Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Donation Corner: My Sister's House

I skipped last month, as Maddux aligned her arrival with the first week of the month, when I would have normally posted a new Donation Corner. I'll try to make up for that next month by doing a Double Donation. For now, I'm sticking with the organization I'd originally chosen for July: My Sister's House.

My Sister's House is an emergency shelter for women and children that provides clean clothes, nutritious meals, and a safe place to sleep for those in need. It is one of many services offered by the Atlanta Union Mission. AUM has been around since 1938, providing food, shelter, recovery programs, and transitional housing. My Sister's House and Atlanta Union Mission both need donations in the way of money, volunteers, and donations. If you click on either link above, you'll find a running list to the left of the specific needs. Or if you'd rather reach into your pocket, here is your opportunity.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Maddux's First Hike

Eli has MMO this morning so Maddux and I headed to Kennesaw Mountain for her first hike. Eli was a little older when he visited the mountain for the first time, but she handled it like a pro. Of course she slept most of the time, but when she was awake, she was quite alert and took in the scenery.

Over the weekend Eli got to visit with Cooper and "D": two of his favorite people. Last night we picked up a pizza and went to D's house; all day today Eli has been saying to me, "pizza. D. pizza. D." His newest words are "pizza", "elbow", and "baby sister" (taught to him by Grandma and Grandpa).

Speaking of new words, Eli can name pretty much any body part you point to, including his elbow, neck, and hair. One of his favorite games is to have Mommy say, "where is your eye/hair/nose/elbow?", so he can point to and say the part requested.

No new solo Maddux or Eli pictures, but here is one from last night with both of them. He loves to tickle her toes!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Life Is Good

I know it seems like I've overused that phrase recently, but it really rings true these days. Grandma and Grandpa left yesterday and while they were an enormous help (and Eli didn't mind having constant attention and love), it is really cool to be a four-person family now. The Eliason clan went to the pool this morning and hung around the house the rest of the day. The highlight for me was when Eli snuggled up to his sister while she lounged on the play mat. Life is Good!

English As A Second Language?

How long have I been reciting the alphabet and numbers with Eli? It seems like forever...real time is probably closer to 18-months. When we do the alphabet, I also usually do the french one, and when we count to 10 or 20, we also count in French and Spanish. But we always count in English first. So why is it that Eli will only say 'two' when I ask him to repeat the English numbers, but when we count in Spanish or French, he makes a really good attempt to say those numbers correctly? Lehr and I are baffled by this.

The fruit streak continues; tonight Eli ate a whole bowl of blueberries which is something he wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole as of a week ago... Other new words today: knuckles and soccer. Totally unprompted and on his own when I got him out of his crib this morning.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Eli's A Fruit Man

He don't eat no meat.......(Sorry - not many people other than Lehr will get that.)

Since I stopped pureeing Eli's fruit about a year ago, he has stopped eating the fresh variety. He'll still eat bananas, and on occasion he'll get on a kick of nectarines or apricots for a few days, but for the most part, he does not like fresh fruit (but he loves dried fruit). Lo and behold, today he ate a whole bowl of fresh fruit and asked for more! Lehr prepared a small bowl of watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, strawberries, and pineapple to accompany Eli's lunch today, with little hope of him actually consuming it. After some initial skepticism, Eli happily 'forked' and ate the entire serving. BIG news for us.

Maddux is still growing, growing, growing. She looks bigger and longer to me each day. She's on my good side right now because after I went to bed at 11PM last night, she only woke me up once (4AM) before I got up with her at 7:30AM. Gotta love those nights when you get them this early on!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Heart Belongs To Grandpa

Not that it came as any surprise to me, but Eli LOVES Grandpa Jim. He hasn't seen him since March, but you'd never have known given they way they have been together from the moment Grandpa arrived. Eli usually warms up to men quicker than women, so this wasn't too far fetched. And as much fun as he had with "Gamma Cappy" before my dad got here, she is chop liver now. The only one Eli wants is "Gappa Jib". Yesterday we went to the pool and Eli rode around on his back in the deep end, and today we went to a park where Eli went across a bridge and down a slide numerous times with Gappa. The rest of their time has been spent playing 'golp' in the backyard or painting the deck. I think Grandpa Jim is going to need a vacation after this vacation!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

First Night in Da Crib

Maddux slept in her crib last night for the first time. We tried her on Friday night, but between her 3am feeding and her 630am feeding, I kept her in the pack-n-play in our room because I was too tired to bring her all the way back to her room. Last night, however, she only woke up once between the late Saturday night nosh and her early morning breakfast, so in her room she stayed! She doesn't seem to mind her crib at all, but really, why would she? To her it's still a dark room where she's swaddled and her back in the boppy. (We have put her to sleep in the boppy for the last week because she has rolled onto her side from her back SEVERAL times, and we're worried about a full roll over while she's swaddled. On a related note, she has rolled over from her stomach to her back while doing tummy time a few times already. I'm aware it's because she's totally top-heavy due to the weight of her head, but still...much different than how long it took for Eli.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Like A Weed

Maddux is growing so fast!! I think I am noticing it more with her than I did with Eli because she started so small (at least smaller than Eli). My first 'clue' was that her newborn-sized diapers are not very big on her. In fact, I can use size 1 now and she doesn't completely swim in them. Secondly, when I nurse her, she stretches along my lap instead of just half of it. Part of this is because she's finally extended her limbs, but I've noticed a few of her pantsuits are not longer than her legs anymore; they actually fit her now. Lastly, her abdomen and torso are 'normal' now. She seemed so small, frail and skinny the first week because her midsection was so tiny. It has rounded out a bit more finally. I do not have a scale at the house, otherwise I would have weighed her a few times now to see just how much she's gained. Even though she is still a quick nurser, it's more obvious than ever that she is getting what she needs to grow.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Good Week

We took another trip to the Botanical Gardens this morning. Eli had a blast running through the fountains, as he always does. Afterwards we walked around the rest of the Children's Gardens and then had a picnic lunch. I was once again amazed at how well Eli sat and ate his lunch. Eli has his moments of testing limits, sometimes when it comes to food and/or eating time, but today you would never know that. He sat down on the towel and ate his entire lunch without a whine, a tantrum, or even so much as a thought to stand or run around. Oh Happy Day!!

Eli went to MMO on Monday morning and had another great report when I picked him up. When I arrived after lunch there were only three kids left in the 'class'. Eli and another little boy were standing at a table with their backs to me, playing with a plastic microwave. I stood and watched for a moment since neither boy could see me and I marveled at the way both boys took turns putting plastic dishes in the oven and closing the door. They were totally playing together instead of independently; it was so neat to see!

More new words this week: soup, pi-er tuck (fire truck), and diaper.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Clear For A Year

Eli had an appointment with the orthopedic this morning. As we hoped (and pretty much suspected), there is no sign of relapse!!! Eli's feet looked 'perfect', according to the doctor. In fact, he made the comment that by looking at them, you can't even tell there was ever a problem. This is great great news, obviously. Even better, as long as there are no problems or concerns, we do not have to go back for another check up for a full year. Life is good.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Wow. I know I keep bringing it up, but Eli has become an absolute sponge when it comes to words lately! There are a lot of new words he's picked up in the last few days that I haven't even 'taught' him...he just heard someone say them and he repeated them like a parrot. A few are:
- "gatz" (glasses)
- "golp" (golf)
- "mutz" (much)
- choo choo "tack" (track)
- "Max" (Maddux)
- "pohk" (fork)
- eat
- "glub" (glove)
- "ticker" (sticker)

Also, Eli has a new language; I like to call it iSpeak. He has started to use "I" in front of nouns and verbs to describe him doing something. For example, "I cook", "I golp", "I hit" (baseball), "I pitch", and my favorite, "I taahry" (I'm sorry).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

"Perfect" Feet

In my last photo email, I titled one picture of Maddux's feet, "Perfect Feet and Toes". After giving this title more thought, I realized some might interpret my words to mean Maddux has 'perfect' feet and Eli doesn't. Let me clarify. In no way would I change the way Eli was born. I never thought him anything less than perfect, and certainly not less perfect than his sister. Although it was an initial shock, the journey Eli has made with his feet is one that has shaped him into the great kid he is, and it has shaped Lehr and I into the parents we are. Although I am very happy to dote over little legs and little toes this time around (as Eli was in casts for the first 9 weeks so we didn't get to experience his baths, shoes, socks until much later), I can't imagine Eli without his shoes and bar. Nor could he, as he often reminds us. Recently Eli started using his stuffed Elmo for pretend play. His favorite thing to do with Elmo is hand him to Mommy (or Daddy) and say, "Melmo. Nigh-nigh." This usually happens in his bedroom, so the next logical step in the night-night process for Eli is shoes and sleep-sack. He will hand me Elmo, hand me the sack (as he says, "cape") and then hand me the shoes (as he says, "shoes"). For Eli, night-time equals three things: his blanket, his 'cape', and his shoes. He doesn't know any different. Neither did we.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

How Sweet It Is....

This video doesn't need much explanation.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Eli's new hobby is drinking milk from a bowl. In the last few weeks he's transitioned himself off of oatmeal (a one-time favorite breakfast food) and onto regular cereal. His favorites are Cheerios and Kashi Heart-to-Heart (hahts, as Eli calls them). The main reason he likes to eat the cereal is because it allows him to "dink" the milk out of the bowl. He usually drinks the milk before he eats the cereal, and he always tells me "DINK" as he does it. Surprisingly, Eli is pretty neat with his drinking; he rarely spills any, and when he does, it's just enough to barely cover the bottom of his catch-all bib.

Other new words for Eli in the last few days: Coopey (Cooper's nickname), meer (mirror), Cookhee (Cookie Monster), and an indescribable snoring sound that he makes whenever you ask him what noise Maddux makes when she sleeps.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Elmo Can Use The PO-tty!

About two months before we moved I decided to buy Eli a 'potty' seat so that he could become aware of what it was. I didn't dare start officially potty training, given that we were about to move AND have a baby, but I also didn't want it to be a big shock when we did start the process. Along with the seat I bought an Elmo book with talking buttons (Potty Time With Elmo). Eli loves the book and loves even more to push the button which says "Elmo can use the PO-tty!". So to re-cap, all we've done so far is read the book, sit on the seat once a day (before his bath), and try to make Eli aware of when he is 'going potty' and whatnot. Up until this point he's not even been bothered by a wet or dirty diaper, so trying to get him to let us know before he goes will be a challenge. However, yesterday Eli asked to sit on the 'potty' twice (both times he had just wet himself), and he told me "Potty. Dirty." before we went (he now says 'dirty' if he passes gas or has a dirty diaper). This is good news to me. Not that he's in anyway started to train himself, but he's making progress, seemingly on his own!!

Eli had a great night last night with his cousins, Na'ama and Aiden. They came over to meet Maddux, but had a much better time playing with Eli. The three of them played hoops, zoomed around on his bike, and jumped all over the back porch. Since Eli is a big fan of bigger kids, he was in heaven.

Random Musings

Eli is still doing really well with Maddux. Offering his blanket, sharing toys, and only poking her eye and saying "eye" once so far. He's very aware of when she's eating too; he will point to her and say "EAT" about a million times. Since I'm usually in the middle of both of them when he offers to share his blanket or kiss her, I have not been able to capture these amazingly sweet moments on film yet. I'll keep trying though!

Maddux is doing great in the nursing department now. (Hallelujah!) After our weight check yesterday she came home and nursed like a champ for a full 25 minutes and then followed up with another 20 minute session a few hours later. Both were much less 'difficult' than the others have been, so hopefully we've turned a corner.

Eli's vocabulary has sky-rocketed in the last few weeks. He repeats everything he hears and has even started a few 2-word sentences. His recent additions are: eat, drink, milk (muk), choo-choo tracks (tak), thunder (punder), geese (jgheez), bird, mail, Grandma Cathie (Gama or Dama Cappy), and a few others that are escaping me right now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I took Maddux to the pediatrician this morning for a weight-check due to her low weight when we left the hospital last week. Of course as soon as I took her diaper off she peed right on the scale...quite funny to me because Eli never did that, yet you'd expect it from a boy! Anyway, she weighed in at 6lb. 9oz. which means she's gained 30grams each day since Friday. The pediatrician was very pleased; she said the weight gain they like to see is 20-30grams per day, so she's at the high end of that. Even though she's still nursing for such a short time each session (and going 2-4 hours between each session), her diaper output is commendable and the weight gain indicates she is definitely getting what she needs.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Leaps And Bounds

Eli has become much more fond of his sister (still called 'be-be') in the last week. He loves how she sits in her car seat next to the table at dinner time and he wants to feed her milk and whatever he's eating. He gives her kisses at least a few times a day now and he often wants to give her some toys he's playing with also. We all know how much Eli loves his blanket; he offers that to her at least once each day also (usually after his nap). This is huge for me. I was so worried about him not liking her so much, but he is very protective of her and when she cries, he gets a sad look and either says, "be-be" or "kyy" (cry, I assume). So sweet.

Eli had a great day at MMO today; when I picked him up the five other kids there were sitting in front of the TV playing and my Mr. Independent was moving toys from a structure to the table (away from the TV) while talking animatedly (is that a word?) to himself. He didn't notice me at first, so I was able to observe for a bit. Since Maddux has returned home Eli has been playing quite well by himself, but when I have minutes to devote completely to him, he definitely likes to interact more. Before he did not care so much if I played with him, as long as I just sat and watched him play. Now he hands me toys, paint brushes, cars, etc. and expects me to participate. Love this.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

What's In A Name?

Ok. The story on the name. About two weeks before we sold our house Lehr threw out the name 'Maddux' in an IM to me one morning. Greg Maddux is an MLB pitcher that we both respect and love (many many years with the Cubs before and after he was with the Braves), so why not use his name? Anyway, I mulled it over and really liked the originality and meaningfulness of the name. In my mind, the issue had been settled: the baby would be Bode or Maddux. Between the selling of our old house and buying of our new house, we got too busy to discuss names until a few weeks after settling in. When the subject came up again, we still agreed on Bode, but when I mentioned Maddux, Lehr seemed surprised. Not that he didn't like the name, but he never thought I'd go for it, so he wasn't really serious. We tossed a few other names back and forth, but they all seemed a distant second to 'Bode', which we both loved. It got to the point where we still didn't have a gender preference, but if we didn't get to use 'Bode', we realized we'd be disappointed because we didn't have a girl name we felt as strongly about either. Back and forth, back and forth.... We tossed Maddux around, but still didn't make our decision until midnight the night before I went in to be induced. Finally we agreed that it was the only name we both felt 'connected'. And so it is....

Saturday, July 07, 2007


That is the only word I can think of to describe Eli right now. Big. For a few months he's seemed big-ger, but not 'big'. Now that I have a tiny TINY baby here to compare him to, he seems to have grown in size and ability overnight. Big. At times that word can describe his toddler tude also, but I have to say that all in all, he's really coming around considering the big changes in the last week. This morning when Eli got up we presented him with a gift from Maddux: a wooden train set and train table. Lehr put it all together for him last night and this morning was like Christmas for us. Eli was so SO excited. He could not stop running around the perimeter of the table saying "choo choo. choo choo." and pumping his (big) arm. He even thanked Maddie, but did not want to give her a thank you kiss. He offered to share his trains with her though many times, so he is obviously just choosing to show his affection in other ways. Big. The laughs Eli had at the breakfast table this morning were VERY big. Lehr sat across from him with Maddux, and played peek-a-boo (initiated by Eli). Lehr would lift Maddux up and then down out of Eli's sight. He could not stop giggling and he loved to play along, though his version of it just included tucking his chin to his chest and then looking straight ahead to 'peek'. Big. This afternoon Eli gave Maddux his first unsolicited kiss. I was on the floor in his room burping her and he was sitting next to me reading books. He looked over at her (her face was towards him) and he leaned in and 'mmm' kissed her. (Melt Melt). Big. Eli's heart is big.

First Bath

After Lehr put Eli down for his nap this afternoon, the two of us gave Maddux her first bath at home. Her cord stump fell off last night which was great news for me since Eli's stuck around for two full weeks. She didn't seem to mind the water at all, but coming out of the bath was a different story; she did not like the cold air, even though I had her wrapped in a warm towel. She let me know by immediately messing herself in the towel. Take that, Mom and Dad!

Friday, July 06, 2007

So On And So On

I do not remember it being this difficult with Eli. Then again, as moms we tend to block out the negatives of the first few week (months? years?) when it comes to our kids. Maddux is a great nurser in that when she wants to, she latches on completely and CHUGS. The bad news is, when she doesn't want to eat, or she's full, there is no way to coax her otherwise (though I'm still trying). Case in point, several times last night when she ate, I tried nursing for 45-50 minutes and only got ten minutes of actual eating time out of her. Hopefully she's just crazy efficient and getting all she needs in those ten minutes. It feels like she is, but again, it's been a year since I've done this so I don't really remember.

The doctor's appointment went great today. Instead of just a weight-check, they went ahead and made this Maddux' first official appointment, and I'll go next week for a weight-check. The doctor was not at all concerned about her weight loss (even though she is still at 6lb 5oz). She said that she's nursing often and she looks healthy (even though she's skin and bones as far as I'm concerned), so the "F" word (formula) never even came up. YIPPEE!!!

Eli is warming up very well. He even gave her two kisses. Hesitant kisses, but kisses nonetheless. He wants desperately to feed her when we eat dinner, so that will be a challenge...to not allow him to cover her with bananas and pasta and milk each day. He poked her ear today and said "ear" and then a while later her head and said "hair". He's coming around, but I'm still very very glad Grandma "Cappy" is still here.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Home Again, Home Again.....

What a hold-up at the hospital! We were all set to leave around 6am this morning but due to some poor communication between us, nurses and the lactation department, we did not get home until 2PM. I was so antsy to get out of there, so the wait felt like forever! Lehr brought Eli to the hospital so he could help us bring Maddux home. He was still pretty unsure of her, but while we were waiting for our final check-out, he did grab my banana and offer it to "bee-bee?" So cute. Maddux lost her 7% body weight, so I will have to go to the pediatrician's office tomorrow afternoon to have her weighed again. We never had this problem with Eli, so it's all new to me. Quite a surprise too because she's been a great nurser and she's had way more diapers (the 'test' of nursing) than Eli ever had in the first few days. Besides that she is great. Eli is a little testy. He has yet to kiss the baby or really get interested in her. I've been trying to spend as much time with him as possible; he shows a lot of concern when I nurse her. He came around a lot toward dinner, however. We all sat at the table and I put Maddie in her car seat on the floor near us. He offered her a few spoonfuls of his pasta and a sip of his milk too. Then when I was nursing her after dinner he came and touched her head (a first) and said 'hair'. I'm so stressed out about this....how do I balance enjoying her and giving her the attention/time necessary to simply feed her while still entertaining and giving attention to him!?!? The next few weeks will be easier on me as Grandma Cathie will be here, but I really worry about when she leaves.

Speaking of which, Eli did great while we were in the hospital. Grandma Cathie (Eli calls her "Cappy") and David ("D") stayed the first day, and Cappy has been here since then. Eli did not give either of them any issues. A BIG thank you to both for how they have helped out with Eli during this transition time.

I know the blog is still titled for Eli alone; I haven't decided on the name/address of the new one yet, so no switch has been made. I did shut down the baby's blog though. I moved all of those posts (minus the comments, unfortunately) over to this blog, which will from here forward be a combined blog. Again, any suggestions are welcome!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

And Then There Were Four.....

Finally, finally! We arrived at the hospital at 6AM this morning for my induction. They started me on the (dreaded) pitocin drip around 8AM. The OB on-call checked me and I was still dilated to a 2-3. (He arrived before my midwife.) The contractions kept steady with what they had been all night until around noon. They were consistent and noticeable, but very manageable at that point. The midwife checked me at that point and I was still only a "3", so she broke my water to get things moving a little quicker. Within an hour the contractions became very painful. They started out still allowing me to breathe through them in a somewhat controlled fashion, but around 1:30 or 2PM, everything started to become very painful and very out-of-control (for me). Luckily the midwife came in just after 2:00 and saw a few contractions for herself (I was feeling a lot of pressure at this point - like I might want to push). She decided to have me get back on the bed so she could check my progress. I have never been so happy to hear the number "9" before! The following two contractions were even more intense (I was still on pitocin, which was not helping my pain at all.), and I definitely felt the urge to push by then. The midwife told me if I wanted to on the next one, go ahead and try to bear down. I did and I told her it felt like the baby was coming out. The midwife looked and sure enough, she could see the head crowning. The next few contractions were excruciating, but I remembered with Eli that it had to get worse before it could get better so I kept pushing as much as I could. Thankfully I only had to push for ten minutes before my beautiful baby girl arrived (au natural except for the ever-painful pitocin). Once again the midwife and the doula (Elizabeth) were instrumental in helping me get through it all. Lehr was the biggest help of all though; he obviously learned a great deal from last time and he anticipated any pain or need I had - Thank God for him!!

So to sum up: Maddux Nicole Eliason made her way into our family at 2:44PM on July 3, 2007, weighing 6lb.13oz and measured 19 1/4 inches long. Her feet are straight as can be and she scored 9/9 on her apgar 'test'. I don't see any resemblance to Lehr or myself, but I think she is the spitting image of Eli, especially when he was younger. Eli still isn't so sure about her, but hopefully he'll warm up once she comes home and Mommy is home with him. (I'm still in the hospital, but pictures will, of course, follow when we return home.)

Many people have asked what our name would have been for a boy: Bode James Eliason. We still really like that name as it's one we decided on months ago, so we're keeping it in our back pocket. But I'm not AT ALL ready to talk about having another baby quite yet.