Monday, September 29, 2008

Another Weekly Update.

Another week has come and gone and I am once again asking myself where did it go? I feel like I must have accomplished a lot... then I have those days when Mike comes home and asks me what I've done and I'll I can think to say after one of those days is... Carter is still alive, that is what I've done. Being 34 weeks pregnant with a toddler learning how to be independent, I think a day where we both survive counts as an accomplishment.
Carter is really growing these days. He has two molars now and I'm sure the rest will be soon to follow. He loves to help around the house and sweep, mop and dust with me. He even managed to crawl completely out the doggie door on Sunday. Mike looked out and there he was playing with the hose in the backyard. At church we've learned that Carter loves to take crayons out of the box and put them back in. While in class with Mike, Carter decided he liked to color his graham crackers and try to eat them, not such a good idea little man. In the past week he's discovered his own language of jibber jabber and is learning to use his tongue more. I'm hoping this will lead into some more progress in his speech. He's also become a little bruiser and has had some "run ins" with the other toddlers at the gym day care and is learning the concept of time out. Lately he's learned how to use a fork and spoon to eat. Mostly he picks the food up and puts it on the fork or spoon, but in the past few days he's started to pick up on using the fork to stab his food.

He's also decided that he wants to be a big kid and instead of sitting in the high chair, he pulls out the kitchen chair and wants to sit with us at the table. Cute, yes, safe, not so much, but we're working on it.

Love, love, love this picture. Carter 15 months.
Just getting back from the Ramages. Carter played hard and passed out on the way home.Did we mention our little man is not so little these days? He can reach the door handles now. 34 weeks pregnant and counting... I chopped my hair off this past weekend. I needed a change... it's a little short, but change is good and once I figure out how to style it I'm sure I'll like it better.
We keep taking pictures of me pregnant so on Sunday I decided to return the favor and take a picture of Mike. Looking good honey! He looks a little tired, he was in training in Dallas all week and then spent all day Saturday running errands and laying carpet for our good friends.
Random picture I know. Carter loves shoes these days. Unfortunately he has the chubbiest feet and can't fit into very many. So he's become a big fan of our flip flops. Here he is in Mike's, complete with binky- which I'm not sure why he has outside of his crib, and a sticker on his forehead, in a classic white onesie. Also looking good!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Finally Healthy.

Carter during his EEG last Friday. This is a happy face I promise.
We've had a pretty unpredictable month with Carter. After taking a spill and hitting his head resulting in a minor concussion, then catching Mike's cold, double ear infections that lasted all month, finding out he is allergic to amoxicillin antibiotics just like his dad, and then having some strange seizure like episodes that sent us to Texas Childrens Hospital for an EEG... we went to the pediatrician today and he finally received a clean bill of health!
Both ear infections are finally gone and we received the results back from the EEG that came back "normal." We are so relieved and thankful to our Heavenly Father that the test came back normal. Although this isn't a guarantee that he won't have any more episodes, we feel pretty confident about the results since it's been almost three weeks since he's had any. We've spent more time at the pediatricians office this past month than we have in the last six months. At 15 months he now weighs 27 pounds and is 34 inches tall. He's a tall kiddo above the 95th percentile.
Here is the view from the top of his head. There must have been about 20 censors attached to his head. These aren't the best quality pictures the only camera we had was Mike's blackberry.

Part of the test he had to be asleep and experience a REM cycle, after that we had to wake him up and let him play. Here I am trying to entertain him. I look excited huh? It was a long day for all of us.

Here's another picture from the front. The worst part was having him sleep deprived and getting all of the censors put on him. It took both Mike and I to hold him down and he bawled, complete with tears. Completely broke our hearts.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hurray for Power after Ike.

We got power back on at our home on Tuesday and really suffered very minimal damage from Hurricane Ike and feel very fortunate. If being without power was our greatest problem I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for watching over us. It was crazy to be here and in a Hurricane. The actual night of the hurricane you could hear the rain pounding and the house was shaking from the wind. We woke up at about 4 am when the worst part of the storm hit our area, at this point our power was out and it had been for some time. After that we just laid in bed listening and waiting. Surprisingly, Carter slept like a rock the entire night. We had to wake him up at 9am. For the past four years we've had Hurricane scares, but never one of this magnitude. We live on the west side of Houston and made out a lot better than the rest of the city. Mostly here people suffered from roof damage, some flooding and down fences, trees and power lines. We live in a newer subdivision so we didn't have nearly as many problems because out trees are small and new.

We're so grateful to have the power back on and so grateful to the Knies and Ramage families who offered their homes to us while we were without power. We hunkered down at the house after the storm for about a day and then decided is was just too miserable to be here, so we packed everything up and headed to the other side of town. Such a blessing, it was just way to hot and humid for me being so pregnant and poor Carter was in a constant sweat in his diaper, which we let him run around in all day. We were without water for about 24 hours and without power for three days. Half of the city is still without power. Yes, it sucked to be without power, but we were very blessed to have such great friends who were willing to take us in, and it's not very often you get to have an adult sleepover.

Since returning home we've been picking up the pieces. Mike has fixed our fence, we had to pull up a section of our carpet and air it dry, we still have some shingles on the roof to replace but are in need of a ladder tall enough to get to the roof, we also cleaned out the fridge since we lost pretty much everything that was in it. I am waiting for things in the city to calm down before I even attempt to go to the grocery store. Makes me rethink the whole food storage and preparedness council and I've decided after this experience I am going to be better and smarter at it.
Fence right after the storm.

Fence after Mike fixed it, good as new.

Carter staying cool in his diaper playing outside.

We grilled dinner and spent the evening in the front yard with the rest of our neighbors. Mike even made us smores.

Here's our empty fridge after Ike.

This is the small section of our carpet that was damaged, now good as new.

Down powerlines by our house. The pole was snapped in half.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quick Update.

We made it through the storm. We were very fortunate to not have any real damage to our home. We lost a little of our fence but Mike was able to repair that on Saturday. Like I said we were very fortunate, a lot of people around us were not as fortunate. We are still out of power, working on day three with no power. Being so pregnant and having a toddler we have evacuated to a friends house with power. We're doing alright and appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers. We feel very lucky to live on the west side of Houston and our hearts go out to those who live closer to the coast and on the east side of the city. I'll update with details later when we return home and have power. Both of our cell phones are working, you might have to call a few times to get through.

Hugs, The Dille's

Friday, September 12, 2008


Hurricane Ike is approaching the Houston area and we've decided to stay here and ride out the storm. The city is encouraging those who have not been asked to evacuate to stay and allow those who need to, to leave the city. We live on the west side and are expecting high winds and a lot of rain. For the most part everything is closed today, including Wal-mart and Home Depot. We already had enough water and food stored, but we made a quick trip to the grocery store last night to grab whole milk for Carter and some fresh fruit and hot dogs to tide us over for the weekend. Our plan today was to finish laundry and the dishes, move everything outside of the house into the garage and pack a small bag just in case we have to pick up and leave. We do have 72 hour kits, but being pregnant, mine could use some updating. So I plan to throw some clothes for Carter and I into a separate bag. Mike is in the process of filling up the bath tubs with water, another just in case thing. I have our bags now packed and by the door. Both cars are full of gas and hopefully I've packed enough snacks for Carter in case we end up taking off for Oklahoma to stay with Bryan and Nikki. We're hoping the storm doesn't do too much damage and at the most we are planning to be without power for a few days (but praying that we won't have to deal with power outages with the Houston humidity.) The storm should hit tonight, so we're planning to have Carter and the dogs sleep in the room with us, just in case.
For the past two days there has been nothing on TV but live Hurricane coverage. This alone would make anyone have anxiety about the storm. It seems a little extreme to me to show nothing but the same thing over and over again, almost like they are trying to scare people. So today, while we were checking off tasks to prepare I've had this eerie feeling. The calm before the storm. It was a beautiful day, bright and sunny this morning and not real humid. If we hadn't have known the storm was coming I'm sure we'd all go about our business. Instead, neighbors have been boarding up their houses and everyone has been in a mad dash to get ready. How lucky are we to live in the world now with technology to prepare us for natural disasters like hurricanes. I also know that not every natural disaster can be predicted and we are fortunate to have been able to plan for Ike. Am I little nervous? I'd be lying if I said no. But am I grateful to have been warned and able to prepare as much as we could before hand... definitely. Ike is going to leave a mark on the Texas gulf coast without a doubt, our prayer is that as many people as possible will be prepared and will be safe. Keep our area in your prayers. We'll keep you posted as much as we can, if we're lucky enough to make it through the night with power.
Here's a picture of the mad house at Kroger. All lines were open with over 15 people in each line. Absolute craziness.
Here's the water aisle at Wmart. Mike said the only thing left was some fancy carbonated water. Notice Carter with spoon in hand, eating a nutri grain bar, he loves these and pounds about three a day. It's the only thing he wants for breakfast anymore.
The neighbors house across the street. It took them literally all day to board up the house and each time I looked out the window he added another person to help.
Here's another house kiddie corner from our house. They worked on boarding the house last night and all day today, yet only managed to board three of the seven windows out front. Oh, and they parked all four of their cars outside instead of in the garage- Just like our neighbors with the white SUV you can see. Really? Here's a picture of the sky tonight. It was gorgeous- the calm before the storm.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quick Trip.

This past weekend I packed my bags and jumped on a plane back to Virginia to attend one of my oldest and best friends bridal shower. I know, crazy to jump on a plane so pregnant. But I'm going to miss her wedding on Oct. 26, most likely because I'll be having a baby the next day, and I wanted to be some what a part of the wedding pre-festivities. I was gone for about 48 hours and both Mike and Carter stayed back in Houston for a guys weekend. It was amazing to fly by myself again, I got to read a book and take a nap. But by the end of the trip I missed them both dearly and was so glad to come home and sleep in my own bed and have access to the large body pillow that is essential for my sleep these days.

I took off Friday night and stayed with Tara and her fiance Jon in DC in their new home. They bought a row house/townhouse by Howard University in a "upcoming" neighborhood. The home has a lot of charm and history, I think she told me it was built in 1890. She is a braver women than I. But city life totally fits them both and I've always known I'm more of a suburbs girl.

Tara gave me a refresher tour of the DC area and I was able to see the new airforce memorial outside of the pentagon. Very cool, a little odd, but really neat. She said the guys at the pentagon have nicknamed it the "airplane catcher." It's pretty much three large metal spikes launching off the ground, it's impossible to miss if you are driving on the highway. We drove by the memorials and caught glimpses of the white house and capital. DC really is an enchanting city. Growing up there you almost take for granted what is right up the street, the national monuments, the history, the museams, the capital, the president. I'm glad I was able to experience all of this growing up. I'm also glad to be across the country now and not still living there. :) It was great to see one of my oldest friends so happy. On Saturday we headed out of the city and back to our hometown for her bridal shower at her parents home.

Tara and I, Sept. 6, 2008. I stayed with my brother Chad and my sister in law Cory on Saturday night. We went out to a Japanese steak house for dinner and boy can my brother eat. :) Granted he is 6'4 or so, and coaches Varsity HS basketball. We had a great time together and I really appreciate the mellowness of both of them. My brother is totally laid back, whereas I am more uptight. It was nice to just relax and catch up. On Sunday I was able to see my dad. I really only travel back home maybe once a year, so it was a treat to see family. Although, I do remember my dad making some comment about my pregnant belly resembling a watermelon. I think it's more of the size of a large beach ball at this point. It's hard to imagine that I still have two months to go and we'll both continue to grow. I guess you have to love family and their complete honesty.
My Brother Chad and I at the airport Sunday night. The sun was out in full force and we both have those great squinty eyes.
On Sunday morning I made a trip to see some old family friends, Jon and Janet Cherry. Janet use to be one of my young women leaders at church when I was growing up and Jon worked at the fire station with my mom. They were really like my second parents and I am so glad they were willing to love me through my teenage years. The great news about the Cherry family is that they had twin boys in July! Jack and Luke. They also have an almost 4 yr. old AJ, who is also to die for and has the best smile. It was a great visit and they are doing so well with their growing family. I use to think having twins would be so much fun, until I had one baby, then I gained a whole new perspective and mother of twins are truly heroes!

Me (31 weeks pregnant) with Jack and Luke Cherry (8 weeks old).

So all in all, I made it back home to both of my boys unscathed. (Can't say the same for my new luggage that came back with a big gash in the side... grr Continental airline baggage people!) I am so grateful to have had the chance to make the quick trip back to VA, and so grateful my wonderful husband decided to let me go and took on Carter for the weekend. Every time I talked to Mike and Carter they were doing something, running some errand, or at the gym. He got a lot more done tugging Carter around than I usually do in one week. So I was impressed. Mike gave Carter his first pickle and supposedly he loved it. I on the other hand, cannot stand pickles, so poor Carter will have to wait until I'm not around to eat another one. Mike also taught him how to do somersaults and while I was gone Carter figured out how to drop his baby spoons into the air vent in the game room. Never a dull moment with a toddler is there?
Carter playing in my suitcase as I unpacked.

No more trips for this pregnant lady. We are hunkering down for the last 8 weeks of pregnancy. I haven't started to nest or get ready for baby dille two. So it's about time I get on it. Well, at least this is what my friend Sarah told me on the phone yesterday. I remember doing so much to get ready for Carter. I guess the second time around I keep thinking I still have time and time keeps flying by. Carter just runs me into the ground these days. I keep getting slower and he keeps getting faster. I'm still wondering how I will manage two, but where there is a will there is a way, right?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Labor Day Weekend.

We spent Labor day weekend here in Houston. Mike was able to take Thursday, Friday and Monday off and then his brother Bryan, and his wife, Nikki came down from Oklahoma City to visit. It was so great to see them and we were so grateful they were willing to make the drive. We hadn't seen anyone from Mike's family since April, so it was a much needed visit from family. Sometimes its harder than you would expect to live far away from both families and it's bittersweet when everyone has a chance to get together but you're not able to make it. With this being said, it was great to see familiar faces for the weekend and enjoy the company of family... even if your brother in law takes over the TV to watch ESPN as much as possible. :)

Bryan, Carter and Nikki Bryan playing with Carter and Carters beloved piggy bank.
The two pictures below are just an example of how fun it was to try to get Carter to take a picture. He would smile and then decide once the camera was just about to take the picture, to try and escape.

On Saturday, we headed down to Galveston. What we in Houston consider the beach. It wasn't Myrtle Beach by any means but it was nice. The water was warm like bath water, it could have been a few degrees colder, but maybe this is all just part of hurricane season -the warm gulf adding fuel to the hurricanes. We spent the afternoon on the beach, playing in the surf, digging in the sand with Carter and just relaxing. Unfortunately we didn't really take any pictures, but here are just a few.

Here's our little beach baby, complete with UV blocking surf shirt. See the guy in the background making the fancy sandcastle... yeah try keeping a 14 month old away from that. :)
So recently Carter has decided he likes to dip his food in ranch, or any other kind of sauce. It's messy but at times pretty entertaining when we really let him at it. You can pretty much get him to eat anything if it's dipped in ranch dressing. Yes, I know he is definitely my child, he loves ranch and when he was sick all that we would really eat was pizza. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. :) On Saturday night we have fajitas from Lupe Tortilla's our favorite Mexican restaurant, I'm not sure how or why, put Carter got a hold of the sour cream and went to town. Dipping all of his meat and anything on his plate for that matter. At one point I think he was dipping his fingers and licking them. Here are a few pics of that as well. We all had a pretty good laugh. Thanks for a great weekend Bryan and Nikki, and thanks Mike for checking a few more things off of the honey do-list.