Wednesday, April 30, 2008


It's official. For now, my name is "Aarah" to my sweet little boy.

Eli was saying "ma" sounds a few months ago, but more recently was constantly saying "da da da da" and it was clear he knew that was Ben. At the same time, he was making a lot of "AH!" sounds that were practicing the final result - Aarah! Ben and I thought we thought him saying Aarah for the last week or so, but it's so hard to tell if that's what they really mean.

But this morning at the lovely hour of 5:45 a.m., we could hear him saying "Da da?" and then "Aarah?" over and over from his room. I think it's so funny (but hope he'll call me ma ma someday).

I've been busy getting ready for a trip this week, so I haven't taken any pictures!! Shocking, I know. :) Here is a picture of Eli at two weeks old. I can't believe that was almost a year ago!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Eli's Sounds of Frustration (mixed in with eating a pear)

This video was taken this evening after Eli refused to take an afternoon nap (I tried unsuccessfully off and on for almost 2 hours - he kept pulling himself up to standing in the crib and would cry and cry and cry...). So Eli was pretty cranky and unpredictable by dinnertime.

Some things to mention:

1. We were impressed at the speed at which Eli eats the pear
2. When Eli is frustrated, his whole body shows it (I like the arm movements)
3. His facial expressions are pretty funny too (when he's frustrated)
4. He intersperses quite a few angry sounds in betwen eating the pear - the best is the last 20 seconds.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another Fun Typing Test

I read about Typeracer from the Parents Magazine blog, called Goodyblog. On Typeracer, You have typing races with other people who are on the site at the same time. (Warning - it's hard to stop! I wanted to keep beating my score) My highest was 114 w.p.m. Amazingly, the recent high scores on the site tonight topped off at 149 w.p.m. - that is FAST!

This Week in Pictures

Here is a collection of pictures from the last week:

Eli discovered the toilet paper a few days ago. Now we keep the bathroom door closed.

He also discovered the joy of balloons and got his very own at a burger joint.

Below: Eli isn't so sure this helmet is a good thing...

But he soon forgot about it and enjoyed the walk to the park.
His feet don't reach the pedals yet, but he had fun holding the handlebars.
He loves the slide...

...and the swing!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Embarrassing Moment

I had a chance to run over to the mall yesterday and return some things... of course when you do that, you see other items that look fun. I went in a store and tried on a shirt, but it didn't look great so I hurried up and changed back, then walked from one end of the mall to the other where I had parked my car.

I came home and Ben started laughing - I was completely oblivious to the fact that my shirt was INSIDE OUT (when I looked in the mirror at home, it was really was obvious). I had gotten some strange stares from people at the mall, but didn't really pay attention since I was rushing to get home.

Monday, April 21, 2008

11 Months!

Eli turned 11 months old yesterday. Here are some of Eli's latest tricks:
  • Loves peek-a-boo, often with people he doesn't know very well
  • Enjoys reading books with us or by himself
  • Babbles with long strings of words only he understands :)
  • Tries to stack blocks and then crashing them down
  • Eats more selectively (he's getting pickier) - grapes are still his favorite food
  • He loves splashing in the tub
  • He goes from one toy to the next at an often frantic, busy pace
  • He loves dumping out toys from bins, bookshelves, baskets, etc.
  • Sometimes he's social, sometimes he's super shy
  • He hates getting his diaper changed
  • He has 8 teeth
  • He is copying/imitating more sounds/words - like "Duck"
  • He had his second haircut last weekend - he screamed and cried the entire time! (We were glad our friend was cutting his hair (not us) since it was kind of traumatic...)

We love this boy so much. Happy 11 months Eli!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fun at the Zoo

Eli loves animals, so yesterday we went on a last-minute outing to the Lincoln Park Zoo.

He enjoyed seeing everything from warthogs...

and ducks...

he tried to chase geese just behind this fence

and watched polar bears swim He attempted to pull his hat off several times
Sunglasses were as exciting as the animals
(we saw many more animals than are shown in these pictures)
You can see the John Hancock building in the background
(it tall and has two antennaes sticking up)

Pretty Chicago skyline

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Earthquake Shook Me Into Action :)

I woke up a few times last night, one of which was during our 5.2 Illinois earthquake! I didn't feel major movement, but the windows were rattling and it woke me up. The epicenter was in the southern part of the state, but people felt the quake across the Midwest - from St. Louis to Cincinnati.

But that isn't the main reason why I'm blogging this morning. Look at this tired face:

Okay, these are sort of out of order. Look at this tired face below:
Here we are, playing once again at a very early hour.
In my sleep-deprived, earthquake-shaken state, I mustered up some courage and grabbed my cute baby. We walked upstairs...
...I knocked on the door of the dog lady and nicely asked her if it would be possible to not walk over his room when she's up really early! The dog barked at us, but his owner was kind and said she would try to remember to not walk that way (we have a very circular layout - the room Eli sleeps in has two doors, one of which connects to the kitchen, so it's convenient to walk through that room to get to the kitchen).

Thanks earthquake! I'm curious to see if Eli sleeps later now that she hopefully won't be walking above him at 5:30 a.m...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Winding Down at the Park

Today our outside temperature reached 70 degrees -
for the first time in 6 MONTHS. No Joke.

Those of you in California, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, and Pennsylvania can all feel happy that you've already enjoyed some warm sunshine this spring. Those of us in Chicago, IL are finally joining you.

We celebrated by going to the park around dinnertime.

It was pretty windy, but we didn't care.

Eli wasn't sure about the wood chips.
And he kept staring at the bigger kids running around the playground.
Eli was pretty mellow by the time we walked back home.

I put Eli to bed at 7 and Ben left to play soccer with some friends. I have an article due tonight that I still need to finish up! But I'm determined to go to bed earlier tonight...

Bright and Early

Our neighbor and her furry friend were up bright and early this morning at 5:30 a.m.

Guess who else woke up a few minutes later? :)

Here we are playing at 6:15 a.m. At least the sun is shining! It's going to be a beautiful (but maybe a little sleepy for me) day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This is for the Rogers

My friend Stephanie gave us this cute jacket/shirt last year and it finally fits Eli! (pants came w/ the outfit too, but Ben grabbed these instead) He wore this to church on Sunday and got lots of compliments. Eli doesn't have dressy shoes to match, but that's ok :) This outfit totally reminded us of Ben Rogers (Steph's husband) and their little boy Ellis. So fun - thanks Rogers!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Interesting Baby Name Finder

Yesterday I was trying to find how many people named their baby Eli in 2007 because I keep hearing of people using this name. I couldn't find info yet for 2007, but in 2006, the name ranked 139 in popularity in the U.S.

In my googling, I learned about a baby name site, Nymbler, which takes names that you mark as favorites and then gives similar suggestions. It's along the same lines of my favorite baby name book, The Baby Name Wizard. We used that book the most when we were putting our list together of favorite names. Our other top boy name was Lincoln, but in the end, Eli was the top choice! (I still really love the name Lincoln though)

*I always feel like I need to post something happier when I complain on my blog so my grumpiness isn't the first thing you see when you come to the page :)

I'm Tired of the Dog

Just a quick vent - this morning Eli took a great morning nap. It was totally quiet upstairs and he woke up when he was rested (he was so happy!!). Such a difference from this afternoon, when he woke up crying really hard because the big dog was running like crazy above his bedroom. The dog does this every time he's about to go on a walk and I am so tired of it.

We have one more year of this before we will be ready to buy a house. I'll just have to take lots of deep breaths in the meantime...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Camera is Back!

I was so, so excited when Ritz called this week and said the camera was back from being repaired/cleaned. I really missed it.

Here are some pictures from the last few days. I'm realizing it's much harder to get good pictures of Eli now that he is mega mobile!

Kneeling in his crib after a nap:

Cruising around the couch

Look at all of those teeth!! He is getting his 8th tooth now, on the bottom left (looking at the picture)

He is such a sweet boy.

He's sweet, but he's also great at making messes, as shown in the background :)

Getting jammies on!

So big! :)
And for my random comment on this post... we finally bought a rug pad to put underneath our (blah) gray rug in the living room - it's SO much better than it was before!! It's so nice to have it be more cushioned. I can't believe we've lived here for 6+ years and never got a rug pad... we got ours at Target and it was worth every penny! (I think it was maybe $28 for a 5x8 size?)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fun Finds at Target

Today the weather is wonderful!! It's in the low 60s and humid. I don't always love the humidity, but this time it feels so so pleasant outside. I know I have to enjoy it, because tomorrow the forecast is 39 degrees with rain and snow. Go figure!

This morning Eli woke up at the happy hour of 6:15 a.m. (it's better than 5:30, right?) We had breakfast, played for a while, danced to last night's American Idol results show, and then it was 7:30. I decided we might have time to run to Target really fast before his first nap - I have been meaning to go for weeks now, but things were too busy and I never made it over there.

We arrived at Target at 7:42 a.m. I took Eli out of the car, walked up to the doors... and realized it wouldn't open until 8 a.m. Aahh! So I waited around for 18 minutes with my starting-to-get-sleepy little boy... (not the best way to start of a shopping trip! He was a trooper though.)

I found some fun, cute basics (for me). My favorite thing? (this will sound so lame but bear with me) Shorts with just a little elastic! I got a dark blue pair for $16.99. Such a deal! I love that they don't look like elastic shorts, but they have the comfort factor.

AND... at least with this pair, I can bend over and not feel like my rear end is showing - it almost seems like the elastic helps keep the shorts in the right place, where they belong (rather than just gaping open). I got the Juniors' Mossimo Bermuda Shorts in Carbon. I will admit - there are definitely more hip shorts out there, but these are perfect for summertime activities with Eli - going to the park, beach, etc.

Lastly, I wanted to share the link to a recipe for Blondie Bars that looks SO fantastic. I can't wait to try this recipe! The special ingredients that make these bars stand out? Peanut butter, peanuts, cinnamon, chocolate chips, coconut... (sorry to those with peanut allergies) All of my favorite things - Yum.

*I found this recipe on Tastespotting - I added it to my Google Reader list and it has tons of great recipes from different food blogs every day - . It's easy to just scroll through (on the Reader) and click on the pictures that jump out at me. The picture is from the blog, The Kitchen Sink.

**This really is the last thing - but I learned an HTML tip that might be useful for other bloggers - if you put a link in your post and want it to open in another screen (you'll see what I mean if you click on the links in this post) - go to Edit HTML (the tab next to Compose), find the html reference to the link, and just after the link and quotation marks (but before the greater than sign (>), type target=blank. It's pretty easy!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Some Trivia

This is from 2004 - we went on a last-minute trip to Boston and it was so fun!

I was tagged by my friend Stacy. I am going to do a shorter version because I have posted so much this week already. Here are some details about me and Ben:

How long have we been married? 7 years

How long did we date? 7 months (and were engaged for 2 1/2 months - it was fast!!)

    How old is he? turning 30 on May 23rd

    Who eats more? Definitely Ben. (but he eats way more healthy foods and enjoys them... I force myself to eat some healthy foods but crave the sweet stuff too)

    Who is taller? Ben by 9 1/2 inches :)

    Who sings better? Ben Ben Ben

Who is smarter? Hmm... Ben has the Ph.D, but I feel like we're both smart in different ways that complement each other.

    Whose temper is worse? I think it's a tie.

    Who pays the bills? Definitely me. I love getting the mail and I usually pay the bills the day they arrive.

    Who does the laundry? We usually do the laundry together at night after Eli's in bed. It's hard not having laundry in our unit - we have to do it in the basement of our building (shared with other people)

    Who drives when together? I do, mostly just because Ben takes the train to work so the seat is always in my spot - right up to the steering wheel :)

    Who is the first to admit when wrong? Ben. I'm trying to be better at that though.

    What is my favorite thing about him? I love watching Ben interact with Eli - he's very fun and creative in coming up with games and things to play with our little guy. Ben is also really good at coming up with something to eat by looking in our fridge/cupboard (whereas I just stare at everything and want to order takeout instead).

    I think this picture from Ben's graduation last summer is so funny. First, the cap is pretty hilarious. And Eli is showing off his powerful lungs at one month old...