Thursday, April 29, 2010


This post has been backdated. I wrote it over a week ago and then had technology issues.

I know it hasn't been an eternity since I last posted, but for someone who posts frequently, this is an absolute dry spell. We've been too busy. And now I'm just trying to catch up on my rest, trying not to overdo it. And our Internet at home is broken (I hate Charter) and we haven't been around during business hours to get it fixed. I'm sending this as an e-mail from work, and I hope this is the right address. [It wasn't.] So, here are the highlights (and lowlights) of the last week or so:

1. We closed on our house on Monday, and are now, officially, first time homebuyers. It was just too easy to sign our lives away! I never thought I would ever put down roots, so this is huge for me. Our lease on the apartment continues through the end of June, so we're going to try to take our time in moving, getting the big stuff over to the new house pretty quickly, and then I'll spend sometime sorting through the little stuff, making sure we're not moving junk/trash/things we haven't used since we moved into this place two years ago. I'm hoping we'll be able to make the sleeping transition to the new house by the end of May.

2. Elsie started walking on Monday; that is, she started taking more than one step at a time. She's now up to 4 or 5 steps before sitting or plopping back down. I was at Sylvan when Eli called to tell me. Monday was a big day for all of us. She's also cutting a third tooth, to make its debut any day this week--an upper canine tooth.

3. Elsie is sick for the first time. Sort of. I don't know. She doesn't have a fever. She doesn't have diarrhea. But on Tuesday night, seconds after Eli left to go observe a Kaplan class, she threw up all over me and the (thankfully microfiber) couch. Mostly formula. A day's worth. So, as Super Mom, we went into rescue mode, and by the time I had her in the bathtub she was splashing and kicking and laughing. Put her to bed. A few hours later she woke up crying from hunger. Eli gave her a half a bottle, and a little while later, that too came up. Yesterday I took her to J's. They had a good day with no vomit. I get her in the car headed over to Hobby Lobby, and she's talking and cooing the whole way. We pull into the parking lot and then Elsie throws up. So we head home, all the while she's making raspberries and cooing in the backseat. Bath. Change of clothes. We go to church and then home. I feed her before bed because she hasn't eaten in many hours. I hold her upright until she's almost asleep, probably for about 30-45 minutes. I go to sleep at 8 because I'm exhausted, but wake up from heartburn at 10 something (Eli is studying out in the pool house), and right then I hear her wake up and throw up. I go get her, clean her up, try to wash the puke out of her hair, change her pajamas. Eli comes in and changes her sheets, I take her into the bathroom to wash her face and she throws up all over me and her clean pajamas. Sigh. This morning she is lethargic, trying to be pleasant, but she's not feverish. This is the first time she's really been under the weather quite like this.

4. There are three weeks of school left (Woohoo!!!). And for some reason, our curriculum map puts the research paper last. So, this week has been VERY stressful trying to get these 13-year-olds who have already mentally checked out to care about MLA formatting and to remember how to use the index of a book (and where it is found, even!). Why did I do this to myself? My sanity may suffer a major toll from this.

5. Eli had a job interview. He did not get the job. Now we're moving on to the next possibility, and praying about it.

6. We are recommitted to our "TMMO" and debt snowball, for all you Dave Ramsey fans. Moving two years ago really got us off track, but now that we've taken on this huge house debt, and now that we see the light at the end of the tunnel for my students loans and our credit cards, we are eager to get back to being "gazelle intense". No new washer and dryer. No new furniture. No new car (though the Saturn is 15,000 miles away from the 200k mark). Not until we get it all paid off, except for the house. And we have tickets to go see Dave in Atlanta in OCTOBER!! I'm excited. We're also exploring the possibility of facilitating Financial Peace University in the fall--nothing official, just some dreams and desires.

So, that's the good with the bad. That's our life this month. I'll be glad when April says "adios" on Friday. :)


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Where in the world?

These last two weeks have been travel-full. And then when we get home, we are Internet-less. So, that's where I've been. Traveling and hanging out in limbo.

This weekend our adventures took us to Hattiesburg, MS. We left after school on Friday to start the drive, finished the drive this morning. Stayed at the family reunion (Eli's paternal grandmother's side of the family) for a couple of hours and then started the drive back home. In the pouring rain. All legs of this trip.

Finally, in Mobile, we decided that we needed to get off the road and relax. The car has the rack on the back (we picked it up from the hunting camp on our way to MS) so it's weighing down the back of the car, lifting the front of the front-wheel drive car up a little, making the hydroplaning worse than it should be. Yes, time to get off the road.

So, we're here at the in-laws unexpectedly and are going to stay the night, leaving early in the morning to head back to Auburn so that I can work in the nursery at church and Eli can drive to Birmingham for a full day of Kaplan training. Ugh.

In other exciting news, we close on the house on Monday. :)


Sunday, April 18, 2010

a casa de nuevo

What a week. After school on Tuesday, we packed up the car and drove as far as Chattanooga (3.5 hours) and stayed with Eli's aunt in her guesthouse for the night. We got up and drove drove drove (14 hours) to Ashtabula with a few stops along the way. Thursday we spent time with family, having famous pancakes for breakfast (Thanks, P & J), meeting the newest cousins and watching Elsie play with them. Thursday night were visiting hours at the funeral home. Lots of aunts, uncles, cousins of all varieties that I hadn't seen in 12, sometimes 20+, years. Friday morning was Grandma's funeral at the mission church, and we left after lunch for the long drive back, making it to Chattanooga after midnight and then taking our time getting back home on Saturday. We were exhausted, and Elsie was tired of riding in the carseat. So, we're home again. Sigh.

Eli has already told me that next summer, when we make the trip to Pennsylvania for C's wedding, we are flying with two lap babies. I told him we better start saving now! And we're going to get Elsie and 2.0 passports so that maybe we can make a summer vacation/birthday trip out of it and go to Niagara Falls and Canada. I've never been to Canada (that I remember...).

While we were in Ohio, Elsie cut her second tooth and stood up by herself for the first time (without using anything for leverage). She mastered the sippy cup and the snack cup--an 8+ hour intensive learning session while strapped into the carseat was helpful in this.

*Thank you to Aunt B for letting us crash at your place in Ashtabula.
*Thank you to Aunt A for letting us crash at your place in Chattanooga.
*Thank you to L & T for the snack cups and puffs--they saved our sanity.
*Thank you to everyone for your prayers and kind words.

Tomorrow we're back to our regularly scheduled programming--I'm not really looking foward to school and cleaning up after three days of subs, but on the bright side we only have four weeks left. Woohoo!

Please continue to pray for our sanity as we finish out the month of April. Eli is working on getting certified to teach LSAT classes for Kaplan, so will have to make many trips to Birmingham and back before the end of the month. We're exhausted, but this job is going to help us pay our bills faster.

Well, that's the update. Now to finish lesson planning.

Oh, and somehow I didn't take any pictures of our time in Ohio, so aunts and cousins, if you have any, please share!


Sunday, April 11, 2010


Grandma died on Saturday night, but Grandma has been gone a long time as a result of dimentia and Alzheimers. We're planning to make the trip to Ohio for the funeral, though I'm not sure about the logistics right now. Eli comes home tonight and we'll talk about it in detail.

But I can't leave it at that, with my last musings on her being from when I took Elsie to Texas last summer. Why? Because that wasn't Grandma.

So here are a few things about my last grandparent:

1. Grandma was talented with the crochet hook and yarn. She made each of the grandchildren afghans when we were little. I still have and use mine. Some years it makes the rotation as the couch blanket, while others it makes the rotation as the extra covers in the winter time. Right now my yellow "Grandma blanket" in the couch rotation. And the afghans were the least of her talents. She made beautiful St. Nicholas dolls and plenty of potholder and tea towel sets. She tried to teach me to crochet when I was younger, but as a lefthander, it was awkward, and I gave up.

2. Grandma made the best spaghetti. I don't know if this was technically true, but she was definitely the best Irish "Italian" cook I knew. She embraced Papa's heritage and became one heck of a cook. In third grade I decided that her spaghetti was indeed the best ever.

3. Grandma's cookies were the best. I mean, I put them on the table around my wedding cake because I wanted to share the greatness. Whether they were waffles or balls or cherry-filled, they were...addicting. And it took me 20 years to realize that anise is licorice flavoring. I hated licorice. I loved her cookies.

Trivial things? Yes. But these are the things that are filled with the best memories. I guess I really liked the picture of her trying to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but I didn't make that trip, so it was just a funny for me.

Mom, Dad, Stacey, David, L, M, and Julie, I love you. Thank you for your sacrifices in caring for Grandma.


Friday, April 9, 2010

11 months (and 2 days)

It's been difficult to sit down with the computer these last couple of days as we prepared for Eli to leave for four days (he's in Chicago with the CG for a weekend training session).

So, our little girl is 11 months old. Geez. It's happened so fast! This month, there's not too much to report. She's much more talkative and has added some sounds that she makes more and more consistently. She's a ham when we go in public and someone smiles and makes eye contact. Still only the one tooth, but I can see the one next to it coming in--I half expected it to break through for her 11 month birthday, but it didn't happen. She's decided crawling is faster, and her poor little knees are scratched and bruised up--but not to the point of anyone calling CPS/DHR or anything. Just little girl getting into everything. Eli started bribing her to cruise instead of crawl by putting a trail of fruit-flavored puffs around the coffee table. It's funny. She's also gotten much better at holding her own bottle.

This month I'm hoping to complete the transition from bottle to cup. We're still working. And I think the table food thing is moving slowly because she doesn't have any notable teeth to help her chew. One tooth does not a food ripper make.

Anyway, it's just the two of us girls for the weekend. After school, Elsie and I went to Target where I bought a tube of glow bracelets to keep me company tonight as I watch a chick flick from the Redbox that Eli will gag about when I tell him what it is (think unrealistic sparkles in the daylight, part 2). So, I'm sitting here on the couch with any number of glowing bracelets connected as necklaces and eating crunchy gummy bears that I also got at Target. Another Friday night.

Tomorrow, I work at Sylvan in the a.m. so I have to take Elsie over to J's house. I think I'll leave her there until noonish and then we'll go to the library for a play date. Tomorrow night I have tickets to Tao: The Martial Art of Drumming, and I finally found someone to go with me. I'll leave Elsie with J again. And then Sunday I work in the nursery so I'll miss "big church." I feel like there might be something I'm supposed to do in the afternoon, but I can't remember. Dang pregnancy brain.

Anyway, that's what's going on in our neck of the woods for now.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sips N Strokes, Part Quatre

On a whim, M (my pregnant teacher friend) and I went to Sips N Strokes last night with the gift certificate I got from bro- and sis-in-law for Christmas (THANKS!) . I'm not going to chronicle all the steps, as that's all done in my FB photo album, but I will show you the final portrait, plus the happy painters. This time I signed with a Sharpie rather than with paint, and I really liked it better. Does that make me a fraud? :)


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Long Week

Sorry for the absence. We were without Internet at home for a couple of days, and you might think that the world had ended, but it didn't. I just spent more time playing freecell than I would have liked. Whatever.

I don't spend enough time taking pictures of Elsie, and the ones I did take today don't do justice with her curls. But here we are in our Easter outfits. You can see my baby belly, but it's really not that big just yet (is it?). I just happen to stand with my hips pushed forward all the time. It's genetic. My dad stands that way, too. :)

And here she is with her daddy (I was the photog, so the lighting is terrible...sorry):

And finally, here's a picture from earlier this week as I tried to get a view of her tooth for you, but she won't show it. And I can tell that the one right next to it is there and will cut through any day. Oh well. But she's cute, and you can kinda' see her curls.