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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Abby is here!

From now on you can find updates at our new blog: "The Eli and Abby Show" - go ahead and update your bookmarks, because though this blog will still exist, from this point on all new posts will be there. Thanks for checking in, and thanks for your prayers!

From the mouths of babes...

One of our very favorite things about Eli's age is the conversations we can have with him, and the things he comes up with to say on his own. He cracks us up constantly, he is such a funny kid...and not only with his words, but also his antics. One of Eli's favorite pasttimes is "naked racing." This has become a nightly ritual as soon as he's out of the bath and dry. He asks one of us to say "ready, set, go" and off he goes! Sometimes he runs laps around the living room, sometimes just back and forth between the bathroom and playroom. As if that weren't funny enough, he has decided to add some other naked activities to his repertoire. He and Dada often "wrassle" in the evenings, and he now wants to "naked wrassle." Finally, the funniest one...Eli likes to look at websites (specifically Thomas and Curious George), and the other night in the midst of his naked racing he ran past the computer, paused, and said "want to look at a naked website!" He clearly meant he wanted to look at a website naked, but Ryan and I were cracking up over what actually came out of Eli's mouth!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Abby's Room

Well, I think we're ready...we have diapers, all the baby stuff has been cleaned and sanitized, my induction is scheduled for Tuesday, and yesterday I finally finished our little girl's nursery! I'm so excited - it is so cute! Here are some photos...


I think we did a pretty good job of making it a very girly room despite the blue carpet and walls!
Now we just need a little girl to put in there! :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oops - Easter!

I'm late with a post - what's new? :) We hope you all enjoyed a beautiful and blessed Resurrection Sunday! We thank God for the amazing gift of salvation! We enjoyed our first Easter at our new church (you may remember from our Christmas letter that we're part of a church plant in downtown Bellevue called The Downtown Church). We enjoyed serving in Eli's classroom that day and seeing all the precious children dressed up in their Easter clothes - so cute! All the little girls in their adorable Easter dresses made me very excited about buying one for my own daughter next year! :) After nap time we headed to Nana and Pa's house for an egg hunt and a wonderful dinner. Eli had a great time finding his treasures hidden around the houseand was delighted to find lots of M&Ms hiding inside the eggs. He definitely had more sugar that day than he's ever had in one day before!
Happy Easter everyone...praise God that Christ is risen!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Depot Park

On the last of our three beautiful spring days last week, Eli and I headed to a new park. Issaquah's Depot Park is train-themed, and therefore right up Eli's alley! There's an old train depot that's now a museum, and a couple of retired engines and train cars to walk around and look at. Additionally, there's a great train-themed playground. Eli and I brought lunch to the park and had a wonderful picnic by the trains before heading to the playground. I was surprised that he didn't want his picture taken with the trains; I guess it was because they were so big close up. He had a great time looking around though, and tons of fun at the playground. Two of his favorite things were the big curly slide and this really unique (and safe!) swing. My favorite thing was the flowers. We'll definitely be back to this park a lot this summer!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Gymboree

I figure I better get a few posts in while I can. Once Abby arrives I'm sure my posts will be even fewer and far between than they are now!
For the past three months Eli and I have spent our Monday mornings at Gymboree. We signed him up for classes as a Christmas present, and it has been a really great experience! We only have a couple more weeks, as we'll be done at the end of April, but Eli has really enjoyed it! The Gymboree play equipment is great, and the classes are theme-based. For example, last week the theme was "Around Town," so the equipment was set up to recreate a town with a park, a library, a bank, etc. The 45-minute class engages the kids' imaginations and incorporates lots of different physical activities as the kids pretend to check out and return books at the library, stock the shelves at the video store, play at the park, visit the bank, etc. Each theme is two weeks long, and then they completely change around the equipment so that it's really a totally different environment the next week. They do a really great job. Classes always end with parachute and bubble play, which they somehow manage to incorporate into the theme every time (last week it was a car wash). We're definitely going to miss Gymboree!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Carnival!

Last weekend we were blessed with three absolutely gorgeous spring days! Sunday was over seventy degrees, which was remarkable in and of itself (and made all the more remarkable by the fact that we'd woken up to snow just two days earlier!).
After church we headed straight to Nana and Pa's house to enjoy the sunshine together. There was a little carnival just a half mile from their house, and after a wonderful lunch we headed out for a lovely walk to the carnival. Eli had a great time running in the sunshine and playing games with Nana. One of his favorite games lately is running a few feet ahead of me, then when I catch up telling me with a big grin, "I ran so fast Mama couldn't even catch up!"Once we got to the carnival Eli spent some time just taking in the sights. He had no interest in riding the rides, but lots of interest in watching other kids ride! He seemed to particularly enjoy watching the mini roller coaster - maybe he'll grow up to love them. He was definitely interested in the game section. He found the skee-ball game right away, a favorite because it's "just like the game at Chuck E. Cheese!" After a round of skee-ball, Eli and Nana tried their hand at the water-shooting game (I imagine it probably has an actual name, but I don't know what it is!). Eli won a stuffed purple gorilla, and had a great time doing it. Finally, Dada decided to try his own hand at one of the games. You can't read the sign in this photo, but it says "hoops are not regulation." After missing a shot that really should have made it, Ryan decided that this referred not only to the size of the hoop, but also the shape! We were actually a bit relieved that he missed - you can't quite make out the size of the prizes at this game, but we don't exactly need a four foot tall tiger in our house! We all had a very fun day, and really enjoyed being out in the sun!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maternity photos

My good friend Emily, who is an incredibly talented photographer, shot some maternity photos of me in January. Despite her talent, she couldn't do anything about my bad hair day! :) Still, I know I'll always treasure these pre-Abby photos. Here are my favorites... I really wanted a shot of Eli giving Abby a kiss. We had made a little game of it at home, and he loved it. Of course, once we were standing in front of a camera, it was a no-go!

I think this one will probably be framed in Abby's room...

Thanks, Emily!

Blog slacker

I know I haven't been a great blogger lately...for the record, I'm not just being lazy. A few weeks ago, after being sick the entire month of February, I managed to dislocate a rib coughing (yes, really!). Let me tell you, that is a painful injury! Typically they would just pop the rib back into place, instantly relieving the pain. However, because of the location of the rib and its proximity to Abby, they weren't able to do that. I am SO glad to say that the pain has diminished significantly with a combination of medication, physical therapy, and acupuncture. (Side-note, a huge THANK YOU to Joe, a good friend of ours and an amazing Physical Therapist, for all of your help). I have my third acupuncture appointment on Thursday, and the acupuncturist is confident that I'll be pain free after that treatment. I sure hope he's right! So, all that to say sorry for the lack of posting recently. Of course, I can't make any promises that I'll do much better over the next couple of weeks/months!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Zoo day!

With all the sunshine we've been enjoying and Ryan's new freedom on Saturdays with basketball season being over, we had to head to the zoo! Just the day before we went, a new monkey escaped from its exhibit. Fortunately Eli was content playing with the "pretend monkeys" that greet visitors at the entrance! It was a really great day together as a family. Eli had a really fantastic day, due in part to the fact that we've been home-bound with nasty colds most of the month. We also spent some time exploring parts of the zoo we haven't really spent time in before, which was a lot of fun. Eli's two new favorite areas are the Habitat Discovery Loop and the Zoomazium. The HDL is a really cool little trail through a wooded area where they've created kid-sized versions of various animal habitats. There's a bird's nest, turtle shells, burrows, spider webs, etc. that kids can climb in, around, on, and through. There are also a couple of slides...I'm assuming these are just for fun, and not some animal's actual living quarters! :) We also hit the Zoomazium, the zoo's indoor play area for little ones. Eli found an even bigger slide here, and spent the rest of our visit climbing up the "boulder" to slide down this fast, curvy slide. He had a blast! As usual, one of the highlights of Eli's day was "riding on Dada" - he didn't stop saying "wheee!" from the Zoomazium (at the back of the zoo) all the way to the car. He was also delighted to see the peacock on our way out; he remembered seeing it on our way in during our last visit to the zoo and had been looking for it throughout our visit.

Hooray for sunshine, family time, and the zoo!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Definitely not Spring!

Like I said, I knew better than to get my hopes up in February, but I still didn't expect to wake up to this yesterday...
This little bit of snow was a welcome break from the three days of non-stop rain and hail that preceeded it. Anyway, today was another beautiful, sunny day, so at last we were able to get out for a walk again. We got to look at the last couple of snow patches left in the shady spots...and learn about shadows...It was actually quite warm in the sun, and we sure enjoyed the time outside. We've had some serious cabin fever lately between the weather and our never-ending colds!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring?!

Okay, I know better than to get my hopes up when it's only February! Still, we've really been enjoying the sunshine lately, despite the still-cold temperatures. We've been taking lots of walks to the playground and little "hikes" through the woods around our house, and this weekend we found the first Spring flower in our yard! All of this makes me really excited for warm weather and lots of time outside in the coming months.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Potty Party!

Sorry (yet again) for the long blogging hiatus. We've had a crazy three weeks between Ryan's sports, all three of us being sick, and (drumroll please)...potty training! We decided that it would be really nice to get Eli out of diapers before Abby arrives, and he's been going in the potty off and on for months. So, we checked out Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day from the library. We'd heard great things about this method from lots of other parents, and we have to agree with all of the great reviews we heard. I know that every child is different, so we can only speak to our own experience, but for us this was a great book and a great method! The whole premise is that your child first teaches a doll how to use the potty, and by doing so, learns the process himself. You make a big deal about the whole thing...the whole day is a "Potty Party," complete with decorations and a theme (Eli's was Thomas the Tank Engine, what else?!), and lots of positive reinforcement (i.e., treats!).
So, on February 7th, Eli woke up to a present...a little boy doll named Paul. Paul decided that he wanted to learn how to use to the potty that day, so Eli took off Paul's diaper and helped him into his very own Thomas the Tank Engine big boy underwear (custom-made by Nana - thank you!!). Eli spent the morning teaching Paul to use the potty...we watched DVDs and read books and spent lots of time in the bathroom (and yes, Paul is anatomically correct and pees in the potty!). I apologize to anyone who tried to check out a potty-training book or movie from our library system that weekend...I think they were all at our house! Here's Eli "studying" one of his potty books in the giant carboard Thomas I made...
When Eli woke up from his nap that day he received another present: his very own Thomas big boy underwear! He was really excited to put them on and have his own Potty Party. He spent the rest of the day in just a shirt and big boy underwear. We spent countless hours in the bathroom practicing, earning lots of stickers on the potty chart, and discovering all sorts of fun things you can do while sitting on the potty...
You can play the harmonica,or play trains,or color and make up songs (this video is 1 minute, 45 seconds, but the first 45 seconds are the best - feel free to skip the rest!).

video

That night we had a "Big Kid Celebration" to celebrate his success. Eli got to choose whatever he wanted for dinner that night, and what did he choose? Pancakes and pizza - and yes, we obliged him and made both!
He did a great job, and has been doing a great job ever since! I'll admit that on Sunday I was in tears by 8:30 a.m. because Eli did not want to sit on the potty, and every bit of research you read on the subject tells you not to force the issue. However, Sunday morning seems to have been a fluke, because our little boy has become quite a potty champ! Since then he's had no more than one accident a day! Eli has already gotten really good at knowing (and telling us) when he needs to go and when he doesn't. We're really thrilled by what a great job he's doing...and really excited that we haven't changed a diaper in two weeks! :) We can tell he's really proud of himself for his accomplishment, too. Now let's hope we don't see too much regression when his baby sister is born...especially in light of the 12-14 diaper changes we'll be doing each day for awhile! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"What's that up in the sky?"

This post title actually came out of Eli's mouth a couple of weeks ago when we were driving into Seattle to visit the Science Center. He literally pointed at the sun and said "what is that up in the sky?" Now that's a Pacific Northwest kid if ever there was one! Fortunately we've seen a bit more of that thing up in the sky lately. It's still pretty darn cold from a CA girl's perspective, but seeing some sunshine definitely helps! On Tuesday we went to visit Ryan at school during his lunch break and then headed to a nearby park to enjoy the brightness. Believe it or not, I didn't have my camera with me (I know that comes as a huge shock to those who know me best!), but fortunately my phone takes pretty decent pictures. Needless to say, Eli loved the opportunity to play outside in the sun. We both had a great day together at the park - and enjoyed the fact that we actually needed our sunglasses!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My BIG little boy

Unfortunately I don't have a photo to go with this post. Actually, I do, but for modesty's sake and because this is the internet, I'm not going to post any...I'll explain: Eli has recently decided to take showers. He hasn't forgone baths completely, but he thinks it's pretty cool to take a shower like Mama and Dada do. It was his idea in the first place and he's choosing showers over baths most of the time. I know that this really isn't that big of a deal, but for me as a mom, it is. Ryan gave him the first shower, and I walked into the bathroom just to see how it was going. Now, I'm going to blame it on pregnancy hormones, but I nearly teared up to see my baby standing up in the shower, so tall, washing and rinsing his own hair! It's just the most recent in a long list of things that show us our little boy is growing up so fast. He also recently stopped sleeping with his blankie, totally on his own. I know that these are good things as far as his growth and development go, but there's also a part of me that feels sad that he truly is a little boy now, and not a baby. Granted, that's a really good thing since we have an actual baby on the way, but I reserve the right to weep a little! Here are a couple more photos of my growing-up-too-fast boy from his two-year session with Emily...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

More family fun

On Saturday the 17th, Dad/Larry/Pa's birthday, we all headed to the Pacific Science Center together. We hadn't been there since Eli was a baby, so Ryan and I were especially excited for Eli to get to experience all that it has to offer. There is so much to see, do, and explore there. Of course, our excitement was further fueled by the fact that it was also the weekend of their Annual Model Railroad Show. We knew that this was going to be a big hit with Eli! When we first arrived we spent a few minutes in the dinosuar exhibit. I was glad that Eli was intrigued by the big creatures instead of scared. It didn't take long, however, before we discovered the train show. Needless to say, that's where we spent the majority of our time! Eli was in awe of all the little trains going on all the little tracks, not to mention all the little towns, tunnels, bridges, etc. The best part was that there were three different areas in which they had set up smaller model train displays for kids to actually operate. There were, of course, lines for each of these, and we wondered if Eli would really have the patience to stand in line for his turn. I suppose we shouldn't have been surprised, but during our entire 15 minute wait in the first line, Eli didn't take his eyes off the display, much less wander away to explore something else. He was evidently watching very carefully, because once it was his turn he stepped right up and knew just what to do. There was a dial to turn and switches to switch, and Eli did it with very little help or instruction. I love the look of concentration on his face! It was really neat to watch him do this, and he absolutely loved it. He continued to talk about "driving" the trains for the rest of the weekend! The last of the three trains he got to operate was actually a model Gordon (of which he has a little cast-iron toy version at home, thanks Aunt Deb!) from Thomas and Friends. This, of course, was a special treat, and Gordon has been his favorite engine at home ever since! Another feature of the train show was The Iron Horse Railway, a small train that we could ride. Lucas was excited, but Eli wasn't so sure about the ride (it was already nap time by the time we got on the train). It took him most of the ride to decide that it was pretty cool to be on a real train, but the way he talked about it afterward made it obvious that it was another highlight of his day. Our final bit of fun at the Science Center that day was in the robotics display; a digger that you could operate with levers and switches. Yet again, no surprise that Eli loved this! He and Dada spent quite awhile filling up the digger and dumping the loads. It was a great day for all of us, and the cousins definitely had fun playing together. We're really excited to take Eli back to the Science Center sometime soon!