Friday, June 30, 2006

Motorboat, Motorboat, Step on the Gas!

Most of you are very aware of Eli's favorite pastime: blowing 'raspberries'. This week it's been taken to a whole new level. Not only is the blowing more intense, louder, and wetter, but Eli now puts on a whole production when he indulges in mouth play. These sessions last (no joke) for five full minutes each time: each blow starts with Eli's eyes getting really big and him taking a HUGE breath in before blowing out at maximum capacity, as if he were taking an oxygen output test for an asthma doctor. Luckily, Lehr caught a few seconds of Eli performing the other day. (Note: This was after Eli had already been 'blowing' for a few minutes, so he was running out of steam.)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pots & Pans

Eli found the pots and pans last night. He is getting more and more bored with his exersaucer, mainly because he thinks he is mobile. (Yet he doesn't crawl or walk...hmmm...) That tends to be a problem when I'm trying to cook dinner. Sometimes I'll just put him in his booster seat/highchair, but unless I give him a constant stream of Cheerios, he's not happy. He can't spoon feed himself, so giving him dinner and saying 'eat' doesn't work either. Finger foods of the fruit or veggie variety are not options at the moment because he is in the let's-look-over-the-side-of-my-chair-and-watch-how-the-food-falls-to-the-ground phase. If I'm feeding him and can monitor this process, it's not too bad, but if I am 'ignoring' him, as I'd have to do in order to fix dinner, my floor would be a mess and Eli would have an empty tray in a matter of minutes.

This brings me to last night. I have him on the kitchen all around...Eli's bored with everything . ("That toy is soo yesterday, Mom!") Trying to be creative, I start looking in a few drawers and cabinets for a new, fun toy. Then I remember reading about how much fun it is to make noise at that age. AHA! Pots and pans. I pulled two out of the cabinet and let him go wild. He loved it (for about 15 minutes). Next time I'll be sure to pull out the video camera.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Man And His Blanket

I've posted before about Eli's new obsession with his blanket. He can sleep without it, but it makes life a whole lot easier when he is holding it. I've been pretty strict on not letting it leave his bedroom (actually, not even his crib), with the rare exception being when we go to our community group since it extends well past his bedtime. (But that's only twice a month, so I think it qualifies as an exception.) I first noticed how much he cherished the blanket one day when I put Eli down for a nap and as soon as he had his hands on it, his thumb went into his mouth and he got instantly 'in the zone' and happy. Call him Pavlov's dog; this week I've noticed that when it's nap time, all I have to do is grab the blanket (if he's on the floor in his room) and the thumb goes to the mouth. Yesterday I was folding towels on the floor with Eli and I played Peek-A-Boo with him. The first time I pulled the towel off his face, he had his thumb in his mouth. I guess it was unfair of me, since it was so close to nap time, to tease him that way.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

QT with Daddy

Eli loves his Dad. Pure and simple. I know sometimes he won't let Daddy feed him his bottle, or put him to bed. But those moments are becoming far less and they are being replaced by squeals of laughter and larger-than-life grins whenever the two are together. Last week I was uploading some video and Lehr's voice (rather, duck-impression) came over the speakers. Eli's eyes got wide and he looked towards the door in anticipation. (Poor kid: it was 9AM. He had a long time to wait by that door.)

Lehr took Eli out to the park for some baseball practice when he got home today. I love that he looks forward to spending as much time as he can with his son every night. As much as I want to spend time with both them when Lehr gets home, I have to remind myself that they need 'alone' time together. The moments they share without Mommy are ones I know Eli will cherish forever.

Round and Round

I took Eli to the park last week for his first Merry-Go-Round ride. He loved it, but of course I didn't have the camera. Since I'm obsessed with documenting every moment of his life, Eli and I went back this morning with the sole purpose of getting some pictures. Once again he giggled with glee as I spun him around. He held on very good at the beginning, even grabbing the bar when I said "Hold on". As most kids do, by the end of the trip, Eli stopped listening to me and let go of the bar. Luckily no spills today, which is a good thing since the recent rain caused big muddy puddles all around the Merry-Go-Round.

Monday, June 26, 2006

You Put Your Right Foot In..

During one of Eli's independent play times today, he managed to get himself into quite a pickle. He somehow fit his right foot through the circle opening in his new box-toy. This opening is just big enough to fit his foot, if he points his toe. Of course, once it was in, he couldn't figure out how to get it back out. Instead of helping him immediately, like a good mom, I grabbed the camera and took pictures and he fussed and cried for my help.

OK, I've never done this before (well, once when I blogged about adoption, I guess), but I'm going to give two shout-outs today. I found a few cool (mom) blogs this week. One is Queen Mum, featuring a great post today. Another is Faithfully Mommy, which featured a 'tug-at-your-heartstrings' story today related to adoption and foster care.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Boogie Fever

Just before I put Eli to bed tonight, he and I danced the day away. With the help of his (annoyingly loud) caterpillar, he boogied his cares away. (Video) Also, his caterpillar moves if on a hard surface, by way of wheels located underneath its head. Eli loves to flip it over and stick his fingers in the way of the wheels, causing a 'click click' noise. (Also seen on the video.)

As of right now, we're probably two minutes from Eli finally crawling. He is up on all fours all the time now, even when his bar is on. It seems he's finally figured out how to move his knees underneath him for support. He doesn't stay up long, but he is rocking back and forth a bit, so it won't be long now!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Happy Trails...

We got a short reprieve from the exhausting heat this morning, so Lehr and I decided to dust off the mountain bikes again. We packed up Betty and left as soon as Eli woke up. Since we have to take turns biking while the other person is on Eli-duty, Lehr thought it would be wise to bring Eli's back-pack carrier along for the trip. While I rode the trail, Eli and Lehr explored the beginner trail and some of the parking lot. Then when we switched, Eli and I went into the woods to see the creek. Eli cooed the entire time we were inside the leafy surroundings...he LOVES riding in the carrier, and he has a rather odd fascination with leaves and flowers. He was in hog-heaven by the creek; nothing but green to the right, the left, and up above. We look forward to the day when all three of us can ride the trails...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I think that's QUACK-TASTIC!

Eli got up on all fours a few times today, totally unprompted, and in his bar. Sometimes I think he works harder when it's on; it is almost as if he relaxes too much when I take his shoes off. He is scooting and pushing back like crazy, but still no form of a crawl. And he's not pulling up at all, but if I stand him up next to something, he'll balance fine until he forgets to hold on. He seems to have a short memory when it comes to that; he is constantly testing Lehr and I in trust exercises.

Sliced turkey continues to be a favorite of Eli's; it's almost replaced his Cheerio obsession. Also, dinnertime has become easier, preparation-wise, because Eli almost always eats what we eat now. He loves sweet potatoes and zucchini roasted in the oven!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Late Night Swim

It has been crazy hot here for the last week or so. A few times I've actually wondered if I had lost my mind and moved back to the heat I despised in Florida! The main problem with the heat/humidity is that Eli LOVES to be outside, but it's just miserable out there right now. I've been trying to go for early morning walks with him on shady trails, but even by 9am it's sticky out to the point of his discomfort. To get around this problem tonight, Lehr took Eli over to the pool as soon as he got home from work. The sun was not so hot and they had the pool all to themselves: perfect! Eli loves when Lehr makes waves with his hands...he couldn't stop laughing. And he is (finally?) 'jumping' into the pool now. Ever since Eli's swim lessons back in March we've been showing him how to lean forward and fall into our arms. Tonight was the first time he did it..again and again and again and again....
(BTW - Happy 10-months, Eli!!!)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Popsicle Toes

So my new favorite thing about Eli this week is his feet, specifically his toes. I know this is a favorite thing I've mentioned before, but considering we couldn't see feet and toes to dote on for about six months, I think I'm entitled. We've been leaving Eli's bar and shoes off almost the entire day (when he's awake) since he's been showing signs that he wants to be more mobile. This means more access to his feet. When he's in the car seat without the shoes, he grabs his feet and lifts them up (happy baby pose for the yogis), giggling uncontrollably. Then he alternates, grabbing one foot and then the other, trying to bring his toes to his mouth. The rest of the time he just marvels at the fact that the feet and toes are attached to him. I'll catch him every once in a while, in a sitting position, just staring at them while casually brushing the toes with his fingers. I love it!

This morning Eli had his 9-month doctor's appointment (even though he'll be 10-months tomorrow). He's measuring perfect, per the doctor, and he only cried for a few seconds when he received his shots. Also, Eli's 4th tooth broke through on Father's Day, so he now has a set of four: two on top and two on bottom.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Liquid Gold

What a liar I've become. After my last off-topic blog I promised to not ramble on about anything other than Eli again (or at least not for a long time). Yet here I am, barely ten-days later... (Before I begin writing, simultaneously offending you due to my inability to speak my mind while still remaining sensitive, take a look at the facts for yourself.)

I have been following the Breast Feeding Awareness campaign fairly closely for the last week or so as it's been debated in the news. I think the campaign, and the television ads, are a great for one main reason: they will spark conversation, and hopefully awareness, about the issue. I know some people feel they are a little harsh, but it is my opinion the advocates are trying to make mothers-to-be mindful of the gravity of their decision to breastfeed or not. I understand that some women who can't (for medical reasons) breastfeed might feel bad when viewing one of these ads, but which is worse: hurt feelings, or an infant never given the chance to have the 'best' immune system s/he could have because his/her mom was never made aware that formula and breast milk aren't the same? Also, if said mom truly wanted to breastfeed before she found she was unable, she would know how beneficial it is for infants, so how could she disagree with the purpose of the ads?

I could go around and around about this all day long. In the end, it is a mother's choice to breastfeed or not. Period. Having said that, I do not understand how these ads can anger a woman who decided not to breastfeed for her own reasons (non-medical). If she feels strongly enough about choosing formula instead, I would hope she did some research about it before feeding it (exclusively for a while) to her brand new baby. If not, the ads are aimed at her....knowledge is power. The mothers that did their research and still decided not to breastfeed shouldn't be offended by the ads; if they believe(d) that strongly in their decision, they should stick by it and know it was the right one for them. Mothers who feel the ads are making them feel guilty for formula feeding might be missing the point of the campaign (to educate).

I'm not insinuating that riding a mechanical bull while pregnant is the same as not breastfeeding for six months. If you see one PSA, or read one article, and make a decision based solely on the information obtained there, you're not doing your homework. I think this campaign and the television ads will (hopefully) prompt moms-to-be to ask their doctors more questions, or to read up more about the benefits of breastfeeding, so they can make an informed decision. (I will add that I've yet to meet a mother who breastfed and regretted it. Most moms I have met tell me that they are/were so happy to provide for their child that way, and many wished they'd nursed longer than three or six or nine months.) Obviously, I feel strongly about awareness of this issue, since I know firsthand what a rewarding experience it can be, both emotionally and medically....sorry to ramble!

*For the record, I'm a 'normal' mom; I'm not going to breastfeed Eli until he steps into his kindergarten class, nor do I sanitize all of his toys. Eli is 10-months old and I can count on one hand the times he's had a fever, or illness of any kind. And of those three times, only one lasted longer than 4 hours. No antibiotics, no ear infections, no RSV, no croup, no flu.... This is not to say that all kids who are breastfed will be illness free, nor that those who drink formula will be in the doctor's office every week. Statistics show that breastfed babies get sick less; their odds are just better.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

BFF or Frenemies?

Cooper came over to play this afternoon. Lehr and I decided to take the boys to the park to play with bubbles so we could get some good pictures and video. This worked for about three minutes and then Eli decided to be a big 'ol bully. First he decided to take Cooper's favorite toy from him, causing him some distress. Then, once everyone was calm again, Eli went in for the kill: 'petting' Cooper's face as if he were an animal. You can see from the pictures the malice in Eli's eyes (well, maybe not malice, but definitely not kindness). Since it was obvious Eli was determined to terrorize his guest, we moved the boys over to the swings where Cooper enjoyed a nice 20-minute ride on the swings while Eli had to just sit and watch. As if Eli needed another reason to pick on Cooper....

One Bite For You, One Bite For Me...

Eli had a traditional breakfast of scrambled egg yolks and wheat toast this morning. He didn't seem too interested in eating for some reason, so in his food-play he decided to lift his toast towards Lehr's face. Lehr took a small bite and a new game evolved. Eli would take a small bite and then lift the food so Lehr could eat. It was so neat to watch father and son interacting this way; Eli was so into their game. I apologize for not taking any pictures; I worried I might have missed the moment if I left to find the camera.

Friday, June 16, 2006


That's the sound I heard all afternoon.
Eli discovered the door stop springs today. Yup, Mommy's getting ready for the day and Eli's making music.
Not too bad, I think. It will keep him entertained for a bit.
I look around the corner to see why he stopped and he's got the rubber stopper in his mouth. Great. Eli picks this moment to become 'smart' enough to pull it off of the spring. I tell him "no" and put it back on. Anyone with kids knows that lasted all of about two seconds. After three attempts to 'teach' him that I mean "no", I remove the rubber and let him play with the door stop sans protection.

Eli also discovered two new toys in his room today. One is a sign language ABC puzzle I bought before he was born. (He thinks it tastes great.)
The other is a new box of shapes which plays music. He couldn't decide which he liked better, so he alternated between the two, rolling back and forth each time he thought "No, that one is cooler".
Make that three new toys....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

That Smell

So I took Eli to a story time at the local library today. Before we went into the story circle, we checked out a few books. In the last few weeks Eli has become much more attentive when I read to him, which means I can now get 75% of the way through a book without him pulling at the pages and yelling over my voice. He still reaches for the book, but if I put him in my lap and hold the book out of his reach, he calms down after a page or two. And because of that, we're going through his library quite often, so I figured we could use a new book or two to 'spice things up'. We checked out three books to read over the next few weeks before story time started. It turned out to be quite a process: I had to run to my car once to get my ID since my library card had expired and I left everything except the card in the car. Then, once I returned the librarian told me I had an $.80 fine (again, purse is in the car), to which I told her to just put the books back because I didn't feel like going back out to the car. She was nice enough to waive it until next time.

Once that was all squared away, we entered the story time room at which time Eli promptly filled his pants. No noise associated, just a smell. And what a smell it was. Since I'm a lazy mother, I'd left his diaper bag in the car. Not that it would have mattered because the bathrooms were all the way upstairs, and the story time room was too small to change him without putting on a show for the other moms and babies. So what did we do? Sat through the 30-minute story time exchanging looks with the other mothers as if to say, "Do you smell that? No, it's not us, is it you?" What a wonderful thing to teach my child.....

Outside of the mini-drama associated with Eli's pants, the story time was very enjoyable. It consisted of once short story (babies 8-12 months have very short attention spans) and several sing-along, clap-along songs. I highly recommend it as a fun, free activity for any SAHMs out there looking for something new.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys...

That's right. That's my boy in a cowboy hat and no shirt. As his Uncle Tom said, "He sure looks like a Georgia boy now!" (Thanks for the hat, Aunt Linda & Uncle Darol!) Of course, Eli was more interested in playing with the hat, so it was impossible to get a picture without Eli's hands on the hat, in the process of pulling the hat off.

We've been leaving Eli's bar off during the day more and more and this kid is getting pretty good at moving around. No real crawling yet, but plenty of rolling from one side of the room to the other, and he's still doing the backwards crawl. Several times this week he's gotten his legs stuck under a bed or couch because he backed up into it. The funniest moment this week: Eli rolled over to the end of the guest bed and started playing with the cast-iron foot of the bed. Since playing = rolling around, his head ended up under the 'foot' and he got stuck. I know it's wrong, but I laughed as he cried for help...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Long List....

I often post my "new favorite thing" about Eli. This installation will be no different. My new favorite thing about Eli this week is how he plays with his feet. I have a mirror above his car seat so I can see him in the rear-view mirror (since he's still facing backwards in the car). For the past few weeks we've been decreasing his shoe/bar time more and more, and sometimes he ends up in the car without his shoes. It's on those occasions when I look up to see him playing with his feet. Anyone with a baby, or anyone who has been around a baby is probably thinking, "Big deal; all babies play with their feet." Not babies stuck in casts or shoes attached to each other! He loves reaching for one foot and then the other, sometimes making a move to put one in his mouth. Eli doesn't engage in the foot-play too much at the house; when he's shoeless there he's much too busy trying to crawl or move (at this point he's only managed to do the backwards crawl/push). This activity is exclusively saved for the car seat.

On another note, Eli's third tooth popped out this afternoon. It wasn't there when he woke up, but as we were playing an hour ago, I could feel it on the top of his mouth. Now his smile will really start to change!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sip Sip Horray!!

Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself by saying this: Eli has finally mastered the sippy cup! It has been a L O N G journey of me presenting it to him at every meal and trying to get him to drink from it (a little over two months now!). He would pick it up and play with it, chew on the handles, throw it to the floor...anything but drink from it. Some days he would take a sip as I held it to his mouth, and others he would refuse and push it away. For a while he would only drink if I replaced the 'sipper' with a bottle nipple, then he would only refuse when the nipple was there. Back and forth. Back and forth. Finally about two weeks ago he started drinking from it (actually 'chugging' at times) very regularly. Then about a week ago he started picking it up and putting the 'sipper' in his mouth and sucking. However, he didn't understand that he had to lean his head back and tip the cup to get liquid. So we have been working on that. Fast forward to this afternoon: I'm fixing Eli's avocado and pasta lunch and I turn around to see Eli pick up the cup, tip back his head and drink. All on his own! TA DA! (Just to show off, he repeated this trick for his dad at dinner.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Garden Variety

Cooper's mom and I took the boys to the Botanical Gardens today. They have a monthly storytime we wanted to check out, plus the scenery isn't too shabby! Although the pictures show them looking incredibly bored, I think they will really enjoy the storytime in about a year. (There is a mini-amphitheater set up in the Children's Garden, which is a really cool playground-ish setting for kids.) I thought Eli would enjoy the surroundings more, considering how silly he gets whenever he sees flowers up close. He did enjoy 'petting' the flowers any time I moved his stroller close enough.

Eli is threatening to become more mobile; he's been showing more signs of crawling when we take off his bar each day. His newest trick is to get up halfway on his knees and push backwards, eventually running into a wall and getting frustrated, but cool nonetheless.

I'm going to have to start turning over the spoon to Eli soon, also. For over a month now he's been 'helping' me feed him from time to time, but in the last few weeks he's been reaching more often and giggling uncontrollably as he helps me put the spoon (full of food) into his mouth. I might as well invest in a steam cleaner for the walls and floor now....

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More Unrelated Ramblings By Eli's Mom

I'm not a big crier...I didn't even cry when Eli was born (and Lehr won't let me forget it). However, Eli's birth ensured that I now get choked up watching Maternity Ward or any other birth show. (And, for the record, I didn't cry at Eli's birth because I was so exhausted...but now I get teary-eyed just watching him nap.)

Also, I've said many times that Eli's page is about Eli and Eli only. I do not want to blog about my political or religious views, nor do I want it to be endless ramblings about just anything. I really want(ed) it to be ramblings only about Eli, and yet here I am, for the second time in as many weeks. So I promise to continue my attempt, and make this my last 'non-Eli' post for a really long time. (Cross my heart.)

In the past week I've read about, seen, or heard about so many stories of adoption and foster care. It has really had an impact on me, so I thought I would share a few of the stories I've come across.

I saw a show the other day about a couple who was adopting. They had a 3yo son and wanted more kids but couldn't have them. So they adopted a little girl from Korea. She was probably 6 months by the time they got her, but you got to follow them to the airport where they picked her up. I got so emotional watching it....I could only imagine how they must have been shaking as they walked into the airport knowing they were about to meet their new daughter. (I tried to liken it to going to the hospital to deliver Eli, but I had so many other things (PAIN) to distract me, so I don't think it was the same.) This family was so excited to meet their newest member; there were tears of joy on the parents' cheeks before they were even able to hold their daughter. Video from weeks after her arrival portrayed a very happy, normal family. It did not appear that this little girl was in any way different, and thus not an equal member of the family. It was wonderful to see how her arrival was just taken in stride, and how welcomed this little girl was by the entire extended family.

The next day, I found a blog about a family who recently adopted a Russian boy. He is so cute and the family's (including two biological kids) dedication to him is amazing. They talk about how he is growing attached to them and how his life has changed since leaving the orphanage...unbelievable. They were lucky to get him at a fairly early age (approx. 18 months?); hopefully he will not remember too much of the loneliness he felt before he met his current family. Also in the adoption ring is a couple at our church. They adopted a beautiful little girl from Russia about a year ago. She was older (maybe 2?), so she probably remembers the orphanage more than this little boy. Regardless, both children appear to be as happy and healthy as can be.

The point of me rambling on is to talk-out my feelings on adopting. I love, love, love that I look at Eli and see so much of his father in his face. I like knowing that people look at him and see me at times also. But when I see a a child 'born' to parents under less conventional means yet still basking in unconditional love, it makes me realize that blood does not a family make. These kids are so special because they were hand-picked by their parents. How lucky they are.....

(If you are interested in learning more about adoption in Russia, here is a link.)

Monday, June 05, 2006

All Grows Up

It happened. Right before my eyes. The first of many times when I will look at Eli and realize how 'grows up' he is.

This weekend Lehr installed Eli's new carseat. I keep calling it a BarcaLounger because when Eli sits in it, he seems to totally relax and become like a couch potato. The first time I put him in it I realized how mature he looked: pretty scary!

Then today, after his morning nap, Eli waved for the first time wtihout being totally prompted by me or Lehr. For the past few weeks I've been showing him how to wave all the time: when we see someone new, when someone leaves the room, before he goes down for his nap (we wave 'good-bye' to some things in his room), after he gets up from a nap... For a few days now he's been kind of shaking his arm after I shake it for him several times, but today he shook it completely on his own. I walked into his room (with the camera, thank goodness) and started talking to him and he waved! (Video) Before I know it, he'll be walking and talking...

Sunday, June 04, 2006


This morning I had a few things to get done around the house before Eli went down for his nap, so I left him to play on the floor in our bedroom. As usual, I gave him three or four toys and came back to check on him every few minutes (relax: at any given time he was less than 12 feet from me). In one of the shorter spans of time, he managed to roll over to my bedside table, take my kickboxing wrap off of the shelf, unwrap it, and mummify himself. Once I discovered him I saw how he was wrapping himself up: he would roll around while he held the majority of it in his hands (smart kid).

After we finished upstairs I took Eli down to eat. He provided me with the perfect opportunity to snap a few pictures of him fussing for no real reason. (Lehr has been bugging me for months to catch these moments on film.) These pictures are for all of the people who see Eli and believe it's not possible that he might fuss or cry unnecessarily. This photo was taken mere seconds after I placed (gasp) a piece of avocado (a food he loves) on his tray.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Sushi and Kimonos

Tonight we went to our favorite local sushi restaurant for dinner. It's a small little neighborhood joint, but we think it's the best sushi in town. Plus the waitresses know Eli (they frequently pick him up and walk around the small restaurant holding him), and they usually smack Lehr on the forehead and say "Look like Daddy!" when they compare father and son. The last time we were there, Eli was too young for solids, so this was his first 'real' sushi dinner. The only thing we ordered that doubled as a meal for him was the tofu, but he loved it. I knew he would, as he's had this at home already. However, this was the first time he ate it off a chopstick. I couldn't decide which he enjoyed more: the taste of the tofu or the feeling of the chopsticks in his mouth. Either way it was a picture perfect moment, but without the camera.... I promise to bring it next time.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pool Shark

Eli and Cooper had a playdate in the pool today. It was a beautiful day and the pool area was empty so it was a perfect opportunity for the two boys to get their 'swim' on. They have matching sunglasses (Baby Banz) and matching floaties, so they were quite the pair to see.

Lucky for me, Eli has not been impressed enough (or intimidated enough) by Cooper's army crawl to follow suit. I think it's the coolest thing; today Cooper crawled right over to Eli and got in his face. There was nothing Eli could do about it....we see who's boss here!

Eli's fever has fluctuated a bunch over the last few days. He's still a little tired and cranky at times, but no other side effects.