Friday, January 4, 2013

Cabin fever already.

I try to get out of the house at least every other day with Eli since we both tend to get a little cranky when we are cooped up at home too long. However, this past week we didn't leave the house for 4 straight days. By day #5 we were both ready to lose it so I decided to venture out into the cold to go on a little walk. I know we looked absolutely ridiculous, but since I've never really cared about things like that I was more than okay looking a little silly walking with my little guy. As for Eli, I'm not really sure what he thinks about me putting monkey hats on his head...

All bundled up and ready to go. This coat just barely fit over us in order to zip!
I wanted to walk down to CVS and possibly the library, but it's about a mile away and I wasn't sure if Eli would get too cold or not. We ended up just taking a quick 20 minute walk around our neighborhood instead. Considering he fell asleep before we even made it home I think he was more than a little cozy. I'm glad I have found a way to keep us nice and warm so we can still get outside this winter!!

Cozy sleeping baby. And yes, I did keep him in there until he finished his nap! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas season 2012 re-cap.

It was so much fun to celebrate our first Christmas season with Eli. People always say that kids make Christmas magical and so much more fun and I couldn't agree more. Here are a few highlights of our festive holiday season!

Jon and I both love the zoo and couldn't wait to take Eli on his first zoo trip. We decided to go on a Wednesday evening to the Zoo Wildlights and we had a blast. Eli was enthralled with all of the lights, especially when the light show with all of the music played. He also liked the animals that we were able to see (some of the exhibits shut down at night and obviously we couldn't see any outdoor animals), and was really into watching the fish in the aquarium. We were gifted with a zoo pass this Christmas so I see many more trips in our future!

Not the best picture taken with my phone, but the only one we have!

Living in Columbus gives us ample opportunities to participate in fun events. We went downtown to a large park called Columbus Commons to watch the big tree light up (complete with fireworks!), eat some food from a food truck, listen to various artists sing and play Christmas music, and walk around with friends.

Hanging out in the carrier (seriously one of his favorite places to be)
Fireworks over the tree downtown

We live close to downtown Worthington and often go to the shops to support local businesses. One of our favorites is the toy store now! One evening they had an open house where the shops stayed open late and served refreshments. They even had a carriage ride that we eagerly decided to take!

Carriage ride through the streets of downtown
And lastly, let's talk about Christmas. I loved that Eli was just old enough to open his gifts (with a lot of help from us, of course) and was able to take in all of the excitement. He obviously didn't really know what was going on, but I think he enjoyed himself!

On Christmas Eve we enjoyed a spaghetti dinner at home, then we went to the Christmas Eve service of the church that we have been attending for the past year here in Columbus. Eli was pretty worn out by the time we got home so we gave him the quickest bath of his life while he flailed himself around for most of it (so weird since he usually LOVES baths), then put him in bed while we enjoyed a viewing of White Christmas.

The next morning we woke up early (2 hours before our normal wake-up!) so we could open gifts with our little family of 3. We got Eli a big puzzle, a few books, some bath toys, a truck that pops balls out of it when you push it, these little plastic toys that join together (for the life of me I can't think of the name of it) and a ride-on fire truck. He doesn't quite know what to do with it yet, but he loves to be pushed around on it. He also loves the music it plays and bounced around to it when he first heard it. I have a video and it's basically the cutest thing ever.

Eli and his new firetruck
We then set off to Jon's parents' house for Christmas round 2. We ate a delicious brunch, read the Christmas story in the Bible, then opened more gifts. We got a family zoo membership and Eli got some books, a shape sorter, mega blocks, and a plush tractor set. My lovely sister-in-law, Ashley, made him a dinosaur blanket for his crib. My other lovely sister-in-law, Carol, made him a super cute sweater. Most everything went immediately into his mouth!

A little mama/son bathroom shot between brunch and opening presents
Eli with his new shape sorter, and sitting on his new dinosaur blanket!
Checking out the loot under the tree
We then headed to Christmas #3! We went to my aunt and uncle's house for a fabulous Christmas lunch and to spend time with my extended family. Eli had a great time hanging out with my cousin's daughter, Annabelle. And by great I mean that she smothered him with hugs while he screamed. ;) Afterwards, we went to my parents' house to open gifts with my family. Eli got an activity table, books, a drum (complete with shakers, a maraca, and tambourine), a teething blanket, stuffed Christmas dog, bowls and spatula (easily his favorite gift!), a Baby Einstein classical music toy that lights up while it plays, a farm rattle that plays different animal sounds and teaches colors and a lot of clothes. This boy is most definitely spoiled.

Eli with his farm rattle
His favorite - a bowl and spatula!
Playing with his tambourine the next day
We actually ended up getting snowed in the next day so we stuck around for an extra day and played video games and basically didn't change out of our pajamas for the entire day. It was good to just rest for a bit!

I think that sums up our main Christmas festivities this year. It was a fun one!

- Stef

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

I really need to be more diligent about updating this blog. I'm a pro at Instagram now, though.

Eli changes more and more each day and his little personality is really starting to shine through. He cracks us up on a daily basis and I think he thinks he is pretty darn funny too. Some of his favorite things to do right now (as a 10 month old) are:

Eli taking ornaments off the Christmas tree.
  • Crawl everywhere. Get into EVERYTHING. I have to watch this kid like a hawk now because he has gotten super quick and manages to get into things I didn't even realize were within his reach. He is now tall enough to reach the end tables (which was my default place to put things out of his reach) and I swear he has the longest arms ever. That, and he is a master at standing on his tippy toes in order to reach as far as he can. 
This one is blurry, but here is Eli attacking Jon one morning.
  • Climbing. He has been climbing up the pillows and our headboard for a couple of months now, but he is getting pretty adept at it. One of his favorite things to climb is his dad. Every morning Jon gets woken up to Eli crawling on top of his head. I just have to sit back and laugh. However, with his love of climbing I now have to watch him in the bathroom because he thinks it's great fun to climb INTO the bathtub. Except, he goes in headfirst and hits his head on the bottom. Yeah, that happened.
We read a lot of Christmas books this year!
  • Reading. He will sit and read books for a long time, which is super surprising considering that his attention span is about 5 minutes long for most activities. We are constantly going to the library to check out new books.
Strumming along with Dad.
  • Music. He will stop whatever he is doing if he hears a song start playing on the computer or TV. He also has some new toys that will encourage this love of his!
Eli in his new seal tub.
  • Baths. He gets super excited and bounces up and down and tries to crawl into the bathtub as the water warms up. We have resorted to leaving his diaper on until just before we put him in because he would pee on the tub and bath mat every time because he got so excited. He is going to love that I publicly proclaimed that when he's 14. He also loves splashing as much as he can and gnawing on his various bath toys.
  • Sticking his tongue out and making the "pfffttt" sound. He will do it all day long, and if he hears the sound (or a sound that is similar) he will immediately do it. It's super cute, until he is spitting all over my face with food in his mouth. 
  • Sitting on the floor and scooting in a circle. I'm not sure why he does this, but my guess is that he wants to see everything happening around him and that's the easiest way for him to do it.
If we're on the couch, Eli is pulling up right beside us. And making this new face of his.
  • Pulling up on everything. He started pulling up just before he turned 7 months old and has not stopped. Most of the time I am trying to cook or wash the dishes with a baby attached to my leg. 
  • Banging his toys on hard surfaces, such as the coffee table and hardwood floors. And he doesn't find nice, soft toys to bang. He finds the heaviest toys he can find and then bangs them as hard as he can on the table. I always tell Jon that's it's a good thing we don't have nice furniture because kids will ruin everything you own. 
  • Peek-a-boo. We usually play with the comforter on the bed, but lately I have been playing it with him in the living room as we chase each other around the couch. And a side note: crawling on hardwood floors hurts. I have no idea how he does it all day long! Eli has started to play himself. It he has a blanket he will pull it up over his face and then wait for us to say, "Where's Eli?" before he pulls it back down. Super cute.
I'm sure there are other things I will think of later, but here's the list for now. My goal is to update this blog at least 3 times a week. So uh, let's see how well I do at that.

- Stef

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

6 Months!

Our little boy is already 6 months old. He has changed so much and is learning new things every single day. In the past few months he has learned to roll over, to sit up on his own, and has started to figure out the basic mechanics of crawling. He's not quite there yet with crawling, but practices every day. He has been able to "army crawl" a little bit both forward and backward and will sometimes be in a different place than the one we left him in when we come back into the room. He has been getting up on his hands and knees more and more lately, and I think it's only a matter of time before he figures out how to coordinate his movements into true crawling. He has learned how to make the "M" sound and just yesterday learned the "B" sound. While he plays he will sit and say "bzzz..." over and over, which eventually turns into him blowing raspberries and spitting all over the place...and us! He is getting his first tooth as well. Yesterday I noticed a little slit in his gum, then the white part of a tooth by the end of the day. This morning I felt the jagged edge of a tooth making its way up. So many firsts already. And so many firsts still yet to come!

We love this little boy more than anything and we are so excited to watch him continue to grow!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I was a handful as a child. I know, it's hard to imagine, right? My mom told me I was going to get paid back one day. That day has arrived.

My child is kind of a handful. But I love him!

This face looks so sweet and innocent, right??

Let's talk about some of his antics lately.

#1 - Eli isn't crawling quite yet, but he is well on his way. He can at least scoot himself to where he wants to be, which is usually to a place where he can get into things. Those things then usually end up in his mouth, like pages I have ripped out of magazines for future use. He is SO close to staying on his hands and knees so I know it will just be a matter of time before I am chasing him all over the place. Today I walked out of the kitchen and found him reaching for the remote I accidentally left on the floor. Apparently there weren't enough options within the plethora of toys surrounding him.

#2 - I usually put Eli in his bouncer seat in the bathroom while I shower. I periodically peek out to make sure all is well. Today, I peek out and Eli is trying to crawl out of his seat! He was leaning completely out of the seat - his hands were on the floor, his butt was in the air, and his legs had worked their way out of the straps. I honestly don't even know how he got himself into that position. I only wish I had a camera right beside me to snap a quick picture, but I was trying to quickly towel off so I could grab him before he face-planted into the floor. So it looks like the bouncer will need to be retired!

I can only imagine what other stories I will have to share as he continues to grow and develop!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why I might be considered a "crunchy" mama.

There has been a lot of talk about attachment parenting and parents being "crunchy." I guess I might fall into those categories a little bit, and I'm totally fine with that. I want to preface this post by stating that these are our family's preferences and I know every family differs. If someone chooses to do things differently from us, I am not going to judge them. These are all things that work for OUR family.

I cloth diaper. We decided before Eli was born that we wanted to cloth diaper to a) save money on buying disposables and b) send less diapers to a landfill where they will stay for 500 years. Plus, cloth diapers are just too cute! I love putting Eli into cloth diapers because I know they are soft against his skin and don't contain any of the chemicals that are used to make disposable diapers.

I breastfeed. Again, before Eli was born we decided that we wanted our child to be breastfed for many reasons. Breast milk has the best combination of nutrients and antibodies for my baby. It is easier for my baby to digest and it helps protect against disease. Breast milk is free. Yes, I did have to buy a few nursing bras and a manual pump (which was actually a gift), but in the long run it is cheaper than buying formula. Breastfeeding is convenient. I can feed my baby whenever he gets hungry and not have to mess around with a bottle. This is especially convenient in the middle of the night! Also, I am comfortable nursing him in public with a cover so it doesn't bother me when we are out and about and he gets hungry. Plus, breastfeeding is good for my health too because it helps protect against certain cancers and diabetes.

I babywear. I love putting Eli into one of the carriers I own when we are out somewhere or just around the house. It is so much easier to put him into a carrier than mess around with our stroller. I like our stroller and am glad we have it because we do use it when we take family walks to the park and I intend to jog with it when Eli gets a little older, but it can be bulky in certain places. For example, I go to our local farmer's market on Saturdays and I see how hard it is to push a stroller on the busy sidewalks. It's also easier to just put him into a carrier when I run errands rather than carting his car seat in and out. Eli also likes being close to me, even when I am doing everyday things around the house. He is usually in my ring sling while I cook dinner. He also is in a stage where he loves to look around and take everything in. With him strapped to me he is in the center of what is going on!

Those are the three main things I do as a mother that some would consider "crunchy." I'm not really sure why, but so be it. I also try to be eco-friendly at home too. I use cleaning products that don't contain chemicals (for the most part), use CFL lightbulbs in all of our lamps, use a low-flow showerhead, and use an energy-efficient washer and dryer. I also am trying to buy locally more often and purchase meat and produce at the local farmer's market. The one thing I really miss is recycling. Recycling was free in Ashland and they picked it up from our curb. We have to to pay for it now in Columbus if we want it picked up or take it to a recycling bin ourselves. I might try to start taking it myself again, but it became cumbersome after awhile.

So tell me...what do you do that is considered to be "crunchy?"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

For anyone who has ever asked a stay-at-home mom...

"So, what do you do all day?"

I'll tell you what I do all day. I work. Hard. Anyone who thinks that stay-at-home moms have it easy is either a) not a stay-at-home parent or b) has never had children. Yes, I understand that I do all of the same household chores as those that have full-time jobs, but I also have a baby at home all day with me. A baby who needs fed, entertained, changed, and loved. One might think I am online all day long, but a laptop is a glorious thing to have with a nursing baby who likes to eat...a lot. Or who sometimes does not like to nap unless he is on his mama.

I no longer have an entire Saturday to clean our apartment. It gets (somewhat) clean throughout the week during nap time. That is, if Eli is napping in his swing. Otherwise, I am browsing Pinterest. Hey, it happens. There are some tasks that get put off...sometimes indefinitely. I will probably regret this the next time someone decides to just drop on by. However, there are a few key chores that need to be accomplished on a daily to weekly basis. The ones I would like to address today are the dishes/cooking, the laundry, and cleaning off the dining room and coffee tables.

We still have to eat. And I'm not one to use paper plates. So, the dishes pile up every single day. A former task of unloading and re-loading the dishwasher that used to take 5 minutes can now take 15 minutes while I keep an eye on Eli while he's playing on his activity mat. Was that a cry or a happy squeal? I'm the one who has to check it out. Meals take much longer to prepare when wearing a baby who doesn't want to sit in his bouncer or who decides to get hungry half-way through chopping veggies for a stir-fry. Sometimes it's a miracle that I even get dinner finished at all.

The laundry, oh the laundry. Eli definitely gives our washer and dryer a work out. Babies create a lot of laundry for one tiny person. Between diaper leakages and spit up, he can easily go through a few outfits a day. Throw in the cloth diaper laundry and I am easily doing 3 loads of just his laundry per week. I've been known to wear my jeans probably a bit longer than intended since our laundry can get put on the back burner. Sacrifices, people.

No matter how hard I try, it is almost impossible to keep the dining and coffee tables completely cleared off. The dining table is where we put the car seat, diaper bag, mail, and all the other random items that go in and out of the apartment on a daily basis. I have tried to stop this. I have. But it's just too convenient when it's the closest thing to the door. The coffee table is usually stacked with board books and rattles that entertain Eli throughout the day, not to mention my ever-present glass of water, a plate with a half-eaten sandwich on it, and assignments for a class I am finishing to renew my teaching license. And oh yeah, my camera to capture all of the cuteness that happens around here on a daily basis.

Since this post has turned rather long, and I have yet to tell you the rest of how days are spent as a SAHM...there will be a part 2 sometime soon. You know, when I get a free minute.

Since this post has a lot of words in is a cute picture for you!

Someone has found his hands! 

Oh, and before anyone jumps all over me about having a full-time job plus having to do all of these things with children...I know. I am just writing this from where I am in life right now and my experience. I am by no means telling anyone that I have it much harder than anyone else! I am just answering the question about what I do all day. :)