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

Monday, March 27, 2017

Nonnie's House

I'm behind again and have other photos to share, but we went to Nonnie's for dinner last night and I remembered to take my camera.  I took approximately 4 million photos and I must share them.  Have I mentioned that I love my camera?  I've only just scratched the surface of what it can do, but I just love it. 
Cooper is 6 months old now and such fun.  I wanted to be sure and take Eleanor into the back yard with him so that he can get used to her, but also so she can get used to a dog that isn't used to her.  Does that make sense?  I'm afraid she's too comfortable with dogs in general because Foose & Mac are so chill & patient with her.  He really did pretty well with all of us in his space and I got a few photos of him playing.  He's so cute. 

 He loves to play fetch. 

 Drew played on these stairs in the backyard when he was little.  It's always what Eleanor wants to do when we are there. 
 Alex & Corbin
 To the front yard for some baseball.  Trying to get Eleanor & Corbin to sit down beside each other and smile for a picture is impossible, but aren't they  cute?  I mean, really.  For real. 
 Practicing the steps with mom. 
 Batting practice with their daddies.  Love. 

 Now run to first! 
 These tulips had bloomed and I just couldn't resist.  They were beautiful. 
 My heart loves a black & white photo of the people I love. 
 Jessica, Alex, Corbin & Nonnie
 Eleanor & Nonnie
 Swoon.  She's so beautiful.  I love her little quirks, like how her left eye squints a little when she smiles.  This one will be hanging on my living room wall very soon. 
 So I took all of these lovely photos, but the truth is that Eleanor was pretty much a turd the entire time we were there.  It was just one of those days.  (Side Story: when we were kids, the boys & I learned the word "turd".  Mom hated it.  It annoyed her and that was just fuel for us.  In a moment of irritation she declared, "I hate that word!  I'd rather you say "shit" than "turd".  Of course, the boys and I took that as permission to use the word "shit" freely.  It didn't last long- apparently she didn't really want us to use either word.  Ugh, grown ups.  Lol.  Some 25 years later, when I hear one word, I think of the other.)  Anyway, Eleanor had a rough afternoon of attitude and fussing.  That sucks because we have really had a great week of behavior (on her part & on mine).  Toddlers are funny little people and it seems that all the hub bub of having the entire family together doesn't bring out the best in this little one.  So when I handed my camera to Jessica and asked her take a photo of us, Eleanor protested.  Drew's pretending to have composure, Eleanor is grimacing while trying to wiggle out of my arms, and the only thing I could do was give an exaggerated fake smile.  I love all the beautiful photos, but I love this one, too, because it's #real. 
 I let Eleanor down and this was the last photo of the day.  I love this guy. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Sunday was Emma's birthday.  12 years ago she came into the world in a hurry and for 7 years she lived life like her hair was on fire.  The girl had some serious spunk.  She was awesome and I love remembering her.  (This photo was from her 5th birthday party and I chose it to share today because I feel like it just sums up her sassy personality.) 
Drew has been in Las Vegas since Sunday morning.  He's learning a lot from the conference he's attending, but we sure will be happy to see him when he gets home tomorrow night.  Eleanor is not a fan of her daddy being gone, but has really enjoyed talking to him on the phone and giving him all sorts of details about her day.  It's such fun to have these little conversations with her when she answers questions and then offers extra details.  She's this big personality in this tiny little body and watching her grow is learn is kind of awesome. 
How about a few (or a lot) of Eleanor photos? 
She's recently decided that she is no longer afraid of bubbles, but instead she LOVES and NEEDS bubbles.  More bubbles! 
 Playing in the backyard with Grandpa John on Saturday. 

 Reading books with Daddy on Saturday. 
 Saturday night date night!  I love this picture of us because it's goofy.  Instead of grumbling over my selfie taking insistence, he just leaned in and gave me a big ol' grin (which made my smile even bigger than usual).  Yep, he's a keeper.  Also, we saw Beauty & the Beast and I LOVED it!  Loved.  I'd pay to go see it again and will definitely buy it when it comes out on blu ray.  Go see it, it's great.  I even got a little teary in the beginning because I couldn't help but feel how much Alex would have loved it.  Her little heart would have been overflowing with emotion and it made me feel all the feels. 
 Eleanor has this furry cow sleeping bag in her room that she loves to do somersaults on.  Mac also loves the furry cow sleeping bag.  The other day he curled up and Eleanor lost him.  She walked right past him while yelling, "Mac! Where go?!"  Can you spot the dog? 
 She's into stacking lately.  She stacked these cheerios on top of her bread and then beamed like she'd built a sky scraper. 
On Monday morning we had a play date at Imagine with a few gals from my Bible study and their toddlers.  My introverted self is enjoying making these new friends and seeing Eleanor have such opportunities to grow & socialize.  We're in the right church for our family right now and I'm grateful.  Eleanor had fun with her new friends until she fell on the big train and bonked her head.  She was fine and recovered quickly, but the entire ride home she repeated, "Train.  Choo choo.  Bonk. Head.  Owie.  It's okay!"  She wasn't about to let me forget.  
Just so we're clear that not everything is grins and smiles. 

 Moving on... stacking blocks on Foose. 
 And then riding him.  He's really the best. 
 Play date at the park with Grandma LaGayle.  It was almost hot yesterday, but Eleanor still had a blast.  For more than an hour after we left she repeated, "Memaw!  Park!  Play!  Swing! Slide! Weee!"  I'm not sure you can consider these strings of words to be sentences, but she's definitely telling a story with her words and it's pretty cool. 

 This morning we spent the morning with two of my favorite gals and all these little ones.  (Notice the hats & coats.  Yesterday was 85 degrees, today was 50 degrees.)  Heidi & Cheryl, I do love our friendship. 
 Dale, Alan, Eleanor, Sophie, Silas 

Friday, March 17, 2017


Guess what?  We've found a cup that meets the liking of the princess!  For the last five days she's only had one bottle a day, the evening bottle that is more about snuggles than anything else.  For the rest of the day she's been drinking enough fluids from a cup.  Wahoo!  The magic cup is the Playtex Sipster (stage 3) and I'm filling it with 50 % apple juice and 50% water (so that there's not too much sugar, but it's yummy enough that she wants to drink more).  We've done lots of encouraging, but in the past even that wasn't enough.  We just keep the cup available at all times and she's finally drinking enough over the course the day.  The first couple of days we had to distract her from the desire for a bottle when the typical bottle times rolled around, but now she isn't even asking for them throughout the day.  Y'all, we are winning at parenting this week. 
File this under the category of over sharing.  If you aren't interested in reading about toddler poop problems then you should just skip ahead to the next photo.  Okay?  Okay. 
Constipation has been a serious issue for E since she turned a year old.  It's never completely fine and sometimes it is COMPLETELY terrible.  The only way we can keep her going every two or three days (and to avoid major discomfort and traumatizing moments for everyone involved) is to give her Miralax at least every other day.  The doctor was the one who told us to do this and has said that we  can continue if we need to, but I don't want to continue giving a medication for symptom control if there's a chance we can find and fix the real issue.  So, in my reading I discovered that some toddlers don't experience dairy intolerance the way we expect.  (For those who were around, you'll remember that Emma had dairy intolerance as an infant/toddler and it was an obvious issue.  Pain, cramps, gas followed by terrible diapers. That's what most of us think of when we think of lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivities.)  Apparently some toddlers experience dairy intolerance in the form of terrible constipation.  Since Eleanor's real trouble didn't start until we transitioned from formula to whole milk, we figure that it's worth a try to remove the milk from her diet and see if things get better.  It's obviously not a true allergy and she tolerated typical dairy based formula and things like cheese & yogurt before the transition to whole milk, so this is really just a trial to see if taking away the whole milk helps her tummy.  I've done my research and we've replaced the dairy milk with soy milk that is fortified with calcium and I'm making sure that she's getting the fat she needs from her normal diet.  We're only a few days in and I'm not going to give the Miralax for a few days and see how things go.  There.  Oversharing complete.  For now. 
I have some photos from my phone over the last couple of weeks that I haven't shared yet. 
Sunshine in the backyard with my girl. 
 I've been making a point to either take a walk around the neighborhood or get on the treadmill a couple of times a week.  I'm not doing anything strenuous and I was quickly reminded that jogging gives me hip & lower back pain, but just getting my heart rate up and going for a good walk is good for my heart & my head.  Ya know what?  Making sure that I get a little exercise also helps me be a better mom.  I'm more level headed and not so stressed out when I make exercise a priority.  Y'all, I've known this for years, I don't know why I let myself fall into weeks or even months at a time where I get lazy and then wonder why I feel bad.
When we walk around the neighborhood, the exercise is only half the fun.  Eleanor simply must stop for some play time at the playground.  This particular day she was content to just throw her head back and soak up the moment.  Little ones are good for reminding grown ups of moments like this, if we're willing to pay attention. 
 Play date at the park with Cheryl & Dale. 

 Stopped for lunch with this cutie on our way home that day. 
 Reading books with Daddy.  (He's more fun because his animal noises are dramatic and not 'text book'.) 
 Uh oh, the ball rolled under the ottoman. 
 Where's Foose? 
 Found him! 
 This gal loves shoes.  All shoes.  This is what happens when your heart is ready for spring, but it's still a 45 degree morning in March.  She wore them all morning. 
 Don't you all lay on the dog bed, making pretend cookies with a bowl and spoon, while wearing two different shoes? 
 Afternoon walk & some time at the playground. 
 Hogs won their first game in the NCAA tournament.  Eleanor was feeling the spirit. 
 After nap time requires new shoes.  (It's been hours and she's still wearing them.)  Like I said, we're rocking this parenting thing this week.