Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Our dear friends, Ben and Sarah, welcomed their firstborn into the world today. Caleb James is here alive and healthy! He was a whopping 8lbs 10oz at birth. He had his eyes open quite a bit, very impressive. It was so fun to see how elated Ben was and to see how relieved Sarah was! I didn't get a photo of Caleb with his mom... but she looked great after laboring that big boy!

And of course Eli is so excited to have a new friend. Well, maybe not excited, but he was a bit curious:

Now hopefully Caleb doesn't start crawling before Eli.

Sidenote: we had fun going back to the place where Eli was born. I was so happy I actually knocked on the room next to theirs to say congratulations to the family inside... all because I saw the new baby's name was Eli. I rarely do things like that but I was just on this happy baby high... thankfully the mom was so happy to meet our Eli and kept asking lots of questions (both boys named just Eli with their dad's middle names). Real sweet... and hopefully a story for that Eli's baby book: "he met his first Eli in the hospital when some random crazy lady knocked on our door." I love the South!

Also, we went out to eat afterwards at Firehouse Subs and I proceeded to drop almost a whole jar of green beans alllll over the floor, my foot (wearing flip flops), my pants... ah, yes, fun times! Get ready Sarah!


We saw Caleb on Friday again... he is over eight pounds here but he still looks pretty tiny next to our big boy!

Proud Momma!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Uncle John.

This is Greg's brother John Nicholas Kasowski. Isn't he adorable? He was born thirty-three years ago today. He died tragically when he was a little over twenty months old; he was run over in the street in front of their house. Greg was just three months old at the time. Sometimes when asked about Greg's first this and that, Mary can't recall. Completely understandable. How she managed to raise Matt and Greg while in deep grief is an act of God's grace.

Losing your child is not something that should happen. It is out of the order of life and it doesn't make sense. My dear in-laws have been in the utter depths of despair. By God's grace, they made it through still able to say Blessed Be Your Name. God worked healing in their lives and He taught them so much through this... but it still doesn't take away the fact that they didn't get to see their sweet boy grow up.

I do not understand heaven. There is too little in the Bible to really grasp it with our limited knowledge. But I do believe that Maelee has met her uncle and they have been on adventures too wonderful to imagine. Maelee is buried next to John in the Buffalo cemetery, the best cemetery out there (um, is it weird that I am boastful about a cemetery?). Buffalo has peony's transplanted (from one original plant) all over the cemetery. When in bloom, they are beautiful.

John's Peony
John's part of the headstone he'll share with his parents.
So many questions for the Lord one day. Many questions. But for now, we remember this dear blond boy, remind ourselves that we are not guaranteed another day and stand grateful for the days we've been given. 


Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Hat.

I have no idea why, as a baby girl, my parents bought me a navy blue baseball hat. But they (or someone) did. I had a "Little Slugger" baseball hat. There must be a photo of me in it somewhere because I have a terrible memory and yet I've always known it was mine.

Fast forward. My mom gave it to me and I had it hanging off Maelee's shelf. It fell down the other day and I thought I'd stick it on Eli's head. It fit. And my, oh my, it is the most adorable thing.

Eli's wearing his cousin's shirt here too. Making these photos even more awesome. I love to take his picture (I bet you couldn't guess that) and I have a heck of a time deleting the photos as I go through them or picking out the ones to post.

Eli is definitely in a fun stage. He's just getting more and more personality, becoming more aware of his surroundings and more curious. He is a little shy at first but when he warms up to someone, it'll melt them right through. Actually he often causes grown women to swoon... just today at Target there were five women that went bananas over him. And as a completely biased person, I totally get it. He's just precious.

I will say that for the first time this week, when he didn't want something, he sort of swatted/shoved it away and gave a look. So maybe, just maybe, the attitude is arriving. We'll see.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Her Hair.

I have never shared this part of Maelee before. Here is one of the two pieces of Maelee's hair we were given at the hospital. Obviously these strands of hair are well-loved and well-treasured. They remind me that yes, we did have a daughter... a little baby with dark red hair like her momma.

We still miss you, baby girl.


PS - I have one week or so to get Maelee's album done and I'm fairly close. I'm working on the "name book" portion so here's your last chance to do something for her name book (see right hand scrolling photos if you don't know what I'm talking about). I know you want to be a part of her book... so you have one week to add to this treasure!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Today is my Grandma's birthday. She's probably celebrating in heaven with her hubby and Maelee and a whole lot of cupcakes.

Today we realized Greg got poison oak. Again. Last time it was really bad. Don't worry, I won't post photos. He'll hopefully go to the doc tomorrow and get a shot or some other good drugs to keep it at bay.

Today my throat is scratchy and my ears pop when I swallow. I guess all of Eli's coughing in my face this week has lead me to this. I am now realizing every time he gets sick, I most definitely will.

Today we ate at Five Guys Burgers & Fries. It's so, so good. I have been on a pretty consistent search for the BEST cheeseburger near us and have yet to find one that beats out Five Guys. Oh.So.Tasty!

Today I saw a red-headed girl in her teens and I thought about Maelee. She has been much more on the forefront of my mind these days as I'm working on her album... trying hard to finish by my March 1 deadline. Blogger is being odd but I have a photo of her hair I'll post soon.

Today we bought a bed. Oh boy do I hope it's awesome.

Today is another day. Quite a dreary day here in SC. And even though I'm tired and definitely a bit on edge... I'm making a choice to be thankful for today, for having another day alive and healthy on earth. What a gift.


Thursday, February 16, 2012


You are going to thank me for this post.

Do you roast your broccoli? Or any of your veggies? If not, you should. It makes them melt in your mouth. I have been craving vegetables because of this. So, so good. I've roasted potatoes in the oven many a time, but never others. Now, now I know how great it can be.

I found this post on pinterest and followed it. Basically you line a cookie sheet with foil, drizzle it with olive oil, add your fresh cut veggies, salt and pepper, a few garlic cloves and stick it in your 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring all that goodness around once in awhile. With broccoli, I squeeze some lemon on it and add parmesan like her recipe. 

Oh it's so good.

Since I was already roasting broccoli for our Valentine's meal, I decided to follow this post and make some heart shaped potatoes to roast as well. They were delicious and pretty darn cute.

Of course the steak was amazing but the sides were also tasty. So much so that I believe Greg said "I just want to keep eating" long after we should have been done.

Looks good, eh? Admittedly the dinner was not as romantic with sick Eli in his high chair next to us. To give you perspective, here he is eying my steak:

Oh and don't let that sippy cup fool you, Eli still doesn't take a cup or bottle for liquid. He does enjoy chewing on it however. You can tell Eli's not feeling well here, poor little man.

At one point Greg had to sit Eli on his lap and in typical Eli fashion, he preceded to grab the tablecloth. As much as he would have loved to pull a Houdini move, he failed and all the dishes/food started to go with it. Thankfully his dad has lightening reflexes and all dishes stayed on the table. It would have been really sad for any of this meal to make it to the floor. Also, this is why we use tablecloths sparingly.

Go, roast any and everything that looks like a vegetable!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Eli Hearts You.

Eli had craft time again last week. It's a holiday today, you know. We had to make a few cards to send to the family. And since you are in our extended virtual family, you can just pretend one of these is for you, too. I made up the sayings to go along with what we were doing...

I had an idea of putting a heart sticker on the card before Eli's foot stamp, then peeling away the sticker. I only had two heart stickers but it turned out great. I also did his name in stickers inside his hand print (thankfully Eli is only three letters so we don't have to wait until he's got big Grandpa Harold hands to fit his name in there). I think I'll use this peel-sticker-after idea for future hand/foot print activities... you know there will be many, many more. 

Foot prints are easy to do with Eli but the hand prints? Well, those are a little tough. Let's just say there is usually a lot of paint around. There is a certain time limit Eli has for these craft times, too. Then he hits his limit and enough is enough. (I have a feeling his sentiments on crafting won't change).

The owner of these adorable hands and feet is sick again with another cold. He's so pathetic you can't help but feel sorry for him. Now on to invent a little machine like the dentist has to suck water out of your mouth but made for small noses...


Saturday, February 11, 2012


I love you, Saturday.

You are wonderful on so many levels but both myself and Eli would agree that Greg being home is the best part. We get to have fun all day doing things like making Eli fly:

Or making Eli laugh:

Or mesmerizing Eli with crazy antics:

And just enjoying life together with this adorable kid:

LOVE. But now that they are both worn out and taking naps...I should probably get something cleaned.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I really can't hear the name "Stella" without hearing Brando from the messed up movie/play "A Streetcar Named Desire". It's just stuck in my head.

Even though Greg gives Eli most of his baths, I do occasionally and every time I say "Stellllla" out loud. Why you ask? Because of Eli's soap.

It's called Mustela and it's European and I have no idea how it's pronounced. But it reminds me of the name Stella, thus why I break out the Brando.

And it's the BEST baby wash. It's expensive. But worth it! We've used it on Eli since his first bath.

A few reasons why I love it:

  1. Apparently it's good for cradle crap. Eli never had any.
  2. It doesn't have a very strong smell (I don't do fragrance). The smell is light, pleasant and you just want to take a deep breath of Eli. So good.
  3. Eli's got some crazy sensitive skin (thanks to us) but he has never had any reaction to this stuff. He also hasn't had too dry/too oily skin or any break outs or peeling... that could be his skin but I think this soap may have something to do with it.
  4. Our first bottle has lasted since May (even with a broken pump). We just bought another that we'll break out in a week or two. And we have given Eli a bath almost every day (every other just recently). Even though it costs $16.49 at our Buy Buy Baby... when it lasts that long and is this good, it's so worth it. 
  5. It's not even soap. I just looked it up here. It's soap-free. It says it's especially for newborns but we may just use it on him until he leaves for college. Ha.

I just thought you should know. A bottle of this stuff would be a great baby gift. And if you want your kid to smell like Eli (which I highly suggest), use it! Mustela Dermo-Cleansing (Cleansing gel for Hair and Body) on Amazon here.

In case you are wondering, I don't get anything for product endorsement. But I should, eh?


Monday, February 6, 2012


The hat she wore 22 months ago.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

All 75th.

At Eli's 9 month check-up last week, he proved he was a very well-rounded child. He's in the 75th percentiles for all three: weight, length and head circumference. You want to know details? Well then, he is almost 22 pounds, he is 29 inches long and is head is 18 inches around. He's a well sized boy.

When we are out and about people like to comment about Eli. Many times it's about his eyes "oh they are so blue" or his hair "just like his mamas" (of which I get to say "and his daddy's too!" which always throws them for a loop). And being the South, we often have fun conversations that start off something like "Hey there Mr. Handsome, how you doin'?". I thoroughly enjoy all this banter because it's something I yearned for and wanted to be a part of for a long time. I'm so grateful to be a part of the "cool kids club" of parenting. I don't take this for granted.

The only thing Eli wasn't hitting the mark on is his movement. He needs to scoot, wiggle, work on crawling... since he is still fairly content wherever you plop him. If a toy rolls away he doesn't really try go after it, he just finds another or plays with his hands or his clothing (easily entertained). Of course we hope this is just his personality and not because he is lazy. Regardless, we will be sticking toys out of his reach this week in hopes of encouraging him to "move it, move it." Thankfully his muscle strength is all good so there is really nothing to worry about.

Look at my teeth!
Look at the butt dimple - how come they are so cute on him?
Chloe, Eli, Mercy
We visited Eli's girls this week! Chloe and Mercy are doing well and growing big. I held them both at the same time and I am in awe of multiple baby parents. They have their hands full, literally. Eli kept looking at one, then flipping his head to look at the other. So cute. Even if he sort of looks like an IT guy or some office dude here in his plaid shirt and khaki's.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Her Album.

I am finally embarking on something I've been putting off for a long time.

Working on Maelee's album. Almost two years later. Why my hesitancy?

Because I feel like once I’m done with her book, that’s it. I don’t get to make any more. Eli will have countless books… enough books that his future wife will have to figure out storage options for them. But Maelee, she just gets one. I have all the folders saved on my computer, all the files ready to go, the photos of my pregnancy, the ultrasounds scanned, every flower given, all the photos of her name and the few of her… all ready to be made into a book.

And I keep putting it off. I don’t want to be done with it. There's finality in it that makes me ache.

On the flip side, I really, really want to have her book! I could show it to others and brag about her. I have a Groupon to use up from a photo site that expires March 3rd so I have a bit of a deadline on me (which is exactly what I need). I also want to have it done and in my hands by her second birthday.

On top of the reality I never get to do another book for her, I also have the desire to make her book the BEST ever. I want it to be perfect. Of course, it never will. I'll never be completely satisfied with it. Especially because I am sort of feeling "meh" about the photo site I chose and their design tools. Simple, must keep it simple.

If you are inclined, pray for me to finish her album in time and for my heart as I pour over photos about her, of her, honoring her this next month. I've only been working on it the past few days and I can sense it's not going to be finished lightly, without some wrestling in my heart. I welcome those feelings, really, but I don't want to be a complete basketcase the next month either.

I started with photos from our "Baby Grether" folder. Some I really haven't looked at since they were taken; reminiscing about her shower, remembering our excitement, my weight gain, you know, typical stuff.  I gained quite a bit more weight with our girl, here I am at 37 weeks. Whoa baby bump!

The last ultrasound we had of Maelee she was sucking her thumb... this is the last time we "saw" her alive, just a few days before she died. Oh what I wouldn't give to have her here.

So you understand a little why this may be a tough month of designing a book? It's just not any 'ol album. It's Maelee's Album. Her one and only "baby book" that encompasses most all of the photos and mementos of her too-short life.

And once it’s done, please ask to see it. And then years later, please ask again. So that even though I only get to design one book for her, we’ll make it count.