Monday, April 25, 2011

Binkie Update, Because You Care

I think it's official.  We are a binkie-free household.  Aaron doesn't take a binkie (much to my disappointment), so we're 100% free.  I am shocked that it was really this easy.  The first couple nights it took just over an hour for Eli to fall asleep, and there was only crying the first night.  Also, the first few mornings he didn't want to just chill in his bed like he always has in the past.  However, the last two nights have been back to normal, and he stayed in bed until 8:45am this morning, so I really think he was awake, relaxing in there for at least a few minutes.  Today is the first day he hasn't asked for it once, so I think we're over the hump here.  So far, so good.

Eli is really getting big.  I call him my overgrown baby because in some ways he's still such a baby, but in other ways he's all boy.

Clayton's Fifth Birthday Party

Clayton turned five on April 10th.  We decided we would have our first real kid birthday party to celebrate the special occasion.  About a month before the party we got a party supply catalog (junk mail) in the mail.  Clayton claimed it and after flipping through it a hundred times, declared he was having a Super Readers party.  Super Why is one of Clayton's favorite PBS shows.  It's pretty cute, so I approved.  Clayton was beyond excited for the entire month leading up to the party.  He told everyone he met that he was turning "dive" (yes, f is still an issue, although we're making progress), and he was having a "Duper Readers" (yes, s is an issue too) party.

We rented a pavilion at one of our city parks on Saturday, the 16th.  It was a slightly chilly, but beautiful day, and the winds, though still present, were on the calm side.  We had so much fun, and we are so thankful to all our friends that came out to help us celebrate.  Here are a million pictures.

Getting set up

 Aaron relaxing in the sun.  A huge thanks to Brandy for taking care of Aaron so much during the party.

Eli sliding with Nan waiting to catch him.  He's definitely gotten over his fear of slides.

Pizza.  I'll admit it.  It was the easy choice.

Isn't he just the cutest?  L with his mama.

Sweet A. 

Eli.  He drank his and everyone else's drink at the party.  He's a theif like that.

Lots of kiddos

Opening gifts.

He was soooo excited.

We lost a few balloons to those spikey things they have to keep the birds out.  Thanks B.

Sweet kiddos

Super Reader cake

Blowing out the candles

Too excited to wait for a fork

Aren't these some cuties?  M and A.

As you can see, we had a ton of fun.  We're so grateful to have this birthday boy.  I could not have imagined this day five years ago.  Happy Birthday Clayton!

He's Always Been a Great Eater

Eli, Oh Eli.  You definitely keep us on our toes these days. 

A couple weeks ago Eli, Aaron, and I were out running errands while Clayton was at preschool.  It was getting to be lunch time, and this boy was starving, and he was letting me know about it.  When Eli is hungry, it's a crisis.  I decided to drive thru McDonald's and get this boy a happy meal so that he'd have something the minute we walked in the door.  When we got home, I got his meal set up, and I went to use the restroom.  When I returned, Eli hadn't eaten a bite of the happy meal.  He'd gotten into the fridge, pulled out the strawberries, and was chowing down.  I wish I would make good food decisions like that.  I would have rather had the fries.

A couple days later I took this picture after lunch.  I had made the boys each a half peanut butter sandwich, half an orange, some goldfish crackers, and a granola bar.  Clayton didn't eat a bite of his, and Eli scarfed his down.  He said he was still hungry, so I just gave him Clayton's untouched plate.  I came back a few minutes later, and he'd eaten everything except half a granola bar.  Whoa.  This kid can pack it away.  I'm getting really nervous about my future grocery bill.

Eli, what are you doing?

A couple weeks ago I walked into the kitchen and saw Eli repeatedly banging the window with his shoe.  I asked him what he was doing, and he said "Gettin' spiders."

Then I remembered I'd killed a spider on that window the night before with my tennis shoe.  Monkey see, monkey do.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Operation Bye-Bye Binkie

Oh yes, Eli.  It's time. 

Night #1: In bed at 7:50pm.  Much screaming.  Out of bed at 8:10 for "wocking" chair time.  Back in bed at 8:15.  Crying, whining, etc until 9:00. 

We'll see how the rest of the night goes.  I'm nervous.

I'll let you know.

PS Yes, Clayton had a wonderful birthday party last weekend.  No, I haven't posted about it yet, but I will soon.  We've been busy around here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Clayton!

Clayton Andrew turned five years old today.  Wow.  I can't believe this day is here.  I remember some casual statistic roll off the tongue of a cardiologist when I was pregnant with Colin.  She said about 75% of children with HLHS make it to their fifth birthday.  I think she was trying to be comforting, but let's face it, those aren't really great statistics, and of course, Colin was in the other 25%.  Clayton, however, continues to thrive and live each day not knowing there is anything different about him.  Just the other day he told me, "When Eli gets big he can take meds like me."

Oh Clayton.  You just don't have any idea how special you are.

This morning the birthday boy was treated to an early morning donut run with his dad.  They brought home donuts, selected by Clayton, for the family.  We had a great morning in church (Aaron stayed in the nursery, which is always a blessing).  Then this evening we had Clayton's friends William and Abby and their mom, Elana, over for dinner and some cake.  Due to deployments and travel, these kids hadn't seen each other in many months, and they had a great time together.  We got Clayton a swing set for his birthday, and it was put to some good use tonight.

5 years old

Clayton selected this very patriotic donut.

Clayton and his long time buddy, William

These two are good friends.

Five candles on a carrot cake.  I never ate carrot cake as a child.  I guess no one ever served it to me.  In fact, I didn't even know carrot cake actually contained real carrots until I was an adult.  Anyway, I'm making sure I'm raising my kids the right way.  Carrot cake is delicious, and it's a favorite around here.

We are going to have a birthday party on Saturday.  We've always had small celebrations with just family or our close friends, but this year we're having a real kid party at the park.  We'll see how it goes.  Pray for good weather and minimal wind.  This is Oklahoma.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring is Here

Now that I've typed that, we'll probably have an ice storm tomorrow.


Eli Jacob enjoying the weather.  And yes, that's his Arkansas hat.  I'm going to have to teach him to call the hogs.  I'm pretty sure he'd get a real kick out of that.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eight Months

Aaron, where does the time go?  My baby is practically grown.  Well, not really, but he is getting bigger and bigger everyday.

It's no secret that Aaron is definitely my most needy baby, and while he has slightly improved from birth, he's still an extreme mama's boy.  The vast majority of his life is spent eating, sleeping, or being held by me; otherwise, he's screaming.  There are times I have to let him work it out, but there are times that I just give in.  I'm sure he won't be wanting me to hold him all day when he's 12, so I'm trying to find a way to enjoy it.  I have also been getting every dollar's worth out of my Ergo carrier.  Four to 6pm are especially trying hours around here, and Aaron can often be found strapped to my back in the Ergo carrier, happy as can be, while I'm cooking dinner.  It works out for us both.

All that said, Aaron really is a joy in our family.  When we're doing everything the way he wants us to, he's so funny.  He adores his brothers.  They love making him laugh.  Lately Aaron is developing a love for his Daddy too.  When Ryan comes home in the evenings, this boy is all smiles for Daddy.  He's also saying "Da Da" now, though probably not specifically for Ryan. 

As you can see, Aaron's pretty toothy.  That's usually the first thing people say about him.  He's like Eli in that way.  At about four months, he got three teeth and had those for a while.  Then about a month ago, five more came in within about a week's time.  Yes, that was fun.  So at eight months, Aaron has eight teeth.

Aaron loves his baby food these days, especially butternut squash.  I'm still enjoying making my baby food.  There are a lot of things about being the third (or fourth) child that one misses out on, so it feels good to be doing something special for him, and the way he inhales it makes me feel good too.

I sure do love this little guy.  Our home would feel so empty without him.