ELIJAH 30 Months. Our sweet little boy is two and a half years old! I can’t believe that he’s half a year away from three! The last six months have flown by in a flash. There is no doubt that this is due to the fact that we traveled for two of those months. Another contributing factor is that I started a photography business almost two months ago, and things have been insanely busy since then.
Height: 90cm │ Weight: 25.4 lbs
Nicknames: “Eli” and “Gaggy”. Of course, when he’s not listening, he is “Elijah James”, but most of the time our little guy is Eli. Our affectionate name for him is “Gaggy” – I am pretty sure that this one started when he was only a few months old. His first sounds were “ga-ga”, so we started calling him “ga-ga”, “gags” and then “gaggy”.
ELIJAH 25 Months
- Being a summer baby, Elijah’s “new year” always starts in the best time of the year. It is not yet too hot, but the weather is wonderful. The skies are blue and we love short sleeve weather! We did many strolls around the neighborhood this month.
- Justin and Eli got matching soccer jerseys. Little man got the smallest size, but he will need some time to grow into his!
- We enjoyed a number of lunches and dinners at DejaVu restaurant. While there Eli loved to play with the lego, books and trucks that they for customers. I often parked his stroller so that he had a nice little corner to play in.
- On a Monday morning, with Justin off from work, we went sightseeing and saw some of the older parts of Qingdao. This is the area in which Eli was born. Check out what we saw in these posts: PiChai Yuan, Catholic Church and Protestant Church.
- After months of worrying about Elijah’s speech delay, we decided to take him to the Chinese municipal hospital for a hearing test. This was a traumatic experience of all three of us because the medicine they gave him (which was meant to make Eli go sleep) put him into a trance-like state. We waited hours and hours, and got very frustrated with the hospital staff who were noisy and inconsiderate. In the end, we chose to throw in the towel, go get a bite to eat and then go home. We decided to leave the hearing – and other – tests: We got the feeling that we should just wait… and pray!
- On July 11th we flew to Paris and began an amazing travel experience: a two month adventure through 15 countries.
Above 1, Riding through the water alleyways in Venice on a Gondola. Our last day in Italy.
Above 2, Look at the joy in his face! Eli sat in the basket of our family bike while we drove the city walls of Lucca, Italy.
ELIJAH 26-27 Months
- Elijah’s 26th and 27th month were spent mostly “on the road”. We traveled in a counter-clockwise direction, starting in France, and then stopping in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, San Marino, Austria…. (eventually we will blog through it all). There are PLENTY of adorable pictures of Elijah on this trip, and if you are following our vacation blog posts, then you might have already seen some of them already.
- We wondered how he would do in the car seat – since he has only been in one twice (South Africa and the U.S.A), but he did FANTASTICALLY, and we were so proud of how he adapted. He sat in that seat for many hours at a time on some days, and he barely ever complained. He had a bucket of toys and books next to him, and an iPad attached to the back of Justin’s seat.
- Until this trip, we had been quite concerned about some of his speech and developmental delays. This mommy had to work through many fears and anxieties. I finally came to let it be after the hearing test was so unsuccessful. Something amazing happened on this trip though! Eli started to make new sounds – he began to recognize letters and say numbers. In fact, he seemed to fall in love with letters. Anytime we passed a sign he would point and say the letters. We were absolutely amazed! All this was mostly due to him playing with the alphabet iPad apps that we had purchased for him for the trip.
- We took a compact travel stroller with on our trip. Again, we wondered how Eli would do with this change. He pretty much naps for hours in our jogger stroller BUT he does get to ride in luxury. His Mountain Buggy stoller is no lightweight cheapo! We were so pleased when he adapted to the smaller stroller and gladly sat in it for hours while we did sightseeing. Sometimes we felt bad that he went from carseat to stroller – but he was a trooper! We stopped at as many playgrounds and grassy parks as we could so that he could stretch his legs and run around.
- After two months on the road, Eli had a good tan (mostly on his legs – from being in the stroller) and he was showing incredible developments in his learning and speech. We were a couple of VERY happy parents!
- Eli has now been to 19 countries. He would have hit the BIG 20, but we left him in Austria so that we could do some adventure sports in Slovenia. haha… I’m sure we will joke about that for a while still (we robbed him of a country).
Above 1, Hiking up FuSahn on Daddy’s back. We LOVE this Deuter kids hiking backpack!
Above 2, In his new jammies – looking like such a big boy! So many kisses for us lately.
ELIJAH 28 Months
- Month 28, which fell between September and October, brought the last of the decent weather and many long walks.
- Eli was in super-cute mode! I couldn’t get enough of him, even when doing ordinary things, like drinking a yogurt.
- At the beginning of October we started a YouTube Channel, which basically took us from “bloggers” to “vloggers” (video blog = vlog) and if you loved seeing Eli in picture-form, then you’re really going to enjoy watching him in real time!
- Little man went up FuShan on a few occasions this month. We did a family hike, which you can see HERE and in video form HERE. We also went up with some friends, on a ladies hike. During this month we found an amazing new wooden path that goes up the southern side of FuShan. Eli was incredible on all of these hikes. He sat patiently in the hiking backpack and never complained or fussed at all. In fact, he even snuck in a good long nap on our family hike!
Above 1, There he is in, not one, but two head accessories. He loves to put on Justin’s hat AND earmuffs and walk around for hours like that. As you can imagine, this is both cute and very amusing for us!
Above 2, Eli refused to keep the shoulder straps over his chest no matter how tight we made them. They always ended up around his waist and he was more than happy to take a snooze like this. Leg up and head to the side – very comfy and chilled.
Above 3, Big yawn! Little man was sooooo good in his compact travel stroller. He made it “his own” by figuring out how to put his toys and snacks in the under-carriage.
ELIJAH 29 Months
- With this month, the pollution rolled in, and Eli and I began to stay home more and more. If you are wondering what we do on one of these dreaded pollution days? Check it out HERE (a vlog entitled “A Pollution Day”)
- We have been so surprised by Eli’s levels of affection lately. He has always been very kissy and cuddly, but lately he is just a little cuddle monster. He wants to kiss and hug all the time. In the morning he likes to get into bed with mommy and lie next to me while Justin gets ready to go to work.
- Eli and I were the stars of an online shopping show. He has modeled for a baby furniture company a few times, and they asked us to interview on the differences between Chinese and Western parenting styles. It was a great experience. We don’t have the recording, but you can check out some pictures of that in THIS POST.
- We had some pretty awesome Halloween outfits this year. Our first outfit: Bank Robbers and their loot (Eli was the bag of money, ie. our loot). Our second outfit: Ash, Pikachu and the Pokemon ball. Of course, Eli was the Pokemon ball.
- We went trick-or-treating as a family, and this year Eli was more interested in the candy, but he is still not a huge fan of sugar so he didn’t eat very much of it. He ended up with a bag of candy, and was happy with one lollipop! THIS KID ?
- Eli and I went to numerous playdates, joined the ladies on another FuShan hike, ran a Halloween 5km Fun Run, and met with daddy for a family date at Lisa’s Restaurant.
- Eli continued to show a great interest in letters and numbers this month. We definitely did notice that his learning wasn’t developing at the same speed as it had been on the trip, so we have started to allow him to use the iPad more at home. Watching how he imitates and learns through these apps has been incredible!
- We don’t regularly go to the ECC Playtime on Mondays/ Thursdays because Eli always stands at the back and does puzzles or reads. These mornings always just seemed too draining to go to since Eli didn’t take part in the group activities, and ended up playing all alone. This month that changed, and Eli ran to the mat to sing, dance and take part in the action songs. This mommy was so happy that she had to do everything in her power not to burst into (happy) tears! He had the biggest smile as he clapped his hands, stomped his feet, and moved that little body. A few days later it dawned on me… He recognized the playtime songs from his iPad apps!
Above 1, Within days Eli had figured out all of the iPad shortcuts. He knows how to switch between apps. He even surprised us by turning on his sound app so that he could sleep on a noisy street in Rome! Read about that HERE.
Above 2, On our Europe trip we discovered that Elijah loves these push-top bottles. Usually he have him drink out of straw cups. We never did get him onto sippy cups, so it took him a couple minutes to figure out how to pull the top and then tip the bottle. It is so cute watching how he discovers things!
ELIJAH 30 Months
- Eli sat through about an hour of a music show at the Qingdao Grand Theatre, and then spent the next two hours walking up and down the rows. Considering how long this school show was, he did really well!
- We love our night-time routine with Eli since returning from Europe. We moved his room around, and now all of his bedtime books are on a low shelf. We sit on a small carpet next to his crib and he chooses books for us to read. When we tell him that he can only have ONE MORE book, then he gets the biggest bible story books. He lifts his chin up, squishes up his nose, and giggles as he hands us the book. What a little joker – he is just so funny!
- Even though he has pretty much refused any form of accessories since he was about one, he is now very willing to put on sunglasses. This month he is also willing to wear hats again! Last winter it was a huge fight every time we left the front door, but this year he’s all cool with it.
- Elijah had lots of fun in the fall leaves this month!
- Our friend Kevin did a Fall Family Shoot for us, and Eli was absolutely adorable. He only lasted about 10 minutes and then he was no longer interested in posing for pictures with us. Thankful we got some great pictures anyway!
- This month Eli went with us to a Soup Party, the ISQ Christmas Fair, and did a Christmas handprint craft at playtime.
- We felt the Christmas spirit as we set up our tree and opened Christmas box one and two (from the States).
We are so grateful for this child! Falling, and staying, pregnant with baby number 2 has proved to be way more difficult that we ever imagined that it would be. We therefore treasure Elijah EVEN MORE because we often wonder – “What if he never came to be?” We could never imagine our life without this little guy! He has, from day one, brought us immense joy and love. We are so incredibly happy that God chose US to be his parents. Even if we were never able to give birth to another child, we will never lack anything with this little guy in our family!
Check out all of his updates and photo shoots below.
ELIJAH PHOTO SHOOTS: