Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

The dressing up...
Yes, that is lipstick.

The baking...

 The decorating...

Being naughty...

And Nice...

Beautiful Christmas lights...

Visits to Santa (accompanied by lots of "No! No! Noooooo!")...

Santa arrived at Liam's base on a plane!

And dreaming of Christmas miracles...

Happy Giving!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, or a very "Happy Giving!" as Eleanora said throughout the day.  As per tradition, we started the morning with Lindsay's a-mazing cinnamon roll recipe (ice cream in the frosting, need I say more?!) and the Macy's Day parade.  Eleanora loved watching the floats, dancing to the music, and having everyone all together. 

At one point during the morning, Natalie and Eleanora spotted something very unusual strolling down the sidewalk...a miniature horse!  Being the super-fun aunt that she is, Natalie scooped up Eleanora and took off running down the street to get a closer look.  I grabbed the camera and started running behind them.  We were quite a sight, all in our pajamas, me chasing Natalie who was carrying Eleanora, all of us chasing the horse and it's owner.  Several people stopped on the sidewalk to gawk, wondering if a kidnapping was taking place (they talked to us later after realizing we on a pony chase!).  

We had a wonderful dinner with Sissy, Rich and Mimi complete with a turkey grilled to perfection.  Eleanora's favorite part of the meal was eating the pudding pie with Mimi.

What a wonderful day with so much to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


We have so much to be thankful this year, and this sweet little face is at the top of the list...

Our sweet Samuel has come a long way since starting out so tiny, hooked to a ventilator, bruised and swollen from his traumatic birth.  He is pink and perfect, healthy and well.  At his 4 month check-up yesterday, the doctor was thrilled with his weight gain (she clapped with glee!) and declared that she couldn't be happier with Sammy's progress and that he is fantastic.  She plotted his growth on the full term 4 month growth chart, even though he is technically only 2 months old adjusted for his prematurity.  The fact that he even landed on the chart (3rd percentile for weight and 25th percentile for height!) was a huge win!  Samuel gained 12 ounces in the 12 days since his last appointment which is amazing.  He now weighs 11 pounds 8 ounces!

Samuel is also developing very well.  He is tracking movement, smiling, cooing, and holding his head up with little effort.  He is such a sweet, sweet baby.  He is so patient, so content, so happy to snuggle.  We've even laid him down awake a few times and he's fallen asleep on his own!  That was unheard of with Eleanora!

Our days have found a predictable and comfortable rhythm that is manageable and enjoyable.  During the day, Samuel eats at least every three hours and then is sleeping for about an eight hour stretch at night. Thank goodness for some uninterrupted sleep!  As far as eating, things are the same.  We've seen the lactation consultant several times and "the best" occupational therapist for feeding issues in town.  All to no avail.  It seems our little guy is just not likely to nurse.  I'm slowly making my peace with this reality and am scaling back pumping to a more reasonable 3-4 times a day.  I'll keep doing that and hopefully be able to give him breastmilk through the scary cold/flu season.

Because Samuel was so early, he qualifies for the RSV vaccine to prevent serious lung disease from a respiratory infection because his lungs are still developing.  He will get the vaccine every month through the winter.  I am grateful for this added protection during the months ahead.

On this day of Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for a healthy, happy family all snuggled together in front of a roaring fire to watch the Macy's day parade.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Bear-y Good Halloween

For Halloween, we ventured out of the house for the first time all together and a attended trick or treat event at a local outdoor mall.  Eleanora was a bit shy at first, whispering her "Tick o treat?", but once she realized there was candy involved she bravely marched into store after store cheerfully yelling, "Tick or teat!  Tan ooo!" (translation: "Trick or treat! Thank you!").

My sweet little bears

A flapper, two bears and Dwight Schroute from "The Office"
The lovely Wendy and her Peter Pan

 A few other fun pictures...

Enjoying her morning "coffee" and toast

Birthday Bliss

Eleanora turned two a couple of weeks ago.  She loved all the attention, the candles, and the presents.  Her favorite song is now, "Happy Birthday" which is sung several hundred times each day.  "Happy Birthday!" is also her favorite toast during our morning ritual of "coffee" (milk in a coffee mug for Miss E) and breakfast.  

We kept the birthday festivities pretty low-key this year, with just family meeting at the park for cupcakes and playtime.  Uncle Rich, Aunt Sissy, and Mimi joined us for a fun afternoon in the sun.  Samuel joined the celebration by napping the afternoon away in the sling.

The park has a splash pad area with fountains and all kinds of water squirting everywhere.  Eleanora loves-loves-loves the water!

Every meal included birthday candles and singing - from pancakes for breakfast, to her PB&J for lunch.

Eleanora is still obsessed with Samuel and can't get enough of him, although jealousy has popped up now and then.  She gets frustrated with me that I can't give her my full attention all the time, but never seems to get mad at Samuel.  She loves to pat his back when he's crying and say, "Poor baby Sa-ee, it's ok."

As for Samuel, he continues to grow and gain strength.  He weighs over 10 pounds now (yay!) and has graduated from wearing preemie and newborn clothes to 0-3 months.  Because he failed the hearing screen in the hospital, he had a special sleep test done to measure his brain waves while hearing different tones.  The test showed his hearing to be within the normal range, which is wonderful news.  I wasn't too worried since he definitely reacts to loud noises, especially those coming from his big sister!  Samuel also had an appointment with the pediatric neurologist who was pleased with his latest head ultrasound.  The bleeding has resolved, but there is still some fluid in the brain.  We want this to either become less or stay the same, not increase.  He also had a full neurological evaluation revealing he is on track for his gestational age.  We will go to the neurologist again in December after another head ultrasound to keep an eye on everything.  We are still treading water in regards to nursing, after another meeting with the lactation consultant and occupational therapist.  They recommended pressing on for another few weeks to see if he's made any progress (so far, nothing) and then evaluating at that point the best course of action for the future.  

Samuel is a sweet, sweet boy who loves to nuzzle up in the crook of my neck, and sleeps best laying next to me in bed.  He is tracking movement (mostly big sister), and can pick up his head and turn it from side to side.  He is such a snuggle bug!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Awesome Opa

It's been busy-busy-busy in the Hoffman Household these days.  After fabulous and super-helpful visits from both of our Moms, my Dad (aka "Opa") came for a wonderful week.  Eleanora is a bit obsessed with her Opa and can't get enough of him.  She was shy for about 2 seconds then immediately began showing him all of her toys, asking him to dance ("come on, Opa, dance!") and keeping him very busy.  Dad was amazing and oh-so-patient, playing literally for hours on end with Eleanora.  He is fantastic with both of my kids, he's the baby whisperer, toddler whisperer, and mommy whisperer all rolled into one.  We loved-loved-loved having his sweet, peaceful presence in our home!

S.P. (Samuel Peter) meets P.S.(Peter Scott) in
color-coordinated outfits.
Superman's got nothing on this guy.
Handling two under two with a smile!