Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Boy and his Pumpkin

As a disclaimer- Maybe I'm a party pooper, but I don't like Halloween as a holiday at all. I do love, however, dressed up kids, handing out candy, and carving pumpkins. This is wonderful and so that is what we do.

Elijah was a dinosaur! We would roar at him- he loved it and would nuzzle us back!

Eli and his pumpkin - 2010

Eli and his pumpkin - 2009.

Thanks Rob, you do a great job carving our pumpkins!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


courtesy of Google earth and husband
It is a process, you know.

3 big moves in 3 years of marriage.
-East Point to Kigali, Rwanda
-Kigali to Lancaster, PA
-Lancaster to Knoxville, Tn

And none of these have been simple point A to point B moves. They've all involved some sort of limbo period anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. As you could guess, moving is not my favorite. In fact, I hate everything about it. Cardboard boxes and bubble paper do not excite me, not even pizza on the floor with friends who've just helped us move. I have an awful attitude about it from beginning to end. I have to work really really hard to be a loving wife and to not flip out at Uhaul offices and DOTs. Me and Jesus seem to talk a whole lot during the courses of our moves.

However, over time I have noticed an ever so slight improvement in my disposition. - I'll have to ask Rob what he thinks. Perhaps it's that I'm getting better at knowing what to expect, that Rob protects me from brunt of the move, or that I allow myself more graces of imperfection. But, I do notice that I don't shutter at Lowe's purchases, random taxes, and red tape AS MUCH as I used to. But yuck, recalling all of our moves and relocation anxieties really does make my chest hurt.

Regardless, we now find ourselves in Knoxville, TN where we will be for the next 5, 20, or 100 years. Who knows- I no longer plan. We currently reside on a college campus while we search for housing. Last week we placed an offer on a house, it was accepted and we moved full force ahead. Sadly, though it turns out that sometimes previous owners feel that foundations are optional. You know it's a no-go when your home inspector says, "basically, this exterior wall is just for aesthetics-the real support is in the basement on 2x4s and concrete blocks. " Yikes.

So the search continues.

Even though it stinks to leave places we've loved and be in transition and have SO many unknowns to work through, it has been great to get here and begin to get plugged in to the area. We've already made a ton of friends through church, campus, my mama groups and getting rooted in the local community. What adds the most peace to our journey here though is how awesome it feels to be where God wants us to be. I love seeing Rob in his new role as church planter - using gifts and talents that are uniquely designed to be used here and now. That part about moving has been great.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Saturday we took Eli to a pumpkin patch in north Knox county. After driving an hour, I thought "oh no, this is one of those ideas that sounded way better in my head. Poor husband was exhausted and just wanted to rest - and Eli has no idea that a pumpkin patch is exciting stuff...what was I thinking." But, it turned out to be a great family outing. Eli started out a little unsure of why we were there- especially on the hayride out to the patch, but quickly warmed up to a field full of bright orange globes on which he could drum and beat to his heart's content.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the day

After much searching, Rob and I selected the perfect carving pumpkin- can't wait to see what Eli thinks of that fun event!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

37 in - 37 out

Last week we passed quite the milestone. 37 weeks in utero and 37 weeks out-ero. In 70 something weeks this little guy has gone from blob of cells to a clapping, crawling, independent person who can dig in his toy basket all by himself. Amazing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

8 months of joy

This is Elijah at Baby Bookworms. An awesome program at our local library for infants to age 2. He LOVES it; his new favorite thing to do. The librarian reads some stories, we have a snack, have mom and baby sing along songs and puppet play. He loves watching the other babies crawl walk and babble around. He will soon be picking up all kinds of new tricks I'm sure.
8 month stats:

Eli's not doing what I would call an orchestrated crawl but he doesn't let that slow him down. He gets most anywhere he wants to eventually. We now hold crawling practice daily since we've been watching the other babies at Baby Bookworms do it. Poor guy had been having to figure it all out himself with no examples before our new social outing.

Baby Bookworms has also spurred a new love. Books of course. He wants to hold one all the time...nursing, strolling, eating, etc....

We just moved Eli to his own room. And, he is now sleeping 7 or 8 hrs a night at least and last night (closer to 8 1/2 months) he slept 11 hrs! Hallelujah! He also has a clear tell of when he's sleepy. He pulls his hair and give himself this mad scientist look. It's especially cute when he pulls the tuft of hair in the back and creates a rooster tail coif.

At his last dr.'s appt he weighed in at 18 lbs 11 oz and 28 inches long. Still no teeth! and no signs of any.

**8 month stories**
Eli has developed a new talent. He now knows how to gag himself. He discovered it by accident, but after my initial startled reaction to him, he continued to do it for days afterward. Even at the dr.'s office. The nurse (after seeing him do it) responded, "they all learn how to do that eventually." What?! It's so hard not to laugh.

After an especially tumultuous afternoon of fighting sleep. Mom and baby were at our wits ends and completely frustrated with the other. I offered Eli a bitter biscuit as a last resort thinking, perhaps this will help. Eli grabbed the graham cracker and gummed it with a slobbery mouth. He then looked up at me with red tear-streaked eyes, smiled his toothless grin and held the gummy cracker up to my mouth for a nibble. My heart melted and we enjoyed our snack together.

Quite the brilliant baby, understanding different properties of states of matter still elude him. Elijah was entertained endlessly during bath time not long ago trying to "catch" water from the faucet.

Oh, and a little product-find endorsement. Flour sacks (bought at wal-mart or the dollar store in 5 or 3 packs) make the PERFECT baby bibs. they are huge, cheap and cotton. I tie it around Eli's neck and let him go to town on his dinner. They cover his entire chest and lap during a meal and afterwards I wash it out in the sink and soak it in a pail of water. When I have a load of laundry I toss it in. For stubborn stains, I add some bleach. Hmm, wonderful.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall in East Tennessee

So, We've moved physically and soon so will my blog. to something lame and predictable like hartleyhartley.blogspot, but I'll post that here of course when I decide. I've got like 8 blog post floating around in my head, but having to share a computer with husband until we get more settled I have virtually 5 minutes to check email at 10pm. Thus no new blog entries for a few more days.
But I had to squeeze in this picture of Eli enjoying the crisp fall air here.