Monday, March 18, 2013

Photo BOMB! (Winter)

So, it has been a really long time since I have posted anything on our blog to update about Eli, so I guess it's time for a photo bomb catch up post!

Eli hit 2 months on December 11, 2012. What a smiley boy we have! December was a busy month for us with Uncle John graduating in Houston, Christmas in Austin and Fredericksburg, friends coming to visit from far away, and New Year's Eve shenanigans. 

My family always took Santa pictures of all of the cousins at my Grandmother's house on Christmas morning. Grandmother had a little Santa doll about the size of a 4 year old child. We would all gather around Santa every year for a photo, and now, of course, we must carry on this tradition with Eli at HIS Grandmother's house. So my mom got herself a little Santa, and adorableness ensued:

Eventually, it was time for the sleepy little Christmas model to take a break, so Dad came to his rescue!

Our good friends, Marcus and Melissa and their son, Little Marcus came to visit from Virginia over the holidays. We spent a lot of time out at the Bennett Ranch eating good food and having a good time. 

On Christmas Eve (when we are celebrating in Fredericksburg) we always go over to Gwen and David's house for tamales and chili. John, Thomas, and Ryan thought it might be funny to wear tacky Christmas sweaters to the party. They didn't go through with it, but here is proof that it happened.

Eli's first Christmas morning was a quiet affair at home with Ryan and me. Here, Ryan is bringing Eli down the hall so that he can see what Santa brought. 

Eli got some good things from Santa this year -- mostly clothes, but a few toys and his "big" present was a set of squishy cars that speed across the room and each make a different noise. He's not quite old enough to enjoy them yet, but he will be before next Christmas rolls around!

This Winter, Eli got to experience his first snow! We didn't wake up in time to get the full effect of the white blanket across the ground, but by the time we got outside, there was still a little bit left around the tree! So, we built ourselves a little snowman, put on our snowman socks, and had ourselves a little photo shoot. Eli was none too thrilled about sitting on the snow, so this photo shoot was a very short one!

Now that I'm obsessed with babywearing, I needed a new way to wrap this kid up! I was waiting for several weeks for my new woven wrap to arrive, and it finally did! I think it's gorgeous, and now I have two ways to wear my little love! 

 As the new year began, Eli really started engaging with his toys and "playing." He loves his play gym, and he started grabbing for things and holding onto them a lot better in January. 

Once the weather got nicer, Ryan and I decided that it might be fun to have a picnic at our park. So, we packed up a blanket and some snacks and did just that! It was a beautiful day and we had a really good time under a tree next to the water. I just love my little family!

At the end of January, we started using cloth diapers. At first, we were borrowing some from Eli's cousin, Truett. (Thanks, Tru!) After this trial run, we were hooked. Cloth is cheaper, way easier than you think it might be, and it's actually kindof fun and addicting. We are now in the process of building our diaper stash, and part of that process for me means entering giveaways. It's super easy and also a little addicting, and after just a month or so of trying, I finally won my first free diaper. We got to choose our print, so, naturally, I chose dinos! 

Many of you know that we have a little backyard farm going here, and part of that farm is rabbits. We have four rabbits currently, and we are hoping to have more soon. Right now, they all live in their own separate hutch, but Ryan and I have gotten excited about a new colony-style rabbit habitat, and so in late February, we started designing and building this little structure in our backyard. We are all about keeping it cheap and sustainable, so we have repurposed some old pallets and some leftover chicken wire to make this 10x10 enclosure. Ryan and I started the building process together, but while he was gone one weekend, I enlisted a couple of helpers (Eli and Samson, our border collie) to finish to job as a surprise for him. I must say, I am a little bit proud of my work. 

Now that March is here, my little dude is 5 months old! I can't believe it. He is growing so fast, and every day he does something that astounds me. He is getting really good at sitting supported, and he needs less and less support each day! He is a ham, and loves to smile and laugh, except when he sees a camera coming toward him. Cameras make him clam up. Hope he outgrows that! 

This morning, Ryan and Eli read about guns while I made breakfast. Ryan is such a great dad! 

Two days ago, I put Eli down in his crib on his back, went to change clothes, and came back to find him on his tummy! And today, right after an emergency foot-in-poo bath, he rolled over from back to belly about 8 times in a row for Ryan and me both to see!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Yay, Uncle John!!

On December 15th, John (Ryan's brother), graduated from South Texas College of Law in Houston. The whole Hoover clan went to Houston to celebrate and see John walk the stage. This was Eli's longest car ride yet! 5 hours!! He slept though it like a champ! We had a great weekend full of some really fantastic food and a lot of fun, and on Saturday we went to John's graduation. 

We are all very proud of John and this HUGE accomplishment. We can't wait to see where it takes him throughout his career. 

Way to go, John! You're a lawyer now!

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Visit with Santa!

Eli and I had a visit with Santa at the mall in early December to commemorate his very first Christmas. 

Eli did ok until Santa tried to shift him in his arms, and then he sortof had a meltdown. Poor kid.

Santa stood up and tried to do a little dance to get Eli to calm down, but there was no way that was happening. Poor kid. 

You only get a couple of minutes with Santa these days, and frankly, I think that was all that my son could stand. But Eli got his revenge. When I went to retrieve my son from Santa's arms, Santa said to me, "He has a pretty good hold on my beard," and he certainly did. I had to untangle my boy's fingers from Santa's wiry, white, mess of a beard before I could get him back into my arms. Santa was a very good sport, and even offered to try for more pictures after I got Eli to sleep in the sling as we waited in the buy-your-pictures line, but I wasn't altogether too sure that Eli would stay asleep, and I certainly didn't want to wake him, so we just kept the screaming pictures. Reality, yo. 

Thank you, Santa! Eli got what he wanted this year! I don't know how on earth you figured out his wishlist from the screams he gave you, but good job!

Making Christmas!

Ryan and I absolutely LOVE Christmas time! I have to force Ryan to wait until we are driving home from Thanksgiving festivities to play our gigantic collection of Mannheim Steamroller (you can't have Christmas until Thankgiving is officially over), and we both love to decorate our house for our favorite holiday. 

This year is no different. In fact, it is even more exciting to get into the holiday spirit because we now have a little one to share our enthusiasm with. Eli may not know what's going on as we decorate the tree and BLAST Mannheim, but he sure does love his new tummy time spot - right under the Christmas tree!


 Ryan likes to get out all of the ornaments first because that is what his family always did. He did a lot of the un-tissue-paper-ing with Eli while I did a lot of the ornament-placing. 

 Ryan and I both have several ornaments that are very meaningful to us. All of mine are blown glass, because that is what we always had on my family tree, but some of Ryan's are crafts from when he was a kid, or gifts from family friends that he got as he grew up. We can't wait to tell Eli the stories behind these favorite ornaments, and to add Eli's ornaments to the tree as he gathers his own Christmas ornament stories!

 After all of the ornaments are on the tree, we love to turn off every single light that is in our house and sit on the couch as a family to look at our beautiful creation! So cool that this is what both of our families did, and that we can bring a tradition to our family from both sides!