Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hop, hop, hop!

Elias has a book that has a page that shows a kangaroo hopping, and the caption is "Hop, hop, hop!" So one day after reading that book with Elias, Justin decided to hop around on his knees like a kangaroo. Elias thought it was HILARIOUS! Justin took a video while hopping, so it's pretty bouncy and blurry, but you can still get the idea of the hilarity. You can see Elias bouncing along with Daddy, and he keeps doing a high-pitched grunt and shaking his head, which means "Do it again, Dad!"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day

We had a fun day on Sunday celebrating Father's Day! We left in the morning as soon as Elias finished his breakfast, and we drove to Springfield (about 30 minutes). First we stopped at IHOP for breakfast, which is quite a treat for us!Then we went to Dickerson Park Zoo, which was letting fathers in free that day! Since Elias was young enough to also get in free, we got all three of us in for just the price of one admission that day! Score! The zoo was small, so it only took us about 2 hours to do, but we wouldn't have wanted to stay out in the heat much later anyways. Elias did GREAT, though, especially considering he missed his morning nap in order to go! He liked looking at the animals, especially the tiger and the giraffes. What fun!

The zoo had peacocks just wandering around.At the petting zoo - that goat REALLY wanted us to feed it!Looking at the flamingos......and the tiger......and the elephant.The giraffes had babies! Cute!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fresh-Baked Bread

If any of you are friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen that I got a bread machine recently, and I have been experimenting trying to make the perfect loaf. I wanted to do this because we eat 100% whole wheat bread, and it is very difficult (if not impossible!) to find any 100% WW bread at the grocery that doesn't have high-fructose corn syrup in it. If you do happen to find one, they're really expensive! So I had been pondering trying to make our own bread for a while, and when I stumbled upon this bread machine for $5 at a yard sale, I snapped it up! So I've made several loaves, and I think I've finally achieved an excellent loaf for making sandwiches! I found this recipe on, and I adapted it to end up with this:

Best Bread Machine Bread

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

2 tbsp. white sugar

2 1/4 tsp. (1 packet) yeast

1/4 cup canola oil

3 cups whole wheat flour

4 tsp. vital wheat gluten

1 tsp. salt

Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast. Select Basic or White Bread setting (1.5 lb loaf), and press Start.

When bread machine is done, remove bread from the pan and wrap in foil. Set on a cooling rack until cool.

It's SO GOOD! Soft and chewy, nice sliceable crust... Mmmmmmm. Let me know if any of you try it! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Box and the Ducky

Elias really does seem to be amused by the simplest things! Who needs expensive toys? All we need is a Crystal Lite tube! Who needs fancy toys? All we need is a Huggies box and a squeaky ducky!

I am so thankful for my silly, happy boy!

On a related note, I am also thankful for my precious boy's daddy, who is part of the reason he is such a good, happy boy! Justin loves him and plays with him, and he teaches him to be so silly! I pray Elias grows up to be a man of such godly character, just like his dad. Happy Father's Day to my sweetheart! We have a fun day planned tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have details and photos up soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Two Fisted Drinker

Whenever Elias has a meal, he also gets a sippy of milk. However, sometimes he finishes the milk before he finishes the meal, and so then we give him a sippy of water to drink with the rest of his food. A few days ago, though, he didn't want to give up the milk in order to get the water! So he just held both sippies and kept switching back and forth from one to the other. Silly boy!

Eating Machine

I took some video of Elias eating lunch this week just to show that he really is doing it!

We've come to the conclusion that he is just the kind of baby that will wait to start doing something until he really knows how to do it. Then one day, he'll just start. It's been this way with everything so far - rolling, crawling, clapping, feeding, etc. So when he finally decided to start feeding himself, he was ready and he just did it. So he has very few problems with coordination or dropping food - he's a champ!

I did show a few of the problems he has, though. The first one is, of course, that he doesn't always chew his food - he just shovels it into his mouth at a high rate of speed. He especially does this with foods he really likes... (TMI alert! - I find whole blueberries, beans, and carrots in his diapers!) So I try getting him to slow down by saying "Chew, chew, chew! Chomp, chomp, chomp!" And it works sometimes because he thinks it's funny so he'll stop to smile. Whatever works.

He also occasionally forgets to take his hand out of his mouth, which results in him chewing on his fingers. By the end of every meal, his first two fingers on his right hand are red because he's chewed on them so much! (By the way, he's DEFINITELY a rightie! Anybody notice how he feeds himself with his right hand, but grasps his sippie in his left hand the whole time?)

And he does on the rare occasion miss his mouth and drop the food. He makes very little mess on the floor, though, considering he's just a little guy and he's only been feeding himself a couple weeks. So I'm very thankful!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Piano Man

Elias got a toy piano for Christmas (Thank you, Aunt Jessica!) that he is just now really getting big and coordinated enough to use. However, he REALLY loves it! Justin snapped these pictures of him playing on it a couple weeks ago:The seat is adjustable, and Elias usually actually just rips it off and kneels in front of the piano. It's cute, though, and I hope this is just the beginning of his musical career!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Faux Hawk!

Whenever Elias gets out of the bathtub, he likes to look in the mirror and see the clean boy with the hooded towel on his head. However, one time last week, he decided he didn't want the hood on, so we pulled it off. When we pulled it off, though, it made his hair stand up in a perfect faux hawk! He's finally starting to grow some hair, and he's such a cutie pie! It looks really red in these pictures, but it really does look that red when it's in sunlight. We may just have a redhead on our hands!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Crawling Maniac

I haven't had a chance to post this until now, but Elias really started crawling on all fours the week of his birthday. It was kind of like one day he just decided to start crawling on all fours, and he didn't look back. Now he has gotten FAST, and he can even crawl while holding something in his hands. So he'll grab something (for example, the forbidden TV remote!) and then crawl away really fast so you have to chase him! Stinker! I took some video when he first started, so this is an assembly of those clips. They're a couple weeks old now, so he's a better crawler than this now, but it still gives you an idea of what a big, smart boy he is!

Monday, June 08, 2009

He's Feeding Himself!

I was planning on writing a post updating you all on Elias' self-feeding progress. I really had nothing to report since he still wasn't feeding himself. I had tried a few of your suggestions, but he just wasn't interested, and he got upset whenever I tried to physically move his hand toward his mouth. So I had just decided to chill about it and let him do it whenever he was ready. Once he put his hand in his mouth in what seemed like an attempt to put food in it, but instead he just bit his own finger, which as you can imagine did not do much for his self-feeding confidence. But then today, he just started doing it! Like he's been doing it all his life!

It's actually pretty funny. This morning for breakfast, he didn't feed himself. Today for lunch, he didn't feed himself. Then we went to afternoon VBS at church, which included his dinnertime, so I packed up his dinner and the nursery workers fed it to him. He wasn't quite done when I went to pick him up, so I brought the rest of his blueberries home for him to eat while we ate our dinner. So we served up dinner, put him in his high chair, and Justin put the blueberries on his tray. Justin turned his back, and two seconds later, they were gone. All of them. He was like, "Where are the blueberries?" Then he noticed Elias was chewing. He said "I think Elias just fed himself the blueberries!" So we put some Cheerios on his tray, and he just picked them up and ate them all. In rapid succession. Like seriously, the kid might as well have just put his face close to his tray and inhaled in all the Cheerios. For the rest of dinner, we just fed him off our plates like we usually do, except all we had to do was put a piece on his tray and he picked it up and ate it! Unbelievable!!! Now we need to concentrate on slowing down and actually chewing all of the food he puts in his mouth!

So I can't wait to ask the nursery ladies how on earth they taught my child to feed himself! This is seriously the fifth thing he has come home from church suddenly being able to do!!!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

My New Garden

As of this morning, I'm a proud new caretaker of a container garden!At the farmer's market, I got tomato, bell pepper, and zucchini plants! (They had already sold out of strawberries, or else I would've gotten some of those too.) I'm so excited about them, and I can't wait to see if I can coax anything edible out of them! This is my first attempt at ever trying to grow something edible. I had good success with miniature roses in Texas, so I'm hopeful that this will work.

You'll also notice a pathetic little plant in a milk jug next to the other beauties. The man I bought my veggie plants from was giving away free flower plants to any kids that came by. I had Elias with me, so we chose this one for him! I have no idea what it is, but he said it would bloom with large red flowers, so I thought that would be fun. (Anybody recognize it? Click on the picture to enlarge.) It's in a pitiful milk jug, though, because I thought I had a pot here at home that would fit it, but I can't seem to find it... So it's going to have to live in temporary housing until next month because I have DEFINITELY spent all our gardening budget getting the veggies in their new home!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Vacation Photo Round-Up

I thought I'd just do a post of all the random pics from vacation that didn't fit anywhere else but were too great not to post! Don't worry, there aren't many.Here's Elias in the bathtub at Nana and GrandDad's. He likes it because they have really cool tub toys! (Daddy did a good job of making sure the photo was PG-rated, don't you think?)

Some fishing pics. Justin and his dad trying out some cane poles:Fishing is a main attraction at my in-laws' house, and it was very good while we were there. (At least that's what the menfolk said. I only fished for about 15 minutes, but I didn't catch a single fish!) They have some submerged trees from all the recent flooding they've had, and those are great spots for catching bass or bluegill. However, they're also great spots for snagging your line and losing your lure.In this photo, Justin got his lure caught WAY out in this fallen tree, but apparently it was his favorite one and he didn't want to lose it! So he just climbed on out to rescue it. This photo is my dad handing him a long stick to try to knock it out of the branch. Believe it or not, it worked and he DID rescue the lure. And he didn't fall in, either! Many thanks to my brother-in-law for capturing this moment on his iPhone - the womenfolk were all in the house, so we missed it.

I saved the best photo for last. On our route between Missouri and Kentucky, we drove through a short piece of Illinois, where there is a town named Metropolis. As in the town Superman is from. We only stopped at a gas station there, but there was Superman stuff EVERYWHERE! So we snapped this photo of Elias behind a cutout that they had outside the station. What a hilarious shot!!!!!!!

Emmitt, Linda, and the Dog

We took the opportunity while we were in Kentucky to stop and visit some of the extended family that lives nearby. We drove to Madisonville one afternoon and went to visit Justin's Uncle Emmitt and Aunt Linda. They had only met Elias once before, when he was 7 weeks old. So this was a much different baby than they met the first time!We had a nice visit together, and we were all surprised at how Elias took to Emmitt! He is generally pretty wary when it comes to strangers, and Elias clings to Mommy or Daddy. He wouldn't even let his own grandparents hold him much, much less anybody that's even less familiar. However, he really took to Emmitt. They were big buddies! Elias let Emmitt hold him, and they just laughed together! From what I hear, Emmitt is kind of like the Pied Piper when it comes to children - they all just love him!

Emmitt and Linda also had a dog, which was thrilling to Elias since he just loves dogs. ("Woof" is still the most common word in his vocabulary.) So we got down on the floor to pet the doggie, and Elias got a big kick out of that.I'm glad we got to visit!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Fun on the Boat

My in-laws live on Lake Barkley in Western Kentucky, and they have a boat that we go out on the lake in when the weather is nice. Thankfully, we had beautiful weather while we were there, so we got to go out on the boat twice! The first time, it was pretty windy, so the water was choppy and we decided Elias would do better staying home with Nana. But the second time we went out, the lake was smooth as glass and it was beautiful! Nana and GrandDad had an infant-sized life jacket that fit Elias just right! I was shocked when he didn't complain about wearing it... He didn't even seem to notice he had it on. It was an overcast day, so it wasn't hot - we actually ended up putting on Elias' jacket because of the chilly wind out on the water! But he seemed to enjoy it. The rocking of the boat almost put him to sleep at first, but then he woke up a bit and found the most pleasure out of playing with the cupholders on the boat's table. :)
The real highlight of our "cruise," though, was when GrandDad let Elias drive the boat! He thought that was big fun.He started pushing in the center of the steering wheel, and we realized he was looking for the horn like his driving toy at home! So GrandDad showed him where the real horn button was on the dashboard!
Thanks for a fun vacation, Nana and GrandDad!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

1 Year Well Visit

We had our 1-year well visit today, even though it was 2 weeks late. (Apparently, the beginning of summer is a rough time to get into the doctor's office!) Here are his 1-year stats!

Weight: 26lbs, 10 oz (90%)
Length: 31.5" (90%)
Head: 18.5" (60%)

So he's right on track to be a giant! LOL! I was looking back at his 9-month stats for comparison, and he gained 5 pounds in 3 months! Yeah, I guess whole milk and table food are agreeing with him.

I also learned today at this visit what a passionate, vocal child I have! I mean, I always knew he was expressive and dramatic, but I guess being in a public place where others are affected makes it feel so much worse! He just swings wildly from one strong emotion to another! For example, in the waiting room, he was smiling and laughing, flirting with the other people, playing with books, really happy. Then 2 minutes later, we go back to the exam room and get his clothes off, and he FREAKS OUT when the nurse tries to take him temperature. And it's not like she was doing anything invasive - they just use the temporal ones that get the temp from their forehead! But he was screaming and crying real tears!

So once she was done, I picked him up and he calmed down, then started smiling and laughing again. Until 3 seconds later when we went out to the scale and I put him down to weigh him. Once again, screaming, real tears streaming! So dramatic! We managed to get the weight and then when I picked him up again, instantly ok. While we waited in the exam room for the doctor to come in, he was shrieking again, but this time with joy over playing with his toys and sippy. What a weirdo. Then we rode the roller coaster again when the doc came in and tried to look in his ears - drama and screaming. Then happy again when she left. Then MAJOR drama with getting his shots. This is the worst he has ever done when getting shots - it took him 2 or 3 minutes to stop screaming this time, when it used to be just 15-20 seconds. What was really funny was after he got his shots and I picked him up, he was still screaming and crying, but he was just staring at the nurse, shooting daggers at her with his eyes, as if to say "Why on earth did you do that to me?!?!?!?!"

Part of his excitability may have been because he decided not to take much of a nap this morning, which meant that he was a little sleep-deprived by our appointment late morning. He conked out after lunch, though, and he's sleeping peacefully now.

So I'm so thankful for my passionate, healthy, growing baby boy!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Elias' Birthday Party

We arrived in Western Kentucky last Sunday evening, and we had Elias' First Birthday Party with the family on Monday. It was so neat that my whole family came down from Ohio to celebrate with us! We had quite a feast for the birthday dinner! My father-in-law cooked some meat on the smoker, and my mother-in-law made some AWESOME sides to go with it! For the dinner, Elias wore his "My 1st Birthday" bib that his Nana got him.
Then we pulled out the decorations and had our birthday celebration! It turned out really cute and festive! We didn't think there was any way that Elias would wear the hat and bib, but we were wrong! He kept them on the whole time we were having cupcakes! And he didn't cry when we all sang to him either - he just looked more confused than anything. He had never had anything sweet like the cupcake, and he REALLY liked it. We didn't let him eat the whole thing, and he cried when we took it away. He didn't make much of a mess either. Mostly just smashed it with one hand. (If you click to enlarge this picture, though, you will see that he managed to get frosting on his ear! That was a little hard to get out...)(In case any of you are wondering, he didn't feed it to himself either... I'll do an update post on self-feeding once I'm done with the vacation posts!)
After the cake cleanup, it was time to open presents! He got so many neat gifts! Toys, books, clothes, shoes... Thanks to everybody! After that it was bedtime and thankfully the sugar didn't keep him awake. I think he was exhausted from the hulabaloo!
It was a nice celebration, and I'm thankful we were able to all get together.