Friday, December 2, 2011

You know what they say

You hang around someone long enough and you start to look alike!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Finding Thanks

I'm working very hard to be thankful today.  You see here on Thanksgiving morning I sit in the ICU watching my mom breathe through her 3rd breathing tube and having her Thanksgiving meal down a feeding tube.  The up and down of her now almost 3 week stint in the hospital has added many wrinkles and gray hairs to my dad and myself.

But she is strong. And she is fighting.  And she's been showing more improvement than regression.

And although at times I feel like 2011 can bit my a$$ and November can suck it because I've seen more death, cancer, illness, and worry this year than I have my entire life, I do remember that 2011 brought me this

on February I cannot complain entirely.  So, 2011, you made up for some of the heartache...and you've got one month to make the rest up to us before I kiss you goodbye.

So I'm digging deep.  Because my Thanksgiving is very different this year. And I'm mad...and sad...but somewhere deep down I find gratitude.

I am thankful for family.  My family.  Mike's family.  For the family that have reached out when we have really needed it.  For jumping on planes at the last minute because they know what is important.  For coming just to watch the boys b/c it helps.  I'm thankful for boys who tell me they miss me and other boys who call me "mamamama" even though they probably don't know what that really means. I'm thankful for little smiles from across the room.  And for a 'hands on' husband who thinks it ain't no thang to watch both boys 95% of the time while I tend to mom.

I'm thankful for friends....great friends.  Friends who have visited, dropped meals off at the hospital or at my home, and for surprise pies that showed up on my doorstep this morning.  Friends who have surprised me by taking me out to fancy lunches and feeding me duck and know...just because.  Friends who actually make me think I'm doing them a favor by borrowing their car for 5 days so my family can get to / from the hospital.  Friends who send cards and notes and artwork from their kids.  And friends who call to find out how we are doing and probe for things they can doing from states away.  I'm thankful for nurses and doctors who care.  For hospitals who operate like it is not a national holiday.  And for advanced medicine.  I'm thankful for hope.  And prayer.

But mostly I'm thankful for God blessing me with the best mom today.  Her strength, patience, and drive is something I wish I had even half of.

So Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I hope and pray to have more to be thankful for in the coming days.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One step forward, two steps back

Ellis is a diligent kid.  Although he is still a ways away from crawling he's working up to it.  He's strenthening his arms, legs, and attitude...and you can just plain tell he's ready.  Unfortunately for him he's traveling backwards.  But if you left something behind, he's got it!

It may be time to dust off the baby jail...

A BIG accomplishment (pun intended)!

Daddy won major points with his boys when he finished "Cavin's house" (according to the toddler) a couple months ago.  The boys are loving the swing, slide, sand pit, rest area, steering wheel, telescope, and play area.

And although I still stick to my 'this thing is way too big for our yard' stance, I cannot deny the smiles on the kids' faces.  All 3 of them.

The part that mommy likes?  The fact that Cavin points out what our neighbors are doing in their backyard!

Happy Seven Month Birthday Ellis!

(This post is a month and a half past due....the 8 month post is right behind this one...)

Yep, we are having fun around here.

This month was all about sitting up boot camp.  I was ready for Ellis to sit up on his own.  And, frankly, so was he.  So we worked and worked but his center of gravity is just a little higher than the normal 7 month old. That, coupled with his weight, meant it was going to take a little more work.  So instead he grew teeth!  His 4 one came in this month with the 5th one on the way.  No one in this house is happy with the 5th tooth.  We blame it for many sleepless nights and a big purple swollen spot on baby's gum that did not look pretty but did look painful. 

Ellis is all about the consonants though!  In the most exciting news this month (well, to me) he started saying "mamamama", proving he is physically able to call my name.  Now for him to do it on purpose (before he says "dada").  He loves to scream "gaga" too which I just love!  Ellis also likes to do funny things with his face, like crinkle his nose and breath in and out really fast...then giggle.

I cannot explain why...I just love this picture.  Maybe it is the look he's giving daddy.

Oh! And Ellis has been initiated into the official San Francisco bayarian club.  That is, he experienced his very first earthquake!  It was a magnitude 3.6 that happened at 11:36pm on August 23, 2011.  He and I were up just hanging out and cursing that 5th tooth.

Cavin thought it was funny to imitate baby and make fun of him for not being able to sit up on his own.  So here he is modeling cute Ellis...

And here's him modeling falling over Ellis...

Sooo hilarious Cavin.

Since we didn't have a pediatrician appointment this month I don't have stats but I can assure you, this kid is growing.

Happy 7 months big guy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Well, hello there.

So apparently I've taken some time off of the blog.  I didn't quite realize this and I didn't plan just happened.  I guess life got in the way and I needed to refocus on some things. The last quarter has brought about many changes...some unexpected and sad while others promising and comforting.  There's been bad news, grief, too much loss, heart break, and questioning.  But sprinkled in there has been some fun, laughter (like Cavin screaming that he doesn't like my singing), relaxing, and successes.  So instead I've been mentally documenting life.  The ups.  The downs.  And the turns.  And trying to make sense of it all but realizing that sometimes life just doesn't make sense.   

But that's about to change b/c my little brain can only hold on to so many stories before I need to start spilling them out.  And my dear friend the memory card...well she's got some good ones for you too.

So it's time to hunker down and move forward right?  Strap on your seat belts!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A new perspective!

Since Ellis was super young, I've always said I don't care if he can crawl, stand, or walk as early as Cavin did.  I  just want him to be able to sit-up.  I thought it would make life a little bit easier on myself and on Ellis.  For one, it allows the boys to play with one another a little easier.  And two, it allows Ellis to 'defend' himself from his big brother a bit more!

Another added benefit?  Staring at brother, daddy, mommy, the cat, the dog, the other dog, the kitchen, and the blocks on the floor is much more interesting than staring at our white ceiling.

So I present to you....upright Ellis!

Now that's he's vertical, he's moving on to bigger and better spelling.

Move over Uncle Tod

...there's a new firefighter in town!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This one's for the non-believers

Keely and Jen - I'm talking to you.  That's right...Katie sold you out and told me you were skeptical as to if I actually had two kids since they look identical.  I told her I'd prove it to you ladies by posting pictures of them together and call y'all out on the blog. :)

The bags under my eyes, excess baby weight, and dwindling patience (don't worry we laugh a lot these days too) is here to tell you that TWO Spruiell boys exist!  There is no undercover operation.

Ellis 'hanging out' with his big brother...

Yes, that's Christmas pajamas in August.

Cavin tired from the travels. Mommy happy and relieved we made it back in one piece. And Ellis still in shock from the plane ride.

Brothers who eat together, stay together.

Happy Six Month Birthday Ellis!

(Yet another Elmo post that is way late!  I promise to stick to the updates that only apply to this month though.)

This kid.  He's a happy one.  He just has the time of his life!!

Ellis has proven to be a rather laid-back kid...probably b/c he's required to 'go with the flow' since our his schedule revolves around Cavin many times.  He's had to learn to nap on the go when needed, to go to sleep at bed time while Cavin's idea of "being quiet" is talking at a louder-than-normal volume, and to be patient while said brother makes comments about "Ellis drinking milk" and "Ellis is sleeping" and "Ellis is brother".  And when Cavin doesn't get his way, Ellis takes the fall in the way of a slap or kick...Cavin knows that will get mommy and daddy's attention more than anything else!  So I'd say Ellis is shaping up to be a pretty tough guy.  And if he continues to grow at the rate he is, he'll end up bigger than Cavin. And what do they say 'paybacks' are??

This month Ellis started day care at Pari's and we all know how that went.  He and Pari get along very well.  In fact, this morning I dropped him off and in true Ellis style the minute he saw Pari he flashed a big grin and started kicking his feet and arching his back - his way of saying 'get me outta this car seat mom!'.  Ellis also sprouted two more teeth this month bringing that to a total of 3 teeth.  And that 4th one...well we can see it through his gums so it is maybe a couple days away.

He has also learned that he enjoys sleeping on his tummy; however, he forgets how to flip back over in the middle of the night so we've been spending many sleepless nights running in there, turning him over, and going back to sleep.  It's not so bad b/c I know he'll figure it out soon enough and the nights will get better. 

Ellis also spent his first nights away from mommy and daddy.  Well, I guess I should say we spent our first nights away from him in the hands of someone else....nana and pa!  Mike and I had to go out of state for a couple days so Ellis hung back and was spoiled rotten by his grandparents.  Such a tough life this kid leads...

Tough life indeed!

Now for the stats:
Weight: 18 pounds, 4 ounces (75th - 80th percentile)
Height: 29 inches (100th percentile and "the tallest boy in American" according to his pediatrician)
Head: 45 centimeters (85th percentile)

Happy 6 month birthday Ellis!

Monday, August 8, 2011

One half year

You see this kid?

(picture taken by Janessa, who also knitted the adorable green cap)

He's 6 months old now.  That's half way done with his first year.  The first year.  Whenever we attend a first year birthday party or a run into a fellow mom who states that her baby just turned a year old, do you know what I say to them?  "Congratulations!"  And why?  Because the first year is HARD.  There's no getting around it.  The 'what ifs', the decisions, the guilt thinking 'what if I made the wrong decision??', the pressure, the worry, oh and that lack of sleep!  Don't get me wrong, it is way worth it. But once that baby turns 1, things got easier.  However, at that point, he's not a "baby" anymore.  So, well, the whole thing is bitter sweet.

But you know what?  I'm enjoying this first year. Sure it is challenging, and difficult, trying, and I could stand to get more sleep.  But I've got THIS.

And THIS has taught me some things - to relax, take things in stride, make time for a little extra love and cuddles, laugh a little bit more, and not worry so much about the dishes or laundry - but to soak in the baby time.  Because big brother taught me a while back that it goes by way too fast.  And you just cannot get that time back.
So happy 6 month birthday my sweet baby boy Ellis.  You have a mommy, daddy, and brother who love you way too much. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Five Month Birthday Ellis!

This month was a fun one!  Ellis has shown his humorous side some more evidenced by his belly laughs at himself and his brother's expense.  He also found his feet which he plays with all the time.  Forget the $20 Sophie Giraffe...he's got 10 toes...weeeeee!!!!!  We learned that Ellis not only likes breast milk, but also oatmeal, bananas, apples, pears, peas, carrots and sweet potatoes...that's right...the kid is eating solids!  He was showing a lot of interest when we'd eat at the dinner table as his eyes followed the spoon and fork from our plates to our mouths. Sometimes he'd even open his mouth as we did. So we decided to give it a go and we haven't gone back since.

We finally weened Ellis from the swaddle this month. Boy oh boy was he hooked on that thing.  I tried the cold turkey method which resulted in NO sleep.  I think Mike counted that he was up 8-9 times that night.  So in an act of desperation I fully swaddled him again.  Then we did a couple weeks with one arm out, then a couple weeks with both arms out. Finally just in time for him to start day care I was able to switch him to a sleep sack so he is swaddle-less!  Now he's hooked on the sleep sack...

We had our first small medical scare this month as Ellis' pediatrician called for an ultrasound on his left hip to check for hip dysplasia.  Turns out his thigh wrinkles (cute right?) were not symmetrical when you compared the legs.  That, coupled with his tighter-than-normal hips sent us to the hospital only to learn that he is perfectly fine!  I'm glad our pediatrician was conservative about it though b/c if he did have it and it wasn't caught early, the boy would of needed surgery.

In surprising news this month, Ellis sprouted his FIRST TOOTH!  Where in the world that came from I have no idea.  It wasn't even on my radar as Cavin's first tooth didn't come in until he was 7 months old. But there it was, with minimal signs of teething - one little white tooth.  It was bitter sweet as my 2nd favorite thing about babies (their hands are my 1st favorite) is their gummy smile. And it won't be long before that is gone.

Ellis was in quite the mood this week for the Elmo shoot.  Maybe it was because he was hungry, tired, or his brother stepped on his face earlier in the day.  Even through all of that we still managed to get some smiles.

Here's the play by play:

Ellis: "Woooooah!!!"

Ellis: "How in the @#@%$ could you let that happen to me daddy??!!??"

Ellis: "Bwahahahahaaha....Cavin is making you work up a sweat daddy!"

Ellis: "Get him Cavin!!!!! Haha!"

Ellis: "Seriously, WHY does that keep happening to me???"

Ellis: "I found my toes!!!!!!"

Unfortunately we don't have weight or height stats because Ellis doesn't have a pediatrician appointment until he turns 6 months.  However, our arms and backs can vouch for this child gaining some weight.

Happy 5 month birthday Ellis!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...'s back to work I go!

Mike breathed a sigh of relief to have a steady 2nd income back and I fought through tears as I handed my 17 pound bundle of smiles over to Pari and rejoined the work force after 5 months of maternity leave.

The bad news is I jumped in head first.  Work hit me like a ton of bricks as I got staffed on a big project with a short deadline. I worked late nights, missed my birthday, and worked my first weekend as well.  Going from 100% time with baby Ellis to about 10% was R-O-U-G-H to say the least.  But I got through it.

The good news is Ellis jumped in head first as well...

 Big brother likes to make sure Pari gets it right....

Ellis and his best friend, Teagan! (They go way back to when Ellis was just weeks old as Teagan's mommy and I spent a lot of time together while on leave.)

Big brother also likes to ensure little brother has enough toys to play with and he didn't forget to let little brother borrow his Thomas train!