Watch our baby grow!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

The other big announcement

Didn't want to keep you all in suspense too long, so...
We plan to name our little girl
Abigail Lila
and we'll call her Abby.
In all of our talk about names during the past four months, we never came up with one that really struck us with that "Yes! That's the one!" feeling. Finally, just last week, Ryan came up with Abby, and we both loved it right away. I think it was pretty much locked in when I looked it up and discovered that it means "a father's joy" or "joy of the father" - I don't think I've ever heard Ryan say "Aww!" before. :) Abigail, like Elijah, is a Hebrew name. There were two Abigails in the Bible, the more notable of whom was David's third wife, known for her graciousness and beauty (1Chronicles 2). Our little Abby gets her middle name from my beloved "G-Ma," another woman known for her graciousness and beauty. G-Ma was a wonderful woman; well worthy of having her first great-granddaughter named after her.

Well, I think that's it for big announcements from us for awhile. Now I'll get to work on the Christmas posting! (It may take awhile, I have 170 photos to wade through!) :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

The news you've all been waiting for...

We had our ultrasound this morning, and (drumroll please)

It's a...
Yes, we're expecting a daughter in early May! I know many of you are not at all surprised by this news based on how different this pregnancy had been, but I was surprised. :) Here are a few photos of our baby girl...

Her profile...

A side view of her spine, neck, and head...

And one of her face, looking up at you and waving with her left hand!

Needless to say, we're excited! Of course, we have a lot of work to do and stuff to get since most of Eli's hand-me-downs aren't going to much as we want her to be involved in sports, our little girl's room is not going to be blue with a sports theme! Check back soon for a name announcement and Christmas photos.

We hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas cookies

Eli and I had a wonderful time making Christmas cookies last week. I have fond memories of holiday baking with my grandma (G-Ma) when I was a child, so it's something I was really looking forward to doing with Eli. It was a hands-on project from start to finish, and Eli loved it! He helped every step of the way, so I'll let the photos tell the story... If you look closely at the series of decorating photos, you'll see the progressively growing mess on Eli's work surface. Needless to say, the decorating was his favorite part (yes, even more than tasting)! They may not be the prettiest cookies, but this project was definitely about process, not product - and well worth the extra cleaning of the kitchen! We had a great time, and will definitely carry on this tradition in years to come.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

First snow

Okay, obviously I'm a week late on this post since we've now had way more snow. Anyway, last Saturday we got our first snow of this winter, and Eli sure was excited! He told me a couple of weeks ago he wanted to go play in the snow, but there wasn't much I could do since there was no sign of the fluffy white fun. That changed Saturday night, and Sunday morning we woke up to a nice white blanket. We got all bundled up and headed out for some fun. Eli decided to take on the job of shoveling snow off the deck - mostly just so he could get to his construction vehicles. He was disappointed to find his wheelbarrow filled with a solid block of ice. He scraped at it a little trying to get it out, but to no avail. I think it's going to be a fun winter with him. Last year he wasn't all that into the snow, but this year he's definitely a big fan. The other big fan of the snow is our little Zoe, which is really ironic since she hates being wet and cold. Something about the snow brings out the puppy in her and she has a great time leaping and running around. She also loves chasing and biting snowballs! It was extremely cold out, so after about half an hour we headed inside to warm up with Eli's first cup of hot chocolate - definitely a new favorite treat!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A whole WEEK!

I called this morning to reschedule my, barring any other complications, our ultrasound is scheduled for Friday, December 26th. So, we're back to the news being a secret through Christmas, only it's a secret from us, too! I'm rather dejected that we have another week to wait. However, I'm really glad that it's Christmas week, so there will be lots of wonderful things going on to make it go quickly. To help me pass the time, you'll see I've added a poll to the right column so that you can guess the baby's sex (great idea Emily!). Also, I'd love for you to comment on this post with name ideas! We have a few ideas, but we'd love to hear your thoughts. I'd offer a prize if we pick your name, but too many of you know some of our favorites! :) Anyway, give me your ideas...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

At least we got a walk...

Despite the big disappointment of the day, we did get to go for a great family walk. We all got bundled up (Zoe, too!) and braved the elements. The snow was really coming down, and we were all covered by the time we got home. It was well worth it though, to get out of the house for awhile and enjoy the beauty God created. It really was gorgeous out there!

No news :(

Well, for those of you who are here looking for gender such luck! (For anyone who hasn't heard, Ryan vetoed the whole "wait until Christmas to share the news" idea last weekend). Today was supposed to be the day of my exciting ultrasound, and thus the big reveal here on the blog, but alas, the snow foiled our plans. Ryan came back to bed at 6 a.m. this morning saying that school was cancelled because of snow - I was immediately wide awake and whining about what this meant for our 2:30 doctor visit. Sure enough, a call to the doctor's office confirmed my fear: they were closed all day. To add insult to injury, I don't know when I'll be able to reschedule. They weren't doing any scheduling today, and weren't sure if they would tomorrow either. That puts us into Christmas week, and I'm guessing it's going to be a long shot to squeeze me in sometime before our holy holiday. Ugh! Usually I love the snow - but I couldn't have wanted it less today!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reindeer Festival

Eli and I made our second annual trip to the Reindeer Festival on Thursday. It was exactly the same as last year, but much more fun because of Eli's age. He was thrilled to get to feed the reindeer, and very surprised to learn that they love apples! We also learned that reindeer are the only species of deer in which both the males and females have antlers. This was a little confusing for Eli since he always calls deer with antlers "the Dada deer." Anyway, Eli's two favorite reindeer were Vixenand Olive. Never heard of her? Neither had we. Apparently there's a movie about a dog who mis-hears a radio report about Blitzen being injured and Santa needing to make his run with "all of the other reindeer" as Santa needing "Olive the other reindeer." Anyway, apprently Olive the dog had a species-change operation, because she's definitely a real reindeer. Wow - I digress (big time)! Eli also got to visit Santa in his house, but wanted nothing to do with sitting on his lap! It took lots of coaxing just to get him to take a Hershey's kiss from Santa. :) Maybe next year he'll come out of his shell a bit. Aside from meeting all of Santa's reindeer, the highlight of the festival for Eli was getting to sit in Santa's sleigh. He went back three times to climb into it again. As we were leaving he told me over and over again that he wanted to come back another time and give the reindeer more snacks! The Reindeer Festival was definitely a hit.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree!

Saturday was a busy day at our addition to setting up the firetruck bed, we also set up our Christmas tree. Eli has been asking for one ever since he started seeing them around, so he was really excited. He loves the lights, and wants them on all the time (fortunately we do too!), and picked out our new tree skirt (he chose the one that looks like Santa's suit). He even did the decorating by himself! He has a set of little yarn ornaments that he put on the tree Saturday evening. Sadly, Ryan and I haven't done our part, so only the bottom two feet of our tree is decorated! Maybe we'll get it done this Saturday. :) Anyway, it really feels like Christmas around here now, and we're all excited. We've continued our Advent celebration, and Eli really looks forward to it every night. What a wonderful time of year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big boy bed!

It's official...Eli's a Big Boy now!
Saturday Eli said bye-bye to his crib and helped Dada set up his big boy bed. And not just any bed...a firetruck bed! Needless to say Eli is incredibly excited about his new bed! Naps have been sporadic since Saturday because the bed is just way to exciting. Fortunately the nights have gone incredibly well, and even during the nap times when he doesn't sleep he's not getting out of his bed. We are so grateful for how smooth the transition has been. We know it may not stay this way, but this is a great start! Thanks Great Grandma for the awesome new bed, and thanks Aunt Debbie for the fantastic firetruck bedding!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Baby talk

Well, our poor little bun-in-the-oven has been sorely neglected on this blog! Mainly because the only news (or non-news) to report has been that I am still sick (yes, even at 19 weeks!). I am definitely grateful that the nausea and fatigue has definitely improved, though! I was having to take medication consistently every eight hours, whereas now I can get by with once a day. I am so grateful to be functioning normally again, able to cook and eat, and not needing to nap daily. Not only has the pregnancy gotten easier, but it has gotten more fun...since Wednesday, November 19th I've been able to feel the baby moving. This has been a real treat since I didn't feel Eli until 22 weeks. By the time I felt him, he was really a big baby with big kicks, so I completely missed out on this stage of the little "flutter" in the tummy. It's really fun! Even Ryan is now able to enjoy it; he was able to feel the baby with his hand on my belly for the first time last night. Getting to enjoy this stage is making the nausea that lingers much more bearable! AND...less than two weeks until we find out the baby's sex! (And yes, we're still planning on keeping it to ourselves for one week until Christmas.) :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Oh what fun it is to ride in engine?!

On Monday of last week we enjoyed a fun evening with friends at the Sammamish City Hall Tree Lighting event. It started with a performance by a local elementary school choir. Needless to say our two and three-year-olds didn't really care much about the performance! So, we headed out to the Gingerbread House-making station where Eli and Sierra had a blast decorating their houses (which, incidentally, were actually milk cartons with graham crackers glued onto them). Eli had never done this before and was really into the project; Sierra, who's a pro, opted to eat icing straight out of the container instead of wasting it on her house! :) I just love the concentration on his face in this photo...
The highlight of the evening for Eli came after the houses were done...a well-decorated firetruck arrived, and the firefighters let the kids explore inside. Needless to say, this made Eli's day (week, month...). He sat in every seat, most notably the driver's seat. It took some serious coaxing to get him out from behind that big steering wheel! They had the firetruck well-decorated, complete with tons of lights and Rudolph and Santa's sleigh on top. It was a really fun night! (Thanks, Lena!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Eli's first Advent

We've started a new tradition in our family this year: celebrating Advent. Ryan grew up celebrating Advent, but it was new to me. I'll let author Lisa Whelchel explain it: "The word advent means "to come," and it refers to Jesus' coming to earth as a baby on Christmas day. The season of Advent is all about looking forward to celebrating the day when our almighty God stepped into history as a human being." Whelchel wrote a great book called The ADVENTure of Christmas, and we're using a lot of her ideas and projects in our celebration. Our final MOPS meeting of the year focused on how to celebrate Advent, the meaning of the symbols, and actually making our own Advent wreaths to take home. The meeting got me really excited about beginning this tradition in our family. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (this year it fell on November 30). Every family does things a little differently, and ours is no exception. Many families use Advent calendars with doors, drawers, etc. for the children to open each day. Instead of the traditional calendar, Eli has an envelope to open each day. Each envelope contains a little treat (a couple of M&Ms), two small "gluing projects," and a coloring page. This photo shows Eli finding his first M&M...Since Eli is really into gluing, he has a paper Advent Calendar Christmas Tree that he gets to glue numbered paper ornaments on to count the days of Advent. The other little gluing project is that each day he gets one verse from the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke that he glues onto a piece of construction paper. Each day we read as much of the story as we have. The coloring page each day is a page from a Christmas Story Advent Coloring Book that has a piece of the Biblical account of Christmas along with a picture to color that corresponds to that piece of the story. (Anyone who wants to use these materials can just click on the links; I didn't come up with all of this on my own!). We're also doing miscellaneous projects every few days to illustrate some aspect of Advent in a hands-on way. It's been a lot of prep work, but well worth it! One part of Advent that many families do the same is that each Sunday we light another candle on our Advent wreath (there are five total, each with a different meaning) and talk about what that week's candle means. Eli has been excited to help light the candles and blow them out. It's really fun introducing this special tradition at a time when Eli is so into learning and doing. Last night after cleaning up his toys he looked up excitedly and said "want to do Advent now!" I think it'll become a tradition that he treasures!