Thursday, November 19, 2009

Superdad and Luke's Check Up

Well, first of all, I have to say that Stephen has been such an amazing dad and husband, especially this past week. I had plans Thursday night, a hair appt on Saturday, went shopping on Sunday, and went to Sipsnstrokes on Tuesday night and he watched the boys without complaining at all. (not that he would complain to watch his own children, but that's a lot to ask of him, with him working all day and being busy on the weekends as well.) On Sunday when I came home, he had cleaned up the house a good bit. That was super sweet, b/c as anyone with any kids, especially small ones, knows, it's super hard to keep the house clean for more than a min. On Tuesday, when I came home from sipsnstrokes, he had cleaned up all of the dishes, put them away, cleaned up all the toys, the kitchen, the den, did a couple loads of laundry, and even folded them! And did I mention he had chocolate chip cookies waiting for me? =) (He brought them home from work that day, but hey, they're still chocolate chip cookies!) So I wanted to give a big thank you to him for being a super dad!
Luke is officially 4 months old (this picture is a couple weeks old). We went to the Drs for his 4 mo check up and Elijah's 2 yr check up. Elijah is 50% in height and weight - completely avg! Luke is 50% in weight and head, and 25% in height. It's funny b/c Elijah was always 50% in weight, but he was always tall for his age, so Luke's a little chubbier looking b/c he's shorter - which is so cute. Everything looked great with both of the boys except the dr was a little concerned w/ Luke's head shape, so we had to go to Children's to get a skull scan. After a long morning, it turned out his skull is forming together just as it should. yeah! If you haven't seen him recently, his head kind of bulges out a little bit in the back - it's not hugely noticable, but it concerned the dr. Luke favors looking to his right and it appears that has caused his head to form a little funny. His brain is all good, but his head's shape is not quite round. Elijah's head was funny shaped for a while but his turned out round once he was able to sit up, so we hadn't been concerned. But the dr wants us to make sure his head is looking up completely straight when he's on his back for the next 2 months and hopes that will solve the problem. If not, we'll have to go to a specialist to get a special helmet for him to wear to kind of pressurize his head to fix his problem. So he's not enjoying not turning his head, but he's going to have to learn to adapt b/c we don't want to go down the helmet road, as cute as that would be. So alls well for now and hopefully we're on the path to getting his head fixed up. But he's as sweet and bubbly as a baby could be - talking a ton, rolling, smiling, sleeping great! We're really thankful for 2 great boys.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saving Money

Okay, so since I’ve been a stay at home mom, particularly with two kids, we’ve had to watch our budget & try to save as much as possible. The Lord has provided a lot of help to us, like me teaching aerobics again and different ways we’ve been able to save money. Well, my friend Holly introduced me to and and we have saved SO much money pairing up coupons with buy one get one free deals and what not - everything purchased at publix. It gets me so excited - I grew up shopping all the time for clothes and bragging to my parents how much I “saved” them, so I guess I’ve had to change from clothing shopping to grocery shopping to satisfy my craving for a good deal. But this week, I just had to share what we’ve bought…

4 pkgs of Pillsbury Simply Cookies (all natural), 3 lb bag of gala apples, 1 International Delight Creamer, 2 pkgs of Green Giant Steamers frozen veggies, 2 pkgs of Green Giant boxed frozen veggies, 1 Multi Grain Cheezitz, 1 white posterboard… 31 cents total!!!
4 pkgs of Green Giant boxed veggies, 2 pkgs of Solo heavy duty paper plates (48ct), 1 box whole wheat Mueller’s pasta, publix all natural peanut butter… 86 cents total!!!
Arnolds Honey Wheat Bread, 2 pkgs of Country Crock butter, 1 pkg of reduced fat cheezitz, 3 lb bag of gala apples, publix all natural peanut butter, publix milk….8.12 total
And we’re going back this afternoon for purchases that will probably resemble the first two listed.

All of those purchases were made w/ coupons I printed online from these websites. I try to do all of my shopping on Sun & Mon to get the publix penny item (which was peanut butter this week). We try to break up our grocery bill into 10 dollar increments (to get the penny item) and go as many times as necessary on Sun & Mon to stock up on the penny item. This week we kind of slacked on that, so we only got 2 penny items, but normally we get like 4 or so, which can be great when it’s toilet paper or tortilla chips or something really useful. This week, we made out big time w/ the $4 off 4 general mills products coupon, found in the publix circular in their store - we were paid to buy the cookies and green giant veggies, since we paired them up w/ that $4 off coupon and individual coupons.

For example, we bought 4 pkgs of Green Giant frozen veggies 3 for $5 - we used 50cents off coupons on each, which publix doubles, so we got $1 off each box. Then I had one 50cents off 2 boxes (they sometimes allow you to use more than one, which worked today), so that’s another $1 off. Then we used the $4 off GM coupon. So just for the veggies alone, we got paid nearly $2.34!
I would highly recommend checking out these websites and trying it out for yourselves. I get so excited when I get a good deal!!! Hope you do to!
FYI- These deals end after today, so if you want to get them, make sure you check out the weekly ads for whatever date through Nov 3 b/c they probably have this next weeks’ ads (wed thru tues) posted already. =)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Fun

Fall has been fun so far! We went &tailgated at the Alabama/Tennessee game where we got to hang out with some friends from college, including one of Elijah’s little girlfriends, Meredith Eller, as well as with Uncle TJ & Poppy. If you ask Elijah what we do on Saturday’s, he’ll excitedly tell you “Alabama football game” and can cheer “Roll Tide” and “B-A-M-A Bama All the Way” at the top of his lungs. I guess you could say we’re raising him right. =) We went to the pumpkin patch as a family on Sunday and had such a fun time! We rode the choo-choo train, went on a hayride, and Daddy & Elijah figured their way through a maze. It was a gorgeous day & we had a blast. I took the boys back on Monday, when it was less crowded, for Elijah to bounce on the inflatables, play the games, & get his face painted.
For Halloween Elijah is an Alabama football player and Luke is the football ~ the perfect pair! We joked about doing these costumes last Halloween before we were expecting Luke. My mom made Luke’s sweet little costume, which we have gotten so many compliments on! Wednesday was our church’s Trunk or Treat, which was the first time Elijah was able to experience trick or treating. Last year he just rode around in a wagon with his pal Jonah. He ran from car to car & really liked getting candy (which he’s only been allowed one piece of so far!) He was so good at running from car to car that, when we stopped for a few minutes to work our Sunday school classes’ car, he ran off without us. I was tending to our classes’ candy & holding Luke and Stephen was grabbing a paci for Luke. Within 2 seconds, Elijah was gone - Stephen went one way and I went the other. It was such a zoo there that he could have been anywhere! After which felt like forever, probably 10 min or so, I got back to the car and Stephen had Elijah in his arms. Our friend Clay found him running, quite far away from our car… It was the worst feeling in the world, not knowing where he was. We said so many prayers that night - of worry and of thanks. So it was definitely a memorable night to say the least.
Tonight we’re going to carve and paint pumpkins and then tomorrow’s the big night! Halloween’s so much more fun with kids!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Patch & Trunk or Treat Pics

More pictures and stories to come shortly!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We got the flu!

(I don't know why everything's underlined! Sorry!) Both Stephen & Elijah have had the flu… On Sat, Stephen tested + for it & Elijah didn’t, but had the same symptoms that Stephen started with, so they treated both of them for the flu. Stephen’s had his pitiful moments, but we think we caught it early enough w/ Elijah that he mainly just had a cough. We lysoled everything and Stephen wore a mask around Luke in hopes that he wouldn‘t get it. But Stephen and Elijah made the most of their sicknesses - building forts together and hanging out in their pjs (Elijah). While it was fun having Stephen home from work, I’m glad he’s healthy again! I’ve been taking tamiflu , so hopefully that will keep both Luke and I from getting it as well. So please pray for our household to get and stay healthy.
Luke is getting huge! He’s nearly 13lbs and is getting so active! He's getting in the groove of eating, playing for an hour and a half or so, and then sleeping. He is smiling a ton and can hold his own in a conversation (just “ahh”s and “goo”s for now, but words will come all too soon enough!) He and Stephen seriously talk up a storm together! It's so cute! He had been waking up in the 5am hour for a while, but for the past week he has slept from 9:30ish til 6:30-7:30. Yeah!!!!! We’ve been praising God a lot for that!
Elijah's been saying the cutest things lately! When he goes to sleep now, if I carry him up, he'll say "I love you forever?" meaning he wants me to sing the song from the book "I'll love you forever." Too sweet! Bedtime has been so weird this past week. We don't know if it's his meds or what, but he plays in his bed for nearly 1 1/2 hours before falling asleep. He'll go from rubbing his eyes before bedtime to jumping up and down in his bed the minute you close the door. You can just see the excitement in his eyes when you lay him down to sleep. His new thing is "I want some" If you have something, he wants it. He's getting to know his numbers really well and we've been working on days of the week. He colors pictures of footballs and crosses and books and then we glue them to a calendar so we know when we're going to watch football and go the library and so forth. When you ask him "what do we do on Saturday?" he says "Football game!!!" He's a huge bama fan. You just say "B-A-M-A" and he screams "Bama All The Way!!!" He spent the night with his Grammy a few weeks ago and came home to tell Daddy "War Eagle." Stephen said "Go to timeout" Elijah got all sad and Stephen had to console him saying he was just playing. Then I came downstairs and said good morning to him and he said "War Eagle!" I said "no sir" in a joking manner and his eyes welled up with tears and he got so hurt! We have to work on joking around with him... but he learned his lesson. =)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Luke is 2 Months Old!

Above is Luke on the left and Elijah on the right, both at 2 mo old.

Luke is now 2 months old! At his check up, he was 11 ½ lbs and 23in long. He was 50% all across the board. He gained more than 4 lbs in 6 weeks, which is better than they expect, so yeah for Luke! He goes to bed around 9:30 and wakes up, on average, one time at night; then he is up by 6:30 or 7:30. He is starting to eat on a 4 hour schedule and getting into a routine of eating, playing, and then sleeping. He is lifting his head up like a strong boy, pushing all the way up on his forearms. He’s starting to coo and pay more attention to his toys and surroundings. He's been having the sweetest little conversations w/ his daddy. Where Luke doesn’t talk near as much as Elijah, he makes up for in loudness. =) However, he has a little tender cry at times that’s pretty sweet. He has had several playdates in the past few weeks. His girly friend, Karidyn, has come over. She's kind of sweet on Elijah, but we'll see what happens there. ;) His friend, Walker, has come over for several playdates. They're only about 4 weeks apart and his mom, Michelle, is just a few houses away, so they'll be good buddies.

We’ve had a lot of fun experiences these past few weeks. The boys went to the McWayne Center with Poppy, Aunt Kristi, Uncle TJ, and Taylor. Taylor and Elijah had a blast playing together and exploring all around the McWayne Center. It was great for kids their age. We also met up and tailgated in Tuscaloosa for the first home game. Elijah loved the atmosphere and is a big fan. He’ll just yell “Roll Tide” out of n where, and if you say “B-A-M-A” he will respond with “Bama All The Way!” Those two cheers woke me up the other morning. =) Stephen went to Colorado for 4 days and left me to tend to the boys on my own. It was a good few days with the boys – no real crazy moments – but I was so thankful to have my sweet husband back home. God made us a team for a good reason. =) While he was gone we went to the library for a 12-24mo old storytime class. It was superfun!!! 30 min of nonstop activities – songs, stories, dancing, and a snack. He was so cute clapping and yelling “yeah!!!” after most of the songs. It was very structured, so it was great for him to practice following directions from someone other than mom and dad. We’ll definitely be frequenting this class from now on. While Stephen was gone, Elijah painted a few “masterpieces” for his Daddy’s birthday. His rendition of Happy Birthday is hard to beat ~ “Happy – O to you!...” We also had our Sunday school play group at Pump it Up. Elijah had so much fun playing on all the bouncy toys and running around like a wild man.

Our days seem so short and so long at the same time. Stephen and I were talking about our “jobs” and how they’re trying at times and so rewarding as well. They’re both roller coasters. I made the comment that at least he gets to get off his roller coaster at night. He joked and said that he gets off his roller coaster and then hops on mine. =) And he reminded me that while my “lows” can be trying, my highs are way higher and more special than any high he could have at work. It’s so true. The little smiles and silly moments I get with our boys can erase the most recent meltdown in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Luke's Room... Sick Boys... Funny Stories....

Here are pictures from Luke’s room. We decided to paint the room with an accent wall and do the whole blue and brown theme. It’s funny to see Elijah run into Luke’s room b/c he starts yelling all of the letters he sees on the wall. His Aunt Beth and Uncle Jay got him that sweet little vinyl wall art above his bed: “I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me.” It took us several weeks to get it done, but it’s finally finished.
This past week has been a little crazy. The Lord so sweetly reminded me that, although Elijah has been acting like a big boy, he still is quite the little one himself. Last Wednesday morning he woke me up crying from 5:30 on. I try to make a point not to get him out of bed until after 7, but I got him up a little early & brought him downstairs. I was going to read him a story, but by the time we sat down, he was asleep in my arms! I can’t remember the last time that happened and it felt so sweet just holding him like that. We cuddled for almost an hour together on his daddy’s chair while he slept. It turns out that he had a cold, which Luke caught as well. It lasted a couple days with Elijah and several more with Luke…poor things. But we're basically all clear of the colds.
Life’s been a little adventure with Luke spending more time on the ground. If I turn my back for 2 sec, Elijah has his arms underneath him, attempting to pick him. I have made many a dashing sprint to get there just in time to support Luke’s head before Elijah’s got him airborne. Luke is doing a good job lifting up his head. He actually enjoys tummy time! He rolled over for the first time from his belly to back Tuesday!! I thought it was a fluke, so I put him back on his belly and he did it again and he's done it a couple time since then! So he was 6 wks and 4 days old. He also smiled for the first time Wednesday!!! It was so sweet!!! He’s sleeping anywhere from 3 to 5 hours a night, which is pretty good. It’s a lot easier handling getting up at night the second go around, since we understand that this truly is just a temporary thing. Hopefully a full night’s rest is just around the corner. He’s been a very even tempered baby, but he’s also still sleeping quite a bit. I hope that he stays nice and laid back even when he’s up more often… we’ll see!
Elijah’s been quite the character, as always. He’s got some new dance moves on him - he can shake his little booty so cutely! It’s on our to-do list to get it on video. He’s been watching the track and field world championship (or something) on tv with his daddy, so now we hear “Guys Run Fast!!!” all the time, meaning that he wants to watch the guys run fast on tv. We were driving in the car the other day and he saw a guy on the side of the road that looked like a runner and he yelled “Guys run fast!”
His time in time-out is increasing a bit, but he’s able to tell us what he has done wrong, which helps when I forget after the 5 min he’s been sitting there! Yesterday he was in time out and I asked him “what do you say?“ When I expected him to say “I’m sorry,“ he said “I pooted…scuse mees!!!“ Talk about trying to keep a straight face! He’s starting to talk more in complete sentences now - “I dropped my paci,” “Daddy eat cereal too?” “Oh no! Donald Duck fall down!“ My grandmother fell and is currently in the hospital with a fractured back and a small blood clot that they’re trying to dissipate, so please keep her in your prayers. Elijah wanted to say the blessing again at breakfast this morning, so I asked him who does he want to pray for and he said “Gram Gram.“ So we prayed for her and then for the next several hours, he would say out the blue, “Gram Gram fall down… feel better…“ He’s a bundle of fun and so amusing… There’s never a dull moment in our house.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wow... I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by and that Luke is already one month old!!! Luke is doing fabulous! At his 2 week check up he was already up to 7lbs 4oz, up from 6lbs 8oz at birth, which is great as far as weight gain goes. He's getting to open his eyes much more frequently and for several hours at a time. He's still basically sleeping and eating and just looking around. He has done awesome at tummy time! He seems to enjoy it (knock on wood) and his little neck muscles are getting so strong. He is sleeping well at night. We've only had about 1 night that led to tears (and we're not talking Luke's!)
Elijah has been adjusting so well to having a little brother. He loves to tell me to "pick him up!" Then he climbs into his daddy's chair and he gets to hold his baby brother; after a couple kisses and smiles, we'll hear "all done!" and he'll try to shove him out of his lap. =) He's learning what babies need very quickly. If Luke's crying, he'll say "feed Luke" or he'll run and get his paci. We've noticed a few signs that Elijah's accepting Luke into the family...
1. We were on a stroller ride when Elijah started singing "Rain Rain Go Away." At the end of the song, we normally sing "Mommy/Daddy & Elijah want to play. Rain, rain go away." Well, Elijah was singing the song and he sang "Mommy, Daddy, Luke Thomas want to play..." It was so sweet!!!!
2. Elijah and I were playing Ring Around the Rosie and Luke was in his swing on the floor. Right when we started, Elijah stopped, reached his hand out to Luke, and said "Luke Thomas too?" I mean, how precious is that?!
We're just having a blast easing into the transition of having two boys. Nights are a little more hectic, but fun all the same. We typically enjoy a long walk, fun at the playground, then Stephen and I go our separate ways with the boys to give them each their baths and get them milk. Afterwards, we tend to crash! It is definitely an adjustment, but it's such a good one! I hope to update with more pictures and stories a little sooner next time. =)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Family's All Home!

Sorry for the long delay on an update! Luke was able to come home from the NICU last Wednesday, just one day after Stephen and I went home. It was so exciting taking home our little son, only 5 days old! Elijah was nearly 2 weeks old when we took him home, so we hadn’t experienced bringing home a baby so young before. It’s been nice being back home & adjusting to life with a family of four. While Stephen’s been back at work, my parents have been helping out during the week. They kept Elijah while we were at the hospital, so he’s been getting a lot of one on one time with his Nanny and Poppy. His Grammy, Stephen’s mom, is going to be helping out the rest of the week and part of next week. It’s so nice to have such sweet family to help out during this recovery time. I can’t pick up Elijah until Luke‘s 6 weeks old, supposedly, so the help has been greatly needed & appreciated. The c-section recovery hasn’t been bad at all. I pretty much feel back to normal, but I still have to take it easy as far as exercise goes. But I'm quite anxious to get my running shoes back on! Luke is doing so great - sleeping a ton and eating very well. He’s been a very good sleeper at night (knock on wood!) so we’ve been quite thankful for that. He’s all healthy, with the exception of a little hip problem. A lot of breach babies have hip problems, so we’ve got another ultrasound scheduled at the end of August to see if it has corrected itself. It’s hard to tell who he looks like just yet…I expected him to be a little clone of Elijah, but he’s his own little person. He does give a few expressions that totally remind us of Elijah as an infant. He seems to have my hair and his daddy and brother’s mouth… the rest is a toss up! Elijah has been enjoying having a little brother. Yesterday morning, he was playing in his room and I was sitting with Luke, who eyes were wide open at the time, watching Elijah play. Elijah kept smiling at Luke and looked as if he felt so much pride showing Luke how to play. And we got the biggest giggle out of Elijah when Luke went on a sneezing spree! Elijah also held Luke for the first time today. He rested his head on Luke's belly to hug him and gave him a kiss without us asking or prompting him to - SO sweet!!! He hasn’t showed too many signs of jealousy yet… We just have to be very careful when Luke’s on the floor in his bouncer or swing, or when he’s sleeping in his pack and play downstairs - Elijah loves to run over to check on him and sometimes shake the pack and play! Yikes! We’re working on that… Right now the adjustment to two hasn’t been that significant, especially since we've had so much help. We’re sure it will be a lot more difficult once Luke’s on the ground more and sleeping less often during the day. We are so thankful to be parents of two sons, who we hope will grow up to be the best of friends. Parenthood is awesome! It’s so amazing watching Elijah grow up and it’s going to be so much fun watching Luke develop into a little man as well. Thank you all for your prayers and support during this time. We have the best family and friends!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pictures of Luke Thomas Burns

Holding Daddy's hand

Held by Mommy for the first time

Arriving at the NICU

Getting a little oxygen in the NICU

Little man is getting better!

The entire family

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's a..... Boy!!!!!!!

Where do we begin?! We went in for an ultrasound/NST on Thursday and they informed us, due to low amniotic fluid, they wanted to deliver our baby via C-Section (b/c the baby was breech) on Friday. We went into the hospital at 11:30 and, just as scheduled, the c-section began at 1:30. I was quite terrified by having a c-section and didn't know how I'd get through it w/o balling my eyes out. I did pretty good though... was a little nervous right beforehand when Stephen had to leave my side for me to get my epidural and prepped for surgery. But I got to look into his sweet blue eyes and hold his hand (aka take all of the circulation out) throughout the entire procedure. I held my emotions together until the doctor said, "Well Dad, what is it?!" and Stephen said "It's a boy!!!" Luke Thomas Burns was born at 1:45 on July 17th, 2009, weighing in at 6lbs 8oz and measuring 18.5in long. My first thought was that our sweet Elijah now has a best friend for life. Since he as booty down, he didn't get to squeeze all of the fluid out of his lungs naturally and his breathing was a bit irregular. So after Stephen held him by my head for about 30 sec, my man and my new little little man went off to the NICU. He was having trouble at first regulating his color, but it didn't take long to correct. His breathing was quite rapid - 110 per minute when what they'd ideally like is from 30 to 60. His oxygen levels were also lower than they'd like, so they put his little head in an oxygen filled shield. He looked like a little bubble boy, which made me giggle.(Thank you Karen Bowers for the tip to hold a pillow on top of my belly whenever I need to laugh). By nighttime, Luke was out of the bubble and his oxygen levels were up to 99! I was unable to get out of bed until 12 hours post surgery, so all Friday, I just got to see pictures and videos of my new baby boy. At 3am, anxious as could be, Stephen and I went down to the NICU to see Luke. His breathing had slowed down quite a bit; it was in the 80s! Therefore, they allowed us to hold our son, which was such a thrill for both Stephen and I. He looked so great!

Friday, July 10, 2009

ABC...Easy as 123...

This little boy of ours amazes me every single day. He's growing into such a young little man - He so cutely says "excuse me" whenever he burps (or pretends!). He's getting into a great routine of saying "please" and "thank you Mommy (or insert name)"; however, for some reason when he says thank you to Stephen, more times than not he will say "thank you Mommy Daddy." LOL It drives Stephen crazy!
He's showing us how much his little brain can absorb everyday. He's got his colors down and most of his shapes. We've been noticing that he's learning his ABCs too. We'll sing it to him and stop during the song, and he'll usually say the next letter or run of letters. He normally says the correct letter, although he thinks "LMNOP" is "apple bee." =) And we noticed that he pointed out a few of the letters on Stephen's t-shirt the other day just out of nowhere. Well, today during lunch, I decided to run through the alphabet side of some of his flashcards (pictures on one side, letters on the other). I didn't ask them in order of the alphabet - just randomly - and these are the letters he got correct on the first try: Q, G, K, H, O, F, M, E, P, B, N, I, R. He got the letters U and S correct on the second try (after we were done w/ all the flashcards ). A few of the letters he missed, but I could tell he was trying with how he answered - he thought D was B, thought X was K, thought T was I, thought Z was W, thought W was M....I kind of thought those letters either sounded similar or looked similar. I was absolutely floored with our 19 month old son! He's been watching this Brainy Baby ABC dvd in the car on longer trips for the past couple weeks, so I attribute this learning mostly to that, but it's still exciting, nonetheless. We ran through about half of the letter
s during dinner tonight and he was getting them correct, one after the other. It just makes me realize that I don't need to slack off on teaching him one bit - kids can learn way more and understand more, even at his age, than we usually give them credit.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pregnancy Update

I had an OB appt this Monday where my Group B Strep test and my first "exam" took place - for any of you who have been pregnant before, this was not exactly a fun appt. =) GBS is a harmless bacteria that some women carry, and I happened to have it when I was pregnant with Elijah. Due to all of my drug allergies, they were unable to administer any of the antibiotics for GBS during my labor, so Elijah either got some strain of strep or a skin contaminant that kept our little boy in the NICU for 10 days after delivery... not a fun situation at all. I had an allergy appt scheduled in January for me to be tested on all of those antibiotics so that we wouldn't have to go through this problem again; however, I had to cancel it when I found out I was pregnant with baby #2. So I have been praying so hard over this situation from day one - that I either would test negative for GBS or that the Lord would just somehow shield this baby from getting it if I was positive. I've been sitting on eggshells for the call from my dr to say I'm positive. I finally called them a few minutes ago and found out that I tested negative! I am so thankful that the Lord cleared my body of this and hopefully will allow Stephen and I to take this baby home after the routine 2/3 days in the hospital. They'll still probably test this baby for it since Elijah was positive last time, but hopefully he or she will be completely healthy. I am still going to be praying hard over this, but I know God is faithful and works everything for our good and for His glory.
I have an ultrasound on Monday to check on the baby's size. I'm trending just a tad small (how in the world, I don't know!!!) so they just want to check how big the baby is and probably check my fluid levels. We have less than 4 weeks now, so Elijah's baby brother or baby sister will be in our arms before we know it! Crazy!!! Speaking of - I can hear Elijah's voice in his monitor, which means his nap is now over... "Mommy...Daddy...bye bye Sage...donkey book...goofy's bus...airplane..." The things this boy wakes up talking about! I will be posting some fun stories and pictures of the little man asap so stay tuned in!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Potty Training and House Updates

I thought I would give an update on potty training... My last post was on his best day ever! He only had an accident 4 times that entire day; however, the next 3 days were quite difficult and trying. I don't know if we were pushing him too hard or what, but he just didn't seem to be enjoying it. He would tinkle and tell us as he was going, instead of before. So he was so close to being there, but wasn't there yet. We decided that we'd just do a more gradual approach over a longer time period and let him and mom actually enjoy our summer! We weren't able to really go outside or go to the pool or anything, which wasn't fun or fair. So now, we'll take him to the big potty about 3 or more times a day and he'll tinkle right away - and he's so proud of himself! We still have to buy diapers =( but he's a much happier little boy =)
We've been spending our time going to the pool, which he adores. He loves to get in the kiddie pool and walk like a little duck. He's a good little kicker in the big pool too! We've been finger painting and coloring at home (he's working on drawing circles) and just having a blast enjoying the summertime while I'm still able to chase him... speaking of - one of Elijah's Sunday school teachers told us the other day "man he's fast!"  A few min later, Stephen asked me what I thought of when they said that. I said "yeah I know! And I'm 8 months pregnant chasing him!" Stephen said he was thinking, "That's my boy!!!!" Like father, like son.
Stephen and our sweet friend Joey got the baby's furniture moved into it's room - all but the crib, which we have to disassemble and reassemble to get it in the doorway. We've decided to keep our house on the market, so instead of decorating the baby's room like I want to, we're just going to set up the furniture for now and wait to really decorate until after we move. I told Stephen, as I was crying, that I think it's the best decision to not decorate or paint or anything, but being a girl, I do want the baby's room to be really cute and it makes me sad that it won't be. But it will eventually be cute and permanent, so I just have to think what's best long term. We're getting closer to being ready for the baby to be here. Less than 6 weeks now, so we really need to get going (which I'm sure the Phelps would agree!). Please be praying for our house to sell and us to move before the baby gets here, and for a continued healthy pregnancy, baby, and delivery! 
And you can check out my not so stellar acting and Elijah's you tube debut at This is a video our realtor put together to help promote the sale of our house in a bit of a lighter way. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Potty Training...

Well this has been an interesting and trying week. Monday we had his 18mo check up. He weighed 24lbs 7oz (30%) and was 50% in height and maybe a little bigger in head... I forgot what percentile. He did great for Dr. Malone! I told him that I was going to start potty training on Tuesday and he told me if I was able to pt an 18mo old boy, I needed to right a book. LOL That's what I've heard quite a bit! But I figure it's worth a try. Hey, we've saved money on diapers this week! (although we've gone through some spot shot and paper towels...)
So I started naked baby training on Tuesday morning... no pants at all, except for a diaper at naptime and bedtime. I've tried to keep my eyes on him at all times to see when he looks like he's about to tinkle. When he looks like he's ready to go (or after he starts to tinkle on the floor), I try to encourage him to sit on the potty (maybe read a book or watch tv or something). I've made a spread sheet and have recorded every time he's tinkled or pooped, all with cute little graphics, and if he tries to go on the potty - or refuses - I make a note of that. I put a little heart graphic in the spreadsheet whenever we have a success. So that being said...
Day 1...
4 hearts - 3 of which were after he first tinkled on the floor, but finished in the potty. This was a hard day! The Lord blessed me with a positive attitude though... Elijah tinkled a lot in 5 min intervals. =) He would tinkle a little and I guess he would surprise himself by seeing it, so then he would stop. I mean, for 20+ min before naptime, I was just trying to get him in a diaper but he wouldn't stop tinkling for me to put it on him!!! lol But it was the first day...
Day 2...
9 hearts - 3 of which were after he first tinkled on the floor, but finished in the potty. 6 were counted as success b/c he tinkled in front of his potty (so he tried!) and 1 was when he sat in the potty and actually went w/o an accident. We bought a new potty today and it plays music whenever he tinkles in it, which he really seemed to like. It also has a flusher that makes a noise. Fun incentives. We were able to go on a walk in his stroller (1 1/2 mi) w/o an accident. He tinkled in the tub immediately before and in the potty immediately afterwards. Yeah!
Day 3...
5 hearts - 3 of which were w/o accidents (one he warned me in advance) and the other 2 were in front of the potty, so I counted them as a try.
This was a very trying day. It's so hard to be encouraging and not scold him for doing something that comes natural to him... especially when he likes to rub his hands in the pee that's all over the floor! At one point, he was being super sweet and cuddly, but I was so down about the day that we just rocked in the chair as I cried and talked to him. I'm so proud of him for trying so hard and I just want him to see that. I'm just hard on myself.But Stephen gave me lots of encouraging words and helped me to focus on the small successes that we've made. One thing that worked really well was to lure him to the potty with a piece of a cupcake (no frosting, but the confetti kind of cake). He wanted it so bad and I told him he had to tinkle in the potty first and then he'd get the cake. He fussed and fussed sitting there and played...yeah!!!
Also, today was Elijah's year and half birthday! And it was our 4 year anniversary! It was such a romantic evening - chasing around our naked little boy!
Day 4...
(today) As of 3:15, he has already had 9 hearts!!!! Only one of which was an accident first!!! He told me he had to tinkle upstairs, and both the potties were downstairs, so I just plopped him up on the "big potty". He tinkled immediately! Then I put him down and he cried, so I put him back up there and he tinkled 2 more times!!! When I've lured him to his little potty today, it hasn't taken very long at all for him to tinkle - like 30 sec or so. Unfortunately, I had to put a diaper on him for almost 3 hours today b/c our realtor came over to shoot a video. After an hour and a half, I sat him on the potty and he tinkled right away. And right before naptime, I sat him on the potty and he tinkled again! Today has felt very successful - only 3 accidents (one was during snack time in his highchair). I thank the Lord for a good day so far b/c I just needed to see it clicking with Elijah and I'm really starting to. But this is all naked... in a few more days we'll add the clothes and see how it goes from there. =) Say a prayer for us! It would be so nice to only have the cost of one baby in diapers come August. =) (By the way - make sure you vote off to the side... girl or boy?!)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Elijah's First Vacation Bible School!

This week, I taught music at Hunter Street's VBS (aka Summerquest). They had childcare for all the workers' kids, but they really treated it like an actual class. Even though I only taught from 9:30 to 11, the asked to keep him from 8:30 to 12. I had to pack a lunch for him to eat with his friends - I had never packed him a lunch to eat out w/o me before, so I was a bit nervous! =) Everyday, he came home with some crafts they had done. They used little dot sticks (like bingo dabbers), crayons, glue sticks, paint... He made a choo choo train, a shaker, a fishing rod w/ some yellow fish, a boomerang, etc. They even had a music class everyday! By the end of the week, when I asked him "What do we learn about at church?" instead of saying, "mick mouse!" he would respond, "Bi--ble." And then I would ask him "Who's the bible about?" and he would say "Jesus." Too precious! He's understands what a bible is since we tell him to grab it off the book shelf every night to read while he drinks his milk (and he chooses it among 15 or so books). So it's really neat to see him making the connection between his bible and Jesus. It was a really fun week for him - exhausting, but fun. However, after seeing how much crafts they did in one week, I now feel obligated to start gluing and painting more with him! So I guess we'll add a craft segment to our day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Our Little Smarty Pants

Elijah is amazing me everyday! I can totally understand why parents think they're kids are all geniuses! Yesterday morning, I walked into his room to pick him up and he's smiling, saying "blue! blue!" for my blue bathrobe that I had on. He is really starting to learn his colors! When we're in the car, he'll yell out "YELLOW!" every time we pass a yellow car or see one of those yellow signs on the side of the road; and when we're stopped at a red light, he'll yell "green! go!" after the light changes. He still responds that most things are yellow when you ask him the color, but if you ask him twice, he'll most likely tell you the correct color. =) He's getting to know his shapes too! He tells us circle, star, triangle, & heart. We're working on the rest...
He is definitely my little talker too... He was sitting on my lap yesterday and he asked for his daddy. I told him that daddy's at work and he replied, as always, "baseball." Normally I correct him, but I just sat there watching the wheels turn in his head as he yelled "swing!!!"....(Elijah thought for a few sec)..."go! go! go!"....."run! run! run!" (while pumping his arms, of course). Too cute. He was watching me make him eggs the other day and he said "egg...egg... crack it!...mix mix!" His vocabulary is growing so much! I don't know where all of his words are coming from, but I love it. He also made mommy proud when he sang "rain rain....go away! go away!" He was so proud of himself for learning that second part of the song. He now replies with his version of I love you ("I do") sometimes when we tell him we love him, and he'll just kiss us out of no where. He absolutely melts our hearts!
BIG NEWS! Last night, Elijah started kind of grabbing himself, so I asked him if he needed to go pee pee and he said "uh huh." So I said, "let's go to the potty" and he ran towards the bathroom. So we took off his diaper and he sat down and started looking through a magazine, telling me the different things he saw. Within 30 seconds, he tinkled!!!! We said "yeah!!!" and clapped and then he said "tissue," so I gave him some toilet paper. Then he said "wipe, wipe" and he wiped himself and was done! Stephen and I had a talk later where he told me that I have to eliminate the tissue and wipe part... what can I say? I'm a girl and he learns from me! But Stephen suggested that, when he asks for a tissue, he can just blow his nose after he tinkles. lol! We're officially starting to potty train Monday, so this gives me a little more confidence going into it. It will be a crazy week of not really going anywhere, but hopefully the payoff will be worth it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trip to the Zoo

Last week, our Sunday school class' play group met up at the Birmingham Zoo. We had so much fun! We saw a bunch of animals (camels and the sand cat were among his favorite), rode the choo choo train & the carousel, pet some barnyard animals, and played in the little water/squirt play area for a while. He did not seem to like the goats in the petting zoo this time around... one of them really loved the way he smelled and would NOT leave him alone. Elijah kept whining, then would say "bye bye" to the goat, then would whine, then say "bye bye"... I was cracking up laughing! Then, when we went to see the sheep, they were all at the back of their pen, so he yelled "come!... come!" Surprisingly enough, they didn't respond to his command. He had a blast playing with (or should I say eating gold fish from) Abby Grace, Joy's little 3 year old girl. At one point, he looked at her and did his motion and word for the itsy bitsy spider, which sounds like "E-E-I, E-E-I;"she understood him and started singing the song! It was so precious! We had a great time and he was out cold before we even left the parking lot.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our Trip to Orlando

Our much anticipated trip to Orlando is now over. =( We had an absolute blast though! Here's a breakdown of our trip...
Tues, Day 1: Elijah had his first experience on an airplane. We prayed very hard for a quiet flight and the Lord was so good to give Elijah a sweet, happy attitude the entire flight! He loves airplanes, but he saw a car on the runway as we were leaving and kept asking to see a car while we were in the air. Needless to say, that didn't happen. Stephen got to go golfing at Grand Cypress once we got there while Elijah and I, after many wrong turns and stressful tears, made it to Beth and Jay's. We had an easy going night, visiting with our best friends!
Wed, Day 2: Stephen went golfing at the Magnolia today while Elijah and I hung out together. We went shopping and got Elijah and the baby matching outfits for Christmas from Strasburg... a matching set for a girl and a matching set for a boy. =) We also went to the playground and the pool and had a fun afternoon. That night, Elijah's Uncle Jay & Aunt Beth babysat Elijah. They had a lot of fun together (although during their fun Beth's phone somehow ended up in the pool...). Stephen and I enjoyed a fun evening that started with "cocktails" (aka water) at a marina outside the Dolphin Resort at Disney and ended with a great dinner at Shula's. It was fun getting to meet some of the people that Stephen does business with (and enjoying a beautiful evening while doing so!)
Thurs, Day 3: Today was the highlight of the trip for Stephen - golfing at Bayhill! He had a great time. Elijah and I drove to Clearwater to visit his Gram Gram. We had so much fun and it was so good to see her! We went on a walk around the bay and saw a dolphin! We had lunch, played on Gram Gram's organ, ran around her house... He loved dancing around to her bear that sang "Girls just want to have fun." lol I always loved visiting my Nanny and Poppy in Clearwater when I was little, so it was really fun seeing him have fun there too. We went back to Beth and Jay's house while he napped in the car. That night, the 5 of us just hung out around the house.
Fri, Day 4: Elijah and I went to the pool and playground before his nap. Afterwards, Stephen, Elijah, and I went to Hollywood Studios for a few hours. He got to meet Mickey Mouse! While we were in line, he kept yearning and calling for "Mick Mouse!" He went up to Mickey and said hi and then hugged him. It was very sweet. We went to the Playhouse Disney show, which he really enjoyed. We played around in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground and watched a few shows before heading out. We went out to dinner w/ Jay, Beth, Brian, and his fiance, Laurey. It was an exhausting evening, but we had a great time.
Sat, Day 5: Today was our marathon day. We played around the house in the morning before going with Jay and Beth to their friend's daughter's birthday party. Little Addie turned two and had a fun Minnie mouse pool party. Elijah had a great time playing in the pool and running down his gas tank before his nice, long nap. After he woke up, Jay, Beth, Stephen, Elijah, and I went to Magic Kingdom. It was so much fun!!!! We rode the boat to get to the park, which was as magical as ever. Daddy, Uncle Jay, and Elijah all tried to pull the sword out of the stone (see the pictures), but to no avail. We got to ride the giant carousel, during which he kept saying "Neigh, Neigh!"

We saw the 3-D show, Mickey's Philharmagic. Elijah was so cute with his 3-D glasses on, reaching for the objects in the air.
Then we rode Dumbo, which he was so anxious to get on, yelling "Dumbo! Dumbo!" We all got do relax a second during It's a Small World. We went in the evening, so we saw their nighttime parade which was all aglow with lights. It was so cool. We ended the visit with a beautiful fireworks show at Cinderella's castle. Elijah was, once again, out before we got home.
We had such a fun trip and it was great visiting with friends and family. After a long trip back to Birmingham, we are finally at home, safe and sound.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Silly Elijah

This is the face our sweet boy makes when you ask him to make his "silly face"... it's followed by a huge smile because he knows he's so cute! It's really funny to watch him do it in the mirror because he makes himself laugh, and then he can't make his silly face because he's smiling so big! Too precious...

His newfound fun is finding shadows. He first found it on the tennis courts when we were playing soccer. He likes to wave to it and chase it... and especially likes it when his shadow and mommy's shadow do the itsy bitsy spider. Everytime he sees a shadow, whether it be on the dance floor when we're watching "Dancing With the Stars" or when we're taking a stroller ride, he yells, "shadow!!!" He's really good at pointing them out to us.

Another fun word he just loves to say is bicycle... which he pronounces oh so cutely as "Bi-thi-ble," always saying the first syllable with a high pitch. And when he sees a bike, scooter, wheelchair, or motorcycle, he says, "bi-thi-ble, bi-thi-ble, bi-thi-ble!"
And here is the picture of Elijah's new girlfriend, Karidyn McKenzie. She was born yesterday to his Aunt Holly and Uncle Jonathan. He has already given her a sweet little pet name - he kept calling her "baby." =)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fun times

Well not much is new with the little man... we've been getting into a good routine of going on a walk and then ending up at the "playground", or as Elijah pronounces it, "carride." As soon as we make the turn on the main road of our subdivision, still 200 or so yards from the playground (which he can't even see), he starts yelling "carride" or "slide" over and over and over! It's pretty funny. While we're at the playground, Elijah loves to play soccer in the tennis courts nearby. As he chases the ball, he yells "run, run, run, run!" I wonder where he learned that.... =)
Anytime he sees a stroller, he's now saying "baby." I've asked Elijah whether mommy's having a baby girl or baby boy, and he's told me I'm having both a girl and a boy, so he's making sure that whatever I have in my belly, he's guessed correctly. =)
We're getting really excited about our trip to Orlando! We leave one week from tomorrow! We're going to have a lot of fun flying in an airplane (which Elijah LOVES) down to Orlando. Please pray for a safe and quiet flight! We'll be visiting with Aunt Beth & Uncle Jay, Gram Gram, and Brian & Laurey. While Stephen's enjoying his conference (aka golfing most days), we'll be maybe visiting disney and sightseeing in Florida.
He's very excited about the idea of seeing "Mick Mouse." Everytime I mention his name, he can't stop saying it over and over again! He has a mickey mouse book and mickey mouse diaper cover that he sees, so he knows what he looks like. It should be a lot of fun though!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fun at Play Group

On Friday, we had our monthly play group with a bunch of the kids and moms in our Sunday school class. This month, we went to Jennifer and Brad Bradley's house and had an Easter egg hunt and explored on their farm. The hunt went well ~ little man did a good job collecting his eggs, but was really more interested in their dogs. After the Easter egg hunt, we went over to see a bunch of the animals. Elijah got to pet, feed, and chase a ton of goats. He thought they were really cool. He's not the gentlest petter though ~ he's a bit spoiled with Sage allowing him to poke her in the eyes and climb all over her. He also saw some chickens and roosters, which he tried to chase, but couldn't quite catch. It was a fun day!

Easter Weekend

Elijah had a great Easter weekend. W e went up to Huntsville to spend time with some family. He got to see his Papa Jeff & Nana Jerrie, Nanny & Poppy, Aunt Kristi & Uncle David, his cousin Taylor, and Uncle TJ. We had our first trip to Chuck-E-Cheese - he had a blast! He liked riding the little cars and even gave the big mouse a high five. He and Taylor were driving in a jeep car together and Elijah decided to pull down the lever that tilted up the front end of the jeep pretty high. Elijah loved it, but it Taylor wanted nothing to do with it - he refused to ride any more rides the rest of the day!
Easter day was a lot of fun. Before church, Elijah received some notes from the Easter bunny, sending him on a scavenger hunt around the house in search for Easter gifts. With each gift, he got a new note with a riddle that he had to solve (basically made him name the picture which led him to another gift & note, ultimately ending with his Easter basket.) After church, he and Taylor went on an Easter egg hunt outside his Nanny and Poppy's house. Elijah loved collecting the eggs and putting them in his basket. He tried to help out Taylor, who insisted on dumping his eggs out of his basket - that was way more fun for him. After the Easter egg hunt, they went inside to find even more goodies from the Easter Bunny. Before our ride home, he got to finish off his Huntsville trip with a visit to the fire station. He loves sitting in the cabin of the fire truck and running around the station. It was a really fun Easter.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easter Egg Fun

Well, Elijah and Mom tackled coloring Easter eggs together. It went a lot better than I had hoped! At first, I tried to hold an egg while he scribbled on it with a crayon, but he fought me b/c he wanted to hold it. After trying that for a little bit, I decided to let him hold the egg and scribble on it with the other hand - and what do you know, he did great! He, so intently and delicately, scribbled on it like a pro. Then he dropped each egg into the different colored dyes and loved it! Now all I hear is him trying to say egg (he leaves off the g sound) b/c he wants to see them! I wish taking pictures would have gone as well as dying the eggs - he decided to bang and squeeze a couple of the eggs... ooppsie! We've been having Easter egg hungs inside the past couple of days b/c he has this new found fascination with eggs. He throws each egg into the basket and once it's pretty full, he dumps it over... And then we repeat...Too cute!

Monday, March 30, 2009

We're new to blogging!

Hey everyone! Thanks for viewing our blog. I've never been into blogging, but I thought I could try it out while Elijah takes his naps! Thankfully, he is napping two times a day now, but I have a feeling it's going to be changing to once a day very soon! He is now 15 1/2 months old and is so much fun! Our days consist of running around the house, taking stroller rides, swinging on the back porch, going to playgrounds... He is constantly on the go, which means he falls down quite often. Learning not to react when he falls took some time, but now I feel like people look at me like, "I can't believe she's not rushing over to him!" whenever he does fall. He's a boy and he generally takes it like a man. =) He's talking up a storm too. He wakes up saying "uh oh" or "cuddle" b/c he is forever throwing his blankies out of his bed in the mornings. He loves to tell us how much he wants to swing or slide or see the daddoos (aka doggies) outside. It is so fun trying to teach him and trying to learn from him what he wants. His personality is every growing and being revealed. Too much fun!!!