Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Somethings Just Make You Smile

This past week and a half has really been a memorable one. The weekend before Thanksgiving we got to celebrate with two friends from college as they got married. They have been together for over seven years, everyone has known they would get married for awhile and it was so fun to be a part of the huge celebration. It was just one of those weddings that every feels good about, is happy to be a part of and was just overflowing with love and joy for the couple. It was also so fun to get to see so many college friends that we don't get to see near enough.

We took Eleanor to the wedding for the first couple of hours and then it was close enough that my parents came and picked her up before her dinner time, fed her dinner, took her to our house and put her to bed. We stayed for a few more hours and had a great time dancing and visiting. Eleanor must have known that mom and dad were out a little late because she didn't wake up until 745am! Unheard of! We got a slow start, Ben worked at home for a little while and then we headed over to my parents' to celebrate my brother's 25th birthday. A friend of his that was like a little brother to  me came up and we got to meet his almost 9 month old son and visit with him and his wife. It was really nice to see old friends that we hadn't seen in awhile.

Starting mid-week, we spent a lot of time over at my parents' house because they were hosting Thanksgiving so E and I went over to keep my mom company on Tuesday and then again Wednesday afternoon. My dad was off work Wednesday and Ben came our when he got off work. We had a throw together dinner since they were preparing for Thursday but it was just a nice relaxing evening.

Thursday we spent a nice morning at our house, slept in a little, had breakfast, Skyped with our Texas fam and then headed to my parents' after E's morning nap. My parents tried something a little different this year for the bird which actually consisted of three birds; turkey, duck and chicken. Yep, that's right, a turducken. We spent the rest of the day there, my brother and his girlfriend came, my grandparents and my great grandma. It was a nice dinner, relaxing day and we went home full and happy.

Friday we were home some of the day, ran some errands and then came home and made a good dinner. I did start to get out some decorations that day but it sure is quite a bit harder to whip it all out with a baby running around!

Saturday Ben headed over to my great grandma's with my dad and brother to put up her Christmas lights and I put E down for her morning nap and then we all met over at my parents' so the guys could brew some beer, we played with E and I ended up making some gumbo.

Ben worked for awhile Sunday morning and then we spent the rest of the day finishing up Christmas decorations, lights and relaxing before the holiday was over.

I know none of this sounds out of the normal or not like any super special events took place. It was just a week full of things to be thankful for. People, family, friends, warmth, good food and relaxation. It was a "good for the soul" kind of weekend and it actually was kind of calming rather than stressful like sometimes holidays can be. It felt like a great kick-off to E's first holiday season as not a newborn!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Yes, I Know How to Wash Nice Jeans

A few months back, Ben, Eleanor and I headed to the mall to get a birthday gift for Eleanor's friend who was turning one. Well, of course, Ben mentioned he needed some new, brown work shoes. Wouldn't you just know that Nordstrom had the men's half yearly sale going on? Perfect timing.

My logic on work clothes, nice clothes, etc. is that if I am going to buy them, I want nice things that will last. I don't mind spending a little extra on clothes that last so when we can hit up the sales at stores like Nordstrom for these types of clothes, it is perfection.

We head over to the shoe section, he quickly picks them out since he knew what he wanted and while we were at it, I told him he should just get a new pair of casual/dress shoes since they were on sale too. After some grumbling, he agreed so we walked out of the area with two pairs of shoes for Ben.

Since we were in the area, I suggested we go look at jeans. Let me bring you up to speed on Ben's jean situation. He basically wears Wranglers (from Target) and his "nice" pair to wear to work on casual Fridays was, I believe, Calvin Kleins from Costco. I had been bugging him for awhile that his Friday jeans were not up to par, didn't fit right and it was time for a new pair. Ben is a public accountant and audits for a pretty big, well-known company and I told him he can't be going in there looking like a 12 year-old anymore!

He rolls his eyes at me a lot.

So we head over to the men's section. We are quickly approached by a sales associate as we are looking through piles of jeans. We tell him what we are looking for and he shows Ben his jeans and asks if that is what he is looking for. "No, mister sales man, by husband who is wearing boots, wranglers and a t-shirt from his brother's basketball tournament is not looking to wear dark male skinny jeans with weird seams down the sides!" Ben, politely re-explained what he was looking for with a couple chime-ins from me and the guy pulled a few pairs and we went to try them on.

Ben picked a pair, realized what he has been missing--aka, a pair of jeans that actually fit and look like a grown-up-- and we went on our merry way.

Ok, this was all back in June. He basically wears them to work every Friday, comes home, hangs them in the closet and repeat the next week. Well, last weekend I realized, and yes I can't believe it took this long, that they had never been washed! In 5 months! What kind of wife am I? So I tell him I'm washing them.

"No you're not," he tells me, "You don't know how to wash those kind of jeans."
I laugh and tell him I do and that they are going in the wash.
"Do NOT dry them!"
"Ben, I won't." 

Although, he did have a fair point here because I will put things in the wash, have a couple things I don't want to dry then shove it all in the dryer because I am in a hurry and have ruined some clothes along the way with this method. Again, he did have a fair point of making his no dry policy clear. However, I am aware of the method of washing nice denim so it doesn't get ruined.

Basically Ben, just because I am not up on all the latest trends lately, I do still have a few tricks up my sleeve and one of them is making sure your prized jeans are not dried. Except, they did go in the dryer. To get fluffed after hanging to dry.

Pretty sure they are still in tact for next Friday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turkey Day Link-Up


Well, well, no secrets here, I LOVE me some Thanksgiving. I love that it is basically focused on family, relaxing and food! I like that it isn't as stressful as Christmas what with giving gifts and such and more focused on the things I mentioned above. I am excited about it being Eleanor's first Thanksgiving and I think she will  have a great time testing all the food. She has had a lot of it before but some may be new, so that will be fun. It has also been really fun to remember back to this time last year and how much anticipation we had to meet our little girl and she came one week later!

I decided to link-up with lil' Miss Holly today for a short questionnaire about the fun holiday.

1. What do you look forward to more: the food, football or parades?
Obviously, I look forward to the food the most. I love a good feast and it is such a fun day, grazing on snacks, sampling bits of the dishes before they go on the table and then the all-out feast we are blessed to enjoy!

2. What is your favorite non-traditional Thanksgiving Day dish?
My favorite non-traditional dish? Hm, that's a tough one but I may have to say it was my melting leeks that I made a couple of years ago. I loved them and haven't made them since! So silly, I know. Sauteed leeks with cream, seasonings and topped with a crunchy, bread crumb-parmesean crust were a nice side dish. Maybe I will try them again this year. I do love all the traditional foods though!

3. After dinner, is it football or a nap?
I'm sure football will be on, and I will glance at it every once and awhile. I would love a good full-belly nap and maybe, just maybe, I could sneak off and catch a 30-minute cat-nap.

4. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Which is your favorite float?
I would say I like to have it on in the background but I am not glued to the television. I think I like the idea of it more than actually watching it. I think it is kind of a kick off to the holiday season so I like what it represents but probably would never go to it in person and don't have the attention span to watch the whole thing on TV.

5. Where do you go to celebrate and eat your big meal? Who is there (family, friends)?
For our first couple years we were married we actually hosted and it was really fun. I really enjoyed putting the meal on but last year since I was 9+ months pregnant, I figured I could take the year off and this year, my mom is hosting so we will go there, relax, help out and enjoy the meal in their cozy house with my brother, his girlfriend, my grandparents, great-grandma.

6. What is your favorite turkey day dessert?
My favorite dessert on Thanksgiving has to be pecan pie. I just love it. There are so many dishes we eat on Thanksgiving that we always say, "Why don't we make this more often?" and I think, for me, pecan pie is one of those. It is so easy, so delicious and I just think I should make it more often. I will definitely be enjoying some of that goodness in a couple of days!

Thanks for the link-up girls, now go ahead and take a minute to go link and talk about how your day may pan out!

Friday, November 16, 2012

11 Months

Dear Eleanor,

This past month flew by. So much so that I am writing this post just a short two weeks from your first birthday! Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's remember this month because it has been so fun and so full of excitement as far as you are concerned.

Your personality shines more and more everyday. You are happy, talkative, determined and yes, sometimes stubborn. You seem so inquisitive and curious which your dad and I love to watch. Watching you try to figure things out is like watching every little gear in your brain hard at work and it is so amusing. You are showing when you get frustrated also if something isn't going quite your way.

We tried to teach you the "more" sign starting a couple months ago and you picked up on it quickly although your sign is more squeezing your hands together. It helps cut down on whining when you want something so I guess we accomplished our goal. You have kind of taken it a step further and it has kind of become your sign for nursing, "yes," please, and more. I guess we will work on that.

You talk all the time when you are awake. Jabbering, blabbering, babbling and I love it. You are mimicking our inflections on sentences and such and it is so cute. We think we can also pick out some "words" such as:

night night (nigh nigh)
yes/ya (dis, da)
juice (jis)
dad (dada)
mama (mama)
no (na)

It seems as though you use all these at the correct times so I think they have proper meaning behind them. Also, you can sometimes make a cow noise. We ask what does a cow say, or show you a cow and sometimes you will just moan or we have to do it first and you mimic. Not all the time but when you do it's cute!

On your 11 month birthday, I would say, is the day you started walking. It was the first day I saw you take steps, unprompted on your own accord. Now, two weeks later, you usually choose walking over crawling, your balance is better everyday and you can turn and such. Love it.

Your sleep has improved tremendously. We tried to move your bedtime back with DST and then again a little bit more so our evenings weren't so rushed and Dad got to spend a little bit more time with you. So at night, you are usually going down between 8-830 and we actually had a couple of nights where you slept until 7am! What?! I know, crazy. But usually, you still wake between 5-6am, nurse and go back until about 730. You are still usually taking two naps a day, morning and late afternoon. I should say you still should be taking two naps, the afternoon can be hit or miss, still. We can definitely tell when you don't take it!

You continue to love food. You are such a good eater and for that we are so thankful. Over the past two weeks we have started offering you watered down juice and coconut milk. You seem to like both and it seems you like the coconut milk more everytime you have it. We have tried working in a snack time in the mid-late afternoons to cut down on that nursing session which you have been taking to pretty well. We are nursing about three times a day now, there have been a couple two times and a couple four times but seems to be mostly three.

Over the past month, you stayed with your grandparents for extended periods of time, about 8 hours, we missed a bedtime with you and did wonderfully and you continue to gain independence. It's hard for me to grasp but I know it's a good thing!

You love to explore, as well. You will toddle into the next room by yourself, you love to look in the cupboards and pull everything out, you point at everything and love watching the birds fly around outside. You also love riding in the shopping cart. It is new-ish to you since we don't go shopping too often and for a long time I was putting you in the Ergo. You feel like such a big girl in the seat and love to look around. I know this stage before you want to be down walking on your own is probably short-lived so I am soaking it up while I can.

I just can't say enough how fun this past month has been. You are learning everyday, I am so thankful I get to be right by your side to watch and learn along with you.

We love you so, so much, sweet girl and count ourselves lucky everyday to be your mom and dad.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Busy Bees

The next few weekends it feels like we are jam-packed with plans.

Sometimes I feel like we never do anything and then all of a sudden it is the total opposite and there is no end in sight.

Tomorrow I have a bridal shower for a good friend and then Ben and I are going to a brewery's anniversary party. After that we have been invited to a friend's house to hang out in the evening.

With all these plans comes some juggling with the babe. I still don't really leave her except for a couple hours here and there with my mom to run to the store or be home to get a couple chores done, uninterrupted. Over these next few weeks I think there are some events that will require a few more hours than normal.

I know, I know. It's good and I need to start and breakaway at some point but that doesn't make it any easier on my mama heart. We are sllllooowwly starting the weaning process. {Unexpected, yes and basically a whole 'nother post in itself.} So she is definitely going longer stretches between nursing sessions and eating table food really well. I think it is just a hard thing to grasp. That she is okay for that long without me. You get so used to the routine of basically being needed by this little human all the time and then all of a sudden that need starts to slow down. She is becoming more independent, plays on her own here and there, can find me in the house on her own. It is all so exciting yet bittersweet at the same time.

Tomorrow will require being away for a minimum of 5-6 hours. That would be the longest I have been away from her. Even when I say it, it sounds a little crazy! But, it has been what has been right for us. So I will leave mid-morning, attend the shower, meet up with Ben for the afternoon and then we will head home. She will most likely have lunch and an afternoon snack and maybe some coconut milk with my parents. I will come home, she will be happy and well-taken care of.

Oh you don't need to be reassured by all this? I do? Ohh, okay, got it.

Anyway, next weekend's events will require us to be away for bedtime. We were away for bedtime, kind of, once. Once in 11 months. We did the whole dinner, bath and I nursed her, and she went down soon after we left. This time, we will be leaving late afternoon and won't be back until about 10:30pm.

This instance is a little more stressful for me but I know I just need to do it and she will be fine.

We are four weeks away from the big one year birthday and I think my heart is having a hard time adjusting to this new stage.

Yes it is exhausting to be needed all of the time, but I am her mom. That's what I'm here for and what I am used to. I know the next stage is so fun as well but with this first year coming quickly to a close and these new experiences approaching, I feel like I am entitled to some sentimental time as well.

All that said, I am excited to leave her in very capable hands and get to get out, visit with some friends, have fun and feel like a normal human. I mean, I will admit to being a little socially awkward these days, but hey, friends should understand right?!

What are you up to this weekend?