Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Little Penguin's Halloween

Elijah woke up and stretched.  He rubbed his little eyes and looked around.  He was in his same crib, in his same room with  the happy piggy on the wall, but he could tell something was different.

He called for his Mama and she came in, her nightgown brushing  the tops of her socks and reached over the crib railing with a big smile.  “Happy Halloween, Elijah!” she said softly as she picked him up and carried him to the changing table. 

Hallo-what? Elijah wondered.  Mama changed his diaper and dressed him in an orange onesie with a black face on it, with black pants.  Daddy came in to say goodbye and gave Elijah as kiss before going off to work.

All day Mama and Elijah played and Mama told him, “In a few hours we are going to dress you up as a penguin!”  He didn’t know what a penguin was, but it must be something important to dress up like it.  He got more and more excited as the day went on. 

So excited, in fact, that he didn’t even want to take his nap.  He laid in his crib and talked to himself about being a penguin, and what a penguin might be all through napping hour.  When Mama came to get him, she shook her head and said with a smile, “You’ll be tired later for Trick-or-Treating.”

He was hearing so many new words today.  What’s Trick-or-Treating­? he wondered.  He tried to stay up all afternoon to see what all the fuss was about, but he just couldn’t make it, and around 2 pm he passed out. 

An hour and a half later, when he woke up, Mama was all activity.  She settled him in his jumpy and packed his diaper bag.  Then, as Elijah was jumping, she looked at him and said.

“Okay, time to be a penguin!”  She picked him up out of the jumpy and laid him down on the floor, pulling the costume over his head.  Then she pulled yellow shoes over his socks and secured a hat on his head.

“You look adorable!” she exclaimed, as she handed him a little metal bucket to carry.  “Let’s go see all the ladies at the library.  Grandma will be there, too.”  Sure enough, as they went through the library door, the book ladies all looked around and said, “What a cute little penguin!”  There were other characters there too.  Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat were just saying goodbye.

Grandma kissed him and told him what a cute penguin he was.  From there it was off to see Elijah’s Nonna and Grandpa.  While he was there he got to see his cousin Batman Brian over the computer.  Daddy even turned up there, too!   

As they drove through the town where Grandpa and Nonna live, Elijah saw all kinds of characters.  It seems like everyone was out and about: there were princesses, and brides, and firemen, and even zombies.  

For two towns Mama and Daddy drove Elijah to friends’ houses so people could see the cutest little penguin.  And people put candy in his little metal bucket.  Finally, when he was all tired out and didn’t think he could go to one more house, they went home.   

And just before bed, Elijah’s Uncle Jamie and Aunt Mandy showed up to see the little penguin too!  Then, Mama and Daddy took Elijah upstairs, settled him in his crib and said, “We love you, little penguin.  Sleep well.”  And he knew that he was right, there was something special about today. 

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


My middle sister lives in New Jersey and the only TV we have at work is the weather channel, so I thought about her all night.  Stay safe, warm and dry Anne!  We love you!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The In-Betweens

For a long time, now, I've been wanting to read more about the Church.  I don't have many local Catholic friends and apart from being a lector in our parish, I haven't been super active in church, which I realize is my own fault.  I hope the reading will help me increase not only my knowledge, but also strengthen my faith.  I'd like to read about church leaders, church teachings, lives of saints, and apologetics.

The problem is, I don't know where to start from a background of having read very little outside formal settings.  I also get extremely bored with nonfiction very easily.  A few years ago, I read Milestones by Pope Benedict XVI.  But I don't remember much of it. 

Therefore, my new resolution is to read nonfiction between whatever other books I pick.  Right now, for example, I am between books.  I just finished The Lost Wife which was amazing and I'm waiting for The Atlas of Impossible Longing to come in through the library.

My current book between books is Pope John Paul II: the Pope I Knew So Well by Caroline Pigozzi.  It is a small but entertaining biography written by a woman who spent time narrating the Bl. John Paul the Great's activities for her newspaper Paris Match.

Like I said, it's small and almost lighthearted, so it is a fairly benign introduction to the world of Catholic biography and theological writing.

Anyone have suggestions on where to go from here?

Friday, October 26, 2012

7 Quick Takes

I am ridiculously excited for the upcoming holiday season.  I always think of "The Holidays" as starting with Halloween.  I have all three of them off work, and I just cannot wait.  We tried Elijah's Halloween costume on him today to make sure it fits still.  It's a hand-me-down from Sophie, but it's just what I've always wanted for my first child's first Halloween.  Stay tuned and I'll post a picture after Wednesday.

In keeping with the ridiculous excitement, I already  have Elijah's first Christmas present.

I think he'll probably get mostly clothes because he is already wearing 12 month outfits and we don't have a lot of 18 monthers.  But the Toyland at the Farm and Fleet near our house opened recently!  Nathan tried to ban me from going in there.  Silly husband!

Up until now, Elijah has taken a morning nap, just about everyday.  Usually between nine and ten, he passes out and sleeps for a half hour to an hour.  But it is his late morning nap at 11:30 that I really count on to get things done or take a nap myself before going to work.  I've noticed that if he takes a long morning nap, his other one is much shorter.  So, I have been trying to abolish the morning nap.  It hasn't been easy, and it's still not everyday, but we're definitely working on it.  

I've been told to just let him nap when he wants to, but he wakes up happier from his later nap if he sleeps longer.  Any thoughts?

Today is Elijah's nine month birthday!  I still find myself seeking out other moms, mostly those with kids around his age, or my own mother, for advice.  I feel like I should have a better grasp of things at this point, and for the most part I do.  But when he's not feeling well, or if we're getting close to some milestone or talking about changing his routine a little, I start feeling very insecure.
Love this face!

I realize this is only going to matter to a few people, but, very exciting news around our house recently.  We have found the blue ring!  The rock-a-stack has been minus it's blue ring for the last couple months or so because we had no idea where it was.  We have an old-style one, so the blue ring is actually the smallest.  I was walking through the living room the other day and looked up at the shade of our floor lamp and noticed something blue in it.  Sure enough, there it was.  There has been much speculation about how it got there.

Yesterday we had shift-bid at work for next year.  In case anyone is interested I will be working 2nd shift 3-11 pm for the first eight months of the year with Tuesday-Wednesday weekends.  I will then move to 3rd shift 11 pm to 7 am for the last four months with the same weekends.  I also took my two weeks vacation one week being for Elijah's first birthday and the other, the last full week in June, so hopefully I can be at Ribfest this year.  

It didn't turn out quite how I wanted, but I'm sure it'll be just fine!   

For more 7 Quick Takes, check out Jen's blog!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Bluest Blue

A couple weeks ago, my husband declared my car, a 2000 Ford Taurus that used to belong to my grandparents, unfit to drive.  Apparently the head gasket has problems (I have no idea what this means); and I'm sure the transmission is about 20 miles from saying "No, not any more!"

So, I started driving Nathan's car, which is manual and I hate it, and occasionally, my parent's car while we looked for a replacement for me.

What I really wanted was a brand new Ford Fiesta.  But adoption turned out to be so expensive and we are contemplating it again, (not any time soon, don't get excited.)  So we looked around at used cars.  We checked out a 2006 Ford Focus hatchback, which I liked; a 2008 Dodge Caliber, and a 2004 Toyota Corolla, which Nathan liked.

My hatred of driving is so strong, that I refused to be the one going to the test drives.  I was fairly certain that as soon as I got behind the wheel of something I don't own, there was going to be an accident.  So Nathan went.  The first place he went was to the Corolla.  It was also the last place he went.  Three days later, he bought it.

At first, I was less than pleased.  It is an 04 after all and with 81,000 miles, was more used than I was hoping for.  But everyone said Corollas are good, dependable cars.  And this car had one thing going for it in my's blue, my favorite color.  But this isn't just any blue...

You may remember that I am a fan of Doctor Who.

This is the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space), Doctor Who's ship, which can travel anywhere in time and space.

The moment I got truly excited about my new car for the first time, was the moment I realized, it's TARDIS blue. 

Then, I drove it for the first time.  I actually, genuinely like it.  Tauruses, for being sedans, are actually big cars, they're long and wide and I always felt it was too much car for me.  The Corolla is nice, it's little but big enough for Elijah's car seat, and it drives very well.  It also has almost all the little things I wanted like power locks and doors and a CD player and remote unlock.  The only things it's lacking are an auxiliary audio jack for my iPod, and remote start, which I really want.

The first couple times I drove the Corolla, I had so much fun.  That was before I realized it doesn't change anything about driving...driving is the same...

And, when I said the Taurus used to belong to my grandparents what I meant was I purchased it from my uncles after my grandmother passed away.  When I opened it's trunk the first time, I found two pairs of shoes tied together.  I don't know which one of my grandparents they belonged to; I like to think one was his and one was hers, but they were probably both his.  And for the next four years, I drove around old shoes in the trunk because I couldn't bear to get rid of them.

 This is what I saw the first time I popped the trunk on the Corolla:

Nathan moved them to the new car.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Elijah is 2/3rds of the way through his first year.  His eyes are lighter than they were when he was born and decidedly blue, not grey.  His hair went through a brief red period around 1-2 months, but is back to blonde with red highlights.

He is very happy, and very fun.  He is working his way through a stage where he doesn't like getting dressed or undressed.  With two front teeth on bottom and three on top, Elijah is a very calm teether.  The only thing he wants when a tooth is breaking through is to be carried around.  He sleeps through every night, even when teeth are coming through.

He loves his food, whether it's a bottle, Gerber crunchies, or fruit/veggie puree.  He holds his own bottle regularly now.  He loves music, rocking back and forth in his boppy when we've got music on.  Books are another of his favorite things.  He reaches for them and loves to flip the pages on his own.

Elijah has a couple new tricks: he picks his head up all the time now, and Army crawls.  He can push himself onto his hands and knees and rocks there for a little.  We'll have a crawler before Halloween!   He has just learned how to sit up on his own and we're working on waving.  He has also turned into something of a ham baby.  Every time he sees the camera he smiles.  It's pretty hilarious.

He loves games with movement, when we hold him and dance or run around.

Nathan and I have discovered that while we both love to play and spend time with him individually, we have more fun with him when we are all together.  Things are changing all over.  The car I've been driving, which used to belong to my grandparents, has become undrivable.  We are going to look at other cars tonight and I've been thinking what I want in a vehicle.  My biggest priority is having enough room in the back for Elijah's car seat.  And then, of course, safety and gas mileage.

We can't wait for Halloween!