Tuesday, January 28, 2014

the playroom

We had always planned on utilizing the finished attic as the playroom for our house. Now that Elden is actually at an age where he plays (and the attic is the warmest in the house with its electric baseboard heaters) we have been spending a lot of time up there. That warranted a bit of cleaning and organizing because things were just thrown into a pile. I'm content with the end product although I'd certainly like to build some storage shelves, reorganize the big storage closet up there (started that today, too) and put some additional lighting and curtains on the windows. The other half of the room (not pictured) is also in some serious need of TLC.
At one point we had grandiose plans of building a custom gate to separate the room but I know us well enough to know that will never happen. Jon daydreams about one day adding an addition to the back of the house that will allow us to convert the attic into a master suite (would need to also add a bathroom) and as nice as that is to think about I don't think we'll ever have the funds for such an overhaul. This space certainly has value to us in its current form, though!

Monday, January 27, 2014

the end of breastfeeding

Now that it has been about two weeks, I can say with certainty that we have ended our breastfeeding journey. The official wean was somewhat unplanned as I started a night we went to Jon's parent's for dinner. He was doing fine without it and I had set an 18-month deadline for myself. I had ultimately hoped he would wean himself but I think he would have nursed til he was 8 if I had given him the choice and that was so not happening.
a lover like his mama
I know there's nothing wrong with nursing past a year and a half, but I was mostly of the mentality that if shorty was able to ask for it he was too old to continue. Personal choice, no rights or wrongs, politically correct statement, blah blah blah. Not only would Elden frequently stop what was doing to ask, "dest?" (Elden speak for 'breast') but he would often aggressively pull at my shirt and/or chase me around the house. The pulling up of the shirt was especially uncomfortable in public, hence my 18-month deadline.

It was a simple transition seeing as we had cut down to just one session per day, right after his bath and right before bed. Since I hadn't planned on stopping that night I hadn't treasured the "last session" like I would have expected myself. If I think about this intensely I feel slight pangs of regret, but it really doesn't cross my mind.

On the whole, it doesn't seem to cross Elden's mind either. The exception would be when he sees me getting dressed for work in the morning. Let's paint you a disturbing little picture, shall we? The other day as I was putting on my bra Elden was playing by the side of our bed. As soon as he saw my goodies he stopped playing, his eyes locked on the girls. His mouth fell agape, thus allowing the pacifier to drop to the floor. He then slowly moved towards me, never breaking gaze, mouth more agape than ever.

THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES. In any event, that closes the book on one of the simplest and most beautiful bonds I forged with my little guy. It was quite the experience and I'm thankful I was able to have it, but I am also so relieved that I don't have to deal with sharing my body 24/7 with someone else anymore...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

the 312

What a weekend it's been!

I made a relatively last-minute and surprise trip to Chicago on Friday with my friend, Amanda, to surprise Angela for her 25th birthday celebration! This is a good time to say how much I adore and appreciate my husband for happily staying back with Elden for the night. I love you so much, Jon!!

My friends Kaycee, Steve and Hamza helped me with various aspects of coordination and around lunch on Friday we left for the city. We also got to stop in Indiana to officially meet a dear blog friend, Kim, and her precious babe, Kate. Naturally, I totally forgot to get a picture but I promise it happened!

The trip almost didn't happen because of the weather. They were calling for anywhere between 1-6" between here and Chicago Friday and Saturday. When we left it was sunny and Jon was optimistic that it wouldn't be as bad as they were predicting. It was mostly sunny the entire drive spare the occasional band and lots of blowing snow. When we stopped in Indiana to meet up with Kim the wind chill was in the negatives. We stopped at a Dairy Queen. We all got ice cream (won't stop, can't stop). It was a really awesome hour finally hearing the voice that belonged to a woman I've grown close to through the interwebs. Kim's brother lives about twenty minutes from me so I'm hoping for a repeat visit once the weather gets nice!

After our detour we made our way to Steve's apartment in Bridgeport. He was a fantastic host who had not only prepared a delicious dinner for us but also had a little surprise waiting for me: chicken salsa.
We hung out there for about an hour and a half, freshened up, then made our way to Hamza's, where Angela was congregating with a few of our friends. En route I realized I had forgotten to call Marcello's (best thin crust pizza in the city!) to order a pizza to take back to Jon so Steve looked up the number and we made a detour to grab it. By this point it was snowing heavily and I was a little panicky about the next day but obviously we made it back safe. Once we arrived at Hamza's we walked in the door and it took a solid 5-10 seconds to register a reaction from Angela (which ultimately consisted of a bunch of "what in the? How are you here?"s and happy tears). We proceeded to hang out, take a bunch of selfies, and be merry.

Around 10:15 we headed over to The Apartment in Lincoln Park. Before long there were about twenty of us dancing the night away (with a packed room of other randos). This was the first and probably last time I have ever shut down a bar. 
We headed back to Steve's at the end of the night where we passed out in preparation for the long drive ahead of us. 6:15 came around way too fast and we were packing up the car, making a quick Starbucks run, and starting the arduous journey home. The first half of the drive was sunny but windy. We ultimately got stuck for an hour by a semi that had overturned. We easily passed 25+ wrecks (and at one point the westbound lanes of the Ohio turnpike were closed due to a multi-vehicle accident) but the weather was rarely bad enough to make me nervous. That changed a bit once we got off the turnpike about 20 minutes from my house and it was essentially a white-out. It was a stressful end to the drive but we made it home safe in time for Jon to head out to work (shout-out to my in-laws for coming down in case we didn't get back before Jon had to leave!!) and I am so glad I got to celebrate Angela and see friends, including some I hadn't seen in 3+ years. I am also so glad to be home, not staying up until 2:30 am, and eating my chicken salsa and thin crust 'za. :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

seventeen

Since I'm 1) completely tardy to the party anymore on account of pure laziness and 2) we have finally shipped our good camera to the warranty place thanks to my dropping of it at the zoo at the end of November for repair or replacement, I'm going to have to settle for yet another crappy phone photo for this update. I am absolutely bonkers about this age (overall). Even though Elden has his defiant, stubborn, frustrating moments, they are far outweighed by the unsolicited kisses, hugs, and cuddles. He went through a brief phase of not wanting to eat anything but is back to devouring everything in sight, including especially his fruits and veggies. We are blessed on that front and this is not lost on me. He also had his ENT follow-up today and his hearing was checked for the first time since his tube surgery last June and it is perfect! We are immensely grateful. Elden's vocabulary continues to explode and I am beginning to test boundaries with him by allowing him to walk to the car when we go places on weekends (with just holding my hand). His compliance is about 50/50. He has been taking one fabulous midday nap (usually 1.5-3 hours long) and sleeps somewhere from 6:30p-6a every night. Elden can run, climb into chairs/on the couch, and has started trying to remove his pants (ugh). We haven't had any incidences of him attempting to climb out of his crib (shockingly) but I fear he will outgrow it by 2 at the rate he's growing. He LOVES chapstick, his easel and playing 'find mom/dad.' He exhausts us but we wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

type A

I'm incredibly type A. I usually can't relax if I see a mess and will refuse to sit down at the end of the night til the toddler is in bed, the dishes are cleaned and the toys picked up. This drives Jon absolutely bananas. If I had a nickel for every time he said, "babe, please just relax!" I'd be sitting on a small fortune. Well, I'm here with the ultimate [partial] cure. Are you type A? Can't get yourself to see past a mess and take a glorious 2-hour nap every weekend?

HAVE A TODDLER, YO. Even better... borrow a toddler. Go to a friend or relative, say "hey, give me your kid for the day," and you will a) never see them hand off a child and run for their lives faster, b) become their best friend and c) are about to experience partial type A relief. How do I reckon?

When Elden was first born, I took full advantage of nap time to clean or organize. I think this is partially due to the colic and the fact that he would never sleep more than forty-five minutes at a time in those early days. The rare moments he did sleep were literally the only ones I could get stuff done since he would otherwise refuse to be put down.

Now that he's into all the things he can possibly get into and not capable of being occupied by an object or person or thing for more than five minutes at a time it's all go, go, go. That makes me quite tired, tired, tired. Toddlers are basically just angry personal trainers. So when Elden crashes for his two- to three-hour afternoon nap I become probably a little bit too excited and enthusiastically fall into my own glorious bed. And the mess? Oh, my friend. Not only have I overlooked the mess, but I have embraced it. Seriously. This is what my bed looked like while I napped in it today:
NO TIME TO CLEAN. MUST. NAP.
I say partial cure simply because there is no possible way to ever completely squish the type A out of you. If you borrow a toddler for a prolonged period of time you will find yourself tackling random cleaning and organizational projects at 11 am when your toddler was supposed to be napping but decided unpacking all the giant storage containers you were trying to organize was infinitely more fun. You will also continue to admire your organizational handiwork despite the exasperated sighs of your significant other.
Don't mind me, I'll just be over here framing this to hang on my wall.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

all the things

Since I don't have anything huge or exciting to report I figured the stream of consciousness style of writing I've been rocking in 2014 is probably the most appropriate.

Elden is no longer sleeping in. Insert huge weeping emoticon *here.* Silver lining: he's also not waking up before 6... yet...

I'm starting to really get the spring cleaning itch. When we moved from our apartment to this house I had no idea how much crap we had/would continue to accumulate. In all fairness we did add a third person to the team but we have boxes and drawers and nightstands of junk that we've either not looked at or even unpacked since we moved. I'm tempted to just throw out the unopened stuff and toss in the unsorted stuff for good measure but I'm married to one Jon Paul--the hoarder to end all hoarders. Case in point: the egg crate-sized box of torn and tattered pit stained tees in the attic. He hasn't so much as looked in its direction since April 2012 (almost two years, people!) and when I oh so gently indicated he should go through it to pull out any essentials and pitch the rest he despondently answered that that wasn't a box of smelly tees but rather a box of memories and how dare I suggest such treason! In any case, I have visions of giant storage tupperware and shelving units dancing in my head.

We went to my big sister's CRNA graduation last night. Have I mentioned how proud I am? So so proud.

Monica Potter was robbed at the Globes. 

Jon's harassing me to get off the computer and pay attention to him. I suppose I should oblige ;)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

back at it

So it's been a week and I've left you in the lurch. Prepare yoself cuz things about to get carazay.

Elden's counts on Friday came back normal! Praise God! We are so grateful that it wasn't something serious and we no longer need to take him back to Children's for labs. So relieved.

I got knocked down by the flu yesterday but it was luckily only a 24-hour thing and I'm back at it today. I'm so grateful for Jon and his willingness to take over my portion of housework and Elden watching without batting an eye. I can't remember the last time I slept that much in a 24-hour period and I attribute being able to rest to my quick recovery.

At work we got a 3D printer. I printed myself a mouse ring, natch:

We've begun planning Elden's big boy room. The paint in his room is in dire need of a do-over and while we're in no particular hurry to transition him into a regular bed he's quickly outgrowing his crib. Homie is tall.

My big sis rocked her boards and is officially a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist! We are so unbelievably proud of her dedication and stamina as she worked her tail off these last few years.

We've discovered that Elden is SUPER into helping us. I had him help me make bread the other day and he was all about it... almost too about it:

I owe you Elden's 17 month update but other than that there's really nothing new or exciting to share with you!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

to new beginnings

With the new year we have decided to become regular attendees at a new church. The church we had been attending is a "mega church" and many of the problems that often plague huge churches along with some disagreements we had with their doctrine started to really move us towards the door. We began searching around October 2013 but nothing clicked (for lack of a better term). In early December we visited a much smaller church right down the street from our old church and it just felt right. The size was perfect at maybe 150 regular attendees and Elden was consistently happy to stay in their nursery during service; a feat that he had not made at our prior church. The pastoral staff reached out to us--at one point just one Sunday after we had met him we were waiting in the left turn lane next to the pastor and he immediately recognized us and rolled down his window to say hello (by name). We're excited about what this new church may have in store for us as we plug in. The only downside to this move is the fact that we are leaving behind a small group of incredible friends who have been nothing but kind to us since we arrived on the scene. We know this is not the end of our friendships but it is still a total bummer.

In lighter news, Jon and I shoveled the weezy out of our driveway tonight and I can't find greater satisfaction than a clean driveway. With the exception of clean sheets after a shower. SO FANTASTIC.