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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Showered with Love

Our lovely church family threw us a baby shower after church today. We are so grateful for the love these people have shown to us for so many years and for welcoming Eleanor with such love & excitement. Also, I'm quite happy to havereceived  so many diapers! 
Eleanor with her firework cake 
Lots and lots of presents! 
Had to show off her bloomers, as they are really the only reason to wear this dress :-) 
It was a great party and we feel so loved. 
Eleanor is exhausted from all the attention and has made it clear that I am to sit here and hold her while she takes an afternoon nap. I'm happy to oblige. 
A few more photos from the last few days...
Last night I handed a drowsy Eleanor to her daddy while I went to get ready for bed. I came back to a wide awake Eleanor watching football with her daddy. 
These could quite possibly be the cutest pajamas ever. Or, I should say, my daughter is the absolute cutest in these awesome pajamas. I'm wishing I had taken a better picture to share. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Blah

Blah seems like a strange thing to be when I have this in my life... 
Even so, I'm feeling blah. I'm quite certain it's been instigated by the home study. On Tuesday evening the social worker had lots and lots of questions about Alex & Emma's disease and so we spent a lot of time talking about medical stuff, PKAN and the death of our children. That just plain old sucks. Sucks. We talk about and think of Alex and Emma every day in our home, but we talk about them as our girls and not as PKAN patients. I didn't like having to drudge through all of that again. I went to Siloam for my dear friend Heidi's baby shower on Wednesday afternoon and that was harder than I expected. It was at Friendship, where Alex & Emma received their therapy for so long. It didn't occur to me that that would be emotional, but fresh on the heels of the first home study visit, it was. Of course I'm glad that I went because I got to introduce Eleanor to many people who knew and loved Alex & Emma and because I love Heidi so much.  (It probably would have been a little less flustering for me if Eleanor could have refrained from pooping twice in the one hour that we were there!) Still, I'm a little blah. 
As we continue meeting the requirements of the home study process, Drew & I went for wellness visits at the doctor yesterday. Good news: we are healthy and the doctor happily wrote us each a note to that effect. Bad news: when the doctor asked if I had any concerns, I asked him about two small spots on my face. Much to my dismay, I was correct in thinking that they were age spots. They aren't dangerous, but I'm 35 and I have age spots caused not just by age but by the sun. Dear young ones, I know you love the sun. I do to. So very much. I don't have any intention of living under a shade for the rest of my life, but I surely would recommend sunscreen. Just do it. Wear the sunscreen.  
While I'm feeling a bit off my game, this girl is still wooing me and making me smile. Look at her all kicked back and relaxed in my lap. 
And really, these cheeks are just begging to be squished. Being the mom, I can squish them whenever I please. It's just one perk. 
And finally, to the elderly couple that stopped me in Walmart on Wednesday... Thank you.  They went on and on about how beautiful Eleanor was, how comfy & content she looked in the K'tan carrier (which is a life saver and most valuable accessory so far) and then the woman said, "she reminds me of an Anne Geddes baby, all wrapped up and looking like a flower." It may have been off the wall, but it made my day.  It made me so happy that I took a selfie on the sly while in Walmart. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Giggles

Eleanor has been smiling for a few weeks now, but she's doing it more often and has even added in a few giggles in the last couple of days. It's intoxicating and makes my heart happy.  
Yesterday we had the first of our home study visits. We have plenty to do in the next week, including wellness visits for me & Drew, notarizing documents, background checks, gathering our letters of reference, and making a list of our income & monthly bills. Then we have another 2 hour visit with the social worker in two weeks to answer even more really personal questions. Since we aren't done with it all just yet, I'll refrain from sharing too much about the process. I will say that it's strange and I don't like it. We are jumping through hoops to prove to a stranger that we should get to be Eleanor's forever parents and that requires what I consider to be over sharing... over sharing of information that shouldn't really be anyone else's business, much less a stranger's business. It does feel violating and I feel squirmy having my every word and action under a microscope for another to judge.  Even more, I can't help but think of all the millions of people in the world who are casually reproducing, could never pass the scrutiny of a home study, still get to take their babies home, and just keep making more. 
All that being said, we are just trying to make sure we properly do all that is required of us and respect that the process is in place to protect the best interests of children being adopted. We aren't worried, but we are anxious to have it completed. 
A family selfie while we waited for the social worker to show up yesterday.  I'm not sure if Eleanor was smiling at me or the ceiling fan, but let's pretend it was me :-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

This girl

Oh, this girl. She's full of smiles for her daddy these days. He just walks into the room and says something to her and she breaks out in smiles and cute noises. 
I have a long mirror that I lay on the floor so she can see herself sometimes. She's likes that baby in the mirror. 
Drew's Aunt Paula grows beautiful flowers and often takes photos of them. She had several framed for us and I'm so happy with how my dining room has come together with them hanging on the wall. 
Drew had a business dinner last night, so Eleanor and I took a walk on our own. The weather has been so lovely and our neighborhood is so great that there's really no excuse to not take an evening walk. 
 When Drew got home... 
Me: when we went for our walk, I saw our neighbor riding her bike, a dad pushing a stroller while walking his dog, and another mom pushing a stroller. 
Drew: did you talk to them? 
Me: I said hello. 
Drew: that was very extrovert of you. 
Me: I know, it was exhausting. 


Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday

There was a lot of this on Friday and Saturday. A lot. 
I finally decided I couldn't stay home with a crying baby another moment, so I put her in the car and went to see Grandpa.  We have a routine Monday through Thursday. We get up and around in the morning, go check on Grandpa for a while and then run our own errands. We didn't do that on Friday and it's possible she was missing that routine. Proof... 
Happy and content to hang with Grandpa Whimpy. 
Funny faces... 
Snuggles with Daddy... 
Naked baby, looking chubbier :-) 
This face cracks me up! 
Sunday before church... 
And I even snuck a pic of Mollie holding Eleanor during church. Shh... Don't tell on me. 
And with Braeden... 
Sunday afternoon nap time with this sweet girl. 
Fresh from her evening bath... 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thursday

Just a few pics to get you by... 
Stacey came up earlier this week for a quick visit and to meet Eleanor. 
After church on Sunday, I declared that I needed Mexican food and so we went out to eat for the first time since Eleanor arrived. Misty showed off her multi-tasking skills by holding the baby while eating.  Check out what a big girl E is while sitting with Kyle. 
Last night Daddy & Eleanor played with her new toy. 
And a few from today... 
She looks to be in deep thought... 
Gnawing on her yummy fingers... 
These cheeks! I just can't get enough! 
Drew will be helping Kyle to coach Braeden's baseball team this fall. He is excited to help, but I think we can publicly call Kyle out on the "few little questions" that he said Drew would have to answer online to become qualified with the league. Drew sat down at the computer more than 2 hours ago and just now finished all the questions and took the test. I was so ready for him to be done (once you start you have to finish) that when he was done I made him print out and hold up the certificate. He argued, then he humored me and gave me a goofy smile for a picture. He has a great sense of humor & is a great sport and that just might be his best qualification of all. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Salon


Today I took Eleanor to the salon for the first time. The appointment was for me, of course, but she went along and did so great. I was worried because last night was quite fussy, but today was great. 
I put a bow on her, just for Kendra, but E wasn't a fan. Her facial expressions were hilarious. 
Doesn't it look like Eleanor is giving Kendra the evil eye?! It's like she's thinking, "this is your fault." 
This is the look I get when my daughter sees me with straight (and slightly darker) hair. 
We stopped and saw Cheryl before heading home. 
I'm so proud of how she did today and now I'm happy to be home and snuggled with my girl. 
I'll leave you with this. Foose loves his little girl so much that even being outside can't keep him from checking on her when she's upset. This is what I found when Eleanor started crying in the MamaRoo yesterday evening.