We're so glad you came to see us! Please leave us a comment to let us know you came by.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Early Morning Surprise

 Early Morning Surprise
(Inspired by Mr. William Carlos Williams)
by Tasha Guess

So much depends upon
an early morning feed
and an unpleasant smell
found on my baby's head

Have you ever read Love that Dog or Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech?  If you haven't, YOU SHOULD!!!  I've been thinking in poems for days.  I read each book in about two days.  I started rereading Hate that Cat to Eliana yesterday when we were outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  She loves poetry!

Let me share with you the first few poems of Love that Dog:


Room 105 - Miss Stretchberry

           September 13

          I don't want to
          because boys 
          don't write poetry.

          Girls do.

             September 21

           I tried.
          Can't do it
          Brain's empty.

               September 27
          I don't understand
          the poem about
          the red wheelbarrow
          and the white chickens
          and why so much 
          depends upon 

          If that is a poem
          about the red wheelbarrow
          and the white chickens
          then any words
          can be a poem.
         You've just got to

So, back to my poem.  I'm guessing you might be wondering why so much depends upon an unpleasant smell found on Eliana's head.  It wasn't just an unpleasant smell, there was something crusty on her head and cheek.    After feeding her at 5:30 am, I brought her back to her crib to continue sleeping for a few hours.  After laying her down, I noticed a drying puddle of something that used to be in her belly at the head of her bed.  It was hard to tell how much of a puddle was there since we only have a night light on in her room.  I decided to wake Kyle up.  My plan was to carry the still sleepy Eliana in my arms out to the couch so that he could change the sheet.  I was hoping to be able to lay her back down to sleep for a little while, and I knew that if I changed the sheet she'd wake all the way up.  

Although a little started by being woken up, Kyle was willing to go with my plan.  I scooped up Eliana up and headed for the couch.  Kyle was half way done pulling off the sheet when Eliana gushed all of the milk she had just taken in.  Sometimes I wondered if Eliana was getting more milk now that she is older.  I nurse her, so I don't know exactly how much she takes in.  I know that I drink TONS of water all of the time and eat healthy to keep up the milk supply.  Well, after this morning's fountain of milk covering so much of me, I can say for certain that she is taking in a whole lot more than she did a few months ago.

After loudly calling Kyle, "Kyle, I need you NOW!"  We sprang into action.  Kyle bathed Eliana.  I pulled the slip cover off the couch, got a load of laundry going, and showered.  

It is a few minutes after 8am with one load of laundry drying, another in the washer, plants having been watered, photos taken of coming poppies, breakfast enjoyed (by me, not Eliana), a baby sleeping since 7am, Bible study lesson completed, and Kyle off to work.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

10 Months Old!!!!!!

I can't believe that she is already 10 months old!  That is amazing to me!  If you consider the time in the womb, she has more than doubled how long she has been alive!  Ha!

Over the past week and a half, Eliana has gone from learning to crawl to being quick at crawling!  Her new found freedom has her following me e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.  She has found the kitchen to be an interesting place.  There are cupboards and drawers to open, the dishwasher to explore, and dish towels to pull down.  Initially, we were thinking about letting Eliana have a drawer or two that she could get in.  After having to clean up after her enthusiastic discovery, I realized that if I did that every time she went into the kitchen I'd be doing tons of extra cleaning.  So, we decided to begin teaching Eliana that all of the cupboards are off limits.  She is not thrilled with being told no and being flicked on the hand for disobeying.  She doesn't appreciate that I don't want her in the dishwasher either.  After a couple of days of being followed around in the kitchen, Kyle and I have decided to train Eliana to stay on the carpet in the dining room and to not come into the kitchen.  It really isn't safe since she is a tripping hazard for me while cooking and I don't want her getting into all of the cupboards.  Don't worry.  The dangerous cupboards with chemicals and plastic bags have child locks on them.  So far, having her sit in her bouncer while chewing on an apple slice inside its mesh teething toy has kept her occupied while I cook dinner.

Being outside is one of Eliana's favorite places to be!  On Monday, I realized that as Eliana has gained new worlds of freedom, I have in turn lost some of mine.  She didn't want to be entertained by any of her toys.  She wanted to play with me and knew she could crawl to get to me.  I found it a bit frustrating on Monday, so I came up with a plan for Tuesday.  I'd embrace the season.  Instead of still trying to do the things I normally do while she is awake, I'd embrace that she wanted to spend so much time with me.  It won't be long before she finds other things to entertain her and doesn't want to be right by me.  Her tongue twirling phase is already done, and I don't know how long this phase will last.  On Tuesday, we filled the stroller with a blanket, toys, and The D- Poems of Jeremy Bloom.  We found a shady spot on the grass near our apartment and enjoyed the afternoon under the shade of a tree.  Eliana was happy because I was close by.  I was laughing while reading children's poetry to her.  Life was good.  Plus, we made lots of people smile who walked or drove by.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Outside is a Happy Place to be

Eliana loves to be outside.  We regularly go for walks around our apartment complex.  It is rather large and has some nice trees, grass, and flowers to enjoy.  It keeps Eliana happy, and that makes me happy.  Plus the exercise is good for me!  After our walk today, I grabbed a towel and the camera so that we could enjoy a few more minutes of the beautiful weather before her nap.
I love this hat!  Eliana doesn't mind wearing it, which is a good thing since she has it on just about every time we go outside. 
I'm so glad that she is starting to feel better!  During a doctor visit on Monday, we found out that she had strep throat.  Thankfully, she wasn't contagious after 24 hours of antibiotics.  The bacteria is killed within 2 days.  Sadly, it takes weeks for the tender throat and nose tissue to grow back.  So, even though she isn't sick with bacteria, she won't sound great for a couple of weeks.  I'm really looking forward to when she doesn't wake up in the middle of the night due to a clogged nose or junk in her throat!!!

People often comment on Eliana's big eyes and bald head.  I got to thinking that there are some perks to her having very little hair.
1. Her tiny bits of hair are much easier to clean when they have sweet potatoes in them than if she had a whole head of hair.
2. Her head was much easier to clean when she was spitting up multiple times a day.  There was often enough spit up that if she was on her back, it pooled around the base of her head.
3. I don't have to do her hair.
4. There are no tangles to brush out.
5. If her hair gets dirty while we are out and about, a wipe will have it clean in the matter of seconds.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Eliana is officially mobile.  She isn't quick, but she can crawl around.  Today she got farther into the kitchen than she has ever been.  I decided to sweep, mop, and then I undertook the challenge of cleaning the baseboards.  I don't know if they have ever been cleaned!  AHHH!!!
Eliana loves to stand.  She prefers standing to crawling.  She now can pull herself up on the couch.  Yesterday she got to the end of the couch and didn't know what to do.  She fell and got a bit of a bruise.  I guess we are in the tumble and bruise season.

Eliana will use just about anything to pull herself up.  Here she used the door jam.  Did you notice that all of the doors are shut?  This will have to be a new habit for us since I don't want her playing in the toilet or getting into all of the stuff stored below our bed.  Last week she used the corner of a wall and a book shelf as a pulling up agent.  I decided that wasn't the safest place to be pulling up, so I moved her.  She then opted to see if a swinging door would be a good support. (o.0)

Eliana was too cute during this visit with her Aunt Trisha.  She kept turning from her to me and back again.  I think she was amazed at our similarities!!! 
 Eliana is happy one moment and sad the next.  It must be hard to be nearly 10 months old.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Kyle captured some better tongue twirls!

Eliana woke me up at 11:35pm on Friday night with a fever of 100.6.  We bathed her in lukewarm water.  She proceeded to stay up for 4.5 hours.  She wasn't super fussy, just not tired.  Since she was already running a fever, I didn't want her to cry a whole bunch and get hotter.  The fever continued through yesterday.  She had three baths during the day and continued to take Tylenol.  Her peak temperature was 102.7.  Last night she was up for another 4 or 5 hours.  Kyle and I had been taking turns with her.  Praise the Lord this happened over a weekend when we could both pitch in.  We also were able to take turns taking naps during the day when our wee one was up.  Thankfully, her fever broke this morning.  She went to bed a little after 6 tonight.  We'll see what the rest of the night holds.  Since she is now in the normal temperature ranges, I'm more willing to let her cry during the middle of the night to readjust to night time = sleep rather than night time = play time.  

Eliana did this back on Valentines Day and a week later we felt her two teeth coming in.  I wouldn't be surprised if some more teeth are on their way!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Silly Pictures

Eliana had been twisting her tongue inside her mouth.  Her phases can be so short sometimes that I miss capturing them in photo form.  Since this new phase just started yesterday, I attempted to capture it in the photos below.  Instead I ended up with a whole bunch of silly pictures.
No bottom lip and bright eyes: aka "AHHH it's the camera again!"

About to blink and sticking out the tongue: aka "No photos please."

Crazy eyes (about to blink) and a tongue twirl if you look closely!!! aka: "May I roll over yet?"

Normal eyes again, tongue twirl, and a sneak peek at those two bottom teeth!!!  aka "Maybe if I give mom a good picture I can go play again."

No bottom lip and a side glance toward toys aka: "May we be done with this photo shoot?"

Can you sin in heaven?

I've been teaching the Bible and Art Club for three weeks now!  We studied Daniel 1 the first week.  You can check out my post about our first meeting here.  During the second meeting we talked about who God is, what sin is, who Jesus is, and our response to knowing these things.  During the lesson a student asked if you can sin in heaven.  I hesitated and said I didn't think so, but that I'd get back to him.

Over the week I thought about my student's question.  I know that Satan had pride issues and wanted to be like God, lead a rebellion, and was kicked out of heaven.  SO, I know Satan did, but does that mean believers will be able to when they get to heaven?  My brain started searching through my heaven archives.  I decided to call in for reinforcements by calling up two pastors I know.  They pointed me to several passages.  The ones I chose were Colossians 1:19-23, Revelations 21: 1-8, and Revelations 22:1-5.

From the Colossians passage, we talked about three words that were new to the students.

Me: What do you think alienated means?
Student: You turn into an alien.
Me: How many of you have younger brothers or sisters? (Nearly all of them raise their hands.) Have you ever had a friend over and you keep your sibling outside of your room and close the door so they can't come in?  You are alienating them.  You are separating them from you.
Students: Ohhhhhhhh!
Me: That is what sin does.  It alienates or separates of from God.

Me: Does anyone know what reconciled means?
Students: No.
Me: Remember how you kicked your brother or sister outside of your room?  When your mom comes in and tells you that you have to let your sibling in and play with them or else you'll be grounded for life, that is being reconciled.  You are brought back together.
Students: Chuckles of understanding.

Me: What does blameless mean?  I know you know how to pull words apart, because I taught many of you how to do it in 4th grade.  Look at the word.  What do you know for sure.  Talk to your neighbor about the word blameless.
My partner: Um.... Less means without.  Blame is like when you blame something on someone.
Me to everyone: In this case, blameless is without sin.  You are wiped clean.

We then got into a whole discussion on how Jesus forgives us and wipes us clean.  We talked about how if I died on a cross I wouldn't be able to wipe their sin away.  The same student who asked if you could sin in heaven said, "But if you do enough good things, can't you get into heaven?  Like if you do more good things than bad things?"  I then told them about the thief on the cross next to Jesus who believed in Jesus just before he died.  The thief had done a whole life's worth of bad things, but he believed that Jesus is Lord right before he died and Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in paradise."

I think the Revelation passages point a little clearer to there being no sin in heaven, but I wanted to share our discussion in Colossians with you all.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Visiting Family

Laughing with Aunt Tara

Dancing with Aunt Trisha

Me, Eliana, and Trisha

 Me, Dad, Pop Pop, Mom, Aunt Donna, Trisha, Eliana, Taylor, Kyle, Tara, Donald, and Rob
Eliana's Great Grandma Sue

Learning New Things

Eliana is 9 and 1/2 months old.  She is learning so many new things. Although she doesn't have a quick crawl, she is getting around.  Yesterday I sat her down with some toys while I worked on scooping out the seeds of some butternut squash for her food.  When I looked back, she had moved a couple of feet and was standing and holding onto the chair legs.  
Look Mom, no hands!!!  
She can do this for about 5 seconds before she needs to grab a hold of something or will fall into my arms.

Although I thought it was cute the first day I found her like this, it isn't so cute anymore.  She now gets up and cries rather than napping.  I don't know if she knows how to get down yet.  One day this week I found her with her head down on the railing whining and rubbing her eyes.  Some day she won't fight sleeping as much.  That day might be in a couple of years, but I am still holding onto hope.

I love Eliana.  She brings us so much joy and laughter.  I'm so glad that I get to be home with her.  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Eliana's Friends

Eliana loves to play.  Most of her friends are adults, but she does have a few friends her age.  Although at this age, her peers are more of an interest to look at rather than to actually play with. 
Eliana loves to stand with her Aunt Rachel.

Paige and Eliana LOVE the swings!  They were entertained for a good 20 minutes or more.  Paige's daddy loves camouflage and got her dressed that morning:)  Check out the pink on her shoes:)

Eliana and her Aunt Taylor enjoyed some sun.

Clair and Eliana got along well!  I'm glad they aren't at the age yet where they fight over toys.

Claire is good at getting around by rolling and scooting.  I think Eliana picked up a few tricks from her, because Eliana is getting closer and closer to crawling.

Claire is such a cutie!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Good Bye Nanny

My Nanny passed away at 2:15am this morning.  My mom and Tara were awake and could tell that Nanny's life was coming to a close.  They woke up Pop Pop.  He came in and gave her a kiss goodbye, and then she passed.

I'm so very glad that we got to see her this weekend.  I'm blessed that Saturday was her best day for the last week and a half, and that Eliana was a big part of making that day special.  Kyle and I treasure the memories of her saying over and over "Beautiful baby!" to Eliana.

I found out a few minutes before Bible study that my Nanny was no longer here.  I hesitated in going, but decided that being in the fellowship of believers would be a good place for me.  When I parked, someone from my small group happened to have just parked a few minutes before me.  I found great comfort in her hug.  I shared with my group about Nanny and was embraced as tears went around the group.  Many people said they would be praying for my family and me.  A friend even offered to watch Eliana for a couple days if needed.
I'm so glad that Eliana brought such joy to her life.  I didn't really even need to say smile when I took these pictures.  She just did because she got to hold our precious gift.
 I love my Nanny dearly and will truly miss her. Thinking of Nanny spurred on the posts about M&Ms, a tribute to her, and photos of tulips we brought to her.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


 Eliana is getting close to crawling.  For now, she scoots around on her belly sometimes, and other times she is on her bottom.  She's gotten stuck in a few places.  The picture above is an unhappy place to be stuck.  The picture below is a happy place to get stuck:)
We are in the process of training Eliana to sleep in her crib at night.  She is taking both naps there, and she has made it all the way through the night once.  The other two nights she made it half way through the night.  Last night, I worked with her for two hours and finally ended up feeding her and laying her down in her swing.


I've never really noticed tulips before, but I've decided that they are delightful!
 Aren't these eye catching?  My mom's birthday is in March.  We didn't get to see her on her birthday, but we brought her these when we saw her this weekend.  She LOVES red!
 Nanny loves purple.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Nanny

Let me describe my Nanny to you.  She has beautiful, dark eyes like Eliana.  Her hair has been short, dark, and curly since I can remember.  In fact, I have a very vague memory of going to the hair parlor with her back in New York when I was four.  Nanny is a very organized and efficient lady.  Everything has a place and purpose.  She doesn't care for driving in the mountains or flying through turbulence.  She would like everything done quickly.  We jokingly say she'd like it done yesterday.  Nanny walks quickly, makes the best salad in the world, fancies purple, and loves a clean house.

During the summer in between my 7th and 8th grade year, Nanny and Pop Pop drove from Florida and picked Trisha and me up.  It took 5 days to travel across the country.  I had no idea Arizona was so red or so hot.  Mile after hot, dry mile of red mountains made me wish for just a touch of green.  Even grass would do.  I was so happy to see some grass in Texas.  We found out that Texas took over a day to cross.  The storm we hit on the return trip through Texas was like none other.  We actually pulled off early for the day's drive to the safety of a hotel.  At the time I thought if I could live anywhere, I'd pick Louisiana because it is so green.  I was writing a friend when while we were crossing Louisiana.  I remember stopping in mid thought to tell her every time we crossed a bridge.  The whole letter ended up being about bridges!  I had never seen so many bridges before in my life.  
We spent three weeks in Florida.  Both Trisha and I learned how to crochet while there.  We took walks through the neighborhood and to K-Mart.  Trisha, Pop Pop, and I went swimming.  Nanny would stand in the water now and again, but she doesn't know how to swim.  We attempted to play tennis.  Let's just say we were thrilled if the ball actually went back and forth across the court.  The houses in their neighborhood were around ponds that were full of turtles, ducks, ducklings, and l-o-u-d cranes.  We ate sandwiches, Italian food, and Drumsticks with carmel in the middle. 

Nanny and Pop Pop came out to visit about once a year.  Sometimes it was at Christmas time, and other times it was during the summer.  They came out in May of my eighth grade year.  I was nearing graduation and realized that they planned to head back home before I graduated.  I asked if they'd be willing to stay into the beginning of June.  They rearranged their flights just to be there.  My Nanny, who hates turbulence, dealt with a rough ride home because she and Pop Pop were willing to stay and celebrate with me.  

My Nanny cracks me up.  When Nanny likes something, she becomes possessive.  My Eliana, My Yankees, My Elvis, and My Bush (as in the former president).

 I will always hold dear the first time Nanny met Eliana.  She was elated!  Her eyes grew wide with joy and pure delight.  Words can't describe well enough her smile.  Even pictures can't really grasp how deep this smile penetrated.  It lit up her entire being.  The pleasure she took in holding my wee one is a treasure I hope to keep in my heart forever.  I had never seen such a big smile on her face that would last and last and last.  Little squeaks and moves brought laughter and awe.  Now that I think about it,  Nanny is elated every time she sees Eliana.

This weekend, Nanny's love for Eliana enabled her to have a sudden boost of energy and enthusiasm.  She wanted to sit up and hold Eliana.  She focused and talked with Eliana.  She smiled that great big smile for the first time in four days.  My Nanny, my precious Nanny is very, very sick with liver cancer.  She mentioned that she wasn't feeling well back in January.  We saw her in February for Pop Pop's 80th birthday, and she looked the same to me.  This weekend she didn't look the same, but I want to always remember the twinkle she got in her eye when she saw Eliana.
My Nanny loves her husband, daughters, son-in-laws, eight grand children, and seven great grand children.