June 29, 2013

Chi Town, Cousins, and Kissing

We had the BEST time in Chicago last week... friends, family, food, city walking, and most importantly, rest and relaxation (aka minimal work). Eleanor was a champ, and went with the flow the entire week.

We had some serious travel frustrations/delays getting to Chicago. I won't go into the hairy details, but we were supposed to land at 8:30 a.m. and 3 planes with mechanical issues later, we landed at 5:00 p.m. It was a long day, but we survived, and our daughter was the MVP of the day.

We made up the the initial travel woes with a wonderful week in Chicago. We spent most of the time eating our way through Lakeview, and Eleanor managed to kiss about 30 people throughout the week (really into kissing - now puckers instead of the slimy open mouthed kiss). We rented a brownstone in Lakeview, right on Southport, amidst a stretch of restaurants, retail, public transportation, etc. It was the perfect location and the perfect accommodations. We'll likely stay there again next year...

Here's a rundown of our week:

Saturday: A looong, travel day. We missed the The Waller wedding ceremony that we were traveling FOR, but we were able to get there in time for part of the reception. We jumped in and spent the evening with dear friends. When all was said and done, we were up for close to 24 hours once we went to bed.

Sunday: Breakfast as Julius Meihnl, play date at Oz Park with Olivia and Lindsey Clancey, hang time on the stoop of the brownstone we rented with various friends and family members stopping by throughout the day, dinner with The Clanceys, Justin briefly attending the Taste of Randolph to see Lord Huron play.

Monday: Breakfast at Orange, where they have the best orange infused coffee. Then, an El ride downtown to have a pool play date with Henry and Jen Price. We finished the night slamming a bottle of wine and sushi in about 20 minutes at Rise because Eleanor would not sit still.

Tuesday: Breakfast at Bakin' and Eggs, lunch at Harmony Grill, visited the park behind my old condo, playtime with Bama and Gampa, and then a delicious adults only dinner with Alex and Katie Lew at Divanti Enoteca (babysitting services courtesy of Bama & Gampa).

Wednesday: Bama's 60th birthday! Breakfast at Southport Grocer, the The Lincoln Park Zoo with Auntie Val, Auntie Meghan, Cousin Elizabeth, and Bama and Gampa. I had dinner with my good friend, Erin, at Deleece while Justin and Eleanor strolled Southport and visited the Roznowskis.

Thursday: Moved to Mike and Jenny's condo, strolled east to get a glimpse of Lake Michigan, and had a playdate with The Clanceys and Hales and grilled out at The Clanceys. We wrapped up our night at The Clanceys with a combo bathtime for Eleanor and Olivia. Playtime with Clare (Roznowski dog) when we arrived home, and then time for bed!

Friday: Breakfast at Julius Meinhl again, then Justin went to the Cub's game with Mike, Eric, Alex, Ryan, and Dylan. Unfortunately, there was a rain delay, so they passed the time at a bar in Wrigleyville. Eleanor decided to take a 4 HOUR nap that day, so I was able to catch up on work. We finished the night with at dinner an old favorite, Twist.

Saturday: Breakfast at the Lincoln Park Farmer's Market with the Hales and the Clanceys, then a day out in the suburbs with Bama, Gampa, Auntie Val and Uncle John, and Tom/Meghan/Elizabeth.

Some new tidbits with the little lady:

: She's really steady on her feet and doesn't crawl much anymore.

: E's into feeding herself, even if she makes a complete mess. We started off with oatmeal and yogurt using the spoon (sort of).

: We had our 15 month checkup and shots this week and came home with the following stats: Height 30" (30%), Weight 19.2 lbs (4%), and Head 46.5 cm (69%). The doctor insisted that I not be worried about Eleanor's low weigh - she's been 19 lbs since her 1 year checkup. Apparently a lot of kiddos plateau out for a few months at this age. We have a very active daughter, and I'm envious of her metabolism.

: Our daughter has always been vocal and still is. However, she's starting to say a few new words: "wa" for water, eye, hot, "nana" for banana, "ray" for raisins, etc. When she's not saying real words, there's lots of gibberish.

: We're also into animal sounds: Dog (woof woof), Cat (mmmmmmm), Cow (moooooo), Monkey (oooo-oooo, ahhh-ahhh), Lion (roar).

: During our short stay in Chicago, Eleanor managed to remember who most people were. When we asked her, "Where's [insert various friends/family]?" she'd look or point to that person.

Dylan, Preno, Justin and Deck all dolled up for the John and Jess's wedding - super fun evening!

We have a sorter! I gave E cereal and beans all together. I turned around for about 30 seconds, and she had sorted the two. Not sure if that's a good talent or if it's just OCD.

New kicks for some city walking.

Breakfast at Meinhl. Eating her favorite food on earth, raisins.

We spent a lot of time on the stoop just people watching - Eleanor LOVED it.

Gampa and his granddaughters on Father's Day

Clancey, Justin and Clay at Taste of Randolph.

Don't look so thrilled, Eleanor. On our way Downtown via the El.
The one and only Henry Price! Don't be fooled, this chubster is 24 lbs but 4 months younger than Eleanor. "Tank" is one of the most chill babies I know.
Good times at the pool.
Park play date with Olivia.
Breakfast at Bakin' and Eggs. Happy girl!
Clancey/Hale/Thomas play date.
Eleanor was Uncle Ricky's grilling supervisor.

The aftermath at 6:00 pm. - wild and crazy night!

Loves sucking on creamer containers.
Strolling down Southport. 
City Girl.
Eleanor loved hanging outside the flower shop that was next door to our condo rental.

One of many kisses given last week... such a lover.

Cousins at the petting zoo.

Eleanor with the Birthday Girl! 60 never looked so good;)

Family photo op - what a gorgeous day for the zoo.

Our last night in our condo, we realized Eleanor fit in the window sill. She spent a good portion of the evening banging on the window and waving to passersby.
Snuggling with Uncle Mike.
Elizabeth is a great big girl cousin - so sweet with "Baby" Ellie.

June 9, 2013

Walking Girl!

The past couple of weeks were filled with Cool House Tour prep and Nana's visit while Laura (our nanny) was out of town. The biggest news is that Eleanor is officially a walker! She started dabbling with a few steps on her own around the 14 month mark, but she's toddling around full steam ahead like the independent little girl that she is.

Besides the walking, I've been amazed at her development in the last 2 weeks:

: When we read books, I'll ask her "where's the xxx?" and she points out various objects. Even better, when we ask her, "Where's the Jayhawk?" she knows exactly where that silly bird is, whether it's in a book, on a t-shirt, or a stuffed animal. Love the early brainwashing;)

: Lids! Eleanor loves putting lids on containers... after we noticed this infatuation, we went out and bought her puzzles. She much prefers lids though.

: Over the past month, we've transitioned to 1 nap/day instead of 2. It's nice from a planning perspective because we're not tied to the house as much.

: Most days, you'll find our daughter donning my jewelry around the house. Her favorites are necklaces, but she'll dabble in a bracelet every not and then too.

: Eleanor LOVES bike rides with Daddy. We've learned that we have to limit our rides though because she's been falling asleep at the end of our 1-1.5 hour rides. We have to hide her helmet because when she sees it, she starts screaming and demands that she wear it around the house.

: E has started to become a little more snuggly and loves to give (open mouthed) kisses.

: Eleanor continues to remind us that she's a Texas born baby. She says "bye bye" with a total southern

: Our daughter's a champ at straw sucking now - makes for easy sips of our drinks when we're out and about.

We leave for Chicago on Saturday for our annual Chicago Summer Vacation. We are so anxious for some much needed time off - we have lots of friends and family to see, and I'm sure Eleanor will love all of the non-stop action.

We had to leave our house for our floors to be polished. We thought we'd catch an early happy hour at a local beer garden. Eleanor got so excited about salty bar food that she ate way to quickly. Then immediate threw up. So, naked baby in a bar - parents of the year!

Clearly she bounced back and entertained everyone around us.

Cool Cat in Babyators

Watching one of her "shows" with fingers and milk. Happy girl.

Bikini babe

Donning new PSW nightshirt. This is her ornery face...

Local news crew at Villa Court to cover the Cool House Tour

Nana to the rescue while our nanny was out of town. Eleanor even shared some good snuggles with her.

Can you tell I'm trying to gear everyone up with PSW swag?

Afternoon at Deep Eddy pool

We recently went to Lakeshore Learning - we were amazed how PC toys are now...

2 infatuations collide. First, focused on her lid until she spots the lawn maintenance men in the backyard. Notice the trance like look...