Thursday, August 28, 2014

18 month update

18 months old already!?!
Eliel turned 18 months on the 21st but I swear he ages a week every day.  All of a sudden he is soaking up things he learns like a sponge.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing.  Mommy and Daddy have to watch our words and actions very carefully now!
We went to the pediatrician and although he feels much heavier to carry, Eliel is only 21 pounds, 5 ounces.  That puts him in the 13th percentile.  His height is 31 1/2 which is only the 17th percentile.  His head circumference, however, is at the 75th percentile!  He must be doing a lo

t of thinking! :)  Based on everything she saw, the doctor was very pleased.  She said that although he isn't saying multiple word phrases, he is 'talking' just fine.  His self-proclaimed vegetarian diet is okay as long as we make sure he gets enough iron. He loves green peas and beans so I'm not worried about that.  I even asked the pediatrician about potty training because often times, Eliel will take his three hour nap and wake up dry.  She said that although that's a great sign he's almost ready, she wouldn't start until he's closer to two.  So, it will be a great winter project! ;)
There's so much to tell you about Eliel this month that I tried to break it up into sections.  Feel free to read it one night when you can't fall asleep.  It will help...

Talking: So apparently Adam and I had high expectations for Eliel's first word(s).   Now that I look back, he's been talking for a while, just not as other kids do.  Eliel has always been very good with communicating, especially with sign language.  I think I got so used to him being so good at it that I expected his verbal language to start off just as good.  Eliel says lots of words, probably about around twelve or fifteen.  In addition to that, he can also make animal noises of about ten different animals, including a snake which isn't an easy phoneme!  In the last few weeks, Eliel has also starting trying to repeat sounds he hears as well as word we ask him to say.  Just yesterday, he tried a two syllable word, blackberries.  It came out as blah-buhs but it was one of the first times I've hear him try something with two syllables.  Here's a quick video I took earlier of some of the words and sounds he says.  He still doesn't like to say 'mama' very often and when he does, it sounds a lot like 'papa'.

Eating: Eliel does very well with a spoon now and is working on using a fork as well.  He really wants to get his hands on the knife that came with his plastic set but I think we're going to wait on that for awhile.  We can generally now put food in front of him, walk away, and be confident that it won't be on the floor when we come back.  (That's also because if there is something on the floor, Nugget will take care of it before I see it!)  His current favorite foods are blackberries, avocados, macaroni and cheese, plums and carrots.  Although he'll eat just about anything that comes in one of those squeeze pouches (yogurt, applesauce, etc.)  Eliel is also doing very well with drinking out of regular cups. He loves to drink out of Mommy's glass although I end up with things floating in my glass after he's done.  When possible, we've moved Eliel onto a low flow sippy cup instead of a no-spill.  This one makes a bigger mess when he drops it or knocks it over but it's hopefully teaching him how to drink out of a normal glass.  It would be so nice to go somewhere and not have to bring a sippy cup along!

Sleeping: Eliel continues to be a very good sleeper.  He goes to bed around 8 every night and wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30.  Plus he takes a two and a half to four hour nap each afternoon. We used to be able to put him down in his crib, walk away and never hear a peep out of him until the next morning.  Recently, he's been trying to get our attention but letting out a 30 second 'cry' after we walk away from his room. He won't cry when we put him down but waits until he hears the wood floor creak at the top of the stairs as we head down.  If he doesn't stop crying, all we have to do is say, 'Eliel it's time for bed' and he stops.  We tried saying that phrase before we leave the room but it doesn't seem to help.  Hopefully soon he'll stop this habit!

Playing: Eliel is doing very well at playing independently for short periods of time.  If he needs something or wants to make sure an adult is around, he does come looking for one and smiles when he finds us.  He loves to play with trucks, trains and cars.  A neighbor gave us some trucks from her grandsons and Eliel has a ball playing with them outside.  We're currently working on getting him some trucks for inside play! 

Still such a cutie!
And the final question for you all is: Who does Eliel look like?  In the picture on the right, I think he looks just like Adam! :)

Have I covered everything? I'm sure there are things I have forgotten but I'm sure at this point you're done reading.  We're looking forward to a fun filled family weekend!  Hope you are too!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No longer a nursery

Well, the time has come for Eliel's room to transform from a nursery into a toddler's bedroom.  It's  been a slow process for those of you that have been around here but for those of you who haven't it probably looks a whole lot different from our original nursery post from before Little E was born. 
The one major change the forced a lot of furniture movement was the addition of a train table.  Although he's a bit young to actually play with the trains correctly, he enjoys playing with them nonetheless.  Adam's parents came across an amazing opportunity from a cousin who had a friend who was selling the train table and all the trains at an unbelievable price and so they were kind enough to pick it up for Eliel.  It looks almost brand new and came with a ton of track and train pieces.  I'm sure when he's older and understand more he'll want pieces we don't have but it was truly a blessing to be able to receive such a gift!
In addition to the train table, we also have hung a white magnetic board in Eliel's room so that he can use it to play on.  He likes playing with magnetic letters and number and also these really cool magnetic gears we got from Lakeshore Learning.  They say 3 years and up but Eliel has been playing with them since he was 14 months old.  He first started playing with them at the library and he loved them so much we just knew we had to get him a set of his own.  He doesn't actually put them together yet, but has a blast making them spin really fast!  He also loves playing with his cars on the cityscape rug we got him for his birthday.  He says 'vroom vroom' as he drives them around on the roads.
The rest of his room consists of a toy chest that was originally Adam's (we repainted it), a box of Legos, a box of Mega Blocks and various other cars, trucks and toys he plays with.  He's also really into his Little People Farm play set he got for his first birthday.  We keep that downstairs though since there are enough toys in his room already!
The best part about his room is that he now likes to go in there and play independently.  As long as one of us is upstairs with him, he will play by himself for 10-30 minutes.  Once in a while he will come check in to make sure I'm still around but he usually goes right back to playing.  He's growing up too fast!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Splash pad

Today, we took Eliel to a splash pad.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a water park that has no standing water but lots of sprinklers, sprayers and fountains.  It's great for little kids because they can't drown in any water and the surface is a mushy, rubber one so there's no chance of burning feet or getting hurt when you fall.  I've been wanting to take Eliel to one all summer but with the chilly weather, there really hadn't been an opportunity. So, since the weather turned really hot this weekend, we decided it would be a good time to take him. 

Although Eliel loves to play with water, he was quite nervous to play in the sprinklers at the splash pad.  It seemed like he was uncomfortable getting water in his face but I'm not sure what it was exactly.  I just signed him up for swimming lessons at Chicago Swim School so he better get used to water in his face!  He was also very clingy and had no desire to play with the other kids.  I'd love to think it's because Adam and I are such fun parents but I'm kind of worried that it's because he's an only child that has a stay at home Mommy.  :( We might have to work on fixing that with some park district classes this fall.
I like this little fountain much better
Once Eliel got a little more comfortable at the splash pad, he seemed to have some fun (but only if Mommy or Daddy was within five feet).  He was very fond of the small fountains that were predictable.  Some of the other sprayers would turn on and off at random times and he wasn't too thrilled with those.  There was also a bucket that would slowly fill up and when it was full, would dump over.  Since it would do so without warning, Eliel seemed to keep an eye on it no matter where we were in the park.
Where's the water?

 He also refused to keep his hat on the entire time.  Luckily, he seems to have Daddy's skin coloring and has yet to get burned this summer at all.  He even has a tan line on his feet from his sandals which you can kind of see in the picture above. 
All in all, I'm glad that I waited this long to bring him to a splash pad.  It was fun, but I'm not sure he would have enjoyed it any more earlier in the summer.  I hope I get the chance to maybe take him back one more time this summer before the weather changes.  Maybe he'll be more comfortable the second time around. 

On a side note, Eliel turned 18 months old on Friday!  I will be posting pictures and info just as soon as we see the pediatrician this week!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekend in Wisconsin

Eliel's first trip to Wisconsin was lots of fun!  We went to Portage to visit Adam's Aunt Paula and Uncle Steve.  They built a log cab home on their property a few years back and although we had seen it once while it was in the process of being built, we wanted to go see the final product.  Plus, it's a great excuse for a weekend getaway!
This was also the first vacation that we took Eliel and Nugget.  It truly was like having two kids!  Whew!  Nugget just loves being at the cabin since he has lots of grass to run around in.  Eliel also thought it was funny to watch Nugget go crazy out there. 
Aunt Paula and Uncle Steve's neighbor has cows which were the highlight of Eliel's trip.  Although the idea of seeing them in the pasture was fun enough, we were treated to a tractor ride into the pasture to see them up close.  Eliel was in awe!  Not sure which was more fun, the tractor or the cows! As we got closer he would moo at the cows.  Too cute!
Look at those hay bales!

Whoa!  says Daddy

A very intent look as we approach the pasture...

There were many baby calves in the herd but still quite a few big cows.  As we approached they all stared at us.  The farmer told us that they never get close enough to let you touch them, but that they would get curious and come close.  Well they sure did!

Daddy and Eliel at the farm
As we started to get back into the tractor to leave, Eliel started crying... quite loudly.  He was quite upset that we were leaving the cows.  Well, the next morning, as we were playing outside with some airplanes Aunt Paula bought Eliel, he took off down the driveway and walked Adam the 1/4 mile down the road back to the cows.  The little guy not only remembered where they were, but how to get there!  Little stinker!  He led Adam right back to the barn.  This time luckily, the cows were much nearer to the fence and we could see them without going into the pasture.  Eliel mooed at the for a while and Nugget ran like a wild man through the tall grass.  But soon, it was time to head back for some lunch.  I'm sure Eliel will remember where the cow pasture is the next time we head up there!

 We had a wonderful time getting lots of fresh (cow scented) air and visiting with family! Wonder where our next adventure will be!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Getting the chores done...

The only way to get any chores done while Eliel is around is to get him to help.  And Eliel loves helping me with chores (we'll see how long that lasts!), especially vacuuming!  He likes the large vacuum until I turn it on but he really loves the handheld one much more.  He's happy to vacuum up the dog hair from Nugget whenever I ask him to!  The best part is that the vacuum eventually runs out of power before needing to be recharged so we can never do it for long!
Over here?
I'm just vacuuming

Excuse me Nugget

Another chore I make Eliel do is get the eggs from the chickens in our backyard. No, I'm of course kidding although it would be fun to have fresh eggs all the time!  Eliel and I went to Heritage Farm with my friend Chrissy and her two little girls.  It was quite chilly and a drizzled a little bit but the hens loved it!  Eliel had a ball chasing them all over the farm.  When we got there, the lady working there opened the chicken coop for us and we were able to see the nests and freshly laid eggs.  We also got to see the rooster and hear him practice his 'cock-a-doodle-dos!'  Unfortunately we just missed the cow getting milked so we'll have to go back.  Daddy would like it too so we'll have to bring him back with us.  They also had goats, horses and supposedly sheep but we couldn't find those.

 Finally, although it's not really a chore, Eliel has learned how to feed himself with a spoon (without making a HUGE mess!)  He ate a whole bowl of oatmeal the other morning without any help and none of it ended up on his lap. We had a little more trouble with our Harvest Bean Mix from Trader Joe's in the picture below but in Eliel's defense, those are harder to keep on the spoon!  He does really well with yogurt and cottage cheese and Daddy started him on cereal yesterday.  Another new adventure for us!