Friday, July 29, 2011


My little Gager Goo (a nickname from my sister) is growing up! I realized that one day recently when I looked down at him in my arms and noticed he has arm hair!! And leg hair too?! No more baby arms and legs! I wondered when that happened?!

I also realized that we can understand everything he says now too. No more words or phrases mixed in with gibberish. And boy he is cracking us up with what he is saying! I have to share:

One night, during those long days/nights when Craig was working in Chicago and we were by ourselves in Ames, I was putting the boys to bed and Gage said, "Eli cranky." And I said, "Yeah, and you're a little cranky too bud." And he said, "Yeah, and you cranky too Mama!" Oh it made me laugh so hard! Such a great note to end the day on.

Then one day before we moved we were walking up the stairs side by side and Gage was saying something that I couldn't quite understand. So I asked him to repeat it and he said, "It's a long story Mama, it's a long story."

Whenever I have Eli and Gage both on my lap, or we are sitting together somewhere, Gage always says, "We a happy family!" It melts my heart everytime.

We were eating dinner one night recently and he turned and put his feet on my legs so his legs were stretched out. Then he leaned back and said with a sigh, "I relaxin!"

With everything that he is saying these days it really makes us realize he is paying attention! When I wonder where did he get that, I can usually remember, or catch myself saying, a word or phrase that he has picked up on. What a good reminder to watch what I say and realize what kind of attitude I have!

Our new mailman's name is Bob. I don't really even remember telling Gage that, but the other day when we were driving he saw a mail truck and exclaimed, "There's Bob!" I just went with it and agreed, knowing it probably wasn't our Bob. Then he spotted another mail truck and said, "There's Bob again! There sure are a lot of Bobs out there today." (Now, his speech isn't quite that articulate so you have to imagine it's more like "dare" for "there" which is so much cuter anyway!)

Gage makes me laugh a lot, those are just a few classics that I could remember. So often I think, I need to write that down. It makes me excited to think of Eli talking a lot and making us laugh in a year from now! I will leave you with a comical video that captures both of our boys at their best! Enjoy!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What a Day!

So many things to say, what should I post first?! Let's see, how about this...
Our doorbell rang at 4:45 this morning. It was Bill, our next door neighbor, coming to see how we were doing and if we even knew about this:We had heard thunder all night long but did not even think about the possibility of flooding! We went down to the basement and discovered about an inch of water covering the floor. We were actually lucky, Bill's family already had water halfway up to the ceiling in their nicely finished basement! In these early morning hours we also received calls and texts from other neighbors wondering how we were doing, as well as various men showing up to help. Our house and the Johnson's next door were the hardest hit.

I have never been in this bad of a water situation before and felt a little panicky. I asked Craig if we needed to evacuate! I love this photo! The boys were so fascinated by all the water. They really wanted to go outside and "jump in the muddles" as Gage said!

All morning it continued to rain and we were worried about the basement! Craig sandbagged around the window well, but other than that it was just a matter of waiting and watching. By late morning the water finally started to recede! The peak of water in our basement was 8 in. Unfortunately all the flooring was damaged and the walls will also need to be replaced, but we were able to salvage the furniture thank goodness.

By early afternoon the water had receded quite a bit. You can see our sidewalk again! The neighborhood kids had a great time frolicking in that murky water!

After the boys woke up from their naps we went outside to check things out! What a remarkable difference! We spotted some visitors in the field behind our property... Our day was not quite what we expected, but it was a fascinating one at that. We marvel at the awesome wonder of God's design in nature, and the blessed hearts of the neighbors that surround us! What a beautiful picture of community we saw firsthand today. So thankful.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Zoo

Life is good! I'm sure I sounded a little depressed a few posts ago, but I am doing great! I know that a little loneliness is to be expected when you move away from all of your friends and familiarity!

Overall, we are enjoying our new home! Gage is beginning to call it "home" now too. :) So far we have had several great adventures! One includes visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo with our friends, the Gibson's, while they were here. It was the boys' first zoo experience, and they were so excited!

(Eli was a little more concerned about getting his sippy cup back at the moment.)

Right off the bat we got to see a lion having some lunch! (Of course Craig and I had more fun watching the boys than the actual animals...)

Gage did not like being this close to an alligator. Get me outta here!

After we saw lots of fun animals the boys found their FAVORITE part of the zoo:

Note to self: Next time take an extra pair of clothes each!

Friday, July 15, 2011


My little Eli is growing and changing so much - I realized that I haven't kept a good record of his changes!

He will be 19 months old on Saturday! I am enjoying him so much lately, more than ever. He is doing such "little boy" this:

He just recently started taking an interest in driving cars and trucks. Now he lays down next to his trucks while he drives them along! So cute!

He is saying things like: "Dada, where ahhh you?" and "Hold you!" with his arms reaching up to me.

He answers a lot of questions with "uh-huh". And he loves to say "Hi!" to everyone in the grocery store, or wherever we are!

Anything round is an "apple". For a long time everything flying in the sky was "elicopter" but now he does say "airplane" since we see them so frequently now.

His favorite book is "Old MacDonald"... I wonder if maybe it's because I sing "Eli-Eli-Oh"...

I found some fun Mickey Mouse videos online and Eli absolutely loves them! He often points to the computer and says "mouse!"

And now I leave you with a little video, where you can see our Eli getting very excited about a Mickey Mouse DVD that we were watching. I can't even get a word in! See if you can pick out some words here and there...:) And I must add that we do dress him, occasionally...ha!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One of Those Days...

I am missing things from "home" today...

The other day we were getting into the van after being out and Gage asked me where Blankie was. I told him "It's at home." He said, "No, not at home. At the new house."

I miss my old kitchen. I have a lovely kitchen here, but it's just not the same. I loved baking in that kitchen. I haven't found my groove yet in my new one.

I miss the familiarity of Ames. I know where things are around town, and I know exactly where everything is I need at Super-Walmart.

I think it all started this morning when I heard Eli waking up at around 5am...Long story short, he did not go back to sleep with me in my bed.

And then it was a hectic morning of getting everybody ready so Gage and I could make it to the library for story time, and getting the house in decent shape for the next-door babysitter's first time here to take care of Eli! Gage and I made it to the library right on time...only to find out that the toddler story time there is every other Thursday. I was so disappointed! I went through all that and am paying a babysitter for nothing really, and on and on, grumble, grumble. I tried to quickly snap out of it and enjoy the time I had one-on-one with Gage anyway. We had fun reading books and enjoying the wonderful Arlington Heights library. We even had the entire children's section to ourselves for awhile.

Then another mom and her two small children came. And inwardly I wanted to pounce! Where do you live? Do you come here often? How bout a playdate?? But I played it cool and chatted a little. I was trying to figure out how I could get to know her better without looking desperate! But I couldn't, so we left and I hoped to see her there again sometime. Funny how this is sounding like a girl-meets-boy thing! Starting new friendships is similar I guess.

I have known that it will take time to meet people and develop relationships, but I am lonely today.

It's just one of those days.

BUT I did get something in the mail today that made me smile...

A little disc of our family photo shoot taken before we moved...

Oh yeah, these can surely brighten a day!

Monday, July 11, 2011

We've Arrived!

We are now Chicagoians...or something like that!

We have been here 2 weeks and a day. In that time we have had 7 visitors! Gma & Gpa Engelbrecht for 2 nights when they returned our precious children, my mom, Holly, Craig & Will over the 4th, and Craig's friend and previous business partner, Dwight as he is here "on business" today :). Our friends, the Gibson's, are next!

We are still figuring things out and learning our way around. Thanks to our wonderful neighbors who are helping us a ton!!! Can I just say that we have never had such a large collection of as wonderful neighbors as we do here! I love living on a cul-de-sac! It really brings the neighbors together. Someone is always outside to talk to! Everyone is so friendly and helpful. There are all ages of kids...from ours (the youngest) to 4-6-8-10-13-15-16 and college-age! It is awesome!

The boxes have gotten unpacked, now what is left is finding a place for all the what-do-I-do-with-this? stuff!! The not-so-fun work. I am at the point I always get to after moving in somewhere...I'd much rather be doing something else!

The boys are adjusting well! Gage says he likes his new house, and he loves all the neighbors! Sometimes he'll talk about something we did "at home" and it breaks my heart a little. But I know he will talk about this new house as his home one day soon. He is sleeping much better so that tells me he feels safe and comfortable here. Eli loves all the new see-through doors we have, he loves opening and shutting them!

We tried out a new church yesterday and will keep looking and trying. Hopefully we will find a good fit soon. I am anxious to meet some other stay-at-home moms and have some play dates!! I will post some pictures as soon as I find the camera cord... :)