Monday, July 27, 2009

...And Elijah's new trick!

Joaquin's new trick!

Joaquin is 2 months old! Can you believe it? Time seems to fly by with the second child! Ian and I turn around and he is smiling, laughing, trying to roll over, and grabbing things.

With Elijah, we worked hard to be sure and teach him every single developmental progression--each one well documented and celebrated. With Joaquin, on the other hand, it is like he is progressing at lightening speed whether we are helping or not! I feel like, as parents, we are just along for the ride.

Ian and I realized last night that Joaquin can reach out and grab things he wants now. Just goes to show that all the required teaching parents think kids need to move through the developmental stages is kinda pointless if they can just do it on their own anyway. At least it takes off the pressure! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tid Bits

Sorry I have been MIA lately. The past few weeks have been full of fun and exciting times around the Kirkland and Melton house.
I thought it might be more interesting to you if I just explain the weeks with pictures and videos since I have collected so many over this period of absence! So, bare with me, this is likely to be a long post. (And for all you blog addicts out there...get in a comfy chair and break out the ole' cup of joe...happy reading!)

Photo #1
This picture needs a bit of explanation. Here Elijah is sitting in his crib reading a few books. This is the activity he does after he first wakes up. I give him a sippy cup of milk and a few books and he has a leisurely "wake up time" in his crib before we begin the day. None of that is strange or interesting, however, you may notice the newest alteration to his crib...the missing bumper. Well, it isn't missing, but I moved it to the rim of the crib. I'm not sure if I mentioned it earlier, but Elijah has been teething off and on for the past ummm... year. I can remember when I had new teeth coming in when I was young and it just felt SO good to chew on a pen cap or something to null the ache. But, Elijah isn't old enough for pen caps and so he resorts to EVERYTHING ELSE! I wasn't so worried about the books getting eaten, or a toy here and there, but when he moved on to the furniture my concern took on a new level. The rim around his beautiful espresso stained "convertible" crib is now riddled with gnaw marks. (For those of you that aren't up on the baby crib lingo, "convertible crib" is one that changes into a toddler bed and full size headboard for later on.) So, you can see the problem. He will be a teenager with teeth marks all over his headboard! But, hey, he will have a story that goes with it I guess...a little reminder of his babyhood! OK, so back to why the bumper is now on the rim of the crib--sorry I can tangent every so often. So, I opened the door to Elijah's room yesterday and found him eating a piece of wood! YES! Talk about freaking me out! There was an actual chip out of the side of the crib where he had taken a rather large bite! So, immediately afterwards i moved the bumper on the top of the crib. (and yes, by the way, we did try all the other plastic alternatives and none of them outsmarted our little man.) Whew, that was a long explanation for one photo! :)
Photo # 2
Last week my mother's side of the family had a reunion at her house in Moody. All the grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and 2nd cousins gathered in my mother's old Victorian house! I realize that sounds cramped, but I should have prefaced by saying it is an old Victorian house with over 7,000 square feet and a huge side yard of grass, a washers area, a hammock, a fire pit, swing, and a baby pool to boot! We had a blast! Here Elijah had his first experience skinny dipping while his 2nd cousins tried to join him in the baby pool!

Photo # 3
Here are Papaw (that means Grandfather in Cherokee) and Ian with Joaquin, Elijah, and Noah. Noah is Adam and Chandra's little boy (Adam is my brother for those of you that didn't know him) and he was born just 6 weeks after Elijah. Chandra and I had a blast being prego with our first babies together!
Photo #4
One of the great things about being around a lot of family is that there is a lot of help with the kiddos! My cousins were AWESOME with Elijah! He had so much fun playing with them and I hardly had to worry about a diaper or feeding when they were taking care of him! Sarah, Bryce, and Natalie are all going to be great parents one day...

Photo # 5
My dad, Papaw, with his newest grandson, Joaquin. (We gotta get working on some girls in this family! :)
Photo #6
Here is my younger brother John, Uncle Bubs, as he goes by, playing "tickle toes" with Elijah. John is an amazing uncle! He plays with Elijah for hours and is always teaching him something new!
Photo #7
OK this was just a had to show photo. I may get in trouble later when the boys grow up and find out all the naked photos I tossed up on the Internet, but I just can't help it! Look at that freakin belly and nudie-bootie! Could you just eat him up or what?

Photo #8
So, I was on a bath photo kick. I had to get one of Joaquin too, of course. Here he is, sporting the perfect Al Bundy pose. Hasn't he grown? He is no longer looking like such a newborn, rather quite the baby boy! He has put on an extra chin and a few more rings around the arms and ankles, not to mention he is loosing all his newborn hair and growing in some blond roots!

Photo #9
Hey, hey, hey! Ian and I got a date night! One of my best buddies of all time came out to visit last week and she was amazing to me! She didn't just come by to say hi, no-sir-e, she came to serve...and serve she did! The night before she left she told Ian and I to get dressed up and get outa that house. She watched the boys and we headed out for a nice dinner at the Hula Hut on Lake Austin. The alone time was totally needed and so were those margaritas! :)

Photo # 10
Carolyn and I took this "hold the camera yourself" pic before we headed out to South Congress for a little lunch and shopping in the 104 degree heat. (And that actually was the thermometer reading in my car!) I have to say she held the camera pretty darn good!

Photo #11

Carolyn is going to be the best mommy some day! She is such a natural! Joaquin just loved sleeping in her arms!
Photo #12
We attempted to get the boys to both sit in her lap for a quick picture, and as you can tell, Elijah wasn't really up for it, but they were good sports.

Photo # 13
So, I took this pic a couple weeks ago, but it was good enough to put in here with the others! Elijah and I had been working on learning how to use zippers for a couple days and this morning in particular we were practicing on daddy's guitar case. Well, I put Elijah in his play area and went over to the kitchen to make our breakfast for a second. When I returned I saw this! Elijah had completely zipped himself up in the guitar case! I died laughing and then grabbed the camera to be able to share the moment with daddy when he returned home.

Photo # 14
I have the best husband EVER! Even after a long day at work, he loves to put the boys to bed with a story.

Photo #15
A couple of weeks ago, my father planned a surprise birthday party for my mom at one of their favorite resturaunts. I don't think we have ever had a surprise party for her because she is always the one doing that kind of thing for everyone else around her, so it was super special that dad pulled one over on her this time! She was shocked when she rounded the corner to a large table of family and a Happy Birthday banner! Joaquin was just a month old here in the picture of my mom and dad. Isn't the birthday girl beautiful? I pray I look like her when I am her age!

OK, now on to the videos...

1) This one is of Elijah and I playing hide and seek. This is pretty much a daily occurrence, if not 5 times a day!

2) The second video is of Elijah playing with our pug dog, Joni. After being gone at the family reunion, I arrived home with the boys to find our air conditioning had broken while we were away! The inside thermometer read 95 degrees and Rachel was NOT happy. Elijah decided to pass the time away by trying to hit Joni with a baby hanger, which he found to be absolutely HILARIOUS!

3) This one is a short clip of Joaquin smiling. He has been doing this for quite some time now, but I haven't been able to successfully capture it until now.

Well, that's it folks! It has been a busy couple of weeks! Praise the Lord I got it all in and that Elijah and Joaquin napped long enough for me to finish this post! :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Elijah's Transition

Since Joaquin was born everyone has been asking me how Elijah is handling the transition of no longer being the only child. I think overall he has done very well, although I don't really have anything to compare it to. We knew it would be a bit difficult because he is so young and doesn't really understand what is going on, but I have the sneaking suspicion he is a lot more aware than we know. :)
For those of you wondering how Elijah is taking to the changes, this post is for you...
So far he has really enjoyed the double stroller. Of course, he gets shotgun every time beacause Joaquin sleeps in the back. As soon as I put Joaquin in the second section Elijah turns into "big brother mode". He flips around and peeks out the back of his seat to make sure Joaquin is OK. He LOVES checking up on Joaquin and will frequently whip around to see his baby brother when we are out and about using the stroller.

Here is Elijah from Joaquin's point of view, peeking over the back of the front seat.

Another help with the transition has been the "practice baby brother" that MiMi bought him. We've been working on holding the baby, how to touch bubba GENTLY, and things of that sort. Elijah has a tendency to love poking the baby in the eyes (he still has a fetish for circles). He also has developed a habit of snatching Joaquin's passy out of his mouth and then trying to put it back in...which inevitably ends up in Joaquin's eye. So, we've been trying to learn to hold bubba's hand instead of inducing vision loss. Notice please that Elijah IS NOT "playing with dolls" as most machismo men would claim; the "practice baby brother" is BLUE and therefore is designated for boys. :)

Elijah and his "practice baby brother". Notice he is holding him correctly, but it looks like he is ominously about to go for the eyes (if not the 3rd eye for sure)!

One other BIG help with the transition has been our massive play pin! We noticed right away that Elijah was the most difficult when I was trying to feed Joaquin and couldn't respond to Elijah's "needs" (by needs I mean anything he wanted me to do that apparently was SOOO important to him). As soon as I got my Breast Friend pillow strapped on Elijah would start scooping the dirt out of the potted plants, head for the fireplace, and other activities he is very aware are No-No's. It seemed all his previous discipline training would go out the window as soon as Joaquin would start to nurse. So, Ian had the brilliant idea to buy two of these Super Play Yard's and hook them together to make a designated "independent play time" area for Elijah. The fact that it is so large allows me not to feel so guilty about "caging him up" while mommy feeds the baby. It took a while for him to get used to it, but it has been a lifesaver for me! When nursing time is over I just unhinge one of the panels and keep it open for him to go in and out as he pleases.

Here is the view of his independent play area, as we call it, from the stairs.

Overall, I think Elijah is getting the hang of it and we can tell he absolutely adores his little brother!