Elmo Shirt

Eli loves Elmo.

Elmo

Image via Wikipedia

Elmo’s name was one of his first 5 words.

I think he loves Cookie Monster more. (Don’t tell Elmo.) He loves pretending to be Cookie Monster shoveling imaginary cookies in his mouth while making “nom nom nom” noises.

But the only plain t-shirt in his size in the house was Cookie Monster blue… not the best background for an appliqued Cookie Monster.

So Elmo it is. The red comes from a dollar store wool blazer that I felted in the wash. (It is amazing what you can find at a dollar store sometimes!) The other fabrics are all from old t-shirts. (You may recognize that orange, Aunt Sylvia.) Heat ‘n’ Bond and blanket stitch and there you have it…

One happy little boy.

Not that he would produce any semblance of a “happy” face while I was taking pictures. I gave up after I shot about 50, feeling very thankful for digital photography and not needing to invest a ton of time and money to confirm my suspicion that there wasn’t a single smile in the lot.  But at least you can see how serious he is about Elmo …and pushing buttons.

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever Wednesday, Trendy Tots

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love Creations,

Between U & Me,  Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday

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Letter to Eli, 23 Months

Dear Eli,

What a month this has been!

In mid-December you were given a developmental screening. We were expecting it to show a speech delay but were shocked by the degree of delay they say you have. The good thing is that it qualifies you for some free services in addition to the therapy that the insurance has approved. We have full confidence you will do just fine in the speech department given time, and the extra help is certainly welcome. Already you are showing improvement. At the time of the screening you weren’t saying much verbally other than “Mama” (when crying) and a couple of words you would repeat if asked to. Now you are saying “Mama” all the time and have added to that more, sopa, agua, dog, tea, Dada, ball, go, apple, Elmo, in, ‘Acki (Aunt Jacki) and a couple others that I just can’t think of right now. As of yet you’ve only had 2 speech therapy sessions, so I think a big part of it is just that you are becoming more ready to speak.

What we didn’t realize before the screening was that some of your behaviors aren’t just you being Eli, but rather indicate a Sensory Processing Disorder. For you it is mainly the vestibular system that is affected, although there are other non-motion things going on with you as well.

This actually helps to explain a lot… especially about why you are ALWAYS moving. As it has been explained to me you don’t have a sense of where your body is located in space unless you are receiving the stimulation of movement. Ironically, for your body to feel at rest it has to be moving. It explains why when you were a little baby you couldn’t sleep unless you were in the swing, and later why you would start rolling across the bed like a little tumbleweed waking up on your hands and knees crying 3 or 4 times every night. (We are thankful you don’t do that anymore.)

You beg to take a (cold) bath at least a couple of times a day. Once is usually the limit. I don't look forward to the day when you make the connection between getting dirty and bathing. I shudder to think of what you will do then. 🙂

Other ways you are affected are that you only want to be bathed in cold water. We’ve slowly gotten you to the point where you will tolerate it being luke warm. You also aren’t tolerating a lot of different textures of food, and often end up coughing when you try to drink fluids or when eating small grains. The swallow study you had done this past month showed that your esophagus works fine, so the problem has been attributed to the Sensory Processing Disorder.  In addition to the group and individual speech therapy you’ll be receiving you will also have group and individual occupational therapy. We are all of the sudden very busy, but I’m so glad that there is help available for you.

Adding the final touches to Mama's crudely drawn sidewalk pig.

You continue to love music, instruments and performances. You love to hear the sound of a crowd cheering and applauding. Sometimes when you are in a fussy mood it helps for us to turn on a game show in the background because when you here the applause you usually can’t help yourself but to cheer and applaud along.

You have had an on-going love affair with your daddy’s old guitar for many months now. The headstock is now completely shattered from all of the times you have dropped it on the floor. Let’s face it, it’s a lot of guitar for a little guy. It has been held together with duct tape, but the few remaining strings are becoming less and less strum-able.

Thankfully my Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Dave sent you a new, toddler-sized guitar. The day it arrived you spent much of the day carrying it around in a big bear hug when you weren’t strumming it. I caught you kissing it a time or two as well. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get a non-blurry picture of you with it yet.

You also are drawn to the microphones and drum equipment at church. It is so cute to see you in your element happily exploring these things after service. Less cute is our inevitably loud exit as no amount of time with your beloved instruments is ever enough. Your howls and shrieks of frustrated disappointment are most likely heard at least a block away.

Here you are pointing inside your cup, exclaiming delightedly "TEA!"

Your love of tea continues to grow, much to my delight. You like to play tea party, in which you serve me pretend cup after cup of hot(!) tea, poured with all sorts of burbling water sound effects. In return, I am expected to share any cup of my (real) tea with you. I pour a little in a small cup and you impatiently wait for it to cool. This practice has led to a great improvement in your ability to drink from a cup without choking. The tea we have at home is all caffeine free but when we are out I like to get an occasional soy chai latte. I order it weak and you enjoy drinking the cold last half inch in the bottom of the cup so much that I figure whatever small amount of caffeine there is won’t kill you. The looks we get from other people are really something though, as it seems like I am giving my toddler coffee! This appearance is then only underscored by your normal extremely active behavior! (For the record I’ve never noticed any change in behavior after you’ve enjoyed the last of my tea.)

Riding on the firetruck at the park.

There are so many things you enjoy doing these days, but going to Barnes & Noble takes the cake! Now if we even drive on the street that glorious store is located on you begin frantically signing “book” long before the store is even in sight. At night your daddy and I like to wind down by watching a bit of Masterpiece Theater. He always mutes the B&N commercial at the beginning to prevent you from getting the idea that you have to go there RIGHT NOW. They have now removed the Lego table, but there are so many other things you love to do there I’m not sure you have really even noticed.

You had to test drive EVERY nook! You were so careful to replace each one carefully on the display holder without me even having to say anything. I was amazed (and hovered just the same.).

You usually make a bee line for the Music and DVD section immediately upon entering the store, (although today you were momentarily distracted by those wonderful nooks.) As soon as it is in sight you break into a canter, chirping “Elmo!”, Elmo!” Once inside the music section you gravitate to the DVDs looking for the Baby Einstein and Sesame Street displays.

These DVDs are then taken one by one to the scanner to be scanned. This is very serious work.

With each satisfying beep you abandon  that DVD and look for another to scan.You are actually pretty good about returning them to the place you found them, but you sometimes need a little encouragement. The sales people who work in that section  now recognize you and even seem to enjoy your visits.

Leave it to you to find the guitar!

Then it’s off to the children’s section, which, after all, is where Elmo lives.

You especially like the books in the vehicle area that have all sorts of sound effect buttons on them.

At some point it is time to go to the cafe, and as Daddy is usually your shadow at Barnes & Noble, you find Mama there with a cup of delicious tea and hopefully a coconut macaroon! In fact, the best way to get you to leave the children’s section sans tantrum is to suggest, “Eli, do you want some tea?”

Mmmmm... TEA!

Best of all, Barnes & Noble is a place where we occasionally meet up with people who love you!

Yes, Barnes & Nobel is truly your idea of heaven on earth!

I can’t wait to see what this last month of your second year will bring. I love you so very, very very much!

Mama

Letter to Eli, 22 Months

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So much of the time you seem so BIG to me, incessantly growing as you are. I like this photo because here you still look small and baby-like.

Dear Eli,

This past month has been a busy one for all of us. While this wasn’t your first Christmas (I think of it as your 3rd as your Baby’s First Christmas ornament was bought for the Christmas you celebrated with us in utero), you “got it” this year a little more than last. And you had a blast!

You loved the time we spent surrounded by family in Tucson. You played with your cousins and laughed and shrieked almost non-stop much of Christmas Day. You spent the time when everyone else was opening presents running laps through the living room and around through the kitchen. It was neat to see you overwhelmed by the excitement and joy of the day in a way that wasn’t tied to “what am I gonna get?!” Eventually we caught you as you flew past and got you to open a few of your gifts. Once they were opened you discovered that you liked your gifts just fine, thank you very much.

Over Christmas week you began saying Elmo, apple, and on Christmas Day, ” ‘Acki”. Aunt Jacki said it was the best Christmas present she’d ever gotten.

Playing with Grandpa's booklight.

Coloring during a rest stop on the way back home.

To be honest, we were a bit worried about traveling with you over Christmas. You see, you get into EVERYTHING these days. You are fast, and you have an incredible stamina. The thought of days on end in unchild-proofed homes full of (fragile) splendors beyond description made us question our capabilities at getting us all through the holidays and back home safely. We compromised by staying in a hotel this year so we could at least have the option of retreating to a relatively hazard-free zone. And, really, you did great. Napping was pretty much impossible and yet you didn’t dissolve into continual tantrums. You did remarkably well riding in the car (with the exception of the time we took away the portable DVD player hoping you’d take a nap. Sorry about that.)

While you still seem to love music (as seen here, you were completely enthralled by Uncle Joey practicing his trombone), absence from your beloved DVR’d program of Latino Music didn’t make your heart grow fonder. Before we left for vacation you pleaded to see it at least 6 times a day. Since returning you just aren’t interested in it anymore. Now any TV time must be dedicated to “Elmo.”

You are endlessly entertained by playing with your tea set. You love to dip the bag in the cup, pretend to stir with the little spoons, and especially to pour the hot! water and serve your father or me a cup. It is so cute to watch you blow on your “hot tea” before sipping.

You are slowly showing more interest in books. You’ve been enjoying this library book with pictures of everyday objects.

You always have to emphatically point out cats, wherever they may be found. A regular chip off both the old blocks!

You still like nothing more than to play with water. Here is your face when you first spied the water feature at the rest stop between Tucson and home.

The momentary pause of wonder didn’t last long, of course.

You remain incredibly affectionate. Your father and I are regularly on the receiving end of your hugs and kisses. I hope that doesn’t stop anytime soon. You also like to kiss anything cute, especially in animal form. You must have kissed this deer at least 10 times. I just couldn’t catch the right moment on film.

We are so blessed to have you in our lives, Eli.

I love you very, very, very much!

Mama