Category Archives: elliot


Oh, Elliot.


There was a time when I was so used to communicating with you through sign language and grunts and facial expressions that I couldn’t imagine that one day we would communicate with words. I knew just how close to sleep you were by how many circles you rubbed into your eyes with your fists. I knew that I only had 2.5 minutes to make your morning oatmeal before your rumbling belly got the best of you and triggered the tears of a hungry, grumpy baby. I knew to leave you alone when you ventured off for one of your crawling marathons; you’ve always been the independent one.

Now you are two and we communicate with words. You love your sleep and oftentimes you are the one reminding me that it is nap time, but I am the one that has to remind you that you’re hungry and that it’s time to eat. When you are done with a meal or a snack, you are done and must be retrieved from your high chair immediately in order to avoid a first-class meltdown, but if said meltdown does occur, in the middle of it, I ask you if you need a hug and it never fails to stop your crying and reconcile us to each other again. Your heart is so tender and your emotions are so big. My most earnest prayer these days is that I would have the greatest facility in helping you navigate them because I know what it’s like to have strong feelings shut down. I want you to feel all that you feel and feel it well.

You love movies. Our regular rotation lately is Toy Story 2, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Aristocats. I have spent plenty of time guilting myself about your “screen time,” but the Lord has shown me how these stories only fuel your imagination. You don’t zone out when you are watching them. You include me in the narration of what is happening and you mimic the characters’ reactions and five minutes later I find you in your room, reenacting with your plastic Buzz and Woody and it fills my heart to watch you create, still the independent one.

Most kids, especially toddlers, don’t know what to do with a guitar. You have held one properly since the moment you picked it up. You strum like a professional. You sing along. One day, you decided a guitar could be a violin too, and you used a drumstick as a bow while holding the end of the guitar up to your neck. Not long after that, you realized that if a guitar could be a violin, it certainly could be a cello, and you sat in a chair with the guitar between your knees, drumstick in hand. I think I might be raising a musical genius.

It is so interesting to see how differently you interact with different people. When Papa is home, you literally jump on him and attack him with swords and pull at his beard and destroy the house by setting up obstacles and blasting through them with your toy vacuum. When it is just you and me, you insist that I draw letters for you so that you can identify them, or that I let you read me all the books, or you sit very close to me with your little hand on my leg while we talk to Oscar about how fun it’s going to be when he can wrestle with you. You are such a gracious big brother. You find ways to entertain yourself when Oscar is nursing because you understand that that is Mama + Baby time. You try to share your toys with him by opening his little fisted hands. When Oscar tries to talk to you, you put your hand on his head and say “oh, yeah?!” over and over. I am so glad that you came first, Elliot. I am so glad that you came at all.


Inspired by your auntie + my best mama friend.

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The thing about having two kids is that I spend most of my day just gawking at them. How is it that God saw it fit to entrust me with these two little lives, these specific lives? Who am I to have the privilege of raising two men?

The craziest thing is that Brandon and I had sex one time and A HUMAN WAS CREATED. Then, another time we had sex, and ANOTHER HUMAN WAS CREATED. Think about that and try to tell me that God isn’t real.

I want to give them everything they ever want. And usually, I do. I want to say “yes, yes!” so that my “no” actually means something.

Sometimes I look at the 4,000 toys strewn across our living room floor and I like the mess. I let it linger, for days even, and I wish others could see it, the evidence of life being lived.

Other times, I catch Elliot reading books to Oscar and I’m glad that no one else can see what I see in that moment because I get to scoop it up and add it to  all the other little things that I hide in my heart.

I wonder how they’ll be different, how they’ll be alike. I wonder if they’ll have that typical older-brother-younger-brother relationship that you see in the movies. I wonder if they’ll grow up and apart like so many brothers do.

I hope Elliot teaches Oscar. I hope Oscar looks out for Elliot. I hope they have the kind of closeness shared not by blood but by choice.

I will always choose them.

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Two monsters to represent my two little monsters and an ode to one of our favorite hymns.

Oh! Great is our God! So let our songs be endless!

So awesome His ways, how could we comprehend them?

So we will make it known to our kids

And we will sing about the gracious gifts you give .

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Because sometimes you just need a quiet place to sit and read, and that’s okay.

Because sometimes you don’t want to answer people’s questions, and that’s okay.

Because sometimes you’ll be the quiet kid, and that’s definitely okay.

Because sometimes you won’t have the words to say in the moment, they won’t come until afterward, and you can write them down and save them for later, for only you.

Because you’ll never be what they wanted you to be, and that’s okay too.

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Gigi went to Hawaii and brought back a turtle for Elliot. Excuse me, I mean a “tuh-tuh.”

It does not leave his side.

He cuddles it in bed, on the couch. He feeds it his breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He takes it in the car.

Someone’s going to be a (fingers crossed) good big brother.

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Husband shot these for my Belly Diaries post coming up on Saturday and I couldn’t wait until then to post them. Plus, I wanted to post all of them because this is my blog and I can photo dump if I want to.

We’re in the home stretch, folks. Here’s to an uneventful eight weeks.

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This one time Elliot had my phone when we were driving somewhere and this happened:

And now instead of setting books down, he sets them up, like this:

What I’m saying is that everything he does, even when he is SO MAD that we have to get out of the pool and throws a fit all over me, is awesome.



Did you know that, when paired, avocados and toast produce an electro-gama-Lite-Brite reaction that is similar to looking straight into the sun so you need to wear your sunglasses upside down when eating them together to prevent eye-blindness and face-melting-off-ness?

This guy teaches me new things every day.

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It’s baaaaaaaaaaack!

This was the best I could do, guys. My toddler is a super slippery sea monster from the swamp lands when it comes to photos these days.

BUT do you see that miracle of enamel protruding from where there once was a hole?

The tooth fairy’s attempt to take what was not rightfully hers FAILED. The tooth has returned!

We and the powers that be (meaning the pediatric dentists) can explain this phenomenon only as a miracle. Okay not really. What we thought had been a tooth-knocked-clean-out situation was really a tooth-knocked-clean-UP situation.

My skin is crawwwwwwwling as I write that. The pain of that, to me, would be significantly worse than having a tooth come out. Knock out all my teeth before you punch them back up into my gums, please.

Elliot, you’re one tough kid.

In conclusion, the tooth was knocked up into his gum line and is now being pushed back down, where it hopefully will remain, as the dentist said it is completely intact and healthy. There is concern about any damage it did to his adult tooth, but we won’t know what we can do about that until it appears in six or seven years.

It may be coming down a little crooked, but I’ll take a little crooked over a gaping hole. Woot!

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I’m trying to be more specific when it comes to the things I say to Elliot, more specifically when it comes to discipline. I have the worst habit of just saying “Stop it” or “Don’t do that.” Sometimes I’m not even sure what exactly I want him to stop doing. I’m pretty sure this could breed a monster of confusion, especially because discipline is so much more effective when it is clear and consistent. Emphasis on consistent.

I want to learn to be clear about what I am asking of him:

“Stop banging that drumstick on the wall. Bang it only on the drum.”

“Hold my hand all the way across the street until we can touch the car.”

“Please don’t whine at me if you are done eating. Use your words.”

Because, in his juicy little brain, my “Stop it” could be directed toward any number of things. Stop making awesome music with your drumsticks no matter what surface you are banging them on? Heavens, no. Music will be made in this house! On the appropriate surfaces.

This is not to say that the longer my sentences are, the more he’ll obey. He hasn’t even been alive outside of my uterus for two years — I don’t expect advanced cognitive miracles. This is also not to say that I need a miracle. My kid is pretty even tempered (if he has had his morning banana). This is mostly to say that I’ve recognized a bad pattern in myself and I’m working hard to shake it now before things get sticky. But kids are always sticky. Amen?

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