Thursday, April 25, 2013


Thank goodness it's springtime!  Cabin fever is full-blown at this house.  The rain has been oppressive, too, but if it's somewhat warmer and we get a bit wet racing back from a walk, that's better than the cold at this point. 
Updates are throughout the photos.  I need to be better at getting updates on here- do I say that every post now?!  General stuff- Leah is about 15 weeks now.  She might be getting teeth this early as her fist is constantly in her mouth and the drool is starting.  We shall see.  Elliot was much later than this with teeth.  She is so reactive- it seems Pat can make her laugh on demand.  She laughs heartily out loud with tickling, grins at nearly everyone, and seems to be very entertained by Elliot's antics.  Very easy going baby, as Elliot was (believe it or not!) at this age.  She is working hard at arching to flip over already, sometimes sticking with it very well and sometimes screaming in frustration.  She is learning to grab toys and we watched her discover her fist while traveling over Easter- she just kept staring at it, amazed, while the other hand stayed open and relaxed.  Lately she's been napping less during the day but more at night- the last two nights were great... 5-6 hour stint, nurse quickly, sleep again for a few hours.  Basically 10:30p-7a with one feeding.  I'm very happy (and rested!).
Elliot is giving us more and more glimpses of growing out of the terrible 18mo-4 years, as my sister calls it.  The tantrums are still full-blown but we have more time between them, they have been more predictable (ah, he hasn't eaten his dinner...) or he is more pleasant during the non-tantrum times!  Maybe the spring weather is helping him blossom as well!  He's been out on his bike a lot lately and wanting to walk to the lake or play outside.  He has soccer twice a week with the park district that is great for him and we get to storytime at the library about every week.  It is so great to see him sitting still, listening to the stories well, answering the questions, responding to the soccer coach ("Mom, Coach Gino told me to not use my hands and I listened!").  Crazy to think that he'll be in preschool come fall!!  Yikes!
We spent almost a week jumping around Ohio to see family and friends.  It went very well with the visiting- Elliot got to see almost all of his cousins minus the overseas ones and some who had a bug going through their house.  He played well and really enjoys connecting with them and our friends' kids.  This age is great- he's actually playing interactively with other kids and it's fun to see him run around with others.  The traveling part of the trip became weary- the naps were too few and far between, and the bedtimes were too late.  It all built up and by the time we were at my mom's for the second leg, he was melting down constantly.  One day was FULL of tantrums and I about lost my mind.  Pat had flown back to start school again (break was over) and Elliot seemed to get in that mode of not being able to snap out of the rut- a lunch out with my mom's cousins and a dinner with some more cousins turned into me battling a screaming, hyperventilating toddler the entire time.  Seeing that he was so sleep deprived and the eating is not consistent when traveling (the one night he awoke because of something, which awoke my nieces in the same room, so he crawled into bed with me, then he fell out of my bed twice, screaming, with the night stand and lamp falling over on him the second time), I guess what else could be expected?
The drive from NE OH to SW OH was supposed to be 3h45m so I thought it was no problem to do solo.  How bad could it be?  Well, Miss Mellow decided to cry or scream about 4 of the 5+ hours it took me.  I stopped 4 times to nurse her, hoping to konk her out, and each time she just continued the protest.  Elliot took it in stride, but whew, I was ready to be there.  I ended up being glad that it was the first leg that went so badly, as it couldn't have gone much worse, so I knew what I was up against.  The 4 1/2 hr drive to Chicago?  Wonderful, one stop, Leah slept almost the entire time, and Elliot was begging me to stop, "She's hungry, Mom!  We need to stop..." even though she was sleeping, as he always gets to play in the passenger side while I nurse her when we stop.  We made record time.  Made up for the other leg.
As I am writing this, Leah has worn herself out trying to flip over, has stopped with her back still arched, her torso twisted, and seems to have given in to exhaustion... I think she's asleep.  What a doll.
The last week or so, Elliot has been very sweet to her.  He asks to stop the swing so he can give her a quick kiss, and does just that.  He'll want to hug her, snuggle into her, and laughs at her funny expressions.  There really seems to be a bonding going on.  Pat and I snuck a watch of him and her interacting while she was playing on the playmat- he was unzipping her pjs so he could do sherberts on her belly, then zipped her all back up, all while talking to her in this high-pitched voice he seems to use with her.  We just stood and felt our hearts beam.  Now I see why my mom always wanted us to get along!  
When we get out, a fav is this cafe in Chinatown.  Elliot eats well there and we snapped a shot for proof!

Leah is a snuggle bunny!  Rocking her this way is one of the tricks to get her to sleep.
At Grandma and Grandpa Papczun's- we still didn't get a shot of her and Grandpa!  
Playing with Pat's brother's kids.  As you can see, Kyle (9) became a big buddy of Leah's- he wanted to hold her often!  It was so sweet.  

The weather was nice so the cousins made it out for a hike at a quarry.  Great time for everyone and Aunt Jen dug out some bundly things for Leah to keep her toasty as I did not pack for any outdoor activities!

She slept the whole hike.

Easter morning at Grandma Ulrich's church- Elliot thoroughly enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt.

The crew at church- and that's Elliot's new "give me a smile!" reaction in front.
My munchkins on Easter morn.  Someone dubbed Leah my little Easter chick!
"Are they hatching?"  Just kidding- dying eggs with Uncle John and the boys.

Easter lunch at Grandma Ulrich's.
Catching Abigail and Chandler playing with Leah.
Couldn't get this flipped, but Abby, Rachel, and Lindsey were the full-fledged Leah fan club, especially when so turned off by Elliot's tantrums!

At church in Chicago.  This is Ms. Nemi- she has taken a special interest in Elliot.  She tells us that he's "full of life" and warns us to not be too hard on him so we don't squash his energy... 
One of Elliot's buddies at church- there's 3 boys that make a point to engage with him each time we see them.
Baby shower for the minister and his wife- another girl!  With Bonnie and Carenen- who will always have that special place as the person who was perfectly timed to be here, having a cup of tea, when my labor with Leah started so fast.
The huddle at soccer class.
Enjoying the double stroller we were so generously given.  Nice to get everyone to the lake, and this time Leroi was with us!  For some reason, Elliot loves getting this thing out.

Elliot taking charge of the dog.

At the point on a warm spring evening.  We got caught in the rain for the walk home, but Elliot enjoyed taking off his shoes and running around with the dog.
I couldn't resist playing dress up with this hat.
Elliot showing off his MN shirt Stephanie brought.
So great to see Avery and family.  Awesome that they interacted so well together.  Made me go back and browse through the old photos of when they were infants and Jen and I would go out and about with them to the museums and such.
My prediction- they are trouble together.  Leah's a sweet baby, but she has a glint in her eye sometimes and is just too entertained by Elliot's antics.
My little leprechaun at one of his last art classes.

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