Monday, April 29, 2013


Jon and I divvy'ed up the landscape design between the front yard (Jon) and back yard (me). Here's a rough  schematic of what we're dealing with in the back:
One of the first things I wanted to do was thin out the overgrown random foliage along the southern fence (or the one on the right in the picture above) of our property.
 I started by pulling the little tree/bush/random things out with my bare hands. I eventually turned to pruning shears to cut out most of the remaining bigger ones.
After (note giant stick pile in back right corner)
We're also going to put up a shed soon and we have a raised 4'x4' veggie garden back there. I plan on adding an additional 4'x4' bed each year along the northern chain-link fence but it's a surprisingly expensive commitment so I couldn't do all of them this year like I had initially planned. Here's how I would love the back to look by the end of this summer:
Does anyone have suggestions for nice climbing flowers that are partial (as well as full) shade? We're also tossing around the idea of staining our back patio so anyone with tips on that I'm all ears!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

the unjust

One major flaw I've noticed in myself lately is my unforgiveness. Through both direct and indirect interactions I've had, I realized how strongly I hold onto a grudge. It's not necessarily something I dwell on; these feelings of anger, betrayal and frustration don't keep me up at night. But when a topic is mentioned or some other trigger reminds me of these events, I feel a rage from my darkest and deepest place. After a lot of discussion with Jon ('I'm sorry you married such a terrible person' / 'it's not that you're terrible, you just feel things very deeply and I think that's why you have a hard time letting go') he helped me to realize the main reason behind my unwillingness to let go is my desire for justice.

I'm empathetic to a dangerous point. I will recklessly throw myself at helping others without paying any mind to how my actions might affect my family--the ones I most certainly need to consider foremost--and Jon has to bring me back to earth and help me figure out the best way to go about things. So when I feel wronged--or if I see someone else wronging a person I care deeply about--I cling to my desire for justice because I feel like it is the only thing that can help remedy the hurt.

I don't like it when the wicked "win." It shakes the foundation of everything I believe and I don't like that one bit. The self-centered, self-serving, conceited ones get to me the most. In my mind it's almost as if my unforgiveness is some sort of cosmic justice playing out. An I won't ever forget so you won't ever get away with it sort of mentality. Moreover, I find myself mentally wishing ill will towards these people. 

My name is Danielle, and I am a horrible, unloving person. 

The thing is, at my core I am self-centered, self-serving, and conceited. I am wicked. I am mean. I gossip. I yell. I'm impatient. I'm lazy. I'm forgiven. Each time I mess up, my slate is wiped clean. (Isaiah 1:18)

"Oh, you and Jon got in a fight and you dropped the mother of all curse words? Thrice? I forgive you. More importantly, I love you."

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37) Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Luke 6:41) When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. (John 8:7) You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. (Romans 14:10)

Why is it so hard for me to loosen my grip and give my hurt up to God? Is it my need for control?  My need to make sure justice is served? But I know that justice will be served. I know that. I grew up in the church; this is not a new concept. Yet I struggle. I must begin to make a mental decision to battle my own wickedness and cut those around me a break for theirs. We are imperfect, messy and sometimes straight-up awful. So where is my grace? If the person who created me can cut me slack when I mess up, surely I can do the same for someone I had no hand in forming... .right? But how?

Saturday, April 27, 2013


One of my favorite things Elden does is if we're sitting on the floor together and he's exploring on his belly he will occasionally look at me, smile, and roll back into me to momentarily nestle his head to my chest. His timidness seems to have waned a bit and he is once again his smiley around strangers self. I suspect he was so clingy because of his ear infection which has gotten better. Elden absolutely adores his jump-up (seriously, he LOVES it) and his baths still. His new favorite trick is standing up (with our support) in the tub. He'll look to us with his little gap-toothed grin so proud of his accomplishment. He is back to mostly sleeping 8pm-6am (thank you, Jesus!) and still nursing about 5 times per day, although he's definitely drinking much less--I'd say 4-6oz as opposed to his usual 6-8oz. As his first birthday quickly approaches Elden's becoming more a toddler and less my little baby. Each week I get excited for the next stage and somewhat mourn the last stage, but I can't say I miss the colicky infant who doesn't want to sleep stage one bit...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

traveling with an 8-month-old

Thinking about traveling with your infant?

I have three words for you: don't do it.

No, but in all seriousness, you need to prepare yourselves. Granted, I think this trip would have looked a lot different if 1) our baby wasn't sick and 2) we had driven/had a car with us.

Here are some of the lessons I learned:
1. Don't bother buying expensive toys to keep your child entertained while traveling. We picked a few light-up/squishy toys for like a buck each from Walgreens and they did the trick. Elden was also more interested in his shoes, the cup they gave us on the airplane, etc., so there's that.
2. Give your child acetaminophen or some other pain-killer about 30 minutes before your flight is supposed to leave to help with any earaches that may arise.
3. Nurse/feed/provide pacifier during take-off and landing to reduce ear popping.
4. Don't bother bringing your pack n play. I cannot emphasize this one enough. We lugged ours all over Chicago and Elden didn't sleep in it once. I guess if your kid is uber flexible and has never had issues sleeping at different locations (such as a pack n play at a friend or relative's house) you might want to bring yours. I should have known better and not even bothered. Elden slept in the bed (or floor) with me the whole trip (naps included) because he was freaked out by his new surroundings and wanted to be close to me. It was the only way we got any sleep.
5. Be prepared to get very little sleep. This goes back to #4. Elden nursed all night long every night we were there and had fitful sleep, going to bed later and waking earlier than usual. The plus side is all that marathon nursing did wonders for my supply.
6. Bring things for the kiddos to eat where ever you go. If Elden got fussy at the airport, on the plane, on the bus, in his stroller, etc. we would give him some Gerber Little Graduates and he was so content.
7. The stroller is your bestie. Embrace the stroller. Elden surprised us all when he consistently took naps in his stroller the entire trip. Lifesaver.
8. This goes back to my preface, but if you can, drive. This will accommodate things such as last-minute urgent care trips and coaxing a restless child to sleep (especially if they are screaming loudly and you don't want to disturb other hotel patrons) much more easily than public transit. Also. It will allow you to leave early if you are as miserable as we were.
9. Don't bother bringing a laptop, homework, etc. You won't have time. They are heavy and unnecessary. Jon learned this the hard way.
10. If forced to use public transit, baby carriers are your friend. They take up minimal space without tiring your arms and they encourage napping in the way strollers do.

If you are traveling with a baby, prepare yourself. Also keep in mind that no two babies are the same--yours might be an angel the entire trip and you will genuinely enjoy yourselves. I wish I had been more (emotionally) prepared for this one so that it wouldn't have been such a surprise. I was totally caught off-guard! I guess the adage of hope for the best but prepare for the worst is what I'm going off of here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

chicago photo dump

I stole most of these from other people. Thanks friends!
Shedd Aquarium with Oma
Eating at Lincoln Park Zoo
Uncle Steve!
Auntie Ang!
Watertower Place
Uncle Larry!
Chicago Conservatory
Uncle Max!
Tuckered out on the plane to Chicago
Refusing to sleep at the hotel
Another one at the Conservatory

Monday, April 22, 2013


After spending a solid week together, Elden is dealing with some separation anxiety upon coming home. He has been fighting us at night as a result but eventually goes down in his crib. He has 8 teeth fully through his gums and we suspect he may be working on more. Elden has figured out that he can scoot backwards on his belly across our hardwood floors. He is 20 pounds 10 ounces and still loves giving sloppy kisses. One little moment I never want to forget came last night at 2:30 am. He woke up and I suspected he was hungry so I went in to nurse him. As soon as I picked him up he began giggling and gave me about 5-10 sloppy kisses. Swoon!

the trip that almost wasn't

When it rains, it pours ya'll. Alternative titles to this post included Trip from Hell, Never Again and What the Heck Were We Thinking?

The reason I've been MIA is because I was out of town all last week. I kept somewhat mum on it because I didn't want to raise the empty house flags. Not that we have anything worth stealing.

On Tuesday I was to catch a flight to Chicago with my mom and Elden for a work conference. Jon and I had made an appointment for Elden Tuesday morning because he still wasn't sleeping well and we had suspicion that his ear infection had not been fully eradicated by his 10-day course of cefdinir. His pediatrician came in and as soon as he started the eval I had an asthma attack and had to run to the car to get my inhaler. When I came back, it was to silence and furrowed brow.

"Well, Mom. We're trying to figure out what to do. His ear doesn't look good."

His pediatrician went on to tell us it looked as though he was never on antibiotics to begin with. Our options were:
-take what was essentially a stronger dose of cefdinir via syringe... but we would have to take him to a doctor in Chicago to be re-evaluated on Wednesday and Thursday to see if the previous dose had taken care of it (and if not, to re-administer)
-attempt something in the amoxicillin family and chance a possible allergic reaction
-attempt another course of oral cefdinir which "probably wouldn't do anything"

At that, we agreed to go with option 1. After receiving the shot, we had to wait 20 minutes to ensure he didn't have a reaction. Long story short, it couldn't be determined if he had a reaction or if his leg was just irritated from the injection, so we were told that we were "probably okay, but if the redness spreads or he becomes inconsolable... don't get on the plane. Go straight to the ER." No presh, amiright?

With the little bit of time left between the peds visit and needing to leave for the airport, I attempted to call pediatricians in Chicago. I seriously called 20 numbers. Every. single. one. said "we have no doctors in this week--they're at a convention." What? Kids in Chicago just don't get sick the week of April 16th? After contacting a few urgent cares (neither had it) I surrendered and we headed to the airport.

The good news: we were able to get on the plane!
The bad news: by the time we got to the hotel (what an ordeal that was--getting on a bus during Chicago rush with like 194 suitcases/pack n plays/etc. was totally not happening) Elden was overstimulated and overtired. This loosely translated to a SCREAMING mad baby late into the night. On Wednesday I was finally able to find an urgent care that had it. This particular urgent care told me to take him to a different (further from the hotel) location because they see more patients under 2. With the blessing of a wonderful friend (thank you again, Grace!), she drove us to the urgent care... in rainy Chicago rush hour. ANGEL. We got there to be told we were misinformed and they would not be administering the medication to him. After calling his pediatrician they agreed to prescribe another oral antibiotic until we get home. On our way back (Grace had to run to a meeting so we took transit) we missed the bus we needed by less than 10 seconds. We proceeded to wait about 30 minutes to discover that it was likely the last bus of the day (am and pm rush only). Defeated, we taxi'd back to the hotel. Luckily, Elden seemed to have gotten more comfortable with the new environment and slept much better on Wednesday night so I was able to not feel like my world was caving in around me on Thursday. Other highlights of the trip included: Jon almost missing his flight by seriously less than a minute, pulling some muscles from my asthma attacks that caused me great pain all weekend, our burglar alarm going off most of Sunday thanks to our cat, and sleeping on the floor of a B&B because Elden refused to sleep in his pack n play and I wanted to be next to Jon for the first time in about a week.

I guess I never realized just how different things are once baby enters the picture. Is that stupid?

and with that... a much needed ongoing record of God's goodness (15-26)

A baby boy who finally decided sleeping in a hotel room was okay (but not in his pack n play)
Old friends who happen to be pregnant (therefore, have a carseat!) and are willing to drive us across Chicago, in rush hour, in the rain to reach an urgent care
Sierra Mist
Shoes that keep our feet dry in this crazy weather
Infant acetaminophen that helps an ear infected-baby be happy (then sleep!) on a flight
A car that waited to need repaired until we wouldn't need it all weekend and...
In-laws who let us borrow one of theirs in the meantime so we don't need to worry about rentals
Our own home, in our own beds--baby included!
More than 2 hours of consecutive sleep at night (thank you, Jesus)
Catching up with old friends over Chinese food
A husband who was willing to miss his first class of the day to take Elden back to the doctor about his ears

Thursday, April 18, 2013

an open letter to commuters everywhere

Dear People of the Bus,

I am terribly sorry that my 8-month-old is screaming bloody murder at the top of his lungs on the bus you had the misfortune of sharing with us. I know you had a long day at work and are hoping to get home peacefully, but have you considered that I had a long day with my son? That he has an ear infection? That I'm from out of town and don't have any other reasonable way to get around than to share public transit with you?

Have you considered that I've done everything in my power to calm him down and it just isn't working? I  assure you... my son's crying bothers me significantly more than it bothers you. To know that my child is this upset and I am unable to appease him brings me great distress. This does not take into account your glares and side-eyes. Yes, I am aware he is screaming. Yes, I am aware you are annoyed. No, your repeated glares will not stop his crying. Yes, I will glare back at you until you uncomfortably break your glare. Yes, it will take everything in my being to stop myself from asking you if you want to have a try at getting him to calm down. Yes, I will continue to make eye contact with you at each repeated glare you send my way.

You can stop judging my parenting skills now. Especially you, early 20-something hipster with the iPod and what I can probably safely assume is no parenting experience whatsoever. Until you've endured the sleepless nights, the baby who is inconsolable regardless of what actions you take and the constant public scrutiny of your parenting abilities you are not in a position to judge. I dare you to tell me what I know you're thinking because then I will share a thought or two of my own with you. I would begin with something along the lines of you try and get him to stop. If you do I will give you $5. Your glasses are stupid.

Always remember that if I knew how to fix it, I would. Sometimes babies are just pissed and there's nothing you can do about it.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

the attic

I figured I would share a few more pictures of our work-in-progress attic!
Need to finish painting the area over the stairs.
Also need to paint that white column. The jury's still out on the final color.
Picture hanging also happens to be on our to do list.
Someone hung out while his mama organized the filing cabinet.
In other news, Elden has officially begun throwing tantrums. Take a toy away, put him to bed when he doesn't want to nap, etc. and you will feel his wrath. Is he too young to understand "no?" What are the best strategies for dealing with an 8-month-old tantrum? Help!

Saturday, April 13, 2013


At 36 weeks, Elden is crazy in love with his jump-up. If he's fussy, the jump-up has about a 90% success rate of making him very happy for surprisingly long bouts of time. He can now clap, dance, wave goodbye, and stand up for 5-10 seconds at a time if he's holding onto something. Elden has minimal interest in crawling since rolling to get from place to place has served him well. He loves playing with non-toys (spoons, cups, paper) and recently ate part of a business card while we were signing our home equity line of credit. We suspect he may be growing because last night he woke up at 11:30, 2, and 4--HIGHLY unusual for him. He also had his first shower this morning; once we took him out he decided that one shower was not good enough and gave himself a golden one. This boy never stops cracking us up!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


We just found out we were awarded a[n incredibly modest] home equity line of credit that we sign on tomorrow. We've started daydreaming about how we should invest it in our home/lives. Some of our ideas include:

-Half bath remodel (new toilet, sink, tear out tile backsplash/replace it, paint, redo floors)
-Basement mold remediation / begin making the basement more... habitable?
-Whole house fan installation
-Programmable window AC for Elden's room
-Restoration/refinishing of our hardware floors (there are some sizable dings/gaps in it that I don't think we can fix appropriately on our own) or looking into buying new floors
-DIY stair runner (ours is awful)
-Update the sunroom - paint, light fixture, flooring
-Front door replacement
-Summer tuition for Jon (boo for no scholarships/financial aid during the summer sessions!)
-Saving about half of it for any unforeseen/emergency/pricey repairs that may arise on the house

Some other bigger projects I hope to tackle include staining our patio and possibly making a built-in bookshelf for the attic. I also have some more fun projects in mind like a DIY toy box for Elden, some window treatments, and some bathroom shelves. We're still wrapping up some deadlines for the quarter at work and Jon is approaching finals, so I don't think we'll get anywhere on any of these until probably mid-May or June. At the very least I hope to have the half bath done by August because we will be having people over for Elden's first birthday and it would be nice to have use of the only bathroom on our first floor...

Any tips on saving money in the above areas and/or recommendations for skilled laborers!?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


One particular struggle I've been dealing with lately is coveting my neighbor's possessions. It is so easy for me to envy things like houses that aren't fixer-uppers, beautiful vacations, better paying jobs, and the ability to be a stay at home parent. If I'm not incredibly intentional about focusing on the ridiculous number of blessings in our lives, it can put me in quite the funk.

One of my favorite blogs to read is Suzannah's. She is one of the magnificent writers I alluded to here. One of the things she does that I absolutely adore (and so look forward to reading!) is her ongoing record of God's goodness in her life. I'm going to take a note from her and start my own ongoing record in an effort to help keep myself humble and grateful.

an ongoing record of God's goodness (1-14)

Overall good heath within our little family unit
A house that, despite its imperfections, is safe, reliable and ours
Reliable income that sustains us through each season
The return of sunshine and birds chirping
Baby hugs, cuddles, and all related forms of affection
Friends (of all ages!)
Somewhat affordable, reliable childcare that we feel safe sending our son to
Crockpots and access/ability to purchase healthy food to nurture our bodies
Late night talks with a husband who doubles as a best friend
Two mostly reliable cars that get us where we need to be
Bouncing babies
Work-turned-family vacation trips to Chicago
Nurses lines so that when I accidentally break my baby on a windy Sunday afternoon I have somewhere to turn for counsel (it's nary a bruise now, just 3 days post-incident)
Stroller tipped over on its side in the wind. I was more upset than Boog.
Just writing those few thoughts is enough to remind me how petty I am when the green monster stirs within. How ridiculous am I to feel anything but extremely blessed? Thank you for these reminders, Suzannah!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Do you remember when I freaked out because a Potbelly was opening a few minutes from my work? Today is their official grand opening!

One of the perks of being a sandwichaholic is you're in the know about events such as oven-warming parties that act as an almost soft opening for delicious little sandwich shops.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Potbelly oven warming party yesterday at lunch. Sadly it was a hit-and-run sort of thing because we had a mandatory company meeting at noon but nevertheless... it was glorious! We were treated to a free sandwich (I did my usual--turkey on wheat with everything except tomato), chips and soft drink, and they also sampled some of their desserts. Trust me. Every single thing on their menu is totally fab. I would never purchasing myself new clothes ever again for a hand at their chocolate milkshakes on the regular.

Can we please pause for a moment to appreciate how crazy my thumb looks in this picture? When I first noticed the curvature of it I proceeded to replicate it in the flesh. Is it possible for thumbs to be double jointed? Can everyone's thumb do that? I'm perplexed.
The Independence (OH) location is super cute. They have a little patio and all of the standard Potbelly furnishings. I actually have plans to return there today--a little office dart game bet over a parking space (if I lost) and free lunch (if I won) from early March is coming to fruition and I. am. amped. You wanna know why? Because I could eat Potbelly ALL. DAY.

And no, they didn't pay me to write this. They make a product(s) that I am absolutely crazy about so I will happily share my love for them with the world fo' free.

Monday, April 8, 2013


...and it feels so good!
More to come on this huge moment in my life within the next few days :) Thanks to my new BFF, Paula, for the picture!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


At 35 weeks, Elden now regularly says mama! He has also been eating 2-3 meals per day of solids but still nurses approximately every 3.5 hours. That being said, I've noticed his intake of breastmilk gradually decrease and he has lasted longer than 3.5 hours between nursing, which makes sense. Elden still rolls to get to where he wants to go and he really loves his jump-up these days. If you hold him upright and/or if you put him in something like his walker he tries to bounce. Elden's a little over 19.5 pounds and wearing almost exclusively 9 and 12 month clothes. He still only has 7 teeth but the amount of drool he produces leads me to believe it's just a matter of time until more appear. We just got him a new car seat--the Radian RXT in the color rugby--because he's less than 2 inches from outgrowing his Graco. We put it in my little Suzuki and it fits perfectly and Elden looked like such a big boy in it! I can't believe he's growing so fast...

*Car seat link is an Amazon affiliate link

Friday, April 5, 2013

baby boy and recipes

Today Elden is 35 weeks. I should be posting a normal weekly photo of him, but his ear infection has... complicated things. Hoping to get a picture later today after the antibiotics have had a second dose to work towards relieving some of his discomfort. In the meantime, here's my little 35-week old eating toast and Greek yogurt for breakfast this morning:
Because of said complications, Jon and I didn't get to eat dinner until after Elden went to bed last night (so around 8 pm by the time it was cooked). This is probably normal for most people but we usually eat around 5:30. We were both starving and I was craving something I've probably completely incorrectly dubbed 'blackened chicken con fresca tacos.' Essentially, I take a chicken breast, season it with red pepper flakes, chili powder, black pepper, salt, some random Amish country dry queso dip mix we have, and garlic powder and fry it on our cast iron skillet in olive oil until it is cooked and crispy on the outside. We then added corn, salsa, avocado, lemon juice, lettuce, and cheese and devoured them. SO. GOOD. We topped the meal off with some homemade coconut ice cream:
I'm hoping to whip up some coconut sticky rice this weekend to have with the ice cream. We made this recipe a few weeks ago and it was top notch! It's actually what we gave Elden to make us realize that he had FPIES... oops! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

fpies update

Jon took Elden in to see his pediatrician this morning to discuss the FPIES experience we had with rice a few weeks back.

The good news is that his ped said there isn't much crossover between rice allergies and other food allergies, so we don't have to be extremely cautious when introducing new foods. The only time to worry is if Elden gets hives upon introduction of new food. Depending on the severity, it could elicit an ER trip. Let's just hope we never need to make that decision!

The other good (?) news is that we figured out why he hasn't been sleeping--our little guy has an ear infection! Last night was particularly rough with him waking at least 5-10 times between 8 and 1:30, and then wide awake/unhappy from 1:30-3. He had been tugging at his left ear lately, but just at night when he nurses so we didn't think much of it. Furthermore, he had been doing this previously and pediatrician trips resulted in no ear infection so we just assumed he had discovered his ear and was playing with it. He hadn't had a fever and had been otherwise his mostly happy self. Our trusty pediatrician recommended a probiotic to give Elden with this round of antibiotics in hopes that it would counteract the usually-pretty-intense stomach discomfort antibiotics seem to give him. We're going to hope and pray that the probiotics are indeed helpful (especially since they cost like 35 bucks!).

Today I am grateful for an attentive and caring pediatrician, as well as access to antibiotics to make him better. The timing on this visit was ideal since we will be traveling to Chicago in a few short weeks. I don't want to think of how long this ear infection might have been going on for, as well as how long we could have missed it for if it hadn't been for our appointment today. Praise God for providing even when we didn't realize we needed it!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

separation anxiety

As I mentioned in my last post, we've been battling some pretty intense stranger/nighttime separation anxiety battles with Elden. It's worth mentioning that he has definitely inherited my love language--touch--and tends to seek out physical interaction. If he's sitting on the couch with Jon while I do dishes, as soon as I sit down next to him he will lean into me and rest his head on my chest. When I pick him up, he wraps his little arms around my neck. Even his daycare teachers have noticed this characteristic and have mentioned to us on numerous occasions how they've never met a baby that gives as many hugs as he does.
Being cuddly
Anyway, within the last few weeks we had noticed that Elden had been more bashful than usual around unfamiliar faces. However, it took him only a few minutes to warm up and he would allow others to hold him without incident. Bedtime had returned to normal with us laying him down, awake, and him babbling himself happily into dreamland (usually).

Things are a far cry different these days.

At both our family's Easter celebrations, homie clung to me like a wet t-shirt. We're not just talking sitting happily in my lap and observing the room. He literally wrapped his little hands around my arms, belly to belly, and would alternate between burying his head in my shoulder and cautiously looking around. It took probably 30-45 minutes for him to warm up, but even then he was hesitant and would occasionally break down in tears until he was returned to my arms.

I should also add that Jon and I volunteered as greeters at church on Sunday morning. This means we took Elden to the nursery for the first time ever. I told them that he had been experiencing some separation issues so they gave me a pager (instead of the usual flashing of the problematic child's number on the sanctuary screen method) so they could "reach [me] in a hurry". Suffice to say it did not take long for our pager to start buzzing. We had finished greeting a few minutes prior so it wasn't a big deal.When I went to retrieve Elden he was making the sad, dramatic gasp/inhale noise one makes at the conclusion of an epic crying session. He clung tightly the remainder of service.

Then there's the nighttime separation anxiety. Elden is perfectly happy and content through bathtime, nursing and his bedtime stories. He's even okay when we lay him down in his crib. As soon as we shut the door, however, things take a drastic turn. Hysterical sobbing--wailing, really--permeate through the house. We have been giving him anywhere between 2-10 minute intervals once we lay him down for the night depending on the magnitude of cry. Then I return to his room and as soon as I pick him up the crying stops. I usually hold him, rock him, etc. for about 5 minutes before laying him down again. Except, instead of waiting until I close the door to resume crying, he starts as soon as he realizes he's being moved in the direction of his crib. He reaches for me in a desperate attempt to hold on while simultaneously breaking my heart into a trillion pieces. We usually repeat this process 3-7 times per night before he finally gives in to sleep.

I know what you're thinking. Just let him cry it out. The thing is, Elden is not the fall-asleep-within-an-hour type. The other thing is that I know how separation anxiety feels. I experienced very intense separation anxiety regarding my own mom the first half of my life. I had this unfounded notion that if I wasn't with her every second of the day something bad would happen to her. At night I would go into her room to make sure she was still there. One night when I was probably 5 or 6 she couldn't sleep so she had gone downstairs to do dishes. When I went to check on her and she wasn't in her bed I entered full-on panic/meltdown mode. After that night, if she ever couldn't sleep she would wake me to tell me she was going to be downstairs to avoid another episode like the first. Knowing how very real the panic and anxiety surrounding being separated from the person you don't want to be separated from is, I refuse to let Elden cry it out on this matter. I know for a fact he's not simply fighting sleep. There is something deeper going on (mother's intuition?) and I will do everything it takes to reassure him that I--we--are here for him. I know this is a phase and he will eventually outgrow it. In the meantime I am practicing patience and intentional love for my boy as he battles his anxiety surrounding being separated from us.

Monday, April 1, 2013


I failed to blog much this weekend because we celebrated Easter with my family on Saturday and Jon's family on Sunday. We very recently decided not to do the Easter bunny/baskets in our house. Truthfully, I grew up with baskets and loved the tradition. Jon feels very strongly, however, that baskets could take away from what he (rightly) qualifies the most significant Christian holiday so out of respect for his convictions I gave into his request. On top of the craziness of running around, we have been dealing with some serious nighttime separation anxiety and stranger anxiety with Elden. This will be a separate post in the coming days, but suffice to say we're pretty exhausted.


Work has been insane all quarter as we prepare to release a new product on a what had been a very strict deadline. We have been giving 115% and when we received word last week that our deadline had been moved back a few weeks I knew I needed to take a day off to recharge (and get caught up on stuff around the house that's been greatly delayed). Jon had off school today since he attends a Christian university and they take a brief break over Easter, so we took Elden to daycare, ran some errands, then I painted the rest of the main space of the attic (the area over the stairs still needs done), got Elden, took a walk, and soaked up some seriously quality time with our boy.
Now that the main space of the attic is done I can start organizing and getting it ready for the crawling days. I want to spray paint most of the furniture that's up there right now, hang curtains, do something with the recessed lighting (they're an awful gold color), and create a custom baby-gate to ward off half of the space.