Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Story of Eli

Posting has been long overdue, but I've got quite a story to tell and haven't had the time to sit down to tell it.

Our tale starts on September 30th, when I went into early labor at 35 weeks. After hours at the hospital and a dilation of 5 cm, they were able to stop labor and send me home to let Eli cook a little bit longer. Since it was around 1 am, we decided to let Grandma Jane and Grandpa Lee keep Sophie overnight, making plans to pick her up the next morning after we all got some good sleep. If only we had known what a great decision this would turn out to be.
Daddy decided to sleep in what would soon be Sophie's room and give me the whole bed since the medicine to stop labor left me quite uncomfortable. At approximately 6 am that morning, October 1, our smoke alarms started going off. Thinking it a false alarm since there was no smoke or fire smell whatsoever in the bedroom, I laid in bed for a minute until I heard Daddy stumbling around upstairs and then fall down the stairs. When I got up to see what was going on and opened the door, smoke started billowing in from the living room vent. As Daddy ran down to the basement to support his theory that it was our furnace on fire, I ran out the front door, grabbing my purse and phone on the way and called 911.
As it turns out, Daddy was right. The furnace had caught fire from a spark created by contact with the heat exchanger from the central air system. As the fire burned, the freon, insulation, plastic and generaly yuckiness burned and was pushed through the blowers into all vented rooms. The room that got it the worst was Sophie's. The fire inspector has surmised that had Sophie been home, instead of with Grandma and Grandpa, she would not have survived. That still makes me cry when I think about it. I guess it just means that she's supposed to still be here, right? After the smoke had settled (literally) and our house was assessed, it was deemed unlivable and the insurance company got to work getting things cleaned up and repainted. We needed to find a temporary home. After two days with Grandma and Grandpa Flaig, which included another trip to the hospital with false labor, we found temporary residence with Aunt Shell and Uncle Bill. She was able to rearrange her house to give us two bedrooms to use - one as a living area with a couch and TV, and one which belonged to Sophie's cousins Tara and Brooke who have graciously been sleeping on the fold out couch on the nights they are here so that we can have beds. It's been tight, but Michelle, Bill and the girls have been so wonderful taking us in and helping us feel at home. The family bonding has been kinda fun, too, including huge family dinners, helping the girls get ready for their homecoming dance, and late night girl runs to McDonalds for hot fudge sundaes when we get a craving.
3 weeks into our stay with Aunt Shell, mommy had a check up with the obstetrician to check on Eli and they determined that I was effacing, and almost ready to go to the hospital. I had been having contractions for a few hours, which were at that time 10 minutes apart, and the doc said once they got to 6 minutes, we could head to the hospital. Since the hospital is on the other side of town and rush hour in Cincinnati can be horrendous, Mommy and Daddy decided to hang out near the hospital. Mommy got a massage, bought Eli a Halloween onesie and did a little mall walking before heading to the hospital with contractions 4 minutes apart. This time it was the real deal and Eli arrived at 10:55 pm on October 21, 2009.
Eli, your birth was a dream...especially compared to your sister's. 20 minutes of pushing and you practically ran out. You were 8 lb 2 oz and 20.75 inches long. You looked just like Sophie, but with dark hair like Mommy, which made me very happy.
After a very brief stay in the hospital where Eli and I were both given a clean bill of health, we were able to come 'home' to Aunt Shell's. Sophie was a bit apprehensive about meeting Eli. It took a little bit for her to realize that the baby was on the outside and not the inside of my belly.What really helped her warm up was comparing body parts. Sophie seemed to be very excited about the fact that Eli had a lot of the same parts, only smaller. Eli has hands...
Eli has eyes....
And Sophie's favorite part....Eli's toes....
A mere week later, and Sophie loves her little brother. She gives him hugs and kisses all the time. She's also not too shy about telling him 'Shhhhh' when he starts to cry. Ah, big sister.

So, Eli, now you know all of the drama associated with and around your arrival into this world. Hopefully your life is much less exciting :-)
I'll leave today with some funny pics of Sophie trying to get some extra attention through sheer silliness.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sophie's Coney Island Adventure

On Saturday, Aunt Michelle (or Shell as Sophie calls her) took our little princess to Coney Island for her work's Summer Picnic. Mommy was invited, too, but decided to opt out this time since that would be a whole lot of walking for an 8 month pregnant woman. We don't need Eliot to come just yet. At first Stink Bug was a little apprehensive of the situation.
But once she got out of the stroller and started making friends, she had a blast. Incidentally, Aunt Teresa also works with Aunt Michelle, so Molly and Carson were along for the day. Sophie and Molly were fast friends.
Then, she started to get to know her second cousin Hunter.... If she's this lovey on boys she's just met who she's related too, what's going to happen when she gets older and meets real boys? We may have to lock her up earlier than we thought....
Who could resist this face?
Showing off her dance moves...
And riding rides with her volleyball friend Talia.
All this fun sure wears a little girl out.

Thanks, Aunt Shell for including Stinkerbell in your family's Coney Island Adventure (and for the pictures).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Skinny Me??

How is it possible to lose weight while pregnant? I've been feeding into all of my cravings, including ice cream in all forms, cheesburgers, and steaks, but I'm not only not gaining. I lost 2 pounds from my weigh in last week. The baby is in great shape - hearbeat strong, measuring large for the week that I'm in - so my OB says there's nothing to worry about. As the baby (and my boobs) increase in size and I decrease in my neck, legs, arms, I'm starting to love my prego profile.

Add this to the fact that my massage therapist seems to have found the key to keeping my back pain-free and I'm enjoying this pregnancy immensely now. Starting to get sad that I only have 6 more weeks.
Of course, I'm going to be totally screwed after the baby comes when I can't give up the cheeseburgers and ice cream, so I'm just going to have to enjoy it to the fullest right now :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sweet, Silly, Stubborn, Smart Sophie

As I may or may not have mentioned before, since Daddy stopped working outside the home a few weeks ago, Sophie has been Mommy's best friend. She's so snuggly with me lately, I'm loving it.
She's also spontaneously kissing the belly/baby....
And listening to hear him moving.
For those of you that know my husband, he's a big goofball. Not in a Jim Carey or Jack Black kind of way, but in the cute, silly way. He's starting to rub off on Sophie.
Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson!
Jumping and dancing with Lucky (while Lucky stares at her with a quizzical look).
She's really aware of when pictures are being taken of her and always wants to view the screen afterward. She'll smile for photos, like this one which looks like a school photo.
And she wants me to take pictures of her special things. Like her new Vera Bradley backpack (which I bought at a yard sale for only a fraction of the cost).
But then, you can catch her randomly doing things which kinda just make us go 'HUH??'
Like pulling every pair of my underwear out of the (clean, thank God) laundry basket and putting them on over her head. Like I said, she gets it from Daddy.
Sophie has also been on a cleaning kick lately. Whenever she gets her hands on a tissue, paper towel, napkin, washcloth or baby wipe, she runs around wiping off any surface she can get her hands on. Even the couch.
It's actually kinda nice sometimes, like when we got our new china cabinet last week and I wanted to keep her occupied while I transferred over our finery. She polished the outsides and drawers of both the old and new like a pro. It was super cute.
The other day I came home from work to find Sophie and Daddy in the front yard kicking around a ball. Apparently she woke up that morning asking for a ball and wouldn't let it go until Daddy took her to Walmart and bought her one. It is her new favorite toy. She insisted I get a picture (look how proud she looks) and that we take the ball with us to run errands.

Sophie is also determined to figure out how to get into (and out of) seatbelts. Her carseat, her stroller, her highchair, shopping carts...Nothing is safe. We caught her trying to practice on Mr. Green. Do you see the frustration in her face?

She is getting pretty close, though. I guess we need to be really careful from now on....
So the moral of the story? Sophie is all that the title implies. Sweet. Silly. Stubborn (and determined). Super Smart. My Sophie.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Feeling Beautiful

Although Daddy has a degree in photography, he doesn't often take shots of people. The cottontail, the smoke stack, the treads on a tank - these are the visions that inspire him. So, when it comes down to functions where it's not really convenient for Mommy to carry the camera, like my little sister's, (Aunt Nikki), wedding in May where I was a bridesmaid, we often just don't get any pictures. Well, I never thought I'd say it, but Thank You Facebook. Daddy opened up an account for us (something I've been very happy NOT to have as of yet) so he can keep in touch with our friends who've been addicted for years. While checking it today while I was waiting for a file to download at work, I came across my neice Ashley's photo page and some pictures she had of the big day. I absolutely love this shot of our little dancing machine. You're eyes are so beautiful, and definitely Daddy's.
When you're 7 months pregnant, you don't often feel things other than tired, fat, lopsided, and uncomfortable. I didn't realize how beautiful I looked at Aunt Nikki's wedding. Not to sound conceited or anything. I snagged some of my favorite pics of prego glam me, from both Aunt Nikki and Ashley.
Three of my four sisters - the fourth being the bride, and all four sisters with sister-in-law Tina.
And all six siblings together.
See...big can be beautiful :-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Daddy Day Care

On Friday, August 14, Daddy got laid off. It was only a matter of time before the downshifted ecomony caught up with us, as it had to a large percentage of the American public, especially since Daddy worked for such a small family owned business. While some 8 month pregnant women might be freaking out about this development, we had the foresight to prepare a bit for this, and paid down some debt - including eliminating our remaning car payment. We have essentially downsized ourselves to be a one income family already. So while Daddy stays home and works on finding another form of employment, some very exciting home inprovement projects, and some personal artistic projects of his own, he is also taking care of Sophie.
As if they weren't already best buds, now, Sophie gets to see Daddy all day long. She's always been a good and happy baby, but her demeanor, her manners, her listening skills and her affection for Mommy have all increased dramatically during Daddy's work hiatus. Daddy seems alot happier, too. I've been able to switch my schedule, since I was the daycare-dropper-offer, to an earlier 7:30 to 4:30 schedule, but some days I try to work through lunch so I can even leave earlier and get back to my very happy home. I love spending time with you both, and am very pleased that you are getting this opportunity for some togetherness before little brother comes along. Selfishly, I even hope that Daddy doesn't find employment until the first of the year so that we can all take maternity leave together. I love you Stinky, I love you Husby, and I can't wait to meet you Eli! I'll leave you today with a photo montage of some of my favorite Daddy daughter pics over the last year and a half.

Can you tell what Daddy's favorite shirt was last summer?

Dearest Daddy had better be taking some pictures of the fun you guys are having at home together!!