Thursday, August 20, 2009

He's a Hope!

Elliott is definitely belongs in the Hope family!

I made him a plate of french fries and started munching some fries from the cookie sheet. He kept whining and fussing and I thought he wanted the fries off the cookies sheet which were still too hot for him. I kept trying to convince him that the fries on his plate were the same but he would just not let up. Finally I figured out he wanted the ketchup! This was his first experience with ketchup and he LOVED it (as with many other Hopes).

Of course, he didn't actually eat many fries. He mostly just sucked the ketchup off of them. At the end, he gave up on the fries all together and just started eating ketchup. That's my boy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Photo Highlights From Our Trip to Arizona

Our friends, Jay and Cathy, kindly hosted us in Phoenix, Arizona (actually, Gilbert or Mesa). They have three girls, Brittany, Lily and Brianna who loved to entertain Elliott! We had a wonderful, relaxing visit.

Brittany (10) is taking Jason for a spin on the jet ski. She actually frightened him at first because she took off so quickly!

Elliott is hanging out with Brianna (5) and Lily (6). He loved playing with them!

Elliott warmed up to their dog, Coco. By the last day of our visit, Elliott was giving the dog kisses and snuggling with him. And he also discovered the dog's water bowls and played in them every chance he got!

Brave Elliott is floating in the lake.

Our trip wouldn't be complete without an adventure. We got a flat tire while at the lake. We were at a man-made lake in the middle of a very desert-like area quite a ways from the city and towing two jet skis and carrying 8 people in the van on a doughnut spare. We said a little prayer, Jay (Cathy's husband) drove carefully and we made it safely back to Mesa.

Elliott really hit it off with Brittany. He followed her everywhere and was fascinated by the ceiling fan in her room (and less interested in the several other fans throughout the house). Several times a day, he walked into her room and pointed at the fan with new enthusiasm and said something like 'see!' He never got tired of this, although we did!

He loved 'driving' the car in this video game. We didn't even put quarters in but he didn't know the difference. I wonder how long we can get away with that.

He got up early in the mornings before the girls (and couldn't wait to wake them up!). So we took him outside in the toasty 80 degree weather at 7:00 am so he could plow their backyard. He went back and forth endlessly.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Flying with a Toddler

We survived the airplane rides with Elliott, but barely. It was terrible. Really, I cannot exaggerate how horrible it was. I am so sorry if you have an upcoming flight with a toddler (and we have another one in December to North Carolina that I am terrified of). If you happen to be flying with a toddlers soon, here are some tips:

  • Be prepared that your kid may make everyone on the entire plane miserable with sounds and smells. Get over it because it is a real possibility.
Prior to take off, a passenger actually walked to the back of the plane (near where we were sitting) and asked to be reseated because she was sitting by a kid and parent. Well, the flight attendant noticed some seats around us but of course the passenger didn't want to sit near us either. It is like we had cooties. So my advice is just get over it. You will be treated like you have lice, cooties, swine flu. And actually we pretty much deserved that treatment from Elliott's behavior on the flight.

  • The advice everyone gives you is to make sure they are sucking (on a bottle, sippy cup, thumb, pacifier, whatever) on take off and landing to help them pop their ears and relieve pressure and pain.
I also gave Tylenol which some people suggest (apparently my bottle of Tylenol was defective and I'm considering taking it back to Target for a refund). Take off wasn't to uncomfortable, but landing was brutal. And here is what I learned: it is not the actual landing where the plan in touching the ground that is uncomfortable. It is the ENTIRE 30 minutes prior to that when the plane is slowly decending. That is when the screaming and thrashing started. And if anyone can give me advice about how to convince a hysterical toddler to suck on something, please let me know prior to our December flight.

  • A well rested toddler might be better than an overtired toddler.
We had kept Elliott up except for a short afternoon nap and hoped it might crash on the flight home because it was his normal bedtime. Instead we had an overtired, oversensitive, distractable, and MANIC toddler for the first two hours of our flight. And by manic, I mean LOUD. He was talking and singing in a very manic way. I actually wondered if my defective Tylenol had methamphetamines or speed in it. It was that bad.

  • Find the airplane restroom with the changing tray if you need to change a diaper.
YES there is one that was pointed out to me AFTER I had already changed his diaper with him while sitting on the toilet.

  • You can buy organic milk in a kid-sized carton that doesn't need to be refrigerated in the health food sections of most grocery stores.
It comes with a handy straw... which apparently is not long enough for the carton and even though we had an extra one, it CAN be pushed down into the carton fairly easily by an exploring toddler or the milk carton can be squeezed sending milk all over the airplane seats. So bring a sippy cup to put the milk in.

  • Obviously, bring lots of entertainment.
Especially all the things that are normally not allowed like cell phones, car keys and of course the bulb thing that sucks boogers out of noses.

  • Benadryl.
We didn't do this on this flight, but were considering it for our next flight in December. We'll either give some to Elliott or all the other passengers. We haven't decided yet.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Those People

I am horrifed. We were THOSE PEOPLE.

We are currently in Arizona enjoying a relaxing long weekend with friends. We left Thursday morning on a early flight that we almost missed. I grossly underestimated the time we'd need to get through the airport and as always, everything takes longer with Elliott.

We got to the airport at 6:30 am for a 7:20 am flight. I didn't even realize we were running late until the lady at baggage check told us we needed to hurry and gave us a special ticket to get us through security quickly.

We rushed over to the security line and gave the ticket to the first TSA agent that we saw who promply did.... nothing. He had no idea what the ticket meant and looked at us suspiciously and told us to get in the family line.

We waited in line to get through security and I nearly had a break down. I acutally started crying a little. By now it was 7:00 am and our flight boarded at 6:50 am. I was freaking out. We made it through (took off our shoes and all) and Jason was "randomly" choosen to be inspected. He seems to always be choosen. But finally we were through and off to Gate D5.

We were running and I felt like that family in the airport scene of Home Alone. We made it to the gate and it was shut. Panic. They must have just shut it (not "sealed") because they opened it and let us in.

So there we were. THOSE PEOPLE who walk onto the airplane late when everyone is seated, all bags are stowed and they are ready for take off. With everyone glaring at us we made it to our seats, only to find the flight attendants had moved someone to our seats because they thought we weren't coming. So there was this big scence of moving the people out of our seats and us searching for a spot in the overhead bins for our luggage (there wasn't any space left so we crammed all the bags under our seats).

Finally we were seated and we sat for a LONG time. I started to wonder what was taking so long and then it hit me: we were waiting for our luggage to be loaded on the plane. I was horrified.

Finally, we took off and Elliott settled in for a peaceful sleep on my lap. I thought our adventure was over. We even commented how good Elliott was (sleeping of course) and how this wasn't so bad after all.

But it was. I'll fill you in later on our actual plane ride. I have to go relax some more on our vacation first!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Elliott's Motorcycle

Elliott loves motorcycles and makes an adorable motorcycle sound every time he sees one.

And he saw one today. Well... sort of. It was actually a tricycle but that was close enough for him.

Jason proudly put it together during his nap today. It was a very special gift from Elliott's Grandma Julene.

The moment Elliott saw the tricycle/motorycycle in the back of our van, he was giddy with excitement.

Here he is enjoying his tricycle (nevermind that his little legs can't actually reach the pedals OR the ground). Jason had a blast pushing him around McCullum Park this afternoon.