Friday, March 31, 2006

Weekly Recap

Eli had his last swim class this week. It was pretty sad too, considering he'd just started to really get the hang of his frog/inchworm imitation. Our neighborhood pool should be opening soon, so I'll be sure to bring him over there at least once a week so he can perfect his stroke.

Something I forgot to mention earlier: Eli is sitting up all the time now. Since March began, he has been sitting up about half the time, but in the last two weeks it is with almost 100% success. I still place pillows around him if he's on a hard surface (ALERT: OVER-PROTECTIVE MOM), but most of the time he doesn't need them. Video to follow soon...

Also, Eli has been eating via a mesh-feeder for about a month now, but very recently, he's become addicted. He can't seem to get enough of it, and continues to 'eat', even when the food is gone. (Note: the handle also makes a great teething-toy.) Finger foods still escape his less-than-stellar grasp, so this is the only way he can feed himself. Last night he devoured a huge piece of pear through the mesh in a matter of minutes. Once again, video to follow...

Another new discovery for Eli this week was the sun-roof on his BOB. While we were walking on Monday, I noticed a little set of eyes peeking up at me. Eli suddenly realized there was a window on top of his sun-shade, and he could see Mom through it. This seemed to puzzle Eli as I think he viewed stroller-time as his alone-time up until this point. He must have had a sore neck for the rest of the day considering how much he strained to look through the sun-roof during the walk.

News on Eli's feet also: less bar time has arrived. All of the recommendations and guidelines (and our doctor) indicate 6-months is a good time to start decreasing shoe/bar time, provided his treatment is going well (which it is). However, since I'm me (see above note about being over-protective), and since Lehr and I want to be sure there are no incidences of relapse, we've been extra conservative regarding the amount of time he spends in the bar. This week I started letting him 'out' a little more. Yesterday he wore his first pair of non-corrective shoes (a pair of reef sandals, just like his mom), and he seemed to enjoy it a lot! This morning I took him to the grocery store (without shoes) and he rode in the cart like a 'normal' baby for the first time, something he also seemed to enjoy.

Also, we purchased a back-pack carrier for Eli this week. Now we have something better to hike with (the Baby Bjorn is getting to be too heavy), and something to accommodate him for Jazz Fest. (Eli will be making the trip to New Orleans with us this year.) So far he loves being in it, even if it's just sitting on the floor.

One last thing, our not-so-gifted son has not yet figured out how to roll from his stomach to his back, regardless of how many times we've taught him. Not such a big deal, but since he's so eager to show off what skills he does have, he often times finds himself stuck on his stomach because he's rolled from his back to his front and then realized he had 'done it again' and can't get back. This isn't too frustrating during his wake time, but now he's started to do it in his crib when he's supposed to be napping (and last night when he was supposed to be asleep for the night). Since he's not able to get himself out of that situation, and since he prefers to sleep on his back or side, he will send out a distress signal (read: whine and fuss) until I go into his nursery and roll him back over. The kicker: he then gets mad because I leave the room and he thinks it's 'play time'. So much to learn, so little time......

Monday, March 27, 2006

At Last: A Tooth!!

WE HAVE A TOOTH!! After months of on-and-off teething, and a week of more intense drooling and runny nose, Eli's first tooth has finally broken through. It is his bottom middle right (as you look at him), and although it's been visible under the gum for about a week, it didn't break through until sometime between bedtime last night and 8AM this morning.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Eli the Frog

As most of you have noticed, the pictures on the site have been nonexistent or old for a while now. I apologize about that, but I'm having technical difficulties with the host, and since I am the IT department (to quote Billy Madison), "you're all in Big, Big trouble'.... I will remedy as soon as possible.

Eli only has one more week of swim lessons, but I will have to continue to bring him to the pool considering how much he's enjoying his swim time. This last week he really got into it; he's got an inch-worm motion now that is hilarious to watch. (Picture those wind up plastic frogs you put in the bath: arm and legs meet near the belly button, while the butt goes in the air, and then all limbs shoot out and his body goes flat. It creates more of a splash than anything, but he was 'zooming' all around the pool at the Y yesterday showing off his skills.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Whole Lotta New

This past week Eli spent a lot of time in new surroundings. He went to church for a pot-luck where he met a lot of new people, he went to lunch with me and a few friends, and he went to a few new playgrounds. I'm noticing more and more how observant Eli is, especially in these new surroundings. When he sees a new person or place (or at least one he hasn't seen in the last week), he becomes rather quiet and his eyes get really big, as if he's taking it all in. After about an hour he usually returns to his normal loud, talkative self.

Also, Eli has started to stay awake for much longer chunks of time. For a long time now, you could set your watch by him: exactly 90-minutes after he woke up he would rub his eyes and 'ask' to go down for a nap. Now it is closer to 2-3 hours. Also, his naps used to last for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours, and now they are 1 1/2 at best. The odd thing is, both of these changes happened simultaneously... I would have thought longer naps would have come with longer wake-periods...

My new favorite thing that Eli does is sudden napping. A few times in the last week he has fallen asleep mid-song. Usually when we're driving, Eli entertains himself in the back seat by singing or talking non-stop. Today was no different: he was very vocal (doing his scales) and then he stopped abruptly, so I looked back to see what had caught his attention and his eyes were shut.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Another few swimming lessons, another trip to the Aquarium, another few trips to the swings, and another visit from Grandma Cathie. Eli had a busy weekend with Grandma and his cousin, Treis. There is definitely a connection between the two boys: Eli can watch Treis dance and be silly, or even just read, for hours.

Friday, March 10, 2006 Gets Recognized

BIG news for!!! Since we started this website I've received several emails from people who stumbled across it and were happy to read about and see the positive change in Eli's feet. However, in the last few months I have been contacted twice requesting permission to add as a link on other webpages. Both webpages featuring are clubfeet-oriented, and we are very appreciative of their recognition! The first is a webpage for bar 'accessories' (to prevent damage and injury): Clubfoot Designs. The second is a page dedicated to helping parents of children with clubfeet: Ponseti links. (These links take you directly to the page containing a link to Also, a member of our church emailed me this week to inform me that she forwarded our link to a friend whose baby was born with clubfeet. We cannot tell you how happy it makes us to know that this website, and Eli's clubfoot journey, has helped other parents as they cope with clubfeet. When we first started researching the Ponseti method, and clubfeet in general, I was amazed and comforted by the amount of success stories I found online. We are so happy to now be a part of that group!

Eli started his swim lessons this week; he and Cooper are swimming at the YMCA twice a week for the entire month. All in all, Eli seems fine with the water. Lehr and I didn't anticipate any fears considering how much Eli loves the "big" bathtub. Yesterday he went under the water for the first time, which he seemed to have mixed feelings about. Pictures to follow.....

Grandpa Jim flew through Atlanta to visit Eli on Monday night. They spent a few hours together 'catching up'. My dad tells me Eli uttered his first words: "I love you, Grandpa Jim". The imagination is a powerful thing....

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bob the Builder

We had BEAUTIFUL weather in Atlanta this weekend, so we spent most of our time outside with Eli, enjoying it. Yesterday we took him on his first mountain bike trip. He didn't get to experience the biking aspect of it, however, since he spent his time at the trail-head with whichever parent wasn't riding. As we were getting our bikes ready, we set a blanket down on the grass (which was actually just dirt with a few blades of grass trying to peak through) so Eli could entertain himself. He did just that, and ended up with dirty shoes (from kicking off the blanket) and dirt and dried leaves in his hands. I don't think he ingested anything, but it was the first time Eli played in the dirt. After church this morning, we met Cooper (who turned six-months today) and his parents at the park. We pushed the boys on the swings for the first time and they both seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Eli is accepting new foods much better these days. He's no longer refusing the carrots and bananas, and he has since tried nectarines and oatmeal, both of which he appears to really enjoy. His latest trick is staying awake almost all day. Friday he napped a total of 1 1/2 hours all day (normally he averages 5 1/2). He remained happy all day until about 5PM. This was odd for him considering he's usually a mess without adequate sleep. He went down for his naps at all of the normal times, but after about 15-20 minutes each time, he'd wake up and play in his crib. I let him play in there for a full hour one time, in the hopes he'd go back to sleep. No such luck... Then Friday night Eli decided to play all night. He went down at 8:30, but at 2:00AM we heard him in his room kicking the crib. No cries or fusses; just kicking noises (loud ones that prevented us from sleeping). This noise returned at 4:00AM, and again at 6:00AM. Lehr has nicknamed Eli, "Bob the Builder", because when he kicks his FisherPrice Aquarium with his bar on, it sounds like he's hammering and building something. Last night and tonight we wrapped Eli's bar with an old kickboxing hand-wrap in the hopes that it will protect his crib and aquarium from damage.