May 20, 2013

Biker Babe

Another busy 2 weeks in our house with work events, travel, and Papaw in town. We had a busy weekend with the little lady - lunch at 24 Diner, The Children's Museum, the Trail, Greenbelt, breakfast at Taco Deli, drinks and dancing at Gueros. To top things off, Eleanor had a nasty virus (plus teething) that lasted for about 2 weeks. All in all, it amounted to a VERY fussy daughter, sleepless nights, fevers of 103.5, an all over body rash, and refusal to eat. For awhile, we thought an alien had taken over our daughter's body. That, or a major personality change. Either way, we were frightened beyond belief. Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, Eleanor turned a corner on Friday. We have our fun loving,  spunky little girl back.

We had a last minute visitor this week - Erin McGiffert was in town for about a day for work. I managed to take some time away from work to hang and catch up... so so much fun! Mani/pedis and then a girl's lunch at Josephine House, a quaint little spot in our new hood. It was delicious and the scene made me feel like I was in Europe for an hour of my day.

This weekend we took Eleanor on her first bike ride, and she is obsessed. We ventured out to Deep Eddy pool, which was also a hit. We have a water baby on our hands!

Other tidbits:

: 2 new teeth in  for a total of 6. Changes the dynamics of what Eleanor can eat, which is great.

: Our daughter is a BUSY BODY. She literally doesn't stop moving from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to bed. And even then, she constantly moves in her sleep.

: Eleanor has been pretty into babies lately. She kisses her babies and then rocks/snuggles them... pretty darn cute.

: Climbing is a daily routine. The more dangerous, the better for her.

: E can take 5-6 steps at a time, but that's all she'll commit to. SO close to full on walking.

: Separation anxiety has entered our lives. Last week was brutal (especially when she was sick) - if I left her for a second, all hell broke loose. Great to feel needed, but this stage has been tough on both me and Eleanor.

Eleanor had one of the worst nights I can remember last Saturday. For the first time in her life, she slept with us.  What a great Mother's Day to wake up to this squirmy little angel.

Snuggle Bunny.

Reality of parenthood - keep bleach handy at all times! Our daughter is a serial bathtub pooper.

Playtime in the backyard.

She looks so annoyed with me.

Test ride with Daddy the day before our maiden ride.

Surprisingly comfortable with her helmet (aka "special hat").

The first ride was a HIT!

We biked down to Joe's on South Congress for coffee and stumbled upon this cool guy, doggy sunglasses and all.

Then to Deep Eddy to watch big kids, dote on babies, crab crawl, climb, etc.


Silly girl - loves to smoosh her face against the glass. I can't figure out why this picture keeps rotating and got too frustrated to continually try to fix it;(

May 12, 2013

Motherhood & Magic Words

A second Mother's Day under my belt! Regardless of the fact that I've been up with her the last few night for hours on end, battling fussiness from cutting new teeth, whining and temper tantrums because she can't communicate, etc - I wouldn't have it ANY other way.

"Mother" is absolutely the best title I've been given. While it comes with challenges each and every day, the rewards far surpass them. I thank my mother for leading such an amazing example - I still shake my head and ask "How did she do it?" I also admire the women that she learned from, my grandmothers, great grandmothers, and great great grandmothers. 

Speaking of which - I recently had to give a short speech at a work event. I was to tell a story of my childhood where I learned a moral or lesson. Here goes:

As most folks know, I have been incredibly blessed to have had so many grandmothers in my life. At one point, I had 7 living grandmothers. Unbelievable, right? I love all of them dearly and learned (and am still learning) so much from each of them. I do, however, hold a very special place in my heart for Grandmother Ruth. 

Ruth was the most prim and proper woman I've ever met. She valued family, put others first, and gave the term "polite" a whole new meaning. From as far back as I can remember, Grandmother insisted that we (me, my sister, and cousins Katherine and Elizabeth) use our "magic words." It was almost like a game - as she quizzed us, we would rattle off as many magic words as we could remember: please, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me, etc. Age didn't discriminate this little game - Ruth continued to impress upon us the importance of respect and manners... literally until I was in college. 

I was studying for finals in college when I received the call that Ruth was in the hospital and likely wouldn't make it much longer. I high tailed to to Topeka from Lawrence to visit her. When I arrived at the hospital, Grandmother Ruth was sound asleep in her hospital bed. I went in and waited for her to wake. When she did, Ruth sort of blankly looked at me... after a long pause, she took my hand, and said, "Please don't ever forget your magic words." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry - I think I did a little of both. Ruth passed away that evening, and those were her parting words to me. 

I think back at my grandmother constantly worrying about her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren inheriting her politeness, and I can't imagine a better trait to pass on. Ruth Carmean, a shout out to you this Mother's Day. I spend every day teaching my daughter your invaluable lessons on manners and respect. While she can't verbally communicate yet, you'll be proud to know that she can sign "please" and "thank you" at 13 months old.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful women out there doing one of the most challenging yet glorifying jobs out there;)

Great Grandmother Ruth and her lovely daughter, (Grandma) Betty.

May 5, 2013

Busy Bees

We've had a very busy couple of weeks. Work events, work travel, prepping our home for the Cool House Tour, outings with friends/family, etc.

Cliff's Notes update -

We ventured up to Georgetown last weekend to go to the Red Poppy Festival with Aunt Sally and Uncle Jim. It's held in downtown Georgetown, which is such a sweet little town and reminds me a lot of Lawrence. Eleanor loved all of the action and even decided to get the full festival experience by eating Chicken on a Stick. We must have really done her in because she napped the entire 45 minute ride home, something she hasn't done (napping anywhere but her crib) since she was 4 months old.

We also met up with some friends at Foreign and Domestic last weekend for parent's night out. Delicious food and amazing company, of course.

This weekend was mostly spent spring cleaning, tour prep, and house-on-the-market prep. Were we super productive? Yes. Fun? Not so much. We were able to sneak in a little fun with a couple of walks/runs on the trail and a dip in our fancy new pool.

New Eleanor Tidbits:

: We have a Chatty Cathy on our hands. Our daughter is VERY vocal and really never shuts up (unless we want her to interact with friends or family).

: Eleanor has an emerging palate - she's eaten Indian, Italian, Thai, and Mediterranean food. I think it's safe to say that Italian is her favorite... she inhales chicken parmesan and pasta.

: When you ask Eleanor how old she is, she now holds up her index finger (video below). I can't take credit for this... all Laura's teaching.

: Our sleeping beauty decided to start waking up before 7:00 a.m., which we're not sure we approve of. It's amazing what that extra 30-45 minutes of sleep will do (for us, that is)!

: Eleanor has never been a snuggler - literally will not commit to any adoring contact. But recently, she's started to consider snuggle time. It doesn't last for long, and as soon as she realizes she's snuggling, she high tails it out of our laps. I'll take what I can get and am hopeful to one day curl up and watch a movie or even nap with my daughter.

: In the midst of our crazy schedules, we realized that Eleanor cut another tooth. Normally her teeth slowly come in after they break through. We just noticed today that she has a 5th tooth that's halfway in. We check her teeth and gums pretty often, but somehow this snuck its way in without us catching it.

Tomorrow is Monday Funday. We meet 8 of our friends out for dinner and Jim James at Stubb's. Jim James is one of our all time faves, and My Morning Jacket tunes used to be Eleanor's lullabies. Wonderful The Way I Feel.

Then, a busy work week for the both of us... 3 day weekend countdown is ON.

Saddled in and ready to hit up the Red Poppy Festival

Great Great Uncle Jim and Great Great Aunt Sally. How lucky is Eleanor??

Spring pastels for the grocery outing. What 1 year old doesn't need lavender patent leather driving mocs? Courtesy of Grandma Betty:) 

NBD - just trying to access the electrical socket, of course.

THIS happened on Saturday. We thought Eleanor would enjoy it as much as we did. We were wrong. Parental units were definitely in the pool more than daughter.

One of the many lizards that call the Thomas's backyard their own.

The aforementioned snuggle.
Building up immunities...

Busy girl...

This was right before she spent 20 minutes playing with a 3 year old girl. And by playing, I mean throwing mulch at each other...

In about 20 seconds, you see a High 5, gibber gabber, fish face, finger sucking, and "I'm 1!" Pretty typical sampling of our average day with E...

Austin weather has been a windows rolled down type. We've never rolled the back windows down (plus sunroof open) - shear bliss for Eleanor...

Loves to sort things and place objects in containers...

The puppy at the park, named "Baby," was more than E could handle...