Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Charlie and Lisa stopped by this afternoon for some quick pics since the Harvest Party at church didn't quite bore them enough to capture some cute shots. They were way too interested in all the activities to sit still! So, here's our second try!

We didn't actually trick or treat, we just went to the neighbor's house to say hi. We didn't even have shoes on! Eliot thought it was fun though!

We practiced several times today. Eliot would hold the bowl of candy (thankfully he has no idea what that all is yet...)and I would say 'trick or treat'. Then he would give me the candy and we would clap. He was a natural. I think he has the gift of hospitality...

It was a rather slow night for our block this year which was quite disappointing. But Eliot got to use his new skill for a night. Each time the kids would say goodbye and we'd shut the screen door, he would give me the "more" sign with the biggest grin on his face. A couple times we caught him standing at the door waiting for more kids! It was quite cute.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monkey Madness

In following with the theme so far, Eliot was a Monkey for Halloween. (Yes, it's not until Wednesday but we've been to a few parties already and gotten some wear out of the costume.)

First we went to Fisher's(Elmo) brand new house for a Halloween party.

Please notice the progression between our Monkey and the sweet little butterfly on the right end of the couch....

Then this last Thursday we went to our church's Harvest Party. Charlie was the banana, Eliot the Monkey. Monkeys and Bananas...=)so adorable. A little history: last year we thought E would be home for Halloween so we bought him a pea pod costume. Charlie got a carrot costume. Instead of being peas and carrots, sweet Charlie was a lonely little carrot...

Eliot's first pixie stick experience. He was not a fan which I was happy for!

Eliot and Batman (AJ!)

It was cold and rainy but we had a great night! Thanks Greentree!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Well, Eliot joined the rest of us cattle-branded population and got his social security number today. I would post it but then you would be able to steal his identity and ruin his flawless credit score.

Does this make him even more official? Not sure, but it feels pretty official. Woo-Hoo!

Dear Russ...

Here's a snapshot of what you're missing...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I wonder...

*When Sharon and Melissa will get to come home
*Why all of the batteries in Eliot's toys died at once
*When I will quit shopping for myself in the junior department
*How the Lord will choose to build our family next
*Why the pharmacist let me fill my prescription for 7 months so easily
*At what point will I reach up to hug Eliot
*Why I have no motivation to start running when I used to love it
*If Eliot will crave bananas every time he hears coffee percolating since he eats them every morning while I'm making coffee (as in Pavlov...)
*What will happen to Guatemalan adoptions on January 1
*What Eliot's teachers will say to us at conferences
*How it could possibly be snowing already in Colorado
*How much cuter could Eliot possibly be

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Patch Pics

From the beginning of time, God designed last Saturday for those who wish to take their family and friends to a pumpkin patch. It was amazing, sunny blue skies, temps in the 70's and an open calendar. So, after a few phone calls, we met a few friends at their house and took a quick roadtrip out to the pumpkin patch.

As you can see, he wasn't super excited about these oversized orange things mom just put him in!

After the brief hangout time with Charlie in the pumpkins, we found the pony rides and couldn't resist!

He was pretty excited after having practiced riding Daisy at home.

We navigated our way through a tricky Corn Maze where Mike gave Eliot a spanish lesson on Maze vs. Maiz.

Dad volunteered to take E down the Miner's slide!

Jake, Lisa and Charlie!

Mike and Beth with the kids!

The Mohr's (E grinning because he's scooting down the hill)

We finished the daylight hours with a wagon ride through the apple trees. Once it got dark, we all went on a haunted hayride. It was scarier for us than the kids, since both Eliot and Charlie fell asleep!

We lost him...second edition

You also might be asking, "how's the transition going" referring to Eliot needing take a nap later in the day and eat lunch first. Well, take a look for yourself. Here's lunch time today: (You may not be able to see the sections of grilled cheese in each hand that didn't quite make it...)

(also notice Daisy's spot. This is now a habit while Eliot's eating...wonder why?)
I thought we were getting better. He fell asleep Saturday in the stroller at 10:45 and was out until after 1:00. Yesterday he fell asleep on the way home from church at 11 until someone set the fire alarm off again at noon. When talking to a friend about it yesterday she flattered me by saying that it must be because his original schedule was so routine that it'll be hard to break. For 3 months he's slept from 11-1 and then a second nap around 4:30. Until last week. He was doing so good staying up until 1 and then sleeping until 3 or 3:30. The last four days haven't been a lot of progress. Maybe this is one of those 2 steps forward, 1 step back transitions? I guess we'll find out!

Her Majesty...

Yes, I have decided that I'm a queen. Next time you see me I might even be wearing a tiara of some sort. The queen of what, you might be asking. The Queen of Double Messages, as Debbie (our marriage camp teacher) would put it.

In our weekly Marriage Boot Camp sessions, Debbie has brought up how we women put out double messages to our husbands. These mixed messages make it difficult for our marriage because it creates impossible expectations. For example: In my mindset, I feel strongly that Russ should not be gone so much. I also feel that we need more money, so he should be gone more to make some. I want him to notice how beautiful I am more often but not be so focused on the physical. I want one thing and its opposite all at the same time. (If Russ ever looks tired to you, this might be why...)

This isn't just with Russ. It's with everything. I want Eliot to grow up faster so we can play candyland and soccer but he really needs to quit growing so fast. I want it to be sunny and warm but cool enough to wear a hoodie and hat and scarf. I want my friends to send me emails and call but I really don't want to answer my phone or hit reply on an email. I want to live in the city and the suburbs. I want to be financially free but want to still depend on God for my every need. I want to lose a few pounds and still drink coke and eat cookies every day. I want to invite my neighbor over for dinner and I want him to move away.

Contentment. Balance. Moderation. Anyone else craving it?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Updated FE pic!

By the way, here's an updated pic of the Fundies Undies including our newest member, Jess! We had a great time at dinner and the FE show last weekend!

We lost him

In attempts to push Eliot's only nap of the day back to after lunch (instead of eating lunch everyday at 2:00!) we lost him. See below.

This has been part of the lunch routine all week. He'll start chewing with his eyes closed and then slowly quit chewing. And then he's gone. It's pretty cute.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Note to self 6...

You might not want to set the fire alarm off 5 minutes after you put your baby down for his only nap of the day. I don't care how good that frozen pizza looked.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thanks Geoffrey!

Yesterday the mailman delivered a surprise. A 1st birthday card for Eliot from Toys-R-Us. Wow. Either they need to hire someone a little more on top of things or there's been some mistake.

Then it dawned on me. When we registered there last summer they required an "arrival date". Going on what we'd been told, we confidently wrote October 2006. Here it is, October 2007, and I've been marveling at the fact that we've been home for 3 whole months already.

So, yes, I'm still processing, still adjusting. Even grieving a little on the 'anniversary' of letting go of those dreams of having him home at so young an age. Yes, we're insanely blessed and there's not a day that's gone by in 3 months that we're not thankful beyond words. I guess I'm learning that there's still more to work through, even being home this length of time.

Overall, I'm grateful. Eliot's home. That statement holds a lot of weight for me, still makes me teary. So, thanks to Geoffrey for the unexpected reminder of how blessed I am.

And I'll leave you with 'choice A' for our family Christmas Card...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Time: friend or foe?

The equalizer. Everyone has the same amount no matter how much money you make or where you live. It's daunting at times and a gift at others. It can seem falsely full for me sometimes. As a SAHM, I feel like it's not working as my teammate but as my opponent. Errrr. It's such an enormous blessing to be able to be at home and I want to be a good steward of that gift but I'm struggling!

Here's my frustration: I am a teacher by nature. I'm used to Monday mornings jumping right into a cemented schedule until Friday afternoon. I thrive in that. Now that it's just Eliot and I, I've been all willy-nilly about our time. Eliot's on a great schedule with sleeping and eating but the rest of the day is up in the air! Sometimes there's a spontaneous trip to the bank, sometimes a overdue trip to the post office, etc. The laundry is done when it's piled too high to see anything else and then of course, it takes ALL DAY to complete. I am pretty sure I spend more time thinking about what I should do or want to do than actually doing it. Not knowing what to do with my time sometimes turns into not doing anything with my time and then it's gone. The next day, I'm overwhelmed with all that I have to do and can't believe that I don't have time to accomplish it all. It's as though I live in a place of reacting to daily life rather than being proactive. I do dishes because the sink is full. I do laundry because I don't have my favorite jeans to wear that day. A trip to the grocery store happens because I've squeezed the last drop of milk from the carton last night. I was the opposite as a teacher. Everything was proactive or else it didn't work.

While listening to an Arbonne training by author Donna Otto she was teaching on how to do more in less time. Something she said struck me. When people ask her what a practical way to save time and money was she said it's meal/ menu planning. I thought that was odd until she explained. For families that regularly spend a few minutes planning a menu for the week, including a shopping list, save at least an hour each week and 30% over what they would normally spend on food. She listed a few statistics like for every trip to the store to get one $2.50 item, the average persons spends $14.27. Hmmm. The next one killed me: for every minute in the grocery store over 30, you spend an average of an extra $4.85. My thoughts go back to the trip to the store on Saturday that took an hour and how I was surprised at the amount of our bill from that day.

So, my rough draft has begun. Tuesday is laundry day, officially. Wednesday is grocery store, Thursday is vacuuming and dusting. The daily schedule is in it's rough stage also. Yes, showering is on the list since that doesn't always happen! When to do Arbonne trainings, when to clear out my inbox, when to mop, alongside meeting with people and going to meetings. I probably need to add writing and reading blogs into that schedule, too, as sometimes I spend way too much time on that! Anyone already have a schedule I can steal? Any other moms have a well-oiled machine they want to share? I feel like I did my first year teaching: survival. By year 7, I had most of the day/week figured out efficiently and effectively. I really don't want Eliot to be 7 years old by the time I figure all this out!

Maybe I should start with less time playing with Eliot on the iPhotoBooth...

Hmmm...don't count on it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Mode of Transportation

Dad here. I guess it's my turn again...

It started slowly. And wabbly. Eliot would take a few step here and there, topple over and crash to the ground, then take off crawling at 100 mph as if to say, "this is way easier and much faster, dad." Then he hit a point where it became amusing. He figured out he could hop out of his little chair, land on his feet and get over to the the coffee table. Now it was fun, but still slow and awkward, so unless he was just walking for sheer entertainment, crawling was still the preferred mode of travel. After all, Daisy and Sammie are way faster than mom and dad. Aren't four legs better than two? Keep in mind, Eliot is an extremely fast crawler, so it was a practical choice (he's a very rational and logical young man).

(This video was taken several weeks ago. As you can see, he's feeling quite silly and will only take a couple steps.)

(This was taken last week... sorry that it's sideways! He's pretty proud of himself. This was still pretty early on in the walking game, so he gives up pretty quickly and moves into the head-stand, one of his silly habits.)

This week Mr. Independent took a turn. We walk now. It has officially become the preferred mode of transportation.

I have a habit of plopping him down on his little diaper-butt when I set him on the floor. He doesn't let me do that. As soon as he starts making the descent from daddy's arms to the floor he gets his landing gear ready to hit the floor running... literally. When he discovered that he can pick up his toys and run around the house with them it was on. Maybe he aspires to be a UPS man someday? Oh, and playing ball has gone to a whole new level. And finally, yesterday as we walked home from the park down the street, it happened. He taught himself the "let me down" squirm. One minute too long in mom and dad's arms and there he goes... Mr. Independent can walk on his own now... "Let me down!"

He wasn't great at it at first, but he's literally practicing all of the time. It's actually pretty fascinating to see how well he's progressed even in a couple of days. It's like he made the decision that he was just gonna pick it up this week, and since then each day he has gotten so much better. He's all over the place now. Chasing the dogs, ripping the magnets off the fridge, carrying his stuff to every possible spot in the house, etc. Consequently, we have entered a whole new realm as well. Basketball fans could call it The Nolan Richardson School of Parenting: intensely fast paced, non-stop action, and a full-court-press defense (that calls for lots of double-teams). So Katie and I are conditioning, running drills during his naps, whipping ourselves into shape so we can keep up with this guy. Even as I type this Katie is chasing him around trying to keep him out of everything. We're having so much fun!

One more cute little thing. He follows us everywhere in the house now that he can keep up, and he's learned to "knock, knock" on closed doors from one of his books. So you know what that means, no more using the bathroom in private!

Bienvenidos Otono!

For those who aren't sure what you just tried to read: Welcome Fall! It's actually getting chilly!!! Other than Sharon, most of you don't know how excited I am for this! Up until yesterday it's still been summer in St. Louis. As usual, someone forgot to tell the midwest that 90 degree temps were supposed to be over. We had a garage sale on Saturday and started unloading the basement (profiting from the purge!) at 6 am and was sweating after the first load. It's been consistently in the 90's which translates into tank tops, shorts, and sandals! And it's October!! Blah.

You may be saying, "but Katie, you were here until Thanksgiving last year, you didn't totally miss fall". And you would have a valid argument except that just like this year, last year was pretty warm pretty late into the season. I only had a couple weeks of fall before I headed to the land of eternal spring. Being a native Michigander, this does not settle well with me. I've been in 70+ temps for almost a full year, and while that sounds nice, it's not for me. I don't know how people in mono-climate areas do it.

So, today presents a fun decision. What outfit to put on Eliot? There is nothing cuter in all the world than Eliot in warm clothes. It just about puts me over the edge. (I am fully aware of how deep and challenging this post is getting for you readers...) I can't help it. It's a natural aspect of motherhood, right?

I'll keep this brief since you have 12 other blogs to read and this is not all that entertaining or thought provoking. I promise to offer you substance another day. But I will leave you with another entertaining picture...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007

From the rooftops!

I got a call tonight from the 'mala. The best news I've heard since May 31, Sharon is out of PGN. For those who have kept up with the blog thus far, a little reminder: Sharon was my suite-mate and close friend. She's been living there for 14 months and was given the best gift today. She is going home soon WITH her Bella!

If all goes timely, she should be 'home' by Thanksgiving! How awesome is that!! For those that don't have access to her blog, feel free to leave her comments on here, I know she'll read them!!

A huge congrats to Sharon, Irene, Greg and BellBell! I wish there were a bigger word than congrats for really important situations but in my limited vocabulary, that's all I have! I can't imagine the party in Heaven yesterday when they all watched Sharon open the door! I wish I could have seen that!

Start packing, friend and start dreaming of that hashbrown casserole...

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Yep, another trip to the zoo for the Mohr's! For those of you that think we must really love animals in order to make the trip each time, please understand we live about 2-3 miles from the zoo and it's free. So, it's one of the easier outtings to have for us. Plus Eliot seems more and more interested each time we go. Not to mention that friends got us a 'zoo pass' as a welcome home gift, so we're able to do more things inside the zoo.

Eliot got to pet a guinea pig! (That's for you Mike!)

His new favorite: Meerkats! He loved them!

Yep, that's E-man walking by himself to check stuff out! Still quite wobbly but still an option in transportation.

Checking out the naked mole rats! Ewww....

This goat was attempting a prison break, apparently. Either that or a distraction so that his friend could chew on my shirt...