Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kickin' it Old School

One of the classic pictures of childhood...

A few random tidbits about our little love:
  • She's been giving kisses all on her own. The last time was in the midst of a meal with a food-covered face, but it was totally worth it!
  • She loves avacados, sweet potatos and squash, but doesn't really get excited about bananas.
  • She's been a wonderful sleeper for the past couple of months (knock on wood!), sleeping from about 6:30 pm to 6:00 am straight and taking two solid naps. Yay!
  • She is a snuggler. Whenever she hears "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (her bedtime song) her head hits the nearest shoulder.
  • After her early-morning wake up, Ben brings her to bed with us to give me a chance to wake up. While snuggled between us, she pats our backs, faces, and talks in sweet baby chatter.
  • Library story time has become a favorite outing. She lights up when everyone sings "Twinkle, Twinkle" and loves playing with (more like watching) the other kids.
  • We've got a little bookworm on our hands. She will sit for about an hour listening to me read book, after book, after book...
  • She's become much more brave lately, happily going to others, and loving the church nursery.
  • Her favorite hang out in the house is standing (with help) on the window ledge and loooking at the mountains, and birds, bunnies, cars, and construction workers (who occasionally wave to her) go by.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

We had a wonderful holiday weekend - the best in recent memory!

We kicked things off Friday night with a visit from Cameron and Maria, dear friends who moved from Tucson to Mexico 2 years ago. They came over and spent the evening catching up and swapping kid stories over a bottle of wine and Mexican takeout. While our four-some wasn't quite complete without Brad and Veronica and a game of Liar's Dice, we had a wonderful time reconnecting with treasured friends.

Saturday, we took advantage of the cool (as in lower than 100 degree) weather and made our first family trip to the zoo. Eleanora was generally more interested in people watching than animal watching. She was a little scared of the zebras moving towards us at first, and then started laughing and kicking. We thought she was especially excited about the polar bear swimming, but then realized she was chuckling at the waterfall in the exhibit and ignoring the bear completely. It was a wonderful, rare, treat to have Ben available for such a fun outing!

Sunday was another fantastic day. We started the morning off with the three of us curled up in bed with Starbucks (Eleanora wisely chose to abstain). Ben then surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for our anniversary. After church, we spent the afternoon with Cameron and Maria and their three adorable kids playing, cooking, eating amazing home made Mexican food (Eleanora chowed down fresh avocado, her current favorite food - she is a southwest baby!), and staying cool in the beautiful, shaded pool. Eleanora loved her first experience swimming, splashing and kicking like crazy. She especially enjoyed playing with and watching the older kids, always reaching for them and laughing whenever they were in view.

It was the perfect day and a wonderful way to spend our 6th anniversary, even if it meant our plans to go out for dinner didn't quite fit in (thanks for offering to babysit, John and Erin!). Instead of a fancy dinner out, we curled up on the couch in our cozy clothes for a quiet, relaxing evening together - perfect after an exhausting and wonderful day. I am so blessed to have such a thoughtful, loving, sweet husband who knows just how to soothe me, humor my craziness, put up with my ginormous failings and make everything more fun than it should be. He is an amazing father - so affectionate, patient, and caring. Eleanora's face lights up every time he walks into the room, whether it's been 5 hours or 5 minutes since she last saw him.

We brought the weekend to a close with a fabulously delicious and fun brunch with John and Erin. What a fantastic couple of days!

Exhausted after all the fun!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Latest in Hoffman-land

Time for a bit of an update from Hoffman-land...

In honor of my first Mother's Day, Ben treated me to an evening out with my "intellectual crush", Ira Glass. At the venue, we were offered fantastic seats in the 15th row (a far cry from our back row purchase) for free! Ira was wonderful, and chose to play it cool even though I'm sure he recognized me from our previous meeting. Eleanora slept soundly the entire time we were gone, thanks to Brent and Lindsay's wonderful babysitting skills!

After an exhausting and crazy few weeks (preceded by several exhausting and crazy months/years!), Ben successfully completed another semester of graduate school! His summer will continue to be packed with research and teaching, but his self-imposed schedule will be a bit more bearable. Translation: He has declared Sundays to be "work-free days"! This past week was the first in this glorious new schedule. We spent the afternoon playing on the floor with Eleanora and just enjoying time together. I've been making lists of fun, heat-avoiding activities for the three of us for the coming months.

Eleanora has been keeping us entertained with her hilarious antics. She's discovered the fun of peek-a-boo and loves to pull a blanket over her head (or up to her nose) and then pull it away with a big grin when we ask "where is Eleanora?". Her latest doctor's appointment confirmed her to be adorable (that's a professional medical opinion!), very long (90 percentile) and lean (10th percentile). She is also rolling and spinning with purpose, using it as a mode of transportation to get where she wants to go (usually in Charlie's direction). She still loves bath time, story time, and our nightly dance parties. Her sweet little personality is coming out more and more with all her expressions, noises, kisses, and snuggles.

Not sure about sweet potatoes... Sold!

Rattle in hand? Check. Rattle in lap? Check. Rattle on foot? Check!

Two chicks hangin' out

Is there anything better than a snuggly baby?

"Helping" Ben hold her favorite story book

Fast asleep with Mr. Monkey at her side

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rite of Passage

I've avoided taking Eleanora to a professional "portrait studio" preferring instead to capture our own snapshots in a more natural setting. I finally broke down and subjected her to this rite of childhood. Although I much prefer the style of photos taken by the photography student we hired back in November, a few turned out too cute not to share.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

Oh how I wish we could be with my amazing, sweet, loving Dad-o today to celebrate his birthday! We love you!!

Sending some birthday love to Opa!