Monday, December 15, 2008

Two Months Old!

The little peanut is now two months old! She is busy smiling, cooing and just being generally adorable. Her favorite hangouts are in the crib staring open-mouthed at her mobile, on the changing table, and the bathtub.

She had her 2 month check-up last week and now weighs 10 lbs, 12 oz and is in the 50th percentile for weight and 90th percentile for height. She also had her first round of shots which was traumatic for all three of us!

Her mother's daughter, she loves all things Christmas. She is mesmerized by the tree (it instantly stops any crying fit...we've discussed leaving it up all year round!), and like all good Gibsons loves to dance around the kitchen to Christmas music. She is a Christmas Miracle!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hooray For Ben!

This past weekend, Ben ran the Tucson half-marathon. The fact that he trained hard enough to achieve his personal best time despite a very busy schedule of studying, researching, diaper-changing, and being a devoted husband and father is pretty amazing. Eleanora and I braved the cold morning to cheer him on, although she chose a more mellow approach...

I'm so proud of Ben's accomplishment. He is the model of discipline in every way, structuring his days to maximize his time with Eleanora and I while often working late into the night to keep up on his school work. Despite his incredibly long hours, he is always the first one up with Eleanora changing her diaper and comforting her in the middle of the night. I know I don't tell him often enough how much I appreciate his tireless efforts. To top it all off, he is just plain fun to be around. I know Ella agrees!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving...

Eleanora got to meet her Grandpa and Gram Hoffman for the very first time a couple of weeks ago. They were a wonderful help with laundry, dishes, fixing the furnace (yes, we need it occasionally in Tucson!), and hanging bookshelves. Most of all, they got time to snuggle, bathe and adore their sweet grandaughter.
Ben has started her early!

Natalie traveled to Tucson yet again (that's 3 times in 5 months - I'm so lucky!) to spend Thanksgiving with us. She was her normal Cinderella self - spreading her cheerfulness around while being a tremendous help. She cleaned, scrubbed, laundered, organized and baked leaving us with a sparkling, treat-filled home ready for Christmas!

We spent Thanksgiving with Ben's Aunt, Uncle and cousin. The turkey was grilled, the food delicious, and the company divine.

Although we are sad our visitors are gone, we are excited to head home for the holidays in just a few weeks to introduce Eleanora to the rest of her amazing family!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adjusting and Enjoying

It's been a busy couple of weeks of adjustment in the Hoffman Household. Adjustment to being a family of three (without live-in help!) has been tougher than I thought it would be. For someone who loves making and crossing things off her lists, I've had to adjust my expectations of what is a successful day by measuring it not in tasks completed, but in spending time with my rapidly growing and ever-amazing daughter.

Eleanora is more alert every day. She is becoming more interactive by following our movements, making lots of fun noises, and showering us with new expressions and smiles.

Matching Dad/Daugther Shirts

Loving Bath Time!

More Eleanora Pictures

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


On Monday, Ben and I had our very first post-baby date. My Mom watched Eleanora for an hour while he whisked me off for a romantic lunch for two. I'll admit, I was a little nervous about leaving her for the first time but she slept in the "magical sling" the entire time and didn't even notice I was gone. Ben and I feasted at a nearby restaurant on yummy Greek food and some quality alone time. It was a perfect first date!

Over the weekend, Ben and Eleanora showed their University of Arizona pride together for the first time before Ben headed off to the Homecoming football game with John.

While he was gone, Erin came over to have a little ladies night with my Mom, Eleanora and I. The night started off great, but Eleanora neglected her hostess duties in favor of a good old-fashioned crying fit. Erin was a great help - putting together the swing, doing dishes, and spreading her cheerfulness around. Hopefully next time, Eleanora will be a little more polite to our company!

Today was Eleanora's two week check-up. She's in the 5oth percentile for weight and 90th percentile for height (up 2.25 inches since birth!). Ben is already making plans for her volleyball career!


I have been so blessed to be surrounded by various members of my immediate family for the last three weeks. My Mom arrived in Tucson a week before Eleanora, allowing us some sweet time together to finish my last few nesting projects, taking long walks, and just being together.

Both my Dad and Natalie arrived within 24 hours of Eleanora's debut. Mom, Dad and Natalie were able to visit with us each day in the hospital. Introducing Eleanora to her new home for the first time surrounded by adoring family was so special. Our house was literally glowing, it was so clean (thanks, Mom!), and I can't imagine a more excited welcoming committee! The many hands to help in those first crazy days was invaluable. There was always someone willing and able to soothe, burp, or just cuddle our sweet girl while I caught a nap, had a meal, or just rested.

Natalie's visit was brief, but I'm so glad she was here to witness Eleanora's first few days. We are already counting the days until she returns for a blissful week over Thanksgiving!

In addition to being a super baby soother, Dad was also an amazing help around the house with a million little projects Ben hasn't been able to get to with school. He hung a multitude of pictures and paintings, bookshelves, and just generally tinkered around to make our house better. His week here was wonderful and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Sad to see Opa go!

My Mom just left this morning (sniff, sniff) to head back to Erie. In her three glorious weeks here, it was like there was a magical spell over the house. Every time I'd wake from a nap or time in the nursery, I'd find the house sparkling, dishes done, laundry folded and put away, and the next meal ready to go. She is also a fountain of practical baby advice, tips and tricks, and is an expert at keeping Eleanora happy.

I am beyond grateful for such a loving, supportive and unselfish family who made this transition to parenthood so wonderful.

We have a couple weeks just the three of us before we welcome Ben's parents for a visit. We can't wait to introduce them to Eleanora!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Head Over Heels

The past week and a half has been the most amazing, wonderful and exhausting of my life. I've spent my days in a protective bubble of baby love, supported by amazing help from my husband, parents and sister. I'm not sure I'm ready to rejoin the outside world just yet, because I've so loved this time in the cozy cocoon of home.

Eleanora is completely amazing. She's alert and sweet, with an intoxicating smell and is just oh-so-snuggly. She's a champion eater - already back at her birth weight only 5 days after her birth. She has more than compensated for her difficult delivery by being such an easy and wonderful baby. Every time I look at her face, I'm amazed that she is actually ours and that we get to keep her.

Right now she is snuggled up to her Dad for a mid-morning nap. Ben is a natural, already an expert diaper-changer, soother and general sweet-talker. Eleanora loves the sound of his voice and always responds to it. Seeing them together makes me so happy it's overwhelming. I've never loved Ben more.
I am so blessed and so in love.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our Beautiful Miracle...

It has been a few trying but amazing days for us. On October 15th at 9:45 PM our precious Eleanora Dawn came into the world. She is the perfect combination of beauty and spunk, although her delivery was far from perfect. Since Kara was past her due date and the baby was getting bigger, her doctor recommended that she be induced Wednesday morning. After a long day of labor, it was finally time to push. Kara quickly showed the makings of a pushing champion. Despite all her hard work, after over 2 1/2 hours of pushing, little Eleanora still wasn't ready to introduce herself to the world. After a trying time with the vacuum, the doctor made the decision to do a C-section.

After a whirlwind of getting ready (who knew I would get to wear a spacesuit), Kara was whisked to the OR and our beautiful miracle made her debut soon thereafter. It was a very trying time for Kara, who didn't really get any quality time with Eleanora until almost 3 hours after she was born. After a difficult initial recovery for Kara, they were finally reunited. Kara was amazing throughout the whole day, never complaining despite some very difficult moments. I have never loved her more and am so proud of her.

Yesterday was a much better day: introducing her to Opa and Gigi Gibson and Auntie Natalie as well as Grandpa and Gram Hoffman and Auntie Erin over the phone. We also were able to give the good news to Great Grandma B and Great Mena, both of which are some of our greatest inspirations and therefore inspired Eleanora Dawn's first and middle names. Most of all, it was a wonderful day of just getting to know my daughter. I have never known the feeling of loving someone the very instant you meet them; it is indescribable and has changed my life.

Thanks to all of you for your supportive thoughts and prayers. We love you and are so glad you're in our lives.

Sleeping in Mom's arms

Getting to know the Gibsons

Our New Family

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Marvelous Mom!

Today is a glorious, fabulous, wonderful day for us! My Mom is arriving this afternoon after traveling all the way from PA to spend a few weeks helping us make the transition to a family of three. Not only has she selflessly sacrificed time and expense to be here, she also made the cross-country trek on her birthday!

I am so lucky to have such a fun-loving, beautiful and gracious Mom. She gives extravagantly, loves unabashedly, and is one of the best listeners on the planet. She's got style, impeccable taste (her table decorations would put Martha Stewart to shame), and is an amazing cook. She's also incredibly driven and intelligent. She excelled academically when earning her undergraduate and masters degrees, all while running a busy household and caring for her family. I love that she can be prim and proper if the occasion calls for it, but deep down would rather be lip-syncing in the kitchen to Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits album with spatula in hand. Her laugh is a total body experience. Once she gets going her entire body goes limp and she quickly becomes a puddle of gasps and shakes.

She lives like she laughs...with total abandon, completely beautiful, and with her whole heart and soul. I'm so grateful to have her as a model of the mom I want to be.

Happy Birthday Mom!

More Fun Mom Pics

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Lovely Life

The bassinet is set up, the baby clothes are washed, and my bag is packed. While there are still (and always will be) many items to complete on our to-do lists, all the essential pre-baby items have been checked off. We're about as ready as we can be for the life-altering arrival of Baby Hoffman.

I am so excited to meet this little person who enjoys late night in-utero dance sessions followed immediately by the hiccups, ice cream (we must be related), and kicking my ribs. But, I have to admit, I'm slightly terrified about the idea of becoming a parent. I love our life. I love traveling on a whim, fun nights out with friends, and I'm ferociously protective (and completely insatiable) when it comes to time with Ben. I know this new addition to our family will bring more joy than I can imagine, but I'm a little sad about saying goodbye to this sweet season in our lives.

We decided this weekend to live it up non-parent style and go out for a nice dinner just the two of us. We feasted on amazing food, unbelievable dessert (caramelized banana splits!), and wonderful conversation all while enjoying a beautiful sunset over the mountains. It was a perfect evening. When we got home, Charlie quickly assumed his favorite cuddling position - snuggled up to my belly. He's in for quite a shock when both my belly and our cuddling time are gone!

Saturday night we joined our favorite T-birds and Pink Ladies for an evening of 50s style fun. A local movie theatre was screening a Grease Sing-a-long complete with words printed on the screen. We started the evening off right with chocolate malts and french fries...

Since my wardrobe is somewhat limited these days, I focused instead on getting Ben "Greased up" for the evening. He was a little hesitant at first, but soon got into the spirit with lots of hair gel, tight jeans, and cards (I mean cigarettes!) rolled up in his shirt sleeve.

The movie was a blast. Everyone (yes, including Ben) sang their hearts out to "Summer Lovin'" and the crowd went wild when John Travolta first appeared on screen. It was quite possibly the most fun, and definitely the most interactive time I've ever had at the movies!

It was a great weekend full of the things I love about our life now, and preparing for the big-big-big changes coming our way very soon!

Friday, August 29, 2008

MORE Showered!

My dear friends Erin and Lisa hosted a super-fun shower for me here in Tucson last weekend. They did a fantastic job planning fun games (no "guess her girth"!) such as, "Name the Baby Animal" (my years of Wild America watching with Dad paid off here!) and "Guess the Baby Food" (applesauce - yum, squash - yuck!). We also received all the baby socks we could possibly need thanks to the "Guess how many socks are in the Jar" game!

Jenny and Lisa testing baby food

My favorite activity of the afternoon was when each of the girls decorated a little onesie for the baby. I have some very creative friends and they all came out beautifully! Erin even made a little "Obama-Biden '08" onesie that I'm sure will have our conservative family members voting democratic in no time!

The onesie artists hard at work...

Lindsay, Erin, Lisa, Kara, Nikki, Jenny

As if the games and time visiting wasn't enough, we also had wonderful food, and my favorite treat...ICE CREAM! The party was very relaxing and exactly what I would have wished for! I'm so grateful to have such wonderful, supportive friends here in Tucson!

More Shower Pictures

Wednesday at work, I was headed to what I thought was yet another intense meeting when to my shock I was met with a surprise shower thrown by my co-workers. The mastermind behind the party was Lisa (yes, the same Lisa mentioned above) along with my friends Katie, and Lindsay. About 15 people came, including Ben, for a fun and delicious Mexican lunch. A pool was started to guess the baby's gender, birthday and weight. The consensus seems to be boy, born 10/7 (Mom's birthday!), and weighing around 7 lbs. We were showered with sweet gifts, and even got "Baby's First Calculator"!

Thanks to the generosity of so many, we have all the big "must-haves" for Baby Hoffman. This weekend I'm looking forward to organizing all our loot, washing some baby clothes and getting things ready for the big day. I can't believe how soon it's coming!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The past couple weeks have been filled with fun and family. We traveled to Erie, PA (our last trip pre-baby!) for a beautiful shower thrown by my Mom and sister. It was an amazingly beautiful, elegant, and classy event. I loved every minute of it! The best part was spending time with fantastic women in my life - many who I don't see often and live as far away as Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and even Florida! It was amazing to feel so loved and supported as motherhood is rapidly approaching!

The rest of our time at home was filled with visiting family, talking long walks in the woods, bonfires (with marshmallows, of course), kayaking and enjoying the beautiful Erie beach.

Ben and I both had an especially hard time leaving the peaceful sanctuary of family time. But it is good to be back in Tucson and crossing off those final pre-baby to do's. It's also exciting to know the next time we are in PA there will be 3 of us!