Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eli - 1 year 14 weeks - Barbecue

At 1 year and 14 weeks old, Eli is quickly outgrowing his baby stage and moving to toddler.  Sunday afternoon we loaded up and went to a barbecue hosted by my brother, Rich, and his wife, Christel.  The weather was beautiful and everyone had a wonderful time.  The growups enjoyed the nice weather, beautiful deck and yard, fishing, shooting, and chasing the kiddos around.  The kids got to enjoy Caiden's little boy paradise playing with ducks, pigs, swimming in the creek, and generally running wild. 

Even though Eli wasn't quite big enough to keep up and I wasn't about to get in that cold creek, I think Eli had a big time.  Eli is big enough and active enough now that it takes both me and Brian to keep up with him.  At 9 months pregnant, I'd have never managed without Brian taking the majority of the chasing duties.  Eli is so lucky to have a wonderful daddy who loves him so much!

So what did Eli do at a barbecue where there were only a few toddlers and swarms of older kiddos???

Well, Uncle Rich's tractor was sitting out so we had to sit and "drive" that for a while...

Then Caiden showed us how to sneak up on a sleeping pig and pet him....

Then Caiden and Kylie chased and caught a duck (poor duck)!

Then we found the swing set and tried out the slide.  Eli loved the slide!

Then Mom and Dad were worn out and needed a break so we sat for a minute.  Eli didn't really like that part so much.

And when Eli couldn't stand it any longer, he and Daddy walked around, threw rocks in the creek, chased the ball, played with some of the other kiddos, and then took a nap on the front porch swing.  It was a great afternoon and we were all worn out by the time we got home. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Goodbye Toomers!

This weekend the Auburn nation said goodbye to the Toomer's Corner Oaks.  I'm told by colleagues who did not graduate from Auburn that they really don't understand the attachment.  I can't really expain it, but there is something incredibly special about that spot and those trees.  I'm sure that we'll go on and that a new tradition will grow to become equally special, but there will still be grieving in the meantime as things will never be the same.  Personally, as an alumnus, I had hoped to watch my children and grandchildren celebrate victories by rolling the trees.  That won't happen now.  But rest assured that they will know and understand what the trees meant and they will take part in whatever new tradition springs forth out of that beautiful spot. 

As much as Brian and I wanted to go down and be a part of the final rolling, we missed it.  This late in a pregnancy (2 weeks to go), I'm not permitted to travel.  But we did have plenty of family and friends there to ensure that the day didn't go unmarked.  We spent the day as a family, doing chores and playing outside with Eli.  About 6 or 7 as I was putting the hamburgers on the grill for supper, I looked at the clock and thought, "They're rolling the trees right now."  Then it was back to reality and our busy little boy. 

This morning I watched this video on AL.com and had to share it.  It's probably the pregnancy hormones, but as I watched I began to cry.  It's sad to say goodbye to these dear old friends, but in time the hurt will subside and we'll be left with only great memories.  I think the video does a wonderful job of sharing a little of the history of the oaks and expressing how the Auburn family feels right now.  Grab a tissue and watch.

So for now, I'll leave you with these final favorite memories from Toomers.  This in no way represents all of my happy times there (I'd use up way too much server space to detail all those), but it definately touches on a few of the better ones. 

Brian and I post 2005 Iron Bowl (approx 4 months before we got engaged).  Neither of us saw Auburn loose an Iron Bowl during our time as students.  We were good luck!

Another post 2005 Iron Bowl picture.  This time we were with our good friends Hannah and Michael (who also later married).  We were also all roommates... the girls in one apartment just a half block from Toomers, the guys in another aparment across town.  Those were really great times!

The morning following another big victory of the 2005 season!  Yes it was cold, but none of what you see is snow.  I have lots of these types of pictures from that season since we were living right there at the corner.
Following the LSU game of 2010 our first year as season ticket holders.  This was the last game we attended that season due to my brain surgery 2 weeks later.  I had to take a picture just in case I somehow didn't get to see it in person again. (I was on way too much medication and a little freaked out about the surgery.) 
With my mother-in-law at the National Championship celebration in January 2011.  (My panic over the previous picture was for nothing, thank goodness.)  Brian had to do his weekend at the Air Guard that day, so we went without him.  I was still very swollen from the steroids and look a little like a blowfish, but I was happy to be there.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Eli - 1 year, 13 weeks (15 months) - What Eli's been up to...

I haven't seen either of my boys in 4 days (that's right, 4 whole days).  For the last 2 weeks, Brian's been doing his 2 week camp for the Air National Guard so he's been in Birmingham.  Flying solo with a 15 month old is tiring on the best day and downright exhausting on the worst day.  I love every minute I get to spend with my baby boy, but he is a toddler now and can be a handful at times.  And forget about accomplishing anything other than playtime when he's around... it just ain't happening!  My house was a disaster, I was barely keeping up with the laudry, the yard was a mess, and I still had a lot to do to prepare before baby girl's arrival any day now. 

It had also been a while since Eli had gotten to visit his grandparents and they were equally ready to see him.  Then there was also a need for a Bushhog in Birmingham and we happen to have one of those.  So, Friday night Brian and Wes drove up from Birmingham to pick up Eli and take him to visit his Grandparents over the weekend.  I no longer have permission to do any traveling, so that was the only way Eli was going to get down to visit all the Birmingham family.  The guys arrived at the house around 6pm and started loading the tractor while I cooked up a frozen pizza and packed Eli's bags for a weekend away.  Then we all ate supper, changed Eli into his 'jammies and they headed south again. 

I haven't stopped moving or slowed down since they left and I hear that Eli's been really busy too.  It was wonderful to accomplish some things around the house and I'm proud to say that I no longer feel behind in everything.  I still have plenty to do to keep me busy, but at least now I feel prepared if baby girl decides to come tomorrow.  I've cleaned house, cooked 10 meals to put in the freezer for after little girl makes her appearance, cleaned out all the drawers in the kids' room to make space for baby girl's clothes, taken a ton of stuff to goodwill and a ton of stuff to storage to sell at the next consignment sale.  And, most importantly, the laudry is completely caught up including dismanteling and reassemblins 2 car seats, a baby swing, and a bouncy chair.  Oh, and I managed to plant 2 potted plants to go on each side of the front door.  Yes the flower beds still need weeding and the yard cutting, but I'm only one person and at least the porch looks nice.

So while I've been working myself silly, what has Eli been up to????  Lots of playing and being spoiled.  I'm told that yesterday's lunch was especially nutritous consisting of fruit snacks and french fries. (These are things only grandparents can get away with!)  Eli has been playing outside a lot and having the best time from the couple of pictures I've recieved. 

Saturday morning he and his Grammers went to a yardsale that our family was having and he played super big there then took a nap on the way to Granny Reba's so that he'd be ready to play in the swing on the front porch.  (By the way, Grammers, my phone shrunk this picture so that it's too small to be blown up this big without getting blurry.  Please e-mail it to me so I have a larger copy.)

Swinging in the same swing that Daddy sat in when he was little.  Yep, it's still fun!

Sunday it rained, so I think Eli spent most of the day inside playing.  I have no real idea what Eli did all day, but I know that he had fun.  Monday Brian was off work so he and Eli got to spend some real time together.  Eli is lucky to have such a good daddy.  They went and visited Grammers' school and then went to visit Papa Frankie for a while.  I hear Brian even changed a dirty diaper during the day (something he works hard to avoid).  By last night (Monday) Eli was pretty well worn out.  He had trouble settling in but I'm told once he went to sleep he slept hard snoring all night long. 

This morning, Eli was spending more time with Grammers and Granny Reba.  Apparently, Granny Reba has the best house ever with lots and lots of fun toys inside and outside.  This morning I got this picture...

Is the assisted dunk a legal play in the NBA?  I'm ready to go pro!

Eli is just about crazy over any kind of ball and somehow in spite of my insistance that basketball is a dirty word (my softball people know what I'm talking about), he's discovered what the game's all about.  We don't watch basketball at all and Eli's never played with a basketball toy or anything, but he somehow understands what the goal is for.  At church last week he looked up and pointed to the goal (the service we attend is in the gym) and said "ball".  He's noticed the NCAA finals advertisements on TV, but other than that, I don't know that he's ever even seen a basketball goal much less seen anyone playing.

I'm so glad that Eli has had fun seeing his family in Birmingham, but I'm defniately ready to have him back at home.  I hope he's as excited to see me as I am him.  Brian will be finished with his summer camp Friday and home either Friday night or Saturday morning, so I'm already looking forward to a nice weekend with everyone at home.  I predict we play in the yard some and that we spend some time in the floor playing monster trucks and ball.  But first, we have to survive the rest of this week.  Here's hoping it goes by quickly so that we can all get back to our normal routine for a few days before baby girl arrives and things get really crazy again.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

1 year, 12 weeks - Eli and Daddy's Big Weekend

Eli and Daddy had a big weekend.  Saturday morning we went to the tractor store and bought a box blade for the tractor so that we could do some much needed work on our driveway.  Eli's favorite thing in the whole world right now is to drive... the truck, the tractor, the lawn mower, it doesn't matter as long as it goes " buudin' buudin' ".  Eli's second favorite thing in the whole world is to be outside so the beautiful weather this past weekend combined with the new toy for the tractor meant that we spent all day Saturday and a couple hours Sunday outside. 

First there was tractor time with Daddy...

Before we work on the driveway we practiced on the dirt road by the house.  It needed lots of work too!
I'm gonna make this road smooth with my tractor driving skills.

 Then Eli spotted the ball and bubbles, Mommy had brought outside and decided it was ball and bubble time.  But like any little kid, once he saw Mommy do it he wanted to do it himself.  And that means that the bubbles eventually ended up in the mouth.

I love to play ball!

Let's play bubbles on the front porch

Why don't these bubbles work for me, Mommy?

Then Eli realized Daddy was still on the tractor and ran all the way across the yard to get back on.

Wait for me, Daddy!
When Daddy looks to see how he's doing I sneak and drive!

Daddy caught me driving!  Now I am punished with tickles and raspberries.
Then the Hamilton farmers were finished on the side road and moved on to our driveway

Look at the bird, Daddy.

I love Daddy and tractor time!  Can we take one last spin around the yard?

This has been a big day!  I'm not sleepy at all... Let's keep riding, Daddy.
  By the end of the day Eli was worn out.  We sat in the rocking chair for about 2 minutes before he was asleep for the night around 7:30.  We were all pretty worn out from our fun day outside.  We did some more of the same after church on Sunday.  I think we all need another weekend to recover from our weekend.  Hopefully, you had the opportunity to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather as well.  I know at our house we can't wait for the next time we get 2 weekend days of wonderful weather. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Eli 1 year, 11 weeks - Happy Easter

Been trying to post this for a few days but Blogger's photo uploader was busted.  Today it seems to be back!

Last weekend we celebrated a very rainy Easter.  Well... sort of.  We usually have big fun plans for Easter weekend and this year was no different.  Unfortunately, a nice large rain storm kind of put a big damper on all our fun.  Saturday was supposed to be the big Egg Hunt at Joey and Papa Rick's house.  Eli and I got there early and helped to hide almost 300 eggs.  But by the time everyone else got there, the rain was starting.  So we proceeded with dying eggs with the big kids and eating supper hoping that we'd get a quick break in the weather and the kids could go out.  We left around 7 pm and I'm told that about 10 minutes after we left that the rain stopped just long enough that the big kids could get out and find some eggs. 
I know Joey and the older kiddos were dissappointed, but Eli had fun playing inside and really isn't old enough to hunt eggs anyway.  He loves to find ONE egg and then throw and chase it.  We're still working on understanding the difference between an egg and a ball so right now Eli treats any egg like he would his baseball. 

Brady and Kylie dying Easter eggs.

Eli wanted to see what the whole Egg Dying party was about.  "This looks boring, Joey. Let's go play ball!"

Lane waiting on his green egg.

Sunday we decided to skipped church because Eli hadn't slept well Friday night and the whole family needed a little extra rest.  But sure enough, the Easter Bunny had filled Eli's bucket with goodies.  We got up and it was still raining.  With a little coaxing we were able to talk Eli into investigating his bucket.  He was most excited to find a new toy car in there as well as a couple of Disney DVDs.  Well... maybe he was more excited to find a few chocolate candies in his eggs.  He ate 3 pieces of chocolate before breakfast.  Maybe I'm a bad mom for that, but it was a special occasion and this morning I bagged up all the leftover candy (most of which Eli isn't big enough for anyway) and brought it to work so that it would be eaten by people other than us. 

Easter Bunny loot!
Eli: "Ball"
Mommy: "No, Sweetie, that's an egg."
Eli: "Ball"
(I don't think I'm going to win that battle this year!)
This egg makes a funny noise when I shake it.  Wait! That means candy inside?!

Why isn't there candy in every egg?

I should get chocolate and banana for breakfast every morning... In fact, skip the banana.  I just want CHOCOLATE!

So after breakfast we all laid around the house being lazy and playing with Eli's toys.  I waited as long as I could to dress Eli hoping that the weather would improve and I could put him in some cute clothes and take proper Easter pictures.  But the rain kept coming and by the time we left around lunch to go visit Granny Mot and the rest of my family, I gave up and put him in clothes that would be comfortable and wouldn't matter if they got covered in mud in the event that the rain did ever stop.  Guess what?  It rained pretty much all day and none of us ever bothered to put on clothes decent enough to warrent a proper Easter picture.  So this is what I have for this Easter... bottomless pajama pictures of a still-sleepy and hungry boy.  I wish I'd put some cute clothes on Eli and gotten a picture of him with his bucket anyway, but it just didn't happen. 

Hopefully, whatever your Easter Day brought you, it had better weather than ours did.  I know some friends out there were far more productive and actually put on nicer clothes than jeans and T-shirts, but we kept it very low key at our house.  You really don't need nice clothes to play monster trucks in the living room floor anyway.  In the long run it probably doesn't matter much.  The important thing is that we spent time together as a family.  Happy Belated Easter!