Saturday, March 30, 2013

shopping cart

Yesterday we had a few firsts with Elden. 
-1st time wearing his shades out to a store
-1st time riding in a shopping cart
-1st time peeing through his clothes in public
-1st time getting both his clothes AND diaper changed in a parking lot
-1st time being nursed in the driver's side of my car (in a Kohl's parking lot)

As an aside: where are all the pants! We are in dire need of 12M pants as he suddenly no longer fits in the 9M pants he was wearing. We have looked high and low and can only find shorts. Don't get me started on how there are little girl pants everywhere we look. I'm going to start suing baby clothing places for gender discrimination. This is Ohio. I cannot put my boy in shorts full-time until June and even then we will inevitably have stupidly cold days that require pants.

Friday, March 29, 2013


At 34 weeks, Elden has basically stopped napping after 4 pm and no longer fits in any 6-month pants (and very few 9-month pants). He has gotten particularly cuddly with me in the evening and I can't say I mind it one bit! He is eating more new foods--two notables this week include celery and cheese quesadillas--but is still nursing basically the same as he was pre-solids. He rolls to get where he wants to be but is continuing to pursue crawling as evident by how regularly he's throwing his butt in the air. He LOVES peek-a-boo, especially if you startle him when you pop back into his line of sight. The giggles that ensue are enough to make even the smallest heart grow three sizes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

cell mirror

We have a baby mirror in Jon's car so we can see when Elden falls asleep during errands. We don't have one in my car, though, because Elden is rarely in the car with me. If he is, we're both in Jon's car. As such, we will often snap a picture to see if he's asleep when riding in my car. Usually the dead giveaway is the appearance of little hands seeking out our phones. But we will often get images like these:
Today we were running errands (with my car) and Elden was very quiet in the back. Given that he hadn't napped at all today (hold me) we assumed this meant he was asleep. Jon reached back to get a picture--no little hands appeared--so imagine our surprise when this is what was waiting for us on Jon's phone:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

a boy and his berries


If anyone has any tips (including especially links to toys!) about flying on a plane with an 8-month-old / avoiding epic meltdowns, please leave some comments for me below :)

Monday, March 25, 2013


...from bright, sunny Ohio!
In all seriousness, though, when I stepped out my front door this morning I couldn't help but be amazed by the beauty. If it has to snow in what is technically now spring, at least it's the heavy, wet, stick-to-the-trees kind.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Elden is on a pretty strict schedule that works well for all of us.

Some days, though, we just need to loosen our grip a little bit, give the boob 30 minutes early, and take a nap in the big bed. These moments retain our sanity, try our patience, and are so precious to me.

Friday, March 22, 2013


At 33 weeks, Elden has begun to teeter in the direction of tantrums. Take something from him, put him down when he wants to be held, or take too long to get food from the plate to his tray and he will make certain you know he is not happy with you. He is growing increasingly more wiggly and difficult to take pictures of. Baths are still his favorite thing (after his Mama, of course) and the squeals of delight he emits when he notices Marsala are louder than normal. He will giggle when you laugh and appear concerned if you seem upset. The fact that he's clearly affected by our emotions has made us more aware of how we act around him to try and ensure we provide him the most nurturing and peaceful environment we can.


You will notice I added a Facebook icon on my lower right sidebar (there's a youtube icon as well). I finally created a Facebook page for the blog so that I stop annoying my friends on my personal page with links to my newest posts. I have that page directly linked to my blog now so any time I post it will publish the link to the page's wall. Feel free to like that page on Facebook to get more continuous status updates and pictures (since I'm instagramless) than I provide on the blog.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Last night we found out (totally the hard way) that Elden gets FPIES (food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome) from rice. FPIES is essentially a type of allergic reaction that occurs 2-8 hours after the problematic food is consumed. It manifests as delayed onset vomiting and/or severe diarrhea.

Yes, that's right. My Puerto Rican baby is allergic to rice.

How did we come to this conclusion?

Last night, we did our usual bedtime routine--bath at 7, nurse at 7:30, bed by 8. Elden fell asleep just fine and everything was normal. At 9 he woke up and was crying so we went in and checked on him.

Puke. Everywhere. In his hair, over his entire face, the crib, the floor. When I scooped him up he continued to vomit all over the blanket, the carpet, me, the changing table, etc. Jon grabbed towels, we undressed Elden and wiped him down with baby wipes, and just generally tried to comfort our still-heaving baby boy. I was ready to rush him off to the ER again, but Jon was present this time and kept my feet grounded. I did receive some vindication for the last trip, though, because Jon (the don't-go-to-a-doctor-unless-on-deathbed type) even said he completely understood why I rushed him off to the ER the first time this happened. I had no idea why Elden was vomiting so severely again but Jon quickly made the connection that Elden had rice a few hours before each of these episodes (and we hadn't given him rice for a long time prior). We consulted Dr. Google and for the first time in since the history of ever we received the exact description of what we were experiencing and not something much more intense like cancer (which is the typical Google diagnosis when I'm at the helm).

So approximately 3 hours after eating rice, 1 hour of puking, 2 changes of clothes (me) and all of our clean towels in the house later, we knew what we were dealing with. Elden was asleep (finally) but still very smelly. He slept through the night, I nursed him at 6 am, and he was acting perfectly normal. We let him sleep in and then gave him a bath and he was his happy self. I've made an appointment with his pediatrician at the beginning of April (he's on vacation next week) to touch base and figure out how other food allergic reactions may manifest and if/when to call an ambulance. I'm most concerned about him having other allergies and a reaction like anaphylaxis but not knowing the warning signs. I'm grateful to know what to avoid for the time being and for the health of my child, as well as the support of my level-headed partner to prevent me from rushing off to the ER at any sign of distress.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

cutting myself a break

I don't have the gift of writing.

I mean, in some regards I suppose I do. What I'm specifically referencing is the art of writing beautifully; poetically. My blog is the Real World to some of my favorite bloggers' [insert classy/beautifully written television show name here but I can't think of any because I am obsessed with reality tv].

As usual, I came approximately a year tardy to the party when I read this post. A little excerpt:

There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It’s regular time, it’s one minute at a time, it’s staring down the clock till bedtime time, it’s ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it’s four screaming minutes in time out time, it’s two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in. Then there’s Kairos time. Kairos is God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. Kairos is those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day, and I cherish them.

I swoon. I read the writings of several women who write so beautifully that I often contemplate paying various Etsy vendors to take bits of their posts and turning them into prints for my home.

I so wish I had that gift. It is the creative outlet I most lust after. There's just something about these posts that make me feel like I'm sitting quietly in a corner of the room, observing authentic relationship at its core. As a seasoned people watcher, reading that writing style puts me in my element. The vulnerability. The imagery. What a tremendous gift--one that I'm grateful many of these authors exercise so that I can get a contact high.

There have been times I've tried to dig deep, to really find the poet within. I've written many posts that I either deleted outright or completely reworked because I felt like a total fraud. The truth is, I'm a bit of a simpleton. Most of the time the basic emotions I cycle through in a day are sad, happy, angry, and stressed. Occasionally I'll veer into hysterically irrational with no real idea why territory, but any other word for my four basic emotions is just not me. I doubt anyone will read a single post of mine and think of it as a piece of art.

And you know what? I'm mostly okay with that. I've decided to start giving myself a break--to stop lusting after the gifts I have not been given--and to start focusing more on the gifts I have. I am empathetic. I feel things deeply. I usually have a heart for serving others. I lean towards pacifism. I am a force to be reckoned with when it comes to cleaning. Most importantly, I am learning to be humble, gracious, and patient--particularly with myself. These three gifts are enough to stir me up inside and help me to refocus my priorities on what really matters. Figuring out how to use my gifts to better serve my husband, my son, and society at large. Using them to give glory back to the Gift Giver instead of placing my heart in the hands of man for validation.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Without fail, it takes approximately 37 seconds (or less) after we put socks on Elden for this to happen:
At daycare they call him a puppy because he's constantly pulling his socks off and putting them in his mouth. If anyone has any tips on keeping socks on an almost-8-month-old, I'm all ears!

Friday, March 15, 2013


As this week's photo suggests, Stinky can now sit up mostly unassisted! He is quite excited about this feat and is very smiley when we help him get into position. He is actively babbling da, ba, and ra, but still very few ma's. Last night he rolled from his back to his belly in the tub (don't worry, I was holding him/keeping his face out of the water the whole time) and tried chicken for the first time. He seems to be more interested in becoming mobile and lifts his butt into the air/tries kicking himself forward when he's on his belly. As we creep towards 8 months I can't believe where the time's gone!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

thursday photos

Elden had lost interest in eating and we figured it had something to do with the fact that we have been primarily feeding him the same things--veggies, fruits, and some bread dipped in yogurt. We opted to start introducing more complex foods to see how he reacted. The verdict? He was suddenly interested again:
black grapes
red skinned potato fries
In other news, he's taken to scratching/pinching me (read: the boob) with his left hand while he nurses. He kept getting me yesterday so sockhand made its debut:
Finally, he LOVES water bottles. It never fails--if I am drinking from one he is fascinated and tries to grab at it. If we are in the car and he gets fussy we give him one and that keeps him occupied for quite some time. We were running errands the other day when he got feisty so we handed him a water bottle until he was suspiciously quiet. We quickly realized that someone had fallen asleep holding onto his favorite toy:
And in case you were wondering, he never got sick again following our ER visit. He has returned to his normal nighttime patterns which has been awesome and he is his smiley little self during the day again. Thank you all for the well wishes!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

cardigan onesies

A while back I saw some cardigan onesies on Etsy and the hipster in me began jumping up and down manically.

Then I saw the prices ($35+) from the various Etsy vendors and the hipster in me began to weep. We get most of Elden's clothes from thrift stores (why pay $15 for a shirt when you can buy a whole adorable hardly used wardrobe from thrift for that!?) and budget restrictions do not permit lavish baby spending.

Then I found a tutorial about how to make them yourself.

Hipster = vindicated.

Then I called my mom because she is a sewing queen and I am completely inept at these sort of things and she agreed to have a hand at it.

The results? Hipster baby heaven.
The hardest part for me was finding the long sleeved onesies. I think it's because we're at the changing of seasons retail-wise so most of these bad boys had been stocked away for next fall/winter. I'm tossing around the idea of trying to learn how to make these myself so that I can perhaps open my own Etsy shop but sell them more cheaply than what I found. I have to talk to my mom to see if this project is something that I would likely be able to do or if it would invoke a rage in me. Seriously. This biznass about arts and crafts being a free medium open to interpretation? Tell that to my OCD perfectionist self. Fun story: when my sister bought her condo she wanted my mom, grandma, and me to each paint a picture of a leaf (she did a fourth) for it. Mine was such a disaster that I literally cried and stormed away. My mom had to fix it because I left it in a dismal state and refused to try to mediate it. There's a reason I'm an engineer and not in a creative profession. (plus I have no artistic ability whatsoever)

Tutorial can be found here.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Yesterday morning (and even early afternoon), I had every intention of blogging about what a beautiful, laid-back day it had been. My parents came over in the morning so I could rest and get a few things around the house done. Temps were in the high 60's. I attempted a nap with the bedroom windows open.
Someone was particularly enthused about the open windows
Jon headed off to work, my parents ultimately left for home, and Elden and I departed for a nap in the big bed. About 15 minutes later, all hell broke loose. 

Puke. Tons and tons of baby puke, all over our bed. I rushed into the bathroom and began to draw a bath. Meanwhile, I started calling the after hours nurse's line. We had taken Elden into the pediatrician the day before for lots, and I mean LOTS, of runny poop since Thursday. He also still had a cough/runny nose so we weren't sure the antibiotic was doing anything other than making him miserable. They kept asking if there had been vomiting and said he should be fine as long as there wasn't puke. Hence my call to the nurse's line. Anyway, while on the phone with the nurse and after I had pulled him from the tub, he puked again. I got him cleaned off and dressed and he puked again. This continued while I was going over details with the nurse. He had puked in our bedroom, his room, the living room and dining room, all over me three times, all over himself probably six times, etc. By this time he was a ridiculous color--greenish, yellowish grey--and not acting himself at all. The nurse attempted to call the ped's office to see if they could get him in that day and while I was on hold he began vomiting bile. When she came back on to notify me that they had no openings, she said I needed to take him in to be seen by someone right away.

Ensue hysteria. 

I rushed around the house closing windows, grabbing changes of clothes for both of us, trying to get ahold of Jon, and sobbing. I didn't even put socks on. If you know me well enough you know there's nothing I hate more than sneakers without socks. Jon even noticed that I was sockless once we got taken back. I digress. On the drive over (which is only about 7 minutes but felt like a lifetime) I tried calling Jon, my parents, and ultimately his parents to see if someone could look up his work's number to get through to him. I almost missed Jon's parents but his dad picked up right after the machine. Thank goodness, too, because I was all but freaked the heck out at that point. I rationally told him the situation yell-sobbed into the phone and he was able to get in touch with Jon, who called me about a minute later. He was able to leave work to meet us. About two minutes from the ER I couldn't hear Elden breathing (his runny nose made for very loud snore-like breathing) so I reached my hand back to see if I could feel his breath. I couldn't. I tried shaking his belly, yelling his name, etc. and he didn't seem to move or react in any way. His skin was cold and clammy. I honestly thought he was dead. I know I overreact and feel things very deeply by nature, but you guys, I have never pleaded so desperately to God in my life. I kicked up the speed figuring that if he had indeed stopped breathing, by the time I called for an ambulance I would have already been at the ER. Luckily (?) he vomited maybe a minute later so I knew he was alive.

He puked in the waiting room. The nurses confirmed I wasn't crazy and that he was indeed freakishly pale. They weren't going to do a blood oxygen count, but when they went to send us back to the waiting room he was a ghastly color so they opted to take one just in case. We were seen by the doctor not even twenty minutes later. At this point, Elden was totally wiped and slept on my chest for most of the visit.
Finally regaining some color
The ER physician said a nasty vomiting/diarrhea bug had been going around and since it had just started he didn't want to jump the gun on anything like IVs. He gave us some pedialyte and a syringe to see if we could get him to keep it down. Slowly but surely, we were able to get it into his belly where it remained. After the first two syringes he stirred briefly, regained his color, and began to babble/act perfectly normal again. This brought me a gargantuan amount of relief. After a few more ounces of pedialyte, we were sent home with instructions on how to handle what would be 'inevitable' more puking and the signs to look out for that would warrant another ER trip. We rolled into our house around 6:40 pm and I began laundry. Elden woke up briefly for a bath, some pedialyte and a little bit of milk before mostly sleeping through the night. 

Today he is with my sister, who came to my work to get him from me this morning.
Days like yesterday make me so grateful for our access to things like emergency rooms. I'm sure we jumped the gun a little bit on taking him, but to even have that option is the biggest blessing ever. I've never seen a baby that color before and I really hope I never see it again. I think the day shaved about three years off of my life, but Elden is doing much better and I will be forever grateful because of it. Let's hope this is our last ER visit of the year!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


We're fairly certain Elden has figured out that he can get to new places if he just keeps rolling over. He has moved on from just saying his d's and is now more regularly pronouncing his b's (bababa). Jon says he's heard the big 'm' a few times too (mama!) so he continues to babble. He is really into pulling my face close to his so that he can rub his eyes against it which is both adorable and often painful. He's in size 3 diapers and will probably remain so for a long time. He wears a lot of 6-9 month outfits but he also fits in some 3 month pants and several 6-12/12-18 month clothes. He's still sick (doctor says he likely has a viral bug on top of his sinus infection) so this picture is late/he is in his pajamas for good reason :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


We are rapidly moving away from babyhood and into toddlerdom. I still get those weekly emails that say what your such-and-such week old is up to these days. I think the past 4-6 emails have all emphasized something along the lines of "now is the time to start babyproofing!"

While Elden is apparently in no real hurry to start crawling--heck, we need to master sitting up on our own first--we realized we needed a solution to the big ole archways downstairs.
Sitting at the pediatrician's office
Most gates we found were 58"--our archways are 60". We found a fabric gate on Walmart's website for $45 and decided to give it a try. Jon installed it today so that we could decide if it would work and we should buy a second for the dining room entry. We love it:
Next up we need to figure out what to do with the ancient outlets on our house. They look like this and I don't know of any outlet covers that plug into that slanty prong:
It took approximately 5 engineers at my company to figure out WTF that thing is: a duplex radio/antenna outlet. If anyone knows how to convert this bad boy to something functional, get at me...

Monday, March 4, 2013

date fail

Jon only worked until 7 on Saturday (a rarity!) so we opted to cash in a gift certificate from August 2nd--clearly we get out often--at our favorite Thai restaurant. Uncle Marc and Aunt Kelly graciously offered to stay with stinker for us. It actually worked out quite nicely because I was able to put Elden before Jon got home so there was no feeling guilty about not being with him since he was asleep. We indulged on appetizers of chicken potstickers and vegetable tempura, followed by chicken pad thai (me) and orange duck (Jon). The show-stopper was the sticky rice with coconut ice cream for dessert. I'm salivating like Pavlov's dogs at the ring of a bell just thinking about it.

Out came our bill--entirely covered by the gift certificate with a little leftover--and the realization that we forgot cash for the tip.

Fail, fail, fail.

If we had left just the remainder of the gift certificate that would have been less than a 10% tip so we obviously weren't doing that. We then awkwardly asked if there was any way if we could put the tip on a credit card--and if not, we had no issue running to an ATM--and proceeded to turn a lovely shade of red as our server spoke with the manager about the legalities of it.

We were able to put it on the credit card.

We bolted out of there and never looked back.

We had leftover Thai for dinner last night and pretended like nothing had gone awry the day before.

If that isn't a sign that we don't get out enough I don't know what is. I keep telling myself our opposite schedules/lack of funds are merely a season in our lives and that this too shall pass. We just reworked our budget and included a very modest miscellaneous amount in it with the intention of buying others' birthday gifts, paying for food if we entertain others at our house (such as for Elden's first birthday), and any random clothes/non-essential purchases we want to make. We agreed that if we had any of this category leftover at the end of each month we could use that for a date--be it a nicer sit-down restaurant (which is probably not obtainable even if we didn't use any of that expense each month) or Taco Bell if we just have some scrapings leftover--or carry it over to save up for a nicer date one month. I'm excited about this budget and the fact that in theory it will allow us to continue to rebuild our savings and reinstate our giving at church. Cheers to sticky rice and fiscal responsibility!

And because I can't resist:

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Yesterday Elden hit the 30-week mark. He currently weighs 18 pounds, 10 ounces and l-o-v-e-s grinding his (few!) teeth. It makes me cringe! New foods this week included zucchini and oranges--both were big hits. He has 2 teeth on the bottom and the front 4 on the top now (although they're still definitely coming in on the top, we can see at least nubs on all of them). We took him to the pediatrician this morning to find out that he likely has another sinus infection so we're going to start up a different course of antibiotics. Naps are starting to get a teeny bit more consistent and he fights us a lot less when we put him down for them now. He doesn't have much interest in crawling, but he has started to lift his bum up in the air when he's on his belly. I am loving every bit of this age, even if he is looking drastically less like a baby and more like a toddler each day!