Sunday, October 30, 2011

Folded Arms and Fire Safety

We have been trying to teach Eli how to fold his arms for prayers for the past two months. One day I handed him his lunch and he did this before he would eat:
 Now he "folds his arms" on demand!
At Pack Meeting Eli was walking around and getting into trouble. He had his back to the front of the room as one of the scouts started the opening prayer. As soon as Eli heard the prayer start, he whipped around to face the front and immediately folded his tiny arms.

And yes. I had my eyes open during the prayer.
I guess I'll do a Pack Meeting update because it went so well!

The theme of the month was Responsibility. Several websites recommended talking about being responsible around fires and discussing fire safety. That seemed like a good enough idea so I went with it.

After much planning and replanning, I finally decided to have them do a fire safety relay. The first race was to find a safe exit. I had four leaders standing behind the boxes marked "Exit." The leaders would alternate which one of them had a fire behind the box so there would be one safe exit and one exit with a fire behind it. The boys had to crawl through the safe exit.
The second race was to stop, drop and roll in a designated area. One boy misunderstood the directions and rolled all the way back to his team which was very amusing to watch...but might have cost his team the win.

The third race was to go to the family meeting area. I had hula hoops there and they had to hula hoop three times and then run back.
The fourth race was to call 911 at your neighbor's house.

And the fifth race was to put out the fire with water from the fire extinguisher. I didn't really want to deal with the mess of actual water so Jeff had the brilliant idea to fill balloons up with flour and call that water. Those balloons are sitting on the chair with the fire extinguisher and then there were fires in the middle that they had to hit with two balloons.
I bought firemen hats at the dollar store for them to wear when it was their turn.
It was so much fun I'm tempted to do a relay every month. You don't think they'd mind, do you?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Let's Talk Baby #2

Welcome to a pregnancy update of my first trimester. Let's start at the beginning.

Maybe it was August 10th when I took the pregnancy test that showed up positive. Eli had been up for about an hour and he had been happily playing all morning. Jeff and I saw the result and shared the good news with Eli.

"Eli," we said, "you're going to have a baby brother or sister!"

Eli started crying hysterically. Hopefully it's not a foreshadow of things to come.
At four weeks, I was remembering how much I hate the first trimester nausea and food aversions to everything and Jeff was remembering how much he hates to take my picture every week.

I'd say morning sickness was worse with this one than with Eli, but I still never threw up (due to pregnancy) so I guess it wasn't that bad.

As soon as I hit second trimester the morning sickness ended and was replaced with a raging appetite. My stomach can go from being stuffed to growling all in an hour's time.

I have had food aversions to hamburger meat, eggs, and chocolate (sometimes). But most food tastes different to me now and I don't remember that happening with Eli.

My cravings have been almost identical to my first pregnancy. They're very specific and weird so don't laugh: peanut butter toast, cabbage salad, grapefruit, orange jello with mandarin oranges in it, Arby's roast beef sandwiches, Subway sandwiches (Doctor said it's okay), sour gummy worms, cheesy potatoes and that's all I can think of right now.

As one might imagine, we're very anxious to find out the gender of the baby. Specifically because I'm convinced the Excells can't produce girls. I can't help but get the feeling a life of all boys is in my future.

With all this gender anxiety, I may have done a little bit of experimenting with every gender prediction old wives' tale in the book. Shall we look at the results?

Cabbage Test - I will not tell you exactly what I did for this test. My curiosity got the best of me and I'll just say maybe you don't want to drink out of any of our cups until they've all made several cycles through the dishwasher... But the result -- GIRL.

Baking Soda Test - This test has a lot in common with the cabbage test including the result -- GIRL.

Wedding Ring Test - Thread a string through wedding ring or a needle and hold it over pregnant belly. If it waves in circles, girl. Pendulum-like, boy. Results were slightly inconclusive because Jeff has a very steady hand, but we'll say -- GIRL.

Chinese Gender Predictor - An old chart found in some guy's tomb that claims to have a 95% accuracy rating -- GIRL.

Heart Rate - Over 140, girl. At my 14-week check-up baby's heart was beating at 150 -- GIRL.

Acne - More acne during pregnancy is said to be a girl. Lately I feel like I've got my blotchy high school face back, so the result is -- GIRL.

Mother's Intuition - BOY.
We find out in 10 days what we're having. We'll see who's right -- the old wives or the pregnant mom.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Well. It's that time of the month again.

I'm crabby, stressed, and my face is breaking out.
I've got a major case of Pack Meeting Syndrome.

Oh. Did you think I meant the other PMS? I'm pregnant you sicko.

This month -- Fire safety. We're doing a relay. This might just be my most boy related activity yet. I hope it goes over well. And I hope I can apply the classroom management skills my sister tried to teach me last night. Heaven help me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Spooktacular Weekend

We went down to Cedar over the weekend and I learned that when Eli has his cousins, a slide and a fun basement, he really doesn't care to see much of his parents.

This picture was taken right after David said, "This is what being a Grandpa is all about." I thought that was cute.

We had to take the new boat out before the weather got too cold. Again, Eli didn't think he needed us around much when he was at the lake.
The water was only a little chilly... But the weather was perfect!

Eli refueled as fast as possible so he could get right back out to the water.
And maybe a little sand made it in his mouth too.

I love these three pictures together:

I was a little nervous to have Eli on the boat, but as long as we were moving he was happy as can be.

Jeff did a little wakeboarding. I love that he and Eli made the same facial expression after getting into the cold water.
It took all my energy to refrain from trying my hand at wakeboarding. It seems like all my boating, roller coaster and hot tubbing opportunities always happen when I'm pregnant. Curses.
The next day was the world famous Excell Spooktacular! Nurse Mary sure can throw a mean party!
The newlywed lumberjacks.
Eli is a traffic cone if you couldn't tell.
Skeleton family.
We had dinner-in-a-pumpkin and hot dog mummies/severed fingers for dinner.
Ben could probably pick up a second job as a face painter.
And then came the attempt to make homemade root beer.
The fog provided good ambience, but it did not provide good root beer.
It wouldn't be the Spooktacular without a little Bingo.
Prizes for the cake walk.
We had a bind with Jeff's costume and I ended up making that vest the hour before the party. Not bad if I do say so myself.
Fish pond. I'm showing off my bump for you here.

Eli got a truck from the fish pond and wouldn't let go of it all night.

And then Eli went unsupervised for a few minutes and he decided he wanted a few cupcakes. So he crawled all over them to find the perfect one.
The next day was church and maybe we slipped Eli into nursery even though he's not quite 18 months yet. I heard him crying in the middle of Relief Society. The nursery leader said he was so tired he kept trying to fall asleep but he just couldn't fall asleep so then he would start screaming. Ha. I held him in Relief Society and he was asleep within five minutes. I guess all that playing with his cousins finally got the best of him.

When we got home, Mary and David cooked a delicious Sunday dinner for us. Last time I made gravy, Jeff told me I'm not very good at making gravy. So I made sure to get in a lesson from his mom on how to perfect my gravy making skills.
And I learned how to make crescent rolls from Celeste.
And then right before we were going to leave, we irritated our husbands just a little bit by requesting a quick photo shoot.

Thanks for the fun weekend Excells!