Monday, August 11, 2014

Ezra's Birthday and the Zoo

Ezra's Birthday Party!

So I know you already saw a little bit from the last post, but Ezra had his very first birthday, along with his very first birthday party! It was so much fun! We combined Brock's and Ezra's parties for a double party: double the cake, double the treats, double the presents, and literally, double the fun. It was so cute to see both babies eat their very own cakes, then sharing with each other, unwrapping presents by each other and trying to steal them from each other, etc. etc. Here are the pics! 

Ezra was excited about his party even before he knew what was coming. He loves parties and all the happy people!
Kendra made these adorable cupcakes for the festa! She was also our official photographer, which was SO nice, because Star, Trent, Tanner, and I could focus on the babies and keeping the party going. I am so grateful for good friends like her! 
For a long time, Ezra just looked at his cake. Then he poked it with one finger. Then a hand. Then two!
Two hands = a definite good thing
After Ezra played in his cake for a while, Tanner decided to pop a piece in Ezra's mouth. He loved it!
Even with all the chocolate on it, I just wanna give that little grin a big, fat smooch!
Can you spot the photobomb?
Ezra taste-testing a little bit of Brock's cake.
Brock taste-testing a little bit of Ezra's cake.
Best frenemies. Ezra looks like a little goofball here but this pic is still too cute not to put up. 
And all the other kids were very willing to help Ezra open his gifts!
And here's the rest of the party:
Tammy Boo with Baby Emmett.
Atticus enjoying his treats.
Roxy looking beautiful in her golden princess crown.
Baby Henry being a doll as always.
The Simmons having a super-duper good time.
The general ambience. 


The Zoo!

Since Tanner is on break, we are able to do so many fun things! We have been spending a lot more time at the pool, beach, and splashpad, and last week we were even able to go to the zoo! It was a blast. We went with our friends Dave and Lauren and their three kids, Roxy, Atticus, and Sayer, and with Trent, Star, and Brock. We got this great deal on Groupon where we paid less than the price of a normal ticket and got to feed giraffes and parrots, an all-day monorail pass, and free zoo cups. Yay for Groupon!

Ezra's favorite animals were the otters. He loved how active they were. They were nonstop running and swimming around their little cage.
Ezra riding a Komodo Dragon. 
The real Komodo Dragon looked just about as alive as the bronze one. 
An Asiatic Bear.
While we were watching it, Ezra began pointing and saying, "Beh! Beh!" We were amazed. We were asking ourselves, "Is 'bear' his first word? He is so smart! Such an early talker!" Then we got to the elephants, and he pointed, "Beh! Beh!" and the antelopes, and he said, "Beh! Beh!" and the Capyburas, "Beh! Beh! Beh!" Okay, well, it was worth hoping.
Ezra riding the bear. 
The kids all enjoying the meerkats.
Minature horses
In the petting zoo, Ezra was more intrigued with this pole than the goats. Brock agreed that it was, indeed, a very interesting pole. 
Going for the horns.
Loving the fake water buffalo!
Ezra loved the tiger. It was pretty active and he just watched it walk back and forth, back and forth in its exhibit.
He was proud to be wearing his tiger shirt while watching the tiger itself.
Watching Daddy feed the giraffe.
This picture makes Ezra look way more confident than he was! I gave him the lettuce just to hold, then put him next to the giraffe. Then the giraffe reached out his long tongue and wrapped it around the lettuce in Ezra's hand. As soon as the giraffe took it, Ezra whipped back his hand to his chest, like, "What the heck was that?!" It was so funny!
You don't normally see pictures of me laughing like this, but with Ezra's reaction, I couldn't help it.
I could not convince him to take the lettuce again, nor get close to the giraffe.
He loved this elephant.
As you can see.
Basically every animal I picture is an animal Ezra loved.
We were so close up to the jaguar. Ezra pressed his face up against the glass and watched it until it left.
Ezra wants to be a jaguar when he grows up.
Parrot feeding!
Ezra loved being in the middle of all the birds. He got to practice his new pointing skills.
He didn't ever notice the bird on Dad's shoulder though.
Three babies in a jaguar cut-out board. This is the best we got.

Other Fun Things!

We went to the splashpad with Daddy for the first time! Ezra only cried a couple times. He was in heaven for the rest of it, running around all on his own through and around the water.
I got a haircut! Thank you, Lauren! As you can see, I got bangs, and I am loving them. 
This was Ezra this morning. We love waking up to this baby.
And that's all the cuteness for now!
 This post was a little early because Tanner's family is coming in tomorrow! I want to give all my time and attention to them while they are here! We can't wait!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Oh Baby! Ezra's Turning One!

Happy August 1st! In honor of Ezra turning one today, I thought I'd do a little throwback post to his first year of life, with pictures and milestones and just about the cutest video you're likely to ever see. Just like with his baby book, he may be the only child I'll have enough time to do this with, but oh well, here goes!

August: 0 months

Ezra was born at 8:25 p.m. on August 1st, weighing in at a whopping 9 lbs. 1 oz. From the day he was born, he was alert and looking into our eyes. I had read in the baby books that newborns wouldn't be able to focus on anything more than a foot or so in front of their face, but I think this little guy had more developed eyeballs or something because he would look straight at us, even from across the room. Even the hospital photographer mentioned how much more alert he was than other babies. From day one, his searching eyes showed us a big part of his personality: curiosity. 

He was also strong; in the hospital he could already hold his head up. Nurses were amazed. His curiosity and his strength (not to mention his natural intelligence, of course :) ) made him an early roller-overer, crawler, and walker.

Big Events: being born!, coming home, meeting so many new family members, staying at Grandma Harlan's house for two weeks, moving across country and being so good on his first plane rides

Milestones: smiling

In the hospital--less than 24 hours old.
In front of his first home.

September: 1 month old

In September we found out just how talkative our little one was! From morning to night (and sometimes even in between), he seemed to coo and babble about all the things that were important to him. I think he liked connecting with us, cooing while we smiled and talked back and looked into his eyes.

Big Events: Grandma Harlan coming to visit!

Milestones: laughing
Playing with Daddy 
He looks so little to me now!

October: 2 months old

Big Events: Halloween! Ezra dressed up like a pirate.

Milestones: reaching for toys

November: 3 months old

One thing we soon realized about Ezra was how determined he is. If he wanted to do something, like roll over, he would not stop trying until he did it. Then he would do it over and over and over again. His determination helped him figure out how to roll over, army crawl, crawl, stand up, and walk early!

Big Events: Nana and Grandpa Smith coming to visit, visiting Nana and Papa Wilson in Deland

Milestones: grabbing toys, rolling over (both ways!), turning in circles on the ground

December: 4 months old

December was a big month for little Ezra. We as a family went on our first vacation since he was born! We visited Tanner's parents in Texas, where they met him for the first time. Ezra also met all his older cousins and some uncles and aunts. He was such a sport for every outing and every day. Flexibility is just one more thing we love about this baby!

Big Events: visiting the Colemans in Texas

Milestones: army crawling

January: 5 months old

Big Events: first fireworks show (He loved it!)

Milestones: faster army crawling, first solid foods

February: 6 months old

Big Events: Grandma Harlan coming to visit!

Milestones: crawling, using the couch to stand up and walk around it

Classic Ezra smile. My favorite.

March: 7 months old

Big Events: first grocery cart ride

Milestones: saying "Mama" and "Dada"

April: 8 months old

Big Events: Visiting every member of both Mom and Dad's extended families except for Uncle Robert (including Uncle Banks, Aunt Nan, and Max, who all live in Thailand).

Milestones: first steps

May: 9 months old

Big Events: first time at Disneyland

Milestones: walking back and forth between Mom and Dad, clapping, high fives

June: 10 months old

Big Events: Grandma Harlan coming to visit again, first time holding a baby alligator, waving "bye-bye"

Milestones: walking, blowing kisses, and even whistling (kinda)!

July: 11 months old

Big Events: first Fourth of July

Milestones: hair!, running (kinda)


August 1: 12 Months Old

Big Events: first birthday party, first cake, first time opening presents

I could probably say a lot more in each section about his little personality, but the truth is, it hasn't changed very much since he was born. It has only increased in intensity. From the moment he was born, he has been very curious, always looking at everything and exploring it as soon as he determinedly figured out how to explore it, he has been sweet, happy, easy-going, strong, and overall, just a bundle of fun who blesses our lives like nothing else could. We love him so much and couldn't imagine loving him more.

This movie sums it all up: his whole little life in just 4 minutes. Watch it! I promise you'll be glad you did.