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Archive for the 'Eleanor Grows' Category

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Heat Wave

Last week North Carolina was hit with a major heat wave! I couldn’t believe we had to turn our air conditioner on May 1. In Chicago we would wait to the very last minute before turning it on. Usually sometime in late July when the humidity and powdery mildew set in on our garden. But I have a feeling North Carolina is another beast entirely.

My mom is in town so Nathan and I were able to run some errands together last week, too. First stop: pick up a pool for Miss Eleanor. Oh she was so happy when she saw us filling it up. As much as she hates to get her hair washed she loves swimming. I honestly have been waiting for the moment she could play in the swimming pool by herself. It’s just such a strong memory from my childhood – my brother and I frolicking around in the cool water on a hot summer southern day. I think we are going to be spending a lot of time in the back yard cooling off this year.





She looks so big!!

Birthday Planning

I’ve slowly but surely been checking things off my list. This morning I set out to finish up last minute errands for Eleanor’s birthday party tomorrow. Of course I forgot the skewers for the fruit kebabs. Next on the agenda is birthday cake baking! I’ve never baked a cake from scratch before! I know I’m shocked, too. But everyone tells me it’s easy. So here we go!

It’s coming together.
I have to say it’s been fun making time for little craft projects and her party. I can’t wait to see her face when she catches sight of the balloons. Here is a little preview of what I’ve been doing. Lucky girl!


Eleanor Grows, 11 months

Little miss Eleanor turned 11 months on Friday. Yes, time still flies. Though February seemed like a rather long one. I missed writing about her ten month milestones because we were in the middle of the big move. But I’ve tried to remember best I can.



Eleanor’s personality is shining bigger and bigger each day. She definitely knows what she likes and doesn’t like. She is quick to turn her head if a certain food is displeasing or if she is full. And she knows how to pull out the water works when things aren’t going her way. Otherwise she is content to play and explore most all day. She loves being outside, and can spend an hour taking dirt out of a pot or planting pine cones.

Her favorite places to be are wherever mama and daddy are. She struggled with separation anxiety for about two months but seems to be over it now. When she smiles it lights up the room. She loves animals including her pets Tucker and Greta. Though they don’t always tolerate her poky fingers and quick steps. Her first word at 9 and a half months was Tucker. She says “Ucka!” all day long and is always looking for him. Her second word was Greta or “Gata!” We obviously know where the love is in this household!

On Valentine’s day Eleanor took her first steps, and is now a little walking bean. She loves to go as fast as she can around the couch. Another amazing first this past month is that Ellie Belly has started sleeping up to 9 hours at night! Hallelujah! We put off sleep training for a while due to convenience but it wasn’t making for a happy baby or mama. Thankfully it only took a night or two, and she usually goes down around 8 pm and is up by 6 am (sometimes 5 am! Oh boy!) We are still trying to figure that one out. There are a few bumps in the sleep road every once in a while but for the most part it is way better for Eleanor to get a full night’s sleep.

Her favorite foods are strawberries, cottage cheese, peanut butter on toast (we gave it to her early based on our family history of no food allergies), greek yogurt, spaghetti, and water of course. This peanut does not really go for juice. I tried giving her pedialite and apple juice off and on the other day because she was sick with a stomach bug but water seemed to be what she wanted in the end. She still is not totally back to her old self since Thursday’s sickness – a bit more needy and dissatisfied – but with a little time and love she should feel better soon.



She is a pretty social baby, but I would like to get her in a few play dates or more time with her cousins in the next few months. She loves her cousins so much especially hanging out with Jacob. She gives kisses and hugs like no tomorrow. The cutest thing is when I pick her up to say hello or goodbye when I’m going off to work and she pats me on the back.


She is becoming such a little person. And slowly the baby is fading away to show a beautiful, smart girl. I am so proud of who she is and who she is becoming every day.

Eleanor walks

I’m so happy I was home to see Eleanor take her first steps. It was the night of Valentine’s day. I put her down on her feet in front of all her books and she took three tiny steps toward them. It was all over after that. This was her the day after playing outside.

If the video doesn’t show up you can see it here.

Baby Girl

I love the little girl Eleanor is becoming but sometimes I really miss this little baby bug, too.






Eleanor Grows, 9 months


Our little monkey is 9 months old! She is climbing around, swinging from daddy and cruising like a monkey, too! This past month Eleanor has perfected her crawl to the point that her left leg is always slightly bruised. She is so fast now. We got her a standing walker instead of the sitting ones and she has taken a few steps with it on her own! It’s the cutest thing to watch because she is still so tiny.

At her check-up she weighed 17 lbs and 12 ounces and was 27 inches long! She is between 25 and 50th percentile on all those charts, and has been since she was born. Almost all of her pants are too short for her (high water alert), but she has another week or so in 9 month clothing before we move on.



She loves food more than ever. Her favorite meals are breakfast and dinner. For breakfast she typically has barley cereal, banana, and cheerios. Her mid-morning snack is an apple. And then lunch is always a toss-up. Sometimes she just isn’t hungry. She has whatever we have for dinner. Recently she is loving black bean soup and veggie tacos (we just give her pieces of the sauteed vegetables and she has at it). She will forever and ever love apple sauce with cinnamon, and her other go-to snacks are Cutie oranges, pear, pickles, MumMums, sour dough bread, and cottage cheese. We still have not introduced meat to her, and I don’t plan on doing it any time soon. Her biggest love is water! This girl loves it! She drinks out of big people cups mostly, but recently we got her to take a sippy cup. She is starting to get the hang of how it works.

Eleanor is talking up a storm! Her curiosity is out of control and I think that’s what really encourages her babble. It’s so sweet to watch her whisper to her stuffed animals and toys. She says mamamama which I think is basically meant for whatever she wants. It could be me, daddy, her doll, more cheerios. Sometimes when I ask her to give me a high five, she goes, “figh!” and puts her hand up. It melts my heart to hear her repeating my sounds.


This past month she went through a big bout of separation anxiety. Man, was it rough! She has always been such an independent, easy going baby so to have her suddenly be so needy was hard on all of us. It was a lesson in patience. Slowly but surely she has started to come back out of her shell though. Just past Sunday Nathan’s uncle was in town and after a half hour Eleanor was crawling up to him, grabbing his ring, giving him toys. Eleanor also got a nice long visit from her Uncle Drew for Christmas! They had a lot of fun together even if she was occasionally confused by the “other bearded man” in the house.

She truly is a breath of fresh air.




Toughening Up

Tough skin. When it comes to Eleanor I don’t have it. When she hurts herself I get physically angry. Since she has become mobile I have had to try so hard to maintain control of my emotions. Well, really my reactions. Love her to death but my mom used to turn an ant hill into a mole hill with us as kids. A skinned knee meant gain green or a simple walk meant we would trip and fall. And I am afraid that I worry incessantly because of that.

Today was Eleanor’s 9 month checkup. Besides all the normal wonderful accolades that she is right on track she had to have a lead screening test. It’s a requirement if you live in the state of Illinois because of the high traces of lead in many homes. We live in an old home – 1890 to be exact. So while I hadn’t thought of it before when I heard she was getting screened today my head started spinning. One thumb prick. No tears. We wait. It’s hot and Eleanor is tired. Her levels are elevated the nurse says so thumb prick number two occurs. We wait. It gets hotter. The doctor returns. There are elevetated levels of lead present in her blood. So now she has to have her blood drawn intravenously. And, now we wait again. I’m hoping it’s a mistake, but knowing the house we live in and all of recent things we discovered while recently attempting to buy it (it obviously did not work out) I’m sure it isn’t a mistake. Good news is Lead poisoning is treatable.

But my god does my heart hurt waiting.
I’m hoping with each bruise, sad day at school, bad grade, skinned knee, and scar my skin will get tougher for her. I want to be strong for her.




I hope your Christmas was merry and bright. I decided to push past this monster cold and back ache to thoroughly enjoy mine! It made my entire day seeing Eleanor’s face light up when I put her down in front of the tree. She knew something special was going on. She looked back at me and then reached for the Raggedy Ann doll that Santa brought her!

It was a nice, relaxing day full of Santa surprises. But best of all it was spent with my new little family.







Eleanor Grows, 8 months

Eleanor, 8 months

I’m late by a week on this, but Eleanor doesn’t care. She just keeps growing. This past month was huge for her. Not only did she get another visit from her Mammie, but she celebrated a lot of first’s as well.

First multiple baby play date
Saw her first snowfall
Celebrated her first Thanksgiving
Spent longer than an hour away from her daddy and myself – we got an overnight date while my mom was in town!
Ate lots of new foods (not pureed)- lentil soup, banana, plum, peas, sweet potatoes

Eleanor, 8 months

The biggest one of course is that she started to crawl! She is speedy as a bullet now. Eleanor loves being on the move. She has always enjoyed standing, and also gets a kick out of standing and cruising around furniture on her own. She gets so excited by her accomplishments that the same week she started to crawl she also began clapping. I love seeing the amazement on her face.

She’s been teething all month, and this past week 4 of her top teeth sprouted through! Oh my! She is pretty content this week, though they tend to hurt more at night. She loves rubbing the top ones against her bottom teeth which results in this awful nails-on-chalkboard sound. The week of Thanksgiving she got her first cold. She was such a trooper though.

Eleanor, 8 months

This little lady is such a wonder. I love watching her grow. In a week’s time she becomes a more independent girl. I can only imagine the person she will be. She is smart, calm, and curious. Her eyes get so big and bright when she is concentrating. She loves to fall asleep to daddy beat boxing. This has been the case since she was a few weeks old. It is difficult for her to sleep at night. She tends wakes up 45 minutes after she goes down for the first few hours. I’ve been reading a lot about sleep associations to figure out why she doesn’t yet know how to get herself back to sleep after the first sleep cycle. I’m really hoping we can figure it out this next month.

Happy 8 months baby girl!
All in a day's work

Eleanor Grows, 7 months


Another big month! Is there ever a month that isn’t these days? Eleanor is growing at lightning speed. This month she started eating solids multiple times a day. Her favorites are peas, carrots, apple slices, and bananas. But she has also had sweet potatoes, green beans, avocado, apricots, apple sauce, tangelo, Cheerio’s, and of course Mum Mum’s! She loves to eat, but is easily distracted by the dog and the cat. Eleanor loves to drink water out of her own cup at meal times, and she sits in her own high chair! She loves her vantage point from the high chair. I imagine she thinks she owns the world from way up there. I’ve stopped worrying about having enough milk – that was just silly now that I look back on it. When I stopped worrying about it I always had enough milk pumped and ready for her.


Eleanor is such a chatter box and Nathan and I love hearing what new sound she is making. This week it’s “ne ne ne” but she can say mama and make all those ba, ga, da sounds, too. When she gets excited she loves to yell out and when she is sad you are walking away she does the same thing! Her attachment to Nathan and I are definitely growing, and she will watch us as we leave the room to make sure we aren’t going too far.

Our little girl is one strong lady. While she can do an army crawl using her head (you’d have to see it to understand) we think she might just bypass crawling to walking. She must be standing at all times. She doesn’t like to lay down or sit. Just last week she discovered how to sit up on her own from laying down and then stand up from there. Oh boy! Yesterday I caught her in the play pen with one hand against the mesh to hold herself up, and then no hands! She stood for a couple of seconds before plopping down. My mom and I both were in shock! I can’t believe we are already to such a mobile point in her childhood. She loves to walk around the walls of her playpen holding on to the sides.



She’s still a little peanut at about 16 1/2 pounds but is growing right along. People always comment on her size. Once a lady said to us, “I thought that was a doll! Ohmygod!” It’s funny how much she looks like my baby dolls from when I was a kid. We just love her so much!

She loves reading books with Daddy because he reads to her with a Scottish accent, pulling on his beard, and sitting on his lap in the morning to watch the birds in the yard. Eleanor also loves her excersaucer, blocks, fruit in the mesh bag, her baby doll, chewing on her pointer finger, bath time, sleeping with mommy and daddy, playing in the leaves, going for walks in the stroller, falling asleep in the car seat, playing peek-a-boo, and hearing mommy sing the A, B, C’s.

She really is a very patient baby. Our love grows for her every day.