Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Baby laughs

Here's a fun video of Eleanor laughing. I don't think you can get the full effect of just how cute her little giggle is, but it's close enough. The top of her head is cut off because I have to hold the camera where she can't see it or she'll just stare at it. You can also see in the video that she is responding to her name, which I think is adorable. I love that she makes me feel like I'm REALLY funny!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Eleanor is 5 months old

Our baby girl turned 5 months yesterday! Here she is in her classic rocking chair pose. (For pics of previous months, click here.)

Here are some of the things she's up to:

  • Babbling like crazy.
  • Laughing and smiling more and more often.
  • Trying to crawl, but only managing to look like a cute, little froggy.
  • Putting a spoon in her mouth.
  • Scooting herself all over her bed. (which makes each morning it's own little surprise)
  • Copying Mommy and Daddy when they sign "milk."
  • Eating lots of veggies. (except, of course, asparagus)
  • Standing while holding on to almost anything.
  • Smiling at strangers when they look at her.

Eleanor has brought and is bringing SO much joy to our life!! We are so thankful for a blessing such as this! Praise God for precious baby girls (and boys)!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The bright side

So, the best thing about living somewhere that is as cold as the Arctic Circle is that you get to dress your baby like this...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Eleanor's top 10 most favoritest things

10. Giving Mommy and Daddy very slobbery kisses all over their faces.

9. Staring at the star on my Baby Einstein activity gym for as long as Mommy will let me.

8. Standing.

7. Watching Mommy in the kitchen while sitting in my Bumbo.

6. Laughing hysterically when Mommy blows on my tummy and makes silly noises.

5. Grabbing Mommy's hair and pulling really hard while she's blowing on my tummy.

4. Screaming so loud and so high that only dolphins and dogs can hear me.

3. Doing a happy dance when Mommy or Daddy come to get me out of my bed in the morning.

2. Watching kids play at the playground in the mall.

And Eleanor's most favoritest thing in the whole wide world (at least for this week) is...

1. Carrying on long and meaningful conversations with the air vent and fire sprinkler on the ceiling of my room.

Born with a plastic spoon...

No silver spoon here- just this little plastic one that Eleanor loves to wield all by herself. During her third feeding of solid food, she grabbed the spoon with her little fingers and wouldn't let go. She knew it was supposed to go in her mouth, but kept shoving it up her nose and in her eye as she was trying to get it there. I actually had to go get another spoon because she had a death-grip on the one she had taken, and wasn't giving it up. Now she's been eating solids for almost a month, and for about two weeks has been able to successfully grab the spoon and put it in her mouth. She can only actually get the food off of it if there's a whole lot on there because she doesn't have the right motion down yet. (I'm sure it's only a matter of time.) After she has gotten all she can off of the spoon, she'll put the spoon toward the bowl so I can put more on it. This is a VERY messy process with her various veggies, but I figure it's all for the sake of learning. (And we keep a large stock of OxiClean on hand at all times.)

Am I going to think every new thing each of my children does is so fantastic?!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Like this, Mommy?

In preparation for transitioning to a sippy cup, I've been trying to teach Eleanor that she has to tip her head back to get a drink. I think I may have overdone it because now this is what she does when I'm giving her a bottle...

And sometimes her head goes back even further. I've also been using bottles with handles on the sides for some feedings. This morning, she was holding the handles with both hands and had the nipple jammed into her mouth at an angle that allowed very little milk to flow. Jared and I were trying so hard to restrain our laughter because she kept giving me this sideways glance to make sure I was watching her. She was so proud of herself! It made me tear up that she was trying so hard and seeking my approval. Our little girl is growing up so fast!!

She has a pretty strong will for someone so small. I don't know where she could have gotten that. (For those of you who don't know us very well, she pretty much hit the Double Whammy on that one!) Last night, when I insisted on asparagus part two, she let me know exactly how she was feeling. I put a spoonful of asparagus in her mouth. Then, she looked right into my eyes with a very serious look on her face, and said something like, "Oh-ooo-ga-n-ga-n-gooo-la-la-goo-ga-na-na-noo" before she stuck her tongue out with the asparagus still on it and refused to close her mouth until I scraped it off.

I feel like any grief we gave our parents is going to be paid back to us tenfold in the coming years! (And we're going to love every minute of it!!)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Our Discovery Health moment

I just got back from taking Eleanor to the dentist. I was really freaked out about what I thought were teeth erupting in all the wrong places in little punkin's mouth. My pediatrician said they were teeth and the dental hygienist said they were teeth, but the dentist took one look and said they weren't. He said they were Bohn's nodules, which are completely harmless little bumps on a newborn's gum line. They're supposed to go away on their own without any treatment. The dentist was absolutely beside himself with excitement over seeing such a thing, and he asked if he could take a picture. I said okay (I'm so supportive of science...hehehe), and he got out his big camera and took pictures of Eleanor and the inside of her mouth. He did say the nodules could hurt, which is why we have been experiencing the on-and-off fussiness since their arrival. He said it was fine to continue using Baby Orajel.

And here's the best part....he didn't charge us for our visit. Okay, the best part is really that my baby is fine, and is not getting teeth all over her mouth. (But the no charge is a close second.)


I think we have officially found something that Eleanor doesn't like to eat. Yesterday, we tried asparagus for the first time. I was so excited about the asparagus because it made the most beautiful puree. (Oh, the life of a stay-at-home mom; thrilled over a pretty puree!) However, Eleanor was much less excited about it. I think these pictures really say it all:

We'll give it another go today, but I'm not holding out much hope. Now, what will I do with 15 asparagus cubes?!

Monday, January 22, 2007

A mommy's workout

Some days I feel really bad about not taking time to exercise. But this morning I started thinking of all the things I do that could be considered exercise (at least I can consider them exercise so I don't have to feel bad). Here are some of my daily chores that could be deemed "exercise" in the most liberal sense of the word. I'm sure you other moms with small children will recognize some of these as things you do as well:

  • 5 sprints through the kitchen to prepare a bottle and cereal before baby realizes she's hungry

  • 10 laps around the bed while holding baby with one arm and making bed with other

  • 6 squats to pick up pillows to put on bed (bending at the waist has become a thing of the past since that would dump baby on her little punkin' head)

  • 3 lunges to retrieve laundry from the dryer while holding baby

  • 5 one-leg hops to pick up socks dropped from laundry with toes

  • 10 or so more squats to pick up pacifier from the floor (as it would be quite unsanitary to pick it up with toes)

  • at least 50 bicep curls lifting baby from crib, exersaucer, swing, etc.

  • 2 minutes of balancing exercises as one tries to hold baby, run bath water into baby tub (while continuously monitoring its temperature), and not fall face first into bath tub

  • 12 crunches while trying to entertain baby with a rousing game of airplane

  • countless minutes spent doing the mommy sway or rock (whichever your baby prefers) to keep baby happy in line at the grocery store, post office, etc. as to not receive evil stares from those around you

And these are just the ones that come to mind right away.

So, basically, in the time it took to write this, I could have done a few minutes of real exercise, but that wouldn't have been nearly as much fun.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Let it snow!

Yea! We finally got the first real snow of our first winter as almost-northerners. As we left church to grab a burger at Fuddrucker's, a few flurries started to swirl around. Then, as we sat and ate, it really began to fall and accumulate on the ground and the cars in the parking lot. By the time we finished eating, there was enough snow that I could fling it off the bumper as I sang a beautiful "It's snowing" song. I must say that I think everyone in the parking lot really enjoyed it. One guy threw a dime at me. Not really.

We drove home (scary!), and I insisted that Eleanor have some pictures of her first snow. She thought the snow was really funny. She kept sucking in her breath and blinking her eyes, and then she stuck out her tongue and let snow fall on it. It was so exciting! Probably more so for me than her. That's why I have that stupid-looking grin on my face. We walked around a little bit, then Eleanor wrote a message for Daddy in the snow and made her first snow angel.

The fun ended when Jared said we had to go inside before we got arrested for laying our baby in the snow. What a party-pooper!
It's still coming down as I'm writing. I think we're expecting about an inch. That's like a blizzard to this little lady from Texas! I think I'll go outside and build a snowman...

It's still snowing!!!!!! The snow is too dry to make a snowman. It's very pretty, but I'm starting to worry about Jared going to work tomorrow.

I was tagged by Lisa

I was tagged by Lisa for a new meme.

Here is how it works....Here is a list of categories. Add the links to previous posts that you feel fit these descriptions.

FUNNY Easy Button
SERIOUS Christmas
UGLY Christmas Eve ear infection

Like Mother...

It was finally cold enough today for Eleanor and I to wear our matching church dresses. I've been waiting for this Sunday to come since about mid-December when I found the dress for Eleanor that matched one I already had. I thought it was so fun that we were dressed alike today. I can't say as though anyone really noticed until I pointed it out, but then of course they thought it was adorable. (Okay, they didn't say 'adorable'. They just kind of went, 'Ahhh.') I've finally got a way Eleanor can be like me that Jared can't touch. I don't think he's willing to wear a dress and tights.

We tried a new church today, and we liked it pretty well. The people were very nice, especially the ladies in the nursery, which is very important to us. Eleanor kept grinning at the lady who was watching her. When we went to pick her up she looked like she was really having a good time. We'll probably go back next Sunday. I hope we find a permanent place to go soon.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bundled up

Everyone knows when venturing out on a 30 degree day you must have the proper attire. May I present...the cutest hat in the world on the most adorable baby in the world. Daddy brought this hat home from his trip to London last month. He also brought matching tights, which you can see in the playground photos below. I was lucky to get the hat on. I would have really been pushing it with the hat and tights!

We went to the mall today with Laura and Jordan. We ate lunch and watched the toddlers play in the play area. (Eleanor watched. Jordan is big enough to play.) I just love our girls' days out! And, as you can see from the second picture, so does Eleanor. She really does love getting out. It's the pre-outing photo sessions that annoy her! Some day, she will thank me for the day-by-day pictorial documentation of her childhood.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Winter is here!

Well, it finally feels like winter here. I posted a month or so ago and said it was freezing, and it hasn't been cold since- until now. Yesterday, we went to the mall, and when we came out, it was snowing! Yea! It was amazing as it whirled in the sky, but lost it's beauty as it splatted on the windshield as a big, fat water drop. It was 41 degrees, so there was absolutely nothing to be seen on the ground or anywhere else. I was a little upset that I wasn't able to get a picture of Eleanor's first snow, but I'm not sure that it even counts because it only lasted about 15 minutes. I feel pretty sure I'm going to have another opportunity to snap a photo of a snowy little Punkin' in the near future because the temperature hasn't been above 30 today. I'm always perplexed when I read Lisa's blog, and see all the wintry weather they get in Oklahoma! Who knew?!?

Monday, January 15, 2007


Today, I made Eleanor's vegetables for the next week or so. She ate broccoli for lunch. It took more bites than carrots for her to get used to it, but then she gobbled it all up. We were so proud of her for eating it all. How good could room temperature broccoli puree taste, really?

I made more carrots, broccoli, and some green beans, which we will try four days from now. It was still very fun, and I think it is saving some money. The vegetables I made today would be enough to last for the next two weeks (if we weren't going to try new vegetables every four days). Eleanor helped in the kitchen again, and Daddy told her that she will be expected to make her own meals pretty soon. I think he was kidding.

This is a picture of what homemade baby food looks like. You freeze it in ice cube trays, and then thaw out one (or more when she's bigger) cubes for a meal. I am considering pureeing all of our food and storing it this way to cut down on cooking time. I can just picture Jared's face when I set down his plate of three meatloaf cubes, one broccoli cube, and two carrot cubes for dinner (and three chocolate chip cookie cubes for dessert).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

At the park

Yesterday, we took Eleanor to the park for the first time. I had noticed a few days ago at the mall that she loved watching the toddlers run around in the play area, so I thought she might enjoy an outing to the park. She did- for about ten minutes.

We put her on the slide (mostly just for picture-taking), and she just wanted to stare at the other kids.

We tried the swing, but she couldn't sit up very well, so she hated it!

She played in the playhouse with Daddy.

And then she was ready to leave. This is her ready-to-leave face:

And here's a picture of her and Mommy:

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Giraffe hunting

Yesterday, I placed Eleanor in her "Bounce Bounce Baby" exersaucer, and went into the kitchen to make a sandwich. I know, "Adult Supervision Required," but the kitchen in my place is about ten feet from the living room, and there isn't a wall. So, I felt pretty okay about it. Anyway, I was looking down making my sandwich, and I could hear Eleanor squealing and making ga-ga sounds. I thought, "Oh, she has finally come to realize the true entertainment value of her exersaucer, and she's having such a good time." Then, I looked up and saw that she was actually calling to her giraffe toy that Uncle Michael, Aunt Jen, and Chloe got her for Christmas. She kept reaching for it and grunting, as if at some point she would become Elasti-girl and be able to snag it.

It's so funny how she latches on to one toy for a few days, and won't play with anything else. The great thing is by the time she's bored with one toy and ready for a change, she's completely forgotten about her other toys, so they appear exciting and brand new. Ahhh...the bliss of having no long-term memory!

(Please take note of the distance between her feet and the bottom of the exersaucer. People keep asking, "Isn't it adjustable?" Yes, it is. That's the highest setting. My kiddo has the shortest little legs in history, courtesy of one parent who shall remain nameless, but isn't me.)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Get your feet ON the furniture!

I wonder at what point I will have to explain to Eleanor that it's bad manners to put your feet on the furniture. Look at that face- it's certainly not going to be today!

I knew that Eleanor could stand if Mommy or Daddy were holding her hands, but I just discovered a couple of days ago that she can stand if I put her next to something that she can hold on to. She can stand holding on to the side of her crib, but I'm nervous she'll fall forward and hurt her little head. Plus, I'm not sure that I want to encourage standing up in bed just yet. So, the couch seems like our best play place for this fun activity. (I know it looks like she's really close to the edge of the couch, but she really isn't, and I'm very close to her incase she does fall.)

I know this isn't a milestone or something I need to write in the baby book. I just think it's really cute, and she absolutely loves it. The only problem is she doesn't understand why she can't stand all the time, and she got a little grouchy when we were finished and she had to get back on the floor- like a baby. The best part was when she would lose her balance and fall into a sitting position. She would look up like, "What? I meant to do that!" (The last picture)

She really is starting to have such a fun personality. Finally, something that can't be attributed to her daddy. JUST KIDDING! I really like hanging out with her, and I am so grateful to be able to do that. We keep each other laughing all day. This morning, she grabbed my ear and would pull it and then push it away, and she thought it was hysterical. She has the most infectious and adorable giggle!

I love my little girl so much. I am so, so thankful to Jared (whom I also love so much) for prayerfully following God's will for us, and putting us in a position where I am able to enjoy and nurture her around the clock!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fun book meme

Lisa tagged me for a fun book meme.

Here are the directions:
1)Grab the book closest to you
2)Open to page 123, go down to the fourth sentence
3)Post the text of the following 3 sentences on your blog
4)Name the author and book title
5)Tag three people to do the same

Okay, the book is Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine. No, I'm not pregnant. It just happened to be on the end of the bookshelf.

"By this I mean my breasts were even bigger than they were a month ago, but my waistline had completely disappeared and my belly was starting to pop out enough to provide a resting place for my breasts. This is the period when no one is sure whether you are pregnant or just spending too much time at the dessert table, so they don't mention your appearance. However, you can be sure they are talking about it behind your back."

You know you know exactly what she's talking about!!! Hilarious!

I only know two other people (besides Lisa) with blogs, so I officially tag Denise and Robin, but I would love it if everyone would do this and post it as a comment here!!


Last night, on a whim, I decided that it was time for Eleanor to try a vegetable. Since I had already decided that I would make her baby food, I had to go with what I had handy. I just happened to have carrots in the fridge. So, I steamed them, and smooshed them into puree in the nifty food processor that Eleanor's Mimi gave us for Christmas. Perhaps a couple of months down the road, I won't find the idea of baby food preparation quite so novel, but for now I love it. Eleanor loves being in the kitchen when I'm cooking or putting away dishes, so she had a blast watching me prepare her food. (Of course, Daddy claims that this is yet another trait she inherited from him, as he just loved to help in the kitchen as a tot.)

Daddy arrived home just in time to observe the exciting first taste of a vegetable, and....SHE LOVED IT! She gobbled up the carrots much faster than she eats the cereal. Each time I put the carrots in her mouth, she made a sound that I'm sure meant, "Thank you, Mommy, for this wonderful dinner you prepared for me." It went something like, "Mmmmmmm."

For those readers who have not yet experienced the joy of parenthood, I will skip the details of what carrots do to a diaper. But you other mommies know just what I mean. Yow-za!!
I'm frightened at the very thought of what green peas will do...

Here's a picture of Eleanor that has nothing to do with carrots. I just like it. This is the only time in her life when all those rolls are considered socially acceptable AND absolutely adorable.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Gone to Texas (Again!)

Okay, this post is way late. My friends at Shutterfly just decided to get the pictures for it to me, so here it is...

In December, Eleanor took her second trip to the Lone Star State. (Her first trip was pre-blog.) We stayed with Mr. Keith, Miss Ashley, Kelsey, Jake and Megan.

It was the little Farris' first time to meet Baby Eleanor, and they were quite excited. Last time they saw me (us?), Eleanor was in my tummy. Of course, this was a pretty easy concept for the big kids to grasp, but it took a little convincing for Megan, who kept saying, "Where's you baby?" and looking at my stomach. She caught on quickly, though, and couldn't wait to hold and love on Baby Eleanor. They loved taking turns holding her, and would gather around the bouncy seat to watch her play. Another favorite activity was putting the pacifier in her mouth (and for Megan- taking it out, putting it in, taking it out, and so on, which was hysterical!) They all loved helping out and it was so sweet to see the way they loved being around her!

One day, while we were in the car, I whispered (so I thought!) to Ashley that maybe Jake and Eleanor would get married. To which Jake replied, "What?!? I can't marry her. By the time she's a teenager, I'll already be married. I'm getting married after I finish college." Who can argue with that? But wouldn't it be cute?...

One evening, Ashley and I had a special treat. Keith agreed to watch Eleanor so that we could go out to dinner and to see a movie. It was so wonderful to have girl time! Keith gets an A+ for babysitting because that night Eleanor slept 12 hours straight for the first time ever! I offered (or threatened, depending on how you look at it) to hire him as Eleanor's nanny, but he kindly declined, though I think the job was perfect for him.

While we were in town, we got to see our friends from church. I loved hanging out with them! Eleanor met several babies close to her own age. They exchanged e-mail addresses, and are still in touch. Here are a couple of them- Bella and Josh (whose mommies are my friends Jamie and Amanda). The babies were enthralled by Baby Einstein while the big kids decorated cookies.

Eleanor also met other babies when we hung out with my ex-work friends. (Definitely not ex-friends, just ex-work!) Eileen's baby Jackson is just two weeks older than Eleanor. Somehow, we missed getting them coordinated for a picture, but here's me with sweet Gabriel and his mom Claudia:

Our trip was so great! I'm so glad some of my favorite people got to meet Eleanor and vice versa. We are so blessed to have so many great people in our lives!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Teething again...

I hate teething! What's worse than knowing your baby is terribly uncomfortable and not being able to do anything to help them feel better? Nothing. I know you can help relieve some of the pain with medication or teethers or cold things to drink, but Eleanor told me that even after all of that, it still hurts. She is now getting her fourth tooth. (Nope, still not in order.) I am done with trying to guess which tooth it is. I'll just say that it's not the one all the books say it should be. She woke up about five times between 3 and 4 this morning in obvious discomfort. I wish there were some way to tell her what was going on, and that she'll feel better soon. Is there a baby sign for that? Despite the pain of a hard, pointy object forcing its way through her gums, she still tries to be such a sweet girl. (Which makes me feel even worse about not being able to do anything for her!) It's like she's saying, "Mom, I don't really want to bother you, but OUCH!" Here are some pictures of my poor, sweet angel baby today. I can tell you that if I were in pain, I wouldn't be nearly that cute!

Friday, January 5, 2007

The look

Those of you who have seen my baby and know my husband would probably say that she is about 80% Daddy/20% Mommy as far as looks go. Those numbers are based directly on the comments we get from family and friends. The only variation on that is when I take her out in public by myself, and complete strangers say, "Oh, she looks just like her mommy." They only say that because they've not seen her daddy.

Sometimes, when I'm walking in the mall, I am startled when I look down in the stroller, and see Jared staring back at me. When we visited our friend Keith in Houston, he commented that he felt strange holding Eleanor because it was like he was holding Jared in a pink dress. Now, there's a pretty mental picture!

Jared is still holding out strong hope that her eyes are progressing toward brown. (Right now, they are dark blue with a greenish color in the center.) That would definitely affect the split, and it would look more like 95% Daddy/5% Mommy. I actually overheard him quizzing our friend Laura (whose baby Jordan has beautiful brown eyes) about when exactly they turned brown. I saw his face light up when she replied that it was around six months. He has even researched this topic on the Internet, and has informed me that the pigment in her eyes is not fully in until she is approximately one year old. He's a complete maniac about this!

So, as it stands right now, Eleanor looks like Jared, which is fine. If I didn't think he was good-looking, I wouldn't have married him. But sometimes, I can't help but wonder why she had to inherit so much of him. Like this face...
I've been getting this face from Jared for over nine years, and now look. He's gone and given it to my daughter. So for the next hundred years or so, I'm going to be looking at it at least twice as much. I do hope, though, that when Eleanor makes this face at her loving mommy, she is not thinking the same thing that Daddy is thinking when he does it. She shouldn't have those thoughts until she's at least 12 or so and I'm clearly ruining her life.

I think it's so great how God makes babies look like combinations of their mommies and daddies. It's amazing how He can make completely different little people out of the same ingredients just by changing up the recipe.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Rolling over

When Eleanor was two months old, she rolled over from her tummy to her back, much to the excitement of her mommy! However, when I tried to show her daddy and a couple of friends her new trick, she would not do it again. Well, yesterday (some two months later), she did it again- five times! And this time I've got the video to prove it...