Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jolly Ole' Saint Nick, Jesus, and Traditions.

Why are we waiting an hour in line again?

Ohhhhh yeah...Santa!!

Wait a minute, this is Santa?!

Okay, mama...I think we're done here. Come and get me.

We couldn't get an actual smile out of Eli, but he did pretty well for his first time with that scary bearded stranger. We're getting excited for the festivities this week, starting with our church's candlelight service tomorrow night, and Eli's first Christmas with our family of three. We'll do the in-laws on Christmas Eve, my dad's side on Christmas morning, and mom's side on Christmas afternoon. We can't wait to spend time with family and start traditions with our first baby.

Some of our traditions this year include decorating the house, seeing Santa, going caroling for Fannie Battle Foundation, picking a special Christmas ornament to commemorate our year, writing a family letter to Daddy telling him our favorite things that happened this year, and most importantly of all, celebrating the birth of our Savior. What a special holiday!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Whoa, Here He Comes.


Let's try a video, shall we? This is Eli Matthew crawling around like a nut while I learn how to focus my video camera. Sounds enticing, no?


Thursday, December 16, 2010

let's Move On.

Now that that last post is off my chest, let's move on, shall we? I am not a winter gal. I love living in the South. I love that some Christmas days can be spent outside throwing a frisbee with my husband and family. I love flip-flops, and shorts, and tan skin, and pools, and beaches, and sunshine. Winter depresses me. Seasonal depression is real, I'm telling ya.

While I'm stuck inside with my wild man more days than I would like right now (hello 11 degrees!), I daydream of this coming summer. I can't wait to soak up the sun with my soon-to-be toddler (what??!!). I see pool days with Aunt Leah, outings to the zoo, stroller walks in the mornings, planting vegetables in our garden, buying a baby pool for lazy backyard days, hikes in Cades Cove, and so much more. I see library days, and popsicles, bare feet, and sunscreen.

I'm excited to take our little buck to new adventures and his reactions to new things. We are going to have so much fun, and I only have to wait another three or four months through this gloomy gloom. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

By the Way.

Usually I try to keep this blog fun and light ( I think), but lately, my mind hasn't been fun and light, so here's my thoughts on this. Hope you don't mind!

Being a momma is HARD! Did you know this? Many times a week I remind myself that I only have ONE baby, and many of you have many more daily challenges than me.

Deborah, you take care of THREE BOYS, cook amazing meals, clean, keep a house, are involved in church, and take care of your hubby!

Ellen, you are in California without any family, and are raising two under two while your husband studies and works late hours.

Many of you work and stay home, AND do everything else that keeps a house going!

I stay home and sometimes struggle to have a good attitude raising one little boy!

When Eli was younger and less active, I was perfectly content to snuggle up in my house with my sweet baby and do homebody things. Now that he is getting older and is all over the place, I find myself frustrated and impatient some days. Yesterday, from teeth or something, he fussed ALL DAY LONG, and I was less than patient. All day long this verse replayed in my head, "I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of Heaven and Earth." Put that on repeat all day yesterday.

I know he's just going to get more active, but when my eight month old is throwing tantrums, I struggle to find my postive outlook. Does this happen to you? please, oh please, say it does.

The other thought on my mind is loneliness. When I was teaching high school, my colleagues and I would talk about how isolating teaching can be. You are in your room all day dealing with teenagers and all their "stuff," and you plan and grade all by yourself in your room...it can be solitary and lonely. Well, being a mom is like that, but MORE.

Staying in makes for one lonely momma. My conversations consist of telling Eli that "Momma's folding this shirt, Let's make lunch, Did you just go potty?, Let's dust this table"...One-sided conversations get old. This age is a little difficult because Eli can't do bigger kid things, like play gyms, and crafts, etc. However, I know that EVERY age has its own set of challenges, and I need to just get out and about regardless of nap times and schedules.

Two naps and feeding schedules get in the way sometimes of planning play groups and dates, and some days I just feel alone and well, bored. I can only play with a xylophone so many times before my own mind needs to be stimulated.
Here's another little song I've been singing lately,
"In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus. And when I am alone, give me Jesus...."

Right? In my moments of impatience and weakness, I NEED help from Jesus, prayer, friends, community. I have never understood our need for community and fellowship more than now, and I know that's why God wants that for us. We are meant to help eachother. Pray for eachother. Support eachother.

Man, this was a lot to give you on a chilly Tuesday morning. Sorry for the depressing post. I'm sure ( I hope) most of you mommas have felt this way at one time or another.

By the way, I just got home from a playgroup, and God is saying, "See? Fellowship is good. Good for baby, good for mama, good for everyone!" Thanks for the invite Katie!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Eight (and a 1/2) Months.

I'm a little late with this post, mainly because I wanted to wait until this little wild man was all better before attempting a photo shoot. I learned quickly that crawling = poor pictures. It's hard to aim at a moving target. He kept trying to throw himself off the couch during these!

At 8 months, Eli:

-is sporting two bottom teeth, and the two top ones are coming in as we speak.
-is crawling at super lightening speeds all over the house.
-loves anything he's not supposed to have: cords, phones, strings, etc.
-is pulling up on anything. He loves to let go and see if he can stand. He can't.
-got his first black eye. He let go, and fell right on our sharp coffee table leg.
-is eating four 6 ounces bottles a day. Due to lots of circumstances, we've weaned Eli from his mama this month. He could care less; I'm still mourning.
-eats food three times a day. We've just added yogurt and meat to his diet!
-Says "dada" all the time, but doesn't quite relate it to Matthew.
-is throwing tantrums when he gets mad. We are now introducing the words, "No, Sir."
-He would like walk, but I am not encouraging this in ANY way! :)
-has been sick twice, a fever virus last month, and a croup virus last week. Poor sick baby.
-we're working on crying out this week. It's high time he learned to sleep through the night. I'm not sure who's crying more--me or him!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Man Oh Man.

Hi friends! I have been completely neglecting this ole' blog lately, but I feel like I have good reasons. We have been out of town for the past 5 weekends in a row!! We are so glad to be home for awhile!

We went home to help out while my mom had back surgery for a week in early November...
This little turkey had a good first Thanksgiving...
We got lots of visiting in with Deanie and Papa...
We started sporting a new top tooth, and number two is coming in any day now.
We've started wearing our Christmas footed pajamas...
We've taken lots of rides on daddy's shoulders...

I tried to learn how to color, but decided I would rather just eat the paper instead...
I helped mama rake the leaves outside...

My best friend Katie tied the knot...
to this former Vols player...
while they got their pictures taken, I got to play with this happy fella...

but as soon as we got back, things went a little downhill...
the big, bad croup virus got us, and we had lots of fussy days and sleepless nights...

we learned how to pull up and let go, which means we got our first black eye...

it's snowing outside, and we're getting our smiles back...
and all of this have left us one big tired family...
so we're taking it easy and gearing up for the holidays!!

This Santa mama has been wrapping gifts tonight and can't wait to see Eli play with his gifts (eat the wrapping paper) on Christmas morning!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santa Matthew is the Best.

I've been dropping hints to Matthew for weeks now about how I really wanted to use my Granny and Grandad money for a new camera. I wanted to document the holidays with my new camera, and I want to try and take a family picture for our Christmas card.

Turns out? He was listening to me!! Do you ever ramble on and on to your hubby and think, "he is just letting these words go right in and out..." He kept giving me the occasional "mmmhmmm" and "really"...and I didn't really think he was paying too much attention to me. He was!

I lost my keys (again), and had to drive back to Kroger to look for the power lock thingy (did you know those things cost $100 to replace?) and searched the parking lot. I finally found it (in my new huge diaper bag--please tell me this happens to you too), and returned home.

When I walked in the door, there it was, with a sweet note attached from my thoughtful hubby. I know a camera doesn't sound like such a big deal, but it not only confirmed he listens to me when I ramble, but that he recognizes how important family memories are to me!

It's the exact one I wanted, and I am still learning how to use it...but it takes crystal clear pictures (when I focus correctly) and I can't wait to capture my growing family. I have always loved looking back on family photos that my grandparents and great-aunts had,, and enjoyed listening to their stories of what was happening in that picture, and now I will have those memories too in photo form.

Here are some I've taken while practicing with the focus:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So, What's Your Deal?

Every year, after everyone had stuffed themselves silly with my mom's Thanksgiving meal, we would slowly roll ourselves off the couch and away from the football games, and the Christmas music would begin.

My mom loves all Christmas music that she can sing along to, whereas my dad loves the John Philip Sousa marching band. He says it reminds him of the Navy---sure, Dad. Even though my parents have been divorced since I was 8, we would spend our holidays together and Thanksgiving was no different.

Cue the Christmas music, and out would come the boxes and boxes of Christmas decor. We would trim two tree--the family "pretty" one with white lights and fancy ornaments, and the "kids" one with whatever we wanted. We would set up two nativity sets--I would carefully place my baby Jesus in his manger, and my brother would make his cows and mules battle.

It's always Thanksgiving that makes me think it's time for Christmas, but not a day before. This is one of my favorite family traditions, and I plan to carry it on with my own little family, although this year we'll have to wait a few days since this Thanksgiving will be with the in-laws.

So, what's your deal? When do you put your decorations up? Are you an early celebrator, as in, they're already up? Or maybe you wait until it's actually December?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Let's Talk Books.

A while back I asked your opinion about some books for me to read, and they are all on my Christmas list. Eli has a list of his own for Santa, and you better believe this English-teaching momma put books on my baby's wish list. Hopefully Santa (his grandparents) will pull through. :)

Actually, I plan on order most of these used through Amazon, and I can't wait to snuggle down with my squirmy boy and attempt to read them to him. Hopefully, he'll learn to love them as much as I do. I absolutely love reading, and I'm a firm believer that if more parents read to or with their children at home, our schools would be a much better place. They not only expand vocabularies, but they also encourage and inspire creativity and imagination in young minds. Can you tell I teach English?

Here's a few on his list:

All those "click to look inside"'s are deceiving. Sorry. You can view them all on amazon.com.

Now, you tell me, what are some of your favorite children's books?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

6 Weeks!

6 weeks until Christmas--that's crazy!!

Here I am, supporting shutterfly this year, because guess what? If I blog about this promotion, I get 50 free cards!! They also have free shipping over $30 right now, and 20% off all cards...quite the deal!

Besides getting free cards, I happen to already like Shutterfly! I order huge quantities of pictures from the every couple months...I'm talking, like 400 at a time--yes, Eli is the firstborn baby and grandson on both sides. I hear the amount of picture taking dwindles after the first. For now though, I order my prints from Shutterfly. I also ordered my birth announcements from them, and loved them!

That picture of my tiny 3 week old is still up on my fridge today!

I just have to choose my card and plant a family picture on the front, and mail them off to you sweet friends!
I've been having a hard time choosing a card because a lot of them are cute, but here's the link so you can peruse the options yourself! http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-cards

My faves?: Oh holy night, Christmas 2010, Shimmer sparkle shine, Peace and love, and Family Wall Noir.

Go check out the form for yourself and then send me a cute picture of your family!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Post in which I Vent.

Can I vent for a second about doctors? Why oh why does my child get diagnosed as not gaining sufficient weight when I talk to or read about a handful of other moms whose babies have the same stats as my son?

Their children are considered perfectly healthy from their pediatricians while I get questioned on feeding habits over and over again. I feed my child. As much as he wants. All the time.

How about his height?

How about genetics?

How about his activity level?

How about his constant smiles and giggles and apparent happiness?

Geez Louise, I think it's time to switch doctors. A second opinion is long over-due.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Did You Know?

I have a seven month old named Eli? Excuse me, seven months? That's over the hill toward his first birthday--oh me, oh my!

At seven months, my little barracuda is:
                                                    sporting two teeth.
                                                    sleeps from 8:30-8 with one wake-up (usually)
                                                    loves his momma and bawls if she leaves.
                                                    giggles his head off at peek-a-boo with daddy.
                                                    can crawl!
                                                    can sit unassisted
                                                    can pull himself to standing
                                                    has learned to bite. (yep, ouch!)
                                                    drinks 4 bottles of BM a day (4-6 ounces)
                                                    eats 3 meals a day of OM w fruit or veggies
                                                    is still on stage one homemade purees
                                                    needs his crib to sleep...p n' plays= no sleep
                                                    which means...travel = no sleep
                                                    is WILD.

Whenever we are around friends with Eli, they eventually ask: "Is he always...that...active?" And YES, the answer is YES...all over the place, all the time. The boy doesn't ever relax. So, momma and daddy don't relax. This stinging bee keeps us on our toes!!

After trying free GDiapers, which were okay, we have moved onto expensive
BumGenius's, which are great! Invest now, save later!

Do you see why my momma calls me a barracuda? I'll bite you if I don't feel like eating...ouch! Weaning may come a little earlier than expected!

Check out my momma's new obsession--tiny shoes!

See those little scrapes on my face? I rub my eyes when I get tired, but refuse to let clippers come near my nails...even when I'm asleep!

And of course, here's where the shoot ended, as usual, with a good fuss and a nap!