Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My {almost one year old|} baby boy...

You haven't seen or heard much of Elliot lately. Bad mama, bad blogger... I know. So let me tell you a little bit about what he's been up to lately.

He's a very silly little guy. And yes, I do mean little. Those jeans literally fell off of him (he kicked them off the rest of the way). They were size 6 months, and Elliot is about to turn 12 months old. So, yes, he's small. Honestly? I love it. I get to hold onto my "little baby" for longer.

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He's a typical boy. He loves to play in the dirt (see his dirty face there?) and he loves to throw things. His hair is getting much longer, and it's very blonde. Neither Aaron or I have blonde hair, so don't ask me where he got that from.

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He still likes to play with things he's not supposed to, like my laptop, for example. His favorite toys are his gumball machine toy (a recent purchase from Target), his Melissa & Doug wooden blocks, and his wire bead maze (a mini version of the kind in doctor's offices).

He is absolutely OBSESSED with this book. He will let you read it to him 2, 3, or sometimes even 4 times in a row. He has an extremely short attention span (we usually only make it halfway through Dr. Seuss books) so this is a big deal.

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He also really likes to pull all the books down off his bookshelf and take all of his diapers out of their bins. He does this at least three times a day... which means I put them all back three times a day, too.

He likes clapping and waving. We also like to blow kisses back and forth.

Remember THIS?
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Our cat Charlie and Elliot are still really good friends. Elliot loves to kiss, hug, and lay with him. We actually brought another kitten home recently, but Charlie still follows Elliot around most of the day.

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Above all else, he is a HAPPY and LOVING little guy. I've never met a little boy who laughs, smiles, or gives kisses and hugs as much as he does. I love him so gosh darn much. ♥ I'm not sure how I'll be able to feel so much love for TWO! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

12 weeks!

Okay, I decided to do one of these every two weeks. :)

How far along? 12 weeks 3 days.
Baby’s Size: The size of a plum, 2.1" and .49 oz
Total Weight Gain: 1 1/2 pounds.
Bellybutton: innie.
Stretchmarks: not yet!
Maternity Clothes: If I was wearing maternity clothes already, something would definitely be wrong. lol!
Gender: I still think it's a girl, and pretty much everyone else agrees. Even my OB told me that she "bet it's a sister."
Movement: Still not feeling anything yet. Looking forward to it!
Sleep: I've still been sleeping great, except when I have to get up to pee. Bedtime is my favorite time of day.
Symptoms: I'm feeling MUCH better now! The only thing I can really complain about is that I don't have much of an appetite and nothing really sounds good to me...
Food Aversions: Soup. Yes, I think it's weird, too. And above all else- the smell of charcoal, or ANYTHING cooked on a charcoal grill. Ugh. It makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.
Food Cravings: Mozzarella sticks, pumpkin pie, ice cream.
Best Moments this week: Hearing that nice strong heartbeat at my OB appointment, and cooking (and eating) a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.
What I miss: Right now? Nothing, really. Just loving being pregnant again.
What I am Looking forward to: Getting closer to the second trimester! Can't wait to be out of the first!
Milestones: Second Thanksgiving in a row where I was pregnant.

12 weeks 3 days

Thursday, November 17, 2011

the boy and the feather.

I don't think I ever told you about Elliot's obsession with feathers. You see, our apartment complex has a duck pond. Naturally, there are duck feathers randomly strewn about in the grass, and if Elliot happens to see one, he will do anything and everything he can think of to try to get to it. To Elliot's dismany, duck feathers are off limits. Ducks are cute... but probably not the cleanest animals in the world. Of course, that only makes him even more determined to get them!

Elliot has always had a dream catcher hanging above his crib. Both Aaron and I had dream catchers above our beds as children, and it was a little tradition that we wanted to continue on with our kids. You can see the dream catcher below (old picture):

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WELL. At some point, last night, Elliot must have gotten bored, finally noticed that feather, and decided to get his hands on it. He got it, all right!

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He ripped it right off! Today, he found it on the floor next to his crib.

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... and put it straight in his mouth, of course.

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Guess I need a new dream catcher! (Or feather!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

hi there, belly.

Yesterday, at 10w4d, I suddenly realized that... woah... I have a baby belly! It just appeared out of nowhere!

10.5 weeks

Elliot: 10 & 11 months!

Elliot is 11 months old. That means, people, that he will be ONE WHOLE YEAR OLD in just one little month! Excuse me while I try not to faint...
(Alright, I completely missed last month. I realize that. Yikes! Sooo, I'm just combining this into one big post for both months.)

This Month:
♥ Elliot weighs 17 1/2 lbs. He doesn't seem to be gaining much weight lately.
♥ he is wearing mostly 6 month pants, 9 month shirts (some 6 months) and 12 month sleepers because he's loooooong!
♥ he eats 1-3 8 oz. bottles a day. He always gets one before bed, but lately he's not too sure if he wants one before his naps. Sometimes he'll take one, sometimes he won't.
♥ he knows how to hold his own straw sippy cup, and is OBSESSED with it. We don't give him anything other than water to drink.
♥ he LOVES food. Seriously. We are no longer restricting any "big people" food other than peanut butter and meat. I don't plan to give him meat until he is at least 18 months. His favorite foods are macaroni and cheese, pancakes, and oatmeal... but he likes everything. He has never once turned down anything we've offered him.
♥ I am no longer making baby food for him, he just gets steamed veggies instead at home. He does get jarred baby food sometimes in the car or on the go, though.
♥ He goes to bed around 7:30pm. For the last two months, he was sleeping HORRIBLY (waking up 4-6x a night) but he's just now starting to get better, only waking up once. I'm crossing my fingers it stays this way.
♥ He is still crawling like a mad man and has completely given up trying to stand on his own or walk, because he knows he can crawl or climb to get anything he wants. He can climb up onto the couch and he knows how to duck down to crawl beneath the dining room chairs, which are pub height so they have foot rails.
♥ He absolutely loves to climb up the back of the couch to look out the window and play with the blinds.
♥ Our cat, Charlie, is still his best friend. They follow eachother everywhere and Elliot kisses him every chance he gets.
♥ He loves to blow raspberries on my neck when I'm holding him. He also LOVES giving kisses and usually gives 2 or 3 or more in a row. Love it!
♥ He doesn't mind diaper changes as much now but will still try to roll away if you are taking too long.
♥ He learned how to clap, wave, and blow kisses, and really loves doing all 3 of those because he knows he will be rewarded with a big, enthusiastic "GOOD BOY!"
♥ He will start clapping if he hears anyone saying "yay!"
♥ He will wave if he hears the words "hi" or "bye"
♥ He doesn't cry anymore when he wakes up. He plays and babbles in his crib instead. It's precious.
♥ He is VERY demanding while eating. If food isn't continuously being shoveled into his mouth, he will bang on his tray/the table and yell "BA BA BA BA BAAAAA!" loudly. Ba Ba is his universal word for food.
♥ Favorite toys are: wooden bead maze toy and cookie jar shape sorter. He'll play with those by himself for a LONG time.
♥ it is absolutely impossible to do anything on the computer while he's around. The minute the laptop opens, he crawls right over and starts banging on the keyboard.
♥ He is still obsessed with cords but we got a new entertainment center that hides them, which is good.
♥ The vacuum scares him but likes to "help" me clean by following me around with a spray bottle and/or washcloth.
♥ He gets SUPER excited when Daddy comes home.
♥ At any given time, if you ask him, "Where's Charlie?" he will strain his neck and look everywhere until he finds him, then squeal and crawl over to him.
♥ Cardboard boxes are great fun... until he starts taking bites out of them.
♥ He somehow managed to eat a candy wrapper... and it came out in his poop.
♥ The dishwasher is one of his favorite things. He tries to climb into it whenever it's open.
♥ I have to hide in the kitchen to eat anything or else he demands to "share"... aka eat all my food.
♥ He likes to try to hand me toilet paper when I have morning sickness. Thoughtful, huh?
♥ The toilet is another one of his favorite things so we have to be VERY careful to keep the lids closed if he's in the bathroom with us.
♥ He is still taking tubbies in his little whale tub because he is way too crazy to sit in the bath tub on his own.
♥ He's very sensitive and makes what we call "the boo boo face" if his feelings get hurt.
♥ He really likes to share his food and toys.
♥ My teething machine now has NINE TEETH!
♥ He is, above all, a sweetheart and a snuggler. He loves to be held and carried around, and can't get enough hugs and kisses.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pregnancy #2: 10 weeks!

As you probably remember, I did one of these surveys every week when I was pregnant with Elliot. Now that I'm pregnant with baby #2, it's been fun to be able to look back at those. I also enjoyed doing them, so I think I will do them every 5(ish) weeks this time around. :)

How far along? 10 weeks 1 day.
Baby’s Size: The size of a prune, about 1.2" and .14 oz
Total Weight Gain: nothing so far.
Bellybutton: innie.
Stretchmarks: not this early!!
Maternity Clothes: Nope. Still wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans (from before I had Elliot!)
Gender: Although I'm not as confident as I was early on with my first pregnancy, I think I'm guessing a girl this time around. I'm about... 65% sure. :)
Movement: Not yet, can't wait!!
Sleep: Well, other than waking up for Elliot, I've been sleeping great! That's what happens when you're exhausted!
Symptoms: nausea, lower back pain, headaches, fatigue, digestive system is crazy.
Food Aversions: Pickles and red meat. YUCK!
Food Cravings: Anything sweet and dessert like.
Best Moments this week: Celebrating Veteran's Day with good friends at Applebee's :)
What I miss: Being able to go longer than an hour or two without eating, and not feeling like I'm going to vomit.
What I am Looking forward to: EVERYTHING! Can't wait to find out what we're having and decide on a name!! Plus I have an OB appointment next week.
Milestones: Already a quarter of the way through with this pregnancy.

10 weeks 1 day with #2 :)
10 weeks 1 day pregnant with baby #2. I feel like I was showing more when I was 10 weeks with Elliot. What's up with that? I thought it was supposed to be the other way around!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day.

"It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you."
-Author unknown

(Aaron arriving home on emergency leave from Korea)

I just wanted to say a sincere thank you to all soldiers who serve or have served our country.

My husband was lucky enough to make it home alive, with a metal plate in his skull, but alive. That might scare some of you, but we are so blessed that he made it home. Not everyone is that lucky. Aaron lost many friends while he was in Iraq, and more die in the middle east every day that we don't hear about on the news because it's "depressing", "discouraging", or "old news." To me, that's sad.

It's not an easy life, but somebody has to do it.

Thank you for keeping us free.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Some great songs to listen to today:
"American Soldier" -Toby Keith
"'Til the Last Shot's Fired" -Trace Adkins
"Have You Forgotten?" -Darryl Worley
"Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" -Toby Keith
"If You're Reading This" -Tim McGraw
"Arlington" -Trace Adkins
"Drive On" -Johnny Cash
"If I Die Before You Wake" -Dustin Evans
"God Bless the USA" -Lee Greenwood
"Come Home Soon" -SheDaisy
"Iraq and I Roll" -Clint Black
"8th of November" -Big and Rich
"Message from Home" -Lonestar

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

hello from sickland!

After feeling better the last couple days, I am REALLY, REALLY sick today. I won't go into details, but trust me... it's not pretty. You know, if there's one thing that I definitely took for granted about my pregnancy with Elliot, it was that 99% of the time I felt really great in the first trimester. Granted, it all got a whole lot more complicated starting at 14 weeks... but up until then? Picture perfect pregnancy.
I swear I must be having a girl!!

I'm not too sick to cuddle with my baby boy, though!
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new hair.
As promised, a quick snapshot of my new hair. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

birthday flashback...

Last year, on my birthday, I was 32 weeks pregnant.
This year, on my birthday, I am 9 weeks pregnant.

... I'm a baby making machine!!

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes. I had a great day.
I got 7 inches chopped off my hair, had a delicious dinner at Old Chicago, and then we went to the pet store to oogle at all the adorable critters. :) Now that's a good birthday, if you ask me!
PS: Elliot somehow managed to eat an entire kid's meal. My skinny mini is a little piggy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


First of all, my birthday is tomorrow. I will be 23 years old. Craziness.

Second, for the entire month of November, Aaron is on a detail guarding an ammunition holding area (AHA). This means he works 12 hour days with four days on and two days off. He had Thursday and Friday off, so he had to work this weekend. It has been more than a little strange to see all the military couples and families in our area out and about spending time together while Elliot and I are stuck home alone. It's also really weird to me that he does not have a steady schedule with dependable workdays and days off. He even has to work on Thanksgiving!
Um, can November be over already?!

Lastly, Elliot's sleeping has reached an all new low lately. Last night, for example, he woke up at 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8. Being in the first trimester and a full time mama is tough to begin with, but now I am so utterly drained and exhausted. I'm not sure what's going on but his sleep has been getting worse now for weeks and weeks. Nothing has changed- we eat dinner and play for a bit afterwards, then he takes his bath, has a warm bottle, and is asleep in his crib by 7:30. Yet he's been waking up over and over and... over. I don't know what to do. I'm the only one who gets up with him and I really hope this gets better soon. I AM EXHAUSTED. Add that exhaustion to the normal first trimester fatigue and nausea, and you have a recipe for a disaster.

Friday, November 4, 2011

eating healthy for a healthy baby

I'm 9 weeks pregnant today. Yay! Pretty soon, I'll be 10 weeks, which, to me, feels like the first big milestone in pregnancy. If you tell someone that you're ten weeks, they will no longer stare at your gut bloated belly with a mixture of surprise and disdain on their face.
Speaking of bloated bellies. I'm making it my mission to eat much healthier this pregnancy than the last. You see, the last one started off well. In fact, I was even eating mostly organic in the beginning... but then we found out about Elliot's condition, and it all flew out the window.

Pretzel belly!
Eating a snack while watching TV with my feet up. Basically, all I did every day while I was on bed rest.

I'm an emotional eater in the first place, and then my OB kept telling me how small the baby was, that I needed to eat more so the baby needed to get bigger and stronger. I really took that to heart. In fact, I basically ate anything and everything in sight. I gave in to all of my cravings- no matter how processed, greasy, or sweet they happened to be.
Stuffing my face + laying around all day on bedrest = weight gain.
In the end, I gained around 45 pounds.

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36 weeks pregnant with Elliot.

Luckily, I lost the weight easily and quickly, but I know I might not be so lucky this time around. Now that I'm back to my starting pre-pregnancy weight, I'm trying to do it right this time. I want to eat healthy both for myself and the baby. I keep reminding myself that whatever I eat, the baby eats. He or she deserves nutritious, delicious, healthy food! Sure, I'll still give in to the occasional craving... I'm not superwoman, after all! Overall, though, I hope to eat plenty of:

lean meat:





and whole grains:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the most wonderful time of the year...

I don't know if you realize this, but Christmas is right around the corner! Sure, there's that other holiday, Thanksgiving, in there too... but since Aaron and I will not be able to spend it together, I'm not dwelling on that one too much. Besides, Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and time of year. No, it's not just the presents, it's the whole atmosphere. I love it all- Twinkling lights, falling snow, freshly baked sugar cookies, stuffed stockings, Christmas music on the radio, delicious food, parties, receiving Christmas cards, the old tv specials on ABC's 25 Days of Christmas, cheesy Santa pictures, the exhilarating scent of a freshly cut pine tree... everything.

This will be Elliot's second Christmas, but our family's first Christmas together in our own home. Last year, Elliot was in the NICU and Aaron and I were staying in the Ronald McDonald house. Needless to say, it was an extremely stressful and emotional time. My favorite holiday was just not the same. We did, however, receive the best Christmas gift you could ever ask for: we were able to hold our son for the very first time.

Last year:
first family Christmas

Christmas '10

This year, I want our Christmas to be really special. I haven't really made up my mind about how we are going to do things, but I do know this: I want to create some lasting Christmas traditions that (I hope) Elliot will always remember. I want my son to love this holiday as much as I do.

What Christmas traditions (or memories) do you treasure the most?

I'm making a list of things to do this holiday season. Help me add to it?

My list so far:
1. bake and decorate sugar cookies
2. cook a big Christmas morning breakfast
3. take Elliot to the mall to get his first pictures with Santa Clause
4. have a festive family photo shoot
5. send out Christmas cards
6. go to Christmas Eve mass
7. donate food to a local shelter
edited 11/3 to add some reader suggestions/ideas:
8. give Elliot a different ornament each year, so that when he gets married, he'll already have a whole box to decorate his tree.
9. cut down our own Christmas tree

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween weekend recap: a big scare and lots of treats

I figured it was about time to update you on our whirlwind of a weekend.
Friday we went to the Task Force Odin Halloween night on post. Aaron was busy working in the haunted house most of the time, but there was lots of good food and company. I enjoy meeting and socializing with other army wives. They had a trunk decorating contest and the kids got to trick or treat. Elliot met lots of other cute babies in costumes, and the best part? We entered him in the costume contest and he won SECOND PLACE for his age group! :) I was one proud mama. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought he was the cutest cow baby around!! He won a cute teddy bear in ACU's, a halloween cup, spoons, a bib, some jars of baby food, and some lollipops.

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Smelly Ellie the cow.

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Elliot and mama trick or treating.

Saturday morning, around 5am, I woke up because Elliot was crying and realized that I was covered in blood... a lot of blood. I had soaked through my underwear, pantiliner, shorts, sheets, and a bit of the mattress. I had been spotting lightly for a few days before that, but it was nothing compared to this! I woke Aaron up and we rushed to the ER. On the way there, I had this sinking feeling. I could still feel the blood coming out of me, and I was convinced I was having a miscarriage. I just kept praying that the baby would somehow be okay. Several hours, four attempted (and one sucessful) IVs, a pelvic exam, and ultrasound later, we found out that the baby was alive and well. I've never been so happy to see that little flicker of a heartbeat on an ultrasound in my life! The bleeding seemed to be slowing down, so I was sent home with instructions to drink lots of water and rest, so I did just that. Elliot blessed us by taking a 3 hour nap (probably because we had to get him up so early!) so we all napped together. We had planned on going to a pumpkin patch at a nearby Christmas tree farm, but decided to postpone until I was feeling better.

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discharge papers.

Sunday Aaron got up with Elliot and let me sleep in until 9! When I woke up, the bleeding had stopped, and I felt much better, so we decided to take Elliot to the pumpkin patch. Unfortunately, Elliot's late nap meant we missed our opportunity to go to the farm that I wanted, so we had to settle for a church pumpkin patch instead. He still had a blast though.

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Look mom, I found a gourd!

He was absolutely OBSESSED with the straw and cried whenever we tried to pick him up. He cried so hard as we finally left (after he played in the straw for over 30 minutes!), poor guy. Maybe after the new baby is born I'll just buy him a bale of hay to keep him occupied, haha!

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Monday was Halloween. We had fantastic weather. Elliot wore his cow costume again and we went trick or treating in the neighborhood. He got lots of compliments and you should've seen the look on his face everytime he got to reach into a candy bowl! It was priceless.

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Well, there you have it! A busy, scary, and (mostly) wonderful weekend! How was your Halloween??