Sunday, November 27, 2011

Big Announcement

I started writing this when I was 5 weeks pregnant but since we weren't going public with it until I got to 12 weeks, it's just now being published.  It was very strange.  We were trying to get pregnant again but I assumed because it took so long last time that we would have to try for awhile again.  This time it only took two months.  The medical reasons I believe have to do with me not going back on the pill after I had Elijah.  Spiritually, though, I believe I was much more in submission to the Lord's will as to if and when we had another child than I was last time.  Now the trouble is trying to maintain that submission and trust in the midst of nausea and fatigue while caring for a toddler.  I know I have already failed more than once.  Thank Jesus for grace!

Anyway, here's what I've been thinking about up until now.

Week 5:  It's very strange to think about at this point.  I keep forgetting that I'm pregnant because my only current symptoms are slight boob soreness and a lack of a period, which is my normal state of being 3/4 of the time anyway.  When I was pregnant with Elijah I was nauseated from week 6 until he came out of me.  Literally.  I remember being in my hospital room right after he was born and thinking "Hey!! I'm not nauseous!  I think I might like eating food again!"  So I'm a little afraid I'm going to be majorly nauseated again in like a week and won't that be funtastic while I'm taking care of an almost-toddler?  We'll see, I guess.  I suppose I'll take Zofran again if I have to.

 Here's the pregnancy test I took (the first one anyway).  I know you all love looking at things I peed on.

Week 6: Well, the nausea fairy has visited me once again.  It's not quite as bad as last time where I was puking every morning but still not easy to take care of my one year-old while I feel like puking, even if I'm not actually doing it.  Also, I fear it will get worse because it got worse the last time.  I just really hope it doesn't last the entire time like it did when I was pregnant the first time.

In addition to having upset tummy, I also am now stupid and clumsy.  I keep dropping things and forgetting things I normally don't forget.  The other day we went out to eat and I accidentally took the receipt that I'd signed rather than the one I was supposed to take.  I guess they can still use it?  Maybe I should call them. Hmm...  I'll ask my brother.  And if this stupid relaxin hormone causes me to drop one more thing I think I'm going to start wearing velcro clothes and just sticking things to myself.  That might be a good idea anyway...

Week 7: So I broke down at my first appointment and asked for zofran.  Even though I'm not throwing up, it's way harder to deal with nausea when you have to take care of a one year old.  I've been taking it but it only somewhat alleviates the nausea, it doesn't remove it completely.  In addition, nothing sounds appetizing.  So even though I'm hungry all the time, I can't find anything in my kitchen that I want to eat. And as if that weren't enough, my nose is insanely sensitive.  So my dog smells like death.  My sink and trash make me want to vomit and if Elijah has a poopy diaper I can smell it from across the room.  And who has to change it?  That's right, it's yours truly.

Week 8: Okay so why is it that I already look like I'm like 4 months pregnant when I'm not even 2 months?  Either I'm pigging out way more than I should--which seems unlikely since half the time I can barely force myself to eat since I feel like puking all the time--or something else is going on.  I guess it's just that Elijah ruined my figure and now it will never be the same.  And now that baby #2 is on the way, stuff is less tight and starting to make me into a tub of lard before it should.  *sigh*  Oh well.  Baby #2 is due to be born right before my birthday so I'll just ask for a subscription to Weight Watchers for my birthday.

Note: Ordinarily it is a very very BAD idea to give a woman a gym membership or a subscription to WW or anything along those lines as a gift.  The only exception is if she specifically asks for it and not in a casual "maybe I should get a gym membership..." way.  Be certain she uses the words "For [my birthday, Christmas, etc.]  I want [gym membership, thigh master, WW subscription, etc.]."  Just in case there are any men reading this, wanted to make sure this didn't lead to a very bad idea and many nights sleeping on the couch. ;)

Week 9: So lately I have been meditating a lot on trusting the Lord completely in all things.  This is a major difficulty for me because I am such a looney control freak (just ask my husband).  And I have been spotting a lot, which is freaking me out.  I spotted when I was pregnant with Elijah so I keep trying to tell myself not to worry because it's normal and it's not like I'm crampy or gushing blood or anything but it's still nerve-wracking.  The most difficult part of it is that if I were to have a miscarriage, there's nothing I can do to prevent it.  You know they give you that mile-long list of how to avoid SIDS but miscarriage is a complete mystery most of the time and there's nothing you can do to cause or prevent it (unless it's something like a car accident).  In other words, it's completely in the Lord's hands and I can't do anything to prevent it.  All I can do is pray.  Pray that God would allow me to carry this child to term and have it and, in some ways more importantly, pray that he would give me a calm heart--a heart that trusts that whatever happens it is for his good purposes.  I really don't like that prayer.  I want things to go the way I want them to go.  How much of a toddler do I sound like?

Week 11: So I haven't felt as nauseated this week, but I have a stupid cold so I'm not sure if the nausea is really abating or if it's just taken a back seat to the cold discomfort, which includes a headache that won't end.  (Tylenol sucks!)  I hope it stays gone once I recover from this cold.  The fatigue of being pregnant wasn't enough I guess and now the cold is making me feel run down, too.  So all I want to do is sleep.  Pretty easy when you're chasing around a toddler that can now walk unassisted and likes to climb on everything, including me.  I am starting to wish I could go to bed at 7:30 like Elijah does.  Of course, he is sleeping so much better now that I think I'm probably getting spoiled since in June we're going to be back to waking up every two hours for the new little one.  I'll just try to pack in all the rest I can until then, I guess.  Night night.

Week 12: Nausea is back.  It was only masked by the cold.  Now I wish I had my cold back.

So we have reached the beginning of week 13.  Second trimester.  When 90% of women start to feel better.  How did my day start?  Well, first I threw up for the first time this pregnancy.  Then at church I nearly fainted and had to lie down on the floor in the big middle of the entrance to the sanctuary where everyone gets to see!  If I wasn't humble at church before, I was after that.  I guess there's no keeping my dignity when it comes to this pregnancy thing.  I fainted in church when I was pregnant with Elijah, too.  That time I wasn't out in the open for everyone to see, but I spilled the tea I was drinking and so all the people sitting near me got to watch my demise.  Lovely.  Oh well.  At least I go to church with wonderful, gracious people who were just concerned about my health and didn't make me feel any stupider than I already felt.

However, this just leads me to conclude that I am most likely not going to have a different experience with this pregnancy; I will just be nauseated all nine months like last time.  Hooray.  I just hope this isn't an omen that everything is going to go exactly the same as last time because I don't want another c-section and I don't want to have to spend an entire week in the hospital again because the baby loses too much weight.  Ugh!  Prayer, calm, Bonnie, God is in control.

Anywho, I have sonogram pictures but my scanner isn't working so I can't get them on here. Sorry.  Instead, here's a picture of my fat belly.  Yes, I really am only 3 months pregnant.  I just ate before I took this picture so some of it is food baby.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

So it turns out...

Elijah is capable of walking!  In fact, he started taking a few unassisted steps consistently about a week ago and now he can walk around the whole living and dining room by himself.  It was similar to when he started crawling.  He figured it out and then became a pro at it in like two seconds (really it was more like two days, but that's still ultra fast, in my opinion).  I'm glad because when we're out in public he's getting sick of being stuck in the stroller all the time.  So maybe now he'll get the hang of walking 90% of the time and not want to crawl on the dirty floor at the doctor's office so I can let him loose a little.  I suppose that's both a blessing and a curse.

For those of you that were wondering, First Steps did come out and do an evaluation on him.  I haven't heard back from them yet on the results but the speech therapist woman who was here was really nice and said she didn't think he was delayed, just kind of a mellow kid.  That was last week when he was taking a few steps.  She predicted that in a week or so he'd be walking all over the house and she was right apparently.  She didn't really make any predictions about his speech, so I have no idea when that will develop.  She did say, though, that things like speech take a back seat when they're learning motor skills (i.e. walking) so he might have an explosion of words once he masters walking.  I suppose we'll see.  Again, Bonnie needs to realize she isn't in control and leave it in God's hands since I can't take it from him anyway.

Elijah does seem to finally have mastered the word "Dada".  I wasn't entirely sure he knew who "Dada" was or if he was just saying "dadadadada" as a babbling word but last weekend Mike left the room and Elijah was standing there whining "Dada!" so I think he's got at least "Mama" and "Dada" down.  Now if we could just add to that list of words.  It's always something, isn't it.

So since this has no pictures this time (sorry!), I'm going to attempt to upload the video of Elijah walking that I took this afternoon.  No guarantees on whether or not it will work.  I've never uploaded a video to my blog before.  Here goes...

video

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spooning

Aside from saying "Ball... ball... ball..." constantly until Elijah looks at me like "Yeah, I get it, it's a ball, do we have to talk about it all day?" we have also been working on learning to use a spoon.  It is both fun and tear-inducing.


Usually around 3:00 after nap we have an afternoon snack, normally a yogurt.  So lately I've been letting him use his own spoon to feed himself the yogurt.  Sometimes I am foolish and forget to put a bib on him, like here.  Anyway, he likes to do it.  He gets that you stick the spoon in the yogurt and then put it in your mouth, but hasn't quite gotten which direction you're supposed to put the spoon in the yogurt.




As you can see, though he did put the correct end in the yogurt, he has it upside down.  I guess when you're not that great at scooping, it doesn't make much difference whether you put the spoon in upside down or not.



This is from another time when I was smarter and remembered to put his bib on.  The worst part is the end because once the yogurt gets low enough, I have to take over because he simply can't scrape the stuff off the bottom.  He doesn't like that, he wants to do it himself.  And when I take the spoons and empty yogurt container away, the waterworks begin.


But I guess that's how it goes when we're learning to use a spoon.  Also, I'm not sure if you were aware, but part of the process is painting Mommy's hand with yogurt.  It's a very integral part.




Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our Horrendous 15 month checkup

So Elijah isn't technically 15 months old until Sunday but his checkup was today.  And like each checkup before I knew they were going to ask questions assuming that my answer would be "yes", naturally, because all normal children with decent mothers answer "yes"... to which I have to answer "no".

"Is he walking?"
"Well, he takes one or two unassisted steps and walks around a lot with the assistance of his walker toy..."
"Does he have at least five words?"
"Um... no, he only really says 'mama' like he knows what it means..."
"He doesn't use a pacifier anymore, right?"
"Well... he uses one to sleep..."  (And that's not entirely true because we let him use it other times when he's having a really rough time like when he goes to the nursery at church.)
"You read to him daily?"
"Errrr.... for the most part...."
"Can he point to his body parts?"
"Um... sort of... sometimes..."

My concerns about his lack of language development are apparently not totally unfounded.  The doctor said he should have at least five words by now, and he doesn't.  It made me feel both vindicated--because I kept saying it wasn't normal for him not to say any words yet and people kept telling me I was worrying for nothing--and ashamed--because if he isn't talking and there's nothing wrong with him developmentally then I am apparently not doing what I need to do in order to teach him how to talk.  It makes me wonder if he has a hearing issue, but he seems to hear just fine.  Of course, I don't really know how to test for that so how would I know?  Or maybe he has a speech impediment.  But when he babbles he makes all sorts of vowel and consonant sounds including double consonants (i.e. "sh", "th", "sr").  It's more likely that I simply let him watch too much TV and am being a bad parent.

His doctor told me to call this developmental testing place called First Steps (http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/FirstSteps/) and have them come out and do an assessment.  She said it was really just a precautionary measure so that if there is a problem we can catch it early and she thinks he's probably just going to have an explosion of words over the next three months.  I know she was trying to reassure me and make me feel better, but it's my job to take care of him.  That is my sole and only purpose in life right now and apparently I'm failing at it.

After that he got four lovely shots.  And this time he cried before she even gave him the shots because we were holding him down (he doesn't like to stay in a lying down position), so it got way worse once he got the shots.  Two in each leg.  I started to cry too but kept it enough under control that I don't think the nurse noticed.  And then no matter how long I held him, he wouldn't get comforted.  He just kept crying.  So I had to wheel him out to the checkout window crying and then out to the car crying.  I sat with him in the car for a few minutes trying to play and cuddle and distract him so he'd stop crying.  But then of course when I put him in the carseat, the tears returned.  And so, desperate to calm him so that I could drive us home, I pulled out the pacifier--which of course he's no longer supposed to have according to his doctor.

Most of the drive back I cried.  I don't feel well right now and I'm exhausted and we aren't exactly doing well financially and now my baby isn't developing right.  I feel guilty already about our financial problems because I don't work outside the home.  And now the job I am supposed to be doing--caring for our son--I am doing poorly because he's miserable today and not developing correctly.  I was just crying and praying  "Lord, please help me to trust you in this.  I know I have no control and that your hand is upon all of this.  Please help me trust you to care for Elijah.  It doesn't matter if he never speaks.  It only matters if he loves Jesus.  Please help me to believe that and give this all to you.  Really, really give it to you and not take it back."

I was planning to go to walmart after the appointment but obviously that wasn't going to happen so we went home and as soon as we were out of the car and the pacifier was gone, Elijah started crying again.  I wanted to turn on the TV to distract him but decided I had been a terrible enough parent for one lifetime and instead picked him up and took him outside.  That calmed him down but every time I tried to come back inside, he'd start crying again.  But it was getting to be lunch time and not only did I need to make his lunch but I was starving as well.  So I had to leave him sitting on the floor crying while I made lunch since nothing I was doing was getting him to stop crying anyway and I was about to lose it and go upstairs and scream into a pillow.

He sort of calmed down while eating lunch but of course he whines for my food because for some reason my food is more interesting than his.  And I really don't mind sharing I just don't want to reward the whining.  But since he has no words, what the hell am I supposed to do?  I can't demand that he ask for a "bite" because he can't say "bite".

So now he's supposed to be napping but I've already heard fussing/crying start up twice so we'll see how well this nap goes.  And of course, if he won't nap and I can't get him to calm down any other way I'm going to have to resort to sitting on the couch with a Veggie Tales movie on so I don't totally lose it and so he doesn't end up hyperventilating.

Guess who will NOT be nominated for mother of the year?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

This weekend we visited the Johnson Farms Pumpkin Patch with the grandparents in tow.  And I'm a dork mom so I made my kid wear his pumpkin Halloween costume.  Yes, he will hate me when he's 16-19 but there's really no way to avoid that, right?  So I'm taking advantage of being able to embarrass him while I can.






The first thing we did was go see the piggies.  Here they are...





And here's Mike holding Elijah up so he can see them...




There was a pig race but it got so loud when it started that Elijah started crying, so we didn't get to see who won.  Next we went to the baby animal barn.  There were baby pigs and chicks.  I couldn't get a good picture of the baby piggies because it was too dark but here are the chicks.


And here's Mike and Elijah checking out the newborn baby piggies.



There was also this huge boar pig hanging around outside.  Hi giant pig!



He was interested in the chickens in the coop, too.



Next we ate lunch.



And then we got to ride the train.  Actually it was just a regular golf-cart-like car with a bunch of cars attached to it.  Mike tried to ride with Elijah but...



Apparently it's made for smaller bottoms and legs.  So I rode with him instead.



My mom and stepdad were there so they got to hang out with the Little Man, too, which was loads of fun.




We were going to take the hayride out to get a pumpkin but Elijah was totally worn out.  If you need proof, here is what he looked like on the ride home.



Happy Fall Everyone!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cardio Appointment

So we had Elijah's most recent appointment with the cardiologist to check out his heart.  For those who don't know, he was born with a few minor heart defects.  He had three tiny Ventricular Septal Defects (VSDs - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventricular_septal_defect) and one Atrial Septal Defect (ASD - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atrial_septal_defect).  They were first detected when one of the pediatricians checking on him in the hospital when he was first born heard a murmur.  Evidently, this murmur was caused by the VSDs, but it's the ASD that's more concerning, according to the cardiologist at Children's Mercy.  The three VSDs were tiny and apparently two of them have closed up.  But he's still saying that Elijah may have to have some kind of procedure done for the ASD when he's older.  It would be a catheter procedure most likely (so not surgery) and it would happen somewhere around the age of 5 if he has to have it done.  However, the defects are not growing as he grows.  In other words, though he's gotten bigger, the defects have remained the same size that they were when he was born so, relative to his current size, they are proportionally smaller.

We are supposed to go back in two years and, I believe, at that time he is going to determine whether it is necessary to do the catheter procedure to close up the ASD, even though the procedure wouldn't actually be done for another two years at least.

So blessings abound:
1. The doctor heard the VSD murmur.  Even though the VSDs aren't important, if he hadn't heard the murmur, we would never have discovered the ASD.
2. Two of the VSDs have disappeared and the third one, the doctor isn't concerned about at all.
3. The ASD is not getting bigger and we may not have to do anything to correct it.
4. Even if we do have to do something to correct it, he shouldn't have to have surgery.

Continued prayers are appreciated!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We're All Weaned & Purged

So Elijah and I have ended nursing.  It was a mutual decision for us both.  We were both ready to be done.  I admire women who continue to breastfeed on into their child's first and even second year.  If it works for your family, then by all means, keep it up.  I also don't think there's anything wrong with those who choose to end nursing early for whatever reason.  Whatever is in the best interests of your family is what should be done and not everything works best for every family.

In our family, we had reached the point where Elijah was only nursing before he went to sleep and then when he would wake up in the middle of the night.  It got to the point where it felt like I was forcing him to nurse before nap or bedtime when all he really wanted to do was lie down and go to sleep.  So he was ready to be done with that.  And I was more than ready to be done with waking up 2-3 times a night and sitting up for ten minutes at a time with my eyelids barely propped open while Elijah unnecessarily nursed before I put him back down.  It was disrupting all of our sleep, which isn't good for any of us.

So after a few times putting him down for nap and bed without nursing and having success, we also put an end to the night waking/feedings and simply went into give him cuddles and kisses if he woke up.  It was a bit of a struggle for a couple nights but we're all sleeping much more soundly now and I no longer have to be the one to put him to sleep every time he goes down.

Our last feeding was a bit anticlimactic because I didn't realize it was going to be the last one.  It was a night feeding and then the next night he slept through the night without waking up.  By that time I was starting to feel full and decided it was time to just endure the fullness and pain until the milk dried up so the next night when he woke up once we started the "no nursing--go back to sleep" plan.  (We're really good at coming up with clever names for our plans.)

Anyway, it took a little over a week for my milk to dry up and it was not pleasant.  But I think I'm finally back to normal chestal status so today Elijah went with me to buy new bras.  When I had him I got rid of all my regular bras because they were old and not really supportive anymore.  Then we bought be some good nursing bras and sports bras but now that's all I have--or at least that was all I had until this morning when I went and bought new ones.

I got two of the Body by Victoria bras and one of the biofit ones because it's strapless.  I had a coupon for $25 off a $100 purchase and also another coupon for a free pair of underwear that Mike should be pleased with.  It still cost $120 (ACK!!!) but they should last me a long time (I hope anyway).

Body by Victoria (got two of these)

BioFit (one of these for strapless purposes)

This was the free pair of underwear I got with the coupon.  Mike should like them.  Yes, it says "Bride", which I realize I am not, but hey, a free pair of underwear is a free pair of underwear.

In the spirit of embracing this new "Mom-body" I have, courtesy of my sweet Little Man, I also went through my closet and purged a lot of the stuff I can no longer wear.  It's mostly just because I don't like shirts that don't come down and cover my mom pooch belly.  Anyway, here's the pile of clothing I removed from my closet.


I also got rid of some of the shoes that I wore when I worked as an attorney but that I now have no occasion to wear.  It's too bad I have such microscopic feet or I could have given them to someone I know.  They're nice shoes, but no one else can wear my size.  Some tiny woman is going to have a very good day at goodwill sometime soon, that is, if I give it all to goodwill.  Right now it's just making a huge mess in my bedroom and since I hate clutter, it's kind of annoying me.  Part of me wants to just pile it in my car and drive it up to goodwill like right now but I also have a bunch of furniture that I'm planning to call Salvation Army or something like that to come pick up so I should probably just put the clothes out with that.  Maybe it will motivate me to get off my hump and get the stuff out for pick up.  It's just hard to do inventory of the furniture and make phonecalls and set furniture out when you have a one year old to take care of.

So, I know all of this is very interesting to everyone. NOT.  (That's right--just call me "Mom Early-90s Catch Phrase".)  No, seriously.  I know what you really want is to see a picture of Elijah, so here's a picture of him NOT nursing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Making Strides

So as most of you know, my 14 month old is still not walking on his own.  I'm trying not to get hung up on it but since I keep talking about it, clearly I am hung up on it.  Fortunately, it's not as if he's not moving forward at all (pun intended) or making any strides (pun also intended--I like puns in case you didn't know).  Right now he will walk holding someone's hands (usually Mommy's) or holding onto his push toy thing...



...or a piece of furniture (usually one of our little ottomans that have wheels on them).



Mike and I both have tried to get him to hold just one of our hands and walk.  He can do it but he gets scared and cries and reaches for your other hand.  Lately, though, he has been using his push toy a lot.  He seems to like it and can turn it and maneuver it easily.

The other day he actually did take two unassisted steps towards me.  However, that was all and there hasn't been a reoccurrence. I'm not really sure why since he clearly can do it, especially since he can slide and move his push toy so easily.  It's just like he's scared to try and do it without any assistance.  It makes me wonder how much I should help him and how much I'm simply holding him back by not forcing him to face his fears a little.  I thought he was going to be much older before I had to consider this question.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cider Mill & Red Bridge Festival

So we had lots of fun this Saturday.  We went to a Cider Mill that's far south on Holmes Road.  It's called Dunn's Cider Mill.  We went last year but Elijah was so little then that I don't really think he remembers it, plus, he was asleep most of the time we were there.  But they have apple cider and these delicious apple doughnuts with all this cinnamon and sugar on them.  I am not a big fan of doughnuts usually but these are freaking delish!  Also, they make this yummy chicken salad sandwich.

We went to the Cider Mill for lunch and Mike's mom came with us.  Elijah got a grilled cheese sandwich, but it was slow in coming so we let him have his doughnut first.



After lunch we went to take some fun pictures around the Cider Mill.





He played with the pumpkins but we didn't buy one because we're going to to go to an actual pumpkin patch in a few weeks and we'll get a pumpkin then.  Anyway, Mike's mom was with us so she took some pictures of us as a family (try to ignore the kid in the background).


Cider Mill is fun every year.


After that we went home so Little Man could take a nap.  We live in an area of Kansas City called Red Bridge and there's a shopping center within walking distance.  Elijah and I go up there during the week often to go to the library or to Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop (no relation to Dunn's Cider Mill, as far as I know).  And they were having a festival thing today.  When Elijah got up from his nap we walked up to it.  It was mostly just tables set up from the different businesses at the shopping center.  There were also a couple of moonwalks but Elijah was too young to get on those.  But he did get to check out the police helicopter and the fire truck.




That's all.  Pretty fun Saturday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Orlando Trip Part 2

So Magic Kingdom was Tuesday.  Wednesday my aunt and uncle were otherwise obligated so I thought Elijah and I would go swimming in the hotel pool in the morning and then take the shuttle from the hotel to Downtown Disney, which is basically just a bunch of shopping, so there's no admission fee.  Both things got kind of kinked up.  First of all, the hotel shuttle to Downtown Disney only runs after 6 p.m.  So instead we decided that Mike would take us on his lunch break in the rental car and then pick us up at his afternoon break.  (I could not drive the rental car since it was for the government employees only.)

First, though, we went to breakfast at the hotel buffet.  Basically you go in and order the buffet and they say "Okay, that will be your right arm."  It costs $15, which in my opinion is just an insane amount for a breakfast buffet.  Kiddos eat free, fortunately, so I loaded Elijah up.  I would have loaded myself up, too, but I can only eat so much before I start feeling sick and worrying about my thunder thighs, but he can eat as much as he wants since his fat is cute.

After breakfast we headed out to the pool.  Mike's mom had bought for us a little innertube-type baby floaty thing (was that description clear enough?).  It had an inner blow up/float thing and an outer one.  (This really will make more sense when you see the pictures.)  But you apparently have to have turbo lips to blow the stupid thing up because I was blowing into it so hard I was about to pop a blood vessel in my eye and it still wasn't inflating well.  Plus, I was by a pool with a one year old who doesn't like to sit still.  So it was not going well.  Also, we brought his yellow sippy cup which still had milk leftover from breakfast in it and he managed to smack it hard enough on the concrete that it broke and started spilling milk out.  That was the first cup he learned to drink out of.  *sniff, sniff*  I was going to have it bronzed!  (Yeah, that sounds like me.)  So it had to go in the trash.  Fortunately, I did bring 2 sippy cups so we weren't totally screwed there.  And I did finally at least get the inner inflatable part of his floaty blown up.  But then when we tried to get in it, he was fighting me putting his feet through the holes and I was freaking out because we were in the water and he's all slippery.  So, yeah, it wasn't going well.

I did finally get him in the floaty but by that time he was crying and not happy to be in the water with me.  So I figured we'd give it a few minutes and try to get him to cheer up but if it didn't work, I was going to give up and just take him back to the room.  However, he did finally cheer up a bit.  Here are pictures from our trip to the hotel pool.




Both blue sections are supposed to inflate but I only had enough breath to inflate the inner one.  It says not to use an air compressor on it, but that's eventually what we used when we went to my Uncle Ron's house on Thursday and swam in their pool because I don't see how else you're supposed to get it all inflated.

Anyway, after that Elijah took a nap and when Mike was ready for his lunch break, he took us to Downtown Disney.  While we were waiting for Mike to come get us, I got the picture of Elijah with Mickey ears that I'd promised Mike's mom.  The Mickey ears cost $15, which I really think is too much for a pair of plastic mouse ears, but oh well.


And they're off... he hates things on his head.

So went to Downtown Disney.  We ate lunch with Daddy and I rented another $15 stroller--this one I actually had to put $100 deposit down for because it's an open shopping area and you can just take the strollers if you were so inclined, I guess.  I don't know why you'd want to.  I'm sure you could get a better stroller than that for $15 on craigslist, but whatever.  You get your $100 back when you return it and I had to have it since I wasn't going to walk around carrying Elijah the whole time.

After lunch we went around looking at the shops.  We were going to go to this Harley Davidson shop and see if there was a Christmas present in there for Papa but that store was closed because they're doing some kind of construction.  So we didn't get to go there.  However, we did go to the lego store.


These statutes are made entirely out of legos.  Neat, eh?




I think Elijah had the most fun at the lego store playing with the legos outside.  I'm sure most people are cringing that he put the legos in his mouth considering that God only knows how many other filthy hands have touched these legos, but oh well.  He was having fun.  So much that he even let me put the Mickey ears on him for a little while.  (By the way, he did not build that huge tower, it was already there.  He did, however, knock it over before we left.)

We checked out some more fun sights like the dinosaur bones outside the T-Rex Cafe and the boat and hot air balloon you could see across the water.



We stopped at Ghirardelli and shared a chocolate milkshake.  (We were on vacation, okay.  He normally eats a lot better than this.  Don't judge me!)




We walked around to a bunch of other shops and considered buying Grandma Sandie (Mike's mom) a Mickey ornament for Christmas but I just couldn't bring myself to pay $15 for a little glass Mickey ornament.  (I seem to have a real problem with things costing $15, don't I?)

Mike got us around 3:00 and I went back to get our $100 back from the stroller robbers.  Then we went back and I tried to get Elijah to take an afternoon nap but instead he decided to babble to himself in his crib for two and a half hours.  So no nap, just an annoyed Mommy.  We went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and then back to the hotel for bed.

Thursday my uncle was supposed to come and get us after Elijah's morning nap so we could go hang out at his house for the day.  So we just hung around the hotel room until Elijah got sleepy and then Uncle Ron came to get us about 11:15.  Now, I forgot to mention that my aunt and uncle have a house that is situated right next to a lake.  Also, they have a screened in back porch with a pool.  Have a looksie...



These were taken after it started clouding up.  Later it started raining but when we first got there it was sunny and nice so we got to swim.  Uncle Ron had an air compressor so we actually got Elijah's floaty thing blown up all the way.  Here are some pictures of him and Uncle Ron having fun in the pool.  Elijah had a lot more fun in the pool this time.




My Aunt Patrice had some little windup toys that moved their arms and swam in the water.  Elijah is holding the turtle one in that last picture.

We had fun swimming but then it started getting cloudy and eventually started raining so we had to go in.  They have a very nice house, but, as a result, it's not very kid-friendly so there were a lot of places little guys could really mess stuff up.  Fortunately, we managed to keep it all under control.  And eventually Elijah was getting super tired so we made a palate for him on the floor of their den.  I lay down with him without high hopes or expectations that he would fall asleep, but to my surprise and delight, he did fall asleep.


During his little nap, my cousin Janika came home.  Janika is not Uncle Ron and Aunt Patrice's daughter; they don't have any kids.  She is actually the younger daughter of my Uncle John--my dad's and Ron's brother--who lives in Germany.  So Janika is from Germany.  She is in med school in Germany and it's apparently a six-year program that they do straight out of high school.  They are required to do two observations of doctors in their practices for a month (I believe).  So Aunt Patrice found a cardiologist in Winter Haven who agreed to let Janika come observe him.  So she is staying with them during this observation.  And, like I said, she lives in Germany.  So I haven't seen her in about fifteen years.  Here we are during dinner.

Aren't we cute?  She's 22 and I'm... ahem... NOT 22...

Anyway, so we got to talk some and she met Elijah when he woke up after sleeping for only about 45 minutes.  Mike joined us after he got done with his last conference session of the day.  We had grilled chicken caesar salad and this marble cake with chocolate icing for dinner.  It was delicious.  My aunt is a fabulous cook.

Elijah got to eat some of Daddy's cake.  Here he is with cake mouth.




All in all we had a really good time that evening.  Here's a picture of Uncle Ron, Janika, Elijah and me.

 

We didn't get back to the hotel until about 9 p.m.  Elijah had fallen asleep in the car and we had to wake him up and get him out and then give him his bath and put him back to bed.  Then I had to work on packing while Mike refilled the car with gas and did some other preparing to leave things.

The next morning we had to get up at like 6 in order to leave by 7.  We were hoping Elijah would sleep later, but alas, he got up at 6:30.  But we got to the airport and I went through security with Elijah by myself.  This time he was a bit better on the plane, but no flight with a one year old is ever easy.  It was partially because there was an empty seat between us and the woman sitting next to us, partially because I let him have his pacifier the whole time, and partially because he was sleepy.  He fell asleep on me for about 30-45 minutes during the flight.  I was glad he slept but your arms start to really hurt holding a 25 pound sleeping kid after awhile.

Anyway, we got back to Kansas City at about 11 and went and ate lunch and sat around to wait for Mike.  His flight didn't get in until 1:40 so we had some time to kill.  The restaurant we ate at did not have the greatest service so after we ate, we left and found a Starbucks to hang out at for awhile.  There we watched a few Veggie Tales DVDs while I tried not to pass out at the table.  It is not fun hanging out in the airport for three hours with nothing to do, but it's even less fun with a cranky kid who hasn't had a real nap all day.

Finally, Mike arrived but he was at terminal C.  He needed to go get the car from economy parking but I had the keys.  (We didn't fully think that one through.)  So he came over to terminal B and stayed with Elijah while I took the red bus back to terminal C and then the blue bus to economy parking.  And since Mike had parked the car, I had to search for it.  I was walking around pressing the red button that makes the car alarm honk so you can find the car but was having no success and wondering if Mike wrote the location down wrong.  I was about to throw my hands up and start crying when I prayed "Please, God, just give me a little break here."  A moment later I found the car.

I drove back to the terminal to pick up Mike and Elijah.  Mike had to install the carseat next to the terminal where I'd pulled up and even though there weren't any cars waiting to pull up or any people waiting to be picked up, this traffic control guy pulled up behind us.  He didn't get out of his truck or say anything, which was fortunate for him or else I might have gone medieval on his heiney.  My day had been way too exhausting to deal with that properly.

Finally, we did get everything together and get out of there without a bad encounter with the traffic guy.  And we all made it home exhausted but otherwise okay.  So I will now leave you with a picture of Elijah reading his books and playing with my keys (the ones Mike should have had) in the terminal.