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!