Sunday, September 24, 2006

700 Q-Tip Pick-Up

Has anyone ever gotten to play this game? If not, you are missing out. If you are unfamiliar with it, let me tell you about it.
The best time for this game to take place is when you are unable to really get to your toddler - say for instance you decide you HAVE to take a shower today, so you lock both yourself and your toddler in your bedroom while you take a 5 minute shower. Of course, you could get to him in a real emergency, but 700 Q-Tip Pick-up isn't an emergency - even if it is extremely annoying. So, basically while you are attempting to wash your hair and your body fast enough to prevent any other fun toddler games from happening, you realize that your very excited two year old is frantically shaking a massive Costco-size box of Q-tips all over the bathroom. Once he has completed this task, he then begins to clean out his ears with every Q-tip he can get his hands on - because he hears you making annoying empty threats from within the shower, and he knows his freedom will soon come to an end. So, the game continues even after I emerge from the shower because I am really not interested in squatting down to help him while I am unclothed and dripping with water. And now he realizes he's getting an extra three minutes of freedom, so he begins wildly running through the Q-tips to spread them out even more all over my filthy bathroom floor - which is another issue altogether.
Once I'm finally dressed, he's already had so much Q-tip fun, that it's almost impossible to really gain control of this situation - he's just so excited about his masterpiece that he's created. Because of this, it takes about half an hour to clean them all up, which he amazingly makes into another frustrating game of throwing handfuls of Q-tips into about a 3-inch opening in the box, or picking them up one by one and putting them away in slow motion. Is this kid already mocking me??
So, after way too many motherly cliche's that I thought I'd never hear myself saying, and a couple of time-outs, we both went on with our day happy that he had such a fun time with the Q-tips.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Too Many Memories?

I don't know about the rest of you parents out there, but I definitely love to capture my memories of my family on film. Whether it's pictures or video, I feel like if I don't get it on some type of film, it will probably be forgotten. Especially now with all of the editing you can do and deleting of pictures from your camera, there's no such thing as a "wasted picture" anymore. However, Gavin stays a little annoyed at me because of this.
Take for instance the picture above. I took this when Gavin and Elijah were playing a game called "camp-out" where they pretend the blanket is their tent, and they listen for animal noises. But Gavin claims that my picture taking interrupts the actual "memory" that I'm trying to capture because when Eli sees me get up and come back with a camera, he usually stops what he's doing and just wants to see the camera. But after much encouragement and hiding of the camera, I was able to convince him to go back to his camp-out with daddy. So, I can understand Gavin's point of view - I tend to mess up a lot of their time together for the sake of a Kodak moment. But, I really want those pictures because I have such a bad memory I know I'll forget all of this day-to-day stuff that goes on. And if I didn't get the camera, we wouldn't have this really cute picture of the two of them playing - is this selfish of me?
Besides, it's not all my fault either. I can't really help it that Elijah keeps his mommy radar on at all times. No matter where I am in the house, he will locate me within five seconds if he feels it is necessary. And he can sense it when I leave the room even if he can't see me because he's sitting under a blanket. It can be kind of creepy sometimes.
I think my solution is going to be to just keep taking pictures and keep filming - hopefully Elijah will just get so used to it that he won't care anymore and he'll just ignore me.
And then I'll have to figure out what to do about the fact that he ignores me.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Every once in a while it occurs to me how awesome it is that I have a little person in my life that calls me "mommy." I think it's the most wonderful sound in the world to me. I love hearing "mommy up" first thing in the morning and "hi mommy" as we're going through our day and passing by eachother in the house. I just think it's so cool that I am able to be someone's mommy. It's got to be one of the best gifts I've been given in my life and I am forever thankful for it.

Praise You In This Storm

"Sometimes God calms our storms. Sometimes He chooses to ride them with us."

I was sure by now
That you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say "Amen," and it's still raining.

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear you whisper through the rain, "I'm with you."
And as your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away.

I'll praise you in this storm,
And I will lift my hands
For you are who you are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find you

I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For you are who you are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

"Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
My Savior and my God." Psalm 42:5

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Six Weeks

This past Thursday, Eveyn would have been six weeks old. I have found myself thinking about her constantly over the past couple of days, wondering what she would be doing and what she would look like at this point. I look at the pictures of Elijah when he was that age, and judging by how she looked when she was born, I can't help but think that she would look very similar to Elijah. Her thick black hair would probably be starting to fall out wherever she laid her head to sleep. She may even be sleeping through the night like Elijah was at this point. But then again, she may have been keeping me up all night long with collick. What I wouldn't give to hear her screaming all night.
I miss being able to hear those beautiful little breathy sounds when she tries to talk to me. And the drunk look on her face that comes with a full belly. But most of all I just wonder what she would look like with her eyes focused in on mine as she begins to make those first little smiles. I would love to see her toothless smile right now.
I've heard that the first year after a loved one dies is the hardest. To experience all of the holidays and special dates for the first time without that person is like experiencing their death all over again; and that really is how I've felt the last couple of days. I can't stop thinking about what Eveyn would be doing through each hour of the day, how she would be interacting with Elijah, and how I would be juggling the two of them together. I guess eventhough it's only been six weeks, I'm surprised when it all of a sudden gets so hard not to have Eveyn here.
I can only rest in God's promises and divine knowledge and understanding for the life of my family. After all, it's not really my life or my family. It's his; and he has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it while I'm here on this earth.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord... Plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A First

Okay - this is a picture of the fire truck leaving our house this morning. I had to take a picture to commemorate our first call to 911 for Elijah. Before anyone gets concerned - he's fine.
But, he did lock himself in the house today as I was unloading groceries from the car. Normally, I leave my keys in my pocket "just in case," but today I didn't. They were inside along with my cell phone. Thankfully, my good friend Lizzie was only about 20 minutes from the house anyway, so I just waited for her to get there to use her phone. While I waited I tried to talk Elijah through instructions to unlock the door, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't even now how he locked it in the first place, so my instructions were not helpful. But it was getting a little comical listening to him yell at me through the door as if I was the one that locked him in.
Finally Lizzie arrived and I first attempted to call Gavin at work for him to come home and unlock the door. After about 4 tries, I gave up and called my mom. She wasn't at home and was not able to come help me either. So, she told me to just call 911. So, I decided that was my best option since I didn't know how promptly a locksmith would get there.
When I called 911 the dispatcher told me that the firemen could take care of it, but they would have to use forced entry, which means I would then be paying for a busted door or window. At that information, my first thought was, "Gavin's going to kill me." So, as I hear the sirens start up (the fire station is only a couple of miles from the house) I made a last ditch effort to get into the house. Amazingly, I found our bedroom window unlocked. So, in my excitement I hurridly threw the screen off, pushed open the window, and pushed away the oversized chair that was sitting in front of the window as if it weighed no more than a throw pillow. I wasn't expecting to see Elijah standing in my dark room watching me and he wasn't expecting to see his mom crawling through the window, so we scared each other to death. We looked at each other with the same surprised expression while he said, "mommy?" and I said, "Elijah!" I still don't know if he was more relieved to see me or just confused as to why I locked him inside only to come get him 30 minutes later through my bedroom window.
So, no broken doors or windows, and better yet, no injured toddlers!
And, the very friendly firemen came out anyway just to double check and make sure we were all okay.
Hey, at least he was locked inside his own nice, cool house and not the car! See Gavin, it could always be worse!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Cutest Kid in the World

I know, I know... everyone thinks their kid is the cutest. But look at this picture! This was taken in Ft. Worth when Gavin and I took Elijah to see the cattle drive and walk the cattle pin maze. It was the first time we were really able to enjoy a family day with each other after Eveyn was born. It was a great get-away day for us!

Car Wash

Elijah and I went to wash my car today. He was excited to go and "wash mommy's car," but when we pulled up to the station, he got worried and started saying, "all done." We go to a drive-thru wash by our house that you don't get out of the car for, and he's never been too sure about all of the noise of the wash. As I was putting the money in to the automated woman on the touch screen, Elijah started to become more and more concerned. And I started to reassure him more and more. As we pulled up to the opening of the car wash, I looked back at him to tell him it was going to be okay and he looked at me, reached out his hand and said, "hand mommy." So I reached back and held his hand the whole way through the car wash until he bravely let go of me as we exited the other side.
The majority of my days are filled with thoughts that Elijah is growing up too fast and becoming old enough to where he doesn't need me as much as he used to. So I was thankful today for those three minutes that he desperately needed me in order to make it through the car wash.

Name Change

I've decided to change the name of my blog because although we lost Eveyn, it just doesn't feel right for the blog name to remain all about Elijah. While Eveyn is not physically with us every day the way Elijah is, she is just as much a part of our family and our home as he is. I plan on writing about her and her influence on our family from time to time, so I needed the blog to reflect that in the name. So, welcome to Casa de Pate. Mi casa es su casa!

Eveyn Elizabeth Pate
April 27, 2006
5:14 am
7 lbs., 4 oz.
I wanted to post a picture of Eveyn for others to see. None of the pictures I have do justice to her beautiful and unique characteristics. We will love her and miss her as long as we're here on this earth.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter

Butter Head

Toddlers do some weird things. One morning over breakfast, Elijah decided it would be a good idea to rub his buttered toast all over his hair. I'm still not sure why, and he's never done it again. He must have decided that the greasy look isn't a good one, which I'm thankful for.
Another strange behavior that he's decided he really likes to do is to very carefully drop down on the floor in mid-stride to lay down. He just rolls on his back and watches the world go by for a few minutes. He might roll over to get a different angle, but he generally just kind of hangs out for a few minutes. It's actually pretty entertaining to watch, because a lot of the time he looks like he's in deep thought about something. So, unless he's in a spot where it just doesn't work to stop and lay down, I generally let him do his thing. I think he must need the break, or need to ponder something pretty important.
I never really knew how entertaining it would be to watch your child grow up. I know it's not always fun (like when he threw a fit and screamed at the top of his lungs in the store today because he wanted more Cheerios, which makes you feel like everyone is looking at you like you need to get your child in control), but I hope I never lose sight of the humor and joy in my kids at any point.

This was actually back in February on a day that was freezing, and sleeting as we sat and watched Eli play b-ball. This outing didn't last too long.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sports Fan

Anyone who has come to our house in the last month has seen the very obtrusive toddler size basketball goal in our already not-so-spacious living room. This is Elijah's new obsession. Otherwise known at "d-dall" (or you might know it as b-ball). If he is awake he is either playing basketball or talking about playing basketball, or asking to watch basketball on tv, all while chanting "d-dall, d-dall, d-dall." He seems to think that at any point of the day or night, we can just turn on the tv and there will be a basketball game on. Right now, as I look at the living room floor, I can see four different "basketballs" that are on hand at all times.
But it's not only basketball that Elijah loves. He also has really enjoyed the football season this year. If there were football games on tv as often as basketball or if he had a football field in his backyard, he would be just as obsessed with this game. He does however have three different footballs that are constantly carried around the house and thrown to the nearest person - whether you are looking or not. And the kid has a great arm, so you could easily get nailed in face if you're not paying attention. This is something we may have to work on before his little sister gets here!
We really don't watch that much basketball and football, and what we do watch is usually when Elijah is sleeping. So it's interesting to me that he is so enthralled by these sports. It makes me wonder how much of this interest in sports comes from his genes and how much is learned.
This may just be a stage that he will grow out of and won't show much interest in later in his life. Or it could be the start of a life-long love. It's fascinating to watch him grow and form into his own unique little person with specific likes and dislikes, and it makes me look forward to the person he will be in the years to come.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Thankfully, Elijah hasn't ever been really sick or hurt in his young life. I know of many kids his age that have had every illness possible at this point. Even so, I think watching your child be sick or hurt is one of the hardest things to do as a mom. It's so hard to watch them hurt, even if it is just a cold they have.
In the last week or so Elijah has been trying to get over a somewhat nasty cold (which he's still fighting), fell face-first onto our tile floor while trying to chase me (and I always expect him to get hurt while playing the rougher-than-I-like games with Gavin), and today gets his first bout of diarrhea. It's been kind of a rough week.
But what I've noticed is that it doesn't quite affect Gavin the same way it does me. He feels bad for Elijah, but not in the same way or to the same degree as I do. His comforting words to me are, "well, I just think about when he gets older and he'll have to go through much worse and more painful things than this."
Thanks a lot. Now not only am I worrying about the possible damage done to his teeth and mouth and whether or not he's getting dehydrated from his sick stomach, I'm also worrying about his first car wreck that he gets in when he's 16 and too immature to be driving in the first place. Or like Gavin said, "he'll be a lot more sad and hurt when he can't get a date to the prom." Again, not a helpful comment to me, but thanks for trying.
Overall, Elijah is a very healthy, happy little boy. And it's times like this, when he's sick and hurt, that make me even more thankful for his health and all of the blessings that he brings us every day. I know there are so many kids that don't have their health and their parents have to watch them hurt much more than I could ever imagine.
So, it's nights like this that I read a couple more books to him than I normally do before bed, and stand over his crib rubbing his back and praying for him a little longer before rushing off to have the rest of the night to myself.
If this is the worst it's been in the last 16 months, then we are blessed.