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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My cup

Eleanor hasn't felt great since her immunizations yesterday. Yesterday afternoon & evening she cried a good while and then slept a lot. Today she's been content, but not quite her perky self... Until about 20 minutes ago when she just started crying. Pitiful little cries. She didn't settle down with me and I noticed the look on Drew's face that said "I need my baby", so I offered her to him.  She immediately calmed down and snuggled in to him. The look of contentment on both of their faces as they rock is making my heart throb. Really, I'm on the verge of tears at the amount of love in this room. My cup runneth over.  

The doctor said we could/should start baby food at 4 months. 4 months! I had 6 months in my head, but he said that's more typical for breastfed babies and 4 months is more typical for formula babies. (Honestly, breastfeeding is something that I was very grateful to share with Alex & Emma and have really missed with Eleanor. Since that wasn't an option this time, I have been so grateful for the formula that nourishes her body and very happy that we made it a priority to be the only ones who fed her in the first couple of months as a way to establish attachment and bond with each other. But, I digress.)  4 months is one month away! Ahh! Slow this ride down! I do know that one sign she's ready to start some baby food is an interest in what we are eating. She's showed none of that so far, until tonight when Drew swore she was eyeballing my salad. 
 I'm going to give a go at making our own baby food when the time comes. I love the idea of feeding E real, whole foods. Not footing the bill for packaged & processed baby food is also appealing.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


We took Eleanor to the doctor for a regular check up this morning. Just as we suspected... she's perfect!

At birth her weight & height were below the 5th percentile (because of the intrauterine growth restriction). Today she is nearly 3 months old and is... 
11 lb 14 oz (25th percentile)
22 1/2 inches (10-25th percentile) 
She showed off by laughing & smiling & talking to her Daddy. She showed how strong she is when on her tummy, being held up, etc. and Dr. Swindle commented on how attentive & interactive she is.  He said she is doing things now that he wouldn't expect for another month and very complimentary & encouraging of how we are doing with her. Like I said, she's perfect. We already knew that, but it's nice to hear it from a doctor.  There were two vaccinations today and that part was no fun.  Her next well check & vaccines will be at 6 months old. 
A few photos from the last couple of days... 
This face is cracking me up. 
Grocery shopping with Grandpa Whimpy
I had Alex's photos taken when she was 3 months old. One of them is hanging on the wall of the playroom and today it struck me how similar it is to the photos I took of Eleanor last week. Here's the split screen. Alex is on the top, Eleanor is on the bottom. 
They aren't the same, I don't expect them to be and would never want them to be, but sometimes it's neat to see how my daughters resemble each other. 

Monday, September 28, 2015


Have you seen the thing on Facebook where you can turn yourself into a Peanuts character? An evening last week  while relaxing on the couch... 
Me: (giggles) I'm only a little embarrassed that I just spent the last 5 minutes making a Mandy Peanuts character. (Shows Drew) 
Drew: (laughs) give it to me, ill make one for you (shows me what he pictures me as, pointing out the black & white polka dot shoes that I really would wear in real life)  
We both laugh and then Drew takes my phone back... Then reveals this, claiming it's what I look like when I wake up in the morning. 
I laughed uncontrollably because it's so true... When my crazy curly hair has taken over during the night, I haven't found my glasses yet and the only smile I can muster is a tad bit evil & 99.9% grumpy. 
Eleanor didn't come from my body, but God has given her a few traits that could have easily come from me. Unfortunately, one of them is waking up slowly and grumpily. Kyle & Misty got her a onesie from their trip to Red River. It says "I'm a Bear in the Morning" and it's all too appropriate. 
Thankfully, she cheers up once she's had some time to wake up. 
I told you I was going to make intentional excercise a priority in my life again. My first week back at it was a success and my mood is already improved. We are all three combatting allergy congestion, so sometimes I have to say no to a walk/jog around the neighborhood (despite the lovely fall temperatures) and settle for the treadmill and some Netflix. Yesterday I left Eleanor & Drew to watch football downstairs to do just that. This is what I found 45 minutes later... 
Oh, the funny faces this kid makes. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I just can't stop

The last 12 weeks (yes!  Eleanor is 12 weeks old today!) serve as evidence that I follow this baby around with my cell phone camera.  I just can't stop.  Every once in a while I pull out the good camera (not often enough) and take some better quality photos.  This little denim jumper was just the cute excuse for a photo shoot. 

 Eleanor's beautiful eyes and expressive little mouth are the reasons that the photo shoot continued for so long. 

 This girl LOVES her Daddy.  I wish I had gotten a better angle of this giant smile, but I was hiding and taking candid photos.  This is her sweet response to Drew's singing. 
 And this is what happens when she notices that Mommy has the camera out.  My, how quickly they learn. 
And just a few snap shots from my phone camera.  These tiny little shoes were in the hand-me-down box from Sophie and they fit her perfectly.  Chunky little baby in tiny little Air Jordan's.  The cuteness was more than I could handle. 

 Eleanor and I went to a few yard sales this morning and let Drew sleep in.  (We live in a much nicer area now and rich people have good yard sales.  Haha!)  We found this Bumbo seat in excellent condition and jumped on it.  She's not quite big & sturdy enough to sit in it yet, but she's close.  Also, please don't ever put your baby in a Bumbo (or any other baby contraption) sitting on the counter.  Not safe, not cool.  Drew was standing right there and that's the only reason we sat her in it to try it out.  I can't even believe she's big & strong enough to sit like this! 

 And this evening in the man cave with Daddy. 
 Playing in the baby gym. 
 This Razorback game is a real nail biter.  Confession, Drew wasn't actually sitting like this, but Eleanor keeps her hands in her mouth all the time & it was funny when Drew did it, too.  Think we can add this one to the picture of them both staring at the ceiling fan last month? 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Yeah, yeah

Yeah, yeah, I wrote once already today, but I have the opportunity to write right now and I'm going to take it.  Eleanor was a real champ and hung out in her swing while I got in some exercise on the treadmill and watched a rerun of Grey's Anatomy. 
I've let exercise fall off the priority list in the last few weeks (um, months) and I'm feeling like that could catch up with me very quickly... both mentally & physically.  Fine, it already is catching up with me.  My jeans are beginning to protest and I've had more grumpy days than I care to admit to.  Must make time for exercise.  It doesn't matter how busy I stay otherwise, intentional exercise is the key for me. Cheryl calls it "sweating on purpose" and I believe it's a must, even when, and especially when, I don't want to.  Just so that it's out in the open, I'm making a real effort to drink more water, too.  I've let that slide and replaced it with iced tea and fast food.  Not cool.  Anyone else who is struggling with this (or your own version of the never ending health quest), let me be your cheerleader.  You got this!  Pick a small change and do it.  For me it is walking and drinking water.  It's not exactly a complicated plan and it doesn't have to be.  You can always add another small change to your lifestyle along the way.  If you are like me, there will also be plenty of times that you fall off the health wagon and have to start back at the beginning.  That's okay, too.  At the risk of sounding like a Nike commercial, just do it. 

Other stuff...

I spend most of my blogging time sharing pictures of Eleanor and I will now take a minute to answer a few questions that I've been getting (since I don't share all of that stuff on here as often anymore). 

1. How's Drew's job going?  Is he still working from home? 
Drew's job is going great and he is still working form home.  He has meetings out of the house at times, but much of his job right now is spent in his home office on the computer & the phone.  He's learning a lot, making some progress for his business, building his team and enjoying the new challenges and experiences.  He hasn't been out of town since Eleanor was born, but he will be going to Toronto for a few days in the next month or so.  He will continue working from home at least until the first of the year and then he may set up an office elsewhere.  For now we are just really enjoying the flexibility that his new position and career affords him.  Even though he keeps himself on a regular work schedule, we still get to peek in and say hello or sit down to lunch together in the middle of the day and we (Drew, Eleanor & I) all really enjoy that perk. 

2. How is birth mom? 
I haven't gotten an update in a month or so.  Last I heard she was doing well and I pray daily that that continues to be the case. 

3. How's Grandpa? 
He's pretty good.  He still lives alone, has the little dog, Dash, in the house and spends much of his time fussing over him.  Kyle & I split the days of the week and take turns checking in on him.  I take him shopping at least once a week and keep up with doctor/medication stuff.  Kyle takes care of the yard and miscellaneous stuff.  It's working for now and so we will continue what we are doing as long as Grandpa is able & so desires.

4. Are you loving your new house & neighborhood?
YES!  This house went from a big new house to our home very quickly.  We love it here and aren't taking a single moment for granted.  The neighborhood is friendly, great for evening walks and it's all around lovely.  The introvert in me is having to get used to the fact that everyone is so friendly and wants to stop and chit chat, but that's a good problem to have. 

5. Is Eleanor an easy baby? 
I'll put it this way... thank you for asking if she's an "easy" baby and not a "good" baby.  Asking if someone's baby is "good" is awful, since the opposite of that would be "bad".  All babies are good, some are just more difficult to care for than others.  But to answer the questions, yes, Eleanor is a very easy baby.  She's a baby, so she has her moments and it's still work, but she is really quite an easy baby.  She's sleeping great, eats well and all seems to be on the right track. 


Remember how I told you that I recently repainted and decorated the church nursery with the funds that were given in Alex's memory when she died? Well, yesterday the new nursery was dedicated to the memory of Alex & Emma. There will now be a lovely plaque on the wall in their memory. 
Esther, Eleanor & Daniela. 
Sunday afternoon football with Daddy. 
Did I mention that NFL football on Sunday now comes in the form of 8 different games on one screen? 
I'm honestly in awe of how much E is growing. This outfit is on its last wearing thanks to her long body and wonderfully chunky thighs! 
She had a good nap with Grandpa this morning. 
And I'll leave you with the latest installment of the many faces of Eleanor. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

So much to say

Eleanor has so much to say this week! All of a sudden she's so much more vocal and so much fun to listen to. She continues to make her many faces and keep us entertained.  This face seems serious to me. 
Snuggles with mommy. 
I got my mother's ring with Eleanor's name on it. I've loved the rings with Alex & Emma's names on them for several years and I'm so happy to have added Eleanor Jewell. 
We are entering the phase of putting everything in her mouth. In this case it was my hand. 
Drew tried these and, while they do taste surprisingly like biscuits & gravy, I'm not sure we would recommend them to anyone. 
She was smiling and talking to her daddy in this one.  He's a funny guy.