Thursday, February 27, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 5 weeks & Ava - 42 weeks

So I completely missed last week's post.  Basically, we had a hectic week and I kept thinking "I'll take the kids' pictures tomorrow." Before I knew it, it was Thursday.  I did snap a couple of pictures, but then I got busy and never got a post written. 

So here are the pictures from last week.

Ava is very close to walking... at least when she wants to be.  She is trying so hard to keep up with her big brother and gets angry when she is left behind.  Don't even try to slow her down to change her diaper or clothes either.  She'll squirm and wiggle away as fast as she can.  I ususally have to hold her down or drag her back 5 or 6 times.  This girl is on the move!

Ava loves to make Eli squeel too.  It's pretty easy for her.  All she has to do is grab his cup, toy, cracker, or pretty much anything else Eli thinks belongs solely to him.  When Eli screams "Baby's got my... (fill in the blank)" Ava grins! 

Eli had to have another haircut.  This is a bad picture of what it looked like Thursday morning trying to get dressed.  He's pretty tough to get ready himself.  When I'm trying to dress him, he routinely runs away laughing.  He wants to play chase, and it can be tough to catch him.  One day last week he hid in our closet behind a pillow fort guarded by his big dump truck.  This fort was behind the semi-open door so he was pretty tough to drag outta there.  Eli loves to aggrevate just like his Daddy.  Fortunately, Eli's favorite target for aggravation is Daddy.  I figure they deserve each other.

Thusday, I left work early and picked Eli up to get a haircut (always a traumatic experiance).  Then we had to go get some supper and see a seamstress about a dress I needed fixed before 50's show practice.  Eli did better than usual with the haircut and then was super good while we grabbed food and visited the seamstress.  We still had 50's show practice to go and it had already been a long afternoon, so I treated Eli to some icecream.  The only problem was he hadn't yet really eaten supper and we only had one chance to stop.  So that night, Eli had icecream for supper.  It was a special treat and not one we'll repeat again soon, but he was a super happy camper the rest of the night. 

Playing monsters at 50's show practice.  Well... maybe it was lions or tigers.  Regardless he kept roaring at people and trying to get them to roar back.

Taking a break from playing to lay on Mommie's leggs.  Such sweet little cuddles.

I have one last picture to share today.  This one was taken on Brian's phone last week during our snow day.  Eli was playing in his room while Brian, Ava, and I were in the living room.  We suddenly heard Eli yell "Daddy, HELP!"  He says this from time to time when his toy breaks or he can't reach something, but this time it was a little more desperate.  We ran to his room and found him like this...

trying to climb from the rocking chair into his bed.  Being the good parents we are, we immedately ran to get a camera. (Priorities people!)   In all honesty, one of us got the camera while the other helped to be sure he didn't fall, but we definately needed a picture. There are days I wonder if he'll survive to age 3.
Hope you had a good week last week and are off to a good start this week. I'll try to be back tomorrow with an update for this week!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow Days 2014

Well this week didn't turn out as planned.  After a regular day on Monday, we ended up with winter weather Tuesday through Thrusday.  Tuesday we didn't have any snow at our house so the kiddos went to daycare as usual.  Brian and I tried to make it to work, but only got about half way before we turned around.  Wednesday morning, the forcast was saying that the overnight rain was supposed to be transitioning to snow and lots of it.  So all the schools closed and we waited to leave the house until around 9am but then realized that daycare had closed as well so we had a second day at home this time with the kiddos.  Well the weather men apparently forgot to look out their windows because from about 4am until about 4pm they were saying that the rain was transitioning to snow but they were wrong.  Finally around 4pm, mother nature threw them a bone and decided to give us some snow and a lot of it. 

Brian took Eli outside to see it snowing Wednesday afternoon.  In typical Eli fashion, the boy didn't want to come inside.  He wanted to watch it snow.  So we opened the blinds and curtains in his room so that he could watch from inside the house where it was warm and dry.  By bedtime Wednesday night we had a couple inches and it was STILL SNOWING! 

Yesterday (Thursday) morning, we woke up to a winter wonderland with about 6 inches of beautiful white snow.  This was the view from Eli's bedroom window where he began watching it snow the night before. When I showed him out his window he looked at me and asked "Where 'da snow go?".  I guess he didn't see it falling anymore and didn't realize that all that white stuff everywhere was snow that had fallen the night before.

Our office was still going to open (albeit a couple hours late) so Brian walked to the road to see if we were going to be able to drive to work.  When he got out to the road, he realized that it below the snow was about an inch of ice and we weren't going anywhere.  On top of that, I got a text that said the daycare was going to close for the whole day so even if we could get to work, we would have needed a babysitter. So.... DAY 3 off work this week here we go. 

We wanted to give the kids a chance to experiance the snow (a rarity in Southern Middle Tennesse where we live).  But since we don't often see snow we don't really have snow gear.  We had to layer up the kiddos.  I found a pair of Ava's hand-me-down leggings (still way too big) that would fit Eli so we put those on under his Carhart pants, put on a couple of shirts, added a coat and one of Brian's toboggins and then just had to figure out shoes.  Eli is weird about his shoes and freaks out if you put a different pair of shoes on other than the ones he wears every day so he only has one pair.  We definately don't have snow shoes! So Brian and I held down a screaming kicking little boy to put plastic bags over his shoes and duct-taped them on.  Eli hated that!  Brian dressed himself and took Eli out while I got myself and Ava dressed.

Apparently, when Eli's feet first hit the snow, he hated it and said "I durdy (dirty)!".  Given all the trauma we were experiancing, I told Brian to pull the plastic bags off his feet hoping to eliminate at least one source of stress for him.  I dressed myself and Ava in multiple layers as well and pulled out a pair of boots we'd never put on because they are still a half size too big (see my previous post here).  By this time I was sweating and tired but determined to go be a part of the kids' first snow day.  When Ava and I got outside, we found Brian pulling Eli in his wagon because Eli didn't want to get "durdy" in the snow.  I put Ava in with him and we walked down the road a little way exploring our world that was covered in snow.

We may not have a sleigh, but we like to ride in the wagon!

The snow was still hanging delecately on the tree branches.

We stopped and looked at the school bus that parks across from our driveway and then walked a little way down the road.  We had a nice chat with Ms. Diane who happed to be out feeding her animals. 

Looking back at our house from our neighbor's yard.

Eli was making this face because he wasn't happy that we had stopped moving.  He kept point and saying "dat way". 

We didn't venture too far from home before we turned around to head back.  On the way back, I showed Eli how to make a snowball and throw it at Daddy and that became a fun game.  On the short walk back to the house, I made about 10 snowballs.  Brian would periodically have to stop the wagon to let Eli stand up and throw one at him. 

About the time we got back to the driveway, Eli decided that he could get out of the wagon for a minute or two.  Eli isn't very adventurous, but after he'd had an opportunity to check it out, he was okay with walking in the snow. 

A few feet out of the wagon.

Chasing Jethro back to the house.

It didn't take much walking before Eli decided that he wanted to get back in the wagon.  Ava was cranky and ready for a nap by this point so she decided that she wanted to be carried.

Back in the wagon headed toward the house. 
When I first asked Eli if he was ready to go inside, I got a resounding "no".  But fortunately, I had some Monsters University gummies left over from making Eli's Valentines for daycare.  I shamelessly bribed my child with "Mike gum-gums" to get him to willingly enter the house.  I don't like bribing him, but it let us get into the house without the typical fight and with him calm Ava was able to get a nap fairly quickly.  Besides, it was a snow day! You're supposed to eat junk food on snow days.

Showing off his Mike gum-gums.

Sleeping Ava + Happy Eli = Mommy Win!

So with one happy and one sleeping kiddo, it was safe to send Brian to take a shower.  I was still in my under armor shirt and leggings, but Ava was sleeping and cuddling so I threw a blanket over us both, turned on the DIY network, and settled in to hold her through her nap.  It was blissful just to ignore my to-do list for a couple hours and listen to Eli playing in his room while holding Ava and watching one of my favorite shows. 

After lunchtime, I surrendered to my to-do list and started trying to organize Ava's clothes in preparation for the local consignment sale.  This task creates a huge mess because I don't know any way to do it except to empty the drawers and the closet, sort things by size, and then go through and decide what fits, what doesn't, what goes to storage, what stays, and what goes to the sale.  I end up with clothes all over the living room floor in the process.  After her afternoon nap, Ava decided to help me.  Unfortunately, the only part she really understoon was the clothes all over the place part.  I had this drawer almost full and everything folded and organized until I turned around and found this!

So proud of herself.  It's a good thing she's cute!

Now she's just rubbing it in!
I cleaned up Ava's mess and then my mess and soon it was supper time.  After supper we all loaded in the car and went to 50s show practice where the kiddos got to play.  Normally I go and take just one of the kiddos along, but Brian was a little worried about the roads (and my driving ability) so he drove us all into town.  We got home just in time for bed and awoke this morning back in the real world.  We had to dress and go to work/daycare for the first time in 3 days.  Good thing it's almost the weekend.  I need another day or two at home to recover.

Happy Snow Day, Ya'll!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Eli - 2 years 4 weeks & Ava - 41 weeks - Visiting Grammers

Last weekend we traveled to Birmingham.  Daddy had his weekend of Guard duty so we tagged along to visit with Grammers and Granny Reba.  We had to get up super early Saturday morning so that Brian would be on time but the kids did great on the ride down and weren't in too bad a mood through the day Saturday.  Friday night we told Eli when he went to bed that we would go see Grammers (Brian's mom) the next morning.  When he woke up Saturday morning he was crying for her.  I guess he expected that she would be at our house when he got up.  So Eli was unusally cooperative getting in the car that morning. 

I only had one thing on my to-do list for the weekend, going to Stride Rite to have the kids fitted for shoes.  So around mid-morning Grammers and I dressed and loaded the kids in the car and headed over to the Galleria.  We had 2 umbrella strollers so Eli got in one and Ava got in the other and off we went.  It never dawned on me that it was both kids' first time in a mall.  Eli was in awe! He kept pointing and saying, "Look!" and "Oder dare (over there)".  We quickly realized that we had to get upstairs so we pushed those strollers right over to the escallator.  Well that about did it! Eli was in love with the mall.  Everytime he saw an escallator he pointed and said, "ride it". 

Ava was enjoying her ride as well, but she isn't really talking yet so her joy wasn't quite as obvious.  Ava did have fun grinning at all the people she saw and looking at all the stores we walked past.  Eventually we made it to the shoe store and things went pretty much as I expected there.  Eli came unglued when we tried to measure his feet and we had to hold him down.  Ava was cooperative and grinned at the nice lady helping us.  Eli still has extra wide feet which meant that we only had 3 pair of shoes in the whole store from which to choose.  Ava has tiny feet and at almost 10 months old is between a 0-3 month and 3-6 month size.  So we didn't really have much to choose from in Ava's shoe size either and since we were between sizes we needed to buy shoes that were still too large and wait on her to grow into them.  Fortunately, we got in and out of there quickly (probably because Eli was screaming and they wanted us gone pronto)!

So we got Eli calmed down and worked out way back to the car.  We decided to make the trip up to the McWayne Science Center to let Eli burn off some more steam for the afternoon.  Eli loves the McWayne Center and runs all over pushing buttons and exploring the exhibits.  Ava was disappointed that she wasn't as big as all the kids Eli's age.  When I did let her out of the stroller, Ava took off like a bullet to chase some bigger kids.    When we got back to Grammers' house Saturday afternoon, Eli got to play Papa Garro's drums, Brian got home, cousin Harley came to play, and we played a little more before having supper and going to bed. 

On Sunday, Harley got to come play some more and we took all three kiddos to Granny Reba and Papaw John's house to visit.  Some more of the family was there and the weather was nice enough, so Eli got to spend some time outside playing, we all ate together, we got to visit, and, eventually, Brian made it up there to pick us up and we all headed home.  It was after 7 when we got home so it was pretty well straight to bed for the kiddos.  By 8pm the kids were both asleep and Brian and I were wiped from the busy weekend so we crashed too. 

We hope that you enjoy this week's pictures and that your weekend was as fun as ours was but maybe a little more restful. 

Looking at the turtle

Driving the Space Ship even though it was really a submarine. (Eli is in love with space ships right now.)

Interactive bubble exhibit.  We spent some time here.

Ava playing at the conveyor belt area. 

Eli liked the conveyor belt as well.  You made it move by turning a giant wheel to move the big foam bricks.  Eli insisted on getting in the bucket that the bricks were supposed to fall into. 
I can do this too, Mommy!

Playing at the paleontology exhibit.  The kiddos got to dust the sand away to find dinosaur "bones". 

Playing the drums.  Thanks to this, Eli now thinks he gets to play the drums at 50's show practice.  This may be a problem in the coming months.

Ava, Harley and Brady riding the wagon outside at Granny Reba and Papaw John's house.  Uncle David makes a good mule. Thank goodness Uncle David and Aunt Teressa showed up.  They were wonderful help keeping the kiddos entertained.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 3 weeks & Ava - 40 weeks: Sundays are Risky Business

Sunday afternoons are RISKY BUSINESS at our house.  The afternoon could go well and fly by or we can miss naps, get cranky, have too much to do, and end up with an afternoon that drags on like a long hard winter that never seems to end. 
Typically we have lunch, a nap, and the toys come out and end up all over the house.  The kids play in the floor while I try to do some laundry.  This Sunday afternoon was one of the pretty good ones. We did miss a "real" nap, but we didn't get too cranky until supper time.  After church we got into comfy clothes (Eli actually just stripped down to his undershirt), and we hung out around the house watching it rain. 
When Eli grabbed his sunglasses, I reached for my camera to get a picture of Eli looking a little like Tom Cruise in Riskey Business. Eli is in love with his sunglasses lately, but when he wears them inside he can't see well enough to avoid running into everything. 
Eli in his shirt and shades...

Tom Cruise in Risky Business

A cool dude!

Driving his truck in his shirt and shades
 Ava spent most of her afternoon trying to chase Eli around.  She kept up for a while but eventually just settled into playing with her teething ring and rolling around on my coat while I tried to fold some laundry. In the first picture you can kind of see the bottom two teeth that she has.  She may be teething again now because she sure was cranky last night and didn't want to be laid down. 

Ava's favorite game this week is to try to pull all the laundry out of the basket or unfold and throw the folded laundry.  She pulls up on the side of the laundry basket, the sofa, or the coffee table and then starts grabbing and pulling the clothes.  I work hard to keep her hands out of it and she grins up at me like she is so proud of herself and finds this a very fun game. 

Toothy shot!

Rolling on Mommy's coat.  She only thought she was going to hang it up.

Last night neither of the kiddos slept well, Eli was up a couple of times and Ava was awake and fussing pretty frequently.  Somehow, we all managed to get enough sleep that we made it out the door this morning.  I know I'm dragging a little today so maybe we can get them both to bed on time tonight and catch up on a little sleep.  That is probably more wishful thinking than anything though. It seems after they go to bed there is always a load of laundry to fold, something to prep for the next night's supper, or some other little task that has to be done.  Regardless, maybe we'll all have a more peaceful night tonight.

We hope that you are having a great start to your week and are as excited about the fact that the groundhog didn't see his shadow this weekend as we are.  I finally noticed the trees outside my office beginning to bud last week.  This is usually my first sign of the end of winter so I was very excited to notice it.  Spring is coming; I just hope it comes fast!