"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


I've got some photos from the big camera over the last week or two.  I love that technology has granted us all the opportunity to whip out our phones and snap pictures of all the cute things our kids do, but I'm oh so grateful for the big camera and the memories it captures. 
Where's your tongue? 
 Soon she'll figure out that she can walk and push this thing instead of just stand behind it. 
 See my bird feeder hanging from the tree?  The squirrel proof bird feeder?  See the squirrel hanging from it?  It was a good run.  I got it for my birthday in April and the squirrels have just now figured out how to get to it. 
 My sweet baby loving on her baby doll. 
Momma made enchiladas for dinner.  Eleanor prefered the beans & sour cream over everything else.  
 So did Foose. 
Eleanor says 'football' (actually & understandably says it) and she and Daddy have been excitedly preparing for football season. 

 From tonight.  I can't stop looking at these photos.  My. Heart. Is. Melting. Melting. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ninja Surfer

It's been a busy week, but it's been a good week. 
Have to make time for this girl to play outside. She still loves the swing, but really wants to play on the big toy & slide this week (which she can't do alone, so that means mom &/or dad have to play, too.) FYI, chubby baby thighs slide down easier while wearing leggings.  
Happy baby, squinting from the sunshine. 
Toes in the grass 💜
Playing with Kendra while Momma's hair color processes. 
Drew had a boss from Toronto in town one day and I made dinner for us that evening. That's sometimes hard to do when home alone with a baby, but we made it work thanks to the Moby wrap... and made time for plenty of selfies. 
So you can see how well this wrap thing works, even on a 20lb 13 month old. 
Front porch sitting. 
Sometimes a good, long, snuggly, Friday afternoon nap on Momma is the only answer. 
New baby doll from Grandma LaGayle & Ken. 
Beautiful night at the ballpark watching the Arkansas Naturals play. 
We tried a new church this morning and loved it. Drew & I loved the worship service and Eleanor LOVED her classroom. The classrooms for little ones are decided by development instead of age, so she was with other littles that are sitting, crawling, and pulling up, but not quite walking. There were 8 other kiddos in her class and three women caring for them. Eleanor went straight in without the slightest hesitation and had a blast. After worship we went to pick her up and she was standing up with a huge smile on her face. She saw us in the doorway and gave us a big wave and "HI"!! She was happy to be there and happy to see us again. One of the teachers said, "She talks so much!" Yes, yes, she has a lot to say. I don't think she has a shyness problem. Lol 
Did I mention how cute she is today? 
So this new church felt like a really good fit for all three of us and we are planning to give it another go next week. I've had a couple of special people give me some much needed encouragement in the past week and that means a lot. We are super excited for what God has ahead for us. 
Also, guess who is standing up on her own now? I mean... middle of the room, nothing to hold on to, watch me balance like a ninja surfer - standing up. 
She really loves her dogs. Poor Mac, he has no space that is all his own, but he loves her back. 

Monday, August 15, 2016


Woo pig sooie! 
Eleanor keeps getting in trouble for giving her food to Foose. She throws it on the ground or hangs her hand over the side of her chair and he comes and gets it.  He's so gentle and that makes it a tiny bit harder to get mad. I've finally started putting the dogs outside while she's eating, but the definite sign that she's done eating is when she starts throwing her food on the floor. It makes me crazy, she thinks it's funny. 
Just being silly. 
Tantrums happen. 
Good times playing in the backyard this weekend. This swing is the best $5 I ever spent at a yard sale. 
Olympic watching snuggles with Daddy. 
Stair climbing practice with Daddy. 
After months of unspoken concern and even more months of talking and prayer, Drew & I have decided to explore some other churches in our area. It's a SUPER difficult decision that is not being made lightly. We have had the same church home & family for 13 years. They've loved us through so much and that is not forgotten. We aren't anxious to leave that, but we are very much missing having a peer group in church.  Friends aren't everything, but Christian fellowship with other parents our age, and just as importantly- children Eleanor's age, is vital. We've tried a few new 
churches recently and have a few others we want to try. We haven't made any decisions and it's possible that we may decide that our home church is where God needs us to stay, but right now we feel like God is leading us to step out of our comfort zone and seek Him in different ways. Right now we have both agreed that we have to be willing to let God do the leading and be okay with not knowing the answer yet. We've shared this with a few people. Some have been supportive and encouraging, some have not. That makes it even harder and requires more faith on our part. We are both hopeful that we can maintain the relationships with our long times church family, no matter what the future holds. 

Hey God, we trust that you've got this. 

Yesterday we tried a church much larger than we are accustomed to. It was very different, but there were many people our age in attendance and we loved the children's program. While we went to worship, Eleanor was in a classroom with 7 other one year olds. She had a snack, played with other children her age, listened to a Bible story, and came home with a card about that story. We loved that and Eleanor seemed to as well.  
Also, my kid was really cute in her church outfit. Look how big she is. Y'all, she's growing up and we desperately want to be sure that we are teaching her and exposing her to all she needs & deserves. 

Monday, August 8, 2016


Drew and I have been looking forward to the Olympics all summer. We parked our bums on the couch Friday evening for the opening ceremonies and spent a good portion of the weekend watching all kinds of events. 
Drew is fairly convinced that he could compete in fencing and says it doesn't look "that hard". Neither of us can make any sense out of Judo.  As I am for every Summer Olympics, I am consistently distracted by the skimpy uniforms of the male swimmers & divers and the female beach volleyball players. Mad props to their athletic ability and my apologies for staring at their bodies. But really, how do those tiny pieces of fabric keep all the bits & pieces covered during competition? I can't understand. 
Table tennis is no joke and definitely not the ping pong I remember from my childhood. Heck, I even sort of like watching Olympic soccer and I'm not a soccer fan. Eleanor is especially interested in water polo. Swimming pool and a ball? Win. Win. She just points at the television and says, "ball!" and makes excited noises. I have a hard time concentrating on the game because I think their hats are funny looking. I'm very mature like that. 
Gymnastics, though. Amazing. Men and women. Thier strength and balance is unbelievable.  Women, though. It's always what I look forward to the most. I find myself all tense and anxious for these girls. Yesterday evening Drew and I spent some serious time considering how we will juggle our life when Eleanor is training to be an Olympic gymnast. 

Me: but what will we do if the best trainer lives across the country? Will we uproot our entire lives for her success or tell her no, rob her of her destiny, and live with her resentment for the rest of our lives? 
Drew: she'll be so good that the trainer will come to her. 
Me: excellent point. 

To ease our anxiety over Eleanor's Olympic future, Drew demonstrated a few of his own gymnastic moves. I laughed so hard I almost choked on my food. Really, y'all, the Olympics are the best. Drew left this morning for a few days of work in Toronto, so we've been texting our Olympics commentary all evening. We are hilarious. You're all missing out. 
Other than Olympics... Eleanor has been super fussy. Don't know what the problem is, but it's not a great time. 
Much of today was like this. Don't let her shirt fool you. She did not love hugs. She didn't like anything most of the day. 
...Until it was almost bedtime and she was happy to tear all the paper towels off the roll, use the roll as a megaphone and then make imaginary snow angels on the kitchen floor. Kids are weird. 
From the last week...
In the dog bed with Mac. 
Reading with Daddy and Foose. 
We had to take Mac to the vet last week. His eyes have been goopy & nasty for a while and I finally decided what I was doing wasn't helping and we needed help. Turns out that he has dry eye. It's a common breed problem and most often shows up in middle age. He's an 8 year old Shih Tzu, so that makes sense. It doesn't sound bad until you realize he has little tear production in one eye and NO tear production in the other. It doesn't ever go away and if left untreated he will go blind (he already has some minor damage to his cornea from it). Two options: 1) put him on a $60+ a month prescription drop or 2) put artificial tears in his eyes multiple times a day for the rest of his life. I chose the artificial tears for now and we will only resort to the prescription if we absolutely have to. Good news, since starting him on the artificial tear ointment his eyes are 100% better. Thank goodness. 
Eleanor was mad in this picture because the dogs wanted my attention, too. It's a tough life when your siblings are dogs. Lol 
They follow Eleanor everywhere. They even hang out in the bathroom while I'm giving her a bath. (Heck, they're probably just enjoying a bit of a break!) 
Eleanor loves to sit on this little train, but she can't get on it by herself because it's a tad bit too tall. She finally figured out that if she pushes it over then she can climb on top of it. She wasn't sure what to do once she got there, but she was pretty happy with herself for getting that far.  (Drew just held his hand out so she wouldn't fall face first.)  She's obviously a future Olympian. 
Here's hoping that Eleanor is in a better mood tomorrow because her grumpiness is harshing my happy Olympic watching vibe. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

13 Months

I can't help it.  The monthly stickers only go through 12 months, but this girl is still growing and changing and learning like crazy and I can't stand to not document it all!  This month seems to have had all kinds of fun new things!  13 Months looks good on this girl! 
She stands up everywhere and is beginning to let go for longer moments.  She claps and cheers when she thinks something is good.  She raises her arms and says "Woo" to call the Hogs! 
She still has fussy moments, but the crazy screaming for no good reason seems to have passed for now.  Maybe it's because we're doing something right, or maybe it's because I was listening to parenting audio books in the car and she's just been paying attention.  Lol.  But seriously, somebody knock on wood, lest she start back with the crazy screaming.
She loves to take a bath, needs to know where her dogs are at all times, has 4 teeth on top & 4 on bottom, waves & says "hi!" to everyone she sees, and can eat her weight in watermelon. 
The biggest change is her vocabulary.  She talks SO much!  Sure, she babbles like any baby, but she also has real words that you can understand.  I'm amazed at her every day. 
Eleanor's words that can be understood without context:
  • Daddy
  • Momma
  • Hi
  • Uh Oh
  • Night Night
  • Dog
  • Woof Woof
  • Ball
  • Balloon (Babboo)
  • Bottle (Baba)
  • Elmo (MoMo)
  • Baby
  • Stay (she holds her finger out and says "STAY!" to the dogs and it's hilarious)
  • Eye
  • Yay!
  • Banana (Nana)
Words that can be understood in context:
  • Grandpa
  • Kayla
  • Stairs
  • Pillow
  • Flower
  • Dance
  • Tongue
With prompting she's even put two words together on several occasions, repeating "Hey Boys" and "Good Dogs" more than once.  Drew and I just stopped and stared at each other because she said it so clearly.  When she stands up in the bath tub I put her back on her bottom and say, "Sit down."  Now she stands up, looks at me and says, "Sit down."  I'm not sure what she thinks it means because she doesn't actually sit when she says it!  She has even more words that she repeats and is working on.  Honestly, it's amazing. Watch your mouth around this one, she could very well repeat what you've said... good or bad! 
She is happy to show you her tongue, head, eyes, and belly button on command.  Sometimes she  can also show you her nose, teeth, ear, and toes.  Be warned, if you ask about her belly button first then the game is over.  She can't possibly concentrate on any other body part once you've mentioned her belly button! 
She's so curious and friendly.  Really, what a joy she is!