Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Eleanor is 6 months old!

I'm really not sure how this happened, but today our child is six months old. Every cliche about flying time and such is so true. Here is my big girl... For pictures of previous months click here and here.

Here are some things she is up to:

  • Still trying hard to crawl, and becoming VERY frustrated that she can't.
  • Sitting with no support.
  • Taking her pacifier out and putting it back in 200 times a day. Also, as of today, sharing it with her toy animals.
  • Smiling and laughing a lot, especially when Mommy and Daddy get out the camera.
  • Trying to sign "all done" when she's finished eating. She just barely turns her little hand over a couple of times. She also signs "milk" when I'm putting her to bed. I'm not sure what the connection is there, but I'm probably just not smart enough to understand her complex intellect. (That's a joke.)
  • Watching Baby Einstein with intense concentration. I think she would watch it all day if I'd let her.
  • Eating a wide variety of fruits and veggies.
  • Putting everything in her mouth. (And drooling like she's one of Pavlov's dogs.)

Jared and I are having so much fun watching our baby turn into herself. We're looking forward to our visits next month from Mimi and Nana, and our big trip to Texas!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Special report

This just in...Eleanor has found her smile!

Eleanor's smile mysteriously vanished Sunday afternoon around 4:00. There were reports that it had been spotted while she was watching Baby Einstein in her exersaucer, but those, unfortunately, turned out to be isolated incidents. No cause has been given for this mysterious disappearance, but there is speculation that it was due to reflux-related complications. Sources have reported that Eleanor's mommy was covered in blueberries at least three times in the past two days. Witnesses have confirmed, however, that her smile has returned at least temporarily, and we have obtained these photos as evidence...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Just for a laugh

My Harry Potter snowman...

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Jared and I have taken up a new hobby. It's called geocaching, and you can read more about it here. It's basically like treasure hunting except for the treasure part. First, you look online for a geocache located close to where you are or where you are going. Then, you program the coordinates for the geocache into your GPS. Next, you set out, using your GPS to guide you to the geocache spot. The GPS gets you in the general vicinity of the cache, but then it is up to you to look for it. It's like hide-and-seek for grown-ups. (Well, it can be for kids too, but we don't think Eleanor is quite ready to go digging around for her own geocache yet.) What you find will be some sort of container with some sort of little trinket inside. You can take what is inside as long as you replace it with something else, so that another person can have fun hunting for it too.

(Yes, I do know that sounded like a third grade how-to essay.)

Today, I found my first geocache, and that is a picture of me holding it. It was an itty, bitty container with a penny and a sticker inside. (I warned you about the treasure part.) I took the penny and put in a geocoin that Jared found in his first geocache. To find it, I had to go traipsing around this park, looking high and low. (People sometimes hang the geocaches from trees.) I finally found it in the hollow of a tree. It was buried under a bunch of sticks and leaves, and I had to dig for it. My hands AND my hiking boots got dirty. It was so much fun!

We're hoping to get outdoors a lot more when it is warmer. Today, we went back to Shenendoah National Park, but had to take turns getting out of the car because it was too cold to get Eleanor out. I know once it is warm enough, she will love being outdoors.

If anyone is interested in getting started with geocaching, you should click here. In our very limited experience, it has been very enjoyable!

Here are a couple more pictures from today's excursion:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Where's the ball?

Oh, the wonder of object permanence. One of the true joys of mommyhood is watching your child discover new things (and, of course, thinking she is a genius every time!)

Also, please don't be too jealous of my outfit. Our mornings go wake up, breakfast, playtime, naptime, and Mommy doesn't get to put clothes on until naptime.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Just a swingin'

Today, it was a sweltering 50 degrees, so my friend Laura and I decided we would take our babies to the park. Well, it was a...memorable experience. Getting there proved to be a little more difficult than we had anticipated. Today is the first really warm day we've had since the big ice storm, so the ice is actually still pretty thick on the ground. So, there we are- Laura's feet are getting totally soaked trudging through the icy slush carrying Jordan on her back, and I'm trying to drag Eleanor's stroller along behind me. But we weren't going to turn back, and have totally wasted the seven minutes it took us to walk there. We finally arrive at the playground, and I stick Eleanor in the swing in the Floppy Seat that is intended for use with grocery carts and high chairs. I brought it along because I thought it would help Eleanor fit in the swing better, and it actually worked pretty well. Unfortunately, the wind was too chilly for her to swing much, so she just had to sit there in the swing. Poor little Jordan's lips were trembling and she looked very cold. (It apparently wasn't 50 in the shade.) So, we only stayed for a few minutes, and took the girls back to the warm house. (After another trek through the sludge.) I did have time, though, to snap this picture of Eleanor's first time to swing at a playground...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sitting up

Okay, here are the official pictures of Eleanor sitting up. I am SO amazed at how much she has learned to do just in the past week. Two days ago, she could only sit by herself for a few seconds before toppling, and now look...

I call the first one her "Heisman." Not sure what she's doing in the last one, but I think it's funny.

Physics 101

Eleanor's First Law of Physics:
When I push things, they fall over.

We almost got all the way through the video without Eleanor noticing the camera, but not quite. You will also notice that we have not yet perfected sitting alone, but we're getting there.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


The weather here has been very cold and icy and such, so I stayed indoors most of the week. On Friday night, Jared thought it would be a good idea for Eleanor and I to get out of the apartment since we hadn't been out since Monday. (I think I was unknowingly succombing to cabin fever and thus becoming rather hard to get along with.) Well, what I saw as we drove a couple of miles to a nearby restaurant scared the heck out of me. I had never seen anything quite like it. There were huge (seriously...HUGE) chunks of ice everywhere. They were all along the sides of the road and on the medians. It got so cold that the blocks of ice became like boulders, which means if you accidentally ran your car into one (which wouldn't have been hard to do because they were in the road in some places), you and your car would definitely come out the losers. The blocks of ice are still well intact due to our consistently sub-freezing temperatures. I don't know when they'll go away, but in the meantime, this is what is outside our back door...

I'm not sure why I find that so frightening, but I do. It's just plain weird. I've never heard the weatherman mention ice rocks, and frankly I think they should warn little Texas girls about this kind of thing ahead of time.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The many faces of Eleanor

Eleanor manages to keep me laughing with the new facial expressions she comes up with everyday. I think she's going to be one of those people that can't hide how they're feeling because it's written all over her face. There goes her spot on the Texas Hold 'Em Poker tour. Here are a few of my favorite faces from today...


Pensive (and drooling)And my favorite, of course...


Thursday, February 15, 2007

But the greatest of these is love

I usually don't get into Valentine's Day. When I was a teacher, I looked forward to it only because I could use it to my advantage to get the kids to behave. "If you don't follow the rules, you can't take home your Valentine cards today." Sounds mean, but if you taught where I taught, you'd use anything you could. Plus, I liked the day when we made the mailboxes to put the Valentines in. Okay, I'm way off topic...

The weather here has been eventful. It's very cold, and there was snow, sleet, and freezing rain for about 36 hours. So, Tuesday, when Jared got home from work, I was so relieved that he was safe and sound inside. Well, at about 5:30 that evening, he said he was going outside. I thought he just wanted to walk around in the snow (for some weird reason) and would be back in a few minutes. But he wasn't. He walked to the mall. When he came back, he was carrying a garment bag from Macy's. He said, "Happy Valentine's Day." I opened the bag and in it was the most beautiful wool coat I have ever seen. I had been searching all winter for a plaid, wool coat, and had had no success. But, leave it to my husband to go out in the terrible weather and find one. I'm so glad he's my Valentine. (This gift sure beats the Easy button.) Here's a cheesy picture of my new coat, but since I only ever see two of you...

Yesterday, Jared was iced in from work, so the three of us stayed cuddled up in our bed in our pajamas until almost noon. It was so great! We snoozed and we played and Jared read a book. (Not out loud...that sounded like he was reading us a story.) Now, that is an amazing way to spend the day with the ones you love!

Makes me think of this awesome verse:
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
--1 Corinthians 13:13

I'm so glad we were created in the image of a loving God! What a blessing to be able to give and receive the gift of love.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It's snowing again!

Eleanor and I ventured out into the snow today. Okay, really, we ventured out onto our back porch, so that I could take some pictures of her. She was so happy outside, and cried when we had to come back in. Maybe if they made baby ski masks, we could have stayed out longer, but her little cheeks were starting to freeze, so mean, old Mommy brought her inside.

Love Mix

I was tagged by Denise to create a list of what I think are the all-time greatest love songs. Now, I love you, Denise, but I have to say that I actually think love songs are really cheesy and the cornyness usually makes me laugh outloud. Sorry. Luckily, Jared is the same way so we usually end up having a laugh together, which is just as good for the soul. But, just for fun, here are some of the love songs that come to mind when I think back to our high school days as young lovebirds:

1. End of the Road/ Boyz II Men (I love how I knew it was two i's and not the word 'to' or a '2'.)
2. Always/ Bon Jovi (I can't believe 'Bon Jovi' is now on my blog.)
3. After All That We've Been Through/ Chicago (Okay, not actually from my time, but my dad had the tape)
4. My Heart Will Go On/ Celine Dion (which my hubby and I danced to as Prom King and Queen- thank you very much)
5. Show Me Love/ Robyn (really makes us smile because we deemed it 'our song' when we were 16)
6. It's Your Love/ Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (I know this is a repeat of Denise's, but it is very lovey)
7. Secret Garden/ Bruce Springsteen (You know, that one from Jerry Maguire. I was seriously addicted to it, and Jared would play it over the phone for me like 117 times in one night. He's going to love that I posted that.)
8. Head Over Feet/ Alanis Morissette
9. Don't Speak/ No Doubt (Actually a song about breaking up, but, hey, sometimes things just don't work out. They did for us, of course, but I guess things don't work out for some people...)
10. I Think We're Alone Now/ Tiffany (Way before Jared and I got together, but my sister had the tape and we would blast it on her little pink radio and dance around our room. So fun!)

I was going to stop with ten, but I wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't include a song from the greatest singing group of all time....that's right....NKOTB is in the house...

11. Please Don't Go Girl/ New Kids on the Block (Not sung by favorite member of NKOTB, but a great love song all the same.)

So, there it is. Now, pop in your mix tape (or turn on your iPod, whatever) and have a very romantic and happy Valentine's Day while rockin' these slow jams with the one you love. (Maybe I really could be a DJ....)
Feel free to add your own favorite love songs as a comment here or as your own list on your blog.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Family fun outing

Yesterday, Jared and I decided to take a drive over to Shenandoah National Park. (Jason and Robin had been there, and said it was really neat. Here are their photos.) We loaded Eleanor and our camera gear into the car and took off. Once we got there, it took us about two seconds to fall absolutely in love with the place. It was totally amazing and beautiful. I'm really corny and almost cried, but I really was just overwhelmed with how wonderfully God had made everything there. We did the driving tour of the park. There is a road called Skyline Drive that is 109 miles long and 2000-3000 ft above sea level. It winds all around the mountains through the most amazing landscape you can imagine with little overlooks where you can pull over every eighth of a mile or so. We saw 15 deer while we there, and they all came really close to our car. We rolled down our windows and took pictures of them. Okay, Jared gets credit for the deer pics, but I can't help that they always went to his side of the car. There were lots of trails and some picnic areas that we hope to take full advantage of in the spring when it's warm enough to get Eleanor out of the car. She was such a little trooper yesterday. She slept for the first four hours, woke up, had a bottle, then played with her toys in her carseat until we were about 5 miles from home. By that time, she had clearly had enough of the carseat and really wanted out. I had a hard time narrowing down which pictures would convey the utter perfection of the park, but I chose these...eight. I said I had a hard time narrowing it down. You're lucky I only chose eight! Enjoy!!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Jordan's jacket

Because I posted a whole lot of words yesterday, I'm going to make this short and sweet...

Eleanor's friend Jordan let her borrow this adorable Baby Gap jacket, and I thought she looked absolutely precious in it, so I took about a thousand pictures of her today. I've narrowed it down to three for your viewing pleasure. If you look closely at the last one, it's really funny. That book is so good she's drooling over it!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Desperate in DC

Our lunch outing was great! Eleanor was a perfect angel, and a few of Jared's co-workers even said so. She almost lost it right at the beginning, but we held it together with lots of face-rubbing and hand-holding. Yea, Eleanor!!!

Okay, I need some answers here. So, anyone who has a baby or knows about babies, please comment here with your wisdom.

In my last post, I mentioned that Eleanor 'loved to be out and about.' Well, apparently that was so six days ago. She has now decided that she would like to only be at home or in her carseat in our car. Here's the deal:

Last Saturday, I called Jason and Robin up and asked if they wanted to go grab all-you-can-eat chicken fajitas at this Mexican joint downtown that Robin had found online. They did. So, we all piled into our car and set off in search of some real, authentic Mexican food (okay, really I was desperate to taste Tex-Mex). About 45 minutes later, we arrive in the vicinity of the restaurant. There was a little bit of a walk to get to there because the parking in DC is so fabulous. It was just a couple of blocks, and Eleanor seemed perfectly fine in her stroller. We get inside the restaurant (my mouth begins to water because I had skipped breakfast to make more room for fajitas), and Eleanor seemed fine- for about 30 seconds. Then, her little lip came out and started to quiver. This was the beginning of the end of Megan's Tex-Mex dream come alive. She started wailing at the top of her lungs. I don't mean crying- I mean we needed a team of holy people in the restaurant to extract the demon that had clearly inhabited my child's body. I had no idea what to do. This had never happened before. I got her out of the stroller and took her to the bathroom, which was downstairs next to the banquet room. Needless to say, the people having a party did not appreciate our added soundtrack. Jared (who is such a great daddy) came downstairs with the diaper bag, and we tried desperately to figure out what was going so terribly wrong with our daughter. Seriously, we thought she surely must have some sort of immediate medical need or something. Nothing was working. I went back upstairs. I knew the correct answer was to take her outside, but it was about 30 degrees, so I stood in the little area between the outside and inside doors for a few minutes. Our fellow diners clearly did not appreciate that, so I told Jared to bring me the stroller and I would go outside and push her around. (I thought it would be wrong to just put her outside in her stroller so I could eat fajitas.) I pushed her around outside for a few minutes to absolutely no avail. Finally, I motioned through the window for Jared to bring me the keys, so that I could take my precious little banshee to the car. He came out, and (did I mention he is a great daddy?) took her to the car himself. He sat there with her until Jason, Robin, and I finished eating. (We did bring him a nice to-go box of food.) He said that as soon as they got to the car, she calmed down and started smiling and babbling.

So, part II goes much the same way, but happened last night at the mall. When we got back home, I turned on the light, and when Eleanor saw that she was in her room, she did the happy dance and squealed.

What is going on with my child? And when will it be over?

We're supposed to have lunch with Jared's work friends today. We need prayers.

(I know the picture is a repeat, but luckily I don't have that many opportunities to capture my kiddo in a full-on bout of crying.)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Snow day

Everything outside is covered in snow. That means we're stuck indoors because I don't know how to drive when there's snow on the ground. Eleanor and I have not been out of the apartment together for three days now. It's becoming harder and harder to entertain her (and myself). She really enjoys being out and about, so I don't think she's happy with this at all. Okay, maybe she is a little bit because I've taken a liking to snuggling up and taking a nap with her. Here's a picture of her in our bed before she woke up and realized I wasn't cuddled up next to her.
Maybe snow days aren't all bad.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Crawling lessons

This is Eleanor trying to learn to crawl. I put her on the kitchen floor because I heard it was easier for babies to learn on a hard surface. (Not recommended for my germaphobic friends.) She can scoot herself a couple of inches now. I keep putting toys in front of her face or sitting in front of her saying, "Come here...come to mommy." Sounds mean, but she needs the motivation.

See you in Spring

This morning, when we woke up the temperature was 7. Seven!?! That doesn't even sound like a real temperature. The wind chill was somewhere around 6 below zero.

I had to go out last night to get groceries. I ordered online from Safeway, but that turned out to be a disaster. They only brought about half of the items I needed. They said most of the other items were out of stock, but they also charged me for three items that they didn't bring. Extremely annoying. So, I had to brave the frigid winter air after Eleanor went to bed to go get some food to feed my troops. (Maybe this counts as a Proverbs 31 moment.) The temperature was 15. I really thought to myself that it would be cold, but really not that bad. WRONG! 15 degrees hurts! Your clothes feel like they're freezing to your body, and your fingers feel like they're turning into ice cubes. Woe unto you should you accidentally lick your lips!

Bathing is one of my favorite hobbies. I bathe at least twice a day. Well, for about three or four days now, I've had to seriously reduce my number of baths due to limited hot water. Taking a bath in less-than-lukewarm water is not that relaxing.

I'm a prisoner in my home because I am afraid to take Eleanor out. Two of my fingers cracked and bled just from being out for a little while. I don't want something like that to happen to her! So, here we sit with the heater blowing full blast.

I think we might get out again some time in March.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Happy Dance

A few posts ago I mentioned that Eleanor does a happy dance whenever we come to get her from her bed. Well, I finally captured it on video. Here she is today when she woke up from her nap. I think I'm going to use this for her River Dance audition tape.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Six weird things about me

Robin did a great list of six weird (but, oh-so-cute) things about herself, and has inspired me to do the same. I would encourage anyone else to do it to because it's a pretty hilarious way to get to know people. If you don't have a blog, feel free to write your list as a comment here.

1. I am the pickiest eater ever.

I think I would prefer to call it "selective", but either way I have all sorts of weird food issues. First, there's a texture issue which won't allow me to eat Jell-o or cottage cheese or anything else that might feel slimy in my mouth. I also have a serious meat issue, and rarely eat meat in restaurants. I only eat turkey or chicken, and the chicken must be breast meat cooked until it is so dry it's barely edible (to most people), and it absolutely, positively cannot be on the bone. The only condiment that I really like is barbecue sauce. Just the sight of (or really even the thought of) mayonnaise makes me gag, which leads me to my next weird thing...

2. I have an extremely sensitive gag reflex.

I oftentimes gag in public restrooms just thinking about what other people have done and could be doing in them. I gag if I accidentally put my toothbrush too far into my mouth. I gag if I see my cat's um...what's a good word here?...anus. I must say that I did not gag while changing a dirty diaper until Eleanor started eating solid food. Now, I regularly gag, but I'd venture to say that you would too.

3. I have movie amnesia.

No matter how many times I have seen a movie, it's like I'm watching it for the first time every time. Jared gets really frustrated because he is like the movie trivia king, and I never have any idea what he's talking about. Sometimes we'll be sitting around with friends and everyone is quoting a movie, and I feel like such a clueless moron so I laugh even though it's not funny to me. So, if you ever mention to me your favorite part of a movie, I'll probably smile and nod, but have absolutely no clue what you're saying.

4. I shop in negative dollars.

I rarely buy anything that's not seriously on sale. I'm one of those people that walks straight to the back of the store and makes a beeline for the clearance rack. I base what I "want" on how much I could "save" by buying it. So, if something was $40, but is now $10, I have to buy it so that I can save $30. I get that it's totally illogical, but I can't help myself.

5. I can touch my elbows together behind my back.

A completely useless skill, but weird nonetheless.

6. I LOVE Maxwell House commercials.

I was hoping to post a commercial or at least a link to one, but I can't find it anywhere online. You can hear that snazzy, little tune, though, by clicking here. My favorite is the most recent one- you know, the one with the factory workers singing. There's a lady in a ball cap (she's my favorite!). My favorite part is when they sing, "This coffee's really rich and bold." The website says they have a new commercial coming soon, and I can't wait! I can't explain it, but those commercials have a way of brightening my day. This really funny thing happened when I went to their website the first time...they have a product called 'Coffee Pods', but I thought it was link to download the Maxwell House jingles to your iPod. For a brief moment, I was on top of the world...
(Yes, I know it's a real song, but I like the coffee lyrics better.)

Friday, February 2, 2007

After a bath

We have not had the best of days today (i.e. lots of crying, like a millisecond of napping). Miss Robin can vouch for all of it. I decided to try and see if a bath would help little Punkin' find her smile. She did the happy dance afterwards, and I couldn't resist getting this photo of her in her extra-special, made-with-love towel from Miss Ashley. She hesitantly agreed to take a nap, but we'll see how long that lasts. I give it a centisecond. (I don't think that's real- I was just trying to think of something a little longer than a millisecond.) Days like today make teaching first grade look like a piece of cake, but when I see that little face, I think, "Who needs cake when I've got this?"
Note: Statement about cake not meant to imply that I wouldn't love a big hunk of it right now or ever.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Why women have more wrinkles (a tale of mommy-hood)

I know why women usually get more wrinkles than men as they get older. We worry. Specifically, I worry- a lot! I remember my third grade teacher calling me a "worry wart" because I was freaking out about a tornado "drill" (which turned out to be a real tornado by the way.) But even I didn't know the meaning of the word worry until now- until I became a mommy.

Since she was itty-bitty Eleanor has done this thing where she shudders and her head shakes. It looks like she's getting the chills. The first time she did it I thought it was cute. I assumed that she had actually gotten the chills (besides the fact that pretty much everything is cute when a five pound baby does it.) Then it happened again, and I started taking note. Well, recently, it began to happen more often. And in the past few days, I had noticed it happening much more frequently. I couldn't get it out of mind, so I called the doctor's office. They suggested that I video tape it, and have the doctor take a look. (They also said that it sounded like it was nothing to worry about, but I didn't let that stop me.) Yesterday afternoon, I captured this little head bobble thing with my video camera. I called the doctor's office- all excited that they would be able to drop what they were doing and watch my video. So, it was 5:30?! I don't see the problem. The phone nurse said no one would be able to look at it until tomorrow (that was yesterday. You with me here?!) I was totally bummed. I even asked if I could e-mail it to her. She said yes, but she never received the message. I was frantic. I had a knot in my stomach and was on the verge of tears. So, I turned to the next best thing to a doctor- my mommy friends. I e-mailed it to my friend Ashley who said it looked like it was either nothing or reflux. Reflux had never crossed my mind, but here are a few of the thoughts I had as I was lying in bed last night (in between trips to check on the Punkin') fully awake:

  • Parkinson's disease (which I don't even know babies can have)

  • Tourette's syndrome

  • Infantile seizures

  • Nerve damage (from the vaccinations she had Monday)

You get the picture...I was thinking of all the most horrible scenarios that this little head wobble could be a part of. This morning, I had a prior engagement with Little Jordan, so I couldn't go immediately to the doctor's office, but don't think I let the morning go by without making Jordan's mommy Laura watch the video. She said the exact same thing as Ashley! Nothing or reflux. Both much better answers than those ideas I had let crop up in my little noggin' overnight.

I took the video to the doctor's office and the bestest nurse ever Lori said she would look at it right away. (She thinks Eleanor is the cutest baby ever and she loves her.) She came out and took me into one of the exam rooms, and told me that she and Dr. Schwartz watched it, and determined that it was most likely- REFLUX! I should try giving her Maalox three times a day. (And a side of Xanax for mommy, please!)

So, there are two morals to this story-

1. My friends should be pediatricians.

2. By the time I'm 30, I'm going to look something like this:

if I don't stop worrying!

If anyone is interested, here's a link to the video. The questionable shuddering is at the end.