Category Archives: baby k

18 months and the next chapter

posts are becoming few and far between, i know. but i’m not quite ready to let this blog die. it’s eli’s life (from creation to now!); it’s his baby book (really, this IS it). i plan on printing it into a book at some point sooner vs. later, but i keep waiting for a cut off point…and i don’t want there to be one. i love, LOVE going back and reading older posts. in the blur of diapers, tears, feedings, errands, books, chores and such, it’s easy to forget about how beautiful life really is. i re-read some of the posts and think “wow, i remember how CRAZY i felt that day!” or i recall the exact feeling i had when eli said or did something for the first time. i don’t think there is any better way for me to remember and capture these beautiful moments than through this blog. i’ve said it before and i will say it again, sometimes the days seem like they last an eternity, but the months and year(s) fly by. yesterday my little nugget was merely a dream in our hearts and now he is 18 months old. so…until that time when i just can’t write any more posts, i will keep up this little blog b/c it makes my heart smile EVERY time i read it. hopefully it makes others smile too.

18 months and counting…

Favorite toys: trains (choo-choo), remote controls (calls them dada), nutcrackers (especially the life size one in our family room), balls of any sort, air planes (still air-phh-phh), curious george (dord as he calls him). the kid is pretty obsessed with all things boy…he’s a hot (beautiful) mess. christmas is going to be a blast this year.

Foods: the kid still loves his food (as shown in his 75% percentile in weight:). some favorites right now include lara bars (i can’t open one without him wanting it…all), avocado, pineapple, cheese, mac & cheese, and most recently, he loves butternut squash soup. he also loves his sweets so we have to reign that in a tad (dada…he can’t have them 3x a day!) — “cooo-kee” as he says.

Activities: we stay pretty busy with the library story hour/play times, regular play dates, swim lessons (just ended last night) and just general play time at home and out/about. i am not as organized as some, but i try to do crafty things with him to keep him occupied and interested. he loves play dough, boxes, markers (not to be confused with crayons…he much prefers things that are permanent), peek-a-boo, spinning in circles, emptying my pantry (big fun to unload lara bars and throw stevia packets on the floor), eating, and BA-KET-BALL. He adores basketball — on tv, in person and playing it. it thrills PK to pieces. we paint, we draw, we dance, we sing…we keep pretty busy these days!

My favorite things: so, so many, but one of my favorite things of all time is bedtime routine. we have a bath and then read books and rock. it melts my heart. then when i place him in the crib, he looks up at me with a face that shows complete joy and content; he is so happy and sleepy. it literally makes my heart burst with joy.

Hard times: we seem to be entering the tantrum mode and boy can he throw them. he does NOT like to not get his way…not sure who he got that from. anyway, it’s incredible. tears, lashing arms, screams…it’s so sad but at the same time it’s also quite funny when you know it’s over something like the pretzel falling on the floor and griff eating it. however, yesterday he was super upset after his nap and i couldn’t figure out the reason…now that does not make me happy. i felt so helpless as i tried to find anything and everything to ease his “pain”. finally he calmed down but it took well over an hour. sleep is still an ongoing struggle in our house too…some days he will snooze or at least stay in his crib happily until 6:30/7. most days it’s more the 5:45 mark when we hear the sounds start. that can make for a long ass day (thank goodness for the ymca and childcare when mommy needs an hour!).

Holiday fun: i have always been a bit of a scrooge when it comes to holidays, but this year has already been a game changer for me. the look in eli’s eyes when he sees the tree lit up is enough to convert me to mrs. claus. we’ve decorated a gingerbread house (he loved that…well he loved eating it), we’ve read tons of holiday books, we’ve gone to the polar express train in bowling green, we’ve visited with santa (twice!) and we have played with our collection of nutcrackers and nativities (the fisher price nativity is awesome by the way. thanks gram!). it’s been a blast. i cannot wait to decorate cookies with him next week and, most of all, see his face light up on christmas morning when he sees ALL the goodies santa has for him (i may have gone a bit overboard).

a certain someone is stirring and ready to get up from his LONG winter nap (2.5 hours!) so i’m off to cuddle and play and using this as a reminder to relax and ENJOY this amazing time of year with my little man as he soaks up every minute of his 2nd christmas.

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cold days with family

yesterday was one of those nights that i just felt alive. the fall air was cool and brisk. eli and i had a super fun day playing at the ymca (he LOVES the childcare there and mommy loves a little time to sweat alone!), a playdate at the library, an afternoon with my mom (aka, gram) and a cozy evening with family enjoying yummy homemade sweet potato chili, pumpkin (healthy) brownies and laughs with eli. seriously, it was a beautiful and simple day. watching eli “perform” for company last night (gram, cici and d) was simply heart-warming. he laughs, giggles, signs (“more” is his favorite sign for everything) and…he eats…a lot. seriously, i think the kid ate for 30 minutes non-stop last night. where does he put it!?

today, eli spent the day entertaining gram while i worked. based on the photos and videos my mom shared throughout the day and the LONG nap he had, i am 100% certain he (and gram) had an amazing and exhausting day. he could barely keep his little eyes open when i got home.

leaving him for the day really never gets any easier, but knowing he has an AWESOME time without me (sometimes) makes it better. and, he learned a new word…”he haw”.

thanks gram for spending the day with my little love.

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catch up post – fall/vaca/16 months and more

just when i think things will settle down, they seem to get busier. i guess that’s just life…especially life with an active (and getting more active by the day) toddler.

so, here’s a little recap. i really don’t recall where i left off — maybe a month ago when eli turned 15 months?! now, he’s 16 months and while i may have taken a hiatus from blogging, i by no means took a hiatus from doing fun things with eli and/or snapping pics (thank goodness for instagram!).

* fall has been amazing. afterall, it’s my favorite time of year for so many reasons (one being this is when we found out we were pregnant two years ago!). the crisp air, the clean smell, pumpkin everything, soup season, scarves/boots, hot tea…the list could go on. but, now it’s even more fun. watching eli giggle when the leaves crackle under his tiny feet, seeing his eyes light up every time we are at the local pumpkin patch when he sees all the orange “balls”, teaching eli to eat apples fresh from the orchard and watching as he masters the process, putting on our jackets to go on a late afternoon wagon stroll, giving him a spoon to lick after making pumpkin cookies (no eggs so not to worry). it literally makes life feel more brilliant. i have stopped to smell the roses more this fall than ever before thanks to eli’s amazement over everything. he sees a chipmunk and he stops dead in his tracks to gaze and follow it. it’s amazing and i for one needed (and need daily) the reminder to appreciate the little things in life.

* we just returned from a trip north to portland, maine and DC. we visited some of pk’s med school friends in maine and it was divine. not only is portland just as quaint and gorgeous as i imagined, but we had a blast with our friends and their kids. on saturday we took all the kids (7 kids ranging in age from 2-10 and 6 adults) to a corn maze/pumpkin farm and then carried in fresh lobsters for dinner. add in some great wine and hiking and the trip was perfect. eli had a ball playing with all the older kids and i swear made some huge advances thanks to their behaviors (all good!). after four days in portland, we ventured to DC for 5 days where pk had a meeting. eli and i decided to tag along since my aunt and uncle live there too. of course, this happened to be the week that the government was shut down so we weren’t able to hit the zoo and a few other places eli would have enjoyed, but we still had a blast. the national building museum is quite possibly one of the coolest places for kids ever, and the national children’s museum was not far behind. we also strolled to georgetown (a nice hike from downtown) and met up with a college friend of mine for shopping, lunch and cupcakes (of course). and, the icing on the (cup)cake was eli getting to know my aunt judy and uncle jimmy better. they graciously toted eli and me around on monday and tuesday to museums, lunch and dinner while pk was in his meetings. after being on the road and living out of suitcases for 9 days we finally made it home with a house full of colds. pk and i had a minor case of the yucks, but poor eli got the real deal. he’s been down for the count since wednesday and it’s heart breaking. he was SUCH a trooper on the trip — napping, eating, sleeping at random times and places and for the most part going with the flow. i think his little body was just done. so, we’ve spent the past few days holed up inside trying to nurse him back to health. a few firsts for eli — he tried REAL sushi and loved it and lobster. crazy boy…this could get really expensive!

* maybe due to the travels and being around older kids and exposing him to new things, or maybe just due to natural progress, pk and i agree that eli made a lot of strides with his speech and communication while we were gone. he picked up several new words such as “it’s cold”, airplane, apple, banana, as well as becoming completely versed in the sign language symbol for “more”. he’s running now (not just toddling) and will do “touchdown” arms on demand and/or when he sees a football game on tv. it’s adorable. my aunt and uncle were amazed at his little free spirit that is go-go-go-go all the time…until he hits the wall and falls asleep mid bite of pirates booty. what he also seems to have gained is more of a temper. this little man can be fierce. he was with us every day for two weeks (and with me 24/7) living in one room so it has made the separation anxiety come out a little. that combined with his cold has made for some rough napping/sleeping schedule issues.

* a few of his current favorite things at 16 months: sidewalk chalk, books (and more books…the little ones and big ones…he loves them all), keys (specifically likes to his the trunk open button — that’s fun, pirates booty (he’s going to be a pirate for halloween thanks to the discovery that eli will be quiet and behave on a plane, in restaurant, etc. if we feed him mounds of pirates booty), still loves cheese and avocado. he loves to watch football games and gets excited at the proper times. he LOVES steering wheels.

overall, i just can’t say enough how blessed our little family is. without going in to too much detail (maybe later), i am simply embracing everything our little man has brought to our family and trying hard to minimize the “what if’s” and “should we” that so often can consume me. for now, life is pretty damn close to perfect…whatever perfect may be. 🙂

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15 months

i think i start every “month” post the same…where does the time go?! how is eli 15 months old?! it’s crazy and life is crazy, but it’s also SO MUCH FUN.

i miss baby (baybee as eli says). i miss nursing and rocking him to sleep. i miss his milk drunk body after eating. i miss his sweet “new baby” smell. but as much as i miss “baybee” eli, i am amazing at how much i love each new day and phase. i hate being away from him because with a day comes so much change. somehow in the past couple months we have a full-blown toddler. he “toddles” around (and into) everything and it’s both hysterical and adorable. by 8am our house looks like a small tornado has passed through it…cabinets open, bowls strewn, books everywhere, crayons in every crevis, laundry pulled out of drawers, balls flying through the air, food smeared on clothes (and hair). by 5pm this is all multiplied (although i do clean/straighten as we go b/c otherwise it would take 2 hours at the end of the day!) and he is sweaty, smelly and dirty — and usually covered in dirt and sidewalk chalk from head to toe. oh, and usually we have at least one new war wound to show for the day — scrapes, cuts, bruises…they are pretty common around here.

a few highlights…

walking is full force. he now has a few gears and when he wants can kick it into almost a power walk/jog.

he LOVES the dogs (i don’t but he sure does) and they usually love him. we are still having some issues with them — mostly food related aggression, but we are working through that with keeping them out of sight when eli is carrying food around. griff still lingers under the high chair for handouts (and has packed on the freshman 15 due to it), but flanagan has a few residence outside during all meal times as she has no self-control and basically was jumping into eli’s lap to lick him and the plate. sigh. dogs.

sidewalk chalk, balls, football games, books, balloons, swinging and anything that isn’t a toy (remotes, phones, purses, the fridge drawers, clean (or dirty) laundry, pens (learned a hard lesson here — pens and leather ottomans do not go well together) are a few of his favorites. he’s really, really into books right now which is so sweet.

food is still a highlight in eli’s world. i’m hoping he remains a good eater but i’ll take it as long as i can for now. his current favorites are strawberries, mac and cheese (annie’s organic of course), lara bars (new love), almond butter sandwiches/toast/waffles, smoothies, grapes, triscuts with hummus and cheese. he’s had a lot of new things recently and i’m trying to get better about mixing things up. he has to get bored! he’s in the 75th percentile in weight (pretty amazing considering he started in the 25th) so he’s doing pretty darn good!

words — BALL is still his go-to word. he sees a game on tv and says “ball”, sees apples and says “ball”, sees anything round and says “ball”. pk is so proud.

socializing — he’s a party animal. he loves ballgames, playdates, story time at the library, the nursery at the ymca. older kids and babies — he likes them all. he is totally a little politician.

basically, the days are more and more fun with eli. of course, there are some that are a little hairier than others (for instance, he was a bear on wednesday but we all have our “days”! side note: i dressed him in his suspender jeans and a cardigan so he would look like a grumpy old man to fit his grumpy mood!).

on one hand i want to pause time but on the other hand i can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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the latest via pics

so much has been going on in our world. we’ve been soaking up the end of summer and starting to partake in fall as well. clearly i’ve slacked on the blogging of recent, so rather than write a novel i am simply posting pictures of what we’ve been up to with a laundry list of our adventures.

* play date to jackson’s orchard (with eli’s fist boy/ girl smooch!). i am so sad miss cherry is moving soon because she and eli have become good buddies.

* trip to the state fair! cows, junk food, ferris wheel, the works. it was so fun to watch eli soak it up like a sponge. and, i am so, so glad the fair is only once a year. two words – people watching.

* another trip to Jackson’s with new friends — and the end of peach season (cue the tears). eli sat in the wagon amongst the peaches saying “ball…ball…ball”. he was so excited to be in a wagon FULL of balls! and, he actually ate a peach whole — no peeling/cubing, he bit right in. my little boy is growing up far too fast.

* pool time and birthday parties – eli has been a hit at the pool with his older girlfriends and is quite the social butterfly with his birthday party schedule these days!

* football! tis the season! we visited aunt lala and uncle jp on saturday then took eli tailgating for the uk/western game on saturday (in a million degrees – hence the reason we didn’t stay long or go to the game). he was a trooper. then, on sunday, we traveled to louisville for the opening UL football game. eli did great. well, “great” might be an overstatment but the overall experience was pretty good. it’s just MUCH different from last year when he was content in the bjorn and/or napping/breastfeeding the entire game. he’s a bit more mobile these days making things a little more challenging. i think eli and i spent a total of 4 minutes in our seats yesterday. maybe 5. the game was smack dab during his nap but there was clearly far too much going on for him to snooze. after 20 minutes of me trying to lull him to sleep in my arms, i finally accepted the fact that 1) pk wasn’t going to be willing to leave during the first quarter, 2) eli wasn’t going to nap and 3) we were going to have to make the best of it. we lucked out and found a gaggle of 7-8 year old boys who LOVED eli. they had a ball (literally and figuratively) and played with him for over an hour in the club section (side note: we would NOT be going to games if we weren’t in that section!). my fingers are crossed they are at EVERY game this year. i might seriously offer to buy these boys snacks if they will play with eli during the games (of course i was standing there the whole time watching but it was nice to have him entertained!). we finally left at the end of the 3rd quarter and he was asleep in the car before we could even pull out of the parking lot. tired boy.

* today, for the final day of the summer season, we went to the pool to soak up the last bit of sun. and tonight, after our full weekend (and few weeks), i couldn’t help but rock him to sleep and hold him for nearly an hour while he snoozed on me. my little boy, our little boy, is growing up so fast. my to-do list seems to grow every day because i just can’t help but absorb my time with eli. he’s just so amazing. i know “mommy time” is much-needed and necessary (and i enjoy it) but i would be lying if i said that i have a hard time leaving EVERY SINGLE TIME i walk out the door. whether it’s for one hour or twelve, i hate being away from him.

well, my short recap has now turned into a small novel, so i’ll end on a high note with pictures of our little stud.

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creating fun

sometimes the early morning wakeup call (6am is still eli’s approximate morning routine) and minimal naps (sometimes we get great morning and afternoon naps, other days not so much) can make for long days. don’t get me wrong, they are still great days, but they can be long. when you look at the clock and it’s 9:40 and you are ready for a nap and lunch, you know it’s going to be a long one. we’ve had some amazing weather this summer (think: mild and not the typical crazy humidity), but there have also been quite a few days that the mere fear of rain (or downpours) have forced us indoors for longer periods.

enter creating fun.

we always have the go to’s such as balls, books, the pantry (he still loves the damn straws), sidewalk chalk (outdoors only — at least we try considering our kitchen appliances and floor were covered in yellow chalk last week). a couple weeks ago, we incorporated crayons into eli’s life and he LOVES them. my little artist loves to draw. unfortunately, in less than two weeks we have gone through 4 boxes of crayons. griff and flanangan (otherwise known as “FFF” in eli’s language) have eaten 4 packs. FOUR. seriously…these dogs are killing me. killing me. side note, do NOT buy walgreens generic crayons. not good.

anyway, last week, i put eli in a box (ahem, thanks nordstrom) and put the crayons in there with him. who knew that would provide days of entertainment! and, balloons…well, they are just brilliant. floating balls, yes please. pk’s 40th birthday was last week so we had balloons (and cake) for days. eli was on cloud nine.

another source of entertainment…corn on the cob. the first couple times he merely pawed it. but now, he can efficiently clean every kernel off the cob in record time.

i am so sad to see summer coming to a close as it has been just perfect. pool time, summer dinners, play dates, travels, sidewalk chalk, lots of swinging, finger painting the sidewalks, post-dinner wagon strolls, fresh peaches and corn…the list goes on. i am excited to see what fall brings (hikes, leaves, apple picking, etc.) but i am trying to savor these last few weeks.

cheers to the end of the best summer. ever.

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highlights at 14 months

i remember day when the highlight was a sushi dinner out with friends, finishing a big project at work, hitting a fantastic sale. days when i would actually complete everything on my to-do list (and more!). days when i would make it to the gym, cook dinner, clean the house, walk the dogs, take a shower…the list goes on.

days have changed a lot. in a great way. of course, i still love ALL of the above, but the highlights of my days have changed.

my highlights now are on a smaller, yet MUCH larger scale.

this week/month highlights…

* loving crayons. eli always seems to locate stray pens and notepads and totes them around (perhaps we have a “to-do” lister in the making), and love, love, loves his sidewalk chalk. i noticed last week he’s been holding them correctly. so, i decided it was most certainly time for crayons and paper. huge hit. HUGE. he gets so into coloring and it’s simply precious.

* tried his first sample of “licking the cookie dough spoon” tonight. technically it was only almond butter as the dough has eggs (my three ingredient, go-to, pretty “healthy” cookies), but he loved it. of course, he tried to share with the dog at which point it got taken away and replaced with a new spoon), but it was a hit.

* SO, SO close to walking. i just know it’s going to happen this weekend since i’m going to be out of town. and honestly, i will be happy (and sad) if it does. i’m ready for this boy to walk!

* a new favorite hobby is not just riding in the wagon, but pushing it in circles. over and over and over and over again. it makes me dizzy but he gets a major kick out of it.

* play dates with girls. eli is a hit with the ladies of all ages. at the pool the “older” girls flock to him and nearly fight over who gets to hold him, take him swimming, etc. it’s pretty awesome to have some help at the pool and i am going to miss that dearly this winter! he also loves the ladies his own age and has been loving playdates with his buddy cherry (and i’ve loved getting to know a new friend!). playdates are great way to meet new people and i’m just sad our newest playdate and her mom are moving soon.

* separation anxiety has made a little bit of an appearance. i think this is due to vacation where he was by my side 24/7 for a solid week. i don’t even think i showered alone that week…he was with me a lot to say the least (and it was great). but it made leaving for work monday afternoon REALLY hard. he cried. i cried.

* food – still going good. he’s an eater for sure, but his palette is getting a little more picky. brocoli and green beans are not high on his list anymore. right now, he’s loving smoothies (and yes, i add in some spinach!), fresh peaches and watermelon, almond butter, quinoa (it’s back…tonight he plowed through it), pretzel sticks, cheese sticks, annie’s mac & cheese (which i hide veggies in) and avocado. he’s not loving veggie burgers (he loved them for a while and last night he hid them in his high chair!), green veggies and fish.

*other favorites – music (still). the boy LOVES to dance and wiggle. flap books. balls (all balls — including fruit that looks like a ball), straws (huge entertainment), the dogs, playing “i’m gonna get you” chase, pictures (he loves looking at pictures of family/friends/himself)

*words – mama, ball, ffff (this is usually for the dogs since we have “f”lanagan and grif”f”

* points to – his belly, toes, mouth and head; birds; dogs; balls; trees; drink. sometimes he can point to his ears, knees and eyes but it depends on his mood!)

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13 months

it seems like yesterday we were celebrating eli’s first birthday and now we are well into his second year of life. while the month (and summer) has absolutely flown, it seems like eli has changed a ton. every day seems to bring something new.

in one short month he has really started communicating. words are coming out with regularity and being used appropriately – hat, bye-bye and ball are his favorites. mama and dada are often used. and, he typically likes to point at whatever he’s talking about.

he loves to wave. he waves to people as they come in and leave. he waves to the dogs. he waves to trees. he waves to pretty much anything.

he loves to be chased. the belly laughs and snorts that being chased cause are simply priceless.

he is loving the pool. a friend loaned us one of those great mesh floating things and he pretty much thinks it rocks. and, he enjoys just cruising the edges of the baby pool. and, it wears his cute bum out…which is awesome.

he loves to play and has zero shyness. over the 4th of july weekend we had a house full of friends for a cookout (which ended up inside). eli roamed the party like a pro — such a good host. then we had a birthday party the following day and he managed to log at least a mile of crawling around their backyard. at library storytime he has become the party animal — whatever the “play” is for the day, he’s in the middle of it. dirt, packing peanuts, etc. you name it and he’s in it to win it. he jumped in the pool of packing peanuts (which was meant to be used for digging for treasures) like it was a mosh pit and proceeded to “swim” in it while the other kids watched. that’s my boy. 🙂 i also introduced him to finger paint this week which was a huge hit. it required a hosing off as it quickly became body paint, but it was 100% worth it and resulted in some awesome masterpieces.

he loves his cups with straws and his new tervis tumbler (and my big one). we finally gave up on the sippy cup and went straight to a straw. he still is taking his morning/evening milk in a bottle (baby steps) but the daytime water and smoothies are via real cups/straws. smoothies are his new favorite — he managed to drink 1/2 of mine several times this week!

he likes corn on the cob, sweets (uh oh — keeping that one in check but when he has a taste his eyes light up!), mac and cheese (organic and mixed with veggies of course), loves smoothies and hates broccoli and carrots. he’s still loving veggie burgers, avocado and pretty much all fruit but he’s certainly gotten a little pickier. thank goodness we can hide kale in a smoothie!

i just really cannot get enough of our little man. each day, each week, each month bring so many new and amazing things. watching him learn is simply the best way i could ever think of spending my days. the best.20130710-211739.jpg20130710-211806.jpg20130710-211753.jpg20130710-211814.jpg20130710-211831.jpg20130710-211916.jpg20130710-211852.jpg20130710-211844.jpg20130710-211929.jpg</a

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flashback from daddy – Eli’s first NCAA National Championship

the below post is a recap of eli’s first trip to the final four and NCAA championship. this was such a meaningful experience for pk and it was made even more memorable by having his son by his side. it was an amazing trip. without further ado…

NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPION LOUISVILLE CARDINALS!

Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it. Well that was made all the more special by the presence of my family being there with me. We started our journey Saturday morning. I made rounds at an intern-early hour. The car was largely loaded from the night before and mom, dad, and eli loaded the final things and got on the way 30 minutes early. This begs the question as to why dad felt he had to drive so fast to get a 77mph in a 55mph zone speeding ticket. All the time save by leaving early, driving fast and going the back roads was now lost. Worse yet, sleeping baby eli was now stirring baby eli and we were not yet to the first “stop.”

We made it to Atlanta really without further incident. Then we hit paces ferry road. The last 5 miles of our trip took longer than the previous 400 in my mind. Screaming baby. Screaming bladder. Phone blowing up with friends wondering where we were and why we weren’t already at some local watering hole with them. What a shock they were in for to see our small passenger that would be making his first appearance at a final four much earlier than his dad did.

Small history lesson. For those who don’t know (and if you are reading this, you know us well enough to know this already), I am arguably the most passionate UofL fan ever. We aren’t talking name my kid gorgui peyton or only buy red cars passionate, but I did name my bulldog griff. All of this comes from watching games with my dad, my mom, my grandparents and knowing that it hasn’t always been easy to be a cards fan. When I was 6, I traveled to Indianapolis to watch Darrell Griffith lead the cards to their first title. I was at the REAL dream game in Knoxville in 1983. It killed me to miss the opening of PJCS even though uk and tim couch pasted us. I rearrange call schedules, make commitments, and (kind of) scheduled a wedding around UofL sports. So the joy of being able to take my son, who will never remember this event, to the final four was not something to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, a very wet blanket was about to be thrown on all of this.

Through some very good and very special friends, our tickets were waiting at the will call window in Atlanta. 2 tickets in the club level waiting for Patrick Klapheke, but there was a catch. ALL entrants required a ticket for entry. And by ALL, they mean 10 month-old little boys sitting in their dad’s laps. Luckily for us, the ticket manager for UofL was at the window and able to sell us a ticket for Saturday’s game at face value, $150! The real kicker was the fact that his seat was better than ours! We debated dropping him off there with his bag and letting his neighbors know he was a pretty good kid, the snacks he liked and where we would be if they needed us. That or they could trade us seats, but after we saw our seats, we were pleased.

We met previously mentioned friends at a local bar where many uofl fans had congregated. Eli was a hit. Everyone wanted a piece of the action. Most were in awe that we would bring such a little guy along, but he had been to most of the games already. It wouldn’t have been right to leave him behind. No one was surprised the NCAA charges for kids but all seemed to agree that babies in laps seemed absurd. When the time came, we began the hike over to the arena. It was gametime.

The next 2-3 hours are kind of a blur. No, not because of alcohol, but because of the emotions surging through me. When we got to the arena, we made it in without a hitch. We found our seats, but we were kind of surprised there was no alcohol sales on a club level. In the long run, it was better. I saw all of the game instead of waiting in lines in the bathroom or beer line. When the national anthem was played, and the starting lineups were read, a tear came to my eye. I am too poor of a writer to ever be able to put into words the emotions that I felt at that moment. Here I was watching my favorite team with my wife and SON by my side. This was a bucket list item checked off. And about that wife, what a trooper. She made this possible by taking eli when it became obvious that I was in need of free hands to express myself. The game ended with a cards win. Poppy and uncle Patrick were there too and eli got to spend some time with them at the half, but when the game was over, he and mom set off to get back to buckhead and our hotel. If it were only that simple.

I had wanted to stick around and watch the second game. Our next and final opponent was to be determined and I still was too high on that emotional roller coaster to go in. however, when I got that call from mer with that sound of panic in her voice, away I went. Shout out to quasi uofl fan Patrick katchak for abandoning the game as well. With mom, baby and me back at hotel, I realized just how tired I was and turned in too.

Sunday was a day in the park…literally. We started the day with the complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Little man was quite the hit to all of the employees of the area, until the end when they saw the ring of food around his high chair. Side note, I have started assessing the floor around our table as a reference point for the tips. Standard is 15% for good service, but if I look down and see what I saw in the ATL, it quickly jumps to 30% with a little note of apology. The other thing we have learned is that, like both mom and dad, he likes to eat. However, more like dad than mom, if he is otherwise occupied and entertained, he will “forget” to eat. That is the only way I can explain what happened Sunday in the park and otherwise.

Around ncaa tourney time, there have been, the past 2 years at least, free concerts Sunday between final four and final game. Last year, in new Orleans, jimmy buffett was on of the headliners. This year, there were MANY bands we wanted to see starting that morning with a little group from Portland named blind pilot. It all culminated Saturday night with DMB. We started the day out in roswell at my brother in laws house. We stayed a bit too long though as we missed most of blind pilot. There were still several others we wanted to see so no biggie. But after several hours of fun there, and a short nap on mommy’s lap by eli, the park was getting increasingly crowded, there was little to no food appropriate for eli and none that mer would put in her mouth on a dare. Eli had little interest in bottles or even water so we ended up finding a place off the beaten path, sitting inside in a corner and watching the boy eat. And did he eat. Bottom line is, we realized that from now on, food has to be a priority for eli because he will pick “fun” over food anytime.

When Monday finally came, I was so nervous with anticipation. A part of me was sad because we had arranged to take e out to the hotel with jane rather than subject him (or us or our neighbors in our seats) to a 9:15 tip off. Furthermore, I figured it would be easier to leave him out there and pick him up after the game than to figure out arrangements after the game. The game did not disappoint. In the end we won, he slept comfortably in a hotel and because of this many things worked to our favor:
1. we drove through the night getting home at 0500 so I could be on call Tuesday.
2. He slept through the night and never really woke in the car
3. The return trip took 35% less time than the trip down due to mom and baby sleeping
4. I felt fine for call (a little tired but otherwise ok) which I think we can all rest assured knowing that would not have been the case with any late night celebrating with the fans and team in the ATL!

I have said it before and I say it here again, this event and this weekend were a check on the bucket list for me. I wish he had been a little older so he may have some memory of it, but I know in my heart of hearts there will be another in the future. I hope a little imprint was made in his developing brain so the cardinal fan he HAS to become shines through!

love,
dad

cheering on the cards

cheering on the cards

final four fun

final four fun

the youngest true ul fan

the youngest true ul fan

12 month stats & shots

yesterday eli turned one which is pretty obvious if you are friends of pk or me on facebook/instagram and/or tune into the blog with any regularity. sorry…it’s a HUGE deal in my world so it’s pretty much broadcast everywhere.

anyway, i’ve covered a lot about the celebration for his 1st birthday, but here is a rundown of what is actually going on in our lives on a day-to-day basis (well, more like a snapshot right now since it changes almost daily!).

*at his one-year well-check today, he was 21.5lbs and 30.5″ long putting him in the 50% percentile for weight and 75% for height. this is quite a jump from the 10% percentile we started in! the boy is growing. and, this explains the tightness of his 12-month clothing already!

*he “passed” with flying colors as far as his milestones – crawling, pulling up, babbling, pointing to things he wants, saying a few words (see below), drinking milk, eating great, etc.

* favorite foods: well, he’s still loving food, that is for sure. but he’s also showing some more pickiness now. some of his current favorites are avocado (still), watermelon (HUGE lover of this and prefers it in larger chunks), strawberries, bananas, yogurt and dr. preggers veggie burgers. for snacks he loves annie’s goldfish “bunnies”.

*hates: not loving carrots (unless they are stir-fried on hibachi grill we discovered last night!), brocoli – it almost always gets thrown on the floor to the dogs. this he gets from his dad.

* favorite words: uh-oh spaghetti-oh (yes he says it!), ma-ma, da-da, ba (ball), tttt (light)

*favorite noise (not sure if it’s his favorite or just mine): the DEEP belly laugh that almost seems to bust out of him. it’s hysterical. it’s like he’s been holding it in and it just explodes from deep within. he talks a lot (gets this from both is mama and dada) and i only wish i knew a tidbit of what was really going through his head. it’s amazing.

*sleep/schedule: we’re better in this department. still not great, but we’re on a pretty good routine these days (knock on wood — it will change tonight). he typically gets up around 5:45-6:30am (yes, that early — we did that to ourselves unfortunately). he’s an early riser like his parents. after milk (breast or bottle) we play and then have breakfast. after breakfast we usually play some more upstairs or in his nursery with books and balls (loves balls, loves them) and then go for a walk. on monday/tuesday/wednesday we go to the library for story/play time at 10. sometimes he naps before, sometimes he naps after and sometimes he has no nap at all in the morning. around noon we have lunch followed by either play time OR a nap (if the morning didn’t have one). then we play more, run errands, sometimes hit the pool or just play outside (he loves outdoors). he usually takes a good afternoon nap either after lunch or around 2/3. around 6 we have dinner and then play more and usually go on a short family stroll in the red wagon. bath time usually starts around 7:30, followed by a bottle and bed around 8. now, we are NOT at all super strict with this…i sort of let him dictate when he’s tired, etc. i realize this might be a “no no” in the world of many, but it works for us. i like that we can have him out past his “bedtime” or during “naptime” and he doesn’t freak out. for example, he was a super star at his hibachi grill/sushi birthday dinner last night and we didn’t get home until nearly 8:30.

*personality: he’s a pretty good “go with the flow” baby. however, when he wants something and doesn’t get it, watch out. he has a TEMPER. i’ve gotten to see this a few times more often recently — mostly due to weaning him from the breast. he’s not a fan of a sippy cup. at all. we’re working on that.

* things he loves: balls (beach balls, basketballs, nerf balls, foam balls, etc – if it rolls and he can throw it, he loves it), bubbles, his walker (brilliant), using anything as a walker (chairs, his stroller, stools, etc.), throwing things (this could be bad), being outside in general, MUSIC (of any kind), his new tricycle, swinging and drums (this is somewhat new!)

*things he hates: diaper changes, clothing changes, being put down when he wants up and vice versa, SHOTS (today he had FOUR shots and it was pure sadness. his little body was covered in band-aids. hearing him cry in pain makes me sick to my stomach.)

*nicknames: buddy, little man, stinker-pot, E

i think that about sums up our little man right now. he. is. too. cool.

now we are officially in his second year of life and ready to tackle it and embrace/enjoy all the excitement and change it brings.

big boy on his new tricycle

big boy on his new tricycle

12 months and counting

12 months and counting

what-you-looking-at?

what-you-looking-at?

bubbles rock.

bubbles rock.

presents rock.

presents rock.

hmmm. cars are cool.

hmmm. cars are cool.

my drummer boy

my drummer boy