Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"E-i's drummer."

That's how Eli describes himself now. 'E-i's baseball player.' 'E-i's drummer.' He is telling his audience that Eli IS a baseball player or drummer. Quite low on confidence, wouldn't you say?

Sunday morning we didn't have a 'normal' church service, though the kids did go to their regular Sunday School classes. Since the auditorium was empty when we picked them up, Lehr took Eli up on stage to sit at the drum set for a few minutes. As far as I know, that was the first time Eli saw a set up close and personal. Several times since then he has built his own set at the house. It usually consists of a few real drums, a few make-shift drums, a pedal, and a drum seat. Eli will tell you which ones are the snare drums, which piece is the bass drum (controlled by the pedal, of course), where the high hats and cymbals are, and sometimes he'll point out tom-toms.ew

In this clip, Eli had just created his set and was giving a quick concert for Lehr. The next section shows Eli drumming along with "D is for Drums", which is his most favorite podcast from They Might Be Giants.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Few Gems

After Eli's nap today he told he, "I dream about Max." We usually go through this Q&A about dreams after naptime, but mostly he tells me he had dreams about firecrackers or the beach (which I'm sure is due to my initial suggestions MONTHS ago as to what might have popped up in his dreams). The answer today came straight from him, as he was yawning and stretching, so I believe him. I asked Eli what they were doing in the dream and he said, "Payin' baseball. Max throwd it an E-i HIT!"

Eli's favorite new phrase is, "Das a good de-ah!" He uses it any time he thinks Mommy actually has some pearls of wisdom in her. Example:

Eli - "Dant to play baseball, Mommy."

Me - "OK, get your tee and bat. I'll get the bucket of balls."

Eli - "E-i hit dem far. Long way up dat hill."

Me - "Wow....if you're going to hit them far, I better get my glove so I can catch them."

Eli - "HAAAA! Das a good de-ah!!!"

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hurdles and Turtles

Eli came SO close to missing his swim class this morning. In order to get the kids loaded into the car, drive to the Y, unload the kids and walk through the big parking lot, check Maddux in at the nursery, and change out of our street clothes before entering the pool at 10AM, we have to walk out of the door at 9:30. Eli was not being cooperative this morning and I decided when he first started (around 8:45) that I was not going to allow his schedule to trump his discipline (today). At 9:10 I warned him that he had 20 minutes before we had to leave. If he didn't sit down and 'allow' me to dress him and get his shoes on (without any fuss or struggle) in that time, we would not be swimming today. He cooperated while we dressed and brushed our teeth and hair. Then the last few minutes came when I was getting Maddux a new diaper. I instructed Eli to get his shoes and bring them to me so I could put them on his feet. He started to hem and haw.... I calmly reminded him of our deadline and told him I was setting the timer for three minutes (it was 9:27). That boy waited until only 21 seconds remained before bringing me his shoes... I guess that's what Gina Plowman means by inadvertently 'training' kids to when they are required to obey. (We'll tackle first time obedience soon....other issues currently at the forefront.)

So from then on out, Eli was great. The lesson was a blast. We worked with 'power packs' today which Eli was a bit apprehensive about. These floatation devices strap around them with a belt and contain three or four foam floaties on their backs. When we all sat down on the pool-side to attach them, Eli was not having it. I told him everyone else was doing it, but if he didn't want to then he'd have to stay out of the pool until class was over because power packs were required for class today. No way, Mommy...not happening. I was fine with this. I'd already had my share of battle with him today, so if I had to take him out of the pool and go home, I was fine with it. Luckily I didn't have to because the mom next to us was wonderful enough to mention that with her son, it helped to describe the pack as a turtle shell. Genius! (I'm sure it helped that Eli saw "Joe" yesterday, so turtles were fresh in his mind.) Eli bought into it and we were off. He even swam around a little without me today!

Suggestions Please!

Do I get a muzzle? Do I ignore her? Do I invest in ear plugs? All of the above? Maddux's volume is out of control!! Mealtimes are the worst because she uses her voice to (attempt to) get food. I do not feed (pun intended) into this at all in the house. I look at her and firmly say 'no', and then wait for her to stop yelling before I give her more food. Unfortunately this is not working well. On the rare occasion when I am feeding her alone, mealtime is great. Maddux calmly waits for each bite and I'm able to feed her at a normal, un-frazzled pace. But during the week when I'm feeding 10+ meals to two kids at once, hectic doesn't even begin to describe it. So my parenting 'guru' suggests we do what we're doing (telling her no, not feeding her when she screams), in addition to pushing her back from the table when she does that as a bit of a time out. This is what I'll be trying starting tonight. My anticipation is bleeding from the ears for all family members. Any other tried and true tricks for ten-month olds?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Joe Jr.

Last fall we got a visitor in our driveway: a small turtle that Eli named "Joe". One of Joe's relatives joined us today! Just as we were pulling out for a Faith-In-Action project this morning, Lehr spotted a small turtle in our rain soaked driveway. He grabbed it and put it in a grass filled cardboard box so Eli could 'play' when we returned. After lunch we came home and took the little guy out. He looks identical to Joe, but about half the size. Eli was very intrigued, but Joe Jr. did not care for Eli. Anytime he could see or hear our oh-so excited kid, the turtle pulled his head into his shell. Lehr and Eli sat outside watching Joe Jr. from about 15 feet away for ten minutes or so before giving up and putting him in the grass. Eventually he came out and made his way back to the stream behind our house.

On Her Own Two Feet

Today was a first: Maddux let go of the train table and stood for a good five or six seconds before gently sitting down. We'd been expecting it for a while based on her increased ability to pull herself up and down all day and walk with a walker. Yet this totally caught me by surprise when it happened. I only happened to see it because I was talking to Lehr and he was behind her. (Normally I miss a lot of what Maddux does these days. Between her zooming around here at a break-neck speed and me being otherwise occupied with Eli, I'm sure I've missed a true 'first' here or there.) Eli was just about this age when he was able to spend most of his day without the bar. Obviously that put him a bit behind the curve for crawling and walking (he wasn't even crawling at Maddux's age), but she's obviously working hard to make sure the two of them average out to a standard schedule.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Weekend Fun

Last night we had a busy, but very enjoyable night. After nap time, I went to Eli's school to set up and start working the booth for his class at their annual Spring Fling festival. The booth 'game' was both a football and basketball toss. About 30 minutes into my shift, Lehr showed up with the kids and Eli ran straight for me. It was quite chaotic because everyone wanted to throw the basketballs and footballs; keeping track of all equipment was difficult! When I finished working, the four of us went around to a few other booths, including the hairspray and tattoo table where Eli got purple dots sprayed on his head (no camera - sorry). One of Eli's teachers pulled us over to introduce her (older) kids to Eli. She introduced them to him as though she'd spoken of him a lot at home (and it sounded like her reports were good!).

After we made the rounds, the four of us drove to a friends house for dinner. Normally we would have had our bi-monthly small group dinner, but all of the other families were busy, so it was just us. This meant Eli got some one on one with the older boy of that family: this does not usually happen.

Maddux spent most of the morning pushing the walker around the downstairs. She is really starting to pick up some speed! Her only obstacle seems to be, well, obstacles. When she runs into a wall or toy that stops her progress, she lets go and sits down as she hasn't yet figured out how to turn the walker.

After Maddux's nap this morning, Eli and I mowed the grass. I wish I had a picture, because I know it was a site. He followed behind me through the whole yard (front and back) pushing the real mower and Eli pushing his play mower. It was the highlight of Eli's weekend! The two of us then ran to Home Depot (a favorite of Eli's) to pick up some paint for a project I'm about to start in Max's room. He loved running in with me because we didn't use a cart; Eli just walked in the store next to me. All grows up!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Old Photographs

In preparation for Jazz Fest next weekend, Eli and I looked through some old pictures while Maddux napped this morning. It started with Jazz Fest (2006, when he was about 8 months old), but then I decided to show him pictures from when he was born also, since he's old enough to kinda sorta (but not really) get it now. He seems to understand when he sees pregnant women now that there is a baby inside their 'tum-meee', so I started out with a few pictures from the month before he was born. First he told me, "Max in dere!" I reminded him that these were pictures from when Eli was in there, even before Maddux was born. Then we looked at the pictures from the delivery (all G-rated). Eli loved the ones which showed the nurses measuring his stats. He pointed out, "Tape!" right away, as he has his own measuring tape in his toy box. The pictures of him wrapped up in blankets are a bit fuzzy, but he knew it was him, telling me, "Das E-I!!" (That's Eli.) I told him that yes, it was Eli. One night he was in Mommy's tummy and then the next morning he came out. Eli's response? "I dant (want) to do dat again someday, pwease."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

No Hats For Maddux!

Oh joy...we're in the stage where Maddux absolutely refuses to wear a hat. And summer is here. Great timing!!

When we were in Florida a few weeks ago she didn't like to wear hats either, but it's gotten even worse. She is now able to sometimes pull off the ones with straps under the chin too. (This kid is determined!) So I should have known she wouldn't sit and pose for me while wearing a hat and scarf I just knit her, but I tried anyway.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


As I've mentioned before, Eli loves the song, "Peaches". We haven't watched the video since I blogged about it several months ago. Right before nap time today, I decided to let Eli watch a few youtube clips of some old favorites. We never made it past "Peaches". This kid picked up right where he left off in February, air-guitaring and singing along with the song. I kept resetting the cursor so he saw a continuous loop of the vocal parts of the song until the last minute, when I let the end of the video play out. It includes a group of ninjas pouncing on the band and engaging them in some physical exchanges. Though it is fighting, it's pretty tame, so I let Eli watch. I think it's quite obvious from his reaction (around the 3:22 mark in my clip) that he's not used to seeing that type of stuff. Eli's first concern comes because he thinks the ninja is a tree falling down on the band. Then he smiles when he sees it is ok. And then he gets all concerned again. The end of this clip makes me smile every time. Especially when he says, "I do dat again!"

Criss Cross, Applesauce

Maddux often plays for up to 20 minutes before she falls asleep during nap time(s) these days. I usually leave her door open when I leave, so I can go back to check on her once she's quiet. More than half the time in the last few weeks, I've found her in a seated position, but with her face in her lap. As if she was sitting up and playing only to realize she was too tired to do anything but rest her head. Regardless of my past years of dance and yoga, I cannot think of a more uncomfortable way to sleep....the body just isn't meant to bend that way! I know it makes Mad Dog a bit uncomfortable because I usually 'right' her when I find her in this position. She yells out in what I can only assume is pain due to the blood rushing back into her legs. Luckily, she then falls right back to sleep.

Mrs. Buttafew?

Eli is really starting to question new words now. He'll ask to see certain words if he's unsure what they are when they come up in books. Usually this means 'skyscraper' or 'Arizona'. Today this was difficult for me to explain, let alone show him. In one of his favorite books, "H is for Homerun", the page about 'U' caused some confusion. You see, 'U' is for the umpire who makes the call and misses but a few. Eli kept asking, "See her?" I didn't get what he meant, so I asked, "See who?" To which he replied, "Mrs. Buttafew."

Eli's newest phrase has to do with his less-than-quiet sister. When Maddux starts yelling or talking loudly in the car, usually while Eli is trying to talk to me or listen to music, he'll tell her, "No make noise, Max!!"

Monday, April 21, 2008

Not By The Hair Of My Chinny Chin Chin...

Maddux has a way of's unlike anything I've come across before. I call it her 'chin' talk because it involves her basically resting her chin on her chest and then opening her mouth to talk while still keeping her chin on her chest. It ends up looking like she's bobbing her head when she really gets going. This video has a few quick seconds of it, just before the minute mark. The rest of the clip is her being her goofy self, making faces and smiling for the camera.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Long and Short of It

I figured something out this weekend: hard days last a L.O.T. longer than good (or even not-bad) days! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday last week = long long LONG. Friday, Saturday, Sunday = not so long. After the kids' naps on Friday, the three of us spent some time with neighborhood friends before Daddy got home. We then packed up the double BOB with dinner and a few sports and walked to a nearby softball field. Eli absolutely loves to watch kids or adults play, so we thought dinner at the park was in order. No one was playing, but some crews were getting the fields ready for a weekend full of games. We ate our dinner in the bleachers while Eli's attention was 100% on the chalk lines being laid down below. After we finished, we played catch in the outfield. Maddux had a great time crawling around in the grass and pulling up on the chain-linked fence. She heckled many a pedestrian walking by, only to have them chuckle at her.

Saturday was another not-so-bad day. We took the kids to Costco and Eli was good enough to earn a few minutes play time in the kids' playhouse set up towards the back. He was so excited! He asked for Max to play with him, but I didn't want her crawling around on Costco's floor, so she stayed in the cart. The four of us played in the yard after naps and then went out for an early dinner. We don't do this much (read: ever) because Maddux is a bit challenged in the area of vocal self-control. She is very loud and I prefer to not disturb other diners. We chose a spot we knew would be quick (even though it was table service) and we arrived just after 5PM, in order to miss the usual crowd. Maddux did really well; Lehr took her out at the very end, but even then she wasn't that disruptive. Eli did great also. He kept asking for "more Thai food, please", but what he really meant was 'more rice'.

Today ended a great weekend with another action-packed day. After church we had a picnic at the church playground with a few of Eli's pals. The kids ran around for over an hour before we headed home. Maddux even got to crawl around in the grass for a bit! After naps we met up with Cooper and Finley (and parents) for dinner. Eli and Cooper put away a few slices of pizza at one of our favorite outdoor pizza places, and then we walked over to yet another park. The boys ran around, trying all of the equipment while Maddux and Finley stuck to the swings. Of course Eli had to watch the 'big guys' play soccer for a few minutes before we packed up the car.

And here I am again, at the end of a long (boring!) re-cap post, with no witty way to end. This is why I usually blog once or twice each avoid this exact problem! So here's the 'good' ending. While we were driving home from dinner on Saturday, Maddux started to get a little fussy. Each time she started to cry, Eli reassured her, very quickly, saying, "Das ok, Max! Ah-most home!!"

Friday, April 18, 2008


Thank goodness.... I'm not sure I'd survive another day of the insanity that has been this week!! Eli woke up in the same mood and 'tude he's been in all week, so I reminded him, gently but firmly, before he got out of his crib that we need to make good decisions with our attitude today. So far, he's taken that advice to heart. We had a good breakfast and then loaded up the car to go to the Y for our swim lesson. Poor Maddux actually fell asleep on the way there (way early for her morning nap), but she was fine once she got to the nursery.

Eli had a blast in the class. I really wish I could set up a video camera because this kid cracks me up! He loves to jump in the water and he does not mind dunking himself at all. Before we had the kids climb out for the "Humpty Dumpty" part he loves so much, the teacher instructed us to have the kids hold onto the wall to recite their ABC's. While we sang the song, we were to help them bob up and down, wetting their chin each time, while only holding on to the wall with their hands. I never once had to help Eli stay afloat or bob...he had it down pat and did it "all by-self".

Once we got home, we put Maddux down for her (real) nap and went out front to play catch. Eli's bat and tee are in 'time out' due to his issues this week, so the ball and glove were his only options. We played very well for almost 45 minutes before coming inside to feed Max and do blanket time. The only time out occured during blanket time. My rule is no wrestling or pushing of any kind during blanket time. Eli would not follow that (even after a warning), so he ended up in his crib for the last five minutes. This is partially my fault; I need to have the kids use separate blankets. The three of us went out to the back deck for a picnic lunch and football before naps and the 'tude never once resurfaced. LIFE IS GOOD!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Since I'm in the thick of it and utterly and completely exhausted from thinking about the many many battles I've fought today, I thought I'd share a story from the weekend:

I sat down on Eli's carpet to read a few books before naptime. Eli has a whole set-up he must prepare: blanket, book(s), and two large stuffed animal 'pillows'. One for him and one for the reader. So he gets his space ready and then we start the books. After a few moments, Eli also told me "I need da glasses on! I kint see da story...I need glasses!" This is, no doubt, in response to my dad reading to him before bedtime last week (as Grandpa Jim needs glasses to read). Sponges, they are!

Daily Mad Dog

Maddux is working on more teeth, but she is still a very happy baby most of the time. I think it is her #1 goal each day to play as much peek-a-boo as possible. (And I never get tired of watching her play!) When she first started the game, I had to be the initiator. To get her to play, I would have to place a blanket over her face and say "Where is Maddux?" Now, if she has any type of blanket or burp cloth, she'll pull it up over her face and then pull it down, giving her audience the most adorable grin ever.

Max is walking with a walker now. Every few steps, the vehicle moves too fast for her and she inevitably ends up on her knees, but she quickly gets back up and resumes her stroll. She gets jealous when I hold Eli to read him stories sometimes; she'll crawl over and climb up my leg until I pull her into my lap also. (This makes for a very crowded chair, by the way.)

Mad Dog is not a huge fan of self-feeding. Because we have carpet in our eating area and because it is so hectic at mealtimes when I'm here alone, most of the time I only offer her the opportunity for a few minutes. Unlike Eli at this age, Maddux could care less if she gets the food in her mouth: she'd rather see what happens when she drops the morsels over the side of her tray. She did eat her first Gardenburger last week though, and enjoyed it thoroughly, I might add. (Eli was ecstatic that Max was eating the same thing as he was that night!)

Maddux's most consistent pose (for pictures) is the self-control pose, with her hands clasped in front of her. How I wish Eli would take her lead in this area right now!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Humpty Dumpty

Eli had his first swim lesson this morning. He was all excited as we got ready, and he was skipping into the YMCA. Once we walked into the pool though, he clung to me a bit. He did not want to get his face in the water and he did not want me to turn him away from my body. Luckily, that lasted for about four minutes. Once we started singing "Wheels on the Bus", he was back to his usual fish-self. (Eli even told me several times, as he kicked his legs or blew bubbles, 'fishies do dat!'.) His favorite part was when we sang "Humpty Dumpty" and the kids fell into their parents arms in the water. Eli's 'fall' was a bit more of a jump, not that I was surprised. And he swam under the water pretty well. He couldn't wait to get dressed and go tell Max what he'd done while she was 'playing with other babies'.

We've had a few time outs today and a chastisement, but I'm totally banking on this new 'tude of Eli's to be a phase. I know we've been through tough ones in the past and though it's hard while I'm in the thick of it, it WILL pass.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Serenity Now

For so many things. (Duh...I'm a mom.) But mainly in regards to the mommy-guilt that I foolishly place on myself. We are going through (yet another) phase of Eli's. He's been hitting me again in the middle of his tantrums. I waiver back and forth between feeling I should ignore it and feeling I should draw a huge line in the sand about this. I get that he is a toddler, and with that comes frustrations over almost everything. But I do not want him to think that hitting (especially his family) is ok in any way. Eli has come so far with so many of the issues we've had in his life so far, but, as most parents know, when it's 'bad', you feel like everything is bad and the good is a tiny speck you can barely see. (On a side note, when I ask Eli what hands are for, he responds, "Lovin', clapping, praying. Not hitting.", so I KNOW he gets it.) Also, I know this is a process and I know (from past experiences) these things come in waves. God willing, two weeks from now this will be a distant memory. For now I'm just trying to stay afloat.

The guilt comes in because I have another child to think about. So while I'm trying to deal with Eli in an immediate fashion these days, Maddux gets neglected. And because Eli's temper is flaring currently, this scenario plays out several times each day. I will say that Eli's time outs obviously don't take my attention too much since he is being isolated from me (and Maddux), but my mind is not with her while he's on his TO square and I'm convinced she knows it. I feel horrible about the fact that Maddie's life right now revolves around Eli and his schedule (swim class and 'school'). I keep reminding myself that she doesn't get as much one-on-one as Eli got, but she has a sibling and that more than makes up for it. But it's hard to convince myself of that when I pick her up after dealing with Eli only to have her melt into my chest. She lays her head on me in such an endearing and sweet way, as if to say, "It's OK, Mommy. I love you." It warms me so much, but most of the time I still feel so exhausted, mentally and emotionally, from the most recent ordeal that I feel I have nothing left to give. Just more random ramblings, I know, but it's weighing heavily on me right now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Might As Well Jump!

So the kids and I are sitting at the breakfast table, finishing up our meal in preparation to get in the car and drive to the YMCA when the phone rings. Eli's first swim lesson was canceled due to a chemical imbalance in the pool; time to figure out some new plans for the morning! I quickly called a few friends and one was able to meet us at Kangazoom, Eli's favorite, but rarely visited jump castle haven. Logan and Eli jumped for about an hour in every area available to them, and they finished up their visit in the pre-walker zone, where Maddux hung out. Speaking of her, Maddie got to go down the BIG slide a few times since Eli did not feel like going alone. I carried her up to the top and the three of us slid down together. What a strange bird: the first time Eli went to Kangazoom, not only did he climb up to the top by himself, but he slid down several times solo. Now he loves the slide, but refuses to go alone.

We did have an incident after lunch where Eli was (purposely) squishing Maddux with the plastic walker, but for the most part, he loves including her. He asked me several times to let Max 'jump' with him in the castles at Kangazoom. Two steps forward, one step back...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rock Star Practice

So the kids and I had a mini concert on Friday. Again. Yes, this is a weekly (at least) event in our house because it is an easy and fun way to pass 15-20 minutes with the kids. Especially Eli. This time around he begged for Maddux to play the keyboard. She loves to do that, so it wasn't difficult convincing her. What is difficult is explaining to Eli that Max is not a puppet that he can control. Last week we were in the car and I heard him yelling to her, "Max! Talk!!" She was sleeping at the time.

Back to the practice....Eli has amped (pardon the pun) up his guitar antics recently. He is much more animated in his facial expressions and he loves, LOVES to use a 'pedal' now when he plays. He's seen the 'big guys' step on pedals at church while playing and he finds objects around the house to use as a pedal. Sometimes it's a book, sometimes it's a shoe....

Eli still prefers 'church moonic' to most other CD's; his current favorite songs are "So Good" and "Joy". He will really get into "So Good", singing "Yes, You are, yes, You are, yes, You are." as fast as he can when that verse comes up.

Maddux, meanwhile, likes to play the keyboard and drums, but she prefers to dance and sometimes clap. The music won't be on for 30 seconds before she's pushed herself into a seated position and she's rocking back and forth to the beat. When Max is really feeling the beat, she'll get into a crawl position, or pull up onto something and rock her head, headbanger style.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Eli Updates

Eli does puzzles and loves them now. He has one with musical instruments that makes noise. He loves it and he has a great time pretending with the instruments. During blanket time yesterday, Maddux grabbed the guitar piece to chew on and Eli took it from her saying, "Dat's Misser Hazelton's". (Mr. H plays the acoustic guitar in our praise band at church.)

Eli is also singing so much more each day. He loves "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt", and he'll ask for it by name ("John Jacob") often. He also recites songs from our 'church moonic' CD all the time.

Eli's memory is astounding. Seriously. He remembers random things from long ago, for starters. Most recently though, his memory has proven to be nothing short of photographic. I read him a book before bed last night and I left out a word here or there only to have him fill it in without missing a beat. Then I tried to challenge him so I left out a whole line. Again, he jumped right in. And the book in question was not a simple baby book we read all the time. It was "H is for Homerun" which we used to read all the time, but it's been sitting on the shelf for several months now. And the rhymes in there use more challenging words like "nifty feat".

Yesterday we went for a walk with Tyler and his mom. Eli had a great time running with Ty and 'tackling' him (Tyler got a few tackles in as well). For the rest of the day though, all he could talk about was the group of horses we saw before our walk.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Can You Feel Her Pain?

Maddux was actually grinding her teeth yesterday afternoon. It was totally weirding me out....she only has four, yet she was gritting them together! She was not in good spirits yesterday afternoon and then most of today. Even though she missed her morning nap due to a fun day at the park, Max only napped for 45 minutes this afternoon. Yup - you read that right! My 9-month old BABY only napped 45 minutes all day long. A happy mommy that does not make, I can tell you! Needless to say, she fell asleep minutes after her bath tonight, not budging at all from the place I set her in the crib.

Donation Corner: Idol Gives Back

Before you roll your eyes and mutter, "How cheesy" under your breath, hear me out. American Idol's charity concert covers a lot of different needs. Go here to give a regular old donation. OR learn more about the charities they support and either give to one on your own or donate in another way (time, goods, etc.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

False Alarm

Several months back we gave Eli his first cell phone. Of course it was not hooked up to any network, and until yesterday, its battery was dead. This particular one was so beat up that we figured it would serve Eli better as a toy than as a donation. For some reason he figured out yesterday (after months of playing with it) that it had no battery power, but it NEEDED battery power. Lehr found his old charger and hooked it up right before bedtime. Eli asked to sleep with the phone and we let him. Fast-forward to 3:45AM. I wake up and faintly hear Eli crying. Very unusual since he doesn't usually make a peep before 8:45. I figure he's crying in his sleep, but after two minute it is obvious that is not the case. Lehr goes in to check on him. Apparently the phone's alarm was set and it woke him up, beeping incessantly. Since he couldn't figure out how to turn it off, he threw it out of the crib, but it continued to beep. Lehr turned it off and all was well, but not before Lehr promised (upon Eli's insistence) to take the phone downstairs.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A True Gentleman

Eli has taken to giving Mommy flowers. Sometimes he picks them (dandelions usually) and gives them to me, but more often someone (usually me) will pick a few wild flowers and give them to him. Then he turns around and says, "For Mommy". This happened on a walk with my mom yesterday. She gave Eli three small yellow flowers and he immediately looked up from his spot in the BOB to hand them to me. He'll make some woman very happy someday!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Random Updates

Eli and Maddux are still enjoying the extra attention of Grandma "Caffree" and Grandpa Jim. Both kids have been extra tired even though most nights and naps they are getting their normal 'allotment'. This is proof to me that they are expending a lot of extra energy entertaining everyone in their world at any given moment!

Maddux is still clingy at times: yesterday I was called out of the service at church to get her. But then this morning she was happy as a clam, playing with Eli's train table by herself and then with Grandma Cathie while I made breakfast and did some other errands. At least 15 minutes went by where I was in the same room, but no where near her and she was fine. (It's usually worse if she can see me and I'm not holding she knows what she's missing or something.) Max is a sit-crawl machine. She has totally mastered that technique (sitting up by herself from a crawl) and she loves to practice it often. We're still working on her self-feeding skills with solids (cheerios, dried fruit), but anything smaller than a cracker-size gets lost in her fist. She knows where it's supposed to go, but she's not sure how to get it there.

Eli is loving his big-boy bike. He doesn't seem to have a clue how to pedal, no matter how many times we show him, but he doesn't mind not operating it. He could spend all day sitting on it and standing on the pedals, like 'big guys do it'. We haven't had to fight over him wearing a helmet either, which surprised me. I thought he'd put up a fight, but we told him from the beginning that he had to wear it to ride and he never once uttered a 'no fank ou!'.

Maddux has displayed her loud voice for her grandparents in the last few days. She's always loud, but she has a REALLY loud voice she uses from time to time, especially during meal time. It comes and goes, and right now it's-a-comin! Usually she finishes her dinner before the rest of us and some out-of-booster-seat time is allotted. So far she's pulled several chairs, a cardboard 'oven' of Eli's, and a basket on top of herself. None hurt her, but they all scared her enough to cry.

Eli is very affectionate towards Max these days also. He still loves to wrestle her, and her new found mobility = more rough-housing to him.
But he also hugs and kisses her many times through the day. He always says 'good morning' to her and often that and 'good-night' are accompanied by a head-lock hug and a smothering-kiss. I'll take it.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Eli is speed. Or at least he thinks he is! Lehr and I bought him his first bike (complete with training wheels) last week. After his nap yesterday it was unveiled. After seeing lots and lots of bikes at the beach last week, Eli was very interested in having his own. He immediately told me "Daddy rides dat. Mommy rides dat.", as he'd seen us ride a lot while in Watercolor. After an initial walk-around to see all of the tires and bells and reflectors and chains, Eli pushed his bike in the garage for about ten minutes. Then he asked to get on it. He did pretty well when I showed him how to pedal, but he easily forgot that he had to motor it, so I ended up just pushing him most of the time. I'm sure he'll be zooming around the cul-de-sac on his own before long!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Miracle Grow

She must be eating it when my back is turned...... Maddux had her 9-month well-check this morning. My girl is still growing at a crazy rate; she's in the 95% for height and 70% for weight. Obviously she did not get that height from this rate she'll be taller than me before she starts school! No shots left Max very happy, but still tired. She was snoring (loudly!) ten minutes after we got back in the car.

Mad Dog is still crawling and pulling up every waking moment. She's going through a little bit of a clingy stage right now, but she still loves her independent play. This has landed her a collection of forehead bruises, however. Maddie loves to pull up on chairs and Eli's train table, but sometimes she gets overconfident and lets go too early, landing her head on the wood. Her newest trick is sitting in her crib before and after naps. She appears to be asleep, as the monitor is silent, but when you open the door, she is sitting up (usually facing the wall where her name is), holding her blanket and sucking her thumb. You can barely make it out in the picture, but here she is!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Side by Side

My kids look alike....there is no getting around it! And they look like their Daddy - BOY do they look like Lehr! Here are similar pictures of Eli and Max. Eli was days from turning nine months in his photo, as was Maddux last week when her shot was taken. On a side note, Maddux had another tooth cut through while we were at the beach. She now has a set of four pearly whites.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Watercolor Weekend

We had a great trip to the beach: the kids wore themselves (and us!) out each and every day. Eli only swam in the 'big' pool once (the last day), but he had a blast in the kiddie pool. His favorite activity was throwing a Frisbee in and out of the pool. Eli liked the ocean too, but only in the afternoon when the tide came in and created little 'pools' for him to jump in. Many a hole was dug (by Lehr and D, not Eli) and many a sport was played.

Maddux enjoyed her first real trip to the beach also. (We took her in October, but she was only three months old, so her perception of it was much different than this time.) She crawled all over the beach, sitting up every few steps or so. Her newest trick is crawling two steps and then sitting up; she is quite proud of herself! Maddie loved the pool...swimming or sitting in the floatie we bought her. She is pulling up so much these days that she now has a collection of bruises on her forehead, due to knocking her head against stairs, tables, floors, or whatever.

The mode of transportation while at Watercolor is bicycles, which is difficult for the kids given their lack of skills in that department. We rented a pull-along seat for them and they did great. Maddux preventing her from crawling out while in motion. Eli did very well sitting next to her had to be strapped in as her new-found crawling skills would most likely override any common sense, even though she did take up most of the seat and she usually swung around a plastic shovel as we rode.

Neither car trip was bad; Eli did exceptionally well, staying very happy the entire way home. Maddux played peek-a-boo in the backseat with Grandma Cathie for hours on end and Eli listened to They Might Be Giants as often as allowed.