Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eli's 12th Month: 8.14.12 - 9.14.12

What an amazing last month of Eli's first year it has been! Although he still falls, he is walking with less toddle and more confidence. I will admit that he has had more bruises on his head and other body parts this month then any other so far. He very much enjoys taking objects out of things and putting them back in. He is starting to like toys that move like little cars and trucks. Lately, he has been attached to mommy's leg. Mommy thinks this is very endearing but can also get a little agitated with it sometimes. :) He loves listening to Auntie Libby sing and watch and listen to grandma sing the prayer before he eats and especially likes to watch and listen to the Itsy Bitsy Spider being sung by anyone (even mama who is about as tone-deaf as it gets)! He loves to push the stools around our hardwood floors. To say the least, I put the stools back five times a day. :) He especially likes our trips to the park -- climbing, exploring, and swinging. Of course, he still loves all of his stuffed animals and his dog-sister Sammie!

8.23.11 We had no idea how much our lives would change!  This little boy has brought so much love into our hearts -- we can't even imagine what life would be life with out him!  Glory to God for giving us Elijah Michael Stephens!

His "birth" day!  I just remember thinking how beautiful he was!  And to hear his first precious cry -- what I would do to have that moment back!

One year later!  What a change!!  I love you Eli!

The adorable faces of 12 month old Eli!

Highlights from this month include:

Outing to Missouri Town

I'm so lucky to live near my mom and sister.  One day we randomly decided to check out Missouri Town which is a local attraction in which everything is original from the 1800's -- Eli and Kate enjoyed the stroll and my mom, sister and I enjoyed touring the buildings and talking to the people.  On our way we stopped to see the Elk too!

Powell Gardens

Mommy and Daddy took me to see the butterfly exhibit and PG this year!  I loved watching the beautiful butterfly float around me!  Daddy got some good pictures of me while we were there!

Mommy thinks I'm the most beautiful boy in the world!

Trip to California

Last minute Mike and I decided to go to CA for our niece Taylor's 6th Birthday party!  It was a skate-party and even though we hadn't been on skate's for years we were excited to attend one of our beautiful niece's parties!  We were also excited to have Mike's family see Eli before he graduated from a baby to a toddler! It was a fun trip and the week went really fast -- always does!  Eli enjoyed all of the hugs and kisses he received from his Oma and Opa, uncles, aunt, and cousins.  His great-grandparents were in CA for Taylor's party as well and he loved snuggling up with them.  He liked swimming, playing outside and especially loved his Oma's flowers!  Taylor's party was a huge success; her theme was Justin Bieber and the kiddo's loved it. Mike and I both skated around the rink and I was impressed at how good Mike was on skates!  Eli thought skates were neat and is excited to skate himself someday!  While we were there we had an impromptu celebration for Eli's first birthday (two weeks early, but oh well).  We were every excited to get to celebrate the huge milestone in Eli's life with the Stephens Clan!  The trip was a lot a fun and we are looking forward to  heading back to CA for Thanksgiving in less than a month!  Oh my!

Eli enjoying his Oma's garden!
Eli having fun with his Uncle Jason, Auntie Kiki and Cousins Taylor and Connor!
A fun night with the Stephens Clan!  Reminiscing, catch phrase, and Mike and his brothers rapping like they know how!!
Fun at Taylor's 6th Birthday!
An impromptu and early 1st birthday with daddy's side of the family!
Eli's FIRST Birthday Party

Can I just say that I seriously can NOT believe that it has been one year since we welcomed our little miracle into this world?  I've been dreading this post because I feel like one year marks the end of Eli's babyhood.  I know, I know he will always be MY baby but I'm gonna miss his baby kisses, baby laughs, baby goos and gaas, and baby everything!  He is just growing up too fast!  I can't even remember the last time he took a pacifier!  Boo!  Okay, enough of that...

The theme for Eli's party was Elmo; I'm sure you know why!  Eli LOVES Elmo!  I could go on and on about the planning that went into this party but I won't.  I will say that Mike's work seems to get hectic at the most inconvenient times!  It is hard to keep your house clean and get ready for company by yourself -- thank God for my mother!  Overall, the party was a huge success!  The food was good and the company even better!  Eli LOVED his cake!  At first he was a little weary of it but once he tasted the frosting -- it was over!  He even threw his face in it a couple of times!  Haha.  Speaking of the cake, it was delicious!  My friend, Stephanie, and her sister made us the main cake and Eli's smash cake!  They were AMAZING!  If  you would like a cake from them, please contact me and I'll get you their information!

Drum roll please...I'm......ONE!
Eli's guests!



Take a look at Eli eating his cake:

Gift Time!
Some decor.  My mom and I made the balloon wreath!  It was fun and very easy!  I got the Elmo veggie plate from pinterest.  :)  
And, lastly a picture of Mike and I are our 1st Birthdays!

Eli's Likes:

Grandpa and Daddy - Eli will cry when daddy leaves for the house and does the same when grandpa leaves from a visit!  It is really endearing!

Trucks - and cars and buses but especially excavators!

Sandbox - Eli's grandpa made him this awesome sandbox for his first birthday - he LOVES it!

Animals - Eli loves to point towards animals in books.  He especially likes bears, bison, and birdies!

Books - Eli LOVES to be read to.  He will now brings me lots of books during the day to be read to him!


Fun with my cousin Kate at the park!

Sammie's food bowls

Grandma and Grandpa gave this to me for my first birthday!  I loved it, then Sammie popped it!  :(
And of course, Sammie!


Walking really well

This is a video of him walking across the living room floor at 10.5 months.  I tried to upload it to the last blog but it didn't work.

Learning more sign language -- all done, etc


Lots of consonants

Communicating by mm, mm and pointing

12 month stats: 84% in Height and 24 in Weight.

Nursing -- HIGHS and lows:

Wow, what a year of nursing it has been!  One year ago, it hurt so bad to nurse that I had to clinch the pillows on the bed while Eli sucked away!  The pain lasted six weeks until we found out that it was thrush.  Thank God because the medicine quickly made breastfeeding painless!  It was truly a miracle because there was no way I could have continued to feed him through that terrible pain.  I honestly don't know how I made it six weeks.  Here is one thing I will say.  I read several books and articles about nursing before Eli came and listened to many podcasts about the benefits.  I promised myself that I would breastfeed Eli no matter what.  If I thought for one second that I had another option I would have definitely stopped breastfeeding.  No doubt about it!  But, that wasn't my mentality.  And so, through the cracked and bleeding nipples, through the intense pain, through pumping twice a day, through teething, through low supply, and through many, many near sleepless nights when I felt very alone because I was the only one who could soothe Eli's helpless cries -- we KEPT nursing.  Looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I would have gone through it all again for the amazing relationship it has created between Eli and I.  I am his mother and for one year his main source of nutrition came from ME!  Not only did Eli get breast milk, he got countless hours of snuggling next to mama's warm breast.  My breast can fulfill a hungry mouth, content a fussy baby, soothe a hurting boo boo, and provide a pillow for a sleeping baby.  It is pretty amazing! I am literally in awe of this amazing process. So thankful my husband feels the same way and smiles down on us while we nurse.  So, where do we go from here?  A year ago, my goal was to make it to 1 year.  Now, Eli is nursing quite often (which I researched and I guess it is very normal for babies to nurse frequently from 12-18 of age and that it is very hard to wean during that time) and I enjoy it so we will take it day-by-day, week-by-week and month-by-month!  No, I'm not going to be one of "those" people who nurse their children until school age!  But, I'm not judging them either -- everyone parents uniquely and nursing is no different.

Here are a couple of articles I really liked about nursing toddlers:

An excerpt; couldn't have said better:

Here I am: crying with pain and longing, bleeding, googling correct latch videos at 3:12 in the morning.
Here I am: arranging blankets in the church pew for discrete purposes only to have chubby arms yank blankets off and suck with noisy bluster and longing, until everyone in the radius is grinning.
Here we are: on the pier by the ocean, in the coffee shop, in the mall. Here we are: at the market, at the church, in our family bed. Here I am: nursing one baby, while a toddler boy sits beside me patting her hair gently, and a kindergarten girl sits on the other side, cradling baby feet, and the baby keeps popping off to grin her gummy smile at them both.
Here we are: in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, noontime, all times, sleeping, awake.
Here I am: snapping open nursing bras, tucking in bamboo cloths, applying Lansinoh, praying for grace, avoiding dairy.
Here I am: being changed, transformed, worshipping God in the sacred everyday gift of this radical act of giving.
Here I am: in the early days, falling asleep and snapping awake, crying when the milk lets down, drinking water, balancing on the nursing pillows, staining shirts, burning with a fever from mastitis a time or two.
Here we are: together, always together. Here we are: connected, carrying the same blood and milk and bones.
Here I am: with a real breathing metaphor of contentment and peace, with a milk-drunk, blissed-out, flour-sack of a baby, thick with goodness, and something breaks through the veil between earth and heaven, I understand down in my marrow and now I can’t think of God as anything other than Abba.
Here I am: stronger, bolder, fearless, empowered, soul-quieted, a giver, nourished by nourishing, a mama.
And here I am now: nursing a squirming and disinterested toddler, every once in a while, and knowing that one of these times, it will be her last time, and it will be my last time to lay skin to skin, tummy to tummy, with my own babies, breastfeeding, and that time is coming soon.


Blah, blah, blah, you've heard it all before -- I'm a broken record.  I hope he is sleeping through the night before he goes to college!