July 28, 2013

Staycation & Tiny Dancer

Last weekend we decided to take a mini staycation while our nanny, Laura, had jury duty. We spent Sunday night at the W Austin, and the best part about it was that it didn't cost anything. I guess one of the perks of Justin traveling so much for work.

Our first stop was the pool, until it promptly started raining as we settled in. Eleanor liked the pool OK, but she much preferred meandering the deck checking out all of the sunbathers. We then walked over to Frank's for a Chicago dog, and then back to the hotel for a quick drink (read: us chasing Eleanor around the empty hotel bar area), and then back to the room for bath and bed. I'm pretty sure the highlight of the hotel stay was our daughter pushing the buttons on the elevator.

Monday morning we ventured to Annie's for breakfast, and then off to tour our first preschool for next year. How is our precious daughter already old enough to be in preschool - time is flying!

We had a busy week of work and play with Eleanor. We think she's working on her 8th tooth, and we've also battled a few nights in a row of night terrors. So sad that such a small little peanut can have nightmares. Oh how I wonder what she's thinking during these fits... probably a life without rocks, dirt, raisins, and doggies.

This weekend was super low key, which was so welcomed after being on the go all summer. We walked over to Zilker Park and hung out there for a bit, and Eleanor was in HEAVEN. She was literally rolling around in the grass and running non stop for an hour. We capped off the weekend today with a bike ride and swim date, complete with popcicles, in the backyard with our 2-year-old neighbor, Audrey.

New happenings the past 2 weeks:

: Eleanor has some new teeth coming in, and when we ask her to see her teeth, she scrunches her eyes, opens her mouth, and covers her teeth with her lips. See below for visual.

: Our daughter has some new dance moves... she's really into spinning, literally until she's dizzy.

: We have a blueberry fiend on our hands. E will snack on blueberries for 10-15 minutes at a time, quickly popping one after the other. If the berry isn't firm, she pokes her finger in it, and throws it on the ground.

: In addition to exploring her artistic side, we also have a sticker fanatic. It started with tape, so I thought I'd buy her some stickers for her artwork. A sheet of stickers lasts exactly 10 seconds, after she piles one on top of the other, and she then immediately asks for "mo."

: I'm amazed at how much Eleanor actually knows and understands. For instance, I'll ask her to "go get a diaper, and bring it to Mommy." It's not 100%, but usually she'll comply. I also ask her to get a certain book off the shelf, and she knows exactly which one to grab. If she could only communicate as well as she receptively understands. We still have lots of grunting and annoyed moaning sounds. We're trying to teach her to "use her words" and patiently wait for her to communicate.

: E is really into flowers now and insists on smelling every bud she passes. It makes for a long grocery visit as we pass the floral department;)

Early morning snuggles

Little cabana lady relaxing at the W. This so called "relaxing" lasted exactly 8 seconds. Then, she was running around like a maniac making sure that the all poolside adults knew she was the only kiddo in sight.

Rough life, Ellie.

E taking in the beautiful view from the W, overlooking Downtown Austin and the W pool.

One last viewing before bed.

I brought Eleanor into our room last week in the middle of the night because her night terrors were so bad. Some good old fashioned back rubs and snuggling did the trick, and we got to wake up to this angel.

You missed a spot, Ellie.

"Show me your teeth!"

We found this little guy on the hood of my car as we were leaving for errands today.

Our first stop was Starbucks, and this is what we found, after a 2 mile drive from home. The little critter was scared to death.

Eleanor fully embraces her usual Friday entourage at the park. Too bad she's so shy...

July 15, 2013

4th of July & Big D

It's been a busy couple of weeks... we had a great long weekend for the 4th. Justin and I both had Friday off, which made for an exceptionally long weekend in Austin. We hung out at our friend's new backyard pool on the East Side, had brunch play dates at our house, and visited our music teacher at a farmer's market for his "gig."

We were in Dallas this last weekend for a PSW event, and it also happened to be Eleanor's first road trip since she was 8 weeks old. Let's just say there's room for improvement on the car riding front. She loved staying at a hotel and walking around Uptown. Saturday afternoon we had brunch with Justin's work friends, and our daughter was a total maniac, doing laps for HOURS at the beer garden, rolling in dirt, and generally just making sure the packed house knew she was there. On Sunday, we had brunch with my Uncle, Aunt, and Cousins (The Schroeders), and Eleanor was happily high fiving and kissing the family until she quickly got bored and had to meander the restaurant.

New tidbits:

: Eleanor now says more "mo," up, down, bubbles, outside "side," ball, and swing "weeeee." Her very favorite words, however, are yeah, yes (with a lisp), and no. OUR favorite word that she says is "nigh niiiiight," which she's starting to say when she's ready for a nap or bed. Gotta love that.

: The newest activity of choice is strolling her baby around in her baby stroller. We went shopping for her first tricycle last weekend, only to find that she's too small for even the smallest trike (welcome to the world of being small, Ellie). So the consolation prize was a $5 stroller that she can't get enough of. We strap her baby in, and she usually finds treasures along her walks such as rocks, leaves, and twigs that she packs in with her baby.

: On a similar note, Eleanor no longer likes to ride in HER stroller - she prefers to push the stroller (behind the low lying basket). Last weekend she pushed the big stroller almost a mile before she pooped out. And she walks with such purpose, really funny;)

: We have a budding artist who likes to color with her Crayons. She also tries to eat them, which we're working on. Needless to say, Eleanor has produced some great fridge art;)

: Our daughter is becoming more independent and insists on using silverware and drinking from our cups.

: Conversely, she's in a sudden hand holding phase while walking. It's great until you realize she. doesn't. stop. ever.

We hung out at our friends new pool over The 4th. But, all Eleanor wanted to do was swim in the rocks. See video below for "rock angels."

We went to the park on Friday, and a summer camp unleashed onto the playground right when we arrived. Ellie ended up having an entourage. Two 8-year-old girls each held Ellie's hand and took turns taking her on the slide and swings. When we had to leave, they asked, "Can Ellie come back and play tomorrow?" So precious. Our daughter was in HEAVEN.

After an hour and half into the trip, 2 DVDs and some crying fits, we finally got Eleanor to sleep.

Happy Hour in Dallas with Evan, Meghan, and (dog) Wells.

Brunch with The Schroeders in Dallas. Of course the boys look so handsome, but we couldn't get E to even look at the camera. This is the best we could get...