Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I love to read Real Simple magazine. Every month, there is an "inspirational thought" that is printed on the pages of the magazine and is in a tear out section at the end of the issue. I usually tear the quotes out and stick them in my wallet. This one though, I might stick on my mirror.
There is a gigantic difference between earning a great deal of money and being rich
--Marlene Dietrich
My mom has always told me that her family (and her faith) makes her rich. Being her daughter I have always appreciated that sentiment and now that I am a mom, I completely understand what she means. In the last few weeks, I've been deeply contemplating not only my role in the world at large but my role in the workplace vs. my role in the home. I never thought it would be so hard for me to decide what is best for me and my family. It seems that I always had one idea in my head, of how my life would and should be and what I would do with each passing day and that idea has recently done an about face as I've spent my time carrying around and hanging out with a monkey named Elliott.
As I am in the process of making my decisions about work, life, and family, I want to know what the rest of you think. What makes YOU rich?


Monday, February 26, 2007

5 Weeks, Toys!

Elliott has decided that toys are cool. We already knew that he was all about eye contact, music, and staring into space, but something in his little baby brain has clicked and toys are all the rage in our house. He suddenly loves the jungle animal mobile above his crib, and the black and white cow thing he got at his baby shower. Perhaps most exciting of all, we are getting very close to an awake smile. Grandma Judy got to tend Elliott this morning and she is certain that she almost got a smile out of him...seeing him smile when he is awake instead of just when he is asleep will be a real treat, when it happens.

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Just look at the excitement! And, those chubby little arms.

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Happy and focused on....TOYS!

Friday, February 23, 2007

If you can't celebrate in style, why bother

A few posts ago, Ross mentioned the stupid house near ours that decorates for every single holiday.

Though we missed documenting the Valentine's Day extravagance, we did manage a covert picture last night.

I had really hoped to have seen some President's Day decor, but they skipped that holiday moving right over to the Irish.

Hopefully, these pictures can become a blog tradition.

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They got married

Yesterday my cousin Melanie married Justin. Ross and I made a baby swap so I got to go to the sealing in the Salt Lake Temple and he stayed home with Elliot. I realized while sitting at the sealing ceremony that I hadn't been to the temple since June when Maddie and Ben were married. That's a long time. I'll have to correct that soon.

Though our whole family didn't attend the ceremony, we did debut the monkey baby at the reception to rave reviews.

In attendance were some distant relatives of my Grandma Petersen's whose last name is Moyle. Grandma was ecstatic to be able to tell them that her great-grandson's middle name is Moyle. At that news, they both said that it "gave them chills" at such wonderful news.

I took a bunch of pictures at the reception and some of my favorites are up on flickr. click on the photo below to see the set.

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Congratulations Melanie and Justin. Have fun in Paris!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Songs in the key of Pooh

Elliott didn't sleep last night...at all. Very frustrating, but this morning we figured out why he didn't sleep...his plumbing wasn't working properly and he was a little backed up. He seems to have resolved those issues and is now asleep in his car seat at my feet.


When Elliott can't sleep, I sing him songs. Though I can't particularly carry a tune, he doesn't seem to mind and we've got quite a repertoire going so far. He seems partial to the Winnie the Pooh song, but is starting to develop a love of the Beatles and Elvis, along with all of the songs from the musical Grease. Good thing I watched that movie almost every day of my life until I was 16 or so.

Elliott, in the middle of the night last night developed a fondness for the Beatles "All my Lovin" as well as celebrating the entire Abbey Road album. Do you like Abbey Road?

After a rough night like last night it is always nice to see the morning and today's morning is particularly beautiful. Enjoy the shot from the rocking chair, in Elliott's fortress of baby-ness. It's nice to see a morning that marks the start of a beautiful spring-like 50 degree day.


Monday, February 19, 2007

4 weeks, but whose counting

Tomorrow, Elliott is four weeks old. We'll celebrate his official one month birthday on February 23, but still, 4 weeks is quite the milestone. He is still breathing, eating, sleeping, and taking care of business every day. That's a lot of work for a little guy that weighs just over 10 pounds.

It blows my mind every day, especially in the middle of the night when I am feeding him a bottle and trying desperately to stay awake, how much and how quickly someones life can change and how fast you can love someone you just met, even if he has your finger length toes and his dad's upper lip. In our case, our lives changed very quickly for the better, for weeks ago. Ross and I got to the hospital at 6 am, and had a baby by 8:25. The c-section was a totally crazy experience. I walked myself into the operating room, sat on a table and within seconds of having a giant needle jabbed into my back I lost all feeling from the chest down but was sure that I could definitely move my toes if only I had enough energy and will power. From the needle to the baby, it was sheer minutes and the first thing I said to Ross as he was hovering over my very numb and very drowsy body as Elliott was born was, "oh my goodness, I can breathe!" That feeling was the best thing in the whole world, at the time anyway.

As I was talking to my mom today about important life decisions like work, the future, and mom guilt, she told me that Elliott has made me tough. Not the whole surgery aspect of his arrival, but the first 10 days of his life. I guess if you can walk out of the hospital and leave your sick little baby there, trusting him to the care of others, and not start bawling until you get in the car, your tough! And, not seeing your own baby in person for almost the entire first day of his life, and not being able to hold him for two days makes you tough. And, only being able to see him twice a day for about 30 minutes a visit because you are following nurses orders makes you tough. I don't know if it's toughness or just some kind of internal drive, but I truly feel for those parents though that have to leave their babies for weeks or months; that must be the most difficult thing in the whole world. I guess that my mom is right though, perhaps after our experience at the hospital, I am invincible! Well, not invincible, but definitely tougher. You have to be tough to be a parent, right?

But, I digress! In just a few minutes on January 23, our lives changed forever, and in such a good way. In one month, Elliott has gained about 3 pounds and I'm sure three inches in length. He is happy, active, content, loves to stare and thinks that he is the strongest baby in the world. He smells good and can shoot a pee stream to challenge any boy scout. He loves music (Guster, Cold Play, and anything else that comes onto shuffle on the iPod...except the Black Eyed Peas...sorry Fergie, Elliot doesn't think your "fergilicious") and has very ticklish toes. Eating is the most important thing in the world to him, but when he decides to snuggle, it nearly melts my heart.

I guess most importantly, Elliot has turned Ross and myself into official grown-ups. Our conversations have shifted from current events, to feeding schedules and from pop-culture to poopy diapers. Everyone who reads the blog has probably noticed a major shift in content. That's because, one, we have had a shift in content in our lives and two, I am home every day without a lot of stuff to look at or people to talk to, though I was lucky enough to see CNN break the Anna Nicole story. That's one for the memory books. Hopefully, once we get more into the swing of parenthood, we'll figure out how to incorporate the world back into our newly created bubble.

Back on that life changing idea...I've been thinking a lot about that lately. Elliott is lucky enough to have 6 living great-grandparents who love him dearly and all four of his grandparents, not counting the oodles of extended family to love him and give him kisses. We are so lucky to have so much family around and for our little boy to grow up with so much love and support. Especially because you never know what will happen to your family or loved ones every day. A cousin of my mom's passed away over the weekend after months of hospitalization, surgeries, and struggle. Her teenage daughters were left with the heart-breaking decision of when to pull the plug and are now left without their mom. I couldn't live without my mom and having to make the decision of when he heads to heaven would be the most difficult decision ever to be made. There weren't many times that I was ever around this cousin of my mom's but the news of her death over the weekend really reminded me of how fragile life is and how in the blink of an eye, we see dramatic and life altering change every single day.

Right now, I'll take my baby that cries in the middle of the night and stares at me all day long. He loves me, I think, and that's just about the best thing in the whole world.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

VD is over, time for St. Patty's day

All Holidays have become ridiciously commercialized.

There is a house that we drive past almost everyday near out local Harmon's that has exterior lights and lawn ornaments for each holiday. Totally lame. I will endeavour a picture.

Resist the floral / jewelry / etc. - industrial complex hype!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Ross and I don't celebrate V-day. Yes, add that to my list of anti-holiday-ness (especially made up completely commercial holidays). I don't require him to get me a gift of jewelry or chocolate and I don't give him a tie or a cute teddy bear in return. I guess that we figure we LOVE each other enough that we don't have to buy something stupid to express those feelings. Right, Ross?

Even though we don't celebrate being struck by Cupid's arrow a little over 5 years ago, we will let Elliott express his feelings on this oh so frivolous and ridiculous day. A couple of weeks ago, Grandma Judy, on a shopping excursion, bought Elliott something special to wear today. He's wearing it and wanted to wish you all a happy fake holiday.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

3 weeks

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This is what a monkey baby looks like when he refuses to burp, no matter how hard you pound on his back.

Any suggestions?

Monday, February 12, 2007

The outside world

On Saturday, I got to go outside, and venture further than the mailbox. Elliott did too. We went to lunch and Super Target and the little monkey slept the entire afternoon adventure. He seems to like his car seat and the car.

Even more impressive, on Saturday night, I not only got to drive for the first time in 2 weeks, but I drove myself to one of Haley's bridal showers. All of my lovely aunties put on a very nice shower and I was happy to come and get out of the house. Staying home everyday can get a little confining, especially when you are on doctor's orders not to leave...in a car...driven by your own person.


Elliott also adventured to Grandma Judy's house on Sunday where, from the moment we walked in the door, he was coo-ed at and held to his hearts contentment. Willie tried his hand at feeding the monkey and Grandma tried her hand at changing a yucky diaper...the contents of which managed to get on Elliott's socks and undershirt, necessitating a wardrobe change.

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It was nice though, for mom and dad (that's Me and Ross) to get a minute without being strapped to the boy. We actually got to sit by each other, both awake and semi alert, on the same piece of furniture. How about that?

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It was nice to get out and about, and the last couple weeks have truly flown by, but it seems that time has caught up with me. I should have known that I felt too good too quickly after Elliott was born. It seems in the last few days, maybe because the monkey doesn't sleep and I'm exhausted, that fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and pain have set in. Not actual pain, but a dull, annoying, life complicating ache has set in. I'm sure it will go away soon, but I definitely have taken the stairs a few too many times.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm too young for this

On Monday after our appointment with the pediatrician, we left Elliott asleep in his car seat and I walked into the the office to talk to Ross. While I was leaning on the desk, he told me to hold perfectly still and started picking at my hair. As we are not the type of primate that does this naturally or lives in the jungle, I was curious and fearful..hoping that it was not a booger or some other disgusting thing he was looking at dislodging from my mane.

To my relief, it was not a booger. It was however, a grey hair. A very brittle, long grey hair. I can't say I was devastated or surprised.

To make me feel better Ross just said it was an albino hair follicle and nothing to worry about.

For the time being, I'll buy that.

We feed him, I promise

Elliott is a hungry boy. We shot this little video last night after our attempts at a calming bath were met by rebellion...and poop. Thus, only a diaper and a blanket until Ross and I could gather our thoughts and come to the realization that Elliott truly was hungry again. How do we know? He eats his fingers, or his sleeve, or mom's shirt...whatever he can get into his mouth. No matter how much he eats, two hours later, he is ready to eat again. Does this mean he is growing? I hope so. Ross and I will do our best however, to avoid plumping him up enough to get ourselves onto the Maury Povich show.

We've now had our boy home for a week and I've never been so tired in all my life. He's a pretty active little monkey and definitely seems to have a sense that he is missing out on life if he is asleep...even in the middle of the night when the only thing to do is eat, listen to me sing him songs and ramble on about the days events and watch I Love New York on VH1. That show totally sucks, by the way. Luckily though, when he actually falls asleep...we get to see Elliott supremely happy. He smiles, and even laughs in his sleep and must be having phenomenal dreams...about eating no doubt. That seems to be what makes him the most happy. That, and watching basketball with dad.

Monday, February 05, 2007

2 weeks old

A day early, but so what! Tomorrow morning Elliott will be 2 weeks old. Time sure flies, doesn't it. I hardly remember what it was like before he joined our family and looking at him, it seems impossible that he was inside of me...he's just too big.

Today was his post NICU/2 week check-up at the pediatrician and the numbers are in. Oxygen levels were at 97%, he officially weighs 8 lb 11 oz and is 21.25 inches long. Elliott didn't even cry when his heel was pricked for his PKU test. He did however pee all over his dad's lap.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Yeah, Yeah, he's a monkey's uncle

Words can't describe the excitement Willie had for Elliott last night when the two were finally reunited at last.

Willie burst into the house, ran to the sink to wash his hands, and joined me on the couch, anxiously awaiting his chance to finally hold Elliot...the nephew. The baby that made him an uncle. The baby he had to wait 10 days to get his hand on...or even get close enough to actually make sure that he was 3 dimensional and had all his fingers and toes. Willie even had a shower in preparation for meeting the monkey baby!

Last night was definitely a Kodak moment (well, Nikon moment) and, by looking at the pictures, one of those instances where a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Home At Last!

After nine and a half days in the NICU, Elliott is home. Elation doesn't even begin to describe how we feel right now. We went in for his 11:30 feeding this morning hoping that we would get to bring him home later this evening and they let us bring him home at noon.

So far, so good as he's already done his business, had a nap, and eaten lunch. We'll see how the rest of the day...and our lives...go from here.

Almost time to leave the hospital

Ready to go home

In his bed at home


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