Saturday, May 31, 2008

Strawberry fields forever

Our playgroup met at this awesome place called Great Country Farms on Friday. We had never been there, and we really enjoyed it. There was so much fun stuff for kids to do, and so many photo ops for mommies.

They have fields where you can pick your own fruits and vegetables. The main attraction now is strawberries.

Funny story about the photo below. See how at the top right of the strawberry one of the seeds is missing? And see all those rocks Eleanor is standing on? Well, she was walking along, when all of a sudden, she bent down, picked up what looked just like a yellow rock, said, "Seed! Seed!" and went right over and tried to put it on the strawberry. That girl!

This is Eleanor's friend Tessa riding a pig. (Eleanor thought that was very funny.)

Eleanor, Tessa's big sister Riley and Tessa.

We replaced Riley with Lindsay for a playgroup photo. (Avery and Sadie couldn't make it.)

Eleanor was trying to make friends with this little guy. He had food for the animals, and she was saying, "Have some, pease?" He didn't want to share. (Check out the mountain in the background. Love this place!)

Now, on with the picking!

(For a fun flashback, check out last year when we went 'bapple' pickin'.)

Remember how she only wanted two eggs at the Easter egg hunt? Same thing with the strawberries. She kept saying, "Mommy, I got TWO!"

Sweet little thing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I added a little survey over in the sidebar. Please vote. If you don't have kids or no longer have kids at home, please vote for the answer most similar to what your parents did with you or what you did with your own kids, respectively.

I'm dying to know what other people are doing in the eating department. I'll post about our situation after the votes are in. Thanks!

And scroll down for LOTS of pics of my adorable little cowgirl!


Yes, in true Aggie form, we have taught our daughter to say, "Howdy!" (I think you have to or they take away your degree or something.) It just goes so perfectly with her in this little pink cowboy hat...

Right after Eleanor was born, my mom was here, and we were out shopping. We found this hat in the dollar bin at Gymboree, and my mom bought it to keep at her house for the grandkids to use to play dress-up. Well, unfortunately for her (and very fortunately for us), it wouldn't fit in her suitcase, and we got to keep it.

We have gotten more laughs out of this hat than any other single item in our house.

Whenever Eleanor senses that things are getting a little dull around our place, she'll inevitably run into her room, and come back with the hat on. The best part is that she knows it's funny, and she gets it just to make us laugh.

What? Doesn't everyone wear a pink cowboy hat while brushing their teeth on the toilet?

She'll just come into the room with the hat over her eyes, and stand there until we laugh. Or she'll try to walk around with it like that, and run into stuff on purpose. So hilarious!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Eleanor is 21 months old!

But don't dare say "almost two." This mommy just can't take it! :)

Here are some cute things my ONE-year-old is up to:
  • Singing all the time. Her latest song is "Rubber Duckie" that Ernie sings on Sesame Street. She says, "Rudder ducty, you da-da!" Okay, so not really close to the actually words ("Rubber duckie, you're the one), but it's totally adorable, and she's got the ending down pretty well.
  • A couple of new animal sounds. Donkeys say, 'Hee-HAAAAWWWW!' and frogs say, "RRRRIDDITTT!" (That's my favorite!)
  • Signing like crazy. She signs tons of words and loves to learn new ones. She can even sign some of the theme song from Signing Time, as it's coming on.
  • Some favorite phrases: 'Der you go!' (There you go.) 'Dood one.' (Good one, which she learned while playing catch with Daddy.) 'I so-wy.' (I'm sorry.) 'Bye-bye! You way-ter!" (See you later.) 'Uh-oh! I dopt it!' (I dropped it, which means, "Hey, Mommy, pick that up.)
  • Brushing her teeth about three times a day. I think she does this for two reasons...1) her toothbrush is pink and 2) she likes the taste of the toothpaste.
  • Helping out a lot around the house. She puts toys and shoes 'away!', puts dirty (and sometimes clean) clothes in the hamper, throws away anything she finds on the floor that looks like trash, and helps with dusting the furniture. I love having her around to help out!

And, because this month's b-day snuck up on me, I had to just go with what was on the memory card...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not your average Sunday afternoon hike

Other titles I considered for this post:
  • How hiking (nearly) wrecked my marriage
  • May 25, 2008: The day geocaching almost killed my family
  • LOST (but that one is taken, I think)

We've been geocaching quite a bit since the weather has been nice. Well, it seemed as though my hubbie was not enjoying himself quite as much as he used to on our little outings. He needed more of a "challenge." So, he got online, and found a geocache that he thought would be more fun to find. I should have put my foot down when he asked where the second one-liter water bottle was and insisted I put pants on Eleanor. But I didn't. I was up for it, sort of.

So, we get everything all packed up in the car (not including the second water bottle...that will be important later in the story), and head out. We drove up to a place where we could hike to get on the Appalachian trail. We start out...the breeze is blowing, the sun is's a glorious day for a hike. We came to this...

We began remarking that this was the most beautiful and fun hike we'd ever been on. Oh, those fateful words....

We got to this really cool rock face. We marveled at the very splendor of God's creation surrounding us....Just wait...

Here, we're still on the trail. We're laughing about how we were finally hiking somewhere that was a challenge. I think we even referred to this little slope in the picture as "steep."
Then, things started going terribly wrong. Well, they didn't just start going wrong. Somebody in our party said that (according to the GPS) we weren't heading toward the geocache, and that it was time to leave the trail. Oh, boy.

This doesn't seem like a good idea. In fact, I think somebody else in our party said that exact phrase about twenty times before actually leaving the trail.

Hmmm...what's missing here? Oh yes, any chance in you-know-where that we can make it through this stuff...that's what's missing, Jar...I mean, somebody.

The third member of our party was clearly thinking, "Where in the you-know-where is Daddy taking me?"

Here, sweetie. THIS is where Daddy is taking three of our deaths upon the jagged rocks of certain peril at the bottom of the Shenandoah Mountains.

The rocks went on forever. Up hill and down hill. Sliding out from underneath our feet. And below the rocks...more rocks and gaping black holes. See that second big rock from the left? That's where we almost got a divorce.

Now, what's the big deal about this cute, little sign in the middle of the woods? Well, let's says, "Welcome to West Virginia." We don't live in West Virginia!!!

So, I could go on and on (and on) about this whole ordeal. Here's the short hour later (after hiking over ridiculously difficult and dangerous terrain), we found the trail again. Jared made some really clever remark about how I needed to stop being so dramatic, and quit acting like we were going to be stuck out there eating our own behinds. You can imagine how super funny that was at the time.

We followed the trail straight to the geocache. No, really. The trail went STRAIGHT to it. The hiking was still very tough, but nothing compared to the impending doom we had faced previously. We hiked up, and up, and up, and when we thought we couldn't go up anymore, we went up. It was miserable. We were having to stop for breaks a lot, and we both felt like we might die. We drank all of our water. We came across some teenagers engaging in illegal recreational activities. At that point, we knew we must be getting close to civilization...they couldn't have hiked very far in flip-flops, right?

This is the spot where they were. That view makes it worth all the pain, right? Um...NO!

Finally, after FOUR hours in the woods, we emerged back onto the wide trail that we knew led back to our car. I prayed outloud at least five times, thanking God that we didn't die out there in the woods.

Now, here's where I claim the worst-mother-of-all-time award. I drank Eleanor's water. Yep. We were that thirsty. It's not like she was hiking. She was just riding in a backpack for Pete's sake, and she had totally soaked through her diaper and pants already, so clearly she was hydrated. Really...I was justified...wasn't I?

So, that's the deal. Here we are safe and sound and sore like you wouldn't believe. Oh, and with one more logged geocache than we had before.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Top ten

Remember the last time I got out the potty? Long story short, I put the potty away because I was completely disgusted by seeing poo-poo in that little plastic cup. Well, Eleanor kept asking to go "Poo-poo poddy," so I decided we'd give it another whirl.

Here are the top ten reasons why I'm 90 percent sure that today was the first and last day of official potty training at our house...

10. I want to leave the house at some point in the next year.
9. I don't want to be the one to single-handedly destroy the environment by washing 18 billion loads of tiny little panties a day.
8. There's something very wrong with feeding my baby chocolate chips as she poops. I may never eat another chocolate chip as long as I live. (Okay, it's not that serious.)
7. 'Uh-oh, Mommy. Water.' Yes, sweet girl, it is water...sort of.
6. No nap= no fun.
5. I'm too old and out-of-shape to follow a one-year-old around the house all day. Those little boogers are quick and BUSY!
4. 'No, Mommy. ELMO's potty.' She just insisted that Elmo keep drinking water and then using the potty, which meant she placed him on the potty and went, 'Ssssssss.'
3. The closest thing we got to success with number one was Eleanor climbing onto the potty and peeing all by herself. Great, right? Well, she skipped that whole part where you pull down your panties. (Yes, she still got the chocolate chips. Who could say no to that effort?)
2. 'Mommy, sad?' I tried SO hard to praise, praise, praise, and not show any frustration at all, but there were more accidents than I could keep track of, and that's a whole lot of mess to clean up.
1. There are worse places for poo-poo than in a plastic cup. One...hardwood. Two...the rug.

Okay, seriously, Eleanor did a PHENOMENAL job for her first day...5 tee-tees (2 initiated by her and 3 caught mid-stream) and 2 poo-poos on the potty. But, it was a very hard and stressful day for both of us, and I don't think either of us felt very good about it. If she were older, I'm sure we'd just endure, but, at this point, I think it may be best just to wait.

And the reason I'll miss pottying until we try again...those tiny buns in those tiny panties!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Eight years ago

Eight years ago today my husband and I got married. Eight years. EIGHT years! Wow...that sounds like a long time. He keeps saying, 'Feels like a lot longer than that...' but that's just one thing I love about him...that he's so hilarious (or at least thinks he is.)

Seriously, though, eight years ago, we were just two 19-year-old kids standing in the front of a church, saying we wanted to be together forever. Back then, we weren't the people we are now... we were still figuring out who we were. I'm so grateful for the incredible man my husband has become. He's extraordinarily smart and determined. He's a wonderfully caring daddy and the spiritual leader of our household. And I know without a doubt, he will always do whatever it takes to take care of us. I am eternally grateful to God for creating such a perfect partner for me.

Happy Anniversary, Buddy!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Photo blog

Well, I've been inspired by Shana to create a photo blog, where I'll get to show you pictures from some of the photo sessions I have. I created this blog about five months ago, but haven't put anything on it. Anyway, if you're into this kind of thing, here it is...

I'll also put a link in the side bar, so you can check it out from time to time.

Friday, May 16, 2008

New shoes

So, today Eleanor and I set out to find her a new pair of shoes. My original intent was to walk into the Stride Rite outlet, and buy a larger pair of the white leather Keds she has now because they held up so well, and were so easy to clean. Well, then we found these...

(You looked inside the shoe, right?) Can you believe it?! How perfect are those little shoes?! They are definitely not something I would have normally picked. I mean, they're adorable, but are they really very practical? Anyway, I didn't even know the price (and for my typically um...frugal self, that's a big deal) but I marched them right up to the cash register. So, the girl rang them up...$12.99! Score! Nothing in the Stride Rite store is $12.99. It was so our lucky day.

I called three people after buying these shoes...that's how very excited I was.

And then...

We got home, I put them on Eleanor, she ran around for about 30 minutes, I took them off, there was a huge red mark across the top of both feet. The freakin' things are too small. Now, you may be thinking, "Why didn't you have her foot measured at the store?" Well, I did. The lady said to buy size 4.5 Wide. Do you know how many pairs of little girl shoes there were in that size in the whole store? One. And they were just okay. The Keds Eleanor shoes were awesome. I wanted them. I needed them. They said "Eleanor" on the inside.

I can't find them anywhere online. I'm being a baby about it. And I'm not at all sure when I'll be ready to stop pouting.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

On the way home

Every time Eleanor and I are driving home from our weekly trip to the Animal Park, I think to myself how amazing the five miles between the park and our house are. Today, I decided to try and capture that a little. So, as we were driving back home, I rolled down my window, stuck my camera (my point-and-shoot, of course!) out the window with one hand, and snapped some pictures. The guy behind me was clearly wondering what in the world I was doing. I can't say I blame probably looked pretty weird.

Not that these pictures do any justice at all to how gorgeous it really is, but here they are...(I decided not to edit them at all because that would sort of defeat the purpose of my whole drive-by approach.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Big girl haircut

I've been thinking for a while now that Eleanor needed a haircut. I mean, I loved the little curls going all over the place, but sometimes it looked, well...a little bit...scraggly.

So, I cut it.

She sat perfectly still, but only because she's been sick for three days, and barely moved from in front of "Signing Time" all day.

She looks so much like a little girl. (Big sigh.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Enough. is. enough.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Not letting the rain get us down

When we woke up this morning, it was raining. Again. After a long, long, long weekend of being indoors, I decided we had to do something...anything! get out of this house. So, we went to open gym at Sport Bounce. Tons of fun. Until the end, of course, when I had to drag my kicking, screaming, crying, shoeless toddler out of the place, while all of the other mommies smirked that it wasn't their kid melting down at that second. We just won't focus on that part. (We're also not focusing on the lighting, colors, blurriness, etc. of any of the following photos. Okay, thanks.) Now, on with the fun...

They had a toddler room with some balls and other toys. Eleanor spent the first hour in here. We tried the whole bouncing thing, but she was completely uninterested (and scared). This other mom kept yelling at her kid that she 'had paid all that money' and that her kid 'better get out there and bounce and stop playing with the baby toys!' Yikes.

Love this future running back (or whatever they call that guy who carries the football and makes the touchdowns.)
Maybe this is what she thought I meant when I kept saying, we were going to a new place to bounce.
Jumping? No thanks. I've got this awesome pink ball.
Mmmm. Ice cream. I wonder how many thousands of kids have licked this thing.

Those funny mirrors are very funny when you're one and a half.

Couldn't pass up the chance to ride a giant alligator-dragon-dinosaur thingy.
And finally, a little bouncing action. Once she got in there and saw how fun it was, she wanted to stay forever.
"Jum-t! Jum-t! Jum-t!"