Monday, July 29, 2013


What happens to a house when a little boy is left do play inside all day???  Sunday we discovered the answer to that question. 

It looked like rain pretty much all day and we didn't have anywhere we had to be so we spent the day at home inside playing with Eli's toys.  By the end of the day, every single toy in the house was strewn across the living room floor.  Eli had destroyed our home in a matter of hours.

It was so bad, in fact, that I decided it was worthy of a picture. Just before going to bed I told him to stand in front of his toys and take a picture. Eli was so proud of his destruction.

To be fair, I really didn't care too much.  I'd been meaning to go through all his toys and thin the herd a little.  It's close to consignment sale time and I need to remove some things that we're not playing with anymore before Christmas time comes and we end up with way more toys than we have room to store them.  I'm honestly a little nervous about Christmas time and the possibility of toys taking over our entire home so the opportunity to get through things now and remove a couple of items will be taken advantage of.

So pleased with his destruction for the day.

I wonder if he ever gets curious about where all the mess goes after he goes to sleep at night?

An areal shot to show the extent of the damage.  WOW that's a lot of mess.

I need the cleaning fairies to come!

Eli - 1 year, 28 weeks & Ava 13 weeks (3 months)

Today is Ava's 3 month birthday!  I can't believe how much has changed in the 3 short months since she was born.  It's been quite a trip to go from a family of 3 to a family of 4.   I know we still have a lot of bumps in the road ahead, but I can finally say that I feel like we are really getting there.  I'm not terrified by the thought of taking both kiddos to the grocery store anymore and it's becoming more and more routine to get us out of the house in the mornings. 

At 3 months old, Ava is developing quite a little personality.  She loves it when people look her in the eyes and talk directly to her.  Doing so will be rewarded with great big smiles and babbles that sound like she knows exactly what she is sayting.  Ava is infactuated by her big brother.  She watches him very intently and does a good job of tolerating his slight roughness with her (she gets bumped and pushed a lot when Eli's trying to play with her).  Ava is a pretty good sleeper.  Lately she's been making it from about 9pm at night to 4am the next morning without waking up.  So all in all I can't complain too much about a lack of sleep. 

Eli is 18.5 months old now and he is becoming such a big boy.  The last week or so we've managed to get him to start sleeping through the night again and he seems like a much happier kid.  His favorite thing in the world is still Mickey Mouse (aka "Dot Dog").  We have 3 DVDs and record daily episodes on the DVR.  Unfortunately, we end up watching the same 5-6 episodes over and over because he finds them and gets hooked.  We are still having some trouble getting Eli to eat table food.  He was doing really well until he got sick back in January and now he'll gag if you even touch him with most table food.  He'll gladly eat cookies and Doritos though.  For the most part, he gets his nutrition from baby food still as well as peanut butter crackers, yogurt, and fruit.  I've tried everything I can think of to convince him to eat table food, but he is deathly afraid of it, so I've decided not to push the issue.  He'll eat when he's ready (let's just hope it's before he starts school!).  

I have a few more pictues to share this week.  Saturday morning, Eli and Daddy went to do "guy stuff".  Exactly what that entails I'm not entirely sure, but I do know that Eli was excited and wanted to wear his hat like Daddy's when they were leaving.  He even left it on for a while (a huge milestone because I can't get him to wear a hat, EVER!)  I'm pretty sure their morning consisted of a trip to the dump and checking on the farm, but I was purposely left out of the loop regarding the rest of their activities. 

The rest of our weekend was pretty much spent at home relaxing, playing, and watching "Dot Dog" of course.  
I have a seat on the couch and the remote.  Now it's time to chill!
Mommy is talking to me, but I'm not sure whey she is holding that box up by her face.  Then that crazy box flashes a bright light in my eyes.  PUT DOWN the box, Mom!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Eli - 1 year, 27 weeks & Ava - 12 weeks

Another week of quickly growing kiddos.  Yesterday I grabbed a couple of pictures of the kiddos before church.  They were dressed up and looking cute so I couldn't resist. 

We had a really nice Sunday all in all:  church and then a rainy afternoon at home watching movies, TV, playing in the floor, napping, and even making and eating cookies (Eli's favorite thing).  I think Eli went through about 3 shirts yesterday between meals, a couple of snacks (Doritos), and his constant desire to carry around a cup of juice or tea. 

Yesterday, Eli spent his church time in the nursery playing with the other kiddos.  It was his first time to be left in there without one of us for the entire service.  When I picked him up, he was playing on a slide with his new friend, Ruby, who is also new to the nursery scene.  I think we'll try it again next week and see how it goes again.  Ava stayed with us during the service and pretty much grinned at her daddy the whole time.  She was pretty tired, but just couldn't seem to get settled down with all the new people to look at. 

This week when we were grocery shopping Eli noticed a DVD with Mickey Mouse riding a tractor on the cover so it had to come home with us.  Since then we've had "Dot Dog - Buddin' Buddin'" on a constant loop in Eli's room.  When the boy finds something he likes, he's pretty intense about it. 

Ava is getting stronger daily and can hold her head up while laying or sitting for a few seconds now.  She is genearally a very happy baby and loves to have conversations with people.  If you talk directly to her she'll give you the widest grin and sometimes will coo back at you. 

Ava is also infactuated with her big brother.  She watches him constantly and smiles when he comes near.  Eli pretty much returns her feelings.  He checks in on her multiple times a day.  When he comes to check on her he tends to touch her head or tummy softly and say, "baby".   We're working on getting him to say "Ava", but thus far we've been unsuccessful. 

The other day, Brian kept pointing and saying "Ava".  Everytime Brian would say it, Eli would repeat, "Baby".  After a few times Brian slowly said "AV-A".  Eli just furrowed his eyebrows and repeated "BA-BY".  So I don't expect that we'll make headway on that front anytime soon.  Eli also gets really upset if Ava is crying.  Frequently, he'll go over to her when she's crying and put a hand on each side of her waist while looking at us as if to ask why we aren't picking her up. 

Eli - 1 year, 26 weeks & Ava - 11 weeks

Pictures to make up for last week's lack of real pictures. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Busy week

I've been out of my office this week teaching a class. Since I'm teaching I've been working early and late trying to prepare as well as open and close the classroom. It's been tough but we've made it out of the house dressed and ready. What we haven't done until this morning is take the kids' picture. But since I'm still out of pocket I'm probably not going to get pictures posted until next week. In any event, here's one to hold you over for a few days.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Eli - 1 year, 25 weeks & Ava - 10 weeks

One last very quick update for this week...

I took Ava's picture first thing Monday morning and she was all smiles.  It was hard to complain too much about Monday when you wake up to this. 

Ava is finally beginning to grow out of her newborn look.  She's getting bigger and stronger every day.  The other night she slept 7 hours straight so I was a very happy mommy.  It seems odd to say, but I kind of wish Eli would get back to sleeping as well as Ava does.  Since Ava was born Eli has only slept completely through the night a couple of times.  I don't know entirely what the cause it, but we need to get it fixed and fast. 

I can't think that Eli's sleeping problems are related to jealousy.  We frequently have to take pictures like this because Eli points to the couch and says "Baby" meaning he wants her to sit beside him.  Then he looks at me and says, "Cheese!".  So I get out our camera and start taking pictures. 

Unfortunately, our sweet brother/sister pictures frequently end up like this.  If Ava is tired and ready to be held and soothed to sleep, it isn't easy to convince Eli that it isn't the right time for taking pictures.  So in that scenario we end up with somebody screaming... either a tired/hungry/cranky Ava or a frustraited Eli who doesn't understand why he can't play with his baby.  

But all in all, I'd say we are still doing okay adjusting to being a family of four.  We still have a ways to go, but maybe we'll get there soon.  Heck, someday I may even be comfortable enough to keep my kids all by myself.  As it is I still feel a little outnumbered so I call in reinforcements. 

Well, I suppose that is all for this week.  Here's hoping that you've had a good week and are looking forward to a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Stay-cation Days 4-5 - Happy 4th of July!!!

So after our busy day at the zoo on Wednesday, we headed to the lake to visit Brian's brother Wes, and his wife, Melissa.  They have a beautiful home on Logan Martin Lake in Pell City, AL just outside of Birmingham and were kind enough to ask allow us to crash for a couple of nights around the family's annual 4th of July barbecue. 

We got up the morning of the 4th and I got the kiddos dressed.  I had planned on Ava wearing a cute little red, white, and blue outfit for a while, but when we got up and the weather wasn't looking so great, I realized it would be cool enough that Eli could wear the red romper I'd bought him to use as summertime pajamas. I took some pictures of the kiddos in their coordinating outfits (when did I become my mom???) and then went to dress myself. 

It turned out that the shirt I chose to wear was red also.  The other shirt I had wasn't quite working for me that day (guess I was in a mood).  So suddenly 3 of  us were coordinated.  Hmmmm.... I wonder what Daddy's going to wear?  Then after Brian got dressed and was wearing his red shirt too, I just couldn't resist the opportunity to get a few family photos there with the beautiful lake as a backdrop.  Fortunately, with Brian's family there to help me goad him into taking some pictures, he couldn't put up too much of a fight.   

All in all we had a wonderful 4th and a great visit with family and friends.  We ate more than we care to admit, we visited and played, Eli made a new friend in one of Melissa's nephews who is about the same age, Ava got lots of attention from a 4 year old cutie, and late in the afternoon it began to rain.  

When the rain started, Eli decided to show his patriotism while he was getting wet. 

After we got everybody in, dried out, bathed, and fed, it was getting dark and very late (like 9pm).  So it was past Eli's normal bedtime and he was tired, but we wanted to let him see some fireworks.   I think if he hadn't been completely exhausted, he would have really loved them.  But being so tired and having had such a busy week I think the noise kind of scared him.  Everytime one would bang, he'd jump and he definately didn't want out of my arms.  He did, however, keep saying "Whoa" and telling me that he wanted to see more when I asked him.  So all in all I think our 4th was a success.  We hope that you had as good a day as we did in spite of the slightly bad weather. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stay-cation- Day 3 - The Birmingham Zoo

On Wednesday of our stay-cation week, we got up early, loaded the car for a few days away visiting family, and headed south.  The plan was to again, drop Ava off with her great grandparents for a visit while Mom, Dad, and Eli went to spend a day outside at the zoo. 

 We started out by seeing the elephants, one of Eli's favorite animals to read about in his books.  I would like to say that Eli was ellated, but he didn't appear all that excited.  Instead, he just watched them intently studying their every move. 

Then we walked through the preditors area to see the lions and tigers, but they were all sleeping or hiding somewhere so we ended up just seeing a bunch of very large cats.  Nice, but not impressive to a little boy. 

Then it was off to see the girraffes.  We payed a few extra bucks so that Eli and I could feed them.  Eli liked being closer, but he was a little afraid to put his hand out to had them food. 

As we left the girraffes, we walked by the back of the elephant area and Eli saw an elephant poop.  Like everything else, he watched intently for a minute or two then we moved on.  Next came a potty break and diaper change, then a photo-op with a different elephant.  Then we found and fed a big elephant on our way to the monkey house.  

Eli loved the monkeys.  He thought it was really fun to watch them swing on the ropes and climb all over their habitats. 

After the monkeys it was time to ride the train.  That was the first thing that got a big smile out of him.  Everything else was worth studying, but when we got on the train, Eli got excited. 

By the time we finished the train and looked at the alligators, it was time to go eat our picnic lunch.  Eli was ready to eat his peanut butter crackers and potato chips but he again got excited when we finished and pulled out some chocolate chip cookies. 

After lunch, Eli was getting a little tired.  So he agreed to ride in his stroller for the first time that day.  With most of the zoo down, we only had one section left to go... the childrens zoo with the petting area, and splash pad. 

Eli's favorite domestic animal is either the cow or the sheep depending on his mood and what episode of Mickey Mouse happens to be on TV.  Since they didn't have a cow, the sheep where a big hit.  This was worth getting out of the stroller for!

At the petting zoo, Eli was on go.  He got up and did some running from one stall to the next. 

So at last we'd seen the whole zoo.  It was late afternoon, we were hot, a little tired, and needed to rest and cool down for a minute before we went to pick up Ava and head to Uncle Woo's house to spend the night.  Splash-Pad Time!

We left the zoo and by the time we made it back to the interstate, Eli was asleep.  I can't say for certain that he enjoyed it quite as much as the waterpark, but I definately feel like he learned a lot.  So, I feel pretty pleased with our overall balance of activities.  Eli had some big-time fun and did some big-time learning. 

At least I thought we had done some big-time learning... when we got home and were talking about everything we'd seen, this is what Eli came away with...

Just in case you can't tell what he's saying (I'm fluent in Toddler now that I'm a mom), he's saying BIG POOP!  Yes, apparently watching the elephant poop has made an impression. In fact, a couple of times through the week he looked at us and said poop when he needed his diaper changed.  Step 1 to potty training is now in progress I suppose thanks to our pooping elephant friend.