Friday, November 22, 2013

What we've been up to

I realize that it's been a couple weeks since my last post. I haven't forgotten or disappeared. Things got busy at the end of last week so I never got around to posting and we've been home sick all this week. I honestly haven't been to work all week.

Eli has a double ear infection, RSV ( respiratory virus), and pneumonia. We are a very sick little man.

Ava has fought hard to avoid getting sick as well. Thus far she just has the beginnings of a cold.

We've been to the doctor 4 out of 5 days this week. This is what our house looks like right this minute. Hopefully I'll be able to update again next week. Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Eli 1 year, 42 weeks & Ava 26 weeks

It's been a rough week at our house.  On Sunday afternoon, Eli began running a little fever.  That was the first sign of the stomach bug that would ransack all four of us before the middle of the week. 

I had been scheduled to spend the week in Washington, DC for work, but on Monday night after having kept Eli home from daycare. I just had this bad feeling that I souldn't be going.  After talking with my colleague, we decided that it was probably best if I stayed home and let her handle this trip alone.  Well, that feeling was right because at 2am Tuesday morning, I woke up with the worst stomach bug of my life.  By noon Tuesday, Ava was being sent home from daycare and Brian's tummy was uneasy. Fortunately, I had the worst case of any of us so everyone else was sparred the violent grusome experiance that I had.  Ava did have several large spit-ups, but by the time we'd be getting her cleaned up she'd be smiling up at us again. 

We are so blessed to have the support system of family that we have during times like this.  It's tough when any of us get sick, but when the Mommy gets sick at the same time things get much tougher very quickly.  Brian was wonderful and helped as much as humanly possible.  He waited on me almost 24 hours straight in addition to taking wonderful care of Ava and looking after Eli while he was feeling less than himself.  Brian and I also each have wonderful moms who came to the rescue again.  My mom drove to my house four times (I think) Tuesday, and Brian's mom came from Birmingham after work and stayed until Wednesday afternoon.  This included a mid-night trip to the ER with Ava (when we thought she was getting dehydrated) then sitting up with her all night feeding her less than an ounce of Pedialyte every 20 minutes or so to be sure she kept it down and stayed hydrated.  My children are very blessed in the grandparent department.  We also owe some thanks to our extended family to include siblings, cousins, and friends who happen to work in ERs, doctors offices, etc. and took the calls when we were trying to decide if we needed to take Ava to the ER.  Thanks to you all and we'll try out best not to do that again!

In any event, by Wednesday morning, I was well enough to stand upright again (though not for long) and Eli was his usual wild man self.  I got Eli to daycare and then headed home to spend the remainder of the day trying to rest while I worked in some light housework to remove all germs associated with "The Death" (our pet name for this bug).  Ava spent Wednesday with her Grammers building back up her food intake and by Thursday we were all back to our ususal schedule.  (Though I was a little worse for wear.) 

With all this sickness, I didn't have a chance to take the kids pictures this week.  Fortunately, Uncle Woo and Aunt 'Lissa visited last weekend and happened to get a couple of shots on their phones.  So this week, those will be what we use. 

Eli has found some buckets that I was using for my crafts and has confiscated them to use as hats.  He frequently hands one to Brian and puts one on his own head.  Then he likes to butt both bucket heads together.  Walking with a bucket on his head usually results into him running into furniture, but he's tough so it's okay.  Eli is also still completely obsessed with "Backpack Monsters" (Monsters University).  We watch it at least once a day, but we ususally watch "Hot Dog" (Mickey Mouse) too. Truthfully, Brian and I are so tired of Mickey that we kind of encourage the Monsters.  Though it may be time to find Eli a copy of Monsters Inc. too.

Ava almost always has the gigantic smile on her face.  As I said before, even after a bad spit-up this week she would just look up at you and grin like this.  I swear nothing is going to phase this child.  Ava's favorite toys are her green O-ball (like the one Eli has always loved), her Ba-ba-Bunny, and her butterfly with the crinkley wings.  She loves to shake them, grab them, taste them, and wrestle them.  Other toys she enjoys are pretty much anything that Eli wants to play with.  She loves her brother very much and wants for him to play with her very much.  Eli does occasionally, but Ava can't get enough. Though you can't see it in this picture, Ava's hair is beginning to come in nicely.  The peach fuzz is almost gone and the real hair is filling in ever so slowly. 

Ava's big milestone this week is that she's learned to make Raspberry sounds.  In fact, she's really good at it.  From all the baby books I've read I know that this is an important step in the process of learning to talk.  She also likes to make all kinds of other sounds including "Ba-ba-ba-ba" and, this morning, "Da-da-da-da" (though I'm not sure she realized that she'd made that "da" sound when she did it).  Last night before bed, I managed to get a video of Ava making her noises.  I'll share it here and then close for this week.  Here's hoping that next week will be an improvement over this week. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Family Pictures 2013

About the middle of October we took some family pictures.  I think it's going to be an annual thing for us.  Christi Haney of Christi Haney Photography took the pictures.  She does an excellent job and is a great value.  For a very reasonable fee, she provided a disc of 25-30 pictures and the release to print unlimited copies.  I haven't found anywhere that is a better deal. 

This year we took pictures at my Grandmother's house.  She is getting ready to sell her small farm and move in with my aunt so I wanted to get a few pictures around her house as keepsakes.  Eli was in less than a great mood (that is putting it nicely) so we had a hard time getting any pictures where he wasn't screaming.  Fortunately, Christi has two kiddos of her own and is very patient. 

This is the swing where my Grandmother took us on imaginary adventrures to what we thought was the best place on earth, Opryland.  We'd swing for imagining all the rides and adventures along the way.

My sweet Granny Mot who has probably swung no less than 50 kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and great-great grandkids now in that same spot.

When the whole family is together we're so many that we spill out onto the front lawn.

Eli loves a wagon!

Ava loves to play on her tummy.

The peaches, plums, and pears off the row of trees always made wonderful ammunition during our war games.  Usually we'd all end up in trouble over the plum-stained clothes.

The road on the hill just above the house.  I think this is one of the most beautiful spots in the whole world when the sun beams down through these trees.

A great big Thank You goes out to our neice, Kylie, as well. She tagged along and helped us get smiles from Eli and Ava. When we finished, Christi got a few amazing shots of Kylie as well.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!

We had a Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse for Halloween.  Eli loves Mickey, so we thought he would like to dress up like Mickey.  He was okay with it except for the ears I made him.  Eli and Ava got to wear their costumes all day! They wore them at daycare for the party there and then kept them on until we got ready for bed. 
It took putting a Cheeto in each hand just to get Eli to leave the ears alone long enough for a picture.  and you can forget about catching a picture of Mickey and Minnie together.  It just wasn't happening.  In honor of Halloween, Eli had a super nutritous supper of cookies, suckers, and Cheetos.  I'm not so proud of that, but we made it through the night and I've now hidden almost all the candy so I can distribute it in reasonable ammounts.  Tonight we are back to the routine and will have a better supper.   

Ava couldn't have cared less what I put on her head.  She made the cutest Minnie Mouse ever!  Unfortunately we lost the bow that went with her ears at daycare.  I was sad about that, because it made the ears even cuter, but I don't guess it's worth being too upset over. 

Eli - 1 year, 41 weeks & Ava 25 weeks (6 months) - Pumpkin Carving Night!

How did it get to be November already?  If time flies when you have one kiddo, I'm pretty sure that it moves at warp speed when there are two in the mix.  I can't figure out how Ava got to be 6 months old already. 

At 25 weeks (6 months), Ava has figured out that she can make really fun sounds that are almost like words.  Eli's "first word" was "Da da da", but Ava's "first word" is "ba ba ba".  We're not sure what it means, but she likes to say it over and over and over. Ava is growing quickly and finally fills up the Bumbo seat.  At 6 months old, we've had our first tastes of real food and we loved it.  Thus far, Ava has tried rice cereal, applesauce, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.  She loves them all.  Ava still isn't really good at getting the food to the back of her mouth, but she is definatly improving. She is still just about the happiest baby in the whole world.  She loves to giggle and laugh (especially at Eli).  She is not really showing any interest in crawling, but she can roll all the way across the living room.  When she is in the floor or sitting in her Bumbo seat, she is constantly reaching for things.  Life is getting really interesting trying to keep two out of everything.  It's hectic and exhausting, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

At 21.5 months, Eli is becoming more and more vocal.  He says almost anythign and everything he hears us say.  Like this morning, he asked Ava, "What you doing Baby?".  And he frequently says "Who's that?" or "What's that?" or "Where's _____?".  He is also incredibly observant (he get's that from his Daddy).  He looks for things out the "mindow" (window) of the car and points out the big trucks, cows, dogs, and even the moon.  And with the fall invasion of the lady bugs (yuck!) Eli is excited to point out the "boogs" (bugs) on the light and watch Daddy suck them up in the vaccum. 

Since we are always out and about on Halloween, we had to start a little pre-Halloween tradition so that we could enjoy some family time.  On Tuesday night after supper, Eli and Daddy carved a pumpkin, we pay-per-viewed the new Monsters University movie (which Eli has deemed "Backpack Monsters"), and had ice cream.  I didn't get any really good pictures because the lighting in my house is terrible and it was already dark outside (usually I rely on the natural light coming through the windows for pictures).  But I did get enough that we can remember the night and the fun and excitement of a pre-Halloween celebration. Eli loved the movie and his "Dot Dog" pumpkin.  In fact, as the movie was going off he said, "I yuv you backpack monsers!"  So I went out the next day and found a copy for his trick-or-treat bag.  I don't plan on getting my kiddos candy for Halloween (they'll get plenty from other people), so I figure we can always get a new movie or book or something else fun instead of candy. 

Ava might not have been big enough for helping yet, but she was definatly interested.

"What's Eli doing, Mommy?"

I bought Eli some baby pumpkins at the store the other day.  After I finished the box of oats off baking a giant cookie for the daycare party, Eli used it to pile all the pumpkins in and then dump them out over and over. 

No need for toys here, a bag of pumpkins and an oatmeal bucket will keep us entertained for hours.

Daddy did a great job on his Mickey Mouse pumpkin! Eli loves it so much that we even lit the candle this morning.