Friday, December 21, 2012

Tickle Me Eli

Eli was super ticklish last night while we were playing.  We caught it on camera.  Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Announcing Baby #2 - Baby Girl Hamilton

Yesterday afternoon's ultrasound went well.  All the vital organs checked  out, we have a nice strong heartbeat, and a very active baby.  We also learned that Baby #2 will be a little girl.  As of yesterday she was estimated at 12 oz.  We still have a lot of growing to do!  Since we've already had a Bean (Eli) and we'll have to start figuring out the naming process, I'm going to temporarily call this baby Peanut. 

When we discoverd that Eli would be a boy, I was a little disappointed.  All my friends and relatives that were having babies at the time were having girls and I had already imagined having another little girl to add to the play group.  On the way to Eli's 20 week ultrasound Brian and I even discussed the fact that we knew all these people having little girls and eventually things had to even out with some boys in the mix. 
If you flip a coin enough times you will eventually end up with an equal number of heads and tails, right?  So after the ultrasound I told everyone that God had decided that two engineers would appreciate the statistics of it all if they had a little boy when everyone else seemed to be having girls and ... ZAP... we get our little boy named Eli. 

So this time Brian and I had both already settled out minds on the fact that we would have 2 boys.  On one of the super early ultrasounds our doc had even pointed something out and suggested that we might have the makings of a boy.  I had decided that it would at least save us some trouble and expense to have a second boy since I wouldn't even have to put all of Eli's old clothes in storage.  I could just pull them out of the closet and use them a second time.  But once again, I guess God decided that two engineers would appreciate the statistics of it all if we had a little girl... that coin flip has to come out even eventually.  So... ZAP... this time we get a little girl. 

I really wasn't too set either way this go-round so I'm okay with anything I guess.  It's not going to change that much as far as what our plans are.  But now I have to start buying up little girl things.  The up side is that from shopping for Eli I know that there is always a larger selection of little girl clothes than little boy clothes, so at least I won't have trouble finding cute things. 

I will admit though that I'm a little nervous about starting all over.  We will keep most of the nursery stuff the same and the two will share a room for a while.  What worries me a little is figuring out all the ins and outs of raising a little girl.  I was just getting comfy with all the boy stuff, learning how to play monster trucks, and understanding the slightly different necessities of bathing little boys.  Now I feel like I'm going to have to start over on the learning curve a bit.  Oh well, it should make life interesting at least.  Perhaps well get to educate Daddy a little in the process as well this time!

On a separete note, Eli did much better last night.  He was so worn out that he took a nap from 5-6 last night (so I got a nap too!).  Then he had a little trouble getting to sleep at his usual bedtime.  I think he finally went down around 7:45.  He did wake up once during the night around 1am this morning, but I waited him out and he put himself back to sleep within 5 minutes.  I never even got out of the bed.  I'm feeling much more human today.  Hopefully tonight we'll get another good night's sleep and I'll be all caught up. Tomorrow is our last work day of 2012 so I'm excited to get Christmas started and get some much needed rest.  Here's hoping today and tomorrow pass quickly.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eli - 48 Weeks

Is it really only Wednesday?   Knowing I have a week or more of vacation coming up makes it hard to be in the office this week.  To top it off, lots of folks that I work with are already off until the beginning of the year so that makes it incredibly dull around here. 

This week Eli hasn't been sleeping so well.  It all started Saturday night with a once-a-night waking and has progressivly gotten worse since.  Last night I think I slept a total of 3 hours.  I'm doing alright thus far today, but I know tomorrow I'll really be hurting, especially if Eli doesn't sleep all night tonight. 

I've done some reading online and have discovered that Eli isn't the only child to be experiancing this sleep problems at his age.  Apparently, even kiddos like Eli who have slept through the night since 8 weeks old experiance periodic sleep regressions where they wake multiple times a night.  These can apparently be triggered by teething, some new skills that are about to develop (can we say walking?), or just be a part of the growing process.  I sure hope this phase doesn't last long bu at least if it does I'll have next week off to recoup, sleep in, and nap (at least while Eli naps). 

Personally, I wouldn't be at all surprised if these sleep problems were either related to teething or if he is just having trouble settling because we are about to start walking.  I know that we are extremely close to walking because he wants to practice all the time.  Every morning, after his bottle, Eli will squirm to get down.  Then, as quick as his feet touch the floor, he's grabbing my fingers and shoving his hands up in the air so that I can help him walk to wherever he decides he needs to go. 

So at 48 weeks, Eli isn't sleeping so well and is on the verge of walking.  This weekend begins our Chrismas festivities and I can't wait to see how Eli reacts to everything.  In addition to all the pre-Christmas excitement at our house, this afternoon we go to find out whether Eli will be getting a little brother or a little sister in May.  So I'll have to do my best to update you on the status of that tonight or tomorrow. 

That is about all the news I have from us today.  We hope that whenever your holiday festivities begin that they bring you happy, cheerful memories that you will cherish for years to come.  Now... on to this week's pictures.

Playing with Papa Rick's Yankees helmet before the Christmas parade.

I'm either gonna put this on or sing into it to hear my echo.... both seem fun!

Playing in the floor in front of the tree. Santa will be here any day now! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Eli's First Christmas Parade

In the little town of Fayetteville, TN the annual Christmas parade is a HUGE deal.  It really is.  People call the organizers for weeks leading up to it trying to get a spot in the parade and to find out just exactly the route it will take.  Honestly though, before this year, I couldn't tell you the last time I actually watched the parade... I'm sure I was just a little kid though.

By the time I got on up into the pre-teen and teenage years, I was involved in school things.  For a couple of years I was actually in the parade with a band or a school group or something.  Then I began helping out with actually organizing the parade, riding a 4-wheeler up and down the street to make sure everybody was lined up correctly and running messages back and forth up the line.  But by the time I was in high school I was helping my mom cook chili and desserts for all the folks working the parade... usually around 400 people.  So by then I wasn't able to watch at all and usually didn't even see the first float since we spent the whole day cooking at the Rec Center. 

Needless to say, it's been a while since I've actually watched the parade.  This year, they had the parade at night so lots of the floats had lights on them, the lights on the fire engines were flashing, and street vendors were selling glow in the dark stuff to all the little kids.  I wasn't really sure at first if Eli would enjoy the parade, so Joey (my mom) and I waited until the last minute then found a spot to park and walked up the street to watch.  It took a while for the parade to reach our spot on the corner near Bagley and Bagley Insurance and Eli became a little impatient during that time.  It was well after 5:30 and Eli was getting hungry and tired and ready for his typical 7:00 bedtime.  We almost gave up but about the time we decided to head back to the car, the grand marshalls of the parade were reaching us so we decided to stick around and see how Eli liked it.  If he didn't like it, it wouldn't be a huge deal, we'd just head back to the car then. 

Camped out at our spot in front of Bagley & Bagley.  We stood back against the window out of the wind while the other kiddos pushed toward the street.  I think we had the better view!

So the parade started and Eli immediately noticed all the lights and the kids on the floats waving.    

Then he saw the first Fire Truck with the siren and lights and he was in love!

Every now and then, Eli would get tired and lay his head on my shoulder.  He's very accustomed to his 7:00 bedtime, so being out watching a parade at 6:45 is a big deal for him.  

But as soon as the next something with lights and noise came by, he'd pop up and give it a look.  One fire truck had some little girls sitting on it and Eli got so excited that he even waved at the little girls.  He's a flirt!

After the fire truck of little girls went by, Eli decided that even if he was tired he wasn't going to miss anything else.  He somehow jumped and spun around in my arms so that he could face forward and get a better look.

Eventually, he did get tired again and rest for a minute, but he was all smiles and was still very much watching the parade go by. 

About half way through, we noticed it was beginning to sprinkle.  Even though we were under an awning, we still had a good 1 block walk to the car and I didn't want Eli to get soaked.  We'd been watching for almost an hour so we headed on back to the car.  The good news for Eli was that we were walking right along the parade route so he still got to see the fire trucks.  This time up close right as we crossed the street to the car.  All the way back to the car, he was hanging out the side of the stroller looking at the parade. 

After the parade, we headed up to the rec center to eat some chili.  It tastes even better when you don't have to cook it!  And wouldn't you know... Santa even stopped by after riding in the parade.  Lane and Kylie loved meeting Santa.  I think Kylie even asked where Mrs. Claus was.  Nothing gets by that girl!

And Eli tried to meet Santa, but he wasn't sure.  He definately didn't want to sit on Santa's lap!  So we just talked from a couple feet away. 

So that was Eli's big weekend adventure.  It must have been super exciting because he took 2 very long naps on Sunday.  Even though I was leery at first, I'm so glad that we took Eli because he seemed to enjoy every second of it.  I hope whatever your weekend brought you, that it was at least as much fun as Eli's first Christmas Parade.

Friday, December 14, 2012

First Pair of Shoes = Epic Failure!

When Eli was a tiny baby, we tried putting shoes on him exactly 2 times.  The first time, at around 6 weeks old, we tried these tiny little sneakers.  Eli curlled his little feet up into tiny balls, we thought we finally got the shoes on, and 5 minutes later, they were falling in the floor.  He hated shoes so much from the get go that I vowed not to worry about it until he started walking

The next time we tried shoes was a month of two ago as we worked our way through a couple of bags of hand-me-downs.  I saw these little shoes and knowing that winter was coming and that time was drawing near when we would NEED shoes to protect our little walker, I decided to try again.  It went almost as badly as the first time.  I gave up in a matter of minutes declaring all the shoes the wrong size.  I don't know yet whether or not I was wrong, but I plan to go back through the shoes and find out this weekend.

Yesterday Joey (my mom) picked Eli up from daycare early and brought him to meet me after work.  It was time to fight the shoe battle and with Eli's fat feet we knew there would be no choice but to go to the Stride Rite store and get some good walking shoes.  I talked it up big and tried to get him excited about his big boy shoes, but I think he knew all along that this was not going to be something he enjoyed. 

As we drove from my office to the store across town, Eli sat in the back seat saying "Nanananana... Dadadada" (translation... daddy says I don't need these expensive shoes and I don't want them!).  Brian had already asked how many people I thought had learned to walk throughout history without $40 baby shoes... I just hate it when I don't have an argument! So as Eli sat there saying "Nanananana... Dadadadada".  I had this feeling of dread that this was not going to be pretty. 

We got to the store and the first step was to measure Eli's little foot.  The right foot went well, but apparently Eli has a complex about his left foot.  When the sales clerk sat his left foot on the metal foot measurer thingy (yes that is a technical term), Eli began to get angry.  Well we did discover that he was going to need a 4 1/2 wide or possibly an extra wide.  We picked out a pair or two of the "learn to walk" level 2 shoes to try on and then the fun started.  The toes curled, the feet balled up, and eventually, we straightened his right foot out enough to get the shoe on.  Whew... 1 down 1 to go.  Then the left foot.  The best we could ever do in the store was to get the left shoe on with his toes still curlled up.  The clerk said to stand him up and let him do some walking in them and eventually he'll uncurl those toes.  WRONG!
The first pair of shoes we tried.  The soft soles are meant to mimic walking barefoot.
Eli tried very uncomfortably to walk in those shoes crying almost the whole time.  He was walking pidgeon toed, rolling his ankle over, and doing just about everything except walking like he normally does.  I felt like a mean mom who was torturing her child.  We pulled off that pair of shoes and attempted to try on a second pair but never even got into them.  The sales clerk suggested we move to an extra wide to give him some more room since the velcro straps on the wide shoes were just barely holding on. 

Pair #2... The ones we didn't even get on. 

Hoping that he was just uncomfortable and the shoes didn't fit, I agreed.  The kicker was that to get a shoe in an extra wide size we'd have to go to the level 3 "I know how to walk" shoes.  So I picked out another pair to try on and we went through the whole foot curling, toe scrunching process again.  Again, Eli couldn't really walk in these shoes and now he was getting tired and hungry.  Ugh! I gave up on this being a pleasant experiance. 

The extra wide shoes did look like they fit better.  The velcro would at least close all the way.  So this tired mom handed her tired hungry baby to his grandmother and paid for the expensive shoes.  We left the shoes on Eli's feet hoping that if we wore them while he was in the carseat he'd get a little more accustomed to them.  Any exposure is good, right???  He kept them on for about half the ride home (the half that he slept through).  Then he was pulling and tugging at them and getting generally ticked off.  We surrendered and took off the shoes.  It didn't fix things but it helped a little and we eventually made it home.
The winner... Level 3, not that Eli can walk in these either!

This morning the torture began again.  While Eli was eating I pulled on some thin socks (since last night his feet were sweating when we pulled the shoes off) and then started getting the shoes on.  This morning, the right shoe went right on without any problems.  The left foot was trouble again!  The first attempt ended with the shoe in the floor.  I decided we'd put it back on in the car.  With Eli strapped in, Brian and I tried for what felt like 5 minutes to get the shoe back on.  After much work and some tears from Eli, we had it back on (I think). 

Eli sulked all the way to daycare.  He usually babbles happily and plays but today he just sat and stared at us with a look saying "I don't like either one of you right now."  Normally when we get to daycare, he doesn't want to leave my arms.  Today he reached for Miss Angela and watched me leave without a tear.  I think he was just a little angry with me.  I told Miss Anglea to try to keep the shoes on until 8:00.  That would leave them on around 1 1/2 hours and we'll just build up from there.  I don't know how its going to go.  I'm hoping that with all the other kids around he might forget that he's wearing shoes and just fall into playing.  It should be a busy day since today is their Christmas party.  With any luck, there will be lots of distraction today especially. 

I'm not going to call today to see how things are going because with the party and everything I know that the ladies are super busy.  But I'm definately interested to find out how things went this morning when we pick Eli up this afternoon.  I do hope he didn't fuss too much for them.  I know I'm dreaming but wouldn't it be wonderful to pick him up and find him still wearing his shoes?  Naaaaa... that is just too much to hope for. 

There hasn't been much that I've done with Eli that I'm sure I'll do different with Baby #2, but this will be one thing.  Prepare yourself Baby #2.  You will be wearing shoes frequently from the day you are born.  I won't create another battle like this one to fight.

Update:  When I picked Eli up Friday afternoon he was still wearing his shoes!  It's our own little Christmas miracle.  Saturday before the parade we got them on again without any trouble or fuss at all.  Monday morning, he wasn't fond of putting them on, but it wasn't nearly as traumatic as those first couple times.  They went right on him, no curled up feet, no giant argument.  He did fuss a little but definately no more than he fusses when I have to put his shirt on in the mornings.  I just don't think he's much of a morning person.  He'd rather take his time waking up and then get dressed after his first nap.  Unfortunately, it can't work that way on weekdays. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Eli - 47 Weeks

I've said it before and I'll say it again... I have one of the best babies ever!  This weekend was crazy and hectic and Eli took it all in stride.  Saturday Eli stayed home playing with his Grammers and Great Granny while I went Christmas shopping all day and well into the night.  When I got home it was after his usual bedtime but he was super happy to see me and we played for about another hour before he fell asleep on my lap watching Shrek.

Sunday morning we slept in a little and played around the house but we had to leave at lunchtime to run through town to pay some bills and then go to a retirement party for a good friend.  It was right at naptime when we left and Eli slept for 30 minutes then woke up and drank some milk while we made our way to the party.  When we got there, he was happy and grinning.  He enjoyed all the attention that he was getting and really enjoyed the food.  He ate a whole biscuit, some fruit, and a few bites of cake (only a few because I wouldn't give him more).  Then he stood at a folding chair and played for a long time.  When we left, we had to run by the grocery store and pick up some things.  I was certain it would be a terrible shopping trip, but he fooled me.  Eli played in the cart and looked at things and had the best time just watching all the people.  He fell asleep on the way home so I left the car running and got our groceries in before I brought Eli in.  He finished off his nap while I held him on the couch.  Then he took another bottle in his high chair while I started some supper.  It was a really good day. 

This week should be pretty typical.  Eli wasn't happy to be left at daycare this morning, but that isn't unusal for a Monday.  In the afternoons we should be home reasonably early and Eli should have plenty of time to get his fill of Mom and Dad's attention before bedtime.  We are all feeling much better than this time last week.  Eli is still not quite ready to walk on his own, though I feel certain that he will be at any moment.  We are slowly phasing out some formula bottles so Eli is eating more and more real foods.  Green beans are a new favorite finger food (this is definately my child). 

This morning we did get Eli's picture taken though he was still a little clingy and wasn't quite willing to let go of me long enough to really take some pictures.  We did the best we could and a couple turned out pretty well.   We hope you have a good week and are preparing for Chirstmas because it is right around the corner. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

46 Weeks - Late Again

Sunday I awakened to find my entire house sick... all 3 of us.  Eli and I with a cold and Brian with a tummy bug.  We spent 3 days trying to get everyone healthy again and yesterday we finally managed a day where no-one had to stay home sick.  So this week it was Wednesday before I got to take Eli's picture and I'm just getting it posted today. 

So now Eli is 46 weeks old and 2 weeks from now we'll reach the 11 month mark.  It is amazing how he's grown and changed.  I'm so glad that I've taken pictures every week to document it.  Eli is getting rediculously close to walking.  Any minute now he's going to take off.  He is getting better at standing by himself every day and it seems like 4-5 times a night we catch him standing still on the verge of taking that first step.  Around the house he much prefers to hold onto one of our fingers and walk himself than to crawl.  That is unless he really wants to go somewhere fast... in which case he speed crawls. 

Over the last week he has recognized that the TV is more than just a loud box in the room.  He LOVES to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Disney.  We now DVR episodes for him when we're not at home and we watch at least one a night.  Eli's favorite part is when he gets to do the hotdog dance at the end.  This morning one of the ladies at the daycare mentioned that she'd seen him watching TV and dancing along the other day.  It turned out that Mickey was on and she said he was laughing and dancing and playing like crazy. 

The other big change lately is that we've discovered and love the big bath tub.  Eli finally got too big for the sink so we moved him over to the tub in his bathroom.  He loves to play with cups in the tub and pour water around and he loves to splash.  We are still only trying to fit a bath in every other night (unless he really needs it) because his skin tends to be a little dry and he hates lotion.  But regardless, every night when we get home he crawls toward his bathroom saying "bath", "bath", "bath".  And goodness help us if we happen to be in there doing something because he'll crawl right over to the tub and pull up to look over into the tub.  Then it's "bath, bath, bath" again and sometimes even tears when we leave the room without getting in the tub. 

We got a few pictures in the bath the other night.  Eli was having a big time while Daddy tried to bathe him.  It's always more fun when Daddy does the bath. 

Hi!  This big tub is awesome!

Splash, splash, splash!

Cups in the tub!

And now the pictures we took yesterday morning.

Good Morning, Daddy!

I don't know if I want to be happy or cry...
but I'll sit here for just a second so you can try to take my picture.

And now, I make my escape. Hahaha