Monday, August 31, 2009

Anyone else feel like this on a Monday?

Success again... when will we be doomed?

The trip to Ohio was a complete success... Elliot's changing and feedings made the stops a bit longer, but we still made fantastic time in the car considering, and he again slept almost the entire way.  And, throughout the weekend, he slept well, ate well, was a real trooper.  When will our good fortune with traveling run out?!  My mother has warned me that we are in trouble, because now that it is known that he is an easy traveler (for the time being), we will be expected to travel in more!  Ut-oh.  Really, though, as he gets older and needs more interesting stimulation, I think we'll face some meltdowns.

We stayed with Pat's brother this time, who has 3 children: Kyle (6), Timmy (almost 4), and Kate (1).  The boys loved him, while Kate didn't know what to think.  It was great, as they provided us with the larger accouterments that we needed, like a bassinet, a swing, etc.

When we go to northeast Ohio, we usually have quite a few places to visit, since that is where Pat is from, and because that is near where we went to college, so a lot of our college friends are there.  We chose to park ourselves at a park for Saturday afternoon and request/invite everyone to join us there for a visit instead of attempting a death-march of visiting rounds.  It was such an awesome time.  I wish I could post all of my photos of everyone holding him.  I was very touched by the efforts for our friends and family to come meet him-- a few had drives that were a couple hours and we only gave a day or two notice.  Everyone else who had older kids let them wear themselves out on the playgrounds while the adults got to catch up.  It couldn't have gone better, and the weather was lovely if a little brisk.  (They've had days and days of rain, so we stole the perfect break in the wetness.)

Great-grandma Papczun was surprised by our visit.  She was over the moon with him and kissed him so many times.  She thought for sure we wouldn't be in until he was 6 months or so.  It was so touching to see her snuggle with him as long as her arms would let her.  I love the photo of the 4 generations.

I am now kicking myself for not snapping more photos of our first trip into my parents and everyone there gathered.  I missed opportunities then and this weekend to get all the little cousins together for a group shot.  Both visits to Ohio had all the first cousins together-- 9 on the Ulrich side and 7 on the Papczun side.  I should have been more militant about capturing the moment.  Oh well.  Sometimes those things just have to remain captured in your memories.

Elliot is in wonderful form today while Pat and I are dragging after rolling in Chicago around 11pm.  Pat drove the whole way, so he's pretty worn out with having to head to work, whereas I can linger here in my pjs and putz around.

(I had planned on simply posting small blurbs, since photos are more fun than all my yappin'.  But there you have it.)

Plans this week-- laying low for a day or two,  possible shopping trip for the day-apart kids, and taking him in to meet the teachers at school!  As much as I always love brisk, fall weather, I'm a little concerned that my temperature gauge says it's only 67 inside... Elliot's spending the day in a hat and double layers until our radiators kick on, if they do!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunday afternoon at the lake.

(So, yes, just to mention it, I did jinx myself... we've had maniac Elliot for about a day and a half.  He has now left the building, replaced by content and flirty Elliot.  We're back to normal... for now...)
We had a great weekend with a venture to the lake both on Saturday and Sunday with the little guy.  The mosaics you see are the newly decorated underpass at 47th Street-- it's quite gorgeous.  The photos can't capture the glisten.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another road trip coming up!

We're heading into northeast Ohio to see Pat's side this coming weekend-- the great grandmas will finally get to meet him.  Cross your fingers for us.  As much as Elliot does so well in the car, he has been staying awake a lot more and it's a 6 hour drive sans baby, just that much longer than the 4.5 hour to my side... and the one grandma is another 1.5 hours after we get there.  I hope there's no meltdowns.

He'll be 6 weeks old this week.  He's really growing-- outgrew one of his hats already.  Many of his clothes are getting too short, but his little frog belly doesn't fill out the next size yet.  Makes me smile, but also makes me sad that we're passing through these precious times already.  Everyone says enjoy it while you can and I'm really trying to stop and snuggle with him when I have more pressing things to attend to.  

Spent the chilly afternoon at the lake yesterday.  Pat and Elliot took a nap together, I got a cat nap, we had a picnic, and called it a day.  The wind was strong and the waves were amazing.  We moved to the sheltered side of Promontory Point, and it was really about 10 degrees warmer out of the wind.  

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's getting more normal.

We seem to be easing into a "normal" life now with Elliot... but am I jinxing it now?!?!    Thus the fewer posts, I guess.  Last night he gave us a 5-hour stint of sleeping (longest yet), which was so much appreciated, seeing that Pat's sister had stopped by on their drive back to Wyoming from Ohio to meet him and us yahoos stayed up until the crack of dawn visiting.  
We also ate out at a restaurant with our visitors, which was the first attempt to enjoy a meal out with Elliot.  Not too bad... we had been outside for a while, watching Pat and Charles (our brother-in-law-traveling-through) participate in a pick-up soccer game down at the university, so he definitely needed changing.  I walk into the single bathroom-- no place at all to make-shift a changing table.  Back out, not ready to use our booth in the dining area to change him, but ready to do take-out when Pat sees a bench in the waiting area by the door.  He made that work, Elliot took a bottle, and we actually lingered for quite a while at dinner.  Not bad at all.
(Thought this onesie was hilarious and needed sharing-- our former neighbor, Joe, sent it to Elliot.  We seem to be slowing down on the obsessive photo-taking as well...)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Photos are more fun than text.

The many faces of Elliot.
(The one of the puckered lips and wide eyes is our clue that he's given us the gift of a dirty diaper. Very hard to capture the true essence in a photo.  We crack up everytime.  Yes, he'll hate us for posting this on the internet when he's a teenager...)

Friday, August 14, 2009


We met Avery and Jen downtown in Millennium Park today... it was a bit hot, but we lasted about 1 1/2 hours.  We saw a few of the planes practicing for the air show and had our lunch in the park.  

The Metra was pretty easy, until I got to the station downtown, and the elevator was broken.  Humph.  As I was brainstorming how to get the stroller and him upstairs safely, and considering breaking apart the stroller and car seat to manage the trip up, a random man offered his help.  I barely hesitated, as I was a little leary, but quickly realized I had few other options that would be as easy and quick.  He took the front end, I took the back, and I made sure to thank him but drive off very fast incase he wasn't as kind as he seemed.  I heard him go back down the stairs and offer his assistance to the other three stroller-pushers who were stranded as well.

Of course, Pat couldn't stand the thought that we were that close and he wasn't a part of it, so he came down to meet us as well, as he was running around trying to organize Elliot's birth certificate for our medical insurance.  

Another successful trip in the big world.  It's getting easier to get out the door each time.  Now he's blessed me with a nice long nap, and I think I'll join him for the last few minutes.

No photos, as I forgot the camera.  I'm sure I've posted a sufficient amount, however!  :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shop 'til you drop!

Jen and I took Avery and Elliot (the "day apart" kids) out on a shopping trip!  Our first outing trying to coordinate and we were pretty successful.  We managed to get both carseats in my little Civic.  A brief browse in a cool baby store, a stop for coffee and ice cream, and we headed back to her place to feed and change.  We decided to make this a standing weekly outing until she goes back to work in the fall.  Then, I guess I'll have to find someone else who had a baby the day after me to have lunch with!

The kids were out most of the time, and then they both went through this massive stretching phase while waking up, as if they had been so worn out by their efforts.  That, or they were trying to grow more on the spot.  We were cracking up, but admitted that only the parents of these children would really be so entertained by such a thing.  Outsiders, not so much.
Friday we're heading out to Millennium Park to watch the planes practice for the annual air show this weekend-- first attempt at public transport with the little guy.  I'll put him in the stroller and take the Metra downtown.  I'm sure I'll get some photos of that on here afterwards.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More munchkin meeting...

Our neighbor, Keesha, also stopped by with her little one, Riley.  He's 9 months old, and we decided we had to get a photo of the boys together, as they will be in the same year in school and it would be cute to look back and compare them at this age.  Riley wore Pat out while Keesha rocked with Elliot.

Meeting of the Munchkins.

Finally, on Sunday, we got together with our friends, Dave and Jen, who had their baby a day after us.  Elliot and Avery barely got to know each other, as they alternated fussing and conking out.  Dave made his famous ribs and we had a great time.  Avery is a doll... much more tolerating of the wet/dirty diapers than Elliot!  

They weigh almost identical, but Elliot seems longer, while Avery has some shape to her legs, versus Elliot's lanky bird legs.  We also noticed that Elliot has a very large head compared to Avery!  It was quite funny comparing them.  

Jen and I are planning to attempt an outing on Friday to grab some lunch downtown and watch the planes practice for the air show.  Looking forward to that, so I hope it's not too hot.  Elliot seems to have his father's thermostat and is quite a sweaty baby.

It's crazy to note that Elliot is already a month old today.  He had a fussy night/day, but seems back to himself by this evening after letting me join him for a lovely 3-hour nap.  We snuggled in and got some much appreciated rest together.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A little refreshed.

Hit a small speed bump in my efforts as a stay at home mom last night... gave him to Pat the minute he walked in the door and attempted going for a jog to fight off the, hmmm, what do you call it?  It was a mixture of frustration, guilt, tiredness, showerlessness, monotony.  Sounds worse than what it was-- Elliot had been good most of the day, and I couldn't recognize what I was feeling until Pat got home.  Just cooped up, I guess, even though we've gotten out some.

Jog was not easy when I've done nothing faster than a waddle-walk for 9 months!  Got 10 minutes in, walked another 30 minutes or so to the lake and back, and felt very refreshed.  Found myself saying to Elliot, "I'm not mad at you, I just need a little break."  Pat and I vowed to make this happen a few nights a week so that I don't get cooped up.  We'll see if that really happens, but at least last night I felt much better.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

3- Week Check Up-- Going Strong!

Elliot passed his three-week check up with flying colors... no more fretting parents or grandparents!  Two weeks ago, he was just about 6 lbs, and that was after rebounding from 5 lbs, 9 oz.  Today, he's 7 lbs, 10 oz!  Ten ounces over his birth weight, and over two pounds past his low point!  Go little buddy, go!  The doctor was thrilled, and so were we.  The doctor lovingly called him fat, and he objected with a nice wail; she apologized for insulting him.  He is getting a nice belly on him and the bird legs are filling out.  "Now we just cruise," she said.  He also grew an inch longer.  

After calling my parents with the update, my dad asked, "So is he walking yet?"  Cute.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Real Tears

Oh, and he gave me real tears while crying today... he really knows how to work me! All the good sleeping on the ride home and last night left me on full duty alert all afternoon! Whew.

Traveler Extraordinaire.

Elliot did awesome on the trip to Ohio-- he slept the entire time there and back, only waking to take a bottle in the car and to be changed when we stopped for gas.  What a trooper.  
The weekend was very fun.  Grandpa Ulrich got to meet him and snuggle a few times.  There are 8 cousins for Elliot on my side, ranging from 3 to 7 years old.  All of them were there and they were quite interested in him when they weren't having a spontaneous dance party to "Super Freak" or needing referreeing over who pinched whom.  Mom hosted a picnic for the extended family, with 30+ people so he got lots of attention.  Little off kilter with his eating and sleeping, but he coped relatively well.
We're hoping to take him to Pat's side near Cleveland for Labor Day.  That's a longer trip, so we'll see if he can keep his title of Traveler Extraordinaire.
Another check up on Wednesday.  My sister and dad thought they saw him grow and change just over the weekend, so we'll see how he's progressing.  He's starting to react to us with laughing and wide-mouthed smiles.  He has found my weak points with his quivering lower lip and when he holds his breath and turns red-faced while he cries really hard.