seven months.

_MG_9740 _MG_9824 _MG_9811 

Eliza turned seven months while were on vacation in Texas! But, I haven't had any time to write about it until now. Between throwing our Christmas Party, and then immediately catching the flu (!), we've been pretty busy around here. Eliza has been forced to watch far too many very bad ABC Family Christmas movies this week. Poor girl.

But, here she is in all her big girl- seven month- holiday festive cuteness. She is huge, isn't she!? I feel like she passed the six month hump, and became this huge kid. Stop it!

Sam picked us out the most perfect, fluffy Christmas tree, and had it all set up by the time we got back from Texas. I think it was totally worth it, even if we would only get to enjoy it for a week and a half. She loves scooting over and clawing at all the wrapping paper. Or, batting at the one gold ornament I put low enough for her enjoyment. And, every night we go and turn the lights on together and I let her grab at the soft branches until she gets bored and tries to chew on the lights. She is just in awe. She doesn't swipe at it like she does other things. She softly and slowly reaches out and touches each little thing. I am loving babies at Christmas. So magical!

Eliza at seven months:
-funny, crooked smile
-discovered her tongue- it's always poking out of the side of her mouth now
-added "dadada" and "yayaya"
-twin cousin shrieks
-still scooting
-but, gets up on hands and knees
-loves shopping cart rides and restaurant high chairs (she's a people-watcher)
-one big tooth, and one disappearing act tooth
-survived her first plane rides, and made many friends on the plane
-favorite toys: Airhead candy, wrapped granola bars
-loves her new sippy cup
-up to two solid meals a day
-not stoked about her first visit with Santa
-first bath in the tub with her cousin
-her hair is getting longer and thicker
-loves Christmas lights
-taking two good, long naps (!)
-sleeping much better at night
-peek-a-boo will always get good giggles

san antonio.

_MG_9616 _MG_9580 _MG_9626 _MG_9598 _MG_9574

We had so much fun in San Antonio. We ended up downtown at El Mercado twice during the trip, because it was a perfect place for a baby. So much to look at it! Eliza's head whips around so fast, you have to hold on tight or she'll fall out of your arms. She was either clawing at every little colorful thing within reach, or just staring at the papel picado with her head thrown back and and her mouth wide open.

It was so awesome to have two full weeks because we got to do absolutely anything we felt like. We took her downtown to El Mercado, explored Broadway, and saw an exhibit at the McNay Art Museum. We drove to Boerne to browse the antique shops, and out to Austin to see family. And, we hit up every single one of my favorite restaurants. It was also fun getting to see a little bit of the Christmas season before we left. We got to help set up Christmas trees, and drove to see the twinkle lights. 


_MG_9421 _MG_9661 _MG_9428 _MG_9503

For Thanksgiving we took Eliza on her first plane ride out to Texas. Eliza and I stayed for two whole weeks, and we had a blast. I can't believe how fast two weeks can go, and yet it felt like we had been there so long. She grew so much just while we were there. She started making all of these new, funny faces and noises, and I felt like I was bringing home a new baby.

I just loved seeing her interact with my family. The last time my mom saw her, she was only a week old. The rest of my family saw her at six weeks, and my stepdad had never even met her. I purposely planned a two week stay because I wanted her to really feel comfortable with everyone. 

Oh, and she just loved everyone. I have honestly never seen her that kind of happy before. Not only did she have so many new things to look at, new toys to play with, and new faces to meet. But, she is finally at the age where she is showing real affection towards people. Her face would just light up every time I handed her over to someone new. Besides Sam, I've never really been able to sit back and see her develop such close relationships with others. They could make her giggle and smile in ways I had never even seen. 

Gosh, I wish we could live closer to family. We love and miss you!

(More pictures to comes!)

on the move.

six months.

_MG_9380 _MG_9331 _MG_9264 _MG_9395 _MG_9406

This little firecracker is six months old! The post is a little late, because I wanted to wait until after her six month check-up. We went on Friday, where she weighed in at 13 lbs and 2 oz. What!? I have been assuming she was at least 15 lbs for weeks now. She's such a tiny, little bug! 

The doctor told me that she was "developmentally superior," followed by a laugh and, "You're in for it." HA! Thanks, we've noticed. She has been commando crawling for weeks now,and it's terrifying, to say the least. She started pulling herself with her hands, which very quickly led to the discovery that she could push with her feet. And, she has absolutely no fear or understanding of space. She is constantly launching herself off of surfaces and bodies, and you have to keep a hand around her ankle at all times. Somebody was watching her make her way across a blanket at the park and commented that "She seems to move out of sheer determination." If there is an obstacle in her way, such as my body, she will still manage to climb up and over me to get to something on the other side. Changing her diaper is a wrestling match- which usually ends with her dangling upside down while I hold her ankle with one hand, and apply the diaper creme with the other hand. She also finds this pretty funny.

We are frantically baby-proofing the house to keep up with her! She has located all of the areas where she can reach and pull things out already. Sam's design books are especially exciting. I keep telling him he needs to move them if he wants to keep them nice, and I give him motivation by texting pictures of her chewing on this books while he is at work.

Also, her first tooth popped in just this weekend! She was making a fuss in the car, so I reached back from the passenger seat to let her suck on my finger- which she chomped down on with a tiny razor sharp tooth. Hello, tooth!

Sometimes I seriously can't handle how much I love her. She is everything and more.

Eliza at six months:
-commando crawl and scoot
-babbles all day long (ma, na, ba)
-loves her morning walks with Daddy
-sleeping better through the night 
(thanks to some difficult sleep training....)
-loves "playing" with other babies
-first tooth: lower front right
-loves to crinkle things
-either loves it, or is supremely bored with mealtime
-has tried rice cereal, carrots, peas, apples, bananas, and avacados
-very familiar with the books on the bottom shelf
-loves playing with the Fall leaves
-lost her first shoe, 2 days after I bought them
-taking longer naps!
-Daddy can always make her laugh
-But, it sometimes turns into a cry if he takes it too far...
-likes to sit on my hip, and play with my necklace
-loves playing with water bottles
-Berkeley park hopper
-loves dance parties in the living room
-the most curious girl
-we live to hear her laugh
-has her quiet, cuddle moments
they usually only last a couple of seconds, but they are heaven.
-13 lbs 2 oz, and 25 3/4" long
-loves toppling the toy basket, and pulling out what she can
-thinks peek-a-boo is hilarious

a baby shower.

_MG_9247 _MG_9069 _MG_9078 _MG_9087 _MG_9085 _MG_9139 _MG_9104 _MG_9093 _MG_9114 _MG_9141 _MG_9150

This last weekend I threw a baby shower for my good friend, Whitney. I am so happy for her and excited to meet little baby Baker! This girl deserves the absolute best. She is the most down-to-earth, positive person I have ever met. When I asked her who she wanted to invite, she sent me a list, and then insisted, "Even if it is just you and me and Eliza hanging out, I will still be happy!" 

Although, I have to admit- maybe half the reason I called dibs on her shower was so that I could get a little crafty. I have been craving a creative outlet lately, and was more than happy to have a reason to make something with my hands!

This was a fun project for me, because I had plenty of time to let it grow in my head. I had been "planning" it for a couple of months, and found myself spending early mornings after a nursing session scrolling through Pinterest like a giddy school girl. I put together this board, and started whittling this mess of ideas into something manageable. I wanted it to be a stress-free and fun project that wouldn't cost much, and so I made it a point not to go "too far." I feel like the result was minimal and sweet. 

Indulge me, by letting me break it down for you:

I had Whitney's husband design the invitation. He has a great style, and I felt like it would be the perfect base for the shower. I gave him a few ideas of where I was going, and I LOVED the way it turned out! This guy has talent. These two are so fun and adventurous, and I love that the design reflected that. 

I blew up baby photos of Bret and Whitney to hang over the buffet- like this shower my friend did, at The Alison Show. I thought it was such a fun idea. Then I made a few quick garlands with paper I already had laying around the house. I also added a few vases of flowers around, as well.

I found this huge stick on a walk out with Eliza one day, and painted a stripe with some Martha Stewart's Metallic Gold Paint that I had leftover from a past project, and some white paint that we used to paint our walls. Then I hung it from the mantle, and draped a few shorter paper garlands over it. Whitney's family has a tradition of giving a bird name as a middle name. (Her middle name is Jay.) So, they plan on giving this little babe the middle name of Swift. Isn't that cute? The framed bird on the mantle is actually a vintage engraving copy of a Swift Bird that I found online.

I made a simple, thin brown paper table runner, by sewing overlapping triangles together, and placed a potted succulent in the middle--  because I didn't think the table needed much. And, I because I was so excited about the food! One of Whitney's friend's organized the food, and we had so many people volunteer to bring things. And, let me tell you, when people in the Bay Area bring food- it's gonna be good. We even had a quiche from Tartine, for goodness sake!

We mostly just sat and chatted while we ate, because I feel like a get together doesn't necessarily need to be super structured. And, I just loved watching Whitney happily flit from group to group, joining in on conversations. But, I did create a little advice book for people to write in throughout the party, that she could take home at the end. (I bought a brown paper Moleskin with lined pages, and stamped the outside with a huge dollar store rubber eraser- kind of like this, except that mine was huge and blue and said "My Bad!") I know that every mom needs advice- but they don't want to feel like it's being thrown in their face. So, a book is a great way to have people jot down advice and recommendations all in one place- to be used more as a reference. I numbered the pages, and divided the book up into useful sections, such as "Nursing" or "Sleeping" or "Taking Care of Yourself." 

The salted caramel apples were my favorite part! I searched far and wide for affordable favors, and then decided that most favors probably get thrown away or something. The best favors can be eaten! So, I settled on caramel apples because they fit the color scheme, the season, and they are tasty. I collected small sticks over a couple of days worth of walks with Eliza. (No worries, I didn't look crazy. I live in Berkeley!) Then, I painted the tips with the same metallic gold as the mantle piece. I wasn't planning on doing that, but I got really paint happy with that gold and I loved how it turned out. Now, I have the urge to gold dip everything in my house!

This was my first caramel apple endeavor, so I was kind of nervous. But, I had a few girl friends over to show me the ropes and they came out so great. If I had done them myself, I'm sure they would have been a hot mess. We used the Kraft caramel bits (because I wasn't quite ready to delve into candy making) and sprinkled some Kosher salt along the top rim of the apples. Holy cow, they tasted so good! I couldn't decide on a favor bag or anything, so I ended up making them. It was easier then I expected, though- just folded a piece of parchment paper in half and stitched up each side. Then, I could get the size and look that I wanted- because apparently I get obsessive about the weirdest details. But, then each of her guests could grab an apple on their way out, and carry it home in a little parchment bag.

Well, I got my crafty, craft fix, as well as my baby fix. I loved watching Whitney open all of her gifts- nothin' better than baby goods. Thank you for letting me celebrate your baby with you, Whitney! We can't wait to meet the cute thing! 


_MG_9023 _MG_8987

Eliza completely destroyed her first solid food. We gave her rice cereal for her first meal. The article I read said to give her a couple of spoonfuls  just to see how she likes it. I gave her one taste and she lunged at me like some kind of animal. It's a good thing she was strapped down and stripped down. For the rest of the meal, she would grab at the spoon, the bowl, the food, my hands--stuffing it all in her sloppy mouth. Then she would get really angry that I wasn't feeding her fast enough, looking up at me with distressed eyes and a little rice cereal beard.

This little lady knows what she wants. "GIMME!"

And, in case you didn't get enough: 4 minutes of Eliza being adorably crazy. Nom, nom.



_MG_8959 _MG_8972 _MG_8964 _MG_8965 _MG_8937 _MG_8946

Eliza went on her first campout! Our ward at church had their annual campout at Tilden Park last night, and we decided to brave it. We were a bit nervous, but figured that we would only be 15 minutes from home, so we could just pack up and go if Eliza wasn't into it. But, she loved it! 

And, it felt so good.

It felt so good just pulling out all of our gear and packing up the car, like old times. We haven't been camping in a year, since Coyote Gulch on our visit to Utah last August. Wow, that's crazy. What with New York, the move, the pregnancy, and little E- it hasn't really been on the mind. But, we are glad to be back in the game. 

Eliza loved the flickering fire, and all of the chattering kids. She even stayed up past her bedtime because she was so happy checking out all of the activity. And, it was so fun getting her all bundled up and snuggled between us in the tent. To be honest, we didn't get much sleep. But, we are pretty used to that these days. And, who actually sleeps on a campout, anyway!? 

We had so much fun hanging out by the fire with our friends. The kids were running wild in the woods, with tousled hair and bright eyes. They each found huge sticks that they proceeded to "forge" into swords in the fire. Eliza was in heaven with so much to look at. My favorite moment was when she woke up in the morning to find herself in such a funny place. She just wanted to scratch at every tent surface and chew on every toggle and zipper. And then, when we took her outside, she would wiggle around in her layers of feety pajamas and look around in absolute baby wonder. I love that look. 

Thanks, friends, for good food, good company, and the cutest kids on this side of the Bay!

five months.

_MG_8857 _MG_8897 _MG_8837 _MG_8829

Wow, this month went by so fast! Obviously so fast that I forgot to pop in and say something about it. It's been a fun month, though. The most beautiful weather, coupled with my goal to visit every park in Berkeley, means we have a very happy baby on our hands. If she could be outside all day, she would. So, we do! September has been one of the nicest months of the year for playing outside. 

Eliza is so into the world around her these days. She has always been alert and curious. But, now she literally gets upset that she can't touch and taste and hold everything in sight all at once. We laugh because she reaches and reaches for something, and the second her fingers get hold of it she is already looking around for something else to grab. Also, you really have to work for smiles these days- she's way too interested in everything else to dish out those gummy grins on demand.

And, she is definitely on the MOVE! One day, I placed her on her play mat while I took a bathroom break- and when I came out she was half way across the room! The day has come that they kept warning me about. Don't let go of her for a second because she will wiggle and roll and tumble. Mobility is exciting and terrifying at the same time.

I'm so proud of my baby girl. I remember the doctor saying the day after she was born, "This girl gets what she wants." I always thought that sounded funny, like, it made her sound like a spoiled brat. But, I've learned that it means she will get what she wants by trying her hardest. She overcomes every little challenge that she finds. It's fun watching her figure things out so quickly, not happy until she succeeds. Sam and I are a little afraid that Eliza got a pretty hopped up concoction of the two of us. If you know the two of us, you know what I mean. There might be a little too much crazy in this family...

I love you, E. Thank you for being you!

Eliza at five months:
-squawks like a parrot
-chubby, chubby! (sort of)
-where is this light hair from!?
-rolling across the floor
-starting to scoot a tiny bit
-sitting up with a little help
-airplanes and swims on her belly
-always chewing on something
-wants to taste and touch everything
-loves blowing bubbles with her mouth
-spends most of her day at the parks
-developed a rather "charming" whine when she is not happy
-laughs and giggles when you play peek-a-boo
-has shown signs of "stranger danger"
-but, still likes to smile at people
-taking longer naps (yay!)
-wakes up 4-5 times at night (not cool)
-gets stuck on her belly in her crib
-grabs everything in sight
-has her calmer moments now
-not as interested in story time 
-but, loves singing time
-loves Daddy time "rough housing"
-sits on a booster in the Ergo to see out the top
-such a curious girl
-wants to take in everything all at once
-loves to chew on paper plates and (safe) candy wrappers

four months.

_MG_8792 _MG_8765 _MG_8649 _MG_8706 _MG_8787

Today, our little lady turns four months old!

She is such a happy girl. We just got our pediatrician bill for the past few months and I was laughing when I noticed that I took her in to see the doctor around 8 times in the first month of her life. She was just so sad and miserable, and we were so lost! Everyone always said, "It will wear off around 4 months." And, it did!

Today I looked down at my baby girl and realized, "We made it!" Over the past few weeks, this little one has just transformed. It's like her body finally caught up with her. She is just so happy and content. This girl will absolutely always return a smile. And, it's not just a smile. It's a SMILE. It's like her face might explode she is so happy. She smiles at me. She smiles at Daddy. She smiles at anyone on the street who gives her one first. One of my favorite things to do is smile at her in the mirror, and see her face just completely light up. She is so beautiful.

I'm just enjoying this time so much. I love to see her move and wiggle and figure new things out every day. And I love feeling that I am figuring things out, as well. It's not such a guessing game anymore. It's not about "getting through" each day, hoping that I can keep her sad crying at bay- trying every trick in the book to make her feel better. Our days are full of teaching and learning, and giggling and chatting. I feel like we understand each other, and it's so fulfilling.

If you have ever met her in person, you would probably agree that it looks like she wants so badly to take in everything all at once. Her head bobs around wildly as she looks at everything around her, and her tiny body never stops moving. I always get the feeling like she just wants to be a real person. I have this recurring dream that we look over at her one day and she just stands up and starts running around in circles. I love my crazy, little girl...

Eliza at four months:
-monster mouth smiles
-constant stream of drool
-finally graduated from her newborn diapers!
-sporting 0-3 months quite nicely
-entertains herself happily
-rolls from tummy to back
-wiggling and rotating
-so, so chatty
-squawking at extraordinary decibals
-taking regular (short) naps!
-growth spurt = nighttime feedings x 10
-tough girl through her first cold
-plays with her feet and monkey toes
-chubby legs
-sits in the Bumbo for long periods of time
-wants to be outside all day long
-grabby, grabby
-still loves her sling- especially at the park, gardens, grocery store,
and brightly colored clothing stores
-favorite spot: sitting on the porch, staring at the pink roses
-will always return a smile
-so strong it's scary..
-making her way through all the picture books at the library
-likes it when you blow on her face
-loves it when Daddy nibbles on her legs and feet
-favorite toy: color links
-"walks" across the table
-the sweetest voice
-talks to herself in her crib after naps
-huge variety of crazy noises
-communicates her wants and needs
-male pattern baldness / nappy hair
-new hair is much lighter
-puts everything in her mouth
-baby crunches
-such a happy girl.

labor day.

_MG_8608 _MG_8571 _MG_8596 _MG_8578 _MG_8616 _MG_8577 _MG_8605 _MG_8592

That little hat. It kills me.

For Labor Day, my mommy friends and I planned a staycation poolside in Vacaville. Kate's in-laws live in Vacaville, and were nice enough to host us. There's nothing cuter than babies in swimsuits and sunhats. These are Eliza's boyfriends- Nolan and Baby Stephen. They are big boys. Like, BIG boys. The other day, Nolan wouldn't stop trying to stuff Eliza's tiny fist in his mouth- like a lollipop. Kate seemed pretty flustered and kept trying to pull him away, but I thought it was pretty hilarious. Eliza seemed pretty oblivious.

It was nice to jump into the pool, for the 5 seconds that the babies allowed. But, really- it was so nice. I realized that between New York, pregnancy, and raising an infant I hadn't been swimming in over a year. The water felt great, even if Eliza didn't agree. She allowed me to dangle her legs in the water but, when Sam tried to pull her in farther, she protested. After that bit of trauma, she spent most of the afternoon in Daddy's lap chatting and giggling happily. I'm glad that Sam could have some time with her this weekend. He has been working very hard, and I know he misses her. Thank goodness for holidays. I love my little family.

A dip in the pool, and burgers on the grill- I couldn't have asked for a better Labor Day!