Saturday, May 29, 2010

School's Out for Summer!

It's that wonderful time of year for all teachers and students...SUMMER! It finally came!!! I have to say that I have been looking forward to THIS summer with Eli for many months. He is learning so much right now and I can't wait to see him grow and develop over this summer. It's going to be great!

Our first week home was very busy. I spent the majority of the week washing clothes, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, washing dishes, folding clothes, putting away clothes, cleaning up messes made by a certain little guy, and doing all the above over and over again. Any other working mom out there want to admit how hard it is to keep a house spotless with a kid? I'm not even going for spotless though, I'm a realist! I know that that's probably not ever going to happen again. Whew! Tough work, but now that the majority of the work is done, hopefully I can just maintain the relative cleanness for the rest of the summer.

Even though Eli and I seemed to be consumed with household chores, we still found time to play and have a good time. Mr. Art and Mrs. Vera opened their pool and we got to go swimming. Eli is FEARLESS! He walked right up to the edge and jumped off without any problem. We've already established the rule that he can't go anywhere near the pool until Mama is in first and so far it seems to be working.

We've had so much fun together and it's only the first week. I can't wait to see what else we're going to get to do this summer.

Isn't his little swimsuit so cute? Thanks, Grammy for getting it for him!

Fun times in the pool

Even Eli had chores to do! The lawn looks so much better now :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Eli's Weekend with Grammy and Pop

This past weekend Eli got to stay with his Grammy and Pop A-L-O-N-E! Big step for this Mama! I had offered to keep Grant for Jessie while she went to her hubby's graduation, so I knew that it would be much easier to watch a newborn without a 1 1/2 year old running around. Josh was going to be busy cooking for the graduation party the next day, so I decided to call my parents to see if they would like to keep Eli. After twisting their arm (ha ha) they finally agreed to get Eli. I don't know if my mom slept the nights leading up to their weekend with Eli. I know she was so excited to get him, as she said, "parent-free."

Friday after school, Eli and I packed the car and headed to Jessie's house. He decided to take his monkey, Mo, along with him for this trip. I think Mo is starting to become one of Eli's favorite stuffed animals. He doesn't have to always have him, but if you were to give him a choice, it would most definitely be Mo the majority of the time. The whole way there I kept asking Eli if he was excited about going to see Grammy and Pop. His latest thing he does is to nod his head and emphatically say, "Uh huh!" It's so cute! Here's how our conversation went.

Me: Eli, are you going to swim in the pool?
Eli: Uh huh!
Me: Are you going to see kitty cats?
Eli: Uh huh!
Me: Are you going to see Grammy and Pop?
Eli: Uh huh!
Me: Are you going to see the doggies?
Eli: .....silence.......No.

All packed and ready to go see Grammy and Pop

Mo, the monkey :)

Well, I guess he's not a dog lover like his Mama, but at least he likes some animals! He did great on the trip to Jessie's house. He took a little nap and then watched Lion King until we got to her house. And when I say watched, I mean the movie was on, but he wasn't paying any attention to it. He's not really into watching anything just yet, which is a good thing!

Mom met us at Jessie's house about 30 minutes after we got there. Dad was working late, so Mom brought the one dog Eli actually likes, Max. Max, Mom, and Eli loaded up in her car and they headed off for their fun weekend. Did I panic any? No, not really. I did call about 10 minutes after they'd left just to make sure he wasn't having any "I need Mommy" issues...he wasn't. About 30 minutes after they'd been on the road, Mom called to say that he was asleep and he stayed that way for most of the ride home. It was definitely hard to watch my baby boy drive off without me, but I know the time spent away from me is good for him and good for me. I knew that he would be in wonderful hands so I really didn't worry THAT much...ha ha ha!

I only called about three times a day while he was gone-once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night. I just wanted to be sure he was eating and sleeping like usual and having fun. Everything was fine and he was doing great Mom kept telling me. From the pictures Mom and Dad took, it definitely looks like he had a great time. He got to swim, go to Chuck-e-Cheese, play games, and do lots of other fun things. I'm so glad he had a wonderful time with my parents. I know there are going to be many more opportunities for him like this, so it comforts me to know he did so well with this first one.

My favorite picture from the weekend. Look at the JOY on his face!

He LOVES swimming in the pool!

Counting his "money" at Chuck-e-Cheese

Mom said he only ate a few bites of pizza.
He kept getting distracted by everything around him.

Leaving Chuck-e-Cheese with his "boon" (balloon)
I love the sign in the background.
Is it really asking you if you have your kid before you leave?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Weekend with Grant

This past weekend I had the chance to spend lots of quality time with Mr. Grant. He's the newest baby boy addition to our ever growing family. Jessie's husband, Will, and her brother, Brian, and our cousin, Jeff, were all graduating from college. Needless to say, it was a BIG DAY for our family!

Since Grant is only two weeks old, he didn't really need to get out around lots of germy non-family people, so Jessie and I came up with the great plan for me to keep him. I called my mom to see if they would be interested in keeping Eli for the weekend. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep a newborn with Eli around...who knows what we'll do about that whenever we have another baby! It's not like I can just get rid of Eli whenever a baby comes! LOL! I guess I'll figure out how to be a parent to two kids when that times comes, but for now, I'm happy that I can call in the reinforcements...GRANDPARENTS! Mom and Dad happily agreed to drive to Jessie's house, which is conveniently halfway to my house, and pick Eli up for the weekend. They would get to keep him until Sunday afternoon. I knew that Eli would be in wonderful hands and he was so excited to get to go with Grammy and Pop. He's going to get his own post later though, so I won't give any details right now.

Friday after my mom picked up Eli from Jessie's house, I started my mini vacation with Jessie, Will, and Grant. I helped Jessie cook supper, I got to love on the sweet little man, and I got to go to sleep without having to worry about whether or not my little man was going to wake up. It's funny though. You would think that with a newborn in the house, my mommy radar would go off every time I heard him cry...NOT SO! I guess my mommy radar only recognizes my kid now, because I slept like a ROCK! Sorry, Jess! I wasn't much help during the nights, but then again, I didn't have what Grant wanted anyway!

The next morning, I introduced Jessie to instant cappucino, something every new mom has to have. Normally, I go straight for the hard stuff...COFFEE! They didn't own a coffee maker though, so I had to enjoy a nice cup of instant french vanilla cappucino. It definitely helped though and I think Jessie may be addicted now :)

Everyone started getting ready for graduation and pretty soon it was just me and this sweet little guy :)

He did so well! I forgot how sweet those first few weeks are where they just eat, sleep, and poop. I told Jessie to enjoy it while it lasted, because pretty soon you'll be begging them to sleep. Grant went right to sleep after they left and didn't wake up until his Momma came home. It was a perfect babysitting job for me!

The graduation went great. Since I wasn't there to take any pictures, I "borrowed" these from Sara, Brian and Jessie's sister, and Mrs. Paddy, Jessie's mother in law. Thanks, ladies!

College graduates
Brian and Will

Time to enter the "REAL WORLD!"

Sara and Jeff

Instead of fighting the graduation crowds, our family decided to rent out a pavilion at a local park and have a barbecue after graduation. That worked out perfectly! The weather cooperated and it wasn't that hot at all. Grant even got to make his first official public appearance to meet all of his family. Once he arrived, it wasn't about the graduates anymore though :)

Way to go, boys!

Lisa, Jeff's mom, and Josh and I enjoying some good food.
Josh and Shane, Sara's husband, were the master grillers and they did a FABULOUS JOB!

Papaw Chandler holding Grant
Grant came in only shorts. He tends to run a little hot,
so Jessie just decided shorts would be fine. Plus, everyone got to see those incredible ab muscles!

Mamaw Chandler in little boy heaven
(She tends to favor boys!)

Will, Jessie, and Grant

After all the excitement, we were all super tired. Jessie and I went back to their house and I got to give Grant a bath in his tub. He'd been getting baths in the sink, but we decided to try the tub to see if he liked it any better. He fussed a little at first, but seemed to calm down towards the end. It'll probably take some getting used to, but he'll end up loving bath time.

By Sunday morning, I was ready to see MY little boy. I'd done really well though. I only called about 4 times every day. LOL! Grant, Will, Jessie, and I were lazy Sunday morning and just stayed around the house playing with Grant. Isn't he cute?

I made sure to get in plenty of good snuggle time with Grant before leaving to get my little man. I had such a wonderful time with Jessie, Will and Grant. I was so glad that I was able to help out for a couple of days. I can't wait until Grant and Eli can play together! Trust won't be long at all! They grow up so quickly!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

18 Months Old

I hope this isn't a sign of things to come, but you are almost 19 months old and I am just now posting your 18 month updates. I will say this is only the second time that I've been late posting a monthly update on you, so overall I've done pretty well :)

Eli you are a joy to be around! I thank God every day for placing you in our care. You are so sweet, so rambunctious, so energetic, so funny! You make every day better just by being in it! I love this stage that you are in right now. I can see your little wheels in your brain turning all the time. You are soaking new information up like a little sponge. This summer together is probably going to be one of my favorites of all time.

Personality: You like to be in control. Your favorite word now is "No!". In fact, you will say "No" to just about anything someone asks you, even when you really mean "Yes". I guess it's your way of asserting some control over your little life. You are still a very very happy child. You love to play and you are constantly on the go. You remind us of the Energizer bunny because you keep going and going and going and going....You definitely keep us on our toes! You are very independent. You want to do things on your own now without help from your Daddy and me; yet another sign that you're growing up!

1.) Your favorite activity in the whole entire world is to be outside. Sweet boy, I think you could live outside the rest of your life and you would be completely fine. Every afternoon when I pick you up from Mrs. Dara's house, you turn your little head to the side and say "Side? Pop-pop?" It's the sweetest thing ever! And 9 times out of 10 I indulge your little wish and we go outside until the mosquitoes start swarming, which living where we do isn't very long! You don't seem to mind though. Any time you get to spend outside is better than none at all.

2.) Spending time with family members. You love your Mamaw Chandler, Grammy, Pop, and Zue-Zue so much! In fact, you have now spent the night wth Mamaw Chandler and Grammy and Pop on your own. I was so surprised when it happened the first time. I couldn't believe that my little boy was already going to a sleepover! I love watching you interact with your family. They love and adore you and will do anything for you. You usually grab them by the hand and lead them exactly where you want to go, which is usually outside :)

3.) You love playing with any kind of ball-baseball, basketball, golf, soccer. I think you're probably going to play them all! I can already tell that my Mom's Activity Calendar is mostly going to be filled with ball practices and games. I can't wait to see you in those precious little uniforms :) Oh, and to the delight of your Grammy, Grandpa E, and your Daddy, who is thinking college scholarship one day, you do everything left-handed. We haven't had a lefty in the family for a very long time, maybe it's going to be you!

4.) You love being around Molly. You two have been playmates for about 8 months now and I think you're going to miss her this summer. Good thing she lives just down the street! We'll still be seeing her a lot even if it won't be at her house.

5.) You love watching old videos of yourself. If I need you to sit still for a few minutes, I can always find an old video of you as a little baby and you will sit and watch it so entranced. I think I need to put them all on a DVD so it will be easier to play them for you.

6.) You love eating pop-pops (popsicles). Most of the time you don't even eat the entire thing, but you love to hold onto it. I only buy the sugar free ones since you love them so much. We'd like you to keep your teeth for awhile :)

7.) You love wearing other people's shoes. You've done this for awhile, but now you even know whose shoes belong to who. You're good at matching pairs of shoes, too! You can bring Daddy one of his shoes and he'll ask you to go get the other one and you'll pull the right one out of the basket the majority of the time.

8.) You like to pretend everything is a car or a phone. The other day you were talking to your Papaw with your package of instant oatmeal. It was pretty funny! You also take any random object and zoom it around the floor or up the side of furniture and make a vroom-vroom noise.

9.) You like dirt and water. Your favorite thing is to drink water out of the hose outside. Your Daddy showed you how to do this once and now it's the only thing you want to do when you see a water hose. Your Daddy and I are thinking of getting you a dirt pile for the backyard soon, too. Anytime you play in dirt, you like to pick it up in your hands and rub it into your skin. You're our own Little Pigpen!

10.) You love playing hide and go seek. You, Grammy, and Pop played this alot last weekend in Shreveport. You cheat though :) You don't keep your hands over your eyes the entire time, but it's kind of cute so no one says anything. This week you've been playing hide and go seek with your Daddy. I love hearing your sweet little laugh every time you find Daddy hiding somewhere. It's precious!

1.) Having to come inside after being outside all day.

2.) Having to stop playing to eat.

3.) Sometimes you fuss when you have to get dressed or get your diaper change, but mst of the time you're a happy camper.

Eating: Your eating habits haven't really changed that much. Your daily diet looks something like this:
Breakfast: Cup of milk, package of instant oatmeal or a scrambled egg
Snack: Cup of cereal or a Yo-Baby yogurt
Lunch: Gerber Graduate meal, string cheese, fruit cup, milk
Snack: Goldfish, fruit snacks, or a popsicle
Dinner:Whatever we're eating usually. If it's too spicy for him though, I'll fix him a Gerber graduate meal or some chicken nuggets.

Here are some other things you like to eat: turkey dogs, mashed potatoes, green beans (LOVE these, which is odd because you always hated green bean baby food), lima beans, peanut butter and jelly, all fruit, all cheese, chocolate milk, cereal bars, pudding.

Sleeping: I wish you would sleep through the night, but for some reason you wake up all by yourself and you feel the need to let Mama know about it. I can usually pat you back to sleep, but especially during the school year it was sometimes just easier to put you in the big bed. Oh well, my mom said I slept in the bed with them and eventually learned to sleep by myself. I'm sure you will, too. In fact, I plan to work really hard on your sleeping issues this summer. You only take 1 nap a day now, but it's usually for at least 2 hours. Sometimes you'll even go 2 1/2 hours! WOO HOO! All in all I think you're getting about 10 hours of sleep at night and about 2 during the day. You obviously are getting enough because you're always in a GREAT mood when you wake up in the morning.

I can't believe that you're now closer to 2 years old than you are to 1 year old. I can't wait to spend my summer with you. I know we're going to have so much fun!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Eli Meets His New Cousins

After Jessie, Josh's cousin, had Grant, Eli and I went over to her mom's house so Eli could meet him. He'd been hearing all about Grant during Jessie's pregnancy, but now he actually got to meet him in person. He was so good with Grant! He kept calling him "Baby". All he wanted to do was tickle his feet. It was so cute :)

Fast forward two weeks and Eli found himself in a hospital going to meet another cousin. Jordan, Josh's cousin, had Addison and Eli got to meet her, too. Eli tried to say "Addi" but every time it came out it kind of sounded like "Daddy". Once again, just like with Grant, Eli was drawn to Addison's feet. (He definitely doesn't get that from his Daddy!) He only touched her feet and kept saying "tickle, tickle" again.

We are so excited about how our family has grown in the past month. We love the two newest members of our family so much and we can't wait to make lots of memories with them!

Welcome, Addison Faith!

Monday, May 17th, our family welcomed another precious little baby! Josh's cousin, Jordan, became a proud mommy to Addison Faith. Addison is the third great grandbaby in our family and the first girl on Josh's side of the family since his cousin, Allison, 21 years ago. To say we were excited to finally have a girl is an understatement! Jordan did a fantastic job during delivery and once again, I was blessed to be able to photograph this wondrous event. After four hours of labor and about 20 minutes of pushing, Addison Faith made her entrance into the world at 10:51 AM. She weighed 8 lbs and 4 oz and was 19 inches long. She is a precious little angel and her Mommy loves her to pieces already!

Jordan and Mamaw right before delivery

I was at school celebrating May Day when I got a text from Jordan saying she was at 9 cm already. The plan was to leave at 11:30, but Jordan went a little bit faster than we expected! I barely made it in time for pictures, but I'm so glad I did!

Jordan seeing Addison for the very first time.
I didn't get to see my face during delivery but I imagine that my face looked exactly like this. What a precious sight to behold!

Jordan showing Addison to her Nanny and Addison's Daddy

Mamaw helped Jordan during delivery and even got to cut the cord.
She was so excited!

Addison had just a "few" visitors :)

What a whopper!
I guess big babies run in our family!

Dr. G and Addison

Lee-Lee, Jordan's mom, looking adoringly at Addison

Click on this picture to see all the hair that covered this little monkey!
Jordan said she was just as hairy when she was born.

Addison and her proud Papa, Jordan's dad, Reggie

Addison's Uncle Brett. She's got him wrapped around her finger already!

What a sweet picture of Addison and her Daddy :)

Getting a bath

Don't you just want to squeeze those chubby cheeks? :)

Jordan and Addison

Congratulations, Jordan, on your precious gift from God. I know you are going to absolutely love her and enjoy every single second with her. She is such a sweet little blessing!

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