Friday, August 27, 2010


I'm married right? I have to say I've prided myself in always staying really connected to Brandon despite kids etc. We've always maintained a great relationship. We've been able to spend quality time together once the kids have gone to bed. It's one of the main reasons I am a stickler when it comes to early bedtimes. We always have Eli in bed at 7:30 or 8. That doesn't mean he actually falls asleep right away, but at least he's reading or talking to himself until he does instead of demanding our constant attention. Lately Cora has fallen into a great routine and is going to bed around 7:30 or 8 herself. This should mean Brandon and I have at least an hour for together time right?! No! Cora has been up so many times in the night ever since she was sick that it is getting ridiculous. I think she is just having a hard time sleeping a longer stretch because she got so used to getting up so much when she wasn't feeling good. If I get a two hour stretch of sleep it's a miracle. Thus, I am a zombie by the evening and have been falling into bed exhausted the second I have both kids in bed. I know it's only a season. Between sickness, work, band practice for our upcoming State Fair show, worship practice, worship leading on Sundays (which is about to get even harder considering Brandon now has to lead worship at the end of 2nd service thus having him gone from 7:30 a.m. to after 2 p.m.), etc. it's just been crazy! We have missed out on our other best time together, which is the kids' nap times on the weekends the past few weekends because of things going on. Here's to carving out the time we need to stay connected. I'm up for the challenge!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2 1/2!

Eli is officially 2 1/2 as of yesterday! Blows my mind! He is such a little character and it has been a wild and amazing ride raising him so far. He is so full of passion (which can be a good thing AND a bad know this if you've ever heard one of his screams). He enjoys learning, nature (walks, forests, animals, trees, flowers, etc.), art (watercolors, chalk, markers, and finger paints), music (guitar and drums), etc. He is very well rounded. His passions are the drums, playing ball, and anything that involves running. Today we've been having fun singing the alphabet. He can repeat all of it with a few hilarious variations. "W" is the hardest for him to say and it always takes an interesting form. He knows all of his letters, numbers to 10, colors, shapes, etc. He can recognize words such as "Mom", "Dad", "Eli", "Nana", and more. He can tell yout lots of words that start with certain letters and has really taken off linguistically. I am very encouraged because he is talking more and more and is really TRYING to say anything we prompt him to. It isn't always right, but at least he tries now. He is super affectionate. It is probably my favorite thing about him. He has a super sweet snuggly side to him that just seems so out of character for his wild demanding little self. Most of the day I'm getting kissed, hugged, and snuggled. His sister receives tons of affection from him too. What a sweety he is. Eli has a wonderful sense of humor and is a typical boy to the core with it. Toots will get squeals of laughter and he loves being goofy.
I'm so grateful to be his mom. Our verse for him has been Luke 1:17 talking about John the Baptist: "And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where has the Summer gone?

Believe it or not, family pictures went really well this weekend. I thought it was going to be a complete disaster, but the kids were very good and we got some cute pictures. Brandon was home sick both Thursday and Friday. He got a bacterial infection and was prescribed a z-pack and rest. It was nice to have him home, sick or not! He had to hide out in the basement to get any rest with Eli around :-). I was able to use some of the time he was home to get the kids' Fall/Winter clothes ready. We have so many hand me downs from my nephew, which is going to be a huge blessing this year, considering we are still paying off miss Cora's birth. I also have lots of six month hand me downs for Cora and clothes Brandon's mom has bought us, so we should be set. It was nice to get everything washed and put away. Cora can actually scoot backwards off of a blanket already. Stop growing daughter! It's amazing how big she is already. Eli has enjoyed the fact that she can play with toys better now. He hands her a toy and she'll grab it from him or grab at his face/hair etc. They already have fun together. She's super ticklish too, just like him! Can it be that Summer is almost over???? It's supposed to be another horribly hot day here today, but they said it should be the last hot day and it will be in the 80's and 90's in preparation for Fall. Many of the leaves have already fallen here because it's been so hot and the trees are just trying to survive. Stop time!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Against a monster proceeds an intentional unfortunate.

Busy busy busy!

Oh my, have we been busy! Brandon led worship on Sunday, and we went to the Glennens house that night to celebrate Bill's birthday (if you ask Eli how old Bill is he'll show you 1 finger). Eli was down playing with the kids and he came upstairs bawling hysterically. I was thinking something horrible happened, but when I asked the kids they said "the twins tried to put a dress on Eli". I could hardly keep from laughing. I guess I should be glad he doesn't want to wear a dress! The kids and I are pretty much over their colds, but Brandon has had a relapse and still isn't feeling the greatest. Poor guy! Cora has slept terribly throughout hers (no surprise). I finally got a better night of sleep last night. Yesterday morning I woke up thinking that she'd had a better night (I was only up with her like 4 times) and mentioned it to Brandon. He said he was up with her 4 times. Sheesh. I guess I was so tired I didn't hear her (parent fail!). She doesn't cry when she's stuffed up she just wakes up a lot and wants her pacifier. Glad to be done with that! The really great thing that came out of going on vacation is that she's going to bed earlier. She goes to bed now between 7:30 and 8:30, which is the same times as Eli. Thank GOD! It's really nice to be able to go to bed early! Cora is grabbing toys and everything in sight. Even when she's nursing, she'll stop and focus hard to grab my shirt, hair, or the chair. She is starting to play, and it is so much fun! Her little fists/hands are always in her mouth now. She's starting to suck on toys too (as can be seen in the photos of her playing with the doll my mom brought her from Ireland). She adores Eli and tries to grab at the toys he holds out for her or tries to suck on his face when he kisses her. He was upset today because he said she tried to eat his nose ha ha. There are similarities between her and Eli at this age, but there are also a lot of differences. She is not the constant nurser that Eli was. She will ONLY nurse if she's hungry and gets super mad if I try to nurse her and she's tired or cranky. Eli wanted to nurse for hunger, comfort, sleep etc. She will not fall asleep nursing. She just wants her pacifier. She does not cry when she's hungry, only when she's tired. It's interesting figuring her out! Eli is just more grown up by the day. Just watching him run around without diapers makes me a little sad. It's hard to let your kids grow up so fast! He's still doing great going in the potty, and loves to go in public restrooms. He's talking a lot more and will try any word you ask him to now. He loves cows, cats, hide and seek, ball, playing outside, picking veggies out of the garden, play places, parks, giving the dog treats, snuggling/kissing/hugging his sister and mom, etc. He LOVES getting haircuts and was crying to have one yesterday so I gave in. His reward for being great during his haircuts is to do the jumping thing in the mall. He LOVES it. What a little daredevil. It's a trampoline with bungees that help you jump really high. He also go t to ride the train around the mall too. I found the most adorable dresses for Cora's 3/4 month pictures this weekend. Wish me luck, as we're going to try to get a family shot as well! YIKES!

Friday, August 13, 2010

While Daddy's away....

Brandon had a short two day business trip to Arkansas this week. Unfortunately, right before he left both Eli and I came down sick. I knew it might be a little rough. Believe it or not, we had an awesome time! I pulled out lots of special activities and creative things to do to keep us all busy. I even made chocolate chip and walnut cookies for a special treat for Eli! Miracle of miracles I even got a shower! I told Eli he could pick out whatever he wanted for supper. His response was, "Avocados!" That's my healthy boy :-). I whipped up some whole wheat quesadillas and guacamole. That was easy. The only downfall was that Cora got sick the night he left and I didn't get very much sleep. She's been pretty fussy, but just has one sinus congested and the saline seems to be working on that. I took the kids to McDonald's playplace for an outing yesterday (since it was 109 degrees), and Eli had a great time. We were all glad to see Brandon come home last night (you should have seen the look on Cora's face when he said hi to her). She lit up like a light bulb! Brandon came home.....SICK! Sheesh. Now we're all sick and he just called from work saying he feels terrible and thinks he has a fever. Let's just say we're very glad it's the weekend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This post is about poop. You might want to stop reading if you don't like talking about poop. I knew that there had to be a catch in this whole "potty training" thing because it was going so easily. Eli has peeing down completely. Even today I haven't reminded him even once to use the potty; he's done it on his own or come and told me when he needed to go. SCORE! I lucked out last week in that he pooped before he got out of bed each day, so I didn't have to deal with it. This week, not so lucky. Yesterday, he held it for hours because he didn't want to go in the potty (or the diaper), so what am I supposed to do? I tried everything and was at my wit's end by the end of the day. Finally he went. Today started out the same way, but after a couple hours of holding it and whining/crying he finally went in the potty and got a special toy and a piece of candy. It was definitely far less traumatic than yesterday, so I'm hoping that this will be a great stepping stone and things will get better. We've all come down sick, so that is not helping things and my patience is thin. I am very encouraged after today, so we'll see how tomorrow goes! I was so proud of Eli this weekend because he went potty many times at church and actually had fun with it. His Sunday school teacher told us he's one of the best in class and advanced. We were beaming with pride! Eli loves his teachers and loves church. Praise God! Cora was in trouble because for the past week she's only laughed at Brandon, but finally she's not grounded anymore because once a day now I can usually get some big belly laughs out of her. It's the best sound ever!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Well, I wasn't planning on potty training Eli until he turned 3, but he decided he was ready! On our vacation, my mom mentioned she thought he was ready for potty training because he kept pulling at his diaper, itching, and had his hands down his diaper etc. He definitely was getting sick of wearing a sweaty diaper. When we got home he escaped during a diaper change and was going naked all afternoon. I told him if he needed to pee then to make sure to run to the potty. I didn't really think anything would come of it...but low and behold he went in the potty! That was Sunday afternoon and he's been diaperless during the days every since. I'm so proud of him. He hasn't had any pee accidents at all in 6 days! He had one poop accident because he came to tell me he needed to go and on the way he messed his pants. I felt so bad for him. It was a good learning experience though. He's wearing underwear all the time now except for naps and night. We even took him out last night for his first outing and first chance to use a public restroom. I was nervous as to how it would go, but he was a champ! I have a little travel potty lid that goes over a big toilet so he won't fall in and I used that. He asked to use the bathroom several times and ended up going in the public restroom like four times throughout the evening no problem! I keep waiting for the catch! He's doing great! We'll see how the weekend goes because we'll be at the church a lot for band practice and church and my brother is babysitting tomorrow night. This could get interesting!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cora is 3 months old

STOP TIME! My baby is three months old. How did this happen? With Eli, I was all excited for him to reach each new age and development. With Cora, I just want her to SLOW DOWN!!! I'm thoroughly enjoying her joyful, happy, sweet disposition and am scared that at any second she could change. She is officially laughing now! She laughed for the first time at Brandon jokingly nibbling her neck and repeated her laughing at him the next day. No matter what I did I couldn't get her to laugh at me. Finally today I was doing a little game with her feet and she let out a chuckle. Success! She still smiles and coos all the time. I think she'll be a big talker. Her baby hair is almost completely gone, except for a small mullet in the back. Her hair is filling in quite nicely and is coming in darker than Eli's as a baby. She loves watching her brother and smiles and coos at him. They definitely already adore each other. Cora likes to sleep on her back at night and her side for naps. She really likes her bouncer and will swing and kick at the toys. She also will lay on her playmat and Eli will push the toys to keep her entertained. She's not a huge fan of tummy time anymore, but I do my best to get as much in as possible. Brandon also got out the jumparoo now that her neck is stable, and she definitely does like it! She is built completely different than Eli was. She is just a little chunk. As you can see, rolls abound! We love her to pieces and I feel we are an official family now that she's here. She's perfect to us! I love you little bean!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lake Tahoe

We had the most incredible trip to Lake Tahoe, NV. Having to travel with two kids under 3, we figured would NOT be a vacation, but we've come home refreshed and revived! The kids did amazing on the airplanes (Eli yelled BUMP on the landings and was excited to go high in the sky). Even on the way home when we got stuck in the Denver airport for 4 hours ove r a mechanical issue, they were acting better than most of the adults. I even got compliments! Upon arriving we immediately went to my grandparent's house and visited "Ba Ba Buck" as Eli would say and my ailing grandmother. I was so proud of Eli because he sat on the bed next to her and tickled her arm. She started the tradition and it's been passed down. Eli loves to have his arm or back "tickled" just like I loved from my mother. She wasn't feeling well, but still was thrilled to meet Cora. I was able to see her again before we left and say good-bye. Such a bittersweet time! We were also able to visit with my mom's sister Cathy and husband Bill Kendall and my mom's brother Steve Buck and his three boys. I've missed my cousins terribly, so it was wonderful to see them!

What can I even begin to say about Lake Tahoe. There were so many childhood memories flashing through my mind as I got to introduce Eli to my grandparent's cabin and the beautiful lake. It's a place so special to me, where I've spent some time every summer since I was born. Eli LOVED the cabin. He loved making forts out of the bunk beds, sleeping witih mom, playing on the porch, and driveway, etc. He really did have the time of his life and I'm reallyh glad my parents, brother, and almost brother Kurt Chapman were there to witness it. Here are all the fun things Eli enjoyed doing: throwing rocks into the lake, swimming, catching and playing with crawdads and minnows, playing ball with all the family, playing at Kahle park, eating a big buffet at Harrah's for Kurt's birthday and playing on their huge play place, feeding bread/cereal/fruit to the tame squirrel he named "Banana" and the Jays, building sand castles with Mom, riding the Heavenly Valley Gondola up to the top of the mountain (my shirt was drenched in sweat I was so scared...but Eli was unphased thank God), hiking over 2 miles around Spooner Lake (where we saw fresh bear tracks and bear poop), and many more!

I am so grateful to my parents for making this vacation happen! We needed it so badly!