Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Friday, July 5, 2013

Spring 2013 with Eli: 18 - 21 months 3.14 - 6.14

My last few months with just Eli were bitter sweet.  I wish I hadn't been in my 3rd trimester so that I could have had more energy to run around with my rambunctious and FUN toddler.  Yet, I tried to enjoy every precious moment with him and succeeded at least half the time.  :)  He has changed so much in the last few months.  I feel like he is a "little boy" now.  Where has my baby gone?





March (end of)


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Lots of fun stuff going on here: Flip Zone gymnastics, lunch dates, first "real" hair cut, bundled up in late March?!?!, Eli and 1st cousin Kate taking a bath together, Eli and Sam, Eli having fun on mama and daddy's bed!

I was hoping that it would start to warm up in march but as you can see by our clothing -- it did not.  In fact, it snowed several times!  We did what we could in doors and headed to Flip Zone Gymnastics every Tuesday.  Eli is really good at hanging on the bars!  He likes to run on the trampoline and monkey through the bounce maze.  He got his first official hair cut and he looked like such a big boy afterwards!  

Easter 3.31.2013

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We had fun searching for eggs at grandma and papa's house!  Eli didn't quite get the concept but still enjoyed putting eggs in and taking eggs out of his Elmo Easter basket (that his Oma and Opa sent him!).  


April

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Lots of fun again:  more gymnastics, bath time, fun with friends, play dough, tractor riding, mowing with dad, feeding goats, hair brushing, and nap taking!

April was seasonably cold here in KC.  We had to find fun things to do indoors!  This pregnant mama was getting cabin fever though so we headed outdoors with our jackets a few times! My dearest and longest friend, Mary Beth, came to visit me this month and Eli sure enjoyed the extra attention!  (Finally, someone who understands how truly "needy" this child is -- after staying with me for a week she was probably thanking her lucky stars for her two boys! :))  Eli is the most wonderful child, he is so sincere, thoughtful and sweet.  He just needs your constant attention.  It is wearing, yet endearing at the same time.  I love him for exactly who he is!


May

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Eli loves to: sweep, cuddle with his bf "Momo" (aka Elmo),  slide, play at the park, big trucks and tractors, animals, muffins, jump houses, his daddy, etc!!!

Not too much happening here in May.  I was getting to be super, duper pregnant and my energy ebbed and flowed. We still got out and about because my mommy guilt told me to knowing that it was Eli and I's last full month together just two the two of us!

We planned on having an "Eli Weekend"  on May 3-5 and we got about half of what we had planned in before Mike and I headed to the hospital Saturday night because I was having severe kidney pains -- in which I was diagnosed with severe hydronephrosis and stayed for two nights.  Those nights were the FIRST nights I spent away from Eli!  Mike stayed in the hospital with me.  My mom did a fabulous job taking care of him and she kept him so entertained that he probably could have cared less that we weren't there.  He didn't even ask for milk!  Success!  Before all of that happened, on Friday night, we took Eli to a bounce house play gym in Belton, MO and he had a blast climbing and bouncing.  The next morning we went to the KC aquarium and Eli LOVED looking at all of the fish.  He makes the cutest fish face too!  

June (beginning of)

*Click on the collage for a larger view
Zoo fun, pool fun, riding Sammie and Bea like a horse, bath time learning, dates with mama, park fun, dinner time learning, curly hair shots, feeding horses, fountain fun!!!
God really truly is amazing.  I think He knew I needed these last couple of weeks with just Eli to be perfect and he gave me my energy back!  Yes, I was 38-39 weeks pregnant and was doing all kinds of things with my babe.  We went to the KC Zoo, Powell Gardens, fed horses, went to lots of parks, went swimming 4-5 times together, and had a couple of dinner/ice cream dates while daddy was working late.  I can literally say I soaked up every moment with my precious son before his little sister arrived!  I am so proud of all he has become these last few months and during my entire pregnancy.  I'm sure he picked up on my lack of energy, stress and anxiety.  He was a trooper indeed.  Couldn't have asked for a sweeter boy.  

New Milestones:

Eli can:
- say lots of words on his own -- his vocabulary is really expanding right now.  Words we hear most often: bug, night night, mo mo (aka Elmo), Papa, mama, daddy, truck, more, please, yes, ya, no (sounds like "mo"), juice, Mammy (for Sammie), boo boo, up, mine, none none (for all done) and Yay!
- repeat almost any 1-2 syllable word that we tell him too, repeat the whole alphabet and numbers 1-10
- follow directions
- color pretty well (chalk, crayons, markers, etc)
- climb almost any play ground equipment there is
- hit a golf ball, hit a baseball off a tee, make a basket with a basketball
- so close to jumping with two feet at the same time
- swim with a puddle jumper on his own
- jump into a pool on his own
- wash himself in the bath
- take off his pants; jackets, socks, shoes, etc.
- hang from the monkey bars
- understands that the street is dangerous and won't go into with out an adult (most of the time)
- tell us when he has gone poop.

What Eli likes:


- TRUCKS, TRUCKS, TRUCKS!!!
- Climbing, swinging, gymnastics
- listening to everyone's hearts with a stethiscope 
- Stuffed animals
- Being outside
- Wrestling and running around on the couch especially with Daddy and Papa
- Playing Fee Fie Foe Fum 
- Riding on dog's backs  and pretending that your leg is a horse while saying "nay, nay!"
- Pushing furniture and large trucks around
- Running around on a trampoline
- Bath time with either mommy or daddy
- Destroying block towers
- running
- our neighbors!
- riding on the tractor with daddy and papa
- going to grandma and papa's house
- ice cream!
- bubbles, play dough, stickers
- books are hit and miss with Eli right now -- he just wants to be go, go, going all the time but we try to read to him through out the day and sometimes he enjoys it
TV: Barney, CHUCK!!!, watching youtube videos of garbage trucks, Cailou
Foods: You never know with Eli.  One day he will love something and the next day he wants nothing to do with it.  He likes oatmeal in the morning.  He will always eat blueberries and raspberries.  He likes pasta most of the time.  He likes to dip things in ketchup and bbq sauce.  Sometimes it is quite the battle to get him to eat/drink.  But, we think that he eats when he is hungry which is what humans should do!  So, we are trying not to stress about it.

Stages and phases :/

3 weeks before Ellie arrived Eli decided to start hitting, spitting, biting and pinching.  Seriously?!?!  Yes, seriously.  We have done many, many time outs in the last month.  Sometimes I think they work and sometimes I am not so sure.  Things have slowly gotten better but occasionally he still thinks he is being funny. Just yesterday he through a big chunk of mega blocks right at my face.  I could tell he felt bad though and didn't complain at all when he had to go to time out.  

He, like most other toddlers, it also having trouble sharing.  We are working on it.  

Bring on the terrible two's (if they haven't already arrived!)

Sleep


Haha.  This category is just a joke in the world of Eli.  Sometimes I get so excited thinking he has finally figured out this sleep thing.  I mean, come on, most humans LOVE sleep -- why can't he?  

Currently, at 21 months he goes down usually around 9 (mostly due to Mike coming home late) and then wakes anywhere between 6:00 and 7:00.  Not bad but not ideal either.  He never, ever wakes up happy.  I feel so bad for him but I think he must just take after his dad -- who takes FOREVER to wake up and is very cranky in the mornings.  At least this is what I am telling myself to make me feel better about the whole thing.  

Naps are also hit and miss in the Stephen's household.  I try to put him down between 1-2 and he may take a 1.5 hour nap if I am lucky.  He cries when I set him down for a nap 30% of the time but usually just few a minute or two but every once and a while he will surprise me and cry for nearly 30 minutes.  These past 3 months he would wake up mid-nap and need to be held to finish it out 75% of the time.  It got to be exhausting but I caved because I wanted more rest myself.   

Thoughts on weaning...


I am currently "tandem" nursing Eli and Ellie.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined doing this but, here I am.  The first week with Ellie home was tough on Eli.  Before she arrived, he was only nursing for a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes before bed and maybe once during the day if he fell down.  However, when he saw little sister nurse so much he started to constantly want mama's milk.  There was a lot of, "Mommy's milk is for baby" and "Tiny nurse" and "After baby" and a lot of tears on Eli's part.  However, things have really started to get better and we are back to just a few times a day with out much fussing at all when I nurse Ellie.  

My goal is to completely wean Eli by 23 months.  I'd like to be done by the end of July but we will see how it goes.  Breastfeeding is a two person relationship and even if Eli is not ready to be done, I am.  I think we will send Eli to my parents house towards the end of July for an entire weekend and when he comes back there won't be any more milk for him.  Please say a prayer that this goes well or even better that Eli just weans himself.  

Confession:  Some part of me wishes I would have weaned him sometime in my third trimester when I didn't have any milk anyways.  He didn't seem to really need it and I would have been done before Ellie arrived but I didn't and now this is our situation.  We'll deal and survive as always.  


The many positions of nursing a toddler!




Oh Eli,
I can't believe in 2.5 short months you will be TWO!  You continually amaze me with new skills!  You are a mover and a doer!  You are so sweet and cuddly!   You have made me so proud.  Your laugh is super contagious and I love to hear you squeal with delight, especially when you are with your "Papa."  I feel so blessed that God chose me to be your mom!  You have been a big brother for two weeks (I am writing this on 7.5.13) and you love your little sister so much already.  You like to give her kisses, hold her and point out when her eyes are open!  I can't wait to see how your relationship with her progresses!  You are going to be the BEST big brother!  




Here's to your last few months before you turn TWO!  I love you through and through, yesterday, today and tomorrow too!

Xoxo,

Mama

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