Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Vander Sluis School of Learning

So my neighbor Kristin (Vander Sluis) keeps Ethan for a couple of hours about once a week because of my after school meetings and such. She has two kids, Alex and Abbie, who Ethan ADORES! Well, not only does he adore them but he has become their great imitator.

About two weeks ago Ethan came home clicking his tongue. "That's neat!" I thought. Then Kristin tells me that Ethan saw Alex chewing gum and he tried to imitate him by clicking his tongue. Now anytime you click your tongue Ethan does it back.

Today he went to Kristin's house and now he says, "oh-oh". Not quite "uh-oh" but really stinking cute!

Thanks Vander Sluis family for encouraging cute developments!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yoda the great hunter!

Picture of Yoda
Most cats bring home dead animals and place them on your door step. Well, our kitty Yoda has never picked up that lovely habit, until tonight. Yoda apparently did not get the memo that he is suppose to bring home dead things not live ones!

Tonight Yoda came in through his cat door (into the laundry room) and the dogs kind of went berserk. I wondered what was going on so I go over into the laundry room and on the floor I see a patch of fur. Hmm, this is not Dante fur, Emma fur, or Yoda fur. It is really soft but too dark to be from one of our pets or their toys. The dogs are still kind of freaking out, so I know there has got to be something hiding in the laundry room. Philip gets the flash light and closes the laundry room door to investigate further. When Philip says he does see something I promptly climb onto one of the kitchen counter tops. The fur now to me could be from a squirrel's tail and I'm not taking any chances! "Aww!" Philip says, "It's a bunny!" I promptly jump down and put the dogs outside. Then we used a recently received Amazon box (thanks Mawmaw Cindy) and we catch the little bunny.

Little bunny in Amazon box

He did have a little piece of fur missing from his back and the ONLY way I can figure that a live little cottontail got into our laundry room is that Yoda carried him there. I can't really picture a bunny wandering into the garage, and then after that jumping through the cat door! Well, good luck little bunny, we wish you well!

Hump Day and I love amazon!

Wednesdays are now my new favorite days! Mondays are way hectic with work and then grocery shopping and other errands. Tuesdays I have work again and by the afternoon I am worn out!

Ahh, but then there are Wednesdays! I've started going to Stroller Strides on this day so that is fun, but other than that I just have the day to recuperate from the beginning of the week. There are dishes to do, clothes to wash, just basic catching up. I really don't know how full time moms with little ones do it!

Anyway I wanted to share some things that I've been reading on my friend's blog. It is the Tarnished Tea Pot blog that is written by my friend Betsy and her sister. She recently had twins that turned one, and although her invitation said "no gifts please" I still got them a book (more on that later). Then today I was reading their blog and they have two great lists posted: Birthday presents to bring when the invitation says "no gifts necessary", and Birthday gifts for kids you know well. Several of my friends are having little ones that are turning one this year and these two lists are just great for ideas on what to give when you are invited to a little one's party.

So, like I said my friend Betsy's twins turned one last week. In honor of the year that they have accomplished I purchased the family "The Big Picture Story Bible". This is a story book that explains God's "big picture" to your little kids. It starts in the beginning with Adam and Eve and it really emphasizes the promises that God makes to his people and how he fulfills them (ultimately with his son Jesus). I recommend this book to all families! I had to call several places in town and when I did find it and get it home, Philip noticed there was a page that was severely ripped up. Bummer! I explained to Betsy what happened and since there was only one copy at the store when I returned it, I just figured I would order it from Amazon. On Amazon the book is almost 30% cheaper then in the store. So, in addition to the book for my friend I got to order another book for Ethan for only 3 or 4 more dollars than I paid originally for just the one book!

I think that's it for now. I'll try to post more pictures later. The Boudreauxs will be here on Thursday, so I'm sure there will be pictures from that visit!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fine motor skills here we come!

So Ethan has made quite a few strides in the last couple of weeks. Last Monday (4/7) he began to feed himself Cheerios. I had been giving them to him for probably about a month, but so far he hadn't really caught on that he could feed them to himself. A couple of weeks before that (3/22) he began to drink from his sippy cup on his own. While you are feeding him he will just look over at it and help himself. Take a look:

Now as for mental skills we are working on that too. We started waving in imitation of others about a month ago, but now just saying "Bye,bye" will make him wave (as seen in the video). What is really funny is that he was in here when I was watching the video and when he heard me say, "Can you say bye,bye, Ethan?" he started waving.

Even cooler is that we had a webcam session with Philip's mom and during the session he would wave at her and she would wave back at him. After we were done with the session I made him a bottle in the kitchen and when we went back into the library, where the computer is, Ethan looked at the screen to see if Mrs. Cindy was still there. Funnily enough, she hadn't turned off her webcam so she was still there. Well, Ethan just cracked a huge smile and started waving furiously at the computer! Philip was on the phone with her so she started smiling and waving back. I'm pretty sure he thinks that she lives in the computer now!

Another demonstration of his mental abilities came last week when we were reading one of his Priddy books. On two pages in the book are pictures of a dalmatian. Now in the Priddy books, all the pictures are real photographs and the two of this dog are pretty big. Anyway, last week we were reading the book before we went to bed and we got to the page with the dog on it. I asked him, "Where's the puppy, Ethan?" He looked at both pages for a while but as soon as I repeated the question his hand shot straight for the puppy! Hmm, could be a coincidence, I thought. So when we got to the last page I asked him again, "Ethan, where is the puppy?" Again his hand shot straight for the picture of the dog! Way cool! He did it again the next night, and in honor of this accomplishment Auntie bought him, "The Pigeon wants a Puppy". It arrived today in the mail by surprise! Thanks Auntie!!

Lastly, I leave you with this funny picture. When Philip went up to get Ethan after his nap he found him standing in his crib with his paci stuck to the side of his face! Pretty funny, huh?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Any local mommies want to get fit with me?

After surfing around on knoxmoms.com I found this Stroller Strides group that meets in the mornings all over Knoxville:

Has anyone been before or heard anything about it? The first session is free, but I don't want to go by myself. Is anyone interested? If so let me know!

UPDATE: My friend from MOPS and I are going to go on Friday morning (9:15 at Carl Cowen Park) so if anyone is interested please join us!! I think you do have to sign up.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Books, Books, Books!

Yesterday at my MOPS meeting we had a librarian come to talk to us about the importance of reading with your kids. She brought a ton of great books with her and I was so excited about them all I made Ethan his own wish list on Amazon. The list also includes several magazine subscriptions that are meant for little kids! He is not old enough yet for the young version of Highlights but I will make sure he gets signed up for it when he is! I remember how much I loved reading Highlights as a kid.

I encourage other moms that read this blog to look over the list and check out some of the authors that are included. She also told about some books for us moms: Reading Magic by Mem Fox and Valerie and Walter's Best Book for Children which contains lists of books by age and topic (including difficult topics like death). We all should be reading three books to our kids a day and Mem Fox suggests reading one favorite book (even if that book is the same book for five years), one familiar book, and one brand new book. Lastly she told us about the upcoming Reading Festival at the end of May. I'm planning on being there and if you are going to go let me know so that we can look for each other!

If any local moms are interested in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) I would really encourage you to think about joining! We meet once a month and always have a different speaker of some kind. Then we breakdown into our discussion groups where we can share prayer requests and really get to know one another. It's a great chance to get out of the house and sit down with other moms of little ones. We are having our last meeting of the year on May 8th at 6:00pm (at Central Baptist Bearden) and you are welcome to come and check it out. Next year Central will be hosting two meetings, one on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6:00pm and one on the 4th Friday of every month at 9:00am. I have already signed up to be a discussion leader in the mornings. Of course, childcare is available and free! Registration for next year will open on May 1st and is $30. Let me know if you are interested and I'll put you in touch with the right people!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Eventful days

Well, we haven't had any more drooping eyelids, so that's good. Ethan did however bump his head in his crib this morning. You can't really see it that well (it is red and purple on the left side of his forehead).

This picture was taken during his lunch. On Saturday he decided that he is big enough to eat lunch. I made he noon bottle like normal but he just would not take it! Even though he wouldn't take it he still acted hungry. So I fed him some squash and he was so happy! Ever since then he has been having solids for lunch!

Here is another picture of his forehead. I don't know if you can see the bruise/knot any better, but at least it is a cute picture.

One new thing is that he has another tooth! I was checking to see if the second front tooth had come in yet and much to my surprise I felt a little tooth next to the one that has already come in. I think that's it for now!

Sunday, April 6, 2008


So far so good. Ethan has not had a droop in his eyelid since the day we went to the doctor. The nurse called the wrong phone number to schedule my appointment with the ophthalmologist, so I guess I'll call them tomorrow and see if they still want me to go in.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Truely a "droopy" day....

Well, not only does it feel like it's been raining for three days straight, but I had to take Ethan to the doctor today. He woke up with a droopy eyelid. At first I didn't think it was a big deal, but just in case I looked it up on the internet. Everything I found was really serious. So I thought to myself, "I'll just call the doctor and they'll tell me not to worry about it." Not so, as it turned out. Dr. Brice said that this condition is really rare in babies Ethan's age. He recommended that we go to see the pediatric ophthalmologist just to make sure that it is nothing serious. He doesn't have any other symptoms and his eye is tracking fine so that is good. The droop did get better as the day went on, so we'll see how it is tomorrow. Philip did find this encouraging site.

I'll keep everyone up to date and we learn more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Updates of all Sorts

Ethan is getting brave, that little stinker! He has really been pulling up on things lately. A couple of weeks ago he would pull up (to his feet) but then cry because he didn't know how to get down without falling. Well he got over that quickly and now is standing up all over the house. We do have to be careful about him wearing socks and then trying to pull up when he is on the floor instead of the carpet. He's taken a few headers that way.

Well, today he went a "step" further. While I was sitting on the couch he grabbed my leg and let go of the table! Whoa! Then while I was at a workshop this evening Philip said he started moving from side to side while holding on to the coffee table. That elusive fourth tooth as still not come in, but he is drooling like there is no tomorrow.

Well, as for the last couple of weeks I have so much to share and so little time. While my dad was here we went to Market Square with the dogs. I didn't realize until we had already parked the car that the dogs have never been in the city. They took it relatively well on the way to lunch. So many new sounds to hear, smells to sniff. Emma wouldn't walk on the drain grates on the sidewalk which I thought was funny. On a side note Philip and I took Mawmaw, Pawpaw, and Nanny down to Downtown Brewery and while we were walking on some of the same sidewalk I saw a man bring his dog down from his loft and the dog peed into one of the grates. Maybe that's why Emma wouldn't walk on them!

So on the way to lunch we were walking against traffic on the sidewalk and the dogs did fine. On the way back to the car we walked with traffic and that proved to be too much for both doggies. Trucks and such would roll over grates in the road and the noise would really scare them. At one point Dante looked like a spooked horse. If Danielle would not have had a strong hold on him he surely would have run for miles. Now at least we know if we bring them out again to always walk against traffic. All in all they had a great time at the actual lunch and they even got to meet a cute little girl and a police officer.

For Mawmaw and Pawpaw's visit we went to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge one day (yeah for shopping) and Dollywood another day with Nanny and the boys. Mawmaw also watched Ethan for us so that Philip and I could go out to dinner for the second time in two weeks! Philip and I didn't quite know what to do with ourselves.

I hope everyone had a good time on their visits up here. It's hard to get use to doing everything for Ethan during the day and not having full time helpers.

Baba update: Carmen was taken off of full bed rest and put on modified bed rest so that is great! We even got to run a very important errand together yesterday: 1/2 price slushes at Sonic. Keep praying for baby Baba to be in a safe "home" and for the rest of the pregnancy to continue in health. Thanks!