Sunday, November 23, 2008


So while it is very hard to get a good picture of Robbie's new teeth (his bottom center two teeth are inching their way up!), I do have hot-off-the-press images of his latest trick.  This evening, after yet another blowout (when will they end?), Rob was changing Robbie into his onesie and jammies, and he was not happy.  It was bottle time, so I made one and popped it in his mouth in an effort to calm the fussing, while Rob tried to finish dressing him.  He grabbed hold of the bottle and held it up, all on his own!  For the first time.  Like he had been doing it for weeks.  

We paused the dressing to get a picture

He was very proud and happy to pose for the camera!

What a lucky boy!

What a surprise for Robbie to receive a Thanksgiving gift this past week!  My Aunt Sherry and Uncle Jim live in Cincinnati with their 2 girls, my sweet cousins Courtney and Caroline.  They sent Robbie 2 books about the meaning of Thanksgiving, which I love.  It is one of my favorite holidays because of how important it is to be thankful and how much God has blessed us, and I hope that Rob and I are able to pass down a spirit of gratefulness and appreciation to Robbie.  And what better way to introduce the idea than through kids books!?

Don't be fooled by the raspberries - Robbie is very excited about his present!

Really enjoying digging through the tissue paper - but no, Robbie, that's not the gift.  Keep going!

Ooooh, I know what this is - I love books!
(Note the serious face...)

Grandma jumps right in and reads both books to Robbie, who is completely mesmerized by the sweet stories and cute pictures.

Thanks so much for my new books Aunt Sherry, Uncle Jim, Courtney and Caroline!  You are so thoughtful and I think of you all the time when mommy and I spend time reading at home - lots of my books are from you!  I love you.

Robbie and Charlotte's date in Rockford

We had the chance to get together with our great friends - the Larsons (Jeff, Becky and Charlotte) and the Bellitos (Matt and Becki) - in Rockford 2 weekends ago.  We finally figured out that the best restaurant in town to meet at is Granite City, and it was really the perfect place for us all to have lunch and spend a few hours catching up!  

Robbie and Charlotte have grown so much since our last get together, and they both sat in their seats and ate baby food as well as little star puffs while we all visited.  They were very aware of each other, but are still too young to try and interact intentionally.  

We were very impressed by Charlotte's sweet personality, desire to be so social, always charming hairstyles, and ability to clap her hands when her mommy started singing "If you're happy and you know it...".   When Becky and I swapped babies, I could not believe how petite and light Char was!  Robbie is my little boulder.  He is just a solid boy (as most of them are).  While Charlotte enjoyed her one carton of baby food during lunch, Robbie put away 3. :)  I know he's an eater, but sometimes I'm just amazed by his appetite when we spend time with other little girls his age.

Me and Robbie, with sweet Becky and darling Charlotte

Charlotte and Robbie, side by side!  Robbie reached out and put his hand on Char's shoulder - very cute.  He just loves her.  And who wouldn't!?

We thought it would be really cute to get a picture of Robbie and Charlotte kissing Becki's baby bump... she's expecting identical twin boys, and we are so excited to meet the little guys in March or April!  The picture did not work out at all, but this one just makes me laugh because we were having so much fun.

We can't wait for our next get together!  We love you guys so much.  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feel better, Aunt Megan!

I am way behind on my blogging!  Last week Aunt Megan came to visit for the day.  We had so much fun going out to brunch, playing with Robbie at the house, and catching up.  Robbie even got to taste daddy's pumpkin pancakes at brunch... lucky boy.  As was expected, he loved them.

Aunt Megan doesn't feel very well today, and it sounds like work is a drag.  So Megs, I hope this post cheers you up!  We love you and can't wait to see you again next week.  Feel better!

My favorite!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

1st tooth, sitting in the bath, and expanding taste buds

No pictures with this post, because it is a quick update (and 8 month pictures will be coming soon!).  Robbie has been cutting his first tooth this past week, which is very exciting!  It's the lower front right one, and it's sharp.  I keep wondering how teething on just the lower gums doesn't irritate or cut the upper gums?  Anyways, it has greatly disrupted his sleep - he wakes up at 1:00am almost like clockwork, and isn't soothed until I take him into the guest room and sleep the remainder of the night with him.  (That is NOT me complaining!)  He slept most of last night on his own without waking up, so I'm not concerned that this will spoil him or wreck all of the sleep training we've done so far.

Also, he's doing great sitting up for long periods of time on his own.  This morning I decided it was time for Robbie to take his bath sitting up.  Oh my goodness did he love it!  He kept looking around at everything, like this new vantage point was opening up another world to him.  He really enjoyed splashing the water, kicking his legs, playing with rubber duckies and grabbing his feet.  And it was accidentally heavy-on-the-bubbles, so of course he had to sample them once.  Yum.  I have tried to do what I can to encourage water on his face so that he's not a fusser every time water splashes on him, in the bath or at the pool / lake.  Today I poured a big cup of water over his head, slowly, to wash away the soap and shampoo... and he didn't bat an eye!  I got excited and told him what a big boy he was, and he grinned and splashed around like it was no big deal.  I am so thankful for his natural disposition and how ready he is to try new things.  It makes things so easy on me as a mom.

He continues to try to crawl, but has still only mastered rotating in circles, scooting backwards, and rolling anywhere he wants to go (and quickly!).  I find him completely on the other side of the crib when I go in to get him after naps, facing the opposite direction.  Not sure how he spins around in there since it is fairly narrow?!  His evening routine now includes wrestling time with dad, and it is by far the sweetest part of my day to watch them play together.  Robbie cannot wait for Rob to get home in the evenings and he even acts a little differently on the weekends when Rob is around during the day.  The boy loves his dad!  

And finally, he is eating a wider variety of foods.  He got to eat some of dad's pumpkin pancakes when we went out to brunch the other day, and likes to have bits of bread or part of my sandwich bun when I have it.  I made him an apple / pear / apricot with vanilla breakfast blend, and 2 'beef with vegetables' blends this week which will last us a good 2 weeks or so (one has parsnips, potatoes and celery and the other has sweet potatoes and carrots).  Robbie really likes the flavor, and I have to try not to gag as I feed it to him - it looks and smells a lot like wet cat food!  Gross.  But he gets so many different vitamins and minerals from each of them that it's worth it.  I have a sugar pumpkin, acorn squash, cherries, cantaloup, bananas, and more apples and pears to play with for next week!  I am getting my recipes from a great book called "The Top 100 Baby Purees", in case you are interested.  Robbie has tasted vanilla, thyme, parsley and a few other herbs and spices and it will be fun to introduce him to more.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Robbie can sit on his own!

Robbie sat up on his own today for an extended period of time all by himself!  It was on Rob's watch... I think Robbie wanted to impress his daddy!  So I set him up again and took some pictures just for you.  (When I'm shooting, I obviously can't be right next to him, hence the protective pillows all around him.  They were NOT, however, propping him up!  That would be cheating.)

Check me out!

I can sit up, AND I have good balance!

I can even wiggle around, and move my legs and arms without falling over.

This activity cube is my favorite toy.  And good incentive to stay sitting up!

Not sure what happened here.  Well, obviously he fell over... but he put his right arm up in the air and just left it there for a few seconds.  It was really funny.  Like he was saying, "And... the show's over!  Leave me alone."

See, I promised we would be more entertaining.  Also, Robbie had some sort of Chicken and stars baby food for lunch today (Stage 3, Earth's Best brand), and it had bits of star shaped pasta and bits of carrots in it.  He loved it!  He is getting the hang of 'gumming' food to death that isn't totally blended, and also enjoys eating pieces of deli cheese and cheerios as a snack in the afternoons.  What a big boy!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


We have tucked ourselves in here at 633 Alchester Drive.  It's cold outside (I spotted a little bit of SLEET 2 days in a row!), Robbie is under the weather, and we have house projects to work on.  I have nothing fun or cute to post, picture-wise, which I know is pretty much a cardinal sin in the world of blogging.  I would apologize for the mundane nature of our little world right now, but am well aware that quiet seasons are a blessing and a time to build up and rest up.  So we are not complaining.

We are finally trying to complete our basement clean-up from the water damage we had a few months ago (a drain was overflowing b/c a 2nd sump pump we have that we didn't know about had a dead motor).  Walls, flooring, and trim were ripped out and replaced.  And now they're in raw-material form.  Rob painted the laundry room trim and old brown cabinets white today, and will paint the old neon green walls a pretty new shade of robin's egg light blue.  SO excited.  Seriously.  This room is spacious, functional and great but uuuuuugly.  Not anymore.

Then it's on to the trim in the rest of the basement, the doors on the new closet we had built, and all of the walls.  After trying to find the perfect shade of neutral for the walls that would be different from what was down there before, I landed on a shade of beige that is literally 2 shades darker than the old color.  So boring.  But safe.  It's projects like this that make me wish I had more guts when it comes to decorating.  I am so vanilla.  But I guess I'm afraid of taking another chance, like I did when we first moved in (look up Benjamin Moore's 'Sidewalk Grey' - ugh!! what was I thinking?), and hating the room so much that I avoid being in it altogether.  Or choosing that room to be the nursery so that I could repaint it 'for a reason'.   True story.  Boring, but true.

See, now you wish you hadn't even checked the blog to see what we are up to.  Self-actualization through interior decorating.  That's it for now.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Robbie gets to know Riley Green

We finally got together with our friends, Mike and Heather Green, who also live in Wheaton!  They have a sweet little girl, Riley, who was born in March also but just a few weeks after Robbie.  They had fun Sunday morning in the cry room at church together, and then we had the Greens over for chili later that evening.  Riley and Robbie enjoyed getting to know each other, and were so cute together!  Riley is a pro at sitting up, eats like a lady, came dressed like a doll, and allowed her parents to put her into foreign bouncy seats so that the adults could eat dinner together.  Robbie was, well, in rare form - looking like the guy who got home from work and changed into a pair of sweatpants (not bothering to change out of his white undershirt).  A nice touch was the 'Chicken and Rice Dinner' baby food that tainted the neckline of his onesie.  Thankfully, Riley is not your typical 'cute but shallow' kind of girl, and she might have even flirted a bit with our little chunky monkey!

Riley's dad Mike, and Rob, with the babies

We had so much fun Sunday night that today Heather and I met for Chai Frappachinos and headed over to Seven Gables park for a long walk and some swing time for the babies.  It was Riley's first time on the swings, and she caught on quickly!  She was so cute, smiling the whole time, even trying to lick the swing (to her mom's dismay).

Robbie figured out how to sit up properly in the swing this time - all by himself - and showed us how much fun he was having by kicking his legs and laughing while swinging.  

Our afternoon wasn't nearly as fun after Robbie's date with Riley.  I took him to the pediatrician since he can't shake this cold, and also because this afternoon he developed a diaper rash that bled (!).  When the pediatrician checked him out, they found an ear infection as well.  My poor little guy is just a mess right now!  But I had no idea - he is still very good natured when he is sick, and never tugged on his ears or fussed when he was laying down.  Also no fever.  Anways, he's on the bubblegum medicine (I don't know how to spell it!) and strong diaper rash cream, and we're hoping for a quick bounce back!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Quiet Heart

It is so hard to have.  I am learning every day that my attention is captured by things that are so meaningless and fleeting.  I often feel disappointed in myself, embarrassed by how quickly I stray from my Savior in my heart, frustrated by my regression.  When I am quiet, humbled, honest, broken and forgiven all over again, and my full self is exposed to the One who knows every nook and cranny and loves me still, my heart thirsts most for the things of God.  To be more compassionate.  To be quicker to forgive, listen, love, accept, share, give, sacrifice.  To find the broken and listen to their story.  To protect our little ones who have zero defenses and trust us completely.  

But when I forget to quiet my heart (or at least one part of my day so that I can assess the condition of my heart), I find that the days pile up with  meaningless desires, and quests for things or people to fill up a space that only Jesus can take up residence.  Sometimes unintentionally, sometimes not.

Tonight I'm just thankful that I can keep coming back to Jesus every time I get to this point, and he will never shame me.  He waits for me to come to him and ask for forgiveness so that he can renew my heart.  Thank goodness for the grace he pours out on me each day - when I ask for it and when I don't.  I have always said that I'm convinced that God's hand is on my life - that anything good that has happened or been given to me is from Him and has nothing to do with me.  (And when I've begun to walk down the wrong road, I have been gently corrected and re-directed.)  I believe this more and more as I get older, and as I experience more of His blessings.  I'm overwhelmed by the goodness he pours out on me and on my little family, when I am so undeserving.  

Even more so, tonight I was struck by the way He uses the gentleness in my husband to continue to shape and discipline my heart.  I am pretty good at convincing myself of things occasionally, and can develop a one-track mind.  If you know me at all, you are laughing at this point because you know it's true!   Tonight Rob gracefully walked alongside me as I showed him this new little 'road' I'd found (and was growing quite fond of).  He took a look at the landscape, and with the wisdom of a man who seeks God so that he can lead his family, he gently redirected my gaze.  As I sit here sharing my thoughts with you, my admiration for him is still growing.  And although I am slightly disappointed with myself for allowing my drive and desire to move me forward prematurely down a road that might not have been the best, I know that this is precisely why God created marriage.  I am so thankful for this gift, another act of grace on God's behalf in my life.  Nothing that I deserve, but apparently something He thought would be a blessing in my life for His glory (turns out He was right).

I pray for more quietness in your heart too, even if it can't be found in your day for any number of reasons.  Quietness brings reflection, which can bring brokenness that draws us to our knees.  And that is where we find (hear, see, touch the hem of) Jesus.  The most beautiful place.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Robbie was a Giants Football Player for Halloween, in honor of his dad's loyalty to the East Coast.  It was so warm that we nixed the one piece sweatsuit that was supposed to go underneath it, which would have also served as a little padding for the 18 month size jersey!  And no, he did not enjoy those black out strips on his cheeks.  They lasted for a very short amount of time.

We had a fun day at Grandma and Grandpa's house and helped hand out candy to the 500+ trick or treaters (!).  Robbie has been somewhat out of sorts this week with his cold, but he enjoyed sitting on the porch and trying to grab candy out of the bowl.  I think he liked seeing all the little kids too - it was the one time all day that he sat still and didn't fuss for over an hour!