Saturday, June 29, 2013

Everything Eli

Because of a certain busy body in our family, we like to hit the park up several times a week. We ventured over to a castle park near our house one day and had a lot of fun.
Here is said busy body ready for an action shot.
I can rarely get Eli to look at me when I take pictures of him. One evening Eli was going around and around the trampoline smiling at Jeff every time he passed him.
These are the faces he flashes at me.

Another person Eli is eager to pose for is my mom. We went to Target together a few weeks ago. Eli was begging my mom to take more and more pictures of him while he patiently held his pose.
Here's Eli showing us how Carson folds his arms for prayers.
Jeff and Eli love to Skype people. You've been warned.
On Father's Day we played a fun game where we threw the hula hoop and ran through it as it was rolling. Eli had a major advantage.
Here's Eli "giving himself a shot."
Didn't even cry.
I found this awesome park that has a bunch of grass around it and it's all fenced in. So I didn't even have to fret when Eli proclaimed, "I can run really fast," and was this far away from me before I even processed what he said. He'll probably be in the Olympics one day.
Lately he won't let me cook anything without his assistance. "I a good helper." He reminds me every time I start a recipe.

This is his favorite way to help. I love how this picture captures the speed at which his hands are flinging the flour off the counter.
In other news, this little boy is totally potty trained! Night time and all! Adios diapers.
Helllllllllooooooo big boy!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Catch-Up On Carson

I just uploaded 1,000 pictures onto my computer. Having a good camera on my phone has brought my picture taking to a whole new level. Here are some of my favorites of Carson!

We loved Carson's long hair. I think we maybe loved it so much because it would do this after a little bit of tumbling on the trampoline.
Carson has become a climber! He is on everything all the time. As you will see.
I love that he can climb onto the trampoline himself. And he loves when he can sneak up and have the trampoline all to himself.

This was a favorite morning activity for Carson until Eli learned how to open the window when I wasn't looking. No children were harmed.
He's our "ba ba" boy. Anytime he cries, he starts whining for his bottle.

He's mostly nervous about slides, but I got him to go down one a few times on his own the other day.
I have like, 200 pictures of Eli sleeping, and of Carson sleeping. Here you go, Carson.
We are loving picnics this year. And Carson loves to sit with one leg just so:
Here's our little climber again. Up on the kitchen table. Grrrrr.
He has also become a bug squisher...ahem...catcher lately.
On the table. Again. With my makeup. He's trouble.
And now onto the puzzles to spill them all over the floor.
And now how he eats his dinner. I should tell you. It's not like we are saying, "Oh. Carson. You are so cute when you climb onto the table. Here. Stick your foot in my food, why don't you?" No. All these pictures were taken after several attempts to remove him from the table and redirect him to something else. I once took him off the table and brought him outside to play with me and Eli, and then he immediately went back up to the sliding door and whined at it until I let him back in the house. Where he rushed straight in...and onto the table. It's his drug.
When he's not climbing tables, he's climbing all over strollers.
And when he's not climbing, he's rolling around in the dirt.
One evening Jeff was kicking a ball super high in the air. Carson was mesmerized.
Carson is our watermelon boy. He and I can down a whole watermelon in 24 hours.
And now that I just read through this whole post, I'm realizing just how many pictures there are of Carson without pants on. I guess I'll stand by my reputation of being the pantsless child raiser. Another reason I'm destined to have all boys.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bark Louder Than His Bite...

Eli and Carson have started this cute thing where they bite each other. On the forehead. On the finger. On the leg. Anywhere they can clamp, they go for it.

Eli got a puzzle out this morning. He wasn't too happy when Carson tried to play puzzles with him. So Eli did the most logical thing, and bit Carson's finger to express his frustration.

"ELI! You CANNOT bite your brother!" I screamed.
The biting continued.
"You're going to time out."

Eli then fought me all the way to time-out.

When I finally wrestled him into his room, he stood in the doorway staring at me as if I had betrayed him. Just as the door was closing to lock him in time-out, he shouted his last words, "MOM! That's not taking care of my BODY!"

I was putting lipstick on:
Eli: "What's THAT?!?"
Me: "Lipstick."
Eli: "What it do?"
Me: "It makes me beautiful."
Eli (singing): "Beautiful mooooommy to the rescue!"

While pulling weeds:
Eli: "You can't trust spiders. They'll bite you."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fabric Store Fiasco

It seemed like I had the odds in my favor.

Eli was being happy and chatty. Carson slept in late. Everyone was in a relatively happy mood. So I ventured out to Hobby Lobby to pick up some fabric.

My children *cough* Eli *cough* have a history of being wild indians in Hobby Lobby. Something about Hobby Lobby unleashes their deviousness leaving my only chance of a successful shopping experience possible if all our conditions are favorable.

I had favorable conditions today. So I took the chance.

I got Eli out of the car. He obediently ran straight to the sidewalk and stood patiently with his arms folded while I got Carson out. Victory number one.

We walked into the store. The true test. Will Eli take off never to be seen again? Will he scream at the sight of the carts? Will he drop to the floor, kicking and screaming for no apparent reason? These have all happened. But they did not happen today. He politely waited his turn for a cart. Pulled his chosen cart out for me to put Carson in, and we made our way to the fabric. Victory number two.

I held my breath as we passed the display of overpriced toys and candy. Eli picked one up before I had time to steer him away. Before he got too attached I said, "Okay Eli. You can play with that while we are in the store, but you have to put it back before we leave." "Okay." He happily responded. Three victories in 5 minutes. This was some kind of record.

I went to find the fabric I needed. Gone. Grrrrr. Deep breath. The kids are being good. I told myself. We can go to a store just down the road to pick up what I need.

U-turn. Back past the toys and candy. Quick drop-off of the loot Eli had been lugging around the store, we were in and out as quickly as a burglar in the night. No screaming. No nothing. But what I didn't realize then, was that our swift exit from Hobby Lobby would be the last victory of my day.

Because then we went to Hancock Fabric.

Eli ran in and found the candy immediately. Why must these fabric stores torment mothers with candy down at toddler level? It's cruel and effective. Because I told Eli he could pick out one piece of candy.

With sucker in hand, we picked up the fabric I needed. We made our way to the cut table, quick on time because I could sense everyone's patience was running thin. There was one person in front of us.

Eli bolted down an aisle as soon as I stopped the cart at the cutting table. Then he came back and tried to crawl through a little hole in the middle of the cutting table. Then he tried to open all the cupboards under the cutting table.

The lady in front of me smiled like, Oh. Poor you. You have your hands full with that one.

Then Eli started running laps around one of the aisles. Carson and the baby of the lady in front of us started laughing hysterically at Eli's antics. So the antics continued as Eli would give us side smiles and mischievous looks.

I smiled as I tried to decide if it was time to intervene, or if I should just let this whole scene play out and hope it doesn't evolve into a show of defiance.

I let it play out a little longer. Until Eli became a human avalanche as he ran with one hand grazing the thread aisle, sending spools of thread bouncing throughout the whole store.

"Hey Eli!" I said as calmly as I could. "Why don't you come over here and play my phone?!?"

With his sucker still clutched in one hand and a stray spool of thread in the other, he looked at me like that was the dumbest idea he's ever heard. "NO!" He screamed. "Eli," I continued, trying to persuade him, "remember the fun spelling game you love? Don't you want to spell cat?!?"

He ran. Defeat number one.

He continued doing laps. Losing more control over his body with each step. But we were still doing alright because my fabric was cut, folded and just needed to be bought. "Okay Eli! Let's go! Should we go buy your sucker now?"

He skipped towards me bopping between the aisles the whole way. I looked at Carson for the first time since we had been there and noticed he was starting to get a little restless. When I looked back up, Eli was standing at the door to leave. Sucker in hand. And he was eyeing me with a smirk on his face that I know all too well.

It was the smirk that says, Mom. I'm about to do something I know you're not going to like. But I'm going to do it anyway. So let's see how this all plays out. It should be a lot of fun. 

My eyes bugged out of my head. Remain calm. Remain calm. I told myself. He can sense fear. Don't move too fast and startle him. I felt like I was detonating a bomb and/or staring into the eyes of a cheetah. One wrong move and I was a goner.

I began sternly, "Eli. If you walk out that..." Swoosh. Before I could fully devise my plan of action he was out the door. Defeat number two.

I left Carson behind to run after my crazed escape artist who was giggling through the whole pursuit. I snatched him up and ripped the sucker out of his hand. "No sucker for you." I said. Tasting the sweet revenge of those words coming out of my mouth.

Then the volcano of a tantrum erupted. I believe he was hanging upside-down, kicking his legs and waving his arms by the time I made it back into the store. I tried to pay quickly while Eli was throwing punches at my face, "MY SUCKER!!!!! I WANTED THAT! THAT WAS MIIIIIIIIINE!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Tears. Screaming. Pain. Anguish.

Meanwhile...I got a tap on the shoulder. Which was hard to decipher between the kicks and punches I was also getting in the same general area.

"Um. Excuse me. I'm sorry. just moved your son to the basket because he was standing up in the shopping cart and he was about to fall out." Whoops. Maybe I forgot about Carson amid my high speed chase. Maybe I was trying so hard not to drop squirming Eli on his head that I didn't realize Carson was about to plummet to his own self-inflicted head drop. Defeat number three.

Where is my invisibility cloak when I need it?

I can handle having two kids. I promise I really can. So long as there are nice strangers nearby to help me parent them when I am losing my mind.

I dragged Eli all the way to the car. More kicking, screaming, pain and anguish. I tried to get him in his carseat. He boarded his body, making buckling impossible. I shut the door and put Carson in. Back to Eli. Who had now climbed into the back of the car and had started giggling at his attempt to outsmart me. I opened the back. He whooshed back to the front. Sweat beaded down my forehead. Fourth defeat.

"I WANTED to go visiting teaching!" He yelled at me. What?

As the crowning test of my strength, patience and agility, I finally got Eli buckled into his carseat. It was as if he was craving the restraint to bring his body back into control after our shopping experience because he instantly melted into the seat as soon as he was clicked in.

"I wanted a sucker." He moaned to me. "But I was a naughty boy."
"You made a sad choice, didn't you, Eli?" I said, trying to fully utilize this teaching opportunity.
"Yes. I'll be a good boy."
"We'll try again another day."
Another day faaaaaaaaar in the future.

Monday, June 10, 2013

You've Had A Birthday

Eli is a three-year old!!!
He helped me make his cake the night before his birthday.
Eli's been talking about his birthday nonstop ever since Carson's birthday.
We've started a tradition where the kids wake up to a house full of balloons on their birthday. With Eli's birthday we added these little blow things that I'm not sure what they're called. The boys loved them.
Eli's only birthday request was that we have party hats. He picked the party hats out himself.
The boys celebrated while a special birthday breakfast was being made.
Eli had been going through a bit of a rough patch. He was experiencing a month of unprovoked tantrums, defiance, whining and so forth. He was a completely different boy on his birthday, and he's been an angel ever since. Maybe he had to have one last bout with the terrible twos before transitioning into a three.
Favorite activity of the day was getting in Carson's face to see how close he could get the noisemaker to Carson's face. Fun for all!

We bought a Plasma Car for Eli's big gift. The car is supposed to kind of drive itself when you wiggle the steering wheel back and forth. We thought it would be a no-fail present.
Turns out the car is a little beyond Eli's capabilities. He kept saying it was too wobbly and didn't spend as much time with it as we were expecting. So onto the other presents!
Here's Eli opening up some Thomas the Train underwear.
This is probably the last year he will be genuinely excited to open underwear for his birthday. He also got socks and a spelling puzzle. The spelling puzzle ended up being a bigger hit than the car. He played it for about 3 hours total on his birthday.
Then we had a picnic outside under the trampoline for lunch.
Jeff came home from work early so we headed over to the Kangaroo Zoo.
I didn't get any good pictures at the Kangaroo Zoo because Eli was a frantic blur the whole time we were there. If you can't tell from the picture, he had a super fun time.
The place was pretty much empty other than another little boy a little older than Eli. When we first got there, the other boy's mom kept apologizing to me because her boy was being a little bit wild around Carson. I told her that Carson had a crazy older brother so he was used to it.

Five minutes later, Eli and the other wild boy found each other. They hit it off right away. They spent a half hour running around like crazy people and literally bouncing off the walls. They were two peas in a pod and it was so funny to watch them together.

Carson didn't like the bounce house as much as we were hoping he would. He mostly liked to go behind the bounce houses and investigate the fans. Then there was the one time both of our kids were behind one of the bounce houses and it started deflating. There were kids bouncing on the deflating bounce house, and their moms understandably started freaking out and screaming at them to get off. Jeff and I gave each other a nervous look as we realized our children were probably the culprits of the mishap. Sure enough, Carson had singlehandedly taken down an entire bounce house. We all sheepishly backed away into a corner for a little while after the incident.
We made our way back home so Jeff and I could try our hands at the Plasma Car. It's safe to say we had a lot more fun with it that Eli did.
Time for cake!

Just before Eli blew out his candles, Carson made a grab at the cake. I made the quick comment, "Carson thinks this is a smash cake!"

Eli would not let that go. The whole time he was eating his piece of cake he said over and over, "Mom. Carson thought this was a smaaaaaash cake?"
Me, "Yes, he was trying to stick his hand in it."
Eli, "He tried to smash it?"
Me, "Yes."

After 10 minutes of talking about a smash cake, I looked at our entire leftover cake and realized there was no way we would ever finish it. I had been eating a bunch of junk food, and I actually wanted it gone immediately. So for Eli's final birthday celebration, we took the cake out back and made the boys' dreams come true.

Happy, Happy Birthday to my little three-year old!