Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yay!

Oh my goodness, Keith and I have so many things to be thankful for. God is good, and decided to bless us with some special things this week.

For starters...? Eli's first tooth has started to make its appearance! Yay! This sucker has been 'visible' under the surface of him gum nearly since birth. So, it was to great surprise that it had finally broken through on Monday night! We had, actually, become accustomed to waiting, and would joke about needing a UPS tracking number, because we wanted to call and complain. It was only during an 'extra fussy' session that a close examination showed a jagged little hard white edge on Eli's lower gum. I gotta admit, it is a pretty bizarre feeling. I know that it is natural, but, very weird. I will also admit that there are more folk lore and tall tales around teething, than any other myths in urban legends. So, Keith and I were led to believe that after the tooth is 'cut' it should be in within days...not true. Eli's first tooth has taken its time to come in, and has no since of urgency to be complete. Additionally, we know that the tooth right next to it will be making an appearance very soon, as well.
Here is the self portrait that Eli took of himself. I was attempting to take a picture of his lil' tooth coming in. But, Eli took control of the camera and starting snapping pics. Real tooth pictures to come.

Ironically, amid all of this teething, I feel like my lil' boy is growing up so fast. Perhaps it is a growth spurt or psychological game...but I feel like he has doubled in size overnight. He is ginormous in length and weight. Not to mention, his swing and bouncer appear to have shrunk into the shadow of my enormous growing son.

In addition to Eli's tooth, we have finally started to make progress in the car seat....yes, the dreaded car seat. You are all more than aware of the issues we have had here. Finally, we discovered the portable DVD player, and it has made Eli a much happier passenger on our rides. To date: he LOVES Bolt and HATES Alvin and the Chipmunks. (More kid appropriate movies are in the future, after we begin to acquire them.
I took a sneak peak at Eli in his car seat watching Bolt. Impressive!
What, Eli smiling...in his car seat!?! Yes, ladies and gentlemen.
(And, 'yes', Eli gets buckled in for rides. This picture was taken just before we began our journey).

In other news. Keith had an interview with Travelers on Tuesday...and it went great! In fact, the company ended up sling shotting him past a few of the preliminary and middle interviews, and straight to the top. His interview was at 2:00 and he didn't leave until 6:00! Anyway, we really appreciate all of the prayers that have been said for Keith and our family. I will be sure to update you all on the progress.
Here is a picture from our backyard (that is not our house) of the rainbow that appeared on the day of Keith's interview! Pretty cool, huh? Hopefully that was a sign from God saying that the 'flood' is over. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Baby Coalition

I spy something teal and blue! Give up? Ok, stop guessing...it is a new customized blog background! Yep, I finally put in some man hours to learn how to customize my background...I have to say that I impressed myself. The great part? I can change it whenever I want. So, hopefully time will afford me the ability to have some fun down the road.

So, for those of you that were unaware, we had the great baby coalition in town this past week, and they met at our house. Not all babies were able to be present at one time, but their votes were cast and voices were heard.

Our best friends, Mat and Amanda, visited town this past weekend from Nashville, TN. They were friends of ours from college, that just moved out there in February. It was great to get to visit with them and talk 'baby' for a few hours. Tinsley, their daughter, is so adorable and an absolute riot. She made a ton of noises and faces, and kept us cracking up as we watched her on the monitor. Keith was trying to get Eli down for a nap, and Tinsley was trying to watch, sneakingly, from the crib as everything went down. Unfortunately, our visit with the Samuels was brief, and they are already back in their new domain.
Here is lil' Tin Tin playing some Mozart on the piano and looking like her normal cute self.
Here is Tinsley showing Eli how to take control behind the wheel.

The rest of the coalition arrived on Saturday. Keith and I already had plans to hang out with our friends Shelley and Grant on Saturday night. Then, it just seemed to work out perfectly that I got my hair done on Saturday and had the opportunity to invite my friend and hair dresser over as well. She and her hubbie were in desperate need for a night out, and have a 6mth old daughter who fits in nicely with Gavin and Eli for age. Suddenly, we had a baby club and impromtu get together.

The evening started with fajitas, margaritas, baby food, and formula (guess who ate, what...you might be surprised). After dinner, all of the babies conferenced in the living room, and asked that the parents dismiss themselves, they seemed to be discussing some pretty heavy stuff. Shortly after we hit all of their bed times, Eli, Gavin, and Ellyette all went to sleep in separate rooms. Then, with monitors in hand, we all enjoyed the rest of the night with board games. All of the babies did great, and we discovered that Ellyette can make sleeping look like a profession. I am not ashamed to say that she evoked some sleeping jealousy from Keith and I's end. Finally, it was time for everyone to depart, and the babies did great getting up and making it into their own beds. It ended up being a fantastic night! Certainly not one that I would have imagined for myself back in college....but it was mixed with lots of cute little babies and some adult fun, as well.
Here is the group going over the minutes from their last meeting and agenda for the night. (Gavin left, Ellyette right, Eli bottom)
Here is Ellyette playing the part of Super Girl. She certainly showed those boys who was in charge.
Eli trying to impress the cute Ellyette in her adorable Paul Frank pj's. Eli, "Hey, you got tickets to the gun show? Check out these guns!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

No freaking way....God's precision

Ok, the warning is that this post might be long....and it isn't about Eli. However, it is totally worth the read, because you will never believe our last 24 hours.

So, the bad news. Keith was let go of his new job on July 3rd. We haven't been very vocal about the situation, because it hasn't been very pleasant to deal with. The good news is that Keith wasn't happy there anyway. I think he would have liked to have left, but felt the pressure to stick around. Also, Keith and I couldn't really even think about our future, because there were too many variables that were unknown (available territory for him, timing, salary, ect...). So, Keith has been aggressively looking for new jobs. He has wanted to get on at Travelers Insurance for about the last 2-3 years (he was offered a position there in 2007, and has since regretted turning it down). Or, he is looking at getting into a corporation in the oil industry at one of two companies.

Now the 24 hours begin (now that you know the back story). I had an appointment with Costco yesterday morning, and a flight out to New Orleans at 7:30 last night. I get a call around noon from Keith saying he had just heard about a Travelers job fair that afternoon...by invitation only. Our neighbor, Chuck, told him about it, unbeknown est of Keith's lay off. Keith goes to the job fair while I am driving the airport. He calls me after it is over with some great news. He went in with some referral names and asked to speak with certain people. Those people were not around, but a really nice woman named Melissa spoke with Keith for about 20 minutes. She knew Chuck, and was a good working friend of his, and they both came from Louisiana. Melissa told Keith she was passing him on to the next round, and he was a good candidate....yay!

Meanwhile, I arrive at the airport around 5pm....ugh, yes, for a 7:35 flight (wanted to avoid rush hour). So, I try to get on a 6:10 flight, but no cigar (I paid so little for my ticket, that I would have to pay $120 for the 6:10). Looks like I was gonna wait and just sit at Chili's. A few margaritas, dinner, and few random conversations later...it was about time for my flight. Luckily I was A19 so got on pretty quick. Also, all of the seats in the front row were open...yee haw! I sit next to the window, call Keith, and start to settle in before the flight. Around the time I am hanging up the phone, a woman in a Travelers polo boards the plane and sits in the seat next to me on the front row. Instantly I get really excited. Now, I have an opportunity to talk to someone at Travelers about Keith...when I start doing the math. As the rest of the plane boards, I ask this woman her name...even though, I know the answer! Yes, it is Melissa! I proceed to tell her that I am Keith's wife....ect, ect! We spend the rest of the flight talking about Travelers, Keith, our families, the beer industry, ect, ect. It also helped that I had a ton of drink coupons and was able to get us each two rounds of drinks while we were chatting.

(Oh, side note. There was a flight attendant on the plane named Lily. She was the biggest B-IA that I have ever seen employed at Southwest. I can't derail to explain, but a complaint call has already been placed...and a follow-up complaint email will, as well. Ticks me off thinking about it.)

So...the flight goes, we land, and she and I are still in disbelief about the circumstances. Both she and I call Chuck to tell him the story. Since last night, I have found out, that Melissa has asked to personally handle Keith's next step of the interview process. Additionally, it sounds like he is a really good candidate in their system, and there will be some extra efforts made on his behalf. So cool! Oh...one more tid bit. It was only after I landed that I discovered my boss canceled on his trip to LA, and I actually didn't even have to be there last night, after all (could have flown in and out today). Clearly, meant to be.

My trip in New Orleans was uneventful and what it was. I had a 3:30 flight out this afternoon. I bought a book and boarded the plane. Well, wouldn't you guess my EXACT same seat is available on the plane. Duh, of course I am going to take it! I jokingly start playing out scenarios of who will be sitting next to me. Unfortunately, in Melissa's seat was a really grumpy business traveler. Didn't care to talk or allow the middle seat between us get taken. So, you can imagine how unhappy he was when a very large man sat between us. Yes, guy was probably 275-300lbs, 6ft 2in + tall. Mr. Grumpy was visibly distressed. Well, my mind starts racing and the pressure to strike up a conversations becomes very overwhelming. I can't deny that fate has its place, and I need to say something. It was about an hour into the flight that I finally struck up a conversation with Mr. Big. I asked him what he did, and he says I do 'Right of Way' in the oil industry......Ummmm, the EXACT position that Keith is applying for! Not only that...but happens to be at one of the companies that Keith is trying to interview for. Oh, and Mr. Big just came from the OTHER company that Keith is trying to get on with. AND....Mr. Big (and his wife) both know Keith's dad. In fact, Mr. Big's wife is good friends with Will. CRAZY! So, we spend the rest of the flight chatting about positions, people, ect. It isn't quite the straight line to a job offer, but still a pretty neat situation.

So..what do you think, cool story, huh? Thanks for sticking with me. Just to recap you on the events of the day. 1st: Our neighbor calls Keith to tell him about a job fair, when he doesn't even know Keith is looking. 2nd: Keith talks with a woman named Melissa who sits right next to me on my plane ride to New Orleans....a flight that I later realized I didn't need to be on. 3rd: I fly back and sit next to another life line for a job in the oil industry, and a friend of Keith's dad.

The moral of the story is that God is good. It is amazing how deliberate, precise, and in control he really is. After a 24 hours like this, it couldn't me more obvious. This was his way of saying "I am driving this car....and we will get there when we get there. Don't worry about where we are going, but just sit back and enjoy the ride".

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Working moms...salute

Well, I guess it is about time to send a 'shout out' to all of my working mommy friends out there! It is tough stuff, no really....it is really tough. So, for all of the working moms in the world before me, with me, and after me...I salute you. And, naturally, I raise an extra flag for the working single moms...boy, I don't know how you do it. I think every new mom says at one point or another "I don't know how singles moms do it?". It seems like an impossible feat to accomplish...and to add 'work' into the mix...I have a complete appreciation for those ladies.

My mind keeps coming back to the phrase 'there are just not enough hours in the day'. Granted, my work life is not a typical 'corporate structure', but certainly awkward. There are mornings that I can wake up and get into my home office at 8am, and get to watch and observe Eli all day from inside the house. However, there are other days that I am up and out the door by 6 or 7am. Or, like today, will be flying out of town for an overnight stay. In fact, in the month of August I have two really big trips that will have me out of the house for 3 nights in a row, and another minor trip. So, I will be gone from Eli for a total of 9 days. :( I can say, that, they are to some cool places (San Diego, Vail Colorado, and Vegas)...so that is kinda cool.

So, it could be the fact that I am not on a strict work schedule everyday, but it is tough. I 'get off' work at 5pm, which can sometimes turn into 6 or 6:30....and then we try to start Eli's bedtime routine at 7, and have him in bed by 8. So, at best...I have 3 hours with him every day. Just makes me sad, thinking about it.

I think the toughest thing for me has been the mental aspect of it all. My job takes up a lot of mental rent in my brain, so when it is 'mommy time', I have turn of the electricity and put on the generator to switch gears. When 5:00 rolls around, I have to stop my day job and go to work at my night job....and be 100% focused on Eli during that time, so that I don't miss anything. Not to mention, 'being a wife' and having household chores to do. There is a list a mile long of "could be's" and "should be's", and it gets tough to find the time to make all of them a priority. Oh, and you can completely rule out 'working out' at this point. Not that I wouldn't love to do it, but I don't know when in the world I would be able to do that, where it wouldn't effect something else that is a priority during the day.

Sorry for the long and boring post, just had to get it off my chest.

In more exciting news: Eli is continuing to grow more and more everyday. He has been rolling over for a while, but has really got good at it now. He comfortably rolls on his belly, and will chill out there and play for awhile. He is also continuing to grow his vocabulary of constant sounds. Oh....and no sighting of 'this tooth' yet. It just remains to be visible on the surface of his gums. And I just had to throw in some new pictures of Eli...enjoy!

Here are some of Keith's great photoshop skills. My favorite part is the headband!
If you hadn't noticed, Keith likes dressing Eli is random things...this being no exception. At the point this picture was taken, it was a matter of adding as much stuff to him, as possible. And yes, those are 'baby legs' on just his legs...basically big leg warmers and rattle socks. I was pretty much in tears while I was snapping the picture.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I like to eat, eat, eat Aeepples and Beeneenies

Well, last night Eli had his first food...well, sorta. Not exactly anything we are putting down in the record books or anything. It kind of happened by accident, actually...but Eli was not complaining.

As we know/were told...Eli is teething. Poor thing has had this little tooth SLOWLY coming in for about a week. We can feel the bump in the gum and see some little white dots, but still no tooth. This paired with the ear infection, Eli has been a little cranky this last week. So, while he was fussy last night, Keith and I were scrambling to find things for Eli to chew on. Because he is so young, he doesn't really hold onto anything and chew for a long time. Also, the whole 'teething biscuits' and 'frozen waffles' don't work. So, we grabbed a few random 'eating things' from our bag of sippy cups, bowls, and spoons that are waiting for Eli when he gets older. So, we found these little mesh bags that you put food in and have handles. I am not real clear on why you use them, but it prevents babies form choking.

It was during this time that I was chewing on fruit snacks. Suddenly we though, 'hey, fruit snacks are a good texture for Eli to gnaw on'. So, we threw them in the mesh bag and put them in his mouth (happened that fast). He proceeded to chew and suck on them like they were going out of style. Then, like a flash (because we didn't think of it prior)...we realized we were giving Eli straight sugar to suck on. Yikes! So, then we deferred to apples and bananas (I know...natural sugars). This was really all about textures that we thought he would enjoy gnawing on to help with his teething, but he might also be motivated to keep in his mouth. During the entire 'experiment' I serenaded Eli with the kids song "I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas'.

Needless to say, Eli had no problem with our menu options. He enjoyed the heck out of our 'little exercise'. It was after a few minutes of this that I realized we weren't exactly doing things in order. When the time comes, we will formally start Eli on rice cereal (with a spoon), then go down the list of recommendations in order.....starting with veggies and ending with fruits. Yes, we may have cursed Eli to only want to eat sweet things from here on out. I mean, I am already fully aware that he has got a killer sweet tooth. I pretty much craved fruits and desserts the entire pregnancy and during breastfeeding. I guess we will see how this all turns out.

So, if you run into Eli when he gets older and he asks to go to McDonalds for lunch.....it will not be for the Happy Meal toy, but the McFlurry.

-Sorry no pictures-

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Car Ride...Dun Dun Dun...

Ok, so anyone that has read my blog before knows that Eli doesn't do 'so well' in the car. In fact, this all started on our ride home from the hospital. I assumed that it was natural for all babies to cry on their way home. I mean, just think....just days before they are nestled snug inside mommy's womb, then suddenly they are being thrown into a 'going home outfit' and strapped down in a harness. No harm no foul, Eli.

Well, this extreme hatred that started on February 13th, has not managed to disapear. It continued as he was a little newborn, continued on my 8 hour road trip down to San Antonio/6 hour trip back, and so on. Keith and I have LITERALLY tried everything that we can think of to make it better. We even upgraded Eli early to the nicest and most expensive convertable carseat on the market. (These seats are mandatory for kids that are 20lbs and one years old usually, but infants can ride in them too.) We thought the new car seat worked, and it did make things better, but no quick fix. We are currently looking to a small dvd player for him to be distracted with.

It is unfortunate to say, but we don't take Eli a whole ton of places for this reason. If there is an opportunity for Keith and I to go somewhere together, or have one of us run a quick errand....we usually go the solo route. However, ocassionally we get a wild hair to run out as a family or have to be somewhere, and it is at this time that we remember why we don't do it more often.

So...with all of that being said, I really hate to throw my lil' man under the bus. However, I feel like it is really necessary for you to all understand just how extreme this hatred runs. Also, no need to call CPS, either. Our car had cold AC running, and I did my typical 'offering' of toys, blankets, pacifiers, and so forth to help him out. Just like all other car trips, it was with no success that these things worked. But, ....here is a video of Eli in the car. This was just a few miles from the house (after he took a 2 hour nap prior and had a whole bottle....just sayin').




video

4th of July

Eli was not really in a 'partying' mood, so we laid low for his sake. Given the ear infection and teething, Eli has been in fussy spirits since Thursday. He is getting better, but requiring a lot of sleep and medicine.....and patience. His tooth is yet to come in, but so so close. We are ready for it to be here, and stop causing our little man discomfort.

Well, fortunate for us, the weather matched the spirits in the house, so there was no pressure to get outside (rained all Friday and Saturday). Therefore Friday and Saturday were spent around the house. Then, on Sunday we had made impromptu plans to go on a picnic with Eli's best friend, Gavin. However, Eli was not feeling good and needed some more rest. So our outside picnic turned into an indoor picnic at the house. We ate Jimmy Johns and made margaritas and cotton candy...'Happy 4th of July!'. The boys played with toys, swung in swings, jumped in bouncers, and took naps.
Finally, Eli's attitude improved around the time we were catching cabin fever, so we ventured out to the pool. However, we never actually got in the water (because it was a little chilly from the rain). Instead we hung out by the pool and yard. After spending a few hours taking pictures and watching the dogs act crazy, it was time for the boys to go to sleep. Clearly they thought it would be a better idea to shoot off some of the fireworks they bought (no, we didn't actually have fireworks). They were not buying into our whole 'go to sleep' thing. So, us 'rents' had to make one of those parental decisions to end the evening early, because things would not be very pleasant if these boys didn't get their beauty rest. We all headed home around 9, and Eli proceeded to SCREAM in hysterics for the entire 25 minutes it took to get home. I did what I could to calm him down, but he didn't care about my efforts. I just thought it was so funny to see all of the people lining the streets in their lawn chairs ready to watch the fireworks show, and little did they know we had a hysterical screaming baby driving by in the car in front of them. What a different world we were in, just a few feet away. But, on the flip side, he passed out the minute we walked into his nursery, and slept great last night. So, no fireworks for us or Eli this 4th of July, if you don't count the few we saw at a distance on our car ride home with the soundtrack of Eli's screams.

Despite our 'lack luster' 1st 4th of July with Eli, I couldn't be more excited about all of the 4th of July's to come. I can't wait to share the excitement of BBQ's, firework shows, swimming, and patriotic activities with him. I can't wait for the boys to have their first "Dad and Eli" trip to the fireworks stand, or pick up hot dogs and stuff at the store for an outdoor BBQ, or anxiously wait for the sun sets for the fireworks to go off. Needless to say, we have so much to be thankful for now and in the future.

Here are some of our pictures of the day. Also, I must make a note. My mom got Eli this really cute little onesie, and put his name on it. Yes, it is a little big...ok, a lot big. But, I wasn't going to pass up on the opportunity for his to wear it for his first 4th. Also, he had shorts to go with it...but those were forgotten mid way through the day after a few naps.







Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Time Has Come

Well, after a few days of uncharacteristic Eli hanging out at the house, we took him to the doctor......and we found out that Eli is not only teething, but he also has an awful inner ear infection! Poor little guy!

Yep, yep. This is our first experience of having a sick little boy. We realized that something was up after he was not sleeping well, hardly eating anything, and being extra fussy. I guessed he was teething, but the nurses (per a phone call) discounted that theory because of his age. I am not kidding when I say that we were actually able to see teeth under his gums since he was a few weeks old. However, now, you can feel them under the surface. So...as I was saying. The doctor concluded that he was cutting teeth. This is all on top of a random ear infection. I have no clue where an ear infection came from. But, she said that they are more common in boys.....especially under the age of 1. I questioned all of the baths that I had been giving him (thinking water got in his ears), but she said that was not it.

The doctor gave us a prescription for amoxilicin (to be given for 10 days). Additionally, she gave us a medicine that goes in the ear and will provide pain relief (we can also apply this to the gums, as well). In addition to the prescriptions we can use Tylenol and teething remedies. We were also told that it would be best for him to be sitting up, as babies with ear infections have a hard time be comfortable laying down. We were also told that it is going to be a rough next couple of nights (on top of the already rough past two nights).

I will keep you updated on the lil' guys health update. But, thankfully we didn't have big plans for Eli's first 4th of July. Going to be sticking around DFDub laying low, with a hopeful BBQ. No worries if the fun 'doesn't make'....it is all about making Eli feel as good as we can.