Thursday, January 31, 2013

Post-Birthday Funk

We had a great time celebrating Ellis' birthday Monday...

And then we all fell like dominoes. We succumbed to the plague. The epizootic. Whatever you wanna call it. We had it. But we're alive and kicking...mostly from the couch.

I'll catch you next week when we're back in full swing.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ellis: A Look Back at Year One

In honor of Ellis' upcoming birthday, we're taking a look back this week. 
Then, yesterday, his birth day.
And today, we're looking back at his first year. 

Precious memories, for sure. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ellis' Birth Day

On Wednesday, January 28, 2009, thirteen days past my estimated due date, and 33 hours after my labor started, I gave birth to my little [8 pound, 8 ounce] Ellis. I distinctly remember when he was laid on my chest after his birth, the thought crossed my mind, "Oh my gosh, I had an actual baby!" As if this was a surprise after nearly 42 weeks of pregnancy! It was a reality I couldn't wrap my mind around until that moment... And then we locked eyes, and I was a total goner. I loved him like I had never loved anyone or anything in my life. I knew that I would dedicate my life to protecting him. It was a very distinct shift in my world.

I hear it all the time--this notion that women not only give birth to their babies, but that they also give birth to themselves as mothers. For me, it was completely true. I labored long and hard, both in the immediate sense, and over the 15 months prior to becoming a mother. Neither my journey to motherhood nor my labor was as challenging as some mothers', but both were the most challenging things I had done up until that point.

I was completely transformed. I felt like I was seeing the world with new eyes; I'd been given admission into a secret club. The secret I knew now was how deeply parents love their children. My parents, my grandparents, friends, strangers...I understood then that they all loved their children with this fierce, transformative love.

And so began my adventures with Ellis, one of the greatest loves and teachers of my life.
In early labor at home with our doula looking on

Eric helping me through a contraction


Monday, January 21, 2013

Ellis' Birthday Week

Ellis' 4th birthday is a week from today (*sniff*), and so I thought it would be fun to have a look back at his life so far. It's hard for me to believe that he'll be four years old...I suppose this is how it always goes. I'm thankful that he's healthy and growing up, and yet it's very bittersweet to have my first baby become so un-baby-like.

For today, let's have a look back at my pregnancy with Ellis. I absolutely loved being pregnant. Ellis' pregnancy was my second pregnancy, following a devastating miscarriage at 13 weeks in my first pregnancy. Ellis' pregnancy was fraught with anxiety at times, but it was also filled with gratitude for the opportunity I was being given to be a mother. I loved him fiercely from the very beginning.

J. Hoffine

This is the last photo of me prior to labor photos. I was 39 weeks pregnant...Ellis was born a whopping 20 days after this photo was taken. Suffice it to say, I was enormous.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Year's Resolution

My new year's resolution this year was to get more organized. My thinking was that if I got organized, then I'd be more efficient, and therefore would have more time to do the things I want to do.

So come January 1, I was all pumped....and then I spent the next 2 weeks taking care of sick kids or fighting sickness myself. If you're a parent, you know that a family's household work is so unrelenting that you can't let it go for even a day without disastrous consequences. You may be out of commission, but those darling little mess-makers don't miss a beat. Even when they're not actively tornadic, they still need to be fed and clothed.

Well, let's just say that my house was in rare form this week. As in, if my neighbor had come by for a cup of sugar (or more likely, a Diet Coke), I would've had to move...and change my name.

I haven't felt fabulous this week, but I have chipped away at the mess here and there, and by today, most of the house could pass for clean (most importantly, the parts visible from the front door). I've even done a bit of organizing. Who says resolutions are made to be broken?

Here are a couple snapshots of my organizational efforts: a utility organizer and a grocery bag holder. Hey--it's a start!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mama's Helper

I love this stage when they really want to be a part of what I'm doing. They may not be helpful--in fact, they may create more of a mess with their "help"--but the idea that they can be helpful is a valuable one.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

He's a Quick One

At breakfast this morning, I was using our cow creamer to pour milk in the boys' oatmeal. Oliver was positively delighted. "Moo!"

I asked Ellis if he loved the cow too. He said, "I'd love it more if it had udders."

Nothing gets past Ellis, that's for sure.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tunnel Vision

We have a tunnel.

This tunnel has been everything from a car wash to a cat bed.

It is well loved by all the small creatures in this home.

On this particular day, it was Oliver who loved the tunnel.

By the way--Did you notice that the blog has a new look? I'm working on it. I don't love it just yet, but it's better than it was and I'm too stinkin' tired to work on it anymore. Have I mentioned that we've all been sick? I'm exhausted. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sick Week

We've had a tough week, with both boys being sick and Eric working a ton. Sorry I've been absent with posts, but sometimes something has to give, you know?

Ellis got sick last Friday, and is finally getting back to his usual self. Oliver got sick Monday and, while he is fever-free finally, he's clinging to me every moment.

So here's what we've been up to the last few days:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This poor buddy has been sick, and was burning up with a fever in the night. He was so pitiful, and he wanted his baby. Only problem was, "bay-bee" was nowhere to be found. None of our three babies showed themselves, in fact. No baby dog or baby bear would do, only "BAY-bee!" He finally got back to sleep and his fever broke in the night. This morning we reunited with Pink Baby, and he's quite content, if not just a tad pitiful still.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Recap: Christmas Day

 Here are a few more photos from Christmas. Stay tuned next week for some of the cutest photos ever.
Ollie and one of his many new doggies

Love this one. 

Rody was a hit.

Because the boxes were such a hit, we decided to add lights and turn one into a space ship.  Ellis is looking at the stars through his telescope. :)