Monday, December 31, 2007

Blogging on the Road

Hello from Banner Elk, NC, where we've been visiting our friends Tommy and Selena. We've been hearing from many people that we need to blog more often, but that isn't always easy when you're traveling. We're squatting on borrowed wifi at the moment, so we thought we'd put up some of the more recent photos from our grand tour of the Old North State. We've saved all the ones of Eli being held by someone for a later entry...there must be 30 or 40 of them. But for now, here are some of the rest:

Eli and dad, in some kind of dual-transcendental-meditation pose.
Eli with his new red Chuck Taylors.
Another wide-eyed shot. This was Eli waking up on his first Christmas morning.
The family hiking along Elk River in Banner Elk.
The red ski vest is a popular wardrobe choice lately.
Eli is now a world-class drooler. This is actually a really dry moment in the life of his shirt.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Adventures in NC

Greetings from the mountains of NC! We've arrived safe and sounds, and although the internet is a bit scarce in the woods outside of Black Mountain, we've managed to scrape up a photo journal of some of our adventures so far. The photos are smaller than usual since the internet is patchier than usual. Update: There's a video at the bottom. We highly recommend it.

Traveling means packing, and packing means laundry, and laundry means cute photo ops in the laundry basket.
Eli got worn out from all the packing. This is becoming a pretty standard Eli pose...asleep in the front pack.
This is us at the Denver airport, moments before our flight boarded. Our plan worked pretty well...about 25 minutes before boarding, Jessa fed Eli and Eric walked him to sleep. He ended up sleeping for about 2 hours of the 2 1/2 hour flight. He would have slept the whole thing, but this psycho kid a few rows back was screaming, and woke him up. Eli was concerned enough to wake up, but quickly became distracted by eating. We endured the flight without much incident.
Eli and dad in the window seat. You can see how happy we were with his sleepiness.
Upon arrival in Nashville, we drove to Cookeville TN to meet some friends at Chili's. Turns out Jessa had planned a surprise 30th birthday celebration for Eric with a lot of our TN friends. Here's a fun game: there are five Reverends in that crowd; can you pick them out?
This is a HUGE series of photos we took of Eli on the bed at his Grandma's house. We took probably 45 shots; here are a few of the best ones. Thank goodness for digital cameras. He's pushing up when he's on his tummy, and has learned to roll from tummy to back. He doesn't mean to, and it freaks him out, but he can do it.
Everybody is telling us that Eli has the best expressions, and we agree.The beginnings of a smile.
Looking out the window to the mountains.
Full-fledged smile.Another big smile. He gets so excited when he smiles now...his whole body gets into it.
Another Eli-asleep-in-the-front-pack shot. This is his new Asheville hat; it's 45% soy and 55% organic cotton. What more can you say?
This afternoon, Eli got to meet Abram and Katie (see for more shots of them). Abram's 2nd birthday party was today, and Katie took her first steps yesterday, so big things are afoot at the Fletcher residence. Eli slept through most of the meeting (as did Abram and Katie), but it was good for all the grown-ups to have their kids meet each other.

We're off to many more adventures in North Carolina over the next few weeks. More updates to come as we have internet access! In the meantime, enjoy this video of Eli smiling!

Monday, December 17, 2007

We're Heading East

We've been busy out here in Colorado, getting ready for our foray back East to TN and NC. It's amazing how much stuff there is to pack for an 11-week-old (not that we've started, really) and how many things there are to think about. We can barely keep up with things enough to make sure the diaper bag is well-stocked when we go to the grocery store; we don't know how we're going to fare with 2 1/2 weeks to plan for. It might not matter anyway; 2 1/2 weeks is long enough that he'll outgrow clothes while he's there, and we'll have to get new ones. Or he'll poop on them (more on that later).

Jessa has been frantically getting pottery orders shipped (the first pottery made since Eli was born), and Eric has been frantically trying to get things organized for the spring at the church. Eli has been frantically drooling.

So we're off to TN tomorrow and then NC later in the week. Wish us luck on the flight. Here are some recent photos to help you wait these last few days:

Obadiah is the only kitty who will really get near Eli. REALLY near him. Here, Ober keeps Eli's feet warm while Eli eats.
Traumatic event of the week: the 2-month pediatrician checkup. All is well. For those into stats, Eli is right on target for all of them. As you can see if you zoom into the photo, he's tipping the scales at a whopping 12+ pounds now. He's a handful to carry around. The WORST part of the day, of course, was the shots. There is an enormous array of shots that infants get these days. We elected to split the 2-month shots up into two groups, instead of doing them all at once, but even with only half of them, it was pretty bad. Actually, Eli cried for 20 seconds and was over it. Mom and dad are still shaken.
Eli has started riding face-out in the front-pack/Jeep carrier. He likes this, as he gets a good view of what's going on in the world.
Friday night we went to Carrabba's to celebrate Eric's birthday (thanks J&C!) and since Eli was asleep, we decided to get creative and make him a little pallet on the table. It was pretty cute, and we think innovative, but as you might imagine it didn't last too long.
The obligatory and ubiquitous poop-up-the-back shot. It's a shame, too; this is one of his cutest holiday outfits.
Another of Eli's cutest holiday outfits: the red ski vest. Here, it's paired with a white long-sleeved t-shirt, but when paired with the green (see below), look out. So festive, and so Coloradan.
A few of the youth were kind enough to snap some photos of our little family at church yesterday. Eli wasn't interested in cooperating (he was very sleepy all day for some reason, and not interested in social interaction or propriety), but we still like the photo.
This was taken just a few hours ago. Eli decided that it would be an early morning, so dad and Eli got up to play. This is his new sit-and-play toy (thanks again, J&C!). He's not quite old enough for it yet, so he slumps a little and his feet don't reach the ground, but he still loves it. He can push some of the buttons and loves the music, sound, and lights. He played in this for about 20 minutes, and then prompty fell back asleep. Story of his life.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Some Photos From Sunny

Greetings from snowy Denver! We've had another 3-5 inches in the last 12 hours. Everything is really beautiful right now. It's definitely easy to get into the Christmas spirit when everything is covered in snow! Also, Eric bought John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas CD the other day, so that helps too.

Here are a bunch of pictures taken by our friend Sunny last week while she was here visiting. She's quite the photographer.

Eli and mom.

Eli wearing a (fake) coonskin cap. This was in Estes Park, which is the gateway town for Rocky Mountain National Park. Lots of cheesy touristy stuff there, like coonskin caps.

Eli bundled up for the Colorado winter. His new mittens (pictured) are coming in handy.

He really enjoys naked time (or in this case, semi-naked time).

Smiling Eli. He's SO CLOSE to laughing.

Another good smile picture, featuring his new, very-cute overalls.
Mom and dad both agree that this might be one of our favorite Eli photos. He's in the front pack ("Jeep Carrier," after its branding), which he loves. He's also wearing one of his new sweaters, which is still slightly too big for him, but becoming less so each day.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Snow Pictures!

We spent the day in Arvada, a mid-size city northwest of Denver, where Jessa is a member of a pottery guild. We were there so that she could glaze a couple of kilnloads of pots, and Eric was there to keep up with Eli all day. It snowed a little bit off and on all day, but in the late afternoon and early evening it really got going. In fact, we got stuck in a bit of a surprise blizzard. It's a small one by CO standards (anything under 2 feet is small), but they were calling for intermittent snow showers adding up an inch, and it's snowed about 4 inches in an hour, and it's still pouring down. We had a pretty long drive home (~20 miles, 2 interstates), but we made it. Some pictures, for those of you living where it's still 70 degrees.

This is I-25, Denver's main north-south interstate. It was moving at about 20mph.

Nothing like a snow-capped Jeep!

The view out of the back door.

Updates in the morning, if it keeps piling up!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Some Thursday Cuteness

Because we've been told that there are some of you who can't get through a week without at least a few Eli Updates:

His new overalls. They're incredibly cute.

Pairing the new overalls with a pullover sweater. Not pictured: his now-too-small hiking boot style shoes that match the outfit. They're on, but they don't really fit.

Last night was Jessa's first time leaving Eli alone for more than 10 minutes. Eric watched him while Jessa and her friend Sunny went to the movies. Both mom and baby managed fine, although there were several checking-in text messages and a request for a picture message to confirm his happiness. This is what mama found when she returned home--a peacefully snuggled Eli.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Some Pictures At Two Months

Eli's now nine weeks old, just a few days past 2 months. He's growing and changing every day. Things that used to calm him down don't anymore, things that used to bother him don't anymore, and things we used to marvel at him doing are routine now. He's getting so big--he's no longer an afterthought to carry around. Hold him for more than 5 minutes, and your back will let you know. He's eating constantly, and he continues to develop his impressive array of expressive faces. He's a star everywhere he goes.

Here are some photos from our lives the past week or so:

Eli snuggling with dad. The pants are slightly too big, but the effect is cute.

A smile while sitting in the Bumbo. The photo is a little blurry, but most of the ones we have of him smiling are, since he's usually moving around from excitement when he's smiling.

This is from the Parade of Lights, a downtown Denver Christmas parade that's held at night. All the floats were lighted, and even the marching bands and horses wore lights. It was pretty amazing, the crowds were huge, and it was about 20 degrees for the whole thing. Eli wore double fleece layers and slept through the whole thing.

Do not be deceived. Eli does not love the sling. But this was a rare moment of contentment.

What's over there? Eli was enjoying some naked time on the living room floor while getting his diaper changed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Things here in Denver have been good. We went Sunday to buy a Christmas tree (MUCH harder to do here than in NC; nothing grows here, not even Christmas trees, so we ended up with a Fraser Fir imported from Idaho of all places). We spent Sunday evening decorating the tree.

Eli loves it of course, since he's enthralled with bright lights, patterns, and colors. He stares at it pretty constantly. For example:
An ever-so-slightly different picture, but with a very different Eli face:

We woke up this morning to about 2 inches of snow (and it's still coming down). This is one of the best things about's not stingy with the snow, and often (like in this case) you'll get snow even when they weren't remotely forecasting it. It's great. Eli still hasn't noticed the difference between snow and non-snow, so he is pretty blase about the whole thing. Here's the tree with this morning's snow through the window: