Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coming to a close

Ilana and I fly away tomorrow. Paul, with the dog and trailer, leave Friday morning. With these things in mind, Life at Baylor is quickly coming to a close. So, as is our custom, I've created a NEW BLOG. :) It's Check it out!!
Blogger allows you to buy a url so you don't have to use their "" tagline at the end, it's only $10 a year. But, being "frugal" as we are, and knowing that we don't mind letting Blogger get some credit for our blog, we decided against that option. So, read up, visit often, and onto the new blog!
ps-sorry for the lack of pictures. We're down to using Paul's laptop and it doesn't have any pictures loaded onto it. I'll post some new pictures as soon as I can.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the adventure continues...

A lot of people have offered support and prayers for us in this time and we are so thankful. I cannot explain how "full" life was last week. In the midst of a vomiting toddler, Paul was offered 2 jobs, we were battling some pretty bad head colds and trying desperately to decide what was next on our journey. Well, Ilana is back to normal again, a decision has been made and we are off to Chicago. Paul accepted a job at Loyola University of Chicago as the director of their brand new outdoor adventure program. We are so excited! We know that all of Paul's past outdoor experience in the CCO's OLT and here with Baylor's outdoor adventure program, combined with his education have prepared him perfectly for this.
This decision does not come without grief in leaving our community here in Waco, and it still leaves us with tons of questions. Here is what we know about our future plans: Ilana and I will fly to Maryland on Thursday, May 27, where we'll stay until Paul and Moses (with the trailer) join us in a few days. Our house in Gettysburg is available as of June 6, so we will "move in" and be there until we head out to Chicago for Paul's July 1 start date. Loyola is providing us with temporary housing through mid-August if we need it, to give us time to find a place to live once we get up there.
If you're in TX, we'd love to see you to say good-bye, but these next few days will be hectic. So, please contact us and see when would be a good time.
If you're in MD or PA we'd love to see you while we're there, but as you can imagine, it will be a very busy month - going through our whole house deciding what we want to take and what we want to give away/sell/goodwill...what have you.
If you are in neither of these places, then you are just as important to us and we'd love for you to know what we're up to!
Thank you all, so much, for your support in this time. It has been a crazy month and we are excited to explore a new area of the country. I'll be updating our blog (obviously life at Baylor will be coming to an end), so check back for the upcoming changes.
In the meantime, we're doing our best to continue the packing process that started this past weekend (yes, in the midst of the graduation ceremonies and my birthday celebration), but we're also starting to get really excited about these next few months. Loyola - here we come!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Guess who likes Oreos?

...when she's healthy of course.

Yes, she's "smiling" in this last one.
Now if we could just get her healthy again...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby Update and shower pictures

So, here I am:
And here are the stats:
  • How far along: 22 weeks
  • Baby’s heart rate: in the 160's - exactly where it should be
  • Total weight gain: 17 pounds
  • Maternity clothes: nothing else at this point! I can wear my 3 largest non-maternity t-shirts, but everything else has got to be maternity.
  • Sleep: I have good nights and bad nights, but I always get up at least once a night, usually around 3:45.
  • Best moment this week: having nothing to do except sit and enjoy feeling this baby boy move all around. He must have tons more room (or he's just more active) than Ilana. It's so fun to notice their differences already.
  • Movement: uh, yeah! All the time!
  • Food cravings: ice cream!! I actually haven't had a pickle in quite a long time - crazy.
  • What I miss: being able to cuddle Ilana really closely, she's running out of space on my lap. :(
  • Weekly Wisdom: 2 things...
    • Even if you try to enjoy some freedom, you can't ever lose the responsibility of being a parent. Twenty hours into our weekend celebration get-away to Austin, our overnight babysitter called to tell us that Ilana was throwing up. Needless to say, we were home that afternoon. We knew we made the right decision when she didn't stop smiling and hugging us when she met us outside. She's much better now, but we're still going to the dr's tomorrow.
    • No matter how much coughing and hacking I do with this 10-day old cold that I have, this little boy seems to think I'm playing with him. According to my nurse mid-wife he's just "as happy as a lark in there!" Everything's already a game for this boy!
Now, for the shower...
A week ago the faculty-in-residence's wife, Hope, threw me the sweetest baby shower here on campus. Here she is dishing out punch for everyone.
We ate - the food was delicious!
We played games, including the "which smooshed/melted candy bar is that?!" Not recommended for the queasy-stomached.
We opened mostly gift cards and a few actual gifts. Due to our unknown future, Paul and I had requested gift cards - we got some great ones!
We generally had a great time.
To her credit, one woman, Beth, was not in this large group picture. Being a mom of 3, she included a small gift for Ilana in her gift. Just as Beth guessed, after seeing all the gifts from the shower, Ilana wanted to open them. So, right on cue, I gave Ilana her gift.
It was a baby doll complete with a backpack. She knew exactly what to do with it right away.
But, she may have enjoyed the ribbon better, I'm not sure.
I never would have imaged this kind of support 2 years ago. It was no small miracle in my mind to look around the room and know that these women are all so important to our family. We definitely found our "place" here in Waco and we are so thankful to the Lord for His faithfulness in helping us find it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Look what came in Friday's mail!!

I can hardly believe that 22 months is almost over. But, it's for real - PAUL GRADUATES IN 19 DAYS, PEOPLE!!! He realized just tonight that he is done with 2 of his 3 classes this semester. He has the first part of his law final tomorrow and the second part early next week...and that's IT - CRAZY!!!
...I'm so excited...and proud of him. It's almost time to celebrate...almost.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Highlights from the party

We decided to do a family party to celebrate Ilana's 2nd birthday. She's not a huge fan of big crowds and we have enough going on these days. So, we decided to try to let her do all her favorite things without diverting or discouraging her.
She spent the day trying to open the door (she's almost got it, it's kind of scary!),
putting on shoes,
doing the buckle on her chair, over and over again,
and reading in her chair (I can't figure out why this picture won't turn sideways for me and sorry it's fuzzy!).
We even gave her a lollipop,
which she graciously shared with her baby doll, she's very conscientious these days.
Then we went to McAlister's for dinner
where she opened some more presents (including these sunglasses that she immediately put on...upside down).
We followed dinner with dessert at Dairy Queen (no homemade cake this year), where she got her very own strawberry sundae with candles. (For some reason the video I uploaded of us singing to her and her blowing out her candles didn't upload correctly. I'll try again later - sorry!) I think it was a pretty sweet day for her!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ilana at 2

Ilana is 2 years old today and probably our biggest joy. She is growing up before our very eyes and we love watching her learn. Even just today she started trying to open the door with the door knobs in our apartment. Our "kid-proofing" may need to continue soon.
These days Ilana loves keys, zippers, the Wiggles (a kids music group), taking off her shoes and trying to put on any other pair she can find (even if it's the ones she just took off). She's trying to say a lot of words. The newest words or phrases to add to her collection are: thank you (which sounds more like "zwah too"), monkey (which sounds exactly like "daddy," but that's ok), baby (pronounced really well), and her favorite word, please (pronounced: TSSSSSS! accompanied by a fair amount of spitting).
She's still a very gentle, cautious child, although when she's comfortable with something her feisty-ness starts to show. Like on this day, after awhile she decided to try to make her own potpourri with the bluebonnets and was vigorously ripping apart the flowers:
We know she is going to be a great big sister. She's in a phase right now where I have to "feed" her baby doll or stuffed animal before I feed her. She's already very conscientious.
Although we have a pretty good daily routine down, she can be very flexible with it. She's pretty easy-going. When we were getting our ultrasound the other day she was just sitting on Paul's lap drinking her juice most of the time. The woman even asked if she was "always this calm." She tends to be pretty laid back, unless she's hurt, hungry, tired, cranky or somebody's taken away her toy. But, what toddler isn't upset in those circumstances?
We've been through a lot these past 2 years and these next few months are not going to be much easier, but we are so thankful to have Ilana in our lives. We are blessed because she is ours and we look forward to continuing to watch her grow and learn. She gives us a great perspective on life and continually reminds us of what's really important.
We love you, Ilana!

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's a boy!!

Beautiful profile...
sweet feet...
and even a 3-D pic!!
It was a great morning! Everything is looking fantastic and healthy. This little boy is already much more active than I remember Ilana being inside. How fun! ...sort of. :)
We haven't settled on a name yet, but we'll be letting you know. For right now, we're just excited that this little boy is so healthy and doing great.
ps-I already love his nose.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blessings in the air

Imagine this: getting season baseball tickets from one airplane conversation. Makes you want to fly more often, huh? Well, little did we know that's exactly what we'd get on New Year's Eve. We were blessed to have gone through security and been on the same flight as Diana and Dick Bergman. We were flying home, they were flying out to see family in Texas. They were such a blessing that day to us. Little did we know the blessings would continue. They lived in Texas when their son went to and played baseball for Baylor. Although they live in Annapolis now, they still buy season tickets every year. We exchanged emails and were promised tickets to "a couple games."

After many months I finally emailed Diana, giving her our "wish list" for tickets to a game or two (and apologizing profusely for not getting back to her sooner due to our "Christmas gift from Jesus" - #2). A week later, two complete packs of SEASON TICKETS arrive in our mailbox. We couldn't believe it - just in time for the A&M Series this past weekend. We immediately got a babysitter and Saturday night...

We went to our first Baylor baseball game (and first date in way too long).
On our way in, we realized what a blessing this truly was. Diana and Dick have their names engraved at the ballpark! They're 4th from the bottom and I think that's their son right below them.
We found our way to our seats...they were pretty much amazing - the best in the ballpark if you ask me!
Seriously, this is during the game, using no zoom on our camera - we were right behind home plate!
As you can see from the ticket, we were playing A&M - arch rivals!! The Aggies had a pretty good showing...
but in the end it was no help. We KILLED them 13 to 1!!
It was a pretty magical night, complete with a beautiful ballpark, cheesy nachos, onion rings, sweet tea, silly kids races, baseball songs, local restaurant giveaways, thrown t-shirts, local celebrity sitings (the women's basketball coach was there with a few players as well), the 7th inning stretch, and even local "inside joke" cheers. We kept our eyes out, but apparently Bruiser (the Baylor mascot) doesn't come to the games. He should!
The next day the series ended and Baylor won again 2 to 1. It was the first time our seniors had won the A&M series - I was so proud of our guys. We couldn't make Sunday's game, but I don't think it would have topped Saturday night's for us.

Diana and Dick - THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! It was a blessing to have gotten to know you just a small bit on that New Year's Eve plane ride. In the midst of our unknown future and all the stress that daily life takes, this is one of those truly unexpected blessings. Sic 'em BEARS!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Baby Update

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and everything looks great. Here are the details:
  • How far along: 18 weeks today!
  • Baby’s heart rate: 153, exactly where it should be
  • Total weight gain: 12 pounds, not too bad
  • Maternity clothes? Oh yeah! I tried to wear a medium t-shirt the other day and I won't be doing that again for quite some time :(
  • Sleep: alright, but I think it's time to break out the extra pillows
  • Best moment this week: Ilana started kissing my belly. I've been telling her for a couple weeks now that there's a baby growing inside mommy's uterus. I think she was more kissing my belly button that's looking kind of funny these days, but it was still cute.
  • Movement: every day now! It's so fun and I can't wait for Paul to be able to feel him/her moving around also
  • Food cravings: pickles (still) and cinnamon sugar, but not together
  • Gender: we find out next Friday!! Our appointment is at 8:30 in the morning, and I'm sure I'll post it on the blog that morning, so stay tuned
  • What I miss: being able to roll over in bed; my abs are already being rendered useless
  • Weekly Wisdom: trying to give myself little bits of "grace" every day to just relax and chill out. I'm slowly learning that I have to take care of myself again.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Camping

Yes: we took Ilana AND Moses camping and we hope to camp as a whole family again...someday.
No: we did not get much sleep; we are not crazy, we just kind of enjoy this sort of thing. :)

So, a couple days before Maundy Thursday Paul and I decided to finally try to camp with Ilana. We thought about it this time last year and chickened out. We kind of regretted it then, so we didn't want that experience again. We were given some great advice about camping with a toddler:
  1. Don't have an agenda
  2. Sleep whenever your toddler sleeps
So, our expectations were pretty low. We planned great, Ilana-friendly meals, went shopping, packed up all our stuff, and a lot extra (how much STUFF does one 20-pound toddler need?!) and headed out. We got to our first campsite in Fredericksburg, TX around 12:30 - yes, just after midnight. That night was alright...all things considered. We woke up the next morning to an exhausted toddler and rain...yeah. :) Thankfully Andrew (a former student we know who lives there) offered us pancakes, sausage and coffee for breakfast. We couldn't turn him down. With our full bellies and warm bodies we headed down to Lost Maples.

We ate some lunch, got packed up, let a now-rested Ilana run around
and hiked in about a mile to our first campsite, it was lovely. We didn't know how long we'd be there so we got comfortable as quickly as possible. Dogs had to be on leash the whole time, and we weren't too far away from the trail, so Moses did a fair amount of hanging out by the tree:
He had so much fun...can't you tell? Our cook site was right next to the tree, so don't worry we got to hang out with him quite a bit (yes, that's his water hanging on the tree). We made and had a great dinner of mac and cheese with beef stick - YUM!!! The sun continued to set while we enjoyed brownie pancakes for dessert. As we were settling in for the night, I noticed the "default" positioning of our dependents and got a bit worried, but what was I going to do?
Little did I know, this would be the case ALL NIGHT. At the time it seemed sweet, but when you are 17 weeks pregnant and already beginning to feel cramped for space, a toddler who wants to share a pillow and a dog who wants to sleep on your lap don't help. None of us got a lot of sleep that night (that's the nice way of putting it). So, once it got light enough outside and we had stalled the waking up process as long as we could, we knew we needed some "emotional pick-me-ups" before we could talk about our plan for the day.
Emotional pick-me-up #1: HOT CHOCOLATE (especially sharing it with Ilana):
Paul thoroughly enjoyed the Starbucks Via we had brought in for him.
Emotional pick-me-up #2: BLUEBERRY PANCAKES (yes, even in the backcountry!):
I've got to tell you, these were THE BEST blueberry pancakes I think I've ever had.

So after thoroughly enjoying our breakfast we decided to not let the lack of sleep defeat us and stay another night. We wanted to try a different sleeping situation to see if it would be any better. Our only "plan" for the day was to go see an interesting rock formation a guide told us about (a 10-minute hike down the trail):
sterilize some water:
enjoy spring:
and while Ilana and I took a nap that afternoon, Paul and Moses hiked out to take back some excess food to the car and get the tarp we had brought "just in case." By the time Ilana woke up from her very short nap, Paul and Moses were back and Paul got busy setting up the tarp he and Moses would sleep under that night.
You can see our tent site, nestled in the trees in the background.
Ilana even tried it out, but decided she wanted to sleep in the tent with me instead.
We made dinner and settled down a lot earlier than the night before. Ilana and I slept fairly well, especially compared to the previous night. However Paul and Moses...didn't get much sleep from what I understand.
So the next morning we had a quick breakfast, got packed up, and hiked the mile back to our car. Moses slept through lunch,
our poor scrubby child Ilana ate well,
and got all cleaned up
just in time for us to head back home. Needless to say, there was a fair amount of sleeping going on in the car on the way home (by everyone except the driver of course!).

It was an experience, that's for sure. The craziest part about it all is that when Paul and I look back on the whole experience we have great memories and who wouldn't with pictures like this?!
-H & P