Monday, January 30, 2012

Family Night

We were never good at doing Family Night as a childless married couple. But now that Eli's joined our family and is getting older, we've been a little better about it.

The first Monday in December we got in the Christmas spirit by drawing festive pictures.
Last week we made Eli's family tree. It's hard to find activities that don't go over a toddler's head. I didn't have high hopes for him understanding genealogy, but he actually loved pointing to whoever we told him to point to and always loves to scribble with a crayon.
Tonight's family home evening went over all of our heads as our activity evolved to throwing Beanie Babies onto the fan. It was deemed the most fun Family Home Evening yet. Appropriate for all ages.
So Mom, when Eli starts chucking things at your fan, just remember he learned it at Family Home Evening.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Disney Temple

Guess who has now been to nursery two successful times in a row...
Several months ago I went through our house and showed Eli the pictures of temples we have on display. Since then Eli has grown to love temples. Anything resembling a temple gets him screaming and jumping for joy. I love hearing him screeching "Temple! Temple!" at the top of his lungs. Especially when I'm not expecting it. Like when I put on a movie for him the other day and this "temple" was on the big screen.
When Eli's not shrieking about temples he's usually shrieking about Jeff. Whenever Jeff is home he has a little shadow following him around. Whenever Jeff isn't home Eli wanders around mournfully mumbling, "Dada work."
Eli and Jeff are so adorable together. I just read a book (yes. I read now.) called "Raising Boys" (yes. I've accepted my fate.) and it talks about how important dads are in a boy's life. I'm grateful my boys have such a great example to look up to and I'm amazed to already see the difference it makes when Jeff spends time with Eli.

Eli's other favorite thing to say lately is, "Oh my!" It cracks me up. "Oh my!" is his reaction to everything and he varies his tone to the situation. He uses it when he first sees us in the morning, when he drops something on the ground or when he's excited. I love it.
We love our little Eli and all his quirks. He's always up to something and he always keeps us laughing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Birthday Bonanza

My birthday was a day of highlights and unfortunately lowlights. Here's the story:

I woke up to the smell of Jeff making me homemade chocolate-chip pancakes. Did you know homemade pancakes are 100% better than boxed mix? It's true. And Jeff found a winning recipe on
We sent Jeff off to work and Eli was super good while I got ready for the day. And then our day took a turn for the worst when I attempted to buckle him into his carseat to go to the library. It was the wrestling match of the century. Luckily I eventually won the battle and we set out on our errands for the day.

Eli loves the library and I had a book on hold that had just become available. I was so giddy to find a little peace and solitude in the walls of the library to start my birthday morning. I got Eli out of his carseat and he ran to the front door. I tried to open the door to enter my haven only to find we had arrived 20 minutes before they opened.

I had planned to stop at the fabric store as well, so I just decided to reroute and go to the fabric store first, but I wasn't excited for the extra battles of strapping Eli to his carseat. Never had I been more jealous of my mom who often tells me frivolous safety precautions like carseats didn't exist in her child rearing years.

After once again removing Eli from his restraint, we got to the door of the fabric store and saw a "Closed" sign there to greet us. I almost cried. I started to turn around but decided to try the door just in case they forgot to flip the sign that day. Yes. Sweet victory was mine as I entered my latest favorite shopping facility.

But my victory was a short celebration as Eli, seemingly unprovoked, had a screaming hissy fit as soon as we walked through the door. I ignored him and all the people who were staring. He eventually pulled himself together and we successfully got exactly what I wanted (and at 40% off!).

After yet another carseat battle, we made our way back to the library. Right after we walked in, I heard a group of people singing "Happy Birthday." We happened to go during the story time just as they were singing to all the kids who were having a birthday that week. I felt honored.

Eli ran around like a crazy person, and since story time was going on we couldn't look through the kid books. We made it a quick trip.

When we got home I let Eli play in the car for a few minutes while I read a few pages of my book. At one point I looked up at him and noticed he had a bloody nose? It was hardly bleeding but it's still never a good feeling to see blood coming from your kid. I decided it was time for lunch and a nap after the day's...excitement.
Eli slept perfectly long enough for me to sew a new cover for one of his window seat cushions. Then he woke up and in no time Jeff was home to take us out to dinner to celebrate.

Winger's was my restaurant choice. Partly because I thought the popcorn would help keep Eli entertained...
But I mostly chose it for the Asphalt Pie. Yummmm.
Happy Birthday to me.
Eli continued being a wild child.
So we ate fast and enjoyed our pie at home.
After we scarfed down my birthday pie, two of my friends from high school came by to wish me a happy birthday. So cute of them.
It was also cute of them to bring me a dozen donuts from Krispy Kreme along with a few other goodies.
Jeff and I ended the night by watching "Moneyball" together. 
My birthday celebrations continued into Thursday as my Mom and sister wanted to treat me to lunch. I only ate four donuts for breakfast since I wanted to make sure I was hungry by lunch time... 

I gave Eli a donut and a green smoothie for breakfast and I was completely shocked to see he slurped down the smoothie before he even touched the donut. He really does love those things! 
We had a nice lunch at Olive Garden. That salad is always extra delicious when I'm pregnant.
Becky, "Princess Brooke," Caroline and Spencer joined in on the fun.

It was another good birthday despite the tantrums. Thanks to everyone who made it special for me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Great Escape

I wasn't planning on even trying to put Eli in a toddler bed until a few months after #2 gets here.

Who knows what Eli'd do if he was given free range of an entire room after the lights went out at night?

Well. Turns out we know what he'd do.

Because we just so happened to buy a toddler bed on a whim today. And we just so happened to be so excited about it that we cleaned it and put a certain cute chevron quilt on it -- just to see what it would look like. Then Eli started freaking out in his new room because he was so excited. He was running in circles, pretending to snore on his new bed, screaming in delight, kissing the walls. He loved it. What kind of parents would we be if we didn't take advantage of our little one's utter excitement to grow up and enter the world of cageless sleeping?
Jeff read Eli his bedtime stories while Eli ran laps around the room. Then Jeff turned the lights off and before he was even out the door, Eli was out of his bed clicking buttons on his space heater. We heard beeping for fifteen minutes.

At least he can't open doors. I thought. There's only so much a toddler can do in a room without any toys.

Then I heard the door knob rattle. Sucker. I thought. It's a good thing we're training him to sleep in his room before he learns how to open doors.

Then I saw it. Well, I saw him. Running towards me with a book screaming excited nonsense. Probably baby talk for, "Hey Mom! Look at me! I just made your worst nightmare come true!" He was so proud.
(That picture was taken after his nap (in a crib) today. I always know he's slept good when he greets me with this hairstyle.)

Let's just say we won't be trying the toddler bed again until a few months have passed and a few door knob covers have been purchased.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Every Tuesday morning when I enter a new week of my pregnancy, I faithfully watch two pregnant ladies' vlogs. Why this brings me so much joy I don't know. Maybe it's because they tell me things like, "27 weeks pregnant! That's officially the third trimester!" When all other internet sources tell me I still have a week or two left before I can go celebrating my entrance into third trimester uncomfortableness.

For the two hours I thought I was already in my third trimester, I thought I had better do another pregnancy update. I've already given up on the weekly pictures I so diligently took with my first pregnancy. But I did muster up the energy to straighten my hair today for my "third trimester" shot:
I have had almost no cravings with this pregnancy. Kind of sad because I love hearing funny pregnancy cravings.

I was just thinking how not paranoid I am with this pregnancy compared to my first. I still sleep on my stomach. I am not nearly as diligent at taking my prenatals, I've painted walls, gotten an x-ray, eaten lunch meat and plenty of cookie dough. Hopefully, despite my neglect, we still get another smart, healthy baby...

I didn't document my weight gain with Eli, so I want to document it with this one. I didn't gain any weight for the first...16 weeks. Then in two weeks I gained 15 pounds! But I haven't gained any since? What?? Does anyone else pack on their pregnancy weight all at once? 
Besides heartburn, my biggest pregnancy symptom has been nesting! This week I've felt like there is so much that needs to be done. Suddenly all the walls and doors look filthy, closets look cluttered and don't even get me started on all the rearranging that needs to be done to get all the rooms in order before April.

Working on Eli's new room has been a fun but daunting project. After weeks worth of nights and many nap times spent hunched over my sewing machine, I finally finished the quilt for Eli's bed.
I love it! (And it was surprisingly easy to make.)
Eli loves it, too. Ever since Jeff painted the wall, whenever I tell Eli to go to his room, this is the room he goes to.
Sometimes he even feels the need to show the room his love with kisses.
Finished. Yay. I might get some sleep again.
This is the back. I kind of hate the back and the evolution of it is a long, boring story that basically came down to a shortage of fabric and my indecisiveness.

Happy (almost) third trimester to me! Now who wants to come scrub some baseboards?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Going Green

Once I got off the treadmill mid-workout to eat a Starburst. Yeah. That was two days ago. And after that low point in my exercising career which I am going to blame purely on pregnancy, I decided to turn over a new leaf. A green leaf. Called spinach.

It all started over the summer when my mom introduced me and Eli to the Green Smoothie. She ever so methodically made these spinach smoothies disguised with fruit each week just before I arrived to mow the lawn. "Here Sarah," she'd tempt, "have a smoothie before you go out." Gah! I'd smell it and quickly tell her I'd already eaten breakfast.

When I'd come back inside from mowing the lawn she'd tell me tales of Eli scarfing down the green slush, begging for more. Yeah right. I'd think. Eli doesn't eat vegetables to save his life.

Once my lawn mowing days ended, I was spared the weekly persuasion from my mother to down the green slime. Until Jeff came home from work last week telling me all about this awesome idea someone told him at work to put vegetables in a smoothie. Not again.

I decided to humble myself and support my husband in his ambition to be a healthier eater. I bought frozen fruit and extra spinach during my last (tantrum free) trip to Wal-Mart. Then I came home and cringed as I made one of those dreaded smoothies for me and Eli for lunch.

Much to my surprise, the smoothie was delicious! I put in blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apple juice and just enough spinach to not even be able to taste it but to turn Eli's clothes green wherever he spills. I seriously couldn't even sleep last night because I was so excited to have another smoothie for breakfast this morning.
I really do think some of it goes in his mouth.
So there you have it. Our conversion to vegetables in a blender. Of course, we've only done this twice so far, but it gets Eli (and me) to eat vegetables, so I think the green smoothie will be around our house for the long haul. Here's to a healthier, greener 2012!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Return of the Happy Baby

Eli has significantly redeemed himself since this post. Although, I haven't tried to take him back to Wal-Mart since then.

We woke up on Saturday to a ton of snow! I love these pictures of Eli looking at all the snow.

Bundled and adorable to play in the snow.
When Eli has something he knows he's not supposed to have (a pen in this case), he always runs to his favorite hiding spot between the couch and the wall and thinks we won't know what he's up to over there.
Yesterday Eli and I spent the whole day cooking. He loves to help me cook and taste my creations along the way. We made blueberry muffins in the morning and chicken pot pie in the evening. He also did my workout video with me and helped me fold laundry! We had a productive day with NO tantrums!! 

Eli's favorite toy is the bottom part of my mixer. He loves to spin it around and around. Yesterday I walked in the living room and saw him sitting like this and saying, "Car! Car!" Look at his imagination go.
Something doesn't quite belong...
I love a happy baby! Here's to hoping the rest of the week is just as pleasant.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Jabber Mouth

My brother Abe loved the video I made of Eli's first words and has requested another. Luckily Eli was very cooperative yesterday during lunch and I was able to get him to perform. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Terrible Twos Make an Unwelcome Visit

I just finished a Google search on dealing with temper tantrums while I ate ice-cream straight out of the carton. That's a good glimpse into my day so far. I guess I was under the wrong impression that I had five more months of a sweet toddler before terrible twos set in.
Yesterday Eli and I went to Wal-Mart for what turned out to be the most stressful shopping experience of my life. Eli screamed as if he was in excruciating pain the whole time we were there. People actually stopped just to stare at the two of us. I smiled the whole time to give the impression I had the situation under control. I tried to hold Eli to calm him down, to which he stiffened his whole body -- making it impossible to hold him any way other than horizontally. That wouldn't work. So I put him back in the cart to which he kicked me and flailed his arms at everything within reach. That wouldn't work either. I resorted to plopping him in the basket portion of our cart which did work. Until he found all his favorite foods down there with him and began tearing into cracker boxes and biting through yogurt lids. Never have I hated Wal-Mart more than yesterday.

Today he's followed suit, but I've kept us confined from the judging eyes of Wal-Mart shoppers. And besides, all is well now that Eli's down for his nap and I'm able to think of all the cute things he's been doing in between his tantrums.
When we ask Eli what his name is, he says, "Name." When we say, "Say Eli." He still says, "Name."

His "No"s have evolved to "No way!"s.

He got quite attached to Jeff over the Christmas break. We went to Chuck-A-Rama a few nights ago and every time Jeff got up to get food Eli called out, "Dada! Daddy! Dad!" until he got back. Perhaps Eli's temper is flared up this week because he's suffering from separation anxiety.

When he called out for me yesterday, I'm pretty sure he yelled Sarah.

Sometimes he will come hug or kiss us unprovoked. There's nothing sweeter.

He can't say Grandma or Grandpa to save his life, but he's really good at saying Carson (our tentative name for #2). It's adorable.

As for #2, here's a belly shot:
I'm so relieved Jeff finished the painting during his time off. I didn't want to deal with assembling the new room after #2 arrives, and painting was the most overwhelming part of the new room process.
Next time I'm trying to be inspired for room decor, remind me not to be inspired by an obscure colored rug and that I should instead choose a bedspread to inspire me. That would have made my life a lot easier. True, I wouldn't have been able to get so much use out of my new sewing machine, but I also wouldn't have had to make thousands of trips to the fabric store to try to create a quilt. 

Mind you, I really don't even know how to make a quilt. Mind you again, I'm making a quilt with designs on each side because I can't figure out what kind of quilt would look good with striped walls. Gah. 

Here's the truly quilted side so far. I fell victim to the trendy chevron pattern. Which I'm regretting now because it looks like Charlie Brown's shirt.
 Eli seemed to like it.
For a minute. And then he scowled at it.
Here's the other side. I think I want to put  cars on this side and write on it, "Beep Beep" and other carish phrases. But until I figure out how one would go about writing on fabric with fabric, I'll stick to the patchwork on the flip side.
Here's to hoping I didn't waste Eli's whole nap blogging so I can get some more sewing done (and maybe even get dressed for the day)!