Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A day at the zoo

This morning, Elijah and I met some friends from church and went to the local zoo. It was Elijah's first zoo trip, and we both really enjoyed it. We had a nice day - it was partly cloudy and not too hot or cold. It was a little chilly when we started, but I think we were all pretty comfortable for the rest of the visit. The zoo here is smaller than Denver's, but it is nice and we got to see most of it before it got too much past nap time. On the way home, Elijah told me about the animals he saw today - zebras, a cheetah, monkeys, giraffes, and elephants! And the elephants were using their trunks to eat grass! He also saw cows and sheep and a pig and a donkey in the farmyard area. E never acted super excited while we were there, but he obviously enjoyed and remembered seeing all the animals. He also enjoyed seeing so many other kids and watching what they were doing. We both enjoyed spending time with Esther, Aiden and Portia and getting to know them better. Portia and Elijah are almost the same age, and they had fun together (as much fun as you can when you're mostly stuck in your strollers). I didn't take as many pictures as I should have, sorry. I did take some video, but the sound is mysteriously missing, and the video is not so interesting without it. Bummer.


Elijah and Portia making each other laugh


E's first view of live elephants - he's mesmerized.


The elephants

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Day!

Just so you all know - it's free cone day at Ben & Jerry's. Enjoy!

Spring, and more random Elijah stuff

It's raining here today - I guess in New England you have to get some of that wet spring weather after you've had nice, sunny weather for a few days, and I suppose that's OK. We had really nice weather last week though, and we've been seeing a lot of flowers blooming and trees budding. I really like spring, and it is nice to see some familiar things, as well as some pretty flowers/trees that I haven't seen before. I've been meaning to take more pictures, but here are a couple -




Elijah is doing all sorts of fun and funny things lately. He's been very into cars, trucks, and trains for a while now, but lately he is completely obsessed with buses. School buses are his favorite. He's starting to put all his single words into phrases lately, so all day long I hear, "yeh-yow bus!" (He can't really say his L and R sounds yet.) He also identifies "white" and "green" buses when he sees them (the public buses and NE/NYC shuttle buses around here). I also get to draw lots of buses for him when we color. His other favorite thing to draw is "happy" - happy faces and/or stick people who are smiling. Mostly I draw them and he tries to copy it when I'm done.

The kid is also very interested in numbers and letters. His newest skill is counting from 1 - 10. Well, he starts at two after I say "one." And yesterday he started skipping seven. I don't know why he would start leaving it out, but he loves to yell, "eight, nine, ten!" whenever I ask him to say "seven." Elijah points out letters and numbers on everything, and wants me to tell him what they are and what the letters spell. He used to make sounds resembling E-L-I-J-A-H whenever he saw a word he wanted to spell, but now he knows a few letters and the words they spell - like PLAYTEX and GERBER from the lids on his sippy cups. If I spell it, he'll tell me which one it is. My mom made the mistake of trying to spell (instead of saying) E-L-M-O in front of him while she was here, and he looked at her and said, "Elmo?" The only letter he can really pick out by looking at it is O, but he likes to pretend to write letters when he's coloring. We also like to look at his alphabet books and think of all the words that Elijah knows that start with each letter. He's very good at B - there are lots of good B words out there!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tagged

So, I've been tagged.
Thanks, Jess. =) Here you go.

1. What was I doing ten years ago??
Spring of '98 - I was a junior at Geneva. It was a very fun, but crazy semester. I remember the weather being super nice and that the crabapple trees between Old Main and the library smelled amazing. I think I was taking a couple of great Bible classes, Advanced Composition, Native American Lit (interesting & fun) and an absolutely wretched Technical Writing night class. And, you know, friends and fun - good times. This one could get really long if I wanted it to. =)

2. Five things currently on my "to-do" list...
1. change out everyone's sheets & towels
2. fold & put away the clean laundry
3. do some more laundry
4. take Elijah to the library & see if they have discount passes to the zoo
5. take a shower

3. Snacks I enjoy...
1. Oreos dunked in milk
2. tortilla chips and good queso dip (not so easy to find in RI)
3. POPCORN!!!!!!!!!!!
4. apples
5. tossed salad with sunflower seeds on top

4. Five things I'd do if I were a billionaire... (seriously, there'd be more than 5 things to do with a billion dollars, so this is just to get started!)
1. Pay off all our friends' school loans (and ours, too!)
2. Get us (OK, it's for Patrick) the best minivan Honda makes - with all the fun gadgets
3. Get Patrick all the motorcycle gear that he's been oh-so-slowly saving for
4. Fly my mom & myself & the kid to Pittsburgh often to see Grandma and all our other peoples there - and Patrick can come when he has time =)
5. Move out of this apt into a place with more bedrooms & a yard so that I can get Elijah a swing set and a baby pool for the summer

5. My 5 bad habits....
1. being late - and generally not having any concept of time
2. watching stupid things on tv or playing on the internet instead of getting something useful done when Elijah is asleep
3. starting projects that are too big to finish
4. not calling the people I really want to talk to
5. letting the laundry go until Elijah is completely out of PJs and/or clean diaper covers and then forgetting to put that important load into the dryer

6. Places I've lived.
1. Longmont, CO (twice)
2. Broomfield, CO
3. Beaver Falls, PA
4. Denver, CO and Aurora, CO
5. here in Rhode Island

7. Five jobs I've had...
1. intern at NOAA's Enviromental Technology labs in Boulder
2. Geneva's bookstore
3. editor & style guide at netLibrary
4. legal secretary
5. mom

8. Who's next?? (You all may do this if you like, or totally ignore it - no pressure.)
1. Erin
2. Wizzy
3. Amanda
4. Melissa
5. anyone who thinks this looks fun!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our first gym class

This morning, Elijah and I went to our first parent/tot gymnastics class at the local YMCA. E had a great time exploring the gym and was going full-speed ahead the whole time. There was a lot of unstructured play time, which he loved. He didn't want to try most of the equipment - he just ran and ran and ran and ran, and bounced and jumped a little, and ran and ran and ran. He just didn't know what to make of the teacher asking him to stay in one place and do silly things like touch his toes. He was just so riled up after all that running around! All of the other kids in class were girls, and most were older than him, but that's OK - hopefully Elijah will decide to be friendly anyway. I think he's going to love gym class, and it will be a good chance to be social with other kids (close to) his own age and work on skills like taking turns, and following directions, and not running other people over when they are in your way ...
Sorry, no pictures - I had my hands quite full just keeping track of a speeding kid through a big gym full of other moms and kids. We were both pretty tired afterward!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A good weekend

We've been busy around here lately, so I'll try not to go on and on ...

The Toddler Bed
On Friday night Elijah started sleeping in his big boy bed. We thought when we moved here that we ought to give him a few weeks to get used to the big change of moving before we made him switch beds, but we didn't want to wait too long - hopefully he'll have plenty of time to get used to and love his new bed before his sister takes over the crib. Anyway, he's done better than I thought he might. He was excited to try out the new bed until we started to leave the room, and then he came chasing after us and was out of his room 10 seconds behind us. So I put the child-safety cover on the inside door knob and we tried again. He screamed and it was horrible for a few minutes, but it didn't last too long and he went to sleep. I was sure Elijah had just crashed on the floor inside the door, but when we went to check on him (and move him back into bed), we found him already in bed. Wow! Since then, he's been crying less and less each time he goes to bed - he just runs to check that the door won't open and then goes back and climbs into bed and goes to sleep. We took the crib down and hid it in the closet - he's asked about it, but doesn't seem too worried about it being gone. And his room seems so much bigger now!

The Beach
Saturday we did a lot of work here in the apartment, but it was such a nice day that we had to get out and play after nap time. We looked up a list of parks in the area and went out to find a good one. We got a little lost a couple of times, and found more graveyards than playgrounds, but then happened upon a fun beach area that had a playground too! It was warm enough that it was pretty busy, but we still had fun. (OK, all you Rhode Islanders - it was a really nice day, but it was not warm enough to wear a bathing suit and go into the cold ocean! Yikes!) Elijah had a great time running in all the sand, playing on the playground, and looking for another seashell. He really, really wants to get into the water though. One of these days we'll take off his shoes and let him go - it should be pretty funny to see his reaction when the cold water hits those toes. Anyway, here are some photos of our afternoon.





Isn't Elijah cute in his hat and sunglasses? How funny!

Unpacked!
Well, we are finally box-free around here. Hooray! We decided that since Patrick's parents were coming this weekend, we would give ourselves a deadline to be finished before they came. It was kinda crazy - I think the last random stuff is always the hardest part - but it is so nice to finally be all cleaned up and put away. What a relief! It was really starting to drive me crazy. Well, our bedroom is still kinda crazy, but that is going to take some time, and I don't spend all day in there anyway! We even got most of the pictures up, so it's starting to feel more like home.

Papa and Bobbi
Yesterday Patrick's parents came up to see us and bring us the other car that Patrick left with them on the drive out here. It was a quick trip, but fun to see them again! It is nice to be close enough to drive out, even if it's just for the weekend. Patrick did some research and found a good seafood take-out place (he got me a burger) for dinner, and today Elijah and I just had some good grandparent time before they had to head home. We're so glad they could come!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Elijah's latest ...


A real smile, for once!

I'm sorry about the lack of fun pictures of the boy lately - Elijah is just always on the move. If he sees me get the camera out, he usually stops whatever cute thing he was doing and tries to take it from me. It makes photography difficult. But that's OK - he's having fun being busy and exploring. We finally have gotten a few pictures that are not of him leaving the frame or grabbing the lens! So I decided to catch you all up a little on all the stuff the little man's been doing.

Elijah continues to be a good eater, and likes almost everything. So far he's not been a big fan of grapefruit and a new chili I made the other night (too spicy, but Daddy said so, too). I can't think of anything else that he won't eat. He'll even eat a lemon to get a laugh! Some of his favorite foods are: mac & cheese with peas, toast (especially with jelly), scrambled eggs (especially with cheese, sausage & peppers in them), graham crackers, grapes, kiwi, and almost any other fruit or vegetable.


The "cheesy" smile - for a yummy lunch!

Elijah is talking more and more all the time, and likes to joke around with us and play games with his new language skills. He likes to hide and pop out to say, "I see you!" (or "I see Nana," since she taught him that one). Yesterday he was telling me that his name was Bubba, not Elijah. Here are a couple little video clips of the kid talking.

video


His favorite colors are yellow and blue - well, his favorite color words are yellow and blue. He's great at identifying shapes (favorite: stars), but is still working on learning his colors. This week he's started correctly identifying some blue things, but everything else is still pretty much yellow in his eyes. Today, after a long discussion of the fact that the walls of our apartment are neither yellow or blue, he proudly told me that his (peeled) apple was "cream." Yep. I'm astonished.

Elijah is 21 months old and has decided to start practicing for the "terrible twos." Some days, we just have a lot of temper tantrums. We spend a lot of time on those days sitting together and counting (yes, weird, but it calms him down). Some days, Mama gets very tired. I have to say though, that most of the time (in other words, as long as we stay home) E is very good and plays very well without assistance. His favorite play time activities now are blocks of all kinds and puzzles. He still loves to read and is starting to sit still for longer books. (Well, sometimes we get to the end, and sometimes we don't. It's OK.) He's just getting so grown up.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Visit with the cousins

As I said in a previous post, we made a quick trip down to PA last weekend to see Patrick's family. (We had to get a visit in before I am forbidden to travel!) We left after work on Friday and made it there by midnight, and Elijah slept most of the way, so that went pretty well. We got to spend the day on Saturday with Patrick's brother's and sister's families - a big day with all the cousins! We had a good time and the kids seemed to have fun too. I'm glad that we all got the chance to get together before baby-craziness comes this summer. Here are some pictures.


All the cousins. (Who's that blond kid in the middle? Where did he come from?)


The girls - Maiah, Rylee & Zoie


The boys - Evan & Elijah


What's with all these kids and the beer bottles? Yikes!

We have some video too, and hopefully I'll have a chance to get it edited down and posted soon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just trying to learn my way around


Hey there, happy guy!

I have several things that I need to post about, so I'll try to get all caught up in the next few days. We had a great (but fast) weekend visiting Patrick's family, and I have a lot of pictures and video of the cousins to sort through and post, so more about that later.

On Friday Patrick and Elijah joined me for my first visit to my new doctor's office here. I've been a little nervous about switching doctors and all since we first started talking about moving. I loved my doctor in Colorado, and the idea of finding someone new didn't sound fun, and not knowing where to go or thinking I might not being able to find someone quickly enough if I needed it just stressed me right out. So I was glad that the insurance stuff was worked out quickly and we got an appointment right away. The appointment wasn't a real check-up, just a visit with a nurse to get all my records and history and all that so that they would know what's going on with me before I meet the doctor. Everyone was nice, and I am looking forward to my appointment this afternoon to meet the doctor and get back on track with my regularly scheduled care. Getting there on Friday, however, really reinforced my perception of R.I. so far - you just have to know what you're doing. We were late to the appointment because we got lost - neither MapQuest or the street signs around here are very helpful, and we couldn't get anyone on the phone to give us directions until we finally just turned around enough to get there. Really, the street sign situation here is horrible. Even Patrick, who has a great sense of direction and can usually find anything, gets really frustrated and thinks everyone who moves here just has to get GPS.

So when we arrived at the office all flustered and late, the receptionist checked me in and gave me some paperwork to fill out. "The nurse will be calling you in a few minutes," she said. So we filled out the paperwork and waited. And waited. And waited. Elijah ran all over the waiting room with Patrick and read all the books they had in the kid corner. After about 30 minutes, Patrick went back to the receptionist and asked if anything was wrong and they said, "No, we're just waiting to get your paperwork back." OK, thanks for letting me know that I should bring it back to you! Yikes! Anyway, it's not that people here aren't nice, they just assume that you know what you're doing. Even when you tell them you're new and you need help, it just doesn't do much good. Hopefully today when we go, we'll figure out the right way to get there. And now we know we'll have to start practicing getting to the hospital soon so we can get lost trying it a few times. Fun times!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Towers

Elijah has been loving his blocks lately, and is getting very good at building towers. Here is a tall one I caught today before it was demolished.



Smile!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Talking about the beach - a little

Over the weekend, Elijah and Patrick went to one of the local grocery stores and on Monday when we drove past it, E said, "Stop Shop!" Yesterday we went to the other grocery store and he proudly announced, "Shaws!" the whole way there and back. It seems like he is learning so many more words every day, and becoming a little more understandable when he talks. His favorite words this week are seashell, pick, another, slide, and "I see you!"

This wasn't much of a conversation, but here's what I got when I asked Elijah about his first trip to the beach.


video

Tuesday


"Is it still raining? Does that mean we can't go to the park?"

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More random information

Since moving here, we have been learning a lot of things, about how Rhode Island got it's start - enter Roger Williams. We have also been curious about many things, and are learning them slowly - like this bit of information about what a wharf is. Do you know what a wharf is? How is it different from a pier, or a quay, or a dock? I had no idea, until I did some "research." I call it "research" because Wikipedia, though helpful, doesn't really count as research without the quotation marks. In my opinion anyway.