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

Sunday, May 29, 2016


As of the 27th, Drew is now as old as I am.  He says he will never be as old as I am, but if we are going by the simple answer to, "How old are you?", we are both now 36 years old.  But who's counting?  He also happens to share his birthday with a pretty special 4 year old.  Yep, Casey & Sasha's little girl is now 4 and, from what I hear, Princess Tessa had a wonderful birthday getting her hair cut  & nails painted like a big girl.  Time flies. 

Grandma LaGayle came over for some play time this past week. 
 Drew took me out to eat barbeque one evening last week and Eleanor was being loud (imagine that)!), so we gave her a lemon.  These were the faces after her first taste...

 Then she put it back in her mouth for another taste (and again and again). 
 I don't know why I have so many pictures of her eating.  I just think she's cute.  She's eating pretty much all table food now and feeding herself whenever possible.  She's just that grown up.  Y'all, she'll be 11 months old on Saturday.  How is that possible? 
 We went to get Drew's eyes checked on Friday so he could get new lenses in his glasses and Eleanor was really struggling to be quiet.  The high ceilings of the mall make everything echo and that's just too good to pass up.  Look at her face as Drew tells her, "Shh".  She cracks me up.  She's just bursting to let out a good squeal. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Daddies are magic. Eleanor's Daddy is, anyway. Remember her refusal to even try the sippy cup? I offer it daily and she throws it over the side of the high chair daily. Yesterday at dinner I filled her cup with apple juice, but instead of handing it straight to her to throw on the floor, I gave it to Drew and said, "Hey Daddy, I made you this apple juice!" He took it without skipping a beat, actually took a sip and made yummy noises before asking Eleanor if she would like some. I'll be darned if she didn't pick it up with a smile and spend the next 10 minutes happily working on sipping. He's magic. 
Building block towers with Daddy. 
We took a walk this evening and made a stop at the playground to swing & slide a while. 
The wavy slide. Let's be real, I was just thankful to find that my bum fit. 
Know what? Wavy slides are less wavy and more bumpy. I laughed so hard. 
"The twisty slide? Really mom? Are you sure this is a good idea?" 
Twisty slides are complicated. We did it, but I think Eleanor was less than impressed. Also, Drew said, "I think you're smothering her." For the record, I wasn't. 
I really love how Eleanor is looking at me in this picture. I'd like to think that she's thinking, "these people are a little kooky, but they sure do love me."  If she grows up believing that then we will have done our jobs. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Banana Pudding

"Hey, Mom, did you know these drawers have stuff in them?!"
 The latest development on the eating front... must feed herself.  Mom wants to feed me with a spoon?  Nope.  Mom wants to put bites of food into my mouth for me?  Not gonna happen.  She must do it by herself this week, so that pretty much means that baby food is over.  I don't know if she'll willingly eat baby food in the future (which figures, since I just bought $15 worth), but for now she's "little miss do-it-myself" (which my mom will find fitting since I've always been that way, too).  So, independent feeding can be messy.  She's actually pretty great at it, but some things just can't be done properly without a bit of mess.  For instance, banana pudding.  It's safe to say she's a fan.  She'll lick the spoon clean, but hasn't figured out to dip the spoon back into the food for more.  So, she holds the spoon in one hand and eats fistfuls of pudding with the other.  Yum. 
 This girl.  She thinks it so funny to stick her tongue out and make raspberry noises.  Spit flies and it makes a silly noise and she will do it until her face is red and she's running out of breath. 

 In more grown up news... we are continuing our quest to becomes wine drinkers.  Please note: we did not drink all of this wine by ourselves.  We had help :) We did try it all though. 
 First up, this red wine blend.  The guy at the store thought I might like it.  He was wrong.  Two thumbs down. 
Next up, Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon.  Ehh, it was okay.  I wouldn't buy it again.  
The real winner so far is this.  I had my doubts when it was suggested, but it is by far my favorite that we've tried up to this point.  It is Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon and I'm a fan.  Two thumbs up.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Teething is cruel.  It turns the sweetest & happiest of babies into irrational & angry babies.  Those irrational & angry babies make for tired & grumpy mommas.  Well, at my house, anyway.  Until the last week or so, Eleanor was in a good routine of going to sleep about 7:30pm & sleeping a solid 12-13 hours.  I was really liking the whole "sleeping til 8:30am" thing.  Not anymore.  I think all of this crawling has her overly exhausted and many evenings we are just trying to make it until 7 so we can give her a bottle & put her to bed.  And then she wakes up at 6am and wants to stay awake.  Gone are the days of laying her in our bed in the mornings and snuggling up for another hour of sleep.  Now it's more like holding her down & praying that she might actually go back to sleep while keeping your eyes closed tight to protect from pokey little baby fingers that are way more curious than they are sleepy.  The last two days have been particularly grumpy and now a new bottom tooth is starting to break through.  Ah, good ol' teeth.  This morning she was up at 5:30am.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm a tad bit grumpy when I'm tired & sleepy?  And that I'm not a morning person?  It's true.  All that being said, we've got a generally happy, always inquisitive, into everything 10 month old who pretty well calls the shots around here. 
I finally painted Eleanor's toenails for the first time & she's quite impressed.  She points them out several times a day & wants to see my toes, too. 

 My garden is coming along. Zucchini, squash, and cucumbers are growing nicely. 
 Both tomato plants are growing well, but I'm not so sure about the two okra plants.  Once is growing, one is not.  We'll see. 
 Getting in a workout on the treadmill is a bit more complicated now than it was a month ago.  She's all over the place, so I just keep the door to the bonus room shut and keep an eye on her. 

 Thank goodness for this gate that keeps her away from the treadmill.  Also, it's funny to watch her try to chew her way through the bars :-)  "Hey mom, whatcha doing?" 
 This morning she & Grandpa had a dance off in the living room. 
 She pulls up to her knees on her own and if she finds that she's a bit too far away from whatever she's pulling up on, she will walk her knees up to get closer.  She's not quite pulled to her feet on her own yet, but she's quite happy to stand there for extended periods of time if you put her there.  Also, the leg rolls that show through her leggings are squishy & cute. 
 Minutes later she was back to crying for no particular reason.  Good times (insert sarcasm here). 
 And a few other pictures from the good camera. 

 Reading bedtime books with Daddy. 

 If Drew isn't in the room with us, she just assumes he's in his office.  And now she can crawl in there to see for sure.  I even took her in there so she could see he wasn't in there, but no sooner that I shut the doors to his office & carried her into the other room, she crawled back to the doors to look again.  Somebody likes her daddy. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Seriously, though

I'm making a better effort to keep my good  camera handy and not just rely on my cell phone for pictures of Eleanor.  Because, you guys, this kid is awesome.  I mean, really.  And her eyes.  Seriously, though.  For real. 
Everyday life is that much more beautiful when captured with the proper lens, and I don't want to forget any of this. 
I'm trying to make the sippy cup regularly available to her now in the hopes that she will decide it's a great idea when the time comes to let go of the bottle.  As of right now, she likes to hold it upside down and chew on the bottom of the cup and then throw it over the side of the high chair.  She's now crawling all over the house like a pro and yesterday she made her way to the back door to look at the dogs (and found the sippy cup from lunch). 

 Bath time. 

 Nutrigrain bar.  It's what's for lunch. 

 I've been making an effort to incorporate some basic baby sign language into our daily routine (thanks Pam).  So far the most useful is the sign for "all done". 

I don't know why I'm so surprised that she has picked up on it so quickly.  It's so much better than screaming and loosing her  cool when she decides she's done eating and has no other way to tell me.  Here she is today, telling me she's "all done". 
And, because the big camera can't be toted everywhere, a few cell phone pictures... 
Eleanor & Grandpa.  I'm not sure that I have a single photo of these two where he is looking at the camera, because he just can't seem to take his eyes off of her. 
Grandpa usually only gets out of the house once a week when I take him grocery shopping.  Even then, he usually complains about it a little bit and definitely turns down any offers to go anywhere else.  Today I figured I'd take a chance on a beautiful day and so I asked him if he wanted to go to a flea market with me.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when he said yes.  We were gone less than an hour and we didn't buy a single thing, but we had fun. 
We are really enjoying our back porch and I had purchased some patio lights to hang back there.  Drew did it for me on Sunday with no more than my instructions that they should be swooped around and relaxed, NOT perfectly straight like Christmas lights.  I think it killed him a little (he's an organizational maniac), but he did  a great job and we enjoyed sitting on the back porch together that evening after Eleanor was in bed.  Isn't it lovely?
And yes, those are wine glasses on the table.  For those who have asked about our wine drinking venture, here's what we've tried so far.  
  • Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, 2013
  • Simi, Alexander Valley, Sonoma county, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013
  • Love Noir, Pinot Noir, 2014
  • Willamette Valley Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Whole Cluster, 2015
We've enjoyed trying each of these.  We've stayed below $20 a bottle for now because, well, wine can get expensive & we don't know what we're doing yet.  I would probably say that my favorite so far has been the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.  It is fruitier (I think the pros call it "more fruit forward") and I like that.  Pinot Noir is also lighter than the Cabernet Sauvignon and so far I prefer that.  My advice to anyone else who is interested in trying wine... the food you eat with it really does matter.  I have much to learn in that department, but I'm working on it.