December 19, 2012

Hi Dada!

Sorry for the hiatus... in full disclosure, I haven't been great at capturing material (pics/video) lately, and to top it off, I've been basically bed-ridden with a terrible cold/sinus infection for 8 (yes 8) days now. I'm about to lose my mind! Justin has basically been a single parent/SuperDad this week while I've been quarantined to our bedroom. We hope that it pays off by Ellie not catching this beast of a bug.

News since last post:

: A couple of weeks ago, Ellie started saying "Hi!" It's a high pitched, two syllable hi. Then, last week, Justin went in to get her from her crib when she woke up, and she proudly said, "Hi, Dada!" We were shocked. The fact that she's learning to communicate (other than grunting, moaning, and squealing) is amazing to us.

: For the past 6 weeks or so, all Ellie wants to do is walk, as we're hunched over her, holding her hands. Since this is less than appealing to our aching backs, we decided to buy Ellie a walker. Apparently, she would much rather us strain ourselves than walk with her new toy.

: Ellie continues to enjoy swim and music class. Other favorite activities are going to the grocery store and the hike and bike trail. Justin took Ellie to the grocery store solo for the first time last week since I am sick. Clearly he wasn't prepared for the amount of attention that he received. Since our daughter loves to ham it up with just about anyone who will give her the time of day, fellow grocery shoppers literally stopped in their tracks to dote on our daughter. If only they could see her little tantrums to realize it's not all rainbows and sunshine...

: Ellie also knows to wave when you say hi/hello and bye bye.

: We introduced finger foods this past week. So far, cheese seems to be her favorite... like mother, like daughter.

: We brush Ellie's teeth and gums after her bath and before bed every night (or every night that we remember), and she is obsessed with it. Let's hope this sticks so that we can avoid a mouthful of cavities in the future.

: We had Ellie's 9 month check up on Monday. Our wee one had these stats - if her pattern continues, she'll be in single digit percentiles at her 1-year checkup...:
  * 26" - 10%
  * 16.7 lbs - 16%
  * Forgot the head measurements, but it was in the 70%

: This party of 3 embarks on a 9 day holiday travel "adventure" on Friday. First stop, KC, where we have about 82 people to visit. Then, onto Chicago to celebrate the holidays with Justin's family. Needless to say, Justin and I already have a sitter lined up for when we return. Something tells me we're really going to need a parents day out to recover from this one...

In other news, we have officially hit the 10,000+ visitor mark on our blog. Who knew that this silly little blog would spark so much interest (although I'm sure half of those visits are from Nana, Bama, and Grammy). I initially started the blog to include family and friends on pregnancy updates. Because most of our family and friends live outside Austin, it was simply too difficult to email and call people on an individual basis. Now that Ellie has joined our family, it's been a great way to keep everyone up to date on Ellie's development.

We hope every has a very Merry Christmas and Happy/Healthy 2013!

We thought we outsmarted Ellie by getting a mini-tree and placing on a ledge up high. If it's plugged in, we find her chewing on the tag on the cord.

Yes, it's warm enough in Austin for Ellie to get giant mosquito bites...

Two of her faves - Daddy's hat and dried mango.
Yay! Thanks to Grandma Pat, The Thomases all have matching stockings made with love.
New wheels and early Christmas present from the Parentals. Now, if only she would USE it, instead of us.
Ellie & Nora holding hands at music class. Could it get any sweeter? Note that this is one of the rare moments she actually sat still in the 4 weeks of class...
One of Ellie's favorite chew toys, a baster... courtesy of Aunt Cathy.


Ellie refuses to use the aforementioned walker. Refusal = aches/pains for us. KC/Chicago Friends & Family, prepare yourself to be put into the "walking" rotation...

Ellie at music class. If she's not making her way around the circle greeting people, she's doing this...

Swim class action - 2 second submersion...

Does anyone find it strange that our daughter is unfazed by Daddy's various costumes? It's like she already knows that this is "normal" for our family...

December 2, 2012

Social Butterfly

Eleanor's intensely social personality is becoming more and more apparent every day. She ADORES being surrounded by kids and the outdoors; needs constant change of scenery; attacks everything with pure determination; insists on non-stop action. Do you think she's her father's daughter?!

A couple of firsts for Ellie this week...

We are members of the Dell's Children's Museum, and our nanny, Laura, took her this week. Ellie was in heaven. She was the life of the party, and apparently, everyone knew "Ellie the Explorer" by the time they left. We had to see this for ourselves this weekend, so Justin and I ventured out with her yesterday. As you can imagine a Saturday at a kid's museum, it was sheer madness, and Ellie wouldn't have it any other way. She managed to make friends with every kid in the infant section while also peering over the partition to talk to the big kids on the other side. 

Ellie attended her first music class this week. We're testing out a 4 week "Seasonal Songs" class before fully committing to a 10-week class. There are about 12-15 kids enrolled in the class ranging from Ellie's age (her being the youngest) to about 4 years old. Basically, we all sit in a circle while the teacher leads us through holiday songs along with maracas, jingle bells, drums, chiffon scarves, etc. For the most part, all of the kids nicely sit in a circle with their mothers or nannies while the teacher sits in the middle. That is, all kids BUT Ellie. Ellie had to make the rounds to connect with every single child and then sit in the center of the circle all smiles, wildly flapping her arms. Let's just say, it was a real treat trying to get her to leave...

The weather here has been beautiful... 80s and sunny. So, we've hit the hike and bike trail, the park, and logged in some time on the new swing in our backyard. While I love the warm weather, I'm sort of ready to wear sweaters! 

Loving the grass at the park

Feeding the ducks on Town Lake

New swing thank to Papaw's installation help.

Pure joy at the Children's Museum

Lunch al fresco - 83 degrees the last day in November

Ellie in the Christmas spirit with Papaw while Justin and I decorated our mini tree (we didn't dare get a  normal sized tree with Ellie on the move).

6 month portrait of Eleanor courtesy of my Great Aunt Sally. Not only is it amazing that a 75-year-old sketched this beautiful work of art, but even more incredible that she just started sketching THIS year. I forgot to capture a photo of Aunt Sally and Ellie in my shock and awe after receiving this;(

Ellie makes the daily walk to the mailbox with me. Instead of immediately recycling the stack of weekly coupons, I thought I'd let Ellie have a whirl with them. This entertained her for an hour. Literally.

Our very particular daughter insists on fruits and veggies being mixed (not so keen on eating straight veggies). Well, I ran out of fruit, so I attempted to go straight sweet potatoes, and here was the reaction:

A living room full of toys, and here is what captivated Eleanor...

Music class... couldn't really get a good video because I was chasing Ellie around the room for the entire 45 minute class.

November 24, 2012

8 Months

We have had a busy 2 weeks... hence the lack of posting. Due to my procrastination and my current exhaustion, I'm going to give a Cliff's Notes overview.

The night before we left for Chicago, Ellie woke up super congested and with a fever. Poor baby girl was sick the entire time we were there. She was a great sport and in super good spirits, but when it came time to sleep, she really struggled with her breathing. We spent the week elbow deep in Boogie Wipes (best product EVER) and even had to have a steam cleaning service come to clean an upholstered chair that Ellie puked on. Oh, the joys of motherhood!

The Clanceys were so gracious to let us crash at their place (literally). Since Ellie is obsessed with ALL big kids, Olivia was her BFF all week. Olivia was super sweet with Ellie too - sharing her toys, giving her kisses, and letting Ellie paw at her all week.

While I spent most of our time in Chicago nursing a sick Ellie, I was able to get a night out for Justin's surprise 35th birthday party. I wasn't confident that I'd be able to pull the shindig off, but it's safe to say Justin was floored. I invited 25 people, and 24 of our friends were able to make it with only ~2 week's notice. Such a testament to Justin and how much our friends adore him. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at The Bristol in Bucktown, and then had a nightcap at a nearby bar. The evening was a success, and the birthday boy loved reliving our pre-Ellie social lives;)

We had another wonderful Friendsgiving in ATX! Plus, Bama and Gampa joined in the fun this year. We hosted an open house during the afternoon, and the Hacks hosted us all for dinner. Meghan served the most amazing meal ever... and of course she practically whipped it all up with her eyes closed and hands tied behind her back.

Ellie is the most active baby I've ever met. She moves CONSTANTLY, even when she's sleeping. Her new thing is that she wants to walk with us holding her hands. I was already walking at this point, so clearly she's her mother's daughter. I'm trying to prolong the crawling stage - not ready for a walker! She is determined though... I bet Justin that she'll be walking (3 unsupported steps) by next week. Justin thinks otherwise. Stay tuned.

Olivia Clancy and Ellie reading together
Uncle Alex & Aunt Katie came to visit... Ellie was super sick that night as you can probably tell by her expression;(

All bundled up in Chi Town! Headed out to grab coffee and some fresh air...

Olivia loved playing in Ellie's carseat.

As we walked the old "hood," we passed by Justin's favorite dry cleaner, Mrs. Kim. She was on the phone and saw us walking down the street. She quickly hung up the phone and chased us down the street. She was so excited to see us and meet Ellie.

Sick but happy

First El ride

Auntie Erin came by for a visit. Ellie adores her;)


Just after Daddy duty... I found Justin napping. Annoyed that he can literally fall asleep ANYWHERE.

Birthday Dinner

8 months today! You'll see she's an animal and won't sit still... here she was trying to pull off her sticker. 2 seconds prior she was trying to eat it.

Loves to stand

Silly face

Ellie loves her Bama, who sings to her all day;)

Not-so-happy Ellie on Thanksgiving. 

Can't get any sweeter.

Beautiful Thanksgiving dinner table...

The Ellie and Olivia show... Ellie was Olivia's shadow all week.

When Ellie's not walking around with our help, she's constantly doing this...

Ellie was quite the social butterfly on our flights. It's an awkward angle, but you'll see her make eye contact with a passenger, and then squawk and giggle.

I swore that I'd keep my daughter's private parts out of this blog, but this was just too cute to pass up. Sorry, Ellie. This is now her nightly bathtime ritual. Maniac.

Walker in training. She would do this all day if we didn't stop her. 

November 11, 2012

Mini Me

If you weren't convinced before now that Ellie looks like yours truly, you will be with this:

Me and Grandpa Charlie circa 1980

My Great Aunt Sally, who lives in Georgetown, sent me this photo. I can't stop looking at it - it looks as though Ellie was digitally added into an old time photo. Crazy, I tell you!

We had another busy week of chasing Ellie around the house. Even when our daughter sleeps, she moves. We did find that she'll sit still and go into an almost trance-like state when we put on her Baby Einstein video. Watch closely for her subtle, yet hilarious facial expressions:

A few more pics from the week...

And a few videos for your viewing pleasure:

November 7, 2012

On The Move!

Just when we thought Active Ellie couldn't get any more active... Our daughter is constantly on the go and into EVERYTHING.

Justin took Thursday and Friday off work. Since I don't work on Fridays, we spent the day together - a walk, lunch out, a busy day of chasing Ellie around the house, and then a quiet night in.

Saturday Ellie showed off her skills at swim class. She now goes under water, completely submerged for 1 whole second. Even though most of the other kiddos in the class can go 2 seconds, our teacher wants Ellie to stick with the 1 second for 1 more week since she's the smallest in the class. The pushy parent in me wants to nudge Ellie to do 2 seconds and prove to the teacher that being small doesn't limit us (ahem, I mean her).

Sunday we had brunch out with Andy & Essie and the Hacks. Ellie reveled in the action and being passed around like a hot potato. We're so thankful that most restaurants in Austin are kid friendly;) Later that afternoon, Justin and Ellie vistited The Johnsons out in Cedar Park. Per usual, Ellie was enamored with Cameron and Lana. the "big kids." She literally went from total meltdown mode on the ride out there to sheer joy being with the Johnson girls. It sounds like they enjoyed the visit just as much since they were fighting over who got to hold Ellie.

We thought daylight savings time would take some adjustment with an infant, but we all survived with no problems. Since Ellie goes to bed at the ripe hour of 6:30 p.m., it's really nice that it's already almost dark out by then. Plus, getting up early and having the sun up is a double bonus in my book.

New happenings this week:

: Her newest shenanigans is that she won't sit still long enough for a bottle. She'll only drink about an ounce at a time. You can imagine our patience level with that (if any parents have advice on that front, I'm all ears).

: The Johnsons gave us a ton of hand-me-down toys that Ellie just loves. You'll see them in the videos below. Part of the bucket 'o goodies were 3 Baby Einstein DVDs. Ellie is all about it. She stands at our ottoman, and goes glassy eyed instantly.

: Ellie takes big girl baths now! Ellie will get the full body wash, play for a bit, and then she stands up and tries to hoist herself out of the tub when she's had enough. Pretty funny...

: We discovered a super cool park not far from our house. There's a great playscape there and bucket swings for Ellie. I thought Ellie would love the swings, but she mostly just pans the playground for big kids to watch and obsess over.

: We think Ellie is teething again. She's had a little fever, and will go from playing happily to suddenly losing it and chewing on everything in sight.

: Ellie now feeds herself (and loves it). She'll eat small bits of soft food (steamed carrots, bananas, puffs). I see a trend of her preferring this over pureed, spoon fed grub. Works for me as it keeps her finger busy and not constantly in her mouth while we try to distract her to shove food in her mouth.

We head to Chicago next week for a few days, and we can hardly wait. To prepare for the cold weather destination, we stocked up on warm gear for Ellie. It'll be interesting to see how Ellie reacts to the chilly weather...

We like to bring Ellie into bed with us for a bit after she wakes up in the morning. Saturday morning, it was Justin catching up on news, while I tried to keep Ellie from jumping off the bed.

Happy Girl

More mischief - big fan of the dishwasher. Waiting for the day when she tries to climb IN.

Lunch out at Clark's Oyster Bar, a new restaurant in Clarksville.

Inching in on diapers in basket...

Then tossing them about the living room - new favorite game.

This girl loves her buttons!

A perfume insert from a magazine kept Ellie occupied for HOURS last weekend.  It was a little weird having my 7- month-old smell like a musky cologne.

Looking for trouble

Up close and personal with the perfume insert.

Silly Girl

Playing with her new (old) play station