Sunday, January 15, 2017

ELK 7 Months.

Here we are, this little baby closer to one year old than he is to birth. I love him. I don't love love baby stage (sorry folks, I like when they can talk to me) but we are soaking up our moments with this babe while he is still full-on baby.

He was in the 4% for height at his six-month check-up earlier this month. And 74% for weight. Sorry boy! He has not been awesome in sleeping UNTIL LAST NIGHT WHEN HE SLEPT FROM 11PM TO 7AM and I woke up SO AMAZINGLY HAPPY and I have had the BEST day because, as you can tell from my all caps, I LOVE SLEEP and I miss it so! Evan doesn't seem to want to be consistent at sleeping or developing a pattern (partly due to his cold from over the holidays and me not sure if he's ready for all that crying it out yet and wondering if he's legitimately hungry since we are slow-going on the solids). Speaking of food, we started with some brown rice cereal before Christmas and he tolerated it. Fast forward a few weeks and a few other foods (avocados, pears), I realized the kid was constipated. Big time. The other two have rarely been stuck (ha!) with that problem so I'm in new territory here. Poor kid. We eliminated rice cereal and give him a tiny bit of pear juice and he's fine but I'm thinking he's got some food sensitivities that the other two never had. I am excited for him to start eating solids more and more so I know he is nice and full for nighttime. So far he will eat whatever except he was really against peas. He loves my milk and nursing and being with me, obviously. He definitely can be impatient for his milk... but overall he's happy.

Evan squeals with delight or just to be heard. He rolls over to his tummy most of the time after putting him down. He can scoot around in a circle, sort of a shimmy, and is getting dangerously close to being not able to be left alone. He reaches for toys and love to chew on them. He loves fingering his blankie and putting it close to his face to sleep. He likes to jump in the johnny jumper and sit in the beast. He tolerates his car seat. He likes to kick his short legs when he's excited. He loves to look up at lights or fans. At church this morning he was fascinated looking up.

There's more but I better go to bed (which I'm deep-down SO SO SO HOPEFUL will be another repeat of last night but sadly, more realistic assuming he'll be up often). But he's still my darling!


Monday, January 2, 2017


Us five on Christmas morning 2016. 

And my mom got into buffalo check pattern this year...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Gift Ideas!

I LOVE (truly I do) LOVE giving gifts. I like shopping for good deals and sweet things that people didn't even know they wanted until you gave it to them or at least, making people smile because they were thought of. If I had endless time and money... oh man! Watch out world! I'd knock your socks off with warm fuzzies of affection.

So while two kids are napping, instead of wrapping or cleaning or packing, here's some nifty gifty thoughts:
  • If someone has recently moved into a new place... a welcome mat is a fun and sweet gift. Just did this for a dear co-worker and noticed she had it out last week. Plus you can get darn cute ones. 
  • NOISE MACHINES are the bestest. Like a fan but without the air and various tones to the wirrrrr. They are well worth $49. They go on sale once or twice a year for $35. I just bought us one more because I'm scared ours will go kaput. I (try) not have Evan used to this but I hate shushing our big kids all the time during his nap. Travelling in a hotel? Hearing annoying neighboors in the floor above you? Your brother-in-law snores when he comes to visit? Answer: NOISE MACHINE. You're welcome, sleep. 
  • Napkins! I do love me a CONSUMABLE gift that won't collect dust especially for the folks that have everything. Everyone likes nice, disposable, possibly-themed napkins. Target had some I bought my mama that I find so stinking adorable for winter but really, anytime of the year is a good idea for napkins. This also falls under the "think of something they use then you could get a nicer, more expensive version" - another idea when gifting.  
  • Gifts with a purpose... the Syria mess got me all up in arms and so I stumbled on this gift catalog with items made by refugees. Make sure your organization is legit and money actually goes to your cause instead of "administrative costs." Again, great for folks that don't need anything. 
  • For moms, personalized jewelry (the cool, not cheesy kind) with their kiddos names (definitely include any in heaven here too) are going to be a win. 
  • Smartwool socks. Oh man these are awesome. 
  • Tiny screwdriver. We use our free one all the time. Handy! Tiny! Cheap!
  • Amazon prime. $99 but would be a great gift for anyone because free shipping! free music! free books! a feeling of status and "no problem that party is Saturday! I can prime that!"
  • White Elephant? Try passive aggressive notes! Hilariousness. 
  • Sorel. Merrell. Uggs. Fancy, expensive boots or slippers or shoes. Not easy to pull this off, but we all need good, supportive, cute footwear. Our elderly future feet will thank us. 
  • Massive quantities of something they use daily or often. One year I got my dad thirty (fifty, maybe) fingernail clippers because he always has one and always looses them. 
  • For anyone that writes lists, awesome paper or sharpies are a win. I own so many, many markers and pens and yet, I feel I can never have enough good writing utensils. 
  • Gift basket you come up with! Target. Go to the "dollar spot" section and just have fun. Add some items from personal care (everyone needs nice shampoo or tissues or toothbrushes). If you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joes or ALDI, add dark chocolate or other such goodies. Done. Add a gift card if you need more umphf. 
  • On the gift card line, boring some may say but you can make it more creative with the "presentation". My bro-in-law always makes fun of Kohls for being "not a sustainable business plan" and so their date-night JL Beers gift card was wrapped in three Kohls boxes stuffed with the fifteen Kohls bags I had around. Har har. 
  • If you want to get something but don't have it or need to wait for a better price, etc, make a scavenger hunt (or some other game/poem) that ends with a photo or description of the item (or you could just wrap that). That extra effort will make-up for the item not being there (probably).  
  • If you are buying for someone not living in their "home" state or country, something from home at Christmastime will melt them. A necklace with the shape of their state. An art print of home. Something that shows them familiar. 
  • Mini spatulas for kitchen folks. LOVE my mini spatulas. Get them about anywhere these days. 

Kids and Babies
  • Plan Toys makes some pretty cute toys and games. We have one from there, nicer wooden. So cute. In that same vein, HABA toys (including some of the cutest little red-headed dolls).
  • Books. Greg would put this a-o #1 on his list too. But for kids, a good book that engages them is always a win. Dragons Love Tacos is hilarious (cheaper on Scholastic). Try Better World Books for used fun. 
  • Legos. Just a great gift for a long many years. Mr. Eli may be getting the Millennium Falcon and I'm fairly certain his dad will have just as much, if not more, fun putting it together. 
  • Magformers are great because they'll span ages. Kohls sells them so you can use a deal there. They do go on sale so don't buy for regular price. 
  • Go handmade etsy or local if they seem to have everything... there's always an adorable idea that's not mainstream that will be a hit. 
  • Scripture Lullabies. Such amazing music. Goes on sale over Thanksgiving each year for 30% off. So calming and not annoying. Such a win. 
  • Baby bibs. All the rage and so darn useful. Make sure they are absorbent materials. 
  • Fun band-aids. Because you don't want to cover a boo-boo (or made-up boo boo) with plain, brown boring. 
And no matter who, they will appreciate a thoughtful photo gift. I did photo books for my nine-year-old niece and my 73-year-old dad. Shuttefly has free codes, often, A bit of a learning curve but well worth the time. Otherwise, just print a photo and buy a frame. Sometimes people just don't have the energy to buy a frame for a certain photo. If you gift it to them all done, wha-lah! Just don't judge if you don't see it on display at their house. Ha! 

Okay naptime is ending. That'll get you thinking, folks!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ELK - Six Months.

Our sweet baby is half a year old!

And because he thought he should help this tired mama to remember, he did two milestones this morning: popped his second tooth and rolled over from his tummy to back (first tooth and rolling from back to tummy happened earlier). What a baby!

look at these thighs!

He won't have his six-month well baby check until the first week in January but he's got to be getting close to 20 pounds. Heavy baby!

What else!? He smiling often. Still doesn't sit up on his own. Loves milk. We tried feeding avocados mixed with my milk but he was not a fan and had quite the gag reflex. Hope to try brown rice cereal soon. He has dry skin issues, sadly. The other two didn't ever have that this early. Evan is working on a schedule and will hopefully fill me in on what that is soon. He giggles at Eli's antics and smiles at his sister. I'm still the favorite. He wears six month size but also 9-12 month items (long torso, sort legs, round!). Its crazy cold so I'm happy with all footed items to keep him snug. He is happy if he's full, usually. He will take a bottle when I'm not around. He likes to lay on the play mats and bat at the toys. He will give me one longer stretch at night, usually. He likes toys that he can put in his mouth and scrunch and play with. His car seat pull toy is a favorite. He loves sitting in the high chair and watching the rest of us. He babbles cuteness often.

Evan Lloyd, you are a joy! We are exiting the baby baby phase and entering into the "wow, look what you can do now!" stage. I love to snuggle you close, breath in and exhale happily being your mama. I kiss your side forehead fifty times a day. I love to say "Hi Evan!" when I come into your room to see you... or sometimes "Hi bubs!" "Hey Bubba" or "Good Morning Evan Bedevan!"

You are currently pooping one of the longest, loudest occurrences in your lifetime as I type this. Oh bud, here we go again to change your cute bum.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Going Home Final.

On the doorknob to Evan's closet is the brown going home outfit. The one Maelee was supposed to wear but didn't get to. My mom embroidered her name on it and we all hated it was empty. When Eli came to be, we rejoiced in getting to put his name on it and bring him home from the hospital in it.
Eli in the outfit. April 29 2011.
And then again when we carried Annalee into Grandma and Grandpa's home (our temp home at that time). And it was sweet having Maelee's name in pink, Eli's in blue, Annalee's in yellow. And even though I thought we were done, we got another babe to add to it all. Evan wore it in June home from the hospital. A tribute to her all tied up with a wee bit of snarkiness "damn it, I will be worn."

So it's been hanging there and I keep thinking I ought to get a few photos of it worn while we still have a baby to fit into it! And our little five-and-a-half-month sweetie is a big 'en already so it had to be done (ideally months ago). But we squished him in it yesterday as a last tribute to this special going-home outfit that perhaps my grandkids will wear someday!!?

Dear me, he is something.

And the sister on earth found this white dress given to us and she has fallen in love with it, wearing it and prancing and dancing and singing and... praying in it! No idea why, but she has broken out in thankful prayers the few times she wore it. By chance I snuck a photo of her at the right moment and it's preciousness all in its own right.

These redemptive moments are treasured deep in my mama heart.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

First Toof.

Evan's first tooth popped yesterday. I've known for about a week one was coming, guess I'm better at knowing stuff the third time around. Here's the only pic I took of just him yesterday, this "maybe gnawing on a carrot will make him happy"

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


On the drive after school today:
Me: "How was school today? Anything different happen?"
Eli: "We had a hearing test."
Me: "Oh, how did that go?"
Eli: "What?"

Last week, Eli was thrilled to see his name in hELIcopter! He's doing great finding his "sight words" from school and it is SO enjoyable seeing him beginning to read.

He also asked me the other day for some "graham crappers" - and I didn't correct him!!

Annalee is interpreting bigger words and skewing them. The other day I was brushing her hair and she said "get the rectangles out!" She's awesome. She's also doing super at potty training. I knew it'd be easier if we waited until she was ready. Looking forward to only one little babe in diapers.


Monday, November 14, 2016

5 Months ELK.

Our littlest is five months old today. He is a joy. I have often contemplated how different his life is compared to Eli's life the first year when I was home with just him still raw grieving our firstborn in our small house in South Carolina with no family around but many dear friends. So different. He has less attention by me, so much more noise and interaction, more little hands and faces all over him, less of focused Daddy time, more extended family time, less photos and all around recording of his every move. But LOVED just the same.

In his first few months, I just wanted Evan to get a good latch. He has. He did it! That's pretty great, friends. He also takes a bottle, even sporadically. That's amazing! I can say now my battle with him is sleep. He has this yucky cold (clearly he is exposed to more germs) that causes him to have snot and a yucky post-nasal drip cough. I don't recall the big kids coughing this young. It's nothing severe (let's hope it doesn't develop into anything severe) but I've been spoiling him, nursing him when he wakes up at night. Sometimes this is three, four times. I am exhausted. And totally, utterly creating a monster. As soon as this dumb cold is gone, the poor boy may have some rough crying-it-out moments. We'll get there. Someday I will be rested again. Someday I will leap out of bed in the morning ready to start the day.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Probably not. I am not a morning person.

On to other Evanisms.

Update: he was 18lbs 9ozs and 25.5 inches on 11/16

He started rolling over last week from his back to his tummy. He then gets pretty tired and upset because he doesn't like tummy time.

He sucks on his mouth/lips/tongue to get to sleep. He chews and spits out the binkie, preferring his own mouth. It's pretty cute and I think probably he's just thinking he's nursing.

He also likes to clutch blankies or soft things and bring them near his face to sleep. Not ideal for breathing but pretty adorable.

He screeches and yells, especially in the early evening if he's laying on the floor by himself. It happens when he is just getting sleepy and feels like he needs to be a part of whatever else is going on. Super loud too!

He is well on his way to six month size and even nine month size clothes. Not sure his weight but I'd say around 18 pounds. And he is not made for skinny jeans. I can't get them on him. And they are most likely too long. I get this, son. Me issues es su issues.

He has a great giggle. He is ticklish under his neck, on his thighs and tummy. He likes when I put my head on his belly. Adorable.

Photos captured today:

The tongue!

Precious Boy.
And Evan's look is exactly what I look like when trying to exercise:

Crunches? Toe Touches? No thank you.