Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sleeping is Niiiiiiiiiice

So when I went into Elias' room today to get him for his 4:00 feeding, this is how I found him:Um, I guess he was sleeping comfortably! Either that or I walked in on him preparing to take flight... Or maybe he was just trying to show us what a big boy he is now: I can ALMOST touch both sides of the Pack 'N Play! I tell you what, this kid does something that cracks me up at least once every day!!! My funny boy. :)

By the way, we have ordered our nursery furniture and it should be arriving next week! My sweetie won't have to sleep in the Pack 'N Play anymore. I've got some sewing to do in order to get the room finished, but hopefully I'll have completed nursery pics up sometime in the next couple of weeks! Yaaaaaaay!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kickin'

If you'll remember, when Elias was in the womb, he was quite the kicker! Serious pains in the ribs from my active little guy. Well, kicking is STILL one of his favorite things to do! He has different styles of kicks depending on whether he's happy or mad... This is his happy kick: video
Isn't he just the cutest?! It sure feels better watching it from afar than in my ribs! It cracks me up when he gets that left leg going at the end. We're sure he's going to be a swimmer or something...

By the way, I promise his mobile does not sound like a creepy carnival fun house in real life... The microphone on our camera must be a little pathetic.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Love You, Granny

A long time ago, the telephone replaced letter writing as the main form of personal communication. Then email replaced the phone, and now in my life, blogging has replaced emails. I just have so many people that I want to tell the same stuff to, so I just post it on my blog because I know you all read it. However, there is a downfall to doing that, and that is that none of you ever actually hear from me personally. You don't know how often I think of you, and even though I very often have things I want to say to you or ask you personally, I rarely take the time to actually write that email or make that phone call. I just read your blogs and you read mine, and that's how we stay in touch even though we haven't actually communicated personally in months (or years?!).

But now I'm doubting whether I think that is such a good idea. You see, my Granny passed away last weekend. In fact, Dad got the news while he was riding in the U-Haul with Justin on the way from Kentucky to Missouri. Her health had been failing for quite some time, but it was still unexpected. Distance has kept me from being very close with any of my grandparents, but I certainly could have (and should have) done a better job of writing to them and making sure they knew I loved them and thought about them. Granny didn't read my blog, but my aunt who lived next door to her would print them out and take them over for Granny and Grandpa to read. (Thank you for doing that, Aunt Sara! I've never told you how much I appreciate that.) In fact, while we were in Moldova, Granny would take a magnifying glass and pore over every detail of the pictures I posted. She would ask such interesting questions, and I loved how much she took an interest in what we were doing. I never told her how much that meant to me, and now it's too late.

It's also too late for me to tell her how much I always appreciated the way she and Grandpa adopted my dad and raised him to be such a fine man. I can't even imagine where he might be today if he hadn't been taken in by such a loving family. I know I certainly wouldn't be here!

You always hear about the way people always have so many regrets when somebody they love passes away, and I've never experienced that before until now. I do regret not writing Granny & Grandpa more, or even just emailing Aunt Sara a note and asking her to pass it on to them. Now it's too late for me to say "I love you and appreciate you, Granny."

But the hard truth is that I just don't have the time to write all the emails, send all the cards, and make all the phone calls that I want to make, especially now that I'm a full-time mom. So I can say that I'll try to do better, but I really don't know how much better I can do. So I'm going to keep posting my pictures and stories on my blog, and I'll do as much personal correspondence as I can.

But something I doubt Granny knew is that when I write a blog, I'm not just writing to get it out there in cyberspace. I'm thinking of you all as I write it, just like I thought of her often and knew how much she would enjoy whatever I was posting. I write my blogs just like I would write a personal email. Just instead of sending the same thing to 50 different email addresses, I post it in one place and let you all come here instead. But I'm writing to you, Mom, Dad, & Jess. I'm writing to you, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And you, Charity. And you, Corrie. And you, Kristy. And Jackie and Jill and Karen and Shelly and Nicki and Jessica and the many others who read this. Please know that even if you haven't heard from me in a while, I love you and think of you often. Maybe I'll start signing each blog "Love, Joni" as a way to remind you all that it was meant as a personal note to you.

And if you have someone special that you haven't said "I love you" to in a while, take a few minutes and do it now.

Love, Joni

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2 Months Old!

We are finally online here at home, so you can expect to hear a lot more from me from now on! I am SOOOO glad to be back in contact with the outside world! I plan to post things about our move, our new house, our new town, etc. But I don't have pictures of those things yet, plus I have something more important to post about... My sweet Elias turned 2 months old yesterday!!!!!I never thought I would be saying this so soon (Remember my angst the first couple weeks that he just couldn't grow up fast enough?!), but he is growing up so fast! I'm not saying I wish he would slow down, but I do occasionally get nostalgic for my tiny little baby... He's so big now! In fact, pretty much everybody we meet says "There's no way that baby is only 2 months old... He's at least 3." I always assure them that I was there when he was born and I distinctly remember it being in MAY. :) I'm looking forward to our next doctor visit to find out how big he actually is! He has grown out of most of his 0-3 month clothes now, and he's fitting perfectly into the 3-6 month outfits I just pulled out of storage. I'll make sure to pull the 6-9 month clothes out sooner so he can wear them longer before he grows out of them! (This is the first time he wore the outfit in the picture below - It's 3-6 months and it fits now, but he'll probably grow out of it soon!)Our biggest milestone right now is that he has started sleeping through the night!!! Thank you, BabyWise! When he turned 8 weeks, like the book recommends, we stopped waking him up for a middle-of-the-night feeding. Instead, we just fed him at his usual 11pm feeding and saw how long he would sleep. The first night he slept til 5:30, and every night since then he has slept til 6:30 or 7, which is when his first morning feeding is. So he's sleeping 7 to 7 1/2 hours at night now! Yay for my big big boy! I'm slightly bitter because I still have to wake up once in the middle of the night to pump (Yes, we're still pumping and bottle-feeding. It's working well for us, and Elias is doing awesome, so that's worth it. I'll probably post more about that soon.), but I only plan to do that for a couple more weeks and then hopefully I'll get to sleep as long as he does!
Also in his second month he has started wanting to "stand" when we're holding him in our laps. We'll hold him under his shoulders and he'll push up with his legs and support his own weight. The funny part about it is that he is SO PROUD when he's "standing" like that - he'll just get the biggest grin on his face! I hope to capture that on photo soon.

His favorite thing to do is still to play on his activity mat, closely followed by reading "Pat the Bunny" with Daddy, staring at lights and ceiling fans, getting his head washed and oiled (His cradle cap is so much better!!!!), and sitting in his bouncer and watching his mobile. We think he's really going to like music a lot, and we try to encourage that as much as we can by playing music and singing to him often.We've also learned that he has a fussy time almost every evening from about 7:30 to 8. I figure with a baby as good as he is, I'll take just 30 minutes of fussing every day. He has a feeding at 8 and he's usually fine after that. For some reason he's just upset before then... Hopefully he'll grow out of that!

But we are doing awesome and I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and my beautiful son! Happy 2 months, Elias!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Whew!!!!

Whew!!! What a week it has been! We moved on Saturday with the kind help of my parents, and we've been busy unpacking ever since. We still don't have internet hooked up at the house yet (They're coming Monday!), so that's why I've been off the radar, but today we came up to Justin's office so I could try to catch up with the world a little bit.

I am LOVING our new house and our new town so far, and things are slowly settling into place. Once we get the house in order, I'll post some pictures - Justin did an AMAZING job finding this place for us. It's still kind of surreal that we're actually unpacking. We've been living out of our suitcases for a full year (I think it was actually a year to the day from when we left Waco to when we arrived in Bolivar.), so unpacking some of our boxes that have been in storage is almost like Christmas! "Ooooh, I forgot we had this!" I've managed to get the kitchen completely done, so that definitely makes things more liveable. We're still in search of some furniture to make the baby's room and the office complete, but we're managing alright now.

Elias is doing awesome and I'm so proud of him! He did SO WELL on our loooooooong car trips, for which I am very thankful. He's growing up so fast - it feels like every day he's doing something new or growing out of some outfit... I actually unpacked and washed some of his 3-6 month clothes today because he's too tall for his 0-3 months! My big fella is so sweet! We're getting into the swing of things in figuring out our daily routine, and I think we'll be just fine when Daddy goes to work next week.

I can't wait to start making friends and building a community. We are blessed that some neighbors from down the street (He teaches math at SBU and she's a stay-at-home mom.) have really been reaching out to try to help us feel welcome. They've invited us to a cookout tomorrow night where we'll get to meet some more friends. I'm also looking forward to finding a church home, which I know will be vital for us finding our niche here.

So things are good and I'm so thankful to be here! Once our internet gets hooked up at home, I should be able to be on more and post pictures! Thanks for your prayers for us, and please keep praying!

Friday, July 04, 2008

So Much Going On!

There is SO MUCH going on in our lives right now! Things are good, but they've got me running around like "a one-legged man in a butt-kickin' contest" to quote Dolly Parton in a movie that I can't remember the name of right now... Let me see if I can just give a quick rundown:

MOVING!
We are moving and now!!! Justin went to Missouri this week to find us a place to live, and he found it right away! So we'll be renting a house that I've never seen, but it sounds awesome and it has so much space for our price range! (I'll post pictures once we get there!) And the big news is that we're moving in on the 15th!! Yes, that is less than 2 weeks away. However, we're actually moving sooner than that because we're moving in 2 stages. First, we're moving everything we have here in Tennessee to Justin's parents' house in Kentucky where all the rest of our belongings are stored. We'll spend a few days there, and then load everything up in a U-Haul and move to Missouri. The Tennessee-to-Kentucky phase of our moving actually begins tomorrow when Justin's parents load up their pickup truck with most of our stuff and take it to Kentucky! We plan to stay in Tennessee for a couple more days with just the bare-bones of the stuff that we need, but then we'll follow them there. So I'm running around like crazy trying to get all our stuff packed up and ready for them to take tomorrow, and trying to decide what we need to keep here with us for those couple of days! The tricky part is that whatever we keep here has to be able to fit in the Camry with the three of us! I think we're in good shape, though, and I'm thrilled that the process is actually started.

CRADLE CAP
Elias has had baby acne for several weeks now, and it just seemed to be getting worse and worse. Then he developed a red rash on his ears that then turned scaly. (GROSS!) So the doctor finally said that it might be cradle cap, not baby acne, so we could treat it by rubbing baby oil on it and washing it with baby shampoo every day. So that did help the ears, but not before it showed up on his head and his whole face. So my poor baby has a flaky scalp, scaly ears, and a red rash on his face!!! It was looking so bad that I took him back to the doctor yesterday just to make sure it wasn't something else. The doctor said that it was definitely cradle cap and not an allergic reaction or something. But he did recommend we get a little more aggressive with it and start washing it with dandruff shampoo. So we started yesterday using Head and Shoulders to wash his scalp and ears! We don't use it on his face just in case it might get in his eyes, so we're still doing the baby oil/shampoo thing on his face. But we can already see a difference just since we started using the Head & Shoulders yesterday, so we're hopeful that he's on the mend. The bad thing about cradle cap is that there really isn't anything that causes it, and there's no way to prevent it or cure it. So we can treat the symptoms and help them to clear up quicker, but he could keep having recurrences for several months or even years.

SHOTS
While we were at the doctor yesterday, I mentioned to him that we're going to have about a one month window that we are without insurance, and I asked him if it would be a problem to delay Elias' 2-month shots. He said "Well, we can actually give them as early as 6 weeks. Do you want to go ahead and get them today?" So my poor baby, besides his flaky scalp, scaly ears, and red rash on his face, also got three shots and an oral vaccine yesterday! So he is definitely a little worse for the wear and requiring some extra lovin' today. I sure am glad that Daddy is back in town!

GROWING
At the doctor yesterday, Elias clocked in at 11 lbs, 7 oz and 23 1/4 inches tall. That's 11 ounces and 1 inch larger than he was last WEEK! He sure is our growing boy!!!! The doc said it's a good sign, though, that his appetite is good and he's healthy and vigorous. We hope, though, that he'll slow down soon on the eating and the weight gain! Take it easy, kid! I think you've made up for all the lost time!

GRANDMA
My mom came down for a couple of the days that Justin was out of town this week, and it was so good to see her and have her help! Thanks for coming, Mom! Here are a few pictures from her visit:He sure did like getting a bottle from Grandma!
He always sleeps with his hands up by his face - sometimes he even puts them way over his head! He's done that since he was born and would never stand to have his arms swaddled. I actually asked the doctor yesterday about him getting too hot when he sleeps, and he said it might be time to ditch the swaddle. He has been kicking out of it recently and it hasn't seemed to interrupt his sleep. So yesterday we stopped swaddling him to sleep! Now he just sleeps in a t-shirt, diaper, and socks with a light blanket overtop. He did great last night, and I'm so relieved he's already willing to sleep without being swaddled. I think the closeness of the sleep positioner helps with that...
video
Grandma also managed to capture a video of him having such fun on his playmat. He's such a charmer!

So I think that's about all at the moment. My computer will be moving to Kentucky tomorrow, so you may not hear much from me for the next week or two. I'll at least try to get on and post brief updates to let you know how it's going!