Sunday, May 31, 2009

2 months

Dear Elliott,

Yesterday you officially turned two months old, and it seems like you've both been with me forever and yet only two months. This month I've watched you slowly unfolding into a smiling baby boy, getting more alert and developing a little more personality. Early on this month you started to wake up around 10:30 or so and didn't want to immediately go back to sleep. I placed you on an activity mat in the floor and you made fast friends with the toys that hung over your head, and a few weeks later started to talk and coo to your reflection. Who knew that a toothless smile from your awake baby could make someone so proud. I thought I knew, but I had no clue.
You have officially been introduced to our social scene, and have gone on several outings to meet up with friends around town. I knew you would charm the ladies, but the boys seem to enjoy seeing you just as much, and have nicknamed you E.T. Everyone picked up on this much quicker than I had hoped, but I'm hopeful that your classmates will be slower to call you this, considering the movie it refers to will be over 30 years old at that point. If not, however, please cut us some slack, as we picked your name 15 minutes after the most amazing, shocking, scary time your father and I have probably ever gone through. Lovable aliens just weren't in our radar.
While I have enjoyed watching you grow this month little man, it has been equally interesting to see the changes I've undergone since your arrival. I've always been around kids and have leapt at the opportunity to learn and play and work with them my whole life. So when I figured out that it doesn't matter how many siblings you've had or babysitting gigs you've done- you will still absolutely wig out about the most everyday things- I was considerably humbled. Vaccines, even for someone with a community health background, are scary and make your baby cry like someone sucker-punched him. No parent likes that, and most parents want to cry, too. All babies surprise you with their ability to wriggle out of something you didn't expect them to be able to wriggle out of. When that happens, you will feel like a moron. And even the best babies (that includes you, love) will wake up from their nap right as mom dozes off, and due to her sleep deprivation, she will think "What is wrong with this kid?" I am also apparently now a woman who can get spit up on and will see if it is noticable before I go change. I will try to nurse you while grocery shopping if I can do it discretely enough. And even though I hate pacifiers, if you start crying 10 minutes into the outing I spent 2 hours getting us ready for, I will try to stick one in your mouth. Then you will gag on it and spit it in the floor.
This is the month you outgrew your newborn sized diapers, then your newborn sized onesies, and then your newborn-sized everything else. About a week after I realized this, I relented and put you in bigger diapers and onesies and everything else. This is the month I took a deep breath and left you alone with your dad, then your grandma, granddaddy, uncle, and aunt, and just a few days ago I left you with a good friend and went to a movie with your daddy and tried really hard not to talk about you non-stop and call and check on you every five minutes. I kept checking the backseat and feeling like I had left behind something I really needed with me. It's the month I have managed to cook dinner, do laundry, type blog posts, attend meetings, and get ready with one arm. I think we are starting to get the hang of this, sweet little guy. Please be a late crawler.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Elliott is getting his first shots today. I think he knows what he's in for, but I'm sure I'm dreading it even more. I remember getting whatever shots were required to enter college and the nurse called me a wimp because of the fuss I put up over ONE shot in my arm. They are going to put multiple shots in my baby's chubby thighs. BOO.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Elliott, blissfully unaware of what is coming. Tummy time on our cool quilt from Aunt Nell!

Wish us luck!
We just got back from the Pediatrician and Elliott weighs 12 lbs 1 oz, is 21 inches long, and is a healthy little boy. We only got two of the first round of shots and will go back in a month to get the rest (my decision, since I'm a worrywart) and he did great. He's conked out though-I think it was a lot of stimulation for the little guy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

When I have a daughter

She will be just like this.

Finished project!

I've been working on this for a while, but I finally finished it! Months ago I ran across a website that had this cute little needlepoint picture, but I could not find the pattern anywhere. I really loved the woman rocking her baby though, so I thought that maybe I could "wing it" and started working on it when I was 7 months pregnant. I got as far as the poem, and then stalled out, having no idea how to recreate this picture. Then things got complicated and I got tired and I stopped working on it.

While David's mom was here with us after Elliott was born she ran across my half finished project and told me she had made the very same picture when David was born and had ran across the pattern not too long ago. She mailed it to me and I've been working on it whenever I could get a chance since Elliott was born. I finally finished it a couple of days ago!

Also, I finally caught him!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another picture of Elliott almost smiling

I'm thinking Elliott and I may just venture out to the farmer's market today. It's good to leave the house every once and a while. Otherwise David comes home at 7 and I'm still kicking it in my pajamas.

Last night I had a crazy dream that Elliott could walk and run and say a few words. He was still two months old, but he looked like a toddler and had long brown hair. I think it is because I put him on his tummy Monday and he managed to wiggle all the way across the pallet and off the blanket. He kicks his legs like crazy and eventually turns, millimeter by millimeter, until he's too tired or someone picks him up. I remember feeling panicked in the dream and saying something about him having Benjamin Button disease- and I haven't even seen that movie. Motherhood makes me crazy, I think.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Pictures

I hope you guys all had a great Memorial Day Weekend. We were a family on the go for most of it, but we had a lot of fun with our friends. The weather was gorgeous too! We ended up going out almost every day this weekend, so Elliott and I are recovering today and staying put.

I'm also trying to prepare for Elliott's pediatrician visit on Friday, when he gets his first round of vaccinations, without completely scaring myself silly. I bought a book that lists all of the ingredients and side effects and information on each vaccine, which is incredibly helpful but also a little scary. I still had a hard time falling asleep and comforted myself by listening to Ell snore.

I'm still trying to get a picture of Elliott smiling, but when he sees the camera he ends up staring at it more than smiling at it, so all of the pictures I get are of a half smile that is rapidly fading. Here is the best I have so far- He was trying out his new bumbo seat (it lets him sit up without support, like a big boy) and watching David cut up veggies for the cookout on Sunday.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Personal (30 day) Challenge

I've mentioned before how I frequently decide to try new things. My college roommates have joked about the strange groceries I would bring home to try out- like soy milk and meat substitutes when I was trying out being a vegetarian- but this is just what I do I guess. I decide, "Hey, I'm going to learn to knit." Or "Hey, I think I'll start painting." Or "Hey, what would happen if I cut out a major food group?" I'm weird. What can I say.

So I'm doing this again right now. I have several little side projects going, like coupon cutting, trying to learn guitar for the 50th time (I know three chords already!), and now- getting back into shape. I mean, aside from the fact that I'm learning to be a mother and about to go back to work. I'm a mess. Really.

I've lost most of the weight I gained by breastfeeding. I guess I'm one of those annoying girls who can say "Oh, it melted off with nursing" because I eat more than David does now. I cleaned my plate last night at On the Border (Yay, attempts at Date night with a 7 week old baby!). But having said that, it seems the proportions have shifted around considerably. Enter Jillian Michaels.

I watched The Biggest Loser all Winter while eating ice cream on my couch and growing a baby. I also saw them plug all of their workout videos and read several other blogs about The 30 Day Shred. I told David I was thinking about trying it and he mentioned the other three workout dvd's I have that I never do. He threatened that he would make me do it if I bought it, so I promptly forgot about it. However over the last few weeks his threat turned into the idea of being held accountable, so it might actually work. So I ordered it on Tuesday and it arrived on my doorstep yesterday.

We took our measurements and weighed ourselves and as soon as Elliott fell asleep we did the Level One workout. It's twenty minutes long but it goes by quickly and is pretty hard. David said it made him sweat more than plying soccer for two hours when it's hot, and my body feels like jell-o. I'll let you know how it goes and if we have good results i'll post them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Houdini's assistant

Jack is doing great with Elliott, but still hasn't quite figured out what to do with him yet. He'll sniff him and then back away, or come get our attention when he's crying, but he isn't comfortable laying beside the baby and relaxing. I guess Elliott is a little noisier than he's used to. Anyway, David and Jack and Elliott were all relaxing on the bed and Jack was trying to figure out how he was supposed to relax with this writhing thing beside him while I snapped a few pictures.

I left to go brush my teeth and get ready for bed while David put him in the little swaddling contraption that we use at bedtime. I guess the wrap distressed Jack a little though, because David said he was trying to rescue Elliott by tugging at the velcro tabs with his teeth to try and get them off.

If we channel this talent well enough, maybe Jack can take over diaper duty.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Porch doves

When we got home from the hospital, we found a dove camped out in the birdfeeder on our balcony. I thought that this was pretty cool, considering one of the names I liked for the baby was Jonas, which means dove. A couple of days later, another one showed up and they cooed and flew back and forth from the feeder.

Note that these are also the doves I had to persuade my brother not to shoot at with the dart gun.

Anyway, last night David and I went out on the balcony after Elliott fell asleep and had a beer and just caught up. We chatted and at some point I looked over my head and noticed our dove, with its tail hanging over the side of the feeder. David looked up and saw it too, and asked if it was alive since it hadn't scared off when we came out. He tapped the bottom of the glass feeder and the bird didn't flinch.

He grabbed one of the dowels I use for container gardening and nudged its tail, and it still didn't budge. He climbed up on one of our patio chairs, and found this:

I checked on them this morning, and the little mama is still there, on her blue glass nest with plenty of sunflower seed shells. I have no idea how much actual food is still in there, but I'm not going to mess with her to refill it. How cool is it that these doves made their home for their new babies outside of our home for our new baby?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Life is not the same.

I am trying disparately to resume life as usual, only with an adorable little accessory in tow. Of course I keep it within sane limits, but sometimes I have to stop and laugh. For example, I am getting ready to leave for a happy hour with the Junior League and then drop by another place for a friends birthday. My hair is done, I have on make up, and I'm wearing a cute outfit that I can nurse in if for some reason plan a with the bottle falls through. It even goes well with my new chic nursing cover. I have this momma thing down, right? I was literally about to walk out the door, and Elliott spewed whatever was left in his belly down my shirt. Sick.

Playmat time, with grins!

Talking to the turtle from Nicki Ingram on Vimeo.

This morning

Good morning! from Nicki Ingram on Vimeo.

Snorty happy boy.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I can't prove it (yet- I assure you I'm trying though) but Elliott just smiled at me, and then smiled again at the mobile over his changing table, for the first time! He has smiled and even laughed several times in his sleep, but today was the first time I saw his eyes light up with his little toothless grin! Now if I can just get him to do it again...

Letting my baby Grow

I've finally given in and taken the tags off of a few of the 0-3 month sized clothes that have hung on the "big boy" side of Elliott's closet. We were going to meet David and a few of his friends downtown for dinner on Friday night, and I thought I would dress him in something that looked less cutesy and more like a normal outfit. This is only because our friend Phil has recently commented that I "need to pull it together" with dressing Elliott, because I know there are only a few months of putting crazy hats and shoes on him before he learns to pull them back off again. I brought him to a picnic a couple of weeks ago wearing a dinosaur outfit with a bib that said "Snuggle saurus" and booties that had rattles attached to them. Granted, the outfit wasn't something I would have put him in to have his picture made or anything, but they are BABY CLOTHES. The crew from What Not To Wear isn't waiting around the corner to throw Ell into a three way mirror and mock his choice of attire or anything. But it was the day after Phil had also seen me put him in a onesie that said "Mommy Rules" and lime green argyle leg warmers, and so I'm sure he thought I was losing it a little. Whatever Phil.

Anyway, I brought him in the outfit you see above. The blue polo was made by Aunt Nicki and her friend and has an "E" on the chest, Laverne and Shirley-style. The tennis shoes looked like little Converse sneakers, too. However, it was raining and cold when we finally got downtown, and I put the green funny hat on him to keep his head warm and dry. It was the only one in the diaper bag, and honestly- I don't care. It's my baby and I can dress him as weirdly as I want to.
This shirt was made by Aunt Nicki, too! It's a gumball machine!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Elliott and I ran some errands today- the first of which was the annual Spring Fling that the preschool I work at has to celebrate the five-year-olds' graduation from preschool. It was really cute- the kids were all dressed up and put on performances for their moms and dads.
Since I work really close to the Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor, I decided to run by there since I had a couple of questions for their lactation consultant. She was impressed with how big Ell was, especially for an early baby, and happened to have an infant scale on hand. I weighed him out of sheer curiousity, and my baby weighs 11 lbs and 6 oz already. No wonder I am having to squeeze him into the newborn diapers and outfits. They are intended for babies up to eight or ten pounds usually. I'm surprised he hasn't popped a button or split a seam! Poor guy. I guess I have to get over the nostalgia factor and put away the teensy tiny clothes and diapers to make way for slightly bigger ones. *Sigh*
Chub Chub Chub

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More presents!!!

This came in the mail for me today! Thank you so much Wheelers! I tried it out and it's great! It even came with a couple of pretty burp cloths (as a bonus?). Now I don't have to worry about flashing strangers in public when Elliott gets hungry, because honestly-The blanket-over-the-shoulder only works as long as they aren't thrashing their arms around to show you just how STARVING they are. And for us, that was about two weeks.

When my family was visiting this weekend my brother would figure out what I was doing and avert his eyes to anything else in the room. I finally asked him if it made him uncomfortable, and he said "Yeah". Then I asked if he thought I should feed him somewhere else, and when he said yeah to that, we made him go hang out on the balcony. I may be a grown-up now, but I'm still a big sister and I have to be mean somehow, right?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Gossages Do Michigan, too

Tammy, Daddy, Nicki, and Jesse all loaded up their car on Friday evening and drove 14 hours (they made great time!) up to see me. Well, me and Elliott, I guess if you're being picky. But mostly me. They got here around 10am Saturday morning and spent the next three days soaking up as much Nicki time (and I guess Elliott time too) as they possibly could.

But seriously, I could have not been here at all and I think it would have taken them a minute to notice. I can't compete with the chubby cheeks on this baby. I just can't.It was a really fun visit for me. Like I mentioned earlier, poor David had to handcuff himself to his laptop so that he could work on the prize-winning presentation he gave yesterday, so he was only a part of the festivities that included food. We still managed to make a trip to the HUGE Cabela's store in a nearby town, drag Daddy and Jesse around the mall, and spend some time just hanging out around the house. My family learned a few lessons too. Important things, like
  • Always trust Nicki when she suggests appetizers with cheese. I know my cheese guys.
  • Never trust Jesse with a blow-dart gun when doves live on your patio.
  • Wasabi takes a second to kick in. Even when it's coated in chocolate.
  • The guy with long hair like Daddy's is actually a woman.
  • Arcades still exist! Who knew?
  • The cage free eggs that I buy won't last two days with my brother around. Even when he thinks they are inferior to Arkansas Eggs.
  • Nicole will judge all other Victoria's Secret stores, and the local manager and her will be politely hostile to each other.
  • Random people in Sporting Goods stores will ask if they can hold your tiny infant. Nicole will look at them like they are crazy and tell them "no".
  • If you have your overweight dog on a diet, your family will break all of the rules (no dogs on the couch, 2/3 cup of food twice a day, no people food) because they feel bad for him.
I had so much fun and Elliott is slowly getting used to mistreatment like sitting in the swing and sleeping in his bassinet. I was really sad when it was time for everyone to leave and although I thought I would be comforting Nicki and Tammy, I watched them drive away and bawled for twenty minutes. Then I put a funny hat on Elliott and felt a little better.More pictures are here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So that Lizzy has something to do at work...

Sorry that I took a little break. The Gossage family made the long drive up to Michigan for my first Mother's day (which was truly awesome) and I've been quite busy. And Elliott has gone without touching the ground, bed, swing, or couch for three days, so now I'm trying to wean him from the idea of sleeping only in someone's arms. My little boy is trying really hard to outgrow his newborn diapers (I still have almost a whole package- so he will have to squeeze into them for another few days) and his newborn sized clothes, which makes me sad for some reason. Not that we don't have a lot of really cute stuff in the next size already, but I'm not ready to retire the things I brought him home from the hospital in yet, so I'm trying to stuff his chubby little self in those too. He's even getting too big for some of the swaddling blankets we've been using, and although I know he's six weeks old today, he still feels way too brand new to have outgrown anything. I'm in denial already about how fast babies grow.

Tonight I took him to a junior league meeting, which was interesting to say the least. When it would have been perfectly acceptable for him to coo and make noise, he slept sweetly in the carrier I wore. Once the meeting started, however, I discovered that although I packed a bottle so I could avoid the awkward dance of undressing in public without flashing strangers, I did not bring a nipple. So unless I was going to pour it down his throat, the bottle was completely worthless. We went to the bathroom and I went to change his diaper before I fed him and noticed the tiny diaper he was crammed into had not exactly served its purpose, so I had to change his outfit (which resulted in much screaming). I nursed him afterward and he promptly spit up all over the clean outfit. We danced around the lobby until I thought he was asleep and tried to sneak back into the meeting, but all of the clapping kept him alert and awake. After the meeting (FINALLY) adjourned, several women came up to me to comment on how easy I made it look and how good he was, but I felt like a one-woman circus act during most of the meeting.

We went to pick up David after the meeting let out, and the poor guy has been working non-stop all weekend on the presentation he gave today. He climbed into the car and handed me a small piece of paper, which was a check he was given as a reward for his awesome presentation skills. I'm so proud of him! Go David! I'll post about our weekend with the Gossages tomorrow when I've had a chance to download the pictures, but the best part was seeing my 6 foot 4 inch Daddy holding my tiny little boy and being totally at ease with his grandson.
Nicki=mushy mommy blob.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Is here! I wasn't going to garden this year, since I figured that I would probably have my hands full enough keeping the baby alive, much less some plants. However, last week I went to the local garden store and found lots of little side projects that I couldn't say no to.

So after Elliott and I got back from my first post-natal yoga class (SO fun! Elliott tried to cry the whole way through, but the other baby in class was louder and drowned him out!) I set out to get some of my little plants in the dirt. I had just gotten the last one planted and gave it a good drink of water, and went inside to watch a movie when I heard my neighbor calling out if anyone was there. I went outside and she was mad because my plants were dripping water on her new patio furniture. She asked me if I could come downstairs and ask her to move her cushions EVERY TIME I water my plants so that they wouldn't get dirty, which is difficult when I don't know when she is around and I have a brand new baby. Not to mention this is the same neighbor who puts a fan in her bedroom window to suck out the cigarette smoke out of her bedroom, thus blowing it into ours. I guess I'll venture out to Wal-Mart tomorrow to find some trays to catch the draining water, but aside from that I don't know how I can have a patio garden without water and dirt getting on her deck. *Sigh*

Aside from that, we've had a really relaxing weekend, and Elliott has started to take notice of some of the toys that we put in front of him, and although he isn't coordinated enough to bat at them yet, he's trying! It's exciting to know that he sees the brightly colored objects and is trying to figure out what to do with them.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Self Portrait


Cute baby and mommy's extra chin.
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