September 29, 2013

Love & Fear

We've had a fun couple of weeks watching Eleanor literally learn new things daily. She's at a really fun age (most of the time) where she can communicate more, interact, and even help a little. 

We had Eleanor's 18 month check up, and here are her stats:

Height: 31.5 inches (46%)
Weight: 21 lbs (13%)
Head: 47 cm (64%)

She really sprouted up but continues to be a bean pole in the weight department. I continually assure our doctor that we feed our daughter, but she is so active that she burns everything she eats. Like immediately upon digesting it.

Some other tidbits:

: Ellie chats all day every day. Sometimes it's just gibber gabber, and other times it's new words like - boots, wind, soap, raincoat, vroom vroom vroom (when she plays cars), airplane, etc.

: The newest obsession is rain, which is a rarity in Austin. A few weeks ago, I impulsively bought her some adorable rain boots and immediately felt guilty that I bought them. It rarely rains here, and her feet grow so fast! However, we were miraculously blessed with multiple downpours since I bought the boots, and playing in the rain is Eleanor's new favorite activity (as seen below in videos). She insists on wearing her boots around the house as if she'll will the rain to come. Then, upon the first droplet hitting the ground, she screams, and runs for the door. When she gets outside, she dances/shrieks with delight/splashes/rolls in puddles. Needless to say, the rain boots purchase was one of my better investments;)

: On the flip side, Eleanor actually showed fear for the first time. She watches her "shows" on the iPad, which consist of very G-rated PBS programs. She was calmly watching the other day on the couch, when she leapt out of her seat and raced over to me on my side of the couch, clutching me as if the boogie man was coming. I looked over at the iPad screen and saw Grover and a innocent looking robot. I couldn't figure out what had happened. Then, this reaction to the robot scene repeated over and over again. We soon realized that our daughter is afraid of robots. Which we think is hilarious. The funniest part is that we think she's trying to overcome her fear because she constantly taunts herself with the very show that scares her.

For kicks, check out the super frightening clip that continually scares our daughter:

: "Helping" continues to be a big theme in our house, wiping down a surface, pretend sweeping, throwing trash away, etc. Not only does she love to be given a job, she takes a lot of pride in being our little helper.

: Hand holding has also been a big theme. Eleanor wants to hold hands whenever we walk, and if Justin's near, she wants both of her hands to be held. This came out of nowhere from our little independent daughter... pretty sure she just senses the competition in the wings;)

: With the weather being so nice here (finally!), we've spent tons of time outdoors with our neighbor friends. Audrey, our 2 1/2 year old neighbor, is such a sweet little girl. Another neighbor had her 18 month old grandson, Emerson, visiting for the week - the three of them had a ball playing together. So much so that when the other kids had to leave, Eleanor gracefully threw herself on the pavement and threw the most unnecessary tantrum. You'd think we keep her as a caged animal. Fingers crossed that she can get into a school program later this year.

: The Thomas Casa is about to get to maximum occupancy, and no, not because of the new baby. Our nanny, Laura, has decided to travel for a few months in India to volunteer for a school and teaching program abroad. While we are devastated to lose her, we are happily supporting her journey. In her absence, we are lucky enough to have Aunt Katie move in with us for 10 weeks and watch her beloved niece. The two of them are going to have so much fun together - hopefully Katie doesn't get sick of us!

Nothing like a little pant less sweeping in your rain boots.

Still pretty infatuated with stickers.

Eleanor + Audrey

Exploring in the backyard 
Justin's dream of buying and cooking Jiffy Pop came to fruition. Crazy Saturday night in our house!

Visit to a local coffee shop. Eleanor plops down, and declares "ooooOOOOOOoooo" (basically means she's delighted in whatever she sees or is doing).

Love affair with rain. That was the first and last time she wore that adorable dress because of the asphalt stains from rolling on the ground in the rain.

Our soon-to-be new house! If the rain stops, we'll pour the foundation this week. Delivery date? Oh, around the same time as our human delivery date. March Madness, for sure.

Grocery shopping is always more fun when you get a balloon.

Rain coat is a now a staple in our house. 

Justin and I went to a charity event for the Dell's Children's Museum, and as you would expect, they had a monkey in a tuxedo ready for photo ops. Justin couldn't pass this up, obviously.
Attending Laura's fundraiser for her upcoming trip. Eleanor is going to miss her best friend!

September 14, 2013

Visitors and Beach Time

We were lucky enough to have Nana come to stay with us for a few days and take care of Eleanor while our nanny, Laura, was on vacation. They had a great time and Nana managed to keep up with the little maniac. I was busy with work and prepping for our vacation, so these were the only pictures I was able to capture.

Post bath, running around like a wild animal, and managed to capture this. 
Eleanor loves being serenaded to with the Rock Chalk chant and insists that one of us wear the Jayhawk hat.

A last minute surprise - we didn't realize that Nana was on our flight to Houston (connection to Panama City and KC). Having an entire row and 3 laps for Eleanor to bound around on was a treat!

Next up, Watercolor! We rented a house for a week with The Lunds and Dreilings, and we had a great time. There wasn't much relaxing with a toddler that goes NON. STOP. Nevertheless, the scenery was beautiful, and it was nice to unplug and not work for a week. Eleanor and I caught a bit of a cold while we were there, but all things considered, the trip was a success. Eleanor was on her best behavior because 1) there was constant action 2) big kids 3) babies 4) adults constantly doting on her.

Eleanor loved the sand but didn't so much care for the ocean or the pool. She preferred the constant roaming and checking out the scene wherever we landed. That translated to me and Justin "herding" her during her waking hours. We were lucky enough to have Bama, Gampa, Uncle Nick and Aunt Jane there for a couple of days, so the extra hands on deck were helpful.

This weekend we had my cousin, Katherine, in town with her husband, Joe, and adorable 1-year-old daughter, Joslin. The little cousins had a great time together, and we got a taste of life as a family of 4 (we babysat Friday and Saturday while Joe and Katherine were at a friend's wedding festivities). Lucky us, we get to see The Shipleys in a few weeks at my cousin, Liz's (Katherine's sister), wedding in Santa Barbara. Even luckier is that we'll aunts, uncles, grandmas, great grandmas, etc as extra hands on deck. Probably a bit more relaxing than the 2 on 2 action we had this weekend while babysitting.

New happenings:

: We have a parrot on our hands! Eleanor tries to say almost everything we do, and she retains more than we ever thought possible.

: E loves being a helper now. If you give her a "job," she'll gladly help out (most of the time). See grocery unloading video below.

: We have a super snuggly daughter right now, and I can't get enough of it. Lots of unprompted hugs, kisses, and cuddles. She was never like this as an newborn or infant, so I feel I'm due for some backlog of love from her.

: On a similar note, I'm pretty sure Eleanor has a pretty good idea that something is up... That "something" being a baby on the way. She ONLY wants me to hold her, and she's super aggressive with my stomach - lots of rough housing.

: Ellie has a new obsession with counting and ABCs. While she still has a lot to learn, she does a remarkably good job for an almost 18 month old. It amazes me how much she learns each day and how nothing gets by her - she does not skip a beat.

: She's now started calling me "Mom." Huh? She'll throw out a "Mama" every now and then, but I'm sort of stunned with this shift. Don't I have a few more years of Mommy before we graduate to Mom? It's like she's already too cool for me;(

The Crew - Grant & Lucy Dreiling, Ellen & Georgia Lund, and Eleanor

Our walk to The Great Southern for breakfast before hitting up the beach. The Lund and Dreiling kiddos had never been to the beach - a fun first for all.

We rented bikes for the week, and Eleanor loved the rides.

The older kids had a glowstick party on the dark front porch... Ellen Lund showing off her goods.

Daily color time was a life saver as all kids loved partaking.

We were able to catch the 2.5 seconds that Eleanor relaxed on vacation.

E showing Gampa her prized tape.

Family beach pic before dinner at The Pizza Bar.

Frat Dads on the beach. I was up by our beach chairs, and our neighbors, 20 year old sorority girls, asked me, "Um, are your husbands frat guys?" Huh, what tipped you off, the loud music, cracked beer immediately upon arrival, a touch of arrogance?

Eleanor's first introduction to beach sand (other than when she was there at 6 months old).

Justin venturing out with Lucy and Ellen.

Beach babe.

This was about a far as she'd go in the water. Not a fan.

Sticker time.

More coloring and sticker fun.

Building sandcastles with Bama and Gampa.

Gampa burying E's feet with sand.

Thanks to Lynn, Allen, Nick, and Jane's babysitting services, the adults were able enjoy a delicious meal at Fish Out of Water. We overate and were even able to see the Watercolor Labor Day Fireworks before dinner. Great evening out!

Happy girl at the pool.

Refused to get in the pool, but dumping water onto herself wasn't a problem.

One of the few moments where she has an angelic face, rather than an ornery one.

Playing peekaboo around the corner.

Family shot in front of our house. Photo courtesy of Mr. Jeff Dreiling.

Barefoot nature walk. In all her glory.

Our adorable home for the week: 134 Mystic Cobalt. It was perfect for our needs. 

Erik with his good luck charm pre Fantasy Football Draft.

Ellen and Eleanor watching some "shows" on the iPad.

It's hard to believe it's been 3 years since I made this walk to meet Justin at the altar. Our first house built, 1 beautiful baby, our next home in the works, 2nd baby on the way. So much to be grateful for!

Justin and Jeff at dinner

Lucy and Ellie snuggling.

Cousins! Joslin and Eleanor's bathtime.
Justin/Joslin snuggle time.

Shipleys at Taco Deli doing breakfast Austin style with breakfast tacos.
Eleanor strolling her baby while Joss practices her walking skills.

"Joslin, check out my sweet library."


Playing ball in jammies.

Eleanor teaching Joss how to master the stairs. Highlight of Joslin's trip BY FAR.