Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eliana is now 21 weeks old. She is growing so fast and seems so big for her age. She does not look like a four month old. She seems older for some reason. She is extremely strong and can almost sit up by herself. She loses her balance and will tip over right now. She has not rolled over yet but I think that is because she has not had a lot of tummy time. I am trying to do better about giving her tummy time. She has started taking a bottle. We give her about two a day. She still does not like them all too much but seems to be more full after the bottles. Eliana is waking up more at night these days and we are not quite sure why. She will wake up two to three times per night. This mommy is tired but I am hoping it is just a phase.

Eliana seems to grow more beautiful every day. She is just a pretty girl. I know I am a bit biased but she really is beautiful! She has beautiful blue eyes and a precious smile. She has a great personality and her laugh is contagious. I do not think there is a sound more beautiful than one of my kid's laughing! It does wonders for the soul.

Here are her weekly pictures.

Here are some pictures at 20 weeks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Advanced for her age...

We went to the doctor on Monday for Eliana's four month check up. She got the routine check up plus three shots. Not fun for Mommy or Eliana. She looked shock after the inital prick and then started screaming. It breaks my heart to watch one of my kids get shots. At her appointment Eliana weighed 16 lbs and was 26 1/2 inches long (she is in the 98 percentile for height). Gosh my little girl is growing up. The doctor asked about her sleeping schedule and I said she was going to bed around 8:30 and waking up generally about once a night. The doctor said she was acting more like a six month old than a four month old and she said Eliana is advanced for her age! Of course, she is advanced for her age..she is my daughter after all ;-)! I mentioned that Eliana seems to be drooling a lot more these days and Dr. Milci (our doc) said this generally means the first tooth will arrive in a month or two. We are free to start solids whenever we like. I think we are going to wait until Eliana reaches the five month mark and start solids then. I sure hope she likes solids like her big brother did when we first started them. We continue to notice the differences between Eliana and Ethan at this age. She is much more animated (Ethan was laid back and a quiet observer) and is a talker. She loves stuffed animals and blankets and Ethan could care less.

Here is Eliana at 19 weeks:

Ethan is growing all the time and stringing more words together, although they may not be completely understandable to the outside observer. He says: "what you doing" and "where you going" a lot. He still loves to be outside and loves books. He got some paperback books about construction trucks and rescue vehicles (fire trucks, police cars..that kind of thing) and is obsessed with them. He carries them around the house and outside and always wants me to read them to him. His 2nd birthday is right around the corner (March 15th). We are probably going to have a puppy dog theme (or soccer)with a small family birthday in Waco. Birthdays are exciting in our family and we plan to always make a big deal out of them! After all, it is the day God chose to bring us into the world..that is a pretty big deal!!

Here are some recent pictures of Ethan:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adventures in Baking

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am no Martha Stewart! I do like to cook and sometimes I enjoy baking. Baking sometimes stresses me out though (because invariably something always goes wrong) so I have to be in the mood. Well, the other day we had some friends coming over so I decided to bake a cake. I used a recipe my mother-in-law had sent me. It was my first time to try this particular recipe. After forty minutes or so I smelled something burning..when I opened the oven I noticed the cake had overflowed and was falling through the middle of the bundt pan and down to the middle of my oven. The cake at the bottom of the oven was burning and the entire apartment became smokey. The cake was not finished so I had to continue baking it..Josh meanwhile got the majority of the fallen cake! It was hilarious because things like this seem to happen when I enter the kitchen! The cake actually turned out to be quite delicious and something I will bake again.

If you like chocolate cake then this recipe is definitely something you should try:

1 pkg devils food cake
1 3 oz pkg of instant chocolate pudding mix
2 C. sour cream
1 C. melted butter
5 eggs
1 t. almond extract
2 C. semisweet chocolate chips

350 degrees
Grease 10" Bundt pan. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix. Make a well in the center and pour in sour cream, melted butter, eggs, and almond extract. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Blend in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

~Note put foil on rack or bake on a cookie sheet in case of spillage

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary to me!

Today is Josh and my 5 year anniversary!! It has been a great five years. We have had our ups and downs and joys and struggles along the way but I can honestly say our love is more mature than it was five years ago. It really does not feel like five years, but it feels like we have been together forever at the same time. I feel so blessed to be married to Josh. He is a great husband and a wonderful father. He is giving, kind, sensitive, caring, and a hopeless romantic.

I can remember this day five years ago extremely well. I was a nervous wreck, but so excited. I had not slept much, if any, the night before. I got my hair and makeup done and went to the Miller Chapel to put on my wedding dress where my bridesmaids (Desha, Christy, Chass, Jamie, and Jayme) were waiting for me. Josh and I had decided to see each other before the wedding. It was just the two of us and our photographer in the room when we saw each other for the first time. It was one of the sweetest moments of the entire day. The intensity of that moment can not be put into words. We were overwhelmed by God's goodness to us. We both cried! During those brief moments,Josh gave me a string of pearls to wear with my dress. We also prayed together and over the bread and grape juice we were using for communion during the ceremony. Then...we headed out to take some more pictures when the unthinkable happened and Josh spilled a tiny bit of grape juice on my wedding dress. He was SO upset and I was remarkably calm. My florist/wedding planner Paul (who reminded me of Franc on Father of the Bride) swooshed in to save the day. Did you know Sprite takes out grape juice? It does!!

The wedding was beautiful. We began the ceremony with worship songs led by my Mission Year teammates Hope and Steve. My grandfather who was an incredible man of God married us. It turned out to be the last wedding he ever performed because he was killed in a tragic car accident the next month. My photographer took some great pictures of Bro. Parmer that day that Donna was able to order. I was so thankful Josh and I chose him to marry us. After lighting the unity candle we shared communion together, which was another incredible moment. We had our reception close by at the Herrington House. Some of my favorite pictures came from the reception. We had a great time visiting with friends and family during the reception. We did shove the cake in each other's face and I am pretty sure I started it ;-)! After the reception was over we changed clothes and ran outside where we were bombarded with birdseed thanks mostly to Desha and Steve, Christy, and Julie. We had birdseed everywhere. (A year later we were able to repay the favor when Christy and Lon got married! We filled up water pitchers full of bird seed!) My dad had gotten us a limo to take to Dallas where we were going to stay the night before headed out to our honeymoon in Lake Tahoe. It was a WONDERFUL Day! There is not much I would have changed about that day..mostly ticky tacky stuff. At the end of the day, Josh and I were married and all that stuff did not matter anyways.

Now five years later we are a family of four! Josh and I love being parents to Ethan and Eliana and look forward to see what the next five years holds for us.

Josh and I on our wedding day, January 10, 2004

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Such a good daddy...

Eliana is now 18 weeks old. Here are her weekly pictures. My plan is to put all these pictures in an album for the first years so we can see how much she changes from week to week.

Josh is such a good dad to Ethan and Eliana. I love watching him with both of them. He has a way with them and they are both crazy about him. He can make both of them laugh hysterically and is such a good discipliner in a way that I am not. I tend to be a softie with Ethan and in turn he does not always mind me ;-). Ethan loves when daddy comes home from work and drops everything to run up to him to be picked up. I am so grateful I have a husband who is so involved with our children. He is eager to help when needed and adores our children as much as I do.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Four Months Old

Today Eliana turned four months old!! WOW..I can't believe my little girl is already four months old. She will probably start solids next month and will be rolling over before you know it along with a million other firsts. I know I have said it a million times but time really does go by so fast...too fast. It is bittersweet. I love watching her grow but I want to hold on to these moments and never let them go at the same time. I feel the same way about my precious little boy too. He is growing just as fast and will be two in 2 1/2 months!!

Here is a few pics of Eliana at four months old:

17 weeks old

Eliana is feeling better now after our week long Christmas trip visiting the family. She has a slight lingering cough but is almost completely recovered. This past Tuesday she turned 17 weeks old. She is sleeping better in her crib but still has a hard time with napping at times. She is quite talkative and extremely interested in the world around her. She still likes putting anything and everything in her mouth (her hands, our hands, blankets, stuffed animals, toys etc.) and is quite the little drooler ;-). Ethan becomes more intriqued with her as she gets older and interacts more and more with us. It is cute to watch!

Christmas - Part II

After leaving San Antonio we headed to Waco to have Christmas with my side of the family. We stayed with Blake and Lindsey and the kids while we were there. Again, Ethan had a blast playing with his cousins. Eliana was still sick while we were in Waco and Josh started to feel bad as well. We had fun nevertheless and enjoyed our time with them. We normally stay at my parents house when we go to Waco and our time with Blake and Lindsey is rushed so it was nice to have this extended time with them. We had our Christmas on Saturday the 27th. Again, Ethan and Eliana came away with quite the haul. Eliana got her first baby doll this Christmas! Thank you Aunt Lindsey.

The day before we left Waco we noticed Ethan beginning to feel bad. Sure enough on our way home Ethan began coughing and looked absolutely miserable. We called the doctor and scheduled an appointment for both of the kids. We did not even go home but we went straight to the doctor. We are still recovering from our Christmases and both Ethan and Eliana are getting better. Eliana is almost completely recovered but Ethan still feels a bit under the weather. We were sick last Christmas too. Hopefully, next year we will all be healthy. Despite sickness, we had a wonderful Christmas with both sides of the family. It was nice for Ethan and Eliana to have extended time with all of their cousins and it was nice to be able to spend quality time with Blake and Lindsey and Jamie and Shane. We were extremely blessed by our family this year and are very thankful!

Eliana and her baby doll
Russell with his nerf gun
Daddy and Eliana resting
Chass and Ethan
Ethan getting a kiss from Papaw
Ethan being silly
Dadoo with Eliana and Sydney

Christmas - Part I

We spent a few days, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, in San Antonio with Jamie (my sister-in-law) and her family. Jamie and Shane have a daughter who is five months younger than Ethan. Ethan had a blast with Abigael during our stay. They played at the park a couple of times and Ethan had fun playing with all of Abigael's toys. She has a shopping cart that Ethan spent the majority of the time pushing around the house.

A couple of days before we got to San Antonio Eliana started getting sick. I had hoped it was a temporary cold and would be over before we got to San Antonio but that was not the case. She felt horrible the majority of our stay and slept a lot. This was her first cold and it was heartbreaking to see her feel so bad. She was still as sweet as ever even though she felt awful.

Mommy and Eliana Christmas Eve
Eliana looking cute in her Christmas dress (16 weeks)
Ethan looking handsome in his Christmas outfit
Ethan and Abigael taking a bubble bath

Christmas Day we opened presents and talked to Josh's mom on Skype. Both Josh and I and Shane and Jamie bought her a web cam (great minds think alike) so she could see the grandkids on Christmas. Ethan and Abigael got quite the haul this year and had fun playing with all of their new toys. Eliana missed the majority of the opening of the presents because she was napping. She did stay awake long enough to open a blanket Josh's mom had made for her. The blanket went directly in the mouth where most things go these days ;-).
Ethan with Christmas bows in hair
Eliana chewing on blanket that Grandma made
Ethan playing with Batman car which he loves!!
Ethan looking cute
Ethan and Abigael eating Christmas Dinner at the kid's table
Eliana and Abigael on Christmas Day
Eliana with First Christmas Hat on