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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Any guesses as to who got Eliana her Halloween costume???

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Fun

My favorite part of fall is coming soon!  I LOVE when the leaves change colors, especially when they turn red!!!
Eliana watched this butterfly flutter by.  She's been having me read Flutter Fly! a lot lately.  Thanks GramE for the book!!!

Some weeds just look cool to me.  I wouldn't want to rub up against it, but Eliana and I inspected this one for a little while.

 I have know idea why this fungus turned yellow and orange, but isn't it pretty!  It gives me hope that soon more leaves will be turning colors.
It is hard to tell it is late October when we still dress like this.  I don't really mind though since it is currently in the 70s.  That is nice outdoor weather!!!

Yikes!  I'm grateful for zoom!  This spider is bigger than a half dollar.  I spotted him on the way to get the mail a few days ago.  I double checked today, and he is still there!  Eliana's favorite part of walking to get the mail is checking a few windows for cats.  She knows which ones to wait by and call out, "Cat, cat, cat!"

Remember all of that noise I was mentioning a few posts ago?  I wasn't kidding!  This is Eliana before dinner. She is rather loud from about 4:30 to dinner near 5.  She hasn't matured in any form of quietly, patiently waiting for food.  

I tried a new homemade pizza crust recipe.  I liked it better than the boxed one I used a few weeks back.  Most kids wouldn't refuse to eat pizza, but Eliana wasn't thrilled.  Thankfully, Kyle told me that he loved it!  That helped since we'd endured quite the scream fest from Eliana during dinner.  I have to remind myself that this is a phase.  I've been getting pretty creative this week about helping Eliana to eat.  I put strawberries in her oatmeal, and that worked out pretty well.  She wanted some of my sandwich rather than finishing her food (including peas), so I put a pea in my sandwich and gave her that bite.  I wouldn't like peas in my sandwich, but it worked time and time again for her.  Tonight we had a yummy black bean and sausage soup.  Eliana wasn't interested until I cut up bananas and put it on top of hers.  Then amazingly both banana and beans went into her belly.  Eliana just had the soup ingredients minus the broth.  She hasn't mastered how to use a spoon. Would I like bananas in my soup?  No way, but it is working to get Eliana to eat.  

Eliana loves to play outside.  We got some good outside time in yesterday.  I brought her ball with me.  I stood on a little hill and let the ball roll down the hill to her.  She thought that was fabulous.  She'd then go get the ball and bring it part way up the hill to me.  Eventually, she got brave and climbed up the hill.  The first time was okay because she took tiny steps to get back down.  The second time wasn't so good because she tried to take regular steps which made her go fast and scared her.  So, she stopped, cried, and tried to get to me.  I'm so thankful that she is learning so many new things.  I'm so grateful that a ball rolling down a hill brings her such pleasure.

Eliana knows where her nose, head, ears, and belly are.  She's also figured out where her toes and mouth are, but that isn't part of the video.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eliana is 16 Months Old!!!

First and foremost, I want to share that Eliana's lunch time with me was delightful!  Awe, what a difference compared to last night's dinner!!!  She gladly ate her apple slices, bread, and lunch meat.  She willingly drank her milk.  She then went down for her nap without a problem. 

We've been busy this month, so let me catch you up on Eliana's 15th month.
Eliana loves spotting cats!  She thinks they are hilarious!

 One of the blessings of living in an apartment is that when the refrigerator breaks, someone else pays to get it replaced.  We needed a container quickly to move the food into while the new one was being plugged in.  Kyle dumped Eliana's book box so that we could use the tub.  She didn't mind a bit and planted herself among her treasures.  I realized yesterday that Eliana knows how to hold books right side up.  There was a season where she just chewed on them.  Then she'd look at the pictures, but it didn't matter if they were upside down.  Now for the most part, if she opens a book upside down, she'll fix it!  I'm amazed at what my wee one knows how to do.  We spend a lot of time reading together.  It is really one of the few times she sits still any more.  She loves to be read to, and I LOVE that about her.  She has her favorite books.  There are a couple that I don't even have to read the words anymore, but simply looking at the pictures lets me know what I need to say.
Eliana loves to do as we do, so putting on her dad's splint made perfect sense to her.  Kyle and Eliana wore beanies for one of the few cool days in October.  It is pleasantly in the 70s this week.  

Thanks Katherine for the jean jacket!

I love this picture.  It encompasses so much of Eliana's personality.  One, she is off exploring about on her own.  Two, I'm close behind making sure she is okay.  Three, she doesn't always walk with her hands up, but it cracks me up when she does!  Four, it reminds me of the Peanuts Gang.

Eliana loves to go down the slide.  She also enjoys trying to climb up the slide too!

Faith, Zoe, Eliana, and I enjoyed going to the zoo together!  They were looking at the elephant exhibit in the above pictures.

 Check out the camel's eye lashes!  Awe, and a flamingo for GramE!

 I wish I could say that Eliana was delightful for our pumpkin patch excursion, but that would be a lie.  She cried most of the 40 minute drive there.  Eliana was difficult with Kyle during part of the story time.  She cried for most of the time I carried her through Timothy the rabbit's neighborhood.  She screamed like her life depended on it for most of the 40 minutes we drove home.  On the flip side, she learned to draw in the dirt with a stick, and she has been practicing since then when we go on walks.  I'll be making pumpkin something soon with the pumpkin we got.  Also, our friend captured some of the few happy moments Eliana had on his camera.  You can compare how big she has gotten by looking at the post from last time we were at the Hillcrest Pumpkin Patch.  I remember that she cried the way there last time too.  I think the difference was that she was okay while there for the most part.
Don't you just love the bows on her socks?  Eliana loves to walk, explore, and discover new things.

She loved to show me the pine cone leftovers from a squirrel she found.  Pine cones are some of her favorite things to find as we walk.  

Eliana is learning where things go.  We can tell her to put her shoes away, and she will take them and put them in her desk drawer with her other shoes.  She can do it all by herself without us having to follow and make sure.  She figured out that leaves are connected to trees.  So notice the yellow leaf?  In her mind, it isn't where it is supposed to go.

 So she took it to a near by bush to put it back!  HA!  I love our little girl!!!

Below are pictures from last October.  

 She has grown so much in a year.  My how time flies.  Last year at this time she woke up multiple times in the night to be fed.  She loved to be rocked to sleep.  She didn't know how to roll, crawl, or walk.  She was so little.  She took multiple naps.  She didn't have teeth yet, nor had she had anything other than mommy milk.  Each phase has it's blessings, and I'm trying to focus on them before the change.  And when things are rough, I remember that they too are a phase.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Torture aka Dinner Time

This isn't what we had for dinner tonight, but this is what we had last Wednesday night.  The story I'm going to share though is from tonight.  I thought I'd find a picture of Eliana's dinner from last week just to get your senses moving in the right direction.  Eliana had beans, super tasty pork chops that Kyle made, carrots, peas, olives, and won ton noodles.  The olives, beans, and won ton noodles were from our salad toppings.  Eliana hasn't figured out yet that salads are good.  It took Kyle 25 years to figure that out.

I thought that Eliana getting her new tooth was the cause of the her eating habits being so picky.  I'd read months ago to have your little one eat lots of different types of foods between 12 and 18 months, because after that she can become quite picky.  Well, I think Eliana is simply being picky to put it kindly.

Kyle wasn't feeling well.  How he slept through the noise of dinner is beyond me.  I tried a new recipe for a meatball soup with homemade meatballs, garbanzo beans, bow tie noodles, stewed tomatoes, and spinach.  I have some Texas toast for French toast later some time in the next two weeks, but I splurged early.  Here is where the dilemma began.  Eliana was already up in her chair.  She'd been "starving", or so I'm sure she would have said if she had those words.  She'd been signing that she was hungry, but when I offered water while the soup cooked, she pushed it away.  The house smelled good, and I was excited to try something new.  The food was on the table, and I went back to get the butter for toast.  In the mean time, Eliana grabbed her whole slice and began trying to eat the giant slice of bread.  So, when I went to trade her the bread for her soup (the ingredients minus the hot broth), she clearly was upset.  I gave her a little piece of the toast, put it out of sight and proceeded to encourage her to eat.  She ate a little, seemed to like it, and then she refused to eat.  The noise, volume, tears, and anger that continued for quite some time would have made you think she was already two.  After a while, I had her get down.  She went straight for the fridge and signed eat.  I told her that her food was on the table.  The noise, volume, tears, and anger that continued were out of frustration as she was trying to get me to understand that the "good" food was within grasp within the fridge.  Sigh.  I held my ground since this display of disliking the food set before her in hopes of getting bread or something else has been around for more days than I have wanted.  She climbed up my chair and sat in my lap.  I offered her my soup. Nope.  That was not what she wanted.  I was frustrated.  She was beyond frustrated.  But, I held my ground.  There was food for her, and she had tried some of it and enjoyed some of it before all of the noise.  So, after I was done, I started clearing the table.  I left her food there for her to eat when she got hungry enough.  She read books while I did the dishes.  All that was left was her plate and cup.  Although I wasn't sure what was to come of our evening, I went to put her plate in the fridge for when she decided she was hungry.  She saw me and came over, ready (praise the LORD on high) to eat.  I let her pick what she'd like.  I was stunned to see the first thing to go in was the spinach since she had previously picked it off her plate and put it on the table aka I'm not eating that.  I sat on the floor exhausted from the display of her tantrum and leaned against the fridge.  Eliana came and sat in my lap, and to my great relief she continued to eat.  I told her about how I love her, and I want her to grow strong.  I told her that she needs to eat veggies and a variety of food to be healthy.  She listened, and got a book for me to read for her.  So there we sat reading, pausing for me to pass her more food, and enjoying each other's company.

I sadly know this won't be the last torture meal, but at least now I know more clearly where the battle lines are drawn.  I know there are parents who give into this battle, but I'll hold my ground in hope that one day we can share a quiet healthy meal together as a family.  I'm not sure how all of this will work out in public, but I'll cross that road when we get there.

Through the screaming, the following verse came to mind.
"Train up a child in the way he should go,
      And when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Yes, this was about eating healthy, but more importantly it was about obeying.  Did I want to hear Eliana scream like she was losing an appendage, no.  But, she does need to continue to learn to obey.  Just in case you're wondering about that bread that went out of sight.  After she had eaten quite a bit, she got some of the bread.  A little more soup, and then a little more bread.  

On a happier note, I made these apple scones yesterday.  They were a hit at our small group!  Thanks Kari for the recipe!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Things I Learned Making my First Roast Chicken

In an effort to save money, I bought a whole chicken to cook and then I'll use the left overs for a couple of chicken dishes.

Things I learned:
*I need to give the chicken more time to thaw to avoid needing to cook it an extra hour and a half.
*It is a wonderful thing to have a friend like Michele to answer some of my defrost chicken questions yesterday morning.
*Taking the giblets out is challenging if you have never done it before, and you're not quite sure where they are or how to get them out.
*Finding a video of someone taking out the giblets took longer than I expected.
*I should have found those videos the day prior, because the extra info I gathered would have helped in the defrosting dilemma.
*Prepping a whole chicken isn't nearly as challenging as I thought.  Butter and herbs under the skin and 1/2 onion cut up for the inside worked out quite well.
*I should always move the oven rack to a lower setting.  Although, even if I had lowered it, I still would have had the following problem.  I don't know if this happens to all pans, but I was using my favorite Pampered Chef Bar Pan.  It got so hot that the oils were popping up and hitting the top heating element.  This then caused smoke.  So, once I realized the problem, I moved the rack lower.  However, the oil was popping up so high that I still had a problem.  Well, I don't know if you have taken into consideration Eliana in the mix, but I figured out what to do with her.  Praise the Lord for the exersaucer.  She doesn't like it, but she gets to sit in it and read while I shower.  So, she got to read and take breaks to watch her mom turn on fans, open windows, pray that the smoke detector wouldn't go on, oh and scream initially for not being able to "help" in the kitchen.  I put foil over the chicken, and that took care of the popping oil.
*It is a good think Eliana didn't mind eating a sandwich while Kyle and I waited for the chicken to cook.
*The chicken was well worth the wait!
*Mashed potatoes keep their heat a long time.  The steamed veggies held up well too with the extra long steaming.
*Having Kyle go back for seconds and thirds delighted my heart.
*Kyle carving out the rest of the chicken for later said, "I love my wife!"
*Cleaning the Pampered Chef Pan took about 2 minutes.  Awe, I sure do love that pan.
*I used 1/2 of the left overs today in a chili verde chicken dish that was delicious!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October Photo

It was cool for a few days in October.  The rest of the time has been in the high 80-90s.  That means we are still enjoying walking without sweaters yet!

I have tons of stories and pictures to share, but not the time to share them yet.  I hope to update some more soon, but we'll just see.

Before I forget though, here are a few things Eliana is up to:
*climbing into her chair at the dinner table.
*signing dog, more, eat, milk, thank you, please, shoes, bread, hot, and we're working on banana, cat, car, fish, bear, doll, and a few others.
*LOVES to be outside, and is rather upset when we bring her back inside.
*has decided she hates her car seat (which made the 40 minute trip to a special pumpkin patch rather stressful).
*has her fourth molar coming through (thus she isn't eating too well).
*is learning to run (which is hysterical.... I can say that now since she hasn't run away from us in public... yet).
*loves when Rachel, Ruli, and Brice come over to play.
*loves talking to GramE on Skype.
*enjoys "reading" books and having us read them to her.
*has been calmed down from more than one tantrum while trying to have a diaper change by singing (some rather silly songs since I make them up as I go to get her to relax).
*loved the girls day out at the zoo with Faith and Zoe.
*can put things in the dirty clothes all by herself.
*sometimes would rather walk by herself than holding onto my hand or Kyle's.
*loved spinach quiche yesterday for lunch (which was a total shock since she hasn't been eating well while getting this molar and in general tries to hand me all green foods).
*still doesn't like tomatoes or bell pepper (takes after Kyle).
*loves olives, raisins, fruit, noodles, cheese, and chili verde enchiladas.
*doesn't like to be in grocery cart seat for more than about 10 minutes at a time (BIG sigh), but she does enjoy walking with Kyle to go get an item at a time while I fill the cart as quickly as possible.
*still makes strangers laugh, smile, and glow while we are out and about.
*knows where her belly, head, feet, nose, and ears are (which means she also found that there are finger sized holes in her nose... :) ).