Monday, February 22, 2010

musical monday

I've been really slacking on Musical Monday lately.  Not only have we been sick the last few Sundays or I've been in the nursery, so I'm missing out on our church worship service, but I really just don't listen to the radio any more.  I'm in need of an Itunes update!  I've got an Itunes gift card from Christmas and I'm ready to spend it.  So I need your help!  What are you listening to lately?  I mean, anything!  I usually listen to Christian music, but I'm so out of the loop in any genre, so I'm up for anything!  Please share...what songs are you listening to these days?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

elijah's 1st birthday in pictures

Elijah's first birthday card had stickers on it, so that was a lot of fun!

Yummy oatmeal and blueberries for the birthday boy!

We ate lunch at McDonald's where Elijah got a fun toy

Justin filled Elijah's truck with balloons during his nap

And it didn't take long for Elijah to play with them all!

Elijah saw his presents first thing, but only cared about the bow!

Elijah and Aunt Jeni watching the bubbles!

Elijah's new truck..

...and he thought he was done opening presents!

"Who keeps sticking a balloon to my head?!"

How cool! Elijah's first barn!

Checking out the pig with Daddy

So exciting! All these toys!

A new Elijah can talk someone else's ear off all day!

Excited about new tools!

All the men checking out the workbench!

"Get this paper out of here!"

"Ooh!  A jukebox to dance to!"

Elijah's going to be our percussionist!

Can't believe he's 1 already!

Finally figured out how to dig into the cake!

"Bye bye cake.  I love you!"

"Whew!  Look at that belly!"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

my favorite first year books

Books have totally been my area of shopping weakness this year.  At least if you call 25 cents here and 50 cents there a weakness!  I just can't help but look for books everywhere we go.  I've picked up lots of books at the Goodwill, yard sales and consignment shops for Elijah!  Our next weekly activity to start is going to the library!  I definitely love the time that Elijah and I have reading together, almost as much as I love watching Justin and Elijah read together.  I think that reading with Elijah has been the biggest area where we get to see him grow each week.  Watching your child interact with books in new ways as they learn is so exciting and special.  Here are a few that we have loved reading with Elijah during his first year:

Baby's First Library - Numbers

This is one of my favorite books!  I think I chose it too often and now Elijah is getting tired of it, though.  Each page has a huge, colorful number on it, with a colorful object of that amount on the opposite page.  Elijah loves it because the first page is 1 Ball.  Perfect for introducing numbers and different objects! We got this as a gift and I am having a difficult time locating any other books from this publisher at a reasonable price...but I'm gonna keep trying.  

Where's Spot? (Lift the Flap)

I picked up this book at the Good Will one day.  Ours actually has the sign language in the book as well.  Elijah loves to lift the flaps looking for Spot and says "No!" each time until we find him! Love it!

First 100 Words (Bright Baby)

I found this at a consignment shop a few weeks ago and it quickly became one of Elijah's favorites.  The whole book basically looks like the cover - with lots of objects labeled in squares around the page.  It's so neat to ask Elijah to point to the different things he recognizes.  He loves this book!  I saw it at Wal-Mart the other day in case you're interested.  

Pooh's Piano Book

We received this as a shower gift and this is easily one of Elijah's favorite books.  We sit it on our ottoman so he can push the buttons/keys and he'll just dance along.  I actually got him to follow the lights the other day and play along with the song.  I think this will be a favorite book for awhile.  

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This is another book we received as a gift that is probably my absolute favorite to read to Elijah.  This was probably the first book I really read to him consistently, so I memorized it pretty quickly.  I like Eric Carle's writing, so I'm eager to get more of his books someday. 

Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book)

Another book we received as a gift that we have absolutely loved!  This was a fun book to watch Elijah grow with.  This is just a great book for interacting, since it lets your child look in the mirror, play peek-a-boo, and even smell the flowers.  Unfortunately, I let Elijah loose with this one a few too many times and he tore the cover off!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

my favorite first year toys

Here are a few of my favorite toys from Elijah's first year.  You can click on the pictures for a link to Amazon.  If you are in the market for infant toys - for your own child or a gift - then these are ones that I highly recommend!  Feel free to comment with your own experience of these toys or add any others that were your child's favorites!

LeapFrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo

This toy was great when Elijah was first starting to sit up.  He also loves to play with this while he is riding in the car!  I actually paid full price for this at Wal-Mart on an impulse, but it has been worth it.  There are three settings with different songs and the wheel is so easy for an infant to spin.  

LeapFrog Learn & Groove™ Musical Table

I bought this (quickly and foolishly) from someone on Craigslist for $20.  We later found one (in even better condition) at a yard sale for $4, so I bought it for a friend!  It has been so cute to watch Elijah grow and be able to walk around the table himself.  He's not as interested in it lately because he has played with it so much for months, but I think it will still be a great toy in the future. 

Vtech - Learn & Discover Driver

I think I bought this at the Goodwill and it has been one of my favorite toys for Elijah.  He LOVES to turn the wheel and hit the buttons that have great car sounds.  This has been a toy that he doesn't seem to be tired of, but when he plays with it, it's not usually for too long of a time period.  

Graco Bumper Jumper

Elijah has always been quite the jumper, so one weekend while we were at my parents' house, Justin and I went yard sale shopping on a mission for a jumper to hang in the door frame.  I couldn't believe it when we found one very similar to this for $10.  Best $10 I spent at a yard sale last year!  Elijah still jumps in this a few times a week.  Great!

CAT 3-in-1 Ride-On Dump Truck by Mega Bloks

This was a Christmas present from Justin's parents and it has been great.  Elijah can ride on it and walk behind it...great exercise!  We attached a belt to it so we could guide him around...easier on the back!  It comes with several large "lego-like" blocks to play with, too.  

Fisher Price Bright Beginnings Baby Basketball

This was our Christmas present to Elijah and it has been so much fun to watch him play more and more with it.  It's a great toy for him to stand alone with...especially when he doesn't realize he's not holding on!

The Blakley Boys at Christmas!

Playing on Thanksgiving


There are moments he hates the jumper!

Monday, February 15, 2010

musical monday

I've got 5 posts until I make it to #200...seems crazy!  I've decided to dedicate them all to Elijah since his 1st birthday is Friday...that seems crazy too!  I just launched our family blog here to hopefully spare you all from endless pictures and videos of our life (aka Elijah), though you are more than welcome to check it out.  This week, however, it's all about I reminisce over his first year.

For Musical Monday, I've got some of my favorite pictures to share!  I took these one day in December and framed them for Justin for Christmas.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

bird watching!

We have been couped up in the house this week, pretty sick and lousy.  Thankfully, we have had lots of birds to watch, which has kept Elijah's attention away from his poor snotty nose.  Here are a few photos of what we've been watching on our deck!