Spring Post

on Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring has brought a lot of changes in Chase's life. It seems like his development is picking up at an ever-increasing pace! He is adding new words to his vocabulary every day now. Common words from Chase: Elmo (more on that later), Bottle, Cracker, Down, Dip (as in dipping food), yucky, Rudy, Dog, Dad, Hat, Shoes, Kitty (pronounced ki-ki). Just yesterday he started saying Purple after I said it just once and today he said "bye bye" to me. It seems like once he got the hang of saying a two syllable word (first one was yucky, don't know why!) other words have come easier. He talks way more than we can understand, but it has been really exciting to see his language develop.

Now, about Chase's love of his life: Elmo. In early April we went to visit Christy, Paul, and Gwendolyn. Gwen happens to love Elmo and it turned out that Chase KNEW who Elmo was and wanted everything to do with Gwendolyn's Elmo toys. We had no idea because until this point, Chase had never watched Elmo with us. It turned out that Ms. Kerry puts on Sesame Street during lunch to help tame the chaos of feeding two very hungry and competitive toddlers. Well, a few days later I made the mistake of watching Elmo with Chase on YouTube. Ever since, Elmo (sounds like Belbo) is often the first word out of Chase's lips in the morning and he would be happy to watch Elmo every waking minute. Once others found out about Chase's love of Elmo, he now has an Elmo sweatshirt (which he wore for 2.5 days straight the first time), Elmo spoon and fork, an Elmo dvd, and an Elmo song CD. The only problem? Elmo tunes are catchy and are stuck in my head! Chase LOVES the Elmo duck song and India Airie's version of the ABCs.

Speaking of love of music, Chase is full on obsessed with the Kings of Leon. Uncle Marc is back in town and visited. He has an MP3 player with a speaker and had it on. Chase got to hold it and was visibly and vocally excited any time a KOL song came on. When the song was over and the next song wasn't KOL, he took the MP3 player back to Uncle Marc so that he could find another song. Uncle Marc and Dad were VERY proud!

Chase had a lovely second Easter. We went to visit Grandma and Grandpa (Chase says Papa) Middleton for the holiday. He ended up receiving four different Easter baskets from different people. This is one well-loved kid! The Saturday before Easter was beautiful and we had a fun time setting up an Easter egg hunt for Chase. He loved it, too! His eggs were filled with Whale crackers and raisins. He couldn't have been more thrilled! He loved soaking up the attention of Grandma and Grandpa by asking them to look at the fish tank together. Grandma Middleton spent lots of time rocking and cuddling with Chase. Those days are quickly waning, so I am glad that she had a chance to snuggle.

Ryan and I each find special moments with Chase throughout the day. Chase and I snuggle and giggle in bed in the morning. He NOW SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT CONSISTENTLY. So, when he wakes up, I fix his bottle and he and I snuggle back in bed. We talk about noses and ears and he lays his head on my chest as he used to do when he nursed. I treasure this quiet time with him before the day becomes hectic and I feel the pressure of work and home chores. Ryan and Chase spend time after they come home from Ms. Kerry's. This involves romping, helping Dad do some sort of work, and sometimes reading books. We all spend dinner time together and Chase is doing a better job eating.

Chase continues to be a kind hearted and sweet little boy. If others are here at bed time, everyone, including Rudy, gets a kiss and a hug good night. At Ms. Kerry's house he is apparently good at sharing with the other kiddos. I know that Chase is who he is intrinsically, but I have to say that I am so proud of who he is becoming.

Happy Spring!

May 4, 2011

Winter post

on Monday, February 7, 2011

Chasey Chase is quite the ham.
Oma bought a sled for Chase and we went sledding in Jan/Feb. Lots of fun!

All has been quiet on Chambers Log for quite some time! The following is excerpts from January and February about who Chase is and what he was doing at the time.


Chase is picking up new skills and mannerisms all of the time. This weekend, I taught him how to hop. Well, when he does it on his own, he only bends his knees and moves his arms. If I hold him and we hop together, he jumps so high! He has no recognition that I am the one helping him hop, which makes watching him do it all the better. Seems to be a good metaphor for parenting--help your children along in the background so that they feel the sense of accomplishment of achieving a new skill. That is either a good metaphor or a terrible one, I'm not sure now. Anywho...
We work very hard to make everything that we want him to do seem like it is his idea, which sometimes takes some creative thinking, but certainly helps tame the tantrums. He loves to try and help and do things on his own, which is so fun to see. I guess I don't really have any good stories from lately, just trying to hold on to the last wisps of him resembling a baby as he more and more acts like a boy.

Chase is now 17 months and is so interesting. Words are on the tip of his tongue, but not quite there, making for some interesting babble and some frustration on his part. He's way in to mimicking what we're doing, which is so fun. I've been enjoying thinking of ways for him to feel involved in the activities that are part of our daily routine. In the morning he keeps me company while I shower and dress. Then as I am getting ready, he does what I do including pretending to put on deodorant, do my hair, put on make up and most importantly, brushing teeth! He loves to do the activity that I am doing and it keeps him quite content!

Chase is also learning how to sing "Old MacDonald". His e-i-e-i-o sounds more like ah-ee-ah-ee with no "o" on the end. We sing the song on the way to Ms. Kerry's house (our babysitter). Old MacDonald sure has a lot of sheep on his farm according to Chase!

Chase is 15 months old!

on Monday, December 13, 2010


We have started to celebrate St. Nicholas day as a way to create traditions that we celebrate in our Bloomington home. St. Nicholas brought Chase some animal refrigerator magnets and they have been a hit! We also celebrated St. Nick's day with our friends Chelsea, Oliver, and Quentin and had a lovely time. We had a vegan feast to accommodate our guests and it was delicious!

At 15 months, Chase is up to all sorts of changes. As this picture (above) demonstrates, one of them happens to be assigning sounds to animals. This means that Chase primarily "moos" at most animals, though Oliver taught him how to growl, too. Chase is also quite adept at pointing and saying "this" as a "please may I have whatever I am pointing at" phrase. It definitely helps to have him communicating a little more. He is walking full-time now, meaning my heart stops 5-10 times a day as he totally wipes out and I'm convinced he has injured his brain. So far, so good.

THE BIGGEST NEWS?!? Chase is mostly sleeping through the night. Cue the Hallelujah Chorus, see the heavens break open with angels smiling down upon us. It finally happened. It only takes a long sleeve cotton onesie, fleece footed jammies, a fan, a small heater, and sometimes the humidifier to make it happen, but hey! It IS possible. We are starting to feel human again, but I suspect it will take some time before we feel totally normal.
Chase has been enjoying interacting with the Christmas decorations in our home. The aluminum snow flakes in the picture above are from my Grandma Dunnuck. We put them up in the arch between our living room and kitchen and they flutter as people walk through. Ryan and Chase have created a game where they blow on them to make them twirl. Adorable.
Chase also loves the nativity scene (not pictured). I grew up constructing an elaborate nativity scene with any animal one could think of taking part. While our nativity scene isn't quite as elaborate, Chase loves looking at the sheep, cows, donkeys, and camels. He loves looking at the ornaments on the tree, too. He has learned that Santa Claus goes "ho ho ho", which sounds more like "go go go" coming from Chase. He also finds things to "moooo" at on the tree, though we are unsure of the association. The bottom 1/3 is undecorated except for a few bells that Chase is allowed to put on and take off. He has been a very good listener about not touching or pulling on the tree. I'm pretty shocked!
I couldn't help but put this picture in. Chase and Ryan are two peas in a pod. I couldn't be happier to see them loving each other.
This is Chase in his Christmas sweater pre-family photo shoot. He's 15 months old now, and I can hardly believe that he was just a little squirt last year. Time has flown by.
I love this picture. I hope it is on our holiday card (should we get organized enough to make one).
We wish you all a very merry Christmas and the happiest 2011. Thank you for being part of our lives!
Love to you all,
Elizabeth, Ryan, and Chase

Outtakes from the Family Christmas shoot

There were far more funny pictures than usable ones. I thought that I'd share a few of the best.
....no caption needed....

J.T. was standing in for the light test.

Ryan is doing his best "Magnum" modeling pose.

Nope, this is more like him.

...and we're done.

Chase turned one 9/11/10

on Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pictures from Chase's birthday party. He had a blast.

early morning snuggle with dad. precious.

Chase William loved his vegan dark chocolate and "butter"cream iced cupcakes.

his still favorites, balls.

my boy.

The following are from Chase and Gwendolyn's ONE YEAR OLD in Oma's chair series. These are priceless.

beautiful children.

Chase = ladies' man. Gwendolyn = not amused.
Gwendolyn's expression says a thousand words.

"Really Chase? Not another kiss."

Chase is 14 months!

on Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Since our last post, life has been busy. Elizabeth successfully defended her dissertation on October 27th. Ryan, Oma, and Chase were there to help celebrate in a post-defense reception. Chase celebrated by eating lots of grapes, cookies, cheese and playing with the corks from champagne. Our family celebrated by getting the flu. We are all trying to recover from the exhaustion of October and we wouldn't have made it without the help of Oma. Thank goodness for loving, supportive family that lives near by!

Chase is currently teething molars. This has been a painful process for the poor guy, but it is hardest at night. During the day, very little stops that kid.

He has been very serious about reading books. He picks out a book, places it into your hand and then looks at the reader expectantly until the book is opened. His current favorite is an animal book with flaps. He and Ryan read it many times a night and Chase especially loves the page with the owl and sometimes will "hoo hoo hoo" at the owl. The flap books are a revelation. So much to do on one page! I am having so much fun sitting down as a family after dinner is done just spending time with books. Some of my fondest memories are reading with my parents after dinner.

Chase's language is developing. He asks questions, makes statements, and calls out for people/things in his own language. It is more and more clear that he knows exactly what he wants to say, but the words just aren't there yet. He does say dog, "woof", dad, mom, bottle, "di" for Rudy, and other words just pop out of his mouth but don't seem to return. He loves pointing at things, touching them, and hearing the words that go with the object. Ryan carries him around the house touching and naming objects and they have a great time. Chase also likes to sing to his own tune, not necessarily when music is on. It is incredibly endearing.

Chase has started walking 5-6 steps at a time. He began walking more regularly at our Doctor's office on Monday. While waiting in the exam room, I was entertaining Chase with a piece of wadded up paper. He was pretending to climb the steps up to the exam table, when he knew I wouldn't let him, but then would walk to the paper ball when I threw it (fetch works for young children, not JUST dogs, apparently). He was giggling up a storm, so proud of himself for walking. The Dr. couldn't believe that we thought anything was wrong with him from the sounds coming from our exam room! In the moment that he walked, he had such a look of concentration and a fluidity to his movement that I felt as though time stopped. My heart skipped beats. Here was my baby working on conquering one of the final motor tasks that keeps him a baby. I was so proud and a little sad at the same time. Chase showed off his walking skills to Ryan that evening AND even clapped correctly. Monday was a big day.

Kerry, Chase's babysitter describes Chase as attentive to details, smart as a whip, and a daredevil. I would agree with all of those descriptors. I would add that he loves to laugh, is very social, and is quite observant. He will also snuggle in the evenings, yet I see this activity slipping away in the near future.

My, how time passes quickly when we have little ones to mark its' progress.

Pictures of the last little while below:

our little boy

...is hardly ever this serious.

post-defense fatigue. happy to be with Chase and Ryan.

The closest shot we got to Chase's elephant Halloween outfit.

helping with the pumpkin

experiencing the slimy texture

helping dad scoop out the insides

ooops! slipped on the slime.

our 2010 pumpkin.

Summer Catch-Up

on Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hello! I apologize for the long hiatus. Summer turned out to be a VERY busy time! I traveled much more than I thought I would, but that is always the case. Here are some highlights of the heart from the summer. The picture above was taken on a trek to McCormick's Creek State Park in July. Chase is about 10 months here.
We bought this awesome kid carrier that is like an internal frame backpack. Chase loves seeing life from a different perspective. He had a blast! The day we chose to hike was quite hot (but weren't they all this summer?), and Ryan definitely got a work out lugging an extra 17 or so pounds around. Rudy got to go, too. We had a lovely day.
This picture was taken under the waterfall at McCormick's Creek. This is the spot that Ryan took me when we got engaged. My heart swelled with those memories, and now as a family of three (plus Rudy), it was amazing to come back. It was definitely a, "life has come full circle" moment.
Chase is still a waterbug. This is also a picture from July. To no one's surprise, this kid is a HAM. He has many different faces. Note that he has four teeth. The two on the top are the left middle and next one over. The "fang" finally got a friend up top. This summer was definitely about teething. We soaked up a lot of family time. It was so nice to have Ryan home full time.
My sweet, blue-eyed baby from my dreams came true! My heart swells at this picture. 'nough said.

This is Chase in August, a day shy of 11 months. I struggled with wrapping my head and heart around him turning one year during August. It took a long time to believe that my little skinny baby was turning boy. In August, Chase and Ryan took a trip to Maryland by themselves to visit Ryan's brothers and family. They had lots of fun (but I can't find pics to put up). Chase did wonderfully and started sleeping the night by himself on this trip. This pattern has continued off and on. It was a huge relief to know that Chase sleeping for long stretches independently IS possible. At the same time, I have to make sure to get my extra snuggles in during the day, because part of my heart misses the baby on my chest. I've learned motherhood is one part triumph and one part heartache.
We also celebrated Oma's birthday with a surprise party. We had a blast and she was genuinely surprised. We invited a small group of her friends and each couple prepared a toast. I think she had a great time! Chase was well-loved on, too.
It was so nice for people to express their love for Oma. She was genuinely touched. Quick! Go tell someone that you love them and why! It was great fun.

Each couple brought a dessert to share, including a sour cherry pie (her favorite) and Christy's delectable chocolate chip zucchini cake (very memorable)! Funny story, Christy had a 9 and 0 cake from Grandma Porter's 90th birthday. So she turned the 9 upside down for a six.

I'm working on catching us up to the present day....until then!