Sunday, May 31, 2009

We're Home!

I just wanted to let everyone know that we're home from our travels! We had a GREAT time with our family, and Elias' birthday party was awesome! I have mounds of pictures and stories to share, so give me a day or two to get myself organized, and then hold onto your hats! :) Check back soon!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Birthday Portraits

Just thought I'd post some of my faves from our birthday portrait session today! They turned out SOOOO CUTE!!!Here's the link to get to all of them if you want to see more. Click here and enter the Customer Name (joni tapp):

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Elias!

Happy birthday to my precious baby boy! Can't believe that this was you one year ago today:And now look at you!I am so very thankful for the gift that God has given us in you, and I look forward to the many years of blessing ahead. I love you, Punkinhead!

P.S. Thank you all so much for your prayers and well-wishes for Elias' health. His fever is GONE - Thank You, Lord, for answering prayer! He is clearly feeling much better today, and I anticipate a quick recovery. God even answered my silly prayer that Elias' face and eyes wouldn't be so red and puffy because we're having his one-year pictures made today. And he looks just beautiful today. God is so very kind.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


We took some pics of Elias wearing this outfit last week - it was handed down to him from his Cousin Joshua! My SuperBaby!Unfortunately, SuperBaby seems to have gotten ahold of some kryptonite this week, and he's not feeling well. Fever, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, clingy/whiny, and NOT SLEEPING! I took him to the doc this morning, and she said it's just a standard upper respiratory infection, and it should clear without antibiotics. So we're just going to keep treating the fever and maybe some Benadryl to clear up his nose. She said call back on Friday if his fever isn't down. Please, everybody, pray with me that he gets better FAST! His birthday is tomorrow, and it makes me so sad he'll be sick on his birthday. Even worse, though, we're leaving Sunday to go to Kentucky and spend several days there celebrating with our whole family, and it would be awful if he was still sick then - or worse, too sick to go. Prayers, please!!!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Big Fun in the High Chair

I am very blessed to have a child who LOVES to eat. Anything we give him so far. Although I'm slightly nervous about how MUCH he eats... Thinking ahead to his teenage years makes me want to run and hide. I mean, if he eats this much NOW... In the meantime, though, we have fun during meals. Eating is not the only thing we do in the high chair, not by a long shot. Although he still isn't feeding himself, he does like to get his hands in the food and play with it.He loves blueberries, not only to eat, but also to squish! I never knew blueberries could be such a messy food until this child! All up and down his arms. But he's having fun and eating healthy food - I don't complain!His high chair has a little cup holder in it which his sippy cup doesn't fit into. So he likes to put his food down in it... To me, it's almost like he's cleaning up! I'll encourage that!

I also took a video a couple days ago while he was eating just to show the big fun we have during meals. Notice in the video:
-He just laughs and laughs at whatever I say or do. In this particular case, I think I was just saying "Hoo, hoo, hoo." For some reason, he just thought that was hilarious. Listen for the grunt noise he makes after he's done laughing. That means "Do it again!"
-He likes to drop food on the floor and then lean over to look at it. We're working on not dropping food on purpose (now he only does it when he's done eating and doesn't want to eat what's left), but he still likes to lean over the side and see what he can see down there. If I haven't vacuumed in a few days, he's likely to see a lot. *sigh*
-He loves to breathe heavily through his nose, thinks that's just really funny.
-He laughs like a billy goat.

Other fun things he does in the high chair that aren't pictured here:
-Leaning his head far to the side and smiling up at me SO CUTE!
-Sticking out his tongue and panting like a dog.

Most of these things he does all the time even when he's not in the high chair, but when you combine them all together in one mealtime, that makes for lots of fun!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Parents are AWESOME!

My parents recently went to King's Island, and they rode the new roller coaster called Diamondback. Mom said it was a lot of fun and she'd ride it again. That's saying a lot because Mom generally doesn't like coasters - she was always the one sitting on a bench and holding everybody's stuff while we all rode when I was a kid. So then my dad posted this picture of their ride on his blog (Click to enlarge):HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! This is the best thing I've ever seen in my life!!! My parents are totally awesome. (Note: Mom gave me permission to repost this - I wasn't sure if they'd want it spread around, but she said if it brings somebody else joy, then that's ok.)

Your Redemption Draweth Nigh

I read this in Matthew Henry's commentary of the book of Exodus this morning, and it really spoke to me. It's referring to to chapters 7-12 when Moses goes to Pharaoh requesting that he let God's people go. Each time he refuses, God sends another plague. After each consecutive plague, Pharaoh gives in a little more until finally after the last plague, he gives in completely. Here's what Henry had to say about it:
The resistance of Pharaoh was obstinate, but the power of God was irresistible. The heart of Pharaoh was hardened, yet at every application of Moses and Aaron, he was compelled to abate something of his stern and haughty demands, till he gave the isrealites unconditional freedom. In like manner, every struggle against our spiritual adversary, made in the might of Jesus Christ; every attempt to overcome him by the blood of the Lamb; and every desire to attain an increasing nearness to that Lamb, in likeness and in love, will be rewarded by increasing liberty wrung from our enemy. Lift up your heads, therefore, ye who are in this mode seeking your liberty, for your redemption draweth nigh. The chains of your captivity will soon fall off for ever. Satan, indeed, will still pursue and harass you, when you have left the ways and works of sin, until your body shall rest in the grace, and your soul in the bosom of Jesus; but hold fast by God, and your adversary shall not prevail against you. When the enemy cometh in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him; and beneath that standard you shall be finally and for ever victorious.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Laundry basket video

In case anybody reads this in a reader and doesn't see when I edit posts, we got some video of Elias walking with the laundry basket and I added it to the previous post... So make sure to check it out! My big boy!

A Week of Firsts

This week has been a big week for my baby boy! He's had several firsts in the past few days, so I'll share them with you!

Last week he started cruising, meaning that he'll take steps while holding onto furniture. He'll cruise around the coffee table or down the length of the couch. He's trying to be able to go from the couch and turn around to get to the coffee table, but he hasn't quite mastered that yet.

He got his first haircut last Thursday! He still doesn't have all that much hair, but what he does have was getting long in the back and over the ears - he was definitely growing a little baby mullet! So we decided to just give it a little trim... Daddy distracted him while I did the snipping. Here's what he looked like before:And after:Not too bad for my first time! :)

Then on Saturday he drank cow's milk for the first time! I've been giving him his lunch and dinner bottles in a sippy cup for the past week in anticipation of this transition, and he did great with that. So then on Saturday for dinner, I just put milk in the sippy instead of formula. He did notice it was different, and he didn't seem to like it as much, but he did still drink it all. We've been doing milk at dinner every day since then, and he's still not completely gung-ho, but he drinks it. We'll change one bottle a week into milk, so next week it will be two bottles of formula and two of milk - I thought we'd do it slow to make the transition easier on his system. I'm VERY proud, though, of how well he's doing with the sippy.

And yesterday, he did TWO firsts! He did some intentional all-fours crawling, which he hadn't really done before. I had the laundry basket out, and he was playing with it, and then he crawled (about 4 steps) over to the couch to pull himself up. Then he sat back down and crawled back! But THEN he flipped the laundry basket upside down, pulled himself up on it, and actually WALKED across the room pushing it! I couldn't believe it! (Who needs those fancy walker toys?!) It was seriously 10 or 15 steps leaning on the basket as he pushed it. I ran and got the camera, but he was done by the time I got there. So hopefully if he keeps doing it, I'll get some video soon!

Such a big boy!!!

ETA: We recreated the scene tonight for Elias to walk with the laundry basket, and we got some video of it this time! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My First Mother's Day

I tell you, I'm actually pretty nostalgic on my first Mother's Day. Elias is such a blessing to our lives, and I'm so thankful for him. He's growing so fast, and I look forward to seeing him blossom and grow with each passing year.I wanted a picture of us dressed up for Mother's Day, but I made the mistake of waiting until after church to take the picture. Of course, his diaper had leaked while he was in the nursery, so he was in his backup outfit. I noticed, though, that the backup outfit we happened to have in the diaper bag said "Nuts about Mommy" on the shirt, so it turned out to be appropriate for the day after all.
Justin and Elias made it a very special day for me! They each got me cards, and Elias even signed his own! I appreciated the card from Justin because the transition from a family of two to a family of three has been a hard one on our marriage. So I am very thankful for such a loving and committed husband that weathers life's storms with me - we both know we will emerge stronger and more in love than ever on the other side.

He also got me The Office Trivia Game! The Office is our favorite show - the only show we watch together besides the nightly news. So this was fun to play together, and we anticipate many good times in the future.

I also got a present for myself... At Baby & Me at the library last week, we made these stamps of our babies' hands to preserve the memory of how small they are! So I framed mine and gave it as a gift to myself for Mother's Day!

Justin also made me breakfast this morning, which he does every Sunday, but it was still very special for Mother's Day, and then we're going out to eat for dinner tonight.

I'm so thankful for my precious family who are such gifts from God! Thank you for making not only my day today, but my whole life so special!

Friday, May 08, 2009

We're Not in Kansas... But We're Close

We had a VERY interesting day in Southwest Missouri today. Being in Tornado Alley, severe weather is very common in these parts with a storm that could produce tornados happening at least once every few weeks. Today happened to be one of those days here for us.

It started for me when Justin woke me up this morning by coming into our room with the baby in hand and saying, "We have some tornados coming our way, so I thought it would be safer to play in here." (Our master bath is the safest place in the house and where we shelter in case of emergency.) Um, not a nice thing to wake up to! We stayed in our room for a few minutes, listening to weather broadcasts on Justin's shortwave radio. It seemed like the brunt of the storm was south of us and had passed, so we finished playtime in the living room and then put Elias to bed for his morning nap. About 15 minutes later, our power went out, which we thought was strange since the storm was passed. Then on the radio, we heard "A tornado is in Bolivar." Um, what? They hadn't blown the storm sirens yet, so we weren't sure if it was true or not... And then the siren blew. Still, though, that doesn't necessarily mean that we were in imminent danger, and we were reluctant to wake up the baby if we didn't have to. So Justin peeked out the window to see what was going on, and he watched a tree blow over in a neighbor's yard across the street. Yeah, time to get the baby. Our protocol for storms is that I get the baby and take shelter while Justin keeps an eye on the TV or radio, and then he'll join us if it seems like he needs to. So I'm sitting on the bathroom floor with a baby who's pretty startled at having been yanked out of bed and then sitting in the pitch dark with me. (Room with no windows + power outage = pitch dark.) I sang hymns and praise songs to keep both him and myself calm, and thankfully, he didn't get scared or fuss at all. He was just interested in playing. (Side note: I'm thankful that I had just cleaned the toilet yesterday because he had lots of fun banging on the lid like a drum!) We were in there probably 15 minutes or so before Justin came and gave us the all-clear, but it turns out there had been a funnel cloud spotted less than a mile from our house. From what I understand, it never touched down, but it caused plenty of wind damage.

It was also raining REALLY hard, and I knew that we had a flash flood warning... I never knew really what that meant until today. I mean, seriously, a flash flood is pretty intense! There was SO much water and noplace for it to go! Our street, which slopes downhill at our end, turned into this rushing river, and our entire yard was a lake! Justin went on the front porch and snapped this picture of the corner where our street ends - on the right-hand side, that's the corner of the street under all that water! Our neighbor who lives in that house had a huge river rushing through his yard, which you can see going off to the left! Also note the black garbage bag in his yard - Friday is garbage day for us, so somebody down the street had already set theirs out, and it floated down the street into his yard! The force of the water actually knocked out our neighbor's entire back fence in its fury. Justin took this picture from our back porch:The fence in front is the one that separates our yard from our neighbors, and then the fence in back is what used to separate his backyard from the street behind. That fence used to go all the way across the picture - now it ends on the right side and nothing but emptiness for the rest of the shot. He has a smaller white picket fence in the front of his yard, and that got wiped out too. You can also see all the standing water in the background of the picture. It was unreal.

So that was our excitement in the morning. I am SO THANKFUL Justin was able to be here with us the whole time - I would've been SO SCARED home alone with Elias. The storm was really only the first hour of our day, but its effects lasted all day because our power was out for about 6.5 hours. That really wasn't so bad besides the fact that I couldn't do anything I had planned on doing for the day... I didn't realize how much of my life is dependent on electricity! Couldn't do laundry or run the dishwasher. Couldn't eat the leftovers I had planned on for lunch since I couldn't reheat them, and Elias had to eat his lunch cold too, which I'm thankful he didn't mind. So I took a nap and read a book. Actually, it was pretty nice... :) But our power came back on in the afternoon, and life has returned to normal now.

Justin also wrote about our storm, and you can read what he wrote here.

Monday, May 04, 2009

More Mommy Advice Needed

I'm hoping that all you great friends who commented last time I asked for Mommy advice might throw in a suggestion this time too! (By the way, thanks for all the suggestions about E's bedtime bottle - we've been keeping pictures in frames on the table in his room, and we look at those every night while he eats his bottle. Not only does it keep him focused, but he's also seeing his family's faces and hearing their names every day! Win-win!)

Now I'm asking for some suggestions about getting Elias to feed himself finger foods. I'm certain that he COULD if he wanted to - he can easily pick things up with his fingers, and he can put his hands in his mouth. He just won't feed himself when there's food in front of him. He'll pick up the food and play with it (and throw it on the floor - any suggestions for nipping that in the bud??), but he won't put it in his mouth. Anybody have any thoughts on things I can try to get him to do it? I looked around a bit online, and I pretty much found that he'll do it whenever he's ready. I've tried leaving him alone with the food in case he didn't do it just because I was there feeding him, but he just sat there and whined because nobody was feeding him. I've hung up the hat on making baby food, so I really want to get him on table foods by the time my stash of baby foods runs out, but it's not looking promising if he won't feed himself!

On the same note, any suggestions for how to start the process of him learning to spoon feed himself? I've still never even let him try it because I just don't want to deal with the mess. I probably just need to get over that, but can anybody give me any suggestions on how to make it easier? A certain food that stays on the spoon and won't stain? Should I just take his shirt off? What else?

Thanks to all my Mommy friends out there! :)

I just realized this would be my second post in a row without a picture of Elias in it, and that just can't be! So here's one I snapped yesterday of him playing with his books. He wants them ALL spread around him on the floor - I try to be sneaky and put some back while he's looking at another, but he notices and immediately pulls them back down!