Monday, July 26, 2010

Eli's First Video

For those of you who haven't had the privilege of meeting Eli, here's a video so you can see the little stud muffin in action. The very first clip is him at one month and the rest are him just within the last couple days. So notice how much he's chunked up from the first clip to the second.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Hardest Thing About Being a Mom

is burping my baby.

No one warned me. I heard breastfeeding might hurt. I heard about the thousands of diapers I would have to change. I heard about how tired I would be. But no one warned me about baby gas. So I feel it is my duty to warn the possible future mothers reading my blog that they should prepare now for the woes of baby tummy bubbles.

I didn't believe in burping Eli my first couple weeks as a mother. I didn't (and still don't) understand the concept of why they can't burp on their own. I think I believed burping your child was an old wives' tale - just something people unnecessarily do. Jeff started getting mad at me when he realized I would only pat Eli's back for about one minute and then put him down to sleep. In fact, sleep took priority over the gas bubbles during Eli's first week - leaving my neglectfulness somewhat unnoticed.

Then he got less sleepy and more gassy. I quickly learned burping really is a very necessary part of having an infant. If Eli has even the tiniest gas bubble, he will scream in excruciating pain. This is now an all too frequent scene in our house:

I feed Eli, burp him until he burps and then I burp him at least five minutes after that. Play with him for 30 minutes to an hour and then the crying begins.
Jeff: He's probably just tired.
Me: Yeah. He's been up a while. I bet he's tired.

I try to rock him to sleep.
Me: He can't still be hungry.
Jeff: Do you think he's sick?
Me: Jeff, why don't you try to burp him again.

Jeff pats Eli's back for a while. Eli calms down but is still crying.
Me: I bet he is just tired. Let me try to rock him again.
Jeff: I'll go change his diaper. That's probably what's bugging him.
Jeff picks Eli up from a diaper change only to finally wiggle the tiny burp out of our baby. Eli then falls fast asleep.

A burp is a hard thing to detect. I never suspect it to be his issue an hour after a feeding. I'm quickly learning that 9 times out of 10 with our kid his problem is typically a stored up belch. Dealing with his burps during the day are okay. It's the night burps that are the most difficult.

Eli and I go through our feeding routine. He's been falling back asleep pretty good at night now so I'll lay him in his crib. Just as I crawl back into bed and think something like, "Oh wow! That only took thirty minutes this time," I'll hear a little whimper from the next room followed by an ear piercing scream. After twenty minutes of patting Eli's back, the stubborn burp finally reveals itself.

I hesitate to share this genius business idea, but I spend most of my days now trying to come up with an invention that can somehow effectively burp a child without giving that child shaken baby syndrome. It's a work in progress, but when you see the infomercial, know that it was my idea.

For a while the only thing that kept me going was the thought that this whole burping thing would only last a couple months. I figured babies have got to figure out how to burp on their own somehow. I don't have anyone patting my back when I get a gas bubble. Then I saw my sister-in-law burping her one year old after a feeding. This is going to be a long year.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

First Family Photo Shoot

I hope one day Eli can find it in his heart to forgive me for all the things I put him through today. But Leslie and I had a lot of fun posing him. Here's a slew of pictures from today's photo shoot.

And here's the true gem of the day. This was a complete accident. Jeff didn't want me to put this picture up, but it was too funny to not share with our blogging friends.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sibling Rivalry

When I was about 12 years old, I remember my brother Abe walking in the house after a basketball practice. He said something to me like, "Girl, I just ran more today than you will ever run in your whole life."

I took that as a challenge.

There was always a battle between me and Abe growing up. We never got along. The real problem was that I am five years younger than Abe and, let's face it, a 5-year old girl is annoying to a brother who's 10. A 10-year old girl is annoying to a brother who's 15. We were perfectly, awkwardly spaced to get on each others' nerves.

Even with the constant bickering, a part of me was always trying to impress my older brother. He was so cool in school. He was a basketball star, and all the girls had crushes on him. When he would play with me, he always had the most creative games. I frequently heard about how smart and clever he was. Abe was some fierce competition and a tough act to follow.

I started running on my parents' treadmill right around that age. In 8th grade, I had a friend who got mad at me because I preferred running on Friday nights to hanging out. I joined the track team while Abe was on his mission. I remember writing him to tell him how far we had to run at our first track practice. It wasn't until about 9th grade that I was certain I had outrun his basketball practice experience. His innocent comment was frequently the motivating force behind my early running career.

It really wasn't until Abe got home from his mission that we finally got along. We started running together. Abe was the founder of "the loop," my favorite running course. I ran "the loop" just about every day during my last two years in high school.

I wish Abe and I had built-in odometers because I'm thinking we'd be pretty close in mileage right now.

So in an effort to continue to outrun Abe, I am planning on running another half marathon. I know, you all saw this coming. I figure it's the perfect way to lose the baby weight and there's conveniently a downhill race in Cedar City in two and a half months. I swore after both of the other races to never do it again, but I just can't resist. Abe's taunting voice is in my head egging me on. So wish me luck once again as I train for my third half marathon!

And yes Abe, you can take this as a challenge.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Suzy Homemaker

Now that I'm almost officially recovered from having a baby, I've decided it's time to pick up my motherly/wively duties. It started with cleaning the house a couple weeks ago. For those of you who may have wondered how dirty mop water would be after not cleaning the floor for four weeks, here's a picture so you don't have to experience the dirty floors yourself:
A clean kitchen finally gave me the motivation to cook. My mother is a very traditional woman and has always heckled me for not cooking for my husband. While she was helping me after I had Eli, she cooked many meals in my kitchen and assured me I would just LOVE cooking in my new apartment. She then suggested I try recipes from a cook book I got from my bridal shower. Well I took her advice and I have really been enjoying myself. All the meals have turned out really well and I truly have enjoyed feeding my husband. I have to show off the things I've made and mostly prove to my mom that I really have been filling my traditional wife role now that I'm a stay at home mom. The first meal we tried was a ham and noodle dinner.
Then I made some banana bread for a midnight snack while I'm up with Eli. I typically like banana bread, and the chocolate chips made it one of my new favorite treats.
These are shells filled with a tuna salad type thing. I didn't expect Jeff to go for this meal but at the dinner table he said, "I know good food, and THIS is good food."
The shells were served with broccoli cheddar soup. This was super easy to make and really good.
Ah. The beef stew. Oh my heavens. This was a piece of work. Luckily I checked out the recipe for this baby at around 4:00 the day I wanted to make it. I had to cook the meat for an hour and a half before it even went in the oven so I started right away. Then I was busy working on it from 4 until 6. It was really good but I am still debating if it's worth all the work.

And this is what we ate tonight. A couple people in our families have cut back on meat after reading the Word of Wisdom recently. Jeff and I decided to study the Word of Wisdom again and I think I'm going to try to majorly cut back on my meat intake. So this was our first "vegetarian" meal. I thought I'd have a hard time putting together a meal without meat but it was actually not too bad. Jeff made the cabbage salad and I made a cheese lasagna. I'll let you know if our other meatless meals come together so easily.
And I caught a smile from Eli on camera:

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Do You See What I See

Eli has been cracking me up with his eyes lately. Any time he goes from a light room to a dark room or for some reason every time we lay him down to change his diaper, we see this cute little face:
Each time it happens I can't help but get flashbacks of my darling niece Brooke in her younger years:
My mom keeps saying her grandkids don't really look like the Thomas side. I think I found the hidden Thomas gene.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Eli's First Fourth

It's summer in Cedar City and that only means one thing: parades, parades parades! I have always loved all the parades Cedar has. We couldn't let the 4th of July pass without showing Eli all the festivities. We ventured out of the house and had a good time!

Eli ended up sleeping most of the day so I was worried he would be awake quite a few hours during the night. We went to watch fireworks at the end of the day and Eli decided to stay awake for those. He didn't make a peep through all the explosions. He just sat and stared at them. He typically goes about 4 hours between feedings. When we got home Eli went right to sleep. I was expecting him to be hungry in about an hour, but I was so tired I went to bed anyway. Much to my surprise, Eli didn't start crying until 3:30 in the morning...six hours after his last feeding. I appreciated the extra sleep, but I think we may have given the little guy some stimulation overload with the busy day and wore him right out.

We did go to the doctor that next day because he was due for a weight check. He's now 10 lbs. He jumped from the 20th percentile to the 60th percentile so we really aren't starving the kid.
Eli's already a month old! I think he smiled at me for the first real time today. It was adorable. And yes mom, his eyes were open when it happened so I'm counting it.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Bless You!

We blessed Eli yesterday. He was such a good baby. He slept all through the meeting. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Thanks to everyone who came!