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Monthly Archive for November, 2011

Winter blues

The Praire

The time change and weather change have left me feeling funkier than usual. I don’t tend to stay in moods very long, but I haven’t been able to snap out of this one as fast as I would like. I wonder how I will make it through this winter without going crazy. I don’t know why this winter is any more difficult to survive than any other winter. I actually love winter. The snow, the crisp air, the twinkle of lights through people’s windows, the warmth of the oven, slipping on snow boots, and holding a hot mug of cocoa with both hands. But there is a heaviness to my days.

Eleanor and I took a long walk today. It was cold and drizzling, but I was trying to be proactive. I was going to beat the anxiety of the grey sky before it reared it’s ugly head. And, it worked. So more long walks are on my agenda.

Now if it would only snow.

Eleanor is under the weather herself. Her first cold! Her spirits are high even if her nose is runny. It’s amazing how resilient kids are! Every day I am amazed by her. She is changing so much. When she was an itty baby I would hold her out in my arms to dote on her after she would nurse. I would just stare and stare and stare at this sleeping angel face doll in my hands. I would tell myself to remember this moment. Remember how tiny her head is, her hands. Remember her chest slowly rising and falling. I catch myself looking at her now. She will be 8 months on Friday and she already looks like such a kid. I tell myself to remember this moment. Remember how happy she gets when she sees me walk in the room. Remember how proud she is of herself when she pulls up on her own to the couch. Remember her squeals of delight and her cries of want.

We had a nice Thanksgiving with friends. My plans to see my dad in Tennessee did not work out. But with Eleanor getting sick it was probably for the better. Now on to December – Christmas tunes, a tree, and traditions! I can’t wait! I’m obsessed with traditions. We didn’t have too many as a kid other than we always had an advent calendar, decorated the tree as a family, and opened one gift on Christmas eve. What are some of your traditions? I don’t think you need much to make it special.


Eleanor started crawling yesterday. She’s been working her way up to it, but has officially figured it out. Well, the one-legged crawl. I am calling it a scuttle. She banged her head 3 times yesterday. Oh boy.

All in a day's work

This lady is on the move.

Paint by Number

We decided to have a little fun last week!



Checking In


Gosh. I haven’t blogged in a while. Honestly I don’t know where the last 8 days even went. The skies are grey in Chicago now. It’s officially the onset of winter though it keeps throwing us a day or two of mild breezes. Lots of big things going on in our family. Hopefully we will be able to share some good news very soon.

My mom left this past Monday. It’s so nice having her around. Though my waistline may have suffered. Eleanor had a ball with her Mammie.

I really want to slow everything down.



Nathan whisked me away for an overnight date on Tuesday. It was lovely. Just what the doctor ordered. I don’t think I’ve had a full night’s sleep in over 8 months. I was almost nervous I wouldn’t know what to do with myself slipping in to bed with a full 12 hours ahead of me with nothing to do but close my eyes, breathe deeply and rest. The location and details of our date were a surprise. I love surprises.

Nathan pretended that we were lost for a minute or two until we pulled up to Mathieson State Park. We hiked the trails and canyons. It was just us, a few thousand falling leaves and a couple of bubbling brooks. Beyond peaceful. We had a picnic lunch, and headed to our cabin! The biggest surprise of all Nathan got me a one hour deep tissue massage. Hallelujah! Oh wow. It was amazing.

There were lots of plans to go swimming or hot tubbing but we ended up snuggled on the bed around 9 pm. And, we drifted off to sleep. Twelve uninterrupted hours of sleep. Okay so the reality is that my boobs woke me up at 4:30 am. Knock knock! And, at one point Nathan pulled out a pair of Eleanor’s shoes from his pocket. I think I may have cried as we turned the corner leaving our house on the way to this adventure. I was leaving my baby for the first time overnight (with my mom). But we all survived. And, I came back a very well rested mama.

We were too busy relaxing and didn’t pull out the camera once. Those are the best vacations.


I’ve always been slightly obsessed with Toby from Labryinth.

He’s just so cute, and in those red and white pjs dancing to David Bowie. I mean, come on! You think he’s cute, too. Well I really wanted to get a pair of those pajamas for Eleanor to wear on her first Christmas. And, I finally found some at Land of Nod!

They’re organic so a bit more than I would normally spend on pajamas, but I got them a size bigger so she can wear them a ton. I can’t wait to see her chubby thighs in these!

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.


All By Herself

Such a ginger

Eleanor isn’t what I would call a good sleeper. I don’t much let it get to me though. She’s a nursing baby. And, I know this time will be over so soon. She goes down at 7 and wakes up around 10, 1, and 3:30 to be fed. I know we will soon have to night wean (she turned 7 months old yesterday – photos and an update soon), but until we can move her into her own room I don’t think it’s possible. It wasn’t our intention but somehow we ended up with a co-sleeping family mostly because I just can’t keep getting up at night and also be a normal person who has to go in to work at 6 am.

Anyways the other night she slept her normal three hours, and around 9:50 she woke up. I was in the middle of the last ten minutes of Parenthood so I thought she would be okay by herself until it was over. She was wailing and talking and banging? She sounded so close. Even Nathan asked if her door was open, but it wasn’t. Slowly I creep in to grab her and feed her before I headed to bed. But my baby is not lying down in the crib. Nope. She’s standing up! In the corner all by herself! I couldn’t believe it. In the two days that have passed she has mastered the move from laying down to sitting to standing all by herself.

I swear she was just having her 6 week growth spurt yesterday.
My oh my child.