Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eight Months Old!

Here we are at the eight month mark!  Every month for a baby is significant, but this last one seems markedly so.  Little Ellie has grown and changed and gone and done.  We have been all over the place as a family and she is one little trooper!  Her personality is starting to emerge!  She is a happy little sweetheart that loves Mama best!

At eight months old Ellie:
  • has grown!  She weighed in at 16.5 lbs and measured in at 25 and 1/4 inches.
  • eats a lot!  Ellie LOVES baby food and eats almost everything I feed her. The only limit to her eating is her sensitive stomach so each food we try is still a learning curve.  She even will eat peas (something she rejected a month ago) if they are mixed in with something else.  She goes wild for butternut squash and applesauce.  She is also slowly trying out finger foods.  She likes various Gerber baby snacks, Cheerios, and veggie chips.  We are still successfully breastfeeding and having one bottle before bed.  
  • sleeps nearly the same. Some nights she wakes up a few times, sometimes she doesn't.  The only difference is we have shed the swaddle blanket and it is getting harder to sneak out of the room after I put her down.
  • got another tooth.  She now has both of her bottom middle teeth.
  • is working on her moves! Ellie has started trying to scoot to get to things she's interested in, so I imagine it won't be long before she is up and crawling.  She also loves it when we hold her in a standing position.
  • has a lot more to say!  Ellie now seems to make sounds just to hear herself and has added "bababababa" and "mamamama" to her vocabulary.
  • has traveled!  In the last month she has been to the Frio River, Houston, Corpus Christi, New Orleans, and Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.   
Hanging out in Houston.
At Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa's house.
Ellie on a boat!
While on vacation, our friends were amazed at how good she was!
Beach baby mohawk!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Family Vacation 2014...Santa Rosa Beach, Florida!

Our summer has come to an end with a bang! We spent our family vacation this year with our good friends the Eggers and the Devines in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida (#vacationwithfriends)!  We left from Houston last Sunday morning and made an overnight stop in New Orleans, Louisiana.  We stayed in a quaint hotel one block off Rue Bourbon, so we were able to show the kids the local flair and flavor.  I don't think they knew what to think of all that was going on (#parents of the year). Day two consisted of another day of driving to our rented beach house.  The next four days were spent on the beach and in the house pool.  The girls also got a chance to visit Seaside for some shopping and we all got to test out some really great restaurants.  Naturally on Friday morning it was hard to leave!  We pushed all the way home instead of breaking up the trip like on the way there.  After 15.5 solid hours on I-10, two delirious parents and three sleeping kids pulled into the driveway at midnight.  What a wild week!

Horsing around in our New Orleans hotel room.
Two days of driving and the Big Easy were too much for this little one.   Ellie couldn't quite make it through the first walk on the beach.
She started to get the hang of it!  Yay for Ellie's first vacation!
In no time at all Ellie was enjoying the ocean!
For the first day on the beach, Penny preferred the sand to the crashing waves.
By the second day, she was joining the other kids in the ocean!
This adventurous kid just couldn't get enough of the beach!
Different this time around was Daddy was in charge of the camera most of the time.  Mama made a few of the pictures!
We finished every beach trip with a dip in the house pool.  I think the kids had just as much fun there as the beach!
Cooper kept everyone entertained by putting on a show jumping in the pool.  He kept telling everyone to watch by saying "Everyone shut it down!"  and  "Look at my eyes!"
HUGE this trip was Miss Penny becoming so much braver both on the beach and in the pool.  She started swimming across the pool underwater!  We were so proud of her!
Look who can write his name in the sand?
We really enjoyed our time spent with these folks!  
And these people!
All the kids (Six in all!) had such a great time playing together!
We had two nannies (Not my term, they asked to be called that!) accompany us on the trip.  The kids always had someone to play with take care of them and the adults got to have some adult time! 
 Thanks again Reagan and Paige for all your help!
Daddy and Penny at the end of the last beach day.  We had so much fun we are already talking about next year's trip!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Into Our Last Month of Summer

We marked the beginning of our last month of summer with a weekend visit to Houston.  We stopped in for quick visit with Nonnie on Friday afternoon, then went on to spend the rest of the weekend with our friends, the Edmonds'.  The kids got off to a bit of a rough start being friends, but after a few hours on Saturday, everyone was having fun.  

Name something better than a slip-n-slide in the summer!
Penny and Cooper loved playing with someone else's toys.
Ellie relaxes at the Houston Racquet Club.
"Mom, be sure to take a picture of me on the slide!"
There ya go...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Frio River Trip 2014

Chillin' in the river.
Chance would have it that our friend Angela took the very first picture with David's new waterproof camera.  (Our other waterproof camera was lost last year at the Frio!)
Penny eats pistachios and contemplates things.

David shows the boys a thing or two about "bug-a-salting" while we wait for everyone to be ready to hit the river.
Cooper found a good sit-and-think rock.
Buds reunited!
Since we have moved we have really missed our Naiser friends!  The kids really enjoyed each other over the weekend after being separated for so long!
Penny just swam and swam and swam.

Ellie enjoyed her first trip to the Frio River!
The babies were such troopers but a few hours at the river took its toll.
The river took its toll on the big kids too. Again, they were so happy to be together again!
On Saturday night we went to watch the bat flight!  So awesome!
Daddy and Penny watch the bats.
Cooper is mesmerized by the bats, but not so much that he can't "keep Penny safe."
What a beautiful batty evening!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Seven Months Old!

Fastest. Seven months. Ever!  Yet another month of Ellie's babyhood has slipped by without it even seeming like it!  We have kept busy over the last month, which might account for how fast it seemed to go.  In between friends and family visits, day trips exploring the area, family reunions, and holidays, Ellie has made her seventh month a big one!  The changes for Ellie in the last month include:

  • Growth!  Ellie now weighs 16 lbs and is 24 3/4 inches long.  (That is a TWO POUND gain from last month.)
  • Food!  Ellie breastfeeds every four hours but has learned to take a bottle.  She now gets one right before bed.  She is also steadily learning to eat solid food.  Right now she eats two solid food meals a day which includes many things.  So far she likes oatmeal, butternut squash, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, and green beans.  She makes a horrible face every time I try to feed her peas and rice cereal doesn't seem to agree with her tummy.  
  • Sleeping in her crib!  For the first six months of her life, we kept her upright, in order to alleviate her acid reflux.  She has improved so much in that department (no more spit up!) that we started laying her flat to sleep in her crib.  She isn't sleeping any worse (or better) than before, and she still prefers to be swaddled.
  • Teeth!  After months of constant drooling and gnawing on everything in sight, Ellie's right bottom tooth finally poked through the gum.
  • Action!  Ellie can sit up unsupported for quite a while and seems to prefer that position to laying down (back or tummy) for playing.  So far she doesn't seem that interested in crawling, but we suspect that has something to do with the fact that her older siblings bring everything to her.  (She also is happiest when Mama is holding her, and being the baby, Mama obliges.) 
  • Sounds!  Ellie is a much more vocal baby than she was just a month ago.  Her favorite sound to make is a raspy, growly "Ahhhhh" sound when she is excited.  She also uses an "mmmmmmm" sound when she is working on getting upset.
  • People!  We traveled to Fredericksburg, Texas for a family reunion where Ellie got to meet countless family members.  She also enjoyed a visit from the Eggers, Aunt Amanda, Matt and "the cousins",  Bill and Libby Morgan, Uncle Clint, and Ma-mas and Pa-pa.  

Seven month photo shoot...
Cooper helps to extract a smile.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Family Reunion in Fredericksburg

The summer fun continued through the weekend as we traveled the whole 40 minutes to Fredericksburg for a family reunion.  Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa and Uncle Clint came too!  We all had fun staying in the old (looking) house for the weekend, strolling and shopping on Main Street, and visiting with lots of family at the reunion.  Dooley's, the Fredericksburg Brewery, and Lady Bird Johnson Park were a few of our stops.  This marked Ellie's first (of many) trips to Fredericksburg, and Cooper and Penny had lots of fun playing with cousins.
Playing under the pecan trees in the backyard.
Ellie played too!
Of course we brought trains and Super Mario cars with us.
Out on the town on Saturday morning.  
Saturday night super moon rising.
Keeping cool at the reunion by eating lots of ice.
All the Germans and the heat were a little much for this one. She won "Youngest Family Member" at the reunion, though only by 10 days!   
Ellie meets some cousins!  
Cooper and some cousins invented a game that involved dumping sand on each other...I couldn't be too bothered by it...I recall playing a similar game with some of my cousins.
Birds of a feather...