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...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Friends & Family For the Fourth

We had a pool party for the Fourth of July!  Our friends the Eggers came for a long weekend visit and "the cousins" joined us for the Fourth festivities.  It was a perfect way to celebrate our country's birthday...swimming and margaritas in the backyard, burgers and banana pudding for dinner, and fireworks on the front porch.  The only caveat was a big rainstorm that blew through right at dark.  It knocked out the power for two hours, but we did enjoy watching the rain!  We had planned to go to Boerne city park to watch the fireworks but didn't because of the rain.  To our complete surprise and enjoyment, we could see them from our house!  Monday was a tough day as we all needed to recover!

Pool party! The most people we have had swimming at once so far.
Even Ellie got in the water!
This little guy never stopped the whole weekend!
Look who decided she can sit up by herself?
Brewster LOVED all the attention from the kids and went WILD!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

San Antonio Children's Museum

Over the last two weeks we had a break in scheduled activities (swim lessons), so we were able to get out and explore some of the nearby attractions.  Daddy had to travel to Corpus for work which left Mama to wrangle three kiddos to the San Antonio Children's Museum.  It was a little loud, which scared Penny at first, but after a little while everyone had fun!  This is just the first of many fun spots to visit!
Cooper and Penny sell goods in the general store.
This little lady just relaxed.
Cooper books me a ticket at the airport.
Penny plays house.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Wilds of Home

As we settle into our new habitat, we are having fun learning about some of the creatures we share it with.  One particular morning all we had to do was go out on the front porch for a quick entomology lesson.  Cooper is happy to identify walking sticks, praying mantises (manti?), daddy-long-legs, scorpions (shudder), ladybugs, a "big horned beetle,"  ants, and spiders. While some of the creatures I could do without (uh, black widow spider, scorpion) I appreciate the easy opportunity to teach the kids about nature!  As Pa-Pa said on his visit, "You can wear out a lot of boots living in a place like this."
An armadillo under the propane tank!
Our front porch is a popular hang out for all kinds of creepy-crawlies.  Here is the first Rhinoceros Beetle I have ever seen in person.  
BIG walking stick.  
The previous owners of our home left a deer feeder.  All we had to do was provide the corn and the deer show up in the early morning and evening.
We have seen tons of lizards, big and small.  For awhile a big alligator lizard lived by the front porch.  Cooper named her Lily.
A sleeping bear.  Its exhausting trying to skip your nap and sneak back from your brother's room...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Six Months Old!

For the summer solstice this year our little Ellie turned six months old!  She has continued to be a sweet and easy-going little baby, even through all the moving upheaval we have put her through in the last month.  We enjoy watching her play both with Cooper and Penny and by herself.  We also appreciate what a good sport she has been through moving, getting settled, and taking Cooper and Penny to their activities.  Everyone that meets her exclaims how sweet and beautiful she is!  We agree!

At six months Ellie:

  • Weighs 13 lbs, 14 oz and is 24.5 inches long. 
  • Still eats every 3 to 4 hours during the day and sometimes once in the middle of the night.  
  • Naps well, though not always on a schedule.  Poor third baby is a victim of her older siblings' schedule.  If we are out, she'll take a short nap in her carseat.  If we are home, she'll nap up to two hours.
  • Sleeps in her carseat!  Big girl learned how to sit up in her bouncy seat and needed something with shoulder straps!  (With all the craziness of settling in to our new home, we aren't risking bringing reflux into the picture just yet.)
  • Can't decide which tooth to get first!  She drools and teethes CONSTANTLY though nothing has poked through.  
  • Loves when other people talk or play with her...as long as Mama is the one holding her.
  • Is trying to scoot!  She is an expert at rolling over and pushing up on her arms.  Sometimes she can get herself over to a toy she wants, sometimes she can't.
  • Will hang out for longer periods of time in the exersaucer.  She is getting pretty good at grabbing for things and putting them directly in her mouth.
  • Has gotten in the pool!  She likes the water, though won't have much to do with the baby float.  
  • Has tried rice cereal...and acts like a little baby bird when I am feeding her. She waits for the spoon with her mouth open, and if I am too slow, she lets out a little grunt.  Her brother and sister think this is hilarious. 
  • Has gotten to meet several people and already seems adjusted to her new surroundings.  Girl has no idea we just made an epic move.  
  • We haven't traveled really in the last month, but she did get to go furniture shopping with just Mom and Dad two days in a row while Nonnie kept her siblings.

Ready for her first swim!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Around the Town

Over the weekend our friends Jana and Ed came for a visit and we all headed into Boerne to check out the annual Berges Fest.  We all enjoyed the parade, German music and food, and shopping opportunities.  The kids really liked the throwing of candy at the parade, and the adults enjoyed one float handing out free beer. We also marveled at how pleasant the weather was for a mid-June afternoon.  We can't wait for the next town event!
Cooper watches and waits intently for the parade.  Both kids were nervous when the muskets were fired, but cheered up as each float threw candy for them.
This little one was a trooper, barely causing a fuss all day!
Eek!!!  Cooper and Penny got to "pet the animals" and we were amused to learn that Penny liked the snake the best! (Cooper wouldn't go near it.)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Settling In...We Heart Boerne!

Hello!  With just over a week under our belt as Hill Country citizens, we finally have a chance to stop and breathe in a deep, cedar-scented breath!  As anyone can imagine, relocating a family of two adults, two boisterous kids, one teething baby, and two dogs is no small feat.  Yet here we are!  On May 31st, Daddy, Cooper, and Ralph the dog left EARLY in the morning in order to meet the moving truck at our new home.  Mama, Penny, Ellie, and Brewster followed, arriving just two hours after the guys.  That first day was busy and has only slightly become less so since.  We have been consumed with unpacking and all the other steps it takes to move.  Setting up services, overseeing work being done and shopping for things we need, to name a few.  

We have also already had visitors!  Our friend Sara came that first Sunday and helped us with our kitchen unpacking.  Then Uncle Clint came over a few days later for dinner and swimming.  Nonnie arrived last Wednesday and helped A LOT with unpacking and kid entertainment.  Then on Thursday we got a surprise visit from Ma-Mas and Aunt Ida on their way to San Angelo! We spend the days working, working, working, but our evenings consist of enjoying our new surroundings, namely the pool and the view.  We still have lots to do before we are completely "moved in" but we are oh so happy to be here!  What a fabulous place to spend the summer and start the next chapter of our lives!

(Disclaimer:  Picture-taking has NOT been on the docket over the last week...these are what I have managed.)

Ralph is really enjoying the beach entry to the pool, or as we have dubbed it just for him, "the old guy entry."
We needed some refreshment after a half-day shopping trip into San Antonio.
Not one single room in the house is completely put together.  Its probably not surprising that Miss Penny's room is the closest. Or that the two little girls in the house are the only ones with real beds.  No matter, we crash just as easily onto a mattress on the floor, with all that we are doing during the day!
We took time out to venture into Boerne, take a walk in the park, and visit the ducks.
After a day's work, we have to keep pinching ourselves that this is how we get to unwind.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Five Months Old!

Ellie is five months old today and what a little cutie! We just love having this easy-going girl around and we think she likes us too!  Cooper and Penny are really good at making her laugh and entertaining her when Mama is busy.

At five months Ellie:
  • Weighs 14 lbs and is 24 1/4 inches long. 
  • Eats every 3 to 4 hours during the day and sometimes once in the middle of the night.  
  • Takes three naps a day.  One in the morning, one in the middle of the day, and one in the late afternoon.
  • Still sleeps swaddled up in her bouncy seat.  Mama doesn't see any reason to mess around with that reflux business.
  • Drools all the time and teethes on everything in her reach.  There are no signs of any teeth yet.
  • Gets nervous when people other than Mama want to hold her, though she is starting to go to Daddy and Ma-Mas more easily.
  • Reaches for Mama's or Daddy's face when we hold her.
  • Has discovered that her feet make great teething toys.
  • Likes to sit with her ankles crossed.
  • Mostly says "mmmmmmm" when she wants to talk but occasionally will let out an "ah!" or "ga!"
  • Experienced her first Mother's Day and Easter.
  • Traveled to the ranch, the lake house, Boerne, and to Houston to visit Nonnie and the cousins.  
Cooper takes time out from swimming to keep Ellie company.
Penny just had to have her picture taken with Ellie!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Getting Ready to Roll (Outta Here!)

Over the weekend we spent a day pouring over our new house; checking things out, moving stuff in, and making plans.  Well, the parents did those things.  The kids mostly ran wild through an empty house and drove the parents crazy.  Their excitement couldn't be subdued and I spent a few moments thinking about what a big move must be like for them.  They are young and so this is just one big fun adventure for them.  They have none of the stress or strain for which I am grateful.  This is also a unique experience, as they will never be these tender ages and moving in to this house ever again.  

Our first day in our new house!

Look at my "house" Cooper!
They fell right at home in the new playroom...once we opened a few boxes for them.
This little one was a good sport all day long, letting Mama and Daddy work!
First lunch in the new house.
Penny tries out the porch swing.
We took a break to swim in the pool for the first time!