Thursday, February 15, 2018

Construction 3rd Birthday Party

For Eli's third birthday we had a super fun Construction theme! 

I made this cake. It was so easy because it didn't have to be perfect.
I used these trucks, chocolate frosting (homemade), and crushed oreos!

Paintbrush rice krispie treats! Dipped in Wilton Candy Melts

Birthday Banner

Goodie Bags

Amazing photo prop made by friend and photographer Precisely Joy
Every guest had their photo taken


Truck Races
Black tape in lines that kids could push to race

Safety Cone Ring Toss

Hammer Time
Flower styrofoam (Dollar Tree) and colored golf tees to build any creation

Our gravel pit built in time for the party


Snacks in hard hats

wrecking balls: cheese balls
beams: pretzel sticks
2x4s: veggie straws
safety cones: bugles
rubble: M&Ms

Adult Break Time Beverages

Wheelbarrow Drink Holder

Dirt Cups
Pudding, crushed oreos, gummy worm

Build a Sandwich for lunch

Utensils were tools

Elbow Joint Pasta 
Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot!

Birthday Fun

Debris bins

Presents were at Material Storage

 Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

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Elijah: 1 Year

Dearest Elijah,
I cannot believe that it has now been a full year since you joined our family. The year has flown by and at the same time I cannot believe how our lives ever were full without you. I have honestly and truly loved and enjoyed every single day with you. You are truly the light of my world. You are funny and curious, sweet and snuggly, and a true joy to have in my life. I am incredibly emotional at the thought of you being a year already and not my tiny baby anymore, but at the same time, you still are my baby. You may be technically a toddler, but you still want to fall asleep nursing and cuddle me and put your arm around me and snuggle up when you are tired or sad. No matter how big you get and new skills you learn, you will always be my baby. Of course I miss the newborn teeniness and snuggles, but you are so amazing now, I cannot miss it too much. I am such a lucky mama to have you in my life. 

Weight: 23 pounds, 10 ounces.
Height: 30.75 inches
Clothes: 18 and 24 month tops and bottoms. 
Diapers: Same old! 
Sleep: You have been starting to sleep a little better lately. You are usually only waking up about 1 time at night. Yay! You eat for a little and go back to sleep. Sometimes you wake up a little while after I put you down, but Daddy is able to rub your back and you go back to sleep. You have been taking great naps for Nanny Grace and even falling asleep in your crib! You lay on your pillow and she sings and rubs your head and you eventually fall asleep (after lots of rolling around). A couple times when Daddy or I have been rubbing your back you have reached around and patted your own butt to ask us to do that. Very funny! You have been going to bed for the night around 7:45/8:00 and sleeping until about 6:00. You are still taking two naps. Usually about 3 hours total. You love to lay on your pillow and have a foof with you. Usually when you do wake up during the night you are sad and crying, but a lot of times in the morning you just sit up and are content. 
Eating: Now you are getting pickier about food! You turn away fruits and vegetables after a few bits and only want meat, cheese, or pasta (I mean, I understand!). You love to drop food on the ground too. Now we put a baby pool under your chair so it catches most of it! You drink water out of a thermos and milk out of a straw sippy cup. We have been working on putting it in the cup holder when you are done instead of throwing it on the floor. When you do remember you love to clap and cheer with us. You continue to prefer to nurse in private, but occasionally you will nurse for a short time in public (a VERY short time). When we are out and about the best way to feed you is hanging over the top of your carseat. 
Likes: Playing outside, walking in circles around the birdfeeder, Goodnight Gorilla (the *it* bedtime story), music and dancing, cat food, baths, IPHONES, all animals and being silly and lovey.
Dislikes: Brushing your top teeth, having your diaper changed, not getting my way (I make a sad face)
Health: You have 6 teeth total. You still like to have secret teeth, so it is hard to know exactly what is happening in your mouth! You like the coconut oil when we brush your teeth, but you do NOT like to have them brushed. You do enjoy chewing on the toothbrush though!
Communicating: You are signing, "more", "milk" and "please" . You love to clap and love to wave. You point all the time. You say "Mama" and "Dada" with purpose about us. You seem to understand so many things we say receptively. It surprises us all the time!
New Tricks: You love to stick your face in the water to drink it in the tub and the pool! You climb the stairs all on your own, especially to get to things you want to get to. You started blowing raspberries recently. You think it is awesome! You also are newly obsessed with the dishwasher and want to climb in every change you get!
Firsts: Taking steps! Trip to the zoo! First time in the back of a police car! Attending The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Watching Daddy get sworn onto the village board!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Elijah: 11 Months

Dear Elijah, 
You seriously light up my world every day. Not a day goes by that I am not overcome with love for you and gratefulness to be your mama. You fill our days with love and laughter. You are incredibly funny and super smart (and not just because we are biased as your parents!). I am the luckiest mama in the world to have you in my life. 

Weight: 23 pounds, 1 ounce at 10.5 months
Height: 30 inches at 10.5 months
Clothes: You continue to wear some 18 month separates, but we are slowly transitioning to 24 months. 24 month pants are so long though!
Diapers: Same old! 
Sleep: Right after you turned 10 months, you started to have some really good nights of sleep. You were having regular 4-6 hour stretches. It went on about 3.5 weeks and then the teething hit again! We are lucky to get one 3 hour stretch and the rest are 1-2. We discovered that you like to sleep on a blanket. Maybe you like how soft it is? We tuck a blanket in the sides of the crib on the end of your bed and you sleep there. We also transitioned to a sleep sack from the zippy. We tried a toddler pillow and you LOVE it (you gave it a big hug the first night) but you usually slide off of it in your sleep. You move ALL around when you are sleeping and usually end up shoved in the corner of your crib! It is quite comical to watch your movements. You started taking better naps for Nanny Grace this week. You take two 60-90 minute naps during the day. We now make sure that you are up by 4:00 to help have a better night sleep. You tend to go down between 7:30-8:00. You have also been snuggling a foof (any foof) as you nurse to sleep and it seems to calm you when you are agitated.
Eating: You LOVE food now! You will try anything. In fact, you feel that it is your right to eat every food we eat. You insist on it. You would live on bread, pasta, cheese, and meat if we let you. If you see one of those things on our plates, it is all over. We still play the drop game quite a bit. It gets old, especially when you want it right after you have dropped it. You never drop your favorite foods though!
Likes: Giving hugs (you hug everything: people, stuffed animals blankets, toys), THE CATS, swim lessons, playing in the toilet (yuck!), playing outside
Dislikes: When Mama leaves too soon after she arrives, Greek yogurt (you gag just when it touches your lip!), brushing your top teeth, the changing table
Health: It think some more teeth are working their way through, but you will NOT let me anywhere near your mouth. No way. No how. You started to get sniffles for a few days, but seems like we fought it off. You actually don't mind the saline spray at all and the Nose Frida wasn't as bad as it was a couple months ago. You are starting to get a little better about having your teeth brushed with the finger toothbrush and coconut oil.
Communicating: You are signing "more", "milk", and just started "all done"! You use "more" for food, things you like (like the blow dryer being pointed at you) and when you want something. You sign milk appropriately, but also you use it whenever you want SOMETHING. So sometimes it is a game to figure out what you want! You seem to understand so much receptively. The other day I said I was going to go take a shower and you looked right at the shower! You point everywhere in a very meaningful way. You point at things you want, places you want to go, things you want to do. You are babbling all the time! The other day I brought you in bed with us when you woke up in the morning and you pulled up on your Daddy and said "Dada"! You have said it a few more times since. 
New Tricks: Waving hello and goodbye spontaneously, clapping when excited, and peekaboo (and even holding up a blanket in front of me!). You are so close to walking! You cruise all around one handed. You will hold onto one side of the pack n play, take a step, let go, and then grab onto the other side. 
Firsts: Swim lessons! You LOVE swim class! You don't even mind when we put your head under water. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Elijah: 10 Months

Dear Elijah, 
How are you 10 months?! That means in 2 months you will be a year and that just isn't possible! I keep telling people that it is quite unfortunate that their baby will never be as awesome as you. It is very true! You are so full of life and love. You make friends wherever we go. You especially love kids and babies! You smile and look expectantly at anyone who passes you. You are intrigued by everything going on around you! You definitely take it ALL in. 

Weight: no update
Height: no update
Clothes: 18 months for shirts that are separates and pants (though pants are getting close). Oneisies don't quite fit well anymore. Pajamas we JUST transitioned to 24 months (especially with your extra big cloth nighttime diaper). 
Diapers: Same old! Cutest diapers around!
Sleep: Pretty much the same. 2-3 hours in a row is a good night. You are often up every 1-2 hours. You don't want to sleep with us anymore though. You wake up, eat, and I put you back down in your crib. If you come in bed with us you just pop up and want to play. It is good that you are sleeping in your own bed, but then I actually have to be awake to feed you! You are still taking about 2 1 hour naps during the day. Sometimes a third short nap when I get home, depending on your sleep that day. As soon as I play you down on your side, you flip right to your tummy. You are a MOVER while you sleep though. I put your down at one end of the crib in the middle and you usually end up shoved against the side at the other end!
Eating: You have been eating well and loving new foods that you try. You like to have several options of finger foods on your tray. Then after you have eaten a little, we can offer some purees and you will eat them up. When you want to eat you open and close your mouth. It is super cute! You tried black beans and loved them! You LOVE LOVE bread more than anything. Bread at a restaurant and grilled cheese are definitely your top favorite foods. Up there with cheese. Nothing beats cheese! You have started eating some pouches once in a while. You do pretty well if I squeeze them. If you do...well...then there's none left to eat. You still love to rub your food around your tray and drop things on the floor. But then you want them. And then you drop them. And then you want them. And then.....
Likes: Pointing, baths!, eating, giving kisses. 
Dislikes: Diaper changes. Boy. You are pretty sure laying on your back for a diaper change is the WORST EVER. You are getting a bit of separation anxiety sometimes. Sometimes when I am getting ready in the morning you are only satisfied to be right with me. That is not so easy. One day I had to finish getting ready with you on my back in the Tula! You are really good about going to other people, but sometimes you just need some mama time. 
Health: You have your four top teeth and your two bottom teeth now. You use them well! We haven't been to the doctor yet, so there is nothing else new!
Communicating: You point all the time. We love to talk to you about the things you point to. You are so interested in everything going on. You understand a lot of words such as: up, daddy, milk, all done. You continue to say Mama, but still not completely intentional when you look at me. You love to babble all the time. You make noises, and yell, and have lots to say!
New Tricks: You are cruising everywhere on the furniture and all around your crib. You are still practicing standing every second you get. You love to read touchy-feely books and know exactly where on the page to touch. 
Firsts: Fat lip! Just a little one. Right before I got home one day you fell at the coffee table. Nanny Amanda felt so bad! She got you some ice and you were ok!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Elijah: 9 Months

Dear Elijah, 
9 months! You are 3/4 of the way through your first year. May seems right around the corner! We like to say "Nobody loves life more than Elijah!" You live life with a big smile on your face and throw your hands up in the air with a loud yell to celebrate with us multiple times a day! Coming home from work is still one of my favorite parts of the day because you always have huge smiles for me and crawl at warp speed right over (unless something distracts you along the way). You love your daddy so much and stop everything when you hear him somewhere in the house. We are very sad because Nanny Amanda found a new job and we only have two more weeks with her. She has been a great nanny for our family this school year. I love my job and I am passionate about all I do, but I really wish I could stay home all the time with you! Your curiosity about everything constantly amazes me. If you hear a sound, see something new or notice something, you look intently and study whatever it is. I wish I knew what was going on in your head all day!

Weight: 21 pounds 15.5 ounces (so probably 22 by the time he ate lunch that day!) 
Height: 29 inches
Clothes: 18 months
Diapers: Nothing new
Sleep: Oh boy. It has been rough lately. We think that you have some more teeth coming in. It is a good night if I get 2-3 hours in a row. Though I am a bit of a zombie during the day, I really do look forward to the cuddles in the middle of the night. You eat and then go to bed around 7:00. Usually around 1-2 you come into bed with us when you wake up. You squeeze up right next to me and sometimes I almost fall off the bed! When you come in bed with us, you wake up to eat quite a bit, but we barely wake up. Sometimes you wake up and are really sad until I stand up and then you lay your head back down on my shoulder.  You usually take about 2 1 hour naps during the day (sometimes a 2 hour if it is a good day!).
Eating: You are starting to eat a lot more! You like to have options and are eating a variety of purees and real foods. You have been chowing on a lot more real foods now. You also LOVE to drink water in a cup and will sometimes cry until we give you some of ours or your own water cup. Water sure is yummy! You believe that eating is a sensory experience and like to make sure you feel all your food and rub it everywhere while eating. You also like to pull a Hulk and squeeze your food to smithereens! You are really good at drinking out of a straw cup and also pretty good at drinking out of an open cup (sometimes you insist on it!)
Likes: Life! Hummus, blueberries and meat. Throwing food over the edge of the tray. You also think bath time is a BLAST!
Dislikes: FACE WASHING. Laying still on your back. Diaper changes sure are interesting!
Health: You have your two top teeth. They were pretty painful and also a big secret. Now you finally let me feel them and I even got a picture this week! It seems like the ones on either side might be thinking about coming in too. Right now I am pretty scared about the Measles outbreak happening. I am so afraid of my wonderful little baby getting very sick.
Communicating: You say "Mama", "Mom", and "Mum" all the time. Especially when you are hungry or sad. I am waiting for you to look at me and say it before I admit you really know it is me. Right now I think it means you are hungry and want comfort. You babble all the time now. We love when you say, "Ah-bah!" We say it all the time back to you. You babble lots of different sounds. You also love to yell and thinks its hilarious when we yell back! You have been reaching your arms in the air and squeezing your hands when you want to be held. It is so sweet! You understand "all done" because as soon as we say it while you are eating, you stop your fussing and get calm. When you are waiting for me to get ready in the morning, as soon as I say, "Are you ready?" you calm down and look right at me and get ready to get picked up. You are SO interested in everything around you and watch every single thing that happens. 
New Tricks: You continue to try to stand up all the time. You pull up on EVERYTHING! And you are cruising around a bit on furniture. You've even stood for a few seconds a few times.You have discovered your tongue and love to stick it out.  When we throw our hands in the air, you do too! You also babble reciprocally with us all the time! You put your hands in the air and squeeze them when you want to be picked up. 
Firsts: Blizzard! You weren't a fan of being stuck in the snow in a snowsuit!