Monday, August 28, 2006

Head Held High

Eliana is getting much better at holding her head up. She consistently lifts it up and looks around with an amazing amount of control when being held. Last night she was demonstrating her strong neck muscles and I managed to snap a few (dozen) photos. In case you can't tell, we still get excited at every new development, every new trick... I think it's the first time parent thing. =) So this is for the grandparents who don't get to spend every waking moment cheering Eliana on like we do.

And these are just because we think she's so cute we had to share.

I don't know what that funny little smirk is, but it's cute.

Garage Sale Finds

On Saturday I went garage sale-ing and I found a few fun finds I thought I'd share. =) I found quite a few children's books, but aside from that I found clothes for next summer. I thought this outfit was absolutely adorable and it was in perfect condition - didn't even look like it had been worn! I love the little matching shoes!

I also ran across a garage sale that was giving away little girls' clothes for FREE! They were size newborn through 4T. I thought at first that they might be in really poor condition, but they weren't! So I pilfered through the offerings and came home with a box full of 17 outfits or items for FREE! It was a good deal. =)

My really exciting find was this child carrier backback by Kelty. First, you rarely find these at garage sales in this area. It's like finding a Subaru for cheap. You just don't. We've been looking at buying a new one for next summer so we can go hiking with Eliana. New ones run about $100-$150. I got this one for $15. Woohoo!!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Eliana Playing with Giraffe Rattle

Eliana has just recently begun to take notice of the objects around her. She has taken particular interest in the giraffe rattles hanging from her bouncy seat. She has reached out and touched them before, but I was fortunate enough to capture her first time playing with them on video. This was Eliana's first prolonged self-initiated interaction with a toy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

All dressed up and nowhere to go

Here are pictures of Eliana at 5 weeks old. She's wearing one of my baby dresses. She looked adorable in it, but was NOT happy. I took 125 pictures and only have a handful that don't showcase her screaming or frowning (though her frown is precious). These are the best of the bunch:

I just think that last one is too cute. I love the kicking and screaming action. Note to self: don't take pictures right before naptime.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Our little Ellie likes to suck on things: her blankets, clothes, pacifier, fist... Well, today she found her thumb. She's still a little clumsy and gets both her thumb and forefinger, but it was pretty cute. I still prefer the pacifier to the thumb, but I had to take pictures first. =)

Mail Call!

Today's mail brings us...

1. An explanation of benefits from our insurance company saying that we don't have to pay a penny of the cost of my epidural. Woohoo! (that sucker cost $750!)

2. A jury duty notice for Leif. Ewwww.

3. A small parcel from HELSINKI!! We've never gotten mail from Helsinki before. Cool. Leif ordered 2 CDs from an Icelandic music group. You never have to worry about being able to sing along, because all of their songs are Icelandic. It is fun to try to make sense of some of their words, though. Like when you hear something that sounds like "Minnesota" amidst the gobbledygook.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Saving for College...

If college tuition keeps going up at the same rate it has been over the past 5 years, by the time Eliana goes to college it'll cost three times as much as it did when we were in college. Wow. 529 plan, here we come!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Water Baby

Leif took Eliana swimming for the first time today. She likes being in the bathtub, so we thought she might like being in the hot tub. The greatest thing about taking her into the hot tub is that you can set the water temperature - not too hot, not too cold, just right. Ellie loved being in the water. She kicked her little legs and was happy as could be. Until we took her out of the water, that is. THEN she was mad. Yep, our baby likes water.

Did I mention how big the sun hat and matching swim diaper were? They'll fit NEXT summer.

Happy one-month birthday, Eliana!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Daily Life

Eliana will be a month old tomorrow and things are going wonderfully. She is consistently sleeping through the night 7-8 hours. During the day she follows a 3 hour schedule as outlined in Babywise. It's fun to watch her starting to change. She's getting chubbier and she's definitely getting stronger. She pushes against things with her feet, rolls over onto her back from her stomach, lifts her head, and has started to follow objects with her eyes. She is such a delight to have in our home, even on days that she's fussy. Here are some pictures of daily life:

Morning snuggle time with Mommy

Feed the kitties

Wake Time

Nap Time

Play Time

Swing Time

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

She's a Sleeper!

Last night Eliana slept through the night for the first time! She'll be four weeks old tomorrow. She slept from 11:00 to 6:00. Mind you, I woke up around 4am like she normally does, but she didn't!

Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...

Yesterday I looked out our back door and saw a cute little kitten on our deck! I opened the door and it came right over, friendly as could be. It was a hot day, so I went inside to get a little bowl of water and when I came outside, I saw the kitty eating a tortilla out of our compost bin! Poor thing - he must be so hungry to be eating out of my compost! He had no collar, no tags, nothing. Here's the cute little guy...

Hours later, when Leif came home, I opened the door and there were not one, but TWO kittens on the deck! I thought perhaps they might have been seeking shade under our deck on this hot day. Leif, who is not so fond of cats, gave me permission to buy cat food so long as they remained outside cats and they were not ours. =) But then he turned soft and sat outside feeding them chicken and put out a bowl of milk. He's gotten soft since we had our little girl.

After we went inside and the cats were still licking the chicken plate clean, suddenly a THIRD kitten jumped up from under the deck! How many cats were living under there??

Then this morning I got up and saw the first little kitty snuggled up with Leif's shoe on the deck. I put out some food and he happily ate and was later joined by the grey cat, followed by the very timid black and white cat. It looks like we might have acquired a few kittens!

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Blessing of Friendship

Last night Zack and Kendra and Lily came over and brought dinner. They made calzones (HUGE calzones that lasted for 2 meals!) and generally visited for a while. Kendra was more than happy to hold Ellie and Zack and Leif played frisbee while Lily ran around outside. It was a beautiful evening and a great time visiting with friends. It was one of those relaxing evenings that makes you ever so thankful for the blessing of friendship.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Today's Favorite Photos

Eliana's first bath in the tub - she's not quite sure what to think of it, but she was mostly calm and didn't cry too much.

Ellie after her bath - all wrapped up in her hooded towel from Connie Lacey

What bath is complete without the rubber ducky?

The church, the blender, and the fan.

We took Ellie to church for the first time tonight. We attend the Saturday service at E-Free because it is a smaller service where we can actually get to know the people we are worshipping with. The Sunday services are fine, but they're a little bigger than we like. Anyway- we took Ellie to church tonight and afterwards we had several people come over to ooh and aah over her. It was nice to feel like we were part of a community of people who we knew and who were interested in what was going on with us. I'm looking forward to the Fall when we go back to our earlier meeting time and we have fellowship dinners after each service. It's much nicer to have that time carved out for visiting and fellowshipping and meeting new people.

Speaking of food, we got a new blender today. That might not sound so wonderful to you, but if you knew the sad, sad state of our other blender... Leif is inaugurating the new blender by making "frappuccino" as I type. Mmmm...

As it's been so hot lately, we've been trying to buy a new box fan. We checked all the stores: Walmart, Target, Kmart - they were all out of stock on fans. But today, today was a chilly, rainy day. And Walmart had fans in stock. So we bought one for those future hot days when we want another fan. Now we're guaranteed to have cold weather until 2008. Great.

Friday, August 11, 2006


It has been brought to my attention that I don't post nearly as many photos of Ellie as I should. So... here are some pictures from the last week.

Ellie looking at Daddy during the Uncle Earl concert

Waking up from a nap

All dressed up

Story time with Daddy

Eliana's First Concert

Last night we took Ellie to her first concert. Uncle Earl, a female bluegrass band, was playing an outdoor concert in Big Sky. It was a great concert and Ellie really seemed to enjoy the music. Here are some pictures from the evening:

There were a bunch of kids up at the front of the concert dancing to the music. It was really cute!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

This diamond ring...

hasn't fit my finger for months. Every day I try to put my rings on and every day they refuse to go over my knuckle. It's been sad because I love my ring and I didn't want to have to get it resized. Tonight I washed my hands and put lotion on, then tried again to put my ring on. It went on without too much effort - I was thrilled! I just hope it doesn't cut off the circulation in my finger, because it is NOT coming off.

Rough Night

Last night was a rough night. Ellie went to bed just fine, but after a few hours she woke up and cried for hours. We tried feeding, diapering, rocking... Leif took her for an hour so I could sleep, then I took her to another room for a couple hours so he could sleep... Then we traded off again. She finally fell asleep and we were able to get some sleep ourselves. She's three weeks old today and this is the first time we've been up at night with her. I am thankful for all the peaceful nights, because last night was rough.

She's making up for it today, though, and napping like a gem.

Monday, August 07, 2006

More rolling, less cheating

As Elizabeth previously noted, Eliana rolls. However, when she previously rolled, she was wearing a dress-like garment, which provided a little more traction for her feet. Today, I stuck her on her stomach while she was still upset from having her diaper and clothes changed. I hadn't replaced her onesie, so she was just wearing a diaper. As you've probably guessed, from her prone position she rolled onto her back, screaming.

Prepregancy Clothes!

Today I am wearing all prepregnancy clothes! Yippee! They're not my smallest ppg clothes, nor are they jeans - I still have 7 lbs to lose before I'm the size I was back in October, but it feels good to be able to wear some of my non-tent clothes. =) It's good to celebrate the little victories.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Oh, Sweet Pea...

Ellie's first time to Sweet Pea was yesterday. She slept through most of it. We watched a little improv comedy (Spontaneous Combustibles and the Equinox Comedy Death Match) and listened to a little music, ate a little food, and looked at some crafts. Normally we go for all three full days, but this year we took it a little easier.

The Spontaneous Combustibles at Sweet Pea 2006

Eliana Rolls Over!

With new batteries in the camera we were able to capture Eliana rolling over again today. I guess she read all that anti-SIDS literature from the hospital and knows that babies today are supposed to sleep on their backs! But does she know about tummy time?

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Leif just came into the room, lauging, saying that he put Ellie on her stomach and apparently she wanted to be on her back because she rolled herself over onto her back.
"Really?" I asked.
"Twice in a row."
"Show me."
Sure enough, he put her on her stomach and within seconds she had rolled herself over onto her back before my eyes.

She's only two and a half weeks old. I am sorely dissapointed that the camera's batteries need to be charged. I want to post a video of that.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Precious Little Feet...

A Day at the Park

This morning Ellie and I went to Bogert Park to meet Andrea, Zachary, and Ian this morning. It was Ellie's first "play date," though it was really socialization for me since she slept pretty much the whole hour. =) After the park, we went to eat lunch with Leif during the Friday BBQ at RightNow. Mostly it was Leif showing off his daughter while I ate my hamburger. Leif sure is proud of that little girl. As I headed out to the car after lunch I noticed that Louise's vehicle was over at Petra, so I went over to do my own showing off. We had a nice visit. Petra has 71 students enrolled so far for the Fall, which is really exciting. They're tearing out walls and adding other walls and rearranging classrooms to get ready for September. It was good to see what's new, but weird at the same time not to be in the middle of it. After leaving Petra, Ellie and I headed to the mall to pick up a shirt for Leif's dad. We strolled around, browsing the stores. Again, Ellie slept like a doll, not even hearing all of the oohs and aahs people sent her way. We made a day of it and it was wonderful. And it all started with a trip to the park.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I'm finally getting to scrapbook some of the photos we've taken of Eliana. Today she's been napping in the pack'n' play in the basement, so I've been down there in the craft room playing away. I've gotten 3 pages done this morning and one yesterday. I am particularly pleased with how this one turned out. I love the picture Leif took and I just happened to have the star/moon paper. And I got to use up some of the random alphabet eyelets and chipboards I've had in my stash. Most of my scrapbooking layouts I post to my other blog, My Inner Martha. That's where you can see the other layouts I've done of Ellie so far if you're interested. I'll be putting them on there as soon as I finish here.

Only in Bozeman

Bozeman is the most dog-friendly place I have ever been. Most of the residents have dogs and the dogs go everywhere with their owners. It's crazy. Thankfully, Bozeman dogs are incredibly well-behaved - living here has actually changed my opinions of dogs for the better. Sometimes I think Bozeman is a little fanatical when it comes to dog love, though. Some of the stores downtown keep dishes of water outside for dogs (one place even labels it "puppy punch"), our Borders bookstore keeps complimentary doggy biscuits at the customer service desk, and you will be hard pressed to find a store sporting a sign declaring, "service animals only." Dogs are welcome here. Borders has "read to your dog" sessions where you can bring your canine friends for story time, and we have a bakery downtown called Barkenhowell's that sells only doggy delicacies - no people food. Then there's the Belgrade establishment selling random dog gear. Its sign says it's a store for dogs and their humans. While my parents were here they even saw someone toting a dog in a baby carrier. And our church directory has 3 pages dedicated to pets - though there are only 2 pictures of cats, and the rest are dogs. Oh- and I can't forget our new car-and-dog-wash place. Yep, you drive up, drop off your dog, and while you drive through the car wash they wash your dog and you can pick up a clean dog in your clean car and keep on down the road. It's a strange, strange world we live in. But I've pretty much gotten used to it.

Last weekend Leif, my mom, Ellie, and I went for a walk around the River Rock lake. Leif had Ellie in the sling and as we were walking a woman called over and asked, "Do you have a baby in there... or a puppy?" *sigh* Only in Bozeman.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bite of Bozeman

We went to the Bite tonight and it was a lot of fun. Ellie slept in the sling the whole time, even through the half dozen times we opened it up and resituated her to show her off to friends we ran into. There weren't as many people this year as we remembered from previous years, but I wasn't complaining about a smaller crowd to wade through. I was just glad we decided on the sling instead of a stroller. And I pitied the poor woman I saw trying to maneuver a double stroller with twin infants through the crowd.

The food, as usual, was great. We always go for the turkey leg (a giant chunk o' greasy, salty turkey drumstick that is only available twice a year - here and at the Christmas Stroll.) and we managed to get one when the line was only about a dozen people long. We walked by later and the line was more like a dozen yards long... Lines can get hideous at these events. Anyway- so there was the turkey leg we shared, then Leif had some cajun crawdad etoufee (which I tried and found utterly repulsive) and I had a Greek gyros from a place we have recently wanted to eat at. It certainly wasn't "It's Greek to Me" (our favorite Bozeman Greek place), but it was good and something I would definitely eat again.

We saw a few people we knew, though not as many as in previous years. We ran into one of the families I taught at Petra (they go to ALL the Bozeman events and I think we've seen them at every one... I anticipate seeing them this weekend at Sweet Pea) and a number of Leif's coworkers, including Neal and Stephanie, who are also our neighbors. We planned on meeting up with them at the Bite, but didn't actually find them until we were just about ready to leave. Go figure. Anyway- it was a great evening and I'm glad we went. It's great to live in Bozeman.

Two Weeks Old...

She's two weeks old already. It's crazy how quickly the time has flown, but at the same time it feels so perfectly normal to have Eliana here as a part of our family. It's not like I can't remember what pre-Ellie life was like, but this life seems very good to me. Admittedly, I do miss the days of running to Costco or Walmart without lugging an awkward baby carrier. I have to plan a little better, and I think twice before going out. But she doesn't exactly keep me confined to the house, and I like that. In fact, we're planning on attending the "Bite of Bozeman" tonight. We go every year and enjoy walking down main street, waiting in long lines for yummy food. We'll probably put Eliana in her sling and spend an hour or two strolling down Main with most of the area's residents. It's supposed to be in the 70's this evening, so it should be nice weather for being out and about.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

That can't taste good, Ellie...

If we don't swaddle Eliana, she likes to roll around in her cradle. Yesterday I watched her roll up next to the rungs and start "gnawing" (can you gnaw without teeth?) on one of them. It was too funny, so I had to video it.

Mommom and Poppy are gone

After a great month-long visit, Mommom and Poppy are gone. They are on their way back to Texas, stopping in Kansas for the Bitikofer family reunion on the way. It looks like Ellie and I will be traveling down to see them in the fall, though, and she will already have changed so much in that time. Thanks for coming to visit, Mom and Dad. Thanks for keeping me distracted while I was overdue, for bringing Leif food while I was in the hospital, and for all the help you've been since Eliana's birth. It was great to have you here. Fish may stink after 3 days, but your company did not. =)

Ahh, sweet reprieve

After weeks of temperatures in the upper 90's, we finally got a reprieve yesterday. It was a beautiful day in the 70's. Ellie and I were actually able to go for a walk during the day! We strolled down to get the mail, then headed on to the lake. There was a beautiful bird (I wish I knew what kind) circling above the lake - then he flew up high, and dove straight down into the water. A moment later he bobbed back up and then flew back into the sky, a large fish in his talons. I love watching the birds here, particularly the birds of prey. It makes me happy to live in Montana.

Last night Ellie attended her first craft night. She was fighting going to sleep, so she was kind of cranky, but I did manage to get at least a little knitting done. Plus I got to go to craft night - they're every other week and I managed not to miss one, despite having a baby between them. =) I'm not sure if that's dedication or insanity, but it was nice to get out.

This morning I got up, got ready, and took Eliana to our first La Leche League meeting. My friend Michael helps run them and mentioned last night at craft night that they were having a meeting today. So, I decided to go and get out, maybe meet some new people. It was a nice meeting, and I'll probably go back next month. There was another baby there who was just 3 days older than Eliana. I thought she was older though - she was considerably bigger with a full head of long, thick hair. Then I found out she was 8 lb 14 oz at birth. Once again I was thankful for my little 6 lb 12 oz girl.

Now that my parents are gone, I'm working on settling myself into a routine again. It's amazing how much time Ellie takes up, despite the fact that she sleeps a good chunk of the day. Everything needs to get done during the 2 1/2 hours between feedings, including cleaning, playing with her, napping, laundry (and BOY does she create a lot of laundry between diapers and clothes and burp cloths...), etc. I'm getting the house back in order, but slowly. And that's okay. I have something that takes a higher priority than dishes and vacuuming right now. =)