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Gretchen’s parents are in town visiting this weekend. We walked downtown to eat breakfast on Saturday, and on the way back we ran into Bruce Muncy. He was taking pictures of people heading downtown for the Festival in the Park, and he was nice enough to take this one of us.
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See more of his photos here.

Sammy and I have been playing this game where he counts down from three and then I throw him onto the couch.
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It’s hard to believe that Eli is already six months old. He has become such a happy, smiley baby who makes our family very fun! He’s now very close to crawling and, in fact, has a difficult time going to sleep because he gets busy trying to crawl when we put him in his crib. He’s getting up on his knees to rock back and forth, but so far he’s not getting anywhere. He’s working on sitting up, but hasn’t quite gotten that yet. I think he’s just got more motivation to become mobile with a fun, sometimes threatening, big brother.
Eli’s also eating baby foods–bananas, peas, and squash so far. He gets excited when he sees the bowl of food, opens his mouth, and sticks out his tongue. Pretty funny, but the real fun comes when he finishes every bite and zurburts the leftovers all over you. I think it’s funny anyway; Charlie doesn’t appreciate it very much.
At Eli’s checkup last week, he was praised as being a healthy and happy baby. He now weighs 17 lbs. 8 oz. (43%), his head is 18 in. (91%) and is 28 in. long (89%). I think the length might be off just a little, because he has way more rolls than I’d expect if from his height/length percentages.
It’s wonderful having Elijah in our family.
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We visited my family in West Virginia last weekend. We had a great time seeing everyone and catching up. I’ll post a full gallery later but here are a few pictures to whet your appetite.

Hanging out with Mimi
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Playing with Mimi’s stuff
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At Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty’s house
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Sammy decides he’s had enough
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Gretchen had a particularly stressful day today with the boys, so when I got home from work we decided to go out to dinner. It’s always good to get the boys out of the house and let them expend some energy, plus we had a coupon for a free entree at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Both the boys were very well behaved and we had a great dinner together. We talked about the details of a trip we’re planning to take to Washington DC this summer, and Sammy got particularly into the discussion about which animals might be at the National Zoo.

After dinner we had planned to go to the park but it was cold and a little rainy so we went to the new Chick-fil-a that just opened up and took advantage of their shiny new “Fun-zone”. (On a side note, is it wrong to take your kids to play at a place like that and not buy anything? Gretchen and I couldn’t agree)

We had been to several fun-zone/playland type of places before with Sammy, but this was the first time he was really big enough to explore by himself. At first he hovered around the little funhouse mirrors and steering wheels they have on the ground floor for little kids, but after a few minutes he took off up the stairs to the maze of bright plastic tubes above us. There were a few other kids up there with him and he was having a great time. He crawled around and peeked out the windows at us and yelled” Dada! Mama!” every few seconds, and I would tap on the plastic and he would laugh. It was really sweet.

He was probably up there for almost ten minutes before we realized that he couldn’t get back down. A couple big kids were going up and down the slide continually so he couldn’t get down that way, and there was another little kid frozen at the top of the stairs, so he was trapped. We could see the silhouette of his little hands and knees as he was crawling from one end of the tubes to the other looking for a way out. It was heartbreaking really. He was all alone and scared in a weird place with scary kids and we couldn’t get to him.

I tried to get his attention through the window and coax him out the right way but he wasn’t understanding my instruction. I was about to bite the bullet and climb up there myself when Gretchen suggested that she go up instead. That was probably a wise move considering that the fun-zone was only certified for children three and under and I weigh the same as approximately 10 three year olds. Having me get stuck in one of those tubes and bring the whole thing down on top of a dozen unsuspecting children might have caused a scene.

So Mommy went to the rescue. She climbed up the twisting stairs (very gracefully) and removed the deer-in-headlights kid who was blocking the exit. Then she stuck her head in the entrance to the maze and showed Sammy which way to go. Eli and I were very impressed as we watched from the too-fat/too-little-to-help section.

When they got back down Sammy was smiling and seemingly un-traumatized. Aside from a couple tear streaks on his cheeks you would never have guessed his little life had just passed before his eyes. He played around on the ground floor for a few minutes after that (keeping a safe distance from the stairs) and then we decided it was time to go home.

All things considered the fun-zone is a pretty good thing for everyone involved (although I pity the poor employee who has to crawl up in there with a bucket when some kid pukes at the end of one of those tubes). The only thing I might add is a big red button that parents can push that will turn the whole thing on it’s side and shake it until the kids all fall out.

I really love my family and feel like I’m the lucky one since I get to stay home with Sammy and Eli all day while Charlie works, but sometimes I forget these things. Like when I’m tired and lacking patience with whoever is fussy at the moment…or when I just want to get out of the house and be around adults without children present…or when I want to wear “real” clothes instead of clothes I know will get spit-up on and become kind of smelly. I decided to post this entry for two reasons: to brag on my family and to remind myself of how awesome my life is on one of the aforementioned days. I hope you enjoy this list!

Top Ten Reasons I Love my Life
1. Eli has the best smile in the world, and he lights up when I talk to him or give him attention.
2. Sammy is in a really fun stage of life–he gets excited often and laughs easily.
3. Sammy loves to be tickled until he can’t breathe any longer. If this is coupled with chasing or hanging upside down, it’s even better.
4. Charlie is very appreciative and supportive of me as a wife and momma.
5. I get to do fun things like go for walks, to the park, play outside or meet friends at any time of the day!
6. My hubby pampers me when he gets home and takes over wherever I’m about to loose it, whether that be with the kids or the disorganization of our house.
7. I can do things around the house during the day so that my evenings are free to hang out with Charlie (after the kids crash for the night).
8. I can take a nap if I need to, or if Eli isn’t sleeping at the same time as Sammy, I can lay in bed with Eli and have good one-on-one time with my baby.
9. Sammy and Eli really love spending their days days with me.
10. I don’t have to shower first thing in the morning.

It’s a good life that I lead.

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One of the best things about where we live is our fun and diverse neighborhood. Saturday morning we were outside planting some flowers and saw a yard sale at a neighbor’s house. Sammy went over to check things out, and came back with Donkey from Shrek (his new favorite friend). This thing is so ugly, but he loves it. He’s been carrying it around the past few days and says, “Donkey, Donkey”. So cute.
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Watch out, I bite
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