Saturday, December 29, 2007

First Trip to the Zoo

After Christmas, we took Eli to his first trip to the zoo. Since it was Christmastime, they had some cool reindeer:
It also gave us the chance to try out our new stroller - our other big present to each other (mostly me) for Christmas. Since I've joined my Stroller Strides exercise class, I was starting to destroy our current lightweight stroller. So we decided to invest in a good all terrain stroller that can travel over grass and rough trails. We did a lot of research and decided to get a brand called Phil & Teds, which converts into a double stroller when we have a second child. It's really unique and way cool.
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Eli had a good time at the zoo, until he couldn't sleep and got grumpy. Here's his cute grumpy face. He sticks out his lower lip, just like Great Grandfather Merkley.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Want some water?

Eli LOVES water bottles. Every time I drink from one, Eli gets all excited and reaches out for it with his mouth wide open.
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So, we put a few drops of water in the cap and dripped it into his mouth. Eli wasn't sure what to think. He got a perplexed look on his face and let it all drool out of his mouth. But he keeps reaching for the water bottles with his mouth wide like he knows what it's for. Too funny!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Christmas is so much more fun with Eli. Even though he didn't really know what was going on--from his perspective, I'm sure it was just a bunch of boxes and toys shoved in his hands while the camera flash blinded him--he was a good sport and seemed to enjoy all the attention. His first present from Santa was a huge Tonka truck. It is so big that he can ride in it or push it.
Eli has a good time pulling the paper and ribbons off the presents. It was fun to have him help unwrap his gifts, even if it took a lot longer. Eli definitely made out like a bandit. He got books, DVDs, cute outfits and toys, toys, toys: like a huge musical block, a big stuffed elephant, a train, balls, blocks, pull toys and stackers... and more!
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After our Christmas at home, we went to the Merkley's in Glendora to open a few presents and have our traditional Christmas lunch: soup and sandwiches.
Then we went to Eli's Grammy and Grandpa's to open even more presents. He is spoiled already! Grammy and Grandpa got him the big rocking horse as well as legos, xylophone and a bead maze.
Eli tested everything for quality, using his own custom tester: his mouth. :)
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve

Brian and I love Christmas. It's our favorite time of year. We can't wait for Thanksgiving so we can start playing Christmas music and get the decorations out. I love unwrapping presents--even small ones--so I wrap everything up. And this year it's even worse with Eli - I just want to get him so many toys and cute things! Here is our tree and presents all ready for Christmas morning. Because we can't stand the anticipation, we open one gift on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Eve, we go visit the Jones family in San Clemente. There is always a ton of chaos on Christmas Eve, with everyone giving and receiving presents. We always have tamales and play the dice game with the cousins. Eli got a bit cranky with all the commotion, so we left a little early.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Foster Kitty

We adopted this little kitten for the Merkleys so that Anna could be surprised on Christmas morning. When Robin called a week before Christmas to ask if we could help them out, I begged and pleaded for the kitten to come. I finally convinced Brian (only because I PROMISED to take care of everything). Well, the first warning signs should have been Nyx's hisses and growls for it to stay away. For the first two days we had to keep them locked in separate rooms for fear Nyx would eat the little thing. Well, they eventually made their peace enough to play, but not for me...
The little kitten was a terror! She knocked ornaments off the tree, chased the garlands and holly, clawed the couch, woke us up with her mews, bit Eli's fingers... Then she repeatedly jump on the laptop keyboard, and when I tried to kick her off she took one of the keys with her!! At least Eli had fun with the little kitty, and I got some photo opportunities. :)
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Here is Anna on Christmas morning with her new kitten, Naomi. She is much much cuter now that she is at their house. :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Christmas Carol

Jonathon and Laura took us to see A Christmas Carol at the Glendale Theatre. We love seeing the show there, and we think this would be a fun Christmas tradition for our family. Eli was a good boy and fell fast asleep about halfway through, but not before half the cast "ohhhed and ahhhed" over him in his cute Santa suit. We loved the falling snow as we exited the theatre - what fun!
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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

We had to get some photos of Eli meeting Santa for the first time, especially since everyone says he'll be terrified of Santa next year. Eli first met Santa at our ward party on December 8th. Everyone loved his Santa suit, and even Santa commented that he was nicely dressed.
The Stroller Strides exercize group also planned a breakfast with Santa on December 22nd. We had a nice breakfast at the Peach Cafe in Monrovia. And a very cheerful Santa met all the babies and gave them a little teddy bear. Eli wanted to test to make sure his beard was real by tugging on it. Too cute!
For our list of Santas Eli met this year, we can now add Disney's Surfin' Santa. Eli met him in California Adventure just after Christmas. I guess Santa was on vacation after the busy Christmas season. :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Eli's Laugh

Well, Brian and I have been trying to capture Eli's laugh on film for almost two months now, but Eli seems to be camera shy. He has a sixth sense to know when we start filming him and he becomes quiet as a mouse.

Here is our new attempt at documenting this adorable little laugh - it sounds like a mixture of coos, giggles, belly laughs, high pitched squeals and deep grunts. It is hilarious!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Santa Baby

We decided to dress Eli up as our little Santa baby for our family Christmas cards this year. I think he's so adorable in his little Santa suit!! I had such a hard time deciding which photo to use - I guess thats a good dilemma.

Eli is now 3 1/2 months old (15 weeks). I swear he is growing before my very eyes. He is 14.5 lbs already! Just this past week, Eli has learned to reach out for and grab his toys. He seemed to learn the skill all at once. He always used to just look at his toys. He was interested and would track them with his eyes but never hold them Then one day he reached up on his play gym and started batting at the toys above him. The next thing I knew, he was reaching out, grabbing his toys, holding onto them and bringing everything to his mouth. Now he is even passing them back and forth between his hands, which is a huge milestone for hand-eye coordination. How fun it is to see him grow, learn and develop.

We just got the Canon D40--our Christmas present to each other this year--so we are having fun experimenting with and learning how to use our new camera. I'd really like to get into wedding photography and childrens' portraits, so this will be great equipment for that. And I'm definitely busy practicing my photography skills with Eli. Brian has joked that I am chronicling his growth moment by moment. I told him that was my goal - to be able to create one of those flip books where we can see him grow before our very eyes. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Aquarium of the Pacific

Over the weekend, we visited the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. James, Barbara and Jake were in town and wanted to meet Eli, so we met them for an afternoon at the beach.
Elijah had fun looking at the colorful tropical fish swimming in the tanks. And Daddy even helped Eli feel the sea anemones in the touch tank. As any good mother would, I promptly washed off the icky sea water, so he wouldn't get germs in his mouth. And then Daddy decided to scare me even more by showing Eli the sharks in the deep tank. I of course freaked out and had to 'rescue' Eli. LOL - I guess dads aren't worry warts like moms are. :)
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That evening we enjoyed some fish and chips at Parkers Lighthouse, overlooking the beautiful bay with all it's twinkling lights.
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