Saturday, March 25, 2017

My First Refrain

Mike lost his job last June. Or was it July?  I can't even remember now. The exact timing isn't important, what is important is that it sucked. I know losing your job is never ideal, but this one hurt in a deep, personal way. It was sudden and unexpected and represented a betrayal of so many dimensions that I don't know if I'll ever be able to fully articulate them all. And really I don't know if doing so is all that important. Because the bottom line is, we're still here. We lie awake at night wondering what our next step is. Our friends and family seem to think that we will find our way, and for awhile I thought we would too, but to be honest I haven't felt that way in awhile. Now I just feel like this is our new normal. Struggling to make it, to find our way. I used to tell myself that one day I would look back on all this and it would seem distant to me, and perhaps one day I could even be grateful for it. I've lost that completely.  And for the first time in 8 months (9 months?) I feel like I have the words to begin to write it down. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Eli is 4.5 years old!


We remain in awe of how much Eli has grown and changed over the last 6 months.  Every bit of our toddler has vanished without a trace, and we now have a loud, precocious, affectionate, capable preschooler! 

Some stats:
Height: 44 inches
Weight: 37 lbs (note: only 7 lbs more than Ben!)
Clothing: 5T.  Still very skinny – we have to use the pants with the adjustable waistband and pull it alllllll the way in!
Shoe Size: 11
Food: Eli is a pretty good eater, although he has to be encouraged to try new things.  Some of his current favorite things to eat are: cheese sticks, sliced lunchmeat, any fruit, green peas, and carrots.

Likes: board games, legos, cars….pretty much anything typical “boy”!
Dislikes: rest time, new foods


One of the biggest milestones that have happened is that Eli has started attending a half-day preschool program in town.  It has been wonderful for him!  He enjoys school and the friends he has made.  

Eli loves to learn!  The biggest gain we have made is his curiosity regarding letters, spelling, and vocabulary.  He is always asking about what letters make up a word and the meaning of words.  He has a lot of questions throughout the day!  He has also become much more articulate (strangers can usually understand him now!) 

Eli loves music.  He attends Kindermusik classes and we have been very pleased with his increasing awareness of music in his life.  He loves to sing and has an ever-increasing repertoire.  He also has a pretty good sense of rhythm! 
With Ms Sharon, his wonderful  Kindermusik teacher!

Eli is a really good big brother.  He is surprisingly tolerant of Ben and has been working on being more understanding of Ben’s baby-ness.  He loves to make his little brother laugh!



Other fun Eli facts:
Eli has gotten astonishingly independent.  There have been several times over the last several months where I have gone to do something for him as usual and then suddenly realized “Oh, he can probably do that himself!”  I will admit that it is nice to be able to tell him to go do something and have him just do it.  He is also entering the stage where he can sometimes not just “help,” but actually be helpful!

He loves a good joke, and has started trying to make up his own.  We’re working on that!  

Some more pictures:
Blueberry picking with Great-grandma Lynda

I love that he is usually willing to smile for pictures!


We ordered the "large" size sub to share.  We didn't realize just how LARGE it was!


He loves doing yoga with mom!


Lemon face!  His expressions kill me sometimes.


Babywearing?  More like gatorwearing!

Dancing with cousin Sarah at April's wedding.


With some cousins.

He loves his cousin Josiah.  They are only a month apart and when they get together there is no stopping them!


Gigi undewent chemotherapy treatments, and while Eli had questions, he was surpisingly unphased by it all.  

Oh ya know, just climbing to the top of the tallest thing and jumping.  Giving mom gray hairs!


Sick day boy.


With his buddy Davis.


Craft time!


These two....Eli said Amanda needed a necklace!


I see the baby he used to be when he sleeps!



With grandma at the library.  Storytime got a bit intense.


Visiting grandpa at his office.


We went to Medieval Times.  To say that he enjoyed himself would be a bit of an understatement!


Doesn't everyone wear goggles to do yardwork?

Delivering a birthday surprise to cousin April at work!


Just checking some tire pressure with our friend Glenn.


When daddy cleans out the freezer and has a bucket full of ice chips....we Floridians make snowballs!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ben is 18 months old!



Ben is at the age where he seems a completely different little boy than he was six months ago.  We have hit so many milestones, seen so much more of his personality emerge, and had a lot of FUN with our sweet boy! 

Some stats for Ben at 18 months:
Clothes: 2T
Diapers: size 4 and cloth
Shoes: 4.  We still prefer to put him in the slipper style “crib” shoes.  He seems much more comfortable in them.

Weight: ~30 lbs
Love that belly on our sturdy boy!


Likes: French fries, strawberries, applesauce, juice, popcorn, foods that can be dipped, listening to music, wrestling with big brother, playing with whatever Eli is playing with, getting tickles, playing peek-a-boo, putting things in other things (i.e., putting coins into a toy piggy bank).
Dislikes: anyone who isn’t mom or dad (he is showing some progress on this one, thankfully!), loud sounds (the lawnmower, the blender, the kitchen disposal).





New Skills: Ben recently started walking!  He took his time getting there but has really taken off over the last few weeks and is enjoying the new world that has opened up to him. Other “tricks” he has learned are sticking out his tongue and blowing kisses.  He has also started to do simple imitations, like a dog barking and copying movements of a person.
"Bleh!"

The main challenge we have had discipline-wise with Ben (which we also saw with Eli) is that 18 months is the perfect age for Ben to know exactly what he wants, but he often can’t convey it effectively or understand WHY he can’t have all the things.  Another thing we saw with Eli that Ben is also doing is exerting a lot of control over his food choices.  He often rejects a food that he accepted the previous day, and some days it seems like he doesn’t like anything!  We will keep offering him a wide variety of foods to him, just as we did with his big brother, and hope that he eventually becomes a good eater again!


Ben had an ER visit at 17 months old.  He slipped right through my fingers while trying to climb out of the bathtub and landed face-down, acquiring a nice cut on the bridge of his nose that required stitches (just one, actually!)  The staff at the hospital did a great job stitching him up, but it was certainly not fun for poor Ben!  They had to wrap him up like a burrito in a blanket to keep him still, and then place a sanitary blanket over most of this face , so you could only see the wound and one eye looking wildly about!  Luckily it was a quick job.  He did just fine with leaving the wound alone, and I figured out how to buy hair dye in bulk to cover up all the gray hair this child will give me over the years.




Some more pictures of Ben aged 12-18 months:
With a friend from church.  He is much-loved by so many!

  
We start them early in our house!

I love this face he makes!  It's his "I am amused" face.  His cousin Josiah makes the same face!

Happy guy!

Got some fresh ink from Tijuana Flats, got to test out some lawnmowers at Home Depot...it was a good night!

We love a good swing!

Blueberry picking with family!


I'm not sure if I have more pictures of Ben sleeping or eating.  He's just adorable no matter what he's doing!



We are blessed with very sweet, tolerant pets.

Ditto.


And also a big brother who is mostly very understanding!


Cousin April got married!


And we loved having a family wedding even more because.....that means that family came to visit! Ben loves his Uncle Dave...and resembles him too!


Kylo Ren did his best to bring Ben over to the dark side.


When you see this face, you know he's up to no good!


::::puffy heart::::


If there's a tractor about, it must be sat on!


One cool guy!


Play-doh fun!


Sitting in a rocker that belonged to his great-great grandmother.


He has some interesting cowlicks!


I sure hope Grandma and Grandpa didn't mind the snuggles!



Being adorable is such a burden.