Thursday, July 30, 2009

Play doh!

What joys I get to experience all day long as a homemaker! I am SO blessed! Elijah's new word of the week is "KEYS!" I love when he learns new words and uses them daily. He's so proud of himself. Eli's been working on his shapes lately. He can identify a square, triangle, star, and circle. He's still a little shaky, but getting more accurate every day! If he can't remember he just points and moves his finger around knowing he'll hit the right shape eventually. It's so cute and cracks me up. Eli's favorite book right now is....SANTA MOUSE! It is a really old book that we all loved as kids and was republished a few years ago. Maybe I'm starting to regret snatching up a copy of it. Ha ha. With Brandon gone the past two weeks from work, they got so behind that now all of his group is working paid overtime (just one hour extra). I'm just appreciating the extra income and making the best of my extra hour of work, as well. They just have to get the cue down (people waiting for call backs) and then things will be back to normal. Today I couldn't stand it any longer and got Eli's Fall and Winter clothes down (hand me downs from Gavin). I got everything washed, folded, and put in his dresser or under his crib. We should be set! He has coats, pajamas, everything! I'm going to be glad I was on top of it once our band gigs pick up again in September. We have a lot of shows this Fall already!

I've been trying to be as creative as possible with Eli lately. The vacation was exactly what I needed to get refreshed and energized. I've been trying to make sure we do "art time" every day. Eli LOVES it. Today I bought some foam stickers to make some fun stuff with in the next few days. We color with crayons or markers, paint, chalk, or play with his new love....play doh! He just loves play doh. He'll play with it for a half hour straight. For those of you familiar with my child that is a miracle. We just have been using our old coffee table as an art table. I can set him up with some play doh and make dinner, lunch, or bake while keeping an eye on him. It's been great! Everything is so washable now days that it is quite remarkable. I can literally just swipe our coffee table or Eli down with a wet wipe and all the crayon, marker, paint etc. just wipes off in one wipe. I remember when I was a kid crayon was impossible to get off of things and I'd be srubbing the marker off of my skin for days. Wow things have changed!

Here's a video of all of us at one of the hot springs. That water was so hot you couldn't keep your finger in it longer than a second. The boys are making "wishes".



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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I have been working on getting everything back in order around here! Eli came down with a cold Monday...no surprise! Of course two days later I have a sore throat. He loves sharing everything, including snot :-) I about had a freak out today because I'm so sick of food throwing. He does fine at other people's houses, but at ours he throws food like crazy. I've tried everything and NOTHING works. I just cleaned and mopped the dining room this morning and at lunch today he threw his entire plate of soupy pot roast and veggies onto the entire floor. I'm going to just start giving him one warning and if he throws again he's done. It's getting ridiculous! My brother is staying with us right now, in exchange for babysitting, while he looks for an apartment. He has found a couple options so far. He's working full time with my cousin Sam. It has been fun having him around! I enjoy having three men praising my cooking each night :-)
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hot Springs pictures...












Tulsa and Hot Springs!






I can't began to even tell you how amazing our week vacation with family was! We just had an amazing trip overall! Eli was great in the car...believe it or not! We just entertained constantly with books, toys, new toys, snacks, and a borrowed DVD player (he only would watch like a 10 minute show once in a while, but it was a life saver). We stopped every 2 hours to run around and stretch our legs and it really helped! The drive from Tulsa to Hot Springs was GORGEOUS! I was in awe of the beauty of the Ouachita National Forest. The only bad part for me was it was extremely curvy and I got car sick on the way there, but was prepared for the drive home. We were laughing because when we stopped in Mount Ida, AR to eat there was a sign showing 2009's "Opossum Queen". There were tons of little mined Crystal shops along the road, as well. Brandon said as kids they always loved to stop and pick out crystals to take home. In Hot Springs, we were all thrilled to see Brandon's Grandparents, Great Grandma, and all of his family from Dallas. We all stayed with his grandparents in their house on Lake Hamilton. We enjoyed walking Eli and picking out which lake house/cabin we would want. Eli LOVED all the attention from the family. He started saying "Mimi" and "Papa", so that was fun! It was so neat to see him and his cousin Gavin (almost 4) play together and interact. They gave each other kisses, played ball, danced, took baths together, etc. Eli begged for Bob and Donna to play "SEEK" with him the whole time. Brandon taught both boys to jump off the bed into his arms, so they enjoyed playing that game as well. We went for a walk in downtown Hot Springs to check out the springs and tour through an old bath house. It was really strange to see this hot water just bubbling out of the earth pure enough to drink and almost too hot to touch. Amazing! They have faucets where you can just fill up your bottles/jugs for free from the hot springs. Eli and Gavin made "wishes" and threw some coins in one of the fountains. They loved it. Another highlight of our trip was going to Lake Ouachita. The boys loved swimming and we lounged on the beach enjoying the beautiful lake and surroundings. We visited Eli's Great Great Grandma, Munnie, who is 97 twice during our trip. She just loved all the family being there. Although she has dementia, she is still the fiesty woman she has always been and kept us laughing our heads off the entire time. She kept saying how adorable, precious, handsome, etc. Eli was. Eli liked sharing his snacks with her. She got a kick out of it! Eli and Gavin had fun running up and down the halls of the nursing home and playing ball. I'm so glad Eli got to meet Munnie. Do you know anyone who has a GREAT GREAT Grandma alive? I'm sure I'm leaving out a ton of info, but overall we had just an incredible trip, made a lot of wonderful memories, and are looking forward to future trips! I guess pictures and videos will tell the story :-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fire fun!

We had a wonderful trip down to Tulsa yesterday! I asked Brandon if we would sit back in the back and entertain Eli for the first two hours to give me a break. It went great! We stopped in the middle and let Eli run around and play, so it really helped break up the trip! Brandon drove the last hour and we had a great time! Eli was so excited to see Bec and Joel. He's been hilarious. He even came up with a new laugh while he's been here. He loves their house and has been playing nonstop. He's slept great and napped great. We're good! Last night we went to a Japanese Steak House to eat. I am pleased to say that we finally found a restaurant stimulating enough for Eli! He was enthralled with the fire. He would say HOT HOT HOT when he saw the steam rising on the grill and MORE MORE MORE when they would do a fire trick. Brandon took him around to more tables to watch the fire when they were doing those parts. It was fun! Why does Eli's favorite restaurant have to be the most expensive? :-) Of course he loved the food as well: noodles, rice,and veggies. This morning we took all the dogs and Eli on a walk around my sister's neighborhood. Then, we took Eli to the park. I have to say, I have never seen nicer playground equipment. Eli LOVED it! It is definitely the best playground I have ever been to! We're getting ready to take Eli to the aquarium. He's never going to want to leave his Aunt "Bepa" and uncle "Joel" (can't even describe the sound he makes for Joel). He's been giving them lots of hugs and kisses and immedietly asked for them when he woke up this morning. We've been dealing with some teething (he shows me when they are hurting), but he's been acting wonderfully while here. I was worried teething might ruin our vacation, but it hasn't been an issue. We're having a fabulous vacation!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Road trip

We decided to head to Tulsa a day early, so I'm hoping to leave around 7 tomorrow morning! We are all packed and ready to go and don't have any commitments at church so what the heck. :-) Eli has been teething the last couple days and it has been rough in the evenings. Today was much better, but last night was horrible! He just whined and whined and was a mess. He got up at 5:30 a.m. today, and as I rolled out of bed grumbling I pictured a horrible day of teething, but it wasn't too bad. I think we definitely are done with the worst of it...another molar done. Check! I met my old friend Robin (one of my high school friends/bridesmaids) for coffee this evening. It was wonderful catching up. I guess it's been a week for catching up with old friends! We've had Sam and Will over for dinner the last two nights. It's definitely helped having them wrestle, play, and distract Eli from his suffering ;-) I love those two guys. I wonder how Eli will adjust having Brandon go back to work when we get home. He definitely has loved having another playmate. Brandon has been taking him on lots of father-son outings as well. Of course Brandon is such an amazing dad...the BEST! I'm sure I will have lots of hopefully wonderful stories, photos, and videos to share of our trip when we get home in a week!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Described perfectly....

I just got done cutting broccoli out of our garden for lunch! Sweet! We had a wonderful time with our friends the other night and enjoyed seeing Brandon's old roomate William again. He moved in with Brandon when he was a senior in high school and lived with him until we got married. It's great to see him doing so well! This week of furlough has been wonderful. We've just been spending a lot of family time together doing fun activities with Eli. Walking, swimming, park, playground, shopping etc. It's been great! I was reading in this book I have called Stree Free Potty Training. It gives you tips based on your child's personality. I think I mentioned before that I think Eli would fit under the Impulsive category. The categories are: Goal-directed child, Sensory-Oriented child, the Internalizer, Impulsive child, and Strong Willed child. Here is one of the descriptions of an impulsive child that literally fits Eli so perfectly it's scary. This is just the first page of the desciption and I literally was saying AMEN after every sentence. This is my child people:

Impulsive children are relatively easy to spot. They are the ones who are into everything, jump from one ambitious activity to another, find ways to turn anything into a toy or a game, and never seem to tire. You may just as easily spot the parents of an Impulsive Child-they're usually sweaty from nonstop running, unable to hold a conversation with another adult for too long because they can't take their eyes off their kid, and their homes are baby-proofed to the hilt.

Impulsive children are energetic and active. They constantly seek out new ways to stimulate themselves, which is why they are frequently described as easily distractible. They seldom or NEVER sit still. Part of this is attributable to a certain dexterity-often early walkers, these kids are agile, nimble, and always looking for the next fun, exciting activity. They master physical skills quickly, don't like to be bored, and relentlessly challenge themselves. Bodily risk-takers, they're the ones who climb all over the furniture. These are the kids for whom safetly latches were invented.

They always want to do things bigger and better than before. Impulsive Children place great importance on, and take great pride in being the FASTEST and the first. Naturally, they tend to get caught up in activities. They also enjoy rough and tumble play, and frequently are the children who take this too far and without intending to end up hurting a playmate.

They are easily excitable and anticipate everything as a great adventure. They may have QUICK negative reactions that lead into tantrum behavior. But being typically happy children, they recover quickly from being upset and are usually adaptable. They easily interact with familiar and unfamiliar people or situations. For the Impulsive Child, every day is a new day and he lives for the moment.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Elmo chair!






We had a fun dinner at my aunt Cate's house welcoming my cousin/friend Ellen back to Wichita. She worked at a camp for inner city kids outside of Denver the past couple of months. Eli was precious with his cousin Luke. He touched his hair and laid down on his stomach in front of Luke and kept trying to share toys with him. I had to keep him from rolling on him/stepping on him etc. It was fun to hang with family. I'm amazed at the strength of my cousin Megan (who had brain surgery a year 1/2 ago). I can't even begin to comprehend parenting with only the use of one arm. Yet, she has it figured out and manages Luke well! I'm excited for her because her surgeon in Arizona is paying for her to go to a special week retreat for young adults her age living with life threatening conditions (she still has 2 tumors in her brain). Although I'm sure it will be hard to leave Luke, I'm praying for an amazing time for her. She deserves it! Eli was all over the place as usual trying to steal fruit off people's plates. You'd think the kid was starving! Before my mom and I went for a walk, Eli was checking out her odometer...I thought it was so cute. Mom thought I should seriously have him wear one to see how many steps he takes in a day considering he NEVER slows down. My mom bought Eli an Elmo chair. He LOVES it! The first night we had it he had to go kiss it goodnight and the next morning he went straight out of his crib and ran to go find it. Brandon and I have been doing trip prep all day. We cleaned the car out and he checked everything to make sure we're good to go Monday. Tonight we're having friends over for dinner, so it should be fun! Last night we made avocado mushroom burgers. Brandon garnished his with one of his ridiculously spicy peppers. I should have bought more avocados because Eli ate an ENTIRE one while I was cooking. He loves his veggies!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dancing!

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I'm wondering if watching Eli's new dancing will ever get old? I'm going to mourn the second he moves on to a new style! We don't have TV, but once in a while we'll pull up an Elmo music video for Eli to watch and dance to. For a kid who never has seen Elmo on TV he's always LOVED him. In the stores, he would always be drawn to Elmo. It's funny how a weird little monster with an annoying voice could be so appealing. It is SO hot around here. Our walks in the morning at 6:30/7 a.m. are already sticky. I will totally regret even complaining this Winter when there's snow and ice on the ground and we're REALLY stuck inside. We went to the farmer's market downtown yesterday. It was definitely a lot different from the West side (less produce/Mennonites...more hippy). They did have something that I've wanted for a year now...rain barrels. I made Brandon go sneakily examine them, so he can make me one for my birthday. I really would like one to use to water the veggie garden next summer, but we'll see! We use a sprinkler system for the grass and flowers, thank God! We put Eli's little pool out last night so he could have some fun outdoor time in the heat. Brandon and I enjoyed cooling our feet off while he played. I was laughing because Eli wanted a tomato for a snack (is this normal people?). He literally ate an entire tomato like an apple saying "MMMM" "MMMM" the whole time. I think he may have eaten the little sticker on it...crap. One second I was trying to peel it off, the next it was gone. Eli eats tomatos like a savage beast, so I can't be blamed ha ha. Brandon was almost gagging as the juice ran down Eli's chin because Brandon doesn't like tomatoes. I'm not a big fan myself unless cooked in stuff. I'm so proud of my boy! Tonight we're playing a show at Rock Island Live with two other bands at 5. We have the month of August off as a band because two of our guys are getting married. A few of us are doing a radio interview, but that's about it. I'm excited for a little break before things get crazy again in September.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nutrition!

Eli had already eaten all they chunky vegetables out of his soup and he was trying to figure out how to eat the liquid....here's what followed....

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I've always been a stickler when it comes to Eli and nutrition. It's the one area I can truly let my control freakiness go crazy. I never gave him formula or non-organic baby food etc. I probably will be more relaxed with the next kid because I definitely am more relaxed now with Eli. Before I wouldn't have let anyone even give him a bite of anything with sugar or other bad for you crap (cake, ice cream, etc.) Now, I ate least will allow Brandon to feed him ONE bite of his dessert or other little goodies on a very special occasion. Luckily, Eli has embraced healthy eating from the get go. He is a fruit and veggie hound. For breakfast he usually eats: whole wheat oatmeal (no sugar or other sweetner, crazy I know), or a non-sugar cereal such as cornflakes or cheerios in whole milk, or whole wheat pancakes with peanut butter, or a bran muffin, or eggs. With that he will have some type of fresh fruit and whole milk to drink. For a snack he'll usually have some type of fresh fruit again, whole wheat crackers, string cheese, or a fruit and grain bar, yogurt....etc. Lunch usually consists of leftovers from the night before, soup, or a turkey and cheese sandwich, etc. With that he always has at least one type of vegetable or two types and a bread of some sort. Supper is our biggest meal with a homemade something or other and more veggies. He eats a LOT at every meal/snack, but it is usually healthy to the best of my ability. I try to avoid fried or lots of sugar. I'm always baffled when people tell me all their kids will eat is Cocoa puffs, macaroni, chicken nuggets etc. The question I'm always asking on the inside is...WHO THE HECK GAVE THEM THOSE TO BEGIN WITH? I'm sure once Eli goes to other people's houses he'll end up eating the "tasty" stuff and probably will want that, but you never know. I'm all about the occasional treat but trying to live as healthy as possible! I know I might not have much time left before he could turn into a majorly picky eater like I was. Let's hope not!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

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Eli discovered my cousin's husband Lazelle's shaved head and thought it was hilarious to run and feel it and then run off embarrassed. We were cracking up! This is Eli's new form of dancing. It sort of looks like a hula dancer! Eli was SO affectionate this past weekend with all of my family. He kept giving hugs, snuggles, and kisses. It was so cute to see him with his aunt Becca and Uncle Joel loving on them. He really misses family when we go and wanted to call aunt Becca today. Eli's in his crib going to bed as I type this and I can hear him saying "Bama (Obama) Mama". He has always loved saying "Bama", I guess just from hearing us say that name so much this election year. When walking he always gets excited and points and yells "BAMA!" to an Obama sign that someone still has up on our street (I myself was baffled by this because I never once had told him that's what it said but later Brandon told me he ONE time said that it said Obama). On our drive to Minneapolis Eli said "Bama" and Brandon said "Obama Mama" and he thought it was SO funny. Now Eli says it and laughs. My little cousin Grace is turning 3 next month and is sweet as can be, but once in a while the toddler would come out and she would say something hilarious. Once my aunt said "No mam!" and Grace said, "You don't tell me no mam...I'm going to tell dad to give you a spanking". We were dying biting our lips. She left the room and we heard the whole living room of men explode in laughter. She really had gone to him and told him to give my aunt a spanking. I really look forward to these moments with Eli! Eli and I went to Cessna to lunch with Brandon. He just has a few more days then two weeks of furlough. Every person we went by Eli just said "Bye bye"; he was ready for a nap. Luckily Cessna sits on the airport runways, so as we ate lunch Eli got to watch all the airplanes land and take off. He loved it and kept saying "MORE!".

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dishes are dangerous! So are tornadoes :-)









There's a reason I haven't posted in a week....I had to get stitches in my index finger on Thursday. Becca and Joel spent the night on Wednesday thank God so Becca was there to watch Eli while Joel took me to the emergency room. I was getting a glass out of the dishwasher and I somehow smashed it on the counter and the glass cut me pretty bad. Of course it was bleeding like crazy. I got three stitches and a splint to make sure my finger stays straight. It's finally healed enough to be able to type easier. We had an amazing weekend up with all the Corman clan. We love all spending the fourth together. My uncle Dave even drove up from Texas! My cousin Grace is getting so big and it was fun to have her there to play with Eli and Jadyn. It's somewhat strange to have my first cousin playing with my child! We had abnormally cool weather all weekend, so Eli played outside with the cats/kittens, basketball goal, etc. all the time. He just runs around the farm in pure joyful bliss! We took him to the baby pool in Minneapolis. My parents enjoyed all the memories it brought back for them. We had a family party in Salina on Friday and on my way home with Eli and my mom we encountered a tornado. I freaked out because it was a quarter of a mile in front of us where we literally would have driven right into it as it crossed the highway. I turned around and headed back to Salina where we waited it out. A little scary! We had a huge party at my parent's farm on the 4th. I think there were around 40 family members and friends. Eli actually really liked the fireworks. He just saw some of the little ones before bedtime and he kept saying "MORE!" even to the loud fire crackers.