Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Girly Girl

I know Eleanor is only almost 15 months old but it is so, so sweet to see her budding personality. While we do see things like her gaining independence and being a little stubborn at times--which are all things I know are normal at this age--a few funny things have appeared over the past few months. She loves  to put on skirts and dresses even if just for wandering around the house. I found some dresses in her closet in bigger sizes that had been bought awhile back on sale and was pulling them a little closer to the front and looking at them and she kept trying to pull them on over her head. So on they went and she, quite literally, pranced around, holding out the sides just like a little girly, girl.
She also likes to pose.

Her grandparents gave her a Stella doll for her first Christmas and she has always, well for as long as possible, been a little interested but over the past couple of weeks her interest has turned into a slight obsession. She even says her name. Ls and all! It is seriously so cute. She carries her around, wraps her up, rocks her and my mom had some hand-me-down doll accessories--a stroller and carrier--at her house with no doll so we brought them to our house and low and behold Eleanor now puts Stella in her stroller and pushes her around. 

I totally know that this is all normal for girls and babies but it is just so heart-melting to see it for myself and see the developments of her attachment and interest in certain things. It is interesting too because while I had my fair share of time playing with Barbies, I wouldn't classify myself as a girly, girl. Never wearing a lot of skirts, dresses or even make up in the later years. My best friend has always joked with me that Eleanor could be my complete opposite and just love all these things. I think that would be fun and a new adventure for me. I would never want to discourage any creative interests for her. Being a mom is fun and hopefully I am rubbing off some of my good traits for her care-taking of Stella! ;)

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's Me Again

I have a friend who had her baby almost exactly 6 months ahead of when I did. It was nice to chat with her about things, relate to things she was experiencing a little bit before me and then when I got to that point even be able to have her go back and say, "oh yes, that happened to me/us too."

I distinctly remember her telling me that she did not feel "normal" until her baby was about six months old. I kept holding onto that through those hard, grueling, tiresome first few months. All the way up until six months. I didn't feel it. I still wasn't normal. I held out a few more months and then I brought it up to her. She replied with well, yes, I thought it was true but it wasn't until about nine months.

I kept holding out. There would be better days than others. However, I still wasn't myself. I would complain about it. I knew it. I knew I was crazy, emotional, hormonal and overwhelmed, I just didn't know what to do about it.

Fast forward again to Eleanor's birthday party and my friend and I were talking again. Oh, Allyce, she said, you really don't feel like yourself again until about 15 months old. 15 months?! Well, that was a far cry from her original 6 month mark and then her 9 month mark. But I laughed and agreed and scolded her for giving me these false hopes. Not really but we did laugh.

The other night we got together, our four couples of friends, without kids and her and I were chatting again. We were talking about her friend who is now in those early months with a three month old and she was telling her that it is all just really weird. A weird time, weird experiences, feeling weird and all that.

We had a great day as a family yesterday complete with a family nap, a walk and a good dinner. I was joking around being my quirky self and Ben was laughing. I turned to him and said, "Hey, isn't this the Allyce you like?" and he replied with, "Ya, she just took a break for awhile and gave all her goodness to her," and pointed down to Eleanor. I totally took that as a compliment.

Over this past year plus I have given my all to Eleanor. It has left little to no time for myself. And what I wasn't giving to Eleanor I was trying to give to my husband. I finally am getting to the point where I feel like I am back. So, these bench marks of when we feel normal again as mothers are different for everyone and for some it is just a new normal to get used to. I also feel like it is easier now that Eleanor is to the point where she can be a little more independent playing while I make dinner or able to quietly ride in her stroller while I run. I also don't feel a panic come over when I do leave her for a few hours or even overnight. All of this is okay and I know it is a good balance to be a mom but also to be me and be a wife.

Will I do everything the exact same with a second baby? I can't say. I will always be a mom that does what feels right for us at the time. Have I learned a few things on this first go around? Well, you betcha. I have also learned that it is okay if I am not doing the exact same thing as every other mother out there. Eleanor is my baby and I am her mother. That's really all that matters even if it did take me almost 15 months to get back to that quirky self of mine.

Go ahead and link up with Becky to share what's on your heart today.

Friday, February 15, 2013

What's in Yo' Fridge Link Up


So, Holly is so awesome that she comes up with super cool link-ups on Fridays like a tell all of what's in our fridge. What better way to make friends than to take a peek in their fridge?!

Anyway, I decided to play along and do a nice lil' reveal. As you can see, apparently our fridge light is like a spotlight.
Some necessities that we always have in stock are: eggs, milk or coconut milk, yogurt, cheese, condiments and fresh produce. We are a condiment family. Ben's side of the family is especially. My family mostly just appreciates a good jar of may. Or food lube as my dad calls it. I know. So we always have salad dressings, asian sauces, sandwich condiments, bbq sauce, ketchup, those sorts of things.

Fresh produce now includes our organic produce home delivery. How much more hippie/confused yuppie can we get?! Well, we are trying it out to see if the cost, convenience, and quality all make sense. Our first delivery was yesterday so that is why there are so many fruits and veggies in there. And no the bottom left is not just full of oranges. There are also pears and apples. And the right drawer isn't just carrots. There is celery, cucumber, peppers, fennel and cauliflower all thanks to our delivery. So far, I like it.

Some randoms that I will buy usually just depend on what's on sale. I see a jar of sun-dried tomatoes down there. That casserole dish is some leftover spinach from the other night. Our pork for our fajitas is in there on the bottom marinating. The big bowl in the middle is leftover salad that we will finish up tonight.

So that's that. Go ahead and play along!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The In-Betweens

I seriously love the age Eleanor is right now. She understands so much, she is getting so much better at expressing herself and what she wants. She is interested in everything and always learning.

The issue I am having is that sometimes I think she is bored. We play with her toys, roam around, she loves to help with chores like the dishwasher and "folding" and putting away laundry. We eat our meals. We try to go outside for walks as much as possible. But I want to make sure I am challenging her or teaching her as much as I can. I feel like a lot of the activities I come up with or can think of are just a little too "old" for her. Baking, putting pipe cleaners in the colander, sorting craft pom poms. I don't want to wish her older, I just wish I could come up with activities that are age appropriate  I mean, I know she is a 14 1/2 month old with little to no attention span but there has to be a few things.

We have found that she loves stickers. So that keeps her attention for a bit. And the girl loves books. I mean like big, puffy, heart lovin'. Books, over and and over. Which I love.

All this aside, Eleanor and I are in a really good place right now. It's not to say that I haven't loved other ages up until now, I just think that some of the previous challenges are starting to fade and my confidence as a mom continues to grow. I find that things I used to stress and agonize over are becoming less of a big deal as time goes on. I try really hard to go with the flow a little more. I think that was kind of an oxymoron. She really is such a good girl. She is happy most of the time. When she isn't I can usually figure out why. Minus the damn teeth! Those little buggers, seriously, come out of no where or take forever, for the love, to come in!

Again, we are really looking forward to nicer weather because I think E will want to live outside. Just like her mama.

Any ideas on good or fun activities for an almost 15 month old are very welcome!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hey, Hey...

...It's Friday!

Another week gone by. Some days seem never ending and then all of a sudden here we are meeting with another weekend. Today feels like a good day. We have been having a rough bit of sleep this week because I think little Miss is getting a molar. Or two. Whoever really knows?!

I always do feel just a bit more chipper when the sun is peeking out which it did yesterday afternoon, today and is predicted for the next couple of days. So nice. I just can't stop thinking about how much fun it will be once the nice weather is more frequent for Eleanor to be outside. She loves it outside and I think she is going to be such a fun age for summer this year. Camping, swimming, the zoo, long walks...gahhh, hurry up summer!

Let's not get to far ahead of ourselves. This weekend we are headed out on Saturday night to celebrate a friend's birthday. We are leaving a bit early so Ben and I can have some alone time before we meet up with the group. The month of January is filled with a lot of work hours for him so we are a bit over due on some time out together.

I am already beginning to think about our garden this year and what we will be planting. We tried starts last year and they didn't really work any better than just putting seeds into the ground when the time is right so I think we will just do that. I also didn't do many flowers on account of not having a functioning brain due to lack of sleep so hopefully I can plant some more flowers this year. That will be another fun thing to do with E babe.

I am also trying to decide if I want to forge into some toddler groups for E. I think it would be fun to get her around some more toddlers however, the only hesitation I am having is that the flu is rampant around here right now! I know I can't keep her cooped up all the time, but when there are high-risk situations, i.e. a group full of germ-y kids, I feel I should keep her away. Maybe we should hold out a couple more months until the sickness dies down a bit.

I also wanted to say thank you to Holly for the mention in her post today. I think it is so nice to have those special girls that we connect with and relate to. She reached 1000 followers which is amazing because just a year ago she was lingering around the number of followers I have. I love reading her blog and staying in touch.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

{Kind of} Wordless Wednesday

Some Most days...
I can't believe she's mine.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The First One is Always the Hardest, Right?

Okay, yes I am probably beating a dead horse but I do feel that accountability from others helps immensely when working out and trying to get fit. Or eating right. Or even trying to quit a bad habit.

So I'm going to talk about it.

I am hoping to do the Color Run in May with a group of girls and, I know, if I had all the time in the world and could run whenever I wanted I would have no problem achieving that goal. However, I have a little shadow in the form of a 30" tall 14 month old that can sometimes put a damper on the workout front. I want to stop letting that be an excuse. I told my brother I wanted to do this and he asked what my goal is. I want to run the whole time. I know run can be a loose term but I just don't want to, at any point, feel like I am walking. So, then they told me about this run at the end of April that you get a doughnut at the finish. Well, I looove me some doughnuts! I may look into that one as well.

Anyhow. He sent me my workout today and I strapped E into the Bob, told her to be a good little running partner and she was. Me, however, I was a kind of embarrassing running partner. I was huffing and puffing and barely lifting my legs because they felt like they weighed about ten pounds each! Mind you, I am down pretty far in weight but I am out. of. shape. The bro sent me a walk/run 20 minute workout which I picture to be similar to what the C25k is. So it was good, I completed it. I just felt like I was going to die.

Mind you all. I don't know if a 45 degree, damp day, pushing my 22 lb. babe was probably the best idea. Oh well, I figure it can't get much more challenging from there, right?!

I am happy to have started the road. It could be a long road. But that's okay. I'll get there. I think for awhile I was using every excuse in the book to not work out. I'm tired. I have no time. I'm always nursing. I have no time. I'll probably get pregnant again this year so what's the use in getting in shape if I'm going to gain weight again?

Well. While all of those excuses comforted me for about a year I finally realized, OH WELL! So what if I'm tired, working out or a little exercise gives me a little more energy and helps me sleep better at night. Time? Give me 20 minutes and I can accomplish some sort of body movement. I am still nursing but only at bedtime so that has helped in that area. And pregnancy?! Pshhh, if I do, I do and then I'll be one step ahead in a healthy pregnancy!

So there we have it. Day 1 of the road to a 5K for this mama.