Monday, July 28, 2008

New sounds and new other stuff

Elijah found some new sounds to make over the weekend. He started saying "Faah!" and "Vaah!" and he thinks it's hilarious if you repeat those back to him. Then he discovered the D and T sounds and he must think that's pretty cool because it's all we heard yesterday. He kept saying "Daw-Tuh," like he's British and trying to say "daughter." Every time he'd say "Dadadada" I would point to Dan and say, "Yes, that's Dada!" He would stop and think for a second and say, "Baba!" How funny.

We had a busy weekend. Lots of stuff going on. Yesterday we made another trip to the zoo. Every time we were in the sun and getting really hot, Elijah would do the sign for ALL DONE. All done with this heat, Mama! We discovered a new favorite food while we were at the zoo. Mandarin oranges! Wow, he gobbled those down like a crazy man. We have a pediatrician friend (Hi, Karla!) who answered about a zillion of my questions on Saturday (sorry for harassing you so much!). One thing I asked about was how to get Elijah to start drinking milk again since he has decided in the past week that juice and water are the only liquids he wants. She suggested adding a little chocolate to the milk. Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? We tried it out tonight and he drank more than he normally does. Karla also taught Elijah how to give high fives. It was really cute.

Look at the cute prairie dog. Somehow he reminds me of Elijah.

Are those weird camel humps, or is it just me?

I want a monkey!

Elijah was intrigued by the pink birdies

My dad, stepmom and little brother are coming for a visit in a couple days and we are sooo excited to see them. Drive safely, guys! Elijah is ready to show off for you. He is an expert level ham.

One last thing I want to mention is Elijah's desire to test the waters lately. He knows that dropping food (or anything) from the table is a no-no. He tests us so deeply on this. He will dangle a piece of food over the edge of the table, because he knows it's wrong, and he will look at us like, I know this is wrong, what are you going to do? Dan and I will say, NO, ELIJAH, and he'll bring it back to the table and switch hands and try it on the other side. It is soooo hard for me not to laugh because it's so funny and cute. Dan does a much better job than I do of being firm and telling him NOOOoo.

Here's a fun video from tonight. What a talker we have! And look at how much he loves those trucks.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Go back to previous post

and write your guess! 129 people looked at this blog yesterday and only 8 people left dates.

YES. I know Elijah will crawl in his own time. I don't care if he doesn't crawl till 2011. I'm just having some fun! Play along!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Place your bets!

My boys made sure I had such a nice birthday yesterday. Dan and I went to dinner while his mom watched Elijah and I'm still drooling over the the food we ate. Lobster and shrimp and scallops and steak. And those yummy fried noodles and fried rice. And chilled sake. I love Osaka! We got home and relaxed for a bit before going to bed. Dan called to me from the kitchen and asked me to come see why the garage door wasn't working. Our garage door has issues, so this was a believable request. I went into the garage, and sitting there staring at me was a beautiful easel holding a blank canvas, ready to be painted on. I started to cry. I love to paint. I painted a lot in college but haven't done a thing since, mainly because I don't have a space to do it. Really, that's an excuse, because now that I will be doing it again, the garage will work just fine. Anyway, it was the perfect gift and I'm so excited to put something on that canvas. Thank you, my hubby and baby boy! And thank you to everyone else who sent birthday wishes. I had an amazing day.

Elijah is scooting everywhere! Last night was the first time he scooted over to the tv stand and tried to touch things he shouldn't be touching. I told him no and moved him away from it and he cried and cried. We've never had to tell him no when it comes to playing with or touching things because he has never moved anywhere! This is new territory for us. Which leads me to...

He is so close to crawling. He army crawls and scoots everywhere, but he just isn't able to completely push himself all the way up yet. (I'm stealing this idea from you, Ehlan.) So everyone reading, leave a comment and give me the date when you think Elijah will start to crawl. He has to be on all fours, moving more than a few feet, torso not touching the ground. Whoever guesses closest to the actual date will get a little treat in the mail from us!

I don't mean to put pressure on the situation. It's just that, we thought this day would never come. Elijah had HALF the energy that most children have for 14 MONTHS of his life. Development has come slowly because of that. That means everything he accomplishes is much much sweeter for us. The day he crawls I am going to cry and dance and jump up and down and run around the block and do handstands and kiss everyone I see. This is a big deal for us. So give me your date!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Momma!

Hi everyone, it's me Elijah! I know I don't normally write but I just wanted to take a moment to say how awesome my Mommy is and to wish her a very Happy Birthday.
My Dad and I are very blessed to have such a caring, loving, strong, persevering, patient, hard working, fun, beautiful, wonderful woman in our lives.

Mommy you are our Woman, the best Mommy and Wife and we love you very much and hope you have a most splendid birthday!

ps. I hear daddy say you are "hot" a lot but I'm not sure what that means, I hope you don't have a fever or anything, I can turn up the AC if that'll help.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend pics

I have a couple fun things to report tonight. Elijah did the sign for MORE today when Dan was feeding him yogurt, his favorite. YAY! More signs! I came home for lunch to spend some time with him and I walked in the back door very quietly because I knew his OT was here and working with him. He still heard the door and knew it was me coming in, so he squealed endlessly. I don't think he has ever done that before. It made me feel so good. He was so much fun today. Lots of giggling and funny faces and babbling and playing. This is my favorite age so far. I love it. I just sit and watch him and cannot believe what a miracle he is. And so handsome and funny, too!

Dan's mom took me to Kohls tonight and bought me a bunch of new clothes for my birthday, which is on Wednesday. Thank you, Kitty!! I rarely buy new clothes for myself because I always seem to find better ways to spend my money, so this is a huge thing for me. I'm already feeling spoiled and it's not even my birthday yet. By the way, I'm going to be OLD this year. This is the first year I've felt like I'm saying goodbye to my youth. :(

Grizzly bears playing at the zoo. It was a bit unnerving when they ran toward the glass that we were standing right next to at 20 mph.

BIG bear

Mama, can we get a bear?

Cute Jetson, loving everything he saw!

Fishies! Elijah actually started doing the sign for FISH while we were at the zoo. I think the signs are going to start coming quickly now.

Even with his hair cut short, it's still poofy and curly. I love it. It has body!

Busy busy

We had a weekend packed with activities. I got tons of Elijah time and I loved it. Elijah and I spent most of the weekend at the dropzone, and Dan spent the entire weekend there. I was able to make two fun skydives on Saturday, and guess how many jumps Dan made over the weekend? 24! Go Dan!

We went to our good friend Doug's 40th surprise party on Saturday afternoon and Elijah flirted shamelessly with every single guest. Nothing unusual there! Yesterday was a BUSY, but really fun day. E and I met up with my friend Kris who I used to ski with a lot, and who I haven't seen in years, because he just had a baby boy. He's sooo adorable! I can't believe Elijah was once tinier than he is. It's hard to remember back that far. After that, we met my sister Lynn and two of her munchkins for lunch. I rushed Elijah home for a quick nap and then we loaded up again and met my friends Pam and Grant and their cute little Jetson at the MN zoo. They have grizzly bears right now and even though it was crazy busy, it was fun to watch them running around. Elijah's favorite thing was the fishies! I have a few pics that I will upload later tonight.

And today is my dad's 72nd birthday! Happy birthday, Dad. I love you! We can't wait to see you next weekend. Elijah is practicing saying "Grandpa" (which comes out "ba. ba." like everything else).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Look at my new big boy hair cut!


I'm having a tough week. I feel totally starved of my Elijah time. Dan and I were out of town last weekend. On Tuesday I was out of town for work all day. Yesterday Elijah only took a 30-minute nap at daycare again so he went to bed right when we got home. I need a solid week with him just to feel normal again. That's not going to happen, though, because I have no vacation time left for the year aside from our two upcoming hospital days. I won't know what to do with myself in 2009 when I will have vacation time that won't have to be set aside for the hospital (I hope).

This weekend I have one main thing on my agenda: SPEND TIME WITH MY BABY. I don't care what we do or where we go, as long as I can have that.

Elijah is currently evolving into such a little man. His baby qualities are slowly fading and toddler traits are emerging. He no longer likes bottles and he is finally great with sippy cups. He is trying so hard to talk. If I ask him to say "banana," he will say, "Ba. Ba. Ba." I ask him to say "ball," and he says, "Ba." "Dada" is "Ba. Ba." He does this new funny thing where he taps his fingers on the table and his feet on the floor, like he's bored. He now gets out of a sitting position ALL ON HIS OWN to get his toys (this is huge!). He scoots all over the floor, and no longer cries doing it (huge again!). We think we saw him doing a modified version of the sign for MORE the other day. He has just the cutest little personality and he totally knows that he is adorable. He has the flirty face perfected and uses it often and with everyone. The kid melts my heart. I can't wait for my weekend full of nothing but him.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Vacation Part II (the normal part)

Once we got to the airport and absorbed everything that had just happened, we realized that it was true. We were really ON VACATION. Our flight was delayed, but that worked out perfectly because it gave us a chance to eat and have a margarita before getting on the plane. We had a fabulous time Thursday night once we got there. We met up with our friends Lance and Stephanie and Stephanie's brother Brent ("51"), who had all flown in a bit earlier that day. We gambled at some cheap tables till pretty late and I walked away from the roulette tables $100 ahead!

Our fun room at the Mirage

Dan, Lance and Fifty-One. These guys were soo much fun to be around. I loved every minute of our time together.

Cute (and expecting) Stephanie and me (not cute or expecting)

Resting on the Ballys walkway

So happy to be away from MN for a while

Friday we sat by the pool, walked around a bit and had a pretty low-key day. We went to the very yummy seafood buffet at the Rio that night and later did some more gambling. This time Dan walked away with extra cash from the blackjack tables.

The pool area was soooo nice. Why can't I be sitting there RIGHT NOW??

Saturday we got to meet The Rollers! I was so excited about this and they turned out to be just as kind and sweet as I expected them to be. Kathy and Joe are inspiring parents and warm people and their three boys are all ADORABLE and I wanted to take them all home with me. It was such an honor to meet them. Baby Isaac was such a lovey, cuddly man. I held him for a few minutes and he snuggled right up against my shoulder the entire time. I loved it! The two older boys went on some rides at Circus Circus while the rest of us walked around and chatted.

Look at this sweet munchkin face. I could just love on him all day.

Lovey boy. He can gladly cuddle with me as much as he wants.

Look, I think Kathy is as short as I am (she's even standing on a slight incline, so we were just about exactly the same height)! I couldn't believe it. I don't have a single friend my height.

Look at this cute family. Kathy and Joe are in serious trouble. Girls are going to be pounding down their door constantly.

We came home on Sunday and it was bittersweet. Vacation went by so fast, but at the same time I was ready to see my chunskter. When we picked him up at Auntie Lissa's, he didn't know what to think. At first he was excited and flapped his arms endlessly. Then after a few minutes, he wanted Daddy and no one but Daddy. Not even me! :( That was tough, but I understand. He spends most of his time with Dan, so that only makes sense. Until we left Lissa's, if he wasn't in Dan's arms he was sobbing. The car ride home was a mess, which is unusual. He was feisty and crabby and not himself at all. We think he was saying to us: WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME? That and I think he's slightly sleep-deprived just from not sleeping in his own bed for a few nights. I put him to bed at 6:00 tonight, but he was easily ready by 5:30.

On the way home from Lissa's yesterday, before the crabbiness began. He kept doing his really flirty face as if he didn't know us and was trying to impress us.

Lissa & family did such a great job taking care of our man, especially with the challenges they faced with their house and the weather. We are so lucky to have Lissa and her sweet little family. Not sure what we'd do without you guys. We love you!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Vacation Part I (actually, this is the part before we ever got on the airplane)

We had quite the adventure before our vacation began. It started out with us bringing Elijah to my sister's house on Thursday afternoon at about 1:00...

Mama, don't leave me!

Dan and I have no idea how we are alive and well and how we ended up in the right spot at the right time this weekend. We brought Elijah down to Auntie Lissa's house in Cannon Falls and stayed for a bit, put him down for his nap and left to go to the airport. Let me first explain that Lissa's house is in the country, off a dirt road, on many acres of land, surrounded by many humongous trees. As we were pulling out of the drive, it started to rain and hail a bit. We kept going, assuming it was just a small passing storm. About a mile down the road, things got really ugly.

This is when it was still driveable

Once we saw this, we knew it was bad

Suddenly the wind started blowing about 100 mph (honestly, that is truly what it looked like, and we later learned that a tornado touched down about a mile or so away, so it may have been reeeeeeeally close to that) and we couldn't see a thing. Luckily there was another driveway leading to a house nearby so we followed that and drove up to the house. We sat in the car for a minute before I realized that there was a large tree directly behind us and I knew it was about to be blown down right on top of us, so Dan backed the car up. We were in the direct path of other trees and debris and our car was rocking back and forth. Then a power line fell and was dangling about six inches from our car. A few seconds later, the tree that we had backed up to avoid, fell down and landed right where our car had been sitting. These people's entire yard was in ruins. Trees were everywhere. Their garage, which we were sitting right next to, had been shifted off its structure and was not looking good. Dan finally said, "We need to get into that house!" That meant we would have to run through this craziness and risk getting struck by something, but I knew he was right.

We ran to the back door that led into the garage and thank God it was unlocked. We went in and knocked on the door leading into the house. A nice man came to the door right away and told us to come in. He directed me to the safest hiding spot in the basement, where his wife was already sitting. I sat in there with her, shaking and shocked that this had all happened so quickly. Once we were safe, I tried to call Lissa to make sure everyone was ok. I couldn't get a hold of her, so I started to panic. I tried over and over, and nothing. The storm finally subsided and we realized that these poor people's house was totally wrecked. Their garage was destroyed, their trees were all gone, some of their windows were broken, water was leaking in their house, their power line was completely down on the ground. But my main focus was MY SON. I still hadn't heard from Lissa and I was getting worried. I later realized she had been trying to call me, but the service is so bad out there that my phone wasn't picking up any of the calls and I couldn't reach her because their main phone line was down.

Dan and I got back into our car, which was miraculously unharmed, and drove back down the road as far as we could go. We ran into some big trees blocking the road so we parked the car and climbed through them. We ran up and down and around the dirt roads, through and over the trees, trying to get a hold of Lissa every 2 seconds. Just a short distance from her driveway, we came to a HUGE clump of trees that was blocking the road. Dan and I were so soaked and dirty and climbing over 10-feet high debris, trying to get to her house. While on the top of a very large tree, my other sister Lynn got through to me. She said that she had talked to Lissa and that everything was ok. The kids were ok, the house was ok, everything was fine. THANK GOD. Hugh sigh of relief. We didn't see an end to our climbing in sight, so we turned around and headed back to our car knowing everyone was ok. Dan and I were filthy dirty, sweaty, absolutely disgusting.

The first clump of trees we came across. This was NOTHING compared to some of the things we saw ahead (and I didn't bring my camera all the way, so I don't have pics of it all).

Look at my dirty and soaked. It was fun walking into the airport like this.

By this time I had given up on our trip, thinking the whole state had been destroyed as badly as what we were seeing. Have you ever seen that show "Man vs. Wild"? That dude gets put in a desert or a jungle or somewhere equally as deserted and finds his way out all on his own? That's how I felt. It was totally crazy. We got to our car and managed to find our way to the highway, through downed trees and power lines. We made it to the airport with plenty of time and our flight ended up being delayed so we had enough time to eat.

Sooooo we left poor Lissa and family to care for our baby with NO electricity or water for a day or so. We felt really bad, but there's really no way we could have gotten to them until way later that night when the roads and their drive were cleared. If Dan and I would have left their house even three minutes later than we did, we never would have gotten to the airport in time for our flight. If we would have left home any later, we would have had Elijah with us when we were trying to seek shelter. Everything was timed perfectly. We feel like there were about 1,000 angels surrounding us on Thursday. That tree could have easily fallen on our car while we were sitting in it. Those people could not have been home to let us in. Lynn could not have called me to save us from another hour of dangerously climbing over trees to get to Elijah. It's crazy. We were both in shock for a few hours after escaping the war zone.

Check out Lissa's blog for photos of their yard before any clean-up was done.

The HUGE tree we climbed over in an attempt to find out if everyone was ok. Here it is a few days later and on the side of the road.

The house we sought shelter at. Notice the damage and lack of trees. Before the storm, there were many pretty trees in their yard. From this angle, you can't see the damage done to the garage. I think they may have to tear it down and rebuild.

We made it to Vegas safely and had a wonderful time. Lissa & family eventually got their driveway/road cleared and the electricity eventually got turned back on, but we know things were extra difficult and stressful caring for our baby under such unique circumstances. We are SO APPRECIATIVE of their efforts and for letting us get away for a couple days. THANK YOU GUYS. We love you and appreciate your efforts and appreciate you allowing us that time away.

Part II of our trip tomorrow...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I think Elijah is mad at me

He woke up feisty this morning. He threw his sippy cup full of milk across the bed when we offered it to him and he hardly paid any attention to me. Both of these things are totally unlike him. Maybe he knows we're leaving for the weekend? I always hate this anticipation part of leaving him. Once we get there I will be fine (for the most part). It's getting there that's hard. It helps a lot knowing who is caring for him. There isn't a better person in the world to watch him than my sister Lissa. My other sister's youngest, Kaleigh, is also going to be at their house for a while this weekend, so Elijah is going to have TWO cute girl cousins smooching him constantly. Lucky boy!

Dan and I are all packed and ready to go! Our flight leaves later this evening, after we get Elijah all settled in at Lissa's house. If we have time, we'll post some pics over the weekend. Maybe Auntie Lissa will even post some Elijah pics!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tough love

Tonight wasn't all fun once I got home from work. Elijah refused to eat his peas, carrots, avocado and chicken (all of which he will usually at least try) for dinner so I took him away from the table without a bite in his belly. I felt bad, like I was starving the kid, but we really want him to know that what we offer him for dinner is it. If he doesn't eat it, then he doesn't eat. Then we went into the living room to play. FIRST let me tell you two exciting things! Elijah can now do the army crawl to get to toys. Most of the time he doesn't even cry! Just today he started getting out of a sit all on his own in order to get to his toys. Yay Elijah! So tonight I wanted to see him get out of a sit since I had just heard about it through Dan. I sat him down and put his toys out of reach. He refused to move. He sat there and cried and cried gigantic tears. Finally I went over and put his hand to the floor for him and he automatically put himself onto his tummy. Silly boy. So, lots of progress, but progress isn't always easy. We're working hard for it!

Some pics from the weekend, as promised:

All the boats on the river before fireworks

Daddy and Elijah sitting on the 4-wheeler at the dropzone

The wonderful but broken Otter

Our cozy camper!

Mama and Eli

The runway....ahhhh, so open and nice. It's so good to get out of the city on the weekends.

Bonfire area

Dan landing his (very large) canopy

Looooves the bananas

Baby Wilson is trying to eat the truck!

Whatcha playing with over there?

Playing so nicely next to each other

Our Lounger. He kicks his legs up every chance he gets. I think he gets that from Mommy.