Friday, September 26, 2008

Signs of a good big brother

I watch Grant on Thursday afternoons while Aimee goes to school. Yesterday Elijah was taking a nap (and by taking a nap I mean laying in his bed talking to himself for 2 hours) and after I fed Grant it was time for him to take a nap and for Elijah to get up. I put Grant down and went to get Elijah. Grant started crying. Elijah new exactly who it was (even though he was already in bed when Grant came over). Elijah started getting upset saying "Grant crying, Grant crying". I got Elijah out of bed and told him Grant needed a toy in his bed to help him not cry and take a nap. Elijah looked all over his room for a toy and we decided on his soft blue dog that he sleeps with. Elijah took it into Grant's room and put it in his bed and said "there Grant". We left and I pulled the door almost shut. Elijah ran into the living room and I went to do some laundry. Just a minute later I came down the hall and kept seeing Elijah running back and forth to Grants room. I walked back there (with camera, just in case) and this is what I found...



"If one toy helped, more should really help!"

Grant's bed after Elijah "helped".

Elijah loves Grant and always wants to help. I just keep thinking, if he loves his friend so much and is so interested in helping, how much more will it be with a little brother or sister? He is such a sweet boy and I know he will be a great Big Brother!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Baby Update

I went to the Dr this morning. Everything looks great. He said my weight gain is just right (which I was surprised considering I practically have a feed bag around my neck - I'm eating so much). He found the heartbeat no problem, good and strong. I scheduled my next appointment for 4 weeks and scheduled my Sonogram for 6 weeks which would put the baby just a few days shy of 18 weeks. I am thinking I might push it back a few weeks just to hopefully have a little more certainty of the sex. Haven't decided yet, though. I guess I have some time to think about it.

Check out the new poll to chose what you think the baby is!

Monday, September 22, 2008

We're Back!!!!

Wow! This has been a long 9 days! We finally got power last night. We had come home from church and Elijah and I were taking our nightly shower-by-candlelight. Beau came in and said, "hey Erica, guess what..." and he flipped on the light. I couldn't believe it! I asked how he knew and he said he could all the sudden hear all the neighbors cheering so he ran in and tried it out. It was so exciting! I've never been so excited to flip a switch. I slept so much better last night. I finally made myself get out of bed at 8:30 this morning. I was wondering if Beau had taken Elijah to the church with him because Elijah usually is up around 7 and I couldn't hear him making any noise. I went into his room at 8:45 and I had to wake him up!! Seems like everyone slept better. We had breakfast and now he's finally watching his shows!! He would ask me every morning "shows broke, Mama?" It was kinda sad. He did really well playing, though. Here are a few pics I took to document our week...


At the hospital Elijah made some good friends. A nurse I work with, Darcy, had her 5 kids with her. Elijah just LOVED them. So did I. They took Elijah in and cared for him the whole time we were there. It was so nice not having to worry what he was doing (getting into) every single second since they were watching him. On Saturday morning I set up the laptop and pushed some beds together for them to watch Lady and the Tramp...

Sunday morning Elijah got up and found the Doppler (we use it to find pulses on patients) and he rolled it all over the place. Maybe he'll be a nurse!

Waiting for Darcy's kids to wake up...



Finally, he got some one to wake up...

Before we left I took a pic of Beau and Elijah with their blue bands on. It was their proof that they belonged to me!

Some of the next pics are blurry...sorry. When we finally got home Sunday it wasn't too bad. My favorite red bench was just fine!!

Beau's beautiful flowers were ruined...(those are shingles, they were EVERYWHERE)


One side of the fence...




Before we left for the hospital Beau put all of our patio furniture out under some trees.

Good thing he picked those trees because just a few feet over was this...

The other fence...


Elijah thought it was cool that his sandbox was turned into a pool...



The roof was pretty damaged. The insurance adjuster came yesterday and said we'll have to get a new one. It leaked into the house in a few rooms and that will have to be fixed too...

Elijah and Marshall (a boy from next door) playing inside. Totally oblivious to the stupidity their fathers were up to outside!!

Now, if you know my dad and you know my husband you'll soon figure out that they are a lot alike. This next picture proves it even more. The guy next door offered to help Beau when he saw Beau trying to get me to help him patch the roof. This is the idea they came up with on how to patch a "hard to reach" spot...

We spent a lot of time with the Spencer/Scogin families. The Scogin's (Bill and Jan) had power so we went over there every night for dinner and AC. Bibby gave these sunglasses to Elijah at one of our get togethers...


It was a really long week, but it sure did make us realize how blessed we are. Thank you for all your prayers, phone calls and emails.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Our Latest Adventure

Well, as most of you know Ike is coming our way. Whether we get a direct hit or just the "dirty side" (both bad) we won't know till tomorrow. As a nurse I am not allowed to evacuate if my hospital is open. Well, we have a new CEO who thinks this storm is going to be "no big deal" and wants "business as usual". I'm guessing he's not from here because they are comparing it to the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and I guess he's not been to the Strand to watch the movie. He also has not seemed to notice/care that all the surrounding hospitals have evacuated. Oh well. By Monday he'll either be able to say "I told you so" or he could possibly be looking for other employment. The good thing though is any hospital that makes nurses mandatory (if you call in sick or don't show during the hurricane it is grounds for immediate termination) they also have to make provisions for your family and pets.

After trying to talk Beau into taking Elijah and Max and going to Rosebud (he wouldn't budge, I guess if we float away we float away together) we will be taking up residence at the hospital. If you remember Beau and I did this 3 years ago with Rita. We were fine, the hospital fed us 3 meals a day, gave us a room to stay in and I get paid just for being there. However, this time should be interesting since we have introduced a toddler into the mix. I called the hospital today to get a little more info. Max will be in the Concrete Room (basement) in his cage and there will be staff there with all the animals constantly. Beau, Elijah and I will have somewhere to sleep and they are attempting to establish a Day Care for the children which Beau may help with. We will be taking food and water with us just in case, but where else better to be during a disaster than a hospital right!?

Thank you for all your calls to check on us. Beau is still boarding up the windows and securing everything outside. If I have access to Internet I will update you and if our cell phones work some of you may hear from us. Please keep us in your prayers a long with everyone else who will be touched by this storm.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tato Head





Elijah said something so funny this afternoon I spit water out. Let me give you some background...


Saturday Beau took Kelci to meet her family after she stayed a few days with me. Elijah was hungry so they stopped at Jack in the Box and got him a "happy meal". The toy inside was a miniature Mr Potato Head. Elijah has carried it around ever since and calls it Tato Head. Well this afternoon I was cleaning up and Dr Phil was on the tv in the background. They were talking something about getting fat people to join the Weight loss Challenge. Anyway, I came in the living room to rest a minute and Elijah was having his snack. I didn't know Elijah was paying any attention to the tv, but a picture of an obese man came on and he was in his swim trunks. Elijah points at the tv and exclaims..."Tato Head!!!" I laughed so hard. I'm just glad he did it in the privacy of our home instead of out in public.




Well, if you've watched the weather lately you know we are in limbo with Ike. We haven't been told to evacuate yet, but they think it's landfall is moving more and more towards Galveston so we'll see. We don't know what we'll do though because I have to work Friday and the only way I get out of it is if the hospital evacuates. So keep us in your prayers.




I am feeling a lot better. I still get super hungry, but I can now go almost 2.5 hours in between having to eat. (At one point I was having to eat so often to keep from getting sick I thought of fashioning some sort of feed bucket around my neck). I will get Beau to take a belly shot soon. I have a bump (don't know if its all baby or all fat or a little of both, but we'll call it all baby).


I leave you with these pics.


Elijah helping me straighten up the living room. Picking up his toys...









Talking on his cell phone... (he's so proper with his pinky)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mama's Boy

I'm at work so I can't post any pics, but our Secretary has Internet access and she just went to lunch so I'm illegally blogging. I thought you might enjoy a cute story though.

I talked to Beau from work yesterday and he told me Elijah was going around to everyone and saying, "I'm Mama's Boy!" Too cute! I love it. So when I got home we were playing and I said "whose boy are you, Elijah" and he says, "mama's boy!"

It just makes my heart smile. I hope it makes you smile. He is the sweetest boy. I just hope he remembers he's "Mama's Boy" when he's about 16 years old! Anyway, better get back to work.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Guess What!!


Okay so if you're family and haven't checked your snail mail lately or you weren't paying attention at church this morning you may have missed the announcement so here it is...








Baby Ballard # 2 is scheduled to arrive some time around April 10, 2009!






Some of you say you kinda knew something was up due to the lack of blogging lately on my part. Yes, I've been really sick. Its let up some in the past few days (I can now stand up straight, not hunched over holding my midsection and humming to myselft to get over the nausea). I've now moved on to the next phase which seems to be eat, eat, eat. I did blog a little when I found out I was pregnant, before I got sick and that is what you're about to read. Enjoy!







Thursday, July 31 2008 3:00pm



If your reading this just know this post is a few weeks old. I just found out I'm pregnant!!



I was about 2 days late the day before Beau left for his trip. I bought a super cheap pregnancy test and took it, it was negative. I thought it was really weird because I really thought I was pregnant. Beau left for his trip and Elijah and I left for mine. I wanted so badly to take another test and talk about it, but I new if I took a test and it was positive I wouldn't be able to keep it from my family. It was so hard because Monday night I was with all my mom's family and Sherrie and Joel announced that they are pregnant and I wanted so badly to yell "ME TOO!!" A few more weeks and I can do that!



So I just didn't take another test - until today. Elijah and I went to the grocery store this morning and I bought a better test. I took it when I got home and it was positive. I was so excited, but didn't have anyone to tell. I ran into the kitchen and said, "Elijah, guess what! Mommy has a baby in her tummy!!" He looked at me and said, "aaweoi, adkndsl badmwopi" and went back to playing. I think that roughly translates to "Mama, I'm so excited. I'm going to be the best big brother ever!" I said roughly.



The reason I went ahead and took it before Beau gets home is because it will hopefully give me some time to plan a way to tell him as a kind of "Welcome Home" present.



The reason I'm blogging about it today, but will not post it for weeks to come is that I don't have a journal yet and don't want to forget how this day felt. I am scared out of my mind at the idea of having another child to care for, but I am so overcome with joy to have another child to love.
I am crying at everything, I'm already nauseated (not a good sign - it didn't show up this early last time, and I was super sick with Elijah), and I feel exhausted all the time.



One weird thing. I was sitting here waiting for something to upload and I flipped my new Pottery Barn Kids magazine open to the baby section. The first bedding was embroydered with the name Sadie on it. That's the name we want for a girl and we never have seen it anywhere! Weird huh?





Sunday, August 3, 2008



Beau got home last night. Elijah and I picked him up from the church building and brought him ( and all his smelly stuff) home. We had dinner, gave Elijah a bath and talked. When it was time for Elijah to go to bed I told Beau we had a present for him. I took Elijah into his room, put on his new "Big Brother" shirt and gave him a "We're expecting" card. I told him to take it to Papa. It took a second for Beau to notice the shirt since he was focused on the card and then it hit him. He was really excited (not too thrilled that I was taping it when he had a mouth full of food, but oh well). We put Elijah to bed and then talked about our excitement.



Our first Dr appt is on Wednesday and we are pumped. I told Beau how nervous I am at having another baby to care for and how hard it will be and he said, "it'll be fine". The standard male answer! Ha!



Hopefully I only have to wait a few more days to tell Aimee and Gary. I keep catching myself almost letting it slip. We have invited Beau's parents to come down some time soon so we can tell them and my parents were already planning a trip down at the end of the month. We are excited that we can hopefully tell our parents in person this time. Last time we had to do it over the phone because I was having knee surgery, but found out I was pregnant and couldn't have the surgery so we had to tell them because they were going to wonder why I didn't have the surgery.



I'm feeling pretty good. My only "nausea" thing happens when I get too hungry and a little after I eat. I'm mostly exhausted and running to the bathroom with a constantly full bladder. Beau took my first belly shot last night. I know there's nothing there yet, but I want a "before" shot and I never took a belly shot with Elijah and so I will probably over do it with this baby. So, you've been warned. The baby right now is the size of a sesame seed and is developing it's brain and heart. Very exciting!!





Wednesday, August 6, 2008



We went to our first OB appointment this morning. We went as a family. I soon learned that we will not be able to take Elijah to the appointments with us. It started when the nurse practitioner (thats who I saw this time) was taking my blood pressure. Elijah started crying and holding his arms out for me saying "mama!" I assured him she wasn't hurting me, but he was watching her like a hawk with a "don't you mess with my mama" look on his face. When she started the exam it turned worse. I had Beau bring him to my head and had to hold his hand, but he was still crying and wanted her to stop. When she did he was fine. He's so protective of me - its really cute. Beau bugs him about it though. Elijah doesn't even like for Beau to hug me. So Beau will come up to me and hug me and Elijah will run over and try to push him off while yelling "mama, mine, mine, mine!!" I have to say, I don't really mind.




Anyway, the appointment went fine. I'm only barely 6 weeks so nothing much showed up on the ultrasound (just a black dot) so they want me to come back in two weeks and they said we'll see a lot more. She drew my HCG and progesterone (pregnancy hormones) levels and dipped my urine which all confirm my pregnancy. I was feeling a lot more nauseated today and Beau has been making fun of me for being so tired. I've been going to bed really early. I can tell this time around will be totally different. When I was pregnant with Elijah I would just lay around and nap on my days off. Its hard to do that now when I need to be running around after a 2 year old. We've gone back to "sleep when Elijah sleeps", but that means I have to either nap during his nap or get stuff done. Its a hard decision, but I have to tell you...sleep usually wins.





Tuesday, August 12, 2008



Week 7: Head, Almost Shoulders, Knees, and a Glimpse of Toes
How does your baby grow? Pretty fast, actually. This week, your baby's length is approximately a quarter of an inch — the size of a blueberry. Sounds pretty tiny still? Consider this for a little perspective: Your baby is 10,000 times bigger now than it was at conception a month ago.The biggest growth this week is your baby's head (the better to store all those smarts in), with new brain cells being generated at the rate of 100 cells per minute. How's that for a budding genius?And talking about buds, your baby is going out on a limb this week as his or her arm and leg buds begin to sprout and grow longer (and stronger), dividing into hand, arm, and shoulder segments — and leg, knee, and foot segments (though the limb buds look more like paddles than hands or feet at this early stage).Also forming this week are your baby's mouth and tongue. And although your embryo is just one month old, it's already gone through three sets of kidneys. The ones in place now are the permanent set and are poised to begin their important work of waste management. In about a week, your baby will start producing urine. Lucky for you, there's no need for diapers (yet). As your baby matures inside you, much of that urine will be excreted into the amniotic fluid, swallowed again by your baby, and then excreted again in a continuous cycle.


Just a litte update on baby #2.




I am feeling worse and worse. Yesterday was the worst so far. Nauseated all day and hungry. If I get too hungry I get sick, if I eat I get sick. Well apparently today is not going to be much better. Luckily I got to sleep in today. I am on call so I don't have to go in to work until later today. The one good thing about being sick is - its my only constant thing that proves I'm still pregnant. Once it ends the baby starts moving and then you have that to go on. So it reminds me that I will soon have another litte bundle to love and that makes it tolerable.





Wednesday, August 20, 2008
We went back to the dr today to have another sonogram and confirm the date. Well, based on the sonogram the dr moved us back 10 days. So my due date has changed from March 31 to April 10. Good news/Bad news...



Good news: it puts us almost 2 weeks closer to Beau being done with school and able to spend more time home helping me. It also pushes my maternity leave further toward the end of the summer. Its always hard being a single parent while Beau is gone so much during the summer and I know it will be extra hard with a newborn. But it will be all the more easier if I'm not having to work at the same time.
Bad news: I thought I was getting close to being done with "morning" sickness (which is a joke in its self since it last all day and all night). Now I just got 10 days further away from feeling better. It also changed my expectations of what is happening with the baby right now. So if you read above what the baby is doing forget that, add ten days to the date then read it again! :)
We did get a sonogram pic though, our first one. I'll try to scan it and post it later. Nothing to see, just some black wavey lines (it gets that from Beau!) Ha! We did, however get to see the heartbeat which is always amazing! Oh, funny story... after the dr saw the baby he said, "okay, now lets see if I can get a look at the other one." I knew he was joking, but for just a split second I was like, "WHAT!" Keep us in your prayers!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grant, Papaw and Watermelon

For those of you who don't read Aimme's blog, I lifted some of these off her's. She kept Elijah last Friday morning for a few hours so I could do some housework. Elijah helped her take care of Grant. At one point she found Elijah had crawled into Grant's jumper (made for 6 month olds)...


She put Elijah in Grant's bed to help wake up Grant...


"Hey Grant, how can I get one of these in my crib?"

Future troublemakers...

Then I kept Grant while Aimee went to class. Elijah had just gotten up from a nap and was resting next to Grant...

Elijah LOVES Grant. Anytime he's around all Elijah says is "Oh, Grant"...



Papaw giving Elijah a ride to bed Saturday night...


Yesterday we sat in the yard and had watermelon. It was Elijah's first time and he LOVED it!







"Mom, I may have had too much watermelon!"

He must have really liked it. After he ate it all he tried to drink the juice from the bowl...