Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Or, if you're religiously inclined, Happy Reformation Day! Sola Scriptura and whatnot!

We're so, so sorry for our prolonged absences with blogging. It works like this: Jessa's home all day with Eli and the camera, and gets lot of pictures. However, she's holding Eli about 85% of that time, and the other 15% she's doing things like going to the bathroom and frantically trying to eat lunch before he wakes up. So she doesn't get around to blogging. Eric is at work all day sitting in front of a computer--a prime blogging opportunity, even if that isn't exactly what the church is paying him for--but has none of those good pictures to put into the blog, which is why you folks come here in the first place. Yeah, we know, it's not the writing.

So today is one of those rare days when Eric remembered to email pictures to himself at work to use in a blog entry. There are lots of them below.

Eli is now about a month old (4 weeks yesterday, and one month on Friday). He's doing all kinds of amazing baby things. He's starting babbling just a little bit--little baby noises. He's also in almost-complete control of his head--you don't have to support it at all. He's always had good neck strength, but now he's almost independant with it. His face is much more expressive, and we have a feeling that he's working up to his first genuine non-gassy smile any day now.

He still has some pretty painful digestive stuff going seems to be some combo of gas and acid reflux. We're hoping to find a way to fix that, because it's clearly uncomfortable for him.

A lot of you have asked: What is Eli for Halloween? The answer is, nothing. We couldn't think of a place to take him in his costume, so we couldn't justify spending money on a costume he would protest having to wear. He IS, however, wearing a steady rotation of halloween-themed baby clothes.

On to the main attraction, the pictures. At the top you saw a picture of our jack-o-lanterns. Jessa carved the three little ones, and Eric the big one. Fun fact about Denver: the squirrels eat your jack-o-lanterns. This is about 5% amusing and about 95% infuriating. All the jack-o-lanterns look like they have a flesh-eating disease on their face. Our neighbors have one with the entire face eaten away, and just a circle left.

This one is Eli trying out his crib. The bedding is courtesy of our own personal seamstress, Aunt Selena. Eli LOVES the dots.
This is a shot of Eli in his Aunt Ashley-provided Halloween onesie. There are several Halloween outfits in rotation.
Mom and Eli swinging at Washington Park. This picture was taken in the very beginning stages of an epic hours-long meltdown. Never, ever wake a baby for a photo opportunity. Ever.
This is just because I know Eli will someday be grateful for each and ever bath photo we post on the internet for the entire world to see. I'm thinking middle school is when he'll be most grateful.
And another bath shot. The child has the pout DOWN...he has the most devastating pouty face you have ever seen.
Finally, this is a shot of Washington Park, our favorite walking haunt, at dusk.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Monkey Impersonation

Here is our son's imitation of Charly the Cymbal Playing Monkey:
I have been hoping to catch this fabulous impersonation for a while now. It's hard to capture a sneeze on video when it's just me and Eli, but when Eric got home the other night just as Eli was finishing eating, I knew we had it. I LOVE that I can predict his sneezes! If you look closely you'll see me prompt him to sneeze by giving a little fake sneeze, which worked like a charm. Can't you just see the Cymbal Playing Monkey??? (I tried to put a video of the monkey on here to compare, but that was too complicated.)

Things are moving right along around here. Eli is 3 1/2 weeks old. Wow! He's growing bigger and more expressive every day. He's doing pretty well with sleeping, with an off night here and there. He certainly doesn't sleep "through the night" but we do get a nice 3 hour block here and there. He is a champion eater though, and is really starting to get round. He has also discovered that being in the front carrier, the boppy and the swing are not so bad. He napped in the swing yesterday for 2 hours. It was eerie. I wasn't exactly sure what to do with myself, but I did get caught up on emails and phone calls. That was good.

We've been trying to get out there and meet some friends for Eli and Mama. I took my 3 week old child to Book Babies - the story time at the library (for children 6 mos. and up). He slept through it, but was very cute and was quite a hit with all the mommies. We exchanged information with 5 mommies and even had lunch that day with three mommies and their babies. So, we're making connections.

I'm still not eating dairy, beans, or chocolate. There has been marked improvement in his sleeping and general temperment most of the time, but he still has times when it seems like his tummy is bothering him. Maybe his belly is just young and is still working out the kinks.

All in all, week three has been good. We miss all our family and friends desperately, and hope to see some of you soon! Your comments, cards, happy thoughts, food, and baby goodies have warmed our hearts and sustained us so far away. We love you all.

Here are some new pics:
A hat and booties really make the whole outfit.
Auntie Kelli H. sent Eli a bunch of great Carolina gear and a highchair! Thanks a million Auntie Kelli! Go heels!
Pig pile on Eric.
Trying out independence in the Boppy.
Here Eli's sporting his cool Halloween onsie from Auntie Sunny B! Thanks Auntie Sunny!
All tuckered out.
Posted by Mama.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Photo Catch Up

Sorry for the brief hiatus friends. We've been having some tummy issues which have led to not much sleep, so our days have been a bit foggy. We'll try to do better.

Today we're enjoying our first Denver snow. Yesterday it was sunny and nearly 80. Today we're supposed to get two to four inches of snow. It's really pretty.

Eli slept better last night. Of course we're thrilled, because he seems to be feeling better in his tummy, but I'm only slightly bummed that it seems to corelate with an experimental nixing of dairy from my diet. I'm going to miss cheese, if that really is what has been causing his discomfort. But if it keeps him from making the terrible "I hurt" face, it's totally worth it.

So, here's some of the most recent photos:
Here Eli is sporting the rasta hat that YaYa knitted up for him while she was here. What an Asheville baby.
We call this look, "Santa's Little Helper Goes to Jail."
Eli's 1st hike and first snow sighting at Lily Lake. Brrrrr.
More bath fun.

The baby bathrobe - it had to be done, but oh, the indignity.

In other news, Wednesday he had his two week check up and did marvelously. He weighed 8 lbs. 14.5 oz. (50th percentile), was 21 3/4 inches long (90th percentile), and was in the 50% percentile for head circumference. He had to have his first vaccination which was horrible. But he was a trooper. Yay for our healthy little guy!

Today we carve our pumpkins. Happy fall everyone!

Posted by the Mama.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two Weeks Old, Rockies, and Bath Time Videos

Eli, Jessa, and grandma Dotty had a busy day celebrating Eli's 2-week birthday today. They went shopping for a particular type of baby sling (which will help with mobility), partook of some haute cuisine (Olive Garden), went by the school library to give Eric a break from studying, and went for a walk in the park, where they ran into a couple from childbirth class who had TWINS the week before Eli was born. (How do people have twins? When would they possibly sleep?) Jessa and the other new mom exchanged info, and they might team up for future walks.

There's snow on the Rockies--we keep meaning to get a decent picture of it--and there's snow in the forecast for Denver on three of the next ten days. So winter(ish) is upon us (apparently it's not winter here until there's a 2-foot blizzard).

The whole town is also in the midst of Rockies Fever, or as we like to call it, Rocktober. In case you've been living in a cave or other sports-deprived environment, the Colorado Rockies have stormed back from all-but-mathematically-eliminated a month ago, won a one-game play-in, swept their first series, swept the National League Championship Series, and have now punched their ticket to the World Series. This is cool, because something like 18 of the players on the Rockies' playoff roster are former Asheville Tourists (the Tourists are the Rockies' single-A affiliate), so we've seen a lot of these guys play before, and we can say we knew them when.

We also need to put this out there on the internet, so ESPN can pick it up if Eli ever makes it as a big-time ballplayer. When the Rockies finished the regular season, they had to play one game, against the Padres, to see who made the playoffs. That game went to THIRTEEN innings, and where were we? Walking laps around the labor and delivery floor. We went out for a lap, and we heard the news that the Rockies had just gone down by 2 runs in the 13th inning, and all hope was lost. As we finished that lap, we heard that the Rockies had inprobably scored 3 runs to win the game. Fewer than 24 hours later, Eli was born. Now Eli is 2 weeks old, and the Rockies are in the World Series, and this will make one heck of a human interest story for ESPN in about 25 years. He was born in auspicious circumstances.

Tonight was bath night. We've heard that a lot of babies do not like bath time. Our baby is not one of those. Eli LOVES his baths. Below you'll find a video (about 3 minutes, I think) where you can see his progression from relatively alert (but happy) baby to absolutely comotose baby. Later he perked up (and started absolutely wailing) when he had to flip over on his back, but when he's face-down in the frog position, Eli loves life.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Harvest of Photos

Here are some recent pictures for your enjoyment:

Eli does not want to wear his Halloween-themed hat.
Walking in Washington Park with Grandma Dotty.
Posing with mom and dad in the pumpkin pile at Whole Foods. He was generally not a fan of the whole endeavor.
We call this one "Eli Among The Squash." Please note the squash-blossom hat and extraordinarily cute overall outfit.
And naturally, this is "Eli Among the Pumpkins."
A full view of his very-cute fall outfit, including outdoorsy shoes courtesy of Grandma Dotty.
Cutely snoozing in the car carrier.
Watching football on the sofa with dad.

Mama note: Golly was our boy adorable today. We had many fun outings. It was mostly fun for the grown-ups. Eli was a good sport in the face of all our pestering. He had to be a bit of a trick pony today, but he handled most of it like a champ. Now he's tuckered out and sleeping on Grandma Dotty's tummy.

He wore such little boy clothes today. He had on socks and shoes for crying out loud. It made him look fourteen to me in a head-bobbing, milk drooling kind of way. He makes me cackle with laughter every time I look at him. I could just spread him on a cracker.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Day 11 Milestones

Today our boy is eleven days old. He's eleven days awesome. He looks so big and grown up and like such a little boy. Every change is surprising and amazing and a little heartbreaking. But we're so proud.

Today he had two milestones. First, in the middle of the night he lost his gross little umbilical leftovers. It was in the midst of an epic diaper/navel/spit up extravaganza. We sang him little songs of praise for his maturity, and not to harp on the fact that he's advanced, but he shed his on day 11, when on average it takes two to three weeks. And he doesn't seem to miss it. Can't hold onto the past after all.

He's now sporting the ever so perfect belly button seen here.

Secondly, he experienced his first thunderstorm. He and I stood at the back door to the patio listening to it and feeling the chill in the air. He loves being outside and we love that about him. He and I spent some time out in the back yard today, just sitting and talking and feeding and enjoying the fall. It's still rumbling and is supposed to be rainy and cold tomorrow.

Yesterday he went on his first outing after dark. We had dinner with fellow North Carolina to Denver transports, Christa and Megan. He made quite a good showing of alert cuteness, perhaps even a hint of flirtation. And then we got back home and he and I crashed while Daddy watched
the Rockies game. Eli slept his first 4 hour block in the nighttime(hear the Hallelujah Chorus in the background). After that though he wanted to check in on us about every hour and a half, but the four hours was good.

Here he is holding court at the Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant.

Yesterday morning we got a flurry of fabulous mail around eleven. It all came at once and we had a little party. The flurry included:

A big box from the At Home Bistro from some of our fabulous friends at Biltmore UMC. It contained 8 delicious vegetarian meals frozen and ready to cook and serve (the chorus starts up again). They all look so yummy! You guys are awesome! And, as a bonus, they were packed in dry ice, which gave us hours of entertainment:
Next came a box from Auntie Kelly and the kids. It held 9 dozen yummy cookies and some Long Beach, WA sand for zen. Thanks guys! Mmmmm, cookies.

The Eli got a fun Halloween onsie from Sunny B, which he will soon wear on an outing to the pumpkin patch (otherwise know as the pile of pumpkins in front of Whole Foods Market), for a pumpkin photo shoot.

And then, he received a sweet white bunny blanket and fabulous drawing from his friends Liza and Gracey. What a lucky guy!!!

Tomorrow he's so excited about meeting and snuggling with Grandma Dotty!

Our little fella makes some of the most fabulous faces, most of which pass too quickly to catch in a photo, but here we captured a sweet little smile.
We leave you with that.
Posted by the Mama.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ten Days Old

Sorry for the slowdown in blogging...there's just so much to be done and so little time in the day now. Eli is growing and changing every day (in the last 24 hours he's changed so have to believe us on this). He's eating like crazy and dirtying diapers almost as fast (this morning he had a patented pee-on-daddy moment).

Eli's been having a series of coming-out parties. Last night Eric's class at school surprised him with a cake and a present and a balloon, and since Eli happened to be in the building (Jessa had to run to the bathroom, and they flagged her down and dragged her into the classroom), he got to make his first appearance in a theological educational setting. This week he also met all the folks at his dad's work, and tonight he'll get to hang out with our friends Megan and Christa at dinner. Perhaps best of all, Grandma Dotty is coming into town on Sunday.

Hope these pictures can hold everybody over for a few days....

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A long overdue Mama Blog

Hi Friends,
In twenty five minutes we will celebrate our son's one week birthday. One week ago we were working hard to get him here, and in the time since, our life has acquired new and magical meaning.

The labor and delivery was incredible. We danced and sang and swayed and breathed and moaned our way through it. Eric was an indescribably superior labor support person. He should really do this for a living, although that would be weird. But he was seriously great at it. And it was wonderful to have my mom there through the whole thing. She beamed with pride. I was also very proud of myself. I was a woman with purpose, and the strength I could muster to achieve it surprised even me. I had a fabulous labor playlist on the ipod, and I would literally breath through a contraction and when it was finishing, go right back to singing along (in the earlier part of labor of course). Once, while walking, I held on to the little bars they have all along the walls for contracting women to hold onto, then when the contraction finished I did a little ballet dip and arm move. I was obviously still early in my labor - but what I'm saying is, we had fun.

Things got very intense after my water broke. And after a few intense contracting hours I thought we were there. I thought I was complete and felt the urge to push. But when I was checked and was only just over halfway done, I called for the epidural. Good decision. It was all they said it would be.

And then came the pushing, which at first I handled very well. But then I got totally drained and could barely keep breathing between them . I was on the oxygen and would just stare into space trying to stay alive. It felt like my eyes would burst right out of my head with every push. Then came the whimpering phase. I started begging. But I could muster only the tiniest mouse whisper, and through the oxygen mask, only Eric could hear me. I just needed help. At one point I asked someone to get a spoon and just get him out. I'm glad the used the vacuum instead of a spoon, but I was never more happy to see a suction cup in my life. I knew with a little help I could do it, but I knew without it I could not. And out he came.

That is the moment my life changed. They laid this warm wet being on my belly, and that was it. It was the single most cosmic and nuclear moment of my life. We were connected, mom and son, familiar and knowing. He cried for only a moment, enough to let the doctors know he was okay, and then we locked in. Our eyes locked and I engulfed him in my arms and we were one. I knew him and he knew me, and his gaze was full of love. I can't explain how remarkable a moment it was, but I will never be the same.

I know he's only a week old, but he's already so much himself. He's sweet and smart and aware and kind. I'm so proud to know his little 8 lb. self. And, I know you've seen the pictures so it need not be said, but he is remarkably stunningly beautiful. And charming. And he smells like love and warm biscuits with honey.

I wish you all were here to see the Dad Eric. It's awesome. He's never really been a baby guy - but he is completely ga-ga smitten over his son. He simply can't get enough (the feeling is mutual). He coos and talks sweetly and goes wild over every little facial expression (or twitch). For example, right now he's wearing the boppy with Eli on it sleeping and he keeps calling me over to see the faces he's making. He's taken 92 pictures of him since they've been sitting together there, even though Eli hasn't moved. I simply adore this Eric. Eli is such a lucky son.

I know it's been two days since we posted, so here's an update:
~Yesterday he had his 1 week check up at his pediatrician's office (we have a pediatrician's office - wow). He did great. He had already gained back 1/2 his birth weight, which apparently is rare, since feeding can be troublesome in the beginning. But they say this is excellent. He's a feeding champion, mostly due to the fact that my mom, the lactation consultant, has been here to coach us on good breast feeding. We now are pros. Everything else checked out great at his Dr.'s appointment. He is in excellent health, thankfully.
~He had his first blow out diaper today (oh the things that become milestones...). I heard him rumbling in the car on the way home from lunch. We discovered when we got home that he had shot poo out of both sides of his diaper and all over his polka dot fleece (his favorite outfit. He's so advanced, he has preferences for crying out loud). It was impressive.
~My mom leaves tomorrow. I'm very sad and frankly a little nervous about this. I know at some point we have to be on our own, but having her around has been a godsend.

So, in short, he's awesome. He's all warmth and love and wiggle, and we can't get enough of him. Sure, we don't sleep, and sure, it's a tough transition, but oh my, the love is just so big that we will never find the end of it - not that we're trying.

Here are some pics since you've all been so patient for these last two days:

Happy Birthday, my beautiful boy.
Posted by the Mama.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Eli's First Lazy Saturday

Here are some pictures from a pretty big day around here. We started off this morning kind of late--we all slept in until about 10. Then the three of us had our first outing--we were craving a taste of the real world, so we went to lunch at On The Border. The chimichangas were fantastic, and Eli was a huge hit with the waitresses. He did remarkably well, except that he peed all over his clothes, and then all over Jessa while getting changed in the bathroom. All told, we're very glad we went--it was good to get out of the house.

After that, we went over to Washington Park to take a walk. It was very windy today in Denver, so we didn't stay long, but we had a good time sitting on the park bench and watching the wind blow things around. Eli seems to love the outdoors, which is good, since he's a Colorado baby.

Tonight Eric's dad and his wife came by, all the way from Abilene, to see Eli. We had a great dinner, and Eli woke up in time to get some quality snuggle time with his grandpa.

The first picture is one for Grandma Dotty, who wants a shot of his feet. The second one is Eli in his handmade Onesie...he peed all over it at the restaurant. See how well he opens his eyes now? The third one is the iconic Eli shot...snuggling. The final one is a family portrait from the park. Enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Eli: The Movie

This is my first attempt at putting pictures to took several tries to get it right, and it might still not be right. Hopefully it is...I had a hard time getting the timing right.

Anyway, enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Coming Home

We're home from the hospital and settling in. Here are some pictures from today:
Family photo as we were leaving the hospital.

Eli trying out his new digs at the house.

Eli and his YaYa.

Eli and dad napping.

The incredible disappearing legs.