Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We made it!

It's a miracle! We made it in late Sunday night (actually early Monday morning). Our flight was one of the few that made it into Portland... so we feel very fortunate. It was an eventful night, with one delay after another (and a sprint through the Denver airport). But we arrived! And now that we see conditions here, we feel even more fortunate.

This is the most snow Portland's had in my lifetime for sure. On the news they were saying that the last time they had this much snow was '68. Wow! I would say that here in Columbia City there is about 14 or 15 inches. And they are predicting more snow over the next few days. Now I know that for many people that's not much snow. But Portland just isn't prepared to deal with these kind of condtions... in fact they ran out of the ice melt stuff (don't worry -they were able to get more). They don't have many snow plows etc. So it takes awhile to get the roads cleared off. And at the airport the runways were cleared, but that's about it. All of the taxiing was done through the snow.

Anyway, we're here safe and sound and in time for a White Christmas! Thank you God!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Love


Just couldn't let this day pass without wishing a very happy birthday to the love of my life.

Greg, you're such a great husband, and now a great father. I look forward to growing old with you.

Flight delayed...

So we were supposed to be leaving tonight. But our flight got cancelled! Lame, huh? There's too much bad weather in Portland, I guess. But they rescheduled it for tomorrow night. Hopefully that one won't get cancelled.

Anyway, in the meantime, to hold Wanda over until we get there, here's a video of Elisa from last night. It's not a great video. But what impresses me about it is that Elisa actually squats down and then stands up again without holding onto anything.

video

Like Greg mentioned in his blog, Elisa is now officially walking. She took her first step at the end of October. She then progressed to taking up to 4 steps at a time if coaxed. But then she stopped taking steps altogether. Then we found out that she had ear infections, and after being on her antibiotics for a few days she started walking on her own. She didn't even need to be coaxed. She just started walking. In the few days since then she has really progressed! She even walked from our living room all the way to kitchen one night. I think those ear infections may have been holding her back. Now she's making up for lost time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another Grosgrain Giveaway

Isn't this a beautiful dress? It's another one of the Grosgrain Giveaways. If you have a little girl, you too could win this. Just go to the site and then link back to it on your blog. Hope I win!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Leesi's Birthday!

So today we celebrated the big day. The day that Elisa was born. Here are some pictures from the party...






Tonight after all the festivities were over and Elisa was in bed, Greg and I watched a bunch of old videos of Elisa. Wow, it's amazing how much she's changed and grown. I had already forgotten what she was like as a little baby. mmm. (happy sigh)

Here's a little trip down memory lane...



Wasn't she so little and roly poly?


Now she is such a big girl. For videos from the party of Leesi eating her cake visit Greg's blog: http://gregbrock.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 12, 2008

Getting Ready

It's almost my first birthday!

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I've just been so busy. This time of year is already crazy... plus we've added a birthday. So I've been spending a lot of time getting ready for Elisa's first birthday tomorrow. We're having an open house. I figured there was already enough going on for people without adding a huge party. But I couldn't help but celebrate Elisa's first birthday somehow. So I figured an open house was a good compromise. People can just drop by and stay for as long or as little as they like. I hope it goes well! I hope people come!

Here are some of the preparations:
Don't these just look like a party waiting to happen?

I put some of our favorite pictures from Elisa's first year up on the fridge. But now I just stand and look at them instead of doing my work (dishes, cooking etc.) I need to take them down as soon as the party's over so I can get some work done.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Sunday of Advent

Today we got out the boxes of Christmas decorations. I've tried to keep our Christmas stuff at a minimum. We have just 3 boxes including all our christmas lights, ornaments, mugs, cds, books etc. But we still have room for a "skiing Santa" that Greg's gramma gave us a few years ago. When I got it out of the box I was curious to see how Elisa would respond to it. Not to compare my child to a dog, but in my experience dogs usually hate it. So I thought Elisa might respond with the same fear/suspicion. But she LOVED it. First Santa says, "There's a cold wind blowing in from the North Pole, I better hold onto my hat." Then he starts moving along the ground and singing. It is pretty funny. When Santa started talking Elisa smiled really big, then when he started skiing she chased him down... but she wasn't sure what to do with him then. Anyway, maybe I'll take a video one of these days. No promises!

So, like I mentioned in the title, today is the First Sunday of Advent. I love the Advent Season. I love the traditions and I love taking time to slow down and think about Christ's birth. Tonight before bed we read the Christmas story to Elisa; she listened contentedly while sucking on her toothbrush (she loves that toothbrush!)
Now that I have a baby I can't help but ponder - Jesus as a baby... what a wonder... God as a helpless infant. I can't believe that God loves us so much that he became like us. He didn't just become a full-grown man who was strong and god-like... he came as a baby. He grew up just like us. He went through the human experience with all its ups and downs. He went through puberty! He experienced grief, anger, and joy.
It says in Philippians, Christ existed in the form of God, but did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. Instead, he emptied himself and took the form of a bond-servant and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:6-7). And since he was made like us, he understands us... he's able to sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-15). That's what I need... a God who can understand my weaknesses.
Thank you Lord Jesus, for coming as a baby.
"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

So another Thanksgiving away from family... this year we celebrated at our house. I cooked my first Turkey ever (it was fine, not great)... and I baked my first pecan pie (which was delicious).


We had Patrick (RD for North Hall), Comfort (RD for Mayfield), and Comfort's parents and sister over. We all had a good time together and lots of good food.
After the big meal we went out to the lobby for a few games of ping pong. Elisa even got in on the action.
Elisa also got in on the food action. She had her own mini Thanksgiving dinner. It was her first time eating turkey and cranberries... at first she wouldn't eat the turkey, but by the end she was feeding it to herself.


So overall, a very nice Thanksgiving. This year I am especially thankful for my wonderful husband and my beautiful daughter. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hilarity



I really don't know what she was laughing at... but she was hysterical.
Shortly after this she started crying. I guess she was just feeling emotional.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I made a purse





This is actually the 5th purse/bag I've made. It's kind of addictive. First I made one for myself... then another for myself... then one for a friend... then a friend of that friend wanted me to make them one... then this one.
This is by far the most difficult one I've attempted. I complained and lamented through the whole process to Greg. When I finished it he said he was a little surprised because he had been waiting for me to just give up and scrap it. It was supposed to be about 2 inches taller than it is... I had a couple of mistakes that necessitated a change of plans. And there were a few seams that I had to rip out and redo. Still, I think it turned out quite well.

Big News!

Elisa weighs 17lbs. 8 oz.!!!!!

She's gained 1 1/2 lbs since last month! That is such good news to Momma. I can't tell you how happy I was to hear how much she'd gained.

The other good news is that she has been eating rice for the last few days and she hasn't had any kind of bad reaction to it. (She had terrible reactions to both rice and oatmeal cereal when she first started on solids and so we've stayed away from grains - maybe I'll post more about this some day.)

So right now I'm feeling very encouraged about Elisa's weight and eating!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Elisa - 11 months

Elisa is now 11 months old. We're only a month away from the big day - her first birthday. My mom asked me the other day if Elisa was crawling.... I was like, "Mom, she's been doing that for months!" I realized that I haven't really been keeping everyone up to date on all the things Elisa can do and likes to do. So here goes.

She has taken a couple of steps on her own - but never more than one at a time. She loves walking around the house with someone holding onto her hands. She can climb stairs (we don't have any stairs in our house, but the other day I put her down in front of some stairs and she climbed up no problem as if she'd been doing it for months). We haven't worked on climbing down stairs yet. She can stand without holding onto anything for limited amounts of time. She just started waving bye bye sometimes (finally!) She signs "more" while eating. She can feed herself with her fingers and sometimes insists on feeding herself with the spoon. She is actually pretty good at getting the spoon to her mouth, but not very good at getting food onto the spoon unless I help. We are convinced that she says Daddy and Momma and sometimes we think she says duck. But it really is so hard to know. She has just discovered the joy of dropping things. Before her bath we line her bath toys up along the edge of the bathtub and she loves dropping them in one at a time and then peering over the edge at them.

Side story: This morning I had her in the bathroom with me while I was taking a shower and she kept on dropping Itty Bit (her favorite stuffed bunny) into the tub. He was soaking wet by the end... which was okay since he really needed a wash. I threw him in the wash... but he didn't fare too well... a little hole opened up at his neck/shoulder. I sewed him up ... hopefully good as new. But he definitely wasn't made to be washed.

Anyway... Elisa is also starting to get into everything and leave huge messes in her wake. She opens all the cabinets and drawers and pulls everything out of them. She takes a book off the shelf and then looks at it contemplatively before pulling the next one off. She likes reading books now... mostly she wants to try to turn the pages. When she isn't able to turn them sometimes she gets so frustrated that she starts crying. She loves eating toilet paper and if the toilet seat is up she'll splash in the water. Needless to say, we try to keep the bathroom doors closed. She loves music - she dances whenever we sing or turn on a song she likes. And this is BIG NEWS!!! She finally got her first tooth! At 10 1/2 months it finally came through. She is now working on a second. Most of all she is just a joy to us. At the end of the day Greg and I tell each other all our Leesi stories, and then laugh and go into her room and watch her sleep. I still don't understand it - but there is just such a joy that comes from parenting.

Leesi's campaign

Leesi was campaigning for president. But don't worry, she was a good sport! Besides, there's always 2012.



Saturday, November 8, 2008

A visit from Grammy

Grammy came for a visit this week. She was here for a few days and we all had lots of fun together. Here we are at the airport seeing Grammy off today. Elisa was having so much fun crawling all around the airport. Here she is... laughing as she crawls around. Thanks for visiting Grammy. Come back soon.




Friday, October 31, 2008

Little Gourd

So two days ago I was trying to give Elisa her bottle. But she grabbed a decorative gourd off the table and chewed/sucked on it instead. She wouldn't give it up. It was so funny to me that I made Greg take a picture.

Our little chick

Here's little Leesi today in her first Halloween costume! So much fun.








Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cloth Diapering (continued)

So a few weeks ago I posted about cloth diapering. And I said that I would update you on how it's going... so here it is:

The first couple of days were hard. Elisa had diarrhea, there was a lot of poop that leaked onto the diaper covers, it took a long time to get the diapers on, the diapers were super bulky, most of her pants didn't seem to fit over the top of the diapers.... and everything just seemed a lot harder. Also, I had no cloth diaper bin, so I was just sticking the diapers into the washing machine... which meant that if I wanted to do other laundry I had to take them out... ick!

On the instructions that came with the diapers it said that it was hard to transition from disposable to cloth... and not to give up right away. So, we didn't. We bought a trash can for the dirty diapers and just kept on trying.

It's been about a month now, and we've been using them about half the time. For awhile I had a goal of using four a day... and that kept me motivated. But now I use them most of the time when I'm home. And it's really not that hard. Greg agrees... he wasn't really into the idea from the beginning. But now he uses them too and it's no big deal. In fact, I think we're going to buy a few more so that we have enough to use them even on "washing days." We both agree that we don't like using them when we're away from home. So I think we'll just stick to using them when we're here.

They are really quite easy to wash. I use diaper liners (which are thin sheets of paper-like stuff that go in between the diaper and the baby's butt), so I can just flush the liner with the poop. I rarely have to dunk the diapers in the toilet, or deal with poop. Then on wash day I just dump them in the washer and run them through once on cold, then once on hot. I wash the liners that were just peed on along with the diapers and reuse them. I don't fold my diapers (folding has long been my least favorite thing about laundry). I just stack them and use them again... so that's easy peasy!

I think that the hardest things for me to get used to are:
1) The added bulk. I have pants that Elisa can wear with cloth diapers and pants that she can wear with disposables. If I switch halfway through the day I have to switch pants too... otherwise the pants will either fall off, or be so tight that Elisa has trouble moving.
2) The added diapering time. Even though I've gotten faster it still takes about three times as long for me to change a cloth diaper. And Elisa is NOT a patient diaper changer. She wants to be moving and crawling and rolling, not laying on her back getting her diaper changed.

But other than that... I guess I like it. It is a little more work. But overall I'm glad that I'm saving money. Though I'm still not so sure that I'm saving the earth.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where's Itty?

Here's Elisa and me playing a hide 'n' seek of sorts. The bunny we're playing with is named Itty Bit... and Elisa is super attached to her. She sleeps with Itty and, if we let her, she drags Itty around the house.

video

Leesi is just so much fun. Today while I was watching her I realized that I'm just a few weeks away from having a toddler. She is starting to seem more and more like a big girl and less and less like a baby. It's amazing that last year at this time I was pregnant with her, she's grown up so quickly!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kansas City

So Greg, Leesi and I spent some time in Kansas City this last weekend. We had a great time seeing the city... and best of all spending time with the Wehrley family. Here are some highlights. We went to the Art Museum. It was such a great museum and it had a sculpture garden around it... with these huge badminton birdies... (or shuttlecocks as Molly and Greg tried to avoid saying).
We also went to the best farmer's market (okay, maybe not the best... Pike's Place still has them beat... but it was a fun one) and ate gelato at a little shop next to the market.
We saw this sculpture... and guess what it was, "The Thinker" by Rodin. You can't quite see the whole thing because we had a 5 year old taking our picture... but you get the idea. Of course, the real one is in Paris. But it was cool nonetheless.
Greg even got to experience twins... but only for a minute. All in all a really great weekend. Thanks Adam and Molly!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just Swinging

So we are in Kansas City, Missouri right now. We decided spur of the moment to drive up and visit our friends Molly, Adam, and their kids, Natasha, Elias, and Ana. They are only here for a few weeks so we decided we should seize our opportunity. I haven't seen Molly in probably five years... which means that I haven't met either of her younger kids... and Natasha was only a baby last time I saw them. Anyway, we're having a good time with them. I'll post more later about our trip. But tonight I just thought I'd post my favorite picture from today. Elisa loved the swings today!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Diapering... green?

Well, I don't even know how to start this post... since this has been such a long process for me.

A couple months ago I started thinking about how serious I am about recycling. In the 7 years since Greg and I have been married I have always recycled... even though I've never had curbside recycling. With the exception of when we first moved to Arkansas and were told incorrectly that they didn't recycle anything but paper, I've always saved up all my recyclables and driven them to the nearest recycling center. In other words, I'm willing to go to a lot of trouble to be a little "greener".

So why, I wondered, wasn't I willing to even look into cloth diapering?

I decided to do some research. And what I found was somewhat surprising.

Now I know that diapering can be a sensitive topic... as can almost any parenting topic. It seems as though we all have our strongly held opinions... I'm not really trying to change any minds in writing about this. This is truly just a story of my "journey" into the great diaper debate. (Maybe someday I'll write a screenplay).

I found that it is actually highly debated if it is indeed greener to use cloth diapers. Here's a quote from the ABC News Story:
"A new study released in England by a quasi-government environmental organization may dampen the debate even further. After a three-year, 200,000-pound (about $360,000) study, the London-based Environmental Agency concluded that disposable diapers have the same environmental impact as reusable diapers when the effect of laundering cloth diapers is taken into account."

Now it is important to mention that cloth diapering CAN BE greener... It's all in how you wash. For instance, washing diapers in warm water (instead of hot), using an energy effecient washer, and line drying diapers are just a few of the ways to cut down on energy consumption thereby making this a more environmentally friendly option. Also, another thing to take into consideration is the fact that you can use cloth diapers until they wear out. That is, it is possible to use them with multiple children... and then as dust rags etc.

I have to admit, it is pretty crazy to think that using and washing my own cloth diapers could possibly be as bad as throwing a huge bag of disposable diapers away each week. I just don't know if I believe it. But, hey, I didn't do a three year study.

Also there is the health factor to take into consideration. There was a study done with lab rats etc. etc. etc. Disposable diapers (cloth-diaper-people say) contain harmful chemicals... do you really want those against your baby's bottom?

And then the question of potty training. I think that it is pretty much agreed upon that cloth-diapered kids potty train sooner than disposable-diapered kids. It's because they can feel the wetness against their skin.

Still, these things didn't convince me to do cloth... I mean, it's debated whether or not cloth is greener. It's suggested that disposables may have harmful chemicals (but really, I chew sugarless gum - I'm used to the "may cause cancer in lab rats" line). I liked the fact that Leesi may potty train sooner. But was I really willing to dunk poopy diapers into the toilet for the two years until she's potty trained?

But then I came to the cost consideration. After much research into different cloth diaper options (and believe me, there are a lot of options!), I figured out which diapering supplies I would use and then calculated the cost difference. I figured out that I would save AT LEAST $600 over the next two years if I used cloth diapers most of the time. Now that is a VERY conservative estimate! And of course, with our second kid it would be pure savings. Now that was based on my own personal estimate... But if you're curious about the savings check out this website Why use cloth diapers? She breaks down all the costs including wear and tear to your washer and still comes up with at least a $600 savings.

So, I decided to try it. I bought a small amount of cloth diapering supplies and I've been using them part time over the course of the last week. I'll keep trying it out over the next few weeks and report back what I think.

For now, I welcome your comments. Let me know what's worked for you... or your opinion about diapering in general.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

More pictures

Everyone likes pictures, right?




Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our future rock climber

Sorry that this video is sideways... but hopefully you'll get the idea.

video

Free Museum Day

Today we went to the Gilcrease Art Museum in Tulsa... it was Free Museum Day. We had a lot of fun. We went through the Ansel Adams exhibit, we also took the guided tour through much of the western art. But our favorite part of the day was sitting outside in the garden and enjoying the sunshine.

some favorite pics