Friday, September 24, 2010


I thought I had already posted this. He gets in these goofy moods where he laughs out loud at himself. This is a lovely example of Elliot showboating. Then, when he did fall over, he had to pause to take the toy out of his mouth so he could wail. I cracked up!


Ok, cousin Thomas, here is Elliot walking as requested.

We have this habit of thinking each time Elliot reaches a milestone that he will just automatically want to do this new thing all the time... We thought he was regressing a bit last week with the walking, as he didn't seem to want to try often. Then, this week, he's made huge strides. As you can see, he's started getting back up and going at it again when he does fall. Now, he crosses the dining room smoothly, and today, he steered himself into the bathroom from the hall.

More Grooving.

I was hoping he'd keep groovin' when he stood at the table- that's what he had been doing, bobbing and keeping the beat while standing there eating. So funny to watch since it doesn't seem he's doing it for attention.

Little Monkey.

Our good friend Diane had her first birthday party, along with their neighbor, Paul, last weekend (a bit past the actual birthday, but that's when it worked out...). Their apartment complex has a great space out back with lots of community toys and a kiddie slide so the kids all had fun. Elliot was a little sappy, and I'm realizing I need to just expect that at big gatherings, instead of always saying, "Man, he's so out of sorts, I don't know what the story is." I do: he doesn't do well in big gatherings where he's not familiar with things. Oh well. We can say it's lack of socialization, or we can just say he's a toddler/1 yo. But we have been making more of a point of taking him to the parks that have other kids his age playing. Or, better, let's just blame it on teeth.

That's Elliot at the top. He loves slides.

That's Riley there next to Elliot, who is our neighbor.

The two birthday kids-- Paul and Diane on each side of Elliot. Paul, apparently, was a lot like Elliot- smaller, Mr. Mellow, the title that Elliot no longer holds.

The crew playing. It was chillier, but still great to be outdoors. The concrete was a little treacherous for this age, but definitely doable. Well, that is, for Elliot who still wants to crawl around a bit (I think everyone else was walking pretty well).

Just love the bath times!

He picked up a cold this week and had a few rough nights with crying but not staying up beyond making his discomfort known. Poor thing. And for a while, he had shortened his sleeping but now he's lengthened it, getting 12-13 hours at night of good sleep. Maybe a nice growth spurt is happening? I think he seems pudgier and has redeveloped his little frog belly. Hey, maybe I can really hope he'll outgrow his size 9-month pants?!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Busy Times.

It's hard to keep up with this now since work started up again. Elliot's walking more, but it depends on the day. He's done probably 10 or so steps consecutively, about 6-8'. He started to stand up and take 2 steps or so to get a toy that is close, so he definitely knows it will be a good mode of transportation eventually. Some days, however, he's extra wobbly and doesn't try much, reaching for our hands often.

He's stopped eating bananas again. I made some zucchini bread today that completely flopped (turned out to be a brick of dough) and he loved it-- go figure. His side front top teeth are through and he has a molar through.

He now knows when I tell him it's bathtime and crawls very excitedly to the bathtub. One time the door was closed, and the disappointment was amazing. Tears, sobs, big pouty lower lip.

We frequent certain playgrounds now, and there is rarely a time where we stroller him past a playground and he doesn't cry, wanting to get out and play. Pat told me he was going down the slide head first and loving it-- I didn't want to hear any more.

His favorite thing to do now is to crawl inside the toy bins/baskets, full of toys, and sit. Or dump all the toys out and sit. The other day, he dumped all the toys out, pushed the basket over to the filing cabinet where he wanted to reach something, flipped the basket over, and used it as a stool. Clever little guy, but I had to reprimand him for safety reasons.

Reading books is an activity multiple times a day now. Sometimes same book, over and over. We don't mind, and it's so great to see him get all giddy/excited after he hands us the book and wants up on our lap as I mentioned in a previous post.

Pat ran the 1/2 marathon last week so we got up early and caught him at the 51st Street bridge. Matt Kern, a friend, was in from Portland and he was loyal enough to join us. Matt and Elliot had some excellent playtimes. I'm not sure who was more enthralled with the magnetic fridge toy that says the letters-- Matt or Elliot.

Despite this look of "Why am I out here at 7:30am?" Elliot was a trooper and seemed to be mesmerized by the runners going by (and by the blaring music...).

(That's Pat there in the navy blue.)

To be posted next: video of some walking. I guess cousin Thomas said to my sister when they heard Elliot was walking, "Ok, so where's the video of that?"

Friday, September 10, 2010

And Back Down...

And back down again...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Climbing Sequence

Up on the chair...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do I Dare Share?

Elliot was back in his mode of putting blocks on the chair, climbing up, throwing them down, climbing back down, so I tried to capture that and did... but caught a pretty good tumble first.

I am posting this video with great trepidation, crossing my fingers that all who view this will relate to the falls their toddlers have taken and not phone me in to DCFS. DISCLAIMER: No one was injured in the filming of this video.

So, please, for the sake of this mom who eventually cracked up at rewatching the tumble after initially running to his side, watch the other videos, too, to see the sequence I was attempting to show. Thanks.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Current Happenings.

Tuesday was Pat's last day at work. He has been in classes for graduate school for education now for 2 weeks and loves it. His classes are all at night, so he's home during the day now with Elliot.

I started work last week, and the first day of school with kids is tomorrow-- I don't expect to sleep much tonight!

These past two weeks have been very busy, since Pat kept working when he first started classes. Many nights he was up until 1-2a doing school work, while last week I was hammered trying to get my classroom in order, running all around for things I needed.

Let's see if this week puts us in a more normal groove.

First Hike in the Woods!

We drove out to Palos Hills this Labor Day for a hike with Elliot. Wonderful family day.

Getting sleepy; he fell asleep in the backpack, but bobbed all over, so we pulled him out to carry him, and he never went back down! No-nap-day, but he was really good.

Playing with daddy's hat at lunchtime.

A beetle crawled on Pat, and it turned into an investigation/lesson on not touching nature. The beetle was fast enough to avoid Elliot's curiosity anyway.

We happened upon a new Nature Center in Palos Hills-- really great. Taxidermy of foxes, deer, etc, and live exhibits of fish, turtles, snakes, beetles, etc. Elliot loved it.Pat and Elliot watching the turtles swim.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The developments lately have been pretty cool, and a little challenging. The more Elliot understands but cannot communicate about, the more frustration appears.

The coolest thing yesterday was to see that he is experimenting about size and volume. He has some blocks that fit inside each other, and he tries to put one of the big ones inside the smaller one, seemingly not at the stage yet where he differentiates between smaller and bigger. He tries and tries, then, if he's grumpy, gets really frustrated and pushes it all away, mad. (If not grumpy, he just moves on to another toy, like, "Huh, I'll figure that out later.") Then, by chance, he'll go back and put the smaller one inside, and the tears stop, and there's this "Oh, really?" moment. But he's not completely figured it out yet because then it's back to trying it the wrong way. It's very hard to not step in and just fix this for him each time!

The other fun thing is that he is starting to put things back into places, like if he takes something out of a drawer, sometimes he'll put it back in. Elliot the destroyer is becoming a little more organized.

Elliot is loving books lately. He'll grab a book, bring it to me, and get all excited to climb into my lap to read. He now knows that when the reading pauses, he has to turn the page. Sometimes we make it through the whole book, over and over, and sometimes the joy is shortlived until this monkey wiggles his way back down to play with something else.

He has bitten me a few times lately when he is being reprimanded with our "handcuff with our hands" method. Pat thinks it's his only thing left to push back with (his feet are in the mix too sometimes), but I think it's amazing that he knows at 1 year old that biting can hurt someone and uses it that way. The look on his face says he's really mad and, to me, it's more than, "Oh, this is all that's left to use" and more "Take that, mom!" Eeep. The whole point of the handcuffing method was to not model violence/inflicting pain when things go wrong. I'm a bit worried about this. My sister-in-law says you have to tame the beast, teaching everything to curtail the barbaric instincts. Maybe she's right.

Throwing food on the floor is a common problem. I'm assuming this is par for the course, but we're not sure how to nip in the bud. What we've tried so far is not working.

We're working on tapering off the bottle and onto the sippy cup still. He was doing much better, but just like any other milestone, if there's a great day of progress, there seems to plenty of days of backwards progress. He makes it through the day with less bottles, sometimes drinking enough from the sippy cup, sometimes not. But on the days that he does not get enough, it seems we're up at 1:30am, giving him a bottle. Not sure if this means he's simultaneously hitting a growth spurt lately, or if he just truly needs the calories and we shouldn't push the sippy cup if it means he won't drink enough in the end. We've talked about going cold turkey, but it doesn't seem our style.

He's cognizant of the walking now-- he will set himself up, balance, take a few deliberate steps, fall, then get all excited and proud. Yesterday there were about 4 sessions of 4 steps or so in a row. He seems to like working on it. This is super fun to watch.

Standing on his chairs is an issue lately. Same as most things, not sure how to stop this. He knows it's not something he's supposed to do, but there's no connection as to why yet, since he's not fallen or anything. Funny, he just did it as I am typing... goes up, checks that I noticed, has this grin of "This is cool, right?! But bad, right?!" then after I tell him to sit down, he slowly sinks to his chair. Sometimes I have to physically sit him, but usually the verbal cue is enough.

The all-out tantrums are quite interesting as well. Wow.