Watch our baby grow!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Need some pribacy"

Sorry, but I have no photo to go along with this blog post...for reasons that will be obvious once you read it! ;) We've had a little potty in the bathroom for a couple of months now, not because we wanted to start potty training already, but because Eli wanted to go potty when we did. Mind you, he wasn't really going potty, he just liked to sit down (fully clothed!) and pretend. In recent weeks it has become part of his bath time routine to go try to go potty after he's stripped down before hopping into the tub. About a week and a half ago we were going through this usual routine when Eli looked up at me and said "need some pribacy," and proceeded to close the door! I had to laugh at my two-year-old telling me he needed some privacy, but was also glad that he was understanding the concept since we've been teaching it in relation to other people going potty. Well, I was still laughing a moment later when Eli opened the door beaming and said, "I did it!" I said "what?!" and looked in the potty - sure enough, he had gone!! We knew from when he learned to walk that Eli is not one to relish the spotlight, but I couldn't believe that as soon as he had some privacy he went pee in the potty! Our nightly bath time routine now includes Eli actually peeing in the potty consistently every night. He loves it! He's always so proud of himself for going. Looks like potty training may be easier than I imagined! Way to go Eli!

Friday, August 22, 2008

10 more miles on a four day run...

I'm certain the post title requires some's part of the chorus of an old country song (18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses by Kathy Mattea, and yes, I used to listen to country - exclusively!). Anyway, it just seemed appropriate for this post...

We returned Tuesday night from our marathon trip to Montana; out of the seven trip days, we spent four full days driving (returning to the post title, we were pretty excited when we had only ten miles left of our four day run!). That’s too much even without a two-year-old in the car! It was well worth it though, as the time spent with Ryan’s family as we grieved the loss of his grandfather was absolutely invaluable. We were reminded what a blessing it was to have such a great visit with both of Ryan's grandparents last summer. Ryan and several other family members took a trip out to his grandparents’ farm in Scobey, which was great for all of them.

Post subtitle: "This is a good cabin!"
To break up the 15 hour drive to Wolf Point, Montana, we spent a day at Aunt Pattie and Uncle John’s cabin in Lincoln, both on the way there and on the way back. Eli repeatedly told us “this is a good cabin!” during our stays. He enjoyed the little horsey and swing in their backyard (lucky for him they have grandkids!).

We also spent some time throwing rocks into and splashing in the Blackfoot River, which Eli thought was really fun. He even saved one “special rock” that he picked out to bring home.

Just in case you're wondering, that water is extremely COLD!

Eli also enjoyed the deer, both real and “pretend.”

There are constantly real deer grazing on the lawn at the cabin, and we all enjoyed watching them. The highlight of the cabin for Ryan is the 4-wheelers.

He was a little disappointed that Eli didn’t want to go for a ride with him (“not make it go brrrm brrrm”), but Eli did think it was pretty cool to sit on it while it was turned off. :)

Thanks Pattie and John for letting us stay and enjoy your cabin! On the last day of our drive we were treated to some road-side entertainment as we watched a herd of long-horn sheep grazing (though if you ask Eli about them he’ll tell you, “they’re not sheep, just mountain goats!). That little guy really is something!

Another goodbye to Grandpa

Before sharing a little about our trip I wanted to share another photo and Grandpa's obituary...

Paul F. Gilbert

Paul F. Gilbert, age 86, of Wolf Point, Montana, passed away Sunday, August 10, 2008 at the Faith Lutheran Home in Wolf Point. Paul Frederick Gilbert was born November 2, 1921 on the family farm south of Scobey, MT to Frederick Marion and Carrie Stella Norris Gilbert. He was a graduate of the Class of 1940 at Scobey High School. On March 25, 1944 he married Alvera Edna Kaul in Glendive, MT. They had a son, Larry and a daughter, Karen. Paul farmed and ranched all of his life. He loved animals (horses, dogs and cows) but especially appaloosa horses. He was active for many years on church boards and as a conference delegate and attended church all his life. Paul loved traveling and wintered in Arizona for a number of years. The past ten years he and Alvera lived in Wolf Point and spent summers on the farm until recently. Paul is survived by his wife of 64 years, Alvera of Wolf Point, MT; his son, Larry (Doris) Gilbert of Sammamish, WA and his daughter, Karen (Tim) Christensen of Otis Orchards, WA; six grandchildren: Jeremy Gilbert, Ryan Gilbert, Andrew Gilbert, Anne Christensen, Daniel Christensen and Peter Christensen; and two great grandsons, Lucas Gilbert and Eli Gilbert. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and three sisters.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beach dog!

You may have noticed that Zoe has been conspicuously missing from these beach blog posts – that’s because she finally gets one all her own as the finale of our beach trip posts. Our little Zoe is definitely a beach dog, and I think she would have gladly stayed there without us when we left. :) Zoe loves to run in the sand, tiptoe into the water, chase the seagulls, and play fetch along the shore. She and I enjoyed several early morning walks on the beach, and she was thrilled to spend most of the week off-leash. She had at least as much fun in the puddles during low-tide as the boys did. Though she was taken by surprise a few times as she ran through the puddles; a few of them were pretty deep, and she inadvertently ended up swimming a couple of times! We were particularly entertained by her “bat dog” look on the really windy day we spent flying kites…

Zoe was definitely in her element on the beach! (Weren't we all?!)

Oh Foogo!

Welcome to the first ever product review on the Gilbert Family Blog. It may also very well be the last, as its purpose is to serve as an online writing sample for a copy-editing position for which I am applying (thanks Emily!). Wish me luck on the job!
Many of us Mamas have been caught up in the BPA-free frenzy of late, and for good reason. One product I was excited to try is the Thermos Foogo Sippy Cup. I'd read a favorable review on Safe, a site I look to often for advice, and was sure this cup was going to be my new favorite. It boasts a fabulously toddler-friendly design with afixed handles (it's also available without handles) and is magnificently mama-friendly since it's dishwasher safe and BPA-free. Even more exciting in my book is the fact that it reportedly keeps beverages cold or hot for up to 6 hours - no more lugging around the insulated lunch box to keep the kiddos' milk cold! Also exciting: no need to find a specialty store, as the Foogo is available at Target. So, what's the catch? It leaks. Big time. Both the product website and the reviews I read touted this sippy as leak-proof. After several serious spills I figured I must have purchased a defective cup, so I exchanged my drippy sippy for a new one. No luck. I figure it must have something to do with the fact that the lid and valve are constructed of four seperate pieces that must be disassembled and reassembled with every washing, and I'm amazed the editor of Safe Mama, whose son carries his cup around by one handle all day, had no trouble with this cup. The bottom line? Though I definitely don't recommend this cup (unless you don't mind a milk-soaked diaper bag), I love the design and the great insulation. I plan to return my cup (again) and try Foogo's "Leak-Proof" Straw Bottle. Perhaps there'll be another product review here after all!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dig, dig, digging!

No one who knows Eli even a little bit will be surprised that his very favorite thing to do on the beach was DIG! We brought buckets, shovels, and diggers along, and Eli couldn’t have been happier. He never got tired of digging and playing in the sand.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh the joys of little boys!

Someone to look up to... One of the biggest highlights of the week for Eli was hanging out with his cousin Lucas. Lucas is about a year and a half older than Eli, and Eli just couldn’t get enough of him. Most of Eli’s older friends are girls, so it was really neat for him to have an older boy to look up to and play with all week. The boys played together, dug together, and laughed and laughed and laughed together! We had professional family pictures down while we were down there, and this is what happens when you ask two little boys to sit and pose at the beach…

Monday, August 18, 2008


Later in the week the Gilbert men went golfing, and the ladies and kiddos headed into Seaside for some fun. Our first stop was the Seaside Aquarium. The aquarium is famous for its harbor seals, which you can feed while you’re there. Eli absolutely loved watching the seals eat, splash, and swim. He likely could have spent an hour there! His second favorite part of the aquarium was the touch pool full of starfish, anemones, and urchins. With Aunt Jill giving him a boost, Eli managed to grab hold of one of the starfish right away, and thought it would make a good sponge to clean up the water he had already splashed. I quickly realized that Eli didn’t understand that this was a living creature, so we had a quick lesson in sea life, which made for a much happier starfish! After leaving the aquarium we headed to the fun center so that Lucas could drive the bumper cars. Eli surprised me by wanting to drive, too. Even though he’s really into cars, I thought he’s be a little frightened by the whole bumper cars experience. He really seemed to enjoy it though, and excitedly told Dada all about it when the guys met up with us for lunch.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Go on a hike!"

We've been slowly introducing Eli to the concept of hiking, starting with shorter, easy walks thorugh the woods to get him excited about this enjoyable outdoor activity. When we suggested a hike to Eli in Oregon, he was pretty excited! :)
Mid-week we visited Ecola State Park (near Cannon Beach) with Andrew and Jill to explore and enjoy the Clatsop Loop Trail. This hike is actually part of the Lewis and Clark Trail, so we learned some things along the way, and it was neat to see part of where they'd been. The hike proved more challenging than we thought (the first mile and a quarter just went up), and we weren’t able to see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse (the highlight/goal of the hike) through the fog. This lighthouse has a really amazing story, so it was a bummer to miss seeing it. Still, it was a beautiful hike and well worth the effort. Eli and Ryan had some great bonding time, as Eli spent the vast majority of the hike on Ryan’s shoulders. They had fun exploring together, and our creative little musician even managed to make a drum out of a tree branch, using a stick he picked up to bring back to Zoe! :)It was great to be out enjoying God’s creation together, hiking, climbing, and exploring.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A day (or several) at the beach!

Bear with me now, after a week of playing at the beach it’s hard to keep straight which day was which, so what you’re getting is just a jumbled mess of all our beach fun.
We were all excited to hit the beach first thing the next morning, so after Pa and the boys made oatmeal we all donned our beach gear and headed for the shore. Here's another [in]famous Eli ensemble... :) It was about a 4 minute walk from our house to the beach, but with Eli in tow it was more like 10! :) We got there just in time for low tide, and Lucas and Eli had a great time playing in the puddles left by the receding water. After lunch and nap we headed back down to take advantage of the wind that had picked up. Mom and Dad had brought along a plethora of kites, and Jeremy was especially anxious to play with his old stunt kite. The kite-flying was pretty cool, but as usual Eli was more interested in digging. Talk about a boy in his element! Ryan headed out to the water and was visited by a flock of pelicans (in reality they were still quite far away from him). We got to watch these big birds fishing all week. Eli kept us all entertained in the afternoon when he decided he was a turtle! Not just any turtle, but a sand turtle! He spent quite awhile crawling around in the sand, at one point saying he was headed out to the ocean. I’m glad he gave up on that goal since he was still a long way from the water! To finish off the day, we enjoyed yet another beautiful sunset from the deck of the beach house.