Monday, April 28, 2014

14th Annual Bocce Bash

This past weekend I took part in the 14th annual bocce bash to benefit Special Olympics.  This is the third time that I have participated (I did the 10th and 12th ones as well).  My company is one of the sponsors so we were supposed to be there early to help set up. I didn't get there at 7:45, but I made it by 8:00 after feeding Elliot and pumping.

We set up the 32 courts, put up our tent, got our free chicken biscuits and mimosas and waited for the tournament to start.

Our team: Clayton, Sean, Karen and me

We threw some practice balls and scoped out the competition:

Finally at 10:00 it was time to get started. My team was not in the first game (there were four teams per court and you played each team once).  We hung out waiting for our turn. They were taking forever so I ran to the car real fast and pumped some since it was already 10:30 and that's when I pump at work.  I had brought my little cooler and ice pack so I was able to keep it cool.  Eventually it was our turn so we grabbed some beers and started playing.   Our first game was close, but we ended up losing 12-7.  We had another game off so we checked out how some of our other teams were doing and grabbed some more beer.  J sent me a text to see how we were doing. I told him we had only played one match so far and still had two to go. I was thrilled when he said he was going to pack up the boys and head out to meet me (I was really hoping he would even though I knew he wasn't looking forward to wrangling both boys by himself).

By the time they got there we were playing our second match so I couldn't meet him in the parking lot. I kept an eye out and when I saw him walking towards our court with the boys I went to help out.  I set them up at our end of the court and played with them when it wasn't our turn:

We won the second match 12-9 and then had to play our last one.  The top two teams of each group would move on to the next round.  We would have to win and have a better point total than the other teams for any hope at moving on.

Karen and I were ready:

Unfortunately the other team got lucky with a 3 pt round and we ended up losing 12-8, which meant we were out.  By then it was lunch time we I plopped Elliot in the K'tan and headed over to the food trucks.  I was able to get some extra food tickets so we could all have lunch. Andrew surprised me by eating an entire hotdog with the bun. Then because he was being so good we headed over and got a snow cone:

While he was enjoying his treat I went over to a quiet corner and fed Elliot:

I was so proud of myself for nursing in public because I am normally too afraid to do it. But he was hungry and we weren't ready to leave yet so I gave it a whirl.  Afterwards he was content to sit for a while until we were ready to go.  All in all it was an absolutely gorgeous day and we all had a lot of fun (even if we didn't make it out of the first round).

Can't wait til next year!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Elliot is 8 Months!

I cannot believe that my little smoosh is already 8 months old!

He is such an awesome little baby.  It's been a little more difficult with him not being the amazing sleeper that Andrew was at this age, but damn do I love this kid.

Size: Honestly I have no idea.  I'm going to guess maybe 18.5 lbs and 28". His next well check is May 28th, so I'll see how big he is then.

Wearing He's in size 3 diapers and wearing mostly 6-9 or 9 month clothes.  I can get him in a 6 month outfit here and there, which is good since all of Andrew's 9 month stuff was for winter (stupid opposite seasons!)

Milestones:  He is doing really well with sitting unassisted, but he still falls over. He gets up on his hands and knees and has launched himself forward a few times, but mostly he flops down on his belly and scoots around that way. He has cut 5 teeth in the past week (it's been tons of fun, let me tell you) and is gnawing on EVERYTHING.

Eating: He's still mostly breastfed and not showing a ton of interest in food.  He was eating a baby cookie last night and he's been enjoying the mum mums, but he isn't all that big on food.  My mom had good success with cereal and fruit mixed together, but it's been hit or miss with me. I feel like a bit of a mom fail in this regard, because we're so busy with everything else that I sometimes forget to offer him solids.  I should probably just do BLW and give him chunks of what we have.  I've given him some stuff, but he hasn't tried to eat any of it (banana chunks, steamed broccoli, steamed carrots, mango).  I need to get better at this.

Sleep: For the most part he is doing very well.  He goes to bed around 8:00 at night and most nights lately has been making it until at least 6:30 AM. On the weekends he's been taking at least two naps (in the 1-2 hour range) and sometimes three if they are shorter.  He hasn't been napping as well at daycare, but I think it's because of the stimulation.

Personality: As long as he is full and not sleepy he is a pretty happy little guy.  He is VERY vocal and likes to yell.  Andrew gets down there and yells right with him and it's like they are having a little conversation.  He adores his big brother and Andrew gets the biggest laughs out of him.

Loves: Tub time, anything crinkly (newspapers, magazines, mail of any sort), tags on everything (his taggie blanket, stuffed animals, blankets), the blue starfish in the bathtub, knobs and handles on drawers, the jumperoo, and his big brother.

Hates: Taking any kind of medicine, laying on his back for a diaper change, getting dressed, and being left by himself anywhere.

Elliot is a total sweetheart and he is just the piece of the puzzle that our family was missing.

I love these kids!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Was That Easter or Christmas?

As we all know, yesterday was Easter Sunday.  Although, if you looked at my facebook feed you might have been confused and thought it was Christmas instead.  Saturday night my news feed started being inundated with pictures of these over the top Easter baskets that people had ready for the morning.  I was kind of taken aback.

When did Easter turn into some huge gift explosion of a holiday?

My memories of Easter growing up were of waking up and finding out Easter baskets outside of our bedroom door.  We would then start to hunt the little foil covered chocolate eggs that the Easter bunny/my mom had hidden throughout the house.  Our baskets would have jelly beans and some other candy filled eggs in them. And we loved them.

Now I was seeing these "baskets" overflowing with gifts and toys and so many things that I couldn't even wrap my head around it.  I'll admit that Andrew's basket included a few little things. There was a coloring book ($1 bin at Target) some bubbles, pez dispensers from his grandma, egg shaped sidewalk chalk (that I think was actually a birthday gift from daycare) some candy and some peeps.  I'm fairly certain that the peeps and most of the candy will be eaten by my husband.  

Oh, and there was a little tool set that my husband brought back from his out of town trip the weekend before that we decided to give him or Easter instead of just giving it to him randomly.  I thought that was even weird. Easter is not a gift holiday.  Actually, to me no holidays are gift holidays except for birthdays and Christmas.

I seem to be in the minority, however.  Every holiday that comes to pass seems to be met with huge over the top displays of gifts.  Has it always been this way and I am just now noticing because it's splashed all over my news feed?  Or is it becoming this way because people feel the need to out do their peers and show off how much they get for their kids - to show what great parents they are?

Either way, I don't want to fall in to that trap.  I don't want to set the precedent that every holiday is going to mean gifts and excess.  I want my boys to appreciate things when they receive them, not just expect that they will be showered with things because the calendar says it's a holiday.

That being said, here are some pictures of our Easter weekend:

Hard at work coloring our eggs.  

Digging in to his Easter basket.  He was very excited about the candy.  Next year's basket will not include a separate gift.

Finding the eggs hidden in his shoes

And the ones going up the stairs

The rest of our Easter was very low key.  We suck and didn't go to church or anything. And honestly I didn't even really get out of sweats all day so there are no cute family pictures with the boys all dressed up in their Easter best.  Maybe next year...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Goodbye Gummy Grin and Hello Pearly Whites

Last Thursday I got a text from Andrea telling us that she could see the bottom two teeth coming but they hadn't pushed through.  I instantly felt a little pang of sadness.  I'm not really sure why.  I guess it's because I love a baby with a gummy little smile and since this is the last gummy smile I wanted it to last.

I looked back to see when Andrew got his first tooth and it appears that it was when he was 6.5 months.  So that means that Elliot went more than a month longer with no teeth.

Thursday night I looked in  his mouth and I could see that Andrea was right.  I could see the bumps and the little white spots on his bottom gums.  The next day when he was laughing and shouting I got another look in there and could see that he also has the little bumps on the top that mean his top teeth are on the way, too.

He hadn't been too overly cranky, but he did hesitate at the bottle a little while my mom was here.  Based on what others have said that can be a sign of a teething baby, too.  Andrew never really gave us any signs of teething - he never got overly cranky and was always a drool machine, teeth or not.  Elliot is a whole other person, though (as we've learned over and over again).  He hasn't been exceptionally drooly, but he has gotten a little fussy.  He also got a pretty bad diaper rash the day before Andrea pointed out the coming teeth.

We've been trying to give him a dose of Tylenol at night before bed to help with the crankiness, but Elliot isn't a fan of medicine (another difference between the two - Andrew LOVED it). His nighttime sleep hasn't been too bad, but he hasn't been napping much.    Yesterday I stuck a finger in his mouth to check the progress and felt it - a sharp little edge on his bottom gums.  It's official, there's not going back now.  My littlest love no longer a member of the toothless club.  I'll have to soak up all the gummy grins that I can while they last.

I love this little cutie!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend With Grandma

This past weekend my mom was here with us to help out Friday and today while our daycare is closed for vacation.    The last time she did she didn't stay the whole weekend because she had some stuff to do at home, but this time I talked her in to staying all weekend. Mostly because she had surgery on her eye last month and I didn't want her driving back and forth, but also because J was out of town Friday and most of Saturday and I kind of wanted the help.

Saturday morning we got up and and after hanging out and eating breakfast we headed downtown to the aquarium.  We have a family membership, which gets in the parents and all kids under 18 in the family. I didn't think that my mom would be able to get in with it, but I was pleasantly surprised when she got in for free on our membership (Score!).  We stopped for the picture on the way in:

Probably should have taken Elliot's hat off so he wasn't just a big white blob.

I didn't realize that it was mermaid day when we decided to go, so it was probably the most crowded that I have ever seen it.  It was ok, though.  Andrew was a little hesitant with so many kids running around, but he eventually started getting a little more brave and exploring.  We decided to go out and look at the stingrays and this time we got the shrimp to feed them:

The fish ate all of his shrimp instead of the stingrays, but at least the birds didn't swoop down and steal them off of his stick.

He of course loved the big tank as usual:

We spent about two hours there and then headed out. We stopped for lunch on the way home (Juanita Greenberg's - kind of gross and I won't be going back) and then headed home.  J got home right before bedtime and brought some new toys for the boys:

Yesterday we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and headed out to the Strawberry Festival out at Boone Hall.  We went last year, but Andrew was a little too small to ride most of the rides and kind of freaked out about the merry go round.  This year he was big enough to ride quite a few rides, including the train:

The merry go round:

The elephants with me:

His first "roller coaster" with his daddy:

And the trucks by himself:

Elliot was happy to just hang out and watch:

He was even happier to hang out with his grandma after I very nervously nursed him in public without a cover:

We had a very nice two hours there before heading home to get him down for a nap.  My mom stayed in the house with Elliot while J and I worked on the garden (and Andrew played with worms).

They are home again with my mom today and I'm hoping the weather held out long enough for them to make a quick trip over to the playground.  I also hope that Elliot drank some milk (he only took one bottle on Friday and it stressed me out).  I know my mom is loving spending so much time with the boys (even if they do wear her out!).  She loves being a grandma  :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bridge Run 2014

This past Saturday was the 37th annual Cooper River Bridge Run.  I've been doing this race every year since 2006 except for 2011 when I was one week postpartum with Andrew.  Last year I ran it when I was 4 months pregnant with Elliot and still got a pretty decent time. I was hopeful that since I'm not pregnant I could beat last year's time.  Of course I probably should have trained more than a week for it.

We got a ride to the start line from my father-in-law and made our way all the way down to Corral D.  I wasn't happy about starting that far back, but we didn't have a choice. And since security was tightened up this year in response to what happened at the Boston marathon last year there was no sneaking in to a better starting position.

We got a picture while we were waiting for the start:

At 8:00 the elite runners got the start gun and were off.  Every five minutes the next group would get to go so we would move up closer to the start:

Finally almost 21 minutes after the start of the race we were at the start line and on our way. The first mile and a half was spent zig zagging in and out of people and trying to get into my running groove.  I wasn't feeling awesome and didn't have high hopes for the rest of the race.  By the time we hit the bridge I'd settled in to a relatively good pace.  J was running with me since he hadn't run at all since last year's bridge run and I was hoping that maybe him running with me would get me a better pace.

I felt great on the down hill portion of the bridge, but I knew once we hit the straightaway after the bridge I would hit the wall.  I was right - from mile 4.5 - 5.5 and I wanted to stop and walk so badly.  I almost told J to go ahead, but he stuck with me.  We hit King Street and I kept checking my gps to see how much farther we had to go.  Once we hit the 6 mile mark I tried to kick it in as much as possible. We made the last turn and I could see the finish line. I sprinted as much as I could and we hit the finish.  I stopped my timer and saw 55:45.  I was happy to come in under an hour, but not thrilled that I was able to run it faster last year when I was pregnant.

My results:
Division (females 35-39) - 204
Gender - 1451
Overall - 4875

We made our way over to Marion Square for the after the race party:

My legs were sore, but it was nothing compared to J.  He hadn't run in a year and was totally feeling it.  We hung out until 11:00 and then made our way back to the car hoping that the bridge would be open so we could head home (it was).

So we made it through the bridge run for another year.  And now I have a time to beat next year and more motivation to train harder pre-race.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Little Smarty Pants

Last night Elliot got me up at 12:45 to eat. He hasn't been eating in the middle of the night much lately, but he has a cold so I knew he probably wouldn't sleep through the night.  I fed him and had him back in the crib around 1:00,  hoping that he would make it until my alarm went off at 5:50.  I didn't hear him again until my alarm went off. When it did I glanced at the monitor expecting to see him sleeping, but instead saw this:

My little guy was awake, but not fussing.  He was laying there playing with his crib soother - watching the swinging monkey and listening to the music.  He lay there watching it until it turned off and then put his head down and fell back to sleep until I was done getting ready for work.

What can I say?  I'm just a proud mommy who thinks her baby is a genius for figuring out how to turn on his own toy to entertain himself.  My little smarty pants  :)