Friday, December 12, 2008

Trains for Eli!

I realize that most of you who read this are way more excited about the progress of our sons than my crafting, but I'm really excited about this one. I decided a while back to aim to make Eli a quilt with trains on it for when he moves into a twin bed. So, I searched for patterns and the one I found that I liked best was for a wall hanging. Rather than try and adjust measurements, I discovered that, if I made four of them and pieced them together, they would make a twin sized quilt. So that's what I did. All four panels are pieced together except for some finishing applique I need to do on some of large wheels and the smoke stacks on the engines. Then it's sewing the panels together and time for quilting. The backing will be a fun squiggly lines fabric - all bright colors - I think it will be a nice contrast to the more subdued front. And, for once I've started a crafty project that I may actually finish!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanksgiving pictures

Here's a few extra pictures from Thanksgiving weekend. The first one gives you a good look at Eli's "hair bow" mentioned in the previous post. And thanks to Cory for such a great family photo of the Traxler clan.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Barber Shop Experience.

Eli's hair has been out of control for quite some time. But it was kinda cute and we kept putting off cutting it. Finally, this week, he started really complaining about it and, at one point, asked for his hair bow from Grandma and Grandpa's house. My sister had gotten fed up with his hair hanging in his face and pulled it back in a little "Pebbles" ponytail on top of his head with one of her daughter's hair ties. That pushed me over the edge.

So, we visited Jim, the barber right up on Fulton street. It was an adventure and a little sad. Jim's been there for 44 years and it's clear that his business is not what it used to be. We were glad to have brought Eli there - but maybe next time we'll go somewhere with steadier hands and more recent experience with such a young one's hair.

The day before, Eli had a really kickin' bubble bath - I'm including a picture from then so that you can see the big difference in his hair. Plus one of Eli and I with bubble beards just for the fun of it.

Eli wasn't too sure about the whole deal at first, but Barber Jim had lots of singing things to keep him occupied - like a Frog that stuck it's tongue out and some golf clubs and some shoes that danced and sang.

He even sat still for Jim to trim up around his ears and on his neck with an electric razor. He was very brave.
Things turned out pretty well - we did a little adjusting and trimming before bed. You can see his eyes now and he isn't constantly brushing his hair out of his face anymore. He even got a certificate for being so brave for his first hair cut.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This morning our friend Addie came over for a little bit while her mom was at the dentist. She's four months old and absolutely adorable. At first Eli was very concerned that she was going to take his spoon (with which he was eating yogurt) or his string cheese or . . . But then he couldn't get enough of her. Although, he did think they should have equal turns in the Bumbo seat - it's a seat that helps really little ones sit up before they are able to on their own. What you see in this picture is how they spent about twenty minutes - Eli was talking to her and singing to her. It was quite fun to see how he interacted with a little one.

Jeff also built Eli his first snow slide of the year today. We got just a few inches of snow this morning so it took almost all of the snow from the back yard. Jeff wasn't sure he's ever shoveled a yard before, but the slide is great. We're making plans for a snow slide party (much) later in the winter with some friends of Eli's. There's plans already in progress to build a huge slide for it off the back of the deck.

Tomorrow marks 32 weeks for Baby Pete. At my appointment last week, I continued to measure about a week and a half ahead of schedule. They're keeping an eye on that just to see where things go, but their not concerned about it. My back pain has significantly diminished and I'm sleeping much better than I was for a few weeks. That makes the outlook for the next two months much more appealing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

30 Weeks and Counting

I'm getting uncomfortable! Two more months.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Train Conductor Man"

Sometimes I can't even believe how cute this kid is! He had so much fun yesterday helping in the yard. He helped me take out this years garden and helped Papa rake leaves after his nap. Then, he was so excited about his costume for Halloween. The coal smudges were Jeff's idea. We practiced Trick-or-Treating at home first and then walked around the block. He got the "Trick-or-Treat" line down, but then after people gave him candy, I'd ask him, "now what do you say?" He'd hold his bag out again and say, "Trick-or-Treat!". Sneaky kid.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Baby Brother

So, we've known for about a month now that the baby I'm carrying is a boy . . . somehow we managed not to get the word out in that time. We're settling back in this week after two weeks of vacation and I realized I haven't sent out e-mails or posted this news on the blog. Sorry, to all of you who look here every once in a while to see what's happening with us. (Even if it's just my aunt, Wendy.)

So, big news - it's a boy! Everything looks good and Eli's excited to have a baby brother.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Last weekend was a big weekend for the Petersen's. Jeff and I officiated at a wedding on Friday evening, which was a blessing to be a part of. On Saturday evening, I attended my 10 year High School reunion - and I was actually excited about it. It was incredibly awkward and strange as I had expected, but it was also really fun and great to see people that, in many cases, I hadn't even thought about in several years.

Jeff (and Eli) really worked hard around the house as well. The stairs on the west side of the deck were caving in and the tall ornamental grass in that area always falls over the stairs, even though Jeff drastically cut it back last fall. On Friday, Jeff tore out the old staircase and put in a new wall of lattice to hold back the grass. We'll put a climbing vine of some sort or some hanging plants on the wall next spring. On Saturday, he and a friend (Jonathan) rebuilt the steps - they don't shake, sag, or shift anymore! Jeff helped Jonathan with a painting job at his rental property and then hung with Eli while I was away for the evening. On Sunday, Jeff, again with some help from Eli, replaced the sink traps in our kitchen sink that have been leaking for quite some time. Our house, and Jeff and I, are much relieved to have some new pieces.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Justice Minded

Some friends of ours recently visited some other friends of ours who are living and working in East Jerusalem. They brought back a rock (like the one David slung at Goliath) for Eli and this awesome t-shirt. You can't quite see it in the picture, but the shirt says this:
It's abeautiful thing to see

Yes, Peace is abeautiful - and a beautiful - thing to see. Thanks for the t-shirt friends.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July has been a crazy month for the Petersen family. At the end of June, Eli turned 2! To mark the big occasion, we gathered with his grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles (although we missed Aunt Cherie terribly) and three cousins. And because he's so grown up, he has acquired his very own pets and now sleeps in a "big boy bed."

Eli is the proud owner of three guppy-like gold fish. The orange one is named "Fish" and the white with orange and black spotted ones are "Orange" and "Brown." He's very excited to feed them and watch them swim around in the aquarium in his room.

Shortly after our week at summer camp, Eli helped his Papa remove the front railing of his crib and replace it with the low railing the extends half the length of his bed. He can get in an out himself and was so excited to help with the process. The first night was a little rough - Jeff finally discovered that he was afraid that the tiger (from the zoo just a few blocks away) would get him without the front wall of his crib. It was very heartbreaking and yet very sweet that he had a conversation about it with Jeff. We've had a few issues with staying in the bed for naps, but he seems to be getting the hang of it.

Other birthday highlights were the tricycle he got from Grandma and Grandpa Petersen and the trains from Grandma and Grandpa Traxler (and Burtie the Bus from cousin Ellie and family).

Since Eli's birthday we've spent a week at Camp Geneva as chaplains, a night at the camper with Grandma and Grandpa Petersen along with a morning at the beach with Jeff's side of the family. We've spend a good deal of time at Pretty Lake and Eli's becoming a stellar swimmer. Last weekend we took in a Tiger's baseball game with Jeff's family, too. It's been a busy month. Check out all the pictures.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

One may be the loneliest number . . .

But we're okay with that. I just realized today that I didn't add a post with the results of our appointment. There is one - and only one - healthy looking baby in there and I am so happy to hear it. After our appointment, we spent the rest of the day preparing for Eli's 2nd Birthday party, which was great. Then we went to our niece's birthday party in the morning, back home to switch some laundry, down to Pretty Lake for the afternoon, and back home to prepare for a week of chaplaining at Camp Geneva. We've been keeping busy. Thanks to all of you who have been thinking of us in our waiting.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Adventures in waiting

Yesterday I had my first prenatal doctor's visit for this pregnancy. It went well, but has turned into a bit of an adventure.

It began when my doctor, whom I think is wonderful, seemed very interested in the fact that I am significantly more nauseous with this pregnancy than I was with Eli. Then she explained what the rest of the appointment would entail. At nine week's (which is where I'm at) they don't generally check for a heartbeat yet as it's often too early to pick it up. But she would check the size of my uterus and, if I was measuring bigger for some reason, they might try to see if they could pick one up. So, she measured and . . . I was measuring at about 12 weeks along. Interesting. The doctor informed me that this could just be that, because it's my second, I'm just expanding faster at the beginning - this apparently is common for many women.

Anyway, since I was measuring at 12 weeks, she decided to go ahead and see if she could pick up a heart beat. She assured me that if she didn't pick one up, it wasn't anything to worry about. It either meant that the baby was just still too low in my pelvic bone to pick up yet or - and this is where it started to get really fun - that there is more than one! Yeah, okay - nothing to worry about. So, she checked and, of course, didn't find the heartbeat.

The moral of the story is that I have an ultrasound scheduled for next Friday morning (Eli's birthday) to (I hope) confirm that there is only one baby. This should be a fun week.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Words

Eli is picking up new words at an amazing rate. And the ones he already knows are getting clearer and clearer. But they are words of his choosing. I've been trying to teach him "big brother" for a little bit now, but it just doesn't come out. Yes, Eli will be a big brother come January. So we've got about seven more months to work on it.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

A few weeks ago some girlfriends and I headed out the the Heritage Hill yard sales. We got excited about this day and made plans for snack and beverage provisions for our shopping because Heritage Hill is one of the more upscale sections of the city - and there were over 50 sales. In the end, I wasn't terribly impressed, but I did get a few good deals - like a coffee table for my office that just needed some paint and this great backpack for Eli for $.50. The animal on the back may be a dog or a monkey, we're not sure - and a few people even say it's a bear. But Eli loves it and can now carry his own diaper bag!

He's also big on helping in the garden again this year and is really enjoying his watering can. We've had to give him restriction on what he can water; he's allowed to water anything he can reach without actually walking into the garden patch. Otherwise, he gets so excited about watering the plants in the back that he forgets there are plants in the front and walks all over them. Seriously, though, he's a great helper - we've got lots of potted things and I have one small watering can. It takes me about ten trips on my own to water everything, so I welcome Eli's gusto on this one.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mother's Days

How can one boy grow so much in one year?

Mother's Day 2007.
Mother's Day 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Back Yard

We spent the whole afternoon today in the back yard. The sun was out and the temperature was in the low 60's - it was a wonderful day. After a few days of rain, everything is very green and growing like crazy.

Eli picked a dandelion for me, which I promptly put behind my ear. Then, of course, he needed one behind his ear as well. Jeff was gone fishing, so we did some self portraits.

When Jeff came home, he pulled the hose out to clean off his waders. Out jumped the little tree frog that's been living around our deck this spring. Jeff presented him to Eli, who continued to "tickle" the frog, causing it to jump all over the place. This was a little scary and a little bit funny at the same time.

We played some baseball and Jeff rounded out the evening giving Eli his first casting lesson. We're working on getting a shade tree for the back yard to that it's a bearable place to play this summer, but today, the back yard was a wonderful playground.

I've been reading a book by Richard Louv called, "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder." I've been extremely anxious about what our kids (that's plural for the some-day side of things - it's NOT a hint that we have more than one in any way) will miss as they grow up in the city. I'm terrified that I'm contributing to some deep deprivation in my child by not raising him somewhere that he can run in the woods and play in the yard by himself for hours on end. But today I realized that there's plenty of nature for Eli to explore even in our back yard. And there's the meadow behind Jeff's parents house and the farm land there as well. And the lake and the woods at my parents house, both of which are only an hour's drive away. I'm so glad that Eli wants to learn the difference between weeds and the peas we planted so that he can help tend the garden. I'm grateful that he wants to hold the tree frog in his hand, but that he also wants to put it back home in the rocks by the deck after a few minutes as well. I'm glad that he would rather eat broccoli than my home made cookies any day and that no Disney movie is nearly as cool as the back yard or "My Grampa house Yake!" (Translated - Grandpa's house at the lake where I can throw rocks in the water as much as I want!)

Jeff and I love to be outdoors. We love to see how nature reacts to us, but even more, we love to leave nature with as little of us to react to as possible after we leave. Eli will do the same, I'm sure. He is our son.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Helping hands

Eli absolutely loves to help - with anything. From feeding his baby a bottle, to helping with dishes, to making pizza dough with Papa. And we can't forget the garden, which may be his second favorite, only to dishes. He loves dishes (which for Eli, is basically playing in water while we do the dishes - who wouldn't like it). Here's a few of our favorite picks of his help around the house.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Scratch it

The last post, that is. Eli went into the doctor today with another ear infection. All clear Thursday, deeply infected Monday. We're headed to a specialist to talk about the possibility of tubes and whether they would be beneficial or not.

Friday, April 11, 2008

All Clear

Eli visited the doctor yesterday and his ears are clear! This may not seem like a big deal, but given our winter, I want to run through the streets shouting, "My son's ears are clear! My son's ears are clear!" He's had either three or four ear infections, depending on weather this last bought was a separate occurrence or it was the one from late February that never really cleared up. I'm betting on that second option, which makes a month an a half to clear up the stupid thing. He's had two rounds of super-potent antibiotic shots in the doctor's office and went in Thursday morning for a re-check. If his ears weren't clear, they were going to do another shot. But they were completely normal, so Eli got a sticker without having to get a shot. Praise the Lord. Let it be done for this year, please.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Coolest kid on the block

I think the pictures say it all, really.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Earlier this month, we took a vacation out the Grandma and Grandpa Traxler's house in Pennsylvania. We had such a great time. Here's a few pictures from our trip.

We spent an afternoon at the Longwood Gardens. It was beautiful! They were having their orchid extravaganza and the conservatory was filled with spring blooms. Eli spent part of the time in just one shoe and sock because he got his foot into a small stream in the midst of a flour bed before we could catch him. Grandpa chased him around in the tropical rain forest room and he got to be a closing shot for some garden show that was featuring the new children's garden their. We're supposed to receive a DVD when the show's completed.
There was lots of reading. Eli loves books and it was like having a whole new library while we were out there. Not to mention a whole new toy chest. I don't think Grandpa enjoyed this much.
Eli created a beautiful water color at the Crayola factory. They have a little oven that you can send paintings through so that they'll dry and you can take them home. We sent Eli's through three times and still had to dab some water off. He really likes water.
Part of the Crayola factory is the canal and museum. They've got canal displays and trains and all sorts of fun things. I'm not sure who had more fun with this - Eli or his dad and grandpa.
It was beautiful weather the week we were in Pennsylvania. There were a few days of rain, but there was also a lot of sunshine and temperatures in the 50's. Since it was still blizzard-ish when we left Michigan, Eli was really excited to play outside. He's really great at croquet - especially since he just picks up the little metal loops and moves them to his ball if he can't get it through in a few tries.

After playing outside, Eli needed to warm up with some hot chocolate. But you can't run around when you drink hot chocolate, you have to sit. Grandma graciously volunteered to hold him on her lap. If you don't know Eli really well, you may not realize that he's actually smiling in this picture. Jeff taught him to smile for pictures a while back and this is generally what it looks like.

And, of course, Grandma sent us home with cookies. Eli got to help.

It was wonderful to get away for a bit, to see Eli having so much fun with his Grandparents, and to see his Grandparents having so much fun with him.