Thursday, January 29, 2009

Family Updates

Eli loves his new job and comes home in such a great mood everyday. His schedule right now includes working in Austin on Thursdays and Fridays, meaning he'll be able to see his parents every week. Also sometimes Emily and I will be able to join him and stay the day in Austin to hang out with Grandma and cousins. (I'm writing this from Austin today!) He really loves spending time with my dad and working on all his home projects...most recently cleaning out the garage and installing shelving. It's nice to have someone to watch football and drink a beer with every now and then too! (that used to be me, but I'm so worn out on football). One cool thing about his new job is that it's about 2 minutes away, meaning he can wake up later and also come home for lunch.

It didn't take long for Emily to get used to her new home, and now she's by far the happiest she's ever been. My parents' house is one big adventure that needs to be explored, and what better way to explore than by WALKING!! That's right...actual walking. One day Emily went from not take a single step alone, to walking 33 steps for the first time. After that, it took only a few days to make the complete transition to fully walking everywhere she goes. I'm going to miss that cute little crawl she had...but am happy she can walk mostly so I can put her down in public places if need be. Right now molars are cutting, which will make 10 teeth (that's a lot since September when she got her first one!) She loves to listen to music and dance, play outside on the trampoline or swing, open and close cabinets and drawers, and is attached to her baby who she pushes around the house. We have met another little baby named Lucy who is just a doll and is fun for Emily to play with on Tuesdays after bible study. Emily's new physical therapist is so sweet, and at the moment is only concerned with her lack of speech. Recently she's finally be able to comprehend what we're saying and is following directives. Her favorite words are baby, dada, eetie (for sweetie the dog). She also can point to Nana, Grandaddy, Aunt Teresa and Auntie Annie.

I'm feeling really great these days and can feel a little rumbly in my tummy everyday. We had a miscarriage scare in early December, with dilation and heavy contractions, and it was suggested that I go on bed rest until July. I was just torn to pieces and emotional for a long time, but the contractions subsided after a few weeks and I've felt pretty good ever since. I'm about 16 weeks along and have a new high risk OBGYN who I feel comfortable with, and I'm going to see a perinatal specialist soon to determine if I need shots to maintain the pregnancy to 40 weeks. I'm so thankful for my mom and dad and sisters who have really helped me out with watching Emily so I could take it easy. At our next appointment we'll be able to tell the gender of the baby, but I really love surprises, so I think we'll wait until the actual birthday (that is if Eli doesn't go crazy with curiosity beforehand).

Emily has a new girl cousin, Adelina Joan, born to Eli's sister Olivia. She favors her older brother Felix with dark curly hair, and weighs just about the same as he did: 9lbs 9oz. Labor was tough and long, and I was just so worried (my hormones are on overdrive right now). We're so excited to meet her today, especially since this is our first niece!

Prayer Requests:
For my brother-in-law Kyle, as his kidney disease has rapidly progressed and dialysis and transplant are in the near future. (also of course for his wife Teresa!!) Eli's brother Fred and Grandpa are leaving on a 2 week cruise to Antarctica tomorrow. My sister Lauren's theology thesis is due very soon, along with comprehensive exams. Eli's parents are awaiting the arrival of a sibling group for adoption very soon.

Christmas Festivities

By Christmas we were settled and anxious to celebrate, and oh did we celebrate!! We kicked off the season with the annual family Christmas party at my parents house, complete with cookie decorating, moon bouncing, and christmas caroling. Highlights included my dad standing on the coffee table to direct 100+ people in singing the 12 days of Christmas, and a very competitive ping pong match between the Flemings and the Mitts.
The next day was my Dad's birthday, so we followed our tradition of going to confession and mass at St. Joseph's downtown, which was so beautifully decorated. That night Will and Jacquie threw a party for Nona (whose birthday was a few days before) and Dad in their beautiful newly remodeled historical house.
Christmas Eve came next as we celebrated mass at Blessed Sacrament with the Pattersons. Our whole family was complete--Paul came in from New York, Lauren and Mary from Dallas. We ate our traditional buffet meal accompanied with games and our annual viewing of the Muppet Christmas Carol. Readings from the Bible and The Night Before Christmas followed by singing under the tree ended the night for a long winter's sleep.
Christmas morning was so fun!! Emily (after having a hard week trying to adjust to her new world) was happy practically the whole day and was thrilled about her new pooh bear bike. Later on in the afternoon my mom's side of the family came over to visit. At the end of the night we had a Wii Fit Tournament going with about 15 people. We were all exhausted by that point and I can remember my mom saying "let's have a wii clean up tournament".
Early the next morning we drove to Austin to be with the Danzes and McConnells and had a really great day with a beautiful brunch. The weather was perfect so the kids could play outside while we sat on the porch to chat. In lieu of a present exchange, we read scripture and exchanged keys with personal reflections of how to maintain Christ's presence in our daily lives. Later on we played a traditional boys vs. girls Taboo game and watched football. The following day Eli and I met his parents out at the Rock (family ranch). Emily really enjoys feeding the donkeys and cows and Eli loves to beat Fred at darts. In the morning we went to mass in Fredricksburg after a mini fiasco with the carseat. We couldn't get the straps assembled correctly since we washed the cover because Emily and I got sick in the car. After we took the family out to breakfast, we headed back to San Antonio.

Our Christmas outing with Nona to the musical The Christmas Carol was that afternoon. The performance was at San Pedro Playhouse, and it was really well done. The costumes and set were fabulous! (as well as the actors!) We went over to Nona's for ice cream with the Brian-Fagans so Emily could play with Caroline and Natalie.
Over New Years I took a trip alone--first time in nearly 2 years not to sleep right next to Emily--to go visit my friend Karen in Chicago. We had such a great time together. On New Year's Eve we went to a really cool jazz bar in the Lincoln Park Zoo area with some friends of hers. The next day we went downtown to the Water Tower for lunch and shopping and John Hancock and saw where she works, which is next door to the Sears Tower. We of course had some Chicago-style deep dish pizza...delicious!! Wicker Park is the area where she lives--the up and coming, trendy and young part of the city with lots of cool shops, restaurants and bars. The weather was pretty chilly with snow on the ground, but no new snow while I was there. I had a short trip and came back to Eli and Emily with a bad case of the flu and just felt horrible about leaving them! (although they were just fine without me! :)

For Epiphany we started a new tradition (in case you haven't noticed, my family loves traditions!). There is an old Irish tradition which honors the women of the family on Epiphany--a mother's day of sorts. So all the females of the family (about 16 in town) were invited to Tia's house for a special dinner and blessing of her house.
Soon afterwards we said good bye to my siblings from out of town and were sad to take down the Christmas tree and decorations. Before it was all over, Eli and I had a nice date on the riverwalk to see the lights downtown.

Our Move to San Antonio

Well it's about time I posted something about the past two months! I've had some technological and camera issues, but so much has happened lately that I have to write now and attach photos later.
The move to San Antonio went great, especially since we had movers to carry out everything downstairs and pack it into the truck. We started at 8am with high energy and a little girl on a sugar high from a poorly made decision by mom to give her donut holes. I think I was pretty overwhelmed at the last moment since we changed the move date a full month ahead of schedule. Plus morning sickness and fatigue took over my ability to think straight and plan ahead to have healthy food ready for Emily! We couldn't have gotten everything packed without the help of our dear friends who we miss so much--Anne, Melanie, Brooke, David and Nichole. Thank goodness Lauren came by the morning of the move to distract Emily, who was confined to the kitchen with me as I deep cleaned the white cabinets and appliances. (I will never ever ever want a white kitchen after cleaning that one!) By 4pm our home filled with 2 years of great memories was empty and sad looking, so we turned in our keys and hit the road. As we drove away Dallas' skyline filled our rear view mirror, and for once it felt just perfect. We had a golden moment that night: the peace of mind that we made a great choice. We have a lot to look forward to in San Antonio, including living close to family, a new career for Eli, a new baby to bring joy to our lives, and a new home in which we will make new memories with our children.