Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Thoughts at 36 Weeks

Here I am in the purple sweater again, five weeks from the last belly post - I'm definitely getting closer to popping!

With less than a month to go until the due date (Jan. 25th), I am starting to really stress about what is to come. A few nights ago, I went to bed and our house was a MESS. I couldn't fall asleep because I kept thinking, what if I went into labor tonight and someone had to come stay with Eli... and our house looked like this?? I would have been so embarrassed. Thankfully we were having Ben's cousin Jamie, husband Phil and his parents over for dinner the next day, so we spent the afternoon cleaning and getting ready for them to see our place. Now it's back to being just slightly messy :)

Though there is one exception to that - Ben started painting the baby's room on Saturday. The prep and first coat took all day, and then he did another coat on the walls last night. He still has the doors and trim left, so it will probably be another couple of days, but it will be fun to post the before and after pictures when he is finished! (the room was an awful, bright yellow before, and now it will be a light green) At the moment though, the baby's room is kind of a disaster area since everything is in the middle of the room and covered with plastic.

I have been busy trying to put together a book for Eli's first year. It has taken a long time to just go through one entire year of pictures and decide which ones to use... as you may guess, I take a LOT of pictures!! I think I've narrowed it down to using about 750 and am organizing them into a book through MyPublisher (an online book printing service). I had grand aspirations of putting his book together w/ fancier digital scrapbooking methods, but I've scaled back a little and am trying to be more realistic with my time.

Overall though, I can't complain too much - I feel fine most of the time. It's definitely harder to turn over in bed, bend down to pick things up, and carry Eli around. But this is all normal stuff for this stage in the pregnancy. I'm still staying up way too late, finishing up freelance projects, and trying to enjoy the last few weeks of one-on-one time with Eli.

I'm excited for the arrival of this baby but am really dreading the labor. I'm nervous about how attempting a VBAC will go. I had such a miserable experience recovering from the c-section that I'm just hoping this time isn't as bad. I had the emergency c-section the first time because Eli was posterior (facing up instead of down) and had fetal distress during labor - the combination of the two made it necessary to get him out quickly. I'm anxious about being away from Eli while I'm in the hospital, but am glad we have family close by and lots of great friends around to help.

Mostly though, I think I'm still in a tiny bit of denial that things are about to completely change! I don't think it will feel real until after the baby is here...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fun Christmas Day, Icy Christmas Night

Favorite Eli phrases from Christmas:

"I'll play with it"
"Let's open it"
"I shut it!"

He said those those things over and over... it was really cute.

A few more pictures from Christmas Eve:

Davey gave Eli a manatee stuffed animal - Eli of course loves it and had to sleep with it last night and tonight. It's cute hearing Eli try to say manatee.

My parents, Davey and Gram all spent the night at our house last night, and woke up around 8 a.m.

Below - here we are on Christmas morning opening stockings. We started around 10:15 a.m. and it was nice to have already showered and be ready for the day. I'm sure this is the last year we'll have this luxury - as Eli gets older, we will be back to opening gifts in our pjs :) We spent the next 2 1/2 hours opening presents in a relaxing way.

Eli had fun opening gifts and was very deliberate about enjoying each one.

I gave Gram a cake carrier (wrapped in the package she has on her head). My parents gave her that purple/yellow scarf from Emerson College.

Aunt Babz sent this stuffed Thomas train pillow - Eli loved carrying it around and talking to it.

This was the year of the trains - we gave Eli some Thomas trains, some Ikea trains and track, and my parents gave him a few trains too. He LOVES "choo choos" and we had fun playing with them later in the day.

Eli and my dad right before dinner

Davey and Gram

About to start dinner - we had roasted chicken, stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, asparagus, and salad. We made a yummy drink to go with it (Squirt, Cran-rasberry juice, and rasberry sherbet mixed together) and it was delish! I felt like I was going to pop when it was over.

This is part of our mess of holiday cards on the radiator - Eli loves looking through them and especially enjoys pointing at the cards with photos.
Davey gave Eli this Elmo piano book - this was also the year of Elmo-related toys. We gave him a stuffed Elmo (not a talking one) and Elmo sticker book, and my parents gave him an Elmo board book. Eli loves Elmo so much! ("Ha ha!" is his name)

Later - Eli and Bumpa (my dad) reading books together

All in all, it was a great Christmas. The biggest part of Ben's present to me is he is going to paint the third bedroom this weekend (it's currently a VERY bright yellow, which I really dislike). I'm still trying to figure out what the new color is going to be.

Unfortunately, the day ended on a sour note...my family was getting ready to head home, so my dad went outside to get their van and pull it up to the door. All of the sudden we heard a yell, and Ben ran to look outside and saw that my dad had fallen. He had walked down the alley, which was basically a big sheet of ice, slipped, and hit his hip and shoulder pretty hard.

So...the night ended with a trip to the ER. My dad fractured his scapula, or shoulderblade. Luckily, his hip is fine and he didn't break his arm. He'll wear a sling and probably be in a lot of pain, but it could have been much worse.
Here's a video with some highlights from yesterday - you'll hear lots of "I'll play with it"

Eli's Christmas 2008 from Sarah on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sledding on Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve! We have had constant snow over the last few days, but it finally stopped by midday today. We bundled Eli up in his boots, snow pants, coat, hat, (my) gloves, and attempted to take Eli sledding for the first time.

We didn't count on the snow being crusty/icy, but it was pretty cold - this made it a difficult to pull him along.

Ben carried him across the alley, then searched for a better solution...
Sledding in the street was much better! It was slushy/icy, and more smooth than in the yard.
Eli thought it was lots of fun, but got cold pretty fast.
Zooming down the street
We were all freezing, so the sledding expedition lasted about 10 minutes before we ran back inside.
Here's Santa Eli, back inside the warm house and excited for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Crazy Bears/Packers Game

Last night the Bears beat the Packers in overtime (Go Bears!). That's pretty exciting (sorry Rebekeh, my friend who grew up in Green Bay), but the thing that got me was the amount of bare skin exposed to the elements last night! Check out these pictures from the Chicago Tribune:

Is that shirtless fan out of his mind?? Last night it was a whopping two degrees, wind chill -13 degrees. I think he was just really drunk. It was the coldest Bears game EVER at Soldier Field.

Rebekeh and her sister actually had tickets to the game, but wisely stayed home. It would have been so miserable to be outside for that long, no matter how bundled up you were!

And of course there were lots of tough guys on the football field with bare arms. Crazy, crazy crazy. Ben wasn't feeling well last night and went to bed early, so I ran out later in the evening to do the last of my errands before our next round of snow (we woke up this morning to more snow, and it's not supposed to stop for a few days).

Sometimes I really wish we had a car with four-wheel drive... Eli and I got stuck in the alley yesterday afternoon, just as I had feared. I hacked away at the snow for a good 15 minutes before a neighbor drove in, saw me struggling and helped dig me out - with the help of her metal shovel and some sand. Winter is not starting out so well!! We are guaranteed a white Christmas though, so we'll try to stay on the bright side :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Subzero Stinks

This morning when we went to church, the actual temperature was -6 degrees. Wind chill was -30 degrees.

As Ben put it, today was a day that SOUNDED cold when you were outside. Winds were gusting up to 40 mph, and at this awful temperature, it was bone-chillingly cold. This morning we woke up to another inch of snow, which then blew all over the place.

Here is my window as we were driving home from church, and below is Eli bundled up with a blanket to try to stay warm. Our car was still not warmed up by the time we pulled into the garage - and that's after driving the 10 minutes home.
Can you see Ben's breath as he walked into our house? Ben's smile is deceiving - all evening he kept saying, "Are you sure you wouldn't want to move somewhere warmer?" Poor California boy!! I reminded him that I don't exactly enjoy our winters either. I tried to tell him that it was extra cold all over the place, not just here, but that didn't make him feel better either, since most places were at least 20 degrees warmer ("You can't tell me there isn't a difference between 80 degrees and 100 degrees..." he likes to say. I still think 20 degrees is freezing, and below zero is just extra, extra freezing).
Here are some icicle pictures from our back deck -

Our friends, Heidi and Bryce Jones, emailed us early last week and asked if they could come visit for the weekend before they headed further west to visit Heidi's mom in Iowa for Christmas - we said sure! They arrived from Ohio late on Friday night, stayed for a day and a half, and left this afternoon. The Jones' lived here five years ago, and were some of our first friends when we moved to this area. When they moved away, their oldest son, Dennison, was just a baby. Now they have three little guys (Ethan and Lukas are the second and third).
It was fun staying up late, catching up with them. We hadn't seen these guys since they moved away, but we have lots of fun memories from the time that they lived here. I feel bad that they came on such a cold weekend - yesterday the boys braved the elements, bundled up, and had a snowball fight on the golf course near our house. Of course, yesterday was about 25 degrees warmer - absolutely balmy! :)

Tomorrow's at least supposed to be above zero, with a high of nine degrees, though the wind chill will still be pretty awful in the morning. I don't want to take Eli out in this weather, but it's hard since I still have plenty to do before Christmas.

Conversation with Uncle Munkle

Here is a quick clip of Eli talking on the phone with my brother Davey (Uncle Munkle). Davey tends to ask Eli some random questions, and their conversation was so typical that I had to grab the camera. Here is just a little taste of what they talked about... (I took this video with our compact camera - Eli thought I was trying to take his picture - and posing with a very cheesy "cheese" face, which made me laugh). Also, Davey works part-time at Dick's Sporting Goods, which is why he was referring to the store in the video.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Eli is 19 Months!

Happy 19 months Eli! He has been SO much happier the last few days. It's really nice having the old Eli back after a miserable time with the ear infection. We woke up to about a half a foot of snow yesterday, and I don't think it's going to melt anytime soon, unfortunately. Tomorrow's high is only 4 degrees! Yuck. At least Eli has a puffy coat to keep him warm :) I laugh every time he puts it on because he looks like a big piece of chocolate candy in that brown coat.

Here is my happy boy today as we were driving home from a friend's house. I don't think he's left the house in a few days now because of our cold, snowy weather. It's a good thing I didn't venture out yesterday by myself with him... last night we left him with a babysitter, and Ben and I got stuck in our very snowy alley a few times. There is no way I would have made it in or out of our garage by myself (Ben had to shovel the snow around the tires multiple times). It's crazy that they don't plow the alleys!! It makes driving in our little Altima quite the adventure.

Here are my favorite things about Eli right now:

  • He still LOVES Elmo and calls him "Ha Ha"
  • He always says "Hi!" and waves to his various stuffed animals
  • He always needs his frog snuggly toy to fall asleep and calls him "Kiki" - we think it's sort of like froggy? He says, "Hi Kiki! Hi Kiki!" when we put him in his crib and they are reunited :)
  • He loves to run around the house, then stops and says, "Fast!" because he is proud of his speed
  • He is pretty good at playing with his toys independently for small chunks of time
  • He loves to give me and Ben hugs and kisses, and is always happy to stop what he's doing and give me a hug if I ask for one
  • He still loves anything related to trains

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

8 Years!

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary! Ben and I got married in the middle of our junior year at BYU, in between fall and winter semesters, in the beautiful Bountiful Utah LDS temple. It was a wonderful day! One of the funnier moments included me locking our only set of keys (I had lost the other set that week) in our car at the luncheon, so Ben and his brothers spent a good chunk of time trying to open the door with a hanger through the window.

It snowed the day before our wedding and it snowed the day after, but we really lucked out on the actual wedding day. Our reception that night was up the mountain at Snowbird, so we were lucky the roads were clear and it wasn't TOO cold... though I'm not sure what I was thinking having short sleeves in the middle of December :)

Today, our weather wasn't as cooperative. The temps were in the teens and it snowed all day long - we may have up to six inches by tomorrow morning. We had planned on getting takeout tonight, but bagged that idea since we didn't want to drive on the roads that have yet to be plowed (and figured delivery would take forever).

My parents are watching Eli for us in a few weeks so we can have a nice dinner in the city, so we'll celebrate officially then. It's funny how before Eli arrived, we usually planned some sort of quick getaway, whether it was staying overnight in Chicago or San Francisco (depending on which family we were spending the holidays with that year). Tonight we're just as happy to spend the evening at home, with Eli tucked into bed and the snow falling outside (Ben's out shoveling as I'm typing this).

It's hard to believe we have been married for eight years - I feel lucky to have such a sweet husband and darling little boy!

Eli's gift to us was that he was SO much happier today!

Yesterday he was moody, grumpy, sad, throwing fits, etc. because he didn't feel well. I took lots of deep breaths to get through the day. :) Today the antibiotic finally worked its magic and we had fun playing all over the house. These pictures were taken in the basement. (It's currently painted a really awful beige color - let me know if you have any color suggestions. I'm hoping we'll paint it in the near future...)

Later when we went upstairs, he looked in the third bedroom that currently has a ton of baby clothes spread out and organized all over the floor... he ran in, threw his arms up and said, "WHOA!" I'm not going to show a picture of what that room looks like right now, but his reaction is a good indication...
Last night I went grocery shopping at 10:30 p.m. because I knew the snow was coming and didn't want to drag Eli out in the cold. After I got home and finished unloading the groceries into the house, I could barely feel my nose and lips - it was that cold. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little warmer so we can go out and enjoy the snow.

Happy anniversary sweetheart!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Joys of an Ear Infection

Eli has had a miserable couple of days - I know the pictures on Friday make him look happy, but he was still fighting a bad cold that he has had since last Sunday. Over the last few nights, he woke up multiple times in the night crying pretty hard. On Saturday, he spent much of the day crying or hitting the sides of his head out of frustration - it was so sad!! Then this morning at 5 a.m. when I was up with him once again, it clicked in my head.

Eli had an ear infection.

Hello!? He'd had a week straight of a congested cough, runny nose, fever, and his head was hurting him... Why it took two bad nights for us to figure it out, I don't know.

Ben had things he needed to do at church today, but Eli and I stayed home and I took him to the doctor, who confirmed that Eli's left ear was infected, the right ear had fluid in it, and his throat was red/sore. Poor little guy!! Thankfully, we filled the prescription right away and Eli had a full dose of the antibiotic by tonight. I also was more diligent about giving him tylenol and motrin throughout the day.

What a difference! I took these pictures tonight with my old point and shoot camera, so the quality stinks, but I can't believe how much happier Eli was! He woke up this morning screaming, so this was a major improvement. I'm hoping tonight is more restful for all of us. By this time last night, Eli had already woken up crying two times, so that's a good sign.

Eli is pretty possessive of his Spiderman couch - anytime Ben tried to put his head on the couch when Eli was off doing something else, Eli would run back over, move Ben off the couch, and laugh because he had it to himself again. Ben couldn't resist teasing him though, and put his head back up on the Spiderman couch anytime Eli ran away from it.

Darn. I just heard him crying! I spoke too soon. It probably doesn't help that it's super windy outside (making the windows rattle). Tomorrow our high is 14 degrees, wind chill below zero (the forecast shows the worst of it will bring us down to -10 degrees for the wind chill, because the wind could be gusting 20 to 30 mph). This is WAY too cold for December! I expect this more in January and February, but December isn't usually THIS bad.

Think warm thoughts for Ben tomorrow as he commutes by train and then has a long walk to his office. I made him promise he would wear a coat, hat, gloves AND scarf - he hardly ever brings the scarf, which I think is nuts. I'm a firm believer in covering everything but your eyes in weather like this.

Poor Eli. He's still crying, so I'm going up now to check on him. We may still have another long night ahead of us...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Practicing for Baby

The sun is shining so brightly that it made me want to take some pictures of Eli this morning while he was playing in our house. Chicago winters can be very gray, so I'm thankful for today's bright blue sky (the downside is it's 18 degrees outside, wind chill: 5 degrees - BRR!! Winter clear skies often = chilly, chilly temps)
It's hard to tell in these first pictures, but Eli spent a good chunk of his time holding this baby doll. I got this for him a few months ago so we could talk about babies and get him excited about the one on the way. Granted, we're having a baby boy and this is a girl baby doll, but I don't think it's a big deal to an 18-month-old :)

I don't think Eli has any clue how much life is going to change in six weeks, but I'm glad he was being sweet with the doll! It's good practice.