Sorry for the lack of updates. No excuses, just laziness. But Lisa took a whole lot of pictures while she and Ellie were visiting family in Michigan, so I've got lots of catching up to do! We'll start with a fun dinner of spaghetti!

Ellie is really good at picking up food (Cheerios, pieces of melon, etc) off her feeding tray. She has little pincer fingers and she grabs the thing between them, and lifts it right into her mouth. Almost every time, she gets it in too. The cool thing is that when she misses, she can usually correct her mistake and shove the food in her mouth anyway. Good examples here.

This looks like fun, Mom! What should I do with this stuff?

Pick it up with your hands...

And put it in your mouth!

Lisa says there were quite the Lady and the Tramp type moments too. I don't envy the waiter/waitress at this table! I'm sure they were tipped well.

We're proud to announce that Ellie took her first baby steps yesterday! That doesn't mean she is walking, but she will take one or two small steps to get to something when she is standing up. I managed to miss it the first couple of times she did it, but by then she was pretty confident in herself, and she walked from Lisa's arms to mine (two steps).

Hopefully she'll show the rest of the family in Michigan when she and Lisa visit this weekend.

The web site has filled up with so many baby pictures and videos that we've managed to reach our space quota already (just after hitting the 100th post on Ellie's site!). That means that the aforementioned archival of said pictures and videos will be taking place sooner than expected. I'm just fixing up a couple of things that were messing up the archival process, and then you may start noticing that pictures and vids may go missing. As I mentioned before, if you want it, you can request a CD archive of the web site of your very own, with bonus video footage and pictures.

I know, it only took me a week to get the July 4th pictures up.

It was a veritable baby fest this year at the Foos household. Here's Ellie with Kateri, who was born three days after Ellie. Now you really get an idea of how small Ellie is.

Here's all the mommies with their babies. From left to right: Kristy and Emma, Lisa and Ellie, Marcia and Patrick (three months old, and he's that big!), and Sara and Kateri.

Me and Ellie in our patriotic outfits.

We were really worried that Ellie would freak out at the loud fireworks, but it turned out that she loves them! Alex set off a bunch of the stuff that you buy at the roadside stands, before the main event started. She was a little surprised at first, but then she started clapping and yelling, especially when the loud fireworks were going. Yep, she liked the noisy ones the best. That's mommy's girl!

As you may recall, Ellie has already been to a pretty cool waterfall, Great Falls, just after the big hurricane rolled through. So it was inevitable that the next trip to a waterfall would be much less dramatic. Until we saw a deer AND a bear in the same hike!

We went up to White Oak Canyon, in Shenandoah National Park. It's one of the "easier" hikes around, but the tough part is that you hike down to the falls, and hike up to get back to the parking lot. This can make it a pretty deceiving hike. Anyway, it was a perfect time to try out the Kelty backpack we got to carry her around in, and it was such a nice cool day, we had to get out and do it.

About 10 minutes into the trip, we had our first bear sighting. He was a little guy, so we had to beware for the mother, but he paid us no mind, and we walked on by, being as loud as possible (you don't want to spook the bears, so the theory goes).

That black thing just over that guy's right shoulder is the bear (or his behind). He never once stuck his head up to take a look at us. Probably a good thing. He was amazingly close to the trail. Usually you only get to see them off in the distance, but this guy was oblivious. He was maybe 75 feet away, if that.

About 15 minutes more down the path, and we saw a deer off in the trees. Again, pretty close to the trail, amazing! The deer wasn't even spooked by Max.

No other wildlife the rest of the hike though. Still, the falls were going pretty good, and we had a nice lunch at the overlook.

Lisa and Ellie with the falls in the background.

Full falls shot. They cascade down about 85 feet, I believe.

Ellie is going to be a rock climber. We set her down on the rocks at the overlook, expecting her to crawl around in the dirt, but instead, she started finding handholds in the slanted rocks and climbed all the way up to where I was sitting! It'll be a while before she tackles something like this cliff though.