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

Monday, February 27, 2017


Eleanor has been sickly for the last week.  She ran a low fever for a day or two and has just been sickly in the days since.  Snotting, fussing, whining, coughing.  More snotting and fussing.  I'm so over it.  Hey cold/sinus/virus/junk, don't let the door hit ya on the way out.  Bye Felicia. 
Foose drives me crazy some days, but he's awesome with Eleanor and that makes up for it all.  Best dog ever.  A snap shot. 
 A grainy video (if you're reading from a computer and not your phone)
Day one of sickness.  I was dressed and ready for Bible Study.  Eleanor drank an entire bottle, gagged and threw it all back up.  No fun. 
 Holding Daddy's hand, because Daddy can fix things that Mommy just can't. 
 At some point I got tired of hearing the fussy baby scream to go outside, so I put her in the Ergo and we walked around the back yard and searched the sky for airplanes. 

I don't even know what day this was.  The days are running together. One minute she wants to be snuggled...
 ...the next minute she's howling to play in the grass. She didn't have a fever and we can't sit inside and get on each other's nerves forever, so I let her go outside.  Sickly baby thinks she feels well enough to play.  Sickly baby winds up passed out in the grass with no energy to get back up.  Mommy takes a photo before scooping her up.  (And, of course, sickly baby throws wild, screaming fit over being taken back inside.) 
For days  I've been trying to sneak her favorite blanket from her long enough to wash it.  The blanket in her lap used to serve as an acceptable temporary substitute for her favorite blanket (clutched in her right hand).  That is no longer the case.  I'm going to have to get creative because the favorite blanket has been sleeping with the snotty baby for days and it's disgusting.  (Shout out to Jan for making said favorite blanket when Eleanor was just a baby.) 
 I used to hold her while she napped quite often, but that never happens anymore.  The only good thing about a slightly sickly baby is this.  Sleeping baby snuggles. 
 Since there hadn't been fever in a couple of days and Eleanor adores her sitter (who knew the sickly scenario), Drew & I kept our date night.  Lord knows I needed that date night! 
Sunday morning snuggles with Daddy. 
In all seriousness, this snotty sickness has been zero fun and is making my already sassy & opinionated toddler a complete terror.  I don't even know what to do with her.  Her attitude is dialed all the way up and I'm using all the grown up self control I possess just to keep my cool and not throw my own tantrum.  It's exhausting and I can only hope that once she starts feeling better that she will calm back down a bit.  Jesus take the wheel.  Also, be careful, because there's probably snot on the wheel.  

Monday, February 20, 2017


Guess what we picked up this weekend? 

 We are so excited about our new camper!  We looked and came super close to buying one last year and then decided to wait another year.  I had my eye on one particular brand, so we drove to Claremore, OK a couple of weeks ago to look.  We ultimately decided on this R-Pod by Forest River, went back on Saturday to pick it up, and I think we're going to love it.  It's just the perfect size for our little family of three. 

It seems like in the 'old days' that when our families wanted to go camping, we just packed up and went camping.  (Granted, I was just a kid and not involved in the planning, but I'm pretty sure my parents didn't sit down in February and plan our entire summer of camping.)  No matter, it's 2017 and apparently that's how it works these days.  Good news: online reservations make is easy to plan.  Bad news: online reservations make it easy for everyone else to plan, too.  We've got our first long weekend planned for the beginning of March and we're getting recommendations and mapping out where we want to go over the next few months.  So exciting!!!
Once we got the camper settled, we went to Nonnie's for a quick dinner and to visit Aunt Becky & Martin who were in town for the weekend. 
Eleanor's first piano lesson? 
 Tea party with Aunt Jessica. 
 Cooper is growing so much! 
 Playing mobile tea party.  "Here Corbin, have a bite." 
 Hugs for Aunt Jessica. 
Before church on Sunday.  
The reason we have to lock the dead bolts.  Girl can open doors.  
Eleanor is doing much better in her toddler class at church.  Yesterday there was only slight hesitation and no crying when we left her.  I think that having two hours there on Wednesdays is helping and I know it's good for both of us.  We'll keep doing what we're doing for this semester, the summer we'll have off, and in the fall she will most likely do two days a week of Mother's Day Out.  I'm both excited and anxious about that, so we'll just not talk about it for now.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017


The ribs that I made on Monday were fantastic.  I'm not going to win any awards for my food photography, but they were definitely worth sharing.  Falling off the bone tender and great flavor.  The recipe is a bit vague, but it's still one I'll hold on to.  HERE it is if you're interested. 
 Today Eleanor had her slightly belated 18 month well child  check up.  She was not impressed in the slightest.  In the waiting room she was excited to see toys, but insisted on licking things.  Once I told her not to lick things, she HAD to lick everything.  We never have to wait long at our clinic, but today we were 15 minutes early and the doctor was 20 minutes behind.  It was the longest 35 minutes of waiting room licking that I've ever experienced.  Ah, toddlers.  If there were sick germs to be picked up in that waiting room, I feel certain that Eleanor thoroughly ingested them. 
No sooner than the nurse called us back, Eleanor lost her sh*t.  No more happy, sassy, toy licking toddler.  Nope.  Freaking out, screaming, "OWIE!" toddler arrived in full force.  She cried through being measured and weighed and when the nurse left she started slapping her thigh and saying, "owie!"  repeatedly.  Y'all, she can't possibly have memories of previous vaccinations, could she?  It's been months since her last shot.  She was insistent, though, and was not about to be comforted by me.  So I took a picture.  Poor, ornery, unhappy Eleanor. 
She weighs 23.7 pounds (50th percentile) and is 31 inches tall (10th percentile).  That keeps her exactly on the same curve of the growth chart that she's been on and is perfectly healthy. 
 "I'm leaving.  I'm not staying here.  You can't stop me.  (screams) Also, could you open this door for me? The handle seems to be a bit high." 
 Dr. Swindle was lovely, as always.  He was patient and accommodating to Eleanor (and me, too).  He apologized for our wait (it really wasn't that long) and then said he had seen Eleanor playing and talking in the waiting room and that she was really doing well.  (Side note: I'm super glad I didn't lose my cool with the crazy toddler baby in the waiting room since doctor eyes were apparently watching.)  Physically, she's healthy.  She was a late walker, but you can't tell it now.  She's doing all she's supposed to be doing physically and she's ahead of the game in vocabulary, cognition, and temperament.  I could have told you that.  He tried to comfort me (Eleanor had me a little frazzled) by assuring me that this stranger danger and panicky protest of the last two months is completely normal toddler behavior.  Eleanor was so kind as to elaborately demonstrate her sass, attitude, vocal abilities, and displeasure over everything.  Sweet Dr. Swindle said multiple times that it seems she is just getting a head start on being a two year old and it's totally normal.  They must teach pediatricians not to use the phrase "Terrible Twos" in front of weary mommas of 19 month old diva children.  Then he left, the nurse came in, and Eleanor got two vaccinations.  I felt guilty over this since she had been slapping her thigh and telling me "owie" since we arrived and all I could say was, "It's okay."  She's been sure to remind me of her owie multiple times in the hours since.  This post-vaccination expression on my child's face is one of irritation, discomfort, and distrust.  I'm making a frowny face to show my solidarity. 
As long as we're on the subject of early Terrible Twos... Eleanor is becoming more and more difficult to distract.  If she wants it, she's going to do her best to NOT LET IT GO.  We've been so spoiled by the warm temperatures lately and lots of playing outside.  Eleanor points outside and says, "Grass!" when she wants to go outside, which is ALL THE TIME.  She thinks that if we're putting her jacket on that she is about to go out and play.  (Side note: "Grass" does not mean just any old grass.  It specifically means back yard grass.  Don't mess that up or the backlash is noteworthy.)  On Tuesday it was raining and 40 degrees.  That didn't stop Eleanor from absolutely insisting on going outside.  This went on for hours.  HOURS.  I finally decided that the best way to end the issue was to let her go outside and feel how cold and wet it was.  I put her boots and jacket on and sat her on the back porch.  She stood there for a few minutes saying, "Uh Oh!" because the concrete was wet and I knew for sure that I had won the battle. 
 Then she ventured out into the actual rain and I was certain that she was about to call out for me to rescue her from the cold, dreary, wet, nastiness of the back yard. 
 Then she took off across the yard with squeals of delight and I knew my plan had backfired completely. 

 I had to haul her inside, dry her hair, and snuggle her to warm up.  The rest of the evening wasn't fun, but we survived.  Just to demonstrate her ability to hang on to the thing she really wants... photos from the next day over the exact same issue.  "Grass!"

A few more, just to show that she's not always a screaming, irrational, insistent toddler.  Sometimes she's just cute and sweet and cute some more. 

Monday, February 13, 2017


Ever have one of those days where you feel like you're pretty much winning at life?  I'm having one today.  When Eleanor starts the day off in a good mood, that helps things tremendously.   Right after breakfast I braised short ribs, mixed up a new sauce, and put it all in the crock pot for dinner tonight (keep an eye out on my report on this new recipe).  Eleanor & I played in the back yard for a good while and she's finally found the courage to go down the slide without holding on to anything.  (If memory serves me, you won't be able to watch this video on your phone, you'll have to do it on a computer.)  At the end of the video she's shaking her finger and saying, "One more time!" 
We cleaned out and organized the pantry & fridge.  Eleanor excels at sorting recyclables (cough, cough). 
Eleanor often gets apple or pear juice in a bottle once a day to help keep her hydrated & to keep 'things' moving.  She always has a sippy cup of water available to her throughout the day, but seldom does she do more than sip on it and toss it in the floor.  Today I flipped the cards.  I gave her a straw cup of apple juice with her lunch.  She took a sip, realized what it was and said, "Juice!"  As she ate her turkey and cheese, she drank from the cup and by the time lunch was done she had downed 6 ounces!  Y'all, that is a big deal!  After lunch she was walking through the kitchen and asked for a bottle.  It normally would be bottle time so I didn't argue, but this time I just filled the bottle with tap water.  She crawled up in my lap, took a swig of that water, spit the nipple out and said, "Juice?"  We negotiated, she lost, she decided she'd rather not have the bottle at all and moved on to better things without much fuss.  I had read about doing this months ago, but when I tried it she didn't seem to care what was in the bottle.  At that point she wanted the bottle and snuggles, but maybe we have reached a point where it's more about what is in the bottle.   Is this a breakthrough?  It's too soon to say, but I'll keep you posted.  Also, say a prayer for me, because if she really does let go of the bottle completely then I sure am going to miss my baby snuggles. 
Because every part of a good day can't be a win... I decided to season our long neglected cast iron skillets in preparation for camping season.  I watched a how to video, followed the instructions, and a short 30 minutes later... my living room was filling with smoke and I was scrambling to turn on fans and open windows before the smoke alarm went off.  I obviously did something wrong.  Oops. 
A few other photos from the weekend.  Play date with Corbin at Imagine in Johnson.  It was a fun place and we'll surely make plans to go back sometime soon. 

 And oh, this beautiful weather.  It makes everybody feel sunny and smiley. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017


The weather was stunningly beautiful today.  While I have some other photos to share from our playdate this morning, I have to reserve this post for the photos I took with my new camera as we played in the back yard this afternoon & evening.  Oh my.  This day was just full of beauty.