Wednesday, August 29, 2012

32 Weeks and Growing

32 amazing weeks have passed since Eli was born.  I can't believe how our lives have changed in that short time.  And the changes just keep coming.  At 32 weeks Eli has become fascinated with his hands.  He's been picking things up and holding things for months now, but in the last week it's like he's begun to really figure them out.  This week we are trying to learn to clap and play patty-cake.  Also, Eli is beginning to try to pick things up using his fingers more than just raking things into his hand.  Sometimes you can just see him thinking about and watching something and know that he is trying to figure it out. 

This morning I attempted to take our usual pictures on the couch, but they turned out like this...

Mom... I'm still sleepy.

And this...

This is my mad face... I'm mad 'cause you washed my duckie and I haven't seen him in 2 days.

It's not that Eli was unhappy this morning.  In fact, he was in a great mood and very busy trying to crawl all around.  I think he was just refusing to smile at my camera because Brian kept putting him back in the corner of the couch.  I did finally manage to get this one of him.  Not smiling but at least not making a mad face but now I think he was sticking his tounge out at me!

Moooooommm... Duckie is all dry and stuff.  Now I'll have to spend the next week chewing on his beak to get him back like I like him.

Since the pictures from this morning didn't really come out I'll share a few more from the weekend. 

These are from when he was trying to show us how he fell out of the bed

Hehehe... I'm gonna stand up here now, Mommy.

What'cha doin there, Mom?  Don't I look big pulling up on the side of my crib?

And this one is playing in the new Saucer toy at Joey's house Saturday afternoon.  Joey got it at a consignment sale for Eli and Audrey to play in at her house. 

This thing is fun.  A ball on a stick and baby slot machines. 
 We hope you're having a fun week and that it's going by quickly for you so that we can all get to the holiday weekend quicker.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gave Mommy a Scare

About 5:40 Saturday morning, I was awakened to a thump and a scream on the baby monitor.  I ran across the house somehow already knowing what I was going to find.  As I flung open the door to Eli's bedroom I saw him laying crying IN THE FLOOR!  

He's been sleeping in the crib in his room for a couple of weeks now and typically we make it through the night with very few incidents.  Until Saturday the most exciting thing that had happened was me having to sneak in and cover him back up when he kicked his blanket off.  But over the last few days he's discovered that he has a 4-wheel-drive mode and can crawl over and pull up on some things.  Mostly, he was pulling up on one of us laying in the floor and it was a fun game for him as he mastered this new skill.  By the end of the week I felt like he pretty well had it, but we ran out of time before bed Friday night to move the crib mattress down so we just put him to bed like normal with his mattress in the same (highest) position it's been in his whole life. 

Saturday morning around 5:40 or so, Brian had left to go into work and I caught a few extra minutes of sleep before planning to get  up around 6.  But apparently Eli didn't get the memo.  I guess he woke up and decided it was time to play.  I never even knew he was awake.  Fortunately we escaped the incident unscathed.  Pretty well as soon as I picked him up he stopped crying.  We settled on the couch for a while and I fed him while I moved all his little arms and legs good to be sure nothing was hurting him.  He doesn't even have any bruises. 

I called Brian about 45 minutes after it happened and told him what was going on.  He was worried so we did our Saturday grocery shopping in Huntsville so we could swing by the office and see him for a minute.  Eli had an awesome time playing at Daddy's desk and you'd have never known that anything out of the ordinary had happened.

Apparently he didn't quite figure out the whole cause and effect thing because after he was happy and playing Saturday morning I put him in his crib to see how he managed to fall out.  I stood there and watched as he pulled up and got to his feet in about 2 minutes.  Saturday afternoon we did it again before we lowered it so that he could show Daddy what he had done.  It took a while that time because Eli was having lots of fun playing and talking but after about 12 minutes he managed to get to his feet.

Step 1.  Crawl to rail and grab on.

Once I get to my knees I've finished half the battle.

I love being able to pull up and see everything.  It's super fun!
 Saturday afternoon we videoed the process to share with all of you.  Let me tell you if he'd been making just half as much noise at 5:40 that morning that he was while we videoed I would have woke up and gotten him before he ever had time to fall.  Like I said before, the final recorded video was 12 minutes of playing and attempting to blow raspberries on the crib rail.  I cut it back to less than 4 minutes for sharing on here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Granny's Banana Pudding

Just incase you've been living under a rock for the last 60 years or so and didn't know, Brian's Granny Reba is the best cook in the WHOLE world.  Just ask Brian. He'll tell you all about it.  Pretty much everything she cooks up is like taking a big ole bite of heaven, but some things are extra special. 

Granny with Eli the night he was born.
 This lady whips together homemade fried pies faster than I can even roll out the dough.  And Brian will let you know very quickly that no matter how hard I try or how well I do, my pot roast just doesn't come close to being as good as hers (yet I've never seen him turn mine down).  But one of Brian's all time favorite things she makes for him is Banana Pudding.

Brian loves banana pudding so much that when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for a grooms cake at our wedding he asked for banana pudding instead.  And that is exactly what we had! 

Brian's "Groom's Cake" of Banana Pudding.  I surprised him by having a Corvette cake placed atop the pudding.
 I was going through a couple of recipes today looking for something and stumbled upon the piece of paper where I'd called Granny and gotten her banana pudding recipe over the phone.  I don't know how she does it but she knew the recipe by heart and got all the amounts just right even though she never bothers to measure the stuff herself. 

I rarely make this pudding but when I do you can bet that Brian will be standing over me by the stove making sure I do it just right so that it turns out the same.  Given how special this recipe is, I thought I'd share it here in case you had one of those banana pudding cravings. 

If you use this recipe, you won't be disappointed with the taste and you'll have more than enough to feed a small army.  I have to use my biggest glass bowl just to hold it all.

Granny's Banana Pudding

4 1/2 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 box vanilla wafer cookies
** Bananas (Added during the update 8/29/12)
Meringue Topping
4 egg whites (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tarter

A couple hours before you begin, set eggs out on the counter to rise to room temperature. Also put your metal mixing bowl that you wish to use to make your meringue topping in the freezer.  This will help to make sure you meringue doesn't fall.

When you are ready to begin cooking, separate the eggs.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  In a glass bowl arrange vanilla wafer cookies to cover the bottom in a single layer. **Cover the wafers with sliced bananas (Updated 8/29/12)**

In a large heavy sauce pan, warm 4 cups of milk being careful not to scorch. Add egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup of milk, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla stirring constantly. Continue stirring and heat until desired thickness is reached. Additional milk can be added as needed to make pudding thicker. Pour pudding into the prepared glass bowl. Arrange additional cookies around the rim of the bowl in the edge of the finished pudding.

Ensure the metal mixing bowl in the freezer is very cold.  Place room temperature egg whites in bowl and beat until peaks form. Add cream of tarter, sugar (slowly), vanilla, and salt. Continue whipping until fluffy and peaks are firm. Place over the pudding and bake in oven until light golden brown (5-10 min).

I've been giving some thought to a theme for Eli's first birthday party and I think I've chosen one.... I believe banana pudding will definately be involved and here's another little hint!

UPDATE!!! I was informed by Joey that I'd left the bananas out of the banana pudding.  That is because Brian doesn't like the fact that the bananas turn brown after a day or so.   So that means usually we have non-banana pudding.  However, if you want the bananas, they go in on top of the vanilla waffers in the bottom of the bowl and on top of the pudding before the meringue topping.  Just slice them up and layer them in.  Depending on how you're serving it, you could just keep some bananas handy and only add bananas just before serving. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Eli - 31 Weeks

Today Eli is 31 weeks old.  We had a great weekend including a performance of "Rockin' for the Cause" with our 50's show crew and a visit from Brian's Dad and Stepmom on Sunday.  Eli had a great time playing with all of our 50's show friends late last week and Saturday night and the show seemed to go pretty well.  I'm told we raised enough money to make the updates to the rehabilitation center that were needed so the event was a success. 

Sunday morning we were all worn out from being out late (past 10) the night before so I let Brian and Eli sleep in super late and I snagged an extra hour or so then got up and did some cooking while they snoozed a little while longer.  By lunchtime Eli was visiting with his grandparents.  They got in just before his mid-day nap but he wanted to play with them so bad that he actually stayed awake 2 more hours until he was so tired that he was falling alseep sitting up in the floor.  Then he only napped for about 30-40 minutes and was back up playing again.  I believe he had a great time and hope they enjoyed seeing him as much as he seemed to enjoy them. 

After they left Eli was so worn out that he slept for 2 hours until I woke him up around 7:00 or so to get ready for bed.  The nap did him some good because after a few minutes he was playing hard again.  He finally went down for the night around 9pm and we all slept through the night. 

This morning I let Eli sleep until just before we had to leave but I did manage to take some pictures before we left.  We hope your week is off to a great start and that you enjoy this week's pictures.

Just out of bed and all smiles.  Now that makes Mommie's morning better.

Mom, you left your phone laying here.

Mmmmm tastes good.  I like it even better when it rings because the virbrations feel good on my gums.

Hahaha... no, you can't have it back.  It's mine now.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy 7 Months, Eli!

Today is Eli's 7 month birthday.    He's getting so big and is always so busy now that it's tough to actually catch a good picture of him sometimes.   Last night was busy.  Brian had to replace the break pads on my car and I had to get my items together for the local consignment sale.  If I'm lucky I just might come close to breaking even on sales and purchases this time.  But getting all of that together took a few minutes last night and another while this morning.  I'm working on developing a better system for handling that but so far it just takes a marathon session.  Given all the activity going on last night it's no surprise that it was 8pm by the time we got Eli in the bath.  While I was bathing him I realized that today would be his 7 month birthday so I had Brian grab my camera and snap a few photos of him playing in the tub.  Then I tried to get another shot or two this morning but Eli was far too busy for that. 

Bathtime at 7 months old.  I like to help Mommie work this sprayer thing.

But remember bathtime at 3 weeks old???   I think Mom had a bigger tub back then.

Yep.  This tub is definatly smaller.  Where's the big one, Mom? 

I like to play with the running water too... but it's tough to do when I have a camera to watch too.

I give up.  Running water trumps camera every time.

Ha ha ha! Now to spary Mom and Dad with this thing while there distracted with the camera.

I like to play in the mirror every morning while Mom brushes my hair.  Usually I can make it tough for her to get her hands on my brush too.

It's fun to make silly faces at the kid in the mirror because he makes them right back.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Eli - 30 weeks

It's been 30 weeks since Eli was born and I'm still impressed by how much he grows and changes every week.  Will it ever get old???? 

Eli is now far busier than ever and moves so fast that he can be across the living room in about 30 seconds.  This weekend we decideded that it was time to move him from the pack-n-play in our room to his crib in his room.  Thus far it has been a pretty successful endeavor.  With those two bottom teeth completely through and another little cold fought back, he took to it like a champ.  He's slept better in his crib the last two nights than he's slept in the pack-n-play in weeks.  And somehow, I'm sleeping better too.  I think it helps that I don't hear every move he makes.  I can certainly hear if he begins cooing over the monitor.  But with him out of the room I can't really hear him roll over in the night.  So I'm not waking everytime he turns to be sure he's not going to wake up.  Last night I don't think he moved a muscle from the time we laid him down about 9:30 until around 4:30 this morning.  I did get up once in the night and put his blanket back over him, but other than that I don't think he moved.  I guess he was just ready to have more room for sleeping and a nicer mattress. 

This morning once he woke up Eli was super happy.  I love it when we grin and play while I'm getting him dressed.  Just seeing that smile puts my day off to a great start.  This morning we played a little, put on our Jeep outfit and headed right out the door.  He was excited to get up and going and loved getting to see his older buddy Thomas at daycare before Thomas had to leave for school. 

Sitting up so well all on his own now.  But we never sit up like this for long because we are usually very interested in getting to crawl somewhere and find something to play with. 

This is a face that we've been making reagularly lately.  It's ususally accompanied by a very excited Mmmmmmmm sound but doesn't have anything to do with eating.  In this case Eli was excited to try to get his hands on the camera. 

While Eli and I were taking pictures, Daddy took some things out to put them in the truck.  This picture was taken when Dad came back in the front door.   Eli loves to see Dad.

One last grin to leave you with this morning.  We hope wherever you are and whatever you are doing that you have a great and happy day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

29 Weeks + Baby Teeth = Daredevil

At 29 weeks old, Eli is one busy little fella.  We spend all our time chasing him around the living room floor and trying to keep him out of trouble.  He's quite the dare-devil you know.  What used to be a quick diaper change is now a contest for him to see if he can roll over and crawl off the dresser before I notice.  I swear the kid has the desire to be a bungy jumper because he has no problem with dangling head first off the side of the dresser.  Last night the most fun thing in his world was when he headed over the edge of the couch and I grabbed him by his ankles and dangled him upside down in the air for a minute.  He litterally squealed with delight. 

Apparently, the cause of this dare-devil mentality is the fact that we feel so grown up.  We now officially have 2 little toothies and apparently they aren't wisdom teeth because a wise man wouldn't try to jump off the couch.  Last night we noticed that both the bottom middle 2 teeth had poked their way through.  I do hope this means that we'll go back to sleeping better at night.  I know over the last week or two we've been waking up some because his gums were hurting.  Hopefully, we'll all get a little break now.

I'm still sleepy but I can give you a little grin.

Wait! Can I hold the camera too?

Gees, Mom, I said I was tired.  Stop with the picture taking already.

Excuse me, Ms. Papparazzi, I said no more photos.
 Hope you have a good week whereever you are.

6 Month Photos

So this weekend I finally got around to taking Eli's 6 month photos.  You know, the ones that I'm too cheap to hire a real photographer to take for me!  I figure that at some point I will pay a real photographer to do some but I want nice family photos then too.  As long as it's just Eli in the pictures I much prefer the flexibility of doing it myself (with a little help from the family).  Sunday Brian was gone to do his monthly weekend at Guard so Eli and I took our time getting up and then headed to Joey and Papa Ricks to do some pictures.  I made sure we got there pretty early so that it wouldn't be too hot and so that we would have most of the day before we had to be somewhere else.  The best part about doing the pics myself is that if Eli needs a nap, we stop and take a nap then do more later.  I'd hate to pay a photographer then get bad pictures because little man needed a nap or have to pay for more time because we're taking a nap and not even getting any pictures.  Our weekend schedule is so unstable flexible right now that I don't really know when it's going to be naptime. 

We had good little photo sessions (5 minutes at a time separated by naps and feedings) and had some great help from Joey who gave up her Sunday to play with us.  I think I managed to get some decent pictures too.  I'm reasonably happy with them anyway.  With a good camera and some basic photo editing software there just isn't a lot of difference between basic 6 month photos done at home or by a professional.  Well, there probably really is but it's just not worth the money to me yet to pay for them.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy our 6 month photos.  I've put them on Photobucket here for the family to download as they want.  If you click on the individual pictures it will open up the page for each photo then at the top of the photo (not in your web browser) find the file menu and select download. 

Here are a couple of my favorites...

And here's the slideshow of them all...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Adventures in Food

So lately we've been trying lots of new foods with Eli.  Most days it goes pretty well.  The boy loves to eat.  The only real time we have a problem is if Eli is tired.  When he's tired we may as well just give up because things are just going to discend into him angry and screaming and running out of patience when what he really wants is to be given his bottle with some rice cereal in it.  That way he can eat while he is being held and can go to sleep the very instant he gets his little tummy full enough. 

Then there is the other side of the coin.  When Eli is in a good mood and ready to have some fun, it can be quite an adventure to try some babyfood.  It appears that he has a very independent streak because we can't always agree on who is in charge of the spoon.  And when we do agree more and more frequently "we" are agreeing that Eli should be in charge.  Pretty much it doesn't do any real harm, it just makes a HUGE mess. It's probably a good thing though because eventually, he needs to learn to feed himself and he can actually get the spoon in his mouth most of the time.  Once it's in there though, all bets are off.  Typically he just licks the spoon and some food comes off in his mouth and some comes off on his cheeks and face as he drags the spoon out of his mouth.  Anyway, it's pretty entertaining typically so we got some pictures earlier this week. 

Mom starts with the spoon, but this is as far as it usually makes it.
Now I'm in charge!!!

See how good I am at this?

Look, Mommie, I got this!

See, I didn't make too big a mess!  Now let's eat a little more!

Haha... Fooled Ya!  I knew I could get you to let me make a huge mess.