Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sledding! (in a tub)

With the crazy amount of snow and ice that Salem has right now, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to take Eli sledding. Of course, you need a sled to go sledding, and as far as I could tell, every store in town was sold out. Target sent me to Bi-Mart, which sent me to Wal-Mart, which sent me to Costco. Nothing. All sold out.

So we took him out in the next best thing: his tub. No joke. We tied a string through the hole at the front of the tub, put a piece a foam in the bottom of the tub, stuffed Eli into his snowsuit and then his tub and dragged him down the icy, snowy street.

He didn't exactly LOVE it. But he didn't dislike it either. He was just sort of looking around and taking it all in and trying to stay in his tub (I dumped him out a few times when we hit a particularly large bump!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

First time visiting Santa

In addition to it being Eli's birthday today, it was his first visit to see Santa.

Yes, yes, we went to the cheesy mall Santa for Eli to pass along his wishes for Christmas. He stared and stared at Santa, smiled twice at him and then wanted off his lap. We tried again a second time and all Eli did was scrunch up his nose and start wailing. Very funny. I'll try to post photos of the experience....

One year with Eli

Eli officially turned 1 year old today. It has been an amazing year -- with some days disappearing in the blink of an eye when I felt confident and calm as a Mama and Eli was happy, learning and sleeping :); and then there were other days lasting years when I was sleep deprived, frustrated, worried and wondering if I could handle the great task of raising a little boy.

So far so good.

Eli has taken great leaps in development in the last few weeks and now it seems like he was trying to get a whole bunch of things done in time for his 1st birthday. Here is what he is doing now:

He has started pulling himself up and then reaching both arms in the air so he stands by himself for a few seconds.

He has started testing the boundaries set by his parents: tonight I told him not to feed the dogs and he looked right at me and gave food to Zula, then he cried when I took away his food.

He has been pointing at everything to let us know that he is aware of it, and perhaps to find out what we call it. He has been exploring more and more, opening every cabinet, drawer and door that he sees and pulling everything out of it.

He has always loved books but now we know for sure which ones he prefers -- he pushes away books he doesn't want to read and he sits still and listens for the ones he loves. He has even started laughing at pages in books.

He says "Mamama" all the time and Michael is pretty sure he knows what it means.

He still loves to eat but now he also wants to try everything we eat. He loves his bottles of formula and he takes one about 3 times a day, but he isn't so into his whole milk. He is great at drinking out of a sippy cup but not so good at holding a spoon.

He loves music and he listens intently when we sing, he bobs when music comes on and he loves to make music by banging on drums.

When he gets excited, he takes a deep, noisy breath and his arms move in jerky motions -- the same way he moves them when he is excited for his dinner.

His hair is growing longer but it is still hard to tell what color it will be. A few pieces are coming over the edges of his ears but he is a long way from a first haircut.

These are the things I can think of right now but there are always more, little things that are new each day. I'll try to pass them on as I think of them...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A first birthday party

Today was Eli's first birthday party. I was really excited and really nervous about it, and maybe that rubbed off on Eli because he wouldn't sleep last night. He was up every 2 hours in the beginning and then he just wouldn't go back to sleep. We tried bottles, pain relievers, rocking, bouncing -- nothing worked. We finally brought him back into bed with us and just prayed that he would fall asleep. He did. For about 4 hours and then we had to try a bottle again to get a few extra hours. Oh dear, it did not bode well for a happy birthday party.

Neither did the fact that I baked 24 cupcakes with a carrot cake recipe that was likely missing a key ingredient. The cupcakes collapsed and tasted like really yummy carrot cake batter. Michael and I had to make new cupcakes from an entirely different recipe after Eli went to sleep Friday night.

Anyway, the party was a smashing success. Eli was overwhelmed, but happy. He loved watching Hayden, Journey and Ben (the older kids) playing and running around and laughing. He was just as interested in the balloons as Elliot, Dixon, Alex and Oscar (the younger kids).

The best part: when we sang Eli "Happy Birthday" and he was in his highchair at the table. He was just watching everybody with big eyes sing to him. Then I helped him blow out his candle on his cupcake and I gave it to him to eat. He was tentative at first and then started eating huge mouthfuls of cupcake and smiling really big.

After we opened presents, Eli crashed. He practically wanted to take a nap on my shoulder while everyone was still screaming and playing with toys around him. So I made him a bottle and put him in his crib. He just rolled over and went right to sleep -- for the next 3.5 hours!

It was definitely Eli's best birthday ever!

Friday, December 19, 2008


If there is a heaven (and I sure hope there is and I sure hope I am invited), I am pretty sure it will involve Eli sleeping on my shoulder. Tonight Eli was not happy about going to sleep and after a little rocking and some milk from his bottle, I pulled him to me and he put his head on my shoulder and sighed. We rocked and rocked and rocked. I wish I didn't need sleep and I could do that all night.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A wagon ride through a winter wonderland

Last night it snowed and snowed and snowed -- very unusual for Salem, Oregon. Eli and I danced around the living room singing "Daddy has a snow day" (you've heard of that song, right!?!?) and we came up with all sorts of plans for sledding today (we had to be creative: we have yet to buy a sled).

Of course, it stopped snowing early last night, state government forced its workers into work today (how horrible!) and Eli and I woke to a white, but icy, world. Good thing Eli's friend Elliot lives just around the corner. We loaded up the wagon and walked to Elliot's house to pick him up. Eli and Elliot were both strapped into the wagon, facing each other, totally bundled in fleece and wool and then covered in a blanket. Sarah and I pulled them around the neighborhood for a good 45 minutes. Eli's cheeks were quite red at the end of it all.

To keep Eli extra warm, I kept him in his fleece pajamas and then pulled my heavy wool socks over his feet. My socks went all the way up to his torso and looked like little leg warmers with feet. So cute...

Eli is feeling much better since his vomit fest. He ate some waffle and kiwi this morning. He is still not very interested in his bottle, so maybe this is the time to wean him off?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vomit fest

Eli has a stomach bug and most of the things that came in contact with Eli since Thursday night have gotten covered in vomit. Including Mama and Daddy. The amazing thing is that he doesn't seem to be too disturbed by getting sick. He is tired for sure, but not crying. He is a good sport. Tonight he seems to be feeling better so we are hoping he's kicked the bug. But it was bad timing -- Eli was sick for Mama's birthday, the tree-lighting and caroling festival and the hugest Festival of Lights Parade through downtown Salem. Ah well, next year....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


In the kitchen tonight, Eli stood by himself for about 5 seconds. Wow! I had just put him down to stand next to his box of toys but he didn't grab the box right away and he had his arms out to balance himself. Uh oh, I think he is on his way to walking...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Squealing, crawling and swimming

This morning, Eli was squealing and crawling all over me -- so happy to be exploring that he kept coming over and climbing on my face and doing his high-pitched squeals. Hysterical! He was in a great mood all day. We went swimming in the afternoon and he just loved it when I would sit him up on the wall and count to 3. The idea is to get him to lean into the water but he would just sit there, getting more and more excited as I counted up to 3. And then he would squeal at 3 and wait for me to grab him and throw him into the water.

It was a fun fun day, but a long one for mama, who is going to bed now. Good night.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Eli the explorer and wagon rider

Eli can crawl so fast now and he is so curious about everything that it takes quite a lot of energy to watch him when he is awake now (hence the blogger slacking!) In the kitchen, he opens all of the cabinets and takes out a few select things that are important to play with. Tonight Michael asked me if there was a reason the quinoa was in the middle of the kitchen floor. Um, yeah -- it sounds really cool when you bang the bag on the ground over and over. You should try it!

Yesterday, Eli went for a ride in his wagon. His Great Aunt Gail and Great Uncle King sent him the wagon for Christmas and since the weather is nicer now instead of after Christmas, they said he could use it. It is a classy wagon with two seats, seatbelts, a sun shade and cupholders. Eli loves to ride in it, partly because it is bumpy and partly because he has a better view (than in his stroller) of the world. It is pretty easy to pull unless you are going up a very large and very steep hill. And we don't live near any. Thank goodness!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dancing and now singing

For the last several weeks Eli has been dancing to music that he hears. OK, not so much dancing, as jerking his body forward and back. More like a bob, I guess you could say. But I haven't heard him try to sing until today. We were walking the dogs and Eli had his set of plastic keys that play the beginning parts of several kids songs, like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Ol' Susanna." He was trying to hum along with the song in his high-pitched little voice when he pressed the keys.

It was so cute, and SO off-key.... :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Going it alone

Michael is out of town this weekend so I am going it alone with Eli. So far so good... and I did not get a lot of sleep last night. I woke at 2:45 a.m. to be at work at 3:30 a.m. to cover all of the Black Friday madness. It was great to be off work at 11:30 a.m. and know I worked a full shift!

Anyway, when I got home Eli had just woken from a nap so I knew I couldn't rest. Michael took off for the airport and we took the dogs to the track and threw the ball for Wally. (Poor Zula only got a short walk.) When we got back we loaded up the car and went to the gym to go swimming. Eli loves the water so much we stayed in for probably 30 or 40 minutes.

That totally wore him out so he took a great nap and that's when I crashed. We both slept from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. And now it seems he is asleep. Let's hope it is for the night! Good night!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Keep away -- with Eli and a vacuum

Today I wanted to give the living room rug a quick vacuum and Eli doesn't seem to mind the vacuum so I did it while he was playing there.

He was crawling as fast as he could toward the front of the vacuum and it was all I could do to try to keep Eli away from the vacuum. I was laughing so hard I had to stop vacuuming and Eli climbed right on the front of the vacuum. Even with all of that noise, he loves the vacuum. (Yes, it might have something to do with the fact that he listened to vacuum cleaner noise for the entire first three months of his life!)

Anyway, it was quite funny and I wished that I had a video of it...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Becoming a gated community

Eli now has the ability to climb up stairs. Uh oh. He went up 6 stairs yesterday and about the same amount today.

Eli does not yet have the ability to climb down stairs. Uh oh. He stops on a stair and then tries to sit down, entirely missing a stair and then falling backwards (he hasn't done that yet, that's just what would happen if his mama or daddy weren't there).

We are in the process of looking for a gate for the bottom of the stairs. That would make 4 gates in our house. We live in a gated community.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Eli is 11-months-old today. Holy cow.

I just can't believe how big he is. And how much he babbles. And how often he smiles at mama and daddy. And how he crawls around and explores all the drawers, baskets and shelves in the house (oh yeah, and the toilet!).

Nanna is visiting Eli this weekend so we are planning to have some fun -- not sure what we will do yet.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A little fish

Eli is a little fish. I took him swimming for the first time in a LONG time last Monday. Then we went again two days ago. He was in heaven. He splashes, tries to blow bubbles, kicks his feet and laughs and laughs. The first time we went with Stef and Alex. Stef taught me this song:

The grand ol' duke of Earl
He had 100 men
He marched them up the hill
And marched them down again
Cuz when you're up, you're up
And when you're down, you're down
And when you're in the middle...
You're neither up nor down!

You throw the baby up and down with the words to the song, and boy, Eli loves that! (Thanks Stef!)

I am so glad that he likes the water. I was always surprised when I would take him to the pool when he was younger and he hated it. He would last about 8 minutes and start wailing, and continue the wailing through the shower and into the locker room. It was so exhausting to take him swimming that I would need a two-hour nap afterwards... (ok, ok, I am exaggerating.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Crawling and waving -- but not at the same time

Well Eli has now crawled with his tummy off the ground at home also. He still does the army crawl mostly, but he is getting more and more used to the "real" crawl.

I don't think I mentioned that Eli waves now. At daycare on Friday, I picked him up and before we left he started waving good-bye to everyone. And I hadn't even said good-bye or started waving myself. It was quite cute.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A real crawl

Apparently Eli crawled today without being on his tummy. I missed it, of course, because he was in daycare. Sarah said that she was holding up his blankie and he crawled over to her to get it -- probably 3-4 steps of true, tummy-off-the-ground crawling. I am just bummed that I missed it :)

Michael has been trying to teach Eli to say "bottle" and he does say "ba-ba" a lot but I am pretty sure he is just babbling. Michael also tries to get him to say "mama" and "daddy" and those both come out as "ba-ba" also. I am trying to get him to learn some baby signs so he can tell us what he wants -- especially when he wants food and a nap. That would be SO wonderful!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pointing out the mama....

Michael has been teaching Eli to find specific things on the pages of the books we read to him. I didn't think that a 10-month-old could do that, but I was wrong. In Eli's favorite book, "How do dinosaurs say goodnight?" Michael asks Eli "where's the mama?" and Eli always points to the mama! We are now working on getting him to point to the mouse in his "That's not my dinosaur" book.

The above is one of several examples of Eli becoming a little boy -- it seems like every week his brain develops by leaps and bounds and I can't keep up. He is amazing...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sleeping on mama and ear update

Eli fell asleep on my tonight while I was feeding him his bottle. He was leaning his head on my chest and facing outwards while I rocked in the chair and all of a sudden I noticed he wasn't drinking anymore. It was so sweet to just rock and doze with my baby on my lap. He was so content. And then when I put him in his crib, he didn't even move. He must have been exhausted.

On Monday we found out that Eli's ear infection hadn't cleared up so he is on his second antibiotic. I hope this fixes it -- ugh, I feel so bad for him. On Monday he was so cranky and now we know why!

Friday, October 31, 2008


I'll let the photos speak for themselves mostly but it was a very eventful Halloween, with costumed-kids at daycare (including Yoda) and all of the chaos that is trying to get 4 babies into a photo in their cute Halloween costumes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spanish bedtime storytime

Eli went to the library for his bedtime story tonight.

We picked up Sarah and Elliot and drove to the library for their Spanish bedtime storytime, where we sang the itsy-bitsy spider and some other songs (I can't tell you their names because I don't know enough Spanish myself. One day, Eli will translate!). Eli got to shake a fancy rattle with the other kids, listen to Halloween stories (I could see the Jack-o-Lantern in the picture, OK?!?) , and watch all the other kids run around.

It was fun and it wore him out! He fell asleep in about 10 seconds after I put him in his crib.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Great Aunt Gail visits

Eli's great aunt Gail has been visiting since Friday. It has been the most gorgeous weather since she got here -- about 70 degrees and bright and sunny. We've taken advantage of the good weather to go to a pumpkin patch, a cool park in Silverton and Bush's Pasture Park by our house. Can you tell that Eli is having a blast?

Today he found the built-in bookshelves in the living room. He pulled many, many books off the shelves and had a blast doing it.

Other things Eli loves right now: Playing with the showerhead while he is in the tub and getting sprayed with water from it.

Oh, and did you know Eli was going to be a monkey for Halloween???

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Post ear infection and nose picking

Eli was terrific last night. He took his amoxocilin (seriously, do they put crack in that stuff? Eli shivers he is so excited when I pull out the bottle. And when I take it away, he cries.) Then he slept from about 9 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. He was happy all day today and took 2 long naps. He didn't need Tylenol at all today.

He has been doing this really cute thing for awhile now -- while I feed him a bottle before naps or bedtime he either plays with my finger or touches my lips. Tonight though, he found my nose. Boy was that fun! I think he will learn to pick my nose before he learns to pick his own :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's the ear

Last night Eli woke every 2 hours. One time he woke after an hour. I gave him Tylenol diligently every 4 hours, but he couldn't stay asleep for the full 4 hours. I tried rocking him in the rocking chair but he would just moan and cry and writhe around. It was so sad and confusing because we didn't know what was wrong and he usually sleeps through the night. I was so out of it that one time I gave him only .8 ml of Tylenol instead of 1.2 ml because I was reading the dropper wrong.

As soon as I arrived at work, Noelle at daycare called to ask where Eli's blankie was. "Oh dear, at home." So I drove home to get it, but when I delivered it to him, Noelle told me that he had a 100-degree fever even though he was on Tylenol. I had already made a doctor's appointment but Michael had to leave work and stay with Eli at home.

The doctor found that Eli has an ear infection in his left ear. Poor guy. He is on antibiotics and Motrin but he just woke up after being asleep for only 1.5 hours. Uh oh, another long night for Eli and his parents...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Walking! and a visit from Grandma

Eli's grandma Myra came to town this weekend, and Eli definitely put on a show for her. We got him a walker to practice holding on and taking small steps and he loved it. He was squealing he was so excited. It took him a little bit to get used to it but now he knows he has to move his feet forward. It is still tough for him to do it -- sometimes his foot ends up on the wheel of the walker, sometimes it ends up on top of his other foot and sometimes he ends up dragging his foot so that he is trying to stand on his tiptoes.

Grandma Myra and Eli played catch one night and Eli kept grabbing the ball when she rolled it to him. It was also a squealing moment! Every time he caught it, he would squeal and seem so proud of himself.

The night Myra left Eli was having a tough time. He woke from his nap super cranky and then fell asleep on my shoulder watching Sesame Street on our computer in the office. I quietly put him in his crib upstairs and he stayed asleep for another hour. But something is definitely bugging him. Today he took a good morning nap and was happy after that, but he only slept for 40 minutes for his afternoon nap and woke very upset. He couldn't stop crying and I had to rock him for awhile and get him to go back to bed. Even then he only slept for 45 minutes. Michael put him to bed for the night and Eli was just screaming and wouldn't take his bottle. I was able to get him to drink 4 ounces but even then he only stayed asleep for an hour. Then I went up again and rocked him and sang to him but he couldn't get comfortable. He would moan and move around and cry. I was trying to get him to fall asleep on me again but he wouldn't. (I loved it when he fell asleep on my shoulder -- that was a first since he's been in his crib.) Let's hope he sleeps through the night...

Other funny things Eli is doing:

* He loves to drag his fingers across the pages of books to hear the squeaking sound they make. He also does it on the slide at the playground when I let him go down on his stomach, feet-first.

* He has been trying to hug me lately. We will be playing on the floor and he will squeal and sort of throw his whole body into mine. He buries his head in me and seems so happy. It is way better than an typical hug :)

* He is trying to hold onto things and "walk" around. Today he was holding onto his walker and reaching for the ottoman. He actually grabbed the ottoman and stayed standing!

* He is much better about imitating people now. When Myra was saying "pa" to him, he said it right back. Today I was making the sounds for kisses and he was trying to mimic me.

* The other day he was on the changing table and I started saying, "ah-boo" over and over again and he was giggling and giggling.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cardboard box fort

Eli and I had great fun today playing in the most spectacular of forts: the cardboard box. I cut windows in the sides and Eli sat inside the box and opened and shut and windows and I would say "peek-a-boo" when he opened one. He has been obsessed with doors lately -- always opening and shutting his bedroom door, which makes me worry about his fingers -- and this was a great, safe way for him to have fun opening and shutting a door! Sometimes he would stick his hand out the window and touch my face. He was smiling and giggling the entire time.

Then at the table we took some cute photos that I had to include.