Friday, November 17, 2006

Talia Lily Wheeler

At long last, we have a name for our sweet new arrival: Talia Lily Wheeler. We hope you like it. If you don't, well, to be completely honest, we hope you won't tell us. Perhaps it will grow on you.

Here are a few of the reasons it's grown on us, just in case you're interested. (By the way, we take no responsibility for any inaccurate meanings--if they're wrong, blame the baby name books. With 55,001 names to sort through, we didn't take time to verify.)

- In Hebrew, Talia means "Dew from Heaven." The arrival of our beautiful girl certainly seems like dew from heaven, both in her sudden appearance as well as her consideration in coming on her due date. With Mommy in graduate school full-time, she couldn't have picked a better moment.

- In Greek, Talia means "blooming." The son of a horticulturalist, Jason likes the idea of having a blooming lily around the house.

- A second Greek meaning is "golden." We think that fits our baby blonde.

- In Latin, Talia means "birthday"--kind of appropriate when you're playing the naming game.

- Talia could go by Tallie as a nickname. We like that because it reminds us of her blonde Aunt Callie who wishes she could live closer. She could also go by Lia, or even Tal (in honor of the Spackmans.)

- We think trying to say Talia Lily Wheeler three times fast is quite amusing. Try it sometime...

Anyway, we hope all is well. More pictures coming soon!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Speedy Gonzalez

Well, Anonymous is finally making a blog post... I figure after all that Kara went through yesterday, this is the least I can do to contribute.

The day started off like any other with me making my mad dash for the bus in the morning in order to make it to class on time and Kara getting Brooklyn ready for the babysitter before heading off to classes of her own. Despite being the scheduled due date for our little "Jasper-it", the day proceeded as normal - after all, tired mommy and I hadn't seen the slightest indication that the baby was coming any time soon.

After my morning class, I picked up Brooklyn from the sitter's, then met Kara at Christie Clinic for her weekly check-up with the Nurse-Midwife. They attached Kara to the monitor to track the baby's vital signs for 15 minutes or so just to make sure all was going well. While being monitored, Kara had two contractions... Little did we know what we were in for.

After the appointment, Kara went to her phonology class, then we swapped Brooklyn and I headed off to Studio. Lousy weather was beginning to beset the Champaign Urbana "metropolitan" area, with strong gusts of wind and cold, pelting rain. After studio I braved my way through the freezing weather and the crowded bus and finally made it to the safety of our home. Kara happily greeted me and informed me that her afternoon had been "interesting..." Apparently he contractions hadn't stopped after the doctor's appointment, and were even becoming more regular. "Cool," I thought. "Maybe this baby will come before Thanksgiving after all..."

A couple hours later and with an increasingly uncomfortable Kara, I finally suggested that maybe we should think about going to the hospital. Christy and Ben were over visiting for the evening, and with Brooklyn already in bed they had no qualms about staying the night. So at 9:40, Kara and I loaded up the car and ventured out into the dark and stormy night.

Arriving at the hospital, we found the front door to be locked with little indication of where to enter the building (I guess I shouldn't have been so stubborn about not taking a hospital tour...). We tried checking a couple other entrances, but with Kara's mobility rapidly decreasing, I finally picked up the emergency phone in one of the doorways and called for help. It was a good thing too... we hadn't been in our room but a few minutes when the baby decided it was time to come.

So, at 10:44 pm last night, Kara and I became the proud, happy, surprised parents of a beautiful baby girl. (Stats: 6lbs, 14oz, 19.25 inches) All we need now is a name for our new bundle of joy.

How about Speedy Gonzalez?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

And a Few More Pictures

October Fun

Despite being busy, October was a great month for us as we enjoyed a visit from the Andrus family. Grandpa Kay and NomiAnn Cathy came to visit for the weekend, along with one of Cathy's former students, Lily. Lily, originally from China, is looking at attending graduate school at the University of Illinois. We hope she comes, as we're always in the market for great babysitters.

Here are some photos of us at Hardy's Reindeer Ranch and hanging out at home. Brooklyn was the star of the show as she modeled the adorable Halloween costume Grandma made--coined a "sheepoodle" by Aunt Callie. Whether puppy or lamb, Brooklyn was the hit of Halloween. She absolutely loved trick or treating, and made everyone smile as she crawled from place to place.

Camping in Kickapoo

This fall we had a fabulous time camping in nearby Kickapoo State Park with Christy and Ben. When not cooking yummy chicken pot pie in our dutch oven, we ventured across the border to explore Indiana's Turkey Run State Park. What a beautiful place to hike! Come visit and we'll show you. :)

Mopping the Kitchen Floor

I have the most wonderful family. Not only does my husband mop the kitchen floor while I'm away at school, my little girl helps as well! Unfortunately, Brooklyn also "mopped" the bathroom floor unsupervised last week as well. I went upstairs to discover her sitting fully clothed in the bathroom sink. The water was running full blast and pouring out everywhere, soaking the linoleum, carpet, etc. Our munchkin simply looked at me, grinned, and starting splashing the water out of the sink as fast as possible. I think we should have named her Pippi or Ramona.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big Belly's Back

Once upon a time, many months ago, there lived a tired Mommy with a large belly. Despite her expanding abdomen, she did her best to keep up with the family blog--that is, until the E-mail of Doom. Now the author of the E-mail of Doom, who shall remain unnamed, did not intend for Tired Mommy to read the message. Nevertheless, Tired Mommy discovered the following text about the blog sent by Anonymous to a friend: "don't feel like you have to read the entries... they get rather lengthy, but there are some good pictures of us all..."

After a friendly marital spat, it was concluded that Anonymous should be responsible for maintaining the blog. Unfortunately, Anonymous has since been very busy, and many months have passed. Tired Mommy has grown impatient and finally decided to catch up before the Brooklyn Blog becomes the Brooklyn and Baby B Blog. Not to mention, why should you eager readers suffer because of our family feud? :) So please forgive my verbosity--at long last, here's What's Up with the Wheelers.

September: Jason and Kara both head back to school at the University of Illinois. Jason combines his sleepless life as an architecture student with work as a project manager for the Solar Decathlon. He's supervising the design and soon to be construction of a solar house to be displayed in Washington DC next October.

Kara joins the Masters Program in Teaching English as a Second Language, and now knows more about phonology than she ever imagined possible. She also enjoys teaching a TOEFL class at the Intensive English Institute.

Brooklyn decides that there is nothing better in the world than nursery. She zips out the chapel door as soon as the closing prayer is said, sprints all the way around the building, and starts playing with a puzzle before Big Belly Mom can even catch up.

October: Life becomes one continuous round of Toss the Toddler. Trading off Brooklyn between classes, meetings, and teaching is definitely hectic, but happy. There are many days when Brooklyn will ride on the bus to campus with Mom, only to come home on the next bus with Dad. Fortunately, our happy girl hasn't seemed to mind being passed around. Her favorite moments are when she gets to play with her Aunt Christy and wave to Pam, the bus driver. And of course, her first words every morning are now "Miriam's House!" as she asks about the next time she can go visit her friend.

November: Now that November has finally arrived, the Wheelers grow restless as they wait to meet the newest member of the family. Despite an abundance of unfinished papers and projects, they wish the baby were already here. Somehow everything else seems to pale in comparison. At the very least, childbirth makes a good excuse. Just an hour ago Jason told me, you know, if you went into labor right now, I wouldn't have to take this quiz. What can I say? I just couldn't "deliver."

***Note: Tired Mommy sends her apologies for the lack of photos in this verbose entry. All of the photos are on Anonymous's laptop, and Laptop rarely leaves Anonymous's lap. When Laptop is finally available in the evening, Tired Mommy is too tired to blog.