I am so thankful for all of you friends! I love that we are all so different but the same! It's a good reminder to be thankful for you guys and to continue to teach kids to think outside of their not completely developed brains to reach out to others, even when it doesn't benefit themselves.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One of the reasons I love my new schedule is because of the extra amount of "awake and happy" Eli time I get. Once it gets past 7:00 pm, Eli is getting sleepy and a little fussy. So now, instead of only getting like 2 1/2 hours of fun time with Eli (I would be getting off work at 4:20) I'm getting 6 1/2 hours! Isn't that awesome? We get my first new paycheck next Friday... (gulp) let's hope that it's what we are thinking it will be.

Yesterday when I came home from work, Wes and I took Eli to the park. There is this cute little park behind the high school called Founder's Park, where lots of people and organizations from the community pitched in money to help build. This park has a section in it called Tot Land (or something) and even though it's still a little too big for Eli, we took him anyway because I wanted him to swing!

Swinging went ok... :) He liked having the wind in his face but he just wasn't loving the whole swing experience as much as the other kids... which actually, he was so focused on the other kids playing and swinging that he barely even glanced at me or Wes. This picture kind of captures his real feeling of the swing. The smiling one is just a few seconds of the whole experience :)

It's hard to believe that in two days Eli will be 9 months old!

Yesterday after I finished getting ready for work, I walked into the living room to tell the boys bye. Wes and Eli were sitting on the floor playing and I stood in the doorway and said "hi Eli!" and he looked at me, smiled, and crawled all the way to me and pulled up on my pant leg! oh my gosh... seriously. It melted my heart. Does it really need to get harder to leave??? haha... absolutely precious.

Friday, September 12, 2008

faster than the speed of light

Here is Eli crawling toward Ebony's food right after I pulled him off of trying to hang on to a lower cabinet door. we are going to go get those door safety things tonight! So, I snapped a quick photo thinking I had plenty of time to walk over there to him (I was literally about 5 feet away and walking as I took this) and by the time I got there... well, you can clearly see:

Here he is, offering me a delightful piece of dog food. geez... why is he so cute?! I can totally see how kids get away with stuff now...when they are that adorable, it's hard to be serious with them! Offering things to people is his new thing. He'll give it to you, you take it, and he'll hold his hand out to take it back. And he will do this over and over and over again... :)

He now pulls himself up onto every single thing he can get his hands on. Even if there is nothing to hold on to!

Today he was taking a nap and I heard him wake up and kind of fuss but then settle down so I thought he went back to sleep. Then I heard some rustling around and hadn't heard that before so I went in to check on him and here is what I saw...

So... now it's time to lower the mattress....

Eli! You grow so fast!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hope, Coffee, and Melody

Last night we went to The Heights to see a Robbie Seay Concert for the Hope, Coffee, and Melody Tour. We hadn't seen the guys in forever... probably since Wes was in their band, and actually Ryan and Robbie are the only ones still in the band from when Wes was there. Anyways, it was SO much fun to get out and hear some really good music and see our friends.

We left Eli with my mom for about an hour and a half and when we went to pick him up he was all snuggled up in her lap asleep! such a cutie...

This week has really flown by. Sometimes it freaks me out to see how fast time can go. I looked and I hadn't posted since Monday and I thought "what?! tomorrow is Friday!?" It just makes me want to hold on to every single day because Eli just seems to be growing way too fast!

He used to be frustrated because he couldn't sit up. When he learned to sit up he was frustrated because he couldn't move around. Now that he can crawl he's frustrated because he can't pull himself up onto everything. I just want him to slow down. I want him to just stay little for a little bit longer!

On Tuesday night Wes and I went to counseling. We've only been twice together but I hope we get to go more! We both love the whole counseling process and love to go and just soak it all in! Wes was a psychology major at ACU and I was a psychology minor. Since I'm getting my Master's in Counseling, we have been encouraged in practically every single class to go to counseling for ourselves. Obviously it is good to know what it feels like to be a client, but more than that, it's an ethical responsibility to deal with your stuff and take care of yourself. Our professors keep saying, "whatever issue you have will come walking into your door and it will be really hard to deal with that client in a constructive professional manner if you aren't taking care of yourself."

I just think that counseling is amazing. I wish everyone could go on a regular basis. It saddens me that there is such a stigma attached to going to counseling still. I'm like, really? People still think the only people who go to counseling either have serious emotional problems and they can't function in society or that they are court ordered or something or that they are about to be divorced. strange. I guess movies like What About Bob don't help that either :) I LOVE that movie! But I can't wait until I get to have my own practice someday! I'm not sure when I will be ready for that, but I love the idea of being to someone what our counselor is to us.

I think tomorrow Wes and I get to go on a date! I can't even remember the last time Wes was home on a Friday night when he wasn't working! It's going to be so much fun! Yay for Friday!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Girls Rule

On Sunday I got to have some much needed girl time with Meredith and Rachel! We all met at Pei Wei (along with Steven and Tyler) after a baby shower for our friend Kayla and it was SO much fun!

We are all similar in certain ways and really different in a lot of ways. Meredith and Rachel have really good ideas and I'm the one that thinks they are awesome and tries to always make a business out of them.

Meredith and Rachel can sing like angels and I am always in the audience to sing with the masses.

Rachel and I have kids and Meredith treats them like they are her own.

We are all hilarious. We all think each other are hilarious, and we all love to talk a lot!

Rachel and Meredith grew up together for a long time and then reunited in college, which is where I met them. I met Rachel through this extremely awkward situation where I basically had to act like I was in junior high again and go tell her that this guy liked her. It was really neat, and by neat I mean not at all neat.

I met Meredith through Rach I'm sure but didn't really start hanging out with her until the summer of hell 2002, and I have no idea (neither of us do) how we actually started hanging out. All I know is that both of those girls are awesome and it is seriously so much fun when we are all together! I love you girls!

Eli is crawling everywhere, all the time, and now his big thing is that he wants to pull up on everything! I can't even count the number of times he has bumped his head! I feel so awful when that happens!

Today he was at Jen's house because she was being so awesome and watching him for me since Wes is out of town. Well we were sitting on the floor, no less than 6 inches from him and he tries to pull himself up onto the wall and slipped and hit his head. No tears though, just a look of shock!

Then earlier, he was (again) pulling all the DVDs off of the DVD player and bumped his head while trying to stand up. This time the edge was kind of sharp and maybe a few tears for a few seconds and then he was on the go again. Even right this second as I type this, he's just crawling all over the kitchen floor talking and laughing! haha... gosh, he is so dang cute!

I have had to start telling him "no" now. I hate doing that! It feels like I'm telling him no a lot, and I don't know if it's because I am telling him no a lot, or if it just seems that way. Don't get me wrong, I totally agree with boundaries and expectations and things of that nature, but he's only 8 1/2 months old! It just feels so weird. Anyone else have to tell their less than one year old "no"????

Rach and Steven- don't forget to plan your lovers retreat so Mere and I can watch Ellie for a weekend!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

all we need is love

Ellie and Eli have been reunited! It's funny because this picture doesn't do the reunion justice! When they finally realized they were in the same room as each other sparks were flying! They were laughing and grabbing hands (we didn't stage any of these pictures, I promise!) and just staring at each other! It's so interesting that babies know other babies are around!

Yesterday after work I drove to Athens to hang out with Rachel and Ellie! The kids did so great and had such a fun time together! Rach and I still look at each other and go, "are these really our kids?!" or "are we old enough to be moms?!" haha... but, yep, they are ours and we love them so much!

Eli was doing his usually smile and crawl and Ellie was just cooing and talking and kicking! You don't really realize how much they have grown until you get them back together and think of when they first met. Eli is 8 1/2 months old now and Ellie is a little over 5 months old and they just seem SO big! Eli was only 3 months old and Ellie was less than a week old in this picture! wow. Time goes by much too fast!

Tomorrow we'll get to meet up again for our friend Kayla's baby shower! She's having a little boy named Cohen and we are so excited for them! I'll use the rest of this post just to show you a very tiny portion of the amount of pictures we took! haha... enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Life after crawling

Eli has definitely found his stride in the crawling world, and it has changed quite a few things. First of all, I feel like Wes and I are clean people and that we take care of keeping our house picked up and things like that most of the time. Now I feel like our house is always dirty! I've never paid as much attention to the floor as I do now! I'll find a little piece of string here, a little piece of dog food there and I'm like, "oh my gosh! Eli could put that in his mouth!"

Secondly, Eli loves exploring our house, which I love too, because hello, it's also his house. But I have never noticed so many hazards in our house before! I mean, there are sharp corners on things I haven't even thought of until he crawls up to it and I see it. Thankfully he hasn't been injured on anything, and it's not like they are spikes sticking off of things, but you know, something that doesn't feel that sharp to me leg is still sharp to his forehead!

Also, I do everything much faster or stick him in his bouncy thing if I need to leave the room for more than a minute. The other day I went from the living room where Eli was to the kitchen (which are CONNECTED and I can clearly see into the living room from the kitchen) to wash my hands. As I'm washing them, I hear this weird noise, so I turn around and look and Eli has pulled DVDs out of the DRAWER by the TV! What?!

He's also started to do this squinty thing coupled with a big huge smile! haha... I have to get a picture of it because it is one of the cutest things I've ever seen!

And, Eli's always been a big talker but now he's learned to scream! I'm sure this isn't something that I will think is super cute and funny if we are in a restaurant, but every once in awhile he'll let out this really high pitched scream! as shown below.
Well... I do have a new thing I've faced several times with people that baffles me. Wes and I want more than one child and we'd actually like three or four and figure, since we've already started this process, why not just keep going? My brother and I are 8 months apart and my sister and I are 6 years apart, so I don't know what it's like to have someone just a couple of years younger than me but that's what we want for Eli. We're going to start trying to have another baby sometime this Spring. We've thought a lot about it, looked at a lot of different pros and cons, but ultimately we decided that this is what we are doing. When I tell people this, reviews are mixed. Most people are like, "that's great! every family is different, so doing what works for you is great" but some people are like "ooooo.... I don't know about that. Having them so close together {Eli will be 2 when the baby is born if all goes as planned} is not that great." and yadda yadda yadda they proceed to list their reasons why they didn't want to do that for their family. Once again, these have been learning moments for me of how I need to really stop and think about whether or not someone just asked my advice for something, OR if they were telling me what they are doing just to let me know. My standard answer, whether it's to family members, friends, or strangers has just been a polite, "That's the decision we have made and we're the ones who will live with it."

Who knew this whole having a child thing would teach me so many lessons that have nothing to do with the actual child...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day- the pregnancy kind

I found this on another blog, and thought it was fun. Play along if you want!

***It's generally pretty quiet around the blogosphere on holidays. Just for fun, I thought I'd pull out this meme (chain letter) I found. In honor of Labor Day, it's about...well, labor. And not the kind you get a day off for, either.

How long were your labors?

Well... to be totally honest, I really don't know. If you count when I went into the hospital to be induced to force the labor to happen, then 10 hours, and I was literally asleep for probably 9 out of those 10 hours.

How did you know you were in labor?

The only time I felt anything was after they gave me my epidural, apparently they gave me some instant medicine and told me to tell them when I needed the pump on (or something) but I was past the point of delirious because of the other meds I had already been given and totally forgot. So I immediately went back to sleep after that terrible shot and woke up a little later saying "I AM IN SEVERE PAIN!" haha... I was having a really strong contraction and so a sweet nurse came in and brought an anesthesiologist in and fixed the problem.

The short answer is, I knew I was in labor because we forced it.

Where did you deliver?

Medical City Dallas (love that place...)


yes, and a lot of them actually


Remember that 10 hours of labor? At 10:00 pm, Eli's heart rate had started to drop pretty low with contractions. My doctor came in to put an internal monitor on his head to get some more details and then said, "um, Amanda. I'm almost positive that is not his head. Nurse, can you please bring in the sonogram machine." And there little Eli was, flipped over and breech. I was taken within like 3 minutes to surgery, given more drugs, and Eli was born at 10:39.

Who delivered?

Dr. Victor Vines (the one holding Eli above) and Dr. Hyslop (the one on the left), a whole team of nurses and a really nice anestheisiologist. I LOVE Dr. Vines. Every part of my pregnancy experience was made so much better because of him! He's awesome!

***If you want to play along with this meme, just cut and paste the questions into your own blog and leave a comment so we can all read about your laborious day(s).