Sunday, September 12, 2010

I have been very remiss in my blogging duties for quite some time.

Well, let's face it, shall we? I'm an inconsistent blogger at best …

I know. I'm sorry. I wish I was better. I hope to be better.

It's kinda a funny time to try to dedicate myself to blogging more when I'll surely have MUCH less energy …

We are beyond thrilled, looking forward to a 2.5 year age difference between kiddos, and a MAY baby. :)

In the meantime, on my road to blogging redemption, I thought I would do a big “Summer in Review” for everyone (you know, the three people that read my blog – Hey Suzanne!).

Minnsota – Sevlie Visit
We started out the summer with the Sevlie Family. Elliot and I flew to Minnesota over Memorial Day weekend and spent 4 days with this great family. We had about 2 days of fun before Elliot woke up burning up … we would later find out it was a double ear infection. :( Poor guy. He also threw up a little bit that night (probably from the high fever) which made me worry we were having a repeat of the week of vomit we'd had a couple of weeks earlier. Luckily, no. Elliot actually seemed to improve with piggyback doses of tylenol and infant's motrin (which, if you know me, isn't really my idea of fun … I hate dosing my kid with medicine like that). We kinda just got through the next day and a half and then flew back home on Monday. When we finally got home Elliot was evidently in enough pain to prevent nursing from being a soothing activity, that sign, along with increasingly concentrated diapers drove me to the Urgent Care. That's where he was pronounced to have a double ear infection and antibiotics were prescribed. I agonized over it. I wasn't happy about it. But I gave him the antibiotics. Over the course of the next couple of days we were able to reduce the pain meds and by the weekend he was back to normal. Whew! So the “Week of Vomit” and the “Double Ear Infection” were serious Mommy tests. After having gone through those tough illnesses, I feel stronger and more able to handle child related illnesses. Also, the fact that I had to go through the 2nd illness while on a TRIP, no less! Luckily my BFF has 3 little ones … she knows what to do, knows how freaked I tend to get with illness, and she and her husband were very helpful in keeping me sane. :)

Sick Baby!

Sadly, as you can tell from above, my clearest memories from that trip were of illness, but it wasn't all illness. The kiddos had a ton of fun together. This was the first time that Elliot really had concentrated time with kids, and he had a ball! Elliot and Benjamin (youngest Sevlie progeny) are roughly 6 months apart. Later in life, that's a NOTHING age difference, but early on, it's a pretty big canyon to cross. The boys really didn't “play” with each other … mostly just looked at each other and sometimes made moves for the same toy. The biggest interaction came between Ava (oldest Sevlie progeny). She was super great with him and I'm sure he's going to delight in her visit in October.

Our time was mostly spent letting the kiddos hang out and play so that we could hang out and talk. :) We did get an a sightseeing trip to the Twin Cities area, which was quite fun. Got to pop in to some shops, and experience one of Minnesota's ga-billion lakes.

Sevlie Family Visit

Holden Beach
Next stop, 4th of July with the Clodfelter Clan. Steven's family's 4th of July ritual usually includes Holden Beach … as long as the holiday falls into the week they rent “We're House” on Holden Beach.
I think they've been doing this for, oh, 17 or so years. I guess that means only 10 years without me … I still mostly feel like an outsider to this trip. Steven's BFF Drew still attends yearly, which is cool, but makes me feel like the “3rd wheel legend” (that was for you Steven). Since Elliot's birth I try to make it a point to go because I know his grandparents want to spend that concentrated time with him, whereas I have begged off in years past so that Steven could have quality time with his girlfriend, er, I mean BFF. :) Most of the time I don't have a week's worth of vacation to dedicate to the trip … so this year we did 3 days. I think I was supposed to do 4 or 5 days, but I chickened out. I'm not sure if ya'll know … but traveling with a toddler is NOT easy. Well, technically the “travel” part isn't too bad. Elliot is pretty cool in his car seat, once he's buckled in. The tough part comes when you're in the new environment, and it isn't childproof, and you've got to trail your kid like a ridiculous cop movie. One to two steps behind is the safest distance to prevent random broken items and grievous injury. Not really so much fun for Mommy! Also, throw into the mix the fact that my baby LOVES water, but doesn't really dig the ocean, and the whole thing is kinda torture. So, I hung in as long as I could before I had to call in reinforcements and leave for Goldsboro and Elliot's “fairy godmother's” house and POOL! Below are the pictures from the Holden Beach / Fairy Godmother Pool adventure.

Holden Beach

Walu Park!
So, I LOVE waterparks. Growing up in Goldsboro I'd heard radio spots and seen TV commercials for Emerald Pointe my whole childhood, but I'd never been. Greensboro seemed like a really long drive for a waterpark, even for me. So, when I realized, after Steven and I relocated to High Point, that the part was just minutes from our house, I was stoked. Still, at 25 and childless I really had no one to take and no reason to go by myself. I finally had a good excuse in 2007 when niece Emma came to visit with her mother, Ivonne. My sister LOVES theme parks. It is an EXTREME love that mostly eludes my mother and myself … we're just not into walking the length of a park 5 times to make sure we've gotten on EVERY ride (that might also have something to do with our bum hips …). Adding up my love of waterparks and my sister's extreme love of theme parks, and well, we had to get season passes! I think we went like 3 times while they were here, and it was just a BLAST. Emma had a great time and we got tons of pictures with Ivonne's underwater camera (which, now I must have one!). So, fast forward to Elliot's first summer … WAY too tiny and unvaccinated to expose to a public pool like that! As much as I ached to get back to Emerald Point, I just couldn't do that. So, fast forward to Elliot's 2nd summer … still to young and unvaccinated at the beginning of summer, but I felt confident that by the end of the summer he'd be good to go. Emerald Point usually has a deal at the end of the summer where if you buy next year's season pass you get the rest of this year free, so I shelled out the $65 for my pass (Elliot will be free until 3) and took my baby boy to the waterpark! Only, Elliot says the word water like “walu” … which always makes me think of the ABBA song “Waterloo” which of course makes me break out in the mini-song … just singing the word Waterloo. The first trip we made we went with Grandpa (my father). Elliot wasn't so sure what to make of the park. The water was a little cold … and there's water features everywhere that spray water into the air and make lots of splashes. My little boy is just like me and doesn't really like to get water splashed around his eyes … so he was a bit leery of that whole part. Also, we had him in a swim diaper, sans swim shorts, and an infant life jacket … which was mainly done to make Grandma feel better about Elliot at the waterpark. So … those implements make for a difficult time actually “sliding” down any of the slides. He just kinda got stuck. :( Still had fun though. There is 1 twisty slide that Elliot can ride with a lifejacket and parent involved, and we went down that a couple of times. I LOVE the slide … I think Elliot tolerated it, you know, just for Mom. Afterall, I do physically nourish him, it's time he gives back in his small way. LOL. During that trip we discovered that Elliot's favorite “ride” is the Cyclone … which is just a big donut shaped pool with strong waters that pushes you around in fast circles. He REALLY likes it. Smiles and giggles and all! Around 1pm (got to the park at 10:30) Elliot wanted some “bebo” and so we went to a chair to nurse and he just CONKED out. This kid was SOOOO out that I got him into the carseat without a peep. Unfortunately, he was still in his SWIM diaper, and for those of you who don't know, those swim diapers only catch poo … the pee just flows RIGHT through. So I was concerned about getting him into a diaper later for his continued nap... That little boy slept through the transfer from the car to the bedroom, too! I was able to get the swim diaper off (you just tear the suckers) but I was too afraid to put a diaper on him … didn't want to wake him, so I just placed a piddle pad under him and that was that. An hour or so later he woke up b/c he'd peed and it had gotten cold. So we got a diaper on him and brought him into Mom's room where we were watching TV. That little boy fell BACK asleep! The waterpark must have really done a number on him, because that kid took a 5 hour nap. Yes a FIVE hour nap! Unheard of! I thought we were going to capture this same “nap magic” when we took Elliot the following weekend, this time Grandma in attendance, but no such luck! Happily, with Grandma with us, we were able to bring the camera and get some great pictures. :) You tell me … does Elliot appear to be having fun on that slide with me? Or just appeasing me?

Walu Park

Da “Burgh
To “round out” summer, we took a trip to Pittsburgh to visit family and friends. We stayed with Mom's cousin Marilyn, her husband Paul, and their daughter Dani. As usual, Mom drove the 7.5 hours and I read. We put a large dent into Jhumpa Lahiri's collection of short stories “Unaccustomed Earth.” Which we loved! We spent some quality time with Dani at the park, and Elliot spent most of his time at Marilyn's house running after their dog, Rosie (15 year old dachshund) and trying to get us to let him go “up stairs!” Elliot is quite gentle with dogs if you're holding them, but if he's chasing them … all bets are off. Kids get caught up in the excitement of the chase … so Elliot spent a lot of time chasing Rosie and we spent a lot of time chasing Elliot to make sure that his excitement didn't inadvertently cause Rosie harm. Other than some frayed nerves, I'm happy to report Rosie is just fine. :) We also had an excellent visit with Mary Grace. Her grandson Patrick has become, I believe, Elliot's idol. We visited at Mary Grace's house for a couple of hours on Sunday. Incidentally, Mary Grace lives across from the lot where my mother grew up (the neighbors bought the land and tore down the house some years ago). While Mom and Mary Grace visited, I took Elliot outside with Patrick. Patrick was riding his bicycle around the street with his friends and Elliot REALLY wanted to get on that bike! I was nervous about it, but Patrick is REALY good with kids and held on to Elliot tight enough to make me feel comfortable … plus he didn't really “ride” much and didn't go far at all. Elliot was in HEAVEN, which kinda affirms my thoughts that he'll be ready for a tricycle by Christmas time. Elliot's always asking “go outside?!” so it'll be nice for him to have some more outside toys. Eventually the big kids tired of the bikes and two boys got out some mitts and a tennis ball. The kids play out in the street, and move anytime there's a car coming. That's city life, for you! The street is actually a One-Way street, so it's easy to keep your eye out for cars. Normally I make a big deal of Elliot holding my hand when we're out in the street, but I had a “when in Rome” kinda moment and there was my 22 month old … hanging out in the street with the big boys. It was SOOOO cute. A little glimpse into the future. Elliot didn't know it, but he was pretty much playing monkey in the middle, with very little hope of ever getting the ball. He'd run to the kid with the ball in his hand, quickly the ball would no longer be in that child's hand, and so he'd turn and run to the other kid. The little boys weren't quite as attentive to a toddler's need to be included, but Patrick stepped in once or twice (he was the oldest kid) and directed the younger ones to throw Elliot the ball. It was really cute. After that prompting the boys remembered to throw Elliot the ball every once in awhile. He was VERY happy. It was so much fun, and so heart swelling, to watch my little boy out there interacting with the kids. I'm also SOOOOO pregnant because writing out this little narrative has me all teary eyed and momma gooey. Ha! Let's just say that I LOVE being a Mommy. I think it's the luckiest and most rewarding job on earth. You'd think afterall that running around that Elliot would have been pooped, but he wasn't! Crazy! It's like all the activity just energized him more. That was our last day in the 'burgh and we left for home early the next morning. Elliot did great on BOTH LONG car rides! We really do have a traveller boy! :)

Pittsburgh Trip

Our traveling isn't done. We're head out to Atlanta today because I have a 3 day work thing to attend, and then next month we'll be heading to Toronto for more work related stuff. Luckily we LOVE to travel.

Elliot's Favorite Logo

Elliot has been growing, mentally, in leaps and bounds! He knows almost the whole alphabet, knows some numbers and is well versed in just about every car logo out there! Early in the summer he started showing an interest in car decals and so we started telling him which manufacture the logo was for … quickly he learned Toyota (he says Toy), Chevy, Honda, and Ford. It pretty much spiraled from there to all the others … Nissan, Mitsubishi, Saturn, Jeep, Volvo, Hyundai, Mazda, etc... It would be easier to list out the car manufacturer's that Elliot does NOT know. :) Watching all of this learning is just AMAZING. And seeing how much motivation is a factor has been really interesting. If there's a visual attached to it, Elliot's all about learning it (letters, numbers, logos) but more abstract concepts like colors are just NOT interesting to him yet. I'll keep you posted for that development. :)

He's roughly 29 lbs and 34.5 inches which puts him in the 60's on the charts, much better than the 97% he was at birth! :) He's solidly in a 2T and pretty much happy with life. He's got 12 teeth fully in and his 4 canines poking through the surface. In the last month or so he's steadily been putting his hands in his mouth … far back. So I think maybe those 2 year molars are starting to itch a bit.

Thus concludes the world's longest blog post. We'll, I'm sure it's not ... but it has been a doozy for me! Luckily my pregnancy bladder woke me at 6am this morning and so I had these two hours to myself, while Elliot still slept, so that I could pound out these words for you 3 readers. :)

I hope now that I'm all caught up, it means I'll be able to STAY caught up. Now that I have not only Elliot news to report, but pregnancy news to report, I think I might be up to the challenge ... or too tired for it! We'll see!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bad Blogger, Good Mommy

Well, I know it has been WAY TOO LONG since I've done a blog post ... but while I may not be the best blogger in the world, I'm pretty sure my son thinks I'm a cool Mom. Check out the photos of our impromptu splash party.

This was from March 20th. It was a fantastically warm day, we'd already had a bit of fun at the park (flying a kite) and it just seemed that the fun shouldn't be over. So, I had the scathingly brilliant idea of setting Elliot down in front of a pot of water in the driveway. He had A LOT of fun splashing around. I kept adding pots and bowls and bins for more and more water.

Mar 20, 2010_3

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Safety 1st!

I think I've mentioned, somewhere along the way here, that I'm trying to raise as close to a "free-range" kid as possible. It seems like a frightening prospect in this day and age, but evidently "this day and age" really is pretty safe.

So ... we oscillate between extremes in our efforts to not shelter Elliot too much.

Kitchen Kid

Like I'll let him play in the kitchen next to our under the sink cabinet without doors, but the toilet is on "lock down."

Or, a plastic bag is a dandy toy, yet the electrical sockets are plugged.

But, the difference is that I would never leave Elliot unattended in the kitchen, or playing with a bag. We only use safety products in the places where he's apt to be left alone for a minute or two. He's in the bathroom with me in the mornings while I'm taking those "whore showers" so I need to make sure he can't dunk his head in the toilet. And those electrical outlets are in the hallway where he walks up and down all day.

The only lazy parent type of "safety" item that we've induldged in was this gate for the xmas tree.

We removed it for the actual xmas festivities and, as it turns out, Elliot didn't want to mess with the tree anyway! Ha, go figure! Maybe this "free-range" kid stuff makes a better kid ... he gets to mess with so much stuff that he doesn't want to mess with the stuff we don't want him to? Just a theory.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I have a TODDLER!

Big Guy

WOW! When did that happen??

Since we co-sleep, Elliot usually wakes when I wake. This morning he was still asleep as I slipped out of bed. He's been working on changing up his sleep schedule ... dropping his 2nd nap and sleeping closer to 12 hours (instead of 10) at night.

So, even though I was a bit concerned about leaving him to wake by himself, I needed to start getting ready for work. I left the bedroom door and the bathroom door open and took what a friend told me was a "Puerto Rican" shower, but I've actually learned it's a "Whore's Shower" ... boy does that make me feel better. Anyway, midway through rinsing my hair I feel this little hand on my back.

Awww ... my little man (who I have been calling "big guy" a lot lately) had woken up just fine without me and decided to go find his mommy!

Tonight I was downloading pictures on the mac computer and Elliot was in the room with me. He was playing with some of my scrapbooking materials when he decided to stand up. He's taller than the desk. It's like "poof!" all of the sudden he's this little boy ... not a baby anymore.

I'm only slightly sad.

I'm enjoying this "big guy."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Christmas Report

Sorry the post with all of the Christmas pictures is SOOO late! We've been a little busy enjoying the time off together!

Elliot seems to have had a wonderful Christmas ... I want to call it his "first" Christmas, as he wasn't really aware of things last year ... but I suppose it wasn't technically his first, so I won't confuse people.

Christmas Eve & Day 2009

The pictures start with our Christmas Eve festivities at Steven's parent's house and follow through to Christmas night when Elliot finally just passed out from exhaustion. It was a very exciting day for a little boy!

I'm warning you, there are a TON of pictures. And, yes, I did weed them out ... there were a TON and a HALF!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Bites = Happy Momma!

Today we went to Charlotte in search of Happy Bites, toddler food by a company called Happy Baby Foods .

Now, we didn't go to Charlotte just for this food. Anyone who knows me knows of my obsession with all things IKEA. So a trip to IKEA is like a pilgrimage to my personal Mecca. Except it obviously happens more than once in a lifetime. ;)

Trips to Charlotte usually entail IKEA and then a stop at The Children's Place at Concord Mills. A trip to Charlotte will now include a stop to Super Target. Creating what I will now term the "Charlotte Trifecta!"

So ....

The Children's Place
Super Target

Got it?


Why Super Target, now, you ask? Because they stock Happy Bites!!! I've been searching for the Happy Bites for MONTHS now! It is essentially organic convenience food for toddlers. Or, organic convenience food for mothers to feed their toddlers. ;) They also stock a couple of other frozen organic foods which will undoubtedly make my life easier!

Here's Elliot enjoying the fruits, or chicken nuggets, of my labor!

Happy Bites Baby

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We have WORDS!


Elliot can say "Pea" now. He was in the bedroom with Steven and he kept pointing to something and making a "P" sound. Steven was puzzled and just kinda watched him do it a couple more times. I guess he finally figured out Elliot was gesturing to him about something ... so Steven stretched over to the other side of the bed to find that Elliot's favorite book Little Pea was on the other side ... where Elliot was pointing. The kid was saying "Pea!" He wanted his book. How cool is that?


He's been saying "buh" for months now in response to the butterflies that adorn Grandma's walls. And the same day he started really walking ... he also started identifying objects! I was reading a short board book to Elliot when I decided to see if he could point to objects when asked. So I said "Where's the butterfly?" and he promptly sprung his little pointer finger out and touched one butterfly, and then went across the page to touch the other. I jokingly told my friend I was going to enroll him in Entomology classes for tots. Still, I was pretty impressed!


The same day as the butterfly incident, Elliot was given a ball by one of my coworkers and when she handed it to him, he made a noise like "bah" ... it didn't phase me at the time, but then yesterday he said the same thing when I toss over his soccer ball to him. Bah. Now my kid can say ball. It's just wild to me!


He also says something that sounds a lot like "pretty," but I'm not quite sold on it yet. You know, it's SOOO hard to know what babies are really saying when they are learning to talk. I don't want to attribute a sound he makes to the wrong word, so I try to be reserved with these things ... especially since the word pretty is a descriptor, an adverb or adjective. But, I will tell you ... when he says the sound that sounds like "pretty" he's saying it about people and about decorations. Often when he looks at the xmas decorations we have adorning the walls he makes the sound ... he always looks like he's amazed and awed ... so maybe he knows a couple of nouns and one "pretty" cool adjective. ;)

I don't want to sound skeptical about my child, but I don't want to sound like I think I have the next Charles Dickens (usually people say Einstein, but we're talking WORDS here.)