Monday, June 30, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 23 weeks & Ava 1 year, 8 weeks

Remember how I said in my post about last week that Eli had spent the night with Joey and Pappa Rick on Saturday night?  He had a blast. In fact, he had so much fun that he was up way past his bedtime.  That meant that by Sunday night he was a wild man!  We had passed the point of tired and skipped straight to delirious.  Sunday night about our typical bedtime, this was occuring in the middle of the living room floor.

Some folks have trouble viewing the videos on I-phones/I-pads, so here's the direct link...

They are trying to ride a rolled up sleeping back like a pony.  I don't know why this seemed like the best game ever, but it did so they played and rolled and tumbled around together.  It went on for probably 5-10 minutes and then we had to put a stop to it before things got too rough and somebody ended up hurt. 

The rest of our week has been equally crazy.  Tuesday morning, Ava woke up with a fever, so she had to stay home from daycare Tuesday and Wednesday.  I suspect she is teething.  Wednesday night Ava pooped in the bathtub right in the middle of the bath.  We had to yank both kids out and take them to our bathroom.  I didn't even notice it until Eli said "What's that, Mommie?"  Unfortunately, I didn't even have to look to know the answer.  (Did I mention the phone rang right as this was happening?)  Only in my house... I feel like I routinely answer the phone with "Can I call you back, somebody just pooped in the tub?" or "Hang on, somebody is trying to kill himself/herself."  Eli has come home every day from daycare exceptionally ill and a teething Ava is not necessarily a happy Ava.  So it feels like multiple times this week I've cooked supper with both kids screaming at the top of their lungs.  My nerves don't handle that very well, so I do my best to get it calmed down as quickly as possible.  Joey says that I live in a zoo... I'm beginning to think she's right.

Ava has started sleeping through the night... well almost.  She has stopped taking a middle of the night feeding and she tends to rouse up and whine or yell out once and then go right back to sleep.  Sometimes she'll whine on and off for 5 minutes, but for the most part I've had several nights lately where I haven't been out of bed at all.  This is a huge milestone and I'm pretty happy about it!

I have a funny story to share about Eli this week. Eli loves to play with his toy soldiers.  You know the kind, right?  They are the little green men about 3 inches high and they come in a bucket.  Eli has the toy soldiers from Toy Story.  We got them at a flea market for $3 and he loves them!  We've shown him that there are several different types and he knows that the ones who shoot the mortars have to say "Fire in the hole!"  Anyway, Brian (in his first failed attempt as a Daddy to be cool) asked Eli, "Did you know Daddy was a soldier?".  (Brian is in the air national guard.) Well, Eli just cackled at that statement and replied, "Daddy's not a soldier."  We even got out pictures and things to try to prove to him that Daddy was a soldier, but nope, "Daddy's not a soldier."  I guess to Eli since Brian won't fit in the bucket, isn't green, and 3 inches tall, there isn't any way that he can be a soldier.  ~Life through the eyes of a child~

I falied to get any pictures of the kids this week.  It's a shame, but it was bound to happen sooner or later.  It's odd that I missed Ava this week considering I had to keep her home from daycare two days.  Oh well... things just don't always work out.    So I guess the video will just have to do. 
I promise to do better next week. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 22 weeks & Ava - 1 year, 7 weeks: Fun with Joey and Pappa Rick!

Last week we had a fun Saturday.  Daddy had to go to do his monthly weekend with the National Guard, so Eli, Ava, and I met up with Joey and Pappa Rick for a fun day.  We started with the local craft fair at Stonebridge Park.  My kids had never been to the park before so there was lots to look at and explore.  We began winding our way along the path through the craft vendors and soon, Eli found a swing.  When Eli's around you don't pass an opportunity to sit in the shade and swing so we hung out there for a few minutes and visited with friends who happened to pass by. 

Two kiddos and Joey on a swing.

Pretty soon, Eli spotted a man driving a remote control boat in the stream, so we wantered over for a closer look.  Then Eli found a rock or two and wanted to throw rocks in the water.  So again, we made ourselves comfortable (well as comfortable as we could in 90 degree heat without shade) and let Eli do some rock throwing.  Again we visited with folks walking by and just generally enjoyed the day. 
What more does a little boy need than rocks and a stream to throw them in?
Soon, we decided it was time to move on and ride the Choo Choo Train.  There was a small train ride set up that was big enough that even grown ups could ride.   Eli is somewhat obsessed with trains right now so we knew we would be riding "Thomas".  We hopped on and took a spin around the craft fair.  Eli and Ava got whistles too! 

The minute we sat down, Eli was ready to go!

At first, Ava and Eli were both going to ride with Joey, but Ava changed her mind.

So Ava rode with Mommy on the train.  We waved at everybody we saw!
Soon we were all hot and tired so we said goodbye to the craft fair and went to grab some lunch.  After lunch at Zaxby's, Joey, Eli, Ava, and I made our trip to the grocery store and then headed home for nap time.  On the way home, Eli was getting especially cranky and started screaming "Take me to daycare!"  This has become his new phrase lately any time he's upset with us.  He frequently demands to go to daycare on the weekends when it close to nap time and I say we can't go outside right then or when we are going somewhere or doing something that he doesn't really want to do.   Nevertheless, we did get home and both kids (and Joey) took a nap.  I spent the time doing some cleaning up.
After nap time, we went to Joey's house to take Joey home and eat supper with Pappa Rick.  Joey has a fish pond and Eli loves to feed the fish.  Eli believes that the fish are all his personal pets, especially after we cleaned out the pond before Memorial Day and he got smacked in the face by a fish. 

Throwing food to the fishies (just behind Ava's ear a fish is jumping).
Joey is a pretty smart cookie and realized long ago that with little ones around there would be a desire to throw things into the fish pond.  So she found a special rock-throwing bucket just so that the little ones could play near the pond without killing all the fish.  The bucket is large enough that it has been used at times as a kiddie pool by some of the little ones.  But that day, we suck to splashing in the water instead of swimming. 

Ava loved splashing in the water.

So excited!

Eli used a little cup to scoop up some rocks to throw in the bucket.

Almost always smiling!

Eli needed to scoop up water in the big bucket!

Then he had to pour the water out.

If you pick up all the rocks out of the bottom you can throw them again.
That night, Eli spent the night with Joey and Pappa Rick.  He's been begging to for a while now.  My plan for Sunday morning was to pick him up and head to church.  I was feeling brave and was going to try to take both kids to church by myself for the first time.  We got almost to Joey's house and Ava spit up all over her dress.  With no more clothes for Ava, I took the hint and decided that we'd just go home instead.  Eli was not happy about leaving and it took me over an hour to get his things together and sneak them into the car.  When we got in the car to leave he was screaming "Take me back to Joey's house!!!".  It took some doing to calm him down, but we eventually made it home and survived the last part of our weekend.  Eli has been worn out this week so it's not been too tough to get him into bed.  Let's hope he's all caught up because there are some wild weeks ahead with the 4th of July around the corner.

The Aquarium

For father's day, we drove over to Chattanooga with Brian's brothers and dad to visit the aquarium.  Brian loves that type of thing and I think he was really excited.

Eli was really excited to see "Nemo".  He watches "Finding Nemo" a lot and "Nemo" is pretty much his generic name for any and all fish.  By the time we finished the 2 hour drive, Eli was pumped and ready to see some fish.  We had to spend some time waiting on the rest of our group to get there, so we played in the courtyards around the aquarium and visited the gift shop before we ever started touring. 

The tall buildings with the glass roofs are the aquarium.
Playing in the courtyard fountain.
I don't know why, but I love this picture.
Hanging with Uncle Woo and Aunt 'Lissa.
The Chattanooga Aquarium is HUGE!  There are two separated buildings of aquarium and then various other buildings for an IMAX theater, dining areas, other attractions, and even a river boat ride.  We only did the Aquariums and it was a good 4 hour tour. 

We started with the river fish exhibits, saving the ocean exhibits for last.  Eli and Ava loved seeing the fish and spent most of their time trying to touch them. Though the river fish were neat, it was hard wrangling two squirmy kids through the building. We did see some very large fish, but I didn't get a feeling that I saw many of the exhibits. I'm pretty sure Brian felt the same way.
There was a fish that just kept haning out right where Eli is looking.

Ava thought it was amazing!

If I could only touch them...

After the river fish, we moved to the ocean fish.  The first exhibit is the penguins.  They were by far my favorite!  I could have watched them all day.  Ava liked them too.  They would dive off the rocks and zip through the water so fast that I could barely catch a picture of them. 

After the penguins we walked along a path past some beautiful tropical birds.  they were more colorful than I managed to capture on my camera.

Then we moved on to the stingrays.  This was set up to allow people to pet the stingrays.  Eli LOVED this!!!  He kept calling every fish "Mr. Ray" (another "Finding Nemo" reference).  Unfortunately, the water was a little too deep for our kiddos to reach.  I don't thnk the singrays would have come withing 20 feet of our kids anyway thanks to all the water splashing that was going on.  I kept trying to tell Eli that if he was still "Mr. Ray" might come see him, but all that water was just too much fun for a little boy to wait patiently.
Watching the stingrays!  Ava's Daddy came up with a unique way to avoid getting her out of the stroller.

Look at that face!!!  Notice Daddy didn't keep her in the stroller long.

See how much the water was moving.  They can't help but splash!

Next up was the butterfly garden.  Ava loved watching the butterflys fly around and Eli kept trying to touch one.  He did finally manage to touch one, but again, his hasty movements made it fly away very quickly. 

Trying to catch a butterfly.

Finally it was time to go inside and see more fish.  Just inside the building there was a nice seating area where you could sit and watch sharks and other large ocean fish swimming.  We stopped for a few minutes to let the kids look.

Before long... this occured and we knew it was time to move on.

Wrestling is not appropriate behavior in public... but they are very good at it.

Then at long last we arrived at a very small tank filled with the fish from the "Finding Nemo" movie.  Everytime I see clownfish in person I'm shocked at just how small they are.  They couldn't have been longer than the cap on my ink pen.  Nevertheless, Eli was enthralled. 

The final exhibits were all about jellyfish. They were so beautiful to look at but, alas, by this time we had two tired, hungry, cranky kiddos.  The grown-ups weren't doing much better either.  We were hungry and exhausted from trying to get two toddlers through a very tough 4 hours.  And we had another 2 hour drive and a stop and the grocery store to make.    We loaded ourselves into the car and the kids were asleep before we got on the interstate (about 3 minutes from the parking lot).  Eventually, we made it home with groceries and all got to bed.  That night, I think we all dreamed about Nemo and our fun friends at the aquarium.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 21 weeks & Ava - 1 year, 6 weeks

Last week it seemed we spent a lot of time at the doctor again... Tuesday I took the day off to do Eli's follow up visit with the ENT and, since I was off anyway, I scheduled Ava's one year old checkup. (Well I think it was more like her 9 month checkup, but who's counting... Everytime I schedule one, somebody gets sick.)  In any event, Ava was given a clean bill of health, was meeting all her developmental marks, and managed to flirt with every single person in the doctor's office.  After I took Ava to daycare, I picked up Eli and we headed to the ENT. The tubes in his ears look great and his ears showed no sign of infection at all. (I think that is the first time a doctor has ever told us that!) 

At 13.5 months old, Ava weighs 21 lbs, 7.5 oz, is 29 inches long, and has 8 teeth. 
She is a highly advanced flirter as well.  Just look at that coy grin and eyes!  

Wednesday afternoon and all day Thrusday, our daycare was closed due to a death in the family.  So Eli and Ava got to play with their Joey Wednesday afternoon.  While they were at Joey's house, Eli found a toy Thomas the train in the bottom of the toy bucket.  So Eli spent most of the remainder of the week like this in the kitchen floor where Thomas can roll really well. 

On the way home from Joey's, Eli got to having a little temper tantrum.  He got mad, took off his shoe, and threw his sock at Brian.  Brian took away the socks and his shoes and handed them to me.  This caused more screaming and crying... so Brian told Eli that if he didn't stop screaming at us, he was going to throw his shoes out the window.  We never rolled down the window or pretended to throw the shoes out, we just threatened it... When we stopped to get gas, Eli was still histerical.  He kept crying about his shoes.  I told him that if he told Daddy he was sorry, that I'd give the shoes back.  My hysterical two-year-old responded, "Daddy threw shoes out WINDOW!!!"  It was all I could do not to laugh.  I had to show Eli that I still had his shoes and then he appologized to Brian and we put his shoes back on.  We've had a good laugh about it a few times since, but never in front of Eli.
Thursday, Eli and Ava stayed home with Daddy while I went to work.  I'd already missed a day with them on Tuesday and I had meetings that I needed to attend so Brian volunteered for a day of diaper duty.  I'm afraid they made him earn his keep, because it wasn't long before I got the following series of text messages. 

The up side is that everyone survived and was very happy to see me when I came home.  I think they all had enough of each other for a day or so.  Eli was so tired of being home, in fact, that he demanded "Take me to daycare!" not long after I walked in the door.  Brian really is a good Daddy, he just hasn't spent a day alone with the two of them in a while.  And I think I probably let them get away with more than Brian does, so Eli wasn't much a fan of the more stringent environment.  They are at an age where it is all you can do to survive.  Both kids are into everything and it's a miracle that neither have managed to kill themself.  I felt bad for the whole group, but I also couldn't help but laugh a little.  These kiddos are pure mischief.  Just look at that face and tell me you can't see it. 

Thursday night, Eli was up all night coughing and having trouble breathing. It was bad enough that a couple of times Brian and I got out of bed and got dressed to take him to the ER. But when we'd get him vertical he'd start breathing better and we eventually decided to wait and see our regular doctor first thing Friday morning.  Our trip to the doctor gained us more antibiotics and Albuterol.  (The nebulizer was the best purchase we've ever made!)  And by the end of the day, Eli was feeling and breathing better. 

Saturday morning, Eli slept until 7:30 (almost 2 hours later than normal).  So we all got a little extra rest (even Ava went back to sleep after taking her morning bottle).  We drove down to Birmingham to spend the day visiting Brian's grandparents.  Eli was really excited to see Granny Reba and Pawpaw John when we told him where we were going.  Both kiddos had a great time while Brian installed a new dishwasher.  On the way home, Ava played with her new Raggedy Ann doll and Eli watched a movie while complaining that the sun was in his eyes.  We didn't have his sunglasses with us, so I gave him mine.  He didn't keep them long... for some reason he didn't like them.

Eli - 2 years 20 weeks & Ava - 1 year 5 weeks

Playing a bit of catch-up... I'm 2 weeks behind now...

A couple weeks ago, Ava started walking.  She'd been taking a step or two on occasion for a while, but at that point, she started trying very hard to get several steps at a time.

We've been enjoying the summer weather and getting lots of outside time in... especially at night after supper when it cools down some.  We play on the swing set, blow bubbles on the patio, and try to do our best to wear the kiddos out before it's time to come in and get to bed.

Ava likes to sit on our new patio set... I've got to find some pictures of it.  We've lived in our house 7 years and just now managed to get somewhere to sit on the back patio.  Maybe it won't be 7 more years before we get some shade back there.

Ava loves to swing while she watches the dogs... Her favorite thing is when Mommy swings too!

Ava's second favorite thing is driving the cozy coupe car. 

"And she'll have fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the T-bird away...." (singing some Beach Boys tunes)

When Eli swings he says "Go really really high!"  It takes a lot of pushing to keep him happy with his level of swinging excitement.

Fortunately, when the swing pushers wear down, Eli likes to play in "his house" too.  He has entire little conversations up there now running in and out the door doing this and that.  It's a fun stage where all his toys are real and have conversations with him.  He talks to Woody and Buzz all the time and says "Come on Woody, we gotta get Buzz."
One morning on the way to daycare, Eli wanted to see a picture of Eli and Woody... This is what we got.  Not a great picture, but definately met his request.

And on those nights when it's raining or we have a summer thunderstorm and can't get outside, we play inside and put on shows.  Eli is becoming quite the little vocalist!

(Please ignore my "laundry couch" in the video above. I'm doing good jus to keep the clothes clean... forget about getting them put away... There aren't enough hours in the day. But if you want to volunteer to babysit for a while, I'll get my house clean... No, on second thought, I'll take a nap!  After an afternoon with my kiddos you'll understand why the nap is more important.)