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Monthly Archive for December, 2011

Happy New Year

I started writing a year-in-review the other day, but it got lost somewhere in the world of unsaved drafts. It made me realize that I don’t need to reflect month by month to know that 2011 was the year that changed me forever – for the better. All because of one little girl. And, one loyal, strong, and loving husband who stood by my side through it all.

When I was a little girl myself I wondered what it would feel like to be an adult – to make all my own decisions, live the life I wanted, fall in love, own a house, create a new family, become a mom. A big part of me never believed that any of it was possible. Not because I didn’t deserve it but because how could I not be a kid forever? The continuum of time has always mesmerized my mind.

A dear friend sent me a new year’s wish, and a snippet of something I once wrote 5 years ago. In it I wrote about what my future life was going to look and feel like. I wrote a lot about how I seek replinishment. And, as I watch Eleanor who was once 7 pounds 9 ounces of naked, raw baby laying across my chest grow day by day into a beaming, bright, and inquisitive little person I know my life is full. I have what I was always looking for.

It’s magic.
Happy New Year.

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The Balance

Some days when I get home from work Eleanor is only content near, on, around, under, over or in my arms. Some days when I get home from work all I want to do is go to bed. It’s tough finding a balance. Today was one of those days. She is darn cute, though.

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Christmas!

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.

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Something to Remember…

Eleanor likes to brush her hand oh so gently through my hair as she nurses herself to sleep. It’s one of the sweetest moments of my day.

Eleanor's first snow

Snow day

Eleanor's first snow

Eleanor's first snow

Eleanor's first snow

Eleanor's first snow

It doesn’t look like we will have snow for Christmas, but Eleanor enjoyed her first snowfall last week.

Christkindl Market

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We headed down town to the annual German Christmas market Christkindl yesterday! It is a tradition of mine since I’ve lived in Chicago. I’ve gone every year for the crafts, the chill and the gluhwein. We heard from Stephen that they had sold out of this year’s ceramic boot that they usually serve the Gluhwein in so I brought mine from last year. It’s just not the same drinking out of styrofoam!

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I ended up wearing Eleanor because she kept trying to propel off of Nathan! Do see her head in that picture of those two? Silly girl. She wanted out, but the best we could do was face her forward. You should have seen Nathan and I untying a Moby wrap and juggling Gluhwein and a baby. Oh boy!

As soon as we got there we noticed the line to see Santa wasn’t very long so we did that first! Santa’s house was cool – two fireplaces, two trees, and a Mrs. Claus opening up the door for us. Santa had a pretty nice beard, too. Nathan and I were both pretty sure that Eleanor would end up crying, but surprisingly she didn’t!

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Eleanor meets Santa

Eleanor meets Santa

We spent the rest of our time enjoying the merry ornaments, drinking, and eating. It was just about perfect!

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Vacation has begun!

Ellie Bellie

I am off the next couple of days leading up to Christmas and I am beyond excited and ready for it! Uncle Drew (my brother) is in town which means Christmas can officially begin. We have plans to go to our beloved Christkindlmarket, see Santa, make sugar cookies, see the Jellies at the aquarium and watch Home Alone. I’m hoping for a bit more snow, too.

This past weekend Nathan set up the air mattress in the living room one night so we could watch a movie. We ended up falling asleep, of course and I got a blissful 3 hours of sleep before Eleanor woke up at 1 am. The next morning I woke up to see snow outside! So we all cuddled on to the mattress again, including Tucker this time. It was perfect.

Eleanor also got some goodies in the mail from her Grammi! I can’t even begin to tell you how talented my mother-in-law is! I think she sent us two sweaters, a scarf, 5 hats, and a couple of neck warmers all hand knitted! They are so cute and soft!

Eleanor

Ellie Bellie

I love the hat and scarf combo! I can’t wait to dress her up to go see Santa tomorrow.

Eleanor is eating like a champ! Can you tell? We are pretty much to the point that she eats whatever we are having for dinner. Last night it was veggie tacos so I ended up giving her bits of avocado and sauteed vegetables. She also had her first falafel the other day from Sultans! Yum! Some days she is not interested in lunch, but she will usually eat a big dinner. And, she loves water!

Did I mention she also has a total of 6 teeth now!?
Whoa.

Coffee

coffee in my cup

For years we received the “mark out” pound of coffee a week from Starbucks. Nathan worked there for a while both part-time and as a store manager. So when he officially quit to take care of Eleanor, I begged him to get as many pounds of coffee as he could so we would have a stock pile! I think we ended up with about 12! Well we ran out a few weeks ago, and I’ve been struggling ever since. It’s not so much that I loved Starbucks coffee as it is that it was 1) free and 2) the only coffee I have drank plenty of.

In the meantime we have tried Trader Joe’s beans, Whole Food’s beans, Maxwell House and Folgers. I can say without a doubt that I just can’t get behind the MH or Folgers. We have a percolator so part of my love for coffee is grinding my beans and filling my percolator up on the weekends. I love the sound it makes. I love that I just know how much to grind and fill without a measuring spoon. I can’t tell you how many pots of weak coffee I have made in the past month trying to get the water to ratio right with Maxwell House or Folgers, even Trader Joe’s beans!

I’m about to throw the towel in and start dishing out the dollars for Starbucks. But first I’m going to try a few local beans. I know the one is out there! I just know it.

My Little Curry Lover

It’s funny how much Eleanor loves food with flavor! She likes anything with a little spice whether it be cinnamon or masala. A few weeks back I made a lentil soup that was to die for! I’ve never really branched out in to Indian or Mediterranean foods before and this was my first lentil soup. Abigail had given me a lot of flavor masala from her trip to India, and it was the perfect time to use up a bit! I made the lentil soup forgetting to set some aside for Eleanor with less spice. By the end I figured she should at least taste it. It wouldn’t kill her. She loved it! She ate lentil soup left overs with me for three days!

Tonight I made a quick meal for her with the same spices. I chopped up a bit of onion (purple because I had that on hand), one garlic clove, a yellow pepper and sauteed that in a teaspoon of olive oil. Then I added a can of chickpeas, green peas (I thought she should have another vegetable in there), and half a can of vegetable broth, curry powder, flavor masala, and black pepper to taste. After that simmered down a bit I blended it so that it still had texture for her to use all of those teeth on (She’s up to 5 now!). Eleanor loved it again.

My little curry lover.

Last night she had some whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce, too. I’m really loving that she can eat almost everything we have for dinner these days.

Just One of Those Days

It’s been a really long couple of weeks at work. Lots of hours, and little time with the ones I love most – my baby and my husband. After another long day today I walked in to the house in tears. I could see Nathan through the window stuffing diapers. I could hear Eleanor fussing. And, as I opened the door there they both were. Nathan holding Eleanor in his arms, “Mommy’s home!” And, I just started to cry.

I missed them both so much.
It’s hard not to feel bad when you’ve been gone 12 hours.