Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Today is a scorcher. It is only in the mid-80s, but that mixed with intense sun and humidity made it hot to be outside. Even still, we went to the park this morning to meet up with our playgroup, which was lots of fun.

I forgot my camera and was sad I didn't get any pictures of Eli running around with bright red, flushed cheeks. He is definitely one of those kids that gets the red face with exertion easily. As we were leaving, I splashed some water from the drinking fountain on his head to cool him off (most kids at the park were doing the same to stay cool). When we got home, this is what he looked like:

(if you click on the picture above, you can see his little molars trying to push through his gums. They are taking their sweet time...)

It's definitely warm in our place, even though I had the a/c unit running on turbo while we were gone. I'm off to sneak into Eli's room where I now have the a/c running on low (since his door is closed and it will get chilly in there). I am giving in to the need for a nap (it doesn't help that it's 80+ degrees in my bedroom right now... heat makes me SO tired).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Eli Talking on the Phone

This is a video of Eli talking to my parents on the phone in his funny language. I was trying to make dinner, so I brought the booster seat into the kitchen and strapped him in so he would stop pulling things out of the cupboards. Of course he wouldn't eat any of the food I gave him and was probably only happy for the duration of this phone call. Cooking is not easy with this guy - he doesn't like feeling ignored.

Enjoy the video! :)

Happy Monday!

Enough grumpy posts. Today is a mostly happy one! Eli slept until 8 a.m. - such an indication of how tired he was yesterday... I was thrilled and grateful though to wake up (totally on my own, not b/c of a certain someone being loud) at 7:45 and realize he was still asleep.

We had a fun couple of hours this morning, just relaxing and playing together at home. I had fun trying to keep up with him and sneaking in a few snapshots. A lot of the pictures that didn't make it on to this post were too blurry - this kid doesn't stop moving for very long.

Of course, a 14-month-old running around a small space meant disaster was almost inevitable. Eli tripped and bonked his forehead on the hardwood floor (he just missed the rug, unfortunately). See below for evidence of the big red mark smack in the middle, above his eyebrows.

The poor little guy kept reaching up and hitting his head after it happened - I finally realized his head must be hurting from bumping it and gave him some tylenol. He ended up going down for an early nap a while later - I'm curious to see if this is his one nap for the day, since it started at 10:40 and he's been going strong for 2 1/2 hrs now!

I love the quiet moments at home when he's asleep. This morning I scheduled my 20-week ultrasound (for September 9th!), took a long shower, caught up on friends' (and strangers') blogs that I like to read, made a big grocery list, and vigilantly ignored the looming need to start packing. Today is a good day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hard Way to Start a Sunday

This morning I woke up to a tennis ball being dropped on the hardwood floor above us - over and over and over again (big thud - little thud thud thud thud thud - repeat). At 6:10 a.m. The culprit? You guessed it. The darn dog above us.

I am fine with my child waking me up that early, but when it is another source, I get REALLY frustrated. Especially because I know this is what is going to wake up Eli. Sure enough, he started crying at 6:15 when they moved above his room.

I am usually a rational person. But living underneath a dog for the last year (before that were two grad students who went to bed late but never made any noise) has made me SO irrational. I grumpily watched my husband leave for his 7 a.m. meeting (as Eli stood there crying at the door) and felt so frustrated thinking about how Eli is going to be trying to make it through three hours of church, from 9-noon. By the third hour, he is usually barely hanging on because he is so tired. Today will probably be no different.

This is especially irritating because this week Eli has mostly only taken one nap. And as a result, he was sleeping in until well after 7 (not sure how the dog wasn't waking him up other days, but I was always grateful when he slept later). We are both much happier when he does this. See above for a fuzzy image of the dog and its owner. I feel bad because the dog lady is nice - she just unfortunately has a really loud, annoying dog and she seems a little clueless about how noisy she is above us.

20 more days until I don't have to deal with this anymore.

20 days. I can make it 20 more days... Excuse me as I go deal with my crying, crabby child.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fun Saturday

We had a nice day together as a family. I can seriously see the stress from the weekdays ooze off of Ben on Saturdays. Eli loves having him around so much on the weekends!

First, we went to this event hosted by the realtor's company that we're working with. They had free Oberweis ice cream (YUM), random performers and games. It took place at a historical house, but we werent allowed inside, which I was bummed about. Eli just cared about the balloons - it was hard to tear him away since we didn't bring one home...

Next, I convinced Ben that we should go eat at a Mexican restaurant, Rique's, in a neighborhood in Chicago called Uptown. We were the only ones in there at 4:45 p.m. It has high ratings on yelp and the Zagat guide, but today was not a busy day.

Eli enjoyed wandering around with an empty basket. We didn't care since we were the only ones there...

We've eaten there twice before, and both times the neighborhood has made us a little nervous. This time was no different. The restaurant is nice enough, but the street outside is swarming with homeless, disabled, and other sad people walking aimlessly around. It's a really depressing area with bars on the windows and not a whole lot going on (but the food at Rique's is good!). I didn't dare take a picture of streetscape (we were getting weird looks just walking outside back to our car) - so I got a shot of the restaurant's front window.

We ended the day at the beach. Eli loved throwing rocks (and thankfully it wasn't too crowded so it didn't bother anyone). Eli was sad when it was time to go - he loves playing in the sand.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mess Maker

In the last few weeks, I have watched Eli transform from innocent young toddler to a full-blown, mischevious toddler. He is a MESS MAKER. This morning I gave him his breakfast (cheerios and a cut-up nectarine w/ a Nuby sippy full of milk) and as he was finishing up, I took advantage of his strapped-in, contained time to put away clean laundry. Eli took his sippy (this one has a flexible spout - so if you push it upside down on something, the liquid will come pouring out), dumped out the milk, then proceeded to splash splash splash the milk all over himself, the floor, and anything else in its path. These pictures don't really capture the exent of his mess, but you get the idea.

This is only a small example of the things he's been doing lately. When I am in the kitchen cooking, he usually empties out all of the spices from the spice cabinet, takes out the pots and puts the spice jars in the pots. It makes the kitchen a hazardous place to walk (because there are a million little things all over the floor) and it adds more to my clean up time. If we're in my room and I'm attempting to send an email or get something else done, Eli often pulls out all of the computer cords or anything else he can gets his hands on.
I'm afraid this is only the beginning...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Feeling a Little Better

I started feeling better on Sunday - I'm not sure if it's because I'm 13 weeks or that I'm taking the B6/half a unisom mix each night, or maybe a combo of both factors. The real indication that things are on the up... I have made dinner three times this week! We had homemade enchiladas, chicken soup, and Cafe Rio pork tacos (though I keep dreaming about the REAL Cafe Rio pork barbacoa burrito... Rachel R - will you bring some home to me when you fly back from UT?? :)
Here are some pictures from the last week or so:

23 days until we move... 23 days til no more dog barking and the stomper upstairs waking up my child. I can't wait! (Though I'm not ready yet either - packing is still low priority for me at the moment)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pictures from Lindsay

Lindsay emailed some pictures from when Eli was over at her place during our house inspection. I thought they were pretty cute!

Eli eating string cheese

I am so glad he was happy for the three hours I left him there - I was nervous he would be melting down after the first hour, but he was fine!

Playing with Katelyn

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Eli is 14 Months

Happy 14 Months Eli!

I can't believe how big he's getting. This age is so fun - every day Eli does or says something new and it makes me smile. Here are some of his latest tricks:
  • Words: da da, mama and/or Aarah or Sah, dog, duck, grandpa, shoe, goodbye (always with a limp wave), wah for water, tractor
  • He loves going side to side, balancing on each foot as he rocks from right to left
  • He loves climbing (or trying to climb) up slides
  • He laughs at himself a lot and often cracks himself up for no obvious reason
  • He still gets restless in the car, often if we've been driving for more than 5 minutes
  • He still loves anything soft and textured
  • He gives hugs and kisses to me and Ben frequently - and we LOVE it!
  • He cries when I walk out of the room, even though he can easily follow me
  • He LOVES going outside and finding sticks and rocks to play with
  • We struggle to get him to eat vegetables, but he eats a TON of fruit
  • He gets friendlier by the week and says goodbye with a wave when we check out at a store and it's time to leave
  • He loves music and will do the motions to songs like Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle and the Itsy Bitsy Spider. He also likes copying the chorister at church leading the music.
  • He is the sweetest little boy and we think he gets cuter by the minute! We love him so much.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Random Bit of Everything

Tonight I went to Burger King at 10:15 p.m.

I was the only woman in the establishment, with two guys in line before me and about ten after me of all shapes and sizes. This place gets a little sketchy at night, but I didn't care. I just wanted a burger (and this was the only place open after 10 p.m. in our funny town). I usually hate fast food, but feeling full was top priority at the moment, so there I was.

Too bad they messed up my order and put mustard on it - gross! I was hungry enough (and so happy not to be nauseous in that moment) that I wiped it off and ate the burger anyway. This is not my usual way of doing things.

On other subjects... today was the inspection on the house. The inspector, Rafeek, was very thorough and it lasted three hours. Eli was over at my friend Lindsay's house (thank you!!) playing with her daughter Katelyn - it was such a huge help not having him there with me. I was thrilled to be sitting in this air conditioned house while it was 85 degrees and humid INSIDE my condo. No joke. And I wonder why I have felt so sick this week?? It's freaking HOT in our place.

So overall, the house is in great shape. However, the basement has vinyl floor tiles with asbestos and the chimney is not lined properly. These things don't have cheap fixes and we'll hopefully get a credit from the sellers, but I kept thinking how grateful I was that there weren't other MAJOR things wrong with the house.

And lastly, I have to share a funny story. Please take it in stride - this is about my friend's little 2-year-old George who lives in a wonderful, diverse neighborhood. My friend is very politically correct and proper and teaches George all kinds of terrific things. Katie doesn't blog so she told me I should put it on mine :)

Katie emailed me earlier this week with the subject line: Hi! This is so funny AND embarrassing. So here, we go - this is about George and his beginning knowledge of politics :)

"You will appreciate what just happened to us at Whole Foods!!! In the checkout, George looked at the tall, African American gentleman behind the checkout and said "Obama." THEN he looked at the other, tall, African American gentleman bagging the groceries and said "Obama." Fortunately, no offense was taken, in fact one of the guys seemed to think it was a compliment. The lady in the next aisle over along with a few other customers were all laughing."

I thought it was so funny in a very innocent way. I love that George knows Obama's name. Now he just needs to study Obama's picture a little better :)

George for Obama 2008.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Beating the Heat with the Beach

The high is 92 today and early this morning it was already pretty warm. Eli was kind (as was dog lady who didn't get up at the crack of dawn) and slept until 7:15 a.m. - which was so nice since I had been sick in the night and didn't sleep very well. This morning I felt a little better, so I looked at the comments from yesterday's post and made a shopping list with all of the suggested foods. Thanks for your help! It was so nice to go to the store and have some new ideas rather than walking around aimlessly, hoping for a safe food to jump out at me. I now feel better equipped to combat the nausea.

After the store, Eli and I met up with our playgroup at the beach. I think Eli and I were the whitest/palest ones there - his belly is bright!

This is a portion of the group that came this morning. It was fun to be there with everyone!

Eli kept his hat on for the first half of our time there.

He LOVED the texture and colors of this towel (that wasn't ours, but a friend's at least) and did a sheep rug re-enactment, rolling around on it :)

A bunch of the older kids were building this big sand tower/castle, but the little ones kept them busy by climbing on it instead. I think Eli had a blast with the other kids! I'm glad I felt well enough to go - I spent a good chunk of time sitting in the shallow water, trying to stay cool. It really helps to get out and be around other people and keeps my mind off of not feeling well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Queasiness Comes and Goes...

We had Thai food and gelato last night - I guess not the best combo for me right now because I woke up feeling SO nauseous. I went back to bed as soon as Eli went down for his morning nap and slept for two hours. I woke up SO hot though because outside it's high 80s and humid today, so my place felt very WARM. (or in my extreme state today, I was roasting) I felt better thankfully after taking a cool shower and going to an air conditioned place with Eli when he woke up.
Now I'm back in my warm condo (I ran the a/c unit on turbo while we were gone to hopefully cool things off - but now it's off since Eli's sleeping and his door is closed where the a/c is) and I am feeling queasy again. The heat doesn't seem to agree with me right now either.

I thought the queasiness would be gone soon?? But it seems like it's been worse in the last few weeks. Let me know if you have foods that have helped curb your morning sickness, because everything I try (crackers, fruit, ginger ale, sprite, bread) does not agree with me. But not eating isn't great either.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ultrasound at 12 Weeks

I had a first trimester screening test today - everything looked good in the ultrasound. I love seeing the baby's hand in the picture below - he/she was moving around quite a bit and it was fun to watch!

Thanks Mom for watching Eli during the test! He was a disaster at my last OB appointment, so I opted to not take him to this. Eli really has an aversion to doctors, nurses, or anyone who is dressed like one... someone suggested we get him a toy doctor's kit so he doesn't cry every time he sees a stethescope :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We're Under Contract!!!! And Other News too...

Whoo hoo! I am so thrilled to say we are officially under contract on the house! This has definitely been a more drama-filled experience than I would have liked, but hopefully things will go smoothly from here. I am completely exhausted from the last two months filled with getting our condo ready to sell, going under contract, losing the house we really wanted, searching like crazy for something else, and finally deciding on this one.

We basically were at the point where we had seen every house in this area that we could afford (and some we could not afford) and the options weren't great. But when this one dropped in price, we felt great about it and we'll be in there next month! Holy moly is all I can say. This is the house that all of the major things have been updated - it has brand new central air (I can't wait), new house humidifier, new water heater, new boiler, new carpet upstairs, refinished hardwood floors, new granite kitchen counter, newer roof, new backyard deck, patio and walkway, etc.

This is the complete OPPOSITE of the house we originally wanted, with the room in the basement full of dirt :) I am thrilled we won't have to live through any major remodeling projects in the beginning and it will be so comfortable and fun.

Here are some pictures of the house:

Living Room w/ a wood-burning fireplace and built-ins

Galley kitchen with a small eating nook at the end (with cute built-ins too)

Dining Room

Family Room (this is a HUGE deal for us - many of the older homes in our price range just had one main living space, and usually that was pretty tiny. We love having a separate family room in the back of the house)

View of the back of the house w/ a pergola deck and nice patio area (it has a side door as well to go in from the backyard)

Another view of the back yard - it has a 2-car garage on an alley, small shed, and playset in a nice fenced-in space. Eli is going to be in HEAVEN! And so am I.

And since I'm sharing our big news, I figured I would include the other part of our craziness - I'm pregnant and due January 25th. Eli and baby #2 will be 20 months apart (I'm trying not to not to stress about how close they'll be) and while it will probably nuts in the beginning, they can hopefully be good friends and it will be great. This was a bit of a surprise, and was the reason we suddenly decided to sell now instead of in the spring. There was no way another baby could fit well into our compact condo (especially since Eli is a VERY Sensitive Sleeper) and it would be hard to sell next year with even more stuff in here. So there you go! I'm 12 weeks prego, feeling a little queasy and tired all the time, but so grateful for our many blessings.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Free Slurpee Day - 7-11-08

Go get a free slurpee at 7-Eleven today! Yum.
On a different note, remember that house I had mentioned two weeks ago that was nicely updated and wouldn't need any immediate work? The sellers dropped the price yesterday and we put an offer in. Unfortunately, they seem a little bugged with our offer, but we think it's reasonable based on the new price (it was less than 10% below the new asking price - come on people! The problem is they bought this place two years ago and dumped a ton of money into it - their loss, hopefully our gain). We're still waiting to get a counter offer, so cross your fingers for us!
I'm ready for the ups and downs of this whole process to be OVER.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Day Improved :)

I'm sorry for my depressing post from this morning! (Yesterday really was one of those days that put me over the top with everything) Eli eventually fell asleep for his nap this morning and I went back to sleep too. Later we met my parents and brother for lunch and it was fun to hear Eli say, "Grandpa" pretty clearly this time. After Eli's afternoon nap, we walked to the beach and played in the sand and lake for a long time. The lake was pretty cold, but Eli loved walking into the waves while I held his hands. Ben came home on his usual train and then jogged over to be with us, which was fun. Here are some pictures to offset my grumpiness from this morning :)

Above: Eli was a happy kid with his bucket and shovel, digging in the sand.

Here he is squawking at the seagulls

The lifeguard chair and equipment was such a temptation for him - he kept trying to climb on the yellow flotation board.

Lake Michigan was a pretty blue today!

It was funny watching Eli try to walk in the sand.

Eli seemed so tired when we walked home...

But he perked up after a bath and was running around squealing until we finally put him to bed at 8:15. I hope the week has turned around for the better!