Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy First Birthday Ellie!

 Baby Ellie reached an important milestone on Sunday...she turned ONE! It's hard to believe that just one year ago Ellie was born and gave us the best gift we could ever receive.  Last Christmas we had a tiny four-day-old and this Christmas we have an energetic, sweet, and bustling baby starting to show us who she is!  Mama feels a little sad to think that her infancy is over because it went by at lightning speed!  We are eager though to watch her continue to grow and change!  At one year of age Ellie:
  • Weighs 19.8 lbs and is 28 and 3/4 inches long.  She had her well check-up this morning and is in great health!  She received three shots and had her iron checked, which didn't please her too much.
  • Has a fairly consistent sleep schedule!  She takes a morning and afternoon nap, goes to bed at 8 p.m., sleeps through the night, and wakes up at 6 or 7 a.m.
  • Has nine teeth.  Two of her recent teeth to cut have been molars.  She marked this occasion with some fussiness, but that was all.
  • Loves to push her ride-on toy or baby stroller around.  She doesn't seem to have much interest in walking without those things but has figured out how to climb onto her ride-on.  (Cooper has taken it upon himself to carry her from room to room, which is probably partly why she isn't motivated to walk. Ah that little third baby!)
  • Is a little stinker!  Ellie gets a certain twinkle in her eye when she wants to do something she knows she isn't supposed to.  We try to keep her out of the playroom (Waaaay too many legos for a baby in there!), and she will give me that certain look and crawl uber-fast towards that room.   She makes that same look right before she throws or knocks her food off her tray.  (Feeding the dog is way more fun than eating, apparently.)
  • Loves finger foods so much, the only things I can feed her with a spoon are applesauce or yogurt.  Her current favorite foods are goldfish crackers and toast but she also likes scrambled eggs, peanut butter crackers, bacon, Gerber fruit and oat bars, yogurt melts and she likes to gnaw on raw carrots or apples.  She doesn't seem too inclined to try new foods but we keep on trying.
  • Can drink from both a sippy cup and a straw.  She LOVES to drink from a straw.
  • Ellie can say "mama", "dada", and "bye".  We thought she tried to say "dog" and "cuh-puh" (cooper) the other day but we weren't sure.
  • Has enjoyed lots of visitors in the last month!  Nonnie, Aunt Amanda and Matt, the cousins, Uncle Laurin and Uncle Rosendo joined us for Thanksgiving and Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, Uncle Clint, and Steve, Mary and Sterling Bennett came to celebrate her birthday.  

One year old photo shoot via Mama...she is just too big and wiggly to get a good picture in the same chair I've taken her other monthly pictures in.  To the floor we go.
Ellie has a seriousness about her but is such a happy little soul!
Ellie loves to point at things and whisper baby-babble.  This is insanely cute.
Outtake one from the photo shoot...
Outtake two...clearly not going to cooperate.

We celebrated Ellie's birthday with a small party at home on Saturday evening.  Daddy made pulled pork for the adults and Mama made a giant cupcake.  She received several presents including a light-up, music-playing monkey ball sorter from Mama and Daddy, outfits and a doll from Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa, blocks from the Bennetts, and a gift card from Uncle Clint.  A few pictures from  Ellie's party:
Birthday cake!  
Little ham for the camera!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Through Late Fall 2015

Starting in November, our controlled chaotic household leans more toward chaotic.  Holidays, family, school activities and more dominate our days.  Life over the last few weeks...

Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast.
We spent a weekend in Dallas so Mama could attend a baby shower.  Mama, Daddy, and Cooper went to "ICE!", a hotel convention room cooled to four degrees and full of big ice sculptures.  It was spectacular! (The caboose Daddy is standing on here is made completely of ice.)  Penny and Ellie hung out with Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa; they weren't interested in being cold...or the community parkas.
Our hotel was a winter wonderland and the kids got to see Santa.
We were thankful to spend our first Thanksgiving in Boerne with the Kirks. 
The cousins were here for five days over Thanksgiving!
We've spent many cool evenings outside with both family and friends.
We took a day trip to the ranch for Pa-pa's cousins' annual Christmas party.
All of us are enjoying our new pets (and future egg producers).  Say hello to Elsa, Zoe, Maia, Peanut, Cocoa, and Peck.  These girls spent a little over a week in our garage but are now adjusted to life in the coop. They love to be let out into the run in the morning and are starting to see us as friends.
We spent half a weekend in Buda for a 1st Birthday Party.
We are ready for Christmas and the rest of the year (I think)!  Next up, one baby girl turns one, Cooper and Penny can stop asking, "how many minutes 'til Christmas," and of course the New Year.  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Eleven Months Old!

 Holy moly is Ellie's first year going fast! So fast, in fact, that there is only a month left!  This sweet baby has really started to show us some personality in the last month.  She's becoming quite the big girl and quite the little stinker! (It's ok, she fits right in with the rest of us stinkers.)  Ellie will be cruising (literally) through her last month of her first year with quite the stats:

  • Now weighs 19.6 lbs and is  27 and 1/4  inches long.
  • Suffered her second illness just a few weeks after her first...this time it was a double ear infection.  She really didn't fuss...much.
  • Mixed up her sleep routine...again.  She is napping better, as in two fairly consistent naps from 30 minutes to 2 hours a day.  Lately however, she is finding the fun in waking up at 4 a.m.  Mama isn't enjoying it as much.
  • Has six teeth.  Last month I mistyped reporting that she had six at 10 months.  She had four bottom teeth last month.  Since then her top two front teeth have emerged.
  • Crawls super fast, pulls up on furniture, cruises along furniture and is starting to try and "walk" while pushing a walker or ride-on toy.  She also delights in getting into ANYTHING in her reach.
  • Has learned that she doesn't like to be told "no-no" or have something taken away from her.  If she starts getting into something she shouldn't and we tell her gently, "no-no" she wails as if her heart is broken.  
  • Talks and talks in that sweet baby babble.  She finally started saying dadadada and she is loud!  
  • Can clap her hands, give "five", and likes to sit up on her knees and wave her hands in the air.  
  • Has gotten to that stage where she isn't content to just sit!  That means no more schlepping her around town to just anywhere all day.  She wants to move and play!
  • Adores her big brother and sister!  She will crawl uber-fast through the house looking for them when she hears their voices from another room.
  • Traveled with us to Dallas for a weekend, attended a baby shower, went to both Cooper and Penny's soccer parties, and attended Coop's school Thanksgiving Feast.  Despite what I wrote above, she was as good as gold through all of it!  Such a little team player most of the time!

Hanging out in Dallas.
Fun afternoon at the mall!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


My poor camera, complete with the new lens I got for my birthday, has sadly sat idle for two weeks!  Here are a few shots I pulled off my phone, just so I can remember some of the things we've been DOING all month. (Besides school and homework and soccer games and end-of-season soccer parties and meeting all of our fabulous neighbors and getting together with said fabulous neighbors and braving some CRAZY cold snaps and planning for the holidays and projects around the house.  Besides all that.)
We got a much. fun!
The kids and I goofed off at the mall while Daddy was out of town.
This little thing just keeps changing by the day!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014 was a great success!  Being new to our town, and not living in a neighborhood conducive to trick-or-treating, we weren't sure what to do for Halloween.  Luckily we have met some really great neighbors who invited us to attend a block party and "neighborhood bomb" for trick-or-treating.  Their kids are older than ours, but I was impressed with one, how nice they were to our kids, and two, how well our kids were able to hang with the rigors of trick-or-treating.  Every year previously we have gone to a few houses in our neighborhood, then called it quits.  This year we walked street after street with the big kids and it was so fun!  Miraculously we were even home early enough to get the kids to bed almost on time.
The mermaid, the kangaroo, and the knight.
This was Ellie's first Halloween!  She was a happy, go-with-the-flow baby all night!  She didn't even seem to mind her costume!
This little mermaid had a blast trick-or-treating and really surprised us how she was able to hang as long as she did.
Our courageous knight had fun trick-or-treating with the big kids and made sure they were in sight all night long.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Goings On in October

We have had a busy month! A few highlights...

We took a quick trip to the ranch!
Cooper and Penny are ready for Howl at the Moon!  We attended a fundraiser for Cooper's school and had so much fun!  Penny got her face painted, Cooper enjoyed the "big kid" playground and we even won two goldfish!  Welcome Goldie and Peach to our home!
We visited the local pumpkin patch!  Cooper pointed out,"Hey! This is Ellie's first Halloween!"
Party of five.  
We celebrated Mama's birthday!  (Hello, 35.)  Penny and Cooper both made cards for me.  Penny's was a "pink princess" card.  Cooper drew a picture of him and I and told us it said, "I love you Mama.  We never get mad at each other.  I would do anything for you. Love, Cooper."
Soccer and more soccer.  Penny is really enjoying playing and runs around the field with enthusiasm.
This guy is enjoying soccer too and is really starting to get the competitive part of the game.  He really like his friends on his team as well. Two of his teammates are also in his kindergarten class!
Ma-mas visited!  
Uncle Clint came over and helped us enjoy what is probably our last swim for the year. 
And the month isn't even over yet!  We are excited for Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ten Months Old!

New this month for Ellie:

  • weighs 18.4 lbs and is 27 and a half inches long.  
  • suffered her first illness!  Poor baby had a viral respiratory infection (had to use a nebulizer and everything!) followed by an ear infection that she is still getting over.  
  • is sleeping through the night!  For weeks  we had fallen into a pattern of her waking up every 1 to 3 hours every night.  We were beside ourselves.  Then we figured out that her acid reflux had flared up, probably because of all the different foods she has been trying.  Reflux means she needs to be upright, so back to the car seat to sleep she goes.  We are all feeling much better now that we are sleeping!
  • now has six teeth, all on the bottom.  Thankfully the teething has quit for now, since we had to endure an illness!
  • crawls and pulls up on furniture!  Just days after she turned 9 months old, Ellie turned her scooting into crawling.  Now she is FAST!  We have to work to keep her out of the playroom where all the big kids' legos are. 
  • has gotten really vocal!  She loves to growl and sort of yell "AAAHHH" and babble "ra" "mamama" "bababa" and "wawawa" to name a few.
  • has turned into such a little stinker!  She gets an ornery look on her face whenever she pulls books off the shelf or pulls paper out of a trash can and she loves to shake her head "no."
  • Ellie has been to the ranch and met lots of new people.  Our family has been meeting lots of our neighbors lately.  She also accompanies Mom EVERYWHERE, has been to all her siblings' soccer games, and even went to a carnival fundraiser for Cooper's school.
Ellie follows a Kirk kid tradition by playing trains on the ranch cabin porch.
Poor baby got sick for the very first time.  She stayed true to herself though and didn't really fuss too much.  Such a trooper!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cooper is Six!

This past Saturday was a BIG day for us.  Cooper turned six! I can barely wrap my head around the idea that we became parents that long ago! This is one cool kid we have on our hands.  Cooper is still the sweet and sensitive easy-going dude he has always been.  He is always having fun and almost always happy!  We enjoy his eagerness and joy that he approaches life with because it is so contagious!  

Big changes have occurred for Coop in the last year.  He is now in kindergarten, which sort of marked a passage out of baby/toddler/preschooler-hood into running with the big kids.  This feels so epic!  He is adjusting well to the new town, new school, and new routine, even if he is still really tired from all the change.  He likes school, but doesn't enjoy waking up early!  We are excited with all that he is going to learn this year and he is too!  

Cooper's favorite two things in the world right now are Legos and Daddy...he loves building things, especially if Daddy is there to help him.  While he still has a special place in his heart for Mama, Daddy has become the hero of his world.  He is always asking for Daddy to pick him up from school, sit by him, sleep in his bunk bed with him, play with him, etc.  (Daddy of course is in heaven.)  One of the biggest reminders that we don't have a little boy anymore still sits in the playroom.  For YEARS Cooper loved nothing more than he loved Thomas the Train.  Now our train tables sit empty and unplayed on most of the time.  It is still strange that something that dominated our time and thoughts is now no longer.  Legos it is! 

We celebrated Coop's birthday all weekend long!  On Friday Cooper and Mama had lunch together at his school and he shared cupcakes with his class at recess.  On Saturday after the kids' soccer games, we met Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, Steve, Mary and the Naisers (!!!) at Random Beer Garden.  The adults got to watch Aggie football and the kids played and played on the bounce houses.  On Saturday night we went to dinner with Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, Uncle Clint, and friends in downtown San Antonio.  We stayed the night in a hotel, which Cooper loved!  Finally, to top off the weekend, our friends the Naisers stopped by for dinner on Sunday evening.  It was so fun to be with our friends again! Cooper got several Lego sets, clothes, Aggie gear, a cool truck flashlight and binoculars for his birthday. He was one happy guy!
Lunch at school!  Cooper was thrilled to have me there to help him figure out how to get his treat on ice cream Fridays.  (Kindergarten is complicated!)
Cooper, Penny, and Carson check out the birthday cake.
(This was the first time EVER Mama has bought a cake for a kid's birthday...with soccer games, soccer team pictures, friends and family in town, and just plain having three kids, something had to be simplified.  Coop wasn't disappointed...there were Legos on top!)
Cooper politely accepts one of his presents from Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa.  
Cooper, Penny, and the Naisers have fun at Random...the kids love this place, aka "kid football."
It was great to see two buds together again.  Cooper's day was made by getting to see his friends!