Sunday, March 30, 2008

Greetings from Paradise

The gang (Eli, Maddux, Uncle D, Grandma Cathie, Grandpa Jim, Lehr) and I are enjoying every minute of our weekend get-away to Watercolor. Eli has totally exhausted himself both yesterday and today playing baseball, riding in the bike, swimming, running on the beach, digging holes in the sand, and just having a blast in general. Maddux has had her first taste of sand, and then some. She loves the beach, especially the more packed down sand because it's easier to crawl on. Not that I'm surprised, but she had the best time in the pool this morning. After swimming with Lehr for about ten minutes, we put her in a floatie device so she could lay back and just 'chill'. This provided great entertainment for her due to it's shaded top, which became a toy and a challenge. Her favorite thing about it seems to be its vulnerability to her climbing skills. You definitely have to watch her because somehow, she's able to crawl out of it while in the water. This girl is strong!!

Quotes from kids today: We drove the kids to the beach in a bike-buggy behind Lehr's bike. Maddux and Eli are both in the same area together and a few beach toys are in there with them. Maddux loves this, especially when the toys are in there as she can wave them around and 'talk'. While we were riding, I overheard Eli say this to Mad Dog as she reached for the toys again: "No-no, Max. Doh-z for da bee-tch!"

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Trails

I took the kids for a hike this afternoon, just the three of us. (Lehr had to work late.) Maddux is WAY too heavy for the bjorn, so she's been upgraded to the backpack carrier. She's still too heavy to do any major hiking, but it allowed me to get on the trails with Eli. The highlight for him, of course, was throwing rocks into the pond. At least once a week I take the kids to the river (Cha-tah-hoooo-tseee, as Eli calls it) for a walk. If Eli is well-behaved, he gets to walk/run the last quarter mile and throw some rocks into the river. Knowing that, I knew taking him to Sope Creek last night would be a hit. (There is a large dock on the pond from which rock throwing is quite easy.) The little man did a great job trail-running and walking through the woods. He remembered falling down several times the last trip, so he watched out for the 'wr-ooots' this time. He pointed out trees, rocks, water, leaves, and the 'people' bridge we walked across. Maddux enjoyed the backpack, but I'd forgotten that my hair is a source of entertainment. Eli used to pull my hair too, so I normally wore a hat as a rule. Max took advantage of my memory-lapse and had a blast.

Speaking of Maddux, she is so so so mobile. She loves to pull up on anything and everything. After I put her down for her nap, she plays in her crib for at least 15 minutes, pulling up so she can play with her aquarium. Eli went through this same seems like just yesterday. The only trouble she's gotten herself into is downstairs. Maddie typically finishes her meal before Eli and I (breakfast and lunch), so I often let her out of her high chair to play while we finish up. Once yesterday and once today she pulled a chair down on top of herself. Our 'small table' chairs are very very light and fall over at the drop of a hat. She wasn't hurt either time (it's unlikely she could get hurt, given the weight), but it scared her pretty bad.

Eli has been using some new phrases recently. While constructing a tower out of legos this morning, he told me "E-I's busy, M-ah-m" when I informed him it was time for breakfast. Where did that come from? He also learned the concept of 'empty' and 'full' at school. 'Empty' means 'nothing', according to Eli, and he is quick to show you things that are empty. During lunch he ate the orange off a rind and then told me 'empty'.

We are still working on Eli's 'hitting' issues with Maddux. I am glad to report that he has yet (in my presence) to hit her out of anything more than excitement or playfulness. That being said, we don't want to allow it in any capacity at this time. Eli had three time outs today for hitting, one of them causing him to miss most of bath time. (I yanked him out of the bath three minutes into it after he playfully slapped her on the head.) The good news is Eli knows when he hits her it is wrong because he immediately looks at me, like his behavior took him by surprise. Like everything else, this will be a process...


Right before her morning nap today, Maddux was in full show-off-your-skills mode. She 'gets' peek-a-boo, but this was the first time she played for several minutes (and then for a few more minutes even after I got the camera). What cracks me up the most about this clip is her arms. Mad Dog keeps them straight and only rotates at the shoulder, which works rather well, but totally reminds me of a pop-up card. You know, the ones where most of the picture stays still and hinges on just one movement each time you open it up?

Such Is Life

Eli had a much better dinner experience last night: no complaints and he ate without any tantrums. Immediately before dinner he did neglect to pick something up that Lehr asked, however. His "no, fank you" was in a total 'cry-face' voice too, and he started to wig out. I told him (calmly) to go sit in his time out until he could get some self-control. Lehr and I were over the moon because, although he was still upset and crying, he walked right over to his carpet square and sat down. Once he served his time, I had him come back, I explained why he was in T.O., and then I told him he needed to do what Lehr had asked. He started to whine and said, "no fank you" again. So I told him he needed to return to his square until he was ready. Again, whining and crying, but he walked right over and sat down. I count this as a HUGE victory. He is totally obeying and accepting of his consequence, even though he was obviously not happy about it. In the end, he got happy and followed Lehr's directions. Then he had a great dinner.

Today I had a few more T.O. situations: Eli is hitting his sister on the head from time to time. Not in a mean or mad way, but as if she were a drum. Even though it's not too hard and Maddux doesn't seem to mind, we're tackling that issue for obvious reasons. I don't think hitting should result in chastising, so time out is my immediate fix. Again today, he went right over, even though he was very, VERY unhappy that I sent him there without so much as a warning. (There are certain issues in our house that he doesn't receive a warning for because he really does know better. Hitting is one of those issues.)

Maddux is still in full-blown mommy-preference mode. This is making daily life a little difficult for me because she'll play by herself in a room, but then catch site of me and immediately start crying as she crawls towards me. Or (my favorite), she'll be crawling in my direction and if I move and walk across the room (like when I'm cooking or putting up laundry) she'll burst into the saddest tears you've ever heard. As if I'm deserting her.... Poor, poor pitiful Max! (That's her latest nickname: Eli has called her that for months and I've officially jumped on board.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

She's Done It...

We're on to tooth #3, ladies and germs. Maddux woke up from her afternoon nap with one more pearly white broken (barely) through her top gum line. This teething process wasn't as bad as the last one (for her first two teeth). Hopefully that means Maddux is somewhat used to the pain/sensation of teeth growing. Her smile will change so much in the coming months...I'm so excited! I look back at pictures of Eli and see his smile emerge, then change, and then go back to its original once all his teeth came in. I wonder if Mad Dog will follow suit....

An other front, Maddux can totally pull herself up to standing now. She did it from a crawl a few days ago while I was on the phone, and just now, when I went in to get her up from said nap, she was on her knees, pulled up on the crib railing. Life as we know it is about to change drastically!!

Just a Phase?

I hope so!! For over a week now, Eli has been extremely picky/fussy when it comes to meal time. This is a child who almost never (and I really mean it) turns his nose up to food. He likes everything and he's had a lot of variety in his two and a half years! But recently he prefers to inform me that he does not like what I'm serving almost without fail. And even if he does claim to like it, there is still something wrong with it, I assure you. Today he freaked out (and I mean FREAKED out) because his PB&J bread had a crevice in it slightly larger than other crevices. Not quite a hole, but big enough to notice. Stop the press. The whining and crying and full out tantrum stuff is really wearing on my nerves. I think I've been pretty consistent so far: I've remained calm in the face of this madness and I've not backed down or become a short-order cook. Eli's demeanor hasn't changed though. And it's not just lunchtime, when he might be tired, or dinner time, when maybe he's 'showing off' for Daddy. It's every meal, every day. Not to throw an excuse at it, but my parents are visiting in 48 hours, so I don't think I'm going to pull out the big guns just yet, as Eli usually requires a few days of 'crack down' to get back in shape, and I don't think it's fair to either Eli or his grandparents to go through that process while they're here. But we WILL go through that process if Eli doesn't turn around quick... The next step will be a missed meal. That is not to say I'm intentionally going to withhold food from him. We've been doing mini 'time-outs' during these tantrums so far. Eli is not allowed to carry on like that while eating or while he is seated with the family. So we'll pull him back from the table, or turn his chair around while he's having his melt-down. Since this is too often an occurrence, the next step is he will lose the opportunity to eat at the table. Don't let his age fool you: Eli is a smart cookie. He knows exactly what is expected of him and he is 100% capable of it. This is just one of many power struggles to come, I'm sure.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Recap

We had a great weather weekend in Atlanta...much better than the storms last weekend! Lehr had to be at church before the kids got up yesterday morning, so I was unable to get any good photos of the two of them all dressed up. To his credit, Eli tried hard to help me, but now that Mad Dog is mobile, she is unable to be contained.

Lehr and I put baskets in the kids' rooms while they slept, so they would see them as soon as they woke up. I had a few plastic eggs in there along with a plastic watering can and a kitchen tool. Yes, you heard me right. My kids (Eli especially) are obsessed with everything kitchen: spatulas, wooden spoons, bowls, strainers... Eli got a new blue spatula (which he treats like a guitar) and Maddux got a plastic rolling pin. How much do I love the dollar section at Target right now?!? They are stocking our local store with kids' kitchen tools, which helped my Easter basket shopping out tremendously!

After church, we fed the kids and let them enjoy the nice weather for a while before their nap. Maddux preferred the big red car, as usual, while Eli went straight for the cul-de-sac tree. He's been attempting to climb it since last week when he saw one of the 'big kee-ds do it'. Lehr helped him up and showed him where to hold the branches. Seventh Heaven, I tell you!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008


Today was full of eggs and other Easter festivities. Lehr had Good Friday off, so I took full advantage of the morning hours, before the kids got up, to do 'Mommy things' (which for me means yoga and the gym). After the kids got up, we spent the morning outside, playing baseball with Eli and tackling some yard work. During Maddux's morning nap, our oh-so crafty and organized neighbor hosted an Easter egg dyeing get-together. Eli sat for his egg to be dyed for approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds before dumping yellow dye all over himself. (He wasn't the only child to do that, and the kids were all seated in the driveway, thank goodness.) The fun part for Eli came after the egg coloring, when a dozen or so kids, aged 1-5 years, played in the driveway and yard until lunch.

After lunch we had the kids on the back deck for a quick video thank you 'project'. Maddux sits up without issue now that she's crawling all the time, so we weren't too worried about a potential topple. Of course she had to prove us wrong by going head first over the side of a small step-up. Luckily she had a stuffed bunny prop to break her fall, but she still ended up with raspberry-ish road rash on her face.

As soon as the kids woke up from their naps, we headed outside again (thank God for the beautiful weather today!) for a neighborhood egg hunt and party. Eli's favorite aspect, the jump castle, was set up, but he only went in twice, totaling about five minutes. There were older, school-aged kids in there the whole time and it was apparently too rough for him. We've noticed that Eli tends to get a bit shy and reserved around large crowds of people. This was definitely one of those occasions!! Eli did enjoy decorating a cookie. Since we are the sugar police, Eli eats maybe two cookies a year (I'm not exaggerating). Normally he doesn't even question this, but today he seemed very intrigued by the sugar. He spent careful minutes placing mini chocolate chips, mini butterscotch chips, and sprinkles all over the top of his cookie before biting into the sweet madness. Then he was ready to look for eggs. Unfortunately, he missed the 0-2 age group hunt due to his cookie-pursuit. The 3-4 hunt was in our yard, so we just meandered over to that one. Unfortunately, these kids had much more speed and 'enthusiasm' for the hunt. Eli would spot an egg and hurry over only to have one or two kids slide-tackle right in front of him as he was about to pick it up. I think he came away with three eggs, and that is only because Lehr helped him out.

Eli's main goal this afternoon seemed to be climbing the small tree in our cul-de-sac. He saw some of the older kids doing it and was very intrigued. Unfortunately, the tree was full (it is a SMALL tree), and Eli was just small enough to not be able to get onto the lowest branch by himself. He still held his 'spot' at the base of the tree for a big portion of the party. Maddux was a bit fussy, but she calmed down for a bit while Uncle Tom held her. She seemed to be somewhat entertained by all of the activity around her. All in all, still a great day.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Eli has started using that term with me: "Mom". When did he grow up enough to stop using "Mommy"? When I refer to myself in the third person, I use "Mommy". When Lehr or D or anyone else refers to me, they say, "Mommy". Yet in the last week, randomly Eli will bust out a "mom". The conversation goes something like this:

"Eli, do you want to play with legos?"
"I'm going to build a tower. What are you going to build?"
"E-I goin' to build a tower tooooo. Good job, Mom!!"

Weird. He'll also throw out those 'good job' compliments in appropriate times. Or 'nice shot' if we're playing hoops.

My new favorite thing about Eli is his ability to take more than one direction/instruction and follow through. This week he's successfully obeyed my 'orders' before nap time every day. Once lunch is finished, I usually do a quick clean up of our dishes before the three of us head upstairs for books and nap time. Since Maddux has been out of sorts this week, I've put her down before book-time with Eli most days. As we walk up the stairs I tell Eli I need him to go into his room, get out a diaper, pick one book, and then he can get his blanket and wait for me while I put Maddux to bed. Four of the last four days, Eli has completed these tasks perfectly. The first day I walked in to find him looking out the window while he held his blanket. On his changing pad was one clean diaper. On the rug where we read books was one book from his shelf. Winner winner chicken dinner. It doesn't get much better than that!

Oh What A Beautiful Morning....

I'm going to totally jinx myself and comment on what a WONDERFUL day it is. It's only halftime (AKA nap time), but both kids have had a totally great day so far. He had school this morning, complete with an Easter party I had to plan. Eli's classmates got to find eggs in their playground, which was a blast to see. They were so into it and all of the kids understood the eggs were 'hiding'. We then had a snack in the classroom (no-frosting cupcakes and goldfish) before the kids played some music with their 'instruments'. The instruments were colored paper-towel rolls which they used to play drums, horns, flutes, cymbals, and violins. The instruments resembled Eli's boomwhackers, as the rolls were covered in colored construction paper - what an easy craft!

The great part of the day really came when we got home. I put Eli in his high chair for lunch and he looked at me and said, "Thank you Mommy making muffins Easter party." Eli thinks all muffin/cupcake type treats are muffins, so he assumed the snack today was such. This was so sweet to me because no one (namely Lehr) was there to prompt him to say that. It was totally on his own. The only reason he knew I made them is because he saw me baking for about two minutes last night. But he remembered and appreciated. Then, after I served him lunch, he said, "Thank you Mommy makin' quesadillas." No prompting again, just sweet gratitude for the lunch I prepared. Life is good. The hard work is paying off in little bits and pieces, and it makes it all worth while.

Maddux seems to be a bit better today also. No more teeth have popped through, but her nose and drooling have decreased significantly in the last 24 hours and she seems less irritable today. She even woke up from her morning nap happy....just like she used to before this last week of craziness happened. Maddux is now eating pieces of pear, banana and apple on her own, though they don't always make it to her mouth without help. She is also eating tofu, which she seems to love as much as Eli did.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

First Haircut

I've trimmed Eli's bangs, and I've buzzed a Mohawk or two in the past, but he's never had a real, paid-for (by a trained person, not just mom) haircut. I decided to change that this afternoon as his hair has been looking, at best, messy for a few weeks now. The poor kid has some weird hair-growth patterns which, I'm sure, weren't helped by Mommy's untrained shears. His hair wasn't long, but it was unkempt. So I decided to go all out and try the daddy of barbershops for kids, Pigtails & Crewcuts. They have cool 'chairs' for the kids to sit in, and the stylists are trained in cutting as kids are moving. In addition, they have a HUGE play area to wait in, complete with a train table with all of the bells and whistles. Literally. Eli could not get enough of making the table 'make noise'. As far as the haircut procedure went, Eli really ate it up, though I don't think he needed all the hoop-la...he's pretty used to sitting still for me while I trim here and there. Regardless, he got ten minutes of "The Bee Movie" and some animal crackers out of the deal.

Times Like These....

Can I just say that I love, love, LOVE that both of my kids are comforted by me picking them up? Even more when I sing "You Are My Sunshine?" I knew Eli had an attachment to that song, as he's heard it multiple times a day for 2 1/2 years now, but even Maddux is now on-board. Last week she was upset during a drive home from the park (a rarity for her, but she had been peacefully sleeping in the bjorn before I put her in her carseat), so I tried to calm her by singing. She stopped immediately when I started singing that song.

Maddux is more of a 'cuddler' than Eli, and it warms my heart when I put her on my shoulder before bed and she rests there and nuzzles my neck. Eli never did this as a baby, but he's started to recently. When I pick him up before his nap, he'll lean into me and rest on my shoulder while he sticks his thumb in his mouth. Mommy goes to her happy place immediately.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Jersey Boy?

For some reason, Eli has started using an accent while saying certain words. I have no idea where he got it from, considering his classmates don't have one, nor do any of our immediate friends... The accent doesn't show up all the time, but it's becoming increasingly more common.

His most prominent words are:
cars = ca-oars
on = oh-ennn
ball = b-oo-awl
off = oo-waahf

(By the way, we survived the storms. I went in to comfort Eli during Friday night's madness, which is something that NEVER happens, and he was fine after that. Maddux slept right through, as Eli usually does. Saturday we were downtown when it hit, so we witnessed golfball-sized hail, but we were able to get safely under protection until it passed.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

D is for Drums

After the kids' (early) naps this afternoon, we took them to a children's concert featuring They Might Be Giants. For months now, Eli has been a big fan of their podcasts, which included little 'videos' for their kid-friendly songs. The videos had puppets, cartoons, and band members, which totally keep his attention, and they're only a few minutes each (one or two short songs' worth), so he's only in front of the screen for a short time. Of course he wore a blank stare the entire concert (even though minutes before, in the car, he was singing along with all of his favorite songs). Maddux did pretty well, especially considering each kid had a shortened nap so we could make the 3PM show.

If you have iTunes, check out the free TMBG podcast. Each Friday night they put out a new 'video' with one or two of their songs. If you don't have iTunes, and you don't feel like joining the rest of the world, click here to see a small sampling of the latest videos. If you're not interested in the video, at least have a listen to their kids' music: it's stuff you'll find yourself singing even after your kids go to bed...

Eli's favorites: "D is for Drums" and "L M N O"
Lehr's faves: "Apartment Four" and "Seven Days of The Week"
Cole's Top Picks: "High Five" and "Figure Eight"

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Battle of The Blanket

And Mommy is not winning...

It's been well established that Eli prefers his 'special' blanket to the Mommy blanket. The Mommy blanket that I spent over a month on, every night. The Mommy blanket that I lovingly knit for him every day and night while Eli was napping or sleeping. I chalked the preference of the special blanket up to the fact that I was too late in my offering. Grandma gave Eli the special blanket the day he was born, whereas I didn't knit him the Mommy blanket until he was about 18-months old. No brainer, right?

So when Maddux came around I thought I had it all figured out. I knit her blanket while I was pregnant and she received it the week she came home from the hospital. Of course, my mom wanted to give her a 'special' blanket too, since Eli's was so well received. Since we didn't find out her gender before her arrival, Grandma waited to order it until she met Maddie in person. Even better news for me; I had a total jump start! For the first few months, Maddux seemed to like and maybe even prefer the Mommy blanket, but in the last few weeks that has changed. About a week ago I noticed Maddux curling up with the special blanket while she slept. I thought maybe (just maybe!!!) it was a coincidence; maybe it was the closest blanket to her (both the special and Mommy blanket are in the crib). So I placed her down for a few naps at one end of the crib (where the aquarium is), and I stuck the special blanket in a far corner, almost out of sight. Then I'd drape the Mommy blanket over her back. No tricking this girl: when I'd check on her after she fell asleep, she was in that far corner, with the blanket in hand. Then, to my dismay, as I put her to sleep last night, she reached out for the special blanket and stuck her thumb in her mouth as soon as her fingers touched the corner....just like Eli does. Once again, I'm so glad I spent so much time and energy knitting those Mommy blankets!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good Times

Eli has had a rough few days. After his 'incident' on Sunday, his health seemed fine, but he's been moody to an extreme this week. I'm 90% sure it's teeth (yeah, those 2-year molars that I've been complaining about for months still have not popped through), but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. Today he seemed to feel much better, though he still cried a little when he ate dinner ("TEEF HURT!!!"). The gem of the day came from one of his teachers. As she put Eli in the car after school this morning she told me that in the past few weeks, Eli has been exceptionally polite. She says that he uses "please" and "thank you" ALL the time...both she and his main teacher are very impressed. Although we haven't changed or increased our amount of 'training' in this area, Lehr and I have noticed an increased politeness also. We both made a big deal out of the compliment today; I could almost see Eli's chest swell with pride.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On The Move

Here's a clip of Maddux's crawl....ish. She gets the job done, but it's a combination of rolling, scooting, hopping and crawling. Also, she has cat-like qualities in her play, batting around toys with her 'paws'. I remember Eli doing the same thing. Poor, confused kids!

At the end of the clip, you'll see Maddux doing some blanket time. The doll she's holding laughs and it totally cracks Mad Dog up! A taste of her excited, not-so-demure laugh occurs after the doll stops making noise.


Yet another shameless kid/baby-worship post. I can't help it!! I am so in love with my kids today. Even though Eli is pretty moody, he is still one of my favorite things about each day. And Maddux is blossoming so quickly now. I caught her sleeping like her brother used to (and still does occasionally) this morning after her nap: on her stomach with her legs tucked underneath her..... Ahhh bliss.

Before her nap, I took Maddux and Eli out front (or 'frump' as Eli calls it sometimes - thanks, Lehr!!) to play in the sun. Bubbles were #1 on the agenda and Eli could not have been happier. He loved chasing them all around, but Maddux wasn't too phased by it. I think that was mainly because I had her in the red car and that's all she could focus on. She would hop up and down (as much as her seat belt would allow) any time I would push her at all, in anticipation for the push down the driveway. That child is as much of a daredevil as her brother!

Today Eli told me 'something else' for the first time. He asked what a random noise was at breakfast and I responded, "The garbage man?" He corrected me: "No. Sohm-fing eh-ss." The new way he uses phrases really amazes me. And Maddux says "mamamamama" all the time when she sees (or wants) me now. Life is good.

Taking A Stand

Maddux absolutely loves to pull herself to standing in her crib. The #1 reason she loves this is her aquarium. Any chance she has to be face-to-face with it is worth any bumps and bruises she might pick up in pursuit. Yesterday after her nap, Maddux and I spent a good thirty minutes in her room, playing with said aquarium. I watched her, laughing, for the first ten before I got the camera. She laughed hysterically, with a little 'HA!!!' added in there, as if she was proud of herself when she first stood. Then she licked the clear part non-stop. Not a little tongue-out lick, but a full-on face-mashed-against-the-plastic lick. This clip also demonstrates her 'speaking in tongues'....she does this several times each hour also.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Time Flies....

Both kids are so big - how did that happen? I've seen a few newborns (less than three months) at church recently and it feels so foreign to me. Yet it's been less than a year since Maddux was that small. And less than 2 1/2 years since Eli was. WOW! My two "big" kids watched a little pre-season Cubs action this weekend. Eli looks so grown up in this picture as he is GLUED to the game. His attention span lasts about an inning and then he becomes fervently adamant about going outside to play ball. From hitting to throwing to catching, he tells us at every chance, "Cubbies do dat!!"

Over the weekend Eli got really into his train table in a new way. He constructed an entire 'track' all by himself. From planning to execution, he was the engineer. Eli loves the 'curvy' pieces, so the end result would have been difficult for a real train to maneuver, but still...very impressed by my 'big boy'.

Monday, March 10, 2008

All Grows Up

Maddux is growing up so much each day...right before my eyes! She still isn't consecutively crawling, but she'll get where she needs to go by crawling, hopping, and rolling until she gets there. No longer is she content to sit and play in one spot. Also, sometimes she can get herself to a seated position on her own; Maddux will get up onto her knees, like she's going to hop, and then push back until she's sitting. Her new favorite thing to do is sit up in her crib and play with the aquarium (just like Eli loved to do). Now she'll pull up on the rails and stand too. Mad Dog has a new vocal sound now too...not sure how to describe it, but I will do my best to capture it soon to demonstrate. It's full of personality (much like her), I can tell you that!

Even though Maddux still does not do well in the pursuit of Cheerios or puffs when it comes to hand-mouth success, she has moved on to cooked egg yolks and wheat toast, which she seems to love. If I cut them into strips, she can easily hold them while still eating them, so everyone wins.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Streak Has Broken!

So for as much as Maddux vomits, Eli has (had!) never until today. Even as a baby, he didn't spit up. I can recall a few small 'returns' of milk immediately after feeding when he was an infant, but nothing beyond that. That's all out the window now... Eli woke up from his nap whiny and moody again today, but since he's been that way for the last few days, we figured nothing out of the ordinary. After I fed Maddux, I joined Eli and Lehr in the computer room to watch a few minutes of another pre-season game. Eli got especially whiny/sad when something random and oh-so small happened, so I decided to take him into his room for a few minutes. I figured he and I could use some one-on-one conversation about what had him in such a funk the last week. We sat down and I started to rock him, but I immediately felt how warm he was. Inwardly, I groaned because a killer strand of the flu has been going around our church for several weeks and we've survived so far. Even though I knew I needed to get the thermometer to double check, I sat there for a few more moments, rocking and singing to him (as he was still whimpering a little). All of the sudden he sat up and I noticed he was shaking a little. I asked him if he felt ok and he said 'yes', but then it started. All over me and all over him. The poor kid didn't know what the heck was happening. After it stopped I called to Lehr for a towel. Of course it started again and then again after Lehr got there too. I quickly wiped us up and placed a clean towel between us and Eli fell against me immediately, exhausted. I rocked him for a good 45 minutes after that (yes, still in our stinky clothes!!) and he almost fell asleep a few times. Every five minutes or so I would ask him a question, but most of the time he wouldn't answer me, as he was just spent. The good news was, immediately after the 'incident', his temperature felt completely normal. Eli finally picked up his head off my chest when he heard Lehr vacuuming downstairs. (This is Eli's favorite chore.) Since then he's been running around, playing baseball and air guitar, and he ate a normal dinner, so this was just an isolated sickness. And here I thought I had the first puke-free child!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Go, Daddy, GO!!

Eli, Maddux and I went to Lehr's weekly soccer game the other night since it was earlier than usual. I purposely didn't tell Eli until right before we left, and it turned out to be a good decision. He was so excited; he could barely contain himself! Part of that excitement was the thought that Eli was going to be playing soccer, but even when he found out that was not the case, he was still pumped. We had the seating area all to ourselves, so Eli could run around if/when he needed to, but he did a pretty good job watching the game. Whenever he saw Lehr run or go after the ball, Eli would yell, "Go, Daddy, Go!" or "Kick it, Daddy!!" Maddux was not so impressed, but that's the way it seems to go these days: one is happy while the other is not.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Turn Down Your Volume!

This was supposed to be a clip of Maddux waving, but it turned out to be more like a clip of her drooling and yelling. And no, she's not mad, nor is she hard of hearing. I think she suffers from the same affliction one of Will Ferrell's SNL characters (Jacob Silg) did: voice immodulation (he couldn't control the volume of his voice). And honestly, after watching this clip again I realized this is such a small peek into her louder-than-life voice.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Silly Rabbit

Eli learned how to hop like a bunny in music class this week. When he got home on Tuesday we ate lunch and I asked the usual questions: How was school, what did you sing, who did you play with, etc. His answers were standard: good. nothing. no one. After his nap, however, he slipped into a new skill without any prompting. We were practicing jumping (in prep for his swim class start next Monday) and in the midst of a hope, Eli started a bunny hop. I enjoyed it for about five minutes before I got the camera, so he was pretty tired of 'performing' in this clip.

Eli's new favorite word is "silly". For quite some time he's been telling us people are 'funny'. This usually means he likes them. We'll ask, "Who plays guitar at church?", to which Eli will respond, "Mr. Baker. He's Fah-neee!!" Or "Who lives in Chicago?", "Cubbies. They're Fah-neee!" Now he'll tell me people are silly. I think it started last week when we ran out of Eli's favorite cereal, Hop-hops. Lehr ate the last bowl, so when Eli asked me for some the next morning, I told him Daddy ate them all so now we had to go to the store, and I threw in a 'silly Daddy!' at the end. Eli thought this was hilarious and he'll use it all the time now, deeming everything from Daddy to Elmo to his whiffle balls 'silly'. And when he says it, the phrase comes out "siww-ee". This is particularly funny when he says it to Maddux: "Siww-ee Gow-el!" He hears me call her 'silly girl' all the time, so of course he repeats it. Silly Eli!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Donation Corner: Red Scarf Project

This month I'm highlighting the Orphan Foundation of America. Once orphans graduate from high school, it's often forgotten that they still need family and love. OFA works to send care packages to orphans in college and trade school.

The "Red Scarf" portion of this organization allows you to give in a more creative way. Inside those care packages are hand-knit red scarves. Taking the time to knit a scarf is a great way to let these kids know someone cares enough to take the time out for them.

If you're not handy with the sticks, there are many other ways to donate time and/or resources. Maybe you could write a grant, or sponsor a scholarship, or become a virtual mentor. There are also opportunities to package and donate complete care packages as a community, church, or neighborhood.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

How Did That Happen?

How did Maddux change from this active baby-on-the-inside to a larger-than-life 8-month old? I swear it goes by so much quicker with the second (and, I can assume, any subsequent children)...

Maddux can sit and clap, as well as wave 'bye-bye' (when she wants). Her mealtimes are becoming much more intense: she prefers to scream for food which is a habit we are not too fond of. Either Eli never had that in him, or we broke him of it early....either way, I hope Maddux follows his footsteps soon! She eats a lot more now than she did a few weeks ago, but she still refuses to self-feed finger foods. The first attempt at a rice cake went well, but now she refuses them as well as wagon wheels (the only two foods she could/can hold for herself and get into her mouth). Mad Dog's menu has expanded to include asparagus and egg yolks (which she loves), plums and applesauce.

These days, Maddie is still happily sleeping twelve hours each night, and napping twice each day. One thing I wish she'd change about that is her ability to nap for 2+ hours in the afternoon only on the weekends. During the week she'll give me 60 or maybe 90 minutes in the afternoon, but when Daddy's home, she'll nap two-three hours with no problem. Maddux still loves to ride in the red car when we're outside, and spending that time with Eli is on her top ten list for sure. She attempts to crawl out of her bath seat every night so she can splash the water; it should be illegal to be as happy as she is when she's in the water. My favorite noise is (by far) Mad Dog's belly laugh when Eli talks to her or wrestles her. Priceless....

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Parrot

Eli's two new phrases are: "I know" and "k". And I know exactly where he learned them. About two hundred times a day, I give Eli a breakdown of our plans or instructions for the future. At the end of them, I usually say "OK?", but it comes out "k?" (By the way, I am not, in any way, asking Eli if he is ok with the direction/plan I've given. It's more of a check to see if he heard and/or understood me.) Now Eli will check in with me.
"Mommy makin' sammiches?"
"Yes, Eli. I'm making sandwiches for lunch."
"K.... Mommy makin' gw-apes?"
"Yes, we'll have grapes too."

The "I know" he gets from me, no doubt. I have a (bad) habit of saying that a lot. This is not my way of letting people know that I know everything...far from it. It's just something that comes out without me thinking about it.
"Eli, did you see the guy on our roof? He's fixing it!"
"I know! Woof guy up dere?"
"Yes, the roof guy is up there."
"I know."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Weekend Update

Maddux loves showing off her new clapping skill. What she loves even more is the fact that it's not the only trick she has up her sleeve. Saturday morning she started waving also. She lifts her arm above her head and flaps her hand up and down, smiling at herself all the while. She seems quite proud of her new found trick(s)!

Although I wouldn't classify her as a crawler yet, Maddux is definitely getting in a few forward motions each day. She still bunny hops most of them, but at least she knows how to use her arms to move forward now.

Today was a big day for Maddux as she moved up the food chain; she is now sitting in a 'big' car seat! Eli loves this fact because if they both reach out their hands in the car, they can 'hole hannns' now. I love hearing the two of them giggling at each other while I'm driving!