Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Christopher's Birthday on Johnsons' Farm

Yesterday was Christopher's birthday!  We celebrated by picking apples at Johnson's Farm in Bedford.  We went there last year when I was 23 weeks pregnant and had just found out that we were having a boy. 

Eliot was mesmerized by the Johnny Appleseed statue.  Chris had a hard time getting him to look at the camera for a photo.

Eliot almost lost a finger to this goat.  When we walked up to their pin, the goats jumped up on the fence and Eliot lunged forward to touch them.  Could have been bad!  I love goats the best, I think.

We picked up Elizabeth for dinner followed by coffee for dessert.  In the evening, we felt really behind the times as we were amazed by our upgrade to HD and the capabilities of a DVR--part of his birthday present.  Today the rest of his present will be coming in the mail:  a wifi-ready Bluray/DVD player and Star Wars.  We've been using my PS 2 from high school as our DVD player all this time and now we can get it all into one device instead of streaming through the Wii too.  I feel like this is a lame birthday present, but Chris has been asking to clean up our "media" area for a while get with the times.

I'm super excited that our new media stand will be arriving in a couple of weeks.  We had been using this stand from Target that Chris had passed down to him in college.  My parents gave us money last Christmas to go toward a media stand, but we kept pushing it off.  We'll get that area cleaned up soon enough!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy 26th!

When I met Christopher Scott Robinson, he was 18 years old.  Today, he is 26.  We're getting old!

When I met Christopher Scott Robinson, he loved Jesus, palm trees, and Bob Dylan.  Not much has changed!

When I met Christopher Scott Robinson, we sat in trees and by koi ponds.  We really liked Asian things.  We would split happy meals because he had no appetite due to mono (which he didn't know he had).  His hair was black.  He had never kissed a girl; I had never had a boyfriend aside from middle school.  Both of those things changed.

When Christopher Scott Robinson was 20 years old, he asked me to marry him.  We were sitting on the beach at night.  As soon as I said yes, a cover band started playing "I Shot the Sheriff" because I guess some rich person was having a party.  We dreamed together.  We learned tough lessons from life together.  We worked hard together.  A year later, after we graduated from college, we were married.  We had many more hard life lessons to learn--and I'm sure many more remain.

After he proposed
In undergrad

Since then, he has grown from the boy with the most compassionate heart who didn't drive to the most compassionate father I could have ever imagined who likes to drive on I-95.  The boy who didn't have a job to the husband who works almost constantly communicating with students and professors to make sure that he is supporting everyone the best that he can.  In short, I have watched him grow from a boyhood.  And while I feel like we are getting old as he turns 26, maturity is refinement.

Happy birthday, Christopher.  We've had a lot of adventures.  Here's to many more!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Sorry for this boring post.  It's mostly to help me keep track of things.

Eliot has been eating a lot of formula.  Like, 40 ounces a day a lot.  Like, a quart and a cup left over.  Man!  I don't mind him eating more than the "suggested amount" if he isn't gaining too much weight.  I'd still consider him to be skinny--longgg and skinny.  Plus, he is always on the go, requiring more food.  I do, though, think that he should be eating more solids than he is.  I need to make more of an effort.  I mean, I've been giving him more new things, but I need to increase the amount as well.

Today he had 8 ounces in the morning (spread over two hours) followed by a jar of butternut squash for lunch and 6 ounces.  Then in the late afternoon he had 8 more ounces.  He had half a jar of spinach and a whole jar of pears for dinner.  Later, he had 6 ounces.  He will probably have 4 more ounces before bed--maybe 6.  That is 28 ounces for the day so far, but probably 32-34 in the end.  I think that is pretty good!  I got some oatmeal for him to try with breakfast.  I'll probably mix some apples in that for him.  He loves apples!

The Aggressively Friendly Duck

Poor Eliot endured at least three hours in the car every day for three days in a row!  He was so good, though, and got to enjoy some grandparent time on both sides.  He crawled all around the Robinson grandparents' house and then we saw my parents in Baltimore.

"Baltimore?" you ask.  Yes, Baltimore.  My uncle Harvey had a surprise 60th birthday party, so we all drove up.  Fortunately, the place was just two hours from Christopher's parents' house.  Unfortunately, I (little country driving Katie) had to drive through D.C. to get there.  Let me tell you:  driving through cities is one way to send me into a panic attack.  I'm horrible when I don't know where I'm going and cars are all pressing around me.  Meep!  But we made it just fine.

The restaurant was a little seafood place on the water.  We ate on the back deck and Eliot loved staring at the ducks.  These ducks were so "friendly" that one kept walking around the deck--yet there was a sign up asking customers to not feed the ducks because they were becoming too aggressive.  Ha!

Eliot and me with the aggressively friendly duck!
Christopher and Eliot looking at the water--and by "water," I mean "ducks".
As the sun was setting.  Bangs are getting OK, I guess.
We were able to spend part of Sunday with Christopher's mom, then headed back home to Lynchburg to do schoolwork and yadda yadda, boring boring boring.  I kind of don't want to go on any more trips for a while, but we're heading to New Orleans in a couple of weeks to present at a conference.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Fingertips on the Old Robinson Piano

We are in Woodbridge at Christopher's parents' house!  I don't enjoy the drive through Charlottesville and 28 just nags me the whole way, but Eliot and Dexter are simply too cute in the car together.  Dexter jumps right onto Eliot's lap as soon as he gets the chance.  Eliot smiles and laughs all the way--until he passes out.
Isn't Dexter just a good-looking dog?  Abed-nego too!
Eliot has loved being able to crawl all over the house and explore new places.  It has me especially looking forward to moving in the summer.  I feel so bad that Eliot only has the den and dining room to roam at our house, but, really, I'm sure that is quite common.  And those two rooms are probably huge to him.  He never seems bored, that's for sure.  Still, I kind of like the idea of moving into a ranch so Eliot can have independence and go into his room or our den or wherever he wants without the worry of stairs.

Eliot playing great grandma Robinson's piano
Eliot has also had fun playing with his Robinson grandparents and receiving lots of love.  It makes me so happy to see them together.  You know, it's funny:  there are photographs of Christopher and Elizabeth all through the house.  And there are photos of me too--that's how I realized how accepted I actually was a handful of years ago (seven years now!).  When I was in the picture frames too.  And now Eliot is also in the frames.  Our Robinson family continues to grow and change through the years!

Tomorrow:  Baltimore and the other side of the family.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dreaded Haircuts and a Well-rested Baby

The leaves on our cherry tree began falling about a week ago.  I thought it was a bit premature.  Now, it seems that over a third of the leaves are bright yellow.  I had better start taking fall photographs soon if I don't want to miss the leaves.  I hate to see fall come because I dread seeing the trees bare for so, so long in the winter.

Lots of rain and overcast skies in the forecast this week....  No matter!  We're going to Woodbridge this weekend anyway.

I finally got my hair cut yesterday.  It had seriously been a year.  I got it cut last shortly before Christopher's birthday and, well, his birthday is just five days away.  I hate haircuts because you never know if you and the haircutter have the same definition of an inch and a half.  This lady and I did, but she totally didn't understand what I meant by side bangs or the length I asked for.  Ah, well, nothing to rant about.  It came out all right, and I think my bangs will look better in about a month.  Until then, I'll be trying my hardest to make them look longer.


Is it weird that I feel strange posting a photo of just myself?  Photos of just me (and no baby) are rare these days, which is fine.  I like Eliot in my pictures, but, man, this is leaving me feeling all sorts of self-absorbed.  Anyway...  Eliot had re-introduced me to the amazing time-saver that is bathing at night instead of in the morning.  Plus, if I bathe at night, I can do "no heat curls," which works out way better than my curling iron can ever pull off.  It's like a couple of years ago, my hair decided to stop curling.  I don't really get why, but this works!

I put Eliot in his pajamas way earlier than I should have yesterday evening because I was all too excited to see him in footie pajamas.  So cute!  Eliot-baby spent from 6:00 pm til about 10:00 pm roaming the house in his sleeper.  He did "nap" for about 30 minutes around 8:00 pm.

Then I realized this morning that something amazing had happened.  Eliot slept through the whole night without waking up once!  Not one time did I have to make him a bottle.  Not once did I have to put his paci back in his mouth.  He slept the entire night--and I think I came close to it as well.  I'm hoping this is a trend, but I'm not counting on it.  See, I got Eliot to drink four ounces right before bed.  Usually he won't do that.  Maybe I can do some convincing.  And maybe I can move him into his crib....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Things and Things and Things

I hate feeling like a consumer, but today was what I needed.  Chris and I got up and out the door as soon as he finished up some administrative work.  We were able to eat lunch at Panera, which is quite rare once students return, and Eliot chowed down on some broccoli and cheddar soup.  The boy has good tastes!  We bought Eliot a couple of new books from Barnes and Noble with a 20% off coupon.  Then we picked up another hoodie for him at Old Navy since I had a 30% off coupon and also a polo for $5.

[in the Old Navy parking lot]
Chris:  Can you drive?  I feel kind of out of it.
Kt:  Sure, but you just handed me the paci instead of the keys.
Chris:  Yeah, that's kind of how I feel.

On the way home, I made a donation at a baby consignment shop.  I was thinking about selling it, but, really, I wouldn't make much off of it, and so I'd rather just give it to a good cause.  While I was there, I picked out a few sleepers for Eliot.  He hasn't worn sleepers to bed since he grew out of his 0-3 months ones when the weather grew warmer.  I couldn't believe how huge these pajamas looked compared to his first few outfits!  Eliot used to wear pretty much exclusively sleepers when he was a newborn since it was so cold.

And now Eliot is finally napping.  He slept earlier today for about an hour, but he really needed an early evening nap as well.  When he wakes, I'll give him a bottle and a bath.  Then try to put something together for dinner before heading over to Stephanie's this evening.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spoon Me in Boonsboro

I feel like Chris and I have been glued to our laptops over the past three days.  Between my comps, his schoolwork, and both of our grading, there hasn't been much time for anything aside from paper plates, quick meals at different times, and exclusively indoor play dates with Baby.

This evening, though, we decided to make time for something fun.  I noticed the other day that there is a new frozen yogurt place open in Boonsboro.  It's like Lynchburg woke up one day and figured out that frozen yogurt is just all right.  We went from none to three in about six months--or less?  Or maybe more.  But not long!  Anyway, we went to check it out.  Pretty good, but more than anything it was nice to get out of the house and sit outside in the fall nighttime weather.

Truly made that hat for Eliot!  She worried that it was too big, but now it fits just about perfect.
Eliot wants to eat everything we do these days.  I gave him a few bites of mine.

By the way, Monday night at Spoon Me is "Family Night"--after 3:00 pm, buy two and get one free.  Doesn't work so well for us yet, but it could with friends!

We came home; Chris made something to eat; Eliot pulled a kitchen chair on himself.  What's a Katie to do?  I can't put the chairs elsewhere.  And I don't want to kick Eliot out of the dining room.  He'd only have the den.  Maybe I should put heavy things on the chair.  Is that counter productive?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Barbeque and the Comps

It seems that Virginia woke up yesterday morning and decided it was fall.  I dressed Eliot in his hoodie for the first time--and he needed it!  I'm honestly still not stoked about fall, but there are some nice things about cooler weather.  I guess.

Eliot and I dressed for the fall weather.
Eliot is doing much better.  His nose is just slightly congested and barely runny.  I'm still not sure if it is a cold or teething because Chris and I have both not been feeling well, yet I am almost certain that one of Eliot's top incisors has broken through.

Eliot stoked to be cuddling with Dexter in the car.
Christopher's dad came in town yesterday to take Elizabeth back home for the weekend.  It is crazy to think that she has been here for a month now!  While he was in town, we went to get lunch.  Eliot had his first taste of barbeque (which he loved) and also hush puppies (which he really loved).  Barbeque with those Robinsons is a funny thing.  They love it.  All of them.  I guess it is a North Carolinian family tradition for them with a lot of great memories of sharing barbeque together.  When I was pregnant with Eliot, Chris said that he couldn't wait to share barbeque with him.  I thought that sounded funny, so I joked that Eliot would hate barbeque.  Chris got really sad.  Fortunately for Chris, Eliot really loved it.  Must be a Robinson.

Eliot and his barbeque.

Eliot and a hush puppy--or, as Pawpaw Wallace Robinson called them, corn pones.
Today was kind of a rough one at first.  I had to take my comprehensive exam for the doctorate program, which I had been quite anxious about.  Eliot still isn't sleeping the best (but much better!) since he isn't feeling so great.  Also, I was up all night worrying.  Not a good combination.  Anyway, I got up in the morning to take my test.  Christopher watched Eliot--who was on his absolute worst behavior since mommy wouldn't pay any attention to him.  I got it done though with the final document being nineteen pages total.  I must admit that a few of the pages were rubrics and References, but, you know, it was a lot.  After I finished, we went to Olive Garden to celebrate followed by Target, a nap, and a walk.  And nowww football.

Eliot was all too excited to steal my food.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eliot's First Runny Nose

Poor Eliot has a super runny nose.  It is clear, so I think it is either a slight cold or mostly just related to teething.  He might have a slight fever as well, but I'm not sure since our thermometer is dumb.  Last night, the only way he would sleep was if I was holding him sitting up due to all of the drainage, which meant that I couldn't sleep.  I finally got him to sleep propped up around 3:00 am.  Other than that, though, he is crawling around happily and exploring like usual.

Eliot's first "sickness".  I suppose that it is pretty good that he didn't get "sick" until eight months--and it might just be teething anyway.

We're back in Lynchburg, trying to get back into our normal routines; however, that might not happen for a little while since I have the comprehensive exam to take on Saturday.  Meeep!  I was originally going to take the exam this past summer, but they recommended that I wait since I was taking Educ 919 at the same time.  I'll be glad when it is over.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dear Eliot: Eight Months

Dear Eliot,

Another month, another letter, another milestone every day.  You are eight months old.  I hardly know where to start!

This month, your dad and I made more of an effort to babyproof the house.  We bought another baby gate, put up dangerous items that you could get into, put away lamps, and moved books around.  You.are.everywhere.  All the time!  You try to pull up on everything, and do a great job.  You aren't "cruising" specifically yet, but sometimes you slowly move from one place to another while standing.  You can stand with just one hand, and stood by the couch today without any hands at all!  Thankfully, you are getting the hang of setting yourself down gently.  Instead of simply collapsing, you now squat and lower yourself down to your bottom.  I always hate it when you knock your head!

Your crawling has also improved greatly.  You are much faster, and get around and into trouble quickly.  You used to like me to play with you, but now you are on your own exploring the world around you.  It is so much fun to watch you go where you want to go.  Often, you crawl to the dining room and pull your books off of the shelf.  I always try to read to you when you select a book.  Sometimes you choose them all.  I love reading to you; you seem to like it too. 

These days you are teething.  You have two bottom teeth and another bottom one is coming in.  You don't like to show off your teeth, but I'm sure I wouldn't like someone poking in my mouth either.  I wonder when your top teeth will come in....  Somehow, teething does not seem to bother you at all.  You do chew on things more, and like biting our noses, but you aren't even slightly fussy.

As for food, you're still doing well with solids.  You like spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin the best.  I also give you some of our dinners sometimes.  I gave you some chicken once, but you weren't a fan yet.  We don't eat a lot of meat anyway, so that is fine.  I'm sure it will grow on you enough.  You also hold and drink water from a sippy cup.  You have decided that puffs are all right, but you usually spit half out.  However, you seem to enjoy feeding yourself mum-mums.

This month, you picked out your favorite stuffed animal at a store.  It was Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba, your favorite television show.  Whenever you see Brobee, you give a little chuckle, especially if I make him dance for you.  This is just one example of your blossoming personality.  You are becoming an individual more and more each day.  I love seeing your preferences.  It's great to see you crawl around the house and decide where you want to go, not just where you can go.  We took you to the Virginia Aquarium and you made it all too clear that you do not like turtles.  Maybe you were simply getting into the swing of things, but the turtles really did seem to bother you while you loved watching the fish.  I love getting to know you, Eliot, for who you are and who you are growing to be.

On September 9th, you said your first word.  We have been trying to model "mama" and "dada" for you, but instead you said "nana," which greatly pleased your Nana Widen.  The next day, you started saying "mama" when you got upset, almost like you were calling me for help.  Eliot, sometimes I think that you are speaking Italian because you babble with an Italian cadence.  Between the rhythm of your speech and the way you scrunch your brow and wave your hands when you babble, you do seem like an old Italian man making his concerns known.  I'm listening, Eliot, to every little utterance you make, just hanging onto each syllable.

Eliot, you are very observant of the world around you.  When we went for a walk at Blackwater Creek, you stared at everything, taking it all in.  At the aquarium, you watched the fish so peacefully.  If you hear someone playing guitar, you listening contently and try to grab the strings.  It is obvious that you are always observing, exploring, and learning--to you, learning is serious business, but I can tell you take great joy in it as well.

One of the sweetest things that you do these days is asking to be held.  You crawl to me, and pull up on my leg.  I like to know that you have chosen to be close to me.  I love watching you grow and develop.  You're such a big boy now (and wearing nine month clothes!).  I love you, Eliot, and I'll always think you're the most fascinating and amazing little boy.  Your dad and I are totally smitten.

Monday, September 12, 2011


After completing our work for the day, Christopher and I spent a bit of time driving around Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.  I guess it isn't much of a secret that we're seriously considering moving back "home" next summer.  While I grew up here and know Chesapeake very well, there are a lot of neighborhoods in Virginia Beach that I'm simply not familiar with.

Maybe it is silly to drive around looking at specific houses now since we are so far from our planned moving time, but I like having so much time to "do our homework," decide what neighborhoods have what we want, and go through several sets of emotions something along the lines of saying, "This is awesome!  This is it!" followed two days later by, "No, that probably isn't the best idea."  Buying a home is an emotional process.  We're trying to get the emotions out of the way so we can be as logical as possible.

When we came back to my parents' house, my niece and nephew were over being watched by my mom.  I cuddled with Sydney and Dexter (our puppy) in the chair, and asked Sydney about her first week of school in kindergarten.  Meanwhile, Matthew played so well with Eliot on the floor.  Eliot thinks Matthew is the coolest kid ever.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chesapeake and the Virginia Aquarium

Christopher and I decided to take an impulsive trip back to Chesapeake.  My childhood bestfriend (Kimmy) has been feeling a bit lonely since her husband is in Austria for work.  He'll be gone for eight weeks!  We figured it would be nice to keep her company for a little while.

We came in last night, and saw her dad play guitar.  Eliot is simply mesmerized by music and guitar.  He stared until he grew too tired and fell asleep in my arms.  We stayed the night at Kimmy's house, and went to the Virginia Aquarium the next day.  I hadn't been since it was called the Virginia Marine and Science Museum.  They really have added a lot.  Eliot just stared at all of the fishies.

Eliot has been growing more and more talkative.  He says "mama" when he is upset.  Other times when he babbles, he puts his hands up like he is asking a question and scrunches his brow.  Kimmy said that he looks (and sounds) like a concerned, old Italian man.  And it's true.  He really does.  I love hearing him talk.  It really is amazing how quickly he changes.