Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Random Thoughts

Eli has had a few low-key days; no new skills to report. We have been struggling a little more with the shoes though. He's at an in-between stage with the buckle on the left side. One setting is too loose and one is too tight, but there isn't enough room between the two to make a new hole. So for the time being, we're double-socking...hopefully that will work.

If I didn't know Eli's true age, I would think he's closer to 12-months given the amount of effort he is putting into vocalizing his thoughts. This little guy is all about trying to talk these days. Lehr said he wouldn't be surprised if he came home one day and Eli looked at him and said, "I've been waiting SO long to say a few things..."

My 'new favorite thing' about Eli is his interest in toys. Now that he doesn't hate being in the car as much, Eli usually prefers to gaze out the window as we drive, taking in the scenery. However, every once in a while I'll hear him talking, cooing, and laughing only to turn around and find him 'flirting' with the grasshopper hanging on his car seat (a present from Cooper). He really enjoys talking to his bug!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Turkey Lurkey

Happy Thanksgiving! Lehr and Eli went off on their own for about an hour yesterday while I was cooking to create pictures wishing a happy holiday to email to family members. The three of us spent Thanksgiving at David and Carolyn's house. Eli's fairy godmother was finally able to give him a bottle, and the rest of the time was spent with Dave and Carolyn jockeying for the position of "Eli Holder".

Today we got our Christmas tree and did half of the decorating. Eli really seemed to be into it; every time I opened a new box or unwrapped a decoration he would paint a huge grin on his face and crack up.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Busy Bee

What a little man; Eli is displaying so much more personality every day! Yesterday Eli and I attended a Mom & Me meeting, followed by a trip to my office for a Thanksgiving luncheon. Eli was well behaved; he even let other people hold him for most of the visit (Mom got a chance to eat and socialize, if you can imagine). He ran out of smiles just as we arrived, but at least he didn't replace them with tears......

Eli spent most of the day today in the kitchen with me. I've been trying to prepare food for the big day tomorrow, which means Eli had to amuse himself, or view Mom's attempts to cook as entertainment. This was not a hard task for Eli, as he's becoming more and more independent in his play. He loves when Lehr or I get down on the ground and play with him, but he's also completely content to thoroughly inspect his toys, his hands, the wall, or whatever else he has in sight. And he's always up for a conversation with himself or the toy he happens to be holding. Speaking of which, Lehr was finally able to hear Eli's laugh last night. He elicited a few hearty chuckles from Eli before bathtime - what a wonderful sound!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Surprise, Surprise

Happy 3-month Birthday! I can't believe it's already been 3-months. This would be the time when I'd have to start dropping the little guy off with someone else all day if I were returning to work. Fortunately, we are in the position for me to stay home with Eli for a bit longer, so for now I guess my new job is "stay-at-home-mom". It's not a job I ever thought I would have (or want), but I can honestly say I couldn't be happier with that title...

Eli stayed with Cooper and his parents last night while Lehr and I went to dinner with some friends. It was nice, but weird. The only other time we've left him was for a date, so it was just the two of us and there was conversation about him. This time there were four other couples in attendance, so the conversation was about things other than Eli, and I actually found myself forgetting for a few moments here and there. As much as I missed him, I know it's good for us (and Eli) to be separate from time to time, so we will try to continue this practice. I think we've worked out an arrangement to alternate weeks so Cooper's parents can also enjoy a kid free night.

This morning Eli went for a three-week check-up with Dr. Morrissy, and everything went well. Dr. M said his feet still look great; the correction is holding very well. We are on track to keep Eli in the bar 23/7 until he starts to crawl (around six months), and at that time we'll re-assess, but most likely his wear will move to sleeping time only (naps and bedtime).

Friday, November 18, 2005

It's a Concentration Thing..

Eli is growing like a weed. Since Wednesday night, he's been eating a lot more frequently; big time growth spurt. He's burning all sorts of energy during the day too. Almost every time I put him on his back, he moves his legs and arms like he's running in place (picture making a snow-angel REALLY fast), and he gets this crazy look on his face. Last night Eli intentionally worked himself out of a shoe for the first time; I put him down at 2am after feeding him and when Lehr got him up at 6:30, his left foot (the smaller one) was free. We just hope that he became shoeless closer to 6:30 than to 2:00....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cross Your Fingers..

So far we've had three nights in a row of good sleep (10 hours, 10.5 hours, 9.5 hours). If I have learned anything from Eli, it's to expect the unexpected, so I'm not holding my breath that this is a permanent sleep schedule. As you can see from the pictures, Eli is loving his bathtime more and more everyday. He accidentally ingested some water a few days ago, which he did not like, but it hasn't slowed his stride at all: bathtime is still his favorite.

Monday, November 14, 2005

And the Pendulum Swings Back....

Eli did not nap well at all yesterday; not that I was surprised considering what a rough night he had Saturday (he tends to run on no sleep for days on end). And when I put him down last night at 9pm, he was very restless and noisy. He cried out three or four times before 10pm, but he was sleeping each time, and he only required our reassurance once. I decided to skip the last feeding in the hopes that he would get a longer chunk of quality sleep. I got up about three times before 1am to check on him and rub his belly (due to crying out in his sleep), but then nothing until 5:30 when I woke myself up. Nothing from Eli until 7am. So from 15 minutes Saturday night to ten hours Sunday night....

On another note, over the weekend Eli started loosing his hair: male pattern baldness already. Also, he's loosing it rather haphazardly; patches show up looking clean shaven in random spots all over his head.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

You Owe Me A Coke about jinxing yourself. As I was typing yesterday's blog (9pm), Eli woke up. He did not sleep again until 6am. He was not awake and wanting to play; he just wanted to cry. It's not even that he slept a lot during the day yesterday either. Quite the opposite: he was awake for 90% of the hiking trip, car ride and all.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Finally We Have A Laugh

Another couple of busy days. Eli is doing MUCH better with his sleeping. Although he's still sleeping no more than four hours in a stretch, he is no longer up every 15-minutes within those four hours. This is very welcomed progress; both Lehr and I had been missing out on sleep this last week. Eli is still doing really well with the bar, though he's not lifting his feet up in the air as much. However, he is absolutely loving bath time. I think he prefers when Lehr or I get in the bath with him so that he can have more water in the tub (as opposed to the tiny baby tub he has when it's just Eli).

I believe Eli had his first real laugh yesterday. He's been squealing a little the last couple of weeks, but I didn't want to jump the gun and label those possibly accidental exclamations as official laughs. However, yesterday he and I were playing in his baby gym and he had a three or four syllable distinctive laugh. It was amazing. Unfortunately, we've been unsuccessful in duplicating it so far.

Today we went to Panther Creek (North Georgia) with David and Carolyn for a longer hike (about seven miles). Eli did pretty well considering he was in and out of the Baby Bjorn a few times (there are a few parts on the trail where we had to climb using 'all fours', so he was passed from person to person to minimize risk).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Getting used to the bar

Well, the carseat-sleeping-solution is no longer working; Eli would only give us three consecutive hours again last night. But the trade off (which I'm more than willing to accept) is his obvious happiness during the day. The new shoes and bar don't seem to bother him at all. Quite the opposite, actually. He seems very happy to 'dance' by shimmying his newfound legs back and forth in the bar. And today he figured out how to lift both feet (bar in tow) in the air while he's on his back. He used to keep his casts in the air for long periods of time, but since the bar was installed, he hadn't been able to duplicate that movement. All of this dancing and abdominal work wears Eli out. He now prefers to crash for 15-20 minute power naps throughout the day.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Is it possible? Could my happy-go-lucky frog really be back? Dare I say he is! Yesterday morning I camped out at the orthotist's office for 1 1/2 hours; I had to get smaller shoes for Eli before one of us lost our mind. The orthotist was very helpful in fitting Eli in a much smaller pair. Now he is hanging ten over the edges of the shoes, but at least we know they are in correctly! Eli was much happier all day yesterday; he even started to kick me with the bar (atta boy!). And when I changed his socks this morning (the first time I'd taken off the new shoes), there were no longer red marks on his heels, or anywhere on his feet (YIPPEE!). Last night was the real test (of course), and he passed. Not with flying colors, but I keep telling myself: "baby steps". That being said, I did sort of cheat; I discovered on Saturday that Eli is actually sleeping longer when he's in his dreaded car seat. So at 2am when he woke us up the first time, I fed him and put him in his car seat, in his crib. (Hey, it works!) Low and behold, he didn't make a sound for a full five hours. Needless to say, both of us are doing a LOT better this morning.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Serenity Now

It has been a L-O-N-G five days...Eli is not adjusting well to the shoes/bar at all. The first day wasn't too bad because he didn't seem to realize that he could move his legs at all. Although that frustrated him, he at least kept the shoes on. Now he moves his legs back and forth and his feet slip out of the shoes. My hands are constantly pulling laces and straps on the shoes tighter, and we have tried every pair of socks in Eli's sock drawer to find a good match. So far I have not found any rhyme or reason as to when the shoes will stay on or come off; thin socks, thick socks, two pair, one pair, morning, night: it's very random. Unfortunately for me, Eli's sleeping through the night has stopped. Last night was the best night I've had since the bar, and it was still a far cry from the 7-8 continuous hours we were getting. The first three nights Eli was up every 30 minutes (no lie)...needless to say, I'm typing in my sleep... I will be going back to the orthotist tomorrow to try to get smaller shoes; we think the shoes are too big for Eli and that's why he's slipping out so easily.

On a positive note, Eli loves his bathtime. He had his first one Thursday night; he didn't appear to be afraid at all, but yet he wasn't totally into it. However, last night he started waving his arms around in an effort to splash. Of course he gets a scared look on his face when he makes contact with the water and sends it flying, but it's great fun all the same. That fun ends as soon as the bath is over and I have to torture him by putting the shoes back on. I'll say it again: "Eli's Therapy Fund"...we accept paypal.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Eli's Therapy Fund

Today was a big day for Eli the frog; his 7th (hopefully his last) set of casts were removed and replaced with cool new shoes and a nifty new bar. Or at least those are the descriptions I use when talking to Eli, in the hopes that he will not hate the new contraption too much. So far he's just plain fussy; the shoes are a new feel for him, as he's never worn shoes before, and his heels are still tender from the surgery, so the socks/shoes rubbing against the incision site it a bit much to handle. I have to imagine sooner or later Eli will need serious counseling for all of these curveballs we keep throwing his way. As soon as he gets used to a cast, we take him to the doc to change it. Then he gets used to changing casts and we take him to the hospital for surgery. Now he's confident he's been through it all and we impose this aluminum bar on him. Please send your checks to "Eli's Therapy Fund"...

Dr. Morrissy inspected Eli's feet once the casts were off and found them to be healing as expected. Eli will wear the bar for 23 hours/day for at least the next month. Dr. Morrissy expects that we'll stick with that schedule until Eli starts to crawl, at which time he'll only wear it during naps and bedtime.

The biggest change for me has been the rebirth of my baby. All of the sudden I have little baby legs to tickle and dote over. You'll have to excuse me for making a big deal out of this as I have not seen Eli's legs since he was eight days old. The poor things are very dry and cracked, and very skinny (surprising, considering the heft of the rest of his body). I am having to re-learn how to pick Eli up, how to hold him, change his diaper, etc. to accommodate the not-stiff legs and new bar. I'm used to throwing the little guy over my shoulder and holding on to his heels as they essentially controlled the rest of Eli's lower body. Now he's all 'soft' in the leg area - it's like holding a newborn again.