Sunday, December 28, 2008

75 Degrees in December??

It may be December still, but where we live it feels like June! The day after Christmas it was 75 degrees outside (not exactly a white Christmas, huh?), so Eli and I took a walk around the neighborhood. Unlike our first walk, Eli decided to keep his eyes open on this one. He's so much more alert these days. He loves to look and stare at everything around him. I love how crystal blue his eyes look in these pictures. I'm thinking he's going to have his Daddy's eyes and not mine. Only time will tell though!

Beginning of our walk...doesn't look too thrilled, does he?

Checking out the sights in the neighborhood

I think he likes the walk now!

Thumbs up, Mommy! It was a great day for a walk!

Meeting Ms. Lori and Jen

Josh and I had some friends come visit us this weekend. Josh used to work with Lori and Jen where we used to live. We have been friends with them for a long time! They had not seen Eli in person, only in pictures on Facebook and the blog, so they wanted to come meet him. We were so happy to see them and so was Eli. Thanks for coming to visit us!

Jen and Eli

Lori and Eli

Meeting Ms. Lori for the first time

Mr. Smiley

Eli had been a little fussy today, but when I put him on my legs to talk to him, he immediately became Mr. Smiley! Josh was able to catch so many grins and smiles on camera :) As Josh would say, "He's so presh."

Major Cutie

Our little man is a MAJOR CUTIE!

Mobile Video

One of the gifts Eli got this Christmas was a mobile from his Zue-Zue. He LOVES his mobile. I put him in his crib in the morning while I get ready and his little arms and legs start moving immediately. Thanks for the great gift, Zue-Zue!

Eli watching his mobile

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day

Christmas Day! One of my favorite days of the entire year. Growing up, I can remember going to bed Christmas Eve so excited that I couldn't sleep for fear of missing Santa's arrival with his bag full of goodies. I probably got no more than 4 hours of sleep every Christmas Eve growing up. Even after the childhood excitement about Santa coming wore off, I still had trouble going to sleep all those nights. Every year without fail, even when I was in college, I would wake up about 3 or 4 in the morning and I would quietly sneak into the living room to take a peek at the tree. I loved sitting there in the stillness. I wouldn't disturb anything under the tree. All I did was look at the presents that were there just waiting to be opened Christmas day. Eventually, I would go back to bed and wait until it was time to get up to open gifts. Without fail, my brothers and I would wake up around 6 every year. We would go into the living room and just sit anxiously waiting for my parents to get up. We had been forewarned that we couldn't wake Mom and Dad until at least 7 o'clock. Do you know how long 60 minutes seemed to take when I was a kid? It seemed like an eternity! Finally, the designated time would arrive and we would pile into Mom and Dad's bedroom to wake them up. We couldn't wait to see what Santa had brought us! We'd pass out gifts and stockings and then we'd open gifts. My brothers and I would always count our gifts to see which one of us had received the most that year. We always knew that the dollar amount that was spent on us was the same, but it was fun to see how that translated into actual boxes and bags. The rest of the morning was spent playing with our toys, trying on our new clothes, eating Christmas candy, getting Christmas lunch ready, and spending time with family. I loved it! There are so many things my family did (and still does) that I want to carry over into my family. I want to make Christmas magical for Eli like it was for me growing up. I know that this year Eli was too young to understand (and if I'm honest, he'll probably still be too young next year) but I want to start those traditions now, so that when he is older, they will be as special to him as they were for me.

This year Eli and I were up early (that's one thing that didn't change from my childhood!). He's been sleeping so well at night. I couldn't be happier! He usually is in bed anywhere between 10 and 11 (we're night owls!) and doesn't wake up until 4 or 5 every morning. It's been great! He ate his breakfast and then promptly went back to sleep. We went into the kitchen to check on our milk and cookies. Sure enough! Santa had been to our house! Only crumbs were left on the plate and all the milk was gone.

Just woke up and ready to have Christmas!

Santa liked our cookies and milk :)

By that time, Josh was up, so he and I made coffee and got into our Christmas pajamas for our Christmas picture in front of the tree (one tradition I plan on continuing). It's not the best picture by far (next year, I'll make sure I don't look so pasty white!) but it's our first Christmas picture as a family. How sweet!

He's resting so he has plenty of energy to open all his gifts from Santa!

Family Christmas picture '08

You'll notice in the next picture that Eli only has 3 gifts. Another Christmas tradition I am starting this year is this one. Josh and I know several families that do this with their children. Santa only brings 3 gifts because baby Jesus only got 3 gifts when He was born. We think this is a great way to remind Eli about the real meaning of Christmas (JESUS!) every year.

Eli with his 3 gifts from Santa.

I got Eli's stocking down for him, but as you can he was much more interested in sleeping. It appears one little boy waited up for Santa too long! In his stocking, he got more NUK bottles (by the way, Bottle Boot Camp worked! Eli loves drinking his milk from them now, thank goodness!), a bottle of Mylicon (gotta love gas medicine!), and batteries (do you know how many baby toys require batteries...ALL of them!).

After Josh and I opened our gifts from each other, I helped Eli open his 3 gifts from Santa and his gift from us.

The first gift from Santa was the movie "Cars". I grew up watching Disney movies and now that Eli is here we can start on our Disney collection. Hopefully, some of the ones that have go into the vault will come back out again. I have been warned by Josh that we can only give him boy movies though. He's scared of him falling in love with princess movies, I guess.

His second gift from Santa was two Praise Baby DVD's. Our good friend, Nicki, let us borrow Jonah's Praise Baby DVD's to see if Eli liked them and he did, so we bought two of our own. He loves watching the bright colors and images that come on the screen and we love it because all the songs reinforce the message of God's love.

His third gift from Santa was two new books. They're both in black and white and as you know, babies love contrasting colors, so I'm sure these are going to become some of his favorite.

Then Eli opened his gift from us. Since his birth was so close to Christmas there wasn't a single toy or gadget he needed, so Josh and I got him some cute winter outfits from Old Navy. He really didn't need clothes, but these were too cute to pass up.

Christmas wasn't complete until Maggie, our golden retriever, had received her gift from Santa Paws. Poor Maggie...since Eli was born, she just hasn't gotten the attention that she used to get. We try to play with her as much as possible, but it's just not the same. Eli has been outside to meet her a few times, but she's pretty much just interested in being rubbed by us. (She doesn't know she's a dog!) I can't wait for better weather so Eli and I can play with her in the backyard. I think they're going to love each other once they really get the chance to be around each other more. Maggie was so excited to see that Santa Paws brought her a humongous Busy Bone (it kept her busy for about 10 minutes and then it was gone!)

The rest of our Christmas day was spent hanging out around the house. It was so nice to relax and enjoy the day with each other. We missed being around family and friends, but we were able to catch up with my parents on the webcam before they ate their Christmas dinner. They are coming in the weekend after New Year's so Eli will get the chance to experience Christmas again with them. We can't wait! This Christmas truly was the BEST one ever. We feel so blessed to have this little boy in our lives. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas as well.

Our best present this year :)

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve we went over to Josh's mom's house to do Christmas with her. Having Eli here for the holidays has been so great. He really is the best present we've been given this year. I mean, just look at this sweet smile. How could you not love him?

He had just been fed before we got to Zue-Zue's house, so he was in a really good mood. He was giving out lots of smiles. I think he was trying to pour on the charm in hopes that he might score one or two more presents! He gets that from his Mommy :)

After we ate our Christmas Eve breakfast, I played Santa and passed out all the gifts. Since Eli really didn't need anything at all, he just got two presents. He didn't seem to mind at all. In fact, he slept through most of the gift opening. Next year, he'll be a little more active, I'm sure.

Josh, on the other hand, racked up! I guess he was a really good boy this year...hmmm, maybe Santa didn't really check his list twice :) Just picking, honey! You deserve every single one of those gifts!

I also got lots of presents! Presents are one of my most favorite things. I never get my presents under the tree anymore though because I usually can't help but sneak a little peek :) I've gotten in trouble so many times over this, but I still can't help it!

This year Josh and I had such a hard time coming up with things for people to get for us. There really wasn't anything we needed. Plus, we realized that Eli was going to be the main recipient of the gifts from now on. After much thought we came up with a list of kitchen items for his mom to choose from. One of those items was a silicone oven mitt that Josh really wanted for some reason. I think he wanted a red one, but blue was all they had. That didn't seem to bother him as you can tell. He's actually posing for a picture! This is so shocking because when we first met each other, Josh HATED pictures. He said being around my family has helped change that...we take tons of pictures! Eli better not be like his Daddy either because the camera stays out around that boy :)

All the adults opened their gifts and then Eli decided he wanted to wake up for his gifts. He took the tissue paper out of the first one and then decided to take a peek inside with some assistance from me. We both really liked what we saw in that bag! It was a set of 100 children's book stories on DVD's. WOW! I had recently seen this set in my Parent's magazine and mentioned to a certain friend that this was something I really wanted for Christmas (thanks, Nicki!). I'm going to be able to use these DVD's at home and at school. What a great gift!

Eli's second gift was his mobile. I registered for this back when I was pregnant with him but never received it. I'm so glad Sue got it for him because he is really starting to look and notice things around him now. It's so neat to watch him find something and to know that he actually sees it. I installed the mobile yesterday and he loves it! He lays and stares so intently at it as the animals go around and around. He gets so excited his little legs don't stop moving! I took a video of him watching the mobile today (Friday) and I'll post that later on. Only the hard core blog lovers will want to watch that video though because all he does is look at the mobile. He's still cute as a bug though!

Those of you with kids have done this, I'm sure. This little boy really is the best gift that Josh or I have ever received. We feel so blessed to have a child who is happy and healthy. He is the joy of our lives. I LOVE this little boy more than I could ever imagine. I never knew love like this. It's an amazing feeling! I can't wait to have many more Christmases with him :)

As you can tell from the pictures below, we're all pretty smitten with this little boy. He has captured all of our hearts!

We came home from Sue's just in time to leave out cookies and milk for Santa. Santa was coming soon and we didn't want him to skip over our house because Eli was still awake, so we all quickly went to bed to await all the wonderful surprises the next morning!

Santa got milk and Rolo cookies. YUM-O!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Guitar Hero

Last night we went over to Dan and Nicki's house to play the Wii and Guitar Hero. Josh had been begging for nachos from Nicki for months, but we had all been so busy lately that we hadn't gotten together in a long time. She said that she would cook them for him last night. Josh was thrilled. Not only did he get nachos, but he got to play the Wii and Guitar Hero, too! Here are some pictures of our fun. Don't make fun of us too much!

I told the boys to make their "tough" face. How scared are you? LOL!

That's more like it!

I was so excited to get to spend some time with Jonah while we were there. Being around Jonah after he was born was what made me realize just how ready I was to be a mom. Seriously, I love that kid like he was my very own. He's been so sweet since Eli came along. I love how he refers to Eli as "Baby Ee-i". It's so cute! Plus, he's a big help when it comes to changing diapers. He was more than willing to help Manna (that's what he calls me for those that don't know). I have a feeling these two boys are going to be best buds one day :)

Showing "Ee-i" his Christmas tree

Finding a diaper for Eli

The boys pretty much hogged Guitar Hero all night but ten minutes before Josh and I left they let the girls play. Let's just say we weren't quite as good as the boys...

Yeah, I really look like I'm ready to rock.
I got booed off the stage I was so bad. :(

Showing a bit more confidence.
I actually finished the song on this one!
I hit 78% of the correct notes...not too bad!

Nicki started standing up, but in true rocker fashion...

She ended the song on the ground. Watch out Richie Sambora!

He can sleep through anything, thank goodness!

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