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Saturday, December 31, 2011


I'm curious what Eliana has against weddings.  In May, Kyle's brother got married and Eliana thought it would be a good time to get a fever.  Kyle went to the wedding, and she and I stayed home.  A week later two teeth came from her fever.  I known that not all kids get fevers before they get teeth, but it is her habit.  Althought earlier this month she had a fever and I'm still looking for the teeth.  Then again, trying to check to see if teeth are coming in is now much more of a challenge.  Eliana doesn't want us sticking our fingers in her mouth to check, and I don't blame her.

My sister is getting married later tonight.  Eliana got a fever on Thursday night.  Although it was gone Friday morning, it came back yesterday afternoon.  Sigh.  So Kyle is home with Eliana, and I'm two hours away soon to be the matron of honor.  I miss my honey and my baby.  This is the first time Eliana and I have been apart for 24+ hours.  It was so hard to leave our home.  She cried when I took the suitcase out to the car.  She cried when I came back for a few things.  She cried when I had to get something to help with the frost on Kyle's car.  I thought it was cute and sentimental when she'd cry when Kyle went to work.  She cries when anyone leaves.  Eliana takes a little bit to warm up to visitors, but she hates to see them go.  I found it so very hard to leave knowing I wasn't just going to the store, but I'd be two hours away while she didn't feel good.  I told Kyle I am so grateful that I get to be a stay at home mom.  I'd much rather be the one comforting Eliana telling her Daddy will be home that night than dropping her off for someone else to comfort her.  Don't get me wrong though, she goes to the nursery during church and we love when Rachel and Ruli care for her so we can have a date night.  I guess I'm just mushy because she is sick and I'm far away.

I was trying to see a bright side to Eliana having a fever.  The only thing that came to mind was that she got it on Thursday night and not when we were already out of town.  It would have been much harder to deal with if we were guests at someone's home.

I am looking forward to the wedding!!!  Yeah for Trish and Zak!  I've been praying for them as they have dated, and it will a blessing for them to be married.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hunting for a Christmas Picture

In the beginning of December Eliana got sick with a fever, then congestion, and a wahoo lets turn up the screaming with a double ear infection.  You can read about how Kyle was my hero that week here.  So, it was already a few days into December, and we hadn't taken a photo worthy of a sending out for Christmas cards.  So, after she was feeling a little better we took the above picture along with several others that didn't make the cut.  Can't you just hear her saying,"We're taking another picture?  Please may I get down and play.  We already took 20 pictures."

I thought this was a great picture of Kyle and Eliana, but it would be kind of weird to send out a Christmas card with just Kyle and Eliana.  So, back to the drawing board I went.  

Last year I did a blog post for Shutterfly and got 25 free cards.  That deal was offered again, but I looked into it too late.  I did some hunting around online for photocards, but they just seemed a but expensive to us when you add the cost of the stamps.  

It was cold for a few days.  Finally, I just bundled Eliana up and hoped for a good photo shoot.  When I got back home, I thought that her hat and gloves kind of clashed.  So although they were cute pictures, I didn't want to send them out either.  Sigh.  At that point I was really debating if it was worth it.  I was wondering if people really cared about Christmas cards.  I know I love getting them, but I wondered if others cared about getting them.  

 I looked again at this picture and the one above on the right and thought I could crop the gloves out of the shot and then the clashing wouldn't be seen.  Plus, my friend Michele's words came to mind about why she shares Christmas cards, "We just have too much to celebrate not to share."

 It was a little warmer the next day, so out we went again minus the clashing warmer clothes.  As you can see, Eliana wasn't initially interested in exploring that day.  She'd rather frown and hold on to my legs for dear life.

I decided to embrace the moment and try to make her laugh.  I'm thankful that I did!  Shortly after she was ready to play in the leaves and look for pine cones (one of her all time favorite past times). 


I wanted to send out more cards this year, so although it wasn't the norm, I just printed pictures and attached a shorter that usual update on us.  I like getting the letters from friends, but I know that not everyone really cares about how our year went.  Plus, I didn't want to just hit the highlights and seem like I was bragging.  My goal was to point people to Jesus while sharing things we are grateful for this year.  

This almost was the photo we used this year.  She can be such a ham at times.  

A little bit of cropping and wa-la, you can't see my shoes anymore.

A blessing came from Rachel as I had her help me pick the picture to use.  She said she had some free photos from Costco.  Super!

18 Months Old on Christmas!!!

My mom came up a few days before Christmas.  The photos from this post are from my mom.  Our camera was accidentally left at her house on Christmas, so we'll be getting it this weekend when Trisha gets married.  It feels very weird to me to not have a camera for a few days.

 It is so nice when family comes to visit us.  We love visits!  Plus this past visit included some cute clothes for Eliana, a few books (which we've now read several times), and two toothbrushes.  I'd been telling Kyle for a few weeks that I thought it was time to get a toothbrush for our wee one.  My mom didn't know that, and it was such a blessing to get them.  We're still working on Eliana actually brushing her teeth.  Initially she wouldn't even let us put it in her mouth.  For now, I'm working on her brushing her teeth while I brush mine.  It works better if she sees me brushing my teeth.  We get a little better each day.  Today I actually got to scrub the bottom teeth for at least 3 seconds.  Baby steps, baby steps.
 My mom and Trisha had fun picking out Eliana's Christmas outfit.  Pretty cute eh?  While at a moms' group the spring break before Eliana was born, I made the bow.  I remember thinking afterwards, "Now why did I pick red?  I don't know when we'll even get to use this bow."

I'm so glad that Eliana loves bath time.  She knows the sign for bath and makes a "b" sound when we sign and say bath.  She loves to play in the water.  We have apartment sized sinks, and soon she will be getting to big to bathe in them.

Eliana is going through a picky eating phase.  Or at least I hope it is a phase!!!  Things she normally likes doesn't mean she'll like them this month.  She likes berries, but she wouldn't even touch them when we ate at Troy and Aimee's on Monday.  I don't want to cater to her eating habits too much, so that means some meals are quite noisy around here as she is trying to help me understand that the "good food" is in the refrigerator.  Eliana loves crackers, but I don't give them to her too often.  I'd rather her have some fruit.  She loves cheese, and it is a saving grace as a sprinkle of cheese on top of food she has refused to eat suddenly becomes edible.  Her fine motor skills have really improved.  She is able to pick foods apart and eat just what she likes.  A few months ago she loved veggies, and now it is a real effort to get her to eat them.  I did have success with tomato earlier last week.  I hid it in her sandwich, and she ate them with no problems.

A few weeks back I posted about "Reasons I Love my Husband".  It turned out that Eliana had a double ear infection.  I thought she was teething, but new teeth haven't come through.  I hope when the teeth do come in, they'll count that week of torture as a credit for any pain she'll go through.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Explorer

Eliana loves to go on nature walks and she likes to look at creatures of all kinds. Here are some recent pictures.

Did it just wink at me?

I love pine cones!!!

What is this that I found?

Eliana liked taking sand and rocks and moving them from one spot to another.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reasons I Love my Husband

These are in order from Sunday, not in order of most value.
Kyle and I were able to share a special meal on a $25 gift card to Cheesecake Factory in honor of our 7th anniversary.  He was willing to forgo his first menu choice in order for us to not spend extra money.  That is a huge blessing since we are still working on budgeting better.  We were able to share a yummy pizza and dessert.  We walked and talked reflecting on our past year of marriage.  When talking about our hopes for the next year, we shared the same dream.

Kyle doesn't mind when I get so excited about seeing red trees and talking about them regularly.

I woke up Kyle at 6:30 am to ask him to grab a few groceries before heading to work.  I think some husbands would have refused, or argued, or told me to go get them myself.  Kyle was willing.  Eliana being up from 4ish that morning may have had something to do with it.  I had so much more peace through the day since I didn't have to worry about taking a fevered baby to go grab some more milk.

He makes me laugh at the silly things he does at work.  After seven years of marriage, I am still surprised at the things he says and does.  I am such a cautious person by nature, and well... he isn't.  Sometimes, I find that quite humorous.

Kyle got out of bed at 1:40am when I needed help since Eliana's tummy had just ... showered me.  He helped me to bathe Eliana.  He wasn't grumpy or crabby or angry.  He helped until I was settled and then he was able to get some zzzs while I continued to care for Eliana in the living room.

I love my husband, and I am grateful God gave him to me.


Today I am thankful for Eliana.  She currently isn't feeling well.  She got a fever on our anniversary (Wahoo for 7 years) and hasn't been well for 6 hours straight yet.  Fevers tend to come for her when teeth are trying to poke through. I'm guessing there are some really large teeth trying to break through since this is the third day like this.  I've enjoyed the cuddle time immensely, but I miss having Eliana well.  Eliana isn't a cuddler, so having her fall asleep while I'll held here lately is a real treat.

I am thankful that some time over the summer Eliana learned to sleep through the night.  She hasn't since Sunday, and so it reminds me what a blessing a whole night of sleep is.

I am thankful that God has given us the pleasure of raising our wee one.  On Thanksgiving, friends of ours had a precious stillborn son.  I simply can't imagine.  This week an acquaintance gave birth six weeks early, and her wee one is preparing for heart surgery this week.  I know what it was like for my brother to have open heart surgery, but I can't imagine what it was like for my parents or for these friends of friends.

Today my heart is heavy for these two families.  Please pray for them.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Over the last few months I slowly began weening Eliana.  This month we went all the way down to one feeding.  Tonight, at 17 months old and one day, we made the leap into going to bed without that last feeding.  I began writing the previous post just to take my mind off of Eliana screaming.  The thing is, she is already now asleep, and I'm the one sad and near tears.  When she was a few months old, I dreamed of the day when I would no longer nurse Eliana.  The word "FREEDOM" was what I thought I would feel.  Now that it has come, I am blurry eyed as I type.

On a happier note, let me share Eliana's face this morning.

She had this face because she was looking at this.

Which she followed up by doing this, aka, "Dad, hold me there is a giant tree where the keyboard normally goes, and I don't know if I am okay with that."

What she didn't realize was that after "helping" me practice the piano last night, she "helped" her dad open the Christmas tree box.  Then she "helped" him put the Christmas tree stand together.  While she slept, we put the tree together.

We decided not to decorate the tree yet.  I wanted to see if it was going to be a nightmare teaching her not to touch the tree.  So far, she hasn't touched it at all.  That surprises me since she normally is so curious about anything new in our home.  We'll see how long it lasts.

Enjoy the giggle fest while we "practiced" the piano.

Entering the World of the Drugstore Game

I am slowly taking baby steps in saving our family money.  Here is how it worked for tonight.  I carefully scanned the Rite Aid ad and found that the Softsoap was on sale for $2.97, plus $2 UP rewards, the VO5 Shampoo and Conditioner was on sale 3 for $2, plus a $1 UP rewards, and I had a $2 off coupon for Crest Complete Toothpaste.  I read online to double make sure I could use the UP reward immediately and in combination with coupons, and I could!  That meant I made three purchases.  The soap stayed at $2.97 for my first purchase, the shampoo was free (although I did have to pay tax on it) with the $2 UP rewards for my second purchase, and the toothpaste went from $3.99 to $.99 with the coupon and $1 UP rewards for my third purchase!

Is $2.97 good for 8.5 ounces of soap?  Not really, but it was good for the premium soap, and it gave me the $2 UP rewards which made my shampoo and conditioner free.  I hope I like the aroma, but normally the basic scent is the one I like best and other scents tend to drive my nose bananas.  Do I normally buy VO5 shampoo?  No.  But one of the suggestions from Crystal at http://moneysavingmom.com/ was to try the cheaper brand.  If you can't stand it, then switch to a different one.  The concept was to try something  cheaper to see if you really needed the higher priced brand.  So, we'll see.  If not, Kyle can smell like strawberries for awhile.  HA!

In the end, instead of paying $11.85 before tax, I paid $3.87 before tax.  I figure that isn't too bad as I enter the world of drugstore game.  You can learn more about the drugstore game at http://moneysavingmom.com/.  Scroll down to the "Best of..." title on the right and then watch some of the "31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget".

Friday, November 25, 2011

Eliana is 17 months old!!!

 We celebrated by going on a nice long walk which included a stop at the mail box (thus the Babies R Us ad...).
I love our little girl.  She is growing up so fast!  Instead of taking a walk with her in the stroller, we all walked.  That amazes me.  A year ago, I had to carry her everywhere, because she was totally immobile.  Now she walks with us and enjoyed the sunshine while picking up red leaves and pine cones.

I know that the monkey sweater kind of clashes with the red leaves, but I didn't think about that until after we were already on our walk.  Oh well.  She is still a cutie!

I love these trees!  They remind me of lollipops, because they are so vibrant and multicolored.  

 These trees amaze me, because they turn yellow AND red.  That is a pretty special tree in my book.  I love the way leaves are translucent.
We took a short detour on our walk to capture this beautiful tree.  The sound of the wind blowing through these kinds of trees is so gentle and comforting.  There is a mini orchard of them back at the college I went to.  On those stressful term paper writing days, I'd slowly walk through the trees remembering that God is bigger than textbook reading and term papers.

 Eliana's fascination with pine cones cracks me up.  Of all of the hobbies to have, I'm glad this one is free:)  Eliana finds it funny to sport her dad's beanie he got on a mission trip to Jamaica. Kyle was looking for a souvenir.  The funny thing about the hat is that it was made in China.  Go figure.

Remember back on the Fall Fun post how I said fall was coming?  This is the same tree, but now it is all dressed in yellow instead of just the small cluster I captured back in October.  

Things Eliana has been up to this month:
*Eliana has learned how to hug.  Awe, I love it!  They are normally quite brief hugs, but I'll take them!  Sometimes she runs to give me them, because she realizes that I've used "that tone" when calling her name because she is in trouble.
*She nods her head yes and no.  So even if she doesn't have many words, she will nod no when she doesn't want certain things.
*Despite a beautiful display of Thanksgiving food, Eliana wasn't interested.  She ended up eating mainly banana, a few bites of ham, and some bread for dinner.  I got to thinking about it today, and I remembered that I couldn't handle ANYTHING related to Thanksgiving foods when I was pregnant with her.  I was barely pregnant when Thanksgiving came.  We had three Thanksgivings to celebrate over three days, and I could barely handle eating any of the food.  Even after she came, it took many,  many, many months to enjoy mashed potatoes or stuffing.
*Eliana has become clingy at times this month.  She'll grab a hold of my jeans and try and climb up when we go places, even if she has been there many times before.  Normally it takes a few minutes for her to relax and then she is off exploring the world.
*Although taking Eliana grocery shopping had of late been rather difficult, this past Monday's trip was nice.  Lately I've been waiting until Kyle is home for us to go so that if she makes a big fuss, they can go get an item while I shop.  But, on Monday she and I went right after a morning snack and with some of her favorite books.  I think the combination of those two things, some nice people at Winco, and God's graciously answering my plea of help made the trip so much more delightful.
*I am so very grateful that God gave us her.

Happy Thanksgiving

This year we stayed in town for Thanksgiving.  Eliana blessed me by waking up after 8.  Awe, lovely!  I was able to read my Bible and journal before she or Kyle woke up.  It was such a delightful way to start my day.  We headed over to Michele's to join them in the festivities.  Thanks Michele for having us!  Rachel and Ruli were able to come too!  

 Eliana had a blast playing with Theresa and the other kids.  It was nice for her to be happily content while we played Loot.  She slept for most of the time while we played Phase 10.  Kyle and Theresa kept an eye on her while we played Nertz after dinner.  I love gathering together, enjoying good food, and playing games!  Hooray!

Just in case you forgot, I love red leaves!!!  When dinner was just about ready, I quietly ventured out to capture some fall photos.

You could hear Jeremy, Tim, Ruli, and Kyle saying, "OHHHHHHHH!!!" as they played down the street where I went and got those red leaf pictures.  Yeah for good times!

 I found trying to get a smiling picture of Nathan while he tried to continue eating a cracker to be a rather hilarious moment.