Saturday, April 30, 2011

spring has sprung

I feel like I've already made a post with that title. It feels like spring has started and stopped over and over this year. I digress...

After we said goodbye to Mom, I thought it'd be a good time to head over to a nearby park for a little while, as I wanted to stay outside but didn't really want to walk anymore :) So Troy got his first ride in a swing!


Before the race began!

After Mom arrived in town to hang out with Troy for awhile, I headed over to campus for the 5K! I didn't quite complete the couch to 5K running program I wanted to this spring, and had only run 1.5 miles at a time before the race. But knowing I could walk when need be, I went anyways. And was super pumped that Sarah made it back in time to run with me!
 I was proud of myself in that I made it 2 solid miles before stopping to walk. I was getting ready to stop at one point and overheard someone in the crowd say, "2 miles is right around the corner!" That was enough motivation to keep going. After a bit of a walk, we started to run again to do the last stretch before running onto the football field!

 After a restful and relaxing evening with Mom and Troy, we got up bright and early to take a walk past the marathon and half marathon runners. This year, they were between miles 5 and 6 as they ran through our neighborhood, so they still had a LONG way to go. It was a great way to take a walk and pause for a few minutes along the way to cheer them on!
This is when he was still awake...

It was a VERY windy day!
Sound asleep baby :)

first trip to campus

Troy may be named after Mike's alma mater, Troy University, but I can guarant
ee which of his parents' colleges he will spend more time at throughout his childhood...yep, U of I! Yesterday, I had to pick up my race stuff for the 5K happening on campus and brought Troy to the expo with me. Afterwards, we took a short walk around the football stadium. Next trip to campus, we'll make sure to visit the quad, Troy!
Troy says, "That football stadium looks like fun! Can we come back here sometime this fall??"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

what a difference a year makes!

one year ago!

and here he is today!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

you've got a friend in me

the next michael jordan?

This kid always has his tongue out these days. It's like he just realized he can stick it out and thinks its hilarious when we do it back! (PS- Nice drool, bud!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

an Easter feast

A nice simple yet special meal for just the three of us on Easter this year.

We let Troy look at the ribs and he's poised to dig in if we would have let him! Mike pointed out that we took a similar picture of Bear before having Troy and added this was yet another similarity in how dogs are practice for babies.

and the bunny returns

Apparently the bunny that led us on our adventure a few weeks ago decided he (or she) needed to make a timely appearance on Easter and taunt our dog. In fact, said bunny decided our yard would be a good place to dig a hole to live for awhile, thus taunting our dog even further. The bunny has since vacated the hole and the dog can't stop sticking her nose down there, just to be sure he's gone!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Did ya hear?! Jesus is ALIVE! What an amazing sacrifice that God gave His only son for us, so that we wouldn't have to be dead to sin but we too, could be ALIVE! In celebration of Jesus rising from the dead, we celebrated water baptisms at church this weekend....over 50 people publicly declared they choose to follow Jesus! Baptisms always remind me of my own commitment to follow Jesus and how amazing it felt to come up out of that water knowing I have NEW life in Christ, and how thankful I am for what He has done for me!

Check out this video from some of the people who were baptized this weekend sharing their stories...

Troy stayed with us during church today since he had already spent time in the nursery while I served this morning. And he completely passed out during baptisms. If you've ever been to baptisms at The Vineyard, you know how hard it would be to fall asleep during...think the most upbeat, high-energy and LOUD event you could go to. We took a family portrait after service and I am pretty sure his eyes were closed. Guess we'll see when I see it later this week :)

Happy Easter from us to you! May it be a very blessed day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


food giveaway

There are a lot of reasons we're thankful Mike works where he works. He enjoys his job, it brought him to C-U (where he met me!), there's lot of great people there and he gets a good tan during track season :) One of the main reasons we're thankful he works for his company is that the leaders of the company run the business with values we respect and share. Several times a year they participate in charitable outreach in our community, and this particular week, families were invited to join their staff in a huge food giveaway on Good Friday. In the parking lot of a church, they distributed a couple thousand dollars worth of food from the food bank (so they got way more for their money than at a store). Troy and I were glad to join Mike and several of his co-workers!

Mountain of food!

Trying to pass out the food before the rain hit
  About a half hour in, we were slammed with rain and Troy and I jumped ship and waited in the car while Mike kept passing out food. In the end, he was soaked and covered in bread goo (ew) but it was a great opportunity to bless some people in need!
Hanging in the car

Thursday, April 21, 2011

cereal: take #2

Troy tried rice cereal again tonight. I brought out this awesome bib that Troy got from my friend Sarah for tonight's meal. It was pretty big on him but was GREAT at keeping the cereal off his clothes. He was fascinated with the big fish on the bib.
 It appeared he wasn't really into the cereal tonight. He was so, so focused but not at all on the cereal...
Yes, Troy decided this was the right time for his weekly poop. After a 15 minute intermission and a double teamed effort by Mike and I, he was clean and ready to eat (of course, now he made plenty of room!) I decided it was too late to get out another outfit since he was going to be going immediately to the bath after his meal. So he ate cereal in his diaper in his bumbo. You can't really see the diaper but I promise he's wearing one!

He was still fascinated with the big fish. But at least he was much more enthusiastic about the cereal!
 And when he was all done, I let him play with the ever so fascinating bib- great entertainment!

chicks dig him

Troy says, "I wow them with my awesome drooling skills."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Troy's first taste

Tonight we tried cereal for the first time. His pediatrician okay'd us to try it a few weeks ago but we weren't really in a rush. It was hard to tell if he was spitting it out because he's not ready for it or he was just trying to figure it out. He seemed to swallow a bit a few minutes in...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

basket full of goodies

My Aunt Sue and Uncle Danny (Troy's great aunt and uncle) put together a basket full of goodies just for Troy in celebration of Easter. There were some awesome things in there, including a rattle shaped like a saw (baby's first tools!) and the cutest little bunny hat I've ever seen. Mike wasn't such a fan of his son in a bunny hat but it is oh-so-cute and has to be shared :)

Troy with Uncle Danny, Aunt Sue and Emily

cuteness overload

thanks for my basket, guys!

april chicago visit

The three of us headed up to Chicago for a family get together this past weekend. Since the only two trips I've made up there since Troy was born were while Mike was on trips, it was great to have him with us for the trip. Troy seemed to really enjoy his time at Gramma and Grampa's as he was in a great mood the whole time and napped and slept well for the most part while we were there. We got to spend some time with the whole family on Saturday night as my mom cooked a huge meal for 16 of us! It was great to see everybody!
Chatting with Gramma while she worked in the kitchen

Hanging with big cousin Emily.

Pajama time! Still happy even after such a long day!

april date night

Well we were striving for one date night per month and we did well in January and February. Then March came and went and we knew it was time to plan a date...soon! Our friends Sarah and Fred suggested somewhere we'd never been: The Possom Trot in Oakwood, IL. Described as a supper club, Mike and I were a little wary. But apparently this place is owned by the same family that owns the Beef House over the border in Indiana (mmm!) and it was definitely a winner! The four of us had a great time and our food was delicious! Thanks, Sarah and Fred, for a great evening!

Meanwhile, back at our house, Troy had a "date" of his own with my friend Carrie. Carrie and her husband Chris came to take pictures of Troy when he was a week old and this week she got a few more I can't wait to get my hands on. Here's one that she posted on her own blog the next day:
Thank you, Carrie, for taking such great care of Troy while we had our date night!

Friday, April 15, 2011

a cunningham adventure

An adventure that started with a bunny. Not the easter bunny, but one of the 10,987 bunnies that currently live in our neighborhood. We have a good dog. A very good dog. So when we were out for our evening walk last night, I (the dog walker) dropped her leash when we were on our block and let her run home. She did great. Ran right to our house. But then she saw it. A bunny. And as Mike said, "It's all over now."

I take off running after the dog. She is at least one block over. I quickly lose sight of her. Mike has Troy back at the house. I hear a neighbor yelling at her dog a block or so away and yell "is there another dog over there" and she responds with "she's running back to you". Bear appears. Darts across our street right to me again. Oy.

We walk around to the back of the house. Mike says "good news, bad news". Good news, clearly I found the dog and she survived her race around the neighborhood. Bad news is that Mike (who is holding Troy, thankfully) has locked our garage door with the stroller (and house keys) inside. No cell phones. No key under a doormat. Ah!

Our closest house key lives about a 15 minute walk away. So we take off on walk #2 for the night. Without a stroller or infant carrier of any sort. At least we still had the dog's leash. Thankfully, our friends are home as they too, have a young child and aren't often out of the house around bedtime on a weeknight. Thank you, Jesus!

Broch drives Mike to our house. Mike brings our car back to Gerling's house. Troy, Bear and I pile into the car and we all go home. Troy goes straight to bed. Bear curls up on the couch. And the night is over.

One of the first of many adventures Troy will have with his parents! Thank you, Gerlings, for saving the night!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

night time jumping

My Gramma (Troy's Gigi) made a special request for a video of Troy in the jumperoo. Tonight he was bouncing away and I thought it was prime time to catch him having some fun. Disregard the fact that he's totally naked except for a diaper. We had just finished changing one of his weekly dirty diapers and I hadn't put the rest of his clothes back on him yet. Hey, the only pictures and videos of him on this blog can't always be when he's all squeaky clean, because lets face it, there's a very small percentage of the time that he actually looks clean and pulled together. He is a baby after all!

Monday, April 11, 2011

summer time is almost here!

Wow, did we get a taste of summer this past weekend! 85 degrees and beautiful. With Mike on a three day weekend, we had lots of great quality time to enjoy the good weather. I had to dig out some of Troy's summer clothes which are still a little big on him to find some things without long sleeves. We all can't wait for this warm weather to return and stick around for a few months!
Mike trying out the carrier while we grocery shopped. Not a surprise that Troy loved it since he could face out and see everything that we were doing!

Love, love this outfit!

Troy did lots of sleeping. This was a rare swing nap, he doesn't take too many naps in there anymore.

Most of his naps are just like this. Arms flung over his head, sprawled out in the crib.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

4 months old

I just took this picture today, so here's the "official" 4 month pics. We were hoping to cash in the gift certificate Mom, Dad, Andy and Daria got us for Christmas with a local photographer, but the weather (this morning) wasn't super cooperative. We rescheduled the session and now its beautiful and sunny. Go figure.

Eating: Troy is still a great eater. He pretty much never turns down milk. He seems to be eating somewhat less frequently, as now sometimes he'll only take 2 big bottles at Gwynne's on a "long" day as opposed to always taking 3 last month. Breastfeeding is still gonig well overall, which I'm very thankful for, but does present challenges from time to time, especially with work. My goal from the get go has been making it to one year so we can go straight to regular milk and not need any formula, and that plan seems to be right on track.

Sleeping: This past month Troy has slept through the night (ten hours) twice! But those were isolated nights. He typically sleeps 7 to 8 hours for his first stretch and only gets up once to eat, but the last four or five nights he's been up two or three times.

Playing: Troy can hold toys now and pick them up, and they usually go straight to his mouth. He's also super interactive now, laughing at us, cooing to us, etc. His personality is really starting to come through! We're going to the One Week Boutique later tonight and I'm hoping to pick up (some, not many) toys like stackable rings and other basics. He is really liking the jumperoo, more than the activity mat, and he actually gets how to jump in it now.

Clothes: Troy is wearing mostly 3-6 month clothes, with some 6-9 month clothes mixed in. It seems like he'll be in 6-9 month clothes for the better part of summer, but who knows how he's going to grow. I bought another mega case of size 2 diapers but we may or may not have to move to 3's before we use them all.

Likes: bouncing in the jumperoo, walks in the stroller, playing with us on the floor, "talking" to anyone and everyone, sitting up in our laps

Dislikes: Being cradled (mostly), getting in his pjs after his bath, burping (still)

Friday, April 8, 2011

4 month check up

Clearly, this picture was BEFORE we left to go get shots, not after!

Troy had his four month check-up today! His weight is up to 15 pounds even and he is 24 1/4in long. Poor guy fell asleep in the car on the five minute ride over there and had to be woken up just to have all his clothes taken off and to be poked with a shot. Mike once again took the day off for the doc appt (much appreciated, Daddy!) so that we could both ask questions and learn what's coming up in the next two months. Troy's doctor reassured us once again that Troy's crazy pooping habits are in fact considered normal but did give us some tips on how we might be able to help if he seems super-gassy or anything. (Ah, poop.) He also had his next two shots and we're continuing on with monthly visits to space these shots out until 7 months, when we start to make trips in a little less. Apparently we continue to pass the test of parenting by doing what we need to do to take care of Troy!

And he's pretty much been sleeping every since, and that was four hours ago. He woke up to eat once and then went right back down. Please pray that he sleeps well tonight, as shots can easily throw off his fragile, not-quite-consistent sleep schedule at night.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Some old pictures of Mike surfaced today that just HAD to be worked into a blog post...

While this guy was busy hanging with his buddies in '98, listening to Vanilla Ice...

This girl was celebrating 8th grade graduation!

1998: Mike was 22 yrs old and I was 14...who knew these two would end up together?!


My little cousin Emily thought Mike's hair was awfully fun when she first met him a few years ago. She said it was "fuzzy". Today Troy came to the same realization, proof in this video:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Top 10 Recomendations (updated)

Just a list, a list of 11. In case you need something from someone and need to know where to go. Tell 'em Mike sent ya.

  1. Mechanic: Send a Friend Auto Care If you need a fair mechanic (yes they exist) who has fair prices and is a super nice guy, then Spence is your man. Spence has been my sole mechanic for 4+ years and takes care of everything on my cars. From oil changes to strut repair, even the flat tires that we used to get when Amy worked for ACS, Spence takes care of things quick, expertly, and knows how to dumb down things for this guy who knows nothing about cars.

  2. Realtor: Pam Franks Re/Max Pam was the realtor for our house search two years ago. She was honest and upfront (and patient!) with us throughout the process. She gave us expert advice and I never felt I was getting the run around. And you want to know how nice she is? After (AFTER!) we bought the house, almost a year later she gave Amy and I tickets to a U of I basketball game. I was like, "she knows we aren't buying another house for a long time, right?" Pam continues to be ultra nice and thoughtful (she wrote us a nice letter when she heard about Troy being born) and continues to be someone I would ask questions of. In fact, numbers 3 and 4 (indirectly) came from her.

  3. Home Inspector: Master Spec We heard of MasterSpec through our realtor Pam Franks (see #2). We also heard of Master Spec on our favorite radio station (see #7). Scott Dalby came out and did a thorough job of our home inspection as you would expect from a home inspector, but where he earned extra points was after we had purchased the home and 8 months later it was winter. We were concerened about the outside water hose spickets and weren't sure how we were supposed to winterize them. We asked Scott and he sent back a response within hours based on the inspection he did on our house! Now that's service.

  4. General handy man: All Around Home Improvement As you may or may not know, I am NOT a handy man. You already know I don't change my own oil so what would you expect me to do when my living room ceiling started leaking water? That's right; call someone! So I checked with Scott Dalby on who he recommended for some home repair stuff. He quickly named Douglas Bradley of All Around Home Improvement. Doug came out (on a Saturday!) put an access panel for our master bathroom, fixed the leaking shower faucet, fixed the light switch in the basement, gave me an assessment for our unfinished bathroom in the basement, told us how to clean the water/mildew stain on the living room ceiling and gave me a can of ceiling paint to cover up the mildew stain after we cleaned it. He was here for almost an hour and half and my jaw DROPPED when he told me how much I owed him. I don't see how he made any money off of me, but I will be using him again and I hope you do too. Douglas is a keeper! 217-344-6459

  5. Doula: Jill Rackow If you don't know what a Doula is, I'll give you my definition; a freakin' life saver! Jill was always available for every little question even for the 100th time. And the patience this woman showed as we got closer and closer to labor ("you don't sound like a woman I'd take to the hospital"HA!) was remarkable. Our time at the hospital through the labor (sheesh especially the time between midnite and 7am) was made so much easier with her knowledge, prayer, care for my wife, and thoughtfullness for me. If you are pregnant you need Jill! Trust me guys.

  6. Car salesman: Ford City Scott Jordan When I was in my car accident back in the fall (look in previous blog posts for pictures of the massacre that became my car) I was in need of a car and fast (and cheap!). Amy and I began our search at 3pm on Friday with the hopes of just looking through some of the dealerships and purchasing a car later the following week. We started at Kia where I had bought my last car. Their selection was limited for what we were looking for (used SUV in the $15k or so range). We also weren't impressed with the sales guy as he stated that he purposely made my 8 month pregnant wife walk more then what was necessary. Really, dude? Really? Then we went to Parkhill-Sullivan. They too had a limited selection but we did find a nice black SUV but the price was a bit high. We thought we could make it doable, but it wasn't perfect. Then we headed to Ford City. When we got there we saw Scott and asked him what time he closed for the night. He said he had closed about an hour earlier but he was always 'making deals'. So we told him what we were looking for and he sent us over and said he'd be over in a bit. After doing a test drive on some car (don't even remember what it was) we went to his office to crunch the numbers. Then he goes, "you know, I do have another car possibly. It's a Ford Escape Hybred." I thought there was no way in the world we could afford a Hybred. When Scott gave me the number I told him, "Ok, guy, I'm a salesman too. What's wrong with the car?" I could not believe that a car like this would be so cheap. Long story short; the car checked out to be just as advertised and we called him on Saturday morning (on the road to Chicago) and told him to have it ready for us on Monday we'd pick it up in the afternoon. This guy even filled the gas tank for me without me asking. If you need a car, call Scott. He's an honest care salesman (yes those exist too!).

  7. Radio Station: WBGL 91.7 I started listening to this radio station back when I moved here to Champaign/Urbana. After attending the Vineyard church and digging the worship band I wanted to find a radio station that was similar. I found WBGL and haven't turned the station since. This is some great music and if you love comedy you've got to listen to the morning show with Tim and Pam.

  8. TV Watching: Hulu plus Not sure if you are with me or not, but I got tired of paying my cable company $150+ dollars so that I could watch less then an hour of tv a night and then complain that nothing was on. You with me? So Amy and I got fed up and decided we were going to cancel cable. But we are total diehard Office fans (and Family Guy for me) so we couldn't give that up, so we found Hulu! Hulu is $9 a month and we get basically all the tv shows on network cable and a lot of cable shows too. We did have to sacrifice the Food Network and ESPN, but we pay about $100 less a month, and that's total worth it. Totally. Check it out. If you want.

  9. Movie watching: Netflix To get our movies fix on we do Netflix. Roughly $10 a month, but there are other options. Lots of good movies, documentaries (my fave), comedies, tv shows and more. That took our total cable bill from $150+ down to $60 for internet (wish there was a way to lower that; freakin cable company) and $20 for Hulu and Netflix. Thank you internets for saving us money!

  10. Lawn maintance: Weed man This is a weird one to recommend. I don't use this guy (Andy) and his service. Well, we did last year, but then we decided to not renew him for this year. So why the heck am I recommending him? Cause this guy goes OUT OF HIS WAY to make sure I'm satisfied. We used him last year (great rates) but decided that I wanted to try and do it myself this year. This year he forgot that we canceled the contract and fertilized my lawn to start the season. We called and he apologized (apologized for fertilizing my lawn!) and (obviously) waived the charge. Then he gave us some great tips on how to do the lawn ourselves. This guy could (should?) have just told us thanks and bye, but spent a good amount of time on the phone with us giving us tips to do it ourselves. If I totally kill my lawn doing it myself this year, Andy will be the only person I call to hire back as my lawn guy. I just hope he takes me back.

  11. Chiropracter/Health Advisor: Melby Chiropractic-Jeff Melby I'm not sure how this one got left off the original list. I started seeing this chiropracter about a year ago. Amy said she was interested so I decided to go first to see if this guy was a quack. (He wasn't.) Not only do some of my chronic pains (shoulder and back) hurt way less and less frequently, so do my headaches. Jeff even advised me on something to help me sleep when I do bad in that category (thank you Melatonin!). So if you want to check out someone that might help you, check Jeff Melby out. He's no quack.

**Well there you go. There's my top 11 (no particular order) people or businesses that I give my 100% endorsement. If you check them out, tell them Mike sent you. Can't hurt. Can only help. And if you have any questions, let me know. These guys/gals rock and have helped me tremendously. I know they'll help you too!

spring has sprung!

72 degrees and sunny today...more, please!

Mommy, what's all this green stuff?!

I love my dog.

Whoa, whoa, you're a BIG dog? And what happened to your nose??

Can I stay out here all night??

Ah well, I guess we can go for a walk now!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

family visit, apr 2

Our family just can't stay away from Troy, and I don't blame them! Yesterday Mom, Dad and Daria all drove down to hang out with Troy (and us) for a few hours. We had a great lunch at Kennedy's, a restaurant literally right down the street from us that we'd never tried before. Thanks for visiting, see you guys agan in a couple weeks!