Monday, December 29, 2008
Where to start? Our trip down to Plano was a little rough. We thought Eli would sleep the whole way (he did sleep about half) but he woke up a lot crying and had gas issues which just added to the situation. Crying makes me tense and on edge, so I didn't want to risk it on the way home. We left right before his afternoon nap at 3 and it was perfect. He took his nap, then was awake playing with me and reading books for 3 hours with a couple stops to run around/nurse in between until he went to sleep at his normal bedtime and slept the last 2 hours. Much less stress on the way home...a blessing! I did get extremely car sick, but right when I didn't think I could take it any more he went to sleep for the night. Thank you God.
We had a beautiful Christmas and wonderful week with Brandon's family. His grandparents and aunt were there from Hot Springs, AR and his brother was back from Prescott, AZ so the whole family was there. We mainly spent time just being with family, but we did have a few outings. We went to Christmas Eve service, the mall play place a couple times, I went to see Marley and Me with Brandon's mom (we both had read the book), and Brandon went out for Sushi and a movie with his brothers and dad, went for walks, Brandon took Eli to the park, etc. The weather was glorious. There was one day it was 75. It was strange to come back to snow on the ground at our house. Eli adjusted extremely well to the new surroundings. I was able to keep him on his normal schedule the entire time, which helped. He learned everyone's names the very first day. He is so smart about names. I just repeat someone's name multiple times and I can quiz him on everyone and he will look to them when I say their name or look for them until he finds them. It really amazes me because I am horrible about names. He enjoyed their 3 big dogs. He actually did say "do(g)" several times when we would prompt him, as well as "pa" for Papa, and "boo(k)". He even said "All done!" copying Brandon. That was a first. He only copied it one time and hasn't since. We enjoyed a Christmas feast and had fun with Brandon's brothers Lance and Blake and his grandpa as he taught us how to play many different kinds of poker. I love playing cards and miss it terribly. My favorite game growing up was triple solitaire with my mom and sister. I never remember to play it when they are around!
Eli is definitely at the stage where EVERYTHING goes in his mouth. It doesn't matter if it's dog hair, a piece of dirt, crumbs, lint, fuzz, etc. It goes straight in the mouth. I have to keep my floors extremely clean and sweep everything every single day to keep him from eating strange things. He's more and more ready to feed himself (obviously). I realized in Dallas that he could eat chunks of green beans instead of mashed. I think my baby food making days are coming to a close. It's kind of sad, but will be fun to just chop instead of puree/mash and let him feed himself. He loves shredded cheese. The way he eats it just cracks me up. He grabs it and stuffs it in his mouth as fast as he can before he drops it. It goes everywhere. Rica enjoys all the droppings.
We left a day early and came home a day early, which was a good choice because Eli is sick. He started coughing Sunday and is still coughing today. Twice I've taken him in a steamy bathroom because he was having trouble coughing today. He doesn't cough that much, though. Usually his colds start with a runny nose, so this is something new to me. I was kind of depressed this morning because I had been so excited for Brandon to actually have some more time off for us to spend as a family to do some fun things, and now Eli is sick. Oh well, at least he's here to help me! I guess God was just providing me a helpmate during the sickness. Eli doesn't act too miserable yet, and I've broken out the steamer/vapor plug in/chest rub etc. I'm praying for a quick recovery and that we'll be spared sickness too.
I went and held my cousin Megan's baby Luke today. I had forgotten how small newborns are! I can't believe Eli used to be even smaller than he is. Crazy! I was holding him thinking...I thought this was hard (although Eli was a REALLY good newborn who never cried, but I was sleep deprived)?? What was I smoking? He doesn't even move or do much of anything. I did enjoy the sweet snuggle and newborn sounds.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
We're leaving a day early for Plano, TX to visit Brandon's family. There is a chance of freezing rain and drizzle tomorrow, so I'm not willing to risk it! We're not leaving until this evening, so Eli should sleep most of the way. Can you imagine Eli driving 6 hours during the day.....NO! I'm really glad my brother is here. This morning he said he thought he smelled gas. I didn't smell anything and Brandon hadn't noticed either, but we called the gas company anyway. Good thing we did because there was a leak in the hot water heater, and right now they are replacing it. They told me to tell my brother he has a good nose! I'm praying for a wonderful trip to Texas and that Eli will adjust well to all the changes coming.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
We have had a blast celebrating Christmas at our house! I was so glad it turned out to be such a fun time, since we live in the city there was so much more activities to do. We had a hilarious time caroling by the Christmas tree on "Christmas Eve" with Brandon leading on guitar. I think we were laughing so hard by the end we could barely sing because none of us could remember the words at certain parts and it sounded terrible. We had a delicious feast as well. We went out and looked at Christmas lights and loved the display choreographed to music by our house! It was amazing! Friday was our Christmas and we opened stockings from "Santa" and presents. Eli liked playing with the bows and wrapping paper and is enjoying his new toys. After going out to breakfast, we went ice skating. It was a lot of fun! My dad walked Eli around while the rest of us enjoyed the ice. After a bit, a huge group of school kids came in, so Joel had a great time terrorizing them on the ice yelling as he went by to scare them and being crazy and doing crazy things(big surprise). My friend Tanya was able to babysit Eli, so we could go to a really fancy restaurant for supper. It was the first time we've ever left Eli with someone other than my parents for a long period of time (my cousins watch him while I'm practicing or such but I'm always right there). We were gone for two hours and he did great. I know their two year old son was a good distraction. He didn't even act that excited to see us when we went to pick him up, so I took that as a good sign. If I'm around sometimes he really wants to be with me or reaches for me, but this confirmed that he's okay as long as he can't see me. My parents convinced Brandon and I to go out with all my siblings and cousin Sam to a movie last night too (the new Jim Carey movie Yes Man). It was so much fun, I'm so glad we took them up on the offer! They were able to put Eli to bed, so that worked out perfectly. Brandon and I were commenting that we can't remember the last time we went to dinner AND a movie in the same night! Woo Hoo! Today we split up for lunch. Us girls went to this awesome girly beautiful tea house, and enjoyed tea, sandwiches, and dessert while the guys watched Eli, then we traded and they went out for Mexican while we watched Eli. I think Eli loved being with the guys because they took turns helping him run around the house like a wild man. Eli is ALL 100% boy. He laughs when he farts, throws everything, loves any type of ball, thinks it's funny when he pees in the bath, loves running as fast as he can, loves being thrown, jumping, etc. We kept trying to get him to say Grumpa, Granny, or Becca and several times he tried so hard and said "Pa" and "Beh". It's just so funny to watch! I am so thankful for a wonderful Christmas with my family. We had so much fun!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
All the family arrived yesterday and we chowed down on a million Christmas goodies we'd all made and hung out. Eli was so cranky tired he discovered a new scream that was highly annoying. Every time he does it we've decided to look away and ignore him. Hopefully he'll catch the hint that it's not going to get him attention. He was happy to see everyone and show off. He even finally said Bye Bye for everyone. We have our "party basement" so the guys played video games and watched movies I'm sure into the wee hours of the night. It was so nice having Eli's door/wall finally done. He's been going to bed at 7:30 now and it's nice to not have to be so quiet that early in the night. Today is our Christmas Eve, so we're making a big feast tonight. Fillet Mignon...yippeee! Eli knows everyone's names. We tested him earlier this morning..."Where's Granny..Becca...Grumpa?" he looked to the correct person. What a smarty :-) We might go bowling and ice skating today and tomorrow. Brandon has tomorrow off from work so we can have a fabulous Christmas morning and day. Here's a picture of our new door and wall. It used to just be an open wall from the living room into the den/office, but we turned it into a nursery/bedroom turning our 4 bedroom house into a 5 bedroom. Plenty of room for a couple more kids and guests!!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Eli still is saying "bye bye" once in a while when I prompt him. So precious. The thing that's really cracking us up is when we try to get him to say other words he always says, "Uh BAH". I was laughing so hard yesterday because I would try to get him to repeat the names of the animals on his flash card by saying, "Eli can you say Bear...Cat...Dog..etc.", and he would always look at me with this adorable questioning look and say, "Uh BAH". I would always say "Good try" and repeat the real word. He really thinks he's saying it. You can tell. It just kills Brandon and I. Brandon and I enjoyed making Reindeer Poop (oreos crushed, mixed with cream cheese, rolled into balls, and coated in chocolate and white chocolate) last night after we put Eli to bed. It's SO messy to make and takes forever unless you have two people. It's become a tradition to make every year. All of my family are coming today to celebrate Christmas for the next few days. Eli is going to have a blast playing with everyone. We have a white Christmas. We have about 3 inches of snow on the ground. It is beautiful! I've been a little house trapped because of it, though. When we play Eli's baby music he just lays there on his stomach and taps his one foot on the floor. Seriously, it is so cute. Sometimes we have to play Old McDonald a million times or he gets mad. He also shakes his head "no" now. It can mean different things so we are constantly trying to figure out what he's meaning, but usually it's obvious. He does it when he's eating and done or also does it out of excitement. He also will do it if I shake my head "yes" or when he's touching something he's not supposed to he'll look at me and shake his head "no". He has had cheese for the first time this week and really liked it. I just used shredded Mozarella and it was perfect for him to feed himself. Same with little pieces of pasta.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Everyone at church today was just getting the biggest kick out of Elijah walking/running around. It's been working out perfectly where I can just take him into the nursing mothers room after worship and he takes his nap in there while I get to listen to the sermon for once! Church just happens to fall exactly on his morning nap time, and he's definitely one of those kids that can't miss their nap or they turn into monsters! I hope I can keep him on his normal schedule during all the holiday celebration. He looked so grown up today in his church clothes; I just about cried! My little baby is definitely turning into a little boy. It's hard to still think of him as a baby when he's running all over the place. This is the first and only day I've been able to get his hair to stay DOWN and not stick up all over the place. I'm so used to it sticking up, it was fun to see it down!
Friday, December 12, 2008
I'm really enjoying Eli's new ability to walk around the house without me having to bend over and spot him. He's getting so good at it that I just follow him around instead of bending over ready to prevent a head injury. He has taken a few spills that I couldn't catch, but every time he sort of caught himself on his hands instead of taking it in the face, so I am glad he's maybe figuring that out as well. Yesterday, he figured out he could carry around and chew on a teething ring while walking. Big stuff people :-) We had an interesting dinner date with my cousin Ellen and her boyfriend last night. We purposely went at 5 so Eli would still be in a good mood. It was pretty much a circus. It would have been a million times easier for me to cook a ten course meal at home. Finally we got him sitting in between us in the booth playing with a sippy cup of milk and eating puffs. I gave him a puff and he started choking, which then Brandon informs me he had just given him one...crap! He choked and then threw up everywhere...I caught it in my hands...just a natural reaction. You should have seen my cousin's faces. Later Brandon and I were laughing so hard thinking back on it. My cousins' boyfriend Paul was like, "Did you just catch that in your hand....SUPER MOM!" Disaster. This age of exploration is exciting, but challenging/impossible in a restaurant.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I can't believe it's only a week away from Christmas with my side of the family! Time is just flying by. Our friend Steve who is staying with us has not found a job yet, so we are still praying for some results soon. He was out in the blowing snow today on his bike. Two cars yelled out "Idiot" as they drove by. He said he agreed with them :-) Welcome to Kansas...usually we're friendly. Eli loved standing at the back door watching the blowing snow. He's seen snow before at my parents, but this was quite a white out. He only took one 40 minute nap today, thus was extremely cranky this evening. Poor Brandon just had to chase him while I made some squash to freeze. At least he's getting so good at walking that you barely have to spot him. The doctor gave him a new book yesterday and he loves it just like the other one she gave him. This one has babies too and he gives them kisses. He usually gives the baby who is crying a kiss...so sweet. It cracks me up that he usually turns the pages in his books with just his pointer finger. There is something precious about that little finger. Earlier today we were playing ball and I encouraged him to say "ball" and he did say "ba". Then, tonight Brandon was saying "Bye bye" and Eli said "bye bye" several times. I'm going to keep working on it with him. I'm getting pumped for all the festivities to come!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Eli had his 9 month appointment this morning. He's growing well and weighs 17 lbs 6 oz (which is a little less than 3lbs more from 6 months) and is 27 3/4 inches tall (I think that's a little over 2 inches growth). He's only in the 10th percentile for weight, but is in the 24th percentile for height. We mentioned he's been scratching at his ear and she did find a bit of a wax build up, which she took care of. Eli did not like being held down for that or the 2 shots and cried and cried and cried! He would only come to me and would cry laying his head on my shoulder. So sad! After all the trauma, we had to still take him to the lab to have his finger pricked to check for iron deficiency. More trauma. He screamed and screamed as they tried to get enough blood. By the end he had the crying "hiccups" so bad, it was pathetic. I put him down for a nap as soon as we got home (which wasn't easy because he didn't want me to let go of him even for a second) and he had those hiccups in his sleep for an hour! His appointments are definitely going to be traumatic from now on until he can understand what's going on. She gave me the go ahead on wheat and dairy, so I'm going to introduce him to pasta, baby yogurt, and cheese. I'm looking forward to giving him more and more table foods. He's definitely ready.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
We are staying busy around here chasing Eli. He's getting better at walking/running every day. He plays this game where he runs towards you, and then at the last second cuts to the right and runs away laughing. We laugh because sometimes if he gets scared and thinks he might fall he closes his eyes...while running! Not a good combination! He likes to play the "closet game" where I go in the closet and he opens and shuts the door to find me. It's really cute. He's been really focused on open and shut, so we've been practicing with different things. He is babbling a lot, but we still can only notice Mama and Dada (which he now likes to scream at the top of his lungs at Brandon). He is in love with books. I think I have every book memorized and probably am reciting them in my dreams. He crawls or walks over to his books and picks out which one he wants you to read and then will sit down in preparation and whine until you read it to him. I've tried many a time to read a different book...he gets MAD! After reading "Brown Bear" for the twentieth time in a day, you would see why I'm suffering ;-) I'm just SO glad he likes reading and books....since he's a boy....I doubt it will last too long. He is still affectionate and does like to snuggle sometimes, even though he is a mover and a shaker! One of Brandon's old rooomates in college (he's actually 60 though) is staying in our basement while he looks for a job/apartment. Please pray he finds one soon!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
My cousin Megan had her baby yesterday. Many of you have prayed for Megan over the years, as she had a rare tumor in her brain that used to bleed and cause paralysis in her side. At the time of discovery, she was told she could probably never have children because it would cause the tumors to have a massive bleed. Basically, this baby is a giant miracle from God! She had brain surgery over a year ago and still was able to carry this baby full term and both mother and baby are doing great. She still faces challenges and could use prayer in caring for little Luke because she still has some damage to her arm and hand from the surgery. She has overcome every challenge in her life so far, and I am positive she will face this one head on and figure out the best way to deal with her handicap. I am so excited for Eli to have another boy cousin to play with! All he has are boy cousins so far and guy friends! One of my friends is getting ready to have a boy too. Someone's got to have a girl around here!