Thursday, January 12, 2012


Daily I become more appreciative of the family I have. The family I grew up with, the family I married into, the friends I call family. So many trials have come my way recently; 2012 is quickly becoming just as hard as 2011, but God in His great mercy has blessed me with this family.

The girls and I are visiting my mom, and my sister Michelle is here this week too while her hubby works in Houston, so I get lots of snuggle time with my cutie little nephew Grayson (who will be a month old in just a few days!).

The girls are having a blast. Avery loves coming to Nonnie's house, and Eleanor is just always happy. We spent an afternoon with my grandparents so they could meet Grayson for the first time, and my grandma loves to hold those babies as long as possible. Grandpa got some good cuddle time too, until Eleanor decided to poop on him. And what a poop it was! All the way up the backside and around onto her tummy by the time I wrestled the shirt off of her.

Aves, Eleanor, and I also spent a day with my in-laws before my FIL flew back to Africa for work. The cousins came over, and they are so good at loving on my two girls and keeping the toddler entertained. I don't really see Avery for a couple hours when they come over. It's AWESOME. :) Plus, my arms got a break from Tiny Love, who wants to be held all the time, as she got some good snuggle time/a nap with Aunt Haley and Nana.

raspberries from cousin Peyton

funny little Emily

Peyton is AWESOME with babies and with Avery. 

Oh look! Smiling during tummy time! This is rare.

carseat parking

baby Grayson meeting his great-gramma

Nonnie and Eleanor

close cousins - Grayson almost 1 month, Eleanor 4 months

Grayson doesn't seem to be enjoying hanging out with Eleanor

photo blooper

hanging out with great-grandpa, until she pooped on him

Yes, that's poop. A lot of it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy 4 Months Eleanor!

Eleanor turned 4 months old yesterday! I didn't get my snazzy photo of her with an animal, sitting in a chair, just like I didn't for 2 and 3 months. Sorry kid, it's been a heck of a year. But, you're not without your own share of photos, even if they aren't "official".

Her appointments are off a bit, thanks to my crazy shot schedule and having to keep the shots at least 4 weeks apart, so I'll update with her stats in a couple weeks after her visit to the doctor.

The day started with some good rolling over for the first time! She is just like Avery, who also hated tummy time with a vengeance, so she mastered going from back to belly just like her big sister. Now that she's figured it out, she rolls no matter where she's parked for the moment, and she tried to roll herself out of the swing today. Glad she was strapped in! She also hates when she ends up on her tummy, but she can't seem to stop swinging her body over. I was smart and managed to catch the first one on video, plus every one after that for the rest of the day, but it takes too long to upload videos on here, so just trust me - she's a pro.

She also started reaching for items more, and she has become quite adept at getting the paci back in her mouth if it's dangling close enough. She found her voice in the past 2 weeks, and though she's still our "quiet" baby, she does talk more than she had been and lets out some major squeals of excitement on occasion. She's also begun cooing on car rides. Maybe she's talking to Avery.

She has graduated to the bouncer, though she doesn't bounce quite yet. Her feet do touch the ground, surprisingly, because she has such short little legs. She loves to look at the toys and her arms flail about and manage to catch them, where she'll then hold on for dear life.

She is the happiest baby ever and is quick to offer a grin to anyone looking her direction. She still loves to hold her own hands and gnaws on them constantly. She's quite the drool baby these days, spits up more than she used to but still not much by Avery's standard (who required an entire suitcase of burp rags when we traveled), and wants to be held all the time. She tries to sit up if she's reclining in someone's arms, wanting to see what's going on.

She is definitely a mommy's girl and still hates the bottle, so I'm on-call 24/7. She was sleeping 10 hours a night, but we're back to up once in the night usually, sometimes twice. So frustrating when you get used to good sleep, but we've traveled every week or two since the beginning of November, without much of a break in-between, so it's no wonder that she doesn't have a consistent schedule yet. She's often ready for bed by 6 pm, though I try and push it til 6:30 if I can. Then, I get an hour with Avery before she goes to bed.

I'm much more confident at handling two kids now, though it definitely tests my patience and my sanity some days. I'm also much more relaxed about Eleanor, though I was pretty relaxed with Avery. We did a lot more bottles with Avery, since I couldn't seem to get over being shy about nursing in public, which made it take longer to get out the door. With Eleanor, since bottles aren't even an option, I just load and go and nurse anywhere. It's so much better this way!

Wow, much more than I planned to type. Love you sweet girl!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Christmas Pictures

She wanted chocolate toast before opening her Christmas Eve gift, so we put last night's pj top on instead of her white dress. Love the tights, shoes, and purse. 

Since she was already half-dressed in pjs, she said, "Don't like to wear these!" to the Christmas jammies

Christmas morning - I love trees with white lights

the Santa hat gets pulled out every year, and whoever wears it passes out presents

Eleanor is so round these days, everything seems small on her

Daddy and Eleanor

from Avery's stocking - she LOVES nutella. These are little cookie sticks to dip into the Nutella

Eleanor spent most of Christmas morning swaddled and in the swing sleeping

her stocking stuffer

Avery likes to line everything up, and we had to play with each item as it was unwrapped. This made for a LONG morning. 

opening presents with Nonnie

Uncle Dane and Aunt Brittany

Merry Christmas to me! Thanks, Mom!

my sister Brittany painted this for us; absolutely love it and can't wait to get it framed

Eleanor got a Bla-Bla doll - we love these stuffed animals!
Avery's big gift was a train set, though somehow I didn't seem to get pictures of it, or I just can't find them among the hundred photos I took that morning. She loved it! She wanted it set up right away, and she played with it all morning until we had to leave for brunch at my grandparent's house. We put it up when we got back home, but we quickly became tired of having to step over it constantly to do laundry, so it's back in the box for now. So ready to have more space for her to play!

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Past 2 Months

A sampling of photos from the past couple of months. We have more on the big camera, which I don't have at the moment, so more will make their way on here over time.
checking out Eleanor's tummy time - back in November maybe?

always with her accessories

a favorite past-time is lining up collections of objects

it was a long night...she took a break from the wedding festivities

dancing with Daddy at Aunt Lela's wedding

Uncle Aaron and cousin Sidney at Aunt Lela's wedding

she was just resting here for a few minutes while I did something else...I can back and she was sound asleep

trying out the chopsticks

Aves is a big fan of chopsticks - here is her first attempt. She simply speared her sweet potato fries.

first bumbo time! Sometime around 3.5 months

Aves is always patting her head, saying "She's so soft."

Aunt Brittany reading to Avery at Great-Gramma's house

Christmas Day, trying to fall asleep but not looking so sleepy

she spent most of Christmas swaddled

hanging with great-gramma - it was hard to get Eleanor back from her!

Check out that belly! My two girls relaxing together today.

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

One Little Word 2012

It's taken much thought and prayer to find this year's new word. I feel like it should be "One Little Sentence", or a word for each month. I went through so many that would be applicable for 2012. Hope, peace, engage, enough, gratitude, thanksgiving, joy...the list goes on. I really wanted an action word. As I sat reading and praying, I asked that the LORD would reveal it to me yesterday. It felt silly to ask Him for that, to show me a simple word to cling to for the year. Yet, even the smallest of prayers are answered, for a word came to me as I was driving in the afternoon.


The verse that first popped into mind with this was Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Then I found this later: "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

So much has happened this past year that has made me fight to control my thoughts, my feelings, my reactions. I've had to learn to hold my thoughts captive, a battle I lose daily it seems. When so many trials come your way all at once, it becomes easy to have a victim mentality. 

Therefore, I'm hoping to spend 2012 working on holding my thoughts captive, on guarding my heart and mind, on renewing my mind, my faith, my relationships, my hobbies, my attitude...renewing all aspects of my life.

What's your word?