Wednesday, February 28, 2007

And The Little One Said, "Roll Over"

After the "big" ultrasound this morning Eli and I went home to have lunch and it was a very trying afternoon. He did so well at the doctor, totally entertaining himself during the main event, that I was shocked at his sudden change in behavior when we got home. He is going through a phase (hopefully?) where he gets frustrated over nothing obvious to any bystander, and five or ten minutes is 'wasted' on him crying while loudly demanding 'DAT!' as he signs 'please'. (When he does this, your guess is as good as mine what "DAT" is referring to.) Today was no different. Lunch was difficult and after that he was a mess, so an early nap was in order. Of course he decided to only sleep for 70 minutes, so it was a long afternoon. But I digress...

Eli LOVES to roll, as I've mentioned before. He enjoys a forward or backward roll, which he's been doing since even before his gym class started, but his favorite is the sideways roll. (This is the one he uses when he falls down at the park.) However, he has been unable, or unwilling, to initiate this movement on his own; Mommy always has to push him to make him roll. Tonight after his dinner and bath (which went MUCH better than this afternoon), Eli and I were playing in the guest room when he decided to 'fall' and stretch out, which is apparently a sign for me to start rolling him. So I did, but after pushing him over once he started to do it all on his own. What an exciting new skill, I know. After the rolling incident Eli spent a good ten solid minutes climbing onto the back of 'Mater only to climb off as soon as his bottom hit the seat. Then he would push up the 'hood' and sit in the 'trunk' for a split second before he'd get up and start the whole process again. It is so fun to see him figure things out and learn! On a side note, he's been using utensils primarily with his left hand (even though when he shovels food in by hand he uses both right and left), but when he was climbing on and off of 'Mater tonight, he always balanced on his right leg.

"Big" Ultrasound

We had our mid-way ultrasound this morning; Lehr planned to meet Eli and I there to see the ultrasound and then meet with the midwife that delivered Eli. Unfortunately Lehr got there about 10 minutes late and missed the main event. The one time the ob office was right on time, he was a little late! Eli and I were called back right at 11AM and whereas we are usually told to sit in more chairs to wait, this time we were ushered right back into the u/s tech room. This caused me a little stress because that meant that there was no one to watch Eli but he was amazing. Made me so proud! He stood next to a chair and played with the three toys I took out for him during the whole ultrasound.

So I stayed strong and did not find out the gender (though I was tempted, just because it would have been so easy to find out). I asked the tech to look for clubfeet, but lo and behold, as of now they look SOO straight! Totally a shocker for me....I 100% expected to have foot issues again since the probability is so high. (Not that we're out of the woods yet, but this is a good sign.) The heart, skeleton, and organs looked great too, so everything seems to be growing right on schedule. Lehr got there right when we left the u/s room, but he got to meet with the midwife with me. I got to see one yawn, but for the majority of the time, the baby sucked on his/her thumb.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vocab Update

Since I no longer have a running list of Eli's words and signs in the sidebar I figured I'd let everyone know of his progress (or lack there of). Even though he's still not speaking as much or as clearly as most of his (female) friends, he's come a long way in the last few weeks. Here are a few of the most recent:

Elmo = Melmo
Eli = Ee-loo
Big Bird = Beh bah
yogurt = gurt
Cooper = 'Per
bird = bihrrr
bye = baahh
cracker = cra. kher.
Amen = manen-manen
book = boo-uh
train = dhoo dhoo
monkey = oh. eee.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Insane in the Membrane

That's what Lehr and I were to think we could pull off this 'weekend' trip in only 3 1/2 days! Considering that we haven't been back to Central Florida in many years, and not at all since Eli was born, taking on that amount of family and friend visits in that short of time was nothing short of ignorant. Live and learn I guess..... Let me try to recap all of Eli's visits as quickly as possible so-as-to not bore you:

Starting at 1PM on Friday and ending at 9:30AM on Monday, Eli visited with Linda & Darol (thanks again for the animal crackers!), Mom-Mom (Eli loved using your boogie board and he is fascinated with the new books), Chris, Jessica & Alex (just how many kisses did the two kids share?), Grandpa Ed, Grandma Sandy & Great-Grandma Nana (Eli had a blast playing the guitar), and Courtney, Michael, Brandon, Jake & Emily (when Eli grows up I think he wants to be Brandon, though he shows more similarities to Jake. Courtney has a great blog documenting her kids.).

Phew!! And those people totalled eight 3 1/2 days....when Eli sleeps 12 hours at night and 2-3 hours for a nap during the day. Do the math and you'll see that Eli spent a lot of time travelling to and from places the whole time. Considering that and the fact that the people Eli met were 'new' (pretty much anyone he hasn't seen in a 3-4 weeks is 'new'), Eli did fairly well. He was sure to save 90% of his frustrations and meltdowns for the car (gee, thanks), so most of the people he saw only saw his good, if not a little shy, side. Of course he had a blast at the beach; he alternated chasing birds, being pulled on the sand on a boogie board (which he insisted on standing on so he would fall when you pulled it) and digging/filling holes in the sand with Daddy.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Pride or a Sign of Being "Not-So-Smart"?

Eli is becoming more and more able to do things for himself, even if they are things that are off-limits. I mentioned last week about his desire to play with the fire place; he also constantly asks/tries to play with remotes, telephones, and cell phones, which are all 'no-no' in our house. The kicker is when he does successfully obtain one of those objects, he usually giggles really loudly and then runs towards me, to show off his find, I guess. Of course I gently take it away and say 'no-no', which upsets him, but he has yet to make an attempt to hide, which makes me wonder why he continues to bring these things to my attention. I can only figure it's because he's so proud of himself for getting his hands on something that is not allowed.

This happened again this afternoon right before I put Eli down for his nap. I was unloading the dryer while Eli was roaming the upstairs. Just as I was finishing up, he came into the laundry room laughing and saying 'goo!', all the while holding up his blanket (which stays in his crib as a rule). I chuckled as I carried him and his blanket to his crib. Since it was so close to nap time I just let him keep the prized possession and go down a little early. I tried to remind him as I was closing the blinds that if he wants to play with these things it probably isn't the best idea to show them off to me, because I'll take them away every time. almost sounds like I want my son to be a sneak! I assure you I don't; I'm just a bit puzzled by his lack of training. Pavlov's dog he is not...

Survival of the Fittest

Wow. So far I have been through croup with Eli and a multitude of 'colds' ranging from flu to bronchitis with Lehr in the last 6 months. If I make it out of this winter without contracting any of these viruses (successful so far!), I think I might have some mutant, super genes. Lehr just got over bronchitis and now Eli has his first ear infection. I was SOO optimistic in my hopes of him surviving his first two or three years without one, but a nurse at the CVS minute-clinic confirmed it today.

Before I left for the weekend, Eli had a slight fever on and off (mostly off), and he's had mild congestion (nose and cough) since then, but since I can see one of his front teeth poking through, I chalked it up to teething. He's been in a relatively good mood and has had no problem sleeping, after all. Lehr monitored his temp all weekend and noticed that he was in a really good mood both days. Last night, however, he woke up two or three times around midnight crying for no reason. We're not even sure if he was awake, but each of these episodes lasted a little longer than five minutes (it's quite rare for Eli to wake up crying during the night). I took his temp this morning and even though he was only at 98.8, I decided to call the doc and try to get Eli an appointment to make sure something 'bad' wasn't happening. His cough was back today and the nose, albeit clear, was like a mucus faucet. No appointments available, so off to the clinic we went. The left ear showed inflammation, so Eli will start some antibiotics tonight. I'm all in favor of doing what works to clear up an infection, but due to Lehr's long list of illnesses following a year or so on and off antibiotics, the less Eli has to take, the better!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Eli loves to sign "please". It's replaced a lot of his other signs, including "more". He will walk around the house signing "please" while saying "dat". It's not always obvious what he's asking because, like most toddlers, whatever he can see at that moment is what he wants. Eli knows the fireplace is off-limits , but he still asks if he can investigate from time to time, so I thought I'd snap a picture of him mid-sign. (It's hard to say "no" to that cute smile!)

Eli has had another great week of blanket time. He has started to test us a little by standing up and staring at us, smiling as big as possible as if to say "Look at me; I'm standing up when I'm supposed to be sitting!" But if that's the highest level of defiance he'll rise to while in blanket-time, I'll take it! He's become really good about just going straight to the blanket and sitting down once I open it up and put a few toys on top. Tonight he stayed in for 20 minutes alternating between sitting and lying down on his stomach while playing. Never once did he appear to want to leave. This is most definitely one of Lehr's 'favorite things' these days.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What a Predicament!

After Eli woke from his nap this afternoon we spent some QT cleaning the upstairs. Eli enjoyed a few minutes of chasing the vacuum around, after which he helped me dust and clean up his toys. That is where the picture came from. After examining the contents of his upstairs toybox, Eli turned around so his back faced the box and lowered himself to sit inside it. He was plenty pleased with himself and laughed along with Mommy for several minutes. Then, when I reached for the camera, his tune changed when he realized he couldn't get out on his own.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More Dancing Video

Here's a quick clip of Eli dancing with Daddy's iPod on Sunday. It's hard to tell on YouTube, but at the end Eli is attempting to snap his fingers. (I also posted a clip of Eli and Cooper on their post below.)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Early Spring?

Some days it feels like winter is over (even though it only arrived about three weeks ago)....I'm quite confused by the weather, so I can only imagine how the trees and flowers are feeling! Since it was one of the warm days today (62-degrees!!), Eli and I decided to go down to Piedmont Park again to enjoy the afternoon. Eli seemed to remember the fun he had before rolling down the hill because as soon as I took him out of BOB today he 'fell' and started to giggle. This time we stopped at the dog park so Eli could see all of the 'doggies' before we went on our walk. He loved when they came up to the fence to investigate, but he did make sure to have contact with my body at all times. (Brave, yet not so brave.) After he rolled down the hill several times, a man sitting nearby with two dogs offered to let Eli pet one of them, since he seemed so interested. He promised the one dog was as friendly as could be so I let him. Eli could not stop laughing while the dog sniffed all over his face and torso. He didn't really get to the point of petting him, but the interaction was a success all the same. Eli's favorite activity today was walking/running down the big hill (very far away from Mommy) to find a stick or branch of sorts. Then he would try to climb back up, proudly showing off his find.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What a Showoff!

Cooper and his family are moving into a new house, so Cooper spent the day with us so his parents could move without him underfoot. To start things off, Lehr took Eli over to pick Cooper up which meant the boys would be riding in the back seat together. Quite amusing! The boys thought this was pretty odd, so most of the ride was spent staring each other down. Once they arrived home Eli took off running, playing and using his outside voice very excitedly while Cooper stayed a bit 'frozen' in place for a few minutes taking it all in. Not that I blame him; Eli's weird-o behavior was a bit odd. (He continued to 'show off' this way throughout the entire day.) Pretty quickly Cooper warmed up and investigated Eli's toys. He is so much more methodical and overall calm when it comes to sorting through and ultimately picking toys than our son. We nicknamed Eli "the bull in the china shop" quite some time ago because he prefers to literally dive into his toy box, tossing toys to the right and left as he goes until he finds one suitable to play with for 60 seconds or less. Mostly the boys just played side by side, unaware of one another, but from time to time they would take interest in what the other was doing. All in all, the boys had a great day.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Indoor Fun

We're back to tough days. Days that are tough until Daddy comes home, of course. Eli can give me the hardest time all day, but once Lehr comes home it's nothing but smiles and giggles. In an attempt to entertain Eli today I pulled out some play-dough. He seemed to like it ok, but he was far more interested in this new game when I let him use the container also. He thought it was so cool to open and shut it while putting little bits of green inside. Also, Eli started back with his Little Gym classes today. This is the last time he'll be able to take those classes for some time considering a new person will be here before we know it. Scary stuff!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Picture Page

After a great report from Mothers' Morning Out, Eli and I came home to play before naptime. During that time he had had his first of a few photo ops today. Eli loves to listen to Lehr's iPod. He doesn't really like the standard earphones, but the free set from Delta flights works well on his ears and he tolerates them much longer. His favorite past time right now is to have Daddy hook him up and then let him roam around the house bobbing his head as he listens to Stevie Ray Vaughan or Beastie Boys.

The second came right before his bath. I put the finishing touches (fringe) on the first scarf I knitted tonight while Eli had blanket time and he was very eager to try out this new piece of wardrobe. Eli strutted around the house for about ten minutes wearing this colorful scarf before Daddy gently insisted he remove it.


I can't think of any other word to describe this story. A friend forwarded this link to me and I can't stop thinking about it. I hope at the end of the day I'm half the parent to Eli that this father is to his son.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Just a Few

How cute is it when your little one starts to show signs of intelligence? Or random acts of memory? Those are the moments that are melting me these days. While Eli's personality is coming through with his cape-wearing and his dancing, he is also starting to show us how much he really has been paying attention these last 18 months. The following observations are definitely a few of my favorite things.

First off, when you ask Eli a question about something in his immediate surroundings, or you request he go somewhere, he at least acknowledges he knows what you're saying (even if he doesn't comply). For example, Lehr piles up all of the trash from the mail each day and tells Eli to throw it away in the trash can. Eli loves carrying the envelopes and catalogues to the other side of the kitchen and depositing them. (Usually about half of it ends up on the floor, but beggars can't be choosers.) A few other notes: Eli always puts shoes (his or not) on his feet; Eli points to his mouth signing "water" when we turn on the bath or sink sometimes; when Lehr comes home Eli runs around the corner to see him as soon as he hears the garage door opens; and when I ask Eli if he's hungry and ready for breakfast/lunch/dinner, he nods, points to his mouth (signing food) and goes to his chair to wait for me to hoist him up.

The intelligence part of this is more a display of Eli's keen observation skillz. He really notices when Lehr and I do things around the house, and he loves to mimic them. He's been brushing his own hair for quite some time, which we never showed him how to do, but obviously he's seen us do it enough. Eli loves to wash his stomach or the walls of the tub with his washcloth while he's bathing. Recently he started attempting to wipe his mouth with a napkin if given the opportunity. (We never taught him this, nor did we ask him to. One day he just got ahold of a napkin and started wiping!) The scarier ones include lighting the fire. Now that winter has finally arrived in Georgia, we've had a few fires in the fireplace each week. Although I watch Eli very closely when he and I are downstairs together, I try to give him the opportunity to remove himself from a 'NO' situation (rather than me constantly pulling him away.) Last week he grabbed the lighter (which has since been moved even though there really isn't any way he could manipulate the buttons correctly) and placed it CORRECTLY into the fireplace, next to the starter. (Again, no gas was on, no logs were in the fireplace, and I was right there the whole time saying 'no'; Eli was removed from the area as soon as I got close enough to him.) We've been doing a lot of home improvement projects around the house in preparation for selling, so there is always a hammer or drill or level somewhere (usually out of reach). When we are working we often let Eli play (supervised) with select tools. Recently he had a screwdriver and correctly tried to screw the towel rack into the wall (he was watching Daddy when he did it, obviously).

The memory part is my most exciting observation. As I've mentioned a few times before, we do couch-time/blanket-time with Eli at least five nights per week. Sunday night I figured we'd skip it in light of the Superbowl and a later-than-normal dinner. However, Eli decided otherwise. After dinner (which is the routine), Lehr and I settled in the living room with the game on and a few toys around for Eli to play with. After about five minutes of this, Eli went over to his toy box, pulled out his blanket-time blanket, placed it on the ground, sat down and looked up at us as if to say, "It's time, right?" We were totally blown away, but of course we helped him spread the blanket out and get situated. Also, Eli's diaper trick has not occurred in several days, but the fact that he did it still excites me. His newest trick is lying down when you ask him. It's become quite a game between he and Lehr after bath time. (Although I do not condone the pretend-play of guns, this clip is still cute.)

This one does not fall under any of those categories, but I still thought it was blog-worthy. Over the weekend I left the house while Eli and Lehr were playing in the living room. I said my good-byes and walked out the door. As I was closing it, Eli started to run over to me, so I said "OK, one more kiss". He came to the door, kissed me good-bye, and then shut the door for me. Separation anxiety has passed for now!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Jumping Bean

Last night Lehr was able to feel this baby move for the first time. I have felt some flutterings here and there, but nothing on the exterior. So when I went to bed last night I had my hand on my stomach to see if I could feel anything, as I often do, and low and behold when I felt something on the inside my hand started to jump a little. So I called him in and had him see if he could feel it too. It took a little while, but he felt it several times.

Speaking of the jumping bean, when I was pregnant with Eli we referred to him as the Hulk since we didn't disclose his name before birth. I'm at a loss this time because we don't know the gender. Does anyone have any witty suggestions?

Donation Corner: MUST Ministries

For several years since moving to Atlanta, I've passed by a small building bearing the word "MUST" on my way to hike Kennesaw Mountain on a weekly basis. Until this last year I really didn't know what their 'business' was, though I always suspected a connection to a church based on the structure of the church-like house. Now that I've seen the work being done by MUST Ministries, both in connection with my church and through various publications regarding their good deeds, I think they are very worthy of their own spotlight this month.

On a quick side note, a few months back, a MUST representative came and spoke briefly at CCC, informing the congregation of their most recent goals and accomplishments. While he spoke he also mentioned something I think most of us know, but tend to forget: everyone wants to donate during the holidays, but after the new year, many charities and non-profit organizations hit a dry-spell where monetary, food, and material donations are scarce. PLEASE remember this when you think about donating, whether it be to this organization or another.

For 31 years, MUST has been dedicated to providing services to people in need. Their volunteers offer food, clothes and shelter to thousands of people each month. The little building I often pass is The Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen. Volunteers there prepare and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year. In a typical year, MUST helps 91,841 people with emergency groceries and baked goods; 38,223 with free clothing; 2,410 with job assistance; 5,676 children with clothes, school supplies and gifts; 2,326 people with emergency and transitional housing; serves 67,147 hot meals and provides access to medical care for hundreds of people. Almost two thirds of MUST's budget comes from donations.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Dancing Machine

Eli has become so much more into dancing recently. Saturday night Lehr and I had a good laugh as we watched Eli watching a dance show and trying to imitate. He held onto a chair for balance and bent his knees, squatting up and down several times while slightly shaking his head. Eli gets really into it when Mommy dances too. This last week I spent some time practicing for a church performance and Eli always joined me. Once I was practicing with another performer and Eli and her two sons all thought it was a dance party. Eli spun around, shaking his head and clapping occasionally.... Of course none of the true gems have been caught on video, but here is a video with a few seconds of the last week.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Midwife Appointment

Today was my last 'short' midwife appointment. Next time I go we will have an ultrasound and the following time will be my 1-hour GD test (yippee!). Lehr came along today, thank goodness. Eli was good, but very very busy and it is difficult to keep up with him while filling out paperwork and listening for the nurse to call your name and getting weighed in and giving a urine sample and talking to the midwife and and and and...... We heard the heartbeat right away today: somewhere in the 140-range. We haven't been taking weekly belly pictures like we did when I was pregnant with Eli, but I've taken two of myself so far (so they are not so great on lighting). Here is the one from this morning (17+weeks).