Merry Chris-Chris to you.

Hello, Luke!

Can we open presents NOW?!

The wheels are turning in Eliot's head as he watches cousin Luke crawling..."hmm...this is something I might want to try..."

Snow White relaxes with her princess sippy cup and new MagnaDoodle.

We had a very nice Christmas, celebrating Christmas Eve at my dad's and Christmas Day at my mom's. All day yesterday, Zayda was saying, "Merry Chris-Chris. And Merry Chris-Chris to you."

After I had unwrapped a new skirt from Mom and put it on over my jeans, along with two new dangling bracelets, Zayda walked up to me and exclaimed,

"Oh, Rachel, are you a princess, like me?"

Yes, indeed. Princess Rachel. hehehe. :-)



Correction: make that top FOUR teeth! He has four top teeth coming in all at once. Poor little puppy! His gums are so red. No wonder he's keeping all of us up at night.


All I want for Christmas.

Eliot is getting his two front teeth for Christmas! He's had the bottom two for a couple of months now, and today the top two finally broke through the gums. So that's why we've been so cranky lately! (I hope.)

Here's the tree, in all its glory:

Clearly, I am not a decorator, by any means. The garland is terrible! Oh well.

My prized 1988 handmade gold macaroni mitten ornament lives on, and that's the important thing.

'Tis the season, already.

Well, my grades are in and I've turned my attention to Christmas only to find that it's approaching WAY too quickly, once again. I think I'm going to try to do some Christmas baking this year--nothing too involved, but I'm definitely wanting to do some dipped pretzels and those cookies with jelly in the middle (haven't had those in ages).

So here's how I see my week shaping up so far:
today=laundry catch up day & house cleaning
tomorrow=frantic Christmas shopping
Thursday=baking day
Friday=back to work on spring syllabi & such

And somewhere in there we might have to make time for a doctor's appointment. Eliot is pulling on his ear and not sleeping well, AGAIN. I don't know what to do with that poor kid. I suspect that tubes are in his future...
Of course, it might help if I'd keep him in out of the weather once in a while. We went over last night to see Grammy for the first time in the assisted living. She was clearly thrilled to see us, so I'm glad we did go. Eliot had nothing but grins for her, which was fun.

Gotta go get some things accomplished whilst boy is napping...


Suddenly, I see.

I finally went for an eye exam last week, and apparently I have astigmatism. Who knew?
So last night I got my first pair of goggles. Brilliant!
(Eliot is quite thrilled about it, as you can see.)

Wearing glasses is very weird. When I first walked outside with them on, it seemed like the ground was at waist height. I felt like I was on drugs.
And, as an added bonus, I can see things! I honestly had no idea how much I WASN'T seeing until I got my glasses. So crazy. I can actually sit on the couch and read the guide thingy on the television. (Not that it matters, because Eli is constantly watching a)basketball, b)fishing, or c) ultimate fighting, which is completely and totally disgusting.)
So I haven't quite had time to adjust yet, but from what I can tell so far...
I can see = good.
I look like a chubbier version of Tina Fey = not good.


Smiley McGee.

I took this picture of Eliot yesterday morning as we were heading out to daycare. Have you ever seen anyone so happy and ready to go on a Monday morning??? :-)


The varied effects of sleep deprivation.

Early this morning, around 4:30, Eliot was up and making cranky noises, so I went to check on him and he had peed the bed. A colossal diaper leak had him totally drenched. So I went back and got Eli out of bed so that he could change Eliot while I changed the crib sheets. After all was dry and well again, we trudged out to the kitchen for a drink before going back to bed. Eli grabbed the milk out of the fridge and proceeded to pour it into an upside down coffee mug.

He just looked at it confusedly for moment and then muttered, "Oh my god..." Milk had pooled in the bottom of the mug and run down all over the counter. It was hilarious.

(evidence: exhibit A)

In his defense, the mug was a dark cobalt blue, so it would have been hard to tell in the dark. (The only light was shining from the still open refrigerator door.)

After we finally made it back to bed and were trying to get back to sleep, I kept giggling thinking about it. He was like, "Quit making fun of me and go back to sleep!"

The milk incident still wasn't as bad as my own sleep deprivation related incident, however. One night months ago, when Eliot was still routinely up in the middle of the night (I think he was around 2 months old), I went to the bathroom, sat down on the toilet, and peed without ever pulling my underwear down. Oops.

I thought something felt funny, but it didn't occur to me until I stood up what was wrong.

Yeah, I know, that's pretty gross, but oh well.

All part of the insanity that is new parenthood. These silly things are ones I want to remember. We've been SO stressed that sometimes it seems Eli and I are just constantly at each others' throats and both of us are cringing every time Eliot starts to cry again. (He's been sick and cranky FOREVER.)

But in between all the grouchiness are those funny moments, those times that we just have to laugh because there isn't anything else we can do.

And then in the morning, a little boy wakes up with a smile and slobbery kisses for Mommy, and I remember why it's all worth it.


Well, it ain't the Windy City, but...

Our Chicago trip was cancelled due to bad weather, but Adriane and I decided to take the day and do some Christmas shopping anyway. We had a nice lunch at Olive Garden and shopped around a bit before the freezing rain set in. It was really nice to sit down and talk without having to yell over the cacophony of little voices in the background! And now that we have proof that Matt can handle the kids without any major disaster, I've proposed that we make girls' day out at least an annual event.

So now I'm back home and it's just me and Mumford, watching one of our favorite episodes of Sex & the City. Eliot is spending his first night away from me, overnighting at Grandma Connie's house. It's very quiet around here...
I miss the little guy already.


Taking a breather.

Well, Grandma Connie is coming to spend the night and take Eliot home with her tomorrow morning. I'm going Christmas shopping tomorrow with Adriane in Chicago. I'm excited to spend time with her alone, sans kids, for the first time in probably ten years. I'm also looking forward to getting a bit of a break from my own little boy.

The poor guy has been sick with the same nasty cold that has felled all of us, so between my own coughing all night and his waking and crying, none of us has had much sleep lately. Last night I was on my own with him, as Eli is out of town, and Eliot just cried and cried. I tried to rock him and sing to him, but he wasn't even having any of that. There was just nothing I could do to help him. Finally I put him in his carseat so that he'd be more upright, and he slept three hours there. Then up for a bottle at 2 a.m. and back to the crib where he slept fitfully until 6:30. It's been pretty much like this since last Saturday. I hope he feels better soon or we'll be off to the doctor again. We're becoming quite familiar with that office, unfortunately.

Here's the only member of our household who HAS slept peacefully in the last week:

And that's MY bed, sir! My bed with the rumpled flannel cow jumping over the moon sheets! Every time I fling the covers aside and run down the hall to Eliot, Mumford takes the opportunity to steal my warm spot. There's no justice in the world. *sigh*

Winter wonderland?

We got our first snow of the season last night. This morning I was mentally cussing Illinois weather as I trudged through the slush to get Eliot to daycare and then drove around campus looking for a close parking spot. I drove around three different parking lots before deciding that I really wasn't meant to be in the office this morning. Then I came home and moped for a while at how much I hate snow and how little sleep I got last night, etc. I got online and checked out some of my favorite scrapbooking websites and blogs...and then I slowly started to recognize that my crabbiness wasn't getting me anywhere. All I was doing was slowly wasting away another day wishing I was somewhere else doing something else.
So I decided to go outside and take some snow pictures. I reached down and scooped some up to see whether it would pack. (You need to realize that I haven't voluntarily touched snow in years.) And sure enough--perfect snowball snow. And my mood began to change.
I realized that I can't wait for Eliot to get big enough to go sledding, make snow angels and snowmen, and come inside with rosy little cheeks to peel off all of those wet layers of clothes and settle down with some hot chocolate. It's just funny, because I really had forgotten how magical snow always seemed when I was a kid. And I know that Eliot has all of these great winter days ahead of him. Even though to me it's become a hassle, I think I'm ready to rediscover the wonder of winter through my son.
(FYI--baby mittens without thumbs are SO adorable! They crack me up everytime I get Eliot bundled up to go somewhere. He looks like his hands are wrapped in fleece bandages.)


Our fashionably late entrance into the digital age.

So we finally got hooked up with digital cable, DSL, and wireless internet today. I was dreading this morning, as I had to deal with the cable installers, get Eliot up, around, and off to daycare, go to a doctor's appointment and get to work. But everything ended up working out. The cable guy was only 30 minutes later than they'd said he would be, which isn't terrible. And he was actually polite, personable, and totally non-scary. I have this possibly irrational fear of having people in our home to work on things. I'm always convinced that they're going to be casing the joint or something. As if we have anything anyone else would actually want. I doubt whether my piles of clutter and cat hair tumbleweeds scream "rob me." But anyway, he was a very nice guy and showed me how to work everything and didn't make me feel stupid about not knowing how to work a TV remote. We've never had paid TV before, so this is all new and weird to me. I was actually surprised at how much can be done through the TV. I'm such an anti-television snob, I guess. But some of the features are pretty darn cool. I can check the weather, order a pay-per-view movie, check the movie times at the local theaters, read my horoscope, and even play games on my TV now. It's a strange transition, going from a snowy PBS and ABC reception to almost a hundred clear channels and all these extra features. I think I kind of like it. But Eliot still isn't allowed to watch until he's two.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm posting this from the comfort of my couch with my laptop? I'm SO loving my fast internet connections.

So in the spirit of fast connections and the ability to upload more info, I'm posting another picture of my boy. He's got a serious drool thing going on in this picture. I like the shots of him with a serious expression on his face, because he's almost always cheesing it up for the camera. He's such a smiley guy, which is absolutely adorable, and I wouldn't have it any other way, but the serious faces are great too because we don't often see them.