October 29, 2012

2 Years & Counting

Last week, Justin and I celebrated 2 years of wedded bliss. It seems like just yesterday that we were surrounded by friends and family at Watercolor... a truly unforgettable weekend! We are humbled by all that we've experienced together in the last 2 years: a memorable wedding, a Grecian honeymoon, a pregnancy, and now life with our precious Eleanor. 

A trip down memory lane:

Justin was traveling on our actual anniversary (10/23), so we decided to postpone our celebration until this past Saturday at Outstanding in the Field. Thanks to The Lunds' recommendation, we celebrated our 1st anniversary last year at OITF. We were so smitten with the experience that we decided to make it an anniversary tradition.

For those of you unfamiliar with the set up... It's basically a traveling restaurant on wheels that makes stops at various farms throughout the country (and now international locations too). These culinary geniuses pair up with a local celebrated chef and serve 100+ guests on a farm. In true farm-to-table fashion, most of the food is sourced from nearby farms. 

The meal this year was just as delectable as last year's. Rene Ortiz of La Condessa was the the guest chef again, and he did not disappoint. He even served us some of the new grub that will be featured in his new restaurant, Sway, opening in a few months.

While the chef was the same, the locale changed. We dined at Boggy Creek Farm, another urban farm (like Rain Lily from last year), which is just a 10 minute drive from our home. The farm house on the property was the 2nd oldest house in Texas - pretty impressive.

Bring-your-own-plate action makes for a colorful, eclectic table setting.

Parent's Day Out! A 4:00 dinner time was perfect for parents whose daughter insists on waking them before the sun rises.

Chicken coop

Historical Texas farmhouse

The kitchen

Founder Jim Denevan sharing the history of OITF.

Gorgeous table setting

Mouth watering menu

Beautiful farmland

First course: Butternut squash, baby arugula, radish, candied turnips, green beans, hatch chile, farm egg, feta, buttermilk dressing

Third course: lamb shoulder, pecans, green beans, parsley, polenta, Texas gold cheddar

The finale: Apple pie, rosemary honey caramel, Paragon cheese, Austin Beerworks ice cream

The man of the hour, Rene Ortiz. He made the rounds during the last course to answer questions and greet the guests.

Now, onto Ellie news! She is on. the. MOVE! She has full run of the house now and loves pulling up. Her two bottom teeth have come in even more, and Ellie constantly runs her tongue or lips over these new additions. 

Ellie has recently become very clingy when I'm around. Justin's taking it personally, but I'm sure she'll go through a Daddy-only phase in due time. 

We are getting excited for Halloween, aka Justin's favorite commercial holiday. We're putting together the final touches and hope that it all comes together as we're expecting. Stay tuned for photos!

A sneak peek into our Thomas Family Halloween costume


This is how Ellie greets me when I go in to get her after a nap.
Sitting Pretty!

Ellie's new waking hour is ~6:30 a.m. Not working for the parental units. When she went down for her first nap Sunday morning, so did we. This is how I found Justin when I woke up. A fort of pillows and Ellie's blankies pieced together...
Door stop teether:

Ellie's pull up skills:

Dust busting Ellie:

October 24, 2012

7 months

Our precious Eleanor is 7 months old today. Cue the sighing mother in disbelief... Ellie has had a big week:

: She finally cut her first tooth/teeth (can't tell if it's 1 or 2 of the bottom teeth). Ellie was teething like a madman last week, and she wanted to get everything but the kitchen sink in her mouth. The process left her incredibly fussy for about 4 days. "Calling irritable, party of 1!"

: She now crawls, sits, and pulls up, AND is able to transition from each of those movements with some sense of grace. Very few face plants and loss of balance now.

: While the amount of solids that she eats has doubled, she refuses to eat vegetables without fruits mixed in.

: Ellie's swimming skills were a huge improvement last week. She started to kick on her own, but the big feat was her going completely under. While she was completely unfazed, I had a mini panic attack after each dunk.

: The sleeping honeymoon is over. Ellie used to sleep until 7:30/8:00 a.m., and now she's waking at the still-dark hour of 6:15/6:45 a.m. I didn't realize how spoiled I was. I've tried to let her sit in her crib, but she immediately pulls herself up and grasps at the spindles of her crib yelling for us to come get her. Stinker.

: New button obsession

: Sticks her tongue out constantly. Thinking it's her feeling the new chompers?

Tailgate teether

Hanging out with Hadley Greager at the tailgate

Chewing on the tape measure as we were trying to measure her for her Halloween costume.

Bag Lady! Insisted on chewing on the brown paper bag from our tacos.
Cheery Cherry outfit courtesy of Meghan Hack

Trip to the pumpkin patch.  Apparently I was asking way too much to get a smile. She was obsessed with checking out the big kids.

How can I get this in my mouth?


A pillow covered in buttons? Fascinating!

This is the first photo shoot where she's been 100% mobile. Proved to be a big challenge, and Ellie almost fell off the bed about 10x.

Up to no good

My brilliant idea to distract her with the camera lens cap.

Grass discovery:

Veggie protest:

Kicking at swim class:

First full submersion at swim class:

October 14, 2012


Justin and I had the most amazing time in Sonoma with Maggie and Dylan Hale last weekend... beautiful weather, delicious food and wine, and all without schlepping baby paraphernalia. It was our first time leaving Ellie, and wouldn't you know, she got sick for the first time just 36 hours before we left. Needless to say, I was a total wreck. After a middle of the night call to the doctor and a doctor's visit the next day, we found out that Ellie's 102 fever was due to a virus.

Lucky for us, we had Nana to watch after Ellie while we were away (but that didn't keep me from crying the entire ride to the airport). Once we arrived in San Francisco, though, we immediately relaxed.

We stayed in Healdsburg in the Sonoma Valley, which is a quaint little town with a square that anchors the town. We stayed at The Healdsburg Inn, which was right in the middle of it all. We were able to walk to shops, restaurants, tasting rooms, and even some wineries.

A brief overview of our lineup:

Lunch at Healdsburg Bar & Grill
Seghesio Winery
Dinner at Barndiva

Tour of Michel Schlumberger and Harvest Lunch afterwards
Dutcher's Crossing Winery
Dinner at Campo Fina
Shuffleboard at the "towny" bar

Breakfast at Center Street Bakery
Driver Sid navigated us through Medlock Ames, Jimtown picnic lunch at Robert Young, Starlite and Hawley Wineries
Dinner at Dry Creek Kitchen

Shopping around the Healdsburg Square, a little football at Healdsburg Bar & Grill, then back to our favorite 6 month old!

Now, enough about us... onto the important stuff! It took Ellie a few days to recover from her virus, and once she was over it, she was back to her regular, silly antics.

What a lucky girl - Ellie had back-to-back grandmother weekends. Bama was in town this weekend so that Justin and I could go to Austin City Limits Music Festival. We had a great time with Clark, who was in town from KC. Meanwhile, Ellie was spoiled rotten with Bama love, song singing, and dance parties.

New happenings with Ellie:

: She is ON THE MOVE now... she army crawls like a pro, and can sit up on her own with very little support.

: She now knows when I leave the room (and doesn't like it one bit). This just started over the weekend, so we'll see how me leaving for work goes this week. I have a feeling it'll be a repeat performance of our drive to the airport last week:(

: She also threw her first temper tantrum. Ellie was obsessed with our laundry basket, so we thought it would be cute to put her in it. We soon realized how unsafe it was as it tipped with her wild movements. We took her out of it, and put it away. Cue the outburst.

: After a 3 day food strike (refusing to eat any solids), Ellie is back on track and eating like a champ. So far, she's had sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, black beans, carrots, peaches, mango, berries, bananas, pears, apples, and avocado. She's not so keen on green beans, but she's pretty open to everything else.

: Ellie was a great pupil at swim class this week. She barely sucked her fingers, engaged in all activities, and even acknowledged everyone around her. She seems way more comfortable in the water... all in all, I was a proud parent and impressed with her improvement.

: Ellie has a myriad of facial expressions now. Some of them are so strange that we don't even know what they mean.

Signature Redwood Trees in northern Californa

A friendly game of bocce ball at Seghesio Winery

No vacation for social media
Michel Schlumberger Winery

Beautiful succulents

Boys' tomfoolery

Harvest Lunch at Michel Schlumberger

It was as divine as it reads...
Stunning scenery in every direction

All smiles at our first winery, Medlock Ames, on Saturday

Dutcher's Crossing

Picking up our picnic lunch on Saturday at Jimtown

Robert Young

Robert Young, view from our picnic lunch


Travel buddies, Maggie and Dylan, at Dutcher's Crossing

Dinner at Barndiva
ACL 2012

2 ACL staples, water and noodle

Fellow festival goer friends... Kelly, Clark, and Brian

Ellie reading with Bama

Ellie doting on Clark

This is the first of a series of Ellie expressions. Here we have Perplexed Ellie.

Happy Ellie

Confused Ellie

Silly Ellie

Chatty Ellie

Laundry basket discovery.

"Hmmmm, I can do some serious damage with this number."

Excitement of what's to come...

Seconds after we let her loose, we realized the tipping danger with her wild movements. So, we immediately took her out and hid the basket.

This is the end of her meltdown after the basket retraction.

Video of Ellie's army crawl skills:

Video of Ellie loving on Baby Jay: