Watch our baby grow!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Oh, the beautiful sun!

Welcome to Anaheim! Almost from the moment our plane touched the ground, the California native in me was jumping for joy! I can't tell you how nice it was to wear flip-flops and t-shirts in December. :) I know you Northwest natives (and those elsewhere) appreciate your four distinct seasons, but I still miss the beautiful year-round sunshine. As I've said before, you can take the girl out of CA, but you can't take CA out of the girl. :) Anyway, about the trip...

First, our little man did an amazing job handling getting up at 4:30 a.m.! We also experienced an unheard-of blessing on the wasn't full, and we were able to get a row of three seats together. It really helped Eli to have his own seat. He enjoyed looking out the window and pushing the buttons (don't worry, we didn't let him push the button to beckon the flight attendant!).

The highlight of the trip for Eli was his new best friend, Sierra, who is the daughter of one of the other coaches. Sierra is 10 months older than Eli, and boy did the two of them bond! Our rooms were just across the hall from each other, and anytime Eli heard Sierra in the hall, his face lit up and he said "Sierra! Friend!" They played together the entire trip, went to Disneyland and a basketball game together, shared toys and snacks, danced together (even under tables), and ran and ran and was great! Not a day has gone by since returning home that Eli hasn't asked for Sierra. It was also a real blessing for me to have another mom around, especially one whose company I really enjoy (thanks, Lena!).

We did, of course, go to Disneyland - twice! Eli's still too young to really "get" it, but there were definitely some things he enjoyed. The "It's a Small World" ride was his favorite, and we rode it twice (would have done more had it not been for the lines!). His eyes were wider than they've ever been as we rode the boat through the brightly decorated tunnel. He pointed, danced, and asked for more! :) He also really enjoyed the Christmas parade, and was a huge fan of the Disneyland Railroad train that goes around the park. We planned to ride it just from one side of the park to the other, but Eli enjoyed it so much that we made a round and a half! Eli's other favorite thing at Disneyland was Goofy's house. Goofy's playground (specifically the slide) was a big hit with our little guy. Goofy also has a kid-size piano that plays some pretty goofy notes, and Eli had a great time playing it.

Eli got to hang out with a couple of different Santas. One in our hotel, and one in the California Adventure hotel. He never got around to actually sitting on Santa's lap, but he did become more comfortable with the big man in red.

Two of our favorite photos from the trip were both taken on the day we returned home. We had a lot of time to kill at the Long Beach airport, and fortunately we were able to spend most of it outside. Their baggage claim is outside, and Eli was very intrigued by it. He really wanted to walk on it, and once he managed to climb up onto it before I got to him. As soon as I said "Eli, we need to get down from there" he layed down on the conveyer belt! Fortunately I had the camera in my pocket to catch the cute shot. We didn't realize until later that he had layed down right next to the sign that says (in more words) "stay off!" When we arrived in the Seattle airport, Eli insisted on carrying his own backpack. The amusing thing was the way he carried it...which made perfect sense since everyone else was dragging their bags behind them! Pretty clever kid! :)

It was a great trip, but we were also glad to get back home...especially for Christmas! I promise to do a Christmas post very soon, but this one took a really long time, and I need a break. :)

Monday, December 17, 2007


Here's a little-known fact about Santa's reindeer...they live in Issaquah, WA at the Cougar Mountain Zoo! Each December, the zoo hosts the Issaquah Reindeer Festival where the young and young-at-heart can come visit Santa in his house, feed his reindeer, enjoy story times with elves, etc. Eli has been very into Santa, and maybe even more into his reindeer ("dee!") this Christmas season, so we just had to go! Despite the forecast of rain all day, we got up and out this morning, praying through the whole drive that we'd get at least a short time at the zoo rain-free. God was faithful, and we had a clear (albeit cold!) day to enjoy the festivities. Needless to say, Eli absolutely loved the reindeer!! He was a bit shy with Santa, but after much coaxing he did give old St. Nick a high-five. :) I, of course, missed the shot with the camera...catching only the shy moments. The really cute thing was when nap time rolled around and we read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas; Eli pointed to his jolly pal and said "five" and gave the illustrated Santa a high-five! It was so cute! Anyway, we had a great trip to the zoo, and Eli even got to ride in Santa's sleigh!


Nana gave us a great "interactive, kid-friendly" (quotes from the box) nativity to use this year with Eli. It's been great because each day Eli gets to open a little present that contains one of the people for the nativity and hear a poem about that person and how they fit into the Christmas story. Eli has really enjoyed this nightly ritual, so much so that as he's finishing dinner he'll point to it and say "tiv" - his version of "nativity." He knows each of the people's names so far: "Geh" (Angel), "Mayme" (Mary), "Jos" (Joseph), and Jesus - which he says pretty darn well! :) Last night's present was baby Jesus, and Eli was very excited! Instead of leaving baby Jesus in the nativity with the others, Eli played with Him for awhile, even taking the baby on a train ride! :) Thanks, Nana and Pa, for the great gift!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Call the fashion police!

With his winter coat, blue striped pajamas, and camouflage rain boots, Eli was a walking fashion faux pas this morning! The important thing, however, is that there was a break in the rain, and we played outside! Zoe was incredibly grateful for the romp, too.This was the first time Eli wore his new rain boots, and he sure loves them. He had a great time stomping around on the grass, in the leaves...and again in the house later this evening when he asked for his "boots please!" I had the song "These Boots are Made for Walking" stuck in my head as I watched him stomp around having the time of his life. :) Eli had such a great time playing outside, understandably so since we haven't had any real playtime lately aside from dodging raindrops! :) Anyway, Eli also did a great job helping Dada stack wood. He took great pride in carrying pieces (albeit small pieces) from the wood pile to the house. He's really becoming quite the helper. In the morning he even makes his own waffle (with a little help from Mama, of course)!

Family photos

Our neighbor took a few snapshots for us for our Christmas card. We didn't end up using any of these, so we thought we'd share them here. Thanks for the photos Jo!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Umm...what day is it?

For that matter, what month is it? Eli found his Halloween costume in his closet yesterday and decided to reprise his role as the precious puppy!
He did so again what if it's December?! He had fun, and that's what matters!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Too much information...

For some of you this will be too much information, but those of you who are parents will appreciate it! On Sunday Eli told us when he peed, and today he told me when he pooped! Okay, I know that's weird to be excited about, but it's just amazing that he's becoming so self-aware and able to verbalize what's going on. It's also the first step in potty-training readiness. Anyway, in more self-awareness development, he also told me he was cold and wanted to get out of the bath the other night. I can't believe how fast our little boy is growing up. By the way, the unrelated photo above is a display of yet another new-found interest, and an appropriate one to go along with all the potty-talk: hand-washing! :)

Winter wonderland!

We got our first snow of the winter this weekend...yay! First thing Saturday morning we got bundled up and headed outside. Eli was really intrigued by the snow through the window, but had reservations once we got outside. He wanted nothing to do with standing or walking in the strange stuff! He was happy to play with his basketball hoop, though, while Mama played in the snow. :) I threw some snow in the air, and Eli thought that was pretty funny. When some of it landed on his mitten, he decided to taste it...and boy was that some good stuff! :) He enjoyed eating the snow, but since he didn't want to walk in it, he got his toes right up to the edge of the snow and picked up handfuls to eat! Apparently he had a good time, because despite not wanting to actually play in the snow, he definitely protested when it was time to go inside!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sad goodbye

We had a wonderful week with Laurel/Lala, and it was very hard to put her on a plane back to California! Since she's a minor they let me accompany her to the gate (along with Eli, of course!), which gave us almost an extra hour with her. Eli had a great time at the airport, especially with Lala showing him the airplanes parked outside. After Laurel boarded, we looked at her airplane for awhile while I explained that Lala was going bye-bye on the airplane. Apparently it really sunk in; ever since then, whenever Eli sees or hears an airplane he makes the sign for airplane and says "Lala?" So sweet! Eli sure loves his aunt!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We love Lala!

At last, our long-awaited visit from my sister, Laurel, has arrived! Laurel flew in Monday night, and we're blessed to have her here until next Tuesday. It has been great to see her after such a long time, and so great for Eli to finally meet his Aunt Laurel. We realized very quickly that "Aunt Laurel" was going to be extremely difficult for Eli to say, so Laurel suggested the nickname "Lala." Well, her suggestion was a stroke of genius, because by the end of day 1, Eli was calling her by name! He even asked for her this morning when he woke up. :) Laurel, Eli, and I headed into Seattle yesterday to visit the Space Needle - a first for both of them. It was a great day for it; sunny and clear. We had a great time.

We want to wish everyone a very, very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! We are so grateful for all of our friends and family; you are truly some of God's greatest blessings to us! Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

18 months!?

I don't know about you, but Ryan and I are having a hard time believing that our "baby" boy is one and a half! He has grown up so much, and we are so blessed! Every day we fall more in love with this happy, sweet, wonderful little boy, and we are constantly amazed by how smart and well-mannered he is. We thank God every day for the blessing of being Eli's parents.

We took Eli to Chuck E. Cheese last night to celebrate is half-birthday, and it was a blast! We knew there was a chance Eli would be too overwhelmed by the crazy environment, but he had a great time. He loved all of the lights, sounds, and action. They have an area specifically for toddlers with smaller rides and games, which is where we spent most of our time. Eli was in his element, and was totally comfortable exploring and climbing. As usual, Eli didn't like it when we put tokens in the rides to make them "go," but he still enjoyed "driving" the cars. Whoever designs these things definitely has children...they're full of working steering wheels and colorful buttons to push! Eli even got into some of the games, particularly the ones with buttons or balls. :) We accumulated enough tickets to win Eli a prize, and he left the restaurant with a tiny little baseball and basketball that he loves.

Happy year-and-a-half birthday Eli! Thanks for being so great!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

Well, everyone...the day finally came! You know I've been holding out, avoiding Eli's first haircut for 18 months...until today. The final straw came when Ryan was dressing Eli this morning, and his shirt got caught in his mass of curls, causing him to cry. Ryan looked at me and said, we need to cut it today...causing me to break down in tears! I know, I know, I'm a sap! :) Anyway, by the time I got out of the shower, I had come to terms with what Ryan already was time. So, off we went to "It's a Kid Thing," a salon here in Redmond that specializes in cutting kids' hair. The place is great, from the jungle mural on the wall, to the boxes and boxes of toys available for kids to play with...not to mention the awesome, unconventional barber chairs. The chairs are cars, and they have several to choose from; Eli got to sit in and (more importantly) drive a tractor during his haircut. He was very excited! I'll admit I got a little misty, but Eli did absolutely awesome. He was completely cooperative with the stylist; he was so focused on his train and fire truck toys that he paid no attention to the woman messing with his hair! Actually, he was also pretty focused on the little girl getting her hair cut in the car next to his. Yet another older woman in his life! :) Anyway, the salon did a great job of making this a good experience for all of us, letting me take a ridiculous number of pictures, asking if the cut was what we wanted, saving a few curls in a little bag for us, and giving Eli a toy to take home. We definitely recommend this was worth the slightly ridiculous price. So, despite my reluctance to cut Eli's hair it went well, and though he definitely looks different, he's at least as handsome as he was before!

Friday, November 9, 2007


CONGRATULATIONS RYAN!! As of this morning, Ryan is officially a National Board Certified Teacher! Ryan worked very hard for months to earn this certification. He had to put together a portfolio that included lesson plans, videos of himself teaching, proof of extra-curricular work, and a ton of writing (I'm just guessing here, around 50 pages) addition to taking a test! Needless to say, this is a huge accomplishment. The three of us went out to dinner to celebrate, and had a great time. Eli surprised us by enjoying his lettuce more than his bread! He also did a great job of toasting Dada's big accomplishment! Way to go Ryan!
P.S. Look at those gorgeous curls!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

First day of school?

I had a meeting at Cedar Crest today (the school I worked for before having Eli, and for whom I still do occasional administrative work from home), and Eli got to come along! He did absolutely great playing with the preschoolers. He played outside for awhile first, then fell in love with the play kitchen in one of the classrooms. It was really exciting seeing him play comfortably in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people. What a stud!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Go Wolves!

Ryan, Eli, and I spent this weekend in Pasco, WA for the State Cross-Country Championships. For any who aren't aware, Ryan coaches Cross-Country at Eastlake High School. It was a great weekend with great results...Eastlake's girls took second place! Eli had a good time hanging out at the hotel; he played with the cute boy in the mirror :), and was especially interested in the bellman's cart - he really wanted a ride! He also had a great time watching the kids run at the meet - and showing off his Wolves spirit with the paw prints on his cheeks. Whenever we attend a meet, Eli watches the group run past, then asks for and signs "more." We may have a future runner on our hands. :)

Fall(en) Leaves

While we were out of town this weekend, our maple tree decided it was time to shed its leaves. We came home to a back yard piled high with fall foliage. It made for a lot of raking for Ryan, and a lot of fun for Eli! Ryan created a huge pile of leaves for Eli to play in, and it was quite an adventure for our little man. He wasn't quite sure what to make of being buried in leaves, but he did enjoy exploring and playing with them. Zoe had a great time too; she seemed to be having the time of her life trying to pounce on and bark at the leaves that fell around her as we threw handfuls into the air. Enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Eli had such a great day! Last year he was too little to participate in the day's activities, but today was a whole different story. This morning our playgroup had a costume party complete with orange snacks and lots of adorable costumed kids...our little puppy being the cutest, of course! :) (No offense to our friends!) This evening we went to Redmond Town Center (the local outdoor mall) where Eli had a blast Trick-0r-Treating! He was such a natural, you'd think he's been doing it all his life. :) He toddled from store to store saying a version of "trick-or-treat" that sounded a lot like "taco taco taco" - SO cute! He got better and better with each attempt, and he very sweetly signed "thank you" to each person who gave him candy...without even being prompted! He even held onto the pumpkin bucket that we were sure we'd be stuck carrying. We have two adorable (short) videos to share, but weren't able to load them onto the blog, so take a minute to watch them on You Tube... and - make sure to have your volume turned up for the first one, it priceless. :) Hope everyone else had a safe and fun day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Piano Man

Eli has a new hobby...playing the piano! This weekend we had the wonderful blessing of a visit from Andrew and Jill (Eli's uncle and aunt), which led to lots of quality time at Nana and Pa's house. Eli had a great time playing the piano with Nana, as well as dancing while she played for him...and he faithfully clapped at the end of each song! Looks like we have a natural, and one very happy Nana! :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Library day

Eli and I went to the Redmond library Thursday for their young toddler story time. Eli wasn't really into the story time, despite the books and songs, but he did enjoy hanging out in the library's children's section. He breifly sat and looked at a book about fossils, though it was a little (a lot!) beyond his age. He then discovered that there were cars and trucks going "brrrm, brrrm" outside the window - and boy was he excited! He even got to see a police car; that made his day. :) A final highlight came when Eli discovered that the cushions in the window seat were great for bouncing - woohoo!! Story time may not have been his thing, but he didn't let that stop him from having a good time.