Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Dear Elijah,

Happiest Birthday to you! (Even though you were throwing up all week) This year definitely flew by and my baby is officially a toddler. Forgive my mush, but I just love my sweet little Eli. Everyone, even strangers we’ve met that day, comment on your happy demeanor and it has been such a blessing in our family. These past few weeks you haven’t been yourself with sickness and who knows what else, but you woke up super happy yesterday and I said a silent prayer of gratitude. I need your smiles in my life!

We’ll find out your height and weight when we go to the doctor, but I feel you have slowed down in growth to an average sized healthy child. Your hair lightened up, but you have a tan complexion, so I call you my California babe. You are a decent eater, and daddy took over the majority of solid feedings since I am a slow eater. However, you gave up baby food a while ago and still prefer nursing at times. Six teeth, and you know how to use those suckers. Not maliciously, but any time your mouth makes contact with anything your first instinct is to bite. I hope we can figure out not to do that!

You’ve started to really love having mama around. You are not as content as you once were having others hold you, but you still do fairly well (especially when I’m not in sight). I love to see you interact with your brother. Despite how rough Joey can be with you, he still the one that gets the biggest laughs out of you and you still follow him around. Your favorite things to do now is play with shoes, books, and cars. The boy life chose me with you and your brother. You like to gather and scatter and regather things, and we have a cute video of you with cans of green beans doing exactly that.

You will sometimes sleep through the night, but for the majority of the time these days you wake up at least once. However, I think it is because you haven’t been feeling well. Our New Year’s Goal for you, sleep through the night! Also, we should probably wean you from a binky and mama’s milk. Those are more for me to work on of course. You are a bit oblivious to these goals I have for you.

You know how to go up and down stairs, slide off the couch, and you can even take a few steps! Walking is right around the corner. My guess is within a month. You are ridiculously wiggly, and church is an adventure with you and your brother. You like to get into everything! We really should have baby-proofed our house by now, but I’m lazy. No words yet, but you are starting to copy certain sounds. You will high-five, wave (if we are lucky), and clap. Maybe when you are in a more copying mood I’ll teach you some sign language.

It is amazing how different you are from your brother. Yet it is so easy to love you both. At times it is difficult to have to share my time and attention with the both of you. Guilt can set in when I think about the times when it was just me and your older brother, and I could give him my full attention. I could not give that to you most of the time. So, thank you for still being our happy, patient little guy. Thank you for helping me become a better person and to let go of less important things. It won’t be easy at times, but I promise I love you so much. We love you so much. Always be that ray of sunshine I need in my life.

Love, Mama

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wedding in Mesa

A couple of posts coming right up! Last month we had the opportunity to travel to Mesa, AZ for Sam's cousin's wedding. Since Sam is off until end of March, we decided to make a little family vacation out of it. We forgot our fancy camera, but I think it worked out because our photo backup drive recently died and we lost all our Thanksgiving pictures :( 

The drive there wasn't too bad, and I did it by myself, thank you very much. Sam was in charge of entertaining the kids, and he didn't realize how hard it is, haha.

First thing on the list, the Phoenix Zoo. It's a really nice zoo, and since we are members of the Rio Grande zoo, we got in for half price! We pet string rays, boarded a tour train (worth it), went to a 4D theatre featuring a BBC documentary as part of our entry. Now for photos.

 Eli enjoying chocolate pudding.

Joey had to get in the action
The savannah exhibit
Guys, this is in NOVEMBER

Best part in all our opinions: the OPEN squirrel monkey exhibit.
That's right, no fence between us and this monkey.

Farming section
I feel this cow's pain
Lego people made these life size statues with, you guessed it, Legos.
Absolutely incredible how people can make these with Legos
We decided to go for a two room suite at La Quinta, and it was so nice to have that extra space. Our kids tore it up, but we had our room to keep nicer, I guess. Here are the rest of the photos, including the AZ Science Center (pretty cool, but it was field trip day, so very busy).

Eli enjoying our bed
We forgot to take photos of our visit to the AZ Science Center,
so here's one at the very end
Zuppas, how I love thee.
It was worth going out of our way to eat there.
When Sam's parents got into town.
Joey was pretty excited to have Jeep Grandma and Grandpa.
A trip to Costco.
Of course this wasn't the biggest stuffed animal they offer.
The whole reason we came.
Good thing we weren't their photographer because this was all we got.
Congrats Jonny and Emily!!
Sam's mom's new favorite temple in Gilbert.
 It was so nice to see Sam's extended family in Mesa. We had fun at the reception and using the photobooth (don't know where the pictures are, so sorry). Next day Sam decided to drive all the way back, and I entertained Eli with Cheetos and chocolate cookies. Don't judge, it was worth it.

Such a happy boy even after 7 hours strapped in the car. Fun fun little trip!