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

November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Eleanor's first Halloween was a success! First of all, thanks to all of you who sent cards and goodies to the little lady. Who knew there was such a market for "Happy 1st Halloween" cards? God bless Hallmark.

So, I decided that we needed a family costume this year. Halloween is Justin's favorite holiday, so why not dive into our first parental Halloween with a bang? In the spirit of the London Olympics and our limber, ultra active daughter, we thought Ellie as a gymnast would be perfect.

As I started to research options for Ellie's leotard, I was bound and determined for the leotard to be a true replica of the 2012 USA Olypmpic gymnasts uniforms.  However, I found it it was nearly impossible to find a gymnast's (not dancer's) leotard small enough for our little peanut. After hammering about 20 different seamstresses on Etsy with no luck, I realized I needed to get creative. I reached out to ladies that specialized in American Girl doll clothes. After some major negotiations and about 30 measurements later, I was able to convince a wonderful woman to take a chance on us. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much since this was her first custom leotard for a 7 month old.

Then came me as her gymnast side kick mother (lesson learned was that I hung up my leotards 15 years ago for a reason - 33-year-olds shouldn't be caught dead shimmery numbers like the one below). Originally, Justin was going to be a male gymnast, but when we found out Monday (10/29) that his stirrup pants from were on backorder, we had to improvise QUICKLY. Thanks to a suggestion from our neighbor, Brian, we thought it only appropriate that Justin dress as the renown coach Bela Karolyi. After multiple trips to multiple costume shops so that Justin could perfectly match his wig to his mustache, we were in business.

All in all, we were pretty happy with the finished product... our neighbors got a kick out of us doing a victory lap around our cul-de-sac at 5:00 p.m. Since Ellie goes to bed at 6:30, we came home early from work to gear up and get maximize photo ops. If only Ellie would have smiled and even pretended to look at the camera... oh well.

For your reference, the official 2012 Gymnasts' Olympic Uniform. The inspiration behind Ellie's leo...