Thursday, January 29, 2009

Big Developments!

Our little man is making some big developments these days!

Table Food & Sippy
After he got used to the puffs, I'm trying to get him started on table food. So I tried serving him some cut-up green beans, but he wouldn't have any of that. He doesn't like green beans all that much anyways, but I didn't cook these well enough for him, so they were hard to mash up with his gums. So we'll wait a while on the green beans. But then I steamed some carrots and instead of blending them all, I just diced up some of them, and he really likes the diced carrots! Here he is eating some of those today. He still hasn't figured out how to pick them up and feed them to himself, but he's making progress. He's also making progress on learning how to drink from a sippy cup. He didn't like it at all when we first tried using it, but then I read online to try letting him drink from it without the valve so he can get used to beverage coming out of the different-shaped spout. That worked! He loves drinking water out of the valve-less sippy! So once we get used to that, I'll try putting the valve back in and see if he'll drink from it. We also bought a sippy with a straw today, so we'll see if he might like that too.

He's just about to cut his THIRD tooth! (I think I forgot to get on here and mention when the second bottom tooth came through just a few days after the first one... Sorry, all you devoted followers!) Now his top right front tooth is coming in! It's been white with a bump for several days, and he's incredibly whiny today, so I'm thinking today might be the day. Man, once he got started, he just doesn't stop! He was cranking at me during lunch today, so I took some video of it and managed to capture some photos of his teeth from that. So they're not exceptional quality, but you can kinda see! (Click to enlarge a little.) His two bottom teeth:And his top tooth:The top one still hasn't broken through, but you can see the bump on his right-side gum - it's coming soon!

Two Naps
He has officially dropped his evening nap, so now he's just napping twice a day. He sleeps 10.5-11.5 hours at night, 2 hours in the morning, and 2 hours in the afternoon. Then he's up for a marathon waketime from 3:00 pm til he goes down for the night at 7:30! He did this all by himself - I had no intention of dropping the nap for him. But for the past week, he's just been playing in his crib when we put him down for the evening nap, and then he was waking up too early in the morning. So we decided to not even put him down in the evening, but just play and wear him out, so then he'd sleep awesome all night. It's working so far!

Almost Crawling!
Every day we are just sure it's going to be THE day he crawls! He's so close! He'll get up on all fours and rock, but hasn't figured out how to move yet. Here is a video that captures just a glimpse of his rocking on all fours and then playing on his tummy.

Note: I mentioned in a previous post about how he abuses his crawling Winnie the Pooh toy - you can see a little bit of that in this video!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Baby Dedication

This morning at church, we were blessed to be able to take part in a baby dedication, in which we publicly dedicated Elias to the Lord - to raise him to know, love, and serve Him. Elias was dedicated with 5 other babies, all of whom are from families in our Sunday School class... We aren't called the Homebuilders for nothing!

It was short, just a small speech from the Children's minister and a prayer from the pastor, but it was just more the symbolic act of presenting my child before the church and saying that I want him to belong to the Lord that was meaningful for me.
They also gave him a children's Bible and a laminated certificate that reads:
Elias John Tapp
I Am Blessed

My mom and dad have dedicated me to God and will help me to live for Him. They have also dedicated themselves to be faithful to God, to one another, and to me for the rest of their lives.

First Baptist Church
Bolivar, Missouri
January 25, 2009

Special time, special babies.

My Son is a Carnivore

I just wanted to post a quick note that Elias is now a carnivore... He ate chicken for the first time today! He's not at all sure that he liked it, kept shuddering at the texture. But he ate all that I gave him, and he'll keep getting more! He's been starting to get hungry before it's time for the next feeding the past couple of days, so we're upping his intake and giving the child some meat! We definitely have a growing boy on our hands! So hopefully that'll solve our waking-up-early problem... I'm so proud of my big, growing boy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Puff Saga

As I mentioned in the 8-month post, Elias is learning how to eat puffs. (For those of you who don't have kids, puffs are a little star-shaped food that melt in your mouth, so they're very good for babies who are just learning to eat table food.) As I mentioned earlier today, he hasn't yet learned the pincer grasp, so he'll pick a puff up in each fist, but he can't get them into his mouth. So he has figured out a way to get around that that is just too hilarious. I captured it on video today...

So I won't continue to encourage this as a valid method of getting food into his mouth, but I thought it was so funny when he figured it out all on his own!

Volunteer Practice Subject

We had a little adventure at the university today! A couple weeks ago, the physical therapy school at Justin's university issued a plea for volunteers. They asked anybody with kids to bring them in to allow their students to practice doing developmental assessments. So this morning we took Elias to school, where a group of 4 PT students practiced doing assessments. We had a lot of fun, and we were glad to see that Elias seems to be right on track (which we weren't really worried about, but it's nice to know). It was actually pretty funny, because our group of students happened to be all males, none of whom had kids. So they seemed to not have a clue where to start, but they were certainly willing and friendly, and Elias is easy to get along with. Justin and I stayed with him the whole time, so we were able to see what they did. Some of the things they did:
- ring a bell behind him to see if he would turn his head to look at it.
- show him how to ring the bell and then put it on the table to see if he would pick it up and ring it. (He did.)
- put a little pellet on the table to see if he could pick it up. (It was too small for him - he hasn't mastered the pincer grasp yet.)
- show him a picture book to see if he could pay attention for a few minutes.
- see if he could sit/roll/crawl/pull up/stand/walk on his own.
- hide a toy under a cup to see if he would pick up the cup to find the toy. (He did - I was surprised at that!)
- see if he could hold a block in each hand.
- see if he looked when somebody called his name, and then see if he answered to someone else's name. (I'm proud to say that my son knows his name is not Sam!)
- see if he knew the words "mama" and "daddy." (He doesn't.)

So we were pleased at how many of the things he could do! His area that he still needs the most development is fine motor, which is usually the last to develop anyways, so he's right on track! The guys all thought he was cute and fun, and I'm glad we did it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

8 Months!

My baby boy turned 8 months old today! He is developing and growing so fast, and we are so proud of him! He continues to be the light of our lives.He is so big! We had our church small group last night, and in conversation, we determined that Elias outweighs all the other babies by at least 3 or 4 pounds, even the ones who are older than him! I was just guessing about his weight, though, since we hadn't weighed him since his 6 month appointment. So out of curiosity, I weighed him with me on the scale today, and he was 22 pounds! That was fully clothed and just after a meal, but it still lets us know approximately how heavy he is. (I was guessing 21.) He is just growing so fast, and he continues to be very healthy, for which we are VERY thankful!

He is eating like crazy and loving solid foods. Now that he's 8 months old, we get to start fun proteins like chicken and yogurt, so stay tuned for those developments! We did try some puffs today, and he was pretty freaked out at first, but he did eat them. The first time we tried them, at lunch, he would just hold it in his mouth and make the funniest grimaces! I kept trying to tell him they were good, but he wasn't so sure. We tried them again at dinner, though, and by the 4th or 5th puff, he was crunching them and enjoying himself. So yay! He's not remotely close to actually feeding them to himself, though. I would put some on the tray and he would grab one in each hand and just hold them while I fed him the rest. Ah well, slowly but surely.

Speaking of funny faces, he is getting so expressive! He's started making a funny fishy face, which I just captured a tiny bit of in this picture. Even funnier, though, he has started to scrunch up his face and huff through his nose. I'll post a video of that later this week, but here's a picture of what the face looks like. He'll even do it in response to us... You can see Daddy egging him on in the above photo. So funny!

He's also getting more vocal, babbling a lot! His favorite still might be ma-ma, but he's also doing ba, va, fa, pa, and ga. (Sorry, Dad, still no da!) He also combines syllables to say things like mm-bah.

He's getting so smart in playing with his toys! He reaches, grabs, shakes, pushes, pulls, and figures things out! He has a little train that will light up, play music, and move when a button is pushed. Well, he has figured out how to push the button, and then when it plays he messes with the moving parts trying to figure out how and why they move. When one of his moving toys is moving near him, he'll flip it over and pick it up to watch the wheels turn or the legs move, trying to figure it out. For Christmas he got the cutest Winne the Pooh that crawls, and I'll have to get a video of what he does when poor Winnie tries to crawl past! Let's just say that Winnie definitely does not reach any destination besides Elias!

So we continue to be so proud of our precious boy and thankful for him. He's growing and learning, and every day is a new adventure of discoveries!

New Friend Ethan

Alrighty, now that it's the end of January, I'm posting my last of the pictures from our holiday travels. I have a friend, Jeannie, who I don't really know very well, but we're blog buddies! She was in a Bible Study group with my mom, and I first met her when she came to the baby shower that my mom and sister threw for me shortly before Elias was born. At the time, she was about 4.5 months (Is that right, Jeannie?) pregnant with her own little guy. We kept in touch after that and have been reading each other's blogs and emailing since then. So when we were in Ohio for the holidays, we got to see each other again, and our babies met each other outside the womb! We took some pictures of our boys together, but it's hard to get two babies to look at the camera and look happy at the same time! Here's what we ended up with. In these pictures, Elias is 7.5 months and Ethan is 4 months. (By the way, Ethan's pupils are not white in real life - that's what the red eye removal did to him! But I thought that was better than fiery red... He has such beautiful blue eyes that they looked REALLY red in the photos!)This is the closest thing we got to a coordinated picture. Cuties!This one is pretty cute, but we were starting to lose Ethan!I think this one is really cute. Jeannie must've been trying to get them both to look at the camera, and instead they both looked at her hand!

So I'm glad we got to see each other, and I hope we continue to keep in touch!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Kitchen Sink

While we were in Cincinnati with my family, Elias needed a bath, but he's not ready for the big tub yet. So instead of hauling his baby bathtub all the way from Missouri, he just got his bath in the kitchen sink! My mom took some photos that turned out SO CUTE!!!! Enjoy!

Friday, January 16, 2009


While we were at the hotel in Chicago, Elias went swimming for the first time in a hotel pool! He has just in the past month or so started to REALLY like baths, so I thought he'd love the pool... He did! We only stayed in for a few minutes - although the pool was heated, it was still pretty chilly in the room. But it was fun, and it's good to know that Elias won't freak out in a swimming pool!Sitting on the steps with MommyCousin Azlan with Grandma, Cousin Patriot with Aunt Jessica, and Elias with MommySitting with his Great-Aunt Mary while Mommy dries off!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trip to Chicago

I am clearly the slacker of the century when it comes to getting these photos from our trip posted... Oh well, better late than never, I suppose.

On New Year's Day, my mom, sister, and I packed up the kids and we took a women & children's trip to visit my mom's extended family in the Chicago area! (The men all stayed in Ohio to work.) The car was a bit cramped - this is the view looking back from the driver's seat:
Notice that if Patriot moves wrong, he will get slammed in the head with a stroller... As you can see by the vacant expression on his face, though, he didn't care as long as his DVD player was working! We watched Cars and Madagascar at least 5 times each before we were done... But we had such a good time! It was so much fun getting to spend that time with my mom, sis, nephews, and son! And it was neat getting to see the three cousins hang out together. Here they are with Grandma at the Sky Oasis outside of Chicago.We had 10 rooms all at the same hotel, and we just took over the hotel's breakfast room to do our gathering. The first night we were there, we had our family Christmas, and we had mass present-opening chaos! (Thanks to my sister for taking these pictures on her iPhone!)
Our family has a setup where we all buy presents for all of the kids, and then each adult brings one gift and we do an exchange. Fun times had by all.
Elias got so many neat toys and clothes! Thank you, everybody! This was the first time he had met any of this family, so that was neat.Grandma is very impressed by what somebody is showing her...

I think I only have one more group of photos to post after this, and then I'll finally be done with our holiday series!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Family Portraits

While we had my whole family together after Christmas at my parents' house, we wanted to get some good photos of us all together. So my sister had a photographer friend meet us at Great Wolf Lodge, and we took a lot of really good photos! I'll post my favorites here, out of about 70 proofs. I'll refrain from adding captions to make the post a bit shorter... Enjoy! (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Another Big Day!

I keep having to suspend my series on our holiday travels in order to post about what's happening now! Apparently Elias has decided that right now is the time to start doing all sorts of new things! Yesterday I had three moments where I just had to stop and get the camera to capture what he was doing! So now I'm sharing them with you.

First, he's doing some major teething right now. Nasty runny nose, somewhat fussy, not napping well, excessive drooling... It's not at all terrible and he's still in great spirits most of the time. But occasionally you can tell that his mouth hurts, and so yesterday we pulled out the teething toy that Grandma & Grandpa gave him for Christmas. At first he didn't like us putting it in his mouth, but once he figured it out, he liked it!Second, he is getting so big and strong! He still likes to play in his Baby Einstein Activity Mat, although the days are numbered that he'll be able to play with it, I think. Anyways, he's a very strong roller now, and he'll often roll around as he plays on the mat. Well, yesterday he was rolling around and got caught on the bars of the mat, which happens often. But instead of being stopped by the bars like usual, this time he actually rolled the mat with him! HILARIOUS! He didn't think it was strange at all, but just kept playing. In fact, he really liked that the musical star was on the floor now and he could reach it.

And third, he's now an independent sitter! He's been sitting for moments by himself, but not sturdy enough to make us feel good about leaving him. But yesterday it was like suddenly a switch was activated or something, and he just started sitting and kept on sitting! Seriously, like 30 minutes straight yesterday evening, and he's been doing it all day today too! Last night I took a little bit of video to show him sitting up all by himself. You'll see that he was clearly VERY proud of himself.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

After Christmas in Ohio

We arrived in Cincinnati on December 27th and celebrated Christmas with my Dad's entire family the following day. It was really neat because this was the first time everyone has gotten together for Christmas in years - this part of the family had never met Elias! It was bittersweet because we lost two very special people this year, Granny and Aunt Susan, and they were missed. Here is the family photo we took that day:
Front row: My nephew Patriot (age 4)
Middle row: My brother-in-law Matt, sister Jessica, Grandpa Stan, Elias, me, nephew Azlan (age 2), & Mom
Back row: My Uncle Alan, Aunt Sara, cousin Curtis, Erica, Justin, & Dad

It was also a special day, though, because Curtis and Erica announced their engagement. Congratulations, you two, and welcome to the family, Erica!

In case you didn't notice in the large group shot, there are quite a lot of people wearing Bengals gear. Apparently living in Cincinnati makes it a requirement to root for the Bengals, even if they're not any good. My parents had gotten Elias this Bengals outfit, and so his cousins wore their outfits, and we got a cute picture with the three of them together.
Elias liked looking at my mom's huge winter village she sets up every year.
The following day, Elias and I went to downtown Cincinnati with my sister and her family to see Duke Energy's gigantic train display. He liked looking at all the neat moving trains!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Brief Visit in Kentucky

Our travel plans for the holiday involved visiting my entire family, who live in the Cincinnati and Chicago areas. However, the drive from here to Cincinnati is about 11 hours, and we weren't confident how Elias would do in the car. So we decided to split up the drive by stopping at Justin's parents' house in Western KY. That meant we drove 7 hours the first day and 5 hours the next. It turns out our fears about how Elias would do in the car were unfounded because he did AWESOME, but it was still nice to have a brief stolen evening with Nana & GrandDad!

Elias had some more presents from family to open, and he got some really fun toys to play with! He also really enjoyed one toy that was already at their house. It's a toy for walkers that's meant to be pushed around. However, since Elias can't walk yet, he figured out a new way to play with it! here's a video of how he did it:


Then we got up early the next morning and made it to my parents' house with no problems!

Big Morning!

I'm interrupting my series of posts on our holiday travels to tell you all about the BIG morning Elias had! First of all, he cut his FIRST TOOTH!! Finally! He had a rough day yesterday, didn't take a nap at all in the evening, and we suspected maybe a tooth was coming because of the excessive drool. Then this morning when I was playing with him, I noticed he kept sticking his tongue out like he was feeling something on his lower gum. So I felt in there, and behold! The bottom right front tooth came in! My precious boy. So far in Elias' life, I haven't been one of those moms who gets nostalgic over every milestone and wishes her baby would stay a baby. But this one has kind of affected me in that way - I mean, he will NEVER again have that sweet gummy grin! And babies always start to look more like toddlers once they get teeth in their smiles. So although I am rejoicing at this milestone, it's a little bittersweet for me.

And THEN, as if that wasn't enough, I saw him get up on all fours today! My family told me they saw him do it while we were at their house last week, but I missed it. So this is the first time I'd seen it! I still don't think he'll be crawling tomorrow or anything, but we're closer!

My baby's growing up!!!

Holiday posts will resume this evening. :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Christmas Day

Before I can even post the tales from our holiday journey, I want to post a couple pictures from Christmas Day. We spent the day here at home, and we kept it VERY low-key because we were planning for a HUGE undertaking the next day. We had a few presents from Justin's sister and her family that we saved to open on Christmas morning, so here is Elias opening his presents:He was mildly interested in the presents, and he did like crinkling the paper and playing with the tags! Thank you, Aunt Nicole, Uncle David, & Cousin Joshua!

Here he is showing off his "Baby's 1st Christmas" bib - thanks to Nana for giving him that!The rest of the day for us was spent doing laundry and packing! We did have Christmas brunch, which was fun, and then just kept dinner small, since it was just the two of us eating!