Friday, December 16, 2011

Look Who's Talking

As a continuation of Elijah's most recent "issue" of not talking (although he's perfectly happy and all his needs are being met) I will be emailing the very nice woman from Birth to 3 with a list of all the words Eli is speaking and signing. I decided having them here on the blog would be a good idea as well for me to look back on and to keep everyone else informed. (These are all the words he's started signing/speaking since Nov. 18th.)

Oh and I have heard from others who have the same issue with their sons (apparently the line "boys walk first, girls talk first" is true). They feel like their boys are intelligent and can communicate just fine non-verbally. I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one in this boat!

So here are the words Elijah signs (official ASL and his own):

all done
brush teeth

The words Eli says:

choo choo
all done
pop (toaster)
mama (odd how I didn't think of that first... although he only says it when he wants my attention)
EDIT: uh-oh (...over and over again. How could I forget uh-oh?)

These are all the words I can think of right now (pretty sure there's more), and a lot of them he both signs and says but I think this is a good demonstration that Eli can communicate verbally if he wants to. I'm sure one day I'll look back and long for the times when he didn't talk so much... So I'm trying to enjoy it now!

 Eli signing more during the "More More More" song on Baby Signing Time Vol. 1

Watching the "Diaper Dance" song on Baby Signing Time Vol. 1

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sci-fi, hair cuts, and birthday parties

It's been a busy couple weeks at our house. We've been enjoying the Christmas tree, trying to get some snow time in when the weather permits, and celebrating Timothy's birthday.

I've been keeping myself occupied with more crocheting. A couple projects I can't talk about (Christmas coming and all that) and one that I CAN talk about. You can read the story on Eric's website, but essentially I found a crochet pattern for an obscure science fiction character Eric loves. May I present:

In other news, Elijah got his first hair cut last week. Not so much a hair cut really as an attempt to avoid the mullet. His hair was starting to grow long enough that it caught in his bib at mealtimes so we decided it was time. Eric took his trimmers to the back of Eli's head and did a nice job. I didn't think we would be having this first before his second birthday, but it came earlier than expected. 

We traveled to Gregory, SD this past weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Nies to celebrate cousin Timothy's first birthday. It was a quick trip, but fun was had by all!

 Timothy wasn't really sure about his first cupcake...

 But Eli made sure he ate a couple on his cousin's behalf

 Timothy got lots of good presents (hugging the bear from Eli)...

And both boys got in some good grandparents time!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What a Difference

It's such a cliche that time flies when you're having fun but it is so true. Elijah is 19 months old and it feels like he's been with us for years. Once in a while I like to look back at pictures of him and compare how he has changed. Since I was doing that for myself today I thought I would share on the blog as well.

 late November 2010

late November 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Decorating Fever

Usually I'm a procrastinator but this year I decided to decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. Eli spent last year's decorating in his play pen watching but this year he was in the thick of it. And then he got to help Grandma Kris with her tree later that day!

I also got Eli's stocking completed! After putting it off for a week or two (there's that procrastinating tendency) I crocheted the entire thing over about four days. (I got the pattern from this website.)

Snow Day

One of the greatest aspects of South Dakota living is playing in the snow. Last year, Elijah was too small to really enjoy it, so after the first snowfall of the year (almost 6 inches) I bundled him up in his snow suit and took him out. It only took a couple days for the snow to melt, so I know Eli is looking forward to the next batch.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Talking Check Up

So we didn't actually meet with a speech therapist yet. We met with a very nice woman from the local Birth to 3 program to see if we qualify for speech therapy. She tested Eli's hearing and we did the Denver Developmental Screening Test. Eli is above his age group in everything except verbal. He understands a  lot just doesn't communicate verbally. He doesn't even really use "mama" or "dada" although he most definitely knows who we are. Because of this lack of words, we qualify for him to see the speech therapist. However, I chose to take two months and work with him myself. We'll try sign language (he already knows the sign for cookie and we just started an hour ago) and other suggestions Karin left with us. If he doesn't speak or sign a minimum of six words by the end of January we'll for sure be seeing the therapist. (The six words don't have to be "real" words- they can be "Eli" words as long as he uses them consistently for the same object.)

As one of our friends pointed out to me, Elijah is really an observer. He watches other kids and adults for a long time before attempting it himself. For instance, he didn't climb the playground equipment at the park the first several times we went. He contented himself with playing in the rocks and watching other kids. Now he can climb like a monkey. I'm sure this is another aspect where he will talk when he's comfortable with it.

I'll keep everyone updated as Eli starts talking more.

He already has his own cell phone and babbles into it.

Plus he knows how to use Daddy's cell phone too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

18 Month Well Baby

Today Elijah and I ventured to the doctor's office for his 18 month check up. Aside from his shots (which we are done with until kindergarten now thank goodness), it was a relatively easy appointment.

1. We got updated stats and percentages.

Height: 2 ft 7 in (12th %)
Weight: 29 lbs 2 oz (84th %)

Because his weight percentile is so much higher than his height, this skews Eli's BMI to pretty high. But like Dr. Becky said, he doesn't look fat so nothing to worry about.

2. Developmentally most toddlers have about 10 words at 18 months. Eli knows LOTS of words, but he doesn't speak them. He babbles a lot but doesn't use his words to communicate. However, the boy does know how to get his point across. Because I spend all day every day with him, I know what he is trying to say and so he's not required to tell me. Dr. Becky and I agreed that is most likely why he isn't verbalizing as much yet. If I tried to have him tell me what he wants, he merely gets frustrated and cries. I do spend most of my day talking to him, reading with him, and telling him the words of the world around him so I know he is getting the information. The doctor did recommend meeting with a speech therapist just to get some tips on how to help him verbalize more so we'll be doing that in the coming weeks. I suppose I should enjoy this quiet time now...

3. During our recent vacation, Eric and I started discussing Eli's constant congestion. I have been congested seemingly all my life, so it is no big deal to me but Eric had some concerns so I talked to Dr. Becky about it. She said as long as it's not affecting Eli (and it doesn't- he sleeps and breathes just fine) there is no reason to worry about it. On the other hand, she had no problem with us adjusting his diet (i.e. removing wheat or dairy) to see if that could be the issue. Perhaps we'll try that eventually but for now, a humidifier in his room and warm baths will do.

After the shots, Eli got a new book and some stickers which perked him up quite well. But he still avoids those nurses as much as he can.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Scarf Time!

As Elijah gets bigger, and spends more time playing by himself, I'm trying to find hobbies to keep myself occupied. Before our trip my hobby was the busy book and since we've been back I've taken up crochet. Thanks to various books, YouTube videos, and websites, I've gotten chains, single crochet, and half double crochet stitches down.

So far I made a scarf for Eric and one for myself. Eric is encouraging me to crochet a Christmas stocking for Eli. I have the pattern and yarn, but haven't yet attempted to start the stocking. I'm working up my courage to get it going. And I would like to make a scarf for Elijah as well.

Below are the links I used to learn crochet and patterns for scarves I've made.

And here are pictures of the scarf I made for Eric. It even got Eli's seal of approval!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blanket Fort

With colder weather upon us, Elijah, Eric, and I have been working on our blanket fort skills. Through the end of October we have had 3 different forts and all pretty successful.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy 60th!

Eric's grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last month and we had a family get together to celebrate. Below are a few pictures of the family enjoying Eli time.

Congratulations Grandmother and Grandad! May the rest of us be as blessed as the two of you have been for the past 60 years.

We managed to fill the frame pretty well, even without Jared, Sarah, and Timothy. We'll have to try again at Thanksgiving when they come!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Trip Pictures

Here are a few pictures from our wonderful trip to Switzerland. For more landscape, less people photos, check out Eric's Picasa album:

 Chilling on the train

 Eric at the castle in Bellinzona

 Eli LOVED the cattle at Great-Grandpa & Great-Grandma's- this is one of our several daily visits

 Teddy bear got a first class seat whenever we were out and about

 Castle at Rapperswil

 At Davos 

 Family at the Rheinfall in Schauffhausen

 Eli loved this tractor... Maybe a future Christmas present?

 Probably Eli's favorite part of the trip: homegrown grapes

 Rocking horse ride with cousin Anna Laura
Eric in the armory at Kyburg Castle