Friday, December 21, 2007

One week until Christmas!!

We have been very busy getting ready for Christmas. There always seems to be one more trip to Target to get something or other. Considering we were zombies for Christmas last year, we are thoroughly enjoying every second of this one!

Last Friday we went to see Santa Claus at the mall. After waiting in line for over an hour it was finally our turn. Ethan just looked very confused at Santa and had a look as if to say "You are one wierd dude!" on his face the whole time. Ella didn't care for Santa one bit! She cried and cried hard. She quit for a second so we could take a picture of both of them with him. When se was put in his lap for her individual picture, she started again. I let them take a couple, then ran to get her. The only words Santa said to us was "Take her she is about to hyperventilate!!" I think Ella scared Santa Claus! So next year Mommy may be sitting on Santa's lap with Ella : )

On Sunday we went to Eric's extended family's Christmas party in Waverly. We had a great time catching up with them. This was the first time Ethan and Ella got to spend much time with some of them. Ethan really enjoyed crawling around and chasing his 2nd cousin Cameron. And Ella was happy as can be being carried around everywhere by her cousin Lydia. Here are a few pictures.



Ethan, Ella, Nana & Papa










Daddy & Ethan drinking some boiled custard. (Ethan really liked it!)







On the way home......


Ella still partying - Why won't these socks come off?




Ethan crashes from his boiled custard high




Monday, December 10, 2007

A Walker and a Talker!

Every day my precious little babies take a step further and further away from being babies. It is so exciting to watch them grow but makes me a little sad too. Oh how I miss the hours I would hold them and just rock. Now there are too many things to do and see! They both have so much curiosity!

For a few weeks now, Ethan has been getting so close to walking. Finally when we got back from our trip, he took 1.....2.....then 3 steps! He isn't walking all around now. His favorite mode of transportation is still crawling since he is so fast at it. Sometimes he will take a couple of steps and you can see him think "Man if I just plop down I can get ther so much faster!" Ella is still perfectly happy crawling at 100 mph and cruising along holding on to furniture. I joke that she will start skipping instead of walking because she is always jumping about. I swear she will hold on to the ottoman and jump for 20 minutes solid. If I had her energy, I wouldn't need to work out!

Ethan and Ella have always been very verbal babies. They may not have a long list of words that they say clearly, but they definitely have their own language and communicate very clearly with us.

Ethan
1. Mama
2. Dada
3. Hey
4. Uh - Oh! This is a new one for this week. I was wondering why mine haven't said this yet when I realized I was saying "Oopsie Daisey!" to them instead of Uh-Oh! That is a pretty tall order!

Ella
1. Mama
2. Dada
3. Dada (Doggie)
4. Geegan (Ethan)
5. Hi-Ya! (As in karate chop)
6. Papa
7. Tree (she says this everytime she sees the Christmas tree......or with a sweet smile any time she wants attention)

This week we are working with them to say "Mistletoe" and "Saviour." : )

Friday, November 30, 2007

Greerswald Thanksgiving Vacation - Homeward Bound!

Our trip seems like a blur. Once we got settled somewhere, we were packing up and hitting the road again! Sadly, on Friday we loaded the GMV and started our final leg of the trip home. It was cold and SNOWING!!! Although we weren't excited to drive in it, we were thrilled to see it since we get so little in Nashville. We were only in it for about 15 minutes before it quit.

The kids were excellent riders in the morning and the afternoon. In fact, Ella took her standard 30 minute nap in the first hour. Too bad that was all she would sleep for the rest of the day! Eric and I made hotel reservations for Fort Smith, AR (half way point) and Little Rock (2 hours closer to home). Late afternoon we made the call to tough it out and go to Little Rock so the next day wouldn't be as long. Boy Howdy - did those kids make us pay for that choice! Two solid hours of fussing. We sang songs, played peek a boo, put in every DVD we had just to make it through. I think we swore off going on road trips ever again a few times. When we finally got to the hotel they were happy as clams. I have never seen kids SO excited to crawl around a hotel room! Their favorite was the mirrored closet doors. I couldn't even keep Ethan still for his diaper change!!











We all slept like logs and the next day we slept in later than we have in over a year! After a yummy Cracker Barrel breakfast we were onward to home!!! The kids were in such good spirits. It was like they knew that life was almost back to normal and they could say "Good riddance!" to the car seats for a while at least. One of the videos is of them playing with Aunt Sharon's taggy blanket and the other is of Ella blowing spit bubbles. She did this for like an hour. Sorry about the angle. I had to try to be sneaky so they wouldn't stop.








We got home in time to watch the second half of the UT/UK football game. Of course when we started loosing, we considered packing up the kids and getting back in the car. ; ) So now it has been 6 days since our 8 day road trip and I think we are just about recuperated!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Greerswald Thanksgiving Vacation - The BIG Day!

We have so much to be thankful for this year. Looking back at the last year it really is amazing! Last Thanksgiving, we had just brought Ethan and Ella home from the NICU. They spent 5 very long weeks in intensive care. We were so thankful to be able to finally take home 2 healthy babies after our long journey. Honestly, I barely remember last Thanksgiving. It was such a stressful time adjusting to having them home without any monitors telling us they were ok.


(Turkey Day 2006)


Wow what a difference a year makes. Last year we were in a our own little bubble. Fast forward to 2007.......We had a big crowd in Morse. All my aunts and uncles with there with their kids. We really missed David and Deidra because they couldn't make it. We were especially blessed this year to have my cousin Chris' 3 week old daughter, Macy, with us! Dustin and his wife, Rowena, are expecting so it was great to get to celebrate with them too.

(Turkey Day 2007)

This year Mom volunteered Eric to make the Turkey. He got a recipe from a Food Network special about how to soak the turkey in a brine then cook it in a smoker. Man was it GOOOOD!!! I am so lucky that I snagged a nice good looking guy who also happens to be an amazing cook.

While I was growing up, going to Morse was my favorite place in the world. I have so many great memories. When we were driving along the highway towards Morse, I got misty eyed when Pepa's grain elevator came into view. I am so glad that we are starting this tradition with Ethan and Ella. I am sure they will have just as many fond memories of the wonderful place and even more amazing family God has blessed them with!

Greerswald Thanksgiving Vacation - The Second Leg

We had a fantastic time at Aunt Amy and Uncle Dan's. Anytime we can spend catching up with them and loving on Emily and Meg is good for us! We had a big day on Monday. We went to Cabella's to go look at the exhibit they had of animals. It was really neat. (2 guess whose idea it was to go there!)

When we got home, we played beauty shop. Amy got out her scissors and we gave the kids their first hair cut! Ethan has been sporting a mullet for far too long. You know - business in the front and party in the back? so we gave him a nice trim right across the back. Oh big boy!

Ella has a lot of hair. We have tried the "Pebbles" look, the "Shaggy" look, and "Piggy Tails" look. Any type of a bow or band in her hair is asking for trouble. So we decided it was time to cut her bangs so they don't fall in her face anymore. I think she offically looks like a toddler now!
On Monday evening, my Uncle Gary and Aunt Dara came to visit. It was so good to see them. They stayed for a couple of hours, caught up and played with the kids. Tuesday morning we started our 2nd day of driving. We drove from Amy's house to my Uncle Lynn's in Morse. Again the babies did really well but no sleep! We were able to stop on the way there and see my Great Aunt (and their Great Great Aunt!) Esther. We visited for a little bit as we enjoyed some DQ in Claude, TX.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Greerswald Thanksgiving Vacation - The First Leg

Our family has an all time favorite movie that we can only watch from Thanksgiving through Christmas. We watch it as many times as we can and quote it often. That movie is "Christmas Vacation." We started off our Thanksgiving Vacation in true Griswald fashion. Our first day was an 11 hour + drive to see Uncle Dan, Aunt Amy, Emily and Meg in Roanoke, Texas. Never fear though - I had a plan! I got up at 5 to get ready and finish packing so we could be on the road at 6:30 am. We were a little off, but at 6:40 the GMV was packed with everything but the kitchen sink, kiddos, Mommy and Daddy. Turn the key....rrrr.....rrrr. Not good. Dead battery. As Eric drove to Wal-mart in his truck to fix the problem he called his folks and we were quickly called "The Greerswalds." : )


We finally got on the road a little past 8. I have to tell you that the kids did great! For some reason though unlike most kids, ours are incapable of sleeping for more than 30 minutes. And it is also impossible for them to do it at the same time. So that meant lots of peek a boo, singing songs, a couple of videos, and handing toys to them (then throw, then hand back, then throw, then hand back, then throw, then tell them that was the last time, then cry, ignore, cry more, then hand back toy and so on and so on) We stopped at a rest area on the way to have lunch. It was so warm. It was nice to get out and enjoy the summer like weather for a bit before we hit the road.


Eric was a little distressed to be on the road on a Saturday that the Vols were playing, so we borrowed Jamie's XM radio. He signed up for a month subscription at about midnight the night before we left just so he could cheer on the Vols from the road. I have to admit though - it was pretty neat! you would never run out of things to listen to that is for sure. He is wearing headphones here because we had Mickey Mouse Clubhouse going over the car speakers. "Mishka Moushka Mickey Mouse!!"

ahh.....finally at 7:30 pm, we rolled into Uncle Dan and Amy's house......only 1250 or so more miles to go on the trip.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Type A Mommy - Blessing or a Curse?

I have always been a Type A personality. It has served me well in some cases and given Eric more than a few good reasons to make fun of me. The jury is still out on whether it helps me be a better mommy or just a neurotic one.....

On my computer, I have a spreadsheet of our packing list for our trip next week, a calendar that has our meals planned out through next April, cooresponding weekly grocery lists, Ethan and Ella's daily schedule for Mimi, and a zillion folders of pictures of us organized by month and listed chronologically. I asked for Outlook for Christmas so I can organize my emails better and am more excited about that than anyone should be.

Ethan and Ella have a schedule every day. We get up between 6:30 and 7. Eat breakfast around 7:45. Go down for nap at 9....etc etc. We may vary from it a little but not much. I think the fact that I have multiples feeds into my habits. When you have 2, you just about have to have some sort of a schedule or else you wouldn't ever get anything done. Some say it is a little excessive, but I say that's me and it really works for us : )

Mimi and I have a new arrangment that has made my life so much easier. She takes the kids to her house every other week. That day I do a good clean to the whole house. I never thought that several straight hours of straight cleaning would feel so good! In fact, I told her that could be my only Christmas present from them (thank goodness she didn't bite ; )

okay....so it stresses me out when Eric puts the wrong colored top on the bottles. (COMPLETELY irks me. I swear he does it just to get a rise out of me!) Or when he tries to put Ethan or Ella in the wrong high chair or car seat (note the word tries) And I am learning to deal with Ethan not letting me have a color pattern when I put the Lego's together.
F-L-E-X-I-B-I-L-T-Y is what we are working on here.

I am sure that I will pass on this blessing/curse to one of the kids. And I am sure the other will drive me crazy in their own sweet way with their messy backpacks and loose papers everywhere.

Edited to add: ok so I just googled Type A to see what I could find and Wikapedia apparently does not think very highly of Type As. Let me clarify that I am not impatient or difficult and I do fit in well with society and I do not need to be medicated! Do you hear me????? (Just kidding : )

Monday, November 5, 2007

One Step Closer to Toddlerhood

Yesterday we took one step closer to officially becoming Toddlers. Drumroll please.........

We turned our carseats around! That's right. Ethan and Ella can now see the world as wheels on the GMV go round and round. We have a Super big roadtrip coming up for Thanksgiving so we are hoping this will work magic like everyone keeps saying. We are driving to Dallas (12 hours), then Morse (8 hours), then back home (15 hours). As much as I am SO SO looking forward to seeing my family, I am REALLY dreading the drive. I hope it is easier than I think it will be. Regardless, the post when I get home should be interesting : )





Well that was the high of our week. The low of our week was both the kids had a very nasty stomach bug. Fortunately they didn't throw up any. Just.....the other kind....and lots of it! My best friends this week were: Lysol, Stain Stick, and Boudreaux's Butt Paste. It got to the point late in the week that I just always smelled it. I would go and check in the mirror to make sure I hadn't wiped my nose or something while I was changing one of the many diapers. (Those who have experienced this know what I mean!) Really the only escape from the smell was to go to Old Navy which I happily did every day this weekend : )

We have been really lucky in the sick department. They really haven't gotten sick that much. Much of that is probably attributed to the bubble I have kept them in. As we are ventruing out more, I knew they would get sick as they start to build their immune systems. I am just glad that we were able to hold it off until they were big and strong so they can fight it better. Even though they were sick this last week, they kept their smiles on their face, played and played.
As far as new things they are doing, they are both cruising along really well. Ethan is getting more brave each day. He will stand without any support for 10 - 15 seconds, then realize it and drop to his bottom. I can hold his hands and he will walk and giggle the whole way. Ella likes to walk around her LeapFrog table and the window seal. They both love to look out the window in the Bonus Room. They get really excited when they look out and see Daddy (shh - I think he gets more excited to look up and see them!)



Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!





We had a big time on our first "official" Halloween in the Greer Household. Of course, Ethan and Ella were born in time for last Halloween, but they were still in the NICU so they couldn't participate in all the festivities! This year they dressed up as Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. It was an easy choice because Mickey and Minnie are their absolute favorite! Each morning when I make their breakfast, they watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Well they don't really watch it. They smile and stare at the TV when the opening song comes on and then again at the end when they sing and dance. But it generally does the trick to give me a few minutes to cook up the oatmeal and eggs for breakfast! Ella's costume fit like a glove. Poor Ethan....his was a 12 months and it still swallowed him. We had to keep pulling his ears back so they wouldn't cover his whole face. He was a really good sport though.


We were lucky that the "crazy cousins" were able to come and trick or treat for a little bit. From left to right we have Spiderman (aka Houston), the Green Fairy (aka Madeline) and Ariel (aka Elizabeth). Houston, Madeline and Elizabeth are Aunt Amy's 5 year olds. Now this Amy is not to be confused with Aunt Amy who is my sister in Texas or the other 2 Amys that are Uncle Jamie and Uncle Dan's sisters. Mid 70s were a big time for Amys : )


We hit a few houses and got a few treats for Mommy and Daddy. When we got home we had Papa John's with Mimi and Papa. This was Ethan and Ella's first time to have pizza. Ethan LOVED it! He smacked his lips and maded mmm sounds with each bite. Ella did well too. She is such a healthy eater. She even ate her green beans first!
So all in all, our first official Halloween was a success. I am already thinking of next years costumes. I plan on making the most of the few years where I have control of the costume choices!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Our One Year Appointment

So I am about a week late in posting this. What can I say? Birthdays take it out of this Mommy! Here are Ethan and Ella's stats from their one year appointment last week

Ethan

Height 29" 21%
Weight 18 lb 9 oz 3%
Head Circ 44.6 cm 8%

Ella

Height 28".25 20%
Weight 18 lb 10 oz 12%
Head Circ 45.1 cm 51% (You go girl!)

So as you can see, we have 2 little tykes for sure!!! They are in a slightly higher percentile for the Preemie curve but not much. They were so good at the appointment. They got 4 shots and their iron levels taken. Both of them still have pretty low iron, so they have to stay on vitamin drops. Overall, they got an A + and the doctor is pleased with their development. They are slightly delayed on their milestones, but that should all even out over the next year. (I can tell you that I am in no hurry for them to start walking!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy First Birthday!!!

Today is Ethan and Ella’s first birthday. Wow what a year it has been! Eric is taking most of the day off so we went to the Famous Loveless CafĂ© for breakfast to celebrate. My cousins Patricia, Sarah, and Collin are coming for lunch. We are excited to see them and for them to meet the babies. Can I still call them that? I think I can : )


Here are a couple of Then and Now pics of the babies…………


Ethan Then: 4 lb 4oz. 17” long






Ethan Now: 18 lb 9 oz. 29" long











Ella Then: 4 lb 17” long







Ella Now: 18 lb 10 oz. 28" long














Whew .....birthdays take it out of you. Just 364 days until we do this all over again : )

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October 16, 2006

October 16, 2006 - This is the day that I thought I would finally get to meet my precious babies. I thought I had been doing pretty good up until the day before. The whole time I was in the hospital I was told I was having contractions 4, 6, or 8 minutes apart. Never felt them. I always thought "How weird! That isn't the way labor is on TV!" Well on Sunday, the 15th, I finally felt my first contraction that afternoon and it never stopped until I finally had them. That night lasted forever. I was in so much pain that I didn't sleep. My stomach just felt like someone was squeezing and squeezing and my back was in agony.

On the morning of the 16th I told Eric to call my parents and get to to come to Nashville. This was finally the day! I was so disappointed when Dr Evil came in and told me that they would just up my mag yet again. My only consolation was that he would give me something to help me sleep......I thought. Instead of it making me sleep, it just made me jittery and sick. Poor Eric stayed with me instead of going to work because he was so worried about me. He had to practically carry me to the restroom when I felt sick (which was often and I am not gonna lie - I was not small by any stretch of the imagination then!) So that was a very long 24 hours.

Finally the next morning came. When they were monitoring the babies heartbeats, as they did every morning, they noticed they were unresponsive. Apparently the mag was having the same effect on them as it was me. Then my OB came and said I was dialating and "It's time to have the babies, Stephanie!" Never have words been so sweet. Eric got nervous, teared up, and prayed with me. All I could think was "Thank you God!!!!! The time is finally here!!!!!" That was at 9:45 am and they were finally with us at 11:07 (Ethan Brent) and 11:08 (Ella Bailey). That is just about all I remember about the day my babies were born. I was in and out the rest of the day. That was actually a blessing since I couldn't go to see them until the next day. If I had been with it, then I would have been a basket case not being about to see them. Eric went to the NICU to spend time with them and took lots of pictures to bring back to me.

32 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy, 79 days of Bed Rest, 69 days in the Hospital, countless pills, shots, IVs, just a few tears shed, hundreds of thousands in medical bills - all for 2 wonderful gift from God. Absolutely priceless and I would do it again and again in a heartbeat : )

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Big 1st Birthday Party!



On Sunday, we had Ethan and Ella's first birthday party at Mimi and Papa's. We had a really good time. We visited with family and friends, opened presents, and ate cake. By the end of the day, Mommy and Daddy were beat. After cake, the kids were crawling around the house at warp speed! Luckily, they crashed only an hour later than usual. Unfortunately, I did not get the memo that said that babies quit taking their naps after their first birthday party! We had an entire day of nap strike today. I am hoping that by tomorrow the icing will have worked its way through their system!







Here are a few videos Eric took at the party. If you get motion sickness, you may want to take something. I think I am enrolling him in a course for Christmas........ : )

Singing Happy Birthday to Ethan and Ella


video



Ethan eating cake


video




Ella eating ALL the icing




video

So as I sign off, I also have a couple of tips for my friends who have yet to celebrate the big 1 with their kids.
1. Strip the kids down and be ready to run to the bathtub after the cake.
2. Your outfit......make sure you coordinate your colors with the icing. For example - me...Blue sweater and black cords with WHITE icing = BAD. Brown shirt with chocolate icing = GOOD.
3. If possible, coordinate the icing with your hair too or dye it. Otherwise you will hear "Steph you have icing in your hair" like 20 times. And for some reason, Mommies having icing in their hair is not as cute as the babies. Go figure.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pumpkin Patch and Bringing the Zoo to the zoo!

We had a very busy weekend. Aunt Amy (Tx), Emily and Meg came to see us!!!! The girls had a long weekend for Columbus Day, so they made the long drive to Tennesee. We were so excited to see them. The last time we were all together was for the 4th of July.

On Saturday we got up and went to Gentry Farms in Franklin. They have a large pumpkin patch, corn maze and lots of other things for kids to do. It was great even though it was so HOT!!! It didn't seem right to be at a pumpkin patch in your short sleeves and sweating but we perservered. Emily picked out a pumpkin for Ethan and Meg got one for Ella. Amy, Emily, Meg and I went through the corn maze and burned few calories. It was really fun. I look forward to going next year when our kids can enjoy it a little bit more. Hopefully it will be a little more like Fall too!



On Sunday we had an early birthday party for the family. Ethan got the Little People Garage and Ella got the Little People Doll House. So far (much to Daddy's dismay) the Doll House is the hit with both of them : ) We also had a trial run of the cake and it went pretty well. More went in the belly than on the floor, so we call that a success.



Our cousins from the Greer side had fall break all last week and this week too. To celebrate, Aunt Amy (TN), Houston, Elizabeth, Madeline, and my crew all packed up and went to the zoo. We really had a good time and are going to get a family pass so we can go more often. Ethan and Ella just really enjoyed the stroller ride. I don't think they cared a thing about the monkeys or elephants like their cousins did!


Not much else has changed with them. They are both working on yet another tooth. This is Ethan's 7th and Ella's 5th. They are keeping me on my toes crawling around and getting into anything and everything that is a no-no. Ethan would like to think that he can stand on his own with no help, but he isn't quite there yet. Ella is becoming more and more vocal - - - particularly at 6 am! She did the sweetest thing though earlier today. I was in a generally crabby mood because I had gone to Wal-Mart (natural side effect of shopping there) and my battery died in my minivan. She climbed up in my lap and gave me kiss after kiss after kiss for a good 2 minutes. It was great - I didn't even have to beg like I normally do! Kids are the greatest : )

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

HEY!!!! When did I get toddlers?????

Well it has happened. They have gone and grown up on me. It is amazing how every week they learn something new and exciting. They are both crawling around at top speed. It is amazing how quick they can go! I really have to be on my toes when they are playing.

Ethan is working on 2 more teeth. These are his incisors which I hear are some of the toughest teeth for them to cut. He hasn't been too fussy so we are pretty lucky. He has started a new habit that I am not too fond of.......biting. Or I like to think of it as "love nibbles." So far he saves these little "Love Nibbles" exclusively for Mommy. That either means he loves me best (my vote) or that I am just too slow to escape him. He really doesn't do it in a mean spirited way. He does it when he is really happy and excited. It is almost like he is saying "Oh my gosh!!!! I am so excited I just have to...chomp!" Maybe it can be attributed to me always nibbling on their toes? I can't help it - they are so so cute! Well I have little Ethan bite marks on both sholders and biceps. We are really working on the word NO.


Ella also has started something new. I prefer her new act. She has started giving kisses. Now she may have watched Majors give kisses a few too many times because her kisses resemble a dog's kiss a little more than people's. Wet or not, it is absolutely the sweetest thing ever. I will gladly get every single bug she has just so I can get a kissy from my sissy : )







Eric and I are doing well. Staying busy as always. I broke down last week and got my "Mommy Do." I was sick of spending forever drying all my hair, just to put it back in a ponytail. And it would only look marginally better than the ponytail before the shower! So I chopped it. I also started a big project last week. It dawned on me that my babies are turning 1 in a couple of weeks and I have not printed off any pictures since they were in the NICU. So I spent 2 days going through all our digital pictures organizing, deleting, fixing red eyes, etc. 700 pictures ordered from Snapfish and I am on my way! Next week I will work on world hunger....


We spent the weekend with Eric's parents (Nana and Papa) in Paris, TN. We had such a great time. Nana spoiled all the kids (Eric and Me too!) with her wonderful cooking. I was afraid they would reject Mama's food when they got home! I was so impressed that they slept so well while we were there. Must have been those full bellies : )

On Saturday morning we went to go get their 1 year (Oh my Gosh!!) and family pictures taken at a wonder photographer there. The proofs are on the following site if you want to take a look: http://www.pbase.com/pbym/greer_092907. I was so pleased with how well the babies did. A couple of funny stories from the session.....it is amazing that she got the one of them on their hands and knees because it was Ethan's MISSION to get Michelle's camera! As soon as we set him down, he was cutting a trail to get to her (please see the first paragraph). But she was great. She snapped it at just the right time. The last ones of the cake were so fun to watch. At first they just looked at us like " What are we supposed to do?" Then Eric mashed their hands in it and they caught on. As you can tell, Ethan put his foot in his cake. After that, he just held it up in the air the rest of the time. Ella looked over at him and started doing it too with the same foot. As if to say "Oh!! That is what we are supposed to be doing!!" It was great fun. It is going to be impossible to pick because I think they are all great.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Just a Swinging........

I simply cannot believe that we are less than a month away from Ethan and Ella's first birthday!!!


We have had a lot of excitement in our little world the last couple of weeks. We have braved Summer colds, had our first sleep over at Mimi and Papa's new house, played at the playground, grew new teeth, and have a new CRAWLER!!!!



Top Honors this week go to Sissy. She has worked hard and caught up with her Buddy. She now also has her 2 top teeth. And last Thursday, she crawled for the first time!!!! We were so excited. We knew she would do it. We just weren't sure how long she would keep us in suspense. I have been trying to catch it on video, but she stops what she is doing and strikes a pose. In addition, she still doesn't crawl a lot. She really gets around very well with her crawl/roll/lunge combo she does.

When it cooled down last week, we started walking to the playground in our neighborhood to swing. How have I deprived my children of such pure joy for so long?? I have never seen happier, more giggling babies when they swing! : )


We have finally gotten the hang of sippy cups so we are one step closer to saying "Goodbye Bottles!" The only problem is that sometimes when they are donw with it they like to fling it overboard off their high chairs. Well I think it has gotten a little to close to nailing Majors a couple of times. Now he runs and hides everytime he sees the Sippy cups. Poor Majors - this is going to be a long few years for you......




Friday, September 7, 2007

It's Football Time in Tennesseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!


Ethan and Ella have waited all year for our season opener last Saturday. We all got dressed up in our best Orange and White to cheer on the Vols. (Too bad they were already changed into their PJs and on their way to bed by they 7 pm kickoff!) It was a disappointing loss to Cal, but we had fun anyway.

Our tooth count is now up to 7. Ethan has 4 (2 bottom and 2 top) and Ella has 3 (2 bottom and 1 top). Unfortunately, Ethan has taken to giving little love nibbles and actually left teeth marks on my arm last week. Those little buggers HURT!!! Ella is getting closer every day to crawling. She is rocking quite a bit, but still goes backwards when she start to move. She is making good strides and is at least now showing an interest in moving. She is still on target with adjusted age of 8 months. Ethan is cruising at full speed and will take out anything or anyone in his path. He is like a little steamroller. He just crawls right over whatever is in his path. He hasn't quite figured out that he can go around something.....

This weekend Daddy is getting a real treat. He is going to Knoxville to see his first UT game in Neyland Stadium in 2 years! We are really excited that he is getting chance to go with his friends and just relax. UT Football is a way of life with his family, so it much overdue after our rough couple of years.

I was reminiscing with Mom last week about how last season was. I was in the hospital, so our tailgate was a little different but we tried to make it as "normal" as possible. Eric would hang up our UT flag in my room. He would wear his game day shirt and I would wear my best orange tank top with my sweats. My wonderful sister in law, Amy, would bring us grilled hot dogs, Rotel dip and Chips (a necessity for any tailgate.) Of course I would drink my milk and water and Eric would still sneak his whiskey drinks : ) The nurses and doctors knew they could always sneak in our room to get a score check or talk some football. After the game, Eric would disappear for an hour or so to go "make a call." After a couple of weeks I figured out that he was sitting in his truck listening to the post game radio show. Mom asked me if it made me sad to think about it and I said "No. It just reminds me how lucky we are to have such a great family."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

First Big Kids baths, Pulling Up and Story time with Daddy

Bath Time Baby!!!




On Sunday we had our first "Bid Kids Bath" with no bath seats! We probably could have done it a little sooner, but I wanted to make sure they were nice and steady on their booty's first. They love splashing and playing with their rubber duckies. Although it kills my back even more, we save a good 15 minutes each night by bathing them at the same time. Hooray!!!!



Pulling Up


Ethan and Ella have both gotten to be very good at pulling up. These pictures are of them pulling up in their "pin." Their pin is a big play yard we have set up in our bonus room. It is really nice because I don't have to spend all day chasing Ethan around the room as he goes after everything forbidden! I did have to get another extension to it though alst week to make it a little bigger. As big as it is, I still felt like the walls were caving in on me after a while! Now I can lay in the center and Ethan can crawl right over me and Ella can tug on my hair : )


It's Story Time with Daddy


Every night after bath time, we get in our jammies and have story time. Eric and I will alternate ights on who reads story and who runs around and gets bed time bottles together. In this picture, Eric is reading them their favorite Curious George book.


And just cuz it's cute.......






Ella was so proud of herself for getting her leg through the bumper and the slats of Ethan's crib. She just giggled and giggled!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Farewell Formula and Bottles!!!



Farewell Formula and Bottles!!! No phrase has ever sounded so sweet. 63 days until we can say that. (and be a couple of hundred dollars richer each month!!!!!!)

I love about 95% of my day with my precious, oh-so cute babies. The 5% that I hate is when I feed them their afternoon bottle at 12:45 CST every day. As with everything we do, we do it at the same time. They haven't been able to figure out holding their own bottles yet, so I do it for them. I sit in between them with them in their little seats facing me. Ethan is always on my left and Ella on my right. (Anal Mommy thing. Ethan was Baby A and Ella was Baby B, so I always put them in that order) So they are both on either side of me and I hold a bottle in each of their mouths........or try my darnedest to do so. Ethan is a little monkey. He wraps his arms and legs around my arm. And just to make it interesting, he hooks at least one of his big toes in the bottom of the bottle. Ella is a squirmy wormy. She wiggles around so she can watch the TV, Majors, the fan or anything that isn't right in front of her. Then so she can make it interesting, occasionally, she will bat at the bottle and knock it out of her mouth and my hand. Ugh. Serenity Now!!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Content and Curious


Content and Curious. Those are the 2 words that can describe Ethan and Ella. Ethan is a very curious little boy. Once I sit him on the ground he is off exploring. Anything and everything he can get to and into - he is there. Ella....she is perfectly content where I sit her. If she can reach some toys, great she will play with them. If not, her toes will do! I am starting to wonder if she will ever crawl. She really is perfectly content to be where she is and kick around there. I am sure that will be a quality that will serve her well in the future. Ethan's curiosity will lead to great things too (and possibly some bumps, bruises, and a few time outs!) They are both starting to pull up occasionally, so we have moved both of their cribs all the way down.

In addition to getting into everything he isn't supposed to, Ethan is also getting one of his top front teeth! You can barely see it, but you can definitely feel it and the nasty effects of teething. He has been drooling a gallon an hour the last week. He has also gotten into a nasty habit of biting......but only Mommy. He will learn the word NO before this is all said and done! Ella has been teething too and I am sure her's will not be far behind her Buddy's! Thank God she is so much more even tempered than Ethan! She barely fusses a bit. And she wouldn't dare bite Mama : )
Ella's exciting news is that she is saying Mama!!! I am thrilled. I was completely prepared for the first words to be Dada! (I am really working hard at not dancing and singing Na Ne Na Na Boo Boo to Eric!) She says it to Majors, the TV, her Linkadoos, and whatever else she sees. She may not realize that Mama is me, but nonetheless I am enjoying it!

We are continuing to try new foods and having fun with it. Ella has such good, healthy tastes. She loves steamed veggies, oatmeal and thanks to Mimi....sweet tea. Ethan is a true carboholic like me. He likes Pancakes, Grilled Cheese and Mac n Cheese. Don't worry I limit how often he gets them. But when he does, he inhales it! 2 chews and down the trap. And all the while he is grunting. Ella eats them well too, but she chews everything at least 50 times. Good girl. We have taken them out to eat with us a couple of times since they can sit in "big kid" high chairs. It is so much easier!! They just sit, watch the people, and munch away on their little finger foods. So much nicer than when they were in their car seats. Talk about a ticking time bomb.

I have kept trying to get a video of Ella because I feel dreadful that all the videos I have are of Ethan so far. We have 2 problems though. Number 1 - Ella likes to pose for the camera. She is an aspiring model. When she sees the camera, she stops what she is doing and gives you the most adorable grin. She doesn't quite get the whole video needs action thing. Number 2 - Ethan is just plain odd. Now I say that in the most loving, motherly way. But the kid is weirdo. He just gives so much good material! I finally got this video of Ella playing with the furry Triplet, Majors.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

August 3rd - This day in History

Five Years Ago - 2002
This is the happiest day of my life. Five years ago, I was blessed enough to marry the most wonderful man in the world. We went fortunate to be surrounded by our family and friends as we exchanged our vows at Lyndon Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. It was the hottest day of the entire summer and we had to turn off the AC so the candles wouldn't burn out. I am sure there were a few groomsmen that had a few choice words for me : ) The ceremony was beautiful despite the sweat on our brows.
Four Years Ago - 2003
On the day before my best friend, Jodi, got married in Lexington, KY. We had such a wonderful time celebrating with her and Tobin. On our anniversary, we drove to a small Bed and Breakfast out in the horse country. It was so beautiful. That evening we went to Shaker Town for a very yummy dinner.


Three Years Ago - 2004
Neither Eric or I remember this anniversary. Obviously we didn't do anything too interesting. Probably our standard dinner at Carrabba's! Perhaps there was too much wine and that is why?

Two Years Ago - 2005
For our 3rd anniversary, we were both out of town. But fortunately, we were in the same town! Indianapolis. It was actually quite nice. We worked during the day, then pretended to be on vacation that night. We ate at Maggiano's and pretended our hotel was at the beach and not the burbs of Indy.

One Year Ago - 2006
I was 22 weeks pregnant with Ethan and Ella. I had to go to a follow up Ultrasound because my cervix had started to shorten the week before. After a week of bedrest at home, I felt sure that my condition had improved. After my Ultrasound, I was sent to my doctor's office where they immediately sent me to her private office to lay on the couch. (Never a good sign) I was admitted to the hospital and found out that I was having contractions every 6 minutes and never even felt them. They pumped me full of liquids and drugs to get them under control. Eric stayed with me in the hospital the whole time. (although I did excuse him to go get my Wendy's for lunch and Chili's for supper!) It was a scary day. Dr Blake just kept saying that we had to get the babies another couple of weeks so the babies were viable. We were scared, but we knew that God was watching over all of us. One of the funny memories I have is of my IV Pole. I was in a really big Labor and Delivery room because the High Risk floor was all full. The bathroom was a long way away from my bed, so I had to unplug my IV Pole every time I went to the bathroom........which was a lot since I was pregnant! Apparently the battery was low, so the whole time it was unplugged it would beep really loud and get quicker the longer it was unplugged. It reminded Eric and I of either a bomb or the theme to 24. Nonetheless, it stressed me out every time I had to pee : )

Today - 2007

Eric took the day off so we could spend the day together. We just finished a big pancake breakfast. We don't have any big plans for the rest of the day......no trips to KY or IN or even the hospital. Just going to spend the day as a family and count each one of our blessings. God blessed me when he brought Eric into my life 10 years ago at the University of TN. Then he doubly blessed us when He gave us Ethan and Ella. We may go on a family date to dinner. Sure it will have to be at 5 so we can get home for bathtime, storytime, bottles, then bedtime. And sure there will be Diet Coke and Water instead of a bottle wine. And there probably will be a little more baby talk than about what is the next trip we will take. But it will be absolute Heaven for us. (Plus our trip to Florida was our anniversary gift to each other ; )