Friday, February 29, 2008

Another Oldie

Gee, can you tell I'm spending my 'free time' working on a DVD for 2007?? Here is yet another oldie but goodie. Makes me excited for warm weather so Eli can get back out there and work on his game.
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Explanation

I sent out my weekly 'kid brag' photo link this afternoon and I realized one of the events depicted might need a little more clarification. When I showed the picture of Eli chasing after Maddux in the red car, I mentioned that Lehr had only turned his back for about five seconds when this happened. I'm sure most of you are thinking, "Yeah right....no way that could have been only five seconds." Here is some video of Eli zooming up the driveway with Maddux to prove just how fast he can achieve that task.
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The Words Just Keep On Coming

After lunch today, Eli wanted to wrestle Maddux. No shocker there. He had his shoes on though, and since he prefers to 'balance' on her legs (with his head and feet in the air), I asked him to take off his shoes to wrestle, saying we can only wrestle with socks on. He took them off and said to me, "Some-un coo-ed git hurt." I never said a word about Maddux getting hurt, and this is the first time he's wrestled her with his shoes, so this was not from memory. Based on my reaction, obviously I think this proves my child is incredibly gifted, considering he came up with that thought and sentence all on his own. Ha!

Here is some more video of the two wrestling. (Yes, I'm on a bit of a video-posting kick lately!)
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Clap Your Hands...

Maddux hit a milestone this morning and I caught it on video. That's a big deal for a second child! Maddux and I were sitting on the computer room floor playing and she just started clapping. Not putting her hands together by chance, but really clapping. This is cool to me because that was a milestone Eli never really hit. (He was not a clapper until much later in life.) Her teeth seem to be a little less painful today too, so maybe that's what inspired her to start applauding.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday Wrap-Up

Maddux's teething is still pretty out of control. No longer do the ice 'popcicles' soothe her.... I'd forgotten how much a toothbrush helped Eli until today, so after dinner I ran out and bought one for her. So far, so good. The teething is causing her to have very very VERY rosy cheeks half the time. (The other half, they are normal.) The one place she's always happy is the pool; she drank about a gallon of pool water today though. The bad news for her is she only has two more classes!

Eli and I made a paper chain while Maddux took her morning nap. He helped, but not as much as last time. His main contribution was listing all of the things he'll do with Gappa Jib when he comes to visit next month. Mommy had to do all the 'hard labor', but such is life.

My boy became 'big' in my eyes today... When we returned home from Maddux's swim lesson, I left Eli downstairs while I went up to put Mad Dog down for a nap. When I returned two minutes later, he was playing his guitar (as usual). It wasn't until we sat down to make the chain that I realized he didn't have his jacket on anymore. I looked around and saw it hanging on the baby-gate by the kitchen. This was REALLY cool to me for a few reasons. First off, he didn't whine for me to help him take it off!! B) The only article of clothing I've had luck in convincing Eli to remove himself is a sock. And I work at this a lot. So he independently removed the jacket. (YIPPEE!) 3. Eli hung the jacket right where I always tell him to hang it. All on his own. Without any prompting. Life is good.

An Oldie But A Goodie

While reviewing some old videos last night, Lehr and I came across some footage of the kids in Eli's crib. He used to always ask for "baby nigh-nigh" right after his nap (meaning he wanted her in his crib with him), but Eli's been so busy recently, he's asked to get out as soon as we enter the room. I'd forgotten how sweet those moments used to be. You can see how Eli very 'attack-dog'-like guards his blanket and Snoopy in the first clip, but most of the times were more like the second, where he shared his blanket willingly and cuddled with her.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wrestle Mania

As I mentioned last week, Eli has taken a liking to 'wrestling'. His teacher did say all the kids in his class are doing it, so at least I know Eli is not the instigator. We did still talk to him about it this weekend; there were a lot of reminders about where we do and do not wrestle. Nevertheless, when I picked him up today, his teacher said they were still wrestling a little, but she seemed much less bothered by it, so I think (HOPE!) that Eli is obeying when the teacher tells him it's time to stop.

Eli's favorite wrestling partner is still Maddux. Even over Mommy and Daddy. He'll race through his meal if he thinks there is a chance he'll be able to wrestle 'Ma-ax' once he's done. Maybe this has to do with her inability to wrestle back..who knows. She is rolling over him a bit on her own now, so he'll get a taste of his own medicine soon enough. Until then, they both love this activity BIG time, so I allow it as long as everyone stays safe. (On a side note, even though I have to remind Eli not to put too much weight on Maddux, he constantly checks with me to see where he can 'wrestle' her, which means where can he put weight on her.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Rainy Days

Last week I bought Eli a pair of rain boots to splash around in, and barely a day passed before he had a chance to use them! Over the weekend we received more rain and, of course, Eli wanted to play outside. We suited him up in the rubber boots and sent him out. He felt a bit awkward in the galoshes, but he soon discovered the joy of jumping in puddles and whatnot while remaining (somewhat) dry. Unfortunately for him, our neighborhood has great drainage, so the puddles didn't last for long. I think rain is in the forecast again for this week: good news for Eli!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oh What A Night...

Last night Lehr volunteered to watch the kids so I could go to a fest/concert in Midtown with "D" and Carolyn. It was a much needed 'night out' with my two best friends, and even though it was freezing outside, Cowboy Mouth put on a great show.

While the three of us were dancing on a hill in Piedmont Park to keep warm, Lehr thought it wise to take (both!) kids to dinner all by himself. Ah, grasshopper....so much to learn. Not only is that a difficult task to take on when you're alone, but with Maddux's current teeth situation, it's darn near impossible. (Last night Maddux cried/screamed through almost the entire meal at the house...just because.) He learned his lesson and he won't be attempting that again any time soon!

Before "the dinner", Lehr had the kids out in the driveway, enjoying the reprieve from the rain. Maddux was in the red car, as usual, and Eli was just running around. Apparently, Lehr turned his back to grab the camera only to find Eli, with Maddux, at the top of our driveway. Lehr was able to point and click just as Eli 'let go' of the car and Maddux came flying down the driveway. She was oh-so happy to have so much one-on-one attention from Eli; Lehr let them continue this game for quite some time. For some reason, Maddux knows exactly how to grip the steering wheel to hold on. Her smile since teething has changed a bit. Right now I think it resembles Chandler ("Friends") when he was trying to pose for his engagement photos.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Circus Circus

Courtesy of Cooper and Finley, the four of us were able to see the circus this morning. We didn't tell Eli where we were going until we got in the car, but once we did, he was very excited. As expected, when Lehr first put Eli down in the 'circus', he got a bit overwhelmed and asked to be held, but he soon warmed up. He enjoyed seeing the clowns, the tigers, the elephants, and the swinging trapeze. When we got home we soon found his favorite part of the circus: the clowns at the very beginning. The minute we walked in the door Eli ran straight to his 'food' and started to toss them in the air in an effort to make them land on his head. He kept saying, "Guys. Pears and Apples droppin' on the head!!" Maddux wasn't too thrilled with the show, but Lehr did get her to nap on his chest for about 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rent-A-Kid

I'll rent his services by the hour!!

Today was a not-so-great day fueled by Maddux's teething (two in 36-hours does not a happy baby make) and Eli's fatigue over a busy week. So to combat my less than stellar attitude, I'm posting some video of Eli showing off his love for helping and cleaning. Notice how he slows down as he approaches the furniture, but still goes all the way to the edge of the carpet. Daddy has taught him well!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Let's Get Physical!

When Eli's teacher put him in my car after school yesterday she told me he was very "physical" all day. As I was unsure what she meant by that, I asked for further explanation. She said he wasn't being mean or aggressive; he was quite joyful and happy the entire day. The boy in him has definitely come out as Eli bear hugged and rolled on the ground with his classmates continually. I was able to see this first-hand after his nap as he cried, "Wrestle!!" and then rolled on the ground towards Maddux. He then proceeded to roll over her, laughing the whole time. It was rather difficult for me to convince Eli that he can't steam-roll his sister because she was laughing as much as him. For now we'll just work on not rolling over her head and abdomen. We will also be working on identifying when and where 'wrestling' is appropriate!

Happy Bathtimes

For about two months now, Eli has been protesting having his hair rinsed (after shampooing) about 75% of the time. We're not sure why because he loves to swim and jump in the pool, so any complaints about getting his eyes or ears wet doesn't hold water. (Poorly placed pun, I know.) About three nights ago Eli FINALLY agreed to lie back in the water and 'swim' to get his hair wet. He now thinks it is the funniest thing because he can still hear us, yet all noise is muffled. Check out my little monkey trying to climb out of her bathtub so she can splash the water. Oh, and speaking of Eli's manners (as I did yesterday), you can hear Maddux cough and Eli say, "Bess ou, Baby." Music to my ears....
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Pink Elephants

What a busy day! Since it's Wednesday, the kids and I were at the YMCA first thing for Mad Dog's swim lesson. This girl really needs to learn to love the water more....ha!! Last night in her bath she was climbing out of the infant tub we have placed in the 'big' bath (she's still too slippery to sit in there on her own), so she could splash with her hands and put her face in the water. What a trip!

The lesson is over at 10, so I quickly changed Maddux, picked Eli up from the playroom, raced home (Maddux was asleep by then), left Maddie in the car while Eli and I went inside so I could pump a bottle for Maddux, get a snack for Eli, and run a comb through my pool-drenched hair. Back in the car by 10:45 (we didn't get home until about 10:20), raced downtown to pick up Lehr at his office all so we could be at Centennial Olympic Park by 11:30. The Barnum & Baily Circus is in town (we have tickets for Saturday's show) and they were feeding the elephants at the park today. I received this secret information in an offhand email, but I figured it had been 'leaked' somewhere more public. Not so. When Lehr tried to search it online today he couldn't find it listed under any public 'event' pages, and the crowd was not too large, considering the size of our city.

As we drove on the highway, Eli saw the skyline and shouted out, "Ca-Go!!!" (Chicago) His "Wrigley Field from A to Z" book has apparently taught him that any time you see large buildings, you're in Chi-town. When we arrived, Eli and Lehr ran around while Maddux and I held a spot in line. She was a bit fussy considering her busy morning (and also, her second tooth cut during the night). Once the elephants arrived, Eli went into quiet observation mode, as he usually does in these types of situations. He watched intently for about 20 minutes and then we let him run again. He kept telling me, "Eh-fents drop Aaapp-poles!" This kid has a good life...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

First Tooth

What a rough morning Maddux had! She was not at all happy in the MOPS nursery. I was working in the toddler room next door and I could hear the poor girl crying her very very VERY tired cry that I rarely hear. I went over to help calm her for a few minutes because that was very out-of-character for her; she normally loves the church nursery! After her afternoon nap I discovered what was probably making her so unhappy: her first tooth cut!! Maddux's bottom left tooth is just barely through her gums, but I did feel it when she grabbed my finger to gnaw on as we played. Hopefully the one right next to it will cut as quickly so she can resume her happy-go-lucky disposition.

Manners

Eli is becoming a very polite little boy, and I could not be happier about it! We are still working on not interrupting when Mommy and Daddy are talking, and he does not get the concept of standing back when someone is walking through a doorway (let alone, "Ladies first), but we're working on it. What he does get is "please". Not only does he usually require no more than a look if he asks without using the magic word, but often times now he will answer with that word alone. Example: "Eli, would you like ketchup with your garden burger?" "Please!" Love this!! Another example of his manners is something Daddy taught Eli. Usually after we sit down to dinner Lehr will prompt Eli in some way to thank me for cooking our meal. Twice this week Eli has thanked me without a prompt. Once last night at dinner (blew me away!) and once today at lunch. Today cracked me up because Eli said, "Thank you, Mommy cooking dinner." Nevermind that it wasn't dinner; it was heartfelt appreciation!

Monday, February 18, 2008

D'ats My Boy!

Eli has always been a 'strange bird', but now he's really coming into his own in that area. After Maddux's swim class today (where I could NOT keep her face out of the water, by her own preference), the three of us ran to Target. One of the items on my list was goggles. In preparation for Eli's swim class and the upcoming swim season, I figured we'd prevent any water-in-the-eyes issues before they even starts. Wouldn't you know, as soon as we got home and ate lunch, Eli wanted to try the goggles on. He loved them; he walked around the downstairs saying, "See trains!! See Mommy! See books!", as if he'd never been able to see those things before, without the goggles. He loved them so much that he kept them on until Lehr got home (early). He followed Lehr around the backyard, wearing the goggles all the while, pushing his truck. Eli wore the goggles so long that they actually steamed up on the inside.

Quick story from Saturday: Eli helped me mow the front yard. I bought him a plastic mower towards the end of the summer last year so he could help me with this, but he's much more involved now. He followed behind me very closely while I mowed. Since we decided to bag 100% this time, I had to empty the lawn bag several times while mowing. After about the third time I did my quick scan around the yard while I mowed up the hill, since Eli wasn't right behind me. My eyes found him over by the trash can, lifting up his mower and shaking it into the can. I guess he was bagging his clippings too!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Pain In The Mouth

Maddux is not her usual happy-go-lucky self these days. She's still pretty smiley most of the day, but from around 4PM on each afternoon, the stress and pain of teething catches up with her. In an effort to try and relieve some of her discomfort today, I pulled a trick out of my mommy bag. When Eli was teething in the beginning, I'd put ice cubes in his mesh feeder. It makes a mess, but it's only water. Maddux was very pleased with this. She gnawed on three ice cubes, which allowed me to get dinner ready in some peace. Of course Eli saw her 'eating' ice and wanted to try it too. "Boff eat ice", he said. So I loaded it up and the two kids slurped away happily. Those of you who know us well know we don't give Eli much sugar (outside of fruit). For me, Eli's reaction to the meshed-ice was proof enough that sugar is not needed (for my kids) to make something special. It's amazing how excited he was about his ice-flavored 'pop-ick-le'....he thought he was getting a real treat!

Little Bunny Foo-Foo

Maddux is not yet crawling, but she's making forward movement while up on her hands and knees. It's so interesting to me because her movement evolution has been 100% different from Eli's. He rocked the army crawl for a month or two before he even rocked on his hands and knees. Maddux will spin around in circles while on her stomach, but makes no effort to pull herself forward. She will get up on her knees and rock though, and this weekend she started this 'hopping' movement' while up there. Most of the time she forgets to move her arms and ends up eating the carpet, but she'll figure it out.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Fun Day

Today was a really great day all around. Cooper and Finley came over this morning to hang out and have lunch. Our weather has been so up and down recently, but it was supposed to warm up today, so we planned to eat and play outside. Eli got a little whiny while Cooper was here, but it was mostly because he wanted Coop to be interested in what Eli was, namely guitars and basketball, and Cooper was more into the trains. Once we went outside though, the boys both found a good time with the trucks in the backyard. Maddux and Finley just kinda 'hung out' while the boys entertained themselves: I'm sure these playdates will be much louder and busier when those girls get around to talking!

After naps, Lehr and Eli ran to trade out the rental car and get our "Earl" back (it's finally fixed from the wreck a few weeks back). Maddux and I walked across the street to hang out with some neighbors and wait for the boys. Once they returned, we all ordered pizza and let the kids play. Eli had a great time, especially with one of the older boys who really looked out for him.

Poor Maddux is still experiencing some teeth pain, but with no teeth to show for it. Her cheeks are always red and rashy from her drool, and there is never a moment when a fist or toy is not in her mouth. She is getting dangerously close to crawling: Mad Dog gets up on all fours and tries to 'hop' now.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Heart Day!

Since Valentines Day is filled with hearts, Eli keeps telling me it is "happy heart" day (that is what he calls anything in the shape of a heart). At the end of his 'school day', Eli's class had a Valentines Party complete with pizza and Valentine cards. Eli was first in line for seconds on the pizza (no surprise), and he even asked for more after that. Keep in mind, this was a regular Papa John's pizza with adult-sized pieces! While the kids played, Eli's teacher told the few parents that were there a little about their kids. During song time the class also plays instruments. This is Eli's favorite part (like I didn't already know!), as they are only pretending. He loves to play the flute and trombone, and of course the guitar. Ms. Jane told me that he will strum away all day long. (Just like he does at home.)

Daddy + Mr. Bubbles

A few weeks back I bought some random bubble bath for the kids. Lehr was not impressed with the bubble output and asked, "What ever happened to 'Mr. Bubble'?" So while at Target earlier this week, I sought out said product. Here is the email that went out last night (from Lehr) while I was away:

Nicole slid out tonight after dinner to attend Mommy school. No really, Mommy School. Anyway that meant 2 on 1 - yeah that's right, a little prevent-D for you football fans. I think we all survived. But - there were a few minutes there at bath time where I thought we might have lost Maddux........

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Do NOT Like It, Sam-I-Am!!!

Maddux does NOT like yellow squash. I fed it to her for the first time a few nights ago and her reaction was hilarious. After I spooned it into her mouth, she closed her eyes, pursed her lips and grabbed at her mouth, spitting it all out in the process. (Of course I have no picture of this.) I quickly checked the temperature as I though maybe it burned her mouth. Nope - lukewarm at best. Then I tried again with a smaller amount. Same reaction, but a loud cry after she pulled it out of her mouth. I guess I'll have to mix that one in with another food from now on!

Maddux is not crawling, but still getting up on her knees and rocking. She can also do 360's anytime she wants (on her stomach), and she practices this several times a day.

Smarter Than Your Average Bear

Maddux had her second swim lesson today. She didn't so much as fuss one time; she was grinning before we even entered the water! There was a water aerobics class finishing up as we entered the pool area, and Maddux made sure she had eye-contact with each of the six women in the class. They loved her so much that they (seriously!) lined up to see her and touch her before they exited the pool. What a little flirt I have! Mad Dog's favorite part of the class is when we sing "Wheels on the Bus", because she gets to splash her hands in the water. This only splashes her own face, but she could care less.

Eli went to the YMCA's playroom again during our lesson. I still have not told Eli where Maddux and I are when he's in there; I always tell him Maddux is with other babies and Mommy is with other mommies (true!). So last night I tried to get him pumped up about going to the gym and I inquired yet again what he did when he was there? First he told me "cry", as usual, but then he told me he "played in house. on porch." So there is a play-house in the room, apparently. Two seconds later Eli said, "Stand on porch. See pool. Mommy in pool." Greeaaat!! I had NO idea there was a window above the pool (the playroom is on the second floor). No pulling the wool over his eyes on this one!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Amazing

That's the only word I can use to describe today. Not perfect, because there were small bumps as there always are with kids, but as close to it as they come these days. For starters, no time outs of any kind...that is a really good thing! Eli was very well-behaved all day. He started to get a little 'cry-face' when we started our afternoon walk, but he quickly cleaned up his act, and that was the only incident all day long. Maddux has been a little 'loud' due to teeth discomfort, but not at all unpleasant.

After our morning at the gym (during which Eli was in the nursery and not happy about it), we ran to Costco for a quick fill-er up of some basics. Mad Dog had fallen asleep the minute we pulled out of the gym parking lot, so I figured she could get in a quick 15-minute nap on the way. Both kids did great at Costco; Eli even reminded me of a few essentials I'd forgotten ("hearts" and wipes). Maddux napped another 30 minutes after we returned home, so Eli and I got a 'date' lunch, which never happens anymore. Maddux woke up right afterwards and Eli serenaded us with his guitar while she nursed. Right before naptime I introduced Eli to "Peaches" (the song, not the video), which I hadn't listened to in quite a while, but correctly guessed he would like. (Honestly I think he liked it so much because Mommy rocked out on the guitar while we were listening. That's a pretty funny sight.)

After the kids' naps I loaded up the double-BOB and we went to the river for our daily afternoon walk. We'd not been down there in a while due to cooler weather (not much protection from the wind when you're walking on the river bed), so Eli was pretty psyched. He wanted to 'dun' (run), of course, so I told him that just like at home, at the end of the walk he could run for a bit. He had a blast pointing out all of the rocks and puddles we saw. Maddux managed to lose a sock, and Eli yelled "HERE FISHY FISHY!" every time he saw any glimpse of the river. As promised, when we got back to the dock (about 1/4 mile away from the car), I let Eli out to run. I reminded him that when Mommy calls him, he needs to run to me and say "Yes, Mommy" (first time obedience for fellow Ezzo fans). I told him that if I called and he didn't come, his run would end and he'd be in the BOB for the rest of the walk. He never even made me consider pulling him into the stroller. I was so proud of how independent, yet obedient he was! Towards the end (he ran almost the entire 1/4 mile back), Eli gave a sigh and a -phew- sound. I laughed and asked him if he was tired. He said 'uh huh' and then smiled and said 'nigh-nigh', as he laughed. That kid has a sense of humor!

We came home to find Lehr cooking dinner. While turkey burgers cooked on the grill, Eli and Lehr played in the back yard (something we are all really loving these days), and Maddux stayed inside with me to get the plates and drinks ready. Routine baths followed: Maddux was asleep at 8:00 on the dot and Eli is now happily talking himself to sleep. Life is good.

Funny and Not-So-Funny

While Maddie was enjoying her swim lesson, Eli was NOT enjoying his short stay in the YMCA's kids' room. He loves school, loves church, loved MMO, but for some reason, the Y is not sitting well with him. This really baffles me as the staff there is always the same and they are very hands-on with him. Not to mention all of the cool (different) toys they have to play with! I even talked it up all weekend, reminding him that Eli was going to play with other kids, Maddux would play with other babies, and Mommy would play with other mommies. (I did not tell him Maddux was going in the pool with me; no reason to make his situation seem worse than he already thinks it is.) Obviously this causes me some stress as I have to drop him off there twice a week for the next month while Maddux has her swim class. The good news is the class is only 30 minutes long.

On a better note, Eli's favorite word these days is 'funny'. Everything is funny to him. Just today, these are the things he's deemed funny:
- Sam (his stuffed dog)
- truck
- 'patula (spatula)
- Cox-sco (Costco)
- banana
- Mommy
- Eli
- moonic (music)

He will tell me of the funny things around him all the time: "funny banana." "funny E-I" "funny truck!" I will give him the last one (music). After lunch today I turned on an old fave of mine: "Peaches" by The Presidents of the United States of America. Eli loved it. Especially because Mommy borrowed Eli's guitar and rocked out. Hopefully he'll give Daddy a repeat performance tonight.

Like A Fish

Today was Maddux's first swim lesson. Yeah, I know she's only seven months, so the chance of her actually picking up any swimming techniques are highly unlikely. But we did lessons with Eli at this age, and when you have more than one you have the pressure of making sure everything is even-steven.... Also, the point is us putting Eli through 'lessons' at a young age was more to get him comfortable in the water, in preparation for the summer. Same deal here: we tend to live in the pool during the warm months which means it would make for a long summer should Mad Dog despise the water. And honestly I'm not worried about her not enjoying the water since she absolutely loves the bath, even when Eli splashes her face (which he does each and every night). In a month when Maddux's lessons are over, I'll sign Eli up for a month of lessons too, but until then, the fact that we have access to a pool at the YMCA is very 'hush-hush'. I have a feeling if Eli knew that after I dropped him off in the playroom, Maddux and I snuck away to swim, he would be very upset. I figured I'd just wait until the week before his lessons and tell him then.

On to the swim class!! Maddux had a blast!! We were the only ones to sign up for our time slot, so today was basically a private lesson, but the instructor has another class that is overloaded, so hopefully she can get them to balance out. From the moment we got in the water, Mad Dog was all about it. Splashing away, even kicking a few times! She bounced up and down (up to her chin) while we sang several songs (which made her giggle big time), and at the end of class she went under water twice. I guess all of those splashes Eli lands in her face prepared her to not have any fear or dislike of the water! (Maddux was snoring in her car seat before we even left the parking lot of the YMCA. Obviously all that laughing in the water was hard work!)

Friday, February 08, 2008

What Would You Do?

One of my favorite blogs to read had this post last week. In case you're short on reading time, or don't feel like clicking the link, I'll sum it up. This family is in the process of adopting (yet another) little boy with club feet. The mother-to-be talks about how she imagines the biological mother might have been crushed when she saw her son's (imperfect) feet, but how excited she (blog author) and her family are to take this little boy in and love him, feet and all.

Of course this story makes me think back to when we found out about Eli's feet. But even more it makes me think about Maddux's birth. Since we knew about Eli's condition before he was born, we had time to prepare ourselves and get a 'game plan'. Maddux's feet appeared un-clubbed in the ultrasound, but I still always knew in the back of my mind that she might have some feet challenges when she was born. We were pleasantly surprised that her feet were issue-free. But in the months leading up to her birth I remember being even more anxious about her health than I was before Eli's birth. When we got the diagnosis of his feet, I focused on the treatment plan and just trusted that God wouldn't give us more than one issue to deal with. In the case of Eli, He didn't give us anymore to handle. Since Maddux's ultrasounds came back 'clean', that was cause for initial celebration, but soon after I began to worry about what the ultrasound didn't show. What would I be surprised with in the delivery room? And would I be able to handle it as calmly and lovingly as I had Eli's feet? Or would I be too overwhelmed? Would I react the way the parents of Shepherd did, and think my child 'imperfect'? These are really tough questions to answer, and until you're in that situation, you can't say 100% what you would do or feel. I'm lucky that I wasn't faced with an 'unknown' at the time of either birth.

For now I'm thankful that Eli's feet are corrected and (at the moment) both of my children are very healthy. I pray that Shepherd's feet are as easily fixed as Eli's (and Jude's, Shepherd's brother). And for all of the other kids out there that are waiting to find parents to love them, even though their biological parents deemed them 'imperfect', I hope a family as loving and giving as Shepherd's finds them soon. (If you want to know more about Jude and Shepherd and their amazing family, including eight total kids - both biological and adopted, check out this website, that I've been following for over a year.)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

How Quickly We Forget!

Yesterday I went in to get Maddux after her afternoon nap and as soon as I opened the door to her room, I saw a little bald head pop up over the top of the crib bumper. She has taken to rolling onto her stomach and sleepin gquite peacefully that way. So now if I go in and she's awake, she'll be playing on her tummy, but with her head down. If/when she hears a noise, she pops up to see who is entering her world. I forgot how darn cute that was... Eli did it as a baby also, and Lehr and I would laugh about it all the time. I'd forgotten to 'look forward' to this stage with Maddux. So glad she reminded me!!

Maddux has added a few more foods to her repetoire: oatmeal, green beans, peaches, zucchini, carrots, and water (from a sippy cup). She's not mastered the sippy cup yet, but she'll drink an ounce or two if I help her.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Downtown

I took Eli and Maddux downtown to the Children's Museum this morning. We'd never visited before because I thought Eli was too young to enjoy it. He had an absolute blast today! We met Logan there, but the boys seemed to be revolving in opposite circles of activity, so we only 'hung out' on a few exhibits. I had Maddux in the bjorn the whole time and she did very well. She nodded off towards the end, but never got fussy at all. (She really is a good baby!!)

I've posted a link, but let me tell you about a few of Eli's favorite sections. For starters, there is a HUGE food/grocery store/kitchen area. Eli loved this, obviously. Then there was the pond in back. Eli saw Logan fishing in there, so he picked up a pole also, but of course he used it to create huge splashes and both boys ended up soaking wet. Then Eli got the great idea to use a plastic cup to drink the water. Oh-so sanitary!! I stopped that as soon as I saw it; the whole experience by the pond was full of "No! Eli!" The last favorite was the ball area up front. There were several conveyor belts and pulley-system contraptions for the kids to maneuver to move whiffle balls around the area. Eli's favorite was loading up a bucket, pulling a rope to get the bucket up, dropping the bucket in a clear container, and then dumping the container so most of the balls 'rained' on your head. Big shocker, I know!

Video Stars

Here's a few minutes of the kids goofing off after nap time yesterday. Eli was jamming on the guitar but he soon found the joy of seeing himself in the window on the camera. And of course, anything Eli does makes Maddie laugh...

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Under The Sea

When Maddux was born, Grandma Cathie took Eli to Toys R Us to pick out something for her crib. He chose the Fisher Price Aquarium. This was no surprise to me because it is the same one he has (still) in his crib. And he still loves it. Maddux has recently learned how to roll the crab and clear ball on the bottom to make some noise. When I discovered her discovery I immediately remembered that Eli started out the same way. He was obsessed wtih that crab for a while! Anyway, here are some pictures of Maddux enjoying her ability to control noise, and if you click on my link you'll see some simliar shots of Eli.

Eli, the Caregiver

Eli loves Sam. Absolutely adores him. No clue what sparked this love, but he cares for that stuffed dog like no other. Grandma Cathie gave it to him quite a while back, but he only started to play with Sam (the dog) just before the holidays. He asks to take Sam in the car, on walks with us, to the dinner table. One day I even let him bring Sam to school, but he had to wait in his school bag while he was in class. The first thing Eli said to me when he got into the car that day was, "Sam is??"

This past weekend he decided to feed Sam, but as usual, he wanted to feed him people food. I explained to him again that dogs eat doggie food, so Sam couldn't eat turkey burgers with us. (I konw it's not a huge deal, but we 'know' a lot of dogs through friends and neighbors and I don't want him to try and feed cake or hot dogs to someone's pet.) Lehr told Eli to get a bowl for water for Sam and that was the end of it. The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to feeding Sam. He is the most well-fed stuffed dog I know!

Fun In The Snow

I know it's two-weeks old, but we just uploaded video from the camera this weekend. Here is Eli playing in the snow (with D) from a few weeks ago:
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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Sunday

After Eli's nap this afternoon we drove over to Cooper's (and Finley's!) house to have dinner and watch the Super Bowl. Eli didn't seem to have much interest in the game, but he had a great time taking out and playing with every toy Cooper owns! Cooper has the same hoop as Eli, but much larger (the adult version). This excites Eli big time. He also has a ping pong table which Eli always wants to play, even though he is far from having the height or skill set for it. After dinner we put the two boys in a bath and they played well together. Of course Eli wanted to pour water over Cooper's head continually, which Cooper tolerated. I warned Eli that Cooper was going to return the favor, and sure enough he did! Eli didn't mind, which was quite funny because he's been having mini-meltdowns each night when we rinse the shampoo from his hair.

Maddux and Finley had a few stare-downs while we were there. Before dinner we put Maddux on her stomach across from Finley and it was like Maddux had never seen another baby before; she could not stop staring! She reached out a few times too, but never got any hair (lucky for Fin!).

After the bath Maddux and Finley snoozed a bit while the boys hung out in Cooper's bedroom. Eli loves Cooper's new bunk-bed and had quite a good time pretending to sleep in it when he wasn't climbing to the top bunk.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Day At The Park

Maddux took her first ride in a swing today. After her (short) morning nap, we took the kids to a park to celebrate the fact that we had no plans today. (January was a very busy month which found every day of every weekend spoken for.) Eli had a blast with his baseball bat and whiffle balls while Maddux enjoyed the swing big time. After her inaugural ride we walked on the hiking path to a nearby baseball field. Of course Eli had to run teh bases and he even found a souvenir mud-covered baseball. Maddux was as close to sleep as she could be as we walked back through the park. I'll give it to Eli: he was a little slow, but he walked the entire time and never once asked me to carry him!
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Friday, February 01, 2008

A Mouthful

Another gem from the mouth of Eli! Since forever we've tried to remind Eli to not talk when food is in his mouth. We usually tell him we can't understand him when food is in his mouth, so he needs to wait until he swallows to talk. This works about 50% of the time, though he needs reminders at almost every meal. A few days ago it really sunk in. I asked Eli a question and he just looked at me and then said, "no." I did not ask him a yes/no questions, so I was confused. Then Eli said,"food in mouff". I guess it's working!!

Life. Is. Good.

For all the blogging I do when I'm having issues with Eli's behavior, I figured at least one post was in order when the tables are turned. Eli has been so enjoyable in the last week. He has been beyond sweet to his sister, saying 'good morning' and 'bye-bye' to her whenever appropriate. And when it's time to eat, he makes sure Maddie is eating too (and if I let him, he helps feed her as much as possible). He's also been very 'sweet' to me during the day, brushing my hair when we're in the bathroom each morning and cooking lots of hamburgers and corn for me on his pretend stove. He has received two time outs in the last three days, but (miraculously!!) he stayed in both of them wihtout so much as a hint of rebellion, even though he was not happy to be there. One of the time outs was downstairs on a carpet square; he rearranged the square in the beginning, wiggling a little, but then he sat back on it and held his hands in 'self-control'. Wow. Like a light switch. Just a week ago I was still struggling with him to stay in a time out that was in any open space. Anyway, not to brag...just to inform of the good days as much as I do the bad....