Saturday, July 29, 2006

My New Favorite Thing....

Yet Another installment...

Now that Eli is sans-shoes while he naps, it has become even easier for him to pull up to a standing position in his crib. Often when I put him down for a nap, he plays for 30 minutes or more, since he has so many more options right now. Although he doesn't know how to pull himself into a sitting position (from lying down), he can sit down by pulling up on the rail, and then letting go and landing, diaper side down. So my new favorite thing is how I find him in his crib after his naps: sitting or standing, with a huge smile on his face, no doubt due to a newfound sense of pride over his accomplishments.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Maybe, Just Maybe....

I really hope I'm not jinxing myself here, but I'm pretty sure Eli finally signed to me this morning. As always, for at least five months now, I signed to him during his breakfast: "more", "eat", "drink", "please". But he always seems very unwilling to do the signs for himself. This was true this morning also, though I did try to entice him with puffs. Fast forward a few hours: we're sitting in the living room and I pull out the puffs for a small snack. I thought I noticed his hands go together ("more") out of the corner of my eye, but I didn't want to say anything, in case I was wrong. Luckily I had a friend and her daughter at the house, and she brought it up first. So, hopefully the fact that a witness noticed it before I said anything means it was real!

Just a Boy and his Guitar....errr.. Apple

So we hope Eli will be musically inclined. His obvious dancing skills show he has rhythm. "But can he play?", you ask? And how...

The other night during a visit from his Fairy Godmother, Eli showed off his apple-playing skills to the max. He held the toy apple like a guitar and 'strummed' the buttons. I kid you not. I have no clue where he picked up guitar playing, since we do not own a guitar, nor has Eli been exposed to enough TV so that he might have seen a music video or other such guitar-playing-demonstration. The only guitar action he's seen was at Jazz Fest, but that was over two months ago, and I really don't think Eli is has that much memory capacity yet.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Day at the Park

Eli and Cooper met up at the park this morning for a few hours. (Photos) This particular park is great because the ground is rubber turf (probably recycled tires), there are four or five sections of playground equipment (each one suitable for a different age group), there is a big sandbox with toys, and there is a man-made river for the kids to play in!

The boys had a good time in the sand (Eli had to eat some of course), but Eli liked the river better. I sat him down on a rock, but he quickly pushed himself over into a crawl position so he could move through the water. Luckily it was the perfect depth for him so he could easily keep his head above water. Truth be told, his crawl is looking more and more like a lizard's movements; Eli moves his right knee/leg simultaneously with his left arm now, and vice versa. Quite a far cry from his original, very inefficient army crawl.

From there, we moved the boys to the smallest set of playground equipment. Cooper had a blast crawling through the blue tube, while Eli stayed towards the back and played with Cooper's toes.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Able to Scale Tall Buildings...

Eli has not shown any desire to pull himself up yet. If we place him (standing) next to the couch or a chair he'll hold on, but that's the extent of it. So I was quite surprised to go in one morning last week to find him standing up in his crib, holding on to the rail. Then again yesterday morning. This time I got smart and realized that when he's left in there to play a little after he wakes up, he gets brave. So when I heard him wake up from his nap yesterday afternoon, I opened the door slightly and stuck the video camera in there. Just like a monkey, he performed on demand. Since I had a clock on the camera, I can tell you he pulled himself (bar and all) up in 49 seconds flat. Not bad for only his third time!

Oh Happy Day!!!

Eli had a routine check-up with Dr. Morrissy (the pediatric orthopedic) this morning. Unfortunately for us (fortunately for him), Dr. M is retiring in a few months, so this was our last visit with him. Luckily, there are two other Ponseti-trained doctors at Children's Orthopedics of Atlanta (the only other two in the state, actually), so we will see one of them in the coming years. Eli's feet look "wonderful", according to Dr. M. He sees no sign of relapse, even when he tried to manipulate the feel to go back to the position they originated. We told him we'd been taking the bar off for all of Eli's awake time (about 10 hours/day). He said we can even extend that so Eli just wears the bar at night. Great news, indeed. Although we are not out of the woods yet (some babies/kids relapse once they start to walk and/or reduce the amount of bar time), this was a very encouraging visit. Once Eli starts to walk unassisted, we will go back in so the doctor can watch how his feet move when he walks. After that it will be 6-months/1-year between visits.

I snapped a few pictures of Eli eating his toes on the way home. He's started to do this more and more while in his car seat. Then, when I put him down for a nap (without the bar for the first time), Eli flung his legs all around, surprised by the freedom and lack of weight attached to them. I think he approves of Dr. M's new bar schedule.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And Meanest Mother of the Year Award Goes to.....

Yup. Me again. The last time I was mean, it wasn't so bad. In fact, none of the times so far have been because they involve me molding Eli's behavior, or challenging him, or something else he'll 'thank me for later'. (Or so I tell him.)

This time I was a bad mom and there is nothing redeeming about it. First: it was not on purpose - I promise! B: Eli didn't cry for more than 30 seconds. And lastly: I feel really bad about it.

I made Eli's breakfast before I went up to nurse him this morning. We were going to be rushing to make a yoga class (by 'we' I mean 'me', of course), and I knew we'd be short on breakfast time. I warmed a bowl of hot water to put his breakfast bowl in, as I do every other morning. However, I normally let the beans or veggies or whatever warm up for only a few minutes. This time they were warming for over 15, but I just assumed the water would cool quickly and it would all even out in the end. Wrong-o! Eli and I came downstairs, I hurried him into his chair while I grabbed the food and quickly tested it (felt fine to me). I gave him the first bite and he grabbed at his mouth quickly and tried to get his fingers inside, all the while starting to cry. I immediately knew what the problem was so I tried the broccoli myself and sure enough, it was a little warm for his sensitive mouth. Poor guy! I pulled him out of his seat and comforted him, but he was done fussing before I even unbuckled the last strap.

I thought about it during yoga, but let myself off the hook a little because he'd recovered so quickly. Fast forward to lunchtime a few hours later. When Eli opened his mouth wide for his first bite of (non-so-hot) sweet potatoes I could see the side of his tongue and it was red. Yup. I burned my kid's mouth. Way to be....can't even go a full year without harming him in some physically obvious way.

Now that you are all picking up the phone to call Family Protective Services on me, while simultaneously text messaging your spouse to remind them to never let me baby-sit, I'll leave you with this happy picture, if nothing else, as proof that I didn't scar him permanently.

Monday, July 24, 2006 Gets Recognized Again

A new 'mom' website recently added ele5 to their blogroll. They even did a mini interview. The website is 5 minutes for mom and it links to many other mom-blogs (as well as other types of family blogs). Enjoy!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weekend Update

Another busy weekend for Eli. Friday night we went to our bi-weekly church group. Eli attempted to show off his army crawl to the other attendees, but it was far overshadowed by the two girls who are now walking. (Step it up, Little Man!!) Saturday Eli had a visit from his Florida grandparents; at least they were impressed with his military skills. Today we spent most of the day at the church since there was a picnic after the service. Eli couldn't even make it the ten minute car ride home after that. It was obviously a culmination of an action-packed few days. After he awoke from his nap, Lehr and I shuffled furniture around upstairs. (We have a carpet cleaner coming tomorrow.) This seemed to confuse Eli as now the open areas are much more open. He must have thought we were clearing the way for him to have more space to crawl...

No new teeth, as I know I've been hinting to for weeks, but he is still so swollen in the mouth, and so so fussy. His need to have Mom increases with his discomfort. Eli will be completely content, but if I walk in the room, or if he sees me out of the corner of his eye, he crawls over to me, complaining the whole way, and grabs my ankle or shoe and tries to make eye contact. This is most likely an attempt to guilt me into picking him up, since the eyes mixed with the vocal pleas makes for quite a pathetic scene.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

My Son, the Politician

So even though he's not showing any signs (ha ha) of comprehending the traditional sign language we've tried to teach, Eli is learning how to use his body and hands to communicate. So far he can ask for music, or indicate he hears music (through a sway of the head), he can wave (when he wants to), and he can now point. (This is in addition to the few signs - eat, milk - he performs.) However, his point is not the typical one-finger-extended gesture most kids use. Right now it is an extended arm with a fist that strongly resembles the politician fist you often see during debates. I'm quite confident Eli knows what he is doing because his 'regular' fist, used for expressing anger and containing something in his palm, is the norm. This "point" is much different. (This picture is of the said fist, even though it looks similar to his food-offering fist, but I assure you there is no food in this one.)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ain't Nuthin' Gonna Break My Stride...

They weren't kidding when they said things would change quickly once Eli started to move. He is still primarily an army-crawler, but he does take a few 'steps' using a traditional crawl each day. He is up on his knees rocking back and forth all the time, but until Tuesday, no movement forward. I often find him in his crib after a nap up on all fours, rocking. The exception would be this morning. I went in there because he was fussing (out of the ordinary for Eli), and I found him pulled up on the crib rail. He's done this before, but only when we placed him there, since he's not shown any major desire to pull up yet. Yet there he was today, up all by himself. He wasn't standing; he was on his knees. I think he was fussing because he got 'stuck' and didn't know how to get himself down.

On another note, we've started our attempts to mold Eli's behavior (read: discipline) more now that he's mobile and more likely to get into trouble. So far, "no" without any physical intervention doesn't seem to work. Eli has tantrums, but (hopefully due to my lack of response) so far they only consist of 5-15 seconds of a scream, balled up fists, and an angry face. He then returns to his normal self and continues on as if nothing happened. Even though he is developing a what-I-want-when-I-want-it attitude, he's still trying to offer his food and drink to Lehr and I, so if nothing else, he's generous!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Favorite

My new favorite thing about Eli is his love for story/cuddle time. Ironically, since Eli has become more mobile, he's actually more willing to sit and let me read him a story. (Go figure!) He will crawl over to me and paw at my leg until I pull him into my lap (he's not mastered doing that by himself yet). Then I'll pull out a stack of books and go to town. I usually keep one or two small hand toys nearby so he can have something to keep him occupied, you know, when the story gets to a slow part. I just did this before Lehr gave him his bottle tonight: three big stories before he started to squirm. I love it!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Doors, Glorious Doors

Eli's most recent obsession is opening and closing doors. Not doors on cabinets, only regular doors. So far no fingers have been pinched, but many a door has been slammed. Here is some video of Eli playing in the laundry room today.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

If I didn't know better, I'd think we have a dog in the house. Eli's newest word is "Rrrrrrrrah!" Not sure what sound he is trying to duplicate, or what he thinks he is saying, but he says it all the time. In fact, for the last three or four days, after I put him in his crib for a nap or bedtime, he can be heard for at least five minutes 'barking'. It's quite humorous because it appears he's attempting to roll his R's, as if he were any other ethnicity but purebred whitey.

I've come to realize that Eli is signing to us also. He's not using his hands though. I mentioned before that he's been dancing, but it's become less of a response to music, and more of a request (or sign) for music. Often times when Eli's eating breakfast, he'll start to sway his head until I start to sing "Eat. Eat. Eat. Eeples and Baneenees.", at which time he breaks into a huge smile. The same goes if you start singing a song and then stop. He might prompt you to continue singing by swaying his head. His wave has become more frequent also, though you can still never count on it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Road Trip

Today Eli and I battled the crazy traffic on I-20 to visit some friends (Tom & Megan) who moved to Alabama yesterday. Lehr went over yesterday to physically help, while Eli and I went over today mostly to visit with Linda & Darol. (They technically belong to Tom, but Eli has adopted them as grandparents because they did, after all, buy him his first cowboy hat.) The trip was pretty uneventful until we hit a standstill on the way home for about an hour. Considering how long he'd been in the car, Eli fared pretty well, but it wasn't easy. Many a cheesy song was sung.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I just can't figure out whether Eli will be a righty or south-paw. For a long time it seemed he used his left a little more with only rare uses of the right. However, recently he's been using his right hand exclusively for eating. He'll still use the left more when he plays, but when it comes to shoveling food into his mouth, his right hand is the favorite. (Lehr is still holding out for him to use his left, at least for pitching. Though, our retirement funds wouldn't mind if he was a switch hitter!)

No teeth, but less fussing, so hopefully Eli will have a few days of relief from the pain. His crawling is very intense; when he sets his sights on something he wants, he's there in a matter of seconds. The funny thing is, he'll whine a little as he uses the old 'wounded soldier' crawl, but then he'll see the phone on the floor across the room and he'll zoom into his Superman pace without a moment's notice.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Three Random Things

1) WOW! It's been a rough few days with Eli. If his swollen gums are any indication, he's got about four teeth ready to pop: two on bottom and two on top. The kid is miserable. Just plain miserable. If something is entertaining enough to distract him from the pain, he's ok momentarily, but for the most part, he's letting us know (as loud and often as he can, I might add) that he is not a happy camper. Luckily, he's still sleeping very well at night, so there is the silver lining...

2) So much for baby steps. Eli has been army crawling for a total of eight days and he's already perfected the motion. It started as a very inefficient wounded soldier movement, and then progressed to the two-hands-extended-at-once-and-pull movement. Last night as I was preparing his bath, he scooted across the floor faster than I could run after than him, using lizard-like stealth and speed. It appears he finally figured out the correct way to do it, alternating hands and pushing off of his knees. He's still dragging his belly on the ground, but he pushed up onto all fours several times this weekend in preparation for movement, so we're getting closer.

3) Eli's latest trick is feeding other people when he eats. About a week or so ago I noticed him lifting up a cheerio or a gummed-to-death piece of banana to Lehr or I when we sat down next to him as he ate. Now he does it all the time. It's quite cute actually, as long as you don't actually eat the damp, mutilated food he offers. I did manage to eat a cheerio from him yesterday, but it went directly from his tray to my mouth: Eli did not 'chew' it for me first. This is not something I tried to teach him; I imagine he's just mimicking how I feed him when we're out and about (one piece at a time).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

My Buddy

The day started off rough, but drastically improved. After Eli woke up this morning, the three of us drove north for a bike ride, but not before some bumps and bruises. Since Eli is more mobile now, we are (obviously failing at) making an attempt to use foresight to prevent accidents. Lehr's bike was in the middle of the garage without the front tire (balancing ever so slightly) and Eli decided he wanted to explore. Since it would take little more than a strong breeze to knock it over, Eli's muscle-touch did the trick. Lehr and I were both packing the car up and heard him cry only to turn around and see the poor guy trapped under the back wheel. He stopped crying before I'd even scrubbed the grease off his head, and he has only a small bruise. Don't worry: karma paid us back. After my ride Lehr pulled one of the bikes up (without the tire) just as I was bending down and I took a 'fork' straight in the forehead.

After our lovely biking adventures, Cooper and his parents came over for the afternoon. Both boys are mobile now, though Cooper is much quicker. You'd think this would mean more interaction between the two, but not so much, at least today. They did pet each other's heads once or twice, and Cooper did push Eli down once, but that was probably to get him back for the last visit. We managed to get some pictures of the two outside. A few of them are of Eli and Cooper on the same swing. They are so much bigger than the first time we did that! I think this was the last hurrah for the shared swing.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rub Dub, Just Relaxing in the Tub

Oh me oh my. I daresay this clip tops all others as far as smile-predictability goes. I challenge you to watch it and not laugh at my litte frog as he wiggles in the bath and plays hide-n-seek with the camera.

A few nights ago, as usual, Lehr gave Eli his nightly bath. Recently he (Eli, that is) has started fighting us when we rinse his hair because it means he has to lie on his back for a moment. He never used to have a problem with it, but as we've learned, Eli constantly changes in order to keep us on his toes. In an attempt to cure him of this dislike, Lehr drained the bathwater enough so he (again, Eli) could lie on his back without drowning or getting too much water in his ears. It seemed to work; Eli stopped freaking out and even decided to play with his basketball bath-toy and roll over onto his stomach. This is when it got fun. Eli proceeded to dance and thrash all about having an absolute blast in the 2-inch deep water. Once again, Daddy's playtime is so much more intense than Mommy's!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My Son, the Swiffer

So now that Eli is in motion, he has become our new dust mop. The first time I noticed him cleaning the floor for us I was reminded of the SNL commercial for "Swiffer Sleepers", where parents put fleece pj's on their toddlers and pushed them around the floor, picking up lint and dust with their fleece. Since Eli drags his belly across the hardwood floor as he scoots around, he mimics this ad-parody and ends up looking like he's spent the better part of a month under the couch. Clothing covered with dust bunnies and hair: you'd think we never clean by the looks of him!

Video Clip

By popular demand, here is a short clip of our version of Peek-a-Boo.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

God Bless America

We started our Fourth of July the way we usually do: waking up early and going downtown to run the Peachtree Road Race. This year Lehr decided report for Eli duty instead of running, so I ran with David (the Godfathah). Carolyn (the Fairy Godmother) drove us down to the race start and then went back to pick up Eli and Lehr. The three of them camped out to watch the race while David and I braved the heat and humidity that is always present on race day. What a weird bird my son is though: I saw them on the sidelines towards the end of the race, so I stopped to say 'hi'. Eli acted as though he couldn't care less, and I continued on my way after about a minute. I am told he burst into tears as I ran away. WEIRDO!!

It was a great race and Eli loved being a spectator. It's hard not to, with all of the crazy costumes and get-ups you see. This year's highlights: superheros (the Hulk, Batman, Spiderman, etc.), "Men in Black", male hula dancers, and Elvis. (Pictures here) After the race we came back home for breakfast, at which time Eli entertained everyone by dancing. He's becoming quite the rocker, swaying back and forth whenever he hears music. Also, he is doing his army crawl all over the downstairs, as I type.

We were hoping to view some fireworks downtown, but unfortunately we got rained out. Of course that didn't happen until we were already down there, at Centennial Park. Luckily as soon as the raindrops started falling we were able to take cover under an awning. It is a good thing too because it came down in buckets for at least 20 minutes!

Monday, July 03, 2006

On The Move

Two Things:
1) Eli can officially army-crawl. It's not like he wasn't able before as much as he wasn't willing. Regardless, I had him army-crawling all over this afternoon, and he even showed off his new skills to dad.

2) I'm a mean mommy. In order to elicit this movement, I had to move the cordless phone (one of his favorite 'toys') just out of his reach each time he moved forward. Considering how tired and frustrated he was, all the while teething, this was cruel. There was lots of crying, some screaming, and a few tears. In the end, Mommy won, so it's not all bad right?

The first few times Eli reached the phone, he furiously started dialing, perhaps 911 to report his mother. After the phone novelty wore off (I had to let him reach it a few times in order to keep his attention), Eli discovered the door and how his movement affected it. He opened and shut the door several times this afternoon. This was a great game because it required him to constantly army-crawl. (BTW - Eli's army-crawl appears to be imitating a wounded soldier. He keeps his left elbow under him to push, while barely reaching forward with his right arm. You can see some of this here.)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Cheese Stands Alone...

He stands! He stands!

OK, so Lehr had to place him that way, but he still stood and held it for about five minutes! (video) And he had his shoes/bar on at the time, so lots of balance was required. Eli even bounced up and down a few times out of excitement that he was, in fact, standing without Mom or Dad holding him. It ended with a great crash when he let go and tumbled backwards, barely missing his Fisher Price aquarium and only slightly bouncing his head off of the crib bumper. He didn't miss a beat though; he landed on his back and then rolled over to his stomach and pushed his head and shoulders up so quick that if you blinked, you just might have missed it.

Eli has really taken to dancing when he hears certain music. His version is oh-so-white (if I may be politically incorrect for a moment), as he simply sways his head from side to side, just slightly off the beat. (You can view some of this as he plays with his caterpillar.)

This morning Eli and Lehr got some quality rough-housing in. And as common when the two play, Eli squeals with laughter and screams the whole time. One of the funniest things I have seen in a long time was a good old fashion game of "Scare the diaper off of Eli". Some of you may know it as "Peek-A-Boo", but as I've mentioned before, that's not how it usually works in our house. Especially when Lehr is the one saying "Boo". This time, Eli was on our bed with me and Lehr would creep around the bed, popping up at random times and random places shouting "BOO!". Eli would hold his arms out mid-air and slowly move his head from one side of the bed to the other in an effort to predict where the next scare would come from. To his credit, sometimes he was right on the money. (Daddy's kinda loud when he's creeping.) Regardless of his successful tracking, he would scream and giggle when Lehr popped up, all the while shaking uncontrollably. It was way too entertaining for me to leave the scene and get the camera.