Friday, December 21, 2007

New Niece/Cousin!

Yesterday we headed to Holland Hospital to visit our new niece/cousin! My sister, Cherie, and her husband, Cory, had their first child on Wednesday evening - and she's the first girl in a very, very long time in Cory's family. She's beautiful! Eli wasn't terribly interested in Emmelia, but he was interested in all the buttons and gadgets and chairs in the hospital.

Also, on a much smaller, but also very cute note, Eli played in the snow for the first time the other day. As Jeff was getting him from the car to the house, he bent down by the edge of the sidewalk and waved at the snow - his sign for "No-no." How sad! Our son thought that snow was a no-no! So Jeff bundled him up and they romped in the snow. I think he's a fan.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This years first Christmas gathering

The Petersen family celebrated Christmas this past Saturday. Jeff's sister, Lisa, and her family will be in Iowa on Christmas with Kris' family and I'm officiating at a wedding next weekend, so we had Christmas early. It was quite a wonderful shin-dig. The kids had to be careful around Grandma B as her arm is still very fragile after a fall and surgery a week and a half ago. They also had to be careful around me as I had been up the whole night before with the stomach flu and wasn't feeling terribly stable yet. But despite all our weariness, we had plenty of joy. There are three small children around now. Ellie is 3 1/2 now and Josiah is almost 7 months old. Eli's a year and a half and things can get crazy. There's always plenty of laughter and lots of imagination. Eli kept row, row, rowing the boat which came from the imagination of his cousin Ellie last time we were all up there (Thanksgiving?). And he also hasn't forgotten "Ring around the Rosies", which was also a big hit last time. He's usually very anxious to "all fall down," and sometimes makes it to the end of the song.
Grandma and Grandpa Petersen gave Eli a baby for Christmas among other things, and the baby stole his attention longer than I've seen him stay focused in a long time. It came with a bottle, which Eli quickly grabbed and started feeding the baby before his dad could get it out of the box. We think he's a pretty attentive parent to that baby. Except, of course, that when he's done with it, he just drops it on the floor, no matter where he's at. But when he's caring for that Baby, he's totally focused. We don't have a name for the baby yet, so if you've got any suggestions, let us know. We're open to ideas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Oh come, Oh come, Emanuel.

This is the last of several posts that I've added today. I'm catching up. Keep scrolling down to see all the new stuff in the Petersen family.

Last year we thought it was so much fun to get ready for Christmas with Eli. We had no idea how much more fun (and more challenging) it would be when he was mobile. Eli's been "making cookies" with green and red play dough, he made his first ornament at the Meijer Garden's Christmas party and helped with the Christmas Tree. Last weekend we went out to the tree farm in Zeeland with our good friends Brian and Liz Sharda. Eli brought his "wood saw" (no really, it's made out of woo) to help. Then he helped string the lights and decorate the tree. This pretty much consisted of climbing the step ladder with an ornament, carefully picking the perfect location and then throwing the ornament in, hoping that it would get caught up before hitting the floor. If it stuck, he'd clap for himself. If it fell all the way down, he'd climb down, grab the ornament off the floor, and start the process all over again. We've also been re-decorating the tree every evening as all the ornaments within reach get taken off and thrown back into the tree multiple times. So far, only three have broken, but I think two of them can be fixed.
Yesterday, he even tried on his papa's ski goggles. I recognize that they're not really Christmas related, but still - 'tis the season.

"Baba Papa days"

Early on, Eli gained the nickname "Baba." Don't ask - he's got lots of nicknames and there's really no way to know where they came from. Anyway, the days when Jeff is home with Eli have become known as Baba Papa days. As you can tell, they have a lot of fun together. In case you can't read Eli's baseball T, it say, "I know I'm somebody, because God don't make no junk." We found it at the clothing sale our church does the weekend after Thanksgiving and it was just too funny to resist. Jeff also taught Eli to smile for pictures, so if he's got a pained look on his face, it's actually a smile. Very amusing.

Grandma and Grandpa's "new" (old) home

Grandma and Grandpa are back! Well, at least they're back in their house when they come to visit. Eight years ago my parents moved out of the house I knew as home in Mattawan (outside of Kalamazoo) and into a brand new home in Pennsylvania. Karla moved into the house in Mattawan which she has rented for the past eight years. Until last month when she moved back out and my parents moved a few things back in. They're still in Pennsylvania, but now they can stay in their home when they come back to Michigan and their home is available for Eli (and Eli's mom and dad) to rest and relax.
Eli and Jeff spent some time helping clean the house and move in some basic things like dishes and a bed and a few chairs . . . I think he likes all the open space of a house that's minimally furnished. I think I really like a place where Eli can run in the woods, play in the lake (come next summer) and experience a nighttime with no streetlight and the deafening sound of crickets and tree frogs.