Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear God-

I try to keep Elem in somewhat of a routine when getting ready for bed, and even though bedtime hasn't been the easiest for us over the past few months, it is getting a little bit smoother. Yes, we have Elem take a bath, yes we turn down some lights, yes I read books, and yes, I have even tried crawling into the crib with him. (hey you gotta do what you gotta do) But nothing seems to satisfy my little man more than laying right smack dab on top of his mommy on the long side of the couch, snuggled up under the covers, blanket in hand, cup nearby, and a HUGE grin across his face. I can not fight it that I LOVE spending that time with Elem, and as much as I try to deny it, it is one of my most favorite parts of the day. It makes me feel like he is still my little baby, even though stretched out on top of me he takes up over half of my body. But, what is even more special is listening to him when he says his prayers. He doesnt totally "get" the whole reason that we pray, and sadly he associates it more with giving thanks for food thank anything else. And no matter his beliefs, I just want to make sure that I did try to instill that overall belief of a higher power, and appreciation for all things good in that little brain of his. Tonight his prayer went like this-

Mommy: Dear God
Elem: Dear God

Mommy: Thank you for our friends
Elem: Thank you for our friends

Elem: Thank you for my nose
Mommy: Yes Thank you for our noses

Elem: Thank you for our food
Mommy: Yes Thank you for our food

Elem: Thank you for my Lunchables
Mommy: hehehe yes thank you so much for our lunchables

It was all I could do to hold it in, but I did manage to tough it out for a few more minutes. I am just glad to know what is on Elem's mind before he goes to bed, and tonight, he is just thankful for the Lunchables that I bought for him earlier today at the grocery store. I guess I would be a good mommy to make sure he gets to eat one tomorrow night for dinner. Too sweet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A ride in Fall

I am slightly saddened because this year I feel as if Fall passed me by in only a moments time. I don't believe I was able to take full advantage of one of my most favorite time's of year, when the leaves start to change colors, because it basically didn't happen here in the Rock. Luckily, there was ONE day when I just happen to have my camera out, that I was able to catch a glimpse of what Fall should look like!

For us, that moment just happened to be during a little bit of scooter time. Thank goodness for the scooter, and its amazing ability to keep my toddler moving and grooving and happy as can be! This scooter by the way, could be one of my greatest buys this year! The red Radio Flyer scooter for toddlers and preschoolers is AWESOME. It is not battery operated, which is good, because a lot of Elem's toys are leaning in that direction. I mean they kind of have to be to keep up with the times! And it it just the right height for him-he can see over the top of the handle bars and everything. And it has a super wide space for the feet, which is perfect for a toddler because their balance is not the greatest at this age. I got this thing at Walmart a few months ago, because I knew Elem was loving skateboards for some reason and seeing the big kids at school riding on them. This was an instant love, and he plays with it indoors and outdoors. It is one of my favorite things we have ever bought for him. All under 40 bucks might I add! Thank you Mr. Scooter-We love you!

So although, Fall was quick, and there was really no in between weather, or days of light jackets and late night walks, we still managed to sneak in some good outside playing time, plenty of Razorback football games, and lots of time with family!

So long Fall, we hope to see you for a little bit longer next year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kids say the Darned-est

At least mine does anyway! More and more I am seeing little bits and pieces of mine and Seth's conversations coming out thru Elem's speech. Some of which I am SUPER proud, but some of which are a little, uhm...well, lets just say they make me think more about the things I say all the time but that I don't even hear coming out of my mouth. :) For example....

Every time I pull into Sonic, and before I can even get a word in to say, what I would like to order, or before I could possibly ask Elem if he would like something...I hear these few words...

"You want a large diet coke mom?"

Hahaha...I guess Elem knows my one true weakness-diet cokes. Large ones, from sonic. Ahhh...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Toddlers and the iPhone

Yes I spoke correctly. Toddlers and the iPhone...uhm, are you kidding me? I snapped this video of Elem and Cecilia about a month ago, one night when Cecilia was spending the night with Elem. Seth has been sharing his love of "apps" on his favorite piece of technology with our 2 year old. And I guess I can say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. It is amazing that a phone has all kinds of downloadable applications you can have on your phone-not too mention, ones that your 2 year old can actually learn from! I believe this particular one is matching up animal sounds and animals, or something along those lines. I Guess I need to send this or a better version to iPhone, and maybe they can use it for their next campaign. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

2 and 1/2 year milestones

With every month, Elem is creepy closer and closer to becoming a preschooler and further and further away from the land of toddlerville! I am having mixed emotions about the 2 and 1/2 age, because I LOVE how independent kids are at this age, but I also HATE how independent kids are at this age! :) Elem is definitely growing into his own and learning and wanting to do more and more things for himself with each and every day. And with those things come some that I am happy to turn over to him and let him feel his way into (like brushing his teeth, opening the car door to get out, cleaning the potties-and the entire house for that matter, wanting to help cook or prepare meals, and trying to dress himself) and some that I am not so happy to let him feel his way into (like pouring milk into his sippy cup, jumping from one piece of furniture to another, walking across the street to go get sage, climbing out of the bath tub on his own, and trying to sit in the drivers seat with me at all times). So yes, mid toddler phase has its plus and minuses, but with all these challenging and most rewarding episodes of trial and error also comes LOTS of talking and LOTS of loving. So I can't complain too much, since Elem is one of THE easiest kids we could have ever asked for. His happy and silly temperament keeps us being thankful we have such a sweet little toddler, although the signs of one determined, rambunctious, and stubborn little boy do come shining through at different moments throughout the day! But truth be told, I wouldn't want him any other way.

I know I drifted off of the milestones once he turned a little over 1 year old, but it is just too hard to document all they learn in one month after that age! It seems as if he was just soaking up more than I could ever begin to jot down in one limited time sitting. I must give attention however, to the 2 and 1/2 year milestones, because they seem unbelievable, looking back at where he was this time last year. (sniff, sniff) To capture this little phase and most important date, we held a little mini photo shoot at Seths work. We set up a back drop of white paper and just shot some black and whit pics of our fam, but mostly of Elem Zane. We didn't want to forget this most special time in our lives!

Weight: 33 pounds
Height: 37 inches
Teeth: 16 all of them-2 year molars were not that fun, all 4 came in at the same time, several fever filled fun nights.
Shoe: 9

Physical Development:
-Can jump with both feet (not very high, but he can jump! :) )
-Runs forwards and can walk forward and backwards
-Hangs and swings from bars or rings on his own
-Draws straight lines, circles, and zig zags on purpose
-Walk on tip toes
-kick balls, shoot balls into a goal, dribbles balls, hits ball with bat or golf club
-Throws over handed
-holds a pencil and crayon correctly when writing or coloring
-Rides a tricycle, big wheel, scooter, etc. without any help
-Does forward rolls on own
-Builds and stacks blocks -about to 12 or 15 dependent of size
-Bathes himself
-Potty trained, but not quite at night just yet
-laces big or small beads on string

Mental Development:
-Spells name
-Recognizes name in print, and recognizes the letter E
-Knows right from left
-Knows days of the week
-Knows months of the year
-Counts to 16
-States his birthday
-Knows his age, mommy's age, and daddy's age
-Sings ABCs, and all songs we sing during carpet time at school
-Knows all of his body parts
-Knows the 1st and 42nd presidents and their "sayings" hehe, I love that one
-Relates everything adults do to himself, how he can do it, and how he can do it without our assistance!
-Knows his gender and the gender of others
-Bargains or talks his way into getting what he wants-for example, " I will cry if you dont get it for me"...hmm wonder where he got this one.
-Uses pronouns, adjectives, verbs, etc. when communicating with others
-Is understanding and concerned of others feelings around him
-Responds to what? and where? questions
-Loves to read books and turn the pages himself-loves to recount the page for you before you read it, "read" the book himself
-States his first, middle and last name, as well as mommy's and daddy's name

Top 6 things to do in his spare time:
6. Race cars at school with his friends-big cars where you run and push them across the entire length of the classroom
5. Read Books as long as you will let him
4. Ride his scooter or play outside in general-mostly games including balls
3. Play football and tackle with daddy/ lay in mommy's bed with his cup and blanky (these 2 tie) :)
2. Eat hotdogs and watch "back-lard-agains" as he likes to call it
1. Play with "Celia" his BFF-anywhere and anytime

Favorite Foods:
5. Scrambled Eggs
4. Meatballs
3. String Cheese
2. Hot Dogs
1. Ranch

Top 7 phrases:
7. "He not tackle him" This is his response every time a football play happens and someone doesn't get tackled. He is very sharp!
6. "We want the red team to win, not the blue team, the red team?" This is his explanation when watching most sports games, uhm can you tell he is a trained Razorback lover?
5. "Uh..Yeah" This is the response to most of the questions we ask Elem when he is busy doing something else :) hehe
4. "I said ple-ease"...."please" This is the response when he is trying to get something, and he has already been denied once and he hasn't said please yet, but knows he needs to say please. Haha! This one is good.
3. "I want my juice and my blanky" This one needs no explanation
2. "When I get bigger, I'm go-ne play football, and I can run real fast like thay-at" hahaha
1. "I wan go night night in your bed" Although this one is sweet, its days are numbered :)

And those are the things I cant imagine not remembering looking back a few years from now! The picture above pretty much captures every little thing about Elem at this exact age! His style (well the style I have ever so graciously assigned him ha!), his happiness, his silliness, his animation, his calmness, his boyness, love of football (since he is squatting and saying, "hut hut", and just his love for the moment just beaming out of him! As always parents are biased in their conception of their children, but isn't that the fun in being a parent? To be proud of what you made and be even more proud of the little version of you that walks around and is a walking image of everything you are pumping into them. We are so in love with Elem, and literally wake up each and every day with a smile on our faces, when we hear a few little words, "mommy, I wan get in your bed" or " daddy go get me some juice, here". Haha, The innocence is irresistible. We are forever in love and head over heels. Happy 2 and 1/2 Elem Zane Shelby

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Books, books, and more books!

Book Time/Story Time has definitely become a favorite around our house over the past few months. Not a day goes by that books are not read and stories are not shared at least multiple times and for I can not tell you how many minutes! This has not always been the "story" if you will and I am so glad that Elem has developed a love for books! I spent many a night reading books and magazines to Elem when he was not even born yet! Secretly hoping that he would come out calm and collected, and a true book lover. Instead, I got a sweet but rowdy little boy who could have cared less to stop by and glance at the books I was reading, much less sit down and enjoy them with me. It never stopped me though, I just kept reading and reading, and I hoped that one day all my hard work would pay off. And it finally has! Elem loves books just about as much as he loves football and basketball. And that means a lot! Our current routine includes piling in Elem's bed with the lamp light on, or piling on the couch with some covers and PLENTY of good books to keep us occupied and help us drift away into the land of make-believe. This is the usual set up at home:

And this is the usual set up at school. He and Robert indulging in a little Jack and the Beanstalk (his MOST favorite book of all time).

I'm so lucky to be with Elem all day and see how much he carries the lessons and routines that he learns at home with him to his school day. And even to share those lessons and tendencies with his friends. As I mentioned he LOVES Jack and the Beanstalk and he would read that book/ listen to the CD that goes along with it about 20 times a day if we would let him...which I usually do because it makes him so happy! :)So what! I love to see his eyes light up as he grabs a book, and see his little mind churning while he listens and anticipates what is about to happen next. He is so clever with his questions and I can just feel his sense of understanding as the books go on. I love sharing things like this with Elem and I hope that this love for books carries on throughout his life. I really feel that reading to him and his continuing love for books has really played a big role in his current excitement for imagination and his insane knowledge and use of words. I guess the teacher side of me, tries to take advantage of every single story as a chance to teach him even more words, while the mom side of me tries to capture the "mother/son" story time "moment" for all its worth, each and every time! So, as a general rule, I figure I am doing both of us a favor and I rarely ever skip over words or abbreviate what is written on the page. I try to expose him to new words every day, and I figure why not, if he seems to get the story no matter if I say the words or not. It is just an overall fun time and gratifying moment if I do say so myself. I love to see my kid enjoying books. I mean who wouldn't. And why wouldn't you. What a great chance for him to use his imagination and escape to a place he can only create with his imagination and a few words on a page.

His current favorites are:

1. Jack and the Beanstalk
2. Three Little Pigs
3. There's a Wocket in my Pocket (By Dr. Seuss)
4. Brown Bear Brown Bear...what do YOU see?
5. The Runaway Bunny (By Margaret Wise Brown)......I often catch his grabbing this book and saying..."Ill be a fisherman and I will catch you if you run away little bunny"
6. Head to Toe (Eric Carle)...this is where he learned about "penguinos" and how they turn their heads :)

So those, as well as MANY MANY others seem to work their way into our nap time and bed time routines. And I have to admit, as much as it takes a lot out of me to read like 18-20 books at one sit down, it is totally worth it. And adorable to hear your little 2 year old quoting out of a random part of a story in the middle of a conversation during the day. hehe. Hope your story time is as enjoyable as mine! And if you don't think your kiddo is listening, just keep on reading, and they will eventually come back around. Even if only for a minute.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Looking back on October

There were just so many things going on in October and so many really fun things that I wanted to take a look back! I literally can not believe that Thanksgiving is this month and Christmas is next month! I don't feel like we should be going shopping for a Christmas Tree to chop down, just yet! Looking back October was so full of events! And I mean jam packed. Here are a few I didn't get a chance to blog on as I think back:

Pajama party with Cecilia (a pizza baking pajama party at that! Cecilia came over for a night of baking their very own mini pizzas, chocolate cookies, and a nice bubble bath! Here the kids are patiently waiting right beside the oven for their cookies to be done. I love pajamas on kids-always so cute.

Mommy and Daddy date night-one of very few I might add, so this one HAS to go down in the record books! Seth and I were lucky enough to catch one of our long time favorite musicians here in Little Rock at the Rev Room, the one and only Mr. Bob Schneider! Man going out just isn't what it used to be is it!! It takes me a couple of red bull drinks just to stay up! But the music was awesome and we staid right on the front row where we always do. Hehe. We had so much fun.

Major vehicle obsessions-both on and off road vehicles at that! Elem continues his love for 4 wheelers, motorcycles, scooters, trucks, etc. and tends to be on at least one of the ones in this picture every few minutes or so. Nice to now that while these riding toys are nicely lined up for some kind of experiment here in the kitchen at the current moment, usually they are nicely spread about my living room. I don't think I will ever have my nice clean house back. Ahhh one day, one day.

Plenty of pumpkin action! Carving was so much fun! Elem was more than stoked about his butter knife.

The end result, one happy/classic pumpkin that took like an hour! And one kitty cat pumpkin that Elem Zane just HAD to have, that as you can see in the pic was not carved just yet! But yes it did get carved and took more time than I care to document. Seeing his face when I dropped the candle in...made it all worth the long amount of time spent to get that little kitty face looking good.

Elem also enjoyed lots of pumpkin painting both at home and at school. I believe he painted a total of 5 pumpkins but I am not even sure if that was all of them! Painting pumpkins caused for some real focus and creativity. Elem has always used his tongue or wiggled it or stuck it out when he is seriously trying to concentrate on something and he doesnt even realize that he is doing it! I was so pumped to catch him in the act, just working away on his little pumpkin to set outside for all the trick or treaters.

Wagon rides at the pumpkin patch were one of our toddler favorite activities!

As were the pig races, the petting zoo, hay ride, hay stack play area, and pumpkins galore! The pumpkin patch was more fun for all of us than I had anticipated. We headed to Molly's and it was so much more than just a big field of pumpkins. We will totally be hitting that place up again next year.

And last but not least, lots and lots of dressing up. :) Dress up has slowly but surely entered its way into our small little household. And I must say it always brings a smile to my face! From batman costumes, to mine or seth's shoes, to baseball hats, or purses, or back packs, etc! There is just never a such thing as too much dress up. Elem is really coming into his own and is starting to use his imagination more and more. Its so much fun to see him having fun in his own little world, and I hope I can capture just a few pieces of it along the way.

Wow so yes October is gone and we are already on our way through November! My little boy officially turns 2 and 1/2 on the 7th and we are having a family photo shoot on that very day to capture this very special time in our lives! I cant believe that my once chunky and waddling little baby is not about to be...what I guess I should call ....a preschooler (GULP). I think I need a good cuddle to get me back in the right mind frame! No tears, no tears, no tears.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thought of the day

Not much time to blog lately but I plan on making it a monumental weekend and totally racking up on the documenting! For now, a little bit of what has been monopolizing my days. Mostly just sweetness and messiness all rolled into one.

I wanted to leave you with the following conversation:

Elem: I wanna lay on your bed mommy

Mommy: Okay comon up here, you can lay with me

Elem: hurtin me

Mommy: No I'm not, what is hurting you?

Elem: YOU are. Your ow-ie things are hurtin me (pointing to mommy's legs)

Mommy: hahahahahahaha

Elem: You ARE. Get those ow-ie things off of your legs

Mommy: hahahaha. okay I will shave my legs tomorrow and those ow-ie things will be gone


(ELem rubbing my legs)
Elem: mommy did you get those ow-ie things off your legs so they wont hurt me no more?

Mommy: Yes Elem, I shaved my legs. They feel better?

Elem: Yep! They not hurtin me no more!

Ahhh. Those are the conversations that I seem to live for these days. Just when you are thankful that your husband will let you get by with not shavin' for a day or 2, your little boy needs to step right up and make it known, that it is so not okay with him. Hehe. So sweet. I love the innocence and the sheer interest in really trying to understand something that is just a little bit over their head and not really in the near future of something we have planned to explain. But I guess that is when the best mini lessons are taught. When you least expect it, they are soaking up every single little bit of info we are pumping into them. At least now my child knows that I shave my legs. He is just that much smarter! ha!