Eli’s 2nd attempt at food!

For all of you who know me, you know that I’m an OCD neat freak.  I’m pretty sure OCD is an understatement.  Actually, I think I’ve gotten a little better since having 3 kids.  But when Ashton was a baby, oh man, you did not want to be around me while I fed him.  I was crazy over cleaning him up and making sure there was NO mess to be made.

So, it’s come time…time to introduce food to Eli.  This is the absolute WORST thing EVER to have to teach a child, in my  opinion.  I hate it.  Honestly, I would pay any person willing to make a few extra bucks, to come over every day and teach my child to eat.  I hate it.  Hate it.  UGH…just thinking about it, and knowing that I’m going to do it in a few hours, is going to make me anxious.  YUCK.  It’s NO fun!!  NO FUN AT ALL.

So when Ashton was a baby, I remember he was almost a year old and my friend Heather asked us to have dinner with her at Chili’s.  It was me and my hubby with Ashton, and her and her husband.  Fine and dandy right?  Well Heather was due to give birth any day and here I was still watching each and every bite that went into Ashton’s mouth.  He was a BIG boy.  Shoot, all my kids were big eaters, so there was NO reason he couldn’t do it himself, it was all MOMMY.  I hate the mess.  Hate it.  So Heather says let’s go to Chili’s and of course I thought nothing of it, but I’m pretty sure she had that whole meal planned out.  Get Tara to Chili’s for Ashton to learn how to eat food himself and make a MESS.  When we left, we should have tipped the girl $100.  I’m serious folks, food was everywhere.  Heather pushed my hands away, gave the kid his chicken nuggets and french fries and he showed us exactly what almost 1 year olds can do.  Make a disaster in public.  And soon it would be on my floor in MY HOUSE! 

So, here comes baby #3 to food train.  Remember, I hate this.  So I do it this way…

Notice this lovely plastic bib on my 4mth old?  Yeah, that’s what I use.  It’s dishwasher safe.  I love it.  I’ve had it since Ashton was a baby.  I have 3 of them.  They were bought at Target, however, I haven’t seen them there lately, and they are clothing SAVERS!  So what’s the orange stuff he’s eating?  Oh that is Whole Wheat rice mixed with pureed mango.  And guess who LOVES it?  Not just Eli…but ETHAN.  YUCK! 

Here’s another photo….

Do you notice where Eli’s bumbo chair is?  It’s on my kitchen floor.  See his bowl…on the right side of the photo?  Yup, it’s there because I’m sitting on the floor, far from the table, and all our appliances, so that I don’t have to scrub everything down when I’m finished feeding him.  Instead, I have to wash the floor, the bib, and Eli’s messy face.  Then, straight to the tub dude.  Mama can’t stand smelly that stinky old rice.  LOL.

He really does clean up well….look at him all spiffed up to drop Ashton off at school this morning.  When we arrived at the gym just after drop off, all the girls thought he looked so cute 😉  I tend to agree.

So, if I continue to blog in a not so friendly voice in the next couple months, just chalk it up to Eli is probably still learning how to eat and possibly made a BIG mess that day…LOL.


Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, 2010.

So much to catch up on, and so little time.  Eli is currently in bed, whining that he wants his Mommy.  I’ll try to ignore so that he and I can both have a rest 😉

Christmas Eve was nothing sort of awesome.  Of course!  Dad and I really go all out to spoil our children for Christmas, but I think we get the most of fun of it all.  We get to watch their eyes light up in delight. 

Ok…need a break, Eli really needs me.  Ok, I’m back, now with a baby on my chest 😉  We work well this way.

So Christmas Eve, preparing for the BIG MAN’s day and what do we do?  Cook and go to church.  Hehehe.  Christmas Eve is usually pretty low-key for us because on Christmas Day we run around crazy.  Although, next year, I think we’re changing that to Eve instead of Day 😉  Anyways….

I made all the food I could prepare a day ahead on Christmas Eve.  Christmas morning, Grandma, Popi, GG, Aunt Bunny, and Uncle Bill all come over to watch our boys open their gifts.  I make a HUGE Christmas breakfast so we can all have full tummies while we sit and watch the 2 hours of opening gifts, one by one.  Then, we had to rush off to church at 3pm as Ashton was in the Christmas pageant and needed to be there ONE HOUR EARLY!  Eek.  On Christmas Eve?  Yup.  And trust me when I say, our Priest wasn’t kidding…it was getting crowded, and it was crowded quick!  I’ve never really noticed this as we are usually in the regular church and this time we were in the tent.  Either way, Ashton played Joseph….an I think he’s the cutest Joseph, EVER!

When  we arrived home it was dinner time and time to get ready for bed.  Showers and leaving out Rudolph’s food and Santa’s sugary sweets 🙂 

of course Eli was there…just snuggled up with me 😉

Then the boys climbed up onto Dad and watched a Christmas movie/show….can’t remember.  And I took the cutest photo of them, but since Dad doesn’t want his picture plastered on the internet, I’ll refrain from showing it 😦  It’s super cute.  Oh well.

In the morning we woke up to THIS!!!!

I’m pretty sure our boys were happy…ok, probably just for the day, but heck, it was worth it.

Eli was happy his GG was here to celebrate with him…

Then Mommy will sneak in a snuggle or two from my favorite little people 😉

Ethan threw his arms around his big brother when Ashton made him a beautiful card for Christmas 😉

Eli had a great day…

Aunt Bunny & Uncle Bill bought the 3 big boy cousins this super cute chairs.  Every night our boys watch Toy Story 3 in them…yes, EVERY NIGHT.

And Ethan got a super cool interactive motorcycle from Grandma, Popi, and GG!!

I’d say we had a pretty awesome Christmas.  New Year’s Eve wasn’t much fun as I decided to work for the catering company that I work for from time to time.  Although it was an easy night…we didn’t all stay up and watch the ball fall.  However, I was home in time to see it fall all by myself.  The boys wouldn’t wake up and Daddy didn’t even know I was there, despite the kiss and HAPPY NEW YEAR I screamed in his ear.

Hollywood Studios….2010.

Fun times.  Mom and Dad would love to believe we are pretty fun parents for our children.  Sometimes, if you ask them, they will not agree.  Especially while Mommy is yelling, “Clean up this mess.  It’s a disaster in here!”  Disaster being a common used word out of the 5 year olds mouth.  Thank you very much.  I’ve taught him well 😉

Being that we’re so cool and all, we decided to take all 3 boys to Hollywood Studios for the day.  We were instructed to arrive and head straight to Toy Story for a Fast Pass.  Good thing we took our friends Kelli & Steve’s advice.  We didn’t get passes till 3pm!  But when we did arrive at 3pm, the line was 100mins long!  HOLY COW BATMAN!  There isn’t a single ride in the universe I want to ride that badly.  Nope.  Not at all.

Toy Story was awesome.  Especially to the 2 little people in this house whom are TS3 OBSESSED!  Ethan is screaming Woody…Woody!!!  Ashton screaming, BUZZ…BUZZ!  Oh my, I seriously think that Woody and Buzz could be the next Santa Claus to my 2 kids.  LOL.  Just before we went on the ride we were blessed with ultra fabulous seats at the TS Parade.  We were next to Mr. Potato Head and Lotso.  This parade ROCKED!!!

As you can see, the day was filled with fantastic memories.  Mom and Dad didn’t come home bald and we are looking forward to doing it again…maybe when Eli isn’t attached to my chest.

Ashton turns 5 years old!

My first-born is 5 years old.  How did that happen?  I’ll tell ya, QUICKLY! 

This weekend was pure chaos.  Fun chaos, but insane.  Friday, after taking Ashton to school, Ethan, Eli, and I ran to the gym where I took another spin class and sweated my booty off.  At 9am I left running to Publix.  A big shopping trip was planned.  Next up, was Target.  I had to pick up Ashton’s birthday cakes…


Super cute, huh?  A mummy, eyeball, tombstone, and Frankenstein 😉  Loved them.  Ashton seen them in the Target ad last week and changed his mind from wanting me to make him a bowling ball and pin to these super cute cakes.  I couldn’t say no, they were only $5 EACH!  Terrific deal if you ask me 😉

So after Target we ran home, unloaded the groceries and ran to pick up Ashton at school.  Next up we had an appointment for an oil change.  Thankfully, I brought my laptop and after an hour of playing with the dirty toys at the dealership the boys sat down and watched The Great Pumpkin, Charile Brown.  Such a classic 🙂

When we got home, I started making dinner and moments later Daddy and Grandpa Joe arrived.  Look at how much fun the boys had with Grandpa Joe….

And after Ashton opened up his new remote control jeep, from Grandpa Joe, this is what he did…

Next, Daddy carved our pumpkin, scary Larry #2.  This isn’t the best photo.  For some reason, I have NO photography skills 😦

The next day was ASHTON’s BIRTHDAY!

First up, BASEBALL! 

And Grandpa Joe holding Eli for the first time…

Next was home for super quick showers and then to the BOWLING PARTY!  Not before Mommy insisted we have a photo shoot outside 😉


And Mommy wanted one with her birthday boy, but Mr. Jealous squeezed himself in 😉


Most of the pictures taken at the bowling alley aren’t worth posting.  They are just a bunch of candid shots of the kids running around like crazies.  Ashton did enjoy himself 3 pieces of pizza and here is one of him stuffing his face.

Ethan liked it just the same…yes, he ate 3 pieces as well.

Look at these two little devils scooping out the cakes….

“Mom, can my friends hurry up and sing to me so I can eat this cake?”

And Ashton had 3 pieces of cake.  He tried to get one of each, but after that, I said ENOUGH!  LOL. 

Next we came home to open presents.  Uncle Joey, Aunt Dana, Howie, and Grandpa Joe were all with us in the mass chaos of present opening.  All in all, it was fun, and we have a house full of zhu zhu pets.  I know you’re jealous, aren’t you?  LOL.

Mommy and Daddy decided on the Leapster Explorer for our sweet little boy, and it was by far, the right decision 😉

The birthday boy had a GREAT day, with lots of amazing gifts.  Thank you to all our friends and family for sharing our special day with our son!  You made it perfect!!!

Ethan especially loved Grandpa Joe…he let’s him do things Mom wouldn’t dare…

Howie also finds Grandpa Joe, pretty cool.

And lastly, I had Aunt Dana take this picture, because lets face it, there isn’t anything more cute than baby heiny 😉

Quick update on Grandpa Joe.  He looked good.  Seemed to be in good spirits.  Doesn’t seem ill from chemo and had a blast with all the kids.  I’ve decided that I will make it a priority to see him as often as time permits.  The boys really enjoy his company, and I would love for them to have more QT with him before he can’t enjoy the kids.  Joey is going to pick him up on Thanksgiving and I’m going to bring him home, this way he is able to celebrate with us.  This is our first year not celebrating with my parents, but thankfully, they are very understanding, and it’s just something I feel like I need to do. 

Dad did go in for more chemo on Tuesday.  I spoke to him that afternoon and he was still a bit tired.  I tried to call him yesterday but didn’t get him.  I’ll try again today.  He sure is lucky to have Rusti in his life, taking good care of him. 

Lots of UPDATES!

First off, Kilo is still with us.  After talking to a good friend, she convinced me that unless he is in pain than the best place for him is with us.  And I think she’s right.  He has yet to have another accident but he has been sleeping in the crate.  However, I’m letting him sleep with me tonight because I fear the worst is around the corner.  Why?  Well just this week, Kilo went from being able to jump on the couch to his spot, to not being able to jump at all. 

His belly is about 2x the size it used to be, and if I had to guess, he’s either pregnant or growing a tumor in there 😦  I’m pretty sure boy dogs don’t get pregnant so it must be the latter…sniff.  I’m also pretty certain he can’t see very far or at all during the evening.  The Vet did tell me that his vision was becoming very cloudy and he does not like to go outside at all.  Especially at night.  He hides in the corner.  So not like him. 

I refuse to take him to the vet for x-rays and such when we have already spoken to the vet and she told me that it’s only a matter of time.  Of course, we want him comfortable, and so far, he does not show any signs of being uncomfortable.  In fact, I just gave him a nice steak.  Why?  Again, he deserves it.  Putting up with me for 12 years, is enough in itself.  He was always there to lick the tears away, and now one day they will fall, and he won’t be there to help me smile.  Ashton and Ethan have been extra kind to Kilo this week, making sure to kiss him daily. 

Eli is now 8wks.  Seriously.  This is the fastest 8wks EVER!  Last night I tried my very best to help sleep train him, but he just could not go back to sleep without a full belly.  After an hour an a half of giving him his binkie, I finally said to Dad, “Feed him.”  And then he went back to sleep for another 4 hours.  Thankfully, his wake ups only last 20min from start to finish, but I’m pretty certain he does NOT need to eat in the middle of the night anymore.  I’ll try again tonight, but I’m not holding my breath.

So Eli…he is now smiling at you when you do something cute or funny.  He is very alert, with some of the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen.

He is still quite content resting in your arms or in his crib.  Should you put him down when it’s not nap time, you can almost bet he will be crying in 10mins flat.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that I love holding him?  Yeah, probably.  I think I’ve spoiled him.  But didn’t I read somewhere that it’s impossible to spoil a baby?  Yeah, they need that love 😉  And being my last baby, I’m all about it.  Shoot, who am I kidding?  I’ve spoiled them all!

Eli still hates the car and will cry the entire time you insist on driving him anywhere.  Last week we were in the car for 2 1/2 hours stuck in the worst traffic accident EVER, and he cried the whole time.  However, he slept the entire night!  So it was a small plus in my book.  Too bad he forgot to tell Mommy he was going to be fine sleeping all night.  Instead, I sat there starring at the clock and the monitor making sure he was still breathing. 

Next up is Ethan.  Poor Ethan.  He will be having his adenoids and tonsils removed on November 19th.  It’s a 15min procedure and will come home that evening.  I sure hope he is a brave little boy because Mommy’s heart will hurt.  You would never guess that my little “Casper” had such swollen adenoids and tonsils…just see for yourself.

This was taken at Trunk or Treat at Ashton’s school.  Ethan was a ghost…but he looked like Casper in the end.  He is so sweet with that little smile.  All he wanted for 2 hours was PIZZA.  When I finally told him we were going to get chocolate, he was on a mission to learn how to say “Trick or Treat.”  Poor kid, Mommy didn’t let him have but ONE piece…and that was before we arrived.  HA.

Ashton was a skeleton.  A super cute one too.

The main part of Ashton’s costume is under his shirt.  It’s a skeleton head that lights up.  UGH.  He was rather disappointed that it was so bright outside.  Hopefully on Halloween, we’ll get a better picture.

The only photo I took of Eli was when Ms. Becky was holding him and everyone thought he was her baby.  She’s one hot Mama 😉

And when the kids were pooped out, they had pizza.  Finally.

And lastly, Ashton hit the ball to get the winning RBI at last weeks game!  YEAH AT!

So I took him on a Mommy date (Ethan was at Grandma’s and Dad was on a mancation…Eli came with us) to KOBE with Aunt Dana & Howie. 

And finally, the BEST news ever…..Uncle Joey & Aunt Dana are having a baby GIRL!!!

Let the fun begin.  I plan on spoiling her to pieces!

6wks! Seriously? 6wks!!!

Eli is 6wks old.  OMG!!!!

What does this mean?  Mama can leave him at the GYM!  YEAH.  Ok, now this isn’t as easy as it seems.  I’ve NEVER left one of my kids with ANYONE besides Daddy before the age of 10mths.  Ok, I lie, Heather watched Ashton when I went to the Dermatologist when he was about 4mths old, but so far, that has been it.  I take my infants EVERYWHERE!

But, I’ve met a really great girl, Colleen, who has a 3yo son and 22mth old boy and girl twins AND is pregnant again!  Colleen has taught me something…to ACCEPT help.  Ok, I’m not doing it across the board, yet, but I am doing it for this, I NEED THE GYM!  I need 2 hours of alone time, I need to get my body back, I need to workout.  PERIOD.  Why?  Because it makes me feel good.  It actually makes me feel connected to Quinn.  I know, weird, right?  But when I started working out 7 days a week, just about 2 years ago, it was because of Quinn that I did it.  I wanted to feel ok an at peace with his passing.  I wanted to become a better Mommy to the boys I had here with me.  It was Q that helped me get there.  I know, that sounds nutty, but until you’ve walked in my shoes, don’t judge, and as I tell everyone I know, “Whatever gets you through the day, go with it.”  I’m a FIRM believer in this.  I believe Q is the reason I hit the gym.  I believe he is the reason I’m there now.  He would want me to be a better Mommy.  He would want me to enjoy chasing the boys outside…where the old Tara had NO desire to EVER run or go outside.

So that brings me to the gym.  At 2 weeks post baby I began running.  The first time was a mile.  Second was 2 miles.  Then I was stuck.  But I wasn’t going daily, more like 3x a week, and it just wasn’t going up as fast as I would have liked.  No biggy, my Facebook friends, reminded me it takes TIME.  And it does.  Well a week ago yesterday Colleen called and said meet me at the gym.  Tom was home, so I went.   I dragged my feet, but I went.  I pulled out 2 miles, but it was broken up.  I felt hopeless. 

Then comes today.  I’m TOTALLY stoked about going to the gym after dropping Ashton off at school.  I begin driving to the Y and realize I left Eli’s diaper bag on the COUNTER!  Seriously?  How did that happen?  It makes NO sense.  I could have KICKED myself.  First thought, turn around and go home.  But I was dressed.  I was ready.  I wanted to GO!  So I decided to go and I could always leave should he need a diaper/formula.

I text Colleen and she decides to bring me diapers.  LOVE YOU GIRL!  You ROCK!  He shouldn’t ‘NEED’ to eat till 10:30am anyways.  Well Collleen arrives at 8:50am, checks on Eli, he’s fine.  I go in at 9am, and he’s still fine.  This is AFTER my 3 mile RUN!  Yes, I ran 3miles.  Without stopping.  And walked another mile.  SWEET!!!

Since Eli was fine, I decided to go with my original plan and do Body Combat.  WOWSER!  It kicked my butt.  I’m CERTAIN I will feel the effects tomorrow.  But that’s ok.  I need it.  Colleen is 7mths pregnant and she was doing it right along with me.  That gave me the motivation to KEEP going.  She rocks.  She is amazing.  She is also a TRUE athlete in my opinion, where as I’ve had to learn to become athletic.  Is that even possible?  Well I think so.  I now have the drive, the desire, to go go go.  I love it.  I love my body in shape, even if I’m not the skinniest person in the world, I’m fit and feeling good…so I need to GO!  But as of today, 6 weeks post baby, I have 20lbs to get me there.  I WILL GET THERE.  Trust me.  I will.

With that note…my Dad starts chemo on Tuesday.  I wish him all the luck in the world and I’d appreciate any prayers you have available.  Love you all.

1 month with Eli….

1 month old, and it slipped my mind that yesterday was the 27th.  At 5pm on August 27th, Eli entered the world.  He was already in our world for the previous 9mths, but now we could finally met him, hold him, and kiss him.  All my favorite things 😉

He is doing well, and getting big.  If I had to guess, he’s a good 10.5lbs at least.  Considering he was almost 10lb at 2wks 😉  He also seems to be getting pretty long these days.

This picture is a few days old, but you get the idea 😉 

He still pretty much sleeps all day.  Maybe an hour or two between feedings is he awake.  Still going about 4hours between feedings.  At night he occasionally will bless us with a 6hour stretch, but last night it was 4hours, 3 hours, 2 hours.  So sometimes, you just never know.  What I do know is, I’m tired!  Very tired.  But he’s worth it.  And at 4wks, I’m just not ready to push him along to the sleeping all night phase.  I’ll wait a bit longer before I need to lay the law down.  Now to get Daddy to just give me ONE night off, just one night.  I really need it.  I need a good 10hours straight, uninterrupted, SLEEP.

I’m off to take my Dad to the doctor today.  Hopefully, I’ll come home with facts, lots of facts.  Whether good or bad, we need to know what is going on.  Wish me luck, I’m pretty certain it’s not going to be an easy day on the heart 😦

2 week appointment

Eli seems to be growing right on target. 

Length, 21 1/2″ 75th percentile

Head, 14″ 75th percentile

Weight 8.15lbs 50th percentile.

He is eating about 4oz every 4hours for well over a week now.  He is a fantastic sleeper, so I will not speak anymore of it, for fear he will change his behaviors.  He looks around all the time and seems to really enjoy his brothers comforting him.  His favorite spot is still on Mommy’s chest and it always seems to calm him whenever he is having a rough moment.  Moments are all they are, for this child, is an angel 😉

And his cute socks….

He has taken to a lovely schedule.  Eating every 4hours beginning at 9am sharp.  Daddy does the 5am feedings and the 9pm feedings while Mommy tries to get a little extra sleep time in.  He is a totally belly sleeper and seems to be doing a great job on his belly.  He can pick up his head, look around, and even scoot just a bit.  He is definitely showing the tall tale sign of GERD…grrrrrrr….and hence the reason his belly is the preferred method of sleeping.  I’m glad I was prepared for another GERD baby as I’m pretty sure I could never relive Ethan’s insomnia of 7 full weeks for his first weeks of life.  Unless Ethan was sleeping on my chest he would not sleep.  It was a belly thing.  I did not feel comfortable putting him on his belly in his bassinet or crib.  That was until the doctor told me that he had GERD and probably wanted to sleep that way.  And at 7wks, and his first dose of meds, he slept on his belly for 12 straight hours.  Oh how life was good from that point on.

We put Eli in his crib for several days during naptime on his belly and watched him like a hawk.  Since he seemed pretty good with his picking up of his head, the doctor ok’ed him to sleep on his belly.  Her exact words, “We survived on our bellies, he will too.”  She’s right.  He’ll be fine. 

And his brothers take excellent care of him…

Other than eating, looking around for about an hour, and then taking a 2 hour snooze, Eli is pretty easy going.  I like it that way.  After 2 kids before him, I think I’m do for an easy baby again.  Ashton was cake.  Ethan…well, he sure is cute 😉

Goodnight, Ethan, the crazy kid 😉

Sums it up….

Some super sweet people from Daddy’s work gave us a basket filled with presents for our little boy Eli.  This is just one of the many outfits included.  It was a basket all about Mommy/Daddy love.  It was so sweet of each of them. 

13 days old….

And how I love thee…let me count thy ways…

1. Your sweet hair, that I smell all day long.

2. Our late nights together when all you want is to be in my arms or on my chest with a bottle placed happily in our mouth.

3. Your sweet eyes, that open up at the most random moments of the day.

4. Your nose that reminds me of my Dad and the small amount of Polish blood I have shared with you.

5.  Your skinny legs, that really do look just like your Daddy’s.

6. The long hair you have that is driving me nuts…I just want to trim it around your ears, but I’ll refrain.

7. Those blue eyes, that I’m certain, will not change.  For your Daddy and your brothers have those same blue eyes.

8. Your sweet little fingers, that ever so gently, grab your big brother Ashton’s finger and he giggles in delight.

9. The joy you bring to brothers when they are able to hold you, mainly Ashton, but Ethan does love to kiss your sweet head.

10. And lastly, for completing our family.  You are exactly what we needed.

All my love, our precious little boy, Elijah.

Love, Mama

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