Tuesday, November 25, 2014

21 months

So, it's been two months since I did our monthly update.  As much as I love doing them, I'm guessing you're all getting bored.  As cool as Eliel is (or at least I like to think so!) I'm sure getting a monthly update from an almost two year old isn't the highlight of your email checking.  So, I will start to do it every other month and once he does turn two, it will probably move to every four to sixth months.  But for now, here's the latest on our little man.

Eliel won't be going back to the doctor until he's two so we don't have any specific height or weight information.  I don't think he's getting much heavier but he is definitely getting taller!  He can now see up and over the top of the pack 'n play with no problem but thankfully has not tried to climb out yet.  He can also reach most of the drawers in the kitchen and can stand at the bathroom counter on his stool to brush his teeth with no problem.

Eliel has a much wider vocabulary; even more so since his last 'chatting' session.  He can repeat many words you ask him to including, yeah, hair, and even hohoho!  He likes making sounds of digust like ewww, yuck and blech.  Lately, his favorite word is 'go' and if you're driving in the car with him, you will hear it about ten times at every stoplight.  He has also dropped almost all of his signing.  He still signs words he can't say like airplane and water but other than that, he makes an effort  to say each word.  A lot of them are only decipherable to Adam and I but nonetheless, he's trying.

Eliel knows most typical colors and can identify them, although he can really only say blue and red. As you've seen, he can also count to three.  He loves counting for anything!  Since being at swim lessons, he has learned to love jumping in the water since he gets to count before doing so.  He has no fear when jumping though and will generally just 'fall' into the water so Mommy had better be ready to catch him!

Eliel has become a much better eater. We've started making him eat whatever we're eating for dinner (unless of course it's too spicy like chili or enchiladas).  He put up a fight for a day or two but now, he will generally eat what we're eating with a little persuasion.  For example, we will ask him to take ten bites of his dinner if he wants to eat blackberries or raspberries.  And so far, he will!  He has also started to eat some ground beef if I mix it in mostaccioli or her will have a small bite of hamburger.  He still won't touch chicken though!

The one thing about Eliel that I just absolutely love (and I know a lot of you all do too) is his laugh!  He has such an infectious laugh.  It's so hard not to want to tickle him all day just to hear it.  Even better is when he 'fake laughs' when he hears someone else laughing.  He is really showing his personality!  Things only seem to get better with this little guy!

Finally, the pictures are from an impromptu ride on Grandpa's bus over the weekend.  Eliel was picked up in front of the house on a big yellow school bus and driven around the neighborhood.  What a treat!  He was grinning from ear to ear! :)

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jelly Belly Factory

Adam had a few vacation days left so instead of using them all at once at the end of the year, we decided to use one this past Friday.  We wanted to do something fun but not have to travel too far to get there.  So, we decided on a place that Eliel and especially Daddy would enjoy... The Jelly Belly Factory!
Just ridin' in the car
Most of you know that Adam loves Jelly Bellies but did you know that Eliel does too?  It all started because Adam as a Jelly Belly dispenser on his desk near the computer.  He occasionally eats one or two and once Eliel started to realize that the colorful things were edible, he wanted to try one.  Once he did, it was all over.  He knows he's only allowed one so he will ask for them by running up to you and (in his own language) saying 'one' and holding up one finger.  It's really quite cute because he gets this devilish look on his face with a little smirk!  So, since it's his 'favorite' candy (actually the only one he eats) we decided going to the factory would be lots of fun for him.
The factory is in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin and just so happens to be down the road from the outlet mall! :P  It took about forty-five minutes to get there and Eliel had a blast in the car seeing all the trucks and heavy equipment on the highway on a weekday.

When we got there, there was luckily no line and we only waited about ten minutes before going a tour.  The tour of the warehouse is given in a train and so Eliel was quite excited about it.  We picked the front row so he could see everything, as well as the engine.  The tour was about 30 minutes long and while it was very informative, there wasn't too much to see.  The tour takes you on a short trip around the outside of the warehouse.  Unfortunately, you don't actually get to go into the factory where they make the beans.  Instead, they show you a series of videos about the process.
Now imagine having a one year old on your lap and telling them to watch five or six different movies of which he cannot really understand what's going on.  Yeah.  I got a little nervous once I realized what we weren't going to see.  Luckily, there was a man on a floor cleaning machine going up and down the aisles so that kept Eliel busy for quite some time.  He was fascinated by the machine.  For the rest of the time, he just kept yelling 'GO!' at the train conductor every few minutes we weren't moving.  All in all, he was soooo good!  I was very surprised at how well he sat and 'paid attention'.  The best part?  At the end of the tour, we all got three small bags of Jelly Bellies!  Now, that made the little guy smile!

Even better, there was a factory store at the end of the trip that had a sampling bar.  Eliel was able to go up to the bar and tell the man which flavor he wanted to try.  He had a ball with this... and so did Daddy! It was well worth trip to spend time as a family doing something different.  If we were to go back, I would probably skip the tour and head straight to the sample bar but it was fun to see at least once!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Personalized Books

If you know me personally, then you know that I thoroughly enjoy reading. And if you've seen Eliel's room, you know just how many books I've already gotten him.  (There are still boxes in the basement of chapter books too!)  Consequently, Eliel also enjoys books which makes me so happy!  When he was an infant, we would read to him every night before bed and before naps.  He would contently listen to Adam or I read him a story.  It was such a memorable time I sometimes regret not getting it on video.  Now that he's older, he enjoys participating in the reading of the stories as well as choosing the story.  His latest favorites are 'Five Green and Speckled Frogs,' and any books about trucks including a truck book in which he loves finding an animated truck named 'Chuggy' which is hidden on every page.
That's why we decided to get him a new book for Christmas called 'Find Me if You Can'.  It's a book from +Put Me in the Story personalized books.  We can upload Eliel's picture and then on each page, he will have to try and find himself... how fun!  Put Me in the Story personalized books have a wide variety of books for all ages which you can personalize for your little cutie!  Since Eliel has an unusual name, I love getting anything personalized for him.  Auntie Katie got him a personalized book for his first birthday and while I hope she continues the tradition, I'm excited to get him one more to add to his collection.
I've also decided that this will start a holiday tradition for us.  I've seen many people on Pinterest that wrap up twenty-five books and give their kids one each day for the twenty-five days leading up to Christmas.  It's like a huge advent calendar.  While I like the idea, I don't think I can afford, nor do I want to store twenty-five books each Christmas.  Instead, I've decided that each Christmas, I will get Eliel a new pair of pj's and a book.  My hope is that he will open those two gifts on Christmas Eve, wear the pj's and read the new story Christmas eve before bed.  I think it's one I can follow through with for years to come!

The best part of +Put Me in the Story is that they're having a giveaway where you can win a $500 shopping spree!  All you have to do is enter below.  In addition, 50 winners will also win a free personalized book of their choice.  I hope one of my readers is the grand-prize winner.  Good luck! #BookMagic

Disclosure: I received a Put Me In The Story storybook in order to facilitate this review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own. 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Chatting with Eliel

As Eliel learns to talk, I will likely be posting more videos because I just KNOW he's going to have a lot to say!  We're working on saying words with the letter 'C' lately which for him, comes out very quietly.  We have to ask him to shout in order to sometimes hear it.  But enough of my explaining it all, see for yourself!

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Oompa loompa E!

Although it is early for the first snowfall, we woke up this morning to a white surprise!  I wish I could have captured the look on Eliel's face as he stared out the window at the white world.  You could just see the wheels turning inside his head as he tried to process what he was looking at.  We tried explaining to him that snow was cold rain but he still didn't quite get it.  That all changed when we asked if he wanted to go outside and play in the snow.  At that moment, he could care less what snow was or how it got there, he just wanted to be out in it. 
Luckily, I had already found a snowsuit and boots for Eliel. (Actually my friend Nikki found his snowsuit!)  We put on the boots and snow pants and since the snow pants are a bit big, I had to crisscross the straps in the back so they didn't fall off.  The result was a little oompa loompa walking around out house!  (A very cute one though!)

Once we all got dressed and outside, the fun began!  Eliel was
Check out Nugget in the background!
amazed and just kept giggling as he walked out onto the deck full of snow.  He had lots of fun making marks all over the grass and squealed with laughter as Nugget (who goes absolutely NUTS in the snow) ran all over the snow covered grass.  After about fifteen minutes, Eliel thought he was ready to go inside until Daddy showed him how to make snowballs.  It was all over after that.  He kept trying to sign more (which was quite difficult with mittens on!) after throwing each snowball at Nugget. Eliel also thought it was quite funny that he could step on the snowball and it would 'disappear'.  He would have Daddy make one, throw it on the ground, step on it, and then look at us and shrug his shoulders as if to say 'where did it go?'.
Then, he would sign more and we'd repeat the process...about fifty times. Adam also showed him how to make a snowman, which of course Eliel also wanted to step on and destroy.  If anyone was enjoying all of this the most, it was Nugget.  He loves pouncing on snowballs and eating them.  This would also make Eliel laugh even harder and ask Daddy to make more snowballs.

After about thirty  minutes of playing in the snow, Mommy was cold so I figured Eliel must be getting there too.  His little nose was getting red!  So, in we went with only a little bit of protest from Eliel.  Surprisingly (well, actually not too surprising) Eliel was sweated up inside his snowsuit!  His hand were nice and warm and his little head was all sweaty.  Good to know he was warm the whole time.  Can't wait until we get enough snow to take him sledding! (Although I kind of hope that doesn't happen until December!)