Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thanks Granny!

(from Eli)

Dear Granny (really my Great-Granny),

Thank you so much for my new walker. Even though my feet don't quite touch the floor yet

I still loooovve it!

Thanks for my awesome Christmas present, Granny!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


As I'm sure you figured out from my post yesterday, J.C. and I are having another baby! Little Zannis #2 is due on August 1, 2009 which means that our children will be just over 14 months apart. And yes, we planned it that way (I know I'd be wondering that if someone else had babies so close together). Please pray for a healthy pregnancy and a full-term healthy baby!

On to a different subject. J.C.'s mom showed me some of J.C.'s six month portraits the other day. The resemblance amazes me!


So, it definitely appears that Eli got his good looks from his daddy. Lucky guy! :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thoughts on a Thanksgiving Morning

Yes, I know that we're a little past Thanksgiving now, but I wrote this on the morning of Thanksgiving and am just now "getting around" to posting it :).

Dear Son or Daughter,

I learned just this morning that God is blessing us by bringing you into our lives. I can't tell you how excited and grateful your Dad and I are (and Eli and Layla, too, though they don't quite realize what's going on yet). You are already such a blessing to us and we can't wait to meet you! Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to our family.

Love, Mom

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Could anything possibly be more disgusting than this?

Flame-broiled meat scented cologne by Burger King. Barf.

The website is pretty funny, though. Keep clicking to make it spray. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I had the best of intentions...

Well, if you haven't gotten a Christmas card from me yet, then don't hold your breath. Despite my best intentions of being a good and domestic wife/mommy this year, I never got around to getting a good picture taken of us and ordering the cards.

So, Merry Christmas! I truly hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Maybe I'll pull off getting the cards out next year. Maybe....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bouncy trouncy flouncy founcy fun fun fun fun fun!!!!!

(From the Tigger song if anyone is confused about my title)

For comparison purposes, these pictures were taken in the jumparoo just four months ago.

P.S. from Eli - Thanks cousin Ali for letting me borrow your jumparoo! I looove it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

6 month portraits!

Check out my little man! Doesn't he look so grown up? (sniff sniff...)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Impromptu attempt at taking Christmas card pictures...

What happens when, on a whim one morning, you decide to try to take a picture for the Christmas card and you have two adults (one who hates to smile for pictures), a baby, a dog, and the self timer on a camera?

Well, this....
Whoops. Forgot to take the hoodie off.

Where's Layla? And Eli is looking away.

Same thing...

Close... But not quite the one :).

Eli is looking away, my hair is covering up half of Layla's face, and J.C. isn't smiling. Let's try another.

Not it.

Also not it.

This one was the best one and I seriously thought about using it. But, Eli is looking away and he really is the main attraction to the photo (in my opinion, anyway), so I think we're going to try again on a different day with an actual person taking the picture.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spiffy new look

It seems like every blogger I know has been changing their blog templates, so I decided to follow suit. Like it?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baby on the move

I left Eli here:

only to come back 5 minutes later to find him here:

which means this has become an urgent problem (soon to be remedied):

P.S. - Happy six month birthday Eli! I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. Your dad and I love you so much!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm a big fat quitter. Literally...

The self-inflicted torture of Friday fess-ups will resume after the holidays. We'll just call it my new year's resolution...

I know... Pathetic.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A first...

In Wal-Mart today, I passed by a lady who noticed Eli and said to me "Wow! What a big baby!". Of course, she didn't ask me how old he was, but it was nice to hear something other than "Wow... He's so tiny. I have a 3-month old niece/grandchild/etc. that's soooo much bigger than him."

Can you tell I have a complex about this?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pics from the week

Eatin' his big boy foodYummmm!!

Mommmm... Do I have to clean my plate?
(And a bonus video for the grandparents...)
I've always heard that it's the cheap, simple toys that they like the most. I guess it's true!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday fess-up...

Down .3 lb this week. Bleh....

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday fess-up...

Back on track.....ish...

I'm down 1 lb this week. Ho hum.

On to more exciting news (at least for me). I took Eli in to the Newborn Follow-up Clinic at UAB today. This clinic specializes in doing developmental assessments for premature and low birth weight babies. I'm happy to report that Eli is in the 90th percentile for motor skills development for his preemie-adjusted age (25th percentile for his "real" age)! They all seemed really surprised at how well he's doing. This is a huge relief for me because I have been freaked out by the possibility of Eli having developmental delays, autism, etc. (sometimes the internet is your worst enemy, ya know?). At least for now, these worries are gone.

They were also completely shocked that he made the transition to nursing after being bottle fed for so long. The dietician that we met with had worked at this clinic for 10 years and said that she could count on two hands the number of families that she's worked with who were successful in doing this. Big pat on the back for me! Or not. It was an answer to much, much prayer! Thank you Lord! I have decided, however, to go ahead and start him on rice cereal next week. He only gained one pound last month and hasn't been too satisfied after his feedings (I've had to start supplementing with formula some to fill up his little belly). The doctor thinks it's probably time to start him on cereals and baby foods (in addition to nursing), so we'll give it a try!

So there's the Eli update. I personally think that's much more exciting than my weight confession :). I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ode to my baby monitor

I've been asked by several soon-to-be moms what my most treasured can't-live-without baby item is and I must say without a doubt that it is my Angelcare baby monitor (followed closely by the swing). J.C.'s coworkers gave the monitor to us at his work baby shower. I had never heard of it before we received it, but it. is. awesome.

There are a ton of baby monitors on the market ranging significantly in price. This one isn't cheap, but it is worth every penny (well, if you're not so fortunate to receive it as a gift. Thanks MAS/MSA! :)). The thing that makes this one so great is that in addition to being a sound monitor it has a movement sensor pad that you put under the mattress in the crib and it detects even the smallest of movements from you're baby while they're sleeping. Even breathing! If no movement is sensed in the crib for 15 seconds, there is a warning beep. After 5 more seconds, an alarm sounds.

Yes, we have almost had a heart attack several times when the alarm has gone off in the middle of the night only to find that Eli had wiggled his way to the other end of the crib (off of the mat). There have also been a few times that I think he probably had stopped breathing and the alarm jolted him back into his breathing pattern. Babies (particularly preemies) are prone to having sleep apnea. Most of the time they self-recover and begin breathing again on their own, but I wonder if this could be a cause of SIDS... This monitor will let you know if your child stops breathing in their sleep. You can't put a price on that kind of peace of mind.

The only reason I was able to get any sound sleep after we brought Eli home from the hospital was because of this monitor. I'm sure when Eli gets a little older and starts sitting/standing in the crib I'll wish we had a video monitor, but for small infants I think this one is the way to go. It's so great! I don't think I could live without it.

If you have a must-have baby item, please share it in my comments!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oh, woe is me...

Previously, on Friday fess-up:

I've lost three pounds! Yay!!!

On this episode......

What? Is my scale broken? It has to be. Because I was really hoping that all the junk I've eaten over the past two weeks was calorie-free junk. They make that, right? You know - the kind that if you eat it in small enough bites spaced out throughout the day then it really doesn't count. That exists, right?

You'd think I would know better by now...
I've gained two pounds since my last fess-up two weeks ago. Two pounds!! Uh, that means that in 7 weeks I've lost a big whopping total of 1 pound. I'm soooo over it. Only I can't be over it because if I throw in the towel, I'll continue to gain even more.

Why? Why must women struggle with this constantly? Why can't I have a brownie when I want one? Or three? Not fair.

So, tune in again next Friday. Hopefully my willpower will reappear this week (well, really make it's first appearance) and I'll have better news then.

In the meantime, to turn my frown upside down, I'll post a few new pics of my favorite little munchkin.

Life isn't so bad after all. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by my step-sister, Charis, to share seven random things about myself. Hmm... This will be a toughie for me. I started to attempt the 100 random things post a few weeks ago when my friend Brooke did it, but gave up because I had a hard time thinking of even one thing to share! But, here goes...

1) When I was in the 4th grade, I got my hair cut really short and everybody thought I looked like a boy. I was made fun of endlessly at school (mostly by my friend Greta's husband, Bob :)) and am still traumatized by the experience to this day. This is why you'll probably never, ever see me with hair above my shoulders again.

2) When I'm holding J.C.'s hand, I have an obsession with touching the deepest part of the crevices between his fingers (weird, I know). He finds it hilarious to close his fingers so that I can't reach them. It's not.

3) Before we had Eli, J.C. and I actually tossed around the idea of not having children (or waiting a long time before having them). Then, SURPRISE, we found out we were pregnant. I'm glad God had different ideas than we had, although we do wish we could have Eli and my paycheck (with me still being able to stay at home). Oh well...

4) Now, we're already thinking about planning for a second child in the near'ish future. Giddy-up!

5) I grew up an Auburn fan and actually went to Auburn my freshman year of college before transferring to Alabama (and of course changed my allegiance). Roll Tide! (Sorry Dad...)

6) I hesitate to post this on such a public forum, but I'm hurting for material so here goes... I'm not voting in the upcoming election. I have my reasons and I've heard your quite passionate reasons for why this makes me a horrible American/parent/Christian, etc. Please spare me. I shall one day return to the land of voters, but not this time around. I feel very fortunate to have the right to vote and the right to not exercise the privilege. That's all I wish to say on this topic.

7) I can't think of anything else!

In lieu of tagging seven other people to post this (most of my blogger friends have already posted things like this fairly recently), I invite anyone who wishes to share random facts about themselves in my comments!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

5 months old already...

Eli is five months old today. I can't believe it! He's growing up so fast... Check this out.

1 month old (at more than twice the size he was at birth):

5 months old:
Isn't that incredible? I'm excited about him getting bigger, but it's going by too fast! Slow down Eli!

Here's a bonus pic:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Taking a bye week...

I'm sure many of you have noticed that I have not posted my Friday fess-up. No, I didn't forget. I'm just not doing it this week. I'm not even getting on the scale. I just don't wanna. And it's my blog, so there. I will post next week. I promise!

Monday, October 13, 2008


I finally caught Eli rolling over on video!

And here's an out-take:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday fess-up...

Is it Friday again already? Really? Bummer.

I'm down .4 lb. So, I'm exactly where I was two weeks ago. (long sigh).

Down is down, I know. But, if y'all haven't figured it out already, the 12/12 date I had set for myself as the "goal weight date" isn't gonna happen. At least not unless my dieting motivation magically snaps into place really soon (don't count on that...). Maybe I'll get there. One day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


We're sick parents, I know...

Side note: The "grr'ing" noise for Layla means it's play time and it cracks me up how she's jumping around with her goose in the background.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Sleeping Angel

5 Minutes for Mom is having a photo contest for the best sleeping angel and the winner gets a new kid's bedroom set! If this photo wins, I would like the Summer Breeze set for Eli. Here's my entry:

Layla (the four-legged one) is our first-born "child" and we adore her. When we found out we were pregnant with Eli, we weren't sure how she would handle sharing the spotlight with a human sibling. Ever since we brought him home, she has rarely left his side and is such a great big sis. I can't wait to see them become best friends as Eli gets bigger!

Here are a few more pics just for fun (not entered in the contest).

First meeting:

I love this one.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Cute videos

Here are some of the videos we've taken of Eli this week. Please excuse mine and J.C.'s silliness in an attempt to get him to perform for the camera :).

Eli rolled over for the first time by himself yesterday! (Well, really it was the second time, but the first time was a complete accident a couple of months ago). Of course I ran to get the camera, but he decided not to do an encore. The video is still cute though!

We finally caught a few laughs on video, although they aren't as good as some of the other ones we've gotten when the camera is not on. I'll keep trying though! I posted two videos here because the second one cracks me up with the big sigh at the end.

Friday fess-up...

Well folks, it was bound to happen...

I'm up (gasp!) .4 lb. Boo :(. Let the reproachful comments begin.

I'll spare you all of my pitiful excuses. And, I'm going to hurry up and post something else so maybe not as many people will see this shameful post. Ha! :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

4-month pedi checkup

I took Eli in for his 4 month checkup today. Here are the stats:

Weight: 11 lbs 2 oz (3rd percentile)
Height: 24'' (15th percentile)

I actually expected him to weigh a little more than that, but the doctor seemed really pleased with his growth and said he's catching up more quickly than he expected. His percentile numbers are for his real age instead of his preemie-adjusted age, so I'm just really excited that he's on the charts. Our boy is doing great!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday fess-up...

Wow - I'm seriously shocked this week.

I'm down .6 lb for a total of 3 lbs.

This is shocking to me because off the bandwagon have I been. Seriously... I drank sweet tea, got seconds at meals, and generally broke all the dieting rules. So, this is a lucky loss. I'm saying this out loud because I know how my brain works. When this happens I start to believe that the pounds will magically melt away without me having to work at it and then I begin to slip into really bad habits. So, I'm going to revisit this post each day this week to try to remind myself that it doesn't work that way..... Don't y'all just love being inside my head?

P.S. - For those of you who may wonder how I get it down to a tenth of a pound (I got a little sass from my F-I-L about this :)), it's called a digital scale. It's probably not the most accurate scale in the world, but I report what it reports.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

First Laughs!

Last night we got our first real laughs out of Eli. It was so adorable! So what do I do? Run to get the camera of course! What does Eli do once the camera is on? Well, you'll see... (Please excuse the poor lighting.)

Why is it that babies know when the camera is on and then do the opposite of what you want them to do? Oh well, perhaps I'll have better luck "capturing the moment" next time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Would you please pass the jelly?

Hhhmmmm..... I love homemade jellies and preserves. And lucky me - I have a mother-in-law who picks fruit from her fruit trees and then spends hours peeling, grating, cooking and jarring the the yummy stuff. And it is delicious. I would say that it's worth all the work but I'm quite positive that I'll never be quite that domestic. So, I'm just really thankful that she finds it to be worth it and is willing to share :). That being said, I usually eat it pretty sparingly so that I can make it last awhile. It's always a sad day when I run out and realize that I'll have to go back to the store-bought stuff or beg for more.

Every time we meet with our small group, one of the couples prepares a dinner and the other couples bring sides/drinks/dessert. Last night the theme was "breakfast for dinner" and our friends John and Jessica made a delicious breakfast casserole, and J.C. and I volunteered to take biscuits and jelly. Hmm. Delimma. Shall I take my treasured homemade jellies or stick 'em with store-bought? They may not appreciate the homemade stuff as much as I do, right? And if they do, then they might eat it all. And that would be sad. So, being the only child that I am and thus having issues with sharing, I had decided to take store-bought. It was the good store-bought brand (not the Publix off-brand stuff), so that's not too selfish, right? Wrong.

As we were leaving, J.C. asked me if I had packed my beloved homemade jellies to take (which he loves, too). I ashamedly told him I had not... Then he gently reminded me that we should always share our best with friends and that we needed to make sure that we taught Eli this important lesson. Oh, I felt baaaddd. He's so right. If my MIL had the same attitude that I had last night, then we would never have gotten the jellies in the first place.

So, thank you, honey, for reminding me of this last night. And thank you, MIL, for generously sharing your delicious treats. They were a hit!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday fess-up....

The verdict this week is....

Down 1 lb. for a total loss of 2.4 lbs.

I guess this is going to be a marathon and not a race. Goals for this week: no sweet tea...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This really IS hard....

No one ever said parenthood was going to be easy. And I never assumed it would be. And yet, somehow I find myself surprised by the fact that it really is difficult. At this point, Eli is starting to become a pure joy. He's mostly sleeping through the night, he's smiling all the time, and is generally a happy little guy with limited amounts of fussiness. He's not the problem - I am. I've discussed how I'm trying to overcome my selfishness in terms of having less quality time with J.C.. Another thing that I'm struggling with now is trying to learn how to sacrifice my bad habits in order to raise my child the way I know is best.

I am a TV addict. I am basically an only child and I grew up with the television as my constant companion. When I'm home, regardless of whether I'm sitting down to watch it (which I really don't do too much), I like for it to be on. I feel like the house is too quiet without it. And now that I'm home full time this means that our TV rarely gets a break. Poor thing... Do I think this is healthy? No. Do I want my kids growing up to be TV addicts and watching all the unhealthy things that are on all the time these days? Definitely not.

Before I had Eli, I told myself (and J.C.) that I was going to try to break this habit and learn how to be at home without having the TV on. I've felt for a long time that I needed to do this and somehow thought that having a child would automatically give me the motivation I needed to overcome it. How naive.... When we first brought Eli home from the hospital, I justified having it on because I was feeding him (or pumping) almost constantly, and what else was I going to do all day? Look at the walls? And besides, how much could he really be absorbing as a newborn? It's not like I'm watching anything "bad" like talk shows and soap operas. I'm watching things like HGTV and Baby Story on TLC. No biggie, right? Excuses, excuses.... I could come up with a ton of them because I really don't want to break my addiction. I really like TV. And unfortunately, having a child hasn't taken away this affection and magically transformed me into the parent I aspire to be.

Ridding myself of this bad habit isn't only good for Eli, but good for me. I've been reminded in several ways recently that I need to focus on the things that are important and have eternal significance and not spend my time and mental energy on the silly and potentially harmful things like TV. So, I guess I'll do what I should have done in the beginning - realize that it's not by my strength that I will overcome my shortcomings, and turn this one over to the Lord every day.

And on an unrelated note, here's the latest pic of my little cutie pie.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bring it on Big Daddy!

Oh yes, we have found it. The best bar-b-que in the state of Alabama and perhaps beyond. J.C. went to this place a few weeks ago with his coworkers after it won the gold medal in the Birmingham News' Best Ribs contest (beating out Dreamland!). After hearing J.C.'s account of how good it was almost daily since he went, I decided that I must partake ASAP. And, since it's a little out of town, we decided it would make a great motorcycle trip. So, J.C. took the day off from work today and we left the munchkin with Gramamma and Pop to hit the road for our little adventure.

Man, the food was amazing! They have the whole package - good ribs, good pork, good side dishes like fried corn on the cob and turnip greens, and of course good sweet tea (a must for any bar-b-que joint). This one was a real winner. I highly recommend it.

Here I am with Big Daddy himself. Please excuse the helmet-head hair I've got goin' on here.

After lunch we decided to ride around for awhile and ended up going to Swann Bridge - one of the few remaining wooden covered bridges in the state. I had such a wonderful day hangin' out with the best hubby in the world!

Beautiful scenery!

Ah, the motorcycle. We love it so.

And of course, I can't post pics on my blog without at least one of them including the little guy, so here he is hangin out with his Gram.

Friday fess-up

As promised in my post last week, I have to fess up about my weight progress. So.... (drumroll).......

I lost 1.4 lbs this week.


It's a loss, so I'm not devastated, but I definitely could have done better (especially for week 1). I pretty much blew it yesterday by eating every delicious bite on my plate at the Greek Festival and then eating Chick-Fil-A (with sweet tea...) for dinner. I'm going to purposefully blow it again today because J.C. took the day off from work and we have been planning for weeks to make a trek out to Warrior to this really good BBQ place he found. Oh well. I'll have six days to make up for it before my next fess-up. Happy Friday everyone!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Baby awkwardness

I've observed that there are generally two types of people when it comes to babies. Those who love them and just must hold them. All of them. Even those belonging to strangers. And those who give the customary "oh how cute" schpeal to the parents but are perfectly fine with letting the kid be. They're just not "baby people". I myself fall into the latter category. I do think babies are cute and absolutely adore the one that belongs to me, but have no pressing desire to hold random babies just for the sake of holding them. It doesn't bother me to hold them, especially if it has a purpose like helping the mom out if she needs both hands for something, and I certainly want to hold the babies of my close friends and relatives. But, I would never in a million years ask to hold the child of a casual acquaintance or stranger. That's just me.

That being said, there are also generally two types of parents in this world. Those who are very uneasy with their children being passed around and would prefer people to keep their hands off, and those who have no problem handing them off to eager "baby holders". In this area, I'm also the latter. I really have no problem with people holding Eli. I completely understand why some parents are hesitant to pass their babies around, but I'm pretty easy going about it. Mind you, I would never hand him over to a random stranger or a sick person, but if it's a healthy friend or family member, or even an acquaintance, I really don't mind if people hold him. I want him to become accustomed to being held by people other than J.C. and me and I actually want him (gasp) to be exposed to some germs to help develop his immune system (this spoken by a woman who's child hasn't gotten sick yet...).

So, being that there are these types of people out there in varying degrees (on both sides), this can bring about what I call the baby awkwardness. Here's the scenario:

Person approaches parent and baby with "goo goo' look on their face. They say all the customary stuff like "He looks so great!" , "How adorable!", etc... My personal favorite is "He looks like a normal baby now" (in a tone of great surprise). This statement doesn't really offend me - I know Eli looked like a shrivelled up alien when he was born, but I do find it pretty funny that people would be shocked that he looks so "normal" now. Anyway, I digress from the topic.

So, person approaches and it seems like they want to ask me if they can hold him, but are nervous to ask because they don't know if I'm one of the moms who's paranoid about this sort of thing. I think about offering, but hesitate because I don't want to be one of those people who just assumes that everyone wants to hold him and then shove my kid on someone who's just being nice. This situation can be a little awkward.

So, assuming I know you, you are welcome to ask me to hold Eli if you wish. I really won't mind. Pick your moments. Please don't ask me to hold him while he's screaming and I'm trying to calm him down (as one lady recently did) and, unless you're a very close friend or relative, please give him back within a reasonable amount of time so that we don't have another awkward situation of me having to ask for my child back.

Think I might over-analyze things a bit?

Anyway, here are a couple of cute pics from our day of tailgating on Saturday.