Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mister Independent - Eli at 22 Months

Yesterday, you, grandma and I ventured over snow covered roads to a magical place called Ann Arbor.  Now, I took my chances with this trip because I knew you would be foregoing your daily nap.  A risky wager, my friend.  Usually when you don't get your nap...well, people die...they just stop living.  But I like to live on the edge, so away we went. 

Usually when we shop, you're fine for the first 20 minutes or so.  About 20 minutes in, though,  you have some sort of epileptic fit for which the only cure is going home or a box of cookies (which I never give you...I mean who would do that...cough, cough...stop looking at me like that).  And that's just grocery shopping.  When we go to the mall, it's like I'm taking you to get a lobotomy.  You.hate.it.  So, I was a little wary to take you out on the coldest day of man's existence, during lunch time, knowing you would miss your nap and you would be in a mall.  However, this time I had my mom to run interference, I packed enough snacks to keep your sugar levels at satisfactory levels, I brought your cars (a necessary item any time we leave the house now), along with a partridge in a pear tree.

My dear Elijah, you were an angel.  There were a couple times here and there where we would go in a direction you didn't want to go, and you simply just lay down to show your protest.  You didn't throw yourself down or pound your fists and kick when you lay down.  You didn't even scream.  You would just lie down and say very matter-of-factly, "no".  It seemed as if you were taking a little rest on the I-don't-even-want-to-think-how-disgusting floor of Briarwood.  And it was pretty easy to lure you away from your awake nap.  It usually just took showing you your me-me (pacifier in Eli) or one of your trucks. 

It.was.awesome.  Thank you.

As with any other month, you never cease to surprise and shatter my expectations.  Month 22 has been one in which your verbal skills have taken off.  You communicate so much more clearly, you mimic lines from Toy Story (the only thing you want to watch except for an occasional Thomas video), you ask to go see people (like daddy's friend Jacob or your friend Ben or Gaga and Gampa).  And it all seemed to happen overnight. 

You've got a little something on your face there.
(juice break with your bestie, Ben)
You definitely like things done a certain way, too.  You have to have every stuffed animal you own in your crib with you while you sleep.  It's quite the stuffed menagerie.  Elmo must accompany you whenever we leave the house.  You line up your cars a certain way, and if I try to mess with the system you shoot fire from your eyes.  Your grandpa watched you this past Saturday morning.  And as your typical procedure requires, he made you your oatmeal and gave it to you complete with your standard five spoons.  A little after he gave it to you, he thought it still might be a little too warm, so he added some milk.  And then all the puppies in the world died.  You were shocked. Dismayed. How could he have done that?!  What's next?  Grape jelly instead of your standard strawberry? Disgusted at this departure from normalcy, you refused to eat any more of the obviously ruined oatmeal.

It's so interesting to see you exerting your independence in such a way.  There is a way you like things done and it doesn't always go along with how your father and I do things (sometimes this is more exasperating than endearing).  I love that you feel secure enough to be independent.  You still cling to my leg (which I secretly love) in unfamiliar situations or when animals attack, but usually you like to leave my side to explore and figure things out for yourself.  I hope you always have this security.  I hope you know that no matter how far away you go, your father and I will always be here when you come back. (Side note: I mostly mean this figuratively.  You're really not allowed to leave my sight when we're out in public.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Falling Behind in the Radvent

 So I meant to do this yesterday, but then...I didn't.  I, like my friend Rachel, l-o-v-e creating play lists.  Even more, I like relating things to my life.  Combine the two, and we have narcissistic bliss.  So, I'm going to go month by month.

Radvent Day 4: Rocking Out

Write down the soundtrack of your year so far. Play it for someone who loves you.

January:  "I Still Care for You" - Ray LaMontagne
If "they" ever wrote a love story about me and Ben and then adapted the story for screen, this is the song that would play when they did a montage of our sweetest moments. 

February: "In a Tree" - Priscilla Ahn
I chose this song for a photo montage of Eli's first year.  I love that it has a playful innocence to it.  It was the perfect fit for a collection of pictures detailing the first year of one of the most playful people I know.

March: "Us" - Regina Spektor
I don't think I listened to any other song on my Ipod for days after buying this song.  I couldn't believe that I didn't already know about it prior to 2010.  It's such a whimsical song.  I love her.

April: Three-Way Tie
 "I Already Know" - Mandy Mapes
Thank you, Rachel Parton for suggesting this song.  April was a tough month, and this song was a comfortable reminder of God's unrelenting grace and protection. 

"Your Hands" - JJ Heller
Another great one during Awful April (the official name of April 2010).  Favorite lyrics, "When my world is shaking, Heaven stands.  When my heart is breaking, I never leave Your hands."
"...And As the Ship Went Down" - Woodpigeon
This song is orchestral perfection.  I love the vocals, I love the instrumentation, I love everything about it.  It was on repeat a lot. And I actually think I did something to the speakers in my car b/c I blasted this (when Eli wasn't in the car, of course...cough...cough).

May: (don't laugh) "Sweet Dreams" -Beyonce
I started running outside in May, because that's when it was warm enough for me to run outside without getting that blood taste in the back of my throat thanks to frigid temps.  What?  That doesn't happen to you?  Me neither.  Aaaanyway.  This song was my first song during my runs.  EVERY.TIME. It's actually not a really good running song, but it got me on the road.

June: "Rebellion (Lies)" - Arcade Fire
This was another running song which became an Eli/Mama dance party song.  Fun song.  My hope is to see Arcade Fire in concert before I get so old that people think I'm there to drop off my teenage kid.

July: "Curs in the Weeds" - Horse Feathers
Great lazy summer day song.  If I had a front porch and lived in Montana during the summer, this song would constantly play.  I don't, though, so it played in my Element on repeat.

August: "Don't Rain on my Parade" - Barbara Streisand
I went through a Babs revival in August.  I simply adore her and wish we could be friends.  But she's pretty liberal and we'd probably get in arguments.  If I ever win a karaoke contest, it will be to this song. 

September: "Beg, Steal or Borrow" - Ray LaMontagne
This is off his latest c.d.  It definitely has a country twang to it, but I am still in love with it, as September can atest.

October: "Go Do" - Jonsi
Musical nirvana.  That's it.  I love this whole album and "Tornado" was a very close second.  Go buy this c.d. right now (unless you don't want to...it's cool).

November: "Dog Days are Over" - Florence + The Machine
This is a good dance party song.  You can't help but smile when you listen to it...which is great during stressful holiday times...like when a woman yells at you on Black Friday at Target...just as a random example.

December: "O Holy Night" - Sufjan Stevens
One of my favorite Christmas songs sung by one of my favorite artists -- it's beautiful.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Once Again, Stealing from Rachel

I found this on Rachel's blog, who I think got it from someone else's blog.  Anyway, I love the idea of (r)advent blog posts.  So, I'll give this one a try.

Radvent Day 4: Forgiveness

Practice forgiving about small, everyday things. Who and what are you ready to let go of resentment toward?

I have actually written four apology letters to people I once knew.  I have yet to send them out, because I haven't built up the courage.  I know that these people deserve my apologies.  And honestly, I'm not really expecting forgiveness, but I want them to know that I am aware I treated them poorly and am deeply sorry.  I'll send them someday.  In this same vein, I feel that I need to forgive myself of so many things.

Additionally, there are far more people who deserve an apology from me than there are people who need my forgiveness...FAR MORE! 

That being said, this post requires that I forgive.  So, I'm not going to be completely forthcoming, because this is the Internet and you don't need to be all up in my bi'ness, Internet (she writes fully aware of the irony that she has a blog).  Some of these are serious, and some of them...not so much. 
  • I forgive the sister of my childhood babysitter who I would overhear talking about how annoying I was.
  • I forgive myself for periodic lapses in judgment in my life.
  • I forgive that girl in middle school who said I looked like a small dog.
  • I forgive that guy in high school who incessantly made fun of me because of my stupid haircut.
  • I forgive the writers of Friends who let me down in Season 10.
  • I forgive my high school history teacher for showing North and South instead of teaching us history.
  • I forgive Netflix for suggesting Confessions of a Shopaholic to me.
  • I forgive Ann Curry for being so annoying to watch.
  • I forgive the unfriendly people in my church youth group.
  • I forgive the principal who told me I had a job at his school and then didn't give me a second interview (I also forgive myself for blowing the first interview).
  • I forgive that girl in college who made me feel horrible for something I didn't do. 
  • I forgive those people who can't seem to get my name right.
  • I forgive the professor who gave me my first F on a test.  
  • I forgive the three cavities in my mouth that have made it impossible for me to enjoy Grape Nuts.
  • I forgive the student who made me question why I wanted to be a teacher.
  • I forgive that student who told me I looked old and had a lot of wrinkles.

This next one is the hardest and the one I've wrestled with the most.
  • I forgive the woman who took my grandmother away from me. 

Sorry to lay that heavy one on you last.  So to break the tension...here's an added one:
  • I forgive NBC for Passions

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Formal-Wear Pajamas

Yesterday morning I walked into Eli's room and found that he had modified his pajamas.  His fashion line should be hitting stores this spring. 

(In case you were wondering, the pajama shirt comes equipped with two sleeves. 
He went to bed with both sleeves on.)