Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend means that it's time to break out our large roll of plastic and get our redneck waterslide party on.  The kiddos get into their bathing suits and we have lots of outside fun with bubbles, kiddie pools, and all sorts of things that have been put away since the previous fall. 
This year Eli was finally big enough to get in on the action.  But with his Daddy out of town, Eli wasn't feeling terribly adventurous so he didn't really like the waterslide even though I went down it with him.  Eli did have fun playing in the bubbles and hanging out outside though!

Eli's favorite picture of himself... Daily he walks up to us and says "Bubbles!"  He wants us to show him this picture on our phones.
Remember that Eli was in a funk because his Daddy had been out of town for what felt like forever??? So he decided that he'd rather sit at the picnic table than splash in the cold water. 
Eli and Audrey playing in Joey's new fountain!

Even though Eli and Audrey weren't too crazy about the waterslide yet, the other kiddos couldn't wait.  They were very impatient so they decided to wait in the pool until we got the slide going.

Ava, being just a few weeks old, wasn't really big enough for doing much partying yet.  I'm sure she'll be all about it next year.  So for now, she had to sit back and keep the grown-ups company.  

Kylie is so sweet.  She loves to check on Ava and be sure that she is okay. Kylie also helped pick out the clothes that her family gave to Ava. 

On Sunday of Memorial Day weekend we always have a family meal at Granny Mots.  It's nice to catch up with some of my cousins and to have the older kiddos to do some babysitting and playing.  Whenever we get together there I have a rare opportunity to eat a meal with 2 hands and without feeling rushed to finish so that I can do a bath, fill a sippy cup, or perform other Mommy duties.  That almost never happens anymore!

Eli loved playing in the back yard and running up and down the ramp that leads into the back door.

This has to be one of my favorite pictures ever!  Audrey and Eli both climbed up on the table in front of Joey and Stacy managed to snap this picture.  It's rare that you can get 2 kiddos this age to look in the same direction.

Brady is so sweet helping with the little kids and you can tell that the little ones love him.  Eli pretty much doesn't let anybody hold his hand.  He wants to be far too independent to agree to that.  But for some reason it's okay when Brady holds his hand to help him.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eli - 1 year, 19 weeks & Ava - 4 weeks (1 month)

We are growing, growing, growing around our house.  At 16.5 months and 1 month, both kiddos are growing fast and had doctor's appointments.  Eli is now weighing in at a whopping 30 lbs.  He doesn't look it, but he is definately a solid little chunk when you pick him up.  He runs almost everywhere he goes because walking would make life to easy on mom and dad.

You would think that being such a little chunk he would be a great eater, but not so much.  Eli isn't really eating table food at all.  When he got sick in January something changed and he went from being a great eater who loved all kinds of table food to eating almost no table food.  He'll eat snack foods all day long, but refuses to eat any cooked foods.  I've been trying hard to incorporate some table foods into his diet, but I'm not having much luck.  I've even gone the "he'll eat when he gets hungry" route, but that didn't work.  He is so afraid of table food that he doesn't even want it on his plate and he will go hungry and not eat it.  This week we are working on making a small small change.  Every night I put just a tiny bite or two of table food on his plate.  He doesn't have to eat it, but he does have to leave it on the plate.  The first night we had a total melt-down, but since things have gotten a little better.  Other than the food thing, Eli is doing really well.  He is a happy, playful little boy.  

Eli playing on the most dangerous toy known to man... the Sit and Spin.  At our house it gets walked on, steped on, and fallen off of on a regular basis.  It can be a job to keep him from killing himself on this thing. 

At her 1 month check-up, Ava weighed in at 8 lbs 8.5 oz and measured 20.5 inches long.  So she's gained almost 2 lbs and 1.5 inches.  That's some serious growing in a month.  She is now eating anywhere from 2-3 ounces every 2-3 hours.  It took a month, but she finally caught up to where Eli was when he was born.  When we went to town for Eli's haircut this week, Ava wore the overalls that her Pawpaw Frankie picked out for her.  They looked adorable. Thanks Pawpaw Frankie!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Eli 1 year 18 weeks, Ava 3 weeks

This week Eli was 1 year 17 weeks and Ava was 3 weeks old. Eli is loving the warm weather and riding in the red wagon that he got for Christmas. We have to ride every afternoon. Brian was gone for work this week so we've been especially busy. Thank goodness Joey came to stay with us. Eli has missed his daddy and been extra clingy to mom. It's been a tough week but we survived. Thank goodness daddy will be home soon.

Eli is loving his wagon these days.  I think it's his way of helping me lose the baby weight.  I have to pull him up and down the driveway everyday.  I figure we've made roughly 700 trips up and down the drive in his wagon.  It's hard work so that must mean it's good exercise, right? 

I want to ride in my wagon every afternoon.
Gee, Mom, you look hot and sweaty.  I'm nice and cool riding in my wagon sipping my juice!

My other project this week has been to paint and re-upholster an old rocking chair for Eli and Ava.  Well, right now it's just for Eli, but I bet Ava rocks her baby dolls in it someday.  As best we can guesstimate, this rocking chair was bought around 1930 or so for the daughter of the people who babysat my mom when she was a tiny girl.  It appears to have been re-upholstered once before (probably for my mom in the late 1950s).  I grabbed it and stored it after the orginal owner passed away in 2008.  It was old and green and dusty and disgusting at the time, but I just couldn't let it go.  I had this feeling that with a little love it could be a beautiful something for a kiddo someday.  Since Eli has started climbing into the big rocking chair and rocking lately, I decided it was probably time that I fixed it up and put it in the kids room.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  I only wish I'd thought to take a before picture...

Yay! I have my own chair now.
Ava and I have been super busy this week while Eli was in daycare.  We've had to do lots of shopping, and lots of errand running while still trying to get in almost half days of working from home for me and managing to fit in all her feedings and naps.  Then there was the cleaning and painting the chair.  She's doing even better eating this week managing to consistently eat 2 oz every couple of hours.  Way to go Ava! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Eli 1 yr, 17 weeks, Ava 2 weeks - Ava's First Real Bath

I'm late again with this week's pictures, but better late than never.  At 1 year 17 weeks, Eli is exceptionally busy.  He loves to play outside and can have toys strewn all over the house in a matter of minutes.  When we're inside, Eli wants Hot Dog (Mickey Mouse) on all the time. He learns new words every day and is quickly becoming an expert at aggravating.  When he want to playfully aggravate he has the funniest little mischievous giggle.  Yes, he is a busy boy. 
"I'm the boss!"

Let's watch Hotdog!

I'm a great big brother!  I can help Mom give Ava a bath.
At 2 weeks old, Ava got her first "real" bath.  She wasn't a fan of being undressed and put in the water, probably because she was a little cold.  She got a second bath later in the week with slightly warmer water and seemed to tolerate it better.  
Not a fan of this bath thing.

Please tell my mom that I don't really NEED a bath.

And my big brother is enjoying this all too well.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ava's Newborn Photos

Between Eli getting sick and trying to keep up with some thing for work, I've struggled to take Ava's newborn photos.  I've tinkered with them a couple of times now and have a few decent ones.  I'd still like to get some with Eli in them too, but I'm not sure I can get that done as active as Eli tends to be.  So for now, these will do.  Maybe I'll get a few more and maybe not.  We'll just have to see.

There are way more of course and those can be found here.  If I manage to get more, I'll add those to the linked album as well.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Working on Daddy's Jeep

In the afternoons when Eli and Brian get home we typically spend a few minutes playing outside.  Well, Eli plays and Brian and I take turns Chasing him around while the other carrys Ava and tries to keep up. 

It's no secret that Brian loves to work on his old cars, and we always suspected that Eli would eventually spend some time turning wrenches with his Daddy.  What I really didn't expect was that Eli would start working on vehicles at 16 months. 

The other afternoon while Eli was running around outside, Brian opened the garage to look at something on a new engine he bought for his Jeep.  Well, Eli saw a screwdriver, grabbed it and started working on the engine. 

This is the Jeep that Brian bought from his dad after years of work convincing him to sell it.  Somewhere there is a picture of Brian at 12 or 13 washing this old Jeep.  Brian and I went on our first date in this Jeep.  We've spent time together under the hood, gone trail riding in the woods, and even unsuccessfully attempted to drive it to the beach.  When we bought our house, this Jeep got one of the 2 parking spots in the garage while Brian and I park outside.  Then a few years ago Brian and his Dad spent a weekend giving this Jeep a new paint job.  So as rediculous as it sounds, this old Jeep is kinda special. 

So when I saw Eli grab that tool and start working on the Jeep, I couldn't resist the opportunity to get a picture or two. 

Someday this is going to be my Jeep!
The exhaust manifold needs tweaking...

Yeah!!!  Garage time.

I think I see the problem right here, Daddy.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Eli - 1 year 16 weeks, Ava 1 week

Our first few days at home as a family of 4 were more than a little challenging.  Eli came down with a terrible virus and was just about as sick and unhappy as I've ever seen him.  He ran a fever at or near 102 on and off for a couple of days.  When we finally got him to the doctor, they gave him 3 shots as well as antibiotics and steroids to take at home.  Fortunately, we had some wonderful help from family to manage to take care of both kiddos and we all survived.  After starting out with a sick toddler I think Brian and I have a new appreciation for how tough parenting two under two years old will be at times.  Plus, now that we've coped with one extremely sick the regular daily schedule will seem like a breeze in comparison. 

Over the last few days Eli has discovered and fallen in love with "abbles".  He goes to the fridge and asks for an "abble" pretty much every day.  The odd thing is he doesn't want you to cut it up.  He wants you to take the first big bite for him and then he gnaws away at it like a mouse until he's done.  We really should send some of these pictures to the apple farmers union or somebody. 

Chipmonk cheeks full of apple!

Hahaha! Let me see the camera, Mom!

If the apple growers union would like to produce advertisements using this picture you can just contact me for the address at which to mail the royalty check.  The Gerber baby has nothing on our Eli.

Ava is quickly settling in at home.  She sleeps a good bit and seems to be a fairly easy baby.  She loves to sit in her bouncy seat during naps but also enjoys cuddles.  Her eating is beginning to improve, but she is the hardest baby in the world to burp.  We are up to taking around 1.5 oz every hour or so.  Occasionally, she'll take a large 2 oz feeding and then nap for anywhere from 2-3 hours.  We went for her 1 week checkup and she had gained a few ounces up to 6 lbs 13 oz.  The doctor said that everything looked perfect and that we didn't need to come back in until she was 1 month old.  She also asked if I had heard that babies were supposed to lose weight during their first week of life...  I proudly responded, "Not my kids!"  We like to balk the trends. 

Ava sleeps best when she can rest on her tummy while we watch very carefully. 

A bad spit-up means Ava got her first sponge bath at home.  She wasn't fond of being uncovered and cold.

Eventually we finished the bath and got warm and dry again.  She liked that way better!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bringing Home Ava

On Wednesday morning after Ava was born on Monday night, we all loaded up and headed home.  The goal was for the three of us (Mom, Dad, and Ava) to get all settled in before we picked Eli up from daycare and started life as a family of four. 

Sitting in a sunny hospital room window waiting to go home.
Once we got home, we snuggled in a little.  Miss Ava is a cold natured little girl and, unfortunately, the rest of us are pretty hot natured.  So in our cool house, Ava tends to stay pretty snuggled up in long clothes and blakets.  
Unfortunately, that is pretty much all the pictures I have for the first couple days.  After supper, Eli suddenly came down with a very high fever.  At 104 degrees, we had to spend lots of time keeping the kids separated to prevent Ava from getting sick.  Thanks to our kids wonderful grandmothers who each took turns babysitting and helping us out.  The doctor said that Eli had ear infections in both ears, a sinus infection, and was nearing pneumonia.  Other than when the fever came up, you would never have guessed that anything was wrong with him.  He was still mostly happy and playful until the fever came up.  Then he would just want to cuddle up and cry on our shoulders. 
Brian and Joey got him in at the doctor on Friday morning and they gave him a massive dose of antibiotics and then steroids and antibiotics to take at home for a week.  By the next day, the fever was gone and Eli was obviously feeling better.  Unfortunately, the steroids do crazy things to our toddler.  He had massive ammounts of energy, ran around like crazy, and was, at times, moody and cranky.  Having been on massive doses of steroids a few years ago, I knew it wouldn't be pretty.  But they helped him to get well very quickly so it was worth it. 
So with the first few days as a family of four being so rough, we're just now beginning to re-establish a routine.  The up-side of a hard first few days is that after those had days, regular life seems easy by comparison.  I might have complained about 2 kids under 2 being hard had Eli not gotten sick.  But that seems silly now.  It's still tough, but fortunately Brian and I are working through it together teaming up to take care of both kids.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Eli - 1 yr, 15 weeks & Ava - 1 day - Introducing the Kids

It's taken a few days to get these pictures posted and I'm exceptionally behind on updating pictures of the kiddos.  It's tough to get done from our home computers because our internet is so exceptionally slow that it can take hours to upload the photos I want to share.  Regardless, I wanted to share the experiance of introducing our kids to each other. 

All during my pregnancy, I had known that I wanted to keep Eli in daycare and on his schedule as much as possible during the time we would be in the hospital for Ava's birth.  Eli thrives on his little routine and on knowing what to expect from day to day.  When we get all out of sync and things get hectic, he gets extra tired, cranky, and can even get physically sick.  He gets it honestly, when I went to Disney as a child (10 or 11 I think), I spent the last 2 days sick in a hotel room.  So I completely understand how important his schedule is especially when things are going to be abnormal for a few days anyway.  So all day Monday while we awaited Ava's arrival, Eli stayed in daycare and played.  Monday night he was asleep in his bed well before Ava came into the world though I'm told he woke up about the time Ava was born.  Granny Reba stayed at our house with him that night just so that he would be as comfortable as possible. 

Tuesday morning, Eli went back to daycare a couple hours later than normal.  This gave everyone a chance to get a couple extra hours of sleep and gave Eli a chance to spend some more time with his grandmother and great-grandmother that morning.  Tuesday afternoon, Brian picked Eli up from daycare a little early and brought him to the hospital to meet his new baby sister. 

Eli was super excited to see his Mom and Dad and within a few minutes he had noticed and begun to pay a little bit of attention to his baby sister.  He was a little conflicted about the whole thing.  He wasn't crazy about his Mama and Daddy holding a new baby, but he definately wanted to know where she was and that she was okay.

Eli at 1 year and 15 weeks... Visiting Mama and Ava at the hospital.  Mostly interested in eating his snacks.

Our first photo as a family of 4!
When we put Ava in the bassinet for a minute, Eli wasn't happy with not being able to see her.  He went over and reached for her.
Eli had to see that everything was okay.
 After a few minutes Eli was ready to pay attention to Ava.  We started with a kiss.

But Eli isn't terribly crazy about giving kisses.  he really prefers to show his affection by giving head-buts.  So Ava got a couple of very gentle head-buts from big brother.

Ava's first head-but!
And after every good head-but Eli grabs his head and says "Owe!"

So all-in-all, we thought they had a pretty good first meeting.  The next morning while Eli was at daycare we brought Ava home and got settled in.  Pictures of that coming soon!