“that makes mama sad”

to say that your toddler will repeat things you say is an understatement at our house.

eli repeats everything. especially if it’s something you don’t want him to repeat/hear. let’s just say he’s said his fair share of curse words (i’m not proud, but when you step on a toy car at 6am nothing really helps except to scream SHIT at the top of your lungs). and, it makes the situation at least funny (and less focus on the pain) when your toddler walk around saying “shit. sit. shit. sit.” for the next 30 minutes. he also seems to hear (and repeat) only the things he wants to. “Eli, clean up your toys.”, “Eli, come here.”, “Eli, stop that.” seem to fall on deaf ears when he doesn’t want to do what we’re asking. but, as soon as he hears something along the lines of “outside” or “treats” and he is quick to come running and repeating! in other words, if we don’t mean it (especially when it comes to treats and/or going outside to play), we can’t say it.

one of the funniest things he has picked up recently that has become a regular staple in his vocabulary is “that makes XXX sad”. apparently, i have said that to him one too many times. “don’t hit griff, that makes griff sad.”, “why won’t you hug mama, that makes mama sad.”…you know. now, whenever eli doesn’t want to do something and he says “no”, he follows it with “that makes [insert noun] sad”. everything can be sad. the toy airplane, the bath, the diapers, his shoes…they all get sad. it’s actually pretty cute. i guess he’s at least gathering that he has to consider the feelings of others (although we have to work on the fact that objects like his pants and shoes don’t have true feelings…that’s down the road). right now, i’m okay with him thinking it makes his trains sad if he launches them across the room (those suckers hurt too).

these little habits are just part of his evolving personality which amazes me every day. i don’t want to wish away time (i’m soaking it up…even the days we get up at 4:30am and have one 30 minute nap — yes that happened wednesday and it was a LONG day), but i am anxious to watch his personality and see the little boy, teenager, young adult and man he becomes. if his two-year-old personality is any indication, i think we are in for a good time as he’s full of energy, love, hugs and curiosity.

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the terrific twos

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at some point i phased away from keeping up with my eli blog. it started to become cumbersome (which sounds and is ridiculous) so i stopped. and i’m mad at myself. so, i’m back. i’m not sure what it’s going to look like, but i know i want to keep it up. for me and for eli. i want him to be able to look back in 40 years when he’s raising kids of his own and smile at the memories. he deserves that. and, when i’m old and bored, it will make me smile to read and remember our beautiful life. so, here we are again…

i’m not even going to attempt to fill in the gap from where i left off at 19 months…that would take forever and i know i would throw in the towel (so we’ll defer to Facebook and instagram to fill the gap). instead i will pic up where we left off…

eli is TWO! and he is simply awesome. i know, i know, i am a little bias, but seriously he is spectacular. he is full of smiles, laughs, giggles, hugs and a complete and total chatter box. he’s a little bundle of fun. the more i’m with him each day, the more i hate to be away from him at all. as pk will attest to, if you miss a week with him right now, he changes and grows more than you can imagine. i’m going to use this post to laundry list some of the things that are highlights in our life right now and then try (TRY!) to stay consistent.

Favorite Activities:
*swimming – loves to swim with his puddle jumper. we’ve had two weeks of lessons and he’s loving the big pool and baby pool. we’ve spent many an hour at the pool this summer with our buddies

*play dates – i have an awesome play group – moms and kids – that gets together regularly. eli loves his little buddies and i LOVE having mommy friends in the same stage. life. saver. eli loves kids…in fact he says “i wanna play with kids” quite a bit. i have a little only-child guilt so i am constantly finding ways for us to interact with other kids — the pool, library, park, play dates…you name it and we do it.

*animals – ducks, camels, horses, cows, zebras…you name it and we love it. we find every chance we can to find them, feed them, talk to them, etc.

*trucks/planes/tractors/bulldozers – anything big, loud and moving and eli loves it. all boy over here. all boy.

*books – loves to read (gram’s heart bursts with pride over this!). right now we are reading a lot of “the giving tree”, “where the wild things are”, “curious george” and “thomas” top the list, but really he loves all books.

*thomas the train” – books, trains, cartoon, figurines…anything and everything thomas. “they’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight….” is stuck in my head ALL THE TIME.

* mickey – still loving mickey mouse (and sings the song!).

*riding toys – we have at least 10. the green car (plasma car) and tricycle are winners at the moment.

*toy cars. especially my old ones from when i was little. my mom recently brought a bag of them to the beach (when eli and i crashed their vacation!) and he had a ball playing with the vintage collection.

*buckling everything (anything that fastens, clasps, buttons, etc. is a winner)

SAYINGS:
eli’s vocabulary is pretty insane. at his two-year appt. the pediatrician asked if he was speaking in 2-3 word sentences…well we bypassed that months ago. he’s more in the 6-8 word sentences. he’s VERY verbal (wonder who he takes that after…). some of my favorite sayings:

“mama hold you” (i.e. pick me up)
“what’s dat mama” on repeat 1000x a day (i.e. what’s that)
“tank you” (i.e. thank you”)
“i love you” (melts my heart EVERY single time)

he has started using pronouns and proper structure some too which is pretty impressive to me. “mama’s car is in the garage. it’s over there”.

FOODS:
all food. haha.
loves orange (chedder) and brown (chocolate) bunnies.
mac and cheese (mac-a-moni)
avocado
chicken
blueberries (as in 10lb boxes each week this summer)
treats (the kid gets his sweet tooth fair and square)
raisins
cookies/treats (any kind, all kinds).
fresh cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from our garden (straight from the vine!)
he is a good eater and pretty healthy. yes he will devour ice cream and cookies, but i work hard to make sure he eats a good balance of veggies. i am very, very thankful he’s a good eater and hope it continues!

Mama’s Favorites:
i am a amazed by eli every day. the things he says, the things he absorbs, the things he learns in front of my very eyes is simply unbelievable. he’s a sponge. he’s my little best friend. my love. watching him grow every day and change is quite possibly the coolest thing i’ve ever experienced. he has completed me and made me a better person. he’s made my heart bigger and my patience higher. he’s made me appreciate life. even on the crazy, hectic, no-nap days he reminds me to stop and look at every bulldozer on the side of the rode and stop to investigate/apprecaite the worm crawling on the sidewalk. he slows me down and speeds me up. he has made me love life more than i ever thought possible.

holidays, new year and 19 months. oh my!

once again, nearly a month has flown by and i haven’t stopped to write a post. to my benefit, i’m working hard on one of my main new year “goals” which is to live more in the moment and worry/stress/plan less. so, i’m going to use that as my excuse, even though the goal is not exactly as easy as i anticipated. damn type A personality makes “living in the moment” pretty damn hard. enough about that though and back to the topic at hand…eli.

the holidays were amazing. truly amazing. eli had a all at all 4 of our family christmas gatherings…wonderful time spent with family, great conversations, yummy food, cocktails, holiday desserts (my mom makes the BEST bourbon balls in the world that will nearly give you a buzz) and, of course, the gifts. we surprised eli (well santa did), with a choo-choo table along with about 100 other gifts. we haven’t mastered the art of minimizing gift buying for him for christmas, that was evident. we are pretty sure he spent christmas eve and christmas day wondering what on earth he had done right (so he could do it again) given the amount of gifts (and all the indulgent food!). he was in his own version of heaven. a train table, pop up tent/tunnel, cozy coup car, finger paints, easel, dump trucks, legos, PJ’s and slippers, books, hammer toys and LOTS more. it was pretty ridiculous to say the least. but it was perfect. and, pk and i treated ourselves to a little holiday gift as well…instead of a gift we are going to hawaii again in february! merry christmas to us indeed. let’s just hope i make it longer than the vail trip last winter when i flew home after a day. it was by far the most memorable holiday in my book and i know they will only get more fun as the years go by (SLOW DOWN!!). we also started a “tradition” (pk hates when people say they are starting traditions as it’s completely contradicting), but that’s what we did. or hope to do. every christmas eve we are going to give him pajamas to wear that night and then christmas morning, our little family of 3 (plus griff) will enjoy the morning opening presents, playing and making chocolate gravy and biscuits. i love the fact that we have our own little thing carved out that is just us in the midst of the holiday fun and chaos.

on to the next holiday, new year’s eve. i have come to the conclusion that it’s just not our holiday. last year eli was on the tail end of his month-long rsv battle and was also dealing with an ear infection. this year, pk came down with the flu-like virus (not the flu thank goodness) that morning and i got it that evening. so we were all in bed by 8:30 on new year’s eve. party animals over here. maybe, maybe next year?!

in other news, with the new year i’ve been trying to focus more on clean eating at our house. for those of you who know me, you know i’m a pretty healthy eater, but i definitely live by the 80/20 rule and daily chocolate (and wine most of the time) is an absolute must. but eli seems to be shunning veggies some these days (hit or miss) so we’ve been doing more smoothies (amazing what you can hide in a smoothie!) and even juicing some which he loves. i WILL get this kid to eat his veggies if it kills me!

the weather has been crazy – snow one day, 55 and sunny the next and 3 degrees the next. so we’ve taken advantage of the warmer days and played outside and cozied up with books and the fire on the bitter days. thankfully, we have no shortage of new toys to keep us occupied! and, i am beyond thankful for the ymca and library storyhour! eli simply LOVES going to spend time at the ymca while i workout for a bit and he also loves our M/T/W mornings at the library. he’s a regular.

i must also mention how much eli has evolved in the past month. his language and comprehension has made huge leaps. he can speak phrases now, “mama want yogurt”, “mama help”, “mama pick up” and he can follow directions for many things (putting up toys, bringing certain items, etc.). he picks out the books he wants to read, identifies nearly everything in them, points things out to us, etc. it’s awesome to watch him learn every single day. that will be the really tough part about going to hawaii. he’s going to change so much. but, thankfully he has some awesome grandparents to document it while we are away. and, facetime will be used a lot!

last but not least, we had a BIG milestone this week; we “celebrated” eli’s FIRST haircut. i’m not happy about this. in fact, i’m nearly devastated…still. even after the sushi and wine “celebration” dinner. i’ve fought pk for months about it and finally caved and now i’m so upset at myself. i miss his crazy curls already. yes, it’s still long, but it’s not my wild man hair anymore. i know it was probably necessary since we had a lot of “girl” comments, but it was so damn cute. and it still is (craig, my hair guy, did a great job), but i still cannot believe he’s old enough for us to have his first haircut. big tear.

my little boy is growing up.

his new broom to help mama clean

his new broom to help mama clean

my two loves

my two loves

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opening his pj's

opening his pj’s

cookies for santa

cookies for santa

choo-choo!

choo-choo!

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yummy!

yummy!

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18 months and the next chapter

posts are becoming few and far between, i know. but i’m not quite ready to let this blog die. it’s eli’s life (from creation to now!); it’s his baby book (really, this IS it). i plan on printing it into a book at some point sooner vs. later, but i keep waiting for a cut off point…and i don’t want there to be one. i love, LOVE going back and reading older posts. in the blur of diapers, tears, feedings, errands, books, chores and such, it’s easy to forget about how beautiful life really is. i re-read some of the posts and think “wow, i remember how CRAZY i felt that day!” or i recall the exact feeling i had when eli said or did something for the first time. i don’t think there is any better way for me to remember and capture these beautiful moments than through this blog. i’ve said it before and i will say it again, sometimes the days seem like they last an eternity, but the months and year(s) fly by. yesterday my little nugget was merely a dream in our hearts and now he is 18 months old. so…until that time when i just can’t write any more posts, i will keep up this little blog b/c it makes my heart smile EVERY time i read it. hopefully it makes others smile too.

18 months and counting…

Favorite toys: trains (choo-choo), remote controls (calls them dada), nutcrackers (especially the life size one in our family room), balls of any sort, air planes (still air-phh-phh), curious george (dord as he calls him). the kid is pretty obsessed with all things boy…he’s a hot (beautiful) mess. christmas is going to be a blast this year.

Foods: the kid still loves his food (as shown in his 75% percentile in weight:). some favorites right now include lara bars (i can’t open one without him wanting it…all), avocado, pineapple, cheese, mac & cheese, and most recently, he loves butternut squash soup. he also loves his sweets so we have to reign that in a tad (dada…he can’t have them 3x a day!) — “cooo-kee” as he says.

Activities: we stay pretty busy with the library story hour/play times, regular play dates, swim lessons (just ended last night) and just general play time at home and out/about. i am not as organized as some, but i try to do crafty things with him to keep him occupied and interested. he loves play dough, boxes, markers (not to be confused with crayons…he much prefers things that are permanent), peek-a-boo, spinning in circles, emptying my pantry (big fun to unload lara bars and throw stevia packets on the floor), eating, and BA-KET-BALL. He adores basketball — on tv, in person and playing it. it thrills PK to pieces. we paint, we draw, we dance, we sing…we keep pretty busy these days!

My favorite things: so, so many, but one of my favorite things of all time is bedtime routine. we have a bath and then read books and rock. it melts my heart. then when i place him in the crib, he looks up at me with a face that shows complete joy and content; he is so happy and sleepy. it literally makes my heart burst with joy.

Hard times: we seem to be entering the tantrum mode and boy can he throw them. he does NOT like to not get his way…not sure who he got that from. anyway, it’s incredible. tears, lashing arms, screams…it’s so sad but at the same time it’s also quite funny when you know it’s over something like the pretzel falling on the floor and griff eating it. however, yesterday he was super upset after his nap and i couldn’t figure out the reason…now that does not make me happy. i felt so helpless as i tried to find anything and everything to ease his “pain”. finally he calmed down but it took well over an hour. sleep is still an ongoing struggle in our house too…some days he will snooze or at least stay in his crib happily until 6:30/7. most days it’s more the 5:45 mark when we hear the sounds start. that can make for a long ass day (thank goodness for the ymca and childcare when mommy needs an hour!).

Holiday fun: i have always been a bit of a scrooge when it comes to holidays, but this year has already been a game changer for me. the look in eli’s eyes when he sees the tree lit up is enough to convert me to mrs. claus. we’ve decorated a gingerbread house (he loved that…well he loved eating it), we’ve read tons of holiday books, we’ve gone to the polar express train in bowling green, we’ve visited with santa (twice!) and we have played with our collection of nutcrackers and nativities (the fisher price nativity is awesome by the way. thanks gram!). it’s been a blast. i cannot wait to decorate cookies with him next week and, most of all, see his face light up on christmas morning when he sees ALL the goodies santa has for him (i may have gone a bit overboard).

a certain someone is stirring and ready to get up from his LONG winter nap (2.5 hours!) so i’m off to cuddle and play and using this as a reminder to relax and ENJOY this amazing time of year with my little man as he soaks up every minute of his 2nd christmas.

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so much to be thankful for

with a whirlwind of holiday prep, work, travels (nothing too exciting but weekly trips to Louisville and/or Lexington for ballgames, concerts, etc.), flanagan passing away and a few other things that will remain unmentioned (for now), i have yet again slacked on keeping eli’s blog up-to-date. so here is yet another “catch up” hodge-podge post. and since this week marks one of my favorite times, it seems only appropriate that this post be centered around being grateful. thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays as it is a time to reflect and have a full heart and soul. a time to put aside everything and focus on what’s truly important — family, friends and joy.

eli is just a couple weeks shy of being 18 months old. that seems huge to me. at 18 months they turn into a real toddler it seems. he gets lumped in with the 2 and 3 year olds instead of the babies. it sort of breaks my heart and warms it at the same time.

these days are amazing. they are trying and tough. they are sometimes long and napless. there are lots of snotty noses, wipeouts (he falls at least 12x a day — at least), lots of “NO’s” (his new favorite word), lots of messes, lots of laughs and above all, lots and lots of fun. like every mother in the univese says, “it goes by far too fast”. it really does.

this weekend we took eli to yet another UL football game (b-ball as he calls it) and when he wasn’t completely mesmerized by the game action, he was running around in the club area with the 8 & 9 year old boys trying to play football with them. before i turn around, he will be one of those older boys. i want to push pause…just every few months so i can really take inventory and appreciate every single thing he says and does because it changes daily.

so, what is he into at 17.5 months (besides everything — especially if he shouldn’t be touching it!)

words:
“no” has become a favorite. “Eli do you want ice cream” – NO. “Eli do you want to go swing?” – No. No, No, No. Of course, half the time he says NO and then does exactly what you just asked.

a few of his other words:
air-phhh (airplane) – he’s obsessed. when he sees them in the sky, on tv, in books, on his pj’s, he is in awe.

back-hoe (he loves them)

doorde (meaning “George” as in curious). he can’t quite say his “g” yet. gram is thing of changing her name to dam.

mama/dada/yaya

Chee (cheese) / bee(beets)

titty tat (kitty cat — and an awesome high pitched screech that is his meow!)

Ba-ket-ball (Espn is a winner in our house)

he also knows what cows, horses, cats, dogs and donkeys say

food:
wow. this kid can eat. i can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when he’s a teenager (costco, here i come). a few favorites: hummus (he loves to dip), cookies (he especially loves gram’s chocolate chip cookies and signs for MORE and PLEASE alot when he’s around those!), avocado, cheese sticks, mac & cheese, oatmeal, bananas (manana), yogurt, grapes, Lara bars and….the biggest hit of all…pirates booty (aka baby crack). seriously, it’s baby crack. if it were renamed baby booty they could easily jack up the price and mamas would pay it (do you hear that pirates booty?!). some days he literally will eat all day long and it’s shocking. tonight after dinner he saw me unloading some larabars into the pantry and chased me down begging (using his “more” and “please” signs) and polished it off in about 2 minutes flat. right after dinner!

favorite things:
airplanes (real and in books/on tv/etc), toy cars, remote controls, curious george (books and show!), all balls — basketball (ba-ket-ball), football (b-ball), beach balls (beee ball), trains (choo choo), leaves, pushing anything and iphones.

but beyond the words, food and favorite things, i am completely mesmerized by his little sponge of a brain. he sees me do something and he does it. he watches, absorbs and repeats. sometimes i feel like i can actually see his mind working and processing things and it’s awesome. i often just sit back and stare and watch as he plays or even sleeps and just soak it all in. i know i’m a bit bias, but he’s so sharp, so smart and so, so full of personality.

to close this hodge-podge post, i want to make it known and remebered forever that THESE are the days. my life, our life…it’s beautiful. yes, we’re busy. yes, we’re tired. yes, we’re running from here to there and everywhere…just like the rest of the world, yes, we often wonder about the grass being greener and have our typical issues, but, it’s beautiful. as we embark on thanksgiving, i am aware of how grateful and appreciative i am of my life (the good and the bad things).

happy thanksgiving, my friends.

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saying goodbye

today is a sad day in our home. we had to make the incredibly difficult decision to put Flanagan to sleep today. my heart is heavy and my mind swimming with memories of our crazy, energetic, “spirited” pup (we still laugh that the humane society tagged her as “passive” — ha).

she was part of our family for almost 8 years. she was our first kid in a sense (hence the title of this blog) and by my side through so much. during pk’s long residency hours she kept me safe and warm (i.e. hogged the bed and barked like a maniac at every sound in our loud neighborhood). she cuddled with me each and every time we had an unsuccessful fertility treatment — it was like she really understood and it was some of her calmest times. she put my patience to the test many, many times — as well as my ability to run really fast in stilettos and a pencil skirt to chase her all over neighbors yards. she ate more chocolate than i care to admit (and had many a visit to the vet to deal with that as well as her fair share of peroxide). she broke my hand (yep, it required surgery). she ate/shredded a huge portion of carpet out of our condo entry way (secretly i was happy about that one…wood floors!). she was known for pulling me down bardstown road on our daily runs, then deciding to stop and play dead a mile from home (that was always fun). she literally was our very own Marley.

but in the past six months we’ve seen a different flanagan. she was diagnosed with addison’s disease which is a very rare issue with dogs. after finally diagnosing her (that was cheap), she was placed on steroids to help. they did help some, but not enough. and, the side effects were not bearable as she became even more aggressive (she was ALWAYS food aggresive, but it was amplified by the meds) and started snapping at eli. sadly, we couldn’t have that and had to discontinue the medication. she did fine for several months sans the meds, but about a month ago had a really sick stint. she pulled through and we thought we were back in the clear. turns out, that was seemingly her last hoo-rah. she gave it all she had and went out on a happy note.

last night we decided it was time. this week has been tough for her; we noticed her getting slower and slower, not eating or drinking and basically not moving at all. last night her breaths were short and forced. she was not in pain, but definitely not comfortable and at peace. you could see it in her eyes. it was only right for us to let her go to a better place. to say the decision and this day have been difficult is an understatement. yes, flanagan caused many a thorn in my side, but as a friend said today, “the thorns protect the rose.”. she was our crazy, hyper, shedding pup and we loved her role in our family.

we went together as a family to hold her paws as she went to a better place. eli kissed her and petted her ears. flanagan laid her head on my lap and gently closed her eyes. we talked about her times as a puppy, the crazy and fun things she brought to our life, we simply enjoyed our last few precious moments of her life. and then, she went to sleep.

today has been tough. tears have come many times. i saw her bowl on the floor, and i cried. i saw the rug in our bedroom where she had taken residence the past few weeks, and i cried. i saw the blanket in the garage that she loved to cuddle on, and i cried. eli dropped some of his dinner and it remained there for more than a split second (griff is a little slower!), and i cried. i know in my heart of hearts that we did the right thing. for her and for us. but it doesn’t make the grieving process any easier to stomach.

flanagan, you will forever be our first “kid”. we love you dearly and your stories and memories will forever be part of our family and life. much love my dear pup.

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cold days with family

yesterday was one of those nights that i just felt alive. the fall air was cool and brisk. eli and i had a super fun day playing at the ymca (he LOVES the childcare there and mommy loves a little time to sweat alone!), a playdate at the library, an afternoon with my mom (aka, gram) and a cozy evening with family enjoying yummy homemade sweet potato chili, pumpkin (healthy) brownies and laughs with eli. seriously, it was a beautiful and simple day. watching eli “perform” for company last night (gram, cici and d) was simply heart-warming. he laughs, giggles, signs (“more” is his favorite sign for everything) and…he eats…a lot. seriously, i think the kid ate for 30 minutes non-stop last night. where does he put it!?

today, eli spent the day entertaining gram while i worked. based on the photos and videos my mom shared throughout the day and the LONG nap he had, i am 100% certain he (and gram) had an amazing and exhausting day. he could barely keep his little eyes open when i got home.

leaving him for the day really never gets any easier, but knowing he has an AWESOME time without me (sometimes) makes it better. and, he learned a new word…”he haw”.

thanks gram for spending the day with my little love.

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catch up post – fall/vaca/16 months and more

just when i think things will settle down, they seem to get busier. i guess that’s just life…especially life with an active (and getting more active by the day) toddler.

so, here’s a little recap. i really don’t recall where i left off — maybe a month ago when eli turned 15 months?! now, he’s 16 months and while i may have taken a hiatus from blogging, i by no means took a hiatus from doing fun things with eli and/or snapping pics (thank goodness for instagram!).

* fall has been amazing. afterall, it’s my favorite time of year for so many reasons (one being this is when we found out we were pregnant two years ago!). the crisp air, the clean smell, pumpkin everything, soup season, scarves/boots, hot tea…the list could go on. but, now it’s even more fun. watching eli giggle when the leaves crackle under his tiny feet, seeing his eyes light up every time we are at the local pumpkin patch when he sees all the orange “balls”, teaching eli to eat apples fresh from the orchard and watching as he masters the process, putting on our jackets to go on a late afternoon wagon stroll, giving him a spoon to lick after making pumpkin cookies (no eggs so not to worry). it literally makes life feel more brilliant. i have stopped to smell the roses more this fall than ever before thanks to eli’s amazement over everything. he sees a chipmunk and he stops dead in his tracks to gaze and follow it. it’s amazing and i for one needed (and need daily) the reminder to appreciate the little things in life.

* we just returned from a trip north to portland, maine and DC. we visited some of pk’s med school friends in maine and it was divine. not only is portland just as quaint and gorgeous as i imagined, but we had a blast with our friends and their kids. on saturday we took all the kids (7 kids ranging in age from 2-10 and 6 adults) to a corn maze/pumpkin farm and then carried in fresh lobsters for dinner. add in some great wine and hiking and the trip was perfect. eli had a ball playing with all the older kids and i swear made some huge advances thanks to their behaviors (all good!). after four days in portland, we ventured to DC for 5 days where pk had a meeting. eli and i decided to tag along since my aunt and uncle live there too. of course, this happened to be the week that the government was shut down so we weren’t able to hit the zoo and a few other places eli would have enjoyed, but we still had a blast. the national building museum is quite possibly one of the coolest places for kids ever, and the national children’s museum was not far behind. we also strolled to georgetown (a nice hike from downtown) and met up with a college friend of mine for shopping, lunch and cupcakes (of course). and, the icing on the (cup)cake was eli getting to know my aunt judy and uncle jimmy better. they graciously toted eli and me around on monday and tuesday to museums, lunch and dinner while pk was in his meetings. after being on the road and living out of suitcases for 9 days we finally made it home with a house full of colds. pk and i had a minor case of the yucks, but poor eli got the real deal. he’s been down for the count since wednesday and it’s heart breaking. he was SUCH a trooper on the trip — napping, eating, sleeping at random times and places and for the most part going with the flow. i think his little body was just done. so, we’ve spent the past few days holed up inside trying to nurse him back to health. a few firsts for eli — he tried REAL sushi and loved it and lobster. crazy boy…this could get really expensive!

* maybe due to the travels and being around older kids and exposing him to new things, or maybe just due to natural progress, pk and i agree that eli made a lot of strides with his speech and communication while we were gone. he picked up several new words such as “it’s cold”, airplane, apple, banana, as well as becoming completely versed in the sign language symbol for “more”. he’s running now (not just toddling) and will do “touchdown” arms on demand and/or when he sees a football game on tv. it’s adorable. my aunt and uncle were amazed at his little free spirit that is go-go-go-go all the time…until he hits the wall and falls asleep mid bite of pirates booty. what he also seems to have gained is more of a temper. this little man can be fierce. he was with us every day for two weeks (and with me 24/7) living in one room so it has made the separation anxiety come out a little. that combined with his cold has made for some rough napping/sleeping schedule issues.

* a few of his current favorite things at 16 months: sidewalk chalk, books (and more books…the little ones and big ones…he loves them all), keys (specifically likes to his the trunk open button — that’s fun, pirates booty (he’s going to be a pirate for halloween thanks to the discovery that eli will be quiet and behave on a plane, in restaurant, etc. if we feed him mounds of pirates booty), still loves cheese and avocado. he loves to watch football games and gets excited at the proper times. he LOVES steering wheels.

overall, i just can’t say enough how blessed our little family is. without going in to too much detail (maybe later), i am simply embracing everything our little man has brought to our family and trying hard to minimize the “what if’s” and “should we” that so often can consume me. for now, life is pretty damn close to perfect…whatever perfect may be. :)

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15 months

i think i start every “month” post the same…where does the time go?! how is eli 15 months old?! it’s crazy and life is crazy, but it’s also SO MUCH FUN.

i miss baby (baybee as eli says). i miss nursing and rocking him to sleep. i miss his milk drunk body after eating. i miss his sweet “new baby” smell. but as much as i miss “baybee” eli, i am amazing at how much i love each new day and phase. i hate being away from him because with a day comes so much change. somehow in the past couple months we have a full-blown toddler. he “toddles” around (and into) everything and it’s both hysterical and adorable. by 8am our house looks like a small tornado has passed through it…cabinets open, bowls strewn, books everywhere, crayons in every crevis, laundry pulled out of drawers, balls flying through the air, food smeared on clothes (and hair). by 5pm this is all multiplied (although i do clean/straighten as we go b/c otherwise it would take 2 hours at the end of the day!) and he is sweaty, smelly and dirty — and usually covered in dirt and sidewalk chalk from head to toe. oh, and usually we have at least one new war wound to show for the day — scrapes, cuts, bruises…they are pretty common around here.

a few highlights…

walking is full force. he now has a few gears and when he wants can kick it into almost a power walk/jog.

he LOVES the dogs (i don’t but he sure does) and they usually love him. we are still having some issues with them — mostly food related aggression, but we are working through that with keeping them out of sight when eli is carrying food around. griff still lingers under the high chair for handouts (and has packed on the freshman 15 due to it), but flanagan has a few residence outside during all meal times as she has no self-control and basically was jumping into eli’s lap to lick him and the plate. sigh. dogs.

sidewalk chalk, balls, football games, books, balloons, swinging and anything that isn’t a toy (remotes, phones, purses, the fridge drawers, clean (or dirty) laundry, pens (learned a hard lesson here — pens and leather ottomans do not go well together) are a few of his favorites. he’s really, really into books right now which is so sweet.

food is still a highlight in eli’s world. i’m hoping he remains a good eater but i’ll take it as long as i can for now. his current favorites are strawberries, mac and cheese (annie’s organic of course), lara bars (new love), almond butter sandwiches/toast/waffles, smoothies, grapes, triscuts with hummus and cheese. he’s had a lot of new things recently and i’m trying to get better about mixing things up. he has to get bored! he’s in the 75th percentile in weight (pretty amazing considering he started in the 25th) so he’s doing pretty darn good!

words — BALL is still his go-to word. he sees a game on tv and says “ball”, sees apples and says “ball”, sees anything round and says “ball”. pk is so proud.

socializing — he’s a party animal. he loves ballgames, playdates, story time at the library, the nursery at the ymca. older kids and babies — he likes them all. he is totally a little politician.

basically, the days are more and more fun with eli. of course, there are some that are a little hairier than others (for instance, he was a bear on wednesday but we all have our “days”! side note: i dressed him in his suspender jeans and a cardigan so he would look like a grumpy old man to fit his grumpy mood!).

on one hand i want to pause time but on the other hand i can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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our lil’ cardinal

last year we packed eli to nearly every home UL football game (all but one that was too late and too cold for him and me!). looking back, it was easy (although it didn’t seem it at the time). all things considered, taking a 4 month old to ballgames is quite easier than taking a 15 month old. 4 month old babies don’t wander, they can sleep anywhere, their food is extremely easy (hello boob), they are content bouncing/rocking/bjorning for hours. a 15 month old…not so much. eli likes to be on the go ALL THE TIME. he gets uber cranky when he doesn’t nap (it’s ugly). he likes to sit for approximately 12 seconds before he needs to be up and at it. he likes to eat a lot. he likes to throw things. he’s a toddler and that’s just what they do (and it’s awesome but makes ballgames interesting!).

that said, he’s still 2 for 2 when it comes to UL football games this year. the first game was quite the disaster (in my book). but last weekend was SO much better. noon games might not be fun for those sans kids/want to tailgate/etc., but they are officially my favorite now. who says you cannot enjoy a beer at 10:30am (9:30CT)…especially if you’ve been up since 6am with a toddler and it’s a game day!

anyway, noon games work much better. eli napped on the way up and was ready to play at the tailgate (where we had aforementioned beer), ate lunch while watching the game (thanks to a prepared mom who loaded a diaper bag FULL of snacks), played with some of our friends, watched the band up close with the biggest eyes he’s ever had (thanks to a pass to the president’s suite), and had a ball (pun intended). he made it the entire game and crashed in the carseat before we could even pull out of our parking spot. it was perfection.

this weekend he will not be attending the UK/UL rival game (mainly b/c we don’t want to buy him a ticket as required at UK and b/c the last time we went to this rival game in Lexington, it was not a place i would want my child). however, he will be wearing his cardinal red all weekend and supporting his team. i know pk is beyond proud that his little “mini me” recognizes the cardinal bird, throws footballs and genuinely loves balls. it makes my heart smile to see the two of them already bonding over this mutual love. so much so that it has made me appreciate and enjoy the sport even more.

go cards!

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