Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rolling Over

Eli has been rolling over off and on for the last two months. He started rolling back to stomach at 3 1/2 months and then mastered going the other way. But then he had a few weeks where he never rolled around and I was wondering what was going on??

However, this week the rolling has picked back up again in full gear. Eli has suddenly become a very wiggly, squirmy child. He constantly rolls onto his tummy, but after he has been that way for a while, he gets tired and doesn't usually roll back over. This has made my life difficult because after I put him in his crib (on his back) he rolls onto his tummy and gets upset.

Eli Rolls Over from Sarah on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Walk to the Lake

Later this afternoon we took a walk to Lake Michigan over at Northwestern's campus. This was the first time Eli rode in this stroller without being in his car seat (before we used a car seat adapter, all of this thanks to my awesome baby shower group gift!). I just can't believe how big Eli is getting - he can now ride in a jogging stroller without the worry that he's being jostled around too much (granted we weren't jogging, but still!).

Anyway, we enjoyed seeing the bright leaves along the way, and once we arrived to the campus, Ben was busy looking at the fish so I snapped some pictures of Eli to pass the time. I can't describe the love I feel for this sweet baby!

Ben and Eli in front of a beautiful tree on the way to the lake.

Sometimes I just want to squeeze this soft little guy!

In the picture below you can see Chicago's skyline in the background.

Eli smiling at Ben. :)

(Below is a second post from today)

Eli the Caterpillar

Happy Halloween! This morning we met up with the church kids for a costume parade at the park and then joined in with the nearby trick-or-treating at local businesses. Eli was a bright blue caterpillar and we're not sure if he loved being in the costume...it kind of swallowed him up :) He was a pretty good sport though. We thought he looked so cute!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Miracle of Rice Cereal!

We have a new milestone - Eli has started eating solid food! Now that I'm back from my trips and he is 5 months old, Ben and I decided that we were ready to begin this next phase... I wasn't too excited about the anticipated mess, but it was so cute watching him scarf down the rice cereal. It was like we couldn't get it in his mouth fast enough - he was lunging for the spoon and kept grabbing it/shoving it into his mouth. We fed him in his bumbo seat, which made it so easy. Last night he slept for 12.5 hours straight! Yeah for the miracle of rice cereal and a full tummy!!
Eli and I were out of town again last week, but this time the flight was three hours and not so easy with a baby! On the flight home, we sat on the runway for an hour before taking off (because of high winds in Chicago, imagine that!)... by the time we landed (four hours later) I was so exhausted from trying to keep Eli happy (he screamed three different times, it was awful). And not doing laundry for a while meant 4 loads of it tonight - I took this picture of Eli hanging out while I sorted it all...

Also - on Sunday night when we got back from vacation, I was SO tired from getting up in the night with Eli when we were away (the last night his nose was really stuffed up and he woke up every 30 minutes; I really wasn't sure if I would make it). We finally let Eli "cry it out" for an entire hour that night until he fell asleep. The next morning, he screamed for 50 minutes when I put him down for a nap. But since then, he has been MUCH better about going to bed. I'm hoping this is the new trend.

Most of all, I'm just happy to be home with Ben again. Happy to have Eli back on some sort of schedule and enjoying his cereal. And happy the laundry is done!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Eli Laughing

I love when Eli laughs! Here is a clip of him giggling... (and there is another new blog below - I started writing it on Thursday but didn't post until today)

Untitled from Sarah on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My First Trip with Eli!

We're back from Washington DC! I now feel like an accomplished mom after taking our first airplane trip together, just me and Eli. Ben doesn't have much vacation time yet since he just started working, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from taking trips while Eli is a free ticket.

Our day started at 5 a.m. We got dressed, ate breakfast, and ran out the door to catch a 5:30 a.m. el train toward the Loop. I was fortunate to have Ben there to help me - he rode with us into the city and helped me transfer from the purple to the orange line (that would take us to Midway Airport) before walking over to his office. OH what a crazy start to the day though - I packed as light as I could, but still had a stroller, car seat, suitcase, diaper bag, and baby bjorne. We had to haul all of that stuff up the stairs to get to the first platform, and at the transfer, we had to cross the tracks, which meant going down a flight of stairs and back up another. No sweat, right? :) I had Eli in the bjorne and carried my suitcase, and Ben handled the rest.

The train ride from downtown to Midway was uneventful, and I stuck the suitcase in the car seat, which was in the stroller, so it was mostly under control. I took Southwest, and of course after all of these years of watching families with young children pre-board, they recently changed their policy and it no longer exists!! (Well, I take that back - families with young kids get to board between A and B - but no more "pre-boarding...") Bummer. But the flight was very open and I had a row to myself, which was wonderful.

The flight was about an hour and a half, and Eli was awake for the first part and fell asleep for the second half. I was so relieved that he did not scream and mostly just kept looking around, taking it all in. And when we landed, I was the last one off the plane because he was so asleep (we had an 8 a.m. flight, so it was naptime...). I made my way through the Dulles Airport toward baggage claim, and this older guy from Baton Rouge started walking with me and said he had flown in to visit his 2-yr-old grandson. He was very helpful, offered to hold the stroller on the escalator, and got so caught up in telling me about his family that he followed me all the way to where my bag was and then wasn't sure where his might be. Kind of random...

My fabulous friend Stephanie picked me up from the airport in her cute red minivan with two little kids (2-yr-old and 6-month-old), and we drove back to her place. I have to make a confession - I can be very anti-suburbia, but staying with them really makes me crave a few things that our condo lacks... 1) They have OODLES of storage space/closets. 2) Their wood floors do not creak when you walk on them - a huge deal when you want to check on a sleeping baby. 3) Their kitchen is very open/you can see the LR and DR from it. 4) They have ample parking, two parks and a pool area with three different pools. 5) They have a washer and dryer.

On to more random subjects - Eli has the worst diaper rash. I think it is related to me taking an antibiotic last week to get rid of my sinus infection, because he got the diaper rash two days after I started taking it. Steph's pediatrician told her baking soda baths sometimes help, so I gave Eli a baking soda bath in the sink and then we let him hang out naked for a little while (the pictures of naked Eli are SO cute with all of his rolls, but I'm not going to post those since this is public and I should respect his privacy, right?). But I think this bath pic isn't exposing him too much...

Here are some fun details: Thursday was a fun-filled day, and the highlight - we drove 50 min. west from her house to a RIBBON FACTORY and its outlet store! I was in heaven. The babies had fallen asleep and Ellis was engrossed in a DVD, so I went inside the factory while Steph hung out with the kids in the car. Once they had all woken up, she put her kids in the double stroller and strapped Eli on with the bjorne and walked in - it was the funniest sight. AND - the best part was her 2-yr-old sitting in the stroller watching his DVD. Anyway, I bought WAY too much ribbon...

On Thursday night, one of my favorite girls from college, Wendy, came over with her husband Harley. I was so thrilled to learn that she is prego and due in April! They are a really fun, spunky couple and we hung out with them more over the weekend too (they are friends with Steph and Ben too) - Friday night they came over and we played a crazy game of Settlers of Catan, and this time we played where you can trade on any person's turn, which made the game SO fast (like 45 min.) and really fun.

Eli was so wonderful and it was great to watch him babble at Steph's little girl Lea - they made the same baby noises and often just stared at each other. One interesting tidbit - Eli was watching Lea suck her thumb, and soon after kept putting his thumb in his mouth!! (he doesn't care for pacifiers and hadn't sucked his thumb until this trip...) We'll see if this continues??

The rest of our trip's highlights included schlepping the kids out to the Leesburg, VA outlets (they have Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, William Sonoma, etc.), and the Taste of Georgetown - yum! Wendy and Harley joined us in Georgetown and it was great to try different things from area restaurants (kind of like a mini version of the Taste of Chicago). The pictures below are in Georgetown - Steph, me and Eli, and Wendy, and then Harley, Ben R., and Ellis.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Favorite Blog Tools

I am still very new to the blogging world, but I enjoy learning about web sites that help you with your blogs. I decided to post some that I've used (they're all free) - and if you have any other sites that help you, leave a comment! (Sorry for two posts in one day, I go in spurts)
  • http://www.statcounter.com - statistical counter that tracks your blog's activity
  • http://www.blogarithm.com - an easy way to track when someone's blog has been updated. I get a daily email that lists which of the blogs on my list have new content, and this way I don't have to randomly click on the links wondering if the blog has been updated.
  • http://matiekay.blogspot.com - free blog templates - I didn't use her templates for this one, but am working on my pinkfrogpress blog and plan on using one of her cute options!
  • http://www.vimeo.com - nice alternative to youtube for posting video online
  • http://www.slide.com - I haven't personally done any slide shows with this site yet, but I love the ones other people have made!

Google Street View

So this has nothing to do with Eli, but thought it was interesting enough to share with you - today I read an article about Google's new maps feature, Street View, that is now available for the Chicago area. The feature allows you to zoom in on an address and read street signs. I typed in my address and there it was! Our junky second car even made it in the picture. It's not in real-time, but it's still a little creepy to me.

If you want to learn more about how the feature works, there is a quick (and a little quirky) video demo. Then check to see if your house/apt. is on there - isn't it weird?? I'm including a picture from Google Street View of someone breaking in to a house (there is a site that lists weird Google Street View sightings).

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sleep Associations - Part Two

I promise not to always give you a play by play of my child's sleeping habits, but I wanted to follow up my previous sleeping blog with an update -

This morning after falling asleep finally at 8 a.m., Eli slept for 2 hours. When he woke up, I fed him and we went for a long walk (and I persisted at not letting him fall asleep in the stroller, eventually carrying him for the last little bit so he wouldn't doze off... not an easy task with this 16-pounder), and at the advice of Dr. Andy, gave Eli a "snack" 30 minutes before it was time for his next nap. Then at 12:15, I started the process of changing his diaper, reading a few stories, singing a song, and quietly telling him it was time for his nap and putting him in the crib.

As soon as he was in the crib, Eli's eyes welled up with tears and went full blast into the "You are hurting my feelings!" cry. I left the room for about 10 minutes, went back in, and he was crying really hard. I pulled him out, put him on his tummy on the rug next to the crib, and got down on my tummy next to him. No toys, no fun, just something to wear him out a little more! Eventually he got sick of our boring tummy time and I held him, rocked him, read another book, sang another song, put him back down. More tears!

I left him for 10 more minutes, then went back in to calm him back down, and more tears. Finally on the last time that I went in, I remembered someone had given us one of those satiny/soft small square blankets, so I gave that to him, and he cuddled with it, shoved part of it in his mouth, and I put him back down in his crib. He fussed off and on for about 15 more minutes, but finally fell asleep. VICTORY!!!

I think that was the first time that he fell asleep in his crib, without being nursed to sleep first. It took an hour from the time I started, but I'm hoping tomorrow's efforts won't take AS long...??? Oh the joy of fixing my mistakes!

Sleep Associations - HELP!

I an official victim of letting my baby nurse to sleep. I guess I should take more responsibility rather than call myself a victim, but I really feel like it just snuck up on me! And now Eli is 4 months+ and having a really tough time getting on a better sleep/wake schedule... his pediatrician (Dr. Andy) says Eli should just eat when he wakes up, then play for two hours, then sleep for one hour, and start the cycle all over again (this is for daytime).

However, I tried this yesterday afternoon, and Eli screamed for two hours (I went in many times trying to calm him down without nursing, and that didn't help anything). Eventually, I ruined those two hours of working with him to fall asleep and finally fed him (by then he genuinely seemed hungry...?) and he slept for an hour and a half. Yes, I cheated!! And then was mad at myself for doing that. He was so tired still that he went to sleep at 6 p.m. and slept until 5 a.m. today...

Which brings me to today's morning nap struggle. Usually if Eli wakes up between 5-5:30 a.m., he will eat and go right back to sleep. It's like his one remaining feeding in the night. And then he'll sleep until 7 or 7:30 a.m. and the day will begin. However, today he woke at 5 a.m. and was very hungry. I expected him to fall back asleep, so I put him back in his crib, but he made noises for about 30 minutes, and those noises escalated into fussiness and I eventually picked him up.

At 7 a.m., I decided it was time for his first nap since he had now been awake for two hours. I changed his diaper, read some books, sang a song, and put him in his crib. He cried after about 2 seconds of being in there. I let him cry for five minutes, but it was quickly escalating into what it sounded like yesterday afternoon when he was beyond reason and not falling asleep. I went in, turned on his mobile, patted him on the tummy and talked to him, then went out of the room again. Still no luck. I waited 10 minutes this time, and he was crying so hard. An hour went by, with me going in periodically, trying to calm him down, etc. His poor eyes were so red and his face was wet from all of his tears. Not fun.

By 8 a.m., I picked him up (because now it had been 3 hours since he ate last), fed him (while talking to him the entire time to keep him awake, but he was fading fast), and kept talking to him while I put him in his crib so he would at least be awake for a minute. He went right to sleep. Day 2 of failing to implement the correct sleep/wake cycle.

So here are my questions... was he just screaming because he was starving (after not eating all night long and just eating at 5 a.m.?)? Was I a pushover for eventually feeding him? Should I feel guilty for letting him cry SO hard? And how do you change a baby's eating patterns so they only eat when they wake up? I'm calling Dr. Andy in a little while for some doctorly advice but there are lots of you out there who have already trained your kids to sleep the right way... any tips??

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cute little guy!

I took this picture this morning when Eli was giggling at all of my goofy antics :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Already Getting into Trouble :)

Sometimes Eli looks like he's up to something...

Yesterday I put him on the bed and turned around to get some things. I am fighting a bad sinus infection, so there was a kleenex box on my bed. Silly me didn't think about the fact that Eli might reach over...

...and try to stuff a huge handful of tissues in his mouth!! (My camera was on the desk next to the bed so I had to capture this mess!) He loves picking things up and shoving them in his mouth.

Sometimes when I'm holding Eli, he likes to grab my hair on either side of my face and then pull me in close so he can drool all over my face... lovely! (He thinks it's great to try to gnaw on my chin, which sounds gross but for some reason I think it's funny too.)