Monday, January 27, 2014

Toots McGoots Claps in her Boots

Official first word: "dada".  It is actually very touching.  No better way to make your heart smile.  Unofficial first word: "aye" as in "hi" but no "h". Pretty darn cute when accompanied by a wave.  Her grandmas very efficiently taught Lilah how to wave over Christmas, now she's a waving maniac.  She prefers to wave to inamimate objects, like our stairs, walls, and doors, but occasionally she'll wave to a person on command.  She gleefully shrieks at Rooney every time she sees him.  He tolerates way more than he should have to, but bless his heart.  There have been a few more "incidents" with minor altercations between Rooney and Lilah and we have now resolved to mostly keep them separate until she's 18.  Poor Roo, the days of being an only child are at an end, but he's still top dog.

She even steals his toys... :(

Furry Books: We are making an active effort to read to Lilah more often.  She takes no enjoyment in reading books right now unless they are touch-n-feel or she can bang it on the ground.  I'm taking this pretty hard and am just praying that she graduates first grade.  In order to entice her to read, Ben has tapped into one of his new found skill sets.   Ben makes very authentic animal sounds, especially highlighting his cow and elephant noises.  Very impressive.   Lilah gets a wide eyed face like she is shocked at the authenticity also..  Well done, Ben.

Toots McGoots: Toots McGoots is Lilah's new knickname when she's being a stinker.  (This includes high pitched screeching into Rooney's face, standing up and trying to dance while in the bathtub, and overall impish grins at both of us.)  Daddy also caved recently and bought Toots McGoots some pink furry boots.  Yes, we love rhyming!  But the boots really are cute.
Our boots look. ( Dad worked hard at this matching outfit... improving!)

Totally normal way to brush our hair. Completely normal.

Our no boots look.

Learning "no": We might be on to something here.  Then again, we might not.  Sometimes she looks at us, stops what she's doing and does something else.  Sometimes, she grins at us, goes back to what she's doing and looks back to grin again.  Jury's still out.

Nap time?  Yeah right, Mom.


Growing up: It's still not allowed.  I had a little emotional meltdown this past weekend when I realized how quickly she's becoming a little person.  She had two firsts within 2 days and I just couldn't believe how special and wonderful she is.  She started clapping for the first time surrounded by her loyal fans, Uncle Jeff and Auntie Carrie Miller, while watching their beloved KU basketball game.  Quite an audience.  Monkey see, monkey do :)  KU also won, so thankfully everyone was still happy.  She also started standing indepently for long periods of time.  No steps yet... but it won't be long now.  Even harder than worrying about your children is starting to let them grow.  This hasn't been as hard on Ben, but he'll have his moments some day too...
Clapping for 1st time!

Snow Day



Zoom zoom zoom
Fun things: Celebrated Ben's bday with some birthday mousse and Pioneer Woman calzones.  Why not?!  Special birthdays involve a little lap lady helping to cheer us on blowing out our candles.  We also have been very thankful to our friends this month for allowing us to go on not one but TWO dates!  Butler University basketball game and a dinner out (with residency applicants... but still counts!) at the iconic Harry & Izzy's downtown.  Loved it!  We even very guiltily left Lilah at daycare one afternoon for a few extra hours and saw a movie.  Gulp.  It felt nice too.  I feel so happenin'.

My two favorite people in this world!  Happy Birthday, Ben!

Butler v. Georgetown... Barryball!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Fevers, Toys, Weddings and Polar Vortexes

Name that disease:  We are well on our way to acquiring most of the childhood illnesses this month.  This is her 3rd fever in 4 weeks.  Roseola. Hand foot mouth.  Diarrhea/vomiting illness.  We do good work.  We try to very efficiently cover all of our illnesses, not missing any.  To support this, my mom owns her own bottle of infant tylenol since this is now the 3rd time Lilah has gotten sick at her house.  To make matters more difficult, daycare insisted that Lilah stay home for an entire week following her hand-foot-mouth illness.  Can I order up one grandma, please?!  A week?  Out of work?!  What?  But we figured it out and luckily I was doing night shifts in the ER for most of the week.  Our little booger is trying to get us fired :)  She'd love that... more play time.... and so would I!   

Christmas: Let me just say the grandmas got a little ridiculous on this one.  We have one spoiled little lady... but who cares, it's fun!  And there's plenty more room for more pink things in this house.  I don't know how many more talking/singing toys we can have, but we have a few more now.  In addition, we turn off our lights at night to go to bed and immediately hear animal noises.  We just now (3 weeks later) figured out one of the puzzles is light responsive.  Geniuses.  We also have a Lilah-sized baby stoller that is a riot- complete with baby, pacifier and stick shift.  Another favorite is a new singing soccer ball, hello Kitty ornament, a wagon scooter, and a fuzzy chair with her name on it.  Lilah is also one of fashion's rising stars after some very cute additions to her wardrobe from both Grandmas and Jen. We had too much fun seeing relatives, playing with toys, eating home cooked food and enjoying time in the Good Life, Nebraska.  And I don't think she could have any more adoring uncles.  Between her 4 uncles, this kid is set for life with funny face, plenty-o-hugs and 4 great role models.  Well, mostly great role models :)  (They're our brothers after all...  who else taught us to be naughty?!)
Thanks Ty, we know you're cute!

New Xmas present from Gramma



UncMan Chris... daddy to be!
Taking the baby for a walk

Baby New Year's:  We know some cute kids.  Their parents are pretty cool too.  H-man (Harrison) is a pretty handsome guy.  I asked his mom, Veronica, if it would be ok to arrange a marriage between Harrison and Lilah now, she's holding out on answering me for now.  I think she's waiting to see if Lilah tolerates beautiful golden curly hair and witty jokes before agreeing.  Harrison had us in stitches all night making fish sounds and staying up into the wee hours past the other kids.  A New Year's with babies takes on a whole new identity, but we had a great time laughing, swapping parenting stories and re-hashing the days where we stayed up until midnight on New Year's.
They had absolutely no fun together

Take 1 of all the babies
Take 2- Sidney rocking it out in the middle, surrounded by amateurs
(Harrison-11 months, Kennedy 2 months, Sidney 2 years, Cole-11 months, Lilah- 9 months)

Saw our bud, Gavin, before New Year's Party


UncMan Gets Married: Uncle Andy (Ben's brother) married a lovely lady named, Joelle, on Jan 4th. We are big fans of Aunt Joelle.  Who gets Christmas and a new aunt all in one week?!  They were married on a chilly weekend in Fairbury, Nebraska, but we had a great time!  We got to see family and watching these lovebirds tie the knot!  Many congrats!  They are moving up to Sioux City, IA, starting new jobs and raising a new puppy.  No biggie. Lilah sort of made it through the wedding.   She started happily screeching from the 2nd row, so a grandparent rescue mission ensued.  Unfortunately, the "quiet room" my dad took her to was the room directly behind the altar, so we still heard her laughing, screeching and giggling.  But she had a great time!  She partied the reception away dancing with her grandparents, great grandparents and meeting more friends. We loved seeing her giggle, smile and charm her way through the day!
Beautiful :)

Family Time

Flirting with the Groom, Uncle Andy

Gramma and Popper Otto

Nana and Papa at the rehearsal

Nana and Papa at the wedding

Taylor-Nelson Family

Scary Car Ride:  Why we did it, I still don't know.  Wish we would've stayed, but once you start, you just find yourself keep going.  We attempted to drive overnight after the wedding through northern Kansas and Missouri during the "Polar Vortex" Blizzard.  We timed it pretty poorly and hit the heaviest part of the storm and essentially drove with it through all of Missouri and Illinois.  Poor visibility, single lanes, too much snow for a Hyundai Sonata to handle and a 14 hr drive on no sleep.  Dumb thing for a family with a baby and a dog in the car to attempt.  Only one 911 call later, we were in our driveway exhausted, but safe.  We had to call for a driver who mistakenly was driving against traffic the wrong way on the highway in the snow and eventually crashed in a ditch.  Yikes.  Not a good night to need an emergency crew.  Ben is tougher than I am in these situations, thank goodness he calmed me down.  Home was even sweeter that day.  Bless all those who drive on bad roads.
Polar vortexes are fed by bread, lots and lots of bread

On a side note, we've had so much snow here, it feels like Nebraska!  They cancel school so often, the kids are already paying back days... that's the worst!  Snow in Indiana is like snow in Florida, it causes city-wide panic, massive traffic chaos and a eruption of immediate school closures and delays. The ER has been shockingly deserted over the last few weeks due to weather.  Rooney on the other hand thinks it's the coolest thing that's happened to his backyard since getting a doggy door.  Lilah's marshmallow puff coat has kept her uber warm, but smushes her in her car seat like a little sardine.
Our puffy marshmallow!

Christmas Day with friends

Christmas Eve dress, Not happy about the Santa delay

Friday, December 27, 2013

Having Ourselves a Merry Little Christmas


Traditions.  We started to wonder if we had any of our own since we got married...?  Other than a crazy looking 80's star on our tree, Decem-Bear on our wall, and unfortunately working at the hospitals on Christmas, I'm not sure we have much in the way of traditions.  So we decided this would be the year we make some.  We home made stockings out of felt.  We went to Christmas at the Zoo for one evening of chilly weather, lights, dolphin shows, apple cider (cup 'o cheer), and pictures with penguins.  We will drink wine and have bread each Christmas Eve to honor Christ, and finally, we will be together.  Being together will be the best part.  And our newest tradition, is a baby-proofed Christmas.  Large gates surround our tree and family room.  It defeats the purpose a little bit as Lilah still finds a way to slam her body weight against the gates and knock them over into the Christmas Tree, therefore, knocking over the Christmas tree.  But it's pretty for all to see, and it's relatively safe.

Dolphin show!


Penguins... Daddy's favorite!

It was beautiful at the zoo!

Our awesome stockings!



Sledding at Butler with friends... even the duck made it!





This has been the year of the most religious growth for both of us, and we can thank Lilah's arrival for that.  Having this beautiful treasure of a child makes us more aware of how greatly we have been blessed and the great gift that we get to raise her.  One of my favorite traditions of Christmas is Christmas Eve Church, singing carols by candlelight.  We were both scheduled to be on call this Christmas Eve, again, for the 3nd year in a row.  By grace, another resident insisted on switching me this year so at least one of us could be home with Lilah.  I LOVED going to church with my little doodlebug and letting her take part in this Christmas Tradition of mine. Merry Christmas to all of you!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Baby Chaos & Daddy Does Fashion

Messy house.  Baby chewing on cords.  Baby pulling out doggy fur from doggy.  Baby leaning over the side of her high chair and directly feeding Rooney.  Rooney now loving following Lilah's every move in hopes he gets fed.  Bruises all over baby's head from trying to cruise but not being quite ready.  Daycare being out of diapers for Lilah as I'm changing her from a blowout first thing in the morning... Yikes.  Not a single inch of free counter space.  Happy screeches and laughs from our doodlebug.  This has become our life!

What's the point of to-do lists anymore?  I give up.  Our friends without kids must cringe when they come over to our house.  It's a cross between an episode of baby hoarders and small amounts of our trash and backyard tracked throughout thanks to a baby & Rooney.  They are what we affectionately call our Mess Team.  The Mess Team is a group of professionals, I'm telling you. (However, we also owe it to Rooney for much of our clean floors as he is an excellent crumb clearer.)

Our organizational skills have gotten so bad that we lost our own dog.  Ben and I were sitting on the couch shortly after a walk outside and saw a flash of white through the window.  I mindlessly stated, "I think there's a dog outside our window."  It was followed by another white flash at the window and scratching at our door.  Ben said, "the dog must be at our door now."  Real genius.  We have lots of random dogs that run around our neighborhood, so this is why we were unimpressed.  We checked the front door and poor, dejected Rooney blasted through the door.  I have no idea how long he was out there, but worse, I have no idea how long it would've taken us to realize he was gone.  Poor guy.  He's practically got to look out for himself these days.  We luckily still keep it together enough to do our laundry, etc.  But despite Lilah having clean clothes to wear to daycare, her Dad tries to "mix it up a bit".  The teachers at Lilah's daycare laugh  and chuckle when I come in to pick her up some days and say, "Dad must of dropped her off today..."  Mismatched clothes in Ben's eyes are a forward fashion statement.  To me, it's just outrageously entertaining.  I wish I had more pictures as proof, but these 2 are the only ones I have.

I hope you appreciate the 3 prints involved in this masterpiece
Another Creation By Dad

Chaos is our life... and we love it!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Holidays: Part 1



I promise I did not abandon the blog permanently, just a small holiday hiatus.  I'm allowed a few of those a year, especially when there is tryptophan and apple pie involved. Our now 8 month old expertly travelled by plane back to Nebraska for Thanksgiving.  I congratulate myself, but I did nothing. The Travel Gods looked fondly down on me.  I breastfed on both flights smoothly, only endured 5 minutes of screaming/crying and otherwise showed myself it is possible to travel with a child!  I don't want to encourage too much technology at such a young age, but there a few baby apps on my ipad that were life savers on the airplane! 

Lilah and I visited my grandma, Gigi, in a rehabilitiation home where she is recovering from breaking her hip.  Her spirits were high when she got to have Miss Pookie Rose on her lap.  Lilah attracted quite a bit of attention around that place as well!  We wish Gigs a speedy recovery and hope to have her home soon!
Great Aunt Joan

Great Uncle Ron/Momo :)

Uncle Trev and Tristan


Uncle Ty


Grandmas are the best.  They spoil, spoil, change diapers, laugh at everything Lilah does and are just great.  I wish they lived closer!  Ben and I went "out" one night with friends... big stuff!  While in Nebraska, Lilah attended her Aunt Lauren's baby shower for her new cousin... coming February 2014.  We also discovered how to climb steps, started saying what might be Mama and Dada (?!) and met a few new family members!   Poor Lilah also endured an agonizing 3 hour trip to Verizon to set up Gramma and BopBop Otto with smartphones.  If it was a movie, it would be entitiled "Chevy Chase's Verizon Vacation".  Just before teaching my dad what texting was and slightly after explaining how to use a mobile hot spot, Lilah blasted out her pants in Verizon's main room.  It was a trip to be remembered by all. 

If everyone had this much fun with baths!

Gramma Otto and pumpkin pie

PopPop singing Pony Girl

And of course, we enjoyed the best Thanksgiving ever together!  Ben drove overnight to join us and we celebrated with both families for the first time in 3 years!!!  Before I could say no, Gramma Otto, had Lilah try her first bites of pumpkin pie.  Like father like daughter... this girl's going to have a sweet tooth! My brother's girlfriend, Jen, took expert photos of Lilah, all while minimally using her shoulder- impressive!  Lilah partied with her Great-Doctor-Unc-Dude-Man Scott, who calls her his great-neph-dudette.  And we also said hi to Allie, Marth and Iz.  Iz is 13 months ahead of Lilah... a glimpse into what next year at Thanksgiving will be like! At the Taylor house, Lilah partied on her two scooters!  She brought the house down laughing when she figured out how to ride these with hilarious charm!  It was a quick trip but we loved it!
Jen's Photos:
Really, how can you not love this?!



The Fam! (minus Gigi, Jeff, Nancy)

George & Gracie

A new idea was suggested by my dad, midnight driving.  We left at 1am to drive back to Indiana.  That man is a genius.  We endured the most quiet and easy car trip with a baby.  We will repeat this clever strategy in a heartbeat! (Please note, Ben drove all 10 hrs and I slept.  This can also be repeated :)    However, when we got back, we had a fussy 8 month old for a day.  We call it Black Sunday.  It's the day you endure when there are no grandparents around to smile, play and laugh at your kids.  We had one.  She was displeased about not having a mega adoring audience around anymore.  Ben and I think she's fabulously cute, but we clearly don't meet Lilah's expectations for attention giving. 

We miss everyone already... but Christmas is right around the corner!