Eli is fast approaching 15 months old and I haven't done much writing down of his life milestones. So let's see... a day in the life of Eli...

Well, he usually wakes up around 6:30 (ugh!) but will talk/play in his crib until I can drag myself out of bed to get him. He is absolutely in love with his stuffed frog that is in his crib with him. Every night when he goes to bed he pounces on it and uses it as his pillow. In general he really likes stuffed animals and there are several that he tackles at first sight. Eli is definitely a cuddler. Some mornings I can get him out of his crib and he will lay his head on my shoulder and snuggle in the rocking chair for a little bit before we get our morning started. I love those times!

Eli continues to be our big boy. He is slimming out some as he loses that baby fat, but he's no twig! And he certainly likes to eat. Unfortunately we've been dealing with a milk allergy (that he will hopefully outgrow) so finding things he is able to eat is tough. Between the allergy and his pickiness, the boy practically lives on bread and chicken nuggets. He is very particular about textures, so I've had a hard time getting him to eat fresh fruits, but he still does well eating baby food purees so I just stick with those for now. We recently tried giving him coconut milk and that has worked out well. Eli still does not like to drink anything other than water, but the coconut milk goes well with cereal or making pancakes and is a good source of calcium for my growing boy. He will meet again with the allergist in May.

As of early January Eli is a walker! He took his first solo steps on January 7th and before long was growing more and more confident in his new ability. Today (20 days later) he toddles all over the house. He still looks a little unsteady, and if he does happen to fall down he has to hold on to something to stand back up, but I'm so proud of his progress! Eli is also talking a decent amount these days. He says mama, dada, nana, grandpa (something similar sounding), ball, toes (sorta), uh oh, night night, bye bye, hello (only to a phone), go, and boo. He will sign more, please, eat, and all done. He also does animal sounds for monkey, snake, and puppy.

His favorite game at the moment is anything he can open and close. He makes quick work of our kitchen cabinets, opening all of the cabinets in his reach and throwing things on the floor. And he constantly rearranges the items in my lazy susan. It always means a lot of cleanup, but I love seeing his little mind work. He is going to be like his Daddy, always investigating how things work. Eli is always studying the mechanics of things.

So that's basically Eli's day. Wake up, tornado through the house, quick nap in the afternoon, eat a lot, then go to bed around 7.

Lydia is fast approaching her 3rd birthday. I am constantly having to remind myself that she is still only 2. She is SO smart! I signed her up for preschool for next year but I'm sure she will already know most of the things they teach already. She knows the letter sounds and can spell her name. She is constantly pointing out what letters are on signs wherever we go and is slowly catching on to how to read the words. I have no doubt she'll be reading by age 4. Brent has been working on teaching her left and right, and she can count to roughly 14 (the teens get a little mixed up most of the time). Lydia is a constant stream of questions and we do our best to teach her as we go. So academically I'm not thinking she'll need preschool, but I'm looking forward to her having more social interactions and working on her motor skills as well. She will start in late August and will be in class MWF 9-11:30. A couple of our friends have their daughters in that class as well, so it will be nice to spend more time with them.

Hopefully some more interaction with others will help Lydia get over some of her fears. She has been awful with going to the childcare at church. She used to LOVE it, then suddenly she started crying every time. We'd put her there and try to leave her in hopes that she'd get over it, but usually we get called back and/or they inform me when I pick her up that she's cried basically the whole time. Not sure what sparked this, but it makes it really difficult to go to church these days. Eli doesn't do well in the childcare either, so too often we find it more convenient to just watch the service online from home. Lydia is also pretty sensitive about loud noises. She can absolutely panic if there is suddenly some sort of noise like an alarm going off or someone using a power tool. She sometimes is okay with sufficient warning, but boy have we had some major meltdowns lately when an unexpected noise happens!

Lydia's favorite shows right now are Mickey Mouse and Toy Story 2. She pretty much requests Toy Story 2 every day right now and will quote lines from it all the time. Because of her obsession with this movie lately I thought she might want that for the theme of her birthday party, but she decided months ago that she wanted Dora and she's sticking to it! It's funny to me because she rarely talks about Dora and we don't watch that show, but she isn't budging from her party choice. Silly girl!

This age is a trying time for us with Lydia. Lots of questions from her and lots of testing her boundaries as well. But overall, she is a sweetheart who brings us overwhelming joy. I love being able to have conversations with her and being able to watch her learn. She gets so excited when we get to do special things. I love watching her eyes light up! Love my girl. :-)

We are still a bit in recovery mode after the loss of our 3rd child, but we are hopeful for the future. After having a D&C on the 9th, I had a follow-up exam on the 25th and everything is going okay. My doctor said that we are free to try again whenever we are ready. I would still love to be holding a new baby in my arms in 2012, but we will trust in God's timing.
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