Sunday, July 15, 2012

22 Months!

It's been a while since I've checked in with Eli's growth and development, so here it goes...

Eli Grey,

You are two months away from turning TWO! Then, two months after that your baby bro will be here! Time is really flying and I can't believe you are getting SO big!

Every time I look at you I feel so proud that I get to call you mine and that I've been so blessed to keep you on this earth; I pray that we have years and years and years to enjoy each other! You are my pride and my joy. You are my heart.

Let's see... you are now 26 lbs 6 oz and 35 inches tall! You seem to be almost a head taller than everyone your age and almost as big as the "big kids". Almost everyone we encounter thinks you are a big boy and will take after your daddy. I don't care as long as your are growing healthy and strong!
Your hair has gotten SO blonde this summer! It is like mine, it gets lighter when you are out in the sun a lot! I can't wait to see if it darkens up in the fall and winter. It's so thick and wavy, I love it! I have so many people tell me that you are such a beautiful boy, I tend to agree with them! Your big blue eyes and sweet smile have your mommy smitten, it's true.

You like to think you can keep up with the big kids and I think that is pretty cute, you often hold your own! Just a couple weeks ago we went tubing on the Chatahoochee River and you loved it - even when we went over the rough parts of the river, I think I was more scared than you were!
When we meet up with friends or are in big groups you always love running around with the bigger kids and you are so sweet with the little ones; you crouch down and get really close to their faces and say "Hi!" so sweetly!
Your ability to charm people and make friends so easily leaves me in wonder. This is truly one of your God given talents and I hope it is a quality that you embrace and that sticks with you for the rest of your life! You could do great things with this amazing little personality that God wove into you.


One area that we are working on with you right now is getting you on a better sleep schedule. It seems with all of this summer traveling you are having a harder time with falling and staying asleep, a lot of times you just want to come snuggle in bed with Mommy and Daddy. Lately we have been pretty consistent with our bed time routine:

We brush our teeth - When it's time to brush your teeth you run as fast as you can to the bathroom! It is hilarious!
Read a few books - The other night when we got to your room to read books, you wanted to read to US! You got your "Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed" book and opened it up, then you told us what was on the page. You said, "Mommy, monkeys! Jump, jump, bounce! Oh noooo! Ouch! He fell!" It was so funny, your Daddy and I laughed so hard! I wish I would have gotten it on video!
Say a prayer - When we say our prayer you hold our hands tight and try to keep your eyes closed, but a lot of times I catch you peeking and you'll giggle at me.
Sing a couple of songs (always finishing with Jesus Loves Me) - Singing "Jesus Loves Me" as we hold you tight is my favorite part of our routine, you lay your head gently on Daddy's shoulder and reach for my hand.
Then lay you down in bed - It's in these moments, when we lay you down and kiss your head, that I am reminded to be so thankful for our long days together.

Eli you are too smart and observant for your own good! Since about 18 months you've been talking non-stop! You chitter chatter constantly about what you see and what you hear and what you want and etc. etc.! In the past few months you've been using sentences. You say all kinds of things, sometimes I'm not even sure where you've learned some of the things you say! Right now you've been toying with different forms of words; you'll say "It broke" and "It's broken", I'm amazed at how often you get the tense correct. Your sentences are getting longer and longer; I love that we can communicate together!
You also know many of your colors (red, blue, "lellow", green, pink, purple, "ornange"). When we are at our park you differentiate between the slides as "the blue slide" and "the green slide". You can also count to 12! I really don't even know how you learned to count so well, but you've been doing it since about 18 months! You also recognize letters and numbers written down.
I attribute a lot of your smarts to your curious nature, I certainly can't take credit for it all! I hope you always love to learn and that you let your curiosity teach you many things in life!

Some of your favorite things to do at this age are:
1) Dancing. You LOVE to dance and always have! All I have to do is ask you to shake it and you will! Any time music plays you HAVE to move!
2) Singing. Just a couple weeks ago you made up your very own song with words! "Water, water, so fun! Water, I swim!" Usually you just hum to yourself, so this was a first! It was so adorable!
3) Coloring. You love to color and you love when I draw things at your request, usually a dog or a cow. You have a little magnetic drawing board that we use a LOT!
4) Going on walks. You love to explore and whenever we go on walks you look for all the sticks, rocks, bugs, leaves, etc. You point out the birds and the airplanes. You just soak everything in.
5) SWIM. This summer your love for swimming has really grown! You just love the pool and playing in the water, I see lots of beach trips in our future little man!

Eli, I hope you will always feel how much I love you! I am so proud of you for all of your achievements, your interests and your growth, but most importantly I am proud of you for the little person that you are. You are a light in this world, I hope you will always remember that.

I love you always and forever,

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Recap (May and June)

This summer has been CRAZY! I feel like we are traveling every other weekend... oh wait, WE ARE! Trips to Georgia to visit family and friends, trips to Tennessee to visit even more family, then in August we will be going to Arkansas. On top of all that have been my bimonthly appointments to the OB to check on our newest little blessing due in November (who is growing nice and healthy!! PRAISE!). Then sprinkle in some story time at the library, trips to the pool in 90-100 degree weather, playing at the park, family walks at night.... it makes for a FUN but CRAZY summer! But I am ready to get back to blogging! I have missed writing. Here is a little recap on what our little family has been up to!  

Our Disney Cruise (MAY)
In the beginning of May we had a family first, our first CRUISE! We went on a Disney cruise with Daniel's whole family and it was an amazing vacation! Eli absolutely loved it and I am just a little bit sad that he won't remember the experience (but I guess that just means we will have to go again, right?!). He was in heaven with Mickey Mouse all around him, although his new favorites became Foofy (AKA Goofy) and Donald! We went to a show every night, a few dance parties throughout the week, the pool and splash pad were a daily necessity, plus our excursions at the different ports! The Disney Fantasy really was just that!

My Water Baby and Our Frequent Trips to Georgia 
Eli has truly turned into a little fishy this summer! We have been back and forth to my parent's house in Georgia this summer, taking full advantage of their pool (and company!). As a result, Eli is on his way to learning how to swim and he's not even two!
We started out in the beginning of May with a big, bulky, life vest and Eli hated it! Then we moved on to try out simple arm floaties. The first time Eli floated in the water by himself, he LOVED it! He has been non-stop ever since! In fact, the first thing he does when we get to Nana's house is ask to go in the pool and look for his floaties. He will even bring mom her shoes, put them on her feet, and ask her to take him outside! She usually complies, even when we get in sometimes at 11pm on a Friday! What a good Nana she is!
Now at halfway through the summer Eli jumps into the pool by himself, walks into the pool and pushes off the side, he can turn around and change direction, and he can kick to where he wants to go! Sometimes he doesn't even want anyone else to help or touch him! What a big boy he is becoming!

Not only do we swim at mom and dad's house, we also take advantage of our apartment pool. On Memorial Day weekend we also tried out the local splash pad and Eli had his first ice cream from the ice cream man!

Parks and Recreation 
This summer we have been trying out different parks in our area. Unfortunately about halfway through June we had to stop frequenting parks because it has just been way too hot! In Birmingham we've tried out our apartment park, the BIG park as Eli likes to call it, and the Crazy Duck Park. The BIG park is our favorite and we've been several times! It is constructed out of scrap wood and reclaimed/recycled materials, pretty cool! Eli loves the slides and the horse (maybe not as much as Daniel?)!

We've only braved the Crazy Duck Park once and I'm not sure if we will try it again! We went to feed the ducks and were swarmed by a gang of misfit (and apparently starving) birds! Eli loved it, but I was kind of scared for my life!

We've been going on family walks at night around our apartment complex this summer too! It is just TOO hot during the day to get outside a lot, so we've been waiting til the sun goes down and it's been good family time! Eli is such a typical little boy, he looks for any and all rocks, sticks, or bugs! He loves being outside!

The Library 
Eli and I have also been going to the shows in the Library theater every Tues/Weds and Story time on Thursdays. I'm not even sure that he knows libraries are for books because whenever we pull up he claps his hands and squeals "A show!!!" Oh well! The Library also has a preschool learn and play area with computer games, puzzles, and puppets - Eli loves it, especially all of the animal puppets! He picks them up, puts them on his hand, and makes their animal noise! I'm telling you the boy loves animals!

Friends of Summer 
This summer we have had a lot of fun making new friends and spending time with our old ones! Eli has made so many friends at church, both in Birmingham and in Georgia! Between Mommy and Me, VBS, summer get togethers, pool parties, and service projects Eli can find friends wherever we go! He loves giving hugs (and kisses), running around with the big kids, and joining in on whatever fun is going on!

We are looking forward to see what the rest of summer will bring and I hope to keep this blog more up to date! Soon summer will be over, we will be celebrating Eli's SECOND birthday, and then before we know it and God willing Little Bro will be here safe and sound!

Hope everyone else is having a wonderful summer with their families and friends!