Friday, December 28, 2007

Daddy's 30th Birthday

Just over week ago my wonderful husband turned 30! A family get-together was planned, but his poor family all got sick, so that was postponed.

While daddy was at work, Walker planned a wonderful celebration. First we went to Target to pick up a few things, and I kept telling the boys we were going shopping for daddy's birthday. Walker relayed this message to anyone who came within 10 feet of him, "It's for daddy's, birthday." Well, everything but the formula, he did concede that was for Eli.

Our Target has a Starbucks at the front. As soon as Walker saw it he started yelling, "FOR DADDY'S BIRTHDAY." We rolled over there and he insisted that we get daddy a new travel coffee cup. He really got that it was a present, not something he already had.

Then another light bulb went off..."Daddy Birthday, EAT CAKE!" He had made the connection between eating cake, and it being a birthday (ahh, but haven't we all). I had planned to make cupcakes with the boys, but with late naps and evening plans, we made a quick run to my bakery (Publix) instead.

I fed the boys an early dinner and when daddy got home we had an early party with cake and presents. Then my dad (Pops) showed up on rather short notice (not that I ever give him much) and Jason and I headed out to a wonderfully romantic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Brio.

A bit more of a low key birthday than I had hoped for the big 3-0, but absolutely perfect. Oh, and Eli participated in all the birthday preparations, but he just didn't say much.

Playtime, Pizza and a Movie

Last night we had the Harris clan over to enjoy some post Christmas, but still on vacation playtime. Their oldest is 2 1/2 and their little girl is a week younger than Eli.

Walker had a blast, no I mean an absolute super fun amazing time. This is the first time I have really seen him play full out with another kid. Usually Walker prefers to play with a toy rather than another child. Not last night, he and Andrew wore each other out. They played with cars, balls and a myriad of toys, ran circles around the house, and had several deep conversations none of which the adults could understand. Walker ate an entire slice of pizza and then sat and watched cars with his new bud. It was so great to see him have such a good time.

Andrew and Walker

It was one of those evenings where you say, this is what it is supposed to be like. Sometimes when we try to get together with other families, it is just trying to manage the children, choke down some food and end the evening. Not last night, we all genuinely had a good time. I cannot wait to get everyone together again soon.

Oh, almost forgot...Walker kissed his first girl last night. Right square on the lips. Meredith was helping Anna Catherine stand up and he gave her a big wet kiss, and seemed to like it. Walker is not an affectionate child, he doesn't even kiss us on a regular basis, but something about Anna Catherine was attractive. All the adults assumed we would be match making with her and Eli, but it appears big brother might swoop in first.

Anna Catherine and Eli

Eli and Anna Catherine

We've Got Ears It's Time For Cheers


So, those of you who do not watch too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse might not get the title, but it shouldn't effect your understanding of the post.

Eli had his nine month check up yesterday. He has been fighting ear infections since the beginning of November (right in the midst of IRONMAN). He still has one, and we are trying another antibiotic. The pediatrician gave me the, he is on his way to tubes look, which is fine. Both boys seem to have inherited my ears, so this is probably necessary. I know the tubes made Walker a much happier baby, but he had to get his at four months, so Eli has made it much farther. I would be surprised if Eli makes it to his first birthday without tubes. He is handling the infections very well. He gets a little fussy a few times a day, but is still sleeping and eating well for the most part.

He is growing nicely, 21 pounds and 28 1/2 inches long. The height is only 1/2 inch longer than the six month check up, so the doc is pretty sure someone mismeasured either now or then. I can't imagine why, Eli is so cooperative during an exam (typed with a heavy dose of sarcasm). He is still in the middle of the chart on both height and weight so he wasn't worried.

His lungs sounded clear, which is a huge relief. He has been fighting a cold pretty much all fall, but the breathing problems have remained under control for the last month. I am praying that he is outgrowing this problem and it will not be a life long struggle.

He is crawling, pulling up, cruising on furniture, generally quite but making more and more noises everyday, banging, clapping, picking up objects and just generally on the move all the time. My baby boy is growing up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Morning

Santa arrived sometime in the late evening hours and brought the boys lots of fun toys to play with. Both of the boys woke between 7 and 7:30 and loved coming in and seeing all the wonderful presents laid out. Santa had worked very hard to have a Walker and an Eli side of the room, but of course the boys simply swapped and shared all morning.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Walker's favorite gift (as predicted) is a Mack truck from the movie Cars, that shoots Lightning McQueen out of the back. Mommy likes that it doesn't make any noise. Eli got a nice stand up Leap Frog toy, but is more interested in chewing on his brother's cars.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Eli fit in his brother's baby's first Christmas pajamas so I am very happy about that, he doesn't seem to care. Maddy (our oldest dachshund) was very unhappy that she did not receive anything from Santa so she decided to steal Walker's Cookie Monster, repeatedly. She has been very bad this year, but maybe if she talks to Walker just right, he will share. I think he has enough to go around.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Jason and I are blessed beyond all measure to be able to participate in this experience with our boys. I look forward to many years of seeing their eyes light up on Christmas morning.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Christmas Around Town

Family Christmas celebrations began for us on Saturday. We celebrated with the McCay side of the family all afternoon. The food was wonderful and the boys were spoiled rotten with toys from all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins. We came home thinking that Santa didn't need to stop at our house anymore.

Sunday we headed to Leeds to celebrate with Jason's mother's side of the family. Eli was perfect and Walker enjoyed running around in a different environment. He played with his older cousin, Madison, and had a blast showing off his tricks and eating banana pudding.

Monday the boys went to Gammie and Grin's early in the morning to make Christmas cookies for Santa. Jason and I had a wonderful breakfast date and then headed out to do some shopping. It was a peaceful way to start the day, and the boys had a great time as well.

For lunch we headed to Pop's and Grandma Jayne's for ham and celebration. Walker even took a little rest in a big boy bed. Eli crawled all around and only ended up with one bumped chin at the end of the day. Pops and Grandma Jayne did far too much for Christmas, but the boys will be appreciative for years to come.

Both the boys feel asleep in the car shortly after we left. So we drove around, picked up some Christmas Chick-fli-a, and went to church for the candlelight service. The boys were perfect and stayed with us for the whole service. We came home and got everyone tucked into bed to wait for Santa's arrival.

The boys were so good through all of this running around and changing up their schedules. I was very worried that things could go very bad after three days of missed naps and late nights, but they did beautifully. Jason told them that even if they had been bad all year, they had been so good these past few days that Santa was sure to visit. Of course, they have been good all year so that wasn't a worry.

Side note: Jason and I did not remember our camera for the majority of these adventures. I know, I know we are terrible parents, I apologize. There were plenty of relatives with cameras around, so I hope to gather up some images from them. I will pass along photos of these grand adventures as they arrive.

Christmas Party Kick Off

To start the Christmas party time, the boys and I were able to go to the Moms Club Christmas party. The boys had a great time and it was a great way to begin celebrating this time of year with friends.

Santa made a visit. Walker was very concerned about where his train was. Of course we had already seen Santa on the train and the train at the house is what Santa rides on, so I can't imagine how how he showed up at the party without a train. Eli wanted nothing to do with Santa, until Walker got in is lap also. As long as big brother thinks it is okay, it must be okay.

Moms Club Christmas Party

Moms Club Christmas Party

Walker did participate in the gingerbread cookie decorating, for just a second. He preferred to play in the castle instead. Eli chatted it up with one of his friends and then we headed home.

Moms Club Christmas Party

Moms Club Christmas Party

Moms Club Christmas Party

It is really fun to get to see the boys celebrating with other children. It is a whole different experience than all the parties we have been to with lots of adult family around (and of course their cousins, who are not quite interactive yet).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Riding the Santa Train

To continue with the train theme we all headed down to ride the train this morning with Santa. There is a great old rail station in Calera, Alabama where they run the old trains on seasonal trips, so kids can ride. This is the same trip we took in October to the pumpkin patch, only we didn't get off the train this time.

Walker ready to go

Eli Laughing

Walker was very excited all morning and Eli took a nice nap to prepare. Walker wanted to walk up and down the aisles to meet and talk to everyone, but that wasn't encouraged, so there was a moment of frustration there, but he was able to deal with it. Eli was just happy with his pacifier. I kept trying to take it away so it wouldn't be in all the pictures, but he would just find something else (far less clean) to chew on.

Walker Wants to Walk Around


Santa walked up and down the train talking to all the children and Mrs. Claus passed out presents. It was pretty neat, but the train part was still more impressive to our boys. Eli wanted to chew on his present and Walker, the sweet big brother, took his over to Eli said "share" and handed his bear to Eli, also.

Walker, Eli and Santa

Eli Without a Pacifier

Whenever I go out with Eli other ladies shopping will comment on what a flirt he his, and they are right. If you give this little guy a look he will turn on the charm. Well, he found a little girl sitting behind us, with just one tooth as well, and made a love connection. They talked, squealed, and reached out for each other. I think I know what Eli asked Santa for. :)

Eli Flirting

The boys did really well and a fun time was had by all. What is not for a kid to love, trains, Santa, toys, and family all around. We were even able to do a Chick-fil-a lunch and play time after. A wonderful December Saturday.

Setting Up the Christmas Train

Setting Up the Christmas Train

Setting Up the Christmas Train

Setting Up the Christmas Train

Setting Up the Christmas Train

Setting Up the Christmas Train

Setting Up the Christmas Train

Setting Up the Christmas Train

Setting Up the Christmas Train

Walker loves anything to do with trains. His Grammy and Grin bought our family a train to go around our Christmas tree. As we were getting our Christmas stuff set up (a few weeks ago), Walker got so excited to get the "choo choo train" ready to go. He was patient for the most part and the assembly went pretty well (no super stressed out daddy).

After a few days of pretty consistently remind him, "no touch choo choo train," he does a great job of just watching the train go around the track. When he wants to watch the train and it isn't a good time we tell him the choo choo train is taking a nap, so now anytime time the train is off he explains it, "choo choo train take de nap, go nigh, nigh."

Eli doesn't have the whole "no" thing down, so he has to be held if he is in the room with the train, but Walker always reminds him of the rules. But, Eli does enjoy watching the train go around the track and especially hearing the whistle blow.

After the boys got the train all set up, they had to sit down and watch some Sunday night football.

Watching Football After the Train Set-Up

Happy Kitchen Band

Boys Cooking in the Kitchen

Boys Cooking in the Kitchen

Boys Cooking in the Kitchen

Walker loves to help me kitchen and now that Eli is good an mobile he has joined the band. There is one cabinet and several baskets full of bowls and pans perfect for loud noise making. It is wonderful to see the boys playing together. Almost every afternoon there is a huge mess in the kitchen where the contents of the cabinets and baskets have been emptied and it is wonderful.

Eli has also started to go for the dogs' water bowl (also in the kitchen). Walker is trying to help him to understand that it is not a good idea to do this. When Walker sees Eli headed toward the water bowl, he will stand in between Eli and the bowl and proclaim, "no touch" until Eli understands. I am trying to think of this has helpful, not bossy, but I think there are hints of both.

A Friendly Visit

Jen and Walker

On Monday the boys and I got a wonderful surprise. My friend Jen was able to come and visit. She and her husband are living the dream (or at least working on it) in New York and were coming through town after visiting family. They progressively moved farther away and now our visits are pretty rare. It is so wonderful to have people in your life that you can just pick up with whenever you get together. The boys loved her and now all they want is some 'cousins' in New York. :) I made a point of pulling out my camera, but of course I forgot to actually use it. This picture is from when she came to visit Walker a couple of months after he was born.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Eli's First Visit to Santa...Sort of

Eli's first visit to Santa

Eli's first visit to Santa

Eli's first visit to Santa
(this one is my favorite)

Walker has always enjoyed a hat and the new Santa hat is no exception. He was playing with it on and Eli became fascinated with the little white ball bouncing on the end of brother's head. I told Walker to go sit in his red chair and Eli would come see him. This isn't really a stretch, since Eli spends most of his day chasing Walker. Sure enough, he did and it was precious. Walker thought it was so funny and then he tried to share the hat with Eli. Eli is not as willing to crawl around with a hat on, but Jason is working on him. I was enjoying the moment so much I didn't quite get great pictures (focus and all), but you get the idea.

Eli's first visit to Santa

Walker trying out the Santa hat
(these are Santa's play clothes, they don't quite go with theme)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chomp, Chomp, Chomp

Little Eli has his first tooth! The bottom left one has broken through. And amazingly enough, he has been wonderful this week. He has slept through the night for most of the week, taken good naps, and done a really nice job of entertaining himself. My baby is growing up. It won't be long before he is biting into a gingersnap of his own.


A few years ago my dad introduced us to these wonderful Swedish gingersnaps. They are heavenly. A little too heavenly, if you catch my drift. They are thin and light and before you know it, you have had three servings.

Walker loves them also. Jason introduced him to them last year. He would break off tiny little bits and he was satisfied with about a half a cookie total. Not this year. As soon as he spotted one, it was, "cookie, cookie, cookie!" Last year they were just, "cook." When Jason handed him one, did he tear into it, oh no, not my son. He went over to his chair sat down and enjoyed biting into it. Well, at least for the first half. Then he crammed the second half in his mouth, and in a muffled way, "more cookie, more cookie, peas!" It is amazing how well he uses his manners when asking for a treat. Now, about 3 or 4 times a day he asks for, "more cookies, peas." We let him have a couple a day, I mean it is Christmas time. Now, if I could only hold myself to only a couple a day.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Is it December yet?

Our not quite 2 year old was marching around the house tonight joyfully stating, "More toys, more toys." He was saying it as if he knew there are more coming soon.

Disclaimer: Our house currently looks like Toys-R-Us, so it is not as if the child is lacking. I can only imagine what he has in store for us in the coming years.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Walker Explains It All....

Walker has so much to say. He feels the need to explain everything to Eli. It is adorable. He was telling Eli in the car yesterday all about school. "Bye, Bye Rissa, bye, bye Tucker. Tucker share truck. Play outside with Rissa (his teacher's name is Mrs. Larissa)."

Yesterday afternoon he came into the kitchen: "What mommy cuttin?" Mommy is cutting potatoes. "Grandpa Hermie cut potatoes," so matter of fact. Whenever my grandparents cook us dinner grandpa does do potatoes, but they haven't done that in a few months and I didn't even know that he noticed. He misses nothing.

He is starting to color real pictures. Every week I get color papers from school...blank. Yesterday I got a totally green letter H. He is also coloring with me. He is making pictures and telling me that they are airplanes and helicopters high in the sky (the sky is blue, the airplane is orange, the helicopter is purple and the grass is green). Incredible. He knows all the colors in the crayon box and ask for them by name. He also knows some shapes. When I was uploading a picture of Eli, the icon showing it is loading is in the shape of a triangle, and Walker let me know that. We are even getting to do some school like crafts (mostly for mommy's sake). He loves for me to trace his hands. I'm thinking it's time to make a handy wreath! :)