Friday, February 29, 2008

Fonts for Peas

Eli and I are still under the weather. Today we both coughed a lot and somehow the day went by... hopefully we can both rest a lot this weekend and get better soon! I think the worst is over though, thankfully!

But it's time for a more upbeat post. One of my diva friends from college, Brooke, posted today about a site where you can submit your handwriting to be turned into a font - for free! (They have the disclaimer that your handwriting may be turned into a font - there's no guarantee.) After practicing a few times, I submitted mine tonight to Fonts for Peas. My handwriting is definitely not fantastic, but I thought it would be fun to have it as a font just the same.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eli's First Visit to the Emergency Room

We went from this: and this:
to this in two days (Eli never usually bums out on the couch!!):
I started feeling crummy on Sunday night, but Eli didn't show any signs of being sick until Monday... he was coughing and fussy and not really himself. By Monday night, his cough was getting worse and he was up a few times when the coughing was so bad that it woke him up.

On Tuesday, I was starting to worry about the severity of the cough, so we went in for a sick visit at the pediatrician's office so the doctor could check his lungs (his breathing was very raspy from the congestion). Everything seemed fine that afternoon and the doctor said to call back if Eli's breathing seemed worse. But basically, it seemed like he just had a virus, maybe the flu. At the same time, I was battling a cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, fatigue, etc.

By Tuesday night, things took a turn for the worse. We put Eli to bed at 7 p.m., but he was waking up every 2 hours, miserable from a deep, unproductive and painful-sounding cough. He had a lot of congestion and had trouble coughing in the right way to clear it. The night before, he woke up choking on his phlegm (sorry, I know that's gross), so I was nervous about that happening again. Each time that he woke up, I would feed him, calm him back down, and he'd go back to sleep.

However, by 3 a.m., he woke up very feverish and couldn't stop coughing the painful cough, which was upsetting and he was crying too. Each time that he coughed and then tried to breathe in, it sounded like a struggle and was very labored. I of course did not get a video of this, but I can't think of how to describe what this sounded like. It was just horrible. I woke up Ben and called the doctor's office so I could talk with the doctor that was on call that night. After hearing Eli's coughing/breathing over the phone, she recommended we take him to the emergency room.

At this point, we were still thinking Ben would go to work the next day, so I said I was fine to just take Eli so Ben could get some rest. I bundled my poor little guy up and we drove over to the hospital. They took his temperature - it was 102.1 - scary for a baby, so they gave him Tylenol to bring the fever down. He was also given a steroid shot to help open up his airway and then a nebulizer treatment (where liquid medicine is administered with compressed air via a tool that you hold in front of the mouth/nose, it looks like steam from a humidifier). Eli's breathing definitely sounded better and he fell asleep, but after about 45 minutes, his breathing started to get raspy and congested again. We did another nebulizer treatment and they decided to admit him to the pediatrics department so they could monitor him.

Throughout the day, Eli was poked, prodded, checked, connected to a machine that monitored his heart and oxygen rate, and none of this made him very happy! He tested positive for RSV and has croup. These are both viruses, so there really isn't an antibiotic or medicine that will make these go away. But his breathing seemed better by the end of the day, so we were finally able to go home. Ben stayed home from work, so he was able to be at the hospital throughout the day and helped a lot. We finally left the hospital around 5 p.m. and were SO happy to be home where Eli would be more comfortable (he barely napped at the hospital).

Last night, Eli had a much better night and woke up about every 3 hours to nurse, but I didn't care since he probably needed the extra fluids (during the day he ate every HOUR!! Crazy). Today he is still coughing a ton and under the weather (as am I), but there is definitely improvement. We'll go in to the pediatrician tomorrow to check his ears in case they become infected from the nasal drainage and to follow up on everything since the hospital.

Last night my parents brought us a delicious meal of pot roast, fruit salad, and homemade rolls. And they cleaned my kitchen! The Chamberlain girls from church stopped by to see if there was anything they could to do, which was so sweet and thoughtful of them - I was worried about spreading our germs though. A friend today just dropped off a yummy lunch and juice (thank you Katie!) We feel so blessed to have wonderful friends who have called and emailed - thanks for all of your love and care! I'm off to take a nap while Eli is sleeping...

Below is the awful crib in the room on the pediatrics floor - Eli hated it!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Favorite bread machine recipe

We ended up buying the cheaper bread machine - the Sunbeam. I love having fresh bread! Here is my current favorite recipe for regular white bread (though I mix in a little whole wheat) - it makes a 1 1/2 lb. loaf.

1 C. warm water
3 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 C. bread flour (I usually do 2 C. bread flour and 1 C. whole wheat flour)
2 tsp. yeast

Put into bread machine in that order - and voila! It's ready in about 3 hours. :)

Pictures from this week (at home)

Eli is now 9 months old. Here he is with his one and only sippy cup that works for him (Nuby). We tried about 10 brands before finding that this was one he could use. The high point of today was that he balanced standing up for a few seconds! He gets SO excited about walking with us (holding our hands) and practically runs anytime we try walking.
Here he is laughing at Ben being silly. Today I came home to find Ben crawling around on the floor with Eli's stuffed lamb on his shoulders, totally cracking Eli up. (I think his idea was to show Eli that crawling is fun :)
Snowflakes on the ground... it feels like we have had snow every single day this month! (But I know there were a few days without it, so I'm exaggerating)
The usual attire when we go anywhere: the blue bunting and red hat. I can't wait for summer when we don't have to bundle up to go anywhere...
With my friend Rachael at Lake Michigan today after going to Carrie's baby shower/open house. I took this as I was crouched down on the ground, about to slide down the ramp to get onto the beach (there is still a ton of ice as you will see below).
Are you tired of Lake Michigan pictures? I can't get enough!
Notice just a little strip of blue showing in the water.
Ice everywhere!
Freezing bits of the lake. Tomorrow the high is 35 degrees and mostly sunny - I can't wait!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Baby Plays - like Netflix with Toys

My friend just told me about this - Baby Plays - where you pay a monthly fee (they have different options) and put toys on your wishlist (similar to Blockbuster Online or Netflix) and depending on your plan, they send a certain number of toys to you at a time. You create a wishlist for the toys, which are organized by your child's age (it goes up to age 5). You don't pay for shipping or any kind of late fees. Here is a link that details how it works: I'm trying to decide if it would be worth the money... we have enough toys right now for Eli, but maybe it will be useful when he's older and I don't want to buy a bunch of new toys (especially when space is at a premium!).

P.S. - I posted the details/pictures from our Florida trip below :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Soaked up the Sun in Florida!

(I started this the other day but it's taken me a while to put the post together)
Well, we're back in FRIGID, ICY, BITTER cold Chicago after a fabulous 5 days in SUNNY Florida! The traveling back and forth was not my favorite, but we made it and had such a wonderful time relaxing in the warm sun. Here are details from the trip (it's lengthy, sorry - feel free to skip below if you just want to look at pictures):

Friday: my friend Jenn drove me and Eli to O'Hare in the afternoon (thank you Jenn!!). Ben was taking the el train from work to the airport, so I had ALL of our stuff (except for his backpack that he had with him). This included: 3 suitcases, stroller, car seat, peapod plus (kind of like a baby tent that is so much more compact and lighter than the pack and play - great for air travel), diaper bag, another large carry-on bag, and camera bag. When we pulled up to the airport, we didn't see the USA3000 airline on the terminal signs... it turned out that this tiny, random airline flies out of the international terminal in a really obscure part of the airport - and it didn't have curbside checking (which is what I had been counting on).

Jenn noticed a stack of luggage carts on the other side of the road, so I ran across, grabbed a cart, loaded it up with all of our junk, put Eli in the stroller and slowly pushed him and the cart through the line (a woman in front of me helped pull the cart, which was great). I checked in (this airline does not print your ticket - everything was handwritten!!) and felt lucky that the guy let me check 3 bags even though Ben wasn't there yet. I am paranoid about lost luggage, so I opted not to check the car seat and instead had it on my back in the Pac Back car seat carrier (which I LOVE!). I think I looked a little ridiculous though with all of my stuff.

Ben's train got in a little after 4 p.m., and he had to catch a shuttle to get to the terminal - then he had to wait in the line to check in and get his handwritten boarding pass, so I went through security with Eli (and ALL of the stuff, minus the 3 suitcases). Our flight was boarding at 4:45 p.m., so Ben really had to hurry - through security and then to the very end of the terminal to our gate. He made it in time and we boarded the plane... only to realize he didn't have his backpack. It was somewhere between security and the gate, and the flight attendants wouldn't let us off the plane to look for it. When we got back to Chicago, we called and luckily the bag was in security's lost and found. Phew!

When we arrived in St. Petersburg, we picked up our rental and drove to Tampa to stay with my old roommate Faye and her husband John. It was really fun to hang out with them all weekend! Faye is a high school Spanish teacher and John is in pharmacology school, so it was great to hear what they have been up to lately.

Saturday: We spent the day at a beach on Siesta Key. The sand was amazingly white, powdery soft and fine. The beach was super crowded, but it was just wonderful to hang out on the beach for a few hours and soak up the sunshine. It felt like summertime!

We went to church with Faye and John. Eli was fussy and tired, so we left early and went back to their house and took naps for 2 1/2 hours! It was a very relaxing day, and in the evening we had fun taking a walk in the nice weather.

Ben, Eli and I packed everything up (thanks Faye and John for letting us stay with you!) and headed down to Longboat Key. Before arriving to the key, we stopped at the Mixon Fruit Farm so Ben could get some fresh Florida fruit - we got to sample delicious orange and grapefruit juices and slices of fruit, and bought a huge bag of murcott oranges and ruby red grapefruit. Yum!! They even had my favorite Coconut Patties, so I had to get a box. :) We also stopped at the Manatee Viewing Center at the Tampa Electric power plant, but the water was too warm for the manatees, so we didn't see any.

At Longboat Key, we stayed at a place on the beach called Sun 'n Sea - nothing fancy, but it was perfect for us. We did the cheap route by staying in the smallest apartment, but it had a full-size fridge, stove, sink, etc. and a screened-in porch. The beach was pretty empty there, so it was fun to walk over and play in the sand with Eli.

We drove around while Eli napped and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. We stopped at the Siesta Key beach again and took a long walk up and down the pretty shore. Then we battled traffic to get back to the airport for our flight that evening. When we got home, it was SO cold - 8 degrees with a wind chill of 20 below zero.

I loved getting a break from the ice and snow!!
(But I still feel like I'm catching up from being gone... and I have zero desire to get on an airplane with Eli anytime soon :)

Here are some pictures from the trip:
Eli loved the sand!
Ben buried Eli in the sand... here he is kicking back :)
There were tons of college students there for President's Day weekend... not the most family-friendly beach environment, but that's okay!
Where did his legs go? :)
The sad state of the real estate market in Florida (and many other places) right now
Eli, me, and Faye
Eating some sand
John, Faye, and their dog Mia
We loved wearing short-sleeves outside!
Ben was in heaven at the Mixon Fruit Farm (he is such a produce guy)
At the Manatee Viewing Center (all we could see was the ugly power plant!)
Here we are at Longboat Key
Cute sandy feet
Beautiful beach!
Ben and Eli chasing the birds (the sky got really dark like it was about to storm, but it never rained...)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Baby for the Klearmans

The family I used to nanny has an addition to their family - William Sacks Klearman was born yesterday afternoon. Ben and I went to the hospital this evening and traded off staying with Eli in the lobby so we could both visit baby Will. He's a cute little guy and he reminds us of Caroline, their second child. To see all of the pictures, click here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obama '08

We had Davey stay with us this last weekend while my parents celebrated Valentine's Day early and spent the weekend in Chicago. On Sunday night, my parents came by to give Eli a present - a silkscreened Obama onesie! So my blog will now be stripped of its political neutrality as I reveal Barack Obama's cutest supporter:

Go Obama!
(onesie purchased from Clothespin, contact:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lookybook - cool find!

I just learned of a new site (still in beta form) called Lookybook, where you can view entire children's picture books from cover to cover. People post reviews or comments on the book, which is also helpful!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Visit from Nicole Santiago on a CHILLY, windy day

I was so excited last week when my friend Nicole called to say she was flying to London for work and would have a long layover at O'Hare on the way... so this morning I picked Nicole up from the airport at 11:45, then we zipped on home, ate a quick lunch, went to church, and then drove her back to the airport. It was SO fun to catch up and hear about her job as an event planner (which she is just perfect for!) and everything else going on in her life right now.

Of course, I had to drive Nicole by the lake on our way back to the airport so she could see the icebergs in Lake Michigan - it was another BITTER cold day (the high was 1 degree, low was -3 degrees, with a really awful wind chill), but she was a trooper and stood outside so we could get some fun pictures. Brrrr!!! I get cold thinking about it. Nicole said the cold made her teeth hurt. (And this crazy girl was in a skirt but didn't bring hose - she was nuts!!)
Crazy Nicole without a real coat on, also sans scarf, hat...

I couldn't make it onto the beach this time because the stairs/ramp down to it was all iced over...

I love seeing my Diva friends from my college days! Nicole and I were across the hall from each other during our freshman year, and we used to take walks around the Provo Temple and kickboxing classes at the RB. It was so good to see you and think of all of the fun memories, Nicole!

Deep Thoughts by Eli...

Shoving some grapes in his mouth: "Mmmm, juicy!"
"What will I eat when the grapes are gone??"
"Mmmm, grapes really are my favorite food."
"I have the nicest mom :)"

Friday, February 08, 2008

Favorite Florida Treat

We're going to Florida later this month for a quick vacation (to get away from our lovely Chicago winter for a few days) and I have been dreaming about my favorite treat that can be found in most Florida airports... COCONUT PATTIES!! They are made by Anastasia Confections and are the most divine thing. I love these so so much. Nothing is better than coconut and chocolate! Our friend Keenan is a flight attendant and brought these back from Florida when I was prego and I was SO excited. Carrie's husband Steve found them online (I think also when I was pregnant) and they ordered some for me as a surprise - I almost peed my pants.

So now that I have conveyed how much I love these... today I was in TJ Maxx (looking for a softer rug for the LR without much success) and as I went to check out with some other things I'd picked up, I noticed right by the register...the bright yellow boxes screaming the name, Coconut Patties. I gasped, and exclaiming to Eli how wonderful these were, threw three boxes in my cart and have been dreaming about them ever since (I'm going to use a free point for sweets tomorrow and will be in total heaven). If you ever fly through Florida or see these in TJ Maxx... try them!

*I'm a little leery about buying food from TJ Maxx, but these had an expiration date for Aug. 08, so I figured they would still be fine. Hopefully I'm not disappointed!