10:31 AM

Weekend Update

Monday, June 29, 2009

This weekend was, well, ugh. Not getting into specifics it was a horrible weekend. On the plus side, we got some sun. Woo hoo. I did get some great shots of my baby boy who pulled up about a hundred million times this weekend. I think it's safe to say he's mastered the art of 'pulling up.' I can't wait to see what comes next!

{On a Side Note: I just wanted to point out something I didn't notice until I saw Riley pull up this weekend. Kaleb is at a huge disadvantage with these types of milestones. When he pulled himself up he had to do it with one hand. I know, I know he'll have to do everything with one hand but watching his little arm shake as he struggled to pull all 22.8 pounds of himself up was inspiring. Once he was up he used his other arm to hold on but watching him pull up made me beam. He had to work extra hard but still did it- very well I might add. My son, my hero.}

You make us proud kiddo :)

"Hey Guys!" (I can stand AND wave)

Two babies standing. They grow so fast!

His hair is out-of-control these days!
{But man is he cute!}

11:42 AM

Happy 9 Months Baby Boy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today my once little tiny baby boy is 9 months old. 9 Months... we are about to leave the single digits behind. Yikes. He had his check up today and we are rolling right along:

Height: 29 inches

Weight: 22.8 pounds

Head: 19.5

Of course, he's still gigantic. All of his stats are in the high 80% except his big ol' noggin is 99%. I'm not sure he'll ever out grow that one :) His is developmentally ahead of the curve, even for a boy and being so big. His doc said he's not even going to keep doing his "adjusted" age anymore since he has blown the statistics out of the water. If we did his adjusted age (which would be 8 months) he would be off the charts. I'm happy with those results.

I cannot believe the next time we go back I will have a one year old. Where-o-where does the time go?

11:11 AM

Derek, Daddy or Mommy?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So we took a picture on Monday before the funeral and I freaked out, "My baby looks like his Uncle Derek! I mean, he really looks like him!" Kaleb has always had a lot of Derek-like features. He even cries when you sing him 'Old Christmas Tree' just like his uncle. If you paint Kaleb's hair black and get some facial hair going we might have a Derek Jr.

But ya know, Derek and Brian look at a lot alike too. I can't deny my son looks like his Dad. I mean the first thing a nurse said to me is, "Wow. He really is his dad." As if it would be anyone else? :) But let's not be too hasty is our quest to pin-point my son's features. He is his Mother's son... even if it is only those big beautiful BLUE eyes.

Ok...ok.... so I never thought I'd be one of those obsessive parent's playing the game of, "Who does my baby look like!?" but I'll be honest it's hard to not get sucked in- I think Derek and I favor each other (Who would've thought I'd favor my fiance's brother?). Kaleb has my nose- thus Derek's nose. We all have those full lips. Sometimes I giggle to myself imagining God creating our son. He did a wonderful job!

12:12 PM

Happy Birthday/Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 (continued...)

So Saturday Brian and I had reservations at the Hyatt Regency downtown. Amazing hotel. Amazing view. Olivia got us a VIP table at BlackFinn and Brian had to dress nice (sans baseball cap) and take me out. We walked and shopped and had a blast :) We met up with Olivia and Amanda Kidd at BlackFinn about 10:30 pm but about 1:30 am I was exhausted and Brian and I walked back to the hotel. The night was so clear and the stars we're so bright. We slept with the cutains open and we were high enough that the city lights didn't obstruct our view of the sky. Simply amazing. It was the best birthday I have EVER had hands down.

The most amazing hotel bed ever. Memory foam sleeper, down sheets, feather pillows. Ah. Worth. every. penny.I'm the one that looks albino next to these girls who have time to go and tan. Sheesh. I love them anyway.Yep. I did. I walked home with no shoes on... Good thing I had that amazing over-sided tub to shower in :)

Sunday we ate some yummy breakfast and headed back home for a Father's Day cookout at my Uncle's. We also celebrated my big 2-4 with the family. Kaleb and Brian are literally the spitting image of one another. It kills me to see the faces they make! I made Brian this beautiful scrapbook frame. I got the idea from Dani and Brian ate it up. He read the poem in the frame and just cried gigantic alligator tears. Of course, it started the whole cycle and the entire room was crying by the end of the reading. Here are some of my favortie pictures:

Kaleb was obviously jealous of all my birthday attention.

Have I mentioned the way they feel about water?

Opening his Father's Day gift.

I still cannot believe this picture. Look at those faces. Kaleb is like a mini-Brian.

Daddy, take my hand in yours and you will plainly see, How very much I need you now to love and care for me. Then as my little hand grows, I will need you even more. Everything I do in life, I have never done before. Teach me to be kind and loving, sharing and forgiving.Show me through your acts of love the pure joy of living. The years will pass by quickly and one day I will be grown. I will pass what you have taught me on to children of my own. Hold me always in your thoughts and remember when we are apart, The special love between a child and daddy's heart. (The poem inside his frame)

Get's me everytime. It was a great weekend!

11:24 AM

Mamaw Burns

Tuesday, June 23,2009

I have a ton of stuff to blog about so I guess I'll start from last Thursday. I'm picking up Kaleb from the sitter and getting ready to head over to visit Dani & Ava. Brian doesn't get home until late and Mikie is in stationed in Virginia so we like to spend our afternoon's hanging out and letting the babies play. Brian calls me frantic telling me to go to Fairfield Mercy that something happened to Mamaw Burns and he's on his way there now. I say a quick prayer and throw a bag together for Kaleb and meet Brian at the hospital.

I have no idea if she fell or if it was something more serious...I pull up to the hospital and catch site of Derek's face (my BIL). It's bad, I can tell that now, really bad. She's in Trauma 1 and they are getting ready to transfer her to UC to the Neuro ICU. I position myself just close enough to the nurses station to hear the report. She's on a vent, unresponsive in the field, CT scans show a massive brain hemorrhage. She did great on the transfer but the doctor's gave us no chance of a recovery. Mamaw wouldn't want to live like that, she passed away at 9:30 pm on June 18,2009.

All-in-all it was a peaceful passing. She told her husband she felt hot and wanted to lay down. He couldn't wake her up so he called the squad. For a intensive purposes she passed in her sleep. No pain. No sickness. Oh what an outstanding faith Mamaw had and I cannot begin to imagine the JOY she is feeling now that she's in Heaven with the Lord and her beautiful son (who passed away a month before I met Brian). Although I expected a struggle for Brian he was at peace with her passing. She got to meet me, she got to know our son. She always told me, "Oh Ericka. My baby has a baby..."

Kathleen Burns, age 75 of Fairfield passed away at University of Cincinnati Hospital on Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 9:30 PM. She was born in Clay County, Kentucky on June 24, 1933 the daughter of Bob and Ina (Wagers) Thompson. Kathleen was a member of Pentecostal Highway of Holiness. On February 9, 1952 in Manchester, Kentucky she married Merda Burns.

She is survived by her husband, Merda Burns of Fairfield; a daughter, Irma Gail (Larry) Peters of Hamilton; four grandchildren, Jennifer (Rev. Donald) Pierce of Fairfield, Derek (Becky) Peters of Fairfield, Brian (Ericka) Peters of Colerain, and Alisha Abney of Hamilton; six great-grandchildren; a brother, Gillis (Wealthy) Thompson of London, Kentucky; three sisters, Eunice Holcomb of Cumberland, Kentucky, Janet (David) Parmon of Leesburg, Florida, and Judy Baker of London, Kentucky; a daughter-in-law, Wanda Burns of Hamilton; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Butch Burns; and two brothers, Charles and Robert Thompson.

We took that picture on Mother's Day. I'm so glad we did now. We have a ton of pictures of her and Kaleb. Brian is so thankful now that I am so camera-happy. He promised to always pose in the future without complaints. The funeral Monday was tough but provided some closure. Please continue to pray for the family.

I'll post separately of birthday/Father's day stuff. Mamaw deserves her own post.

9:23 AM

4 days to the BIG 2-4!

Wednesday June 17, 2009

We we're planning a big joint birthday bash. We sent out our e-vites, notified the rent's, set up a sitter and then cancelled. We realized we need time. We need time alone. We need time to talk about something not related to houses, baby or money. Why-o-why in the world would I want to kill myself cleaning, cooking and spend money on a party that will probably just stress me out? Hell, sending out the invites causes a tidal wave of drama that I am so-over. This birthday is about US.

We are leaving Saturday mid-afternoon (about 1 pm) and heading downtown to get checked into our hotel. We are going to spend some time shopping downtown and then get dressed up for a nice dinner. After dinner we are going to head to a local bar (we have it narrowed down to three) and we are going to party down and enjoy spending time together again. Olivia and Amanda, who so graciously took the night off from serving, will meet up with us (who do you thing those bar recommendations came from?)

Brian and I had a mini-reconnecting session last Sunday. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what our ultimate goal is and what is important. Brian is still having a very hard time with the death of his close friend, Judge Heath. Their friendship spanned close to a decade and Jim helped him through some of the roughest times in his life. Brian grieves to himself and tries to put of a brave face but I know him. Please keep him and Jim's family in your prayers. Each time we make progress he is reminded of the tragedy on the radio, newspaper or television. It is times like these we are extra thankful for each other and our one-of-a-kind son.

On a lighter note: Pictures!

These two are ALWAYS up to NO good.

"Smile!" He is getting really good at this :)

Kaleb & Riley (Look at the height difference- Kaleb is on his knees. He's so tall!)

He was probably up to no good in this picture. It screams, BUSTED!

His obession with BLONDES in general, moreover BLONDE country singers.

9:15 AM

Boss Man Brian

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So new layout :) It took me a pretty long time to get everything in order. It seems more "summer-y" to me.

Brian has been working these crazy hours. He leaves at six and has been working 15-16 hour days. The man is a machine. Most of these nights our little love bug is already in bed but that doesn't stop Brian from busting in the door and waking him up. If I can head him off I can usually beg for him to wait until Kaleb wakes up to eat around 11... no such luck last night. These two played from when he woke him up at 8:00 to 10:30 pm. They we're both exhausted and they hit our bed pretty hard. Brian convinced me to just lay down and relax so we all three snuggled up together and went to sleep. Wouldn't you know Kaleb decided to sleep all the way through to 5:30 this morning when his Papa got up for work. He took a bottle and went right back to sleep. I was shocked. I might let him wake him up from now on :)

I know, I know all those mother's are out there reading. He slept in your bed!? Shame on us. No, he won't be sleeping there again tonight but it was nice to cuddle up with my boys for one night of guilt-free 'I'm a horrible mother' type of thinking and just relax. Thank you Brian for forcing me to bend the rules. I thoroughly enjoyed it :)

So my big 2-4 is coming up in just 11 short days. Brian is right behind me on the 30th (turning 29!) We might throw some kind of joint birthday on my actual birthday (20) but we are still kicking around the idea. Brian likes to pretend he's depressed about being almost 30. Pshhhhhhh... He looks better now than the day I met him. Men.

I better get back to work- we are doing Taste of Colerain this August. There's a lot of prep work to be done! Woo hoo!

9:13 AM

Smiles & Sisters

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thank you to everyone who gave me ideas on Kaleb's bed. We ended up going with the "breathable bumpers." We found them here at our local BRU and we'll be giving them a try this evening. I forgot to mention that when Kaleb puts his face in the bumper he manages to wiggle his little arm down through the mattress/bumper and out the rail. If for some reason he couldn't get his chubby little arm out his face is still mashed into the bumper. Normally we would've just let him go because he obviously has amazing head control. I'm just happy we found this bumper and our next child will have this from day #1.

Speaking of our amazing 8 month old... he smiles on command. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen. Sorry the quality of my video stinks... I really need a new phone! :)

There hasn't ever been any secret that my sister, Olivia, is my best friend. We are 110% different but so much alike. She is a free-spirit, tells it like it is, loves with passion and lives life in the fast lane. I am soft-spoken, keep my feelings to myself, loves with her whole heart and lives life in a more comfortable setting. Olivia doesn't have any tattoo's...until yesterday....

Yep. She did. What devotion. I am in awe of her decision. The reason for Kaleb's birthday? That was the day it all changed. The way we loved each other changed. It turned into something so much more than that... to hear her describe the way she felt that day makes me want to cry sitting here. There is an bond between us that only we can understand. She is the only person who has traveled with me throughout life... the entire time... She understands. I cannot repay her with a tattoo (Can you even see me with one?) I have my own way of showing my devotion to her (that only Brian and Olivia know about) and one day we'll share it with the world, God willing. I have always thought of her as the strong, confident one. This whole time she has seen that in me. Go figure.

"How do people make it through life without a sister?" Sara Corpening

Happy Weekend! :)

8:09 AM


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Somebody...anybody... please help! So....... with the new move Kaleb is in his crib (you know the super-expensive one we just HAD to have?) all the time. Since Brian and I (who am I kidding-just me) have had issues cutting to cord Kaleb used to sleep in a pack-n-play in our room. Now that he's 110% in his own bed we are having these two issues:
  1. He gets on his knee's and rocks until he is mashed up against the bumper. As if that isn't bad enough, he pushes his arm between the mattress and bumper and sleeps like that! His face is buried in the bumper and mattress to the point where we can here him really focusing on his breathing. We go into his room hourly to pull him out of the corner and untangle him. He wakes up, gives us a dirty look and rocks back up there once we are out of site. This is obviously really dangerous for many reasons so we decide last night- he's old enough to go without the bumper.
  2. We are over-confident in thinking, "Yeah we'll show him. We'll just take the bumper out. He won't have anything to bury his face in now." NOT. After we lay him down we hear a gut-wrenching scream. We run in and Kaleb has not one, but both feet stuck between the bars! So instead of pulling him out of the corner last night- we spent the entire time unhooking him from between the bars. As you can see from the picture below his arm is way to chubby to fit comfortably between the bars...

So here we are sleep-deprived and begging for advice in this situation. Maybe there is some special bumper out there? I'm headed to The Nest to see if any other mommies have been in this situation? Maybe some other parenting websites? I know my child is not the first to do this...

Any help, advice, comments, thoughts, ideas would be greatly appreciated :)

10:39 AM

The Summer of Saving

Monday, June 1, 2009

So I know it has been forever since I posted. The long story short? We moved. Again. Ugh. We have had problems with our current home since we moved in last October. We were in total bliss at first. I had my mom across the street, familiar neighbors, a house with a yard... everything we wanted. We decided to do a lease-contract to help us get together our down payment for a house anyway. The past 7 months the house has continued to fall apart around us with the owner flat out refusing to fix anything. I'm not talking cosmetic. The last straw was the aluminum wiring aching and shooting sparks out into our living room. We called and demanded he fix these things or we were breaking the lease. It didn't go without a fight. We ended up having to haul in the building department, Duke energy and IBI electric inspectors to condemn everything from the back deck to the wiring. Needless to say, we are out of the lease and he has a couple thousand in repairs to make before the city is going to let him rent it again.

This left us with a heavy heart. We really loved the house, neighbors and our location. We know we didn't feel we had enough savings to really start house hunting. We really planned on buying something permanent this fall. Now what? We prayed. We prayed hard. We needed guidance and answers. We weighed all of our options and went with the one that is the MOST work but will have the highest payoff. We are all now officially living with my parents. Yep. You read that right. They were gracious enough to finish the last of the basement and let us move in rent free. It is actually an amazing set up. We have our own bedroom in the basement, the bar is now our kitchen complete with fridge and microwave. We have our own bathroom with shower and a huge living room/dining room area. We installed a door at the top of the stairs about a week ago so it's like an apartment. We don't run into my parents in the bathroom, living room, kitchen because we have our own!

It took a lot out of us to break-down and go with this factor. What soon-to-be 24 and 29 year olds want to move back in with their parents? However... and this is a big... HOWEVER.... we will be about to save a gigantic amount of money in 3-4 months. One summer. One summer of saving. We'll have enough for a hefty down payment, new furniture and a large amount for our savings. We'll finally have a nest egg and our very own nest. We are planning on starting the house hunt in August and praying for a move-in by November. We'll see how it goes. This will also force me to break down and plan our wedding. We'll also qualify for the oh-so-enticing stimulus package. Tax time next season we'll be doing our happy dance in our new home :)

The move has taken a toll on our relationship. I'm sure without our faith and prayer we wouldn't have found our way back to this healthy place we are in now. We really struggled on where to go- both believing in different paths to our ultimate goal. God really guided us in some not-so-subtle ways. We we're listening and heard his answer...

We sat on the back deck listening and praying. We talked a few things out but we're still unsure of the path the Lord was wanting us to take. We do everything for our son. He is the reason we should make one decision over another. What is best for him? Brian and I were reminded of how we stumbled upon his name in the bible. We read his story again. Joshua and Caleb stayed faithful to the Lord during a very trying time and we're rewarded. "But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me wholeheartedly, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it". (Numbers 14:22-24) We both sat pondering. Could making a difficult choice and staying faithful to God bring us the home that we truly desired? We thought so. We both started laughing and heard birds chirping- at 2 in the morning. It was an amazing feeling.

Brian's dreams that night startled him. He sat down to the computer as the sun was rising that morning. He stumbled upon my blog (which I am sad to say he never gets the time to read!) He said he clicked on the link to read our birth story and read all the way to today. His doubts dissolved in that instant. The Lord does work in mysterious ways.

So here we are... back where is all began. We are faithful and know that this is the right plan for our family. Our "Summer of Saving" is in full swing! Wish us luck.