Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Eli said his first word, "mama," at about 8.5 months old. "Daddy" followed shortly thereafter. I was so excited to start hearing all the other things that he was going to start saying. But then Eli just decided that he didn't want to talk at all. He learned his own language of grunting, growling, pointing, shaking his head "no," and using signs that he made up for "more," "eat," "please," "bye-bye," and "don't touch." I'd hear "mama" or "daddy" occasionally, but no other words. He's almost 18 months old now, but no words! I was getting frustrated, but I haven't been worried because he understands everything. He is incredibly observant and follows instructions to a tee. He just made a choice not to speak, which is so like Eli. He wants everything on his own terms.

I'd hear him sometimes standing at the glass door to the back porch saying "dog, dog, dog" to our pets, but he would only say it when he thought I wasn't paying attention. He'd whisper "kitty" whenever we would see a cat, but, again, only when he thought I wasn't listening. He'd flip through his books by himself and say the words for "duck," "keys," and several others, but only if he was alone. I'd try all day and night to get him to repeat words, but he'd just stare at me. He was going to speak on his own terms.

And I guess his terms have been met, because all of the sudden, in the past several weeks, he has been picking up new words all over the place! I LOVE hearing his little voice now! He has about 20 consistent words now, and every day he seems to learn another. He's a pro at animal sounds, too. :)

This was a good lesson for me in not stressing about the "milestones" that get pushed so often by pediatricians, etc. My child will do things in his own time, and he doesn't need forceful pushing by me. My job is to nurture and love him and allow him to learn and grow in his own way and in his own time, without comparing him to anyone else. And besides, now that he is learning to talk, there will probably be moments in the future when I wish he was as silent as he used to be. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snip, Snip

Eli got his very first haircut yesterday! I have been putting it off forever, because I love his soft, long blond hair. It broke my heart to think of cutting it off! But pictures like this convinced me it was time to break out the scissors:

First, notice how handsome both of my boys are! Second, notice that Eli's hair reaches almost down to his eyes. :) My mom offered to cut it for us since she used to trim our hair when we were little. We broke out the camera, plunked him down on the kitchen table, and I even got a little misty-eyed. My baby! His hair!

The Before:

Seriously, look how long that mohawk is!


And I forgot to take an after shot. :) Just trust me that he looks cute. :)

My baby is growing up!

Monday, October 12, 2009

17 Months and 3 Days

Dear Eli,

I know I tell you a thousand times a day, but I love you! I love you to the moon and back again. I used to write you a "letter" every month during your first year, and, though I don't think I'll keep doing it every month, I at least want to do it every so often, since this blog is my way of documenting your childhood. So here it is, your "17 months and 3 days letter."

You are amazing, kiddo. You have an incredible amount of personality packed into the cutest little body. I always think of that line from Seabiscuit when I think of you... "Though he be small, he is mighty!" That's you, Eli! Small but mighty, for sure.

You are high-energy all of the time. You love to run, climb, push things around, and be outside. You love the red wagon, your stroller, and the playground. You adore wrestling with your Daddy and being chased by anyone with enough energy to run after you. You love to be scared- Daddy often hides from you and jumps out to scare you. You laugh hysterically and want to do it again and again.

You are very "organized." You remember where everything goes and the pattern for doing everything. You've seen me put my cell phone in my purse a hundred times, and so you assume that your toy phone goes in there as well. I'll put that toy phone in the toybox a hundred times, only to find that you've put it back in my purse again and again, because that's where it goes! :) You play with something and then wave "bye-bye," signalling that you're done playing with that toy and it's time to put it away. You wake up in the morning and go and point at every window in the house so that we can open the blinds. You love our daily routine, and I love that you love routine, because I love routine too!

You are very affectionate with the people you love. When you see your cousins, you run to give them a hug. You won't go to sleep at night without kissing me goodnight. You love to ride on Daddy's shoulders and tug on his hair. You're still very wary of strangers, but once someone wins your heart, you are elated to see them again and again. You love to be with your cousins and your grandparents and, of course, with Daddy and me. Our favorite thing to do is to lie in bed together, all 3of us, tickling you and letting you climb all over the place, all of us laughing and sublimely happy.

You are strong-willed, for sure. Once you set your mind on something, there is no distracting you. I forsee battles of the will ahead, but I also forsee you being someone who sticks to your convictions like glue, unwavering in what you believe. We pray daily that the Lord channels your strong will into solid, passionate faith and service in the Lord Jesus Christ.

You crack us up. You love this silly little song that I sing to you about a little green frog. You walk around the house "singing" it all day, making the frog's sound and shaking your head back and forth in an imitation of the way I always sing the song to you. It is adorable. We love to listen to you "talking" in your crib to all your animals. You do and say the funniest things.

You are so very smart. You know everything that we are saying. I can't wait to see how smart you'll be as you grow up.

We love you, kid! You are the joy of our lives, an absolute treasure to Daddy and me. We love our little family. You complete us! I could not possibly be more thankful and humbled that God chose me to be your mom. It is the greatest blessing in the world.

All my heart,

I Love Fall

I love fall. I love it when the weather turns cooler and we finally get to put on jeans and boots and jackets. I love seeing Eli in a little hat to keep his ears warm. I love pumpkins and mums and a big fall wreath on the front door. I love banana bread and Yankee fall candles and making a big pot of soup. I love lounging around at home with my sweet little boy. I love that Eric is out fishing today on the cold lake and will come home to a warm house with two people that think he's the greatest guy in the world. And I love all the things that we have to look forward to in the next couple of months. I love fall!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Call of the Wild

Eli loves animals. The kid would walk right up to a wart hog and give him a hug. I envision many a pet in our house as he grows up.

On Monday we went to the Arboretum, as usual, except this time they had a little petting zoo for the toddlers. They had the most adorable assortment of baby animals- lambs, goats, a little donkey, bunnies, and some sort of chicken-ish bird. Eli was in heaven. And these animals were the friendliest, most docile creatures you could ever imagine. I don't think you could get them riled up if you tried, and boy were the kids all trying! Observe exhibit A, Eli pulling a goat's ear:

The goat was totally unphased. I don't know what the petting zoo people do to tame their animals, but I wish they would come and perform similar tactics on our insane and enormous puppy Izzie!

I love watching Eli play with animals. I think I will even go back on my we-will-never-ever-in-a-million-years-have-guinea-pigs-or-gerbils-or-hamsters rule. That is just how much I love my boy.